Tag Archives: 747

Air France to release a new round of cuts after failing to reach an agreement with its pilots

Air France (Paris) plans to announce a new round of cuts after failing to reach a new agreement with its pilots according to the Wall Street Journal. The airline was seeking to find cost savings of $190 million annually for the next three years but the pilots refused to fly more hours for the same pay.

Read the full report: Read the Full Story (LRW)

Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France is due to operate the last Boeing 747-400 revenue flight on January 11, 2016, ending a long historic run with the 747. However if the carrier follows through on further deeper cuts the type could be retired sooner. Boeing 747-428 F-GITF (msn 25602) departs from the Paris (CDG) hub.

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Aeroflot will not proceed with the acquisition of Transaero, will end operations on December 15

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) will not proceed with its acquisition of 75 percent of the stock of rival and struggling Transaero Airlines (Moscow) according to Reuters. Transaero’s shareholders failed to meet the deadline for an acquisition plan.

Read the full report: Read the Full Story (LRW)

Meanwhile the Russian government has given its approval for Transaero to file for bankruptcy according to rt.com.

Read the full report: Read the Full Story (LRW)

The airline has acknowledged on social media that it is “rehabilitating its activities” and would have more details later today.

According to Bloomberg the airline’s creditors have not yet agreed on a restructuring plan. The government has banned the airline from selling any further tickets due to its large debt.

Aeroflot will reportedly stopped buying fuel for Transaero aircraft which affectively grounds the airline.

Read the full report:  Read the Full Story (LRW)

Update: On October 2, 2015 Transaero Airlines issued this statement:

Transaero (2015) logo


Upon the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation on external management and sanation of Transaero Airlines, the carrier interacts with the partners to ensure the carriage of the passengers holding the tickets of the airline.

The airline has suspended ticket sales.

The transportation of passengers-holders of the airline’s tickets on domestic and international routes will be provided until December 15, 2015.

Passengers-holders of tickets for flights after 00.00 of December 15, 2015, will be able to get refund of the full ticket price.

In summary, Transaero Airlines will cease operations at midnight on December 15, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Antalya, Turkey is a favorite destination for the carrier and its uses Boeing 747-400s to bring large loads of Russian tourists to the popular beach resort. Flights are now being delayed from leaving Antalya (AYT). Boeing 747-446 EI-XLG (msn 30111) taxies at AYT.

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Cargolux celebrates 45 years of flying with a “You name it, we fly it” logo jet on newly-delivered Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCM

Cargolux 747-800F LX-VCM (15-You name it)(Ldg) LUX (Cargolux)(LRW)

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) on September 28 took delivery of brand new Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCM (msn 61169). The new delivery was flown to Luxembourg (above) and is in service between Luxembourg and Los Angeles via Prestwick.

The new Jumbo freighter is painted in a whimsical “You name it, we fly it” special livery created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt. The logo jet is helping Cargolux celebrate 45 years of flying. The logo jet displays some of the odd things the airline has flown in its history.

The airline issued this statement and photos yesterday:

Cargolux 2015 logo

Cargolux Airlines, Europe’s largest all-cargo airline, celebrates its 45th anniversary with a special aircraft livery, created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt, that was applied to its 13th 747-8 freighter delivered. The aircraft, LX-VCM, named ‘City of Redange-sur-Attert’, was handed over at Boeing’s Seattle plant on September 28 and arrived in Luxembourg on September 29 with a full load of cargo.

Cargolux LX-VCM 1 (Cargolux)(LR)

As an undisputed leader in air cargo, Cargolux offers an extensive product range, covering everything from every-day cargo to shipments that require detailed attention, special treatment and expert handling.

Cargolux LX-VCM 2 (Cargolux)(LR)

Backed by 45 years of experience, the highly specialized Cargolux teams can cater to the most demanding requirements customers may have.

Cargolux LX-VCM 3 (Cargolux)(LR)

This ability is aptly portrayed in the anniversary livery on LX‑VCM that depicts in a humorous way the many facets of air freight shipments, routinely handled by Cargolux every day.

Cargolux LX-VCM 4 (Cargolux)(LR)

The decal on Cargolux’s new freighter is the biggest decal that Boeing ever applied to an aircraft, it consists of 460 individual parts.

Cargolux LX-VCM 5 (Cargolux)(LR)

Phillippe Cruyt was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1962. He has already illustrated a range of successful educational books on air freight and environmental topics, published by Cargolux in the early 2000s, as well as advertising and safety campaigns, calendars and posters for the airline.

Cargolux LX-VCM 6 (Cargolux)(LR)

In addition, he has illustrated a range of books as well as published his cartoons at various exhibitions throughout Europe.

Cargolux LX-VCM 7 (Cargolux)(LR)

Currently, Mr. Cruyt divides his professional time and energy between cartoon illustrations for children’s and educational books or designing communication messages with a touch of humor. When he is not drawing, Mr. Cruyt plays clarinet and tenor sax in his jazz group, The Creole Shakers Trio.

Cargolux LX-VCM 8 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 9 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 10 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 11 (Cargolux)(LR)


Over the last 45 years, Cargolux has grown to become Europe’s largest all-cargo airline with 828,658 ton of cargo flown in 2014 and a fleet of 25 747 freighters.

On March 4, 1970, Luxair, Loftleiðir, Salén and some private interests founded Cargolux and started operations from the newly established home base at Luxembourg airport with a handful of Canadair CL-44 freighters. The young carrier’s first flight on 10 March 1970 was routed Luxembourg – Stockholm – New York and carried a cargo of strawberries and iceberg lettuce.

The airline was created to operate all-cargo ad hoc and sub-charter flights and the first years of operation proved that there was a need for the type of service that Cargolux was offering to its customers.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Douglas DC-8-63 (CF) LX-ACV (msn 45989) is seen at Paris (CDG).

The CL‑44s soon gave way to bigger DC-8 freighters (above) and, in later years, Cargolux introduced the wide-body Boeing 747 freighter into its fleet, amidst much skepticism in Luxembourg and within the industry. However, the success of the operation eventually proved critics wrong. In later years, Cargolux became the first operator and launch customer of the 747-400F and the 747-8F. With more than 85 offices in over 50 countries, Cargolux today flies to over 70 destinations worldwide and employs over 1,700 people.

Selected Milestones

1970: Cargolux Airlines International is founded by Luxair, Loftleiðir Icelandic, the Salén Shipping Group and private Luxembourg interests.

1974: The maintenance division of Loftleiðir Icelandic is integrated into Cargolux, whose staff increased from 80 to 180 over night.

1978: The final CL-44 is phased out. Cargolux now operates an all-jet fleet.

1979: Boeing delivers Cargolux’s first Boeing 747-200F, the second one arrives a year later.

1983: Cargolux’s CHAMP (Cargo Handling And Management Planning) computer system is introduced.

1984: The last DC-8 freighter is sold, while a third 747-200F is added to the fleet in 1986.

1988: Cargolux ranks among the 15 largest cargo carriers in the world, measured in freight tonne kilometers flown.

1990: Cargolux celebrates its 20th anniversary with an order for three new Boeing 747-400 freighters.

1993: With the delivery of the first two Boeing 747-400 freighters, Cargolux becomes the first airline in the world to operate this state-of-the-art aircraft.

1995: Cargolux celebrates its 25th anniversary. The fleet of modern 747-400 freighters is steadily expanded over the coming years; the 16th and last unit is handed over in 2008.

2005: Cargolux and Boeing announce the development of a new, advanced version of the 747 freighter, later to become the 747-8 series. Cargolux is a launch customer for this new 747 type with an initial order for 10 aircraft. The company later orders five more 747-8Fs.

2009: The Cargolux Maintenance Division moves into its new maintenance hangar that offers modern facilities and space for two 747/A380-sized aircraft. Cargolux enters into a strategic partnership in Italy to create Cargolux Italia for intercontinental all-cargo services from Milan’s Malpensa airport.

2011: Qatar Airways takes a 35% equity interest in Cargolux, but decided in November 2012 to sell its stake. The State of Luxembourg acquires these shares on an interim basis. Some six years after signing the initial order, Cargolux is taking delivery of its first two Boeing 747‑8 freighters on 19 and 21 September.

2014: Cargolux achieves a number of crucial goals, including the conclusion of a commercial cooperation agreement with HNCA, who acquire 35% of the Cargolux shares and the successful introduction of services to and from Cargolux’s new hub in China, Zhengzhou.

2015: Cargolux celebrates its 45th anniversary. The airline operates the largest fleet in its history and routinely records one of the highest daily aircraft utilization rates in the industry. Cargolux now operates seven weekly frequencies between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou and introduces its first dedicated transpacific service between Zhengzhou and Chicago.

The Cargolux Spirit

With the acceptance of 747-8F LX-VCM, Cargolux operates one of the youngest and most efficient freighter fleets in the industry.

“I’m proud to see this aircraft with a very special paint scheme join out fleet,” says Dirk Reich, Cargolux President & CEO. “The 747-8 freighter perfectly suits our worldwide network and its nose-loading and cargo-carrying abilities help us to maintain our leading position in the airfreight industry. Philippe Cruyt’s exceptional livery is a fitting addition to our 13th 747-8F and underlines not only the expertise and experience that Cargolux has gained in handling a wide variety of normal and special freight, but also celebrates the long and colorful history of our company. This aircraft is an ambassador for the passion and the spirit of Cargolux.”

All photos by Cargolux (except below).

Cargolux aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. LX-VCM arrives at Seattle/Tacoma to take a full load of cargo to Luxembourg.

Cargolux 747-800F LX-VCM (15-You name it)(Apr) SEA (JGW)(LRW)

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Boeing to build 747 fuselage panels at Macon, Georgia facility

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) has announced that 747 fuselage panels will be built at its Macon, Georgia facility beginning in 2018.

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing will take over the work from Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division, a wholly owned subsidiary of Triumph Group, Inc., with the Macon site providing assembled fuselage panels to Boeing’s 747 final assembly line in Everett, Washington. Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have worked together to ensure a smooth transition for the 747 supply chain.

Boeing and Triumph Aerostructures have worked together for many months to ensure a smooth transition for the 747 supply chain. As part of this detailed process, the Boeing team selected the Boeing Defense, Space & Security Macon facility for 747 fuselage panel work.

Defense work currently performed at the Macon site includes replacement center wing sections for the A-10 Thunderbolt II, as well as sub-assemblies for the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Fuselage panels for the C-17 Globemaster transport airplane were also produced at the site until earlier this year.

Current defense work at the facility is scheduled to be complete in mid-2016, at which time Boeing will transition the site for Commercial Airplanes work. Facility staffing will be temporarily reduced during the transition. The site will ramp up to full production on 747 fuselage panels by mid-2018, at which point it will employ up to 200 people.

Macon will become the twelfth manufacturing site for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Fabrication organization, which has operations in three countries.

Boeing will invest approximately $80 million in employee training, tooling and building modifications over the next three years.

The fuselage panel assembly transfer to the Macon site is the first of several new work packages for the 747 currently supplied by Triumph Aerostructures that Boeing will announce in the coming months.

Other 747 structures work now done by Triumph Aerostructures, including the empennage, floor beams and flight surfaces, is currently being competitively bid to selected suppliers. Boeing expects to have sourcing decisions for all the work completed this year.

At Macon, Boeing will equip the site with new tooling and equipment, which will occupy the entirety of the 220,000 square foot facility. A new advanced manufacturing production system will reduce the time to produce fuselage panels while also increasing quality and enhancing employee safety.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. The 2015 version of Boeing’s support of the hometown NFL Seattle Seahawks. Boeing 747-83QF N841BA (msn 60119) lands back at Paine Field in the 12th Man livery.

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Delta retires the first-built Northwest Boeing 747-400, will go to the Delta Flight Museum

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (September 9) retired its pictured Boeing 747-451 N661US (msn 23719), the first Boeing 747-400 built for Northwest Airlines-NWA (Minneapolis/St. Paul). Ship 6301 was retired as  flight DL 836 from Honolulu to Atlanta according to Delta. Delta issued this story and photo of the historic last flight:

Delta logo

Ship 6301 will move to the Delta Flight Museum, where it will become the latest aircraft exhibit.

On September 9 Delta retired the first Boeing 747-400 aircraft ever delivered to a commercial airline, after its final flight from Honolulu to Atlanta.

Delta Ship 6301 made its first flight with Northwest Airlines in December 1989, and has logged more than 61 million miles, enough to make 250 trips from the Earth to the moon. Northwest later merged with Delta.

Known as the “Queen of the Skies,” the 747 is one of the most popular and recognizable aircraft in the world today. When the first 747 made its first commercial flight 45 years ago, critics thought the aircraft would soon become obsolete as designers believed that supersonic aircraft would be taking over the skies. However, the four-engine jumbo jet revolutionized the industry with its exceptional long-haul flight capability and sheer size, nearly three times larger than the largest jet flying at the time.

The 747 ushered in a new era of international travel with luxuries and, at one time, features such as spiral staircases to the upper deck and stand-alone piano bars.

The improved 747-400 featured a new glass cockpit, tail fuel tanks, advanced engines and a new interior.

747-400 model is called a “high-tech” jumbo to distinguish its advanced features from its predecessor, the “classic jumbo” of the -100 to -300 series. 747-400s have been flown from the U.S. to numerous long-haul destinations including Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Honolulu, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, and Manila during the past 26 years.

As Delta continues to modernize its fleet and improve its Pacific network, the airline plans to retire the remaining 12 747s in its fleet by 2017, replacing them with smaller, more fuel-efficient aircraft that will enable the airline to operate a wider variety of routes, particularly in Asian markets.

The final flight of ship 6301 was flight DL 836. The full flight took off from Honolulu on time (see the video below) while the entire Delta team saw off the beloved aircraft.

Delta crew of N661US (Delta)(LR)

Above Photo: Delta. The cabin crew of the last revenue flight of N661US.

Following its final flight, Ship 6301 was welcomed home to Atlanta early on September 9.

Delta Chief 747 pilot Steve Hanlon said the 747-400 was affectionately known as “The Whale” among pilots­. “Even as large as the Whale was, it was surprisingly maneuverable and fast, typically cruising at .86 the speed of sound with close to 400 people onboard.”

Following its retirement, Ship 6301 is scheduled to take a final journey in early 2016 to the Delta Flight Museum, where it will become the latest aircraft exhibit.

Delta Flight Museum logo

Interesting the Jumbo, while with Northwest Airlines, was involved in an in-flight event. Flight NW 85 was a flight from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. According to Wikipedia, the flight experienced a rudder hardover event on October 9, 2002 when the flight was close to Anchorage, Alaska. The flight diverted to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. No passengers or crew were injured.

NWA-Northwest logo

N661US was delivered to Northwest Airlines as the launch customer of this type on December 8, 1989. Boeing originally showcased the new model as N401PW from April 29, 1988 until it was handed over to Northwest.

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. N661US taxies at Amsterdam in Delta’s colors.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. N661US arrives at Tokyo (Narita) in Northwest colors.

Video: Video of the last takeoff from Honolulu and the historical last flight:


Lufthansa to take legal action against Vereinigung Cockpit’s Group Collective Labor Agreement Committee

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement concerning the on-going strikes by the VC pilots union:

Lufthansa logo-2

The response from the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union to the numerous proposals and offers of talks submitted by Lufthansa has been further strike action, which today is affecting long-haul services and tomorrow will affect all the company’s short- and medium-haul routes, and thereby again subject its customers to unacceptable inconvenience.

For the past two years, right up until yesterday, Lufthansa has been approaching the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) Group Collective Labor Agreement Committee with constructive proposals, offers and concessions. In doing so, the company has made concrete proposals on every open collective labor agreement issue, with a view to working together with the VC to jointly ensure the future viability and competitiveness of the company as a whole and of Lufthansa German Airlines in particular. In addition, Lufthansa has also demonstrated a willingness to discuss issues with the VC Group Collective Labor Agreement Committee that extend far beyond the latter’s responsibility and authority.

Since it is evidently impossible at present to engage in constructive negotiations, Lufthansa has now resolved that:

  1. The existing rights and benefits held by the cockpit personnel already at the company under their present Group Collective Labor Agreements (CLAs) will be frozen at their current levels until such time as any new Group CLA is concluded. In view of the company’s current inability to compete, however, no more new pilots will be employed under these Group CLA conditions at Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo or Germanwings. As a result, the natural employee turnover within the present cockpit corps will lead to gradual reductions in these companies’ aircraft fleets. At the same time, every present cockpit crew member at these companies will retain their position.
  2. Any future discussions with the VC Group Collective Labor Agreement Committee will be limited to those issues within its responsibility and authority. These are in particular the Compensation CLA, the Umbrella CLA, the CLA on Transfers and Promotions, the CLA on Old Age Provisions, the CLA on Employee Representation and the CLA on Transitional Retirement Provisions.
  3. Lufthansa will carefully consider whether all the agreements between the company and the VC Group Collective Labor Agreement Committee on which notice has not yet been served can be meaningfully maintained.
  4. Lufthansa will submit a claim for compensatory damages against the Vereinigung Cockpit to the Frankfurt Labor Court. This claim will be based on the unlawfulness of the pilots’ strike of April 2014, when the Vereinigung Cockpit ordered strike action against Lufthansa Cargo even though the corresponding CLA was still in force. The damage caused to the Lufthansa Group as a result of the April 2014 strike totaled around EUR 60 million.
  5. Lufthansa is considering what possibilities (if any) the German Collective Bargaining Act (“Tarifeinheitsgesetz”) offers to prevent further harm to the company and its customers. In taking these actions Lufthansa is assuming responsibility for the future competitiveness and viability of the entire company, for its customers (who are currently being subjected to unacceptable inconvenience) and for its 120,000 employees from all personnel groups whose jobs are directly dependent on the company’s future.

“We would have liked to finally resume our CLA negotiations with the Vereinigung Cockpit instead of having to respond with this further escalation,” says Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Corporate Human Resources & Legal Affairs at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “I also appeal to our pilots to live up to their personal responsibilities. With the strike plans outlined by the VC for the time between now and the end of this year, the financial damage to our company would exceed 100,000 euros per pilot. It is high time we sat down and found a solution here.”

Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Lufthansa later issued this statement after the court declared the strikes as illegal:

Lufthansa welcomes the decision of the Hessen Labor Court in Frankfurt am Main to prohibit the strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union with immediate effect.

The Court described the VC’s strike action as “evidently unlawful” in that, for the VC, the strike was clearly motivated not only by the official reason stated, i.e. pilots’ transitional retirement provisions, but also by the Wings Concept of the Lufthansa Group. This was not, the Court found, a valid strike objective. The Court further noted that the VC was not prepared to enter into overall mediation unless the Wings Concept was included therein.

The Court’s ruling does not permit recourse to any further legal channels. Lufthansa will offer its customers flight schedules that are virtually back to normal from tomorrow onwards, together with its usual reliable service. For planning certainty reasons, today’s special timetable will remain in effect.

Lufthansa remains willing to resume its negotiations on all open collective labor agreement items with the VC’s Group Collective Labor Agreement Committee at any time.

“Our goal is still to work with the VC to find a joint solution to all the open CLA issues through the negotiating process,” confirms Dr. Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Corporate Human Resources of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYT (msn 37844) in the 1968 retro livery approaches the runway at Dulles International Airport near Washington.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Korean Air becomes the first airline to operate both versions of the Boeing 747-8

Korean Air (Seoul) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) yesterday (August 25) marked the delivery of the airline’s first 747-8 Intercontinental. The new fuel-efficient jet is the first of 10 747-8 passenger airplanes the carrier has on order.

Top Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 747-8B5 HL7630 (msn 40905) was handed over to the carrier on August 25. The Jumbo is seen landing after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

With this delivery, Korean Air becomes the first airline in the world to operate both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8. Korean Air currently operates seven 747-8 Freighters.

Korea’s flag carrier currently operates a fleet of 87 Boeing passenger airplanes that includes 737, 747 and 777s. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 28 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters.

With a range of 7,730 nautical miles (14,310 km), the 747-8 Intercontinental offers 16 percent savings in fuel consumption and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise. The airplane also features an all-new, 787 Dreamliner-inspired interior that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort.

Korean Air’s jet is configured with 368 seats and features the brand new First Class Kosmo Suite 2.0, which include a sliding door and higher partitions to provide added privacy for passengers. The suites are also equipped with updated in-flight entertainment systems, with large 24-inch high-definition monitors and new handheld touch remotes.

Above Photo: Boeing.

The airline’s Business Class Prestige Suites (above) will feature staggered seating and privacy panels, along with 18-inch high definition touch screens.

Korean Air’s Aerospace Division is a key Boeing partner on both the 747-8 and 787 programs, supplying the distinctive raked wing-tips for each model. They are also one of two suppliers producing the new 737 MAX Advanced Technology (AT) Winglet.

Korean Air logo

Korean Air, with a fleet of 161 aircraft, is one of the world’s top 20 airlines, and operates more than 430 flights per day to 128 cities in 45 countries. It is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance, which together with its 20 members, offers its 612 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 16,000 daily flights covering 1,052 destinations in 177 countries.

Korean Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Below Photo: Boeing. The staircase to the Upper Deck.