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Tag Archives: 777

KLM to launch a new route to Bogota and Cali on March 31

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will expand its long-haul service to South America next year. KLM will launch a new scheduled service to Colombia’s capital, Bogota, and Cali, the country’s third-largest city. From March 31, 2015, KLM will fly three times a week operating a Boeing 777-200 on flight KL 745. The circle flights will start in Amsterdam, stopping in Bogota and Cali, and returning directly to Amsterdam. The service will be part of KLM’s new summer schedule and will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-206 ER PH-BQP (msn 32721) in the special “Delft Blue” color scheme taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

KLM: AG Slide Show

 

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Virgin Australia to upgrade the Los Angeles-Brisbane route to daily service on October 26, drops Los Angeles-Melbourne

Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has announced that it will increase services between Brisbane and Los Angeles, moving from four roundtrip services per week to daily return services, effective October 26, 2014.

Following this change, the Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines trans-Pacific joint venture will offer two daily services between Sydney and Los Angeles and one daily service between Brisbane and Los Angeles.

The additional Brisbane services will be flown by Virgin Australia’s three-class Boeing 777-300 aircraft.

In order to increase services on the Brisbane route, Virgin Australia will cease services between Melbourne and Los Angeles, with the last flight operating from Melbourne on October 25, 2014. Effective October 26, 2014, there will also be a minor change to the departure time of Sydney to Los Angeles flights to allow an earlier arrival into Los Angeles, creating a more convenient schedule for corporate and leisure travellers. There will be no reduction in Virgin Australia capacity between Australia and the United States following these changes.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3ZG VH-VPH (msn 37943) arrives in Los Angeles.

Virgin Australia: AG Slide Show

The Dutch take over the crash investigation of shot-down Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17

Malaysia MH 17 Tail Debris (LRW)

The Dutch Safety Board has issued this statement:

The Dutch Safety Board took over formal responsibility for the air crash investigation from Ukraine yesterday evening (July 22). The two black boxes have since arrived in the United Kingdom, where they are currently being read out and analyzed by a team of international specialists. The on-site investigation in Ukraine is currently in full swing. Although investigators still do not have safe access to the crash site, work to gather and analyse data from various sources is underway in bothKiev and the Netherlands.

The first priorities will be to gather information from the crash site, analyse the black boxes and coordinate the international team. Ultimately, the air crash investigation should offer victims families and the international community a clear and comprehensive overview of the causes and course of the crash.

With the Dutch Safety Board now heading the investigation, the international investigation team will have more freedom to go about its tasks unhindered. The Dutch Safety Board is also responsible for coordinating all participating investigators and investigation teams from the countries involved (Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The international team currently consists of 24 investigators. A total of four Dutch Safety Board investigators are currently operating inUkraine.

Black boxes

On Tuesday evening (July 22) the two recorders arrived in Kiev from Kharkiv and were handed over to the Dutch Safety Board. They were then shipped by air to theUnited Kingdom, where an international team of specialists is working on the read-out and analysis of the data stored in the recorders. As a part of this effort, the team will also assess whether the black boxes may have been manipulated. The black boxes are expected to provide information relevant to this investigation. The analysis of black box data may take several weeks

On-site investigation

At the time of writing, the investigators have not yet been able to visit the site of the crash and conduct their investigation under safe conditions. In order to conduct an effective investigation, the investigators must have the opportunity to move around the entire investigation site freely, investigate materials and traces from up close and secure them for further study where necessary. At present, the investigators’ safety has not been guaranteed. The Dutch Safety Board and other parties involved are continually working to gain access to the accident site, and are working with other parties to organise effective security so that the investigators can do their work under controlled and safe conditions. Despite the fact that evidence and traces have been damaged or lost, the Dutch Safety Board expects it will be able to gather sufficient relevant information from the crash site.

Over the past few days, investigators have been working on the investigation in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and in the Netherlands on the basis of available film and photo materials and other sources of information.

Investigation results

All information gathered as a part of this international investigation will be submitted to the Dutch Safety Board. The Dutch Safety Board will subsequently analyse this information, which will serve as the basis for a report and – where necessary – relevant recommendations. Other investigators or investigation boards will support this process and comment on the draft investigation report and its conclusions. The Dutch Safety Board will have the final say as regards the contents and timing of all publications. If the investigation shows evidence of any criminal or terrorist activities, the information will subsequently be submitted to the relevant authorities in accordance with applicable regulations. The Dutch Safety Board’s investigation will focus on ascertaining facts, rather than apportioning blame.

In addition to the international accident investigation, the Dutch Safety Board is also conducting two other independent investigations: an investigation into the decision-making process with regard to flight routes and an investigation into the availability of passenger lists. These investigation reports are expected to be published ahead of the main accident report.

Bloomberg Businessweek: International airlines are scrambling to do risk assessment of certain routes to  now avoid conflict areas: CLICK HERE

Photo Credit: ANP. The tail section of downed 9M-MRD.

International calls to secure the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 increase

The crash site of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) in the Russian-speaking rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine remains largely unsecured. The world is calling for the crash site evidence to be properly secured.

From CNN:

“Bodies, backpacks, passports and other piles of debris lay splayed across a miles-long area in the remote area in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 came down. The crash site is massive — an international observer called it “one of the biggest crime scenes in the world right now.”

“Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with. Meanwhile, armed rebels have greeted international observers with hostility.
Experts say that this crash investigation is unprecedented due to the site’s immense size and the lack of access given to investigators.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia MH 17 Crash Site (Google Maps)

Google Maps above: The location of the crash site in the eastern Russian-speaking (disputed) portion of the Ukraine near Donetsk.

Malaysia MH 17 Heartfelt Message

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines today issued these two statements (and the message above) on the tragic crash of flight MH 17:

The first statement – from the Press Briefing by Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport:

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

Today Malaysia Airlines have released the final list of nationalities on board flight MH 17. Each of the numbers represents a life lost, and a family in anguish. After this press conference, Malaysia Airlines will release the full passenger manifest.

Malaysia mourns the loss of all 298 passengers and crew. We feel for their families. And we promise to do all we can to ensure that the investigation is completed, and that justice is done.

ON THE INVESTIGATION:

Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured. The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.

Interfering with the scene of the crash risks undermining the investigation itself. Any actions that prevent us from learning the truth about what happened to MH 17 cannot be tolerated. Failure to stop such interference would be a betrayal of the lives that were lost.

Malaysia calls for all parties to protect the integrity of the crash site, and to allow the investigation to proceed. We urge all those involved to respect the families, and the nations who have lost their sons and daughters in this attack.

Yes, MH 17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered.

Citizens of eleven nations – none of whom are involved in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine –cannot be laid to rest. Their lives were taken by violence; now violence stops them being accorded their final respect. This cannot continue.

ON DEPLOYMENT:

Earlier today, Malaysia’s special team arrived in Kiev. We ask for continued support from the Ukrainian government, and the other parties involved, as the team seeks to assist the Ukrainian authorities in recovering and identifying the remains of the passengers and crew, and with the wider investigation.

The world has a moral obligation to ensure that the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect. We will play our part in fulfilling this obligation. That is why, later today, I will join the Malaysian team in Kiev, where I will work with my counterpart in the Ukraine government, to support efforts to retrieve the remains, and to assist with the investigation.

I will be joined by the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Malaysian investigator in charge, and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines. The CEO of Malaysia Airlines is already in Kiev.

ON THE FLIGHT PATH:

On the matter of MH 17’s flight path, I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH 17.

MH 17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft. It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH 17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This outrage cannot go unpunished. Once again, Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay.

The second statement from Malaysia Airlines:

Malaysia Airlines is appealing to the family members or friends of those onboard MH 17 to contact the airline. Enclosed is the MH 17 passenger manifest for reference.

In the past 45 hours, the airline together with various foreign embassies have made every effort to establish contact with the next-of-kin but is still unable to identify many more family members.

They are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines’ Family Support Centre at +603 7884 1234 (in Malaysia).

Alternatively the family or friends may call the numbers below in their respective countries:

Netherlands (Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam office) +31 20 521 62 62

Australia (Malaysia Airlines Sydney office) +61 2 9364 3526

Indonesia (Malaysia Airlines Jakarta office) +62 2 1522 9705

New Zealand (Malaysia Airlines Auckland office) +64 9 306 3930

United Kingdom (Malaysia Airlines London office) +44 20 7341 2060

Germany (Malaysia Airlines Frankfurt office) +49 69 1387 1980

Philippines (Malaysia Airlines Manila office) + 63 2 889 1863

As of July 19, 2014, 5:00 pm, the table below shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:

Netherlands

193 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen)

Malaysia

43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)

Australia

27

Indonesia

12 (including 1 infant)

United Kingdom

10 (including 1 dual UK/S. Africa citizen)

Germany

4

Belgium

4

Philippines

3

Canada

1

New Zealand

1

Total

298

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines deployed a ferry flight last night mobilizing 212 personnel from various government and media bodies and its staff to Kiev and Amsterdam in a special mission for MH17. A total of 85 Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Go Team’ members have been deployed, of which five members will join Malaysia’s Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) in the search-and-recovery mission at the crash site in the Donetsk region, while 80 other members comprising care givers and the management team will be stationed in Amsterdam to assist the family members of the passengers.

MH 5002 departed Kuala Lumpur at 9.30 pm on July 18, 2014 and arrived in Kiev at 2.58 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 with a two hour transit. The aircraft then continued its journey to Amsterdam at 4.50 am (local time) on July 19, 2014 and arrived in Schipol Amsterdam Airport at 5.30 am the same day.

The mission is also joined by Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport, the National Security Council, Special Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Malaysia’s Department of Information, the Royal Malaysian Police, Malaysian Special Air Service, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysian Armed Forces, Department of Civil Aviation, Chemistry Department, Department of Islamic Advancement of Malaysia and the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team as well as participating media.

Finally, Malaysia Airlines requests the cooperation of members of the media to respect the privacy of the grieving families. The airline’s top priority remains to provide care and assistance to the families of the passengers and crew and any information with regards to their movement will not be made public.

Who are the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine? CNN takes a look at this question: CLICK HERE

Editorial Comment:

On a side note, it was fate that selected Malaysia Airlines to be the target for the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine. According to U.S. intelligence, the rebels used recently delivered surface-to-air Russian missiles to bring down flight MH 17. Russia will have to answer for its decision to send these dangerous weapons to the Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union and a sovereign nation.

Why Eurocontrol was routing civilian airliners through this known war zone is something that will also have to be answered, especially after two Ukrainian aircraft were previously shot down by the pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

Air India and Singapore Airlines aircraft were also in the area at the time of the shoot down and it was fate that selected the Malaysia Airlines flight over these two flights. Fate has not been kind to Malaysia Airlines this year.

Bottom line: The remains of the ill-fated passengers need to be returned to their grieving families.

Where not to fly? The Washington Post has published this map of dangerous areas where the FAA has advised U.S. carriers not to fly: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD arrives in Los Angeles.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashes in the Ukraine, all feared dead

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRD (msn 28411) (since repainted) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, while operating at flight level 330 (33,000 feet) and about 50 nautical miles northwest of Donetsk, Ukraine has crashed. The airliner came down near the village of Shakhtarsk, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines has confirmed the crash.

The airline issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH 17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30 km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

Flight MH 17 operated on a Boeing 777 departed Amsterdam at 12.15 pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members.

According to CNN:

“The aircraft was “shot down” over Ukraine by “terrorists” operating a Buk surface-to-air missile system, according to the Facebook page of Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. There were 280 passengers killed as well as 15 crew members, Gerashchenko’s post reads.”

Read the full CNN report: CLICK HERE

Read the full updated account (with photos of the crash site) from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Read the report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD was once painted in this special “Blue Heliconia” livery but it has since been repainted.

Malaysia Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. 9M-MRD lands in Paris (CDG) in 2011 after repainting.

More information will be added as details are confirmed.

Video:

Video: This video appears to capture the moment of impact:

Video: The Russian surface-to-air missile that is believed to have been fired and taken down the Triple Seven. The missile was allegedly fired from a Russian separatist controlled area in eastern Ukraine:

Qatar Airways finalizes its order for 50 Boeing 777-9Xs

Qatar 777-9X and 777F (06)(Flt)(Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Qatar Airways (Doha) have finalized an order for 50 777-9Xs, valued at $18.9 billion at current list prices. The 777X order, first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, was part of the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history.

In addition, the airline announced a commitment for 50 additional 777-9X purchase rights. If exercised, that would take Qatar’s 777X order tally to 100 airplanes valued at $37.7 billion at list prices.

Qatar Airways also announced their intent to order four 777 Freighters and options for four more, with a combined value of $2.4 billion at list prices.

The 777X will introduce the latest technologies including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777-9X will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, necessary in today’s competitive environment. The 777-8X is 5 percent more efficient than its competitor at all ranges while providing for new network opportunities. Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

Image: Boeing.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Intrepid Aviation orders six Boeing 777-300 ERs

Intrepid 777-300ER Artwork

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Intrepid Aviation today announced the leasing company’s first direct Boeing order for six 777-300 ERs (Extended Range), valued at $1.9 billion at current list prices.

Intrepid also has the option to purchase an additional four 777s. If all options are exercised, the value of today’s announcement could reach more than $3.2 billion at list prices.

Intrepid Aviation is a privately held commercial aircraft lessor, which owns commercial aircraft leased to airline operators worldwide. Intrepid Aviation focuses primarily on twin-engine widebody equipment, such as the Boeing 787 and 777.

Image: Boeing.

Air Lease orders six Boeing 777-300 ERs and 20 737 MAX 8s

Air Lease 777-300ER and 737 MAX 8 (Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (Los Angeles) announced today an order for 26 airplanes – six 777-300 ER (Extended Range) and reconfirmed 20 737 MAX 8 airplanes, valued at $3.9 billion at current list prices.

This 737 MAX order for 20 airplanes, valued at more than $2 billion at current list prices, brings Air Lease Corporation’s combined orders for the 737 MAX to 104 airplanes. The 777-300 ER order, valued at more than $1.9 billion at current list prices, marks the 100th 777 order from ALC Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy during his career in the industry.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX 8 provides customers with more flexibility and cost efficiency than the competition in the heart of the single-aisle market. Airlines operating the 737 MAX will see an 8 percent operating cost per seat advantage over tomorrow’s competition. The 737 MAX has surpassed 2,000 orders from 42 customers, the fastest selling airplane in history.

Image: Boeing.

Boeing issues new details about the cabin features of the new 777x

777X Interior Renderings

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) has issued this statement on the evolving design features of the 777X:

Boeing announced today at the Farnborough Airshow new details about the innovative passenger experience being created for its newest long-haul twin-aisle airplane – the 777X.

By building on the award-winning passenger-preferred interior of today’s 777 and applying 787 Dreamliner cabin innovations, Boeing will continue its leadership in offering unprecedented levels of comfort for the traveling public and enhanced flexibility for airlines.

Among its advances, the 777X interior will feature:

A cabin altitude of 6,000 feet – comparable to the 787 Dreamliner

Windows that are more than 15 percent larger than the competition and located higher on the fuselage so they’re at eye level for a larger percentage of passengers

Increased ambient light made possible by the larger, newly positioned windows

All-new interior design that allows airlines to customize their cabin architectures by class. This innovation includes an adaptable suite of parts that facilitates choices in overhead ceiling and stow bin configurations, allowing airlines to create the feeling of separate and distinct cabins that meet both airline and passenger needs

A cabin that is 16 inches wider than the competition, allowing airlines a variety of economy class seat widths up to 18 inches wide

Higher cabin humidity, comparable to the 787 Dreamliner

Enhanced air filtration, incorporating the latest filtration technologies to increase passengers’ well-being
Next-generation LED lighting, further enhancing the passenger experience throughout the flight and allowing airlines more branding opportunities

Lower cabin noise, achieved through the new engine nacelle design, new high bypass ratio engines, better insulation and a passenger cabin that doubles the number of air nozzles with lower velocity and less noise

In addition to the advancements announced today, Boeing is continuing to explore new ways to create a better flying experience.

The 777X program has 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide. Production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020.

Copyright Photos: Boeing.

 

777-9X Images

United Airlines Boeing 777-200 diverts to Midway Island after a declared emergency

United Airlines (Chicago) flight 201 from Honolulu to Guam with 335 passengers and 13 crew members was diverted on July 10 to Midway Island because of a “mechanical issue” according to Channel 10. The Boeing 777-200 (N210UA) landed safely after the declared emergency. A replacement aircraft brought the passengers back to Honolulu on Friday morning.

According to eTurbo News, “A smoke-filled cabin, malfunctioning controls, and a loss of power forced the crew to declare an emergency, and they were able to safely land the widebody aircraft on the former military Midway Island airport at night.”

Midway Island was site of the important battle during World War II.

Read more from HNL RareBirds: CLICK HERE

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, United is reducing service to Caracas from Houston on September 15 following the actions of American and Delta as previously reported. United will reduce its daily service on the route to four flights a week. The U.S. carriers are reducing service to Venezuela as a result of the Venezuelan government strict rules of removing from the country ticket sales and denying the conversion from Bolivars to Dollars.

In further news, United is adding two routes from Guam on October 27 to both Seoul (Incheon) and Shanghai (Pudong) per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N216UA (msn 30549) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

United Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Emirates finalizes its order for 150 Boeing 777Xs

Emirates 777X (Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Emirates Airline (Dubai) have finalized an order for 150 777Xs, valued at $56 billion at list prices. First announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, the order by the world’s largest 777 operator was part of the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history.

The order – a combination of 115 777-9Xs and 35 777-8Xs – also includes purchase rights for an additional 50 airplanes that, if exercised, could increase value to approximately $75 billion at list prices.

“With the order for 150 777Xs, Emirates now has 208 Boeing 777s pending delivery, creating and securing jobs across the supply chain,” said Emirates president Sir Tim Clark. “Today Emirates operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777s aircraft built. We fly 138 of these efficient planes across the globe spanning the USA and Latin America in the west, to New Zealand and Japan in the East. The 777X will offer us operational flexibility in terms of range, more passenger capacity and fuel efficiency, and we look forward to inducting them into our fleet from 2020.”

The 777X will introduce the latest technologies including the most advanced commercial engine ever – the GE9X by GE Aviation – and an all-new high efficiency composite wing that has a longer span than today’s 777. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.

The 777-9X will be 12 percent more fuel efficient than any competing airplane, necessary in today’s competitive environment. The 777-8X is 5 percent more efficient than its competitor at all ranges while providing for new network opportunities.

Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

Image: Boeing.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa and Air China to strengthen their partnership

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China Limited (Beijing), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during the Chancellor’s visit to China.

Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China.

This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan.

The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA.

The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.

Since 2007, Air China has been a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and with almost 49 million passengers, as measured by intercontinental traffic, is China’s biggest airline.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Boeing 747-430 D-ABVW (msn 29493) climbs away from the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2043 (msn 41441) of Air China approaches the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Jet Airways and Alitalia expand their code-sharing agreement

Jet Airways (Mumbai) and Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) have announced the expansion of their code share partnership offering guests enhanced network connectivity between India and Italy and beyond to several Indian and Italian cities of touristic and business importance.

The new code share flights went on sale from July 1, 2014, for travel starting today (July 5, 2014).

Under the expanded code share agreement, Jet Airways will place its marketing code on the Alitalia operated flights between Abu Dhabi and Rome and beyond to Bologna, Florence, Naples, Turin, Venice and Verona in Italy.

Similarly, Alitalia will place its code on Jet Airways flights operated between Abu Dhabi and Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi. Alitalia will also place its code on Jet Airways’ flights beyond Mumbai and Delhi to Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata and Udaipur.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-35R ER VT-JEK (msn 35165) of Jet Airways departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

Alitalia: AG Slide Show

 

Air Canada to inaugurate nonstop Toronto Pearson-Tokyo Haneda service today

Air Canada (Montreal) will inaugurate service today between Toronto (Pearson) and Tokyo (Haneda) with the departure of flight AC 005 at 1300 (1 pm) EDT. The year-round service is the only nonstop flight between Toronto and Tokyo-Haneda, located less than 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo. The new route will complement Air Canada’s existing flights to Tokyo Narita International Airport from Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Air Canada will continue to offer service from Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to Narita Airport.

The Tokyo-Haneda service will be launched using a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft and transition in mid-July to Boeing 787 Dreamliner service. The 787 aircraft features a brand new contemporary décor and three cabins of service, International Business with 180-degree lie-flat pod seating, Premium Economy and Economy. It also offers an extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced-definition, seat-back touch screens along with power outlets and USB ports available for all customers.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-333 ER C-FRAM (msn 35250) completes its final approach into Beijing (Capital).

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Doha becomes the most served destination for Emirates

Emirates (Dubai) has selected Doha, the home of Qatar Airways, to become Emirates’ most served destination with seven daily flights going to the Qatari capital from December 1.

Doha will take the top spot when it goes from six to seven daily flights, overtaking Bangkok’s six daily services.

The extra flights into Doha are part of a 28 flight boost to the airline’s Middle East services.

Muscat will go from two to three flights a day, Bahrain from three to four daily services and Kuwait will increase from five to six flights daily.

With the changes in place as of December 1, Emirates will offer 276 weekly flights to destinations across the Middle East out of its industry-leading hub at Dubai International.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates uses Boeing 777s on the relatively short route. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EBD (msn 33501) arrives back at Dubai International Airport (DXB) hub.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

 

American Airlines Group to repaint the American and US Airways Boeing 757 fleets

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has informed its employees about the repainting of the American Airlines and US Airways fleets into the 2013 American brand.

In the June 26 issue of Arrivals, the employees were briefed on the repainting process.

Highlights: As expected, the aging fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82s (MD-82s) and DC-9-83s (MD-83s) of American will not be repainted. This type is being phased out and will be gone in 2018. However the AAG has made the decision to repaint the 35 Boeing 757-200s of American and the 16 Boeing 757-200s of US Airways into the new livery. So far none have been repainted. We are likely to start seeing some soon, especially at US Airways. All will be repainted by the fourth quarter of 2016.

All of the American 777-200s have now been repainted (above).

US Airways has started repainting the Airbus A320 family aircraft: 700, 701, 702, 703, 809, 814, 819, and one other have been repainted. 579, 580, and 581 were all delivered new in American colors. The first Airbus aircraft to be repainted were the former Star Alliance liveried aircraft.

All new arrivals for both American and US Airways are of course, painted in the new American look.

We are likely to still see the American 1968 classic livery lingering on until the fourth quarter of 2017. The American Boeing 737-800s will be the last type to be fully repainted.

Here is the graph sent to the employees:

American-US Airways repainting of the fleet (LRW)

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Triple Sevens have been repainted. Boeing 777-223 ER N790AN (msn 30251) arrives in New York (JFK).

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

American Airlines (historic liveries): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: Painting a Boeing 777:

Middle Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. American currently operates 35 Boeing 757-200s as the type is gradually being retired. Boeing 757-223 N624AA (msn 24582) of American Airlines taxies to the gate at the Miami hub painted in the classic 1968 livery.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways is now down to just 16 Boeing 757-200s. Boeing 757-2B7 N938UW (msn 27246) prepares to land in Stockholm (Arlanda).

Should United Airlines de-hub Washington Dulles?

United Airlines (Chicago) operates a large international and domestic hub at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). The carrier recently de-hub its mainly domestic hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in an attempt to reduces its loses at CLE. United is trying to cut $2 billion in costs.

This article by Bloomberg Businessweek explores the question of whether United should de-hub Dulles as it too loses money at IAD according to Imperial Capital analyst Bob McAdoo. The Dulles hub competes to a certain degree with its larger (former Continental) hub at Newark International Airport near New York. Ironically United built up the Dulles hub as a competitive move against the Continental hub at Newark and US Airways’ hub at Philadelphia.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 N779UA (msn 26941) climbs away from the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

The ATSB announces a new search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

ATSB 6.26.14 Search Map for MH 370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) today issued this summary and report announcing a new search area for Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420). Here is the summary (full report link at the bottom):

On March 8, 2014, flight MH 370, a Boeing 777-200 ER registered 9M-MRO, lost contact with Air Traffic Control during a transition of airspace between Malaysia and Vietnam. An analysis of radar data and subsequent satellite communication (SATCOM) system signalling messages placed the aircraft in the Australian search and rescue zone on an arc in the southern part of the Indian Ocean. This arc was considered to be the location where the aircraft’s fuel was exhausted.

A surface search of probable impact areas along this arc, coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, was carried out from 18 March – April 28, 2014. This search effort was undertaken by an international fleet of aircraft and ships with the search areas over this time progressing generally from an initial southwest location along the arc in a north-easterly direction. The location of the search areas was guided by continuing and innovative analysis by a Joint Investigation Team of the flight and satellite-communications data. This analysis was supplemented by other information provided to ATSB during this period. This included possible underwater locator beacon and hydrophone acoustic detections.

No debris associated with 9M-MRO was identified either from the surface search, acoustic search or from the ocean floor search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections. The ocean floor search was completed on May 28, 2014.

Refinements to the analysis of both the flight and satellite data have been continuous since the loss of MH 370. The analysis has been undertaken by an international team of specialists from the UK, US and Australia working both independently and collaboratively. Other information regarding the performance and operation of the aircraft has also been taken into consideration in the analysis.

Using current analyses, the team has been able to reach a consensus in identifying a priority underwater search area for the next phase of the search.

The priority area of approximately 60,000 km2 extends along the arc for 650 km in a northeast direction from Broken Ridge. The width of the priority search area is 93 km. This area was the subject of the surface search from Day 21-26.

Work is continuing with refinements in the analysis of the satellite communications data. Small frequency variations can significantly affect the derived flight path. This ongoing work may result in changes to the prioritisation and locale of search activity.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The “7th Arc”

You will hear a lot about this term in the coming days. Here is the explanation:

The latest information and analysis confirms that MH 370 will be found in close proximity to the arc set out in the map and labelled as the 7th arc. At the time MH 370 reached this arc, the aircraft is considered to have exhausted its fuel and to have been descending. As a result, the aircraft is unlikely to be more than 20 NM (38 km) to the west or 30 NM (55 km) to the east of the arc.

Based on all the independent analysis of satellite communications and aircraft performance, the total extent of the 7th arc reaches from latitude 20 degrees S to 39 degrees S.

Refinement of the analysis in the coming weeks will reduce the underwater Search Area along this arc to a prioritised 17,500 sq. NM (60,000 sq. km). The prioritised length of the Search Area along the arc is expected to be 350 NM (650 km).
More information about the Search Area will be made available as soon as it is verified.

Map of the “7th Arc”:

ATSB 7th Arc Map

 

NTSB: “Asiana flight 214 crashed when the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) yesterday (June 24) issued its probable cause and report on the July 6, 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines (Seoul) flight 214 with the pictured Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) at San Francisco. Here is the full statement and link:

In a Board meeting held on June 24, 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that Asiana flight 214 crashed when the airplane descended below the visual glidepath due to the flight crew’s mismanagement of the approach and inadequate monitoring of airspeed. The Board also found that the complexities of the auto throttle and autopilot flight director systems, and the crew’s misunderstanding of those systems, contributed to the accident.

On July 6, 2013, about 11:28 a.m. (PDT), the Boeing 777 was on approach to runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California when it struck the seawall at the end of the runway. Three of the 291 passengers died; 40 passengers, eight of the 12 flight attendants, and one of the four flight crewmembers received serious injuries. The other 248 passengers, four flight attendants, and three flight crewmembers received minor injuries or were not injured. The impact forces and a postcrash fire destroyed the airplane.

The NTSB determined that the flight crew mismanaged the initial approach and that the airplane was well above the desired glidepath as it neared the runway. In response to the excessive altitude, the captain selected an inappropriate autopilot mode and took other actions that, unbeknownst to him, resulted in the autothrottle no longer controlling airspeed.

As the airplane descended below the desired glidepath, the crew did not notice the decreasing airspeed nor did they respond to the unstable approach. The flight crew began a go-around maneuver when the airplane was below 100 feet, but it was too late and the airplane struck the seawall.

“In this accident, the flight crew over-relied on automated systems without fully understanding how they interacted,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Automation has made aviation safer. But even in highly automated aircraft, the human must be the boss.”

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration, Asiana Airlines, The Boeing Company, the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Working Group, and the City of San Francisco.

These recommendations address the safety issues identified in the investigation, including the need for reinforced adherence to Asiana flight crew standard operating procedures, more opportunities for manual flying for Asiana pilots, a context-dependent low energy alerting system, and both certification design review and enhanced training on the Boeing 777 autoflight system.

The recommendations also address the need for improved emergency communications, and staffing requirements and training for aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel.

“Today, good piloting includes being on the lookout for surprises in how the automation works, and taking control when needed,” Hart said. “Good design means not only maximizing reliability, but also minimizing surprises and uncertainties.”

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause, findings, and a complete list of the 27 safety recommendations, is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2014/asiana214/abstract.html. The full report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 is pictured on approach at Los Angeles International Airport before the accident at SFO.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air India to finally join the Star Alliance on July 11

Air India (Mumbai) is finally moving ahead to join the Star Alliance. The alliance issued this statement today:

At its Chief Executive Board (CEB) meeting held in London on June 23, 2014, the CEOs of the Star Alliance network unanimously approved the membership of Air India, clearing the way for the National carrier to become the first Indian airline to join a global airline alliance.

The integration teams at Air India, Star Alliance and its member carriers will now complete the last necessary work in order to ensure that Air India can offer all Star Alliance customer benefits from July 11, 2014 onwards.

In total the Star Alliance network will grow to 27 member airlines, offering more than 18,500 daily flights serving 1,316 destinations in 192 countries.

Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits between Air India’s Flying Returns programme and those of the existing member carries will also become effective on July 11, 2014. This will provide customers with more options in earning and redeeming, upgrading and obtaining Star Alliance Gold status.

Customers holding Star Alliance Gold status have access to more than 1,000 lounges across the global network, can check-in at specially designated counters, have an increased baggage allowance and receive priority boarding and baggage delivery. All these benefits will also be provided by Air India.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-337 ER VT-ALM (msn 36311) lands at JFK International Airport in New York.

Air India: AG Slide Show

FedEx Corporation reports fiscal year net income of $1.56 billion

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported earnings of $2.46 per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended May 31. Last year’s fourth quarter earnings were $2.13 per diluted share, excluding a $0.98 per diluted share business realignment program charge and a $0.20 per diluted share noncash aircraft impairment charge at FedEx Express. Including last year’s charges, earnings were $0.95 per diluted share.

“An outstanding fourth quarter helped FedEx post solid results for fiscal 2014, and we believe we are well positioned for a strong fiscal 2015,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the entire FedEx team for their contribution to our results and their continued commitment to providing outstanding service to our customers and connecting people and possibilities around the world.”

For its entire fiscal year the cooperation reported net income (GAAP) of $1.56 billion.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N857FD (msn 37728) climbs into the sky at Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

Air Canada moves into Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2

Air Canada (Montreal) yesterday (June 18) moved into the new Terminal 2 joining United Airlines at London’s Heathrow Airport. Air China and ANA also made the move. The airline issued this statement.

The arrival of Air Canada flight AC 856 from Toronto (Pearson) at 07:04 GMT marked the official move of all Air Canada flights and operations to London Heathrow Airport Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. The modern and spacious facilities of Heathrow Airport’s new terminal provide customers with an improved travel experience including faster customs and immigration border control upon arrival and check-in and security clearance on departure. Eligible Air Canada and Star Alliance customers will have access to Air Canada’s newest international Maple Leaf Lounge also offering a stylish and inspiring environment in which to relax or work before a flight.

Air Canada check-in and baggage drop off are located in Zone A of the check-in lobby and offer the latest technology including quick and easy self-service kiosks, fast baggage drop-off and dedicated full-service check-in counters. The new terminal provides a wide variety of shopping, dining and seating options in a light, airy and spacious building.

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVQ (msn 35240) completes its final approach to the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air Canada-Air China-ANA Chart LHR (LRW)

American Airlines today launches new service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Hong Kong and Shanghai

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today launches daily nonstop service between its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG)

The new daily service between DFW and Hong Kong will be operated with a Boeing 777-300 ER, marking the first time American will deploy its flagship aircraft to Asia. The aircraft features a three-class cabin configuration with fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, international Wi-Fi, and more customer and cargo capacity than any other aircraft currently in American’s fleet.

The new service between DFW and Shanghai will be operated with a Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft. American will be retrofitting its entire fleet of 777-200 ERs to include fully lie-flat Business Class seats, each with aisle access; new seats in the Main Cabin; in-seat entertainment; and international Wi-Fi capability. The new fully lie-flat Business Class seats on American’s 777-200 ERs will afford travelers among the largest living space of any 777 Business Class seat offered by any U.S. carrier.

Daily DFW-HKG Service Schedule (all times local)
AA 137
Departs DFW at 12:45 p.m.
Arrives at HKG at 6:05 p.m. the following day

AA 138
Departs HKG at 1:30 p.m.
Arrives at DFW at 4:30 p.m.

Daily DFW-PVG Service Schedule (all times local)
AA 127
Departs DFW at 10:55 a.m.
Arrives at PVG at 2:55 p.m. the following day

AA 128
Departs PVG at 4:50 p.m.
Arrives at DFW at 6:10 p.m.

These new routes are operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld® alliance member Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo). Through oneworld member airlines and their affiliates, American’s customers have access to nearly 150 destinations within Asia.

The service to Hong Kong will add a new destination to American’s international network, and the service to Shanghai complements American’s existing service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-323 ER N720AN (msn 33522) rotates on the runway at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways arrives in Miami

Qatar Airways Miami Debut

Qatar Airways‘ (Doha) inaugural flight to Miami International Airport (MIA) touched down yesterday afternoon (June 10), commencing service to the airline’s sixth US gateway.

The service marked its 142nd destination worldwide from the central hub in Doha, Qatar.

With this new route, Qatar Airways is the only airline to offer nonstop service between the Middle East and Miami, Florida.

The launch continues a major expansion by the airline into the United States. Nonstop service to Philadelphia International Airport began in April, and the airline will commence flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in July.

With Doha’s centralized location, travelers from Miami can reach cities such as Bangkok, Nairobi, Colombo, and Mumbai in an impressive 23 hours or less through a quick transfer in Doha.

The airline recently moved its entire operations to the State of Qatar’s new airport – Hamad International, 60 percent of which is built on reclaimed land.

Qatar Airways’ Doha to Miami route is being operated with a Boeing 777-200 in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business and 217 seats in Economy. The aircraft offers seatback TV screens providing passengers with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system and a choice of more than 1,000 audio and video options.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations and is currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to more than 140 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Miami joins the airline’s existing Americas destinations: Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Qatar Airways is set to launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes during the coming months, including Tokyo Haneda, Japan (June 18), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1) and Djibouti (July 27).

Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates cancels its Airbus A350 order, upgrades the Boston route and introduces a Boeing 777-300 World Cup logo jet

Emirates A350 (Airbus)(LRW) Emirates (Dubai) in a stunning development has cancelled its order for 70 new Airbus A350s (50 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s) (above). Airbus issued this statement: “Airbus confirms that Emirates Airline has decided to cancel its order of 70 A350 XWB aircraft. The decision follows on-going discussions with the airline in light of their fleet requirement review, as demonstrated by their order of 50 additional A380 at the last Dubai Airshow and their continuous interest in the program. Airbus and Emirates Airline benefit from a long-standing relationship and the airline recently reiterated its confidence in Airbus products particularly by praising the A380 and the benefits the aircraft brings to their operations. The order of 50 A350-900 and 20 A350-1000 was originally placed by Emirates Airline in 2007 with first delivery slots scheduled from 2019. Airbus is very confident in its A350 XWB programme. Half a year before entry into service, the A350 XWB order book stands at a healthy 742 firm orders. The A350 flight test campaign is progressing well and is on track for Type Certification in the coming months. Interest in the game changing A350 has always been very high with customers. Airbus expects the A350 order book to continue growing in 2014.” In other news, Emirates from August 1, will switch from its Boeing 777-200 LR currently operating the route to Boston to a larger Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, adding passenger and cargo capacity. Emirates launched its Boston service – its eighth US gateway – on March 10, 2014. The Boeing 777-300 ER will offer 88 additional Economy Class seats, representing a 40% increase in seating. This is in addition to offering customers a choice of eight First Class Suites and 42 Business Class seats. In additional other news, Emirates has decorated a Boeing 777-300 ER to feature the distinguishable signature of Emirates’ Global Ambassador and three times World Cup winner, Pelé. The airline issued this statement and photo: Emirates-Pele signs 777-300 (Emirates)(LR) Just hours before the first World Cup match kicks off in Brazil, Emirates, an Official FIFA Worldwide Partner, is pleased to unveil the first Boeing 777-300 ER to feature the distinguishable signature of Emirates’ Global Ambassador and three times World Cup winner, Pelé (above). The first Emirates Pelé-ane will be connecting football fans with the action this summer on the Dubai to São Paulo route. Identifiable from the ground or the air, the 350 seater aircraft now has a creative design, specific to the FIFA World Cup™, emblazoned on the fuselage along with the recognisable signature of the legendary Brazilian football great. Two further Boeing 777 Pelé-ane’s will be unveiled on the day of the opening match and one Airbus A380 will launch shortly afterwards. 115 Boeing 777 from the Emirates fleet, which will fly football fans to Brazil, will also carry a large 2014 FIFA World Cup™ logo. Those passengers lucky enough to be travelling to Brazil, or any of the other 142 destinations served by Emirates, can also experience different facets of the tournament in a number of ways: At the airport: The world Cup buzz begins at the airport, especially at the airline’s hub in Dubai, where check-in desks now prominently feature the hero image from the Emirates #AllTimeGreats commercial featuring Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo. In the award-winning lounges both in Dubai and the many other locations around the world, passengers can relax with a bite to eat in front of the live streamed games. Emirates 777-300 A6-ECV (14-2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil-Pele)(Grd)(Emirates)(LR) Ice TV Live will be featured on 16 Emirates Boeing 777 aircraft: From June 12 to July 13, passengers on board one of these 16 Emirates aircraft can watch all 64 matches ‘as live’ on the Sport 24 channel. This capability means not even a flight can get in the way of a football fan’s passions. Or if watching the whole match is too much, one of the seven rolling news channels can keep everyone up to date with the goals. If the flight doesn’t have ice TV Live: Passengers can still get goal-by-goal text updates on the ice Airshow moving map channels. On ice Digital Widescreen, the scores are shown in the news headlines under a dedicated FIFA Update section. Fun for young fliers: To keep the children on board entertained, Emirates will be providing colourful snack boxes with cardboard cut-outs and stylish wrist bands in support of participating teams. The Emirates World Cup initiatives will be on flights for the duration of the tournament starting from 10 June. The airline expects to fly over 18,000 passengers on its daily flights to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo over the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ period. Emirates: AG Slide Show Bottom Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-ECV (msn 35594) arrives on June 10 in an overcast Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) with the special Pelé signature and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil markings. Emirates 777-300 A6-ECV (14-2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil-Pele)(Apr) GRU (RDC)(LRW)

Australia to contract out the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 is entering a new phase in the search for the missing Boeing 777-200. So far, no debris has been found from the missing Triple Seven. All 239 passengers and crew members on board Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remain missing.

According to CNN, “Australia, the closest country to the area where the plane is believed to have entered the ocean, has decided to delegate the management and operation of the new phase to a private company.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the search at the request of the Malaysian government, said Wednesday it is accepting proposals for the task until the end of June. The new search is expected to start in August, at the earliest.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile, Y.B. Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport of Malaysia, today issued this statement:

Introductory Statement

It has been 89 days since MH 370 went missing. We have entered a new difficult phase which brings with it new challenges which we will overcome together. Today, I met up with the 4 Ministerial Committees and we discussed on our way forward in the search for MH 370.

Let me begin by stating that the ASEAN Member States have publicly acknowledged in April their solidarity as reflected by the concerted efforts in the search mission of the missing MH370. They also recognised the unwavering support from all Member States in this new phase of this unprecedented search. This was again emphasised at the 8th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw on May 20, 2014.

We also have a firm commitment, formalised by our Tripartite Agreement on the 5th of May 2014, between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

In the Joint Communique between the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Malaysia have also agreed to work closely together in the next phase of the search operation for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. This Joint Communique was signed and agreed upon on the 31st of May by both the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Premier Li Keqiang.

The Defence Ministers of the Five Power Defence Arrangement have also reaffirmed their continued support for the search mission of MH 370.

As we enter the new phase of this search, we are grateful for the continuous support that we have received from the international community.

Next Of Kin Committee

With regards to the next of kin, we will continue to engage with the families of those on board MH 370 by providing them with timely updates on the search operation. This initiative has been led by Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun. We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time.

My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed. We also appreciate all that has been done by the Chinese Government on this matter.

Technical Committee

Preparations are well underway for the next phase of the search operations which includes the refinement of the search area. A team of experts set up and led by the Australian authorities in Canberra are currently conducting the re-analysis together with Inmarsat. This team has given me the assurance that the search area remains in the arc of the Southern Corridor.

Asset Deployment Committee

On the asset deployment front, we have been in discussions with several Malaysian companies to deploy highly specialised underwater systems and platforms including the Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles (AUVs), Deep-water towed side scan sonars, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), and support vessels to deploy these assets to join in the new phase of this search mission.

On that note, I am pleased to announce that PETRONAS has agreed to deploy assets under the Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) approach where Malaysian companies are part of the resources to fund the search operations.

PETRONAS will contribute by providing funds for a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar. A complete system will accompany the asset with a dedicated support vessel complete with crew members.

Boustead is finalising terms for specialised assets and services to be deployed which will include an Oceanographic Survey Vessel with bathymetric survey capabilities, a Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar for deep sea search and a ROV for recovery purposes.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defence for the United States of America during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last weekend. I have officially requested for the US to continue its lease for the Bluefin-21 AUV, to provide the Orion Deep Towed Side Scan Sonar and the Curv-21 ROV.

In addition, the Chinese survey ship, Zhu Kezhen, has covered 4,088 km2 as part of the bathymetric survey process.

It is important for all the Malaysian entities involved in this effort to be on the same page- working as one team, flying the Malaysian flag to find MH 370.

Communication, Coordination And Media Committee

On that note, the previously announced Communication, Coordination and Media Committee will be liaising with our Australian and Chinese counterparts. Jailani Johari, the Deputy Minister for Communications and Multimedia, will lead this team, consisting of members from all 4 ministerial committees along with the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Deputy Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy and Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, to Canberra first to acquire the latest updates on the search operation and will then travel to Beijing.

Indeed, this will further strengthen our Tripartite Agreement between Malaysia, Australia and China that the search needs to be a continuous and intensified effort.

Concluding Remarks

Let me stress that the search has not stopped and we will keep searching for the plane for as long as it takes. I would like to conclude by stressing that we will continue with the search operations until we have fully covered the search area. We will strive to explore all possible options in finding MH 370

ALC takes delivery of its first of 15 new Boeing 777-300 ERs

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (Los Angeles) celebrated the direct delivery of the first of 15 777-300 ERs (Extended Range) from its existing order pipeline with the manufacturer. This 777-300 ER, the eighth 777 in ALC’s fleet, is one of two delivering to British Airways (London) on long-term lease from the lessor. The second 777-300 ER (777-336 ER G-STBL, msn 42124) for British Airways is scheduled to be delivered from Boeing in July 2014.

The aircraft involved is Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBK (msn 42121), handed over to British Airways on May 28.

ALC logo

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 777-36N ER G-STBE (msn 38696) arrives back at the London (Heathrow) base.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 may be put on hold until August

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, the greatest aviation mystery, may be entering a new phase in the search. So far the search has resulted in nothing being found. According to CNN, the search for the pictured Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) and the 239 passengers and crew members may not resume until August.

According to CNN:

“The underwater search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will effectively be put on hold this week, and may not resume until August at the very earliest, according to Australia’s top transport safety official.

The new timeline means that once Bluefin-21, the American underwater drone operated by a team on board the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield, wraps up its work in a couple of days, it will be up to two months, if not longer, until new underwater vehicles are contracted and deployed in the hunt for MH 370.”

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Is Inmarsat correct in its assumptions of where WH 370 went down? CNN explores this question: CLICK HERE

On May 20 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement:

Following the announcement by the Malaysian Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport on May 19, 2014, the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is pleased to provide further information on the discussion with Inmarsat, assisted by the AAIB, to get a common descriptor for the Inmarsat satellite data which had been provided to Malaysia Airlines when MH 370 first went missing.

It must be noted that previously where reference has been made to “data communication logs” and “raw data”- they refer to the same set of data.

In moving forward, it is imperative for us to provide helpful information to the next of kin and general public – which will include the data communication logs as well as relevant explanation to enable the reader to understand the data provided. It must also be noted that the data communication logs is just one of the many elements of the investigation information.

In line with our commitment towards greater transparency, all parties are working for the release of the data communication logs and the technical description of the analysis for public consumption.

DCA notes Inmarsat’s full support for the ongoing MH 370 investigation.”

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines wants labor peace, proposes a new collective agreement offer, opens up the possibility of merging Austrian with subsidiary Tyrolean Airways

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) and its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck) have presented to its employees a “framework plan for a collective wage agreement applying to flight personnel throughout the entire Austrian Airlines Group. Following the failed negotiations in 2012, the entire flight operations of Austrian Airlines were transferred to its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways, encompassing about 1,900 employees and all the aircraft. Now the company is making employees a new offer i.e. a new Austrian Airlines Group collective wage agreement as a means of increasing planning certainty and creating the basis for future decisions. Negotiations designed to work out specific details should be concluded by May 31, 2014. This collective wage agreement opens up the possibility to merge Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines in the future.”

The company continued:

“The contents of the offer are based on ten months of joint negotiations with the Works Council, trade union and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The new agreement acts as a bridgehead from the past aiming to lead Austrian Airlines into the future. Our employees wish for an agreement and a clear perspective moving forward. They also desire to return to Austrian Airlines. We want to make this possible”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.

The cornerstones of the new Group collective wage agreement:

The cornerstones of the new Group collective wage agreement are new flight duty rules, a new salary scale, a profit sharing scheme based on the net profit, a revised pension fund model as well as a new career model for the cabin and cockpit staff.

The current flight duty rules are based on the former collective bargaining agreement applying to Tyrolean Airlines. The new stipulations more effectively takes into consideration the demands involved in operating a long-haul fleet. In contrast to the rejected negotiated settlement concluded in 2012, the salaries of the senior staff members formerly with Austrian Airlines will not be reduced but will stay frozen at their current status until the new salary scale catches up to this level. A profit sharing scheme for employees based on the company’s net profit is also a new component of the agreement. Austrian Airlines has been operating profitably again since 2013 and will enable its employees to participate in its business success.

Another key feature of the new collective wage agreement is a revised pension fund model. Partial payments will be offered to those employees who were previously covered by the Austrian Airlines company pension plan. Depending on the length of service and the respective position, this ranges from about EUR 15,000 for flight attendants to EUR 305,000 for flight captains. A new career model for the cabin crew and cockpit staff, which also facilitates the transfer between the various staff groups, is also part of the offering.

“The most difficult task was developing a new career model. Other airlines have failed precisely for this reason”, states Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways. “The centerpiece of our model is a transparent and fair allocation formula for pilots of the regional fleet and pilots of larger types of aircraft to be appointed to vacant plane captain jobs”, he adds.

Stability and planning certainty for employees and the company:

“We want to offer our employees an improved basis for their own personal career planning. I believe that this package of measures provides a good opportunity for this. Today I have asked the employees to authorize their representatives to carry out negotiations on this”, Froese continues.

Last week the negotiating team presented the principal features of the new collective wage agreement to the Works Council for flight and cabin crew (Betriebsrat Bord) of Tyrolean Airways, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the trade union. Now negotiations are to be conducted on specific details of the agreement provided that the Works Council is willing to do so. “I think that we have reached a balanced agreement as the basis for negotiations. Now it is all about getting down to specifics”, Froese says. “However, we have to come to a conclusion after ten months of negotiations. The employees want a solution to be reached, and the company must be able to plan ahead.”

If an agreement can be reached with the Works Council, this would mean much more to the employees than just working in accordance with a collective wage agreement. A collective agreement for the entire Austrian Airlines Group would serve as the basis for a merger of Tyrolean Airways and Austrian Airlines. For the customers, the bottom line is that there would only be one brand. “Flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian“, is the way Froese describes it.

Basis for development of the fleet:

“The restructuring measures implemented over the past few years have put Austrian Airlines in a better financial position. We are once again operating profitably and want to take the next steps into the future. We have Lufthansa’s support for this”, explains Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht.

“This year Austrian Airlines will make a forward-looking decision and move ahead with ordering a successor model to its fleet of Fokker aircraft. However, such a significant investment decision cannot be made without a consensus being reached on a collective wage agreement”, Albrecht continues.

At the present time the Austrian Airlines Group has a work force of about 6,300 employees, of which about 3,100 employees comprise the cockpit and cabin staff. A new collective agreement with the ground staff was concluded last year with the help of the trade union and the Works Council.

 

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Tyrolean Airways now operates all Austrian Airlines-titled aircraft except one Boeing 777-200 which Austrian officially maintains on its AOC to keep it active. It is very challenging for both Austrian Airlines and its employees to operate an international airline on a regional airline contract. Operated by Tyrolean Airways-employed flight crews, Boeing 777-2B8 ER OE-LPD (msn 35960) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Cathay Pacific to relaunch Hong Kong-Zurich flights

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has announced that it will resume nonstop daily service from Hong Kong to Zurich on March 29, 2015.

The Zurich service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. This dramatic “in your face” runway action photo shows Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPF (msn 36832) in the special “Hong Kong – Asia’s world city” livery at New York (JFK).

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Scoot to receive its first Boeing 787 in November

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Scoot (Singapore) have announced a five-year pilot training agreement to support the airline’s fleet transition to 787-9 Dreamliners.

Under the agreement, Boeing Flight Services, a business unit of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, will provide 787 flight training to Scoot pilots at Boeing’s Singapore training campus. In 2014 alone, an anticipated 32 Scoot pilots will undergo training.

The 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a respected industry forecast of personnel demand, projects a requirement for 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the new airplanes entering the world fleet over the next 20 years. In Southeast Asia, 51,500 pilots and 64,700 technicians are needed to fill the gap.

Scoot will acquire 20 Boeing 787-9s beginning in November 2014. A second 787 is due ar the end of February 2015. The airplanes were originally ordered by parent company Singapore Airlines. Scoot currently operates Boeing 777-200s on medium and long haul low-cost flights between Singapore and Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Seoul, Perth and Hong Kong.

Scoot is expected to introduce the new type in December on its routes.

Copyright Photo: Nik French/AirlinersGallery.com. Eventually Scoot will become an all 787 operator (following Norwegian Long Haul) and the pictured Boeing 777-200 ERs will be phased out. Former Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-212 ER 9V-OTA (msn 28507) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

Scoot: AG Slide Show

In the meantime, Scoot is running a contest (now extended) to name the first Boeing 787 (below).

Scoot Name our 787 Contest (Scoot)

 

Singapore Airlines to invest $325 million on its 19 Boeing 777-300s with new cabins and seats

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) will invest $325 million (US) to upgrade its 19 Boeing 777-300 ERs with according to the airline, “the latest generation of cabin products, featuring new seats in all classes of travel and the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system.

The significant investment program will provide consistency across the airline’s entire Boeing 777-300 ER fleet, with next-generation cabin products that are the new industry benchmark for premium air travel.”

Singapore 777-300 First Class (Singapore)(LRW)

Singapore Airlines introduced the new cabin products in September 2013 after taking delivery of the first of eight additional Boeing 777-300 ERs ordered from Boeing. The upgrade program will see the same products fitted to 19 existing Boeing 777-300 ERs. Installation work is expected to begin early in 2015, with all aircraft completed by September 2016.

The new cabin products are currently available on selected daily services to London Heathrow and Tokyo Narita. They were introduced after more than two years of development with world-renowned design firms, including BMW Group DesignworksUSA and James Park Associates.

Singapore 777-300 Seat (Singapore)(LRW)

The new First Class seat offers enhanced comfort, featuring a fixed-back shell design with curved side panels for added privacy. Set in a modern, welcoming cabin, the seat also features an ergonomically sculpted cushion and adjustable headrest, with customised in-seat lighting. At 35 inches in width and with an increased bed length of 82 inches, it is one of the most spacious First Class products in the sky.

Singapore Business Class (Singapore)(LRW)

The new Business Class seat offers greater recline at 132 degrees, with an improved ergonomic seat cushion. Two new seating positions have been introduced – ‘Lazy Z’ and ‘Sundeck’ – providing even greater flexibility for customers to choose their preferred ways to work or relax. When converted, it becomes the industry’s widest full-flat bed, at 78 inches in length, with a padded headboard cushion for enhanced comfort. More stowage space has also been added, with an amenity stowage area on the side console and laptop stowage area.

The new Economy Class seat also provides additional comfort, with increased personal space and legroom. Seats feature new backrest cushions with side bolsters for better support. An ergonomically sculpted headrest cushion provides an increased range of height adjustments and improved neck support.

Complementing the new seats is the latest KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system. Upgraded with the latest hardware offerings and an intuitive graphical user interface, it is the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system.

First Class customers can enjoy the new KrisWorld on a 24-inch LCD screen, with video touch-screen handset. Business Class features an 18-inch LCD screen and touch-screen handset, while Economy Class features an 11.1-inch touch-screen monitor and touch-screen handset.

Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Singapore Airlines).

Singapore Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

China Airlines to introduce the new Boeing 777-300 to Los Angeles on December 1

China Airlines 777-300 Artwork

China Airlines (Taipei) will introduce the Boeing 777-300 ER on the twice-daily Taipei (Taoyuan)-Los Angeles route on December 1, 2014 according to Airline Route. The new type will replace the older Boeing 747-400s on the route.

China has 10 aircraft on order with the first due in September 2014.

Image: Boeing.

China Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

JetBlue Airways and Turkish Airlines today announce a codeshare agreement

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) today announced the launch of a unilateral codeshare to provide expanded travel options for customers worldwide.

Turkish Airlines is now placing its “TK” code unilaterally on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport. Flights are available for sale through travel agencies and Turkish Airlines reservations for travel beginning today.

The JetBlue-Turkish Airlines codeshare allows customers to purchase tickets combining flights on both carriers and enjoy one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in on their day of departure.

Turkish Airlines offers up to three daily flights between New York and its hub at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, and today inaugurates the first-ever nonstop service between Istanbul and Boston. At Boston Logan International Airport, JetBlue offers more flights to more destinations than any other airline.

Via Istanbul, Turkish Airlines offers onward connections to destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East. Turkish Airlines offers one of the most expansive route networks in the world, currently spanning 247 destinations in 106 countries.

Through JetBlue, international travelers will have access to 24 key U.S. destinations including Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Jacksonville, Florida; Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; Rochester, New York; and Tampa, Florida.

Initial codeshare destinations via Boston and/or New York:

Burlington, Vermont
Buffalo, New York
Baltimore, Maryland
Charleston, South Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Detroit, Michigan
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Long Beach/Los Angeles, California
Phoenix, Arizona
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Portland, Maine
Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
Richmond, Virginia
Rochester, New York
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida
Syracuse, New York
Tampa, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue’s Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N267JB (msn 19000065) banks on the final approach at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Turkish Airlines’ Boeing 777-35R ER TC-JJC (msn 35164) departs from New York’s JFK International Airport in the special Manchester United livery.

 

United to launch San Francisco-Tokyo Haneda flights on October 26

United Airlines’ (Chicago) application to serve Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport from its San Francisco hub has received final approval from the Department of Transportation (DOT), beating out Hawaiian Airlines. United will launch the new route on October 26 with Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

According to DOT, “under a U.S.-Japan agreement, U.S. airlines may operate a total of four daily round-trip flights per day at Haneda Airport, where operations are limited. As a result of prior proceedings, the four flights have been operated by Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu; Delta Air Lines from Los Angeles and Seattle; and, until December 2013, American Airlines from New York (JFK).

The Department launched a proceeding to award the newly available Haneda opportunity after American Airlines informed DOT that it would be ending its New York-Haneda service. Two airlines applied; United proposed service from San Francisco, California, and Hawaiian Airlines proposed service from Kona, Hawaii.”

Update: On Monday May 12 United issued this statement:

United Airlines today announced it will add Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to its route network, with daily nonstop service from San Francisco effective October 26, 2014, subject to government approval.

Haneda Airport will be the tenth trans-Pacific destination that United serves nonstop from San Francisco, and the third new Asia-Pacific airport – also including Taipei and Chengdu – for United this year.

Flight 875 will depart San Francisco International Airport daily at 6:35 p.m., arriving at Haneda Airport at 10:05 p.m. the following day (all times local). On the return, flight 876 will depart Haneda daily at 12:05 a.m., arriving in San Francisco at 5:15 p.m. the previous day, after crossing the International Date Line. Flying times will be approximately 11 hours, 30 minutes westbound and 9 hours, 10 minutes eastbound.

Effective November 2, 2014, San Francisco arrival and departure times will be one hour earlier due to the end of daylight saving time.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N218UA (msn 30222) in the Star Alliance color scheme taxies at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) hub.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Air France unveils its Boeing 777-300 La Première suite in Shanghai

Air France (Paris) yesterday (May 7) in Shanghai, unveiled its new La Première suite. This is the next stage of its vast project to move upmarket with its long-haul ‘Best and Beyond’ product, the La Première suite will progressively be equip on its 19 Boeing 777-300s from September 2014.

Air France 777-300 Suite (Air France)(LRW)

Air France’s new La Première, a designer suite:

MORE THAN JUST A SEAT, A PRIVATE SUITE

The new La Première cabin, a veritable jewel, now has four exclusive individual suites on board Air France’s long-haul Boeing 777-300. On board, each suite ensures optimum privacy and enables customers to be totally or partially alone, in absolute comfort.

Well-being, relaxation and serenity go hand in hand, for an exceptional trip. Once on board, the La Première guest will immediately feel at home. The large seat adapts to any morphology and promotes rest and relaxation. Each guest has a personal 24-inch (61 cm) HD touch screen, one of the largest ever seen on board.

Air France 777-300 Suite Bed (Air France)(LRW)
A BED WORTHY OF THE GREATEST HOTELS

Like spending a night in a palace, sleeping in one of our La Première suites is a completely exclusive experience. In an instant, the seat turns into a fully-flat bed over two metres long. The armrests are fully retractable and offer a vast space 77 cm wide.

When the passenger is ready to go to sleep, the crew members install a mattress on the seat, for impeccable comfort. They are then given a fluffy pillow and a Sofitel My Bed® duvet. The pillow is placed in a soft cotton pillowcase for ultimate softness, guaranteeing a perfect night’s sleep.

Air France 777-300 Seat-Eating (Air France)(LRW)
AN OPEN OR TOTALLY PRIVATE SUITE, THE LUXURY OF DECIDING YOURSELF

Air France dresses each suite with thick curtains, held back with leather tiebacks. A unique and daring concept, they enable the passenger to decide whether to be totally isolated or just partially. Once the curtains are closed, the passenger has the feeling of being alone at home, totally enclosed in their private cabin. The La Première suite then becomes a vast, totally private space, with 3 square metres available for each guest.

The suite can also be enjoyed with a fellow passenger. Opposite the seat, a comfortable seat, an ottoman, enables the passenger to invite a guest for dinner or simply for a conversation. The suite in turn then becomes a drawing room, a restaurant, or a work area. Anything goes in this space which changes according to the passenger’s desires.

A DESIGNER SPIRIT

Air France embodies French elegance, expressed by its choice of textures and materials, continually guided by an obsession for absolute comfort.

The “leather-effect” cabin walls provide a cosy atmosphere. The high-quality leather can also be found on the headrests and armrests. A thick, soft woven tweed fabric covers the seat, providing a touch of elegance to the ensemble. The various storage compartments are padded with suede. With its stitching, touches of wood and metal, la suite represents the utmost in sophistication, down to the slightest details.

“Our new La Première suite, from among all our new products and services, is the one that best represents our commitment to service excellence and a French travel experience. It illustrates our intention to recover and our global ambition.” declared Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and CEO of Air France.

AT A GLANCE

Designed for Air France by the manufacturer B/E Aerospace, the new La Première suite is the only one of its kind in the world. Its unique design has been specially created by designer Priestmangoode and design and branding agency, Brandimage.

· 76 seats equipping 19 Boeing 777-300
· An exclusive cabin with 4 suites
· A unique concept, with each suite featuring adjustable curtains
· A suite designed with top-of-the-range materials – leather, woven fabrics, suede, etc.
· A spacious, ergonomically-designed seat, with integrated lumbar support
· Direct access to the central aisle
· A large fully-flat bed
· A sleek console with integrated storage compartments
· A large table and an ottoman for inviting a guest during the trip
· A mobile partition and adjustable curtains, allowing each guest to choose their preferred level of privacy
· A plaid and “boudoir” cushion available as soon as the guest boards
· A mattress, cushion and warm duvet for optimum sleeping comfort
· A private wardrobe
· A 24-inch High Definition screen and touch remote
· The window blinds close at the flick of a switch
· Accessories to make the guest feel at home; bedside lamp, pillow, plaid, etc.

KEY DIMENSIONS

· Bed length: 2.01 m
· Bed width: 77 cm
· Width of the seat: 57 cm
· Total length of the suite: 2.30 m
· Total surface area: 3 square metres
“AIR FRANCE, FRANCE IS IN THE AIR”

To unveil its new La Première suite, as well as its new travel concept and all the new cabins it has recently revealed, Air France has created a unique event with three international exhibitions in Shanghai, New York and Paris in May, June and September 2014.

These exhibitions, which are open free to the public, have been designed as a journey. Real and virtual experiences are combined so that everyone can experience Air France’s new world with interactive animations.

Rendezvous in Paris (Air France)

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Air France). Boeing 777-328 ER F-GSQD (msn 32726) taxies at the Paris (Charles de Gaulle) hub.

Air France:

Video:

US Airways and British Airways start their codeshare partnership today

US Airways (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth), part of American Airlines Group, today announced the launch of its codeshare agreement with trans-Atlantic joint business partner and fellow oneworld® member British Airways (London), further enhancing its relationship with the British carrier. Beginning today, customers can book tickets on codeshare flights for travel beginning on May 14.

Launched in a phased approach, the codeshare will initially cover nearly all of the two carriers’ trans-Atlantic flights. Customers will now have access to British Airways flights to London from 21 destinations in the United States, and British Airways will place its code on US Airways flights to Charlotte and Philadelphia from 17 destinations throughout Europe.

The remaining flights in the codeshare will be implemented in phases and will include British Airways routes from London to more than 70 destinations throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and US Airways flights to nearly 40 destinations in North America and the Caribbean. Customers can expect to have access to all codeshare flights by the end of this summer.

US Airways expects in the coming weeks to begin implementing codeshare agreements with the other member airlines in the trans-Atlantic joint business, Iberia and Finnair, providing customers easy access to the joint venture’s combined global network.

As part of the joint business relationship, members of the US Airways Dividend Miles and British Airways Executive Club frequent flyer programs are able to earn and redeem miles on flights operated by the other carrier, providing another valuable benefit to customers. In addition, customers will be able to earn miles when traveling on codeshare flights operated by the other airline.

US Airways joined the joint venture as an affiliate member earlier this year, and will remain as such until it fully integrates with American Airlines as part of their merger to create the largest airline in the world.

Top Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Airbus A330-243 N288AY (msn 1441) arrives in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-336 ER G-STBA (msn 40542) beautifully climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport hub.

 

Delta’s board authorizes a $2 billion share repurchase program and a 50% increase in dividends

Delta Air Lines‘ (Atlanta) Board of Directors have announced the next phase of the company’s plans to return capital to shareholders, including a 50 percent increase to its dividend and a new share repurchase authorization. The Board has authorized a new $2 billion share repurchase program, to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2016. In addition, beginning in the September 2014 quarter, the company’s quarterly dividend will increase to $0.09 per share from the current $0.06 per share. Together, these two programs are expected to return an additional $2.75 billion to shareholders through 2016.

“Delta has deployed its strong cash flows to drive value for owners by strengthening its balance sheet through debt and pension reductions while also returning a significant amount of cash back to shareholders,” said Daniel Carp, chairman of Delta’s Board of Directors. “The Board is furthering our long-term commitment to Delta shareholders by substantially increasing our dividend and also providing a flexible vehicle to return additional cash to shareholders through the $2 billion share repurchase program. This next phase of our shareholder return program reflects the Board’s confidence in Delta’s ability to sustain and improve upon its already strong financial performance.”

Balanced Approach to Capital Deployment

In an investor presentation this morning, Delta updated its progress against the balanced capital deployment plan announced by the company in May 2013. With its financial performance and cash flows having exceeded the targets under that plan, Delta announced new plans to further drive shareholder value by accelerating the company’s efforts to reduce debt levels, address its pension obligations, and return cash to shareholders.

Debt: Delta ended the March 2014 quarter with $9.1 billion of adjusted net debt, a reduction of $2.6 billion since the end of 2012 and nearly $8 billion since the company began its debt reduction efforts in 2009. The company expects to reach $7 billion of adjusted net debt in 2015, two years ahead of its originally stated goal, and $5 billion of adjusted net debt by the end of 2016.
Pension: For 2013 and 2014, the company contributed nearly $1 billion each year to its defined benefit pension plans, through a combination of $700 million in required minimum funding and $250 million of incremental funding. This pension funding level, combined with higher interest rates and returns on pension assets, helped lower the company’s unfunded pension liability by 25 percent to just over $10 billion. The company plans to maintain its current $1 billion annual funding level through 2020, with a goal of achieving 80 percent funded status by that date.

Cash returns to shareholders: The company is on track to return $700 million to shareholders by early June 2014, through $200 million of dividends and completing its original $500 million share repurchase authorization more than two years ahead of its June 30, 2016 expiration date. The new repurchase authorization and increase to the quarterly dividend approved by Delta’s Board of Directors are expected to return an additional $2.75 billion to shareholders through 2016.

Repurchases under Delta’s program may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, or accelerated share repurchase transactions in compliance with applicable regulatory guidelines, including Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-18. Purchases will be made subject to market and economic conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other relevant factors. Delta had approximately 853 million shares of common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2014.

Bloomberg Businessweek article on Delta’s quest for a billion dollars in baggage fees!: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR (Longer Range) N706DN (msn 30440) climbs away from the runway at Paine Field near Everett, WA with the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the background.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Philippines introduces the Boeing 777-300 ER to the Manila-Los Angeles route

Philippines (Philippine Airlines) (Manila) today (May 3) introduces the Boeing 777-300 ER on the Manila-Los Angeles route.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-36N ER RP-C7777 (msn 37709) arrives down under in Sydney, Australia.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

Emirates SkyCargo opens a new cargo center today at Dubai World Central’s (DWC) Al Maktoum International Airport

Emirates SkyCargo (Dubai) starts operations today (May 1) from its new cargo terminal at Dubai World Central’s (DWC) Al Maktoum International Airport.

The official start of operations was marked by the very early morning arrival of an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777F Freighter from London (Heathrow), carrying a full load of more than 100 tons of cargo. The load of cargo included vehicles, ship spares, pharmaceuticals, oilfield equipment and an aircraft engine, some of which are for distribution in the U.A.E., while other cargo will be carried onward by Emirates passenger aircraft at Dubai International Airport (DXB) to various markets around Emirates’ network, such as South Africa, China, India and South Korea.
Emirates Media Player

Construction of phase one of the cargo terminal and supporting facilities began in July 2013, and with its completion operations are now in full swing with 250 staff on site. The newly opened terminal is equipped with start-of-the-art technology and will be able to handle 700 000 tons of cargo annually and have 500 staff when phase two, scheduled to be completed by September this year, comes into operation. The terminal has the potential for further expansion to reach 1 million tons.

Emirates SkyCargo currently has a fleet of 12 freighters, 10 Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 747-400 ERFs, which operate to more than 50 destinations around the world. Cargo arriving on freighters will be transported by dedicated trucking services between DWC and Dubai International Airport along the Emirates Road (E-611) which will be the main corridor for connecting cargo between freighters and the passenger fleet. The current trucking fleet numbers 47, which will be increased relative to future growth requirements.

The newly opened terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It features a fully automated material handling system which is one of the world’s first to have an automated Quick Dolly Transfer System that enables quick transfer of 6 Unit Load Devices (ULDs) simultaneously. In addition, an automated pallet handling system, advanced storage system, offices, work station areas, modern communication and security systems and many amenities for employees, including canteens have been installed. The perishable area has been designed to handle about 140 000 tons of cargo per annum, featuring three large areas each with different temperature ranges.

The terminal infrastructure also includes 45 truck docks and 80 truck parking spaces, in addition to 12 aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-F1H A6-EFJ (msn 35610) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Emirates Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

 

Emirates is coming to Brussels on September 5

Emirates (Dubai) today announced that it will launch a new daily service to Brussels, Belgium, from September 5, 2014.

Brussels will be Emirates’ 147th destination, closely following the launch of Oslo, Norway on September 2. The nonstop service will be operated by a Boeing 777 in a three-class configuration. Emirates will be the first international airline to offer a First Class product from Brussels to the Middle East and Asia.

The UAE is home to over 30 Belgian companies and over 3,000 Belgian residents. Emirates currently has over 160 Belgian nationals working in various roles across the company.

Brussels will be the eighth new destination from Emirates this calendar year following the earlier launches of Kiev, Taipei and Boston as well as Abuja and Kano launching on August 1, Chicago launching on August 5 and Oslo launching on September 2, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR (Longer Range) A6-EWC (msn 35576) climbs away from the ground at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

WSJ: Kuwait calls in Ms. Roumi to turn around Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) has a new CEO. Ms. Rasha Al Roumi, 52, has been selected by the Kuwait government to turn around the flag carrier according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 777-200 ERs are being phase out as the airline becomes an all-Airbus airline. Boeing 777-269 ER 9K-AOB (msn 28744) taxies to the gate at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Kuwait Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Delta Air Lines reports a first quarter net profit of $281 million despite more than 17,000 cancelled flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the first (March) quarter. Key points include:

Delta’s pre-tax income for the March 2014 quarter was $444 million, excluding special items1, an increase of $363 million over the March 2013 quarter on a similar basis.

Delta’s net income for the March 2014 quarter was $281 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, excluding special items1. This is $196 million higher year over year despite $163 million of non-cash tax expense now recognized after the reversal of the company’s valuation allowance.

On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $335 million and net income was $213 million, or $0.25 per diluted share.

Delta cancelled more than 17,000 flights due to severe weather in January and February, double the number of flights cancelled for weather in 2013. These cancellations resulted in $90 million of lost revenue and $55 million lower pre-tax income.

Results include $99 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals.

Delta generated $951 million of operating cash flow and $390 million of free cash flow in the March 2014 quarter. This strong cash generation allowed the company to reduce its adjusted net debt to $9.1 billion, contribute more than $600 million of funding to its defined benefit pension plans, and return $176 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

“The March quarter’s record results in the face of unprecedented weather show the strength and resilience of Delta. By delivering the industry’s best customer service, operational reliability and financial performance, Delta people continue to show that they are the very best in the business,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our work is not finished, and there is great opportunity ahead as we expect the June quarter to produce 14% – 16% operating margins. We are transforming Delta into a high-quality S&P 500 company that consistently delivers strong earnings growth and shareholder returns.”

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue improved 5 percent, or $416 million, in the March 2014 quarter compared to the March 2013 quarter, despite $90 million of lost revenue due to weather-related cancellations. Traffic increased 3.5 percent on a 1.7 percent increase in capacity.

Passenger revenue increased 5 percent, or $357 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 3.2 percent year over year with a 1.3 percent improvement in yield.

Cargo revenue decreased 9 percent, or $21 million, driven by lower freight volumes and lower yields.
Other revenue increased 8 percent, or $80 million, driven by higher joint venture and SkyMiles revenues.”March quarter’s top line growth of 5 percent shows the strength of Delta’s revenue momentum even through the revenue loss from weather and a shift of the Easter holiday traffic into April,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s president. “We see continued revenue strength as we move through the year from corporate revenue gains, the benefits of the Virgin Atlantic joint venture and improved ancillary revenues. These initiatives, coupled with a solid demand environment, should lead to unit revenue growth in the mid-single digits for the June quarter.”

Cost Performance

Total operating expense in the quarter increased $18 million year-over-year driven by the impact of employee investments including $79 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were almost fully offset by lower fuel expense, savings from Delta’s structural cost initiatives, and receipt of a $25 million insurance claim related to Superstorm Sandy.

Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was 0.3 percent higher in the March 2014 quarter on a year-over-year basis, driven by the impact of employee investments and 1 point of pressure from weather-related cancellations. GAAP consolidated CASM decreased 1.4 percent.

Fuel expense, excluding mark-to-market adjustments, declined $167 million as a result of lower market fuel prices and better settled hedge performance. Delta’s average fuel price3 was $3.03 per gallon for the March quarter, which includes $107 million in settled hedge gains. On a GAAP basis, consolidated fuel expense for the March quarter decreased $109 million year-over-year, driven by lower market fuel prices and mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges.

Operations at the Trainer refinery produced a $41 million loss for the March quarter as a result of the same lower market fuel prices that lowered Delta’s overall fuel spend. During the quarter, one of the major crude units at the refinery was taken offline for scheduled modifications which lowered throughput levels. These modifications will yield a higher level of jet and diesel distillates going forward and improve the profitability of Trainer. In addition, refinery profitability was negatively impacted by an increase in Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) expense.

Non-operating expense for the quarter increased by $66 million, driven by a $31 million seasonal loss associated with Delta’s 49% ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic, an $18 million loss on extinguishment of debt driven by Delta’s debt reduction initiatives, and $39 million higher foreign exchange impact, including a $23 million loss associated with the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency. These losses were offset by $34 million lower interest expense.

“The March quarter marks another quarter with non-fuel unit cost growth below 2 percent, and the growing momentum of our domestic refleeting and other cost initiatives provide the platform to maintain this performance,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s chief financial officer. “We are addressing all parts of our cost base through executing our structural cost initiatives, lowering our fuel expense with the refinery and hedging, and reducing our interest burden with additional debt reduction.”

Cash Flow

Cash from operations during the March 2014 quarter was $951 million, driven by the company’s March quarter profit and the normal seasonal increase in advance ticket sales. Cash from operations is net of $605 million of contributions made by Delta to its defined benefit pension plans during the quarter. The company generated $390 million of free cash flow.

Capital expenditures during the March 2014 quarter were $570 million, including $514 million in fleet investments. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $353 million.

In the March quarter, the company returned $176 million to shareholders. On March 14, the company paid $51 million to shareholders, which represents a $0.06 per share quarterly dividend. In addition, the company repurchased four million shares at an average price of $30.94 for a total of $125 million. The company has completed $375 million of the $500 million share repurchase plan authorized by Delta’s Board of Directors in May 2013.

Delta ended the quarter with $5.6 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $9.1 billion. The company has now achieved nearly $8 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.

June 2014 Quarter Guidance

Following are Delta’s projections for the second (June) 2014 quarter:

2Q 2014 Forecast

Operating margin
14% – 16%

Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact
$2.97 – $3.02

2Q 2014 Forecast

(compared to 2Q 2013)

Consolidated unit costs – excluding fuel expense and profit sharing
Up 0% – 2%

System capacity
Up 2% – 3%

Special Items
Delta recorded a net $68 million special items charge in the March 2014 quarter, including:

a $31 million charge associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring;

a $21 million mark-to-market adjustment on fuel hedges; and

a $16 million charge for debt extinguishment and other.

Delta recorded a net $78 million special items charge in the March 2013 quarter, including:

a $102 million charge for facilities, fleet and other, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring; and

a $24 million mark-to-market adjustment on fuel hedges.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 ER N862DA (msn 29734) departs from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Japan Airlines will launch JAL SKY NEXT on May 28 from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka

Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) will launch its first JAL SKY NEXT service between Tokyo (Haneda) and Fukuoka on May 28, 2014. A total of 77 aircraft are scheduled to be revamped sequentially and will be progressively introduced on domestic routes.

JAL SKY NEXT logo

JAL SKY NEXT will provide updated cabin interior with all-leather seats and LED lighting. Additionally, the in-flight internet service-JAL SKY Wi-Fi with new in-flight entertainment website will be introduced on domestic routes to deliver more comfortable travel experience and convenience to customers.

The first type with the new service standard will be the Boeing 777-200.

JAL SKY NEXT seats (JAL)

Top Copyright Photo (all others by JAL): Akira Uekawa/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-246 JA8984 (msn 27651) in the special “Sky Eco” livery departs from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Missing Malaysia Airlines remains the biggest aviation mystery of our time, Bluefin-21 fails to find anything so far

 

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with all of its 239 passengers and crew members. It remains the biggest aviation mystery of our age. The underwater drone called “Bluefin-21″ has failed to find any remains of the presumed to have crashed airliner.

Here is an update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 from CNN:

“The underwater drone scanning for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 finished its seventh mission Sunday (April 20), having covered about half its intended territory without finding any sign of the missing plane.

The Bluefin-21 drone started its eighth mission soon after the previous one ended Sunday morning, surveying the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean for traces of the Boeing 777.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Yesterday Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport issued this briefing:

Introductory Statement

I would like to begin this with a message.

On behalf of the Malaysian Government and specifically the MH370 SAR team, we would like to extend deepest sympathies and condolences to those on board the tragic incident involving the South Korea ferry that departed from Incheon planned for Jeju. We empathies and can imagine how difficult it can be for the families and the SAR team coping with the situation. All our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I will now continue with MH370.

We have now entered day 43 of the search operation for the MH370. It has been six weeks since we started the operation in which we have continuously refined the search area in the quest to locate the missing aircraft. We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage and with every passing day, the search has become more difficult.

Search Updates

On Thursday, I spoke with Angus Houston and he has briefed me on the images captured from the Bluefin – 21 AUV. I can confirm that the Bluefin – 21 has captured clear and sharp images of the seabed while its search mission in the underwater search area. However, from all 6 missions conducted, no contacts of interest have been found to date. Bluefin – 21 AUV’s seventh missing has been commenced this morning.

From the images, Angus has also confirmed me that the terrain of the seabed is undulating and the Bluefin – 21 is focusing on the immediate search area based on the pings that have been detected. Some media reports have stated that it would take Bluefin -21 anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire underwater search area. This is incorrect. The immediate search area that the Bluefin – 21 is now scouring should be completed within the next week.

As Prime Minister Abbott stated earlier this week, and I quote –

“We will regroup and reconsider the SAR operations, if there are no new updates in the given time” – end quote.

I have to stress that this is not ti stip operations but to also consider other approaches which may include widening the scope of the search and utilizing other assets that could be relevant in the search operation.

The search will always continue. It is just a matter of approach. All efforts will intensified for the next few days with regards to the underwater search.

I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Malaysian government, to again thank Australia on narrowing the search area and doing all they can in the search for MH370.

Updates on Ministerial Committees

As I announced a few weeks ago, three ministerial committees have been established. They have been working tirelessly and I will now update you on their progress.

The next of kin committee, led by Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is working closely with various Governments especially the countries whose nationals were on board MH370. From the meetings with the representative embassies and high commissions, various issues that needed urgent attention were addressed.

Hamzah has also discussed with his counterparts in Beijing and both sides have exchanged views and discussed ways and means to deal with the situation with regards to the families of those on board.

The technical committee, led by Aziz Kaprawi, Deputy Minister of Transport, has developed and drafted the proposed structure and Terms of Reference of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team For MH370 in accordance with the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR 1996) and Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Chicago Convention.

The structure was developed after consulting the experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Brach, United Kingdom (AAIB), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), United States, Australia Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) and Air Accident Investigation Department, China. The proposed team would comprise of local and international experts.

We have also spoken with the ASEAN secretariat on the possibility of appointing some of our counterparts to come on board. This is in accordance with the ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation that was signed in 2008.

The Asset Deployment committee has identified private companies that have the capabilities for deep water salvage and recovery work, and other national assets that can be deployed to support this operation. Local companies such as DEFTECH and Boustead have been tasked to discuss with their international collaborative partners such as SAAB, DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales) and other to identify the relevant assets and instruments required for the search operation.

I have also been in consultations with Jean Paul Troadec given his experience in handling Air France 447 in deploying private commercial assets to assist in their search operations.

Concluding Remarks

As we move on to the next phase of the search, I am humbled that more friends from other nations have been expressed their willingness to assist and support our efforts to locate MH370.

Thank you.

 

 

Hawaiian and Air China sign a codeshare agreement

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced the signing of a codeshare agreement with Air China (Beijing), China’s exclusive national flag carrier, that leverages the reach of their respective hubs in Honolulu and Beijing to offer more options and a more streamlined experience for customers traveling to further destinations. The new partnership takes effect following Hawaiian’s launch of its three-times weekly nonstop service to Beijing on April 16.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-33A N591HA (msn 33423) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2033 (msn 38673) arrives at the Beijing hub.

 

Emirates to ground aircraft and reduce flights to 41 destinations for the 80-day runway-work period

Emirates Airline (Dubai) will continue to serve all of its worldwide destinations during the 80-day period of runway upgrading works at Dubai International Airport (DXB) starting on May 1. However, it has had to reduce flights to over 40 destinations, and change timings on some of its flights.

These changes will not impact customers booked to fly between May and July, as the flight schedules have been planned and implemented months ahead of time. Customers or travel agents searching for flight options on Emirates will only see those flights that are available.

Emirates aircraft at Dubai International Airport.

“As the biggest operator at Dubai International accounting for about 50% of traffic, of course we have had to take the biggest hit in reducing flights. There will be an impact on our revenues to the tune of approximately AED 1 billion. However, we understand the need for this upgrading work to be done, and we support it wholeheartedly. It will add much-needed capacity to the airport, and having world-class infrastructure ultimately means a better experience for customers. So we have to take the long-term view and manage the short term pain,” he added.

Emirates will ground 20 aircraft in May, 22 in June, and 22 in July, as Dubai Airports launches a comprehensive runway upgrade project which will see both runways at Dubai International close alternatively for resurfacing and other enhancement works.

During this time, Emirates has plans for its own upgrading projects, taking advantage of its “grounded fleet” to perform engineering maintenance and onboard enhancements, ensuring its award-winning fleet operates at top form. These works include phased upgrades to its GCS (Global Communications Suite), an initiative that requires approximately 2,200 man hours of mechanical and avionic work per aircraft. The parked aircraft also provides operational flexibility for an ongoing fleet-wide inflight entertainment system and cabin maintenance improvement campaign. In addition, the Emirates Engineering team will carry out its first-ever landing gear change to a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, the start of a program which will eventually involve over 70 other Boeing 777s. The landing gear change work occurs once every 10 years in the aircraft’s lifespan.

All Emirates passenger flights will continue to operate from Dubai International Airport (DXB) during the runway upgrading period from  May 1 through July 20, while its freighter operations will move to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) on May 1 as planned.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EGT (msn 35600) touches down at Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport (ARN).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 switches to Bluefin 21

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, remains missing. The search for MH 370 has been long and frustrating to everyone involved. The fate of Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) (above) and the 239 souls on board remains a true aviation mystery. It may remain the greatest mystery of our lifetimes.

A new oil slick has been discovered near where the four series of pings were located west of Australia in the Ocean Ocean. There has been no sign of any wreckage from 9M-MRO.

According to CNN, the search for MH 370 enters a new phase with the underwater vehicle Bluefin 21 taking center stage.

However Bluefin 21 faces plenty of challenges in finding the missing Triple Seven. This article explains how the side-scan sonar works on Bluefin 21.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO lands at the Kuala Lumpur base in the past.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Alitalia launches Venice-Tokyo service, cancels its order for 12 Airbus A350-800s

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) on April 3 launched nonstop service between Venice and Tokyo (narita). The new route will operate two days a week: AZ 788 will depart on Thursdays and Saturdays at 1.30 PM and will land in Tokyo at 9.40 AM (local time) the following morning. From Tokyo Narita, AZ 789 will depart every Wednesday and Friday at 12.25 PM (local time) and will arrive in Venice at 8.20 PM.

Alitalia has a total of 19 weekly frequencies to Japan: 14 frequencies a week, of which 7 are from Rome Fiumicino, 5 from Milan Malpensa and 2 from Venice, which connect these three Italian airports with Tokyo Narita; 5 flrequencies a week connect Rome Fiumicino with Osaka.

Venice has become the third Italian city, after Rome and Milan, to host intercontinental flights operated by Alitalia and, above all, for the first time, Alitalia offers the citizens of Venice and the Veneto region a direct service to the Far East.

The service between Venice and Tokyo will be operated by one of Alitalia’s Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft, the flagship of its long-haul fleet, which can accommodate 293 passengers on board divided into three classes of travel: Magnifica business class (30 seats), Classic Plus premium economy class (24 seats) and Classica economy class (239 seats).

In other news, Alitalia has canceled its order for 12 Airbus A350-800s and 12 options. The order was originally placed in June 2008 by Air One.

Copyright Photo: Reinhard Zinabold/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISO (msn 32857) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 operates over Germany for 30 minutes without ATC radio contact

Jet Airways‘ (Mumbai) flight 9W 117 from London (Heathrow) to Mumbai flew over the busy German airspace  without radio contact on March 13, five days after Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 disappeared. Boeing 777-35R VT-JEG (msn 35163) was flown for 30 minutes without positive radio contact from the cockpit crew.

Both pilots, who failed to notice they had lost air traffic control radio contact, were suspended by the company.

Read the full report from the Economic Times: CLICK HERE

Previously the airline on February 12, 2014 had inaugurated flights from the new international integrated terminal T2 at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on this route to London Heathrow.

Jet Airways’ flight 9W 118 from Mumbai to London Heathrow became the first international flight to take off at 1320 from India’s most new, modern and spacious Terminal 2.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 777-35R ER N834BA became VT-JEL (msn 36563) on delivery.

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

 

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