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Tag Archives: A320

WOW Air is coming to Boston and Baltimore/Washington with Airbus A321s

WOW Air (Keflavik) as planned, is coming to Boston in March 2015 with fares starting at $99 one-way. Kleflavik International Airport-Boston Logan International Airport will start on March 27 and operate six days a week with Airbus A321s.

WOW Air will also operate seasonal service between Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Keflavik International Airport with four weekly roundtrip flights starting on June 4, 2015.

For the service from BWI, WOW Air will also utilize Airbus A321 aircraft. The seasonal flights will operate four times per week, on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) arrives at London (Gatwick).

WOW Air Aircraft Slide Show:

WOW Air: AG Slide Show

WOW AIr crew-1

 

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Interjet arrives in Houston

Interjet water salute

Interjet (Mexico City) officially began flight operations in Houston, Texas today (October 23) as the airline celebrated the landing of its inaugural flight connecting Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Monterrey International Airport (MTY) in Monterrey, Mexico.

The airline will now offer passengers a choice between two daily flights Monday through Friday and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays. The inaugural flight from Monterrey arrived in Houston at 7:55 a.m. to the traditional water cannon salute and a welcome celebration featuring dozens of well-wishers.

The arrival of Interjet is the latest example of an unprecedented level of growth for international air travel in Houston. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is currently on pace to see more than 10 million international passengers in 2014, a number never reached in the facility’s 45 year history.

Photo: Interjet.

Interjet Aircraft Slide Show:

Virgin America and China Airlines start their codeshare relationship

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced the implementation of a codeshare arrangement with China Airlines (Taipei) that will offer customers seamless bookings and travel between Taipei, Taiwan, elsewhere in Asia and multiple destinations across the United States. The new codeshare agreement, the fourth for the California-based airline, involves China Airlines placing its two-letter airline code (CI) on a range of Virgin America markets including flights between Los Angeles and/or San Francisco to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle/Tacoma and Washington Dulles (IAD). Starting today, China Airlines guests can book their journey across the United States with Virgin America via China Airlines’ website and look forward to a convenient airport experience with one-stop check-in for boarding passes and checked bags.

China Airlines offers daily direct flights from Taipei to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and three flights per week to New York.

The codeshare partnership expands on the two airline’s existing interline agreement, which commenced in May 2012. China Airlines is Virgin America’s fourth codeshare agreement and enhances the airline’s growing partner portfolio.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N855VA (msn 5179) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport, a common connection point.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

China Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. China Airlines’ Airbus A330-302 B-18367 (msn 1278) arrives in Rome (Fiumicino).

JetBlue Airways Corporation reports a third quarter net profit of $79 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the third quarter 2014:

Operating income of $164 million in the third quarter. This compares to operating income of $152 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Pre-tax income of $132 million in the third quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $119 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Net income for the third quarter was $79 million, or $0.24 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s third quarter 2013 net income of $71 million, or $0.21 per diluted share.

“Today, we are pleased to report record third quarter earnings,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “We saw improved profitability across our network, reflecting the success of our efforts to differentiate our product and culture and maintain competitive costs. I would like to thank our 15,500 crewmembers for their dedication to running a safe airline and delivering outstanding service to our customers.”

Operational Performance

JetBlue reported record third quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 5.9% to 10.1 billion on a capacity increase of 4.5%, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 86.2%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.96 cents, up 0.9% compared to the third quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter 2014 increased 2.4% year over year to 12.03 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.4% year over year to 13.00 cents.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased 5.7%, or $75 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.8%, or $3 million, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 1.2% year over year to 11.61 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM(1) increased 2.6% to 7.13 cents.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, in the third quarter JetBlue had in place hedges for approximately 23% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 7% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.05 per gallon, a 2.7% decrease over third quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $1 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the third quarter.

JetBlue has managed approximately 34% of its fourth quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of October 16th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $2.80 in the fourth quarter.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $742 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.

During the third quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $61 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $128 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the remainder of 2014.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the fourth quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to decrease between (3.0)% and (1.0)% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the fourth quarter is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% year over year.

CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0% in the fourth quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N821JB (msn 5417) with Sharklets arrives at the John F. Kennedy International Airport base in New York.

JetBlue Airways Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot extends its collective bargaining agreements with it employees

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has extended its collective bargaining agreement with its employees through 2017. The company issued this statement:

Aeroflot management and airline employee trade unions have successfully concluded negotiations that extend the collective bargaining agreement currently in place for the period 2014 through 2017. The collective agreement calls for a wide range of benefits for employees, irrespective of union membership.

Despite the challenging economic environment in Russia, the parties determined it was essential to keep in place all benefits, subsidies and guarantees included in the prevailing collective agreement. The trade unions have maintained the crucial role they have long held in facilitating labor relations. The agreement was signed by the United Representative Body of Aeroflot employees.

The collective agreement will remain in force through December 1, 2017. The range of benefits laid out under the collective agreement is unprecedented in the airline industry. To date the expenses incurred by Aeroflot to maintain these benefits exceeds 3 billion rubles a year.

Employees receive attractive and high salaries that are regularly re-indexed, and in addition receive additional payments (paid annual leave, awards upon retirement, paid public holidays, etc.).

The collective agreement calls for the following benefits:

Adding up to 14 days of holiday time (increasing total annual paid leave to 42 days);
Medical care (treatment at Aeroflot’s own Medical Centre, payment for treatment at other medical facilities, subsidised prescriptions);
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in 2014 employees enjoyed holidays and sanatorium treatments in Russia and abroad: Crimea, the Mineralnie Vody region of the Caucasus, the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the Krasnodar region, Slovakia, Israel, the UAE and Turkey;
Non-state pension fund payments;
Company-provided automobiles;
Subsidised air tickets for employees and their families;
Reimbursement of children’s pre-school expenses;
Corporate trainings.
A number of key benefits continue for employees after they have retired from the Company.

Aeroflot has always valued healthy lifestyles for employees, and for that reason leases exercise facilities on their behalf.

Approximately 70% of the cost of employee benefits are allocated to on-board personnel, the airline’s most valued group of employees. In addition to high salaries in line with those at the leading international airlines, pilots receive:

The most holidays in the industry, 70 days off (whereas European carriers typically give pilots 28 days);
Comfortable accommodations when spending the night away from the pilot’s home airport;
Minimum three-star hotel accommodation;
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in addition to the standard company options, a special program is available to pilots and their families in the Czech Republic);
Per-diem based on average salaried day for days spent on routine medical check-ups;
In the event a pilot leaves the Company due to physical inability to carry out his duties, a one-time payment is made equivalent to 20%-100% of his annual salary;
Injury compensation of USD 5,000-10,000 in the event of health problems;
Non-state pension fund payments (through a dedicated pension plan, “Golden Anchor”)
Subsidised airline tickets, including on high-demand routes, for pilots and their family members.

The current JSC Aeroflot collective agreement was first signed in 2005. The agreement was the result of extensive collective bargaining with JSC Aeroflot by the leading airline employee union, First Trade-union Organisation, of which more than half of all Aeroflot employees are members. The collective agreement was renewed twice, in 2008 and 2011, without modifying the benefits received by employees.

JSC Aeroflot employs approximately 18,000 people in Russia and abroad and is the leading employer in the Russian aviation industry.

In other news, Aeroflot on October 26 Aeroflot is relaunching Moscow — Tbilisi and Moscow — Chisinau service.

Aeroflot will provide daily flights to the capital of Georgia on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Daily flights to Chisinau will be operated on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BRX (msn 3063) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Aeroflot Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa Group details its winter schedules changes with 18,900 flights a week

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced the details of its combined schedules for the winter season:

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, October 26, 2014 to Saturday, March 28, 2015. Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometers is increasing by 2.9 percent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 percent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From October 26, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of October 2, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday. A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily nonstop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight. Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.

Swiss International Air Lines

In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, Swiss is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, Swiss is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra Swiss flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, Swiss is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.

Austrian Airlines

In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.

Brussels Airlines

Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of October 26. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015. Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.

Germanwings

In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on January 8, 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Lower cost Germanwings is taking most of the Dusseldorf routes from Lufthansa. Airbus A320-211 D-AIQH (msn 217) taxies at Antalya.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Swiss: AG Slide Show

Austrian: AG Slide Show

Brussels: AG Slide Show

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

TAME launches its new Quito-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador (Quito) launched a new service between Quito, Ecuador and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) beginning on October 17, 2014.

The new nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood increases the connectivity between Ecuador and key U.S. markets, including Miami and Orlando. With more than 70,000 Ecuadorians living in Florida, TAME’s flight service provides easy and accessible options.

The new route takes only four hours and will be offered daily from Quito at 2:15 a.m. and arriving to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at 7:15 a.m. The return flight from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood departs at 9:00 a.m. and arrives in Quito at 12:00 p.m. An Airbus A320 with a capacity for 162 passengers and an Airbus A319 for up to 140 passengers will be used.

Copyright Photo: Stefano Rota/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HC-CID (msn 934) departs from Guayaquil.

TAME Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and Jetstar Japan announce a codeshare agreement

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).

Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.

Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Jetstar Japan: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.

Gulf Air to restore service to Shiraz, Iran and Hyderabad, India

Gulf Air A320-200 A9C-AC (09-Grand Prix 2012)(Grd)(Gulf Air)(LRW)

Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced that it will be recommencing flights to Shiraz. Becoming the airline’s 40th destination, the capital of Fars Province in Iran, will be served with 3 weekly flights, starting on December 15, 2014.

Gulf Air is further strengthening and supplementing its Iran operations after the recent resumption of flights to both Mashhad (December 2013) and Tehran (March 2014).

Gulf Air will be operating one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft on this short-haul route.

In other news, Gulf Air has also announced that, following its successful resumption of operations to Thiruvananthapuram last year, it will be recommencing flights to Hyderabad, the fourth most populous city in India, with 5 weekly flights, starting from December 15, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Gulf Air. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AC (msn 4059) taxies to the runway.

Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show:

Aigle Azur to drop the Paris Orly-Moscow Vnukovo route

Aigle Azur (2nd) (Paris-Orly) is dropping the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route on October 26 per Airline Route. The route was an important connecting route with partner Transaero Airlines (Moscow) (see map below).

Since July 2012, Aigle Azur has been serving the Paris (Orly)-Moscow (Vnukovo) route in partnership with Transaero Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HBIB (msn 3289) touches down at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.

Aigle Azur: AG Slide Show

 

Aigle Azur (2013) logo

Current Route Map:

Aigle Azue 10.2014 Route Map

Monarch to add two new routes from Leeds/Bradford for the next summer season

Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has announced two new destinations from Leeds/Bradford for the coming summer. The summer 2015 schedule from Leeds Bradford Airport will offer two new routes during the summer months to Alicante (starting on March 29) and Naples (March 30), in addition to eight routes continued from summer 2014, making a total of 28 flights per week. Flights to the increasingly popular destinations of Dalaman and Faro will see a rise in frequencies and holiday makers will enjoy more convenient flight times to Barcelona, Faro and Mahon. The airline will have 10 routes from LBA for the next summer season.

In July, Monarch Airlines announced that Boeing had been chosen as the preferred bidder for its anticipated fleet renewal project. The airline is currently working towards agreeing to terms which will see 30 new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft joining the Monarch fleet from April 2018, with options to add up to an additional 15 to the order.

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. If the Boeing deal is finalized, the Airbus A320 family fleet is expected to be reduced. Airbus A320-214 G-ZBAA (msn 5526) with Sharklets departs from Palma de Mallorca.

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Tigerair’s quarterly loss widens to $143.3 million, Singapore Airlines jumps in and takes a majority 55% stake, will sublease 12 A320s to IndiGo

Tiger Airways Holdings Limited (Tigerair) (Singapore) has reported an operating loss of S$25.3 million ($19.8 million US) for the quarter ended September 30, 2014 (Fiscal Second Quarter), compared to an operating loss of S$12.8 million ($10.0 million US) recorded in the previous corresponding quarter last year

Tigerair Singapore recorded an operating loss of S$31.3 million ($24.5 million US) for the quarter compared to S$18.1 million $14.2 million US) a year ago. Revenue decreased by 4.9% to S$143.9 million ($113 million US) on the back of a rationalization of Tigerair Singapore’s network. The resulting improvement in load factor (+4 percentage point), was nevertheless offset by lower yields (-10.4%). Expenses increased by 3.4% to $175.2 million on higher unit cost (+3.1%).

The Group recorded loss after tax of S$182.4 million ($143.3 million US) in the Fiscal Second Quarter, compared to profit after tax of S$23.8 million $18.7 million US) a year ago. In total, the Group recorded one-off accounting provisions aggregating S$161.1 million in 2QFY15, mainly comprising S$99.3 million $126.6 million US) relating to the sublease of surplus aircraft and S$59.8 million ($46.9 million) for the divestment of Tigerair Australia.

According to the airline, “Tigerair’s largest shareholder, Singapore Airlines Limited (Singapore), has undertaken to subscribe for its pro rata entitlement, and also subscribe for excess Rights Shares, up to a total of S$140 million. Prior to the Rights Issue, SIA will convert its perpetual convertible capital securities (PCCS) holdings into Shares. The conversion will raise SIA’s stake in Tigerair from 40% to approximately 55% before the Rights Issue, effectively making Tigerair a subsidiary of SIA. SIA will not be making a general offer as Tigerair’s minority shareholders had approved a whitewash resolution in March 2013 to waive their rights to receive a general offer as a result of the PCCS conversion.”

In other news, Tiger Airways Holdings group (Tigerair) has reached an agreement with InterGlobe Aviation Limited (IndiGo) relating to the subleasing of 12 of Tigerair’s surplus aircraft by the Indian budget carrier. This sublease arrangement enables the Group to reduce excess capacity significantly and hence lower related leasing cost.

Most of these aircraft were previously operated by Tigerair Philippines and Tigerair Mandala, and had been returned to the Group upon its divestment of Tigerair Philippines in March 2014 and Tigerair Mandala’s cessation of operations in July 2014.

These 12 aircraft will be progressively delivered to IndiGo over a period of six months commencing in October 2014. Each aircraft will be subleased for between three and four years. With the lease of one of the 12 aircraft expiring in 2018, only 11 of the aircraft will be returned to the Group at the end of their respective sublease periods. Following their return, seven of the 11 aircraft are expected to re-join the operating fleet, while the remaining four may be progressively re-introduced back to the service network within two years.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 9V-TRI (msn 5596) of Tigerair (Singapore) arrives in Bangkok.

Tigerair (Singapore): AG Slide Show

Tigerair (Singapore) Aircraft Slide Show:

Frontier Airlines places six crew members on paid 21-day leave after flying a nurse who later tested positive with Ebola

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has placed six crew members on a paid 21-day leave after a second Dallas nurse was diagnosed with Ebola the following day. The crew operated flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 carrying nurse Amber Vinson, 29, the second Texas nurse to test positive for the Ebola virus. Nurse Vinson was put into isolation the following day when she tested positive. Vinson had been caring for Thomas Duncan who arrived from West Africa with the deadly virus.

The pictured Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) was cleaned and returned to service the next day according to Frontier Airlines and this report by ABC News.

Meanwhile the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reaching out to the 132 passengers who were on the same flight.

Read the full story from ABC: CLICK HERE

CDC logo

The CDC issued this statement in cooperation with Frontier Airlines:

CDC and Frontier Airlines Announce Passenger Notification Underway

On the morning of October 14, the second healthcare worker reported to the hospital with a low-grade fever and was isolated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the second healthcare worker who tested positive last night for Ebola traveled by air October 13, the day before she reported symptoms.

Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, CDC is reaching out to passengers who flew on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth October 13.

CDC is asking all 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 (the flight route was Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth and landed at 8:16 p.m. CT) to call 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636). After 1 p.m. ET, public health professionals will begin interviewing passengers about the flight, answering their questions, and arranging follow up. Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk will be actively monitored.

The healthcare worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier is working closely with CDC to identify and notify passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 on October 13. Passengers who may have traveled on flight 1143 should contact CDC at 1 800-CDC INFO (1 800 232-4636).

Frontier 2014 logo (large)

Frontier Airlines Statement

“At approximately 1:00 a.m. MT on October 15, Frontier was notified by the CDC that a customer traveling on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on October 13 has since tested positive for the Ebola virus. The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 p.m. local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day at which point the aircraft received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with CDC guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland last night. Previously the customer had traveled from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier flight 1142 on October 10.

Customer exhibited no symptoms or sign of illness while on flight 1143, according to the crew. Frontier responded immediately upon notification from the CDC by removing the aircraft from service and is working closely with CDC to identify and contact customers who may traveled on flight 1143.

Customers who may have traveled on either flight should contact CDC at 1 800 CDC-INFO.

The safety and security of our customers and employees is our primary concern. Frontier will continue to work closely with CDC and other governmental agencies to ensure proper protocols and procedures are being followed.”

Meanwhile the Association of Flight Attendants applauded the swift actions of Frontier Airlines and issued this statement:

AFA Logo

 

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), representing Frontier Airlines Flight Attendants, applauds Frontier Airlines management for responding immediately to the concerns of frontline workers and taking decisive action to safeguard the health and safety of Flight Attendants affected by transport of the confirmed Ebola patient.

“We applaud Frontier Airlines management for working with AFA and not only following CDC guidance, but exceeding recommendations in an abundance of caution,” stated Sara Nelson, AFA International President. “Management quickly and affirmatively responded to advocacy to remove directly affected crew from schedule and pay protect them for 21 days. We continue to work with management to provide necessary support for these crewmembers.”

“Frontier management’s actions should serve as a good template for the industry should other airlines encounter a similar incident. Their actions to communicate fully with Flight Attendants all of the actions taken to address cleaning of the aircraft and addressing other concerns. We will continue to work with Frontier management on communicating procedures for Flight Attendants and providing tools to manage any potential future incident,” added Nelson.

AFA is adamant that all airlines need to provide specific briefings for crews on what the procedures are to contain any blood borne pathogens, report and manage a potential onboard detection of Ebola, and provide universal precaution kits and other resources for all crew and potential healthcare responders on each flight.

The CDC issued this overview of the Ebola cases in the United States:

CDC logo

CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from West Africa. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the United States.

The person sought medical care at Texas Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing at CDC and at a Texas laboratory. Local public health officials have identified all close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure. He died of Ebola on October 8 and was cremated.

On October 10, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient reported a low-grade fever and was referred for testing. The healthcare worker has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The healthcare worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever. CDC confirms that the healthcare worker is positive for Ebola.

CDC recognizes that any case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns, and any death is too many. Medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who had close personal contact with the patient and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

October 12, 2014 Update

CDC did not recommend that people on the same flights as the index patient undergo monitoring because the index patient did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa. Ebola is only contagious if the person is experiencing active symptoms.

A healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The healthcare worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever and remains so now.

The hospital and healthcare worker were notified of the preliminary positive result. In addition, CDC has interviewed the healthcare worker to identify any contacts or potential exposures in the community.

Meanwhile Airports Council International (ACI) issued this statement:

ACI logo

The Airports Council International (ACI) World Governing Board met this past Sunday, 12 October in Durban during the 23rd Annual ACI Africa Assembly, Conference and Exhibition and discussed how best ACI can assist airports in their response to the Ebola outbreak.

The focus of international efforts remains on providing the medical response to contain and prevent the spread of the disease in affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) and on the exit screening controls in those countries. Although isolated cases have been reported in four other countries (Nigeria, Senegal, the US and Spain), transmission has been limited and prompt containment action has been taken.

The Board provided its full support to ACI’s ongoing collaborative efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other stakeholders in the travel and transportation sectors.

Since the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in August of this year, ICAO has convened a special Travel and Transportation Task Force comprising ICAO, the WHO and international organizations from the aviation, maritime and travel sectors. ACI represents the global airport community in this task force, which coordinates the dissemination of information and technical guidance to these sectors.

ACI is also a founding partner in the ICAO Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) programme, which brings together countries and industry stakeholders under a collaborative framework to build the capacity of public health agencies, airports and airlines to handle public health emergencies.

“The CAPSCA programme has been running for more than a decade, and there is a high degree of preparedness within the industry,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “Furthermore, the air transport industry has successfully responded to other Public Health Emergencies of International Concern in the past, including Swine Flu, Avian Influenza and SARS. As such, the industry has well established contingency plans developed with public health agencies and emergency services at international, national and local levels to respond to such events.”

The Board recognized that the current Ebola outbreak is having a very serious impact on the three affected countries and that it will take time for the international response to bring it under control. There is therefore a risk that some cases will emerge elsewhere. ACI stresses that these cases are isolated and appropriate and quick action has been taken to protect the public.

As recently communicated by ACI EUROPE, the WHO and the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) have expressed reservations about the effectiveness of temperature screening of passengers on arrival, implemented in some US and Canadian airports and currently being contemplated by some EU countries. Indeed, the WHO does not currently recommend screening passengers at entry points. Conversely, the WHO and ECDC support exit screening of departing passengers, which has been implemented at airports in the three main affected African countries over the last two months.

“The fear of contracting Ebola greatly exceeds the actual risk, and providing factual and scientific information to the travelling public and employees in the aviation sector is vitally important,” Gittens added. “The scientific fact is that to contract Ebola one has to have direct contact with the body fluids, blood, secretions or articles contaminated with these fluids from an infected person. As a result, unless an individual has been to one of the three affected countries in West Africa and/or has been in contact with persons infected with Ebola, the risk of contracting the disease is very, very small.”

To this end, ACI has committed to providing guidance to its members on how to proactively communicate factual information on Ebola to airport workers and to suggest ways to lessen the anxiety they may have in carrying out their duties. ACI will also continue to share guidance on the contingency procedures for responding to events of this nature so that staff can gain confidence in their ability to respond properly.

Planefinder Ebola Plane Tracker

Related to this event, Planefinder.net (above) has come up with a new topical feature that allows you track airliners that have visited an Ebola affected area in west Africa. Enter the aircraft registration to find out if the aircraft has recently visited one of these affected areas. The website uses Google Maps as its platform.

The website explains how it all works:

1) Plane positional data is broadcast by aircraft and received by our massive network of land based receivers around the world.
2) We match this to tons of other data like aircraft details and photographs, arrivals and departures information to bring everything to your fingertips.

Planefinder.net also allows you to track any flight outside of this affected area.

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets at Washington (Reagan National) prior to the incident.

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show:

Frontier Airlines to pull out of Eugene, Oregon

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced it will end its three times weekly seasonal service to Eugene, Oregon at the end of November.

Previously Frontier Airlines announced on February 18, 2013 that it was launching new seasonal service from its Denver, Colorado (DEN) hub to Eugene, Oregon (EUG) starting on May 16, 2013.

Under the new leadership group, Frontier had previously announced it was ending service to smaller cities including Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara and now Eugene.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Frontier Airlines’ Airbus A320-214 N206FR (msn 4272) with Alberta and Clipper, the Polar Bears on the tail, taxies at Baltimore/Washington.

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show:

The changing route map of the “new” Frontier Airlines; less small cities, more large cities:

Frontier 10.2014 Route Map

Video: The new ultra low cost Frontier:

IndiGo signs MOU for 250 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

IndiGo Airlines (Delhi) and its co-founders, Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, Group Managing Director of InterGlobe, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 250 firm A320neo Family aircraft. The agreement will become Airbus’ single largest order by number of aircraft.

IndiGo has previously placed orders for 280 Airbus aircraft (100 A320ceo and 180 A320neo).

IndiGo is celebrating its 8th anniversary.

IndiGo Great to be 8

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A3e20-232 VT-IEI (msn 4813) arrives in Dubai.

IndiGo:

IndiGo logo-2

Current Route Map:

IndiGo 10.2014 Route Map

IndiGo Aircraft Slide Show:

Video: 2010 TV commercial for IndiGo:

 

Airberlin and Alitalia sign an extensive codeshare agreement, Airberlin and Niki switch to Linate Airport in Milan

Airberlin (Berlin-Tegel) and Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) have signed an extensive codeshare agreement. The agreement covers all  412 weekly nonstop flights between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy for this winter season. Etihad Airways has a 29.21 percent stake in Airberlin and a 49 percent stake in the revamped Alitalia.

Airberlin has issued this statement:

Airberlin, Germany’s second largest airline and Alitalia, Italy’s leading carrier, have signed a codeshare agreement to offer more choice and greater convenience to their guests. All of Airberlin’s and Alitalia’s 412 weekly nonstop flights between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy will be codeshare flights effective this winter season.

As of October 26, Airberlin’s three daily flights from Dusseldorf and double daily flights from Berlin-Tegel will operate into Milan-Linate instead of Malpensa. Furthermore, the three daily flights from Vienna operated by Niki (Vienna), the Austrian airline which is part of the Airberlin group, will be directed to Linate as well.

The partners also agreed on selective codeshares beyond their home hubs. For instance Alitalia will place its “AZ” code on some of Airberlin’s domestic flights such as from Munich to Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin. At the same time Airberlin will place its “AB” code on selected domestic and international Alitalia flights via Rome and Milan-Linate to, for example, Naples, Brindisi, Reggio Calabria, Alghero, Cairo or Malta as well as on some of Alitalia’s long haul flights to South America such as Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. All codeshare flights will be published in the reservation systems by October 20, 2014 for flights commencing October 26, 2014. Codesharing on Alitalia’s long-haul connections will commence after regulatory approval.

Besides the new codeshare services and more convenient flight connections, Airberlin and Alitalia have signed a frequent flyer agreement which allows their guests to earn and redeem bonus miles on the entire route network of both airlines on a reciprocal basis for flights starting on or after November 1, 2014.

The cooperation of Airberlin and Alitalia is a result of long-term planning over the last couple of years and also of more liberal alliance governance which permits partnerships across alliances borders. Both, Airberlin and Alitalia will remain members of oneworld® and Skyteam respectively. Further synergies will arise from optimized aircraft rotation and avoidance of expensive overnight aircraft stops.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airberlin’s Airbus A320-214 D-ABFK (msn 4433) in the special Fan Force One Bitburger touches down in Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg (EuroAirport).

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Niki: AG Slide Show

Airberlin Aircraft Slide Show:

 

EasyJet announces six new routes from Amsterdam

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) today announced six new routes from Amsterdam alongside some additional frequencies. In total, EasyJet will now connect passengers in the Netherlands to 25 destinations with the new routes complementing easyJet’s existing schedule by strengthening city-to-city connections as well as introducing new destinations.

EasyJet is increasing the links between the UK and the Netherlands as it will be offering 154 flights each way per week between the two countries – with 108 each way between Amsterdam and London each week. This equates to around 15 flights per day with the introduction of an additional daily flight between Amsterdam and London Gatwick and two extra frequencies a week to and from Bristol.

Business passengers also benefit from additional frequencies on routes to Basel, Berlin, Bordeaux, Bristol and London.

The creation of an Amsterdam base has also allowed EasyJet to provide a new daily early morning departure to Geneva, in addition to the existing early slot to London Gatwick. EasyJet transports more than one million business passengers to and from Amsterdam each year.

Base opening Spring 2015

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will become home to three easyJet Airbus A320 aircraft, increasing the capacity on routes that are now served with the A319. The first two aircraft to be stationed in the Netherlands will land at the end of March and a third in May.

Summer 2015 schedule

The new routes are:

Dubrovnik 2 weekly

Nice 7 weekly

Olbia 2 weekly

Toulouse 3 weekly

Venice 7 weekly

Hamburg 6 weekly

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZTL (msn 4012) taxies at Nantes, France.

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

EasyJet Aircraft Slide Show:

 

Virgin America arrives at Dallas Love Field, departs from DFW

Virgin America (San Francisco) today (October 13) celebrates the launch of its new nonstop flights from Dallas Love Field (DAL) with a special inaugural flight, the unveiling of its new Dallas home and some Texas-sized deals for travelers. As of today, Virgin America launches three daily nonstop flights from DAL to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and starting on October 28, four daily nonstop flights from DAL to New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA). With a loyal following of business travelers, the airline recently announced plans to add a fourth daily trip from DAL to DCA, SFO and LAX as of April 2015.

According to the airline, “The airline will be the only carrier at Love Field to offer three classes of service in these markets – including a First Class cabin and a Main Cabin Select premium economy service – as well as fleetwide WiFi, power outlets at every seat, a full-service food menu, confirmed seating and personal seatback entertainment for every guest. The airline today unveils its unique Love Field gate space and a First Class VIP check-in lounge that mirrors the sleek look and feel of the carrier’s aircraft cabins and is the only dedicated VIP check-in area of its kind at Love Field.”

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

Virgin America today opens its doors on a stylish new home at Love Field that reflects the airline’s signature design. The airline’s First Class VIP check-in lounge (above) is located adjacent to its new Love Field ticket counters, and will give First Class guests and Elevate Gold members an upgraded experience from the moment they arrive at the airport’s convenient downtown location – complete with a dedicated Virgin America VIP concierge to assist with their travel needs. The space extends the airline’s cabin experience into the airport with design elements that include modern furniture pieces selected in collaboration with the Dallas-based design group Corgan – including Cassina Tre Pezzi lounge chairs, an Eames chair and ottoman and Foscaraini “Twiggy” floor lighting. The Love Lounge is also enclosed by a LED-lit divider wall by Molo Design. The airline’s ticket counter will offer user-friendly and modern white kiosk check-in tables with touch-screen panels and a concierge desk look-and-feel. Virgin America’s new gates also received the “Virgin” treatment, highlighting the brand’s British roots with a classic red London phone booth and art photography capturing moments in Virgin brand history through the decades – from Virgin Records to Virgin Galactic.

Virgin America is marking its last flight from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and first flight into its new home at Dallas Love Field today with the “ultimate Uber ride,” a “Downtown Express” flight available to Uber customers as the ultimate on-demand pick-up for those who want to beat the cross-town traffic and check out the Virgin America experience on the way to the airport most convenient to downtown Dallas. The flight will be hosted by Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson, and include a live acoustic performance by Grammy Award-winning country music star, Kacey Musgraves. Upon arrival at the airline’s new home at DAL, flight guests, including Dallas city leaders, will be greeted with a champagne toast and the airline will be giving away Uber rides* to 300 lucky travelers at Dallas’ Love Field. The festivities at the airport will be followed by a star-studded red carpet evening fete at House of Blues Dallas. A “moodlit” Uber vehicle that recreates the airline’s moodlighting hits the streets of Dallas today – and locals who catch a ride in the Virgin America-branded wheels will score an invitation to the airline’s evening bash.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N361VA (msn 5515) with Sharklets arrives at Los Angeles.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Video: Sir Richard’s Love List:

Virgin America Aircraft Slide Show:

Airberlin vows to fight the decision by the LBA to deny 34 codeshare routes with Etihad Airways

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) has received a setback in its relationship with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). The Luftfahrt Bundesamt-LBA (German Aviation Authority) has denied 34 codeshare routes between Airberlin and Etihad for the coming winter season according to Spiegel. Airberlin will reportedly take legal action to challenge the decision. Airberlin has stated jobs in Germany could be in jeopardy.

According to The Handelsblatt, citing the Federal Ministry of Transport, the codeshare agreements are not covered in the bilateral agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Germany.

Read the full report from Spiegel (in German): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. The “Moving Forward” logo jet of Airberlin with joint Etihad Airways markings has hit a bump in the road. Airbus A320-214 D-ABDU (msn 3516) taxies at Munich.

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

The second Livingston (New Livingston) suspends operations

Livingston Compagnia Aerea (2nd) (New Livingston) (Milan-Malpensa) finally suspended operations on October 6 after fighting an uphill battle the past few months. The airline issued this statement:

New Livingston, the airline specialized in charter flights, suspends all its flight activities as from October 6. It was a difficult and painful decision, after three years of operations.

New Livingston, a privately owned Italian carrier operating domestic and International flights, was forced to suspend all activities due to the difficult situation in the tourism industry, especially regarding the turmoils in the Mediterranean region and Egypt, as a result of the Arab Spring, and the drastic reduction in demand for flights to Russia due to the ongoing political crisis.

A sharp drop in revenues is attributable also to some unpaid claims such as those of Aeroporto di Rimini, whose amounts for ticket sold were never transferred to the airline and on which the property relied for its revival.

Due to all the above, in addition to the atypic rigidity of some Italian organizations and companies, New Livingston could not carry on its activity, despite all efforts made to continue the operations, both through corporate restructuring and the petition for Concordato in Continuità, in addition to significant investments made by the property.

The intention to suspend the flight activities was previously submitted to the attention of the Court of Busto Arsizio, thus to preserve the company’s assets.

The airline commenced operations on march 31, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EI-EUB (msn 1998) arrives at Manchester before the shutdown.

Livingston (2nd): AG Slide Show

Apsara Air starts Airbus A320 operations in Cambodia

Apsara Air logo

Aspara Air (Phnom Penh) is a new Airbus A320 operator based in Cambodia. The new airline started operations on October 8 between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap with Skywings Asia Airlines Airbus A320-231 XU-ZAB (msn 476) according to The Cambodia Herald and ch-aviation.

The new airline received its AOC in September.

According to the report, newcomer Bassaka Air has also been approved to start operations this month.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

China Aviation Supplies orders 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft

China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) and Airbus have signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) for the purchase of a total of 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, reflecting the strong demand from Chinese carriers for the leading Airbus single-aisle Family for domestic, low cost, regional and international operations. The GTA was signed by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO and Li Hai, President of CAS.
At present, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators comprises over 1,000 aircraft (around 140 A330 Family and over 920 A320 Family aircraft). In the 20 year period between 2014 to 2033 Airbus forecasts a demand in China for more than 5,300 new commercial aircraft over 100 seats plus freighters.

Today more than 900 in service A320 Family aircraft operate with 16 Chinese carriers and over 190 A320 Family aircraft have been assembled and delivered from the FALC in Tianjin. The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with more than 11,000 orders to date and over 6,200 aircraft delivered. Thanks to its wide cabin, all members of the A320 Family offer the industry’s best level of comfort in all classes and Airbus’ 18” wide seats in economy as standard.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-271N F-WNEO (msn 6101) arrives back at Toulouse after the first flight.

Spring Airlines signs a contract with Airbus to retrofit its A320s with Sharklets

Spring Airlines (Shanghai) has signed an agreement with Airbus for Sharklet retrofit of its A320 aircraft in operation to become the first Chinese airline to perform retrofit of the latest fuel saving device.

Spring Airlines took delivery of its first A320 with Sharklets in September 2013. Since then the operator has been evaluating the effect of Sharklets on the operational performance of its fleet of six Sharklet-equipped A320s. Based on the proven operational advantage observed from more than 8500 accumulated flight hours, Spring Airlines has decided to select Sharklets for all its new deliveries and now has decided to expand the option to its in-service fleet.

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

Following the success of line-fit Sharklets, Airbus, via its Upgrade Services business unit, entered service with the retrofit program in February 2013 for all A320 Family aircraft equipped with the latest standard wings.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Spring Airlines’ Airbus A320-214 B-9965 (msn 5778) arrives in Singapore with Sharklets.

Spring Airlines (China): AG Slide Show

Finnair to open a new summer route to Split, Croatia and reaches a savings agreement with its cabin crews

Finnair (Helsinki) is opening a new route to the Croatian city of Split, operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May 5 to October 3, 2015. Scheduled service to the popular gateway to the Dalmatian coast will be flown with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Elsewhere in Croatia, Finnair flies daily in the summer to historic Dubrovnik, south of Split and also on the Dalmatian coast.

Earlier this year Finnair announced new European destinations including Dublin, Athens and Malta, as well as new scheduled services to Chania, Heraklion, Kos and Rhodes in Greece; Catania and Naples in Italy; Marmaris in Turkey; Mallorca in Spain; Paphos in Cyprus and Innsbruck in Austria.

In other news, Finnair and the Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) have reached a savings agreement in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.

The agreement brings Finnair 18 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 75% of the savings materialize during this agreement period and 25% in the future through changes to the employment terms of new cabin attendants. In return, Finnair gives cabin personnel protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and pension incentive. The savings impact of the outsourcing contracts already made were acknowledged in the targets of the agreement.

As a result of the savings agreement, Finnair is no longer planning on further outsourcing of cabin services. As announced on 1 September, however, Finnair has already signed a contract with OSM Aviation to outsource cabin services on Singapore and Hong Kong routes, and this will go ahead as planned.

In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. After the agreement signed with SLSY, Finnair has reached savings agreements with almost all of its personnel groups. Savings measures continue in the areas where savings targets have not been reached.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXC (msn 1544) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Swiss to reinvent itself as the “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” with 22 new European routes and a new cabin design

Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) is reinventing its European network with 22 new routes from Zurich for the next summer season and a new cabin look. The new strategy is called the “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland”. The airline issued this statement:

Swiss (styled as “SWISS”) will be investing billions of Swiss francs in advanced aircraft, attractive destinations and further product enhancements over the next few years as part of its “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” strategy. The airline will be adding 22 new European destinations to its Zurich network with the start of the 2015 summer schedules, and will also be commencing a new Geneva-Lugano service. On board, meanwhile, the carrier will introduce a new-look cabin on its European Airbus fleet from the end of November onwards, along with fresh new Swiss products for its inflight foodservice in the Swiss Economy cabin.

Swiss, The Airline of Switzerland, will be investing several billion Swiss francs in its aircraft fleet and in making its products and services even more appealing to its guests. In doing so, it will also be putting an even firmer focus on the Swiss population’s air travel needs, and on keeping Switzerland even better connected with the world.

New European destinations from Zurich and Geneva

From the start of the 2015 summer schedules, Swiss will be supplementing its traditional hub concept with a new point-to-point system and expanding its Zurich-based European network through the addition of 22 new destinations. Sixteen of the new points – Naples, Bari, Bilbao, Porto, Toulouse, Leipzig, Dresden, Graz, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Riga, Krakow, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Sofia and Zagreb – will be provided with year-round service, while six of them – Palermo, Brindisi, Malta, Thessaloniki, Izmir and Santiago de Compostela – will be served in the summer months. Parallel to this, Swiss will also be expanding its range of services from and to Geneva, with the addition of 16 weekly Geneva-Lugano flights. The innovations will give Swiss a highly attractive timetable with more nonstop connections than ever, to meet the needs of the Swiss people, the Swiss economy and the Swiss tourist sector.

Refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet

Swiss will also be introducing extensive innovations for its European aircraft fleet. Work will begin this November on a number of enhancements to its Airbus A320s and A321s that will also increase their seating capacity. By adopting a new type of seat which offers more legroom than at present, the new configurations will offer passengers the same comfort levels as today, and even more comfort in the Business Class section. At the same time, capacity will be increased by 12 seats on the A320 and by 19 seats on the A321. The new cabin interiors (including the seat covers) will also be modified to the style already seen in the Swiss Lounges and on the long-haul fleet. The first A320-family aircraft with the new-style cabin will be back in service towards the end of November.

New Swiss Economy foodservice on European flights

The refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet will also see the adoption of a new foodservice concept for the Swiss Economy cabin. Under the new approach, all the products will be sourced fresh daily from local Swiss producers. And these will include – depending on the flight’s length – warm quiches, fresh bakery items or (on longer flights) fresh salads and warm desserts. The meals will also be served in an attractive new packaging. As a result of these innovations, Swiss will now offer quality Swiss products in Swiss Economy on all European flights.

Billions of investment in one of the most advanced aircraft fleets

Swiss is continuously investing in its aircraft fleet. On the short- and medium-haul front the airline will be taking delivery of 30 new Bombardier CS100s from next year onwards to replace the present Avro (BAe) RJ100 fleet. The Airbus fleet will be further expanded with the arrival of a new Airbus A321ceo in 2016. And between 2019 and 2022 Swiss will add ten state-of-the-art new Airbus A320neos and five Airbus A321neos to its fleet to replace ten of its older A320s and five A321s. Swiss also holds ten further options on A320neo-family aircraft. And on the long-haul front, six Boeing 777-300 ERs will join the Swiss fleet from 2016 onwards. All in all, the new aircraft represent a total investment of some CHF 5 billion.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets arrives in Brussels.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

 

Virgin Atlantic to shut down Little Red next year

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is shutting down its Airbus A320 feeder operation operated by Aer Lingus (Dublin). The feeder flights known as “Little Red” will end on September 26, 2015. The operation currently feeds London (Heathrow) from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester. Manchester flights will end sooner on March 28, 2015.

The Little Red operation is flown by four wet leased Airbus A320s.

Aberdeen flights began on April 9, 2013
Edinburgh flights began on April 5, 2013
Manchester flights began on March 31, 2013

On October 6 the airline issued this statement:

Little Red was launched in March 2013 as an attempt to reintroduce consumer choice on key domestic services after British Airways’ takeover of bmi gifted them a monopoly on these routes. Over the past eighteen months, Little Red has delivered for consumers, leading the way on customer service and on-time performance at Heathrow. Flying well over a million passengers between London, Scotland and Manchester, Little Red also offers convenient onward connections to the rest of Virgin Atlantic’s worldwide network.

Bookings grew steadily for the service in the first part of 2014 with the airline enjoying excellent customer feedback. However the demand has been predominantly from point to point customers rather than connecting traffic. High levels of connections onto Virgin Atlantic’s long haul network have always been important to the success of Little Red.

Chief Executive Craig Kreeger has committed to returning Virgin Atlantic to profit by the end of this year and the airline is on track to deliver that, however Little Red has unfortunately not been able to make a positive contribution to Virgin Atlantic’s network.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Craig Kreeger said:

“Little Red came about through an enduring passion at Virgin Atlantic to make a difference for our customers. We really wanted it to be a success and everyone involved worked extremely hard and has given it their best efforts.

“It was always a huge challenge on behalf of the consumer, as the totally inadequate number of slots made available by the European Commission did not deliver close to BA’s network position, even when supplemented by our own slots to fly between Heathrow and Manchester. The time lag between the takeover of bmi and our entering the market also meant Little Red initially faced an uphill battle to win recognition and convert customers to its services.

“While this challenged environment meant Little Red ultimately did not deliver the results we had hoped, this certainly will not dampen our enthusiasm to try new things in the future. We have always fought for what we believe is best for our customers and we will continue to do so.

“We’re very grateful for all of the support and goodwill shown to Little Red in Scotland and Manchester, where we received a warm welcome. I would also like to personally thank the Little Red team who have been fantastic ambassadors providing exceptionally high levels of customer service. We look forward to continuing to work with the Little Red cabin crew as we will be offering them roles on our long haul operation when these services end.”

The President of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, said:

“When the competition authorities allowed British Airways to take over British Midland and all of its slots, we feared there was little we could do to challenge BA’s huge domestic and European network built through decades of dominance.

“To remedy this, we were offered a meagre package of slots with a number of constraints on how to use them and we decided to lease a few planes on a short term basis to give it our best shot. The odds were stacked against us and sadly we just couldn’t attract enough corporate business on these routes. We will stop flying the Little Red services between Manchester and London at the end of March 2015 and the Aberdeen and Edinburgh services at the end of September 2015.

“The team did their absolute best to make a go of it and I thank them all for their amazing efforts. In the meantime, keep flying on Little Red where you’ll continue to get amazing offers and great service.”

Virgin Atlantic would like to thank its customers and teams in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Heathrow and Manchester as well as its partner Aer Lingus, for their loyalty and commitment to Little Red and looks forward to continuing to work with them on the service over the next 12 months.

Passengers can continue to book with Little Red with confidence until this time and frequent fliers will be able to enjoy special loyalty benefits for doing so. There will be an increased earning incentive per-sector as well as a significant reduction in the number of Flying Club miles needed to redeem a flight.

The airline remains committed to its operations in both Manchester and Scotland. Its existing services from Manchester to Orlando, Barbados and Las Vegas will continue, with the addition next summer of a new daily Virgin Atlantic flight between Manchester and Atlanta. In Scotland, the popular seasonal service from Glasgow to Orlando will continue with eight extra return flights just announced for summer 2015, alongside a new route between Glasgow and Las Vegas.

The decision on the airline’s short haul carrier follows a major review of Virgin Atlantic’s wider network. Last month the airline announced a network update delivering five new daily transatlantic flights and an ambition to grow to record levels of sustained profitability by 2018. This will be supported by a major programme of work that will see £300m invested into customer experience.

Read the analysis by City Index: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus’Airbus A320-214 EI-DEI (msn 2374) in Virgin Atlantic’s colors arrives at London (Heathrow).

Virgin Atlantic: AG Slide Show

SAS introduces a new “We Are Travelers” advertising campaign

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has introduced a new advertising campaign called “We Are Travelers”. The airline issued this statement and video:

SAS We Are Travelers logo-1

SAS has launched a new marketing concept “We Are Travelers”. This concept reinforces the idea of travel as part of our way of life and it also
celebrates the joy and anticipation we feel before a flight.

“Travel is a way of life for many Scandinavians; we love to travel and we do it a lot. It is an important part of who we are. Here at SAS, we are very familiar with this lifestyle, because it is our way of life too,” says Stefan Hedelius, Vice President Brand & Marketing at SAS.

“We Are Travelers” is a long-term concept that reflects the fact that SAS is the obvious choice for frequent travelers in Scandinavia. The concept is based on a deep understanding of the positive emotions associated with flying and how we at SAS can enhance the joy of travel, as well as the fact that people who travel a lot have a greater need for smooth and efficient travel.

“Even those who travel frequently see flying as being so much more than just transportation. It is about taking a break from everyday life and about the anticipation of going somewhere, whether you are travelling on business or looking for new experiences on vacation. We travel to be part of the wider world, to feel important and needed, and to grow as human beings,” says Stefan Hedelius.

SAS We Are Travelers logo

The insight into our way of life and the emotions attached to travel is the result of our extensive long-term efforts to listen to our frequent travelers in focus groups and through broader customer surveys. We want to make life easier
for frequent travelers in Scandinavia and the best way to do that is by listening to them.

Initial campaign presents travel profiles – of customers and employees

Using portraits of real customers and employees, SAS wants to show that there are many different kinds of travelers, but they all have something in common – they love to travel and they do so often.

SAS Thank You

Our new concept is being launched through a campaign – via SAS’s own channels, on TV, in print, online and outdoor advertising – in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The campaign starts with an emotional film that pays tribute to aviation and all of us who love to travel.

During the fall, SAS will be releasing several shorter films featuring SAS crew and customers, all chosen because they love to travel, they travel a lot and because they are interesting people.

Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by SAS). Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A320-232 OY-KAN (msn 2958) completes its final approach to the runway at the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show

Video: SAS:

Irelandia Aviation and Grupo IAMSA to expand the Viva brand in Central and South America

Irelandia Aviation and Grupo IAMSA, owners of Mexico’s low-cost airline VivaAerobus (Monterrey) and the Colombian airline VivaColombia (Medellin), announced their intention to expand the Viva airline brand in Central and South America.

Grupo Viva is being established as a multinational airline holding company based in Panama City, Panama. The new company will be responsible for the further development of the Viva airline brand beyond current operations in Mexico and Colombia, maximizing cost synergies and operational efficiencies across the group and centralizing key management functions.

Grupo Viva is chaired by Roberto Alcántara Rojas, also Chairman of the Board of VivaAerobus and Grupo IAMSA. Irelandia Aviation Managing Partner Declan Ryan will be a principal investor.

Tony Davis, currently Partner and COO of Irelandia Aviation, has been appointed CEO. In addition to working with Irelandia Aviation for the past three years, Tony has an extensive track record in establishing low-cost airlines around the world, and he has been closely involved in the recent development of VivaAerobus and VivaColombia. Tony will be responsible for the creation of the Group’s corporate structure and management infrastructure over the next 12 months.

Joe Mohan, who is joining from his position as Senior VP Commercial at COPA Airlines, has been appointed President and COO. Joe has worked in Central and South America for more than 10 years and led the commercial function in one of the region’s most successful airline groups, consistently achieving impressive growth and profitability results. He also brings direct experience of helping lead a high-performing Latin American company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Joe will be responsible for the expansion of the group’s regional coverage and improving cost synergies and operational efficiencies for airlines in the group.

Commenting on the appointments, Declan Ryan said, “We are delighted that two executives of the caliber of Tony and Joe have agreed to lead the creation and development of our new low-cost airline group in Latin America. We are convinced that there are tremendous opportunities for our ultra-low-cost airline model to expand in the region. With our existing airlines already well-established in Mexico and Colombia, together with our order last year for 52 new Airbus A320 aircraft, this is the right time to establish Grupo Viva.”

Top Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. VivaAerobus (vivaaerobus.com) Boeing 737-3B7 XA-VIB (msn 23378) taxies at Austin, TX.

VivaAerobus: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by OLT Express, Airbus A320-214 EI-EPX (HK-4905) (msn 1454) is now with VivaColombia (VivaColombia.com).

EasyJet benefitted from the Air France strike

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has benefitted from the recent Air France pilots strikes with an increase in traffic. The airline issued this preliminary financial statement:

The impact of the Air France pilots’ strike in September is expected to increase EasyJet’s revenue by c.£5 million as Air France passengers switched to EasyJet. This combined with the strong finish to the year means that the Board’s expectation is for a pre-tax profit for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014 of between £575 million and £580 million compared with the previous guidance of £545 million to £570 million. In line with its revised dividend policy, EasyJet expects to declare a dividend in respect of the year ended September 30, 2014 based on a pay-out ratio of 40% of profit after tax.

EasyJet will publish its full fiscal year results on November 18, 2014 and will provide further details on its performance in the twelve months to 30 September 2014.

Commenting on the pre-close statement, Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s Chief Executive said:

“EasyJet has continued to execute its strategy, delivering another strong performance in the second half of the year. This has enabled EasyJet to deliver record profits for the fourth year in a row. This will also lead to our largest ever ordinary dividend payment as we are also proposing to increase the proportion of our profits after tax paid in dividends from 33% to 40%.

We finished the year strongly. Our performance demonstrates our continued focus on cost and progress against all our strategic revenue priorities and further emphasises easyJet’s structural advantage against both legacy and low-cost competition.”

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWO (msn 5785) with Sharklets holds short of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

 

Wow Air is coming to Dublin on June 2, 2015

Wow Air (Keflavik) is coming to Dublin, Ireland. The Icelandic carrier is planning to launch a new Dublin-Keflavik (near Reykjavik) service from  June 2, 2015. The service, which will run year round, will see flights operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and marks the first scheduled service between the two locations.

The airline is also planning to introduce North American service to Boston next year (possibly in March) according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Avion Express for Wow Air, Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) taxies at Amsterdam.

Route Map:

WOW Air 10.2014 Route Map

Wow Air: AG Slide Show

 

Wow Air logo with A320

Video: Aerial view of Iceland by Elisabetta Rosso:

 

Volaris is coming to Reno, Nevada

Volaris (Mexico City) has announced the launch of new international services connecting the city of Guadalajara with Reno, Nevada, starting on December 16, adding yet another important destination to the United States.

Reno, Nevada becomes the carrier’s 16th international destination on its roster, and the second one to service the market in the State of Nevada.

The new route will operate twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 XA-VOW (msn 3543) prepares to land in Los Angeles.

Volaris: AG Slide Show

Volaris logo

Routes from Guadalajara:

Volaris GDL 10.2014 Route Map

 

JetBlue Airways to add a new route between San Francisco and Las Vegas

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced plans to launch new nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The airline will offer two daily roundtrips beginning on January 5, 2015.

JetBlue will serve the SFO-LAS market with 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.

JetBlue’s schedule between Las Vegas and San Francisco, effective January 5:

Las Vegas (LAS) to San Francisco (SFO) 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Las Vegas (LAS) to San Francisco (SFO) 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) 7:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

On October 26, JetBlue will debut its popular new Mint experience on flights between San Francisco and New York.

JetBlue also serves San Francisco with service to Boston, Long Beach, and New York (JFK).

On October 29, JetBlue will expand in Las Vegas, with daily nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

JetBlue currently offers flights between Las Vegas and Boston, Long Beach, and New York (JFK).

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N641JB (msn 2848) touches down in Las Vegas.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Alitalia retires the Air One brand

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) as planned, retired the Air One (Rome) brand on September 30. As of today, the former Air One services are now being operated under the Alitalia brand although the parent will only operate some of the routes. Alitalia will assume some of the routes at the end of this month with their own branded aircraft per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 EI-DSW (msn 3609) taxies from the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Air One: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines announces two additional routes from Chicago O’Hare to Philadelphia and San Diego

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced two more new nonstop routes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, increasing the number of cities it serves nonstop from Chicago to 23. New daily nonstop service to San Diego and Philadelphia will begin on April 16, 2015, with one daily flight to each city.

In addition to this new service to San Diego and Philadelphia, Spirit previously announced that it will begin new service between Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta on October 24, and between Chicago O’Hare and New Orleans on October 31.

In all, Spirit will operate to 23 cities nonstop from Chicago, including Atlanta (starting October 24), Atlantic City, Baltimore/Washington DC, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans (starting October 31), New York (LaGuardia), Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia (starting April 16, 2015), Phoenix, Portland, Oregon, San Diego (starting April 16, 2015) and Tampa.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N602NK (msn 4264) taxies at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Spirit currently has three aircraft brands in service.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Virgin America announces two new seasonal routes to Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced two new seasonal routes – daily nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and four times weekly service between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS).

Additionally, the airline announced today that it will operate two extra roundtrip frequencies weekly between Las Vegas-New York (JFK) over winter and early spring to bring weekly frequencies on this popular route from the current seven to nine.

Schedule:

Virgin America’s 2014-2015 new seasonal services are as follows:

December 18, 2014 – April 28, 2015

JFK- FLL: depart 8:00am and arrive 11:05am daily.
FLL- JFK: depart 9:15am and arrive 11:55am daily.

January 8, 2015 – April 28, 2015

BOS-LAS: depart 10:30am and arrive 1:40pm on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
LAS-BOS: depart 2:50pm and arrive 10:40pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
LAS-BOS: depart at 3:35pm and arrive 11:25pm on Thursday.

January 5, 2015 – April 28, 2015*

JFK-LAS: depart at 11:35am and arrive 2:35pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
LAS-JFK: depart at 3:10pm and arrive at 11:00pm on Monday.
LAS-JFK: depart at 3:35pm and arrive at 11:25pm on Wednesday.

*In addition to existing daily roundtrip schedule on this route.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N844VA (msn 4851) climbs away from Washington (Reagan National).

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

 

BOC Aviation delivers the first Airbus A320 to Vistara

Vistara say hello

Vistara (TATA SIA Airlines Limited) (Delhi) on September 25 announced that it has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320-200 single aisle aircraft with Sharklets. Airbus A320-232 VT-TTB (msn 6223) was handed over on September 24. The brand new aircraft is the first of 20 A320 Family aircraft to be leased from BOC Aviation, Asia’s leading aircraft operating lessor.

The aircraft’s arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (below) is a key milestone for Vistara as it moves toward operational launch in October 2014.

Vistara first A320 arrives (Vistara)(LRW)

Photo: Vistara.

Vistara logo (large)

With this first acquisition, Vistara plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including A320neos, by the end of the fourth year of operation.

TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, is a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) with Tata Sons holding the majority stake of 51% in the company and SIA holding the remaining 49%. Vistara brings together Tata’s and SIA’s legendary hospitality and renowned service excellence to launch the finest full service carrier in India aimed at creating memorable and personalized flying experiences for its customers. Obsessed with quality, the company aims to set new standards in the aviation industry in India, with international best practices and state-of-the-art technology in the Indian air transport sector.

Tata Air Lines DC-3

Above Photo: Vistara has a link to the previous Tata Air Lines on India.

BOC Aviation, owned by Bank of China, is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Dublin, London and Seattle.

Images: Vistara.

Vistara Tails

Tigerair Taiwan is ready to start operations tomorrow on the Taipei-Singapore route


Tigerair Taiwan (Taipei-Taoyuan) as planned, will launch scheduled passengers operations from Taipei (Taoyuan) to Singapore tomorrow (September 26) with Airbus A320s. The first flight will depart at 10:20 am local time in Taipei.

Tigerair, established in 2004, is part of the Singapore Airlines Group and is joining up with China Airlines which is entering the low-fare market with this joint venture. Tigerair is hoping the agreement will allow the brand to enter new markets in Taiwan, Japan and Korea.

The joint venture is between the China Airlines Group which holds a 90% stake and Tigerair holding the remaining 10%. The network will cover major destinations in Northeast and Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macau, China and Taiwan.

Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie/AirlinersGallery.com. The first aircraft, the pictured Airbus A320-232 B-50001 (msn 6187), wears “Taiwan” special titles that separates it from other Tigerair-branded aircraft at the Taiwan base..

 

Czech Airlines to lay off a third of its staff due to a drop in demand in eastern Europe

Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) has been forced to lay off 280 staff members, a third of its workforce, including 70 pilots due to slumping traffic. The company is restructuring to meet the current conditions. As part of this restructuring, the company is grounding or leasing out its six Airbus A320s as it attempts to reduce its fleet according to Reuters. Tragically the airline has put its emphasis on serving destinations in eastern Europe. The current on-going conflict in the eastern Ukraine has translated to a drop in traffic.

The holding company of the flag carrier issued this statement:

The new Czech Aeroholding management reviewed in detail the economic results of all companies incorporated in the Czech Aeroholding Group, including Czech Airlines, upon its appointment at the turn of June and July 2014. The second largest shareholder, Korean Air, was then informed about the situation in Czech Airlines, too. Together, they agreed to draft a restructuring plan with the goal of keeping the current revenue upon decreased costs. This plan was unanimously approved by all shareholders in a General Meeting at the beginning of September. Several restructuring measures, predominantly in the revenue area such as a new one-way tickets concept, flight schedule changes and changes to the company’s transport network (including those in the Russian market), have already brought first results. For the first time in several years, Czech Airlines will record a net operational profit for the entire summer season. Concurrent with the restructuring plan, negotiations among all shareholder regarding investments into Czech Airlines are currently in progress. Upon their closing, Czech Aeroholding and all shareholders will inform the general public of their future steps in regards to Czech Airlines.

Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OK-MEI (msn 3060) in the special “Prague Love You – Prague Airport” arrives at Moscow (Sheremetyevo) from Prague.

Czech Airlines-CSA: AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A320neo flies today for the first time

Airbus (Toulouse) today (September 25) flew for the first time its first A320neo (New Engine Option). The manufacturer issued this statement:

The first A320neo to fly lifted off at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France today at 12 noon local time. The aircraft was flown by Airbus Experimental Test Pilots Philippe Pellerin and Etienne Miche de Malleray. Accompanying them in the cockpit were Test-Flight Engineer Jean-Paul Lambert. Monitoring the progress of the flight profile were the Flight-Test Engineers Manfred Birnfeld and Sandra Bour-Schaeffer.

This aircraft, A320-271N msn 6101 with the registration of F-WNEO, started assembly in March of this year, followed by roll-out in July. Since then, it has undergone various checks and ground tests in preparation for the first flight today.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. This historic photo captures F-WNEO lifting off for the first time.

Video:

Airbus A320neo First Flight

JetBlue Airways today introduces its 10th multi-aircraft tail fin design: “Tartan”

JetBlue A320-200 N565JB (14-Tartan)(Tail)(JetBlue)(LRW)

JetBlue Airways (New York) following up on our previous report, today (September 24) officially announced their newest tailfin pattern “Tartan” to the fleet, reflecting a move of top fashion houses on their own fall runways. Starting with “Bippity Boppity Blue”, Airbus A320-232 N565JB (msn 2031), the pattern will be added to additional aircraft, joining the ranks of JetBlue’s nine other iconic and eye-catching tailfins across their fleet of 200 aircraft.

“Design plays such an integral part in our story,” says Lisa Borromeo, JetBlue Director of Brand Management and Advertising, “While others may push revamped logos or disorienting paint schemes, we feel it’s important to build a visual language as we grow. Our tailfin patterns will always reflect a fresh style, with a timeless appeal that is core to who we are as a brand.”

According to the airline, “Tartan is JetBlue’s second nod to the timeless Gaelic fashion. While 2003’s Plaid design has been retired, with clean, bold lines, a dash of green, and worn at a decidedly jaunty angle, Tartan is an updated statement on JetBlue’s evolution also seen in the uniform refresh this summer; a proud acknowledgement of their history, with a confident readiness to carry forward into their future.”

Copyright Photos: JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue A320-200 N565JB (14-Tartan)(Grd) JFK (JetBlue)(LRW)

 

The first Airbus A320neo to make its first flight on September 25, Airbus reportedly shrinks the size of one bathroom

Airbus (Toulouse) is planning to conduct the first flight for its new Airbus A320neo (new engine option) (above) on Thursday, September 25.

According to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek, Airbus is redesigning the size of the A320neo lavatories because the company believes the bathrooms take up too much space (this is while people are getting bigger!). According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Airbus is shrinking the width of one of the bathrooms to make more room in other areas. Airbus did not respond to confirm the media report.

Are airplane bathrooms getting too small for the general population?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-271N F-WNEO (msn 6101) is pictured doing a taxi test at Toulouse with the distinctive NEO markings.

 

Wizz Air to expand operations in Poland and Romania, considers larger A321s

Wizz Air (wizzair.com) (Hungary) (Budapest) in March 2015 is expanding operations in Poland per Airline Route. The airline will launch the following routes:

Gdansk to Hahn (near Frankfurt) (twice weekly) starting on March 31 and to Molde (twice weekly) on March 30

Katowice to Belfast (twice weekly) starting on March 31

Poznan to Malmo (twice weekly) starting on March 30

In other news, Wizz Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the University of Debrecen and Pharma-Flight Kft., to establish an ATO-certified pilot school for talented individuals willing to pursue a career in aviation. The four parties agreed on facilitating the launch of the flight training program at the Pharma-Flight International Science and Service Center in 2015. The airline will be involved in type-rating certification, supervision of the program syllabus, audit of the exam results and overall monitoring of the progress of the program. In case of satisfactory results, upon the completion of the course, Wizz Air will offer the young cadets placement at one of its bases for further training.

Additionally, Wizz Air has announced a sale and leaseback agreement with Goshawk Aviation Limited for seven new Airbus A320 aircraft. The airplanes are planned for delivery between November 2014 and June 2015. This is the first financing deal between the two parties.

Goshawk is an aircraft leasing vehicle managed by Investec Bank plc with capital from Investec and Asian institutional partners. With the Wizz Air transaction, Goshawk has over 30 aircraft either delivered or scheduled to be delivered over the next 12-15 months.

In Romania, Wizz Air announced further expansion in Romania. This news follows the announcement of 13 new routes and additional based aircraft in Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara. The airline will deploy one new aircraft in Bucharest, bringing its fleet in Romania to 17 Airbus A320s, representing 29% capacity growth in 2015 year-on-year. The 9th Bucharest based aircraft will be delivered at the end of July 2015.

Wizz Air also announced operations from Iasi airport, which will take the number of airports served by Wizz inRomania to 8. The new services from Iasi to Treviso will begin on December 20, 2014, Iasi –Milan Bergamo on March 31, 2015 and a Iasi-London Luton service will start on June 14, 2015.

From Bucharest, Wizz Air launched new routes to Pescara and Skavsta (near Stockholm), commencing on July 27, as well as a summer route to Heraklion commencing on June 20.

With these new services, Wizz Air is now offering a combined total of 97 routes to 15 countries from its 8 Romanian airports. The airline has also increased frequencies on 22 of the most popular routes across its Romanian network.

Finally, according to the Wall Street Journal the low-fare airline is considering swapping future Airbus A320 deliveries for larger A321s.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HA-LWX (msn 6001) taxies at Sandefjord.

Wizz Air (Hungary): AG Slide Show

 

Aircalin rebrands its fleet with this beautiful island look

Aircalin (Noumea) announced this new look on July 1, 2014. The first aircraft with the new look is the pictured Airbus A320-232 F-OZNC (msn 3547) arriving at Sydney. F-OZNC was leased from AerCap on July 16, 2014 and arrived in the islands in early August. The French registration is a combination of OZ (for Australia) and NC for New Caledonia where it mainly operates. The aircraft is now flying to Australia.

According to the airline, the “introduction of the heart-shaped logo was adopted by the three Provincial Tourism Boards. Seizing the opportunity offered by work on its new aircraft, Aircalin decided to revisit and refresh its livery design.”

The airline continued, “The two A330 aircraft will be repainted one after another when they undergo their Heavy Maintenance Checks scheduled over the period from August 16 and October 28, 2014. And finally, in 2015, the second A320 will also undergo its Heavy Maintenance Check and emerge with the new livery design.”

Aircalin fleet in the new look

Aircalin has chartered an Air Tahiti Nui Airbus 340 to replace the two A330s while they are undergoing maintenance.

According to Aircalin, Local PR and communications agency White Rabbit created the livery concept in line with rigorous specifications laid down by Aircalin: “To complement our new cabins, we need to give our aircraft a powerful visual identity designed to encapsulate and project the essence of New Caledonia abroad and to strike a strong chord with New Caledonians.”

Aircalin 2014 livery explanation

Aircalin currently operates two Airbus A330-200s, two Airbus A320-200s and two de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otters.

Aircalin flies to 11 destinations: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Nadi, Port Vila, Wallis, Futuna, Papeete, Osaka and Tokyo.

Route Map:

Aircalin 9.2014 route map

Top Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com.

Aircalin: AG Slide Show

Aircalin Video:

flyVista gets ready to add its first Airbus A320

flyVista (Tbilisi, Georgia) as previously reported,  commenced scheduled passenger operations on August 4, 2014 with Boeing 737-33R 4L-AJC (msn 28873). Now the new carrier is getting ready to add an Airbus A320.

According to the airline, “flyVista is a low cost carrier operating as the brand of Vista Georgia which is certified by Georgia’s civil aviation authority and follows its strict safety regulations. Starting in summer 2014, flyVista will be providing customers with safe and affordable scheduled flights to neighboring countries from its base in Tbilisi, Georgia. At flyVista the emphasis is not only on safety but also on providing its passengers with an enjoyable flight within its network. flyvista was established as the scheduled airline brand of Vista Georgia which is strategically partnered with Aerovista.”

The airline currently flies from Tbilisi to Almaty, Kiev and Tehran.

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A320-214 OE-ICW (msn 879) will become 4L-AJD when it is leased from GECAS. Previously the airframe was leased by Iberworld (EC-GZD), Spring Airlines (B-6258) and Senegal Airlines (6V-AII).

Aegean Airlines adds more routes for the winter and next summer

Aegean Airlines (Athens) is adding more destinations and frequencies to its existing network. Aegean has announced the operation of nine additional international flights from Athens, compared to the winter of 2013.

Aegean will also extend the operation of 8 summer seasonal flights into the winter period. The airline will also resume flights from Athens to Cairo. The winter timetable will operate from October 26, 2014 until March 28, 2015.

2014 summer flights from Athens to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Manchester, Zurich and Marseille will be continued into the winter season.

During the winter season, beginning on October 26, Aegean will continue to operate flights to Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Amman, while the company will resume flights to Cairo after a three year hiatus.

The company is also increasing the frequencies on routes from Athens to Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Geneva, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Rome and Tel Aviv.

Aegean will also increase the size of its fleet with the order of seven new Airbus A320s, equipped with the new “Sharklets” on their wings, which will be delivered directly from the manufacturer. The deliveries of the seven new aircraft will begin in June 2015 and will be completed in early 2016.

Aegean currently operates 205 international routes, from its eight Greek bases.

Increased frequencies on existing routes:

Athens – Barcelona from 3 to 4 weekly,
Athens – Berlin from 3 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Budapest from 2 to 3 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Dusseldorf from 2 to 4 weekly
Athens – Geneva from 3 to 4 weekly
Athens – Vienna from 4 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Tel Aviv from 5 to 6 weekly
Athens – Prague from 3 to 5 weekly, additional frequencies in Christmas season
Athens – Warsaw from 4 to 5 weekly
Athens – Rome from 9 to 12 weekly

For the Summer 2015 schedule, the airline will launch of 23 new routes. These new routes are mainly focusing on Corfu, Irakleion and Rhodes according to Airline Route.

Planned new summer service:

From Corfu to Paris and Rome

From Heraklion to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Geneva, Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen), London (Gatwick), Metz, Milan (Malpensa), Nantes, Prague, Rome (Fiumicino), Stockholm (Arlanda), Stuttgart and Toulouse

From Rhodes to Amsterdam, Geneva, Larnaca, Lyon, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv and Vienna

Copyright Photo: Pedro Pics/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DVJ (msn 3365) departs from London (Stansted).

Aegean Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aegean is celebrating this award from Skytrax:

Aegean FA-Best Regional (Aegean)(LRW)

 

Air Canada to charge $25 for the first checked bag on economy tickets on domestic flights

Air Canada (Montreal) is following the actions of WestJet (Calgary) and will now charge for the first checked bag on domestic flights flying on Economy Class Tango fare. The airline issued this statement:

Air Canada said today that it has adjusted its first checked bag policy for North American travel to align it with prevailing North American industry practices. The carrier’s fee for a first checked bag on U.S. transborder routes, in place since 2011, remains unchanged.

Starting September 18, 2014, customers purchasing Air Canada’s lowest Economy Class Tango fare for travel on or after November 2, 2014 on domestic flights within Canada and to and from the Caribbean and Mexico will now be charged $25 for a first checked bag, in line with the baggage allowance policies of other North American carriers. This change is expected to affect an estimated one in five Air Canada passengers on domestic flights within Canada, representing approximately five per cent of the airline’s customers system-wide.

The fee for a first checked bag does not apply to Economy Class tickets purchased using Flex and Latitude fares that offer additional flexibility. In addition, the first checked bag fee does not apply to Altitude Prestige, Elite and Super Elite members, Star Alliance Silver and Gold members and customers purchasing Air Canada Vacations packages. Business Class customers continue to receive an allowance of two checked bags, and military personnel (with identification) up to three checked bags, regardless of destination. Air Canada’s baggage allowance policy continues to allow for a car seat and stroller to be checked as additional pieces of baggage free of charge.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 C-FDRH (msn 073) arrives at Montreal (Trudeau) in the Star Alliance color scheme.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Swiss orders 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft + 10 options

Airbus (Toulouse) has confirmed the previous report from the Lufthansa Group that Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has placed a firm order for 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft. Here is the short statement from Airbus:

Lufthansa Group’s supervisory board has announced that Swiss, a member-airline of the Group, will expand its Airbus A320 fleet with a firm order for 15 A320neo aircraft, plus an additional ten of the type to be confirmed at a later stage. The fuel-efficient NEO-fleet will gradually renew and replace Swiss’ existing fleet of A320 Family aircraft.

Related to this, Airbus also confirmed Lufthansa Group’s firm order for ten A320ceo aircraft for its subsidiary Eurowings. The new aircraft will become the backbone of the new low cost business model announced by the Lufthansa Group in July 2014, which foresees Eurowings operations on direct connections within Europe.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The newer A320neo aircraft will replace the older A320s like Airbus A320-214 HB-IJX (msn 1762) arriving at Zurich.

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EasyJet orders 27 additional Airbus A320s

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has placed an order for 27 additional current engine option Airbus A320s, taking its combined total order for the type to 315 aircraft.

Currently EasyJet operates a fleet of some 225 A320 Family aircraft. In June 2013, EasyJet became a customer for the A320neo, with an order for 100 aircraft. Altogether, with this latest order, EasyJet’s combined total order for all members of the A320 Family rises to 415 aircraft.

EasyJet is the largest A320 Family customer and operator in Europe and operates one of Europe’s most extensive route networks. The airline is the UK’s largest by numbers of passengers carried.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWU (msn 6095) holds shot of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.

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Frontier Airlines launches its first flights from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) yesterday (September 15) launched its first ever domestic flights from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) with the departure of flight 1343 to Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Fares from ORD are available to the following destinations starting at $29 (introductory fares):

Atlanta, Georgia.
Cleveland, Ohio
Denver, Colorado
Washington, D.C. (Dulles)
Orlando, Florida
Phoenix, Arizona
Salt Lake City, Utah

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N223FR (msn 2695) with Franceska, the Flamingo, on the tail departs from Washington’s Reagan National Airport:

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Frontier $29 fares from Chicago O'Hare

United Airlines to upgrade its Newark hub with new amenities for its passengers

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced new plans to upgrade its Newark hub with new dining and retail experiences, including 6,000 Apple iPad tablets free of charge to use to “track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet”. Here is the full statement:

United Airlines and OTG Management LLC today announced plans to transform the dining and retail experience at the airline’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and create unparalleled services and amenities for United’s customers. The program will combine leading-edge technology, award-winning dining and renowned design.

The $120 million capital investment for the project will be provided by OTG, selected by United to oversee the transformation in Terminal C at Newark Liberty, including new chef-driven restaurants, expansive food halls, gourmet markets and world-class retail and duty-free shops.

Leading Edge Technology: Upon completion of the planned project, air travelers waiting for a flight will be able to use almost 6,000 iPad tablets free of charge to track their flight, order from chef-created menus, and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the internet. And customers will not have to search for an outlet, with over 10,000 outlets and USB interfaces accompanying the redesigned terminal seating.

Chef-Driven Dining with Unique Local Flavor: More than 55 new dining venues are anticipated to provide travelers with an array of culinary choices – including restaurant concepts created by more than 20 celebrated chefs – as well as markets, cafes and exceptional food and beverage service in nearly 60 gate areas. Menus at all price points will emphasize fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and will highlight regional and local dining experiences.

Trendsetting Design: Renowned architects and designers will transform the physical interior of the terminal into a world-class setting that combines comfort with beautiful, free flowing spaces.

Customers will begin seeing immediate improvements in November, when temporary restaurant locations pop up to offer a taste of what’s to come. The full experience is expected to be phased in over the next 18 months.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N475UA (msn 1495) displays the historic 1972 “A320 Friend Ship” retrojet livery.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show
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Map of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) terminal:

United EWR Hub Map

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