Tag Archives: A380

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to Kuwait starting on July 16

Emirates (Dubai) will introduce a scheduled Airbus A380 service to Kuwait City starting on July 16, marking the airline’s 25th anniversary of flights to the country of Kuwait.

EK 857 and EK 858 will be upgraded to a double decker, bringing Emirates’ highly popular flagship aircraft to Kuwait International Airport.

It was July 16, 1989 when Emirates began flights between Dubai and Kuwait, and the airline now serves the route five times daily with a combination of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

The Emirates A380 on the Kuwait route will offer 14 First Class Private Suites, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class and 399 seats in a quiet and spacious Economy Class.

Kuwait is only the second market in the Middle East to be served by the airline’s A380 aircraft after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Emirates currently operates its A380 to 28 of its 142 global destinations.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDC (msn 016) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

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Transaero Airlines to operate their Airbus A380s with 652 seats

Transaero A380-800 (03)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Transaero Airlines (Moscow) has completed the interior design of its Airbus A380s, which will join the airline’s fleet in 2015. Each of the airline’s four aircraft will be able to accommodate 652 passengers, will be configured in three classes of service – Imperial (First), Business and Economy, providing the highest level of comfort for passengers.

According to the airline, “Imperial class is a unique Transaero Airlines product. The A380 aircraft will feature 12 closed suites with luxury seats, which extend into full-flat beds. Separation from neighboring seats will be possible using retracting blinds, which will ensure privacy and comfort in each personal area. The seats in Imperial class will be the largest in their class and will be upholstered with fabric glittering with shades of gold. The Imperial class cabin will be located in the front of the aircraft on the lower deck and will feature 1-2-1 seat configuration.”

Transaero’s A380 Business class will accommodate 24 cocoon style seats, upholstered with high quality fabric, which may be easily transformed into 180-degree flat beds. The Business class cabin will be located in the front of the aircraft on the upper deck in 1-2-1 configuration.

The Imperial and Business class cabins will be fitted with mood lighting creating an ambience for passengers by changing color during different stages of the flight.

The spaciousness of the double-decker allows the carrier to locate bars in Imperial and Business class. Transaero, in line with its existing services, has planned special cloakrooms for passengers in these classes.

Economy class will accommodate 616 seats and will be located on the lower as well as on the upper deck. The seats in this class will be upholstered with high quality leather featuring 3D effect. The seat pitch in Economy class will be 31-32 inches complying with the airlines’ global standards. The seats will be configured in 3-4-3 rows on the lower deck and in 2-4-2 rows on the upper deck.

Transaero Airlines А380s will be fitted with the most advanced high-speed in-flight Internet access system ensuring up to 12 Mb/sec data speeds for each passenger. It will also feature the advanced entertainment system Panasonic eX3.

Image: Airbus.

Transaero Airlines: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines to sponsor the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has joined the group of airlines to sponsor Formula 1 Grand Prix races, following Etihad Airways, Gulf Air and QANTAS Airways.

In anticipation of this agreement, a photo-shoot was arranged on April 7 when the pictured Airbus A380-841 9V-SKS (msn 085) returned from a Los Angeles-Tokyo (Narita)-Singapore flight. 9V-SKS was towed to bay 102 for the special photo shoot.

Formula 1 logo

 

Singapore Airlines issued this statement:

Singapore Airlines has signed an agreement with the Formula One Group to be the Title Sponsor of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.

This year’s event will take place from September 19-21 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Formula 1®, which began in 1950, is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition and is the world’s most popular annual sporting series. In 2014 it was watched by over 450 million unique television viewers from 185 territories. The 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to November and spans 19 races in 19 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is a subsidiary of the Formula One group, founded by CEO Bernie Ecclestone, and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.

Copyright Photo: Kok Chwee K.C. Sim/AirlinersGallery.com. 9V-SKS poses with a Formula 1 race car at bay 102 for special photo shoot.

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Emirates to upgrade the Dallas/Fort Worth route to the Airbus A380 on October 1

Emirates (Dubai) has announced it will bring its Airbus A380 to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), launching the first scheduled A380 service at the airport.

On October 1, 2014, the world’s largest passenger aircraft will touch down at DFW with a daily service between Dallas/Fort Worth, the world’s fourth busiest airport, and the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Dallas/Fort Worth will become the 28th international destination to which Emirates operates the aircraft, joining New York (JFK) and Los Angeles which are already served by the A380.

Emirates started flying to Dallas/Fort Worth in 2012 with a Boeing 777-200 LR, the first passenger carrier to fly nonstop to the Middle East from DFW. The introduction of the 489-seat A380, powered by U.S.-made GE GP7200 engines, is a direct response to demand with over 370,000 Emirates’ passengers travelling between Dallas and Dubai to date.

DFW Airport is making its final preparations for the arrival of the Emirates A380 with the construction of a second level jet bridge in Terminal D and modifications to the airfield, ramps and taxiways. Terminal D opened in 2005 with A380 capabilities already built into its design, so the final additions to make DFW ready for the A380 are relatively minor.

Emirates’ A380 is a wide-bodied double decker aircraft with a capacity of 489 passengers including 14 First Class Private Suites, 76 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class.

Powered by GP7200 engines which burn up to twenty percent less fuel per seat than its nearest competitor, Emirates’ A380s have lower carbon dioxide emissions and thirty percent better fuel efficiency than the ICAO global fleet average. This is the most significant advancement in reducing fuel consumption and emissions in four decades. Emirates also stands apart from the rest as the average age of the fleet is less than half that of many European airlines. Emirates is the largest operator of the A380 and continues to work closely with Airbus to further reduce weight of future A380s by using a range of lightweight materials that account for twenty five percent of its structure.

The Emirates A380 service will operate daily as EK 222, departing Dallas/Fort Worth at 12:35 and arriving in Dubai at 12:20 the following day. EK 221 departs Dubai at 02:45 and arrives at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at 09:45 the same day.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-861 A6-EEO (msn 136) taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

The first Asiana Airlines Airbus A380 is rolled out of the paint shop

Asiana A380-800 F-WWAP (HL7625)(06)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LRW)

The first Airbus A380 for Asiana Airlines (Seoul) was rolled out of the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg, marking the completion of its painting. The aircraft will then have completion of its cabin and enter a final phase of ground and flight tests in Hamburg, during which all cabin systems will be thoroughly tested, including air flow and air conditioning, lighting, galleys, lavatories, seats and in-flight entertainment systems. In parallel, Airbus will also undertake advanced performance tests with the aircraft before it flies back to Toulouse for preparation of its delivery to the airline in the second quarter of this year.

Asiana Airlines has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft from Seoul initially on regional services in Asia followed by long-haul routes to the United States.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. The first A380 is A380-841 F-WWAP which will become HL7625 (msn 152) on the handover.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: From National Geographic – Building the Airbus A380:

Asiana Airlines to introduce the Airbus A380 on June 13

Asiana A380-800 (06)(Flt)(Asiana)(LR)

Asiana Airlines (Seoul) has announced it will begin Airbus A380 service on June 13 between Seoul (Incheon) and Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka and Tokyo. Service to Los Angeles will begin later on August 15.

The new wide-body type will have 12 First Class seats, 66 Business Class seats and 417 Travel Class seats along with “First Suite” in the upper deck.

A380 Flight Schedule

Period of Operation: June 13 ~ July 23, 2014
A380 Flight Schedule
Route Flight Number Frequency Departure/Arrival(Local time)
Seoul(Incheon)/
Tokyo(ICN/NRT)
OZ102/101 Daily ICN 09:00 → NRT 1110
NRT 1310 → ICN 15:40
Seoul(Incheon)/
Hong Kong(ICN/HKG)
OZ745/746 6 Times a Week
(Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
ICN 19:50 → HKG 2240
HKG 0040+1 → ICN 0510+1
  • +1 indicates the day after date of departure
  • Above schedule is subject to change without prior notice
Period of Operation: July 24 ~ August 14, 2014
A380 Flight Schedule
Route Flight Number Frequency Departure/Arrival(Local time)
Seoul(Incheon)/
Tokyo(ICN/NRT)
OZ102/101 Daily ICN 09:00 → NRT 11:10
NRT 13:10 → ICN 15:40
Seoul(Incheon)/
Hong Kong(ICN/HKG)
OZ745/746 Daily ICN 19:50 → HKG 22:40
HKG 00:40+1 → ICN 0510+1
Seoul(Incheon)/
Osaka(ICN/KIX)
OZ112/111 Daily ICN 10:45 → KIX 12:25
KIX 14:25 → ICN16:15
Seoul(Incheon)/
Bangkok(ICN/BKK)
OZ741/742 5 Times a Week
(Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)
ICN 18:30 → BKK 22:05
BKK 01:10+1 → ICN 08:45+1
  • +1 indicates the day after date of departure
  • Above schedule is subject to change without prior notice
Effective August 15, 2014
A380 Flight Schedule
Route Flight Number Frequency Departure/Arrival(Local time)
Seoul(Incheon)/
Los Angeles(ICN/LAX)
OZ202/201 Daily ICN 14:50 → LAX 09:50
LAX 12:20 → ICN 17:20+1
Seoul(Incheon)/
Hong Kong(ICN/HKG)
OZ745/7463 5 Times a Week
(Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun)
ICN19:50 → HKG 22:40
HKG 00:40+1 → ICN 05:10+1
  • +1 indicates the day after date of departure
  • Above schedule is subject to change without prior notice

A380 seat map

seat map

Images: Asiana Airlines.

Asiana Airlines:

Lufthansa’s pilots vote to strike if necessary

Lufthansa‘s (Frankfurt) 5,400 pilots, represented by the union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), have voted by more than 90 percent to strike if necessary according to Reuters. No date has been set.

Lufthansa is restructuring under its SCORE program and trying to lower costs.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMH (msn 070) arrives at the Lufthansa hub in Frankfurt.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

A pilot view’s of a Lufthansa Airbus A380 approaching and landing at San Francisco

Although this video has been out for a while, I came across this great “inside look” video of an Airbus A380 of Lufthansa approaching and landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from the cockpit perspective of the flight crew. If you are not a pilot, I think you will enjoy the professionalism of the crew as they give us an inside glimpse of their highly precise world. Thank you Lufthansa.

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Video: PilotsEye TV:

 

Qatar Airways showcases its first Airbus A380

Qatar A380-800 Cabin (Qatar)(LR)

Qatar Airways (Doha) will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft in June and will inaugurate A380 luxury flights with a daily flight to London (Heathrow). The airline has 13 on order. The first Airbus A380-861 will be registered A7-APA (msn 137) and is already painted pending delivery.

Qatar Airways is also the launch customer for the new Airbus A350, with 80 A350s on order. The first will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year and will reportedly be assigned to the New York (JFK) route (not yet conformed by the airline).

Qatar says it has a total of 300 Airbus and Boeing jets on order, including options.

The fast-growing airline issued this statement and photos today:

At a press conference this morning (March 5), on the first day of ITB Berlin, Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker together with the airline’s new Country Manager for Germany and Austria, Günter Saurwein, made a series of announcements regarding the airline’s highly anticipated first Airbus A380-800, with the first display of the new luxury First Class seats (above) that will form part of the aircraft’s tri-class configuration.

With a customized interior meeting the high demand specifications of Qatar Airways, the airline´s new A380s will undoubtedly be the talk of aviation enthusiasts and passengers alike when the first aircraft enters service this year, the first of 13 such aircraft on order.

Featuring a tri-class configuration of seating in First, Business and Economy, over two decks, the A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world and will provide a superior traveller experience to the airline’s customers.

The new First Class A380 seat, revealed by Mr. Al Baker at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Berlin, Mr Klaus Wowereit as Guest of Honour, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 19-inch television screens.

Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new First Class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin, the perfect event at which to announce such important innovations to our global audience. Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, this cabin will offer a new level of comfort for passengers travelling to the United Kingdom, who will also benefit from our Premium Terminal in Doha and the new Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

The arrival this year of the airline´s first A380 marks a significant milestone for the airline, whose future home, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has been specially designed to cater to the aircraft, with six contact gates designed with specifications required for the super jumbo. In addition, the maintenance hangar at HIA – which will be the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.

Qatar Airways is also celebrating a year of intensive fleet growth and recently becoming a member of the oneworld global alliance network, as well as exclusive codeshare partnerships with British Airways, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines, offering customers seamless journeys.

In addition to the 13 A380 aircraft the airline currently has on order, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350 aircraft, the world’s newest aircraft, as Airbus’s launch customer. This forms part of Qatar Airways plans to significantly expand its fleet with 300 additional aircraft, worth more than US $50 billion, on order, including the Boeing 787 and 777X.

Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker continued: “The last 12 months have been witness to huge strides taken forward by Qatar Airways in our desire to be the world’s leading airline, flying the youngest and most modern fleet. Most notably, we became the only airline in the Gulf to join the prestigious oneworld global alliance and I am thrilled for what this means not just for us as an airline, but for our passengers as well.”

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 136 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

As part of its aggressive expansion program, Qatar Airways will launch routes to a further six new destinations during 2014: Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.

Video: The first flight of the first Qatar A380 (now fully painted):
All photos by Qatar Airways.Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Group reports a first half loss, attacks ownership of Virgin Australia, tough decisions ahead to reduce costs

QANTAS Group (Sydney) (QANTAS Airways and Jetstar Airways) today issued its first half financial report:

QANTAS announced an Underlying PBT loss of A$252 million ($225.1 million USD) and a Statutory Loss After Tax of A$235 million ($209.9 million USD) for the six months ending on December 31, 2013.

The underlying result is in line with guidance and reflects fundamental changes in the Australian aviation market, with a significant deterioration in earnings during the half.

Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the result was unacceptable and comprehensive action would be taken in response.

“We are facing some of the toughest conditions QANTAS has ever seen,” Mr Joyce said.

“Australia has been hit by a giant wave of international airline capacity, with a 46 per cent increase in competitor capacity since 2009 – more than double the global increase of 21 per cent over the same period.

“The Australian domestic market has been distorted by current Australian aviation policy, which allows Virgin Australia to be majority-owned by three foreign government-backed airlines and yet retain access to Australian bilateral flying rights.

“Late last year, these three foreign-airline shareholders invested more than $300 million in Virgin Australia at a time when, as Virgin Australia reported to the ASX on February 6, it was losing money. That capital injection has supported continued domestic capacity growth by Virgin Australia despite its growing losses.

“QANTAS has been undertaking its biggest ever transformation over the past four years, cutting comparable unit costs by 19 per cent over four years, but this is not enough for the circumstances we face now.

“With structural economic changes being exacerbated by the uneven playing field in domestic aviation, we must now take actions that are unprecedented in scope and depth.

“We will accelerate our QANTAS Transformation program to achieve $2 billion in cost reductions by FY17. Hard decisions will be necessary to overcome the challenges we face and build a stronger business.”

Summary of Results

QANTAS Domestic

QANTAS Domestic reported Underlying EBIT1 of A$57 million, down from A$218 million in 1H13.

Competitor capacity growth in the domestic market continued to outpace QANTAS Group capacity growth, as it has since FY12. At the same time, demand was lower than market growth, putting pressure on yields and passenger loads.

Overall, the total domestic profit pool has shrunk from more than $700 million in FY12 to less than $100 million in 1H14. During this period the Virgin Australia Group added 4.5 billion Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs), compared to 4.3 billion ASKs added by the QANTAS Group.

A softening resources market, corporate account pricing pressure, and fuel and foreign exchange impacts also affected the QANTAS Domestic result.

Despite the challenging market conditions, QANTAS Domestic continues to deliver outstanding service, earning record customer advocacy. It was the most punctual major domestic airline in 12 out of 12 months during 2013, while its ongoing fleet renewal program helped reduce unit costs and improve the customer experience.

QANTAS Domestic remains the airline of choice for business travellers, holding more than 80 per cent of the corporate market by revenue in the half.

QANTAS International

Qantas International reported an Underlying EBIT loss of A$262 million, compared with a loss of A$91 million in 1H13.

The trend of intense competitor capacity growth in the Australian international market continued in the half. Total international market capacity growth for FY14 is expected to be 9 per cent, well above the global average, resulting in particularly strong yield pressure for QANTAS’ Asian and European markets.

QANTAS International made continued progress in reducing comparable unit costs (by 4 per cent in the half) and maintained record customer advocacy.

However, the lower Australian dollar has meant higher fuel costs, with a significant impact on the long-haul sectors flown by QANTAS International.

Jetstar Airways

The Jetstar Group reported an Underlying EBIT loss of A$16 million, down from an Underlying EBIT profit of A$128 million in 1H13.

Competitive pressure on yields (especially in South East Asia), a A$29 million share of associate losses, and fuel price and foreign exchange impacts were the main factors behind the result. Jetstar’s domestic operations in Australia remained profitable.

The fundamentals of Jetstar’s low-cost carrier model remain strong, with a 2 per cent improvement in unit costs1 and increased ancillary revenue1 during the half, and customer advocacy is at record levels. The introduction of the Boeing 787-8 into Jetstar’s long-haul network is delivering cost and customer service benefits.

QANTAS Loyalty

QANTAS Loyalty reported Underlying EBIT of A$146 million, a record result , up from Underlying EBIT of A$137 million in 1H13. The business continues to perform very strongly, with billings up 9 per cent in the half, three million awards redeemed and record customer advocacy. There are currently 9.8 million QANTAS Frequent Flyer members , with a target of 10 million for the full year.

QANTAS Loyalty’s growth initiatives are exceeding expectations, with a positive customer response to both the new QANTAS Cash member card and the AQUIRE small-to-medium enterprise loyalty platform.

QANTAS Freight

QANTAS Freight reported Underlying EBIT of A$11 million, down from A$22 million in 1H13, in the context of reduced capacity, consolidation and a weak global cargo market.

 Financial Position and Capital Expenditure

QANTAS has strong liquidity of A$3 billion, comprising A$2.4 billion in cash and A$630 million in undrawn debt facilities, as at December 31, 2013. There are no major unsecured debt maturities until April 2015.

Approximately 30 per cent of the QANTAS Group’s passenger fleet is debt-free. The Group has added 31 new unencumbered aircraft since FY10, including seven added in the first half of FY14. Twenty mid-life aircraft become debt-free in FY14. The Group’s average passenger fleet age is 7.6 years, the youngest in two decades.

Capital expenditure in FY14 is weighted to the first half, with $900 million invested in the six months to December 31, 2013 and a further A$300 million planned for the second half.

Following the review launched in December, planned capital investment has been aligned with financial performance, with a total reduction of A$1 billion over FY15 and FY16. Capital expenditure in FY15 and FY16 will be A$800 million in each year, including movements in operating lease liabilities1, while the Group maintains flexibility to make further changes if needed.

Outlook

The Group’s 2H14 operating environment remains very challenging and volatile. Soft underlying domestic demand is continuing in the seasonally weaker half, with domestic and international yields and loads expected to remain depressed.

The Group’s current operating expectations are as follows:

• Group capacity to increase by 3-3.5 per cent in 2H14 compared to 2H13.

• Group domestic capacity to increase by 3-4 per cent in 2H14 compared to 2H13, while maintaining flexibility.

• Underlying fuel costs expected to be approximately A$4.6 billion in FY14.

No Group profit guidance can be provided at this time due to major transformation being undertaken by Qantas, the high degree of volatility and uncertainty in the competitive environment, global economic conditions, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQK (msn 063) with “The Modern Family Flyer” sub-titles arrives in Los Angeles.

In January 2014 QANTAS issued this announcement:

QANTAS has announced a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Television and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products to bring the top rated American comedy series “Modern Family” to film in Australia.

QANTAS will fly the cast and crew from Los Angeles in February as the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan takes a vacation down under for an episode to be broadcast later this season. Filming in Australia is expected to take two weeks.

Lauded for revitalizing the television sitcom, “Modern Family” is one of the largest critical and commercial hits of the past decade.  The recipient of four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Television Series, “Modern Family” is both Network Ten and the ABC Television Network’s top-rated comedy series.

The partnership between QANTAS and Twentieth Century Fox Television’s “Modern Family” and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products follows the airline’s support in 2013 for a visit by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which provided a 22 per cent increase in inbound flights to New South Wales alone, as well as overall boost in destination awareness for Australia.

The entire “Modern Family” cast, including, Ed O’Neill (Jay), Julie Bowen (Claire), Ty Burrell (Phil), Sofía Vergara (Gloria), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell), Eric Stonestreet (Cameron), Sarah Hyland (Haley), Nolan Gould (Luke), Ariel Winter (Alex), Rico Rodriguez (Manny) and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily) will join co-creator and executive producer Steven Levitan for the visit to Australia.

“Modern Family” producers will travel to Australia in advance of the shoot in January to scout and identify preferred filming locations and potential storylines.

The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Prods. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd are the creators/executive producers. Danny Zuker, Dan O’Shannon, Bill Wrubel, Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh, Abraham Higginbotham, Jeffrey Richman and Jeff Morton also serve as executive producers.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Jetstar Airways: AG Slide Show

Air France to introduce the Airbus A380 to Hong Kong on May 27

Air France (Paris) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the Paris (CDG)-Hong Kong route on May 27.

In other route news, Air France will operate two daily flights to Stavanger (Norway) from Paris-Charles de Gaulle starting on March 31. Air France´s second destination in Norway, after Oslo, Stavanger is the centre of Norway´s oil and gas industry.

Additionally the flag carrier will operate a new daily service to Jakarta, Indonesia as a continuation of the Singapore route starting on March 30 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Starting on March 31, 2014, Air France will begin operating to Brasilia, the third AF destination in Brazil, with three weekly frequencies (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJH (msn 099) turns onto the runway at Los Angeles International Airport bound for Paris (CDG).

Air France: AG Slide Show

 

Skymark Airlines to start Airbus A380 service from Tokyo Narita to New York JFK in December

A380 MSN162 SKYMARK TRANSFER TO  STATION 30

Skymark Airlines (Tokyo) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A380. The airframe (man 162) has been assembled at Toulouse and will be flying soon with the temporary marks of F-WWSL before it is delivered to the Japanese carrier. The airline is planning to inaugurate Airbus A380 service from Tokyo (Narita) to New York (JFK) in December.

Skymark has six Airbus A380s on order.

SKY-Skymark logo

Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Images: Airbus. Airbus A380-841 msn 162, the first A380 for Skymark, is rolled out of the production hangar at Toulouse, France.

Update: Following the completion of its structural assembly, Skymark Airlines’ first A380 made its first journey on its wheels, moving to the next station at the Final Assembly Line in Toulouse on February 24. At this “station 30” Skymark Airlines’ first A380 will undergo general tests on electric and hydraulic systems, mobile parts, landing gears and fuel tanks. Also, the aircraft’s four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will be mounted.

Skymark Airlines, Japan’s third largest and fast growing airline, has placed six firm A380 orders and will become the first Japanese A380 operator. Skymark plans to dispatch its A380s on international trunk routes, in particular linking Narita to destinations in the US to offer its passengers the unique experience of space and comfort when flying the A380.

Skymark Airlines: AG Slide Show

British Airways to bring the Airbus A380 to Singapore on October 28

British Airways (London) has announced it will upgrade the London (Heathrow)-Singapore route to the new Airbus A380 initially three days a week starting on October 28, 2014.

As previously reported, the new Airbus A380 will begin flying from London (Heathrow) to Washington Dulles International Airport on September 1, 2014. The aircraft is already flying from London to both Los Angeles and Hong Kong and just started services between London and Johannesburg.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) arrives back at the London (Heathrow) base.

British Airways utilizes Kristin Davis to introduce the new A380 service to Singapore:

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates to fly Airbus A380 double-daily service to Moscow starting on August 1

Emirates (Dubai) will serve its Moscow route from Dubai with a double daily Airbus A380 service starting on August 1.

This second A380, which will operate as flight EK 133/134, replaces the existing Boeing 777 operation and increases seat capacity on the route by 15%.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEL (msn 133) arrives in Los Angeles.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Emirates.

Emirates A380 Bar (Emirates)(LR)

Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand agree to form an alliance, Singapore to operate its Airbus A380s to New Zealand

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) and Air New Zealand (Auckland) have agreed to form an alliance enabling Air New Zealand to fly the Auckland-Singapore route again and Singapore Airlines to operate the Airbus A380 to New Zealand for the first time.

The A380 would be operated daily by Singapore Airlines between Singapore and Auckland, progressively replacing an existing daily service with the smaller Boeing 777-300 ER. Air New Zealand would launch daily services between Auckland and Singapore using newly refitted Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft, taking over five flights currently operated by Singapore Airlines and adding two more weekly flights, increasing the frequency to daily.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the carriers would aim to boost their existing capacity between Singapore and New Zealand by up to 30% year round over time.

Singapore Airlines’ daily Singapore-Christchurch service would continue as part of the alliance.

The proposed alliance would enable Air New Zealand passengers to access codeshare travel on the Singapore Airlines network to the United Kingdom, Europe, South East Asia and Africa, as well as on the network of its regional subsidiary airline, SilkAir. Singapore Airlines’ customers would be able to access codeshare travel across the Air New Zealand domestic network and to selected international destinations.

The alliance would see Air New Zealand’s ‘NZ’ code return to Singapore Airlines’ network for the first time since 2007. Air New Zealand last operated to Singapore in 2006.

The parties are seeking approval for the alliance from the Competition Commission of Singapore and the New Zealand Minister of Transport.  Pending approval, flights could commence as early as December 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKR (msn 082) gracefully climbs away from the runway at Zurich.

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-219 ER ZK-OKA (msn 29404) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Emirates reviews 2013, the fast-growing airline circled the globe over 18,000 times in 2013

Emirates’ (Dubai) has reviewed its performance and accomplishments in 2013. The airline issued this statement:

Emirates aircraft flew around the world more than 18,000 times in 2013, underlining its position as a global connector of people and places according to the carrier.

Figures show the airline’s fleet travelled more than 751 million kilometers throughout the year. Taking the earth’s circumference at the equator as 40,075 kilometers, this translates into the equivalent of 18,753 circumnavigations.

A total of 164,635 flights were conducted, carrying over 43 million passengers.

Emirates Flight Catering loaded nearly 46 million meals aboard Emirates’ flights departing Dubai. A particularly memorable day for the catering team was 20th December 2013 when a staggering 157,308 meals were produced, breaking their previous record of 147,722 on 1st March 2013.

Throughout the year, the airline has received 24 new aircraft – a combination of Airbus A380s, Boeing 777s and 777 freighters. Nine new passenger routes were launched; Warsaw, Algiers, Tokyo Haneda, Stockholm, Clark, Milan-New York, Conakry, Sialkot and Kabul. Hanoi, Chicago, Kano in Nigeria and Quito in Ecuador have been launched as cargo only destinations.

The first major milestone of 2013 was January’s opening of Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse. The giant building with 20 A380 gates is over 800m long and houses the largest airline lounges in the world.

April saw the landmark commercial deal with QANTAS Airways come to life. The new partnership brings the total combined number of weekly flights from Dubai to Australia to 98.

In May, The Emirates Group, which includes DNATA, announced its 25th consecutive year of profit, despite the continuing tough international business environment. For the 2012/13 financial year, the group posted a AED 3.1 billion ($845 million US) net profit, up 34 per cent from the previous financial year.

August brought the fifth anniversary of Emirates’ A380 operations. At the five year mark, its A380 fleet had carried more than 18 million passengers on over 45,000 flights. Earlier this month, the double decker, offering more than 400 hours of Hollywood movies, was deployed to Los Angeles, creating the world’s longest A380 service in operation at 16 hours and 20 minutes.

In September, Emirates’ fans were given an unprecedented look behind the scenes of its home base at Dubai International. The ten part series, “Ultimate Airport Dubai,” charts the incredible story of Dubai’s aviation sector on National Geographic Channel. The documentary can also be viewed on Emirates’ ice Digital Widescreen.

Emirates has won a host of awards during 2013 – most notably the Skytrax “World’s Best Airline” award. Close to 18,000 cabin crew from 137 nationalities help to deliver the world renowned on board service.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDZ (msn 107) arrives back at the Dubai hub.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Emirates to become the first Airbus A380 operator at London’s Gatwick Airport

Emirates (Dubai) will become the first airline to operate a regularly scheduled service to London Gatwick airport with an Airbus A380.

Starting March 30, 2014, the airline’s 489-seat A380 will replace the Boeing 777-300 ER on EK flight 09/10, bringing a 36 percent increase in capacity on one of its three daily flights.

Emirates will start operating scheduled A380 services to Zurich and Barcelona from January and February 2014 respectively.

Flight EK 009 will depart Dubai at 1500 (3 pm) and arrive at London Gatwick Airport at 1930 (7:30 pm). The return flight, EK 010, will leave London Gatwick at 2115 (9:15 pm) and arrive in Dubai at 0720 (7:20 am) the next day.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDH (msn 025) taxies at Amsterdam with special Expo 2020 Dubai UAE markings.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Double delivery takes Emirates Airbus A380 fleet to 44

Emirates (Dubai) has received delivery of its 43rd and 44th A380 aircraft with a double delivery from Airbus’ Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg, Germany.

The 43rd (A6-EER) and 44th Emirates (A6-EES) A380s offer 14 seats in First Class, 76 seats in Business Class and 427 seats in Economy Class, and were put into service starting on December 21, initially operating on flights to Mauritius and Munich.

Both aircraft were handed over to the carrier on December 19.

Emirates operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s, flying one in three of these modern jets in the skies today. Emirates was the first airline to order the aircraft back in 2000, and it ordered another 50 more at the Dubai Air Show in November.  In 2013, Emirates received 13 A380 aircraft and it expects to receive another 13 in 2014. The airline still has 96 more A380s worth $43 billion on order, of which 71 are expected to be delivered over the next five years, before the end of 2018.

From its Dubai hub and dedicated A380 terminal, Emirates’ A380s crisscross the globe flying to 24 destinations spanning Los Angeles to Auckland. Illustrating the range of the A380, Emirates’ currently operates the world’s longest nonstop A380 service (13,414 kilometers), with its daily A380 flight between Dubai and Los Angeles, launched earlier this month.  Emirates’ shortest A380 flight is between Bangkok and Hong Kong, clocking 1,900 kilometers.

Emirates’ current A380 destinations are:  Amsterdam, Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Mauritius, Melbourne, Moscow, Munich, New York JFK, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, and Brisbane.

Emirates will start operating scheduled A380 services to Zurich from January 2014.

Google A380 Virtual Tour: CLICK HERE

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Video: Emirates is now flying the A380 to the Mauritius islands, its 24th destination for the type:

 

 

Air France to start Paris CDG-Tokyo Haneda service on March 30

Air France (Paris) from March 30, 2014, will be offering a new service to Tokyo-Haneda Airport, in addition to its flights to Tokyo-Narita. In this way, Air France will offer two daily frequencies – one day flight and one night flight – to Tokyo-Haneda and one daily frequency to Tokyo-Narita.

Air France is the only airline to offer night flights between Tokyo-Haneda airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

The day flight to Tokyo-Haneda will be operated by Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft, with a capacity of 309 seats (35 in the Business cabin, 24 in Premium Economy and 250 in Economy). The night flight will be operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, with a capacity of 303 seats (8 seats in La Première, 67 in Business, 24 in Premium Economy and 200 in Economy).

In other news, starting on January 12, 2014, Air France will increase by 25 percent its capacity to Kuala Lumpur with a Boeing 777-200 equipped with a new “leisure” configuration offering additional seats for customers. The aircraft will offer a seat capacity of 309 seats (35 in Business class, 24 in Premium Economy and 250 in Economy) compared with 246 when this frequency was first launched. Spurred by the successful launch of this destination in April 2013, the Company is thus increasing its service to the Malaysian capital.

Starting on June 16, 2014, Air France will also launch a new frequency between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Kuala Lumpur with four weekly flights.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. On October 7, 2013, Air France celebrated its 80th anniversary. For the occasion, an Airbus A380 is now sporting AF’s birthday colors. The aircraft, a reference in terms of comfort and eco-friendliness, will bring AF’s passion for adventure and innovation high into the sky. And it will not be the only aircraft to do so: a new A320, equipped with “Sharklet” winglets, will also be decorated for AF’s 80th birthday. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJI (msn 115) with the special 80 ans-years logo arrives in Los Angeles.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Air France 80 Years logo

Video on this A380:

European Routes from Paris (CDG):

Air France CDG European Route Map

 

British Airways announces new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-8 routes

British Airways (London) has also announced its summer schedule for 2014 confirming the new routes for its new Airbus A380s and Boeing 787-8s:

British Airways confirms the next routes for its new A380s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners and increases frequencies to select cities as part of the airline’s 2014 summer schedule (March 30, 2014).

The new Airbus A380 will begin flying from Washington Dulles International Airport to London Heathrow on September 1, 2014. The aircraft is already flying from Los Angeles and Hong Kong direct to London and will start services between London and Johannesburg in February 2014.

In North America the new Boeing 787s will fly nonstop to London Heathrow from Austin beginning on March 3, Philadelphia (US Airways is joining the Oneworld alliance on March 31, 2014) beginning on June 5 and Calgary from July 5, 2014.

Across the British Airways network, the 787s will also launch new services to Hyderabad, India from March 30 and Chengdu, China  from May 5, 2014.

Network Service Increases:

–  Mexico City will benefit from an increase from five to six services a week from April 27.
–  British Airways will increase the number of flights to Chengdu from three to five a week (from May 5, 2014).
–  From May 6, Tokyo Haneda will move from five a week to daily flights and will be re-timed to a more convenient 8.50 am departure from Haneda.
–  Cape Town will gain an extra three Boeing 777-200 ER flights a week through South Africa’s cooler winter season (the Northern Hemisphere’s summer) taking it from a daily service to 10 flights a week and accommodating an additional 219 customers in four cabins.

Notes :

–  All summer 2014 increases are versus winter 2013/14.
–  The A380 to Washington D.C. will be available on the BA217 and BA216 o Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
–  The 787 from Austin will operate five days a week, increasing to daily later in the year.
–  The 787 from Philadelphia and Calgary will be a daily service.
–  All aircraft are subject to change depending on operational requirements.
–  The airline is also refreshing its short-haul fleet, so is taking delivery of one new aircraft every two weeks on average up until October 2014.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com.  Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) arrives at Los Angeles.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates orders 50 additional Airbus A380s

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has placed an additional order for 50 Airbus A380 aircraft. The order was signed at a ceremony at the 2013 Dubai Airshow witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.

Following delivery of their first A380 in July 2008, Emirates has now taken delivery of 39 A380s. Their 39th A380 is on Airbus’ static display at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. All Emirates’ A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.

Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of ten world class carriers. The aircraft flies 8,500 nautical miles or 15,700 kilometres non-stop, carrying more people at lower cost and with less impact on the environment. The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the A380 a firm favorite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.

The total A380 fleet has accumulated over one million flight hours in almost 140,000 commercial flights. To date some 50 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every five minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 34 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

On this historic “airline order milestone” day, Emirates issued this statement:

Emirates airline has again rewritten all records in civil aviation with an order for 150 Boeing 777X, comprising 35 Boeing 777-8Xs and 115 Boeing 777-9Xs, plus 50 purchase rights; and an additional 50 Airbus A380 aircraft.

Emirates Media Player

Left to Right: His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO; Tom Enders, Chief Executive EADS; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
Together, the Boeing and Airbus orders, excluding purchase rights, are worth an estimated $99 billion (US) at list prices. This is the largest ever aircraft order in civil aviation and also Emirates’ largest order announced at any event to date.

The agreement was signed today (November 17) at the Dubai Air Show by His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, with Jim McNerney, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ President and CEO. The signing was witnessed by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Emirates’ Boeing 777X order is the single largest aircraft order by value in the history of U.S. commercial aviation, and the additional A380 order cements Emirates, already the largest operator of this aircraft type, as the principal customer for the A380 worldwide. These latest orders bring Emirates’ total firm order book to 385 aircraft (excluding options or purchase rights), comprising 214 Boeing 777s, 101 Airbus A380s, and 70 A350s, at a total estimated value of US$ 166 billion.

Emirates’ Boeing 777X

“The announcement today includes the purchase of 300 GE9X engines from General Electric, to power the 150 Boeing 777X aircraft ordered. Taking into account the U.S. Government jobs multiplier (every $1 billion in US aerospace exports supports 5,747 American jobs), today’s historic order will protect and support over 436,000 jobs in U.S. aerospace manufacturing – not only at Boeing and GE facilities, but with hundreds of other suppliers,” said Sheikh Ahmed.

Emirates’ 777-8X and 777-9X will be a combination of two and three-class configurations, with the 777-8X potentially seating 342 passengers in 3 classes, and the 777-9X seating over 440 passengers in 2 classes.

“Emirates today operates more than one in every 10 Boeing 777 aircraft built. It is the workhorse of our fleet. What the 777X does, is offer us a flying range comparable with the 200LRs and 300ERs, but with more passenger capacity at potentially up to 18% more fuel efficiency,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.

Emirates’ unwavering commitment to the Boeing 777 dates back to 1996. Today, Emirates is already the largest operator of the 777 with 131 in operation, and the only airline to fly all variants in the 777 family. At the 2011 Dubai Air Show, Emirates ordered 50 Boeing 777-300ERs with options for 20 more at a total value of US$ 26 billion (AED 95.4 billion). It was then a record breaking aircraft order– the single largest by any airline with Boeing in dollar value.

Emirates’ Airbus A380s

Emirates currently operates the world’s largest fleet of A380s with 39 in service.

Its order for 50 additional A380 aircraft today brings Emirates’ total A380 order book to 101 aircraft, worth US$ 45 billion. A combination of two and three-class cabin configuration, the first 25 of these latest A380 aircraft orders are scheduled to be delivered before the first quarter of 2018.

Emirates has been associated with Europe’s largest passenger aircraft since April 2000 when it became the first airline to announce plans to purchase the super jumbo. As the largest customer for the A380, Emirates is therefore the largest supporter of European aerospace manufacturing jobs tied to the A380 programme which is spread across Airbus’ manufacturing centres in France, Germany, England and Spain.

Follow-up article: From Reuters: Emirates was concerned that Airbus was considering slowing down A380 production because of lagging new orders and took a look at how many additional A380s it could physically take at its Dubai base and stated it could have ordered 10 more! This order now ensures the A380 production rate will continue and probable A380 profit for Airbus in 2015 or 2016. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Analysis: Can other airlines, especially European and North American carriers, compete against the fast growing Gulf carriers? CNN Money explores this question: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates’ Airbus A380-861 A6-EEC (msn 110) with special “Expo 2020 Dubai UAE” stickers completes its final approach into London (Heathrow).

Video: An inside look at the Emirates Operations Control Room, Dubai.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

British Airways premiers its new Airbus A380 today to Los Angeles

British Airways (London) is premiering its “Red Carpet Route” between Los Angeles and London today, the inaugural flight for the airline’s first Airbus A380. The City of Angels is the first of the airline’s more than 150 destinations to receive the super jumbo, offering a premium experience to customers who want to travel in style to the U.K. and beyond.

Scheduled to touch down at Los Angeles International Airport this evening, the new British Airways aircraft offers customers a superior travel experience, including:

  • Spacious interiors, featuring 469 seats across four cabins, 14 First, 97 Club World (business class), 55 World Traveler Plus (premium economy) and 303 World Traveler (economy)
  • First ‘suites’ with 30 percent more space, turndown service, a la carte dining and champagne supper
  • Full-flat beds in business class with new 2:3:2 configurations on the upper deck, designed for maximum personal space and comfort
  • State-of-the-art in-flight entertainment with 1,600 hours of programming, including more than 130 of the latest Hollywood blockbusters and classic movies and 650 TV shows from around the world
  • Complimentary bar, three course meals, amenity kits and blankets for all customers
  • Cleaner air, as a result of advanced filters and a system that allows 15 different temperature control zones with cabin air refreshed every three minutes.

The British Airways A380 also features a new menu designed by The Langham, London, for customers travelling in First and Club World. This includes an elegant five-course tasting menu and afternoon tea, inspired by the range of indulgent treats offered at The Langham, London – famed as the birthplace of Afternoon Tea over 140 years ago.

New aircraft are part of British Airways £5 billion investment in products and services to benefit customers. The airline has ordered 12 A380s and 24 Boeing 787s.

Red Carpet Route Premiere, Hollywood Style

Celebrating the connection between two entertainment capitals of the world, British Airways has partnered with Variety magazine to present “10 Brits to Watch”. The best emerging U.K. talent in Hollywood will be recognized at a red carpet event on September 25.

At the premiere party, guests will experience signature elements of the A380 while honoring the magazine’s “10 Brits to Watch.”  These up-and-coming actors, writers, directors and musicians include Sam Claflin, Tuppence Middleton, Harry Treadaway, Sally El Housani, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Georgia King, Ed Whitworth, George Blagden, Alexandra McGuiness and Lauren Harris.

“London and Hollywood have been productively-linked entertainment business hubs for all of Variety’s 108 years as the pre-eminent source of industry news, so the chance to partner on the Brits to Watch project with an esteemed global brand like the U.K’s British Airways was irresistible,” said Steve Gaydos, Executive Editor, Variety. “Business travelers and business readers both have high expectations due to their fast-paced careers and sophisticated lifestyles, so this is a partnership born out of our mutual strengths of experience and dedication to delivering on those daily demands, 24/7.”

Tweetliner Race

To further celebrate the launch of the A380, British Airways is staging the world’s first-ever social race between a virtual plane and real plane.  The competition invites British Airways fans and followers to ‘tweet’ a message using #racetheplane @British Airways.  Each tweet will fuel the ‘tweetliner” and move it nearer to its destination – LA. Three lucky winners will receive a pair of tickets to fly to London.

The 5,454-mile race begins when BA 269 takes off from London Heathrow at 4:15pm BST and will culminate when the inaugural flight touches down at LAX at approximately 7:15pm PST. Visit http://racetheplane.ba.com/ for additional information, including terms and conditions.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. A beautiful landing photo of the first British Airways Airbus A380-841 G-XLEA (msn 095) arriving at Shannon on a training and photo flight.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Videos: British Airways is using social media to promote this inaugural flight:

Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380 performs its first flight

Qatar A380-800 F-WWST (06)(Tko) TLS (Airbus)(LR)

Qatar Airways’ (Doha) first A380 took off from Toulouse on its maiden flight to Hamburg where the aircraft will be fitted with its cabin before being painted.

The carrier has firm orders for ten A380s and will become the eleventh airline to join the prestigious club of A380 operators when it takes delivery of this aircraft in 2014.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A380-861 F-WWST (msn 137) departs from Toulouse.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Group returns to being profitable, halving its losses on international routes

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) is already reaping the benefits of its new relationship with Emirates (Dubai) and the changes it has already made on its international route structure. The QANTAS Group has been shedding unprofitable international routes, cutting jobs, reducing capital spending and selling assets in order to reduce its debt. The QANTAS Group reported a fiscal year underlying profit before tax of A$192 million ($171.5 million), a statutory profit before tax of A$17 million ($15.1 million) and a statutory profit after tax of A$6 million ($5.3 million) for the year ended June 30, 2013.

QANTAS Domestic, Jetstar Airways and QANTAS Loyalty were all profitable, while QANTAS International halved its
underlying EBIT losses.

On the domestic front which is softening, QANTAS is facing stiff competition from Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane).

Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from QANTAS: CLICK HERE

In other news, QANTAS also announced a series of improvements to its international network:

The improvements are:

    • Starting a new route, PerthAuckland*, to be offered on a seasonal basis between early December and the end of January, operated by a QANTAS A330 aircraft twice per week.
    • Upgrading one return SydneyHong Kong service to an Airbus A380 aircraft, increasing the number of A380 return services on this route from four to five per week.
    • Increasing frequency to daily on Brisbane–Los Angeles* using the aircraft made available by the A380 upgrade on the Hong Kong route.
    • Retiming Qantas’ existing SydneyChristchurch* service so that it connects with more international services from Sydney and complements the existing Emirates service on this route.

QANTAS Alan Joyce and Gareth Evans

QANTAS Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce and Gareth Evans head the briefing.

*Subject to regulatory approval

The schedule is being progressively loaded from today for travel after 27 October 2013

ROUTE CHANGE EFFECTIVE DATE CUSTOMER BENEFIT
Perth–Auckland New route, seasonal.Two return services per week, departing Perth on Friday and Saturday, using a QANTAS A330. First service from Perth will be 6 December 2013.Last service from Auckland will be 1 February 2014. Adding almost 1,000 seats per week to what is currently a monopoly route over the busy Christmas and summer holiday period.An internationally configured A330 with Skybeds used on the route.
Sydney–Hong Kong Upgrading one return service per week from a B747 to A380.Increases the number of A380 services on this route from four to five per week, with the remainder operated by B747s. 4 November 2013 Increase in capacity by almost 5 per cent per week.Additional A380 flying into Asia.
Brisbane–Los Angeles Increase in the number of services on this route from six to seven using a B747. 2 December 2013 Additional convenience of a daily service from Brisbane.Increase in capacity on this route by about 15 per cent per week.
Sydney–Christchurch QANTAS flight retimed from morning to evening, meaning that the return flight (Christchurch to Sydney) arrives in Sydney at 8:50am instead of 3:55pm. Qantas code available on Emirates flight from Christchurch, which leaves at 4:55pm to arrive in Sydney at 6:15pm. Qantas code also available on Jetstar flight from Christchurch, which leaves at 6.35am to arrive in Sydney at 8.05am. 27 October 2013 Greatly improved onward connections for customers flying from Christchurch to Sydney and then to onward international and domestic flights.Removes need for South Island residents to fly via Auckland to connect with key international flights out of Sydney.Complements the existing Emirates service by providing a double daily service scheduled at either end of the day.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) is pictured in action at the Sydney base.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

International Airlines Group loses $43.7 million in the first half, British Airways brings the new Airbus A380 to Frankfurt

British Airways (London) brought its new Airbus A380 to Frankfurt (above) on August 2 as the flag carrier continues to test out the new type on its short haul European routes before it is introduced on longer international routes.

In other news, parent International Airline Group (IAG) lost $43.7 million in the first half of 2013. However IAG had a good second quarter as it managed to cut losses at Iberia in the second quarter to $39.7 million. IAG has cut 1,700 jobs at Iberia (Madrid) and plans to cut another 1,700 by 2015.

IAG issued this financial statement:

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) presented Group consolidated results for the six months to June 30, 2013.

IAG period highlights on results:

  • Second quarter operating profit €245 million (2012: loss €4 million) before exceptional items, based on strong passenger unit revenues and non-fuel unit cost improvements
  • Before Vueling at constant currency, second quarter passenger unit revenue up 4.8 per cent and non-fuel unit costs down 0.2 per cent
  • Operating loss for the half year €33 million (2012: loss €253 million) before exceptional items
  • Revenue for the half year up 2.1 per cent to €8,707 million including 1.7 per cent adverse currency impact
  • Passenger unit revenue for the half year up 2.8 per cent (4.6 per cent at constant currency), on capacity increase of 1.2 per cent
  • Fuel costs for the half year down 3.7 per cent to €2,864 million (2012: €2,973 million). Fuel unit costs down 4.7 per cent at constant currency
  • Non-fuel costs before exceptional items for the half year up 1.1 per cent at €5,876 million. Non-fuel unit costs down 0.2 per cent, up 0.9 per cent at constant currency
  • Cash €3,627 million at June 30, 2013, up €718 million including €549 million of Vueling cash
  • Adjusted gearing up 3 points to 54 per cent including Vueling

Willie Walsh also stated subsidiary Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) would be expanding again and would be taking on a larger role in intra-European routes. Higher-cost Iberia will be reducing its presence in Europe.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. British Airways’ Airbus A380-841 G-XLEA (msn 095) taxies to the gate at Frankfurt.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: British Airways has introduced this new “A Ticket to Visit Mum” video for the Indian market:

Air France-KLM turns to the black in the first six months of 2013

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) issued its financial report for the first six months of 2013 including subsidiary Transavia Airlines (Amsterdam). The group reported an operating profit of $105 for the first half turning around a comparable loss in the first six months of 2012. The group expects to make an operating profit for the entire  year.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis by Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) climbs away from Washington (Dulles).

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVD (msn 35979) in the SkyTeam motif taxies to the runway at the Amsterdam hub.

British Airways’ first Airbus A380 arrives at London Heathrow today

British Airways (London) has issued this statement about the delivery of its first Airbus A380.

Super-jumbo aviation arrives in the UK today with the delivery to Heathrow of British Airways’ first A380.

British A380 Arrival (Airbus)(LR)

Copyright Photo: Airbus.

The airline is the first UK carrier to take delivery of the double-decker, which is the world’s largest commercial jet. British Airways is also the first airline in Europe to operate both the A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first two of which landed at Heathrow last week.

The airline announced today that the very first long-haul flight on the A380 to Los Angeles will be on September 24, 2013 with prices starting from £621 return, and the first to Hong Kong will be on October 22 with prices from £688 return.

British Airways’ A380s will accommodate 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class with 30 per cent more personal space and 60 per cent more personal stowage.

Club World (business class) customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. Customers travelling in both World Traveller and World Traveller Plus will be able to enjoy the new cabins and seats that have proved so popular on our 777-300 ER fleet.

The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and 16 per cent more fuel efficient than a Boeing 747. British Airways has ordered 12 A380s for delivery by 2016. Three will arrive this year followed by a further five in 2014.

Both aircraft types will now begin a complex ‘entry into service’ program, which will see pilot and cabin crew training taking place at Manston Airport in Kent, customer service trials at Heathrow and short-haul flying for both aircraft, including flights within the UK.

Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A380-841 F-WWSK (msn 095) was delivered as G-XLEA today (July 4).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Videos:

Qatar Airways to fly its Boeing 787 to Stockholm starting on August 1 and Copenhagen and Oslo on September 1

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced an expansion of its Boeing 787 services to Europe with the new state-of-the-art aircraft being deployed on three Scandinavian routes.

The Doha-based carrier will launch 787 flights to the Swedish capital Stockholm on August 1, followed a month later to both Copenhagen and Oslo – capital cities of Denmark and Norway, respectively, effective September 1.

Qatar Airways operates daily flights to each of the three Scandinavian capitals from its hub, capital of the State of Qatar, with a total weekly capacity of 21 services.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class Interiors
Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class Interiors (Qatar Airways).

 

Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors. Business Class is configured 1–2–1 with 22 seats, while Economy has a 232 seating capacity in a 3–3–3 layout. All seats in Business Class are fully reclinable.

The airline’s 787s are the world’s first fully connected Dreamliners with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with friends and colleagues on the ground through the internet and SMS mobile texting across both Business and Economy cabins.

Made up of composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is lighter and more fuel-efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range. Unique features include larger windows, reduced cabin noise and cleaner cabin air.

Qatar Airways currently operates five Boeing 787s, flying on the London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Dubai routes from Doha. The airline took delivery of its sixth Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show, where the aircraft was open for VIP, trade and media tours. Qatar Airways currently has a further 54 Dreamliners on order.

 

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 125 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.

The airline has so far launched six destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Salalah (Oman), Najaf and Basra (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Chicago (USA). Over the next few months, the network will grow further with new destinations introduced to Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20), Chengdu, China (September 3), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia (April 2, 2014).

In other news, Qatar Airways intends to introduce its first Airbus A380 on the Doha-London (Heathrow) route followed by Doha-Paris (CDG) in early 2014.

Qatar Airways currently has 13 Airbus A380s on order with plans to operate them on popular routes, especially in slot-constrained airports. The first A380 will arrive in early 2014.

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCL (msn 38330) prepares to touch down at London (Heathrow).

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Image: Airbus. The painted tail has been attached to the first Qatar A380 at Toulouse. The first three A380s will be msn 137, 143 and 146.

Qatar A380-800 (06)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Flight demonstrations videos from the Paris Air Show

The 2013 50th International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport is winding down for the manufacturers. We have been reporting this week on all of the order announcements.

Paris Air Show 2013 logo

There were several airliner flight demonstrations. Here is a sample:

Dueling Videos:

Boeing demonstrated an Air India 787-8 Dreamliner at Paris:

Airbus demonstrated an A380 bound for British Airways at Paris:

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 F-WWDD (msn 004) “Own the sky” also performed at the show.

 

Doric Lease Corporation signs an MOU for 20 Airbus A380s

Doric A380 (Airbus)(LR)

Doric Lease Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the purchase of 20 Airbus A380s at the 50th Paris Le Bourget Airshow. The agreement was signed today by Mark Lapidus, CEO of Doric Lease Corp and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.

With this investment, Doric will offer a tailored A380 leasing solution and will make the aircraft even more accessible to both new and existing A380 operators around the world who prefer to opt for the flexibility of an operating lease. Doric already has significant experience with the A380, ranking as the third largest wide-body lessor worldwide by value, and the world’s largest asset manager of leased A380s. Doric has a six billion US$ aircraft portfolio under management, including 18 A380s acquired through sale-leaseback arrangements.

Image: Airbus.

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to Los Angeles

Emirates (Dubai) has announced an upgrade of service from Dubai to Los Angeles with the introduction of the flagship Airbus A380 starting on December 2, 2013.

The 489-seat Emirates A380 offers 14 Private First Class Suites, 76 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class. First Class passengers have access to two Onboard Shower Spas, while all premium passengers on the upper deck can socialise at the Onboard Lounge with an array of beverages and snacks. Passengers in all classes of service experience Emirates renowned hospitality, receive a generous baggage allowance, have inflight Wi-Fi and mobile phone connectivity, as well as access to the industry-leading ice entertainment system which boasts more than 1,400 channels of films, TV programs, games and music. This aircraft replaces the Boeing 777-300 ER which has serviced the route previously.

The A380 service will operate daily as flight EK 215 departing Dubai at 0820 (local time) and arriving at Los Angeles’ Tom Bradley International Terminal at 1250 (local). The return flight, EK 216, departs Los Angeles at 1600 and arrives in Dubai at 1950 on the following day. The arrival time of the A380 in L.A. will offer passengers easy connections to desirable destinations in the U.S. such as Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego and Honolulu.

Previously Emirates announced it will boost its services to Switzerland with the start of a daily Airbus A380 service to Zurich.

From January 1, 2014, flight EK 087 from Dubai to Zurich and its return sector EK 088 will be operated by an A380, offering an increased capacity of more than 1,100 additional seats every week in each direction. The service is currently operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER. Emirates will continue to serve Zurich with a double daily operation, which will equate to more than 870 seats on offer per day.

 

Emirates is the largest A380 operator in the world, with 34 A380s in its fleet and 56 on order, and has carried almost 17 million passengers since the double decker was introduced five years ago. Since January of this year, Emirates’ A380 passengers have been able to experience the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse in Dubai (below), reflecting further investment in the airline’s global hub, which is set to grow to a capacity of 90 million passengers by 2018.
Emirates A380 Hub (Emirates)(LR)

From January 1, 2014, the new A380-supported EK 087 flight will depart Dubai at 0825 and arrive in Zurich International Airport at 1220. The return flight, EK 088, will leave Zurich at 1435 and arrive in Dubai at 2340 (all times local).

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Emirates). A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) taxies at Amsterdam. Click on the photo for the full-size view.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Video:

Thai to start nonstop Bangkok-London Heathrow Airbus A380 flights on December 1

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) is planning to introduce its Airbus A380 on the Bangkok-London (Heathrow) route starting on December 1 per Route News.

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 HS-TUC (msn 100) climbs away from Frankfurt (please click on the photo for the size view).

Thai: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photos: Thai. Over the past 53 years, Thai’s cabin crew distinctive uniforms have changed to reflect changing trends. But the beautiful Thai silk outfits, worn during flight with a “Sabai” shoulder drape by air hostesses, remained unchanged.

According to the airline, “several remarkable uniforms since 1960 include the first one ever, pale purple dress topped by a cute pillbox hat, the new look design in 1977 which featured various colours in the collection, mauve, pastel pink, yellow and sky blue, and the Balmain outfits, designed by French couturier Pierre Balmain in 1987, that look distinctive with the colour of Thai orchids, elegant and feminine, yet entirely practical.

Nowadays, Thai cabin crew wears a uniform designed by Ms. Pichitra Boonyarataphan, a Thai designer who won the uniform competition in 2005, with a stylish contemporary fashion blended with Thai’s traditional concept of the uniform.”

Thai FA Uniforms (Thai)(LR)

Thai logos (Thai)(HR)

Video:

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to Brisbane and Auckland in October

Emirates (Dubai) has announced it will add Airbus A380 service to Brisbane and Auckland.

Brisbane is set to become Emirates’ third Australian destination to welcome the airline’s flagship Airbus A380, with the announcement that Emirates will operate the A380 on the Dubai to Brisbane and Auckland route from October 1, 2013.

Adding the A380 to one of Emirates’ two daily Brisbane services will see an increase in capacity of 135 seats for sale per flight and 1,890 week, reinforcing Emirates’ commitment to its Queensland and Auckland passengers. The double-daily service is currently operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Together with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), from October 1 a total of six daily A380 services will operate to Dubai, offering a seamless A380 experience through Dubai International Airport’s Concourse A, the world’s first purpose built A380 concourse, to 21 A380 serviced destinations on the network including London Heathrow, Manchester, Paris and Rome.

Today’s announcement caps off a range of recent upgrades to Emirates’ Australian services, including the introduction of a daily Melbourne A380, a daily Adelaide service and a three times daily Perth service. A second A380 for Sydney from June has been announced.

Emirates sets the pace for A380 deployment, with the aircraft having carried 14 million passengers on 35,000 trips spanning 200 million kilometres since A380 operations commenced five years ago. In 2012 alone, Emirates added 11 A380s to its fleet and is the largest operator of the aircraft, with 33 in the fleet and 57 on order.

The Emirates A380 is set in a three-class configuration, with 399 seats in Economy Class on the lower level and 76 fully flat-bed, mini-pods in Business Class and 14 First Class Private Suites on the upper level. Passengers in the First Class cabin can freshen up in one of two on-board Shower Spas before joining fellow premium class travellers in the On-Board Lounge where they can enjoy complimentary beverages and canapés.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Video:

 

JetBlue and Emirates to expand their partnership agreement with a bilateral codeshare

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Emirates (Dubai) today announced their intention to expand their current partnership to include bilateral codesharing, pending FAA and DOT regulatory approval and subject to receipt of foreign government operating authority. Under the expanded agreement, JetBlue will place its “B6″ airline code on all flights currently operated by Emirates between the U.S. and Dubai International Airport, as well as between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan, Italy.

The agreement deepens a three-year partnership between JetBlue and Emirates. Emirates started placing its code on select JetBlue-operated flights in April 2012, expanding an interline agreement that dates back to 2010. Current codeshare routes offered by Emirates on JetBlue-operated flights cover 28 destinations including Boston, Chicago, Orlando and Puerto Rico. Since March this year, Emirates also began placing its code on additional JetBlue routes, including Bridgetown, Barbados, Cancun, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica and Santo Domingo, Santiago and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Through the existing agreement, customers enjoy the convenience of a single combined ticket for Emirates and JetBlue-operated flights, plus other benefits including one-stop check-in and baggage transfer.

Members of Skywards, the Emirates reward program, can earn miles on JetBlue-operated flights and also redeem miles for flights to any of JetBlue’s 77 destinations (and counting) throughout the Americas. Similarly, members of JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program can earn points for Emirates-operated flights worldwide.

Emirates’ global network encompasses 133 destinations in 77 countries across six continents and the airline currently operates 56 passenger flights per week between Dubai and the U.S. including flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and the twice daily A380 service from JFK to Dubai International Airport. , Emirates’ extensive network gives travellers in the U.S. access not only to the carrier’s home of Dubai, the commercial and tourism hub of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region, but also to cities across Africa, India, and throughout Asia Pacific.

From New York JFK, Emirates offers two daily nonstop flights to its global hub at Dubai International Airport – both aboard its flagship A380 – offering travellers fine dining, personalized service and multi award-winning entertainment options. From Washington Dulles, Emirates offers one daily nonstop flight to Dubai.

Top Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Airbus A320-232 N779JB (msn 3811) (Real Salt Lake-2009 Champions) taxies from the gate at Long Beach.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDN (msn 056) carefully taxies at New York (JFK).

Emirates Group announces its 25th consecutive profitable year

The Emirates Group (Emirates Airline) (Dubai) has announced it 25th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth ending the year in a strong position despite continuing high fuel prices and a weak global economic environment. The financial year also ended with some very positive newly reached capacity milestones throughout the business.

The company posted an AED 3.1 billion ($845 million) net profit, up 34 per cent from last year.  Even with external challenges, the Group’s revenue reached AED 77.5 billion ($21.1 billion) an increase of 17 per cent over last year’s results.  The Group’s cash balance grew by 53 per cent reaching a solid AED 27.0 billion ($7.3 billion).

“Achieving our 25th consecutive year of profit in a financial year with our largest ever increase in capacity across the network is an achievement that speaks to the strength of our brands and our leadership,” said His Highness (H.H) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group.

“Throughout the 2012-13 financial year the Group has collectively invested over AED 13.8 billion (US$ 3.8 billion) in new aircraft, products, services and handling facilities as well as the newly opened JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. This investment has resulted in an increased customer base and a rise in global brand awareness. Every dirham that we earn is strategically placed back into our business and it is this tenacious approach that has allowed the Group to maintain such strong and consistent profitability under challenging circumstances.”

Despite a difficult operating environment, the Group continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 12 per cent to 68,000.

Emirates continued with its growth plan and during the financial year saw the largest increase in capacity in the airline’s history receiving a staggering 34 new aircraft, the highest in any single year and an unprecedented achievement. These aircraft were funded by raising more than $7.8 billion, also a first, through a variety of financing structures. Overall capacity measured in Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs) increased by 5.5 billion ton-kilometers. Other significant capacity increases include launching 10 new destinations across six continents, shipping more than 2 million tonnes of cargo for the first time and carrying an additional 5.4 million passengers over last year, the highest increase in a financial year.

In the 2012-13 financial year Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 15 per cent over last year to reach AED 27.9 billion ($7.6 billion). With total operating costs increasing by 16 per cent compared to a revenue increase of 17 per cent over last year.

“Managing volatile exchange rates, coupled with a persistently high fuel bill accounting for 40 per cent of our total expenditures, has required continued strong resolve,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “Even with these lingering challenges we continue to grow and remain profitable despite the industry norms because we continue to rely on our proven business model and understanding of the marketplace.”

“Staying the course, our strategy for growth has reaped high benefits this past financial year, which has been our strongest ever in relationship to capacity growth,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “Emirates seat load factor over the last three years has been 80 per cent despite our increase in capacity by 44 per cent during the same period, showing the continued global demand for our product.  In addition our capacity measured in terms of Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKMs), which includes passenger and cargo capacity, crossed the 40 billion tonne-kilometres mark, another first for Emirates.”

Highlighting its sound financials and investor confidence, Emirates raised more than AED 28.6 billion (US$ 7.8 billion) in new funding mainly to secure its on-going fleet expansion, a record amount for the airline. This impressive total included US$ 587.5 million financing for additional A380’s with a bond that used the debt capital market in the U.S., a first for a non-U.S. airline in years. Emirates also issued a 10-year amortised Sukuk for US$ 1 billion and raised US$ 750 million with a 12-year amortised bond matched to the payment cycle for the aircraft.  It further includes more than AED 20 billion (US$5.4 billion) raised through finance and operating leases.

“We move into the new financial year with confidence and a clear vision of where we are headed. We understand that succeeding in this industry requires determination and we are unapologetic about our drive to be the best,” added Sheikh Ahmed. “We strive to provide superior customer experiences and as our customers’ expectations increase so do the expectations we set for ourselves. With the help of our 68,000 strong multicultural work force we have no doubt that the year ahead will again be more profitable than the last.”

Emirates revenue reached a record high of AED 73.1 billion ($19.9 billion) growing by 17 per cent when compared to the 2011-12 financial year. Although the average price of jet fuel did not increase over last year, it remains high and has impacted Emirates’ bottom line with the airline’s profit at AED 2.3 billion (US$ 622 million) representing an increase of 52 per cent over last year’s results.

Carrying a record 39.4 million passengers, an increase of 16 per cent, Emirates logged a robust Passenger Seat Factor, at 80 per cent, remaining consistent with last year’s results. With an increase in seat capacity-Available Seat Kilometres (ASKMs) of 18 per cent the result highlights a strong consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft.

Passenger yield remained steady with 30.5 fils (8.3 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometre (RPKM)

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30 per cent of overall revenues. East Asia and Australasia remained the highest revenue contributing region with AED 20.9 billion (US$ 5.7 billion) up 15 per cent from 2011-12. Europe, up 18 per cent to AED 20.1billion (US$ 5.5 billion) and the Americas up 24 per cent to AED 8.3 billion (US$ 2.3 billion) saw the most significant growth, reflecting new destinations as well as increased frequency and capacity to these regions.

Across the rest of the globe Emirates saw strong revenue increases from West Asia and the Indian Ocean up 13 per cent to AED 8.0 billion (US$ 2.2 billion), Gulf/Middle East up 13 per cent to AED 7.1 billion (US$ 1.9 billion) and Africa with AED 6.7 billion (US$1.8 billion) in revenue, up 10 per cent.

Emirates premium seat factor remained strong despite the global financial uncertainty.  Premium and overall seat factor for the airline’s flagship Airbus A380 aircraft outperformed the network, highlighting the continued demand for the product from passengers.

With a further 198 aircraft on order worth over  $71 billion, combined with the airline’s increasing worldwide passenger traffic, Emirates’ is set to continue to drive considerable economic growth in the countries that it serves.

Forging ahead with its intricately planned expansion, Emirates received 34 new wide-body aircraft during the year including 20 Boeing 777-300 ERs, 10 Airbus A380s and 4 Boeing 777 LRFs compared with last year’s 22 aircraft. With an increased fleet, Emirates launched 10 new destinations in 2012-13 including Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Erbil, Washington, DC, Adelaide, Lyon, Phuket, Warsaw and Algiers.

Looking forward to 2013-14, Emirates has to date announced four new routes; Haneda, Clark in the Philippines, Stockholm and Milan to New York.

New A380 destinations for the airline in 2012-13 included; Amsterdam, Melbourne, Singapore and Moscow. Bringing the total number of A380 destinations to 21.  In addition, a second A380 was deployed on the existing Paris and New York routes, making both now a double daily A380 service. Two of our aircraft to London Heathrow were also upgraded to A380s, making all five daily flights now A380s.

Focusing on our customer touch points, Emirates opened three new dedicated airport lounges during the year including Milan and the new First Class and Business Class Concourse A facilities at Dubai Airport, which are among the largest in the world, bringing the total number of Emirates lounges to 35.  The existing Business Class lounge in Dubai Airport’s Concourse C was also refurbished to provide passengers with an enhanced experience.

Defying the industry trend, the 2012-13 financial year has been a strong one for Emirates SkyCargo who for the first time reported a revenue over AED 10 billion reaching AED 10.3 billion ($2.8 billion) mark, an 8 per cent increase over last year.

Emirates SkyCargo’s tonnage increased 16 per cent reaching a remarkable 2.1 million tonnes in a shrinking airfreight market, highlighting its ability to grow revenues against the industry norm.  This year, freight yield per Freight Tonne Kilometer (FTKM) decreased by 6 per cent.

Contributing 15 per cent of Emirates’ total transport revenue Emirate SkyCargo continues to play an integral role in the company’s expanding operations.

At the end of the financial year, Emirates SkyCargo freighter fleet totalled 10 aircraft – eight on operating lease and two on wet lease.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDZ (msn 107) with the special Expo 2020 Dubai UAE markings arrives at the Dubai hub.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM’s 1Q loss widens to $826.3 million

Air France-KLM (Air France) (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines) (Paris) lost €630 million ($826.3 million) in the first quarter, compared to a smaller loss of €379 million ($497.1 million) in the same quarter a year ago.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOM (msn 1161) taxies at the Amsterdam base.

 

 

Lufthansa is granted rights to serve Shanghai Pudong with its Airbus A380, considers legal action against its unions

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has received Chinese permission to operate its Airbus A380s on the Frankfurt-Shanghai (Pudong) route starting on September 26. The A380s will operate five days a week on the route.

In other news, the company is considering legal action after the main union Verdi called on its workers to go on strike on Monday according to this report by Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Airbus A380-841 D-AIME (msn 061) climbs away from the FRA hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A380 for British Airways is rolled out of the paint shop

British Airways A380-800 F-WWSK (G-XLEA)(97-Union flag)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LR)

British Airways‘ (London) first A380 has been rolled out of the paint shop facility at Hamburg (Finkenwerder), following the application of its full livery. Its livery includes some 10,000 individual dots on the tailfin to produce the effect of the Union flag.

Copyright Photos: Airbus. The pictured A380-841 F-WWSK (msn 095) will become G-XLEA on delivery.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways A380-800 F-WWSK (G-XLEA)(97-Union flag)(Grd-1) XFW (Airbus)(LR)

Lufthansa to order 35 Airbus A320neo, 35 A321neo, 30 A320 aircraft with Sharklets and two A380s

Lufthansa’s (Frankfurt) Supervisory Board has approved the acquisition of 100 A320 Family aircraft (35 A320neo, 35 A321neo and 30 A320ceo with Sharklets) and two A380s worth approximately $11.2 billion at list prices. The engine choices will be announced by the airline at a later date.

This latest acquisition reconfirms the Lufthansa Group as Airbus’ largest airline customer, with a total of 532 aircraft ordered. Today the Lufthansa Group is also Airbus’ biggest operator worldwide with 385 Airbus aircraft currently in service. These include: 271 A320 Family, 41 A330s, 63 A340s, and 10 A380s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMG (msn 069) completes its final approach into Beijing.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

British Airways announces Los Angeles as the first Airbus A380 destination

British Airways‘ (London) first Airbus A380 will fly from Los Angeles to London Heathrow, with tickets going on sale today.

Los Angeles will be the inaugural destination for the first A380 to be operated by a UK airline. The double-decker superjumbo is due to be delivered to British Airways in July and seats are now on sale for flights from October 15, 2013.

British Airways A380-800 (97-Union flag)(Side Drawing)(British)(LR)

The second A380 route will be to Hong Kong and customers can book flights now for travel from November 15, 2013.

The A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, accommodating 469 customers across four cabins. Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck. The cabin will offer 14 seats and is evolved from the current First class. Club World (business class) customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2:3:2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. Both cabins will feature the airline’s current design, which is now flying on the new Boeing 777-300 ER fleet.

The aircraft’s innovative design makes it much quieter during take-off and landing and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. British Airways has ordered 12 for delivery by 2016 as part of a [Pounds]5bn investment over five years in new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

The arrival of the A380 has entailed a multi-million pound redevelopment of British Airways’ Heathrow engineering base to support maintenance of the world’s largest commercial aircraft type. This included two 24-ton roof ‘eyebrows’ being lifted into place in one of the hangars to raise the height of the entrance to accommodate the A380′s 24-meter tailfin.

British has 12 A380s on order.

British Airways A380-800 (97-Union flag)(Flt)(British)(LR)

All images: British Airways.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates to add a second daily Airbus A380 to Sydney on June 1

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has announced it will add a second Airbus A380 service on the Dubai – Sydney route from June 1, 2013. The second A380 will operate on the early morning service and demonstrates the airline’s commitment to New South Wales and demand for the flagship aircraft.

Currently served by a Boeing 777-300ER, deploying the Airbus A380 on Emirates’ flights EK 414 and EK 415 will see an increase in capacity of 1,890 seats per week.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDI (msn 028) taxies at Amsterdam.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Frameable Color Prints and Posters: AG All Photos Available

Emirates supports the Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Emirates Airline (Dubai) is supporting the United Arab Emirates’ bid for Dubai as the location of the 2020 Exposition (World’s Fair). Dubai is competing against Ayutthaya (Thailand), Izmir (Turkey), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Yekaterinburg (Russia) for the final selection of the location. International Exhibitions Bureau (Bureau International des Expositions-BIE) will make the selection next year.

In the meantime the airline is adding adding “Expo 2020 Dubai UAE” stickers.

Expo 2020 Dubai UAE logo

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDS (msn 086) arrives at the Dubai hub with the special logo (click on the photo for the full size view).

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines firms up an order for five Airbus A380s and 20 A350-900s

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has firmed up an order for five additional A380s and 20 A350-900s. The deal was completed in 2012 and follows an agreement in October 2012.

Singapore Airlines has placed three consecutive orders for the A380, making it the second largest customer of the A380, and now has 19 aircraft in service. In the mid-size category, the new A350 XWB order sees the airline double its backlog for the all-new aircraft to 40. The A350-900s will be used by the airline on both medium and long haul routes.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Airbus A380-841 9V-SKM (msn 065) lands at Zurich.

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

British Airways unveils seating plans for its new Airbus A380s and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, will take delivery of more Boeing 777-300 ERs

British Airways (London) has announced the seating plans for its new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on order. The company issued this statement:

With the first of the airline’s new long-haul aircraft only six months away from delivery, British Airways has announced the cabin design and layout for its Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

Two hundred and fourteen customers will enjoy the comforts of the new British Airways 787 Dreamliner and the A380 will be the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet, with 469 customers.

The 24 Dreamliners and 12 A380s will feature the elegant cabin designs fitted on British Airways’ new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, which have proved hugely popular with customers.

All eight 787-8s will feature a new Club World 2:3:2 layout, the latest generation World Traveller and World Traveller Plus seats. In addition, the new A380 will also have an enhanced version of First. The exact seating plans of another 16 787-9s on order have yet to be finalized, they could have three or four-cabin configurations.

British Airways is set to be the first European airline to operate both new aircraft types, with its first Dreamliner arriving in May 2013 and A380 deliveries starting in July 2013.

The British Airways Dreamliner will have 35 seats for customers in the new Club World triple configuration of 2:3:2; 25 seats in a World Traveller Plus layout of 2:3:2; and a further 154 seats for those travelling in World Traveller, with a 3:3:3 configuration.

On the British Airways A380 there will be 14 seats in First on the main deck, with extra personal and stowage space; the Club World cabin will feature 44 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration; and there will be 199 seats in World Traveller, with a 3:4:3 layout.

The A380 upper deck will feature 53 seats in the new Club World triple configuration of 2:3:2; 55 seats in a 2:3:2 World Traveller Plus layout; and World Traveller will have 104 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration.

Both new aircraft will also feature the airline’s latest Thales inflight entertainment system, which offers customers 50 percent more movies, 200 percent more TV shows and 200 percent more audio programs and music*.

Customers will also benefit from new larger screens in all cabins and an easier to use system with shortcut buttons. They will also be able to connect personal devices, such as laptops and use the in-seat power available for the first time in all cabins.

In 2013, British Airways will take delivery of nine new longhaul aircraft. The first British Airways Dreamliner will be delivered in May 2013. A further three will arrive by the end of the year. The first A380 will be delivered in July, with additional deliveries in August and October. Two additional 777-300 ERs will arrive in September and October 2013.

British Airways will announce the routes the new aircraft will operate in Spring 2013.

* Compared with the Rockwell Collins audio video on-demand system deployed on British Airways fleet of Boeing 747s, 767 longhaul aircraft and most Boeing 777-200s.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. More stretched Boeing 777-300 ERs will be joining the fleet. Boeing 777-36N ER G-STBC (msn 38287) arrives at the London Heathrow hub.

British Airways logo

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates arrives in Lyon, France, expands its Airbus A380 cities

Emirates Airline (Dubai) on December 5 touched down in Lyon, celebrating the airline’s third destination in France and fourth new European destination since the start of 2012.

Serviced by an Airbus A340-500 in three cabin classes, Emirates’ flights to Lyon will offer a total of 258 seats including; 12 First Class Suites, 42 seats in Business Class and 204 seats in Economy Class. The addition of this new Emirates service will see an overall capacity increase of 12 per cent in France.

In other news, on December 1, 2012 Emirates’ A380 destination list grew to 20, with Singapore and Moscow joining the airline’s double-decker network.

With the world’s largest fleet of A380 aircraft, at 27 and another four to be delivered up to the end of 2012, Emirates continues to set the pace for A380 deployment. In the four years since the A380 has been in operation over 11.5 million passengers have flown on the aircraft.

Emirates’ inaugural A380 service to Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow marks the first time a commercial A380 flight has touched down in the city reinforcing the airline’s long-term commitment to Russia. In addition to the launch of the A380 to Moscow, Emirates will also upgrade its daily St. Petersburg service, launching a Boeing 777-300 on the route today adding a further 688 seats per week on the route.

With the addition of A380 services, Emirates’ total capacity across four daily services from Dubai to Singapore increases to 1,659 seats daily. In Moscow the total capacity across two daily services from Dubai to Moscow increases to 775 seats daily.

Continuing with its swift A380 utilization from December 10th Emirates will operate all five daily services from London Heathrow with an A380. New York and Paris will also benefit from the upcoming A380 deliveries, each receiving their second daily A380 service from 1st January 2013. The extensive Emirates A380 network enables many customers to now travel onboard the A380 for the full length of their journey.

Passengers in all classes can enjoy Emirates’ award-winning ‘ice’ Digital Widescreen, the industry’s most sophisticated video and audio system, offering 1,400 channels of on-demand entertainment – the largest selection of programming in the sky.

Emirates now operates to 21 A380 destinations with new cities to be announced in the coming months.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Airbus A340-541 A6-ERJ (msn 694) taxies at the Dubai hub.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines expanded relationship could impact the fast growing Gulf carriers

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Lufthansa (Frankfurt) and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), two Star Alliance airlines, are in discussions about increasing their relationship and cooperation according to this report by the Financial Times. Turkish Airlines is a fast growing carrier and serves many destinations not served by the German carrier. Lufthansa appears to favor this approach rather than striking up a new relationship with any of the fast growing Gulf carriers. Lufthansa has been critical of the Gulf carriers which pose a threat to many European long-haul carriers. Competitor Airberlin (Berlin) now has a strong and growing relationship with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and fast growing Qatar Airways (Doha) will join the Oneworld alliance in August 2013 as previously reported.

Read the full report from the Financial Times: CLICK HERE

Read another report by Arabian Business: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMJ (msn 073) approach Singapore for landing.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 777-3F2 ER TC-JJP (msn 40797) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport dressed in the updated 2010 color scheme.

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Thai takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 today in Toulouse

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) has taken delivery of its first A380, becoming the ninth airline to operate the world’s largest airliner. The aircraft was handed over to Captain Montree Jumrieng, Executive Vice President Technical, by Kiran Rao,  Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Airbus, at a special ceremony in Toulouse today.

Thai has ordered six A380s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The airline has specified a premium three class layout for its fleet, seating a total of 507 passengers. All classes feature new cabin designs, with 12 private suites in First Class, 60 fully flat sleeper seats in Royal Silk Class and 435 seats in Economy. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems, communication outlets and individual power supply.

Thai will inaugurate commercial service with the A380 in early October on the Bangkok – Hong Kong and Bangkok – Singapore routes. As more aircraft are delivered, the airline will begin service to Frankfurt at the end of the year, followed by Tokyo and Paris early in 2013.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A380-841 F-WWAO (msn 087) became HS-TUA on delivery.

Thai Airways International: 

QANTAS and Emirates announce a new global partnership

QANTAS Airways (Sydney)  and Emirates Airline (Dubai) today announced a new global aviation partnership that will give customers a seamless international and Australian network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world‐class travel experiences.

Under the agreement signed this morning by Emirates President Tim Clark and QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce, QANTAS will move its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai and enter an extensive commercial relationship with Emirates.

The 10 year code sharing partnership is enhanced by integrated network collaboration with coordinated pricing, sales and scheduling as well as a benefits sharing model.  Neither airline will take equity in the other.

The partnership will see QANTAS, along with anchor tenant Emirates, as the only other airline operating at Dubai International’s Terminal 3. The two airlines will jointly offer 98 weekly services between Australia and the global gateway city of Dubai including four daily Airbus A380 flights. With Emirates flying the largest fleet of A380s in the world with 23, combined with QANTAS’ 12 A380s for a total of 35, many onward flights to Europe including London Paris, Moscow, Amsterdam, Munich and Rome will also be on this popular aircraft. In addition, QANTAS will launch daily A380 services from both Sydney and Melbourne to London via Dubai for a combined unprecedented seven daily A380 flights to London Heathrow.  Thirty additional European gateways can be seamlessly reached from Australia via Dubai.

For Emirates customers it will open up QANTAS’ Australian domestic network of more than 50 destinations and nearly 5,000 flights per week.  The carriers will also coordinate their respective trans-Tasman services between Australia and New Zealand with Emirates offering improved schedules for flights to Christchurch and Auckland – including the introduction of Emirates’ daily A380 services on the Melbourne-Auckland route in October.

Emirates and QANTAS frequent flyer agreements will be aligned, giving customers expanded opportunities to earn and redeem points, with reciprocal access to tier status benefits including end-to-end recognition of customers, lounge access, priority check-in and boarding as well as other exclusive services.

Emirates and QANTAS will work together to ensure a seamless customer experience, including mutual lounge access, shared use of Emirates’ unique dedicated A380 facility slated to open in early 2013 in Dubai, coordinated baggage allowances and a chauffeur service for premium customers.

The airlines will submit applications for authorization to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and other relevant regulatory authorities, in order to begin commercial planning.  Subject to regulatory approvals, it is anticipated that the partnership arrangements will take effect in April 2013.

QANTAS has admitted its cannot continue to sustain its financial losses for its international services and it cannot go it alone, hence this new relationship. British Airways will have to forge a new relationship with another Australia carrier. Is the Oneworld Alliance in trouble?

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQH (msn 050) arrives at Los Angeles.

QANTAS Airways: 

Emirates Airline: 

Bottom Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDF (msn 007) taxies across the tarmac at London (Heathrow).

Thai Airways International to introduce its first Airbus A380 in October

Thai Airways International’s (Bangkok) first Airbus A380-800 aircraft bearing the airline’s distinctive livery has been rolled out from the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg. Now the pictured A380-841 with the temporary marks of F-WWAO (msn 087) is seen for the first time on the runway at Hamburg (Finkenwerder)

According to the carrier, “this important milestone marks the unveiling of the fully-painted, first Airbus A380 for Thailand’s national flag carrier. Thai’s symbol is an abstract image suggesting movement, inspired by the crown flower used in Thai handicraft work and Thai garlands used in traditional ceremonies such as weddings and auspicious events. Colors used are purple, magenta and gold representing, respectively, a Thai orchid, shimmering Thai silk and the brilliance of a Thai temple.”

Thai will become the ninth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of first the aircraft later this month on September 27. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on its premier routes from Bangkok to Europe.

Thai is now planning to introduce the new wide body type on October 6 between Bangkok and Hong Kong (instead of the original planned October 28 launch date).

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A380-841 F-WWAO will become HS-TUA on hand over.

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