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Tag Archives: Airbus

Fastjet to enter the South African market via Federal Airlines, drops its fight with Don Smith of Five Forty Aviation

Fastjet (Fastjet.com) (Dar es Salaam), Africa’s low-cost airline, has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with local South African investment company Blockbuster, with the objective of Fastjet operating services in South Africa by the end of May 2013.

Blockbuster is associated with a number of high profile South Africans including,  Mr Edward Zuma and Mr Yusuf Kajee. It is anticipated that the new entity will be 75% owned by Blockbuster, in compliance with South African law, and 25% owned by Fastjet.  Tickets could go on sale within a few weeks and Fastjet is targeting May 31 to launch the initial Johannesburg to Cape Town route.

A commercial arrangement has been struck between Blockbuster and local operator Federal Airlines, a company with a 20 year history in South Africa, which will allow Fastjet to leverage Federal Airlines’ existing licensing infrastructure and deliver its low-cost airline model to the South African public.

In recent months, Fastjet has been in discussions with a number of South Africa-based entities to support its market entry strategy, including negotiations regarding a potential purchase of liquidated airline 1time.  In the opinion of the Directors, the value of the 1time has diminished over time.As there is still no indication that 1time creditors will accept the Fastjet offer, the Company has therefore chosen to invest in the Blockbuster/Federal Airlines venture to pursue its entry into an important African market and a country well-suited to Fastjet’s low-cost operating model

Fastjet is also pleased to announce that it has raised additional working capital to assist with the South Africa launch though a successful placing with an institutional investor who is committed to low cost air travel in Africa.

The Company has received legally binding commitments to raise £2,000,000 by way of the issue of 160 million new ordinary shares (the “Placing Shares”) at a price of 1.25 pence per share (the “Placing Price”). These shares will rank pari passu in all respects with existing ordinary shares of fastjet.   Following completion of the Placing the Company will announce the issue of the Placing Shares and the date of their admission to AIM, expected by 1 May 2013.  The Placing Shares carry one attaching warrant for every two allocated Placing Shares subscribed, with each warrant entitling the holder to subscribe for one ordinary share in the Company at the Placing Price with an exercise period of one month.

In South Africa, the airline intends to initially operate flights along the Johannesburg – Cape Town route twice a day, seven days a week in the prime business travel morning and afternoon slots.  Flights to other key destinations will be launched once the Cape Town route is established.”

Earlier this week, Fastjet announced the signing of a MOU with Don Smith, CEO of Five Forty Aviation Limited which trades in Kenya as Fly 540 to resolve issues that have concerned the media in particular. The signing of this MOU provides a positive platform for Fastjet to strengthen its East African hub.

The MOU includes, among other provisions, an agreement by both parties to stop legal proceedings in order that mutually beneficial and constructive resolutions are discussed and implemented.

Fastjet plc is the holding company for African airline Fly540, which operates in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Angola. Flights under the Fastjet brand commenced in Tanzania in November 2012. The airline has introduced Airbus A319s into its fleet and by adhering to international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability, Fastjet has brought a new flying experience to the African market at unprecedented low prices . Fastjet is implementing the low-cost model across Africa and its long-term strategy is to become the continent’s first low-cost, pan-African airline.

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk. Airbus A319-112 5H-FJC (msn 1145) of Fastjet is pictured parked at Lusaka.

Fastjet South Africa Coming Soon Ad


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Air Seychelles and South African Airways sign a code-share agreement

Air Seychelles (Mahé), the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, on April 25 announced that it has entered into a code-share agreement with South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg), the national airline of the Republic of South Africa.

The first phase of the agreement will see South African Airways place its “SA” code on Air Seychelles’ non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Seychelles. South African Airways will also place its code on flights between the two largest islands of Seychelles, Mahé and Praslin, subject to approvals.

Subsequent to the launch of the partnership between Air Seychelles and SAA, the airlines will look into expanding the agreement to include Air Seychelles placing its ‘HM’ code on South African Airways’ non-stop flights between Johannesburg and destinations across South Africa.

Ticket sales are set to open on April 29, for travel from April 30.

The deal follows a strategic move by Air Seychelles to increase its connectivity throughout South Africa and continental Africa.

In March 2013, Air Seychelles introduced an enhanced schedule and additional weekly service on its Johannesburg route, bringing the flights to three return services per week with daytime departures and arrivals. The new schedule greatly enhances leisure and business travelers’ ability to connect seamlessly on both airlines across Africa and South Africa, particularly to Cape Town and Durban.

Top Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Airbus A330-243 A6-EYY (msn 751) arrives at Johannesburg. The aircraft is wet leased from strategic partner Etihad Airways.

Air Seychelles: AG Slide Show

South African Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. South African is planning to retire its last Airbus A340-200 in late May. The SAA A340s are some of the oldest A340s flying. The pictured A340-212 ZS-SLB (msn 011) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Lufthansa faces additional strikes by Verdi

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is facing additional strikes by its Verdi union.

According to this report by Reuters, Verdi is demanding a 5.2 percent pay raise over 12 months and job security for about 33,000 cabin crew and ground staff.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Airbus A340-311 D-AIGC (msn 027) in the Star Alliance livery climbs away from the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus to lease three Boeing 757-200s for thin trans-Atlantic routes, 1Q operating loss widens to $59.1 million

Aer Lingus (Dublin) is planning to wet lease three Boeing 757-200s starting in early 2014. The aircraft will be assigned to thin trans-Atlantic routes. The company believes there is growth potential on these new routes because of its new jetBlue Airways (New York) relationship.

Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

On the financial side, the company will seek to reduce its staff by 100 positions by the end of the year after its first quarter operating loss widened to $59.1 million.

Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection. The Boeing 757s will supplement the Airbus A330 fleet. A330-302 EI-EDY (msn 1025) prepares to depart from the Dublin hub.

Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show

Aigle Azur introduces a new livery

Aigle Azur A320-200 F-HBIO (13)(Grd)(Aigle Azur)(LR)

Aigle Azur Transport Aeriens (2nd) (Paris-Orly) has introduced a new color scheme and brand on its Airbus A320-214 F-HBIO (msn 3242).

Aigle Azur (2013) logo

Copyright Photos: Aigle Azur.

Aigle Azur: AG Slide Show

Aigle Azur A320-200 F-HBIO (13)(Grd-1)(Aigle Azur)(LR)

JetBlue Airways Corporation 1Q net income slips to $14 million due to Hurricane Sandy, will add Lima Peru

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the first quarter 2013:

  • Operating income for the quarter was $59 million, resulting in a 4.5% operating margin, compared to operating income of $89 million and a 7.4% operating margin in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Pre-tax income of $23 million in the first quarter.  This compares to pre-tax income of $49 million in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Net income for the first quarter was $14 million, or $0.05 per diluted share.  This compares to JetBlue’s first quarter 2012 net income of $30 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.

“Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated crewmembers, we reported our twelfth consecutive quarter of profitability,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “First quarter results were solid but below those of a year ago, primarily due to Hurricane Sandy-related demand weakness in the Northeast during the peak Presidents’ Day travel period and higher than expected maintenance costs during the quarter.  While the first quarter was challenging, we remain focused on achieving sustainable, profitable growth and are optimistic about the rest of the year.”

Operational Performance

JetBlue reported record first quarter operating revenues of $1.3 billion despite the lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy, which reduced revenue during the Presidents’ Day travel period by an estimated $25 million.  Revenue passenger miles for the first quarter increased 7.6% to 8.51 billion on a capacity increase of 6.3%, resulting in a first quarter load factor of 83.9%, an increase of 1.0 point year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the first quarter was 13.95 cents, up 0.7% compared to the first quarter of 2012.  Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the first quarter 2013 increased 1.8% year over year to 11.70 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.5% year over year to 12.81 cents.

“Successful execution of our network plan, particularly in Boston, and our continued focus on high-margin products and services contributed to the solid revenue results we announced today,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased 11.3%, or $126 million, over the prior year period.  JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the first quarter increased 4.6% year over year to 12.23 cents.  Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM increased 6.6% to 7.62 cents, driven in part by approximately $20 million of higher than expected maintenance expense related to JetBlue’s EMBRAER 190 aircraft.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility.  During the first quarter JetBlue hedged approximately 8% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 10% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs), resulting in a realized fuel price of $3.29 per gallon, a 1.3% increase over first quarter 2012 realized fuel price of $3.25.

JetBlue has managed approximately 37% of its second quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, collars, swaps and call options.  Based on the fuel curve as of April 19th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $3.03 in the second quarter.

Balance Sheet Update

JetBlue ended the first quarter with approximately $849 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments.  In addition, JetBlue maintains a $200 million line of credit with Morgan Stanley.

JetBlue announced today that it has obtained a new revolving credit facility for up to $350 million. “We continue to enhance and optimize our liquidity position through our growing unencumbered asset base and credit facilities, which we believe will be accretive to return on invested capital,” said Mark Powers, JetBlue’s Chief Financial Officer.

Second Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the second quarter of 2013, CASM is expected to be between negative 1.5% and positive 0.5% compared to the year-ago period.  Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the second quarter is expected to increase between 3.0% and 5.0% year over year.  JetBlue expects nearly three quarters of this year over year increase to be driven by maintenance expense.

CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 1.5% and 3.5% over full year 2012.  Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2013 is expected to increase between 2.0% and 4.0% year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 6.5% and 8.5% in the second quarter and to increase between 6.0% and 8.0% for the full year.

In other news, Jetblue announced Lima will become the 81st Blue City beginning on November 21. The capital of Peru will become the fourth destination in South America with one daily flight from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, subject to government approval.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in special 10th Anniversary livery.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

LAN and TAM take delivery of the first Airbus A320s with Sharklets

LAN (Chile) A320-200 WL D-AXAW (CC-BFK)(04)(Tko)(Airbus)(LRW)

LAN Airlines (Chile) (Santiago) and TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo) (LATAM Airlines Group) each took delivery of their first Airbus A320s equipped with Sharklets. Powered by CFM, the LAN and TAM aircraft were delivered this week and will begin operating domestic routes within Chile and Brazil. The two airlines combined have ordered 380 aircraft and have more than 240 aircraft in operation. Their joint Airbus backlog totals nearly 180 aircraft.

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and allow Airbus’ airline customers to reduce fuel burn up to four percent over longer sectors and reduce approximately 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions per aircraft per year. Sharklets offer operators the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

Top Copyright Photo: Airbus. A320-214 D-AXAW became CC-BFK (msn 5548) and was handed over to LAN on April 18 followed by CC-BFL (msn 5554) on the following day.

Meanwhile TAM received Airbus A320-214 PR-MYY (msn 5591) on April 23.

LAN Airlines: AG Slide Show

Hawaiian swings to a 1Q net loss of $17.1 million

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (Honolulu), reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2013.

First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

  • Available seat mile (ASM) for scheduled operations increased 26.1% year-over-year.
  • Adjusted net loss, reflecting economic fuel expense, of $14.8 million or $0.29 per diluted share.
  • GAAP net loss of $17.1 million or $0.33 cents per diluted share.
  • Cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding fuel, decrease of 7.9% year-over-year.
  • CASM decrease of 5.7% year-over-year.
  • Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $438.2 million.

Mark Dunkerley, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented that “Our results for the quarter were disappointing but unsurprising. Our performance was undermined by an extraordinary increase in total industry capacity between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast and in certain international markets during what is traditionally the weakest quarter of the year.  However, good cost control and an improvement in our Neighbor Island segment helped offset some of the impact during the period.  Looking ahead, published schedules show capacity beginning to decline in the second half which should improve the operating environment.

Throughout, Hawaiian continued to develop its network by growing into new origin markets for the Hawaii visitor.  We launched services to Auckland, New Zealand in March and in the next six months will add Sendai, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan to our increasingly diverse network of destinations.  Our formula of competitive unit costs and a high level of service have allowed us to establish the optimal brand for serving Hawaii that makes us the carrier of choice in the markets we serve.”

Statistical data, as well as a reconciliation of the reported non-GAAP financial measures, can be found in the accompanying tables.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2013, the Company had:

  • Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $438.2 million.
  • Available borrowing capacity of $69 million under Hawaiian’s Revolving Credit Facility.
  • Outstanding debt and capital lease obligations of approximately $648 million consisting of the following:
    • $242 million outstanding under secured loan agreements to finance a portion of the purchase price for four Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
    • $167 million outstanding under secured loan agreements to finance a portion of the purchase price for 15 Boeing 717-200 aircraft.
    • $104 million in capital lease obligations to finance an Airbus A330-200 and two Boeing 717-200 aircraft.
    • $61 million outstanding under floating rate notes issued in conjunction with the acquisition of three Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft.
    • $74 million outstanding of Convertible Senior Notes.

Business Highlights


  • Ranked #1 nationally for the ninth consecutive year for on-time performance in 2012 and the month of February 2013 by the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Travel Consumer Report.
  • Unveiled branding and livery for our new Neighbor Island turboprop operations as ‘Ohana by Hawaiian for service to begin in the summer between Honolulu and Moloka’i and Lana’i.


  • Added one new Airbus A330-200 aircraft in February for North America and International service.
  • Executed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 16 new A321neo aircraft for delivery between 2017 and 2020, with purchase rights for an additional nine aircraft.  The long-range, single-aisle aircraft will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.

New routes and increased frequencies

  • Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand three-times-weekly service launched in March 2013.
  • Announced Honolulu to Sendai, Japan three-times-weekly service beginning in June 2013.
  • Announced Honolulu to Taipei, Taiwan three-times-weekly service beginning in July 2013.
  • Announced the addition of seasonal frequency flights between Honolulu and three Oceania gateways, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland in September and October 2013.
  • Announced three-times-weekly service between Honolulu and Beijing, China beginning in April 2014 pending government approval.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N382HA (msn 1171) is pictured on final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways Group reports a 1Q net profit of $55 million

US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways) (Phoenix) today reported its first quarter 2013 financial results. For the first quarter 2013, net profit excluding net special items was a record $55 million, or $0.31 per diluted share. Net loss excluding net special items for the first quarter 2012 was $22 million, or ($0.13) per share.

On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net profit of $44 million for its first quarter 2013, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to a net profit of $48 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the same period in 2012. See the accompanying notes in the Financial Tables section of this press release for a reconciliation of GAAP financial information to non-GAAP financial information.

US Airways Group, Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Parker stated, “We are extremely pleased to produce these record first quarter results. Our 32,000 hard-working team members continue to run a safe and reliable airline for our customers. These outstanding results are the product of their efforts and provide a solid foundation as we plan for combining with American Airlines.

“Looking forward, our integration planning work with American is going well and we continue to expect that the merger will close in the third quarter of this year. The entire US Airways team is looking forward to working with our colleagues at American to build the premier global airline.”

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

A strong demand environment and record passenger load factors led to record revenue performance. Total revenues in the first quarter were $3.4 billion, up 3.5 percent versus the first quarter 2012 on a 1.3 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Total revenue per ASM was a record 15.78 cents, up 2.2 percent versus the same period last year, driven by a 2.4 point increase in passenger load factor.

Total operating expenses in the first quarter were $3.3 billion, up 2.2 percent over the same period last year. Mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.82 cents, up 1.8 percent on a 1.4 percent increase in mainline ASMs. Excluding special items, fuel and profit sharing, mainline CASM was 8.77 cents, up 0.7 percent versus the same period last year. Express CASM excluding special items and fuel was 15.12 cents, down 1.3 percent on a 0.8 percent increase in ASMs.


As of March 31, 2013, the Company had $2.9 billion in total cash and investments, of which $352 million was restricted, up from $2.7 billion, of which $336 million was restricted on December 31, 2012.

On April 10, the Company launched and priced an offering of 2013-1 Class A and Class B enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETCs) in the aggregate face amount of approximately $820 million. The proceeds from the offering will be used to finance its purchase of 18 Airbus aircraft scheduled to be delivered from September 2013 to June 2014. The transaction is expected to close on April 24, 2013.

As a result of the above mentioned EETC transaction, the Company has secured financing commitments for all of its aircraft deliveries to June 2014.

US Airways’ Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr stated, “We are extremely pleased with the results of our recent EETC financing transaction. Thanks to our strong financial and operational performance, along with our strategic positioning, we were able to obtain the lowest fixed rate financing on an EETC issued by a major airline since 2003.”

Special Items

The Company recognized approximately $11 million of net special charges in the first quarter. Operating special charges totaled $41 million and primarily included costs related to the merger and the ratification of the US Airways flight attendant collective bargaining agreement. In addition, the Company recognized a $30 million non operating special credit in connection with an award received in an arbitration related to previous investments in auction rate securities.

Merger with American

On February 14, US Airways announced that it had reached a definitive merger agreement with AMR Corporation to create the new American Airlines. The new American will have a robust global network, a strong financial foundation, and is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual synergies by 2015. The Companies presently expect the transaction to close in the third quarter.

Notable Accomplishments

Marketing and Customer Enhancements

  • Began new daily, non-stop service between its largest hub in Charlotte, N.C. and London’s preferred business airport, Heathrow. The daily flight will supplement the airline’s existing daily service between its international gateway in Philadelphia and Heathrow, and replaces its service between Charlotte and London’s Gatwick airport.
  • Introduced two new choices to DineFresh, its premium meal option for customers flying in Economy to Europe, the Middle East and South America. Since the program’s inception in August 2012, US Airways remains the only U.S.-based carrier to deliver a premium meal option for customers traveling internationally to or from the United States in Economy.
  • Announced new non-stop, daily year-round service from its international gateway in Philadelphia to Salt Lake City on June 8. The new service will give customers in Salt Lake City one-stop access to destinations throughout the East Coast, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean.


  • The airline’s employees earned approximately $6 million in profit sharing for the first quarter results and an additional $4 million in operational incentive payouts through February.
  • Honored 64 employees for their more than 45 years of service with US Airways (pilots were honored for 40 years) at the airline’s service anniversary dinner.
  • Selected 51 employees to receive the fourth quarter Chairman’s Award, US Airways’ most prestigious honor.
  • Awarded ten employees $10,000 each for providing exceptional service to customers through the airline’s “Above & Beyond” program. The “Above & Beyond” program recognizes employees who provide exceptional service to the airline’s customers and fellow employees. Since launching the program in 2006, the airline has received more than 300,000 A&B coupons and has awarded nearly $7.3 million to more than 9,000 employees.
  • Announced that its 6,800 flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA (AFA), ratified a new contract that provides immediate pay increases and includes support for the merger of US Airways and American Airlines.
  • Announced that its pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), at both wholly owned Express carriers, PSA Airlines and Piedmont Airlines, have voted to ratify new five-year collective bargaining agreements.

Other Notable Accomplishments

  • Announced that the Company has received FAA certification on its wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft for SafeRoute®, a cornerstone navigation computer software system for the FAA’s NextGen airspace redesign program.
  • Announced that the US Airways Education Foundation will award $270,000 in grants this year to nonprofit organizations in the airline’s hub cities of Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.  Grants will be awarded to children’s educational programs aimed to increase academic achievement for those they serve. Since 1992, the US Airways Education Foundation has awarded nearly $4.9 million in scholarships and grants.
  • Announced that its Community Foundation awarded a total of $125,000 in grants to Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona to assist in facilities renovation.

Copyright Photo: Jan Petzold/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) in the PSA retrojet scheme climbs away from Charlotte.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways launches New York JFK-Albuquerque service as it suffers ATC delays at JFK of up to 90 minutes yesterday

JetBlue Airways (New York) yesterday (April 22) launched New York’s only nonstop service to the city of Albuquerque on a day that saw horrendous delays due to FAA ATC controller furloughs.

Albuquerque is JetBlue’s first destination in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, and is the 77th destination served in the airline’s growing route network.

JetBlue’s schedule between New York and Albuquerque:

Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
8:25 p.m. – 11:04 p.m. 11:55 p.m. – 5:57 a.m.
- Daily flights operate year round beginning Monday, April 22, 2013 –

JetBlue’s flights from Albuquerque will be operated with its 150-seat Airbus A320 fleet.

Meanwhile the New York airports were hit the hardest by the FAA ATC controller furloughs with delays upwards of 90 minutes yesterday. More delays are expected today.

Read the full report in the USA Today: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boston Strong. JetBlue Airways has been a strong supporter of the Boston Red Sox and the city of Boston as it recovers from the tragic Boston Marathon bombings and massive lock-down of the city. Airbus A320-232 N605JB (msn 2368) in the Boston Red Sox livery arrives at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Boston Strong logo

One Fund logo

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

VietJetAir to add its second international route to Bangkok from Hanoi on June 1

VietJetAir (VietJetAir.com) (Ho Chi Minh City) has announced its second international route connecting the Vietnam capital of Hanoi to Bangkok starting on June 1, 2013.

VietJetAir currently operates a daily round trip between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok with the Hanoi-Bangkok connection to be operated at the same frequency. The new route will depart from Hanoi at 10:50 am and land in Bangkok at 12:40 pm. The return flight will depart from Suvarnabhumi airport at 1:35 pm and arrive at Noi Bai International Airport at 3.25 pm.

Top Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk. Airbus A320-214 VN-A688 (msn 2712) in the HD Bank special scheme arrives at the Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) base.

VietjetAir.com logo

VietJetAir: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photos: VietJetAir.

VietJetAir cabin-FAs (VietJetAir)(LR)

VietJetAir FAs (VietJetAir)(LR)

British Airways to operate the Airbus A350-1000, signs MOU for 18

International Airline Group (IAG) (London) and British Airways (London) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to buy 18 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft plus 18 options, as part of the airline’s on-going long-haul aircraft fleet renewal and modernisation strategy.

IAG, owner of both British Airways and Iberia (Madrid), has also secured commercial terms and delivery slots that could lead to firm orders for Iberia. Firm orders will only be made when Iberia is in a position to grow profitably, having restructured and reduced its cost base.

The choice of the A350-1000 follows British Airways’ decision in 2007 to buy 12 Airbus A380s, the first of which will be delivered this summer. Operating the A380 and A350 together delivers real value to the world’s leading airlines because it allows them to match aircraft capacity to traffic demand on any route.

Image: Airbus.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines starts flying its first Airbus A320 with Sharklets

Spirit A320-200 WL N619NK (07)(Tail)(Spirit)(LR)

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is celebrating Earth Day today as it begins flying its new Airbus A320 Sharklet-equipped aircraft. The pictured Airbus A320-232 N619NK (msn 5517) was handed over to the carrier on March 25.

As part of its green efforts, several years ago Spirit made the conscious decision to transition to a fleet of new, fuel-efficient Airbus aircraft and enhanced them with an eco-friendly seating configuration. In fact, Spirit burns far less fuel per passenger than its competitors. Its A320 aircraft provide an incredible 89.4 passenger miles per gallon.* Spirit has also signed an agreement with Airbus for an order which includes their latest A320neo (new engine option) aircraft, which will be even more fuel efficient than Spirit’s current A320s. In addition, Spirit’s “Bring Less, Pay Less” baggage program has led to a reduction in bags carried per passenger and resulted in Spirit using the equivalent of nearly six million gallons less fuel in the past year.

Spirit currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of 49 aircraft, including 29 A319s, 18 A320s and two A321s. The company has five more new Airbus A320s scheduled for delivery in 2013, as well as seven A320s scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 10 in 2015. Spirit has 75 new aircraft (30 classic A320s and 45 A320neos) on firm order for delivery between 2016 and 2021. In addition, Spirit has signed a letter of intent with ILFC to lease five A320neo aircraft, subject to final documentation.

Copyright Photo: Spirit Airlines.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Virgin America launches Los Angeles-Las Vegas flights, get a drink and chat with a fellow passenger with the new Red in-flight entertainment system

Virgin America (San Francisco) today celebrated the launch of its new daily nonstop flight service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS).

The three daily roundtrip flights will add to the airline’s existing service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to LAS and from New York’s Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to LAS.

In addition, to mark its latest Vegas expansion, the airline today launches a first-of-its-kind seat-to-seat delivery service on flights nationwide. The feature allows guests to use the airline’s Red™ in-flight entertainment platform to order a drink, meal or snack for fellow guests onboard, using the Red system’s on-demand food ordering system. Travelers can now send an in-flight cocktail to that friendly stranger in seat 4A – and then follow up with a text message using the seat-to-seat chat function also on Red.


Virgin America’s new seat-to-seat delivery feature on the Red system is live on flights nationwide and Sir Richard Branson helped introduce the innovative new feature with a video (see below). Travelers can now use the airline’s touch-screen seatback personal entertainment platform to send a cocktail, snack or meal to a fellow traveler onboard their flight using a digital seat map. Virgin America already features a seat-to-seat chat platform via its Red in-flight entertainment system, so that travelers can send text messages to other guests on their aircraft.  As part of the launch of the unique feature, Virgin America is kicking off an online promotion inviting users to share how they are using or would use the new “Seat-to-Seat” feature – including their best in-flight pick-up lines.  Social media submissions are being collected from April 22nd through May 22nd.  The top five entries will be voted on by Virgin America fans with the top two entries scoring grand prize packages including mood-lit Virgin America flights to Las Vegas from anywhere in the Virgin America U.S. domestic network, a two-night stay in a Terrace Studio at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, dinner for two at a restaurant of choice from the Restaurant Collection at The Cosmopolitan, and VIP entry to Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan. For contest rules and terms and conditions, visit http://www.virginamerica.com/html/pdf/130422_get_lucky_woobox_tc.pdf

Once again Virgin America shows why it rates at the top of opinion polls for U.S. airlines. Well done VA.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian Peters. The first Virgin America Airbus A320 with Sharklets, Airbus A320-214 N361VA (msn 5515) named “Jersey Girl” arrives at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Video: Sir Richard Branson introduces Virgin America’s Seat to Seat

Frontier launches seasonal service from Denver to Harrisburg and Knoxville

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today returns nonstop service between its Denver, Colorado (DEN), hub and both Harrisburg, PA (MDT) and Knoxville, TN (TYS). Both routes will operate seasonally with three weekly nonstop flights.

Following is the schedule for the service from Denver:

Denver-Harrisburg (beginning April 22, 2013)

Route Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
DEN-MDT 11:20 a.m. 4:35 p.m. Mon/Wed/Fri A319
MDT-DEN 5:19 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Mon/Wed/Fri A319

Denver-Knoxville (beginning April 22, 2013)

Route Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
DEN-TYS 12:30 p.m. 5:09 p.m. Tues/Thurs/Sun A319
TYS-DEN 5:59 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Tues/Thurs/Sun A319

Beginning May 16, 2013, the days of operation for Harrisburg will be Tues/Thurs/Sun and the days of operation for Knoxville will be Mon/Wed/Fri.

These flights will operate on 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A319-111 N928FR (msn 2236) (Bobcat) arrives at Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Malta celebrates Valletta as the European Capital of Culture 2018

Air Malta (airmalta.com) (Luqa) is celebrating the selection of Valletta as the European Capital of Culture 2018 with an updated Airbus A320 logojet incorporating its new livery.

According to Wikipedia, “the European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.”

Valletta is the capital of Malta in the central-eastern portion of the island of Malta.

Also according to Wikipedia, “Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also known as Knights Hospitaller. The city is essentially Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture in selected areas, though World War II left major scars on the city. The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.”

This is how the city describes itself:

“Valletta, Malta’s capital and a World Heritage site, is nothing short of an open-air museum. It is a living experience of Baroque architecture, a monument donated by the Knights of St John nearly five centuries ago. Throughout the years, Valletta has welcomed emperors, heads of state, artists and poets and is now the permanent seat of the Maltese government.

Dotted with quaint cafés and wine bars, the city is today one of Malta’s main tourist attractions, hosting among others, the majestic St John’s Co- Cathedral, the imposing bastions and a treasure of priceless paintings. It also provides a stunning snapshot of Malta’s Grand Harbour, often described as the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.

The city’s unique setting nowadays plays host to a series of cultural events, from theatre in English, to concerts by leading opera singers.

A hive of business activity during the day, the city switches to a slower gear for the night. Use it to your advantage to get away from the noise and take a stroll to admire the magic of the fortified capital amplified by the gentle lighting. Admire the bastion walls, the dense clusters of worn limestone buildings, the timber balconies, and imposing Churches.”

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A320-214 9H-AEO (msn 2768) appeared at Amsterdam today in the updated look which incorporates a portrait of the ancient city of Valletta.

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Lufthansa cancels most of its flights tomorrow due to the strike by the Verdi union

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will be impacted heavily tomorrow due to a strike by the Verdi union which represents around 33,000 of its employees. The airline is pre-canceling almost 1700 flights. Only a few flights will operate. The airline has issued this statement:

The Lufthansa Group’s flight operations will be considerably restricted on Monday April 22, 2013 as a result of the planned warning strike by the Verdi trade union.

Due to the announced strike actions on Monday, April 22, nearly all Lufthansa flights within Germany and Europe will be cancelled. Only a select few short-haul flights will operate on Monday, such as in Berlin, where strike actions should end by 2:30 pm CET. In all, only 20 of the 1,650 planned Lufthansa short-haul flights on Monday will operate due to the limited flight schedule.

In addition to the cancellations in Germany and Europe, massive flight cancellations and delays are to be expected for long-haul flights beginning Sunday April, 21. Of the 50 planned flights in Frankfurt, only six will operate; in Munich, of the 17 planned flights, only three will operate; whereas, in Dusseldorf all three long-haul flights are scheduled to operate as planned.

Flights operated by Germanwings will not be affected.

Lufthansa regrets any inconvenience to Lufthansa passengers caused by the threatened strike measures by ver.di and will do its utmost to minimise impacts on passengers. Passenger support and service has paramount priority.

Passengers are kindly asked to please check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport. Passengers for flights that will take place please calculate extra time at the airport.

An overview of currently cancelled flights can be found here:

Cancelled flights

Read the full news report by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nik French. The new Lufthansa 1955 retrojet is this Airbus A321-231 registered as D-AIDV (msn 5413) captured nicely at Manchester.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

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

Iberia to cut wages further as the union talks fail, brings the new Airbus A330-300 to Miami

Iberia (Madrid) is facing more labor strife. According to this report by the Financial Times the company is planning deeper wage cuts after talks with the unions failed.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, Iberia introduced the new Airbus A330-300 on the Madrid-Miami route on April 15.

With a configuration of 36 seats in the Business cabin and 242 in the Economy class, the Business Plus section in the new A330s features wider seats that unfold into perfectly flat beds almost 80 inches long, housed in individual modules, each of them with direct access to the aisle. The design and positioning of the new seats ensure greater privacy and comfort to passengers. Lighting in the Business class cabin changes at the different phases of the flight and the seats offer more space for customers’ belongings.

Business Plus passengers can also enjoy new, intuitive entertainment options, using 15.5” screens similar to that of tablet computers, plus 4.2” touch screen remotes with virtual keyboard, with which passengers can make telephone calls, send text messages, and easily access entertainment options. Each month some 50 feature films will be available, plus 80 TV series, documentaries, some 200 musical options, and 3D games, among many other choices.
In the Economy cabin, seats are more ergonomic and wider (18.1”). They are equipped with the most advanced inflight entertainment system: individual 9” touch screens, a wide film and TV series offer, documentaries, as well as a children’s programme. Every seat has a connection port for Apple devices and a USB port, while universal power sockets are also available.
Iberia will soon be adding Wi-Fi Internet access and SMS capability for all its long-haul customers. The Airbus A330s is a twin-engine aircraft and is 15% more fuel efficient than the aircraft it replaces.
The A330 already operates to Boston and it will soon serve New York and Chicago. Flights to Los Angeles, the fifth Iberia destination in the U.S., will be operated by the Airbus A340 aircraft – Iberia will refit its 17 A340-600 aircraft with the new product from next month.
Iberia will be operating two daily flights from Miami to Madrid during the next six months, three more than a year ago. Iberia started flying from Madrid to Miami on August, 1972.



Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Airbus A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Iberia: AG Slide Show

Delta to upgrade its 32 Airbus A330s

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is upgrading its Airbus A330 fleet – the final fleet type to receive the modification – to include full flat-bed seats in the BusinessElite cabin and new “slim line” seats, which offer more personal space throughout the Economy cabin. The first modified A330 operated its first flight yesterday from Atlanta to Detroit and will operate from Detroit to Amsterdam today. There are 32 A330s in the Delta fleet.

To date, more than 60 percent of Delta’s widebody international fleet has been upgraded with direct-aisle access full flat-bed seats. Already, Delta’s fleet of 16 Boeing 747-400 aircraft, 18 Boeing 777 aircraft and 21 Boeing 767-400ER have been retrofitted with full flat-bed seats. Thirty-five Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with new full flat-bed BusinessElite seats are currently flying, with the entire fleet of 58 aircraft scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The full international widebody fleet of more than 140 aircraft will be complete by mid-2014.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-223 N858NW (msn 718) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show


Fly Marianas will not fly

Fly Marianas (Guam) in late 2012 was the newly proposed charter airline division of Fly Micronesia. Fly Micronesia LLC used to do business as Fly Guam. However Fly Guam only operated from March 2011 until December 2011 with a Boeing 737-400 wet-leased from Sky King Airlines (Lakeland).

The first Airbus A320, the pictured former TACA A320-233 EI-TAB (msn 1624), was painted at Goodyear, Arizona (near Phoenix) for delivery to Guam.

The charter airline intended to operate from Guam to Japan and China as well as local island services. However this Airbus A320 was never delivered and the company has apparently ceased its efforts to launch as a new airline according to local reports.

The website URL is no longer active.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems.

Alitalia to resume Milan Malpensa-Miami service on October 27

Alitalia (2nd) (Compagnie Aerea Italiana) (Rome) will restore the Milan (Malpensa)-Miami route for the winter season on October 27 per Airline Route. The route will be operated three days per week with Airbus A330-200s.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A330-202 EI-EJG (msn 1123) approaches JFK International Airport in New York for landing.

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The new Germanwings is moving ahead for its relaunch on July 1

Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne) is quickly moving ahead with its new image and plans to take over many routes currently operated by its parent Lufthansa. The low-fare subsidiary issued this statement:

The Lufthansa subsidiary is also ahead of schedule with the re-equipping of its fleet: Already 21 of the aircraft in the Germanwings fleet have been painted in the new livery. The new and modern brand identity is also reflected in the newly styled cabin, which is setting new standards and not only in the low cost carrier segment with generous legroom of 32 inches (81.3 cm) in the front rows. All 36 aircraft in the fleet will be refurbished inside and out by the time the “new Germanwings” takes to the air on July 1.

In order to provide passengers with advance information and planning security for their air travel needs, all the dates for the takeover of Lufthansa routes by Germanwings have already been penned firmly into the timeplan. This will allow the timetable for the “new Germanwings” to be worked out earlier than was originally envisaged. Following last year’s transfer from Lufthansa to German­wings of connections out of Stuttgart, the first routes to and from Hamburg were handed over at the end of March. From the Hanseatic City, Germanwings is now serving the previous Lufthansa destinations of Vienna, Palma de Mallorca, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. It will be taking over connections to Cologne on June 29, 2013 and all other Lufthansa destinations by the end of January 2014, except for flights to Lufthansa’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs.

The transfer to Germanwings of Lufthansa routes out of Berlin commences on October 27, 2013: By 30 March 2014, all destinations ex Berlin (apart from FRA and MUC) will be handed over to the Lufthansa subsidiary. Subsequently, from the end of March 2014 to year-end, the “new Germanwings” will be successively operating flights in the Dusseldorf timetable, except for those on long-haul routes which will still be flown by Lufthansa.

Moves to intensify cooperation between Germanwings and airlines in the Lufthansa Group are also in full swing. A codeshare accord was concluded with Austrian Airlines last year, another is to follow with Swiss International Air Lines. The four daily flights operated by Germanwings, with the Swiss LX code alongside the 4U flight number in future, will greatly improve the quality of flight connections from Cologne through Zurich for passengers of the Lufthansa Group.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Formerly painted in the special Baden-Wurttemberg color scheme, Airbus A319-112 D-AKNM (msn 1089) now displays the new look at Brussels.

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

Korean Air finalizes its 44% investment in Czech Airlines

Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) has a new savior. Announced last month, Korean Air (Seoul) finalized its 44 percent investment in the flag carrier yesterday (April 11). The Czech government has now been successful in finding a viable airline partner to help the struggling carrier survive the difficult current environment in Europe. Without a new partner, Czech Airlines would have been liquidated by the government.

However Korean Air has publicly stated it is not interested in managing the the Czech carrier. Korean Air is likely to use its new investment as a feeder airline for its Asian flights.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Pascal Simon. Airbus A319-112 OK-NEM (msn 3406) slips into Zurich after a short hop from Prague.

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Korean Air: AG Slide Show

Volaris celebrates the delivery of its first Airbus A320 with Sharklets with a special flight

Volaris A320-200 WL N519VL (06)(Tko)(Airbus)(LR)

Volaris (Mexico City) on April 10 celebrated the delivery of its first Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320 with a special flight from Mexico City to Cancun. Volaris is the first Mexico-based operator of the new fuel-saving wing tip devices.  This flight showcased the aircraft efficiency to official representatives from France, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom who were onboard and accompanied by Volaris and Airbus executives. The aircraft is powered by IAE engines.

The pictured Airbus A320-233 N519VL (msn 5510, ex D-AXAJ) was actually handed over to the carrier in March.

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and allow Airbus’ airline customers to reduce fuel burn up to four percent over longer sectors and reduce approximately 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions per aircraft per year. Sharklets offer operators the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

Volaris has been the first carrier in Mexico to order the A320neo, with a purchase agreement for 44 aircraft, including 30 A320neo and 14 A320ceo. The airline, which has an all-Airbus fleet, currently operates 43 A320 Family aircraft and has a backlog of 48.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Volaris: AG Slide Show

Vueling Airlines’ board accepts IAG latest raised bid, won’t be merged with Iberia

Vueling Airlines‘ (Barcelona) board of directors has approved the latest bid by the International Airlines Group (IAG) (London) after IAG raised its bid for the remaining shares by 32 percent to €9.25 a share.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh also stated Vueling Airlines will remain a separate carrier and will not be merged with the higher cost and troubled Iberia (Madrid).

Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A320-214 D-AXAS (msn 5533) with Sharklets at a snowy Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became EC-LVO when it was handed over on April 5.

Vueling Airlines: AG Slide Show


Virgin America wants to fly to Hawaii

Virgin America‘s (San Francisco) CEO David Cush has stated the carrier would like to add new routes to Hawaii starting in 2015 when it has a sufficient number of new Airbus A320s with Sharklets. This will be the first use of A320s to the islands although Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) will be using new Airbus A321s from Hawaii to the Mainland.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The pictured Airbus A320-214 WL D-AXAL (N361VA) (msn 5515) is the first Virgin America A320 with Sharklets.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

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Denver Post: Indigo Partners is interested in acquiring Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is currently a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis). Republic has been preparing to spin off and sell Frontier since 2011.

According to the Denver Post  and Dow Jones, Indigo Partners (Phoenix) and Anchorage Capital Group (New York) are now in discussions with Republic to possibly acquire Frontier.

Read the full Denver Post report: CLICK HERE

Read the WSJ report: CLICK HERE

According to CAPA, “Indigo Partners is a private equity firm established by Bill Franke in 2002 that pursues acquisitions and strategic investments in the air transportation and related industries. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, with an office in Singapore, Indigo Partners has shown a preference for investing in low-cost carriers around the world. Low-cost carriers in which Indigo Partners has made investments in include Wizz Air, Avianova, Tiger Airways, Spirit Airlines and Mandala Airlines.”

If Indigo is successful in acquiring Frontier a merger with Spirit Airlines is very likely.

Meanwhile Southwest Airlines is gaining market share at Denver as Frontier adds routes away from the DEN hub.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Are the colorful talking animal tails now an endangered species? Airbus A318-111 N803FR (msn 2017) approaches for landing at Los Angeles International Airport.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show


Qatar Airways to have over 150 aircraft with OnAir connectivity

Qatar Airways’ (Doha) Airbus A350 and A380 fleets will offer both Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. In total, over 150 Qatar Airways’ aircraft will have OnAir connectivity, including its new Boeing 777-300 ERs (see video below) and 787s.

According to the airline, Qatar Airways’ passengers have the choice of using either the GSM network or Wi-Fi. They can use their mobile phones and tablets for calls, texting, emailing, updating social media and surfing the Internet. It is very simple to use, with billing working in exactly the same way as international roaming. They can also access the Internet using any Wi-Fi enabled device.

Qatar Airways has 10 Airbus A380s on order and three options, with deliveries starting in January 2014. The airline also has orders for 43 Airbus A350-900s and 37 A350-1000s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Qatar Airways has been operating OnAir’s GSM on its Airbus A320s for over three years. A320-232 A7-ADG (msn 2121) arrives on the short flight from Doha at Dubai International Airport.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show


Hawaiian Airlines to fly to China starting in April 2014, will drop Manila

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) today announced it plans to launch non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, China in April 2014, pending approvals by U.S. and Chinese regulatory agencies.

The new service is Hawaiian’s tenth new international destination since November 2010.

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority estimates the new service will generate $81 million in annual visitor expenditures and $8.47 million in tax revenue for Hawai’i.

The new service will be launched from Honolulu on April 16, 2014 and will operate three times each week using a 294-seat A330 aircraft. It will be the only non-stop service between Honolulu and Beijing, which has a population of more than 20 million.

Subject to government approvals, Hawaiian’s Flight HA 887 will depart Honolulu International Airport at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, cross the international dateline, and land at Beijing Capital International Airport at 7:30 p.m. the following day.

Hawaiian’s Flight HA 888 will depart Beijing at 9:30 p.m. every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, cross the international dateline, and arrive in Honolulu at 1:05 p.m. the same day.

Hawaiian Airlines also today announced it will discontinue its underperforming nonstop Manila service this summer.

Hawaiian Airlines flight HA 455 will make its final trip from Honolulu to Manila on July 31, and HA 456 will make its final return from Manila to Honolulu on August 1, 2013. The service, which operates four times per week, was inaugurated in April 2008.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 N381HA (msn 1114) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Video: Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley on the Airbus A330:

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Virgin America arrives in Newark, will name the first Airbus A320 with “Sharklets” as “Jersey Girl”

Virgin America (San Francisco) yesterday (April 9) celebrated the launch of its new service to Newark, New Jersey – the 20th destination in the carrier’s growing network.  The carrier is serving Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) with three daily nonstop flights from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Late last month, the airline named the 53rd member of its fleet in honor of the Garden State after inviting social audiences to show their “New Jersey” pride by submitting a name.  The winning name, “Jersey Girl,” will grace the nose of the first aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet to be outfitted with Airbus’s new “Sharklet” technology, which promises to be one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the nation once she takes to the skies later this month.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The pictured Airbus A320-214 WL D-AXAL was handed over to the carrier as N361VA (msn 5515) on March 19 through a lease with AerCap. It is the first Virgin American A320 with Sharklets and will be named “Jersey Girl” in honor of the new service to Newark.

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Frontier Airlines is restoring airline service in Delaware on July 1

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is bringing airline service back to the state of Delaware. According to the Associated Press and the Washington Post, Frontier will start Airbus A320 service in Delaware on July 1, offering three flights a week to Chicago (Midway) and Houston from Wilmington (New Castle County Airport).

Service to Orlando and Denver commences on the following day with two flights a week to Orlando and four flights a week to Denver. Twice-weekly service to Tampa starts on July 4.

Wilmington is on the south side of Philadelphia while Frontier’s new service at Trenton, New Jersey is on the north side of Philadelphia. The airline is now bracketing the Philadelphia area and highlights the airline’s new strategy to serve underserved markets.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A320-214 N207FR (msn 4307) (Bison) arrives at Los Angeles.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines adds new service to Philadelphia

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has added Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to its route network offering daily nonstop ultra low fare service between PHL and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). In addition, daily nonstop service between Philadelphia and Las Vegas starts on April 25, 2013, and daily nonstop seasonal service between Philadelphia and Myrtle Beach starts on April 26, 2013.


Today Spirit offers nonstop service to 21 destinations from DFW, including Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston-Bush Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Mesa, Portland (Oregon), San Diego, Tampa, Toluca/Mexico City. In addition, Spirit is adding nonstop service to the following cities bringing the total number of nonstop destinations from DFW to 26 by this summer:

  • Los Angeles – April 25, 2013
  • Oakland/San Francisco – April 25, 2013
  • Cancun, Mexico – April 25, 2013
  • Los Cabos, Mexico – June 13, 2013
  • Latrobe/Pittsburgh – June 14, 2013

Spirit currently offers daily nonstop service to Las Vegas from Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oakland/San Francisco, San Diego, and Portland, Oregon.

Spirit currently offers year-round daily nonstop service to Myrtle Beach from Atlantic City, Boston, Fort Lauderdale and New York LaGuardia, as well as seasonal service to Chicago O’Hare, Detroit, Latrobe/Pittsburgh, the Niagara Falls, New York/Toronto area, and Charleston, West Virginia.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A319-132 N505NK (msn 2485) prepares to touch down on runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Route Map:

Spirit 4:2013 Route Map


Airbus breaks ground on Mobile, Alabama A320 assembly facility

Airbus MOB Groundbreaking

Airbus (Toulouse) on April 8 ceremonially broke ground at its new A320 Family assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. JetBlue Airways (New York) will become the first airline to take delivery of the first U.S.-built A320 in 2016.

Airbus issued this statement:

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new A320 Family final assembly line at Mobile, Alabama underscored how this new facility will further enhance Airbus’ presence within the key U.S. airline marketplace, while also broadening the company’s global footprint and providing additional flexibility to its worldwide industrial network.

At a capacity-crowd event attended by approximately 2,000 invitees, area residents and others, the final assembly line’s creation was hailed as a “game-changing” development in Airbus’ relationship with the United States – where it already is the largest export partner for the country’s aerospace industry, and has evolved as a major aircraft supplier to its customer airlines.

Outlining the new facility’s significance were guest speakers that ranged from the top executives of a major U.S. A320 airline operator and a key avionics supplier for Airbus to a young Mobile student who spoke about opportunities in her community that will be created with the final assembly line.

JetBlue Airways CEO and President David Barger gave his perspective on how Airbus’ $600 million investment in the new Alabama industrial site is viewed by its U.S. customers: “It demonstrates the level of Airbus’ commitment of being close to its important American operator base for A320 aircraft.”  He also announced that JetBlue will receive the very first A320 from the Mobile final assembly line – which is targeted for delivery in 2016.

Another speaker was Clay Jones, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at U.S. avionics manufacturer Rockwell Collins, who described Airbus’ creation of the A320 facility in Alabama as a true industrial milestone for the U.S. aerospace sector.  “Although this is a very special day for the people of Mobile, it is also a very special day for Rockwell Collins and all of the companies that support Airbus, because I believe it marks a transformation of Airbus as a valued trans-Atlantic customer into a closer industry partner,” he said.

Victoria Corob, a student at Clark-Shaw Magnet School in Mobile, spoke about the aspirations that many young people in the U.S Gulf Coast region may be able to realize as the result of Airbus’ new A320 facility.  “Airbus’ growth here means that, if I keep working hard, I can achieve my dreams and might even be able to look forward to a future with an exciting and rewarding aerospace career…right here in Alabama,” she said.

The participants at t ceremony all agreed on the impressive size and scope of Airbus’ A320 Family final assembly line installation at Brookley Aeroplex, which located five miles from downtown Mobile.  The facility will incorporate 53 acres (215,000 square meters) of buildings, aprons and roadways in a 116 acre site – with Airbus also holding option for future potential expansion on an adjacent 116-acre plot of land.

Mobile will join the three existing Airbus final assembly facilities that currently build A320 Family aircraft: its original location at Toulouse, France, which was supplemented by a site in Hamburg, Germany; and subsequently followed by the latest at Tianjin, China.

The benefits of Airbus’ strategy to be in close proximity with customers at key locations worldwide is illustrated by its experience in China, where the company’s presence – including the A320 final assembly operations at Tianjin that started in 2008 – has been accompanied by a more than doubling of its share in the fast-growing Chinese air transport market.

All four A320 Family final assembly lines will be kept busy for years, as Airbus has sold more than 9,400 of these single-aisle jetliners to date – with a current backlog of nearly 3,900 remaining to be delivered.   The new Alabama facility will be able to build the A319, A320 and A321 – beginning with their ceo (current engine option) versions, then transitioning to the neo (new engine option) variants when these even more fuel-efficient aircraft enter production.

Currently, more than 800 A320 Family aircraft are operating in U.S. airline fleets, with 19 customers based in the country.  During the next 20 years, the U.S. market will have an estimated sales potential for some 4,600 airliners in the category covered by Airbus’ A320 Family – making it the world’s largest such market.

The new Mobile final assembly line not only provides a strategically-located industrial facility in North America and a new aviation center of excellence for the U.S. Gulf Coast region, it also will generate increased work throughout the Airbus production and its worldwide supply chain.

Copyright Photos: Airbus.


Frontier Airlines expands its operations at Trenton today

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today launches nonstop service from Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing, New Jersey, to Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Columbus, Detroit, and Raleigh/Durham, bringing the total destinations to 10. Frontier is the only airline providing scheduled service out of Trenton-Mercer Airport, the gateway to New Jersey’s state capital, all of central New Jersey, and southeast Pennsylvania, including metro Philadelphia.

Frontier (2nd) TTN 2:2013 Route Map-Ad

Following is the schedule for Frontier’s new Trenton service.

Trenton-Atlanta (effective April 8, 2013)
Route Frequency Aircraft
TTN-ATL Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat A319
ATL-TTN Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat A319
Trenton-Chicago-Midway (effective April 8, 2013)
Route Frequency Aircraft
TTN-MDW Mon-Fri, Sun A319
MDW-TTN Mon-Fri, Sun A319
Trenton-Columbus (effective April 8, 2013)
Route Frequency Aircraft
TTN-CMH Mon/Thurs/Sun A319
CMH-TTN Mon/Thurs/Sun A319
Trenton-Detroit (effective April 9, 2013)
Route Frequency Aircraft
TTN-DTW Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sun A319
DTW-TTN Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sun A319
Trenton-Raleigh-Durham (effective April 8, 2013)
Route Frequency Aircraft
TTN-RDU Mon-Fri, Sun A319
RDU-TTN Mon-Fri, Sun A319

The new schedule also includes a one-stop flight from Princeton/Trenton to Denver operating six days per week via Chicago.

All service from Princeton/Trenton operates on 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A319-111 N905FR (msn 1583) with Sherman, the Sea Lion, completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

A behind the scenes view of Finnair’s growing Helsinki hub

Finnair‘s (Helsinki) growing hub at Helsinki (HEL) is expanding due to an ever-growing number of international connecting passengers as the airline adds more routes to Asia. The airport is located in an ideal geographical location for these connecting flights. The Finnair Blog (and video) takes us behind the scenes at HEL. HEL is a pretty nice place to connect according to Finnair.

Finnair HEL Hub

The airline is adding Tel Aviv and Hanoi in June.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-302X OH-LTM (msn 994) exits the runway and taxies to the gate at the HEL hub.

Finnair logo

Finnair: AG Slide Show


SAS launches Copenhagen-San Francisco service, drops Bangkok

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) today (April 8) begins flying six times a week from Copenhagen to San Francisco. SAS
already flies to New York, Chicago and Washington. This is the first service to the U.S. West Coast by SAS.

The route will be operated using an Airbus 340-300.

SAS is forecasting around 125,000 passengers per year on the route. Of these, 55% will come from the Nordic countries and 10% from the rest of Europe. The remaining 35% will come from the USA.

Meanwhile SAS is ending service to Bangkok, a route it has served since 1949. This was an important route for SAS. It helped to create Thai Airways in 1960.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A340-313X OY-KBC (msn 467) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: 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)

Mandala Airlines to acquire 18 additional Airbus A320s

Mandala Airlines (Tiger Airways Indonesia) (Jakarta) intends to acquire 18 additional Airbus A320s by 2014 according to its major stockholder and Today.

Read the full report by Today: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A320-232 PK-RMP (msn 5073) arrives at Bangkok.

Mandala Airlines:

AG Slide Show

Route Map:

Mandala logo-2


Mandala 4:2013 Route Map

Ailing Cyprus Airways is in talks with Chinese investors

Cyprus Airways (Larnaca) is struggling to survive in a harsh environment. The flag carrier announced yesterday it is in discussions with the Beijing Yi Xiang Da Investment Company Limited according to this report by the Cyprus Mail. No agreement has been reached on a possible investment. The airline has been kept alive by previous loans of the Cypriot government which has come under the scrutiny of the European Commission.

Cyprus has also been the center of a banking crisis with citizens waiting in line to withdraw their limited funds.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Airbus A319-132 5B-DBO (msn 1729) prepares to land at Munich.

Cyprus Airways: AG Slide Show

Air Transat to again operate Boeing 737s, wide-body fleet to be reduced

Air Transat (Montreal) has made the following announcement through its parent Transat A.T. Inc.:

Transat A.T. Inc. will add Boeing 737 narrow-body jets to Air Transat’s fleet, which currently comprises Airbus A310 and A330 wide-body aircraft, beginning in 2014. In so doing, the company will internalize its medium-haul operations outbound from Canada to sun destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida, for which it has relied on a third-party partner since 2003.

Some of the new aircraft will be permanently attached to the fleet. In winter, when demand on sun destination routes is higher, additional aircraft will be introduced on a seasonal basis. Eventually, Air Transat plans to operate five narrow-body aircraft permanently and six seasonal aircraft in winter.

Air Transat’s wide-body fleet, which operates on the trans-Atlantic market on an annual basis, will continue to serve certain sun destinations as well. In the years to come, the number of wide-body aircraft will be reduced and third-party carriers could be used in high season. In the same spirit, Air Transat should maintain its business relationship with its current partner, CanJet Airlines (2nd) (Halifax), beyond April 30, 2014 for certain flights. This strategy aims to ensure a so-called “accordion” fleet that meets the needs of the tourism market.

In preparation for the introduction of narrow-body aircraft to its fleet, Air Transat recently reached agreements with its employees that will enable a reduction in operating costs. Internalization of medium-haul operations, including the impact of the said agreements, should generate savings of some $8 million in 2013, $15 million in 2014 and $30 million per year in 2015 and beyond. In addition to the positive impact on operating costs, the grouping of operations under the same roof will pave the way for increased standardization of services to travellers and customer experience.

“A return to profitability remains our primary goal, and operating costs, particularly air costs, are an essential factor in profitability for any tour operator,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat. He added: “Internalizing medium-haul operations has several advantages, including increased control over our aviation operations, the implementation of a more competitive cost structure and having Air Transat cabin crews on all of our flights.”

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema. Air Transat previously leased in two Boeing 737-46Ms (C-GBIW and C-GBIX) from Virgin Express for the winter seasons of 1997-1998, 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. The long-haul Airbus A330 fleet could be adjusted to meet the new requirements. The older Airbus A310 fleet is likely to be reduced. Airbus A330-343X C-GTSD (msn 407) taxies at the Montreal (Trudeau) base.

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines to end Denver-Grand Rapids flights on September 8

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is planning to end nonstop daily Denver-Grand Rapids flights after the coming summer on September 8, 2013 per Airline Route. The route is currently operated year-round with Airbus A319s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A319-111 N942FR (msn 2497) with Stan, the Ram, on the tail completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Pacific puts its first Airbus A330 into revenue service today

Air Pacific (2nd) (Fiji) (Nadi) today (April 2) introduced its first Airbus A330 into revenue service under the Fiji Airways brand. The pictured A330-243 F-WWKD (msn 1394) now registered as DQ-FJT, operated flight 411 from Nadi to Auckland, New Zealand. The airline will officially change its name in June.

Air Pacific issued this statement:

Air Pacific (soon to be Fiji Airways in June) operated an inaugural (pre-Fiji Airways) “sneak peek” commercial flight with its first new Airbus A330-220 and new branding to Auckland this morning (Tuesday April 2), reflecting the commitment of Fiji’s national carrier to one of its most important markets–New Zealand.

As Fiji’s flying ambassador, Air Pacific flies tens of thousands of Kiwi holiday-makers and locally based Fijian nationals to the friendly Fiji islands every year.

“New Zealand is an essential part of our global network, and we are excited to be replacing our venerable B747s with new state-of-the art A330 aircraft that come equipped with the latest in passenger comfort and in-flight entertainment features,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific’s Managing Director and CEO.

“With a history spanning more than 60 years, in June, Air Pacific will be returning to its 1951 roots with new ‘Fiji Airways’ branding as well as new service, new product, and new crew uniforms that are authentic, distinctive and true to our friendly Fijian culture and heritage,” he said.

The airline is offering New Zealanders an early preview of just the plane at this point, since the remainder of the new branding and new service model will not be rolled out until June 2013.

The first aircraft, which has been designed exclusively for Fiji’s national carrier, is named after one of Fiji’s 333 beautiful islands, the Island of Taveuni, also known as ‘The Garden Island’ – a nod to the airline’s heritage.

“Our new planes and stunning new branding is already a great source of pride among the Fijian community, in Fiji and here in Auckland.

“Air Pacific punches well above its weight for a relatively small airline. It is one of only seven airlines to operate multiple international routes from New Zealand, and is the only airline that offers a daily business class service from New Zealand to Fiji and on to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.”

“We already pride ourselves on our ability to deliver award-winning world-class service to our guests from New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and beyond, and we think we will have a truly winning combination when we combine our superb people with fantastic new wide-body aircraft–the first wide-body planes our airline has ever purchased.

As the only airline to offer a truly Fijian experience as soon as guests step on board, we believe our new aircraft will allow everyone to relax and start their vacation before they step foot in beautiful Fiji itself” added Pflieger.

As a full service airline that provides clients with complimentary beverages, snack meal, onboard entertainment and one piece of checked in luggage of up to 23kgs, Air Pacific’s exceptional service is also evident in their daily Business Class product when guests fly from New Zealand to Fiji.

Fiji Airways will be operating daily connections from across 17 domestic New Zealand cities to feed into international flights for Auckland to Nadi. Further, a total of 13 flights a week from New Zealand to Fiji will take place in 2013 (including CHC-NAN, AKL-SUV & AKL-NAN).

Copyright Photo: Eurospot.

Air Pacific: AG Slide Show

Fiji Airways: AG Slide Show

IAG-British Airways are in discussions with Airbus on a possible A350-1000 order

British Airways logo

IAG (London) and British Airways (London) are in discussions with Airbus about a possible order for A350-1000s according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. If ordered, this would be a blow to Boeing and their projected 777X design.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Aegean Airways reduces its loss for 2012 to $13.4 million

Aegean Airlines (Athens) reduced its annual net loss for 2012 down to $13.4 million, down from a $34.8 million net loss in 2011.

The airline issued this financial statement:

Aegean reports 2012 revenue of €653.4m, 2% lower compared to 2011. Νet result after tax improved to a loss of €10.5 million compared to a loss of €27.2 million in 2011.

Passengers carried totaled 6.1 million compared to 6.5 million in 2011, with load factor improving from 69% to 74%. The number of passengers carried on domestic routes declined significantly by 12% with average fare falling by more than 10%, declining for the fourth consecutive year. International traffic reached 3.5m passengers with traffic from/to Athens declining by 6% whilst from/to other regional airports increased by 10%.

Despite weak local demand, the company managed to improve its operating result reporting marginally positive EBITDA of €2.9 million, given improved performance in international routes with incoming leisure focus, cost management efforts and also more stable conditions in the country during the second half of the year.

The Company’s cash position stood at €149 million at the end of December 2012.

Mr. Dimitris Gerogiannis, Managing Director, commented:

“Our efforts on improving our efficiency and cost structure are ongoing within an environment of declining domestic demand. In 2012 after a difficult start due to lack of visibility about the course of our country in 1H12, we have managed to limit our losses and defend our revenue relative to 2011. The gradual recovery of incoming leisure traffic as of July, as well as our cost management efforts have contributed to the improvement of our results. We need the economies of scale from the acquisition of Olympic Air, which we can only yield post the pending approval from the European Commission, in order to achieve profitable growth. Our best European regional airline award strengthens our efforts and resolve. We continue to invest in strengthening Greek tourism and increasing our international activity by utilizing the capacity which by necessity is released domestically due to declining demand.”


Aegean Airlines 2012 results


In € 000 2011 2012 %
Revenue 668.218 653.388 -2%
EBITDAR* 61.779 73.394 19%
EBITDA (17.688) 2.944  
Profit / (Loss) before tax (31.153) (12.618) -59%
Profit / (Loss) after tax (27.176) (10.496) -61%

*EBITDAR: Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortization and lease costs

Passengers (million) 2011 2012 %
Domestic 2,96 2,60 -12%
International from/to Athens 2,2 2,1 -6%
International from/to rest of country 1,3 1,4 +10%
International 3,5 3,5 0%
Total 6,5 6,1 -6%
Load Factor (RPK/ASK) 68,9% 74,3% 5,4pp

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Airbus A321-232 SX-DVP (msn 3527) taxies at Paris (CDG).

Aegean Airlines: AG Slide Show

Hermes Airlines’ Airbus A321 SX-BHS runs off the runway at Lyon, France

Hermes Airlines (subsidiary of Air Mediterranee) (Athens) Airbus A321-111 SX-BHS (msn 642) while operate flight ML 7817 from Agadir, Morocco to Lyon, France with 174 passengers and seven crew members, overran runway 36R on landing late on March 29 at Lyon according to Le Figaro. The aircraft overran the end of the runway by about 900 feet and got stuck in a muddy field. Operations at the airport return to normal the following morning.

Read the full report (in French): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nik French. Operating in Air Mediterranee colors, Hermes Airlines’ Airbus A321-111 SX-BHS (msn 642) is pictured on final approach at Manchester prior to the incident.

Aeroflot to combine Vladivostok Air and SAT Airlines under a new company called Far Eastern Airline (DVA)

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has transferred its controlling 52.156 percent of the shares of Vladivostok Air (Vladivostok Avia) (Vladivostok) (a member of the Aeroflot Group of companies) to SAT Airlines (Sakhalin Airlines) (Sakhalin) (a 100 percent subsidiary of Aeroflot). This move was made following the decision of Aeroflot’s Board of Directors concerning the creation of Far Eastern Airline (DVA) within the Aeroflot Group.

According to Aeroflot, “the new member in Aeroflot Group of companies will satisfy the growing demand for regional flights offering the highest service standards in one of the most impressively developing regions of the country — Russia’s Far East.”

Aeroflot continues, “the creation of Far Eastern Airline (DVA) will contribute significantly to the social-economic development of this vast region with a powerful economic potential and will let Aeroflot Group become one of the leading air carriers in Asia-Pacific.

The establishment of Far Eastern Airline (DVA) is one of the key elements of Aeroflot Group strategy aimed at the creation of a large aviation holding which will successfully compete with the leaders of the global civil aviation.”

Vladivostok Air is the largest air carrier in Russia’s Far East, carrying about 1,100,000 passengers annually on its own fleet of planes. The airline flies to 24 domestic and 13 international destinations.

Vladivostok Air FAs

Copyright Photo: Vladivostok Air. V/A’s flight attendants.

Aeroflot recently celebrated its 90th anniversary of its creation as a state airline. Aeroflot is one of the world’s oldest airlines, founded on March 17, 1923 as Dobrolet. Operations commenced on July 15, 1923 from Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod. The company adopted its current name Aeroflot on March 25, 1932.

Read the full report from Pravda: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Vladivostok Air’ Airbus A330-301 VQ-BEU (msn 055) arrives at Antalya.

Aeroflot: AG Slide Show

Vladivostok Air logo-1

Vladivostok Air: AG Slide Show

SAT Airlines: AG Slide Show

SAT Airlines logo

SAT Airlines Route Map:

SAT Airlines 3:2013 Route Map

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. SAT Airlines’ (Sakhalin Airlines) Boeing 737-232 RA-73005 (msn 23100) completes its final approach at Beijing.

Armavia suspends operations, will file for bankruptcy

Armavia Air Company (Yerevan, Armenia) suspended all operations yesterday (March 29) and plans to filed for bankruptcy on Monday (April 1) according to local reports. The company was previously planning to operate through tomorrow but this has changed. No flights are operating today.

At the end, the flag carrier was operating one Airbus A320, three Boeing 737-500s and three Bombardier CRJ200s. One Airbus A319 was operated for the government of Armenia.

Armavia Air company LLC was established in December 12, 1996 and had been struggling financially.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A319-111 D-AVYM (msn 3834) became EK32007 on delivery. However this airframe has since gone on to FlyGeorgia as 4L-FGA.

Armavia: AG Slide Show

Armavia logo

US Airways launches Charlotte-London Heathrow service today

US Airways (Phoenix) today (March 30) will begin daily, nonstop service between its largest hub in Charlotte, North Carolina and London’s preferred business airport, Heathrow. The daily flight will supplement the airline’s existing daily service between its international gateway in Philadelphia and Heathrow, and replaces its current service between Charlotte and London’s Gatwick airport, which ended yesterday.

US Airways will operate the service between Charlotte and London Heathrow with Airbus A330 aircraft that features Envoy, the airline’s international business class. Customers traveling in Envoy will experience the remarkably comfortable and private Envoy Suite equipped with an adjustable seat that reclines into a fully flat bed. The Envoy Suite also features personal in-flight entertainment and a 110-volt universal power outlet.

The flight schedule is as follows:

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) – London Heathrow Airport (LHR) London Heathrow Airport (LHR) – Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Flight Departure Arrival Flight Departure Arrival
730* 7:05 p.m. 8:05 a.m. 731** 10:05 a.m. 2:10 p.m.

* Flight arrives next day.

** First day of Charlotte-bound flight is March 31, 2013.

The flight will originate in Miami offering customers in South Florida convenient one-stop service to London via the airline’s Charlotte hub.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A330-323X N275AY (msn 370) arrives at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic prepares to launch “Little Red” on Sunday

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is preparing to launch its new UK feeder service called “Little Red” on Sunday, March 31. The first route will be London (Heathrow)-Manchester. London (Heathrow)-Edinburgh will follow on April 5 and finally London (Heathrow)-Aberdeen will be launched on April 9. The new service will be operated with four Aer Lingus A320s now being painted in the Virgin Atlantic brand.

Virgin Atlantic Careers website: http://careersuk.virgin-atlantic.com/

Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason. Aer Lingus’ A320-214 EI-DEO (msn 2486) “Queen of the Cobbles” poses for the camera at Shannon on March 28 after the repainting was finished.

Virgin Atlantic Little Red logo

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Virgin Atlantic: AG Slide Show


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