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Tag Archives: Airbus

Frontier Airlines launches Denver-Cleveland service

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) yesterday (January 9) launched nonstop service between its Denver, Colorado (DEN) hub and Cleveland, Ohio (CLE) with four weekly flights.

Following is the schedule for Frontier’s Cleveland to Denver service:

Denver-Cleveland (beginning Jan. 9, 2013)

Route Departs Arrives Frequency Aircraft
DEN-CLE 4:45 p.m. 9:35 p.m. Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sun A320
CLE-DEN 4:55 p.m. 6:25 p.m. Mon/Thurs/Fri/Sun A320

The new service is in addition to Frontier flights operated from Cleveland to Cancun and Punta Cana in partnership with Apple Vacations.

The new Denver service will operate on 168-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-214 N206FR (msn 4272) taxies to the gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Frontier (2nd) Tails (Frontier)(LR)

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

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US Airways announces daily, year-round Philadelphia-Salt Lake City service

US Airways (Phoenix) announced today that it will begin nonstop, daily year-round service from its international gateway in Philadelphia to Salt Lake City, Utah on June 8.

Service to Salt Lake City will be operated on dual-class, 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.  The flight schedule for new Salt Lake City service is as follows:

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
– Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Flight Departure Arrival
306 8:25 a.m. 2:44 p.m.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) –
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
Flight Departure Arrival
305 6:10 p.m. 9:04 p.m.

With the new service, US Airways will operate 462 weekday departures to 111 destinations from Philadelphia International Airport to destinations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean from Philadelphia.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-231 N644AW (msn 317) arrives at Washington (Reagan National).

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Finnair to fly scheduled flights to Antalya, Tel Avia and Palma next summer

Finnair (Helsinki) is planning to add new scheduled service to three new destination, namely Antalya (starting June 7, twice-weekly) in Turkey, Tel Aviv (June 7, twice-weekly) in Israel and Palma de Mallorca (June 5, twice-weekly) in Spain next summer. The carrier also announced there will also be more flights to Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Airbus A319-112 OH-LVB (msn 1107) lands at Zurich in the updated 2010 livery.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Golden Myanmar Airlines is born in Myanmar, Asia’s latest LCC

Golden Myanmar A320-200 XY-AGS (13)(Tko) SZB (TKA)(LRW)

Golden Myanmar Airlines (Golden Myanmar Airlines Public Company Limited) (Yangon) is a brand new airline in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The first fully-painted Airbus A320 (above) was test flown at Kuala Lumpur (Subang-Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport) on January 7.

According to Wikipedia, Golden Myanmar Airlines is Myanmar’s first domestic and international low cost carrier established in August 2012. GMA was formed by 15 major investors including chairmen of CB Bank and Myanmar Golden Star.

The airline  is planning to launch scheduled low-fare operations this month with two Airbus A320s.

Copyright Photo: TK. Airbus A320-232 XY-AGS (msn 1407) climbs away from the runway at Kuala Lumpur (SZB).

Golden Myanmar Airlines (large) logo


MEA signs a firm contract for 5 Airbus A320neo and 5 A321neo aircraft

MEA A321-200neo (08)(Flt)(Airbus)(LR)

Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA) (Beirut), the flag carrier of Lebanon, has signed a firm contract for ten A320neo Family aircraft (five A321neo and five A320neo aircraft). This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which was announced on July 12, 2012.

Image: Airbus.

MEA-Middle East Airlines: AG Slide Show

Hawaiian Airlines sets a new passenger record in 2012

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (Honolulu), a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc, today announced its systemwide traffic statistics for December, fourth quarter, and full year 2012.

Hawaiian carried 9,484,204 passengers in 2012, the most in the company’s history. Passenger statistics for December and the fourth quarter were also company records.

FULL YEAR 2012 2011 % Change
PAX 9,484,204 8,666,319 9.4%
RPMS (000) 12,217,635 10,151,216 20.4%
ASMS (000) 14,687,472 12,039,937 22.0%
LF 83.2% 84.3% (1.1 pts.)
FOURTH QUARTER 2012 2011 % Change
PAX 2,413,629 2,155,310 12.0%
RPMS (000) 3,279,105 2,607,548 25.8%
ASMS (000) 4,006,840 3,104,833 29.1%
LF 81.8% 84.0% (2.2 pts.)
DECEMBER 2012 2011 % Change
PAX 812,395 740,660 9.7%
RPMS (000) 1,095,269 892,269 22.8%
ASMS (000) 1,371,367 1,077,262 27.3%
LF 79.9% 82.8% (2.9 pts.)
PAX:    Passengers transported
RPM:   One paying passenger transported one mile
ASM:   One seat transported one mile
LF:       Percentage of seating capacity utilized

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 N383HA (msn 1217) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines expands its operations at Trenton, New Jersey

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) today announced it will expand its presence at Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN), in Trenton, New Jersey, with the addition of five nonstop destinations launching in April. 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 will now provide customers throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania with convenient, low-fare service to Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Columbus, Detroit, and Raleigh/Durham. This is in addition to Frontier’s previously announced nonstop service to Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and New Orleans.

New markets:

  • Columbus – fares as low as $29 each way
  • Detroit – fares as low as $29 each way
  • Raleigh/Durham – fares as low as $29 each way
  • Atlanta – fares as low as $49 each way
  • Chicago-Midway – fares as low as $49 each way

Existing markets:

  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – fares as low as $69 each way
  • Orlando – fares as low as $69 each way
  • Tampa – fares as low as $69 each way
  • Fort Myers – fares as low as $79 each way
  • New Orleans – fares as low as $79 each way

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

Route Effective Frequency Aircraft
Atlanta April 8, 2013 4/week A319
Route Effective Frequency Aircraft
Chicago-Midway April 8, 2013 6/week A319
Route Effective Frequency Aircraft
Columbus April 8, 2013 3/week A319
Route Effective Frequency Aircraft
Detroit April 9, 2013 4/week A319
Route Effective Frequency Aircraft
Raleigh-Durham April 8, 2013 6/week A319

All Frontier flights from Princeton/Trenton will operate on 138-seat Airbus A319 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A319-111 N923FR (msn 2019) with Rudy, the Raccoon, on the tail, approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

Hawaiian Airlines to acquire 16 Airbus A321neo aircraft to open up new markets


Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with airframe manufacturer Airbus to acquire 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with rights to purchase an additional nine aircraft.

The long-range, single-aisle aircraft will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawai’i and the U.S. West Coast.

“Everyone at Hawaiian wants us to keep our position as the market leader in service quality, cost efficiency and choice of destinations. Ordering the A321neo will secure this legacy on routes to the U.S. West Coast beyond the middle of this decade,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “The A321neo will be the most fuel-efficient aircraft of its type after its introduction in 2016. With its slightly smaller size we’ll be able to open new markets that are not viable for wide-body service, while also being able to augment service on existing routes to the West Coast of North America.”

At 146-feet-long, the A321neo will seat approximately 190 passengers in a two-class configuration (First and Coach) and has a range of 3,650 nautical miles. The aircraft will offer the more comfortable seat widths found in the twin-aisle Airbus A330. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, however, the aircraft have a total list-price value of approximately $2.8 billion if all of the purchase rights are exercised.

The new acquisitions are also contingent upon Hawaiian signing new agreements with its pilots and flight attendant unions covering operation of the new aircraft type. If new agreements are reached, the fleet expansion is expected to generate roughly 1,000 additional jobs at Hawaiian.

“This is a significant investment in the future of both Hawaiian and Hawai’i. Our tourism-based economy and local employment will benefit as we continue our strategy of diversifying our business while improving the efficiency of our operation,” Dunkerley commented.

“We have come to think of Hawaiian Airlines as ‘ohana’ (family) and are very pleased to add yet another branch to our tree with this pending expansion of the Hawaiian Airbus fleet,” said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers. “Hawaiian has gotten great results with their A330s. The passengers, the employees and the accountants for the airline all recognize the advantages of Airbus aircraft, and now they will benefit even further by flying the most popular single-aisle family in the sky.”

Hawaiian currently operates a fleet of 43 aircraft, comprised of 25 wide-body, long-haul aircraft (294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft and 264-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft), and 18 narrow-body 123-seat Boeing 717-200 aircraft for Neighbor Island flights.

Hawaiian’s existing orders include an additional 13 new A330s between 2013 and 2015, and six next-generation, longer-range A350XWB-800 aircraft starting in 2017. The existing fleet of 16 Boeing 767s will phase out over the next 10 years.

Image: Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines to cancel six routes in April and May

United Airlines (Chicago) is planning to eliminate five hub spoke routes in April and one in May according to a report by Airline Route.

From the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub, the route to Cedar Rapids will be nixed on April 8.

From the Los Angeles hub, the route to Tulsa will be eliminated on April 8.

From the Newark hub, the short-range feeder route to Philadelphia will be dropped on April 9.

From the Washington (Dulles) hub, both Manchester, NH and Pensacola will be axed also on April 8.

From the Chicago (O’Hare) hub, the long-range route to San Juan, PR will be abandoned on May 4.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A319-131 N839UA (msn 1507) climbs away from Los Angeles.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Iberia’s pilots agree to resume talks as long as there is growth at IB

Iberia‘s (Madrid) pilots have agreed to resume talks with the company according to Reuters. However the pilot’s union wants to see a growth plan at the airline rather than farming out service. Iberia, which plans to cut about 4,500 jobs, has set January 31 as the deadline for the unions to agree to the reorganization plan. Can both parties agree on this new course?

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Iberia will be a smaller operator on European routes. Airbus A319-111 EC-HGT (msn 1247) prepares to land at Geneva.

Iberia: AG Slide Show

Fly Marianas to operate from Guam with this single Airbus A320

Fly Marianas (Guam) is the new 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), is currently being prepared at Goodyear, Arizona (near Phoenix) for delivery to Guam.

The charter airline intends to operate from Guam to Japan and China as well as local island services.

Read more from the Saipan Tribune: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. EI-TAB is pictured at Goodyear.

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos


Jet Airways introduces its first Airbus A330-300 on the Brussels route, starts Mangalore-Dubai service

Jet Airways (Mumbai) is expanding its Airbus fleet, which currently has 11 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with two newly-delivered Airbus A330-300s. The pictured A330-302 VT-JWS (msn 1361) was handed over from Airbus on December 14, 2012 followed by A330-302 VT-JWR (msn 1351) five days later. The new type was introduced on December 22, 2012 on flights 9W 228/227 on the Mumbai – Brussels – Mumbai sectors.

In other news, Jet Airways on January 3 commenced international flight operations from Mangalore with a Boeing 737-800 flight from Bajpe Airport to Dubai. The departure at the Mangalore International Terminal was marked by the lighting of a ceremonial lamp, in the presence of Honorable Members of Parliament from Mangalore and Udupi, Mr. Jayprakash Hedge. Also present at the occasion were senior management from Jet Airways, Mr. Gaurang Shetty – Senior VP (Commercial) and eminent dignitaries from the aviation and travel fraternity, Mr. Radhakrishna –Airport Director, Mangalore; Mr. Vasudeva Rao – Ex Airport Director, Mangalore and Coordinator, Karnataka NRI Forum and Mr. Abdulla Kunhi – Chairman Yenopaya Group. The first flight departed with a full complement of passengers.

The flight 9W 532, operated by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with economy seating for 170 passengers, departed from Mangalore at 20.00 hrs with a 22.30 hrs (Local Time) arrival into Dubai.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. The first Airbus A330-302 (VT-JWS, msn 1361) climbs gracefully away from Brussels.

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines issues a statement for the ground collision with a parked US Airways Airbus A320 on December 31

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has conducted its own internal investigation and issued the following statement concerning the ground collision between a Spirit Airlines Airbus A320 and a parked US Airways Airbus A320 on December 31 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport:

Spirit Airlines said yesterday (January 2) that it has completed its preliminary internal investigation into the incident on the night of December 31, 2012 involving Spirit Airlines flight 403 traveling from Atlanta and landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Following landing, air traffic control instructed the pilot to taxi to the gate using taxiway T. While taxiing, the Spirit Airbus A320 made contact with a parked US Airways A320 aircraft. Spirit was not advised by air traffic control of the presence of the other aircraft. As part of Spirit’s investigation, Spirit has been informed by officials that the control tower had also not been advised that the other A320 was parked in such close proximity to an active taxiway.

In addition, Spirit Airlines has advised the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and they will not be investigating given the minor nature of the incident.

Customers deplaned at the gate as normal and there were no injuries. There were 167 customers on board. Spirit’s aircraft was returned to service within hours following minor repairs.

Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell. Airbus A320-232 N601NK (msn 4206) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bangkok Air to restore nonstop Bangkok-Krabi service, welcomes two Airbus A320s

Bangkok Air (Bangkok Airways) (Bangkok) will resume nonstop service to the resort destination of Krabi, Thailand on March 31 when it restores nonstop Bangkok-Krabi flights according to Airline Route. The carrier dropped the route in June 2008 although service was maintained through Samui.

In other news, the airline welcomed its two latest Airbus A320s  named “Maha Mongkol” and “Sawadee Umporn” at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in November and December, its 20th and 21st aircraft. The A320 is configured with 162 economy class seats and will be assigned to both domestic and international routes such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Yangon (Myanmar), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Mumbai (India), and Dhaka (Bangladesh).

Presently, Bangkok Air’s fleet consists of eight ATR 72s, five Airbus A320s and eight A319s.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Painted to promote the island destination of Krabi, the blue and green tropical special livery adorns the fuselage of Airbus A320-232 HS-PGV (msn 2310) pictured on final approach to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi).

Bangkok Air: AG Slide Show

Bangkok Airways logo

Current Route Map:

Please click on the map for the full size view.

Please click on the map for the full size view.

Juneyao Airlines to lease five Airbus A320s and two A321s from GECAS

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, announced it will lease five new Airbus A320 aircraft and two new A321 aircraft to Juneyao Airlines (Shanghai) to expand the airline’s fleet.

GECAS delivered the first two A320 aircraft in September and October. The remaining A320s are scheduled for delivery in 2013 and the two A321s are scheduled for delivery in 2014. All seven aircraft come from GECAS’ existing order book with Airbus.

Juneyao started operations in 2006 as one of China’s privateairlines. Today it operates a fleet of more than 30 aircraft to some 50 destinations in China, serving mainly business travelers between Shanghai and the manufacturing region of the Pearl River Delta.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Airbus A320-214 F-WWDN (msn 3605) became B-6396 on delivery.

Juneyao logo-1

Qatar Airways and Gulf Air win domestic rights in Saudi Arabia

Qatar Airways (Doha) and Gulf Air (Abu Dhabi) have been selected to operate domestic flights in Saudi Arabia as well as international flights to and from this neighboring country. Both airlines will now have to complete the final process according to this report by Zawya.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Qatar Airways’ Airbus A330-302 A7-AEJ (msn 826) climbs away from Geneva.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Gulf Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AG (msn 4188) of Gulf Air completes its final approach into Dubai.

Air Seychelles to fly to Hong Kong starting on March 24

Airt Seychelles A330-200 A6-EYY (11)(Grd) AUH (KVW)(LRW)

Air Seychelles (Mahe) will extend its network with a new route to Hong Kong via Abu Dhabi starting on March 24 following government approvals. The new route will be operated three days a week in each direction with the pictured new Airbus A330-200.

Copyright Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt. The single Airbus A330-243 registered as A6-EYY (msn 751) makes a stop at Abu Dhabi preparing for its departure to the island destination of Mahe. The airliner is being wet leased from partner Etihad Airways.

Air Seychelles: AG Slide Show

FlyGeorgia to start Dubai flights on January 3

FlyGeorgia (Tbilisi) will introduce twice-weekly Tbilisi – Dubai Airbus A319 service on January 3. The airline is also planning to serve Berlin, Dusseldorf and Kiev besides the current service to Amsterdam. The expanding airline took delivery of its second Airbus A319 (4L-FGB) on November 21.

The company announced in October it had signed agreements for the leasing of two Airbus A320s from leasing company AerCap .

The first aircraft, A320-214 4L-FGC (msn 1439, ex OK-GEA), is due to be delivered to Georgia by the end of 2012. The second Airbus A320 will start serving the passengers of FlyGeorgia from March 2013.

Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle. The first Airbus A319 is seen at Dublin before delivery to the company as 4L-FGA on June 29, 2012.

TV commercial:

Route Map:

FlyGeorgia 12:2012 Route Map

Allegiant cancels its deal with Cebu Pacific Air for 10 Airbus A319s

Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) today announced its proposed transaction to acquire ten Airbus A319 aircraft from Cebu Pacific Air has been terminated as a result of the parties’ failure to satisfy certain conditions to proceeding with the transaction. The potential transaction was made public on July 30, 2012 after the signing of the letter of intent.

“We are disappointed that we were not able to finalize this agreement on which we spent a substantial amount of time and effort,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant President. “Unfortunately we were unable to come to terms on some of the economic provisions of the transaction and as we have demonstrated in the past, we will not purchase aircraft just for the sake of growth. Our disciplined approach in asset purchases is a core competency that we will not compromise.”

“We continue to have fleet flexibility in 2013 even without the Cebu A319s. Seven of the nine A320 aircraft, which we announced the intention to acquire on December 19, 2012, are expected to be delivered in 2013 and we now plan to introduce these aircraft into service at a faster pace so as to offset the capacity that had been planned with the Cebu A319s,” concluded Levy.

Allegiant is now expecting 2013 total CAPEX to be between $170 and $180 million. The company has signed operating leases for nine A319 aircraft with GECAS and purchase agreements for nine A320 aircraft formerly operated by Iberia. Allegiant will remain active in the market for the purchase or lease of additional Airbus aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The first Airbus A319 for Allegiant is seen at Southend before it was delivered.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Petra Airlines to become a low-fare scheduled airline in March 2013

Petra Airlines (Amman) is planning to convert from a charter airline to a low-fare scheduled airline in 2013. The airline has issued and updated this statement:

Petra Airlines of Jordan has obtained its AOC from Jordan CAA to operate as a schedule operator with an aim to be the first Low-Cost Carrier in Jordan. The company operated the last two years a charter flights and has fulfilled all the technical and economic requirements to be a schedule operator.

Mr. Riad Khashman (CEO) has announced Petra Airlines has completed the first phase of operation successfully and hope to expand for the next phase as the first LCC in Jordan. We have gained experience and positioned our brand in the regional market while gaining the consumers and Stakeholders confidence.   The company currently owns and operates two Airbus A320s. The third A320 will join the fleet in early 2013 and the first Schedule flight will launch in March 2013. We have plans to operate five A320s by 2014 and have a schedule flight to most of the major Cities in the MENA and GCC Region using Queen Ali Int’l Airport- Amman as a hub.

Petra Airlines also announced a plan to increase its register Capital to reach $70 million. Also in talks to contract one of the Int’l Aviation consultants to develop a comprehensive business plan and ultimately attracting a potential strategic partner in the LCC sphere, Mainly European low-Cost Carriers, to benefit from having a platform in the region.  This would allow Petra Airlines to provide services to Europe, MENA and GCC under Jordan open sky policy.

The Jordanian Civil Aviation Authority approved its application to switch its activities from the charter to scheduled market. Petra Airlines was founded in 2005 as a division of the Rum Group, but did not launch operations until October 2010 when it took delivery of its first aircraft (the first charter flight was operated on December 1, 2010). Over the subsequent two years it has operated two Airbus A320s on charter work – ad hoc flying, ACMIs and tour operator packages – across a network that has included destinations in Armenia, Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Airbus A320-212 (msn 537) arrives at the vacation destination of Antalya.

Petra Airlines: AG Slide Show

Petra logo


Kingfisher Airlines submits a reorganization plan to regulators but fails to be clear about funding

Kingfisher Airlines (Mumbai) has failed to provide a clear funding plan to Indian regulators. The grounded airline is attempting to resume operations according to this report by Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard. Airbus A319-131 VT-KFI (msn 2634) lines up to land at Bangkok.

Kingfisher Airlines: AG Slide Show

Kingfisher logo-1

Virgin America launches weekly New York-Palm Springs nonstop flights

Virgin America (San Francisco) as planned, launched new weekly nonstop service between Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).  Virgin America first launched seasonal flight service into the Palm Springs market in December 2011 with a daily nonstop flight from SFO and a daily “same plane” through flight from JFK to PSP.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A319-112 N522VA (msn 2811) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Routes from San Francisco:

Please click on the map for the full view.

Please click on the map for the full view.

AirAsia becomes the first operator of Airbus’ Sharklet equipped A320

AirAsia (Malaysia) A320-200 F-WWIC (9M-AQQ)(12)(Grd) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

AirAsia (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) yesterday (December 21) received its first Airbus A320-200 with the new Sharklets winglet. The pictured A320-216 F-WWIC (msn 5428) became 9M-AQQ on the handover. 9M-AQQ is also painted in the new 2012 livery for AirAsia. It becomes the first A320 with Sharklets to enter revenue service. Airbus issued the following statement:

Airbus has delivered the first A320 equipped with Sharklets to AirAsia, which becomes the first operator of the new fuel-saving large wing tip devices. Sharklets are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft, and are standard on all members of the A320neo Family.

Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. These newly designed wing-tip devices reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft significantly. Cutting airlines’ fuel bills by around four percent, Sharklets will offer the flexibility to A320 Family operators of either adding around 100 nautical miles more range or allowing increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.

“We are extremely proud to be the first airline in the world to take delivery of an A320 fitted with Airbus’ new, fuel saving Sharklets,” said Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia . “AirAsia has a long-standing, special relationship with Airbus and as we grow our network with our all A320 fleet, these new wing tip devices will contribute to fulfilling our goal of being the most efficient, innovative low cost airline in the world.”

“As our biggest A320 Family airline customer, it’s very fitting that AirAsia is the first carrier to benefit from the four percent fuel saving our new Sharklets deliver,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “AirAsia’s vision is to make is possible for everyone to fly and now with their Sharklet-equipped A320s they can assure their passengers that they are also travelling on board the world’s most environmentally friendly single-aisle aircraft.”

Due to the very strong customer demand for Sharklets, all Airbus’ single-aisle final assembly lines (FALs) will be engaged in building A320 Family aircraft with Sharklets. These FALs are located in Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany) and Tianjin (China) and will soon be followed by an additional A320 FAL in Mobile (Alabama, USA).

AirAsia, the largest low cost airline in Asia is also Airbus’ largest A320 Family airline customer. The carrier recently placed a new order with Airbus on the 13th December 2012 for 100 more A320 Family aircraft including 36 A320ceo aircraft with Sharklets. Altogether, AirAsia has ordered 475 single aisle aircraft from Airbus, comprising 264 A320neo and 211 A320ceo. Over 100 aircraft have already been delivered to the airline and are flying out of its bases in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila and Tokyo.

Copyright Photos: Airbus.

AirAsia: AG Slide Show

AirAsia (Malaysia) A320-200 F-WWIC (9M-AQQ)(12)(Tail) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Finnair to fly to Xi’an, China next summer nonstop from Helsinki

Finnair (Helsinki) will begin flying to Xi´an, China in the summer of 2013, further deepening the airline’s network of Asian destinations. Finnair will begin service to Xi´an from its hub in Helsinki with three frequencies per week starting on June 14 until the close of the summer season on October 26, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A330-302X OH-LTO (msn 1013) taxies to the gate at the Helsinki hub. Finnair is pursuing an Asian long-range strategy to reinforce its growing HEL hub.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Tampa Cargo takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-200F freighter

Tampa Cargo (subsidiary of AviancaTaca Holding)  (Medellin) has taken delivery of the first of four new A330-200F freighter aircraft at the Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772B engines. The new aircraft is part of the airline’s fleet renewal strategy and will allow Tampa to expand its presence in new and existing international markets, including Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, the United States and Uruguay.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A330-243F F-WWKQ (msn 1368) became N330QT when it was handed over on December 19.

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Tampa Cargo: AG Slide Show


Germanwings paints its first aircraft in the new brand

Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) as planned, has introduced its first Airbus A319 in its new brand as introduced on December 6 by parent Lufthansa.

For more details, please see our previous report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Rainer Bexten. Airbus A319-132 D-AGWT (msn 5043) at the CGN base is the first to receive the new treatment.

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

Air Transat’s parent posts net income of $16.6 million in the 4Q, but a net loss of $16.7 million for the fiscal year

Transat A.T. Inc., the parent of Air Transat (Montreal), posted net income of $16.6 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a net loss of $7.3 million in 2011. For the fiscal year ending on October 31, the holding company reported a net loss of $16.7 million, compared with $14.7 million the previous year  (all amounts in Canadian dollars). The company also stated:

Transat A.T. Inc. posted revenues of $763.4 million for the quarter ended October 31, 2012, compared with $805.9 million for the same period of 2011, a decrease of $42.5 million, or 5.3%. The Corporation recorded a margin of $52.9 million, compared with $23.5 million before restructuring charge in 2011, and net income after goodwill impairment of $16.6 million ($0.43 per share on a diluted basis), compared with a net loss of $7.3 million ($0.19 per share on a diluted basis) in 2011. Before non-operating items, Transat reported adjusted after-tax income of $28.7 million in 2012 ($0.75 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $7.3 million ($0.19 per share on a diluted basis) in 2011.

For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2012, Transat posted revenues of $3.7 billion, an increase of 1.6% versus 2011. The Corporation recorded a margin of $17.0 million, compared with $33.0 million before restructuring charge in 2011, and a net loss of $16.7 million ($0.44 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $14.7 million in 2011 ($0.39 per share on a diluted basis). The net loss posted in 2012 takes into account goodwill impairment of $15 million, attributable to the France operations. Before non-operating items, Transat reported an adjusted after-tax loss of $15.3 million in 2012 ($0.40 per share on a diluted basis), compared with $9.7 million ($0.26 per share on a diluted basis) in 2011.

The Corporation’s free cash totalled $171.2 million as at October 31, 2012, compared with $181.6 million as at October 31, 2011. The working capital ratio was 1.0, versus 0.97 a year earlier, and deposits from customers for future travel amounted to $382.8 million, compared with $348.0 million on the same date the prior year. Off-balance-sheet agreements stood at $557.1 million as at October 31, 2012, compared with $653.7 million as of October 31, 2011; the decrease stems from payments made during the fiscal year.

Air Transat will be facing new leisure competition from the newly-announced Air Canada rouge.

Copyright Photo: Pedro Baptista. Airbus A310-304 C-GTSF (msn 472) taxies at Lisbon in the new 2011 brand.

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

US Airways expands to Central and South America with Avianca codeshare agreement

US Airways (Phoenix) and Avianca (Colombia) (Bogota) have announced a new bilateral codeshare agreement after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The airline also announced an expansion of its codeshare with TACA. US Airways customers will enjoy new access to destinations throughout Colombia with Avianca and expanded access in Central and South America with TACA, along with the convenience of a single-ticket purchase for a seamless travel experience and the ability to redeem status Dividend Miles for travel. Customers traveling on Avianca and TACA will also receive expanded access to the United States.  Both Avianca and TACA are subsidiaries of AviancaTaca Holdings.

US Airways customers will be able to connect to the Colombian cities of Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin on Avianca. Conversely, Avianca customers in these cities will have access to US Airways’ hub cities of Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix and the airline’s focus city at Washington’s Reagan National Airport. All fights are available for sale starting December 21  for travel beginning on January 7, 2013.  Specific connection information is as follows:

New Connections for US Airways Customers on Avianca New Connections for Avianca Customers on US Airways
To Bogota, Colombia (BOG) from: To Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National (DCA) from:
  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (FLL)
  • New York’s JFK International Airport (JFK)
  • Orlando, Fla. (MCO)
  • FLL
  • MCO
To Medellin, Colombia (MDE) from: To Philadelphia (PHL) from:
  • JFK
  • Miami (MIA)
  • FLL
  • MIA
To Barranquilla, Colombia (BAQ) from: To Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) from:
  • MIA
  • FLL
  • JFK
  • MIA
  • MCO
To Cali, Colombia (CLO) from: To Phoenix (PHX) from:
  • MIA
  • FLL
  • JFK
To Cartagena, Colombia (CTG) from:
  • MIA

US Airways will also be expanding its codeshare with TACA (San Salvador). With the expansion US Airways customers will now able to reach San Salvador, El Salvador and Guatemala City, Guatemala. TACA customers will have access to the US Airways’ hub cities. Specific codeshare information is as follows:

New Connections for US Airways Customers on TACA New Connections for TACA Customers on US Airways
To Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) and San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL) from: To Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix from:
  • Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • ORD

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-214 N109UW (msn 1065) departs the runway at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

TACA: AG Slide Show

Avianca: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A319-115 N647AV (msn 3647) arrives at Washington (Dulles).

JetBlue Airways to add a third Colombian destination: Medellin

JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced its intention to serve Medellin, Colombia with the addition of daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Jose Maria Cordova International Airport (MDE) starting in June 2013 (subject to government approval).

Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of JetBlue’s route network. Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city and a vibrant commercial and cultural center, will be JetBlue’s 79th destination and its third destination in the South American country. JetBlue also offers nonstop service between Bogota and both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida as well as nonstop service between Cartagena and New York’s John F. Kennedy International (JFK).

JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale and Medellin:

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Medellin (MDE): Medellin (MDE) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL):
Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
4:45 p.m. – 7:05 p.m. 7:05 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
- Flights operate daily effective June 2013 (a) -

- All times local –

With this new addition, JetBlue will serve 27 Latin American and Caribbean destinations in 2013, including: Aruba; The Bahamas (Nassau); Barbados; Bermuda; Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman); Colombia (Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena); Costa Rica (Liberia and San Jose); Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, Santiago and Santo Domingo); Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay); Mexico (Cancun); Puerto Rico (Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan); St. Croix; St. Lucia; St. Maarten; St. Thomas; and, Turks and Caicos (Providenciales).

JetBlue’s flights to Medellin will be operated with its Airbus A320 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A320-232 N633JB (msn 2671) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Allegiant Air to acquire up to nine former Iberia Airbus A320s

Allegiant Travel Company (Allegiant Air) (Las Vegas) has announced its intention to purchase up to nine used Airbus A320 aircraft. The average age of these aircraft at delivery is expected to be 12 years with a configuration of 177 seats. The aircraft have been most recently operated by Iberia.

“The A320 aircraft type is a perfect complement to the smaller A319 and will enable us to continue cost effective growth for years to come,” said Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant President. “These transactions represent a tremendous opportunity to purchase a sizeable fleet of sister-ships with CFM powered engines, the same engine type as our A319s, at very attractive prices. Finding up to nine aircraft of this pedigree available for purchase is unusual in our experience. Historically it has been difficult to find owners willing to sell quality assets at this point in their life cycle. Our cash reserves and strong balance sheet continue to provide us a unique ability in the used aircraft space to move on these attractive opportunities.”

“We do not expect a material change to our 2013 capacity as we will vary MD-80 utilization appropriately. As with the earlier acquisition of A319s, we are committed to only acquire aircraft at values that support our existing business model of relatively low fleet utilization,” concluded Levy.

Seven aircraft are expected to be purchased in 2013 and two in 2014. With the addition of this transaction, Allegiant is now expecting 2013 total CAPEX to be between $270 and $280 million versus the previous guidance of $150 to $160 million. The company expects to finance the purchase of these aircraft with debt. Allegiant expects to place the first A320 into service late in the third quarter of 2013 and all nine aircraft are expected to be in service by the end of 2014. No additional MD-80 retirements are planned as a result of this transaction.

As long as Allegiant Air can acquire second-hand Airbus aircraft it is unlikely to add any more older McDonnell Douglas MD-80s.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The A320s will complement the smaller Airbus A319s being added to the fleet. Former easyJet Switzerland Airbus A319-111 HB-JZK (msn 2319) became N301NV with Allegiant.

Allegiant Air: AG Slide Show

Pegasus Airlines switches to Airbus with a large order

Pegasus-flypgs.com A320neo (09)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

Pegasus Airlines (flypgs.com) (Istanbul) is switching from Boeing to Airbus.

Pegasus Airlines, the second largest airline in Turkey, has signed for up to 100 A320neo Family aircraft (57 A320neo and 18 A321neo models), of which 75 are firm orders. Pegasus becomes a new Airbus customer and the first Turkish airline to order the A320neo.

This is the largest single commercial aircraft order ever placed by an airline in Turkey, and was announced today at a ceremony attended by Binali Yıldırım, the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication, Ali Sabanci, Chairman of Pegasus, Sertac Haybat, CEO of Pegasus and Christopher Buckley, Airbus Executive Vice President Europe, Asia and Pacific.

Pegasus’ new aircraft will be configured in a comfortable all economy layout with 180 seats in the A320neo and 220 seats in the A321neo. They will be deployed on Pegasus’ rapidly expanding network from Istanbul to destinations in Turkey, Europe and the Middle East.

Image: Airbus.

Pegasus Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines announces new routes from its hub cities

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced plans to launch nonstop service on several new international and domestic routes beginning in the spring of 2013, including:

  • New flights to Latin America from Chicago and Washington, D.C.
  • New service to Canada from Denver, New York, and Washington, D.C.
  • Additional domestic routes from Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

United and its regional partners will operate these new routes with a mix of mainline and regional aircraft.

United will begin weekly year-round service between its hub at Washington-Dulles International Airport and both Guatemala City, Guatemala, and San Jose, Costa Rica, subject to government approval. The airline will also begin weekly year-round service between its Chicago O’Hare hub and San Jose, subject to government approval. These flights, beginning April 13, 2013, will operate using Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 16 seats in United Business, 48 seats in Economy Plus and 90 seats in United Economy class.

These new flights will complement United’s existing service to Guatemala City and San Jose from the airline’s hubs in New York and Houston.

United will launch new flights between its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, beginning on May 1, 2013. The flights will operate six-times-weekly, using Airbus A319 aircraft, configured with eight seats in United First, 40 in Economy Plus, and 72 in United Economy.

The airline also serves Edmonton from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, and San Francisco.

New service between the Washington-Dulles hub and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will begin on June 8, 2013, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft, operating on Saturdays and Sundays through August 25, 2013.

United serves Vancouver year-round from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and seasonally from New York-Newark.

On June 6, 2013 United will start service between Denver and Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, the only nonstop service offered from Fort McMurray to the United States. SkyWest Airlines will operate the daily flights using 66-seat Canadair CRJ-700 regional jets, with six seats in United Business, 28 seats in Economy Plus, and 32 seats in United Economy.

Fort McMurray will be United’s 18th destination in Canada.  United offers more flights to more destinations in Canada than any other US airline.

United will also add new domestic routes from four of its hubs:

  • Chicago – Daily flights between Chicago and Fairbanks, Alaska, begin on June 6, 2013, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Chicago is the second United hub with service to Fairbanks, following the addition of flights from Denver earlier this year.
  • Denver – Twice-daily United Express service between Denver and Santa Fe, N.M., will begin on May 1, 2013. ExpressJet will operate the flights using 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet aircraft.
  • Los Angeles – New United Express service between the Los Angeles hub and Wichita, Kan., will begin on May 1, 2013. SkyWest Airlines will operate the daily flights using 66-seat Canadair CRJ700 regional jets. These flights are in addition to United’s existing service to Wichita from Chicago, Denver and Houston.
  • Washington-Dulles – United will add daily United Express service between Washington-Dulles and Grand Rapids, Michigan beginning on May 1, 2013. ExpressJet will operate the flights with 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet aircraft. United currently serves Grand Rapids from hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston and New York.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Airbus A319-131 N803UA (msn 748) completes its final approach into Baltimore/Washington.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

The Irish government opposes the latest takeover bid of Aer Lingus by Ryanair

The Republic of Ireland, which owns 25 percent of Aer Lingus (Dublin), has publicly expressed its opposition to the takeover of Aer Lingus by rival Ryanair (Dublin). The European Commission will be the final judge on whether Ryanair can continue to acquire additional shares of Aer Lingus for a possible controlling interest. Ryanair currently controls 30 percent of Aer Lingus stock.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Ryanair issued the following “no comment statement”:

Ryanair said it has no comment to make on the Minister Varadkar’s statement. Since the Government owns just 25% of Aer Lingus, it has no power to block Ryanair’s offer, which can still be successfully completed if we acquire a shareholding of 50% or more (Ryanair currently owns 30%).

The progress of Ryanair’s offer is subject to the outcome of the current EU competition review and Ryanair is continuing to progress that approval process, having submitted an unprecedented remedies package, which will increase competition, choice, traffic and jobs to and from the island of Ireland.
In other news for Ryanair, the ultra-fare carrier announced it had received the final two aircraft of its current Boeing order, growing its fleet to 305 Boeing 737-800s.

According to the airline, “Ryanair’s fleet is the youngest in Europe, with an average age of less than four years, making Ryanair the greenest and cleanest airline. Ryanair confirmed its intention to place a significant order for further aircraft once a sensible pricing agreement with a suitable manufacturer can be reached.”
Ryanair also announced a new route from Ireland West Airport Knock to Malaga in Spain starting on April 4, 2013. Ryanair also announced a new route from London Stansted to Kefalonia in Greece from April 1, 2013 and a new route from East Midlands to Zadar also from April 1, 2013.
Finally Ryanair announced it would open its 54th base (first in Croatia) at Zadar in April 2013 with one-based aircraft and unveiled 7 new routes (16 in total), to/from Dublin, East Midlands, Gothenburg, Haugesund, Liverpool, Paris and Wroclaw.
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Aer Lingus is an Airbus operator and Ryanair is a loyal Boeing customer up until now, although it is due to place another order. The battle for Aer Lingus could also determine which manufacturer prevails in the future if a takeover and merger is successful. Airbus A319-111 EI-EPR (msn 3169) of Aer Lingus arrives at London (Heathrow).
Aer Lingus: AG Slide Show
Ryanair: AG Slide Show

US Airways and South African Airways expand their codeshare agreement

US Airways (Phoenix) and fellow Star Alliance member South African Airways (Johannesburg) today announced a new bilateral codeshare agreement after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Transport – South Africa. Flights are currently available for sale for travel beginning on December 19.

US Airways customers will gain access to destinations throughout South Africa with the new agreement and to Dakar, Senegal pending final government approval, along with the convenience of a single-ticket purchase. Conversely, customers traveling on South African Airways will also receive expanded access to and throughout the United States.  US Airways customers will continue to have the ability to earn and redeem Dividend Miles on these new codeshare flights. South African Airways customers will also continue to earn and redeem miles as a member of the Voyager Frequent Flyer program.

US Airways customers will have access to South African Airways’ hub in Johannesburg as well as convenient connections to Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth in South Africa.  Customers will also have access to Dakar, Senegal via South African Airways’ Washington-Dulles to Johannesburg.  South African Airways customers will have access to US Airways’ hub cities of Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix as well as various destinations within the United States. Specific connection information is below:


New Connections for US Airways Customers on South African Airways New Connections for South African Airways Customers on US Airways

To Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB) from:

  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • New York’s JFK International Airport (JFK)
  • Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
  • London’s Heathrow International Airport (LHR)
  • Munich, Germany (MUC)


To Dakar, Senegal (DKR)* from:

  • IAD


Continue from JNB to:

  • Cape Town, South Africa (CPT)
  • Durban, South Africa (DUR)
  • East London, South Africa (ELS)
  • Port Elizabeth, South Africa (PLZ)

To Philadelphia (PHL) from:

  • LHR


To Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) from:

  • IAD
  • JFK
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • San Diego (SAN)


To Phoenix (PHX) from:

  • JFK
  • LAS
  • SAN
  • SFO

*Route is pending final government approval.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 767-2B7 ER N251AY (msn 24764) of US Airways lifts off from Heathrow Airport near London.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

South African Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. South African Airways operates both Airbus and Boeing narrow-body airliners on domestic and regional routes. Airbus A319-131 ZS-SFJ (msn 2379) prepares to land at the Johannesburg hub.

American Airlines expands its partnership with the LATAM Airlines Group with new codeshare agreements with TAM and LAN Colombia

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth), which offers more flights to more destinations in Latin America than any other U.S. airline, has signed agreements to codeshare with both TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aereas) (Sao Paulo) and LAN Colombia (Bogota), representing a solid stepping stone in building a stronger bilateral relationship between American and LATAM Airlines Group. Once approved, these new codeshare relationships will provide expanded opportunities for American to serve new markets in Brazil and Colombia and for TAM Airlines and LAN Colombia in the United States.

In addition, American plans to operate a new Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – Bogota (BOG) route beginning in late 2013. American will also add service to Curitiba (CWB) and Porto Alegre (POA), Brazil from Miami beginning in late 2013, demonstrating its mission to provide customers with expanded options through a growing network footprint in Latin America. With the addition of Curitiba and Porto Alegre, American will serve nine destinations in Brazil.

Once the codeshare agreements are approved, these new relationships will provide American’s customers seamless connecting service within Colombia and Brazil.  At the same time, this partnership will allow TAM and LAN Colombia’s customers access to new destinations in the U.S. such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas and Seattle.

TAM operates nearly 5,600 weekly flights to 42 destinations throughout Brazil as well as 18 international destinations in the United States, Latin America and Europe. LAN Colombia operates more than 930 weekly flights to cities throughout Colombia as well as destinations in Brazil and the United States. From its Bogota hub, LAN Colombia offers 134 daily flights, including service to 20 Colombian cities.

American offers codeshare service, with fellow oneworld® alliance member LAN Airlines, to cities throughout South America from LAN’s hubs in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru.

The new route between DFW and Bogota complements American’s existing service to Colombia through Miami (MIA), where it offers up to 35 nonstop flights per week to Bogota, Cali and Medellin. American’s MIA and DFW hubs allow it to serve 90 percent of U.S. – Latin America traffic more efficiently than any other airline’s combination of hubs. American offers more service to South America than any other U.S. airline.

American also offers the most service between North America and Brazil, American currently serves Brazil from Miami to Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo; from New York JFK to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; and from Dallas/Fort Worth to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. In addition, early next year the Dallas/Fort Worth – Sao Paulo flight will be the first to feature the newest addition to American’s fleet, the Boeing 777-300 ER.

Top Copyright Photo: Bernardo Andrade. Boeing 767-323 ER N354AA (msn 24035) arrives at Rio de Janeiro ‘s Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

TAM Linhas Aereas: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Airbus A330-223 PT-MVC (msn 247) of TAM Linhas Aereas arrives at London (Heathrow).

US Airways to switch the Charlotte-London route to Heathrow Airport on March 30

US Airways (Phoenix) today announced that service between the airline’s largest hub in Charlotte, N.C. and London’s preferred business airport, Heathrow Airport, will start on March 30, 2013. The daily flight will supplement the airline’s existing daily service between its international gateway in Philadelphia and Heathrow and replace its current service between Charlotte and London’s Gatwick Airport, which ends on March 29.

US Airways will operate service between Charlotte and London Heathrow with Airbus A330-300 aircraft with seating for 28 in Envoy, the airline’s international business class, and 263 in the main cabin.

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 one-stop service to London via the airline’s Charlotte hub.

US Airways recently announced the launch of new service between Charlotte and its second destination in Brazil, Sao Paulo, beginning on May 5, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A330-323X N277AY (msn 380) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte hub.

US Airways: AG Slide Show

VietJetAir launches new routes as it gets ready to celebrate its first anniversary and its first international route to Bangkok

VietJetAir  (VietjetAir.com) (Ho Chi Minh City) on December 15 launched its ninth domestic route linking Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam’s the paradise island of Phu Quoc. The carrier will also be the first airline operating an Airbus A320 aircraft on the route.

Attending a ceremony to celebrate the route’s maiden departure from Phu Quoc International Airport, guest of honor Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was joined by dignitaries from the Central Government, the Ministry of Transport, Kien Giang province people’s committee and representatives from VietJetAir. The carrier also marked this special occasion by providing 300 health insurance cards to residents of Kien Giang province living in disadvantaged circumstances.

VietJetAir will become Vietnam’s first private airline to open an international route on February 10, 2013 when the airline flies from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok. This auspicious date is the first day of the New Lunar Year, so perfect timing for Vietnamese, Thai and foreign travelers planning to celebrate by travelling abroad during this festive season.

The route will start off with round trip per day initially with VietJetAir’s newly acquired Airbus A320. The one hour and 30 minute flight will depart from Ho Chi Minh City at 11 am (1100) and return from Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1:30 pm (1330).

Above Photo: VietJetAir. VietJetAir’s flight crew get ready for international operations.

The first private low-fare airline of Vietnam launched operations on December 25, 2011.
VietjetAir.com logo
Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Formerly operated by Olympic Air, this Airbus A320-214 registered as SX-OAU (msn 4193) will join the VietjetAir fleet as VN-A699.
Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Starflyer takes delivery of its first purchased A320 from Airbus

Starflyer (Kitakyushu) has taken delivery of its first ever directly purchased aircraft, an Airbus A320, during a delivery ceremony in Toulouse, France. A320-214 JA08MC (msn 5393) was handed over to the carrier on December 12.

The aircraft is the first of three A320s ordered by the company in 2011, and is powered by CFM56-5B4/P engines. It will accommodate 150 passengers in a single-class configuration.Starflyer will deploy the new aircraft to strengthen its network in Japan and to regional destinations.

Starflyer already operates an all-Airbus fleet of seven leased A320s, the first of which was delivered in Toulouse exactly seven years ago. With this aircraft, the airline’s fleet will rise to eight A320s, with another six to be delivered both via lease and direct purchase.

Starflyer commenced operations on March 16, 2006.

StarFlyer logo

Copyright Photo: Shige Sakaki.Airbus A320-214 JA05MC (msn 4555) taxies across the airfield at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo. A “I fly KIX” sticker promotes Kansai International Airport near Osaka.

Starflyer: AG Slide Show

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United Airlines’ pilots ratify the new contract

United Airlines (Chicago) yesterday (December 15)  announced that its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), ratified a new joint labor agreement for all United Airlines pilots.

“The ratification of this agreement is an important step forward for our pilots and the company,” said Fred Abbott, senior vice president of flight operations. “We look forward to the efficiencies and teamwork we will achieve as our pilots become one group once they complete their seniority integration.”

The agreement runs through December 2016 and covers nearly 10,000 United pilots.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A319-131 N830UA (msn 1243) approach Dulles International Airport.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways is “interested” in the Czech Airlines privatization

Qatar Airways (Doha) is interested in the privatization of Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) according to this report by Reuters. However the Gulf carrier has not yet made a decision on whether it will bid for the flag carrier.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Dave Glendinning. Brand-new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCL (msn 38330) made its first visit to London (Heathrow) on December 13 where it is pictured landing on the historic first flight.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Czech Airlines-CSA: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Airbus A319-112 OK-NEO (msn 3452) prepares to land at Stockholm (Arlanda).

Air Astana takes delivery of its first new A321 direct-delivery from Airbus

Air Astana (Almaty), Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has taken delivery of its first A321 (PR-KDA, msn 5357) out of a total of six A320 Family aircraft ordered from Airbus in May 2008. The delivery was celebrated in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The aircraft will join Air Astana’s fleet, which already includes 10 A320 Family aircraft, operated on the airline’s domestic and international network.

The airline’s A321, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a two class cabin layout, seating 28 passengers in business class and 151 in economy.

Air Astana started commercial service with its first Airbus aircraft, an A320, in 2006, and is currently operating one A319, seven A320s and two A321s.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The pictured Airbus A321-231 PR-OAS (msn 1204) was leased from Tombo on May 11, 2007.

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IAG applies for a tender offer to acquire Vueling Airlines

International Airlines Group-IAG’s (London), the parent of British Airways (London) and Iberia (Madrid), through its subsidiary Veloz Holdco, has formally filed an application for Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) through a tender offer. IAG is seeking authorization from the National Securities Market Commission of Spain for the market offer. IAG plans to acquire 16.2 million shares of Vueling Airlines or 51.14 percent of the total shares, that it does not already own through subsidiary Iberia, which already controls 45.85 percent of the Vueling shares.

Read the full report from IAG: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Pedro Baptista. Vueling Airlines’ Airbus A319-112 EC-LRS (msn 3704) approaches Barcelona for landing.

Vueling Airlines: AG Slide Show

AirAsia orders 100 additional Airbus A320 Family aircraft

AirAsia A320-200 F-WWIC (9M-AQQ)(12)(Grd) TLS (YD)(LRW)

AirAsia (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) has placed a new order with Airbus for 100 additional A320 Family aircraft. The contract covers an additional 64 A320neo and 36 A320ceo aircraft for operation across the carrier’s network.

The order was announced during a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Airbus wing manufacturing facility at Broughton in the UK, where Mr Cameron witnessed the signing of documents by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia and Fabrice Brégier, President & CEO, Airbus.

The contract reaffirms AirAsia’s position as the largest A320 Family airline customer in the world. Altogether, the carrier has now ordered 475 single aisle aircraft from Airbus, comprising 264 A320neo and 211 A320ceo. Over 100 aircraft have already been delivered to the airline and are flying out of its bases in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila and Tokyo.

Top Copyright Photo: Eurospot. The first new Airbus A320 for AirAsia with the new Sharklet winglets is this Airbus A320-216 with the temporary registration of F-WWIC (msn 5428) at Toulouse. The new airliner, which also sports the new 2012 livery, will be delivered as 9M-AQQ.

AirAsia (Malaysia): AG Slide Show

Bottom Image: Airbus.

AirAsia A320-200neo (Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

JetBlue Airways is coming to Philadelphia

JetBlue Airways (New York) today announced the launch of nonstop service between Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Five daily flights will begin on May 23, 2013. Philadelphia will become the company’s 78th destination.

JetBlue’s schedule between Boston and Philadelphia:

Depart – Arrive Depart – Arrive
6:40 a.m. – 8:09 a.m.

8:45 a.m. – 10:16 a.m.

11:24 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

3:15 p.m. – 4:49 p.m.

6:10 p.m. – 7:49 p.m.

8:45 a.m. – 10:17 a.m.

10:55 a.m. – 12:27 p.m.

1:25 p.m. – 2:54 p.m.

5:25 p.m. – 7:06 p.m.

8:25 p.m. – 9:54 p.m.

- Flights operate daily effective May 23, 2013 –

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Celebrating the 100th Airbus A320, Airbus A320-232 N655JB (msn 3072) at Long Beach displays the special markings.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Wizz Air to add more flights from its Budapest base next summer

Wizz Air (Hungary) (Budapest) has announced it will base a new Airbus A320 in Budapest to grow passenger traffic by 20% up to 2.2 million passengers at its Budapest base in 2013. This 7th Budapest aircraft will start operations on March 13, 2013.

Following a strong Budapest traffic growth of 30% in 2012, Wizz Air is now announcing further frequency increases on six routes to Dortmund, Eindhoven, Kiev, Larnaca, Malaga and Naples and will reinstate the holiday route to Thessaloniki (Greece). In total the airline will operate 30 routes and 155 weekly flights from Budapest in the summer period.

Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis. Airbus A320-232 HA-LPS (msn 3771) departs from Luton Airport near London.

Wizz logo

Wizz Air: AG Slide Show

Routes from Budapest:

Wizz BUD 12:2012 Route Map

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

Strikes against Iberia are cancelled for this month, Iberia to drop three more Madrid routes

Iberia (Madrid) will not be dealing with any strikes this month. The unions have called off their December strikes and will readjust their strategy against the company in January. Iberia issued the following statement:

For Iberia, “calling off the strike can and should be a first step along the necessary path of dialogue and negotiation, which is the sole reasonable way to resolve the company’s problems without harming customers.”

The unions decided to call off the strike after meeting with Iberia Management under the auspices of the mediation and arbitration service. No agreement was reached at the meeting, despite Iberia’s undertaking to be flexible in considering the proposals advanced by the unions. However, though the opportunity to move forward was missed, the meeting could be another step towards future negotiations. Iberia hopes that in the future the possibilities of dialogue and negotiations will be exhausted before any new strikes are called since they inflict great harm on the company and its customers.
Iberia is delighted that its customers may now look forward to travelling without problems, though it regrets the damage already caused to company’s public image and to its business.
Iberia also thanks the mediation and arbitration service for its herculean efforts two bring the tow side closer together. Though no agreement was reached, its efforts had very positive results for Iberia’s customers.
Meanwhile Iberia will drop three more routes from Madrid in January: Athens (January 9), Cairo (January 21) and Istanbul (January 21) per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron. Airbus A321-211 EC-JQZ (msn 2736) arrives back at the Madrid hub.
Iberia: AG Slide Show

Virgin America is coming to Newark

Virgin America (San Francisco) announced today will serve New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) as of April 2, 2013 with three daily nonstop roundtrip flights from both San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The addition of Newark to its network means Virgin America will now serve eight of the top ten business markets from both SFO and LAX.

The airline’s daily nonstop schedule from the West Coast to EWR is as follows:

EWR LAX 915 1230 NONE
EWR LAX 1300 1615 NONE
EWR LAX 1855 2210 NONE
LAX EWR 940 1800 NONE
LAX EWR 1315 2129 NONE
LAX EWR 2345 0759 (+1) NONE
EWR SFO 730 1105 NONE
EWR SFO 1030 1405 NONE
EWR SFO 1730 2105 NONE
SFO EWR 800 1635 NONE
SFO EWR 1505 2340 NONE
SFO EWR 2115 0545 (+1) NONE
Service: Beginning April 02, 2013

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. Airbus A319-112 N529VA (msn 3684) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways to form a strategic alliance, Delta to buy 49% of Virgin Atlantic from Singapore Airlines

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. (London) have reached an agreement for a new joint venture that will create an expanded trans-Atlantic network and enhance competition between the U.K. and North America, offering greater benefits for customers traveling on those routes.

As part of this joint venture agreement, Delta will invest $360 million in Virgin Atlantic, acquiring a 49 percent stake currently held by Singapore Airlines. Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson will retain the majority 51 percent stake and Virgin Atlantic Airways will retain its brand and operating certificate.

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • A fully integrated joint venture that will operate on a “metal neutral” basis with both airlines sharing the costs and revenues from all joint venture flights.
  • A combined trans-Atlantic network between the United Kingdom and North America with 31 peak-day round-trip flights.
  • Enhanced benefits for customers including cooperation on services between New York and London, with a combined total of nine daily round-trip flights from London-Heathrow to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.
  • Shared access to Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounges for elite passengers.

The airlines will file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for antitrust immunity, which will allow a closer relationship and coordination on schedules and operations. The transaction also will be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union’s competition regulator and other relevant authorities. The share purchase and the joint venture are expected to be implemented by the end of 2013.

“Our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic will strengthen both airlines and provide a more effective competitor between North America and the U.K., particularly on the New York-London route, which is the largest airline route between the U.S. and Europe,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “By combining the strengths of our two companies in a joint venture, we can provide customers with a seamless network between North America and the U.K., and continue building a better airline for our customers, employees and shareholders.”

Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive, added: “Consumers will reap the rewards of this partnership between two great airline brands on services from the UK to the USA, Canada and Mexico through a shared ethos in the highest standards of customer service. This joint venture will deliver much more effective competition at Heathrow.

“Both airlines are confident that the Department of Transportation will be as convinced as we are of the extensive consumer benefits arising from this joint venture, with expedited approval being granted by the end of 2013. The trans-Atlantic market is Virgin Atlantic’s heartland – it’s where we started. By aligning with Delta we can continue to grow our North American network and offer greatly enhanced connectivity across the USA.”

Virgin Atlantic President, Sir Richard Branson, commented: “This is an exciting day in Virgin Atlantic history. It signals the start of a new era of expansion, financial growth and many opportunities for our customers and our business. I truly look forward to the possibilities our partnership with Delta will offer. We have always been known for our innovation and service and have punched above our weight for 28 years. That is why our customers love us so much. We will retain that independent spirit but move forward in a strengthened partnership with Delta.”

Delta and Virgin Atlantic customers will be able to earn and redeem miles across Delta’s SkyMiles and Virgin Atlantic’s FlyingClub frequent flyer programs. Premium customers also will have reciprocal access to the Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse airport lounges. Full details will be announced as services become available.

The partnership allows both carriers to offer a greatly expanded network at Heathrow and to overcome slot constraints, which have limited the growth and competitive capability of both airlines. The two carriers will operate a total of 31 peak-day round-trip flights between the U.K. and North America, 23 of which operate at London-Heathrow. The enlarged network will benefit customers of both carriers by providing greater access to a broader network, improved connectivity and convenient booking options.

As part of a $3 billion investment in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities, all of Delta’s flights between the U.S. and London-Heathrow feature full flat-bed seats offering direct aisle access in the BusinessElite cabin. These flights also offer Delta’s popular Economy Comfort seating in the forward section of the economy cabin. Economy Comfort offers four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline compared to standard economy seats. All cabins offer in-seat audio and video on demand with a broad range of in-flight entertainment options. Delta also will begin introducing in-flight WiFi service on international flights beginning in 2013.

Virgin Atlantic has recently completed a £150m upgrade program. A new Upper Class cabin has been introduced across its Airbus A330 aircraft, which features the longest fully flat bed in the sky. This is complemented by a redesigned onboard bar and new Clubhouses at both JFK and Newark airports. The airline’s Boeing 747 leisure fleet has been completely refitted and features onboard connectivity and VERA Touch – Virgin Atlantic’s award-winning touch screen in-flight entertainment system – offering passengers hours of entertainment at their fingertips.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 747-451 N668US (msn 24223) completes its final approach into Tokyo (Narita).

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Airbus A340-642 G-VWEB (msn 787) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.



Delta and Virgin Atlantic are planning a trans-Atlantic joint venture

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) are planning a trans-Atlantic joint venture if Delta is successful in obtaining Singapore Airlines’ 49 percent share in Virgin Atlantic according to this report by Reuters. Sir Richard Branson is not interested in selling his controlling 51 percent but is interested in working with Delta.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-223 N861NW (msn 796) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Appropriately registered Airbus A330-343X G-VNYC (msn 1315) pushes back from gate at New York’s JFK International Airport.


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