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Tag Archives: Airbus A320

Aigle Azur to drop the Paris Orly-Moscow Vnukovo route

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

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

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

Aigle Azur: AG Slide Show

 

Aigle Azur (2013) logo

Current Route Map:

Aigle Azue 10.2014 Route Map

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

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

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

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

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tigerair (Singapore): AG Slide Show

Tigerair (Singapore) Aircraft Slide Show:

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

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

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

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

Read the full story from ABC: CLICK HERE

CDC logo

The CDC issued this statement in cooperation with Frontier Airlines:

CDC and Frontier Airlines Announce Passenger Notification Underway

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

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

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

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

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

Frontier 2014 logo (large)

Frontier Airlines Statement

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

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

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

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

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

AFA Logo

 

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

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

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

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

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

CDC logo

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2014 Update

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

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

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

Meanwhile Airports Council International (ACI) issued this statement:

ACI logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Planefinder Ebola Plane Tracker

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

The website explains how it all works:

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

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

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

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show:

Frontier Airlines to pull out of Eugene, Oregon

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

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

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

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

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show:

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

Frontier 10.2014 Route Map

Video: The new ultra low cost Frontier:

IndiGo signs MOU for 250 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

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

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

IndiGo is celebrating its 8th anniversary.

IndiGo Great to be 8

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

IndiGo:

IndiGo logo-2

Current Route Map:

IndiGo 10.2014 Route Map

IndiGo Aircraft Slide Show:

Video: 2010 TV commercial for IndiGo:

 

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

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

Airberlin has issued this statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Niki: AG Slide Show

Airberlin Aircraft Slide Show:

 

EasyJet announces six new routes from Amsterdam

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

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

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

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

Base opening Spring 2015

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

Summer 2015 schedule

The new routes are:

Dubrovnik 2 weekly

Nice 7 weekly

Olbia 2 weekly

Toulouse 3 weekly

Venice 7 weekly

Hamburg 6 weekly

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

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

EasyJet Aircraft Slide Show:

 

Virgin America arrives at Dallas Love Field, departs from DFW

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

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

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

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

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

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

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Video: Sir Richard’s Love List:

Virgin America Aircraft Slide Show:

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

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

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

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

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

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

The second Livingston (New Livingston) suspends operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

The airline commenced operations on march 31, 2012.

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

Livingston (2nd): AG Slide Show

Apsara Air starts Airbus A320 operations in Cambodia

Apsara Air logo

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

The new airline received its AOC in September.

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

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

China Aviation Supplies orders 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Airlines (China): AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finnair: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

New European destinations from Zurich and Geneva

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

Refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet

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

New Swiss Economy foodservice on European flights

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

Billions of investment in one of the most advanced aircraft fleets

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

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

Swiss: AG Slide Show

 

SAS introduces a new “We Are Travelers” advertising campaign

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

SAS We Are Travelers logo-1

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

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

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

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

SAS We Are Travelers logo

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

Initial campaign presents travel profiles – of customers and employees

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

SAS Thank You

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

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

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

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS: AG Slide Show

Video: SAS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VivaAerobus: AG Slide Show

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

EasyJet benefitted from the Air France strike

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

 

Wow Air is coming to Dublin on June 2, 2015

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

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

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

Route Map:

WOW Air 10.2014 Route Map

Wow Air: AG Slide Show

 

Wow Air logo with A320

Video: Aerial view of Iceland by Elisabetta Rosso:

 

Volaris is coming to Reno, Nevada

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

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

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

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

Volaris: AG Slide Show

Volaris logo

Routes from Guadalajara:

Volaris GDL 10.2014 Route Map

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Alitalia retires the Air One brand

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

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

Air One: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

Schedule:

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

December 18, 2014 – April 28, 2015

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

January 8, 2015 – April 28, 2015

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

January 5, 2015 – April 28, 2015*

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

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

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

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

 

Snowbird Airlines is coming to London Gatwick starting on December 6

Snowbird A320-200 (14)(Flt)(Snowbird)(LRW)

Snowbird Airlines (Helsinki) starting on December 6 is planning to operate twice-weekly Airbus A320 service from Enontekiö to London (Gatwick) and return per Airline Route.

Enontekiö is located in northern Finland in Lapland and is an ideal viewing location for the winter northern lights.

According to Helsinki Times, the launch of the carrier has been delayed due to slumping Russian economy and a dispute with the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV).

The virtual charter airline was planning to start operations on October 2 with a wet leased SmartLynx Airlines Airbus A320 (YL-LCM).

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Images: Snowbird Airlines.

Snowbird logo

Video:

BOC Aviation delivers the first Airbus A320 to Vistara

Vistara say hello

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

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

Vistara first A320 arrives (Vistara)(LRW)

Photo: Vistara.

Vistara logo (large)

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

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

Tata Air Lines DC-3

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

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

Images: Vistara.

Vistara Tails

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


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The holding company of the flag carrier issued this statement:

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

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

Czech Airlines-CSA: AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A320neo flies today for the first time

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

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

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

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

Video:

Airbus A320neo First Flight

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright Photos: JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

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

 

Delta to start winter seasonal service to both Montego Bay and Nassau from Minneapolis/St. Paul

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will start weekly seasonal service from the airline’s hub in Minneapolis/St. Paul to Montego Bay, Jamaica on starting on January 18, 2015 and Nassau in the Bahamas, starting 0n January 17, 2015. Flights will be operated on Airbus A320 aircraft with 150 seats, including 12 seats in Business Class, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 120 economy seats.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-212 N372NW (msn 1633) arrives at the MSP hub.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

 

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

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

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

Are airplane bathrooms getting too small for the general population?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

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

 

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

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

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

Katowice to Belfast (twice weekly) starting on March 31

Poznan to Malmo (twice weekly) starting on March 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wizz Air (Hungary): AG Slide Show

 

Aircalin rebrands its fleet with this beautiful island look

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

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

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

Aircalin fleet in the new look

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

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

Aircalin 2014 livery explanation

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

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

Route Map:

Aircalin 9.2014 route map

Top Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com.

Aircalin: AG Slide Show

Aircalin Video:

flyVista gets ready to add its first Airbus A320

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

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

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

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

Aegean Airlines adds more routes for the winter and next summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Increased frequencies on existing routes:

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

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

Planned new summer service:

From Corfu to Paris and Rome

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

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

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

Aegean Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aegean is celebrating this award from Skytrax:

Aegean FA-Best Regional (Aegean)(LRW)

 

JetBlue Airways flight 1416 makes a safe landing at Long Beach with smoke in the cabin

JetBlue flight 1416 LGB

JetBlue Airways (New York) flight 1416 from Long Beach to Austin, Texas today (September 18) declared an emergency after the number two engine failed 10 minutes into the flight. Flight 1416 returned to LGB and made a safe landing after smoke was detected in the cockpit and the cabin. The Airbus A320-232 N656JB (msn 3091) came to a safe landing on runway 30. The cockpit crew popped the chutes and the 147 passengers and crew members exited the aircraft. Four people reportedly suffered minor injuries exiting the aircraft.

Read the full report from ABC 7: CLICK HERE

JetBlue Airways issued this statement:

On September 18, the flight crew aboard flight 1416 reported an issue with the number two engine and returned to Long Beach Airport. The airplane landed safely, and all customers and crew have evacuated via slides with no reported injuries at this time. While the runway at Long Beach is closed, inbound flights are being directed to nearby airports.

UPDATE 11:00 PST

The aircraft has moved from the impacted runway, and flights will be resuming from runway 12/30. An area crewmember has accompanied one customer who requested transport to an area hospital for observation. We’re working with customers for re-accommodation on alternate flights.

Twitter photo by Melanie Lawson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

EasyJet orders 27 additional Airbus A320s

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

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

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

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

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Frontier $29 fares from Chicago O'Hare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

United EWR Hub Map

Air Seychelles to add two new destinations

Air Seychelles 2011 logo

Air Seychelles (Mahe) has announced the launch of nonstop flights to Antananarivo, Madagascar, commencing on December 3, 2014.

The twice-weekly flights to the capital’s Ivato International Airport (TNR) will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft with 16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class seats.

In other news, Air Seychelles has also announced the launch of twice-weekly flights to Dar es Salaam to commence on December 2, 2014, marking the next stage of growth in the airline’s regional strategy.

The Tanzanian capital becomes the third destination in Air Seychelles’ Indian Ocean and African network, after Mauritius and Johannesburg. The route will be operated using a two-class Airbus A320 aircraft.

Air Seychelles recently added a leased Airbus A320 from partner Etihad Airways.

Air Seychelles: AG Slide Show

Route Map: The route maps now shows the connecting routes of Etihad Airways growing list of “family airlines”.

Air Seychelles 9.2014 Route Map

Air France warns of a pilots strike from September 15-22

Air France (Paris) has issued this warning of a possible strike by its pilots:

Even before the outcome of negotiations, Air France is now enabling all customers due to travel on an Air France flight scheduled between September 15-22, regardless of the type of ticket:

- To change their ticket and travel before September 15, 2014 or to postpone their trip until between September 23-30, 2014, at no extra charge, subject to availability.

- To receive a voucher valid for one year on Air France or KLM for travel after September 30, 2014 if you no longer wish to travel, or change your destination or departure airport.

The flight schedule will be adapted and customers will be informed the day before their trip.

Air France regrets this situation and will do everything possible to assist customers and minimize the possible impact of this strike action.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-HEPG (msn 5802) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub with the special 80 Ans/years emblem.

Air France:

AG Slide Show

 

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Airbus announces an experimental inkjet printing method for airline liveries

Airbus A320 Inkjet (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has today issued this announcement and photo:

However, the difficulties may become a thing of the past thanks to a new method currently being developed by Airbus – which employs direct inkjet printing to deliver a broad range of production and operational improvements.

The method was developed by engineers from Airbus’ A320 Family paint shop in Hamburg, Germany, and is able to reproduce any livery design – be it a photographic motif, modern art or other complex patterns – faster and more efficiently than traditional painting processes, and with finer detail as well.

The direct printer functions much like a traditional model, using an inkjet head with nozzles that spray three basic colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) and black. Utilising a seven-square-metre bench, the inkjet head prints a design line by line, from top to bottom. After the process is completed, the aircraft component is sealed with a clear coat.

According to technology manager Matthias Otto, the advantages of direct inkjet-printed liveries are numerous. “I can create colour gradients or photo-realistic motifs that could never be achieved with paint,” he explained, and added that this new method also is capable of printing components of any size or shape. In the past, heavier printed film was used to produce complex designs, however such film is susceptible to the effects of heat, cold and high pressure, and ultimately could tear or peel.

The business case for direct printing is convincing. Compared with painting, where the design has to be built up by layer-by-layer, there are far fewer working and drying steps – greatly reducing the lead time. There also is no overspray or solvent vapour when ink is used, providing better working conditions for Airbus employees, as well as a healthier environment.

At present, the inkjet method still is at the experimental stage. Technical Readiness Level 6 (TRL 6) was reached at the end of June, and the ink and associated processes will be qualified early in 2015. Nonetheless, the project already has become part of the A320 Final Assembly Line (FAL) benchmark initiative, with the intention to further stabilise scheduled lead times for the best-selling Airbus single-aisle jetliner family.

Copyright Photo: Airbus.

 

Finnair reaches an agreement with its pilots

Finnair  (Helsinki) has reached an agreement with its pilots, represented by the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL).

The company issued this statement:

Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) have reached a result in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.

The agreement brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 11 million euros will materialize gradually over the 2-year CLA period. Approximately 3 million euros will materialize in the coming few years through growth and the remaining 3 million euros in the future through changes to pensions and the employment terms of new pilots. In return, Finnair gives pilots protection for redundancies for the next two years. It has been additionally agreed that Finnair will study an incentive plan for pilots. The savings agreement is contingent on the realization of this incentive plan that will be formulated during autumn.

The savings agreed with SLL are mainly reached through changes to salary and working time. Finnair and SLL agreed in June on transferring to a new wage model. However, the savings solution was finally developed based on the current wage model.

In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. The negotiations on cabin personnel’s 18 million euro savings proved unsuccessful and the company is now forced to proceed with increasing the use of outsourced cabin service. Finnair would have rather continued flying with its own crew.

Finnair has reached savings agreements with personnel groups belonging to IAU and with Finnair’s salaried and senior salaried employees and engineers (FYT and FIRY). In addition, Finnair has made cuts in its administration and support functions, and Finnair’s Board of Directors has also reduced the variable part of the top management’s total remuneration as well as other benefits.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXD (msn 1588) arrives in Zurich.

Finnair:

 

Virgin Atlantic to operate the new Boeing 787-9 between London Heathrow and Newark, will it drop Little Red?

Virgin Atlantic 787-9 (10)(Flt)(Virgin Atlantic)(LR)

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is getting its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (G-VAHH, msn 37967) later this month. The airline will also 264-seat introduce its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the London (Heathrow)-Newark route starting on January 19, 2015 per Airline Route. This will be the third route for the new type. The 787-9 will enter revenue service on October 28 on the London (Heathrow)-Boston route as previously reported.

Virgin Atlantic logo (large)

In other news, the airline is not commenting on media speculation that it may be considering dropping its Little Red (operated by Aer Lingus) operation due to poor loads. Little Red operates feeder flights from London (Heathrow) to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Read the full story from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE

Image above: Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Aer Lingus, Airbus A320-214 EI-EZV (msn 2001) of Little Red arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.

Spirit Airlines files to serve Mexico from Houston Bush Intercontinental

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for route authority to start scheduled passenger service between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and Cancun, Toluca and San Jose del Cabo. If approved, which is expected, Spirit will compete against United Airlines and AeroMexico.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) arrives at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA).

Spirit Airlines:

JetBlue and Cape Air partner with Bridgewater State University to establish a pilot pipeline

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Cape Air (Hyannis) recently announced a new partnership with Bridgewater State University (BSU). BSU is the newest addition to JetBlue’s University Gateway Program, a pilot talent pipeline which partners with top university aviation programs and regional airlines such as Cape Air. BSU is the airline’s first school alliance in its Boston focus city.

JetBlue’s University Gateway Program is a career-planning and mentoring initiative designed to identify and recruit talented professionals into the pilot ranks. The program includes rigorous academic training and valuable regional airline experience. The University Gateway program creates a clearly defined career path for aspiring pilots, beginning early in an aviator’s college career and culminating with the possibility of a final interview at JetBlue.

In late August, Captain Rich Carter, JetBlue’s director system chief pilot, Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, president of Bridgewater State University and Linda Markham, president of Cape Air officially signed a memorandum of understanding. JetBlue crewmembers as well as school administrators were on hand at Boston’s Logan International Airport to celebrate the announcement. BSU is the seventh university partner for JetBlue’s University Gateway Program. Other academic alliances include the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona and Prescott), Auburn University, Jacksonville University and Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

The University Gateway Program is open to students at participating schools with high academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or above) and recommendations from their professors. It requires a successful series of interviews with JetBlue and a regional airline partner, as well as continued enrollment in an Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) program. During the Gateway Program, participants intern at Cape Air or other regional airline partners, and then serve as an instructor at their respective flight school. Following that process, candidates fly with Cape Air for at least two years and then receive an interview at JetBlue.

BSU is an AABI accredited university which offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science with concentrations in aviation management or flight training. The university combines a liberal arts education with flight experience and prepares students to fly in varying weather conditions and over mountainous terrain and open waters as well as how to handle operations in both controlled and uncontrolled environments.

Education is a core pillar of JetBlue’s overall strategy and responsibility platform. The airline and its newly launched JetBlue Foundation encourage students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including aviation careers from piloting an aircraft to maintaining its engines. JetBlue has a unique education pathway including relationships with elementary school students and mentoring high school and college students to the University Gateway Program, which may lead to positions as Pilot Trainees with the carrier.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic “up close” runway action view of JetBlue’s special 10th Anniversary color scheme on Airbus A320-232 N569JB (msn 2075) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Cape Air: AG Slide Show

 

Lufthansa is facing another strike by its pilots today

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots today at the Frankfurt hub, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union. The union is striking for five hours today starting at 2 pm (1400) local time.

The Lufthansa Group issued this statement today:

Following the announcement by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union of a strike in Frankfurt today (September 5), Lufthansa was able to inform most of the affected passengers yesterday about the effects. Yesterday evening at 9.00 p.m., the special flight plan for this afternoon was published online at http://www.LH.com and 14,000 booked passengers were informed at the same time by text message. These passengers had previously registered their contact details so that Lufthansa could notify them of flight cancellations, rebookings and alternative travel options.

Today the staff at the station in Frankfurt are focusing on providing the best possible assistance for passengers. As a precaution, 2,200 hotel rooms have been reserved in the Rhine-Main area, and Lufthansa and Fraport have set up some 500 field beds for passengers in transit who are not allowed to enter Germany for visa reasons. From 2.00 p.m. onwards, the staff at the Frankfurt station will be providing passengers affected by the strike with refreshments, snacks and the opportunity to use telecommunications. Mobile information stands will also be set up and capacities increased at the ticket counters.

Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board and responsible for operations and the Frankfurt hub, said: “We apologize for the inconveniences caused for our passengers by the strike of the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. Because the strike was only announced after 5.00 p.m. yesterday, there was very little lead time. We have been working flat out since yesterday evening to give our customers all the available information and, whenever possible, to rebook them on other airlines or other means of transport. We have also increased capacities at our call centres as quickly as possible. At Frankfurt Airport we are mobilising all our capacities today in order to minimise the effects of the strike on our passengers. This is very difficult on a Friday afternoon at the end of the school holidays in three German states, as this is one of the busiest travel days of the year. But we will nonetheless do all we can to achieve this target for our passengers.”

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already presented an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April regarding future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit members with the option of retiring early from flight operations, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before January 1, 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after January 1, 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AIZH (msn 4363) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

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