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Planely Speaking: Power Shift; Gulf Carriers Threat to Alliance Airlines

Guest Editor Aaron Newman

Guest Editor Aaron Newman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Editor Aaron Newman

Power Shift; Gulf Carriers Threat to Alliance Airlines

By Aaron Newman

There are not many days that go by without seeing news come from the Middle East’s emergent airlines. Emirates Airline (Dubai), Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) and Qatar Airways (Doha) have been populating the headlines with large aircraft orders, launching new routes, new state-of-the art airports, and lavish onboard improvements. These three airlines have made established legacy carriers across the globe uneasy as they present a real threat to the established airlines bottom line. Alliance airlines like British Airways, KLM-Air France, Lufthansa, American and United have long dominated trans-oceanic high-yielding business markets. Are these industry mainstays slowly losing their grip?

Emergence of Gulf CarriersGulf Carriers - Come fly with us

Rapid economic development of Persian Gulf countries in the 1970’s and 80’s were due largely in part of the discovery of vast oil and gas reserves and the growth of OPEC. This caused large amounts of capital to flow into these small Gulf nations. Over time, small oil nations began looking for ways to diversify their country’s portfolio in a fear that oil reserves will eventually run out. These three state owned airlines are now an integral part of their countries respective economies. Qatar Airways for example, claims to count for 11% of the state’s GDP. Supported by friendly regulatory environments, government spending on airport infrastructures, and new, reliable long-haul aircraft, these carriers have transitioned from small regional airlines to global mainstays in a decade’s time.

 

 

Keys to Success

Access to cheap capital; the Gulf States have access to large cash reserves from oil and gas resources. This enables Persian Gulf nations to finance rapid growth, and offers support with airport development and infrastructure.

Graph Source: wsj.comGulf Carriers Taking Off

Regional competition; the Gulf airlines cooperate on many issues but also vigorously compete with each other, creating the need for efficient operations and continual product development to attract new customers.

Geography; the Middle East is ideally placed to link major global population centers. It sits at a cross-road between Europe, Africa and Asia.

Emerging market demand; demand from emerging markets is rising fast as a rapidly growing middle class has the time and money to consider travelling by air for leisure and business. The Gulf is located between the mature economies of Europe and the emerging markets of South East Asia, India, China and Africa.

A New Formidable Opponent

The Gulf airlines have combined home markets of only 7.5 million people, and so must rely on connecting passengers with a hub and spoke system. European airlines have been particularly hard hit by this, watching their natural customers travel on Gulf carriers instead of the country’s national carrier. Christoph Franz, former CEO of Lufthansa Group, highlights the challenging future of his prior company on a new Emirates route from Lisbon to Dubai saying , “we are talking about passengers who until now were primarily attracted by flights from Lisbon to Munich, in order to go on to Asian destinations. At least part of them are not flying via Germany anymore,” he says. “In the beginning we were talking about a competitive threat on paper – now we are talking about reality in our markets” (ft.com).

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Etihad Airways Airbus A340-642 A6-EHF (msn 837) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

In a June warning to its investors, Lufthansa cautioned the possibility of downward revisions to the airlines earnings outlook. Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne cited pricing pressure from the Gulf carriers’ expansion into Europe as a major contributing factor. Gulf airlines, which are adding capacity in major European cities such as Paris and London, are also ramping up service in secondary cities like Barcelona and Hamburg. This means that they’re grabbing market share from the European carriers not only at their hubs, but also at their spokes.

Competing on American SoilGulf carriers - Average Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gulf three now send nearly 120 large, new planes weekly to a growing number of American cities (WSJ.com). Though the United States and Canada are geographically better positioned than their European counterparts, the Gulf carriers still pose a credible threat. Airlines and governments in North America have been fighting back where they can. In Canada, the government has limited the number of planes that Etihad, Emirates and Qatar can land at its airports–a move to protect Air Canada, and its partner Lufthansa.

Graph Source: Emirates.

“Essentially, these are not airlines—they’re governments,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “They have the ability to gain advantages in markets because profitability doesn’t matter.” He said the U.S. government should revisit its air treaties with other nations to ensure there is “equity” in commerce (wsj.com). Many industry analysts say U.S. opposition has slight chance of slowing down the Gulf carriers in the deregulated era. Washington is unlikely to alienate its Mideast allies, and Boeing, the U.S.’s biggest exporter, gets 10 percent of its wide-body orders from the Gulf carriers.

Looking Into the Future

With a backlog of more than 500 wide body aircraft orders, do not expect these airlines growth to subside. According to a recent report by Credit Suisse, Etihad Airways, Emirates, and Qatar Airways will increase the number of seats offered on their Europe-to-Asia flights between 8 and 18 percent a year between now and 2020 (thefinancialist.com). I believe you will continue to see these airlines enter more secondary markets to grab market share from legacy carriers. I envision cities like Chengdu, Sapporo, Brasilia, and Charlotte N.C. as cities that Gulf carriers will have their eyes on for future growth. With new airports and new aircraft, growth is inevitable; at this point it is not a matter of if Gulf carriers will continue to grow, but it appears to be a matter of when and where.

What can European, Southeast Asian and North American airlines do in response to the new threat to their long-haul business? Airlines must first cut costs. This is critical, particularly for European airlines to remain competitive. For example, Lufthansa needs to reduce costs on flights to Southeast Asia by 40 percent to stay competitive. Another example, according to Credit Suisse, Air France and IAG (British Airways Parent Company) has 30 percent higher unit costs on flights to Southeast Asia than some Asian competitors, Turkish Airlines, and Emirates (thefinancialist.com). Secondly, airlines could reduce route competition and shelter revenue by developing mutual partnerships with the Gulf carriers.  These relationships would make it easier for both Eurasian and North American carriers to get more customers into the Middle East, India and developing nations in Africa with little investment required. As the saying goes; if you can’t beat em,’ join em.’

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDJ (msn 009) of Emirates arrives at London (Heathrow).

 

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Singapore Airlines to bring the Airbus A380 to Auckland

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the Singapore-Auckland, New Zealand route on October 27 per Airline Route. The flight will operate daily.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 9V-SKJ (msn 045) lands in Zurich.

Singapore Airlines:

Air France to bring the Airbus A380 to Miami starting on December 1

Air France (Paris) is bringing the Airbus A380 to Miami. Starting on December 1 the A380 with replace the Boeing 747-400 on the Paris (Charles de Gaulle)-Miami route.

During the 2014-2015 winter season (October 26, 2014 – March 28, 2015), Air France will offer up to 7 flights a week to Miami from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. From December 1, 2014 until the end of the season, each flight will be operated by Airbus A380 aircraft.

Daily flight schedules: *

From December 1, 2014 to March 28, 2015 (local time):

AF 090: departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 13:50, arriving in Miami at 18:05
AF 099: from Miami at 20:55, arrival at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 11.20 the next day

* flights daily except Wednesday from January 5, 2015 to February 1, 2015 and March 9, 2015 to March 28, 2015.

The Air France A380 has 516 seats in four cabins Travel: The First (9 seats); Business (80 seats); Premium Economy (38 seats) and Economy (389 seats).

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-HPJB (msn 040) taxies at the CDG hub.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Airbus terminates the order for six Airbus A380s for Skymark Airlines

 

A380 MSN162 SKYMARK TRANSFER TO  STATION 30

Airbus (Toulouse) has issued this short statement:

Following discussions with Skymark Airlines (Tokyo) and in light of the airline’s expressed intentions in respect of the A380, Airbus has in accordance with its contractual rights, notified Skymark Airlines that the purchase order for the six A380s signed in 2011 has been terminated. Airbus is reserving all its rights and remedies.

Read more background information from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Can Skymark survive this cancellation? Bloomberg Businessweek explores this question: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Msn 162 was due to become JA380A with Skymark. It will now go to another operator.

Skymark Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Malaysia Airlines considers a new name, brand and livery

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), owned by a majority share by a holding company of the Malaysian government, is considering changes in the the wake of the two tragic accidents this year.

According to RT.com, the government is considering a rebrand, a different ownership restructure, a possible new name and an adjustment of its route network.

Malaysia Airlines is very likely to change.

As far as the livery, the two ill-fated Boeing 777-200 ERs wore the older 1987 livery (above) which features the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (Moon Dragon Kite) tail logo which has been seen in the headlines over and over, especially with the debris in eastern Ukraine. Any brand refresh would probably retire this iconic and historic logo.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8FZ 9M-MLH (msn 31723) is pictured in action at Phuket, Thailand in the 1987 color scheme.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Below Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia refreshed the red and blue Kelantan Wau Bulan (kite) livery in 2010 with this new twin arc look while retaining the kite tail logo. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSE (msn 40147) passes through Honolulu on delivery.

Below Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. When Malaysia introduced the new Airbus A380, the airline unveiled this special A380 livery (for only the A380s) in 2012. The red and blue kite morphed into a blue kite for the A380s. Is this enough of a change? Probably not. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNB (msn 081) departs from London (Heathrow).

Bottom Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. When MSA was split into Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines, Malaysian (later Malaysia Airlines) originally introduced this livery in 1972. As you will note, the original livery featured a red and white kite tail logo. Dropping this historic logo will be a tough decision for the airline but unfortunately it is now a tarnished logo. Boeing 737-2H6 9M-MBH (msn 20926) prepares to depart from the gate at Kuala Lumpur.

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Air France-KLM reduces its first half net loss to $824.6 million

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) reported a net loss of €614 million ($824.6 million), an improvement of €185 million ($248.4 million).

As part of the expanding Transavia lower-fare operations the Group issued this statement:

In the Second Quarter of 2014, Transavia capacity was up 4.8%, reflecting the accelerated development of Transavia France (up 10%) and the repositioning of Transavia Netherlands (up 3% including a 6% reduction in charter capacity). Traffic rose 6.0%, leading to a record high load factor of 90.7% (up 0.9 point). Unit revenue was down 1.7%. Transavia’s total revenue stood at 296 million euros, up 5.0%. The operating result was -6 million euros, down 3 million euros year-on-year.

In the First Half of 2014, Transavia traffic increased by 6.9% for capacity up 5.8%, leading to a 0.9 point increase in load factor to 89.2%. Unit revenue was down 2.6%. Total revenue stood at 435 million euros, up 4.5%, while the unit cost per ASK decreased by 0.8%, but increased by 0.5% on a constant currency basis. The operating result decreased by 10 million euros to -64 million euros, mainly due to the ramp up of Transavia France.

Overall the Group issued this outlook:

Delivery on the Transform 2015 plan is fully on track. However, as indicated at the beginning of the month, the operating environment remains tough, with industry overcapacity on certain long-haul routes, notably North America and Asia, impacting yields. This trend comes on top of the persistently weak cargo demand and the challenging situation in Venezuela already identified in the First Quarter.

Under these conditions, as indicated at the beginning of the month, 2014 EBITDA is expected to be between 2.2 and 2.3 billion euros. Strong capital discipline will enable the group to remain on track in terms of debt reduction and achieve its objective of 4.5 billion euros in net debt in 2015.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Air France’s Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) with the special logo to celebrate 50 years of France-China diplomatic relations.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Transavia (Netherlands): AG Slide Show

Transavia (France): AG Slide Show

Hop!: AG Slide Show

Fleet Information:

Air France 6.30.14 Fleet (LRW)

KLM 6.30.14 Fleet (LRW)

Bottom Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-406 PH-BFF (msn 24202) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

Can Malaysia Airlines survive two major air disasters?

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is still in crisis mode after the savage downing of flight MH 17 over the Russian-speaking rebel-held area of the eastern Ukraine. The airline now avoids flying over the Ukraine.

Yesterday the flag carrier issued this statement about MH 17:

“Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH 17’s black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis.

The international investigation team, led by the Netherlands, has decided to pass the black boxes to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch for forensic analysis. It is normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorized by the International Civil Aviation Association.

The black boxes will therefore be flown to Farnborough, UK, accompanied by Malaysian experts and other members of the international investigation team.”

Meanwhile on the financial side, the airline is also hurting. Load factors and yield are reportedly declining given the attention the airline is receiving in the media.

Previously on May 15 the airline reported a growing quarterly net loss of RM443 million ($139.5 million) for the three months ending on March 31, 2014 compared to a loss of RM279 million ($87.8 million) for the same quarter a year ago.

Bloomberg Businessweek is exploring the question of whether the airline can survive as we know it given this double tragedy and declining fortunes and cash flow.

According to the magazine, “MAS executives are focusing on finding a way to save the company. The carrier this week is going to present a plan to its parent, state-run Khazanah Nasional, Bloomberg News reported. Bankruptcy is one option. Taking the company private is another.”

Most likely the carrier will continue to operate in some form but it will probably change.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Can Malaysia Airlines, with declining numbers, remain an Airbus A380 operator? The A380 is the flagship aircraft for the carrier but if it can’t fill the seats it may be the wrong aircraft for the airline. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNF (msn 114) arrives in London (Heathrow) with special “100th A380″ markings.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Asiana to add the Airbus A380 on the Seoul-Los Angeles route now on August 20

Asiana Airlines (Seoul-Incheon) has moved forward the start of Airbus A380 service on the route to Los Angeles to August 20, instead of August 26 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com.

Asiana Airlines:

Emirates launches the shortest Airbus A380 flight

Emirates (Dubai) on July 16 launched a new Airbus A380 service to Kuwait City, the world’s shortest scheduled A380 flight.

The arrival of the upgraded EK 857 service, which touched down at Kuwait International Airport, marks 25 years of Emirates’ flights to the country.

The Emirates’ A380 flight to Kuwait is just one hour and 45 minutes, the shortest A380 service in operation today. Since 2008, the airline has carried 27.5 million travelers on its now 50 A380s.

Kuwait is only the second market in the Middle East to be served by the airline’s flagship aircraft after the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Flight EK 857 leaves Dubai at 1600 and arrives in Kuwait at 1645 local time. Flight EK 858 departs Kuwait at 1825 and lands in Dubai at 2110.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDO (msn 057) departs from Zurich.

Emirates:

 

Emirates takes delivery of its 50th Airbus A380

Emirates (Dubai) and Airbus (Toulouse and Hamburg) are celebrating the delivery of the 50th A380 for the airline. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEX (msn 154) was handed over on July 9. The airline issued this statement:

A major milestone for the A380 program, Emirates and Airbus celebrated in Hamburg, Germany the delivery of the 50th A380 for the Dubai-based airline. It is the 136th A380 which has been delivered in total.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: “Emirates has seen tremendous organic growth in the past 4 years, probably the fastest of any airline in history. We’ve literally added capacity equivalent to what some mid-sized airlines operate, but more significantly, we have maintained high seat loads and profitability. This speaks to the strength of our world-class product, and also our business model which is based on an efficient global hub that connects Dubai to the world, and almost any two cities in the world via Dubai.”

He added: “The A380 has been very successful for us, and this is reflected in the strong customer interest and high seat factors wherever we’ve deployed the aircraft. The A380 has helped us serve customer demand on trunk routes, operate more efficiently at slot-constrained airports, and also introduce new concepts on-board that have redefined the flying experience. Moving forward, we will see quite a ramp up in the delivery program and by late 2017 we will have around 90 A380s in our fleet to support existing and new A380 routes.”

Following delivery of their first A380 in July 2008, Emirates took delivery of their 25th A380 in October 2012. All Emirates’ A380s are powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines. The airline has 140 A380 on order.

For the ferry flight from Hamburg to Dubai, the aircraft was loaded with 41 tons of relief goods. This is the biggest amount which has ever been transported on a single flight organized by the Airbus Corporate Foundation. The goods will be deployed in cooperation with ACF (Action Contre la Faim) to a UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai.

The total A380 fleet has accumulated over 1.4 million flight hours in more than 172,000 commercial flights. To date over 60 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every four minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 37 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Part of the fleet, Airbus A380-861 A6-EDH (msn 025) arrives in Beijing. Bottom: Emirates.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Emirates 50th A380 (Emirates)(LR)

Emirates to serve Mauritius with two daily Airbus A380 flights

Emirates (Dubai) will serve Mauritius with double daily Airbus A380 service from December 1.

This second A380, which will operate as flight EK 703/704, replaces the existing Boeing 777 operation and increases Emirates’ capacity on the route by 19%, further meeting the demand on the route and demonstrating the growth of Mauritius as a global destination.

Services between Dubai and Mauritius and vice versa is operated in codeshare with Emirates’ long-time partner Air Mauritius.

The upgraded A380 service leaves Dubai as EK 703 at 1000, arriving at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport at 1645. It returns as EK 704 leaving Mauritius at 2300, landing at Dubai International Airport at 0540 the following day.

Emirates is the first airline in the world to operate an Airbus A380 service to a destination in the Indian Ocean. The airline currently has 49 A380s serving 26 destinations around the world, more than any other airline globally.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDH (msn 025) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow) with special “6000th Airbus aircraft” markings.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

 

Water leak causes a QANTAS Airways Airbus A380 to return to Los Angeles

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) flight QF 94 returned to Los Angeles early this morning at 2:39 am after a water pipe burst on the Melbourne, Australia-bound Airbus A380 flooding parts of the cabin. One Twitter report from a passenger described the leak as a “river of water running down the aisles”.

Read the report from NBC Los Angeles: CLICK HERE

QANTAS issued this statement:

A flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne has returned to LA about an hour after take off as there was a water leak on board the aircraft. Crew on board did everything they could to help customers, including moving them to unaffected areas and providing spare blankets so they could stay dry.

We’re also providing customers with hotel accommodation while the issue is being fixed by our engineers in Los Angeles. We apologise to customers for the inconvenience. There were no safety of flight concerns with the water leak, however the Captain decided to return to LA in the interests of passenger comfort. We are liaising with Airbus to understand what caused this fault.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) lands at Los Angeles International Airport.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to both Houston and San Francisco starting in December

Emirates (Dubai) is adding passenger and cargo capacity in San Francisco and Houston on December 1 and 3, 2014 respectively when it switches from operating the routes with a Boeing 777-300 ER to its double-decker Airbus A380.

The A380 will offer an additional 135 seats to San Francisco and 137 to Houston, representing a 38 percent increase in overall passenger capacity, and 80 percent more seats across the premium cabins. In addition to offering a choice of 14 First Class Private Suites and 76 lie-flat Business Class seats, the aircraft offers 399 spacious Economy Class seats to San Francisco and 401 to Houston.

The Emirates service from San Francisco operates daily as flight EK 226, departing San Francisco at 3:30 PM (1530) and arriving in Dubai the following day at 7:25 PM (1925). Flight EK 225 departs Dubai at 8:50 AM (0850) and arrives at San Francisco International Airport at 12:50 PM (1250) the same day.

Emirates’ daily flight EK 211 to Houston departs Dubai at 9:30 AM (0930) and arrives at 4:05 PM (1605). The return flight, EK 212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 6:25 PM (1825) and lands in Dubai at 7:05 PM (1905) the next day.

San Francisco and Houston will be Emirates’ 4th and 5th U.S. gateways serviced by an A380, joining New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas/Fort Worth which is due to commence on October 1. This latest announcement means that by December, Emirates will be serving both its Texan destinations with an A380 service.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-81 A6-EEL (msn 133) taxies at Los Angeles.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways to start a new route to Tokyo Haneda tomorrow, Airbus A380 to be introduced now to London Heathrow on August 1

Qatar Airways (Doha) is set to continue its expansion into the Far East tomorrow (June 18) when it launches its newest destination, Tokyo Haneda International Airport. The addition of its newest destination will double the airline’s service to the city of Tokyo with up to two flights a day. The route, which will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will be Qatar Airways’ third into Japan, joining Osaka and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

With the commencement of flights to Tokyo Haneda, the number of flights to Japan rises from 14 to 21 frequencies each week.

In other news, Qatar Airways is now planning to introduce the new Airbus A380 on August 1 to London (Heathrow) and Paris (CDG) on August 15 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-WWST (msn 137) has now become A7-APA for its handover.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Emirates to bring the Airbus A380 to Frankfurt, adds a sixth daily flight to Karachi

Emirates (Dubai) will begin Airbus A380 service on the Dubai-Frankfurt route on September 1 per Airline Route.

In other news, Emirates will launch its sixth daily service to Karachi from August 1. Emirates has served Karachi since it was founded in 1985, and in the past decade alone has transported over six million passengers on the route. Karachi is the capital of the province of Sindh, and the largest city in Pakistan. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, north-west of the Indus River Delta, this metropolis is Pakistan’s cultural, economic, educational and political hub, as well as the country’s largest port.

The additional service will be operated by an Emirates Airbus A330-200 in a two class configuration, offering passengers a choice of its renowned Business Class and Economy Class product, as well as the being able to transport an additional 17 tons of cargo.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEH (msn 119) with the special Expo 2020 Dubai UAE markings completes its final approach to the runway at JFK International Airport in New York.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

British Airways delays the introduction of the Airbus A380 to Washington Dulles

British Airways (London) is delaying the introduction of the Airbus A380 on the London (Heathrow)-Washington (Dulles) to October 2 (from September 1) according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-841 G-XLEE (msn 148) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: A tour of the Airbus A380:

JetBlue Airways and Singapore Airlines file for a codeshare agreement

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Singapore Airlines (Singapore) have filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter into a bilateral codeshare agreement.

JetBlue and Singapore Airlines have been interline partners since 2011. The expanded partnership would provide customers seamless connections between the two airlines, combining flights on both carriers and easily facilitating one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in. Flights will become available for sale pending regulatory approval.

Under the proposed codeshare, JetBlue customers would have access to five new cities in Europe and Asia, while Singapore Airlines customers would have access to 16 destinations in the U.S.

Under the proposed agreement, JetBlue would put its ‘B6′ code on Singapore Airlines’ flights to/from the U.S. including:

Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo (NRT) – Singapore (SIN)
New York (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN)
San Francisco (SFO) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Singapore (SIN)
San Francisco (SFO) – Seoul (ICN) – Singapore (SIN)

In turn, Singapore Airlines would add its ‘SQ’ designator code on JetBlue-operated flights beyond its U.S. gateway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to 16 key destinations:

Austin, Texas
Boston, Massachusetts
Buffalo, New Yorkk
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois (O’Hare)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida
Houston, Texas
Jacksonville, Florida
Orlando, Florida
New Orleans, Louisiana
Portland, Maine
Rochester, New York
Syracuse, New York
Tampa, Florida
Washington D.C. (Dulles)
West Palm Beach, Florida

Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways’ Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N373JB (msn 19000624) in the Barcode tail design lands at Baltimore/Washington.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKF (msn 012) taxies from the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

 

Emirates to introduce the Airbus A380 on the Mumbai route on July 21

 

Emirates (Dubai) will expand its Airbus A380 network to 28 destinations, when it launches a daily A380 service to Mumbai International Airport on July 21.

Flights EK 500 and EK 501 between Dubai and Mumbai will be up-scaled to a three-class A380 aircraft, representing with a capacity increase of 2,127 seats per week in each direction.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates currently has 48 Airbus A380s in service, more than any other airline globally. Emirates received 12 of the giant double decker aircraft over the last year. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEP (msn 138) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Asiana Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 becoming the 11th operator

Asiana Airlines (Seoul) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, becoming the eleventh operator of the type in the world. The A380 was handed over to Park Sam Koo, Chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, during a special ceremony today (May 26) in Toulouse, France.

Asiana Airlines has ordered six A380s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The airline has specified a premium three class layout for its fleet, seating a total of 495 passengers, with 12 private suites in First Suite, 66 fully flat seats in Business Smartium and 417 seats in Travel Class. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems.

Asiana Airlines will initially deploy its new flagship aircraft from Seoul on regional services in Asia to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok, followed by long-haul routes to Los Angeles.

As part of its widebody fleet modernization strategy, Asiana Airlines also has 30 of the all-new the A350 XWB on order. The A350 XWB will offer a step change in efficiency, with operating costs 25 per cent lower than the competition. The A380 and A350 will complement an existing Airbus fleet at Asiana that currently includes the A330 and A320 Family.

Airbus currently has 324 firm orders for the A380, from 20 customers.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 F-WWAP (msn 152) became HL7625 on the handover.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. Park Sam Koo, Chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, and Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier toured the number 1 Asiana Airlines A380 after this aircraft’s formal handover ceremony on May 26, held at Airbus’ Toulouse, France delivery center.

Asiana A380 Delivery Ceremony (Airbus)(LR)

Video: Painting of the first A380:

Air France celebrates 50 years of diplomatic relations between France and China with a special emblem on F-HPJE

Air France (Paris) has applied a new “France China – 50 And (50 Years)” emblem to its Airbus A380-861 F-HPJE (msn 052) to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between France and China.

In 1964 France and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) re-established ambassadorial level diplomatic relations.  The move was a result of Charles de Gaulle’s official recognition of the PRC. Today both countries share a basic economic relationship.

Related to this, from June 9 to October 25, 2014, Air France will offer a daily flight from Paris to Hong Kong with the pictured Airbus A380 (4 flights per week from May 27 to June 8, 2014). Air France thus becomes the first airline to connect France and the “Pearl of the Orient” with the A380. Served for over 75 years by Air France, Hong Kong is the second destination in China served with the A380.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. F-HPJE taxies at San Francisco with the logo (click on the photo for the full size image).

Air France:

Qatar Airways to deploy its second Airbus A380 on the Doha-Paris route starting on July 3

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced its second Airbus A380 aircraft will commence operations on the route to Paris (Charles De Gaulle) from Doha’s new hub, Hamad International Airport.

Qatar Airways recently announced that the first of its 13 Airbus A380 aircraft on order will commence operations on the QR 003 and QR 004 flights on the route to London-Heathrow and return starting on June 17. Following this, the airline has now confirmed that its second A380 will be used to fly to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport from Doha from July 3, on flights QR 39 and QR 40.

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

The new First Class A380 seat, recently revealed at the world’s leading travel show, ITB Berlin, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 26-inch television screens.

Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar Airways new home as of May 27, has been designed to specifically cater to the A380 aircraft, with six contact gates designed especially for the super jumbo. In addition, the maintenance hangar at HIA – which is the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.

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

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 139 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
Over the next few months, the network will grow further with new routes to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22, 2014), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28, 2014), Miami, USA (June 10, 2014), Tokyo Haneda, Japan (June 18, 2014), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1, 2014) and Djibouti (July 27, 2014).

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The first A380, the pictured A380-861 F-WWST (msn 137) will become A7-APA on delivery.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways.

Qatar A380-800 F-WWST (A7-APA)(06)(Flt)(Qatar)(LRW)

 

IAG reduces its first quarter loss to $206.3 million

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) (London) today (May 9, 2014) presented Group consolidated results for the first quarter and the three months to March 31, 2014.

IAG period highlights on results:

. First quarter operating loss €150 million ($206.3 million) (2013: operating loss of €278 million – $382.3 million) before exceptional items
. Revenue for the quarter up 6.7 per cent to €4,203 million, up 7.6 per cent at constant currency
. Non-fuel costs up 3.8 per cent, up 4.8 per cent at constant currency
. At constant currency, first quarter passenger unit revenue down 1.4 per cent (excluding Vueling down 0.5 per cent) and non-fuel unit costs down 6.2 per cent (excluding Vueling down 4.2 per cent)
. Fuel unit costs for the quarter down 8.9 per cent, 7.4 per cent at constant currency
. Cash of €4,004 million at March 31, 2014 was up €371 million on 2013 year end
. Adjusted gearing remains at 50 per cent

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We’re pleased that our quarterly operating loss has reduced significantly from €278 million last year to €150 million, especially as Vueling’s quarterly losses were not included last year as they weren’t in the Group. At constant currency, revenue was up 7.6 per cent and non-fuel costs rose 4.8 per cent.

“Iberia has almost halved its losses from quarter one last year with an operating loss of €111 million compared to €202 million. The airline continues to benefit from restructuring and these figures don’t reflect the impact of recent pay and productivity agreements which took effect in April. While the restructuring remains work in progress, Iberia is gradually resuming some routes including longhaul services to Santo Domingo and Montevideo.

“British Airways made an operating loss of €5 million in the quarter, compared to a €72 million operating loss in 2013. The airline has increased capacity within a controlled cost environment and benefited from the efficiency of its new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft.

“Vueling made an operating loss of €30 million and has managed to keep its losses flat while growing capacity. The airline continues to grow with its main focus in southern Europe”.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. British Airways’ Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) approaches the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Iberia: AG Slide Show

Vueling Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Emirates Group records its 26th consecutive year of profitability

The Emirates Group (Emirates) (Dubai) today announced its 26th consecutive year of profit and company-wide growth, ending the year in a strong position despite competitive pressure and a global economic environment that is only slowly recovering. The financial fiscal year ending on March 31, 2014 also marked an unprecedented level of investment across the Group, continued expansion of its global footprint, and the achievement of new capacity milestones.

Released today in its 2013-14 Annual Report, the Emirates Group posted an AED 4.1 billion ($1.1 billion US) profit, up 32% from last year. The Group’s revenue reached AED 87.8 billion ($23.9 billion), an increase of 13% over last year’s results, and the Group’s cash balance remained strong at AED 19.0 billion ($5.2 billion).

The Group also continued to invest in and expand on its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 11% to over 75,000-strong representing over 160 different nationalities, across its more than 80 subsidiaries and companies. Revenue per airline employee increased by 4% to AED 1.9 million (US$ 0.5 million).

Similar to the last financial year, the Group declared a dividend of AED1 billion ($280 million) to the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Emirates performance

In 2013-14, Emirates increased capacity by 5.9 billion Available Ton Kilometres (ATKMs), the largest capacity increase in the airline’s history in a single year. This brings Emirates’ total passenger and cargo capacity to 46.8 billion ATKMs at the end of the financial year. The airline also marked a new record of over 1 million block hours in terms of fleet production.

Emirates received 24 new aircraft during the year, including 16 Airbus A380s, six Boeing 777-300 ERs and two Boeing 777Fs, bringing its total fleet count to 217. The airline remains the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 – both aircraft being amongst the most modern and efficient wide-bodied jets in the sky today.

With the delivery of new aircraft, Emirates launched nine new destinations: Boston, Manila-Clark, Conakry, Tokyo-Haneda, Kabul, Kiev, Sialkot, Stockholm-Arlanda and Taipei-Taoyuan, as well as a new service between Milan and New York.

Emirates revenue for the first time surpassed AED 80 billion, at a new record of AED 82.6 billion ($22.5 billion). While the average price of jet fuel remained high, it was slightly lower compared to last year and has supported Emirates’ bottom line improvement. Emirates’ fuel bill increased by 10% over last year to reach AED 30.7 billion ($8.4 billion). Total operating costs increased by 12%, compared to a revenue increase of 13% over the 2012-13 financial year.

The airline successfully managed increased competitive pressure across all markets to record a profit of AED 3.3 billion ($887 million), an increase of 43% over last year’s results, and a healthy profit margin of 3.9%.

Carrying a record 44.5 million passengers, up 13% from last year, Emirates maintained a robust Passenger Seat Factor at 79.4%, nearly consistent with last year’s results in spite of a 15% increase in seat capacity by Available Seat Kilometers (ASKMs). This highlights the strong consumer desire to fly on Emirates’ state-of-the-art aircraft.

Passenger yield remained steady at 30.4 fils (8.3 US cents) per Revenue Passenger Kilometer (RPKM).

Emirates also improved its premium seat factor despite lingering economic uncertainty and strong competition in many markets. Premium and overall seat factor for the airline’s flagship A380 aircraft outperformed the network, underscoring the popularity of Emirates’ premium and A380 product amongst passengers.

Over 18 million passengers had flown on an Emirates A380 when the airline marked its fifth anniversary of A380 operations in August 2013. In 2013-14, Emirates introduced A380 services to Barcelona, Brisbane, London-Gatwick, Los Angeles, Mauritius and Zurich, bringing to 27 the total number of destinations served by its popular flagship aircraft. Emirates’ Los Angeles service is also the world’s longest A380 flight at 16 hours and 20 minutes.

Highlighting its sound financials and investor confidence, Emirates raised a total of AED 12.0 billion ($3.3 billion) through a variety of financing structures, mainly to secure its ongoing fleet expansion. Further, eight of the aircraft delivered in the financial year were funded through two corporate bonds issued in early 2013 which raised AED 6.4 billion ($1.8 billion) in funding.

Significant financing milestones achieved during the year include the issue of a second Enhanced Equipment trust Certificate through a lessor, which tapped into the US capital market to fund four A380s. Another major landmark was achieved through the refinancing of two A380s through the first ever floating rate capital market bond backed by a COFACE (the French Export Credit Agency) guarantee. Emirates closed the financial year with a healthy AED 12.7 billion ($3.4 billion) cash flow generated from operating activities.

Revenue generated from across Emirates’ six regions continues to be well balanced, with no region contributing more than 30% of overall revenues. East Asia and Australasia remained the highest revenue contributing region with AED 23.8 billion ($6.5 billion), up 14% from 2012-13. Gulf and Middle East revenue increased 17% to AED 8.3 billion ($2.3 billion), and Europe revenue increased 16% to AED 23.4 billion ($6.4 billion), reflecting new destinations as well as increased frequency and capacity to these regions.

Across the rest of the globe Emirates saw strong revenue increases from Africa up 15% to AED 7.7 billion ($2.1 billion), The Americas up 11% to AED 9.2 billion ($2.5 billion) and West Asia and Indian Ocean with AED 8.3 billion ($2.3 billion) in revenue, up 3%.

Focusing on customer touch points, Emirates opened a new dedicated airport lounge in Rome, and upgraded its lounges in Paris Charles De Gaulle, London Gatwick and Bangkok. Emirates also announced plans for a new 300-seat contact centre in Budapest to support future growth and supplement its language and response capability, and continued to invest in its onboard product including the installation of Wi-Fi and “live” TV.

In its first full year of operations, the newly commissioned Concourse A at Dubai airport for Emirates’ growing A380 fleet witnessed a significant passenger throughput with 37% or 8.2 million Emirates passengers departing Dubai enjoying the new state-of-the art facilities, spacious lounge areas to board 27,000 flights.

Looking forward to 2014-15, Emirates has to date announced five new passenger routes including Abuja, Brussels, Chicago-O’Hare, Kano and Oslo.

Defying the industry trend, the 2013-14 financial year has been a strong one for Emirates SkyCargo who for the first time reported a revenue over $3 billion to reach AED 11.3 billion ($3.1 billion) mark, a 9% increase over last year.

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

Emirates SkyCargo’s tonnage strongly increased by 8% to reach a remarkable 2.3 million tons in a flat and challenging airfreight market, highlighting its ability to grow revenues against the industry norm.

This year, freight yield per Freight Ton Kilometre (FTKM) decreased by 1%.

At the end of the financial year, the Emirates SkyCargo freighter fleet had grown to 12 aircraft – ten on operating lease and two on wet lease.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDI (msn 028) taxies across the ramp at London (Heathrow).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

 

QANTAS Airways to bring the Airbus A380 to Dallas/Fort Worth

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has announced that its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Sydney service will be served with the Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft starting on September 29. The upgrade to the Airbus A380 will mean that the longest scheduled commercial flight in the world will now be served by the largest passenger jet in the world.

Given the additional range of the A380, the QANTAS DFW to Australia service will now operate nonstop to Sydney rather than via Brisbane. The new A380 service will operate six flights per week between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney (every day except Tuesdays), representing a net increase of seats on the route by 10 percent per week.

The announcement means DFW will host Airbus A380 flights from two carriers, the other being Emirates Airline, starting in the fall. Those aircraft will utilize two gates, D15 and D16, and will be served utilizing three passenger jet bridges.

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

DFW offers nonstop service to 56 international destinations and 147 cities in the U.S. with every major city in the U.S., Canada and Mexico within a four-hour flight. For Qantas customers, DFW provides the best routing to more than 100 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQA (msn 014) taxies at Sydney.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways to debut its first Airbus A380 on the Doha-London Heathrow route on June 17, offers more glimpses of the interiors

Qatar Airways (Doha) has revealed an additional glimpse of its first Airbus A380-800 (above) with its First and Business Class lounge and bathroom interiors.

The onboard lounge of Qatar Airways’ A380 has been designed to ensure that every feature is the finest and most comfortable in the sky. Designed with passengers foremost in mind, the lounge offers them an ideal place to engage with a friend, sit and relax, or just move around.

Qatar A380-800 Interior 2 (Qatar)(LR)

The lounge also offers passengers an escape from the typical airplane environment and has been developed to make them feel like they are in their own executive club. The spaciousness of the lounge combined with the most advanced mood lighting system available helps make passengers feel refreshed when they return to their cabin for rest or work.

Qatar A380-800 Interior 1 (Qatar)(LR)

The First Class bathrooms have also been customised to create a spa-like warmth with contemporary clean lines and a finish that comes with the most luxurious amenities. The lavatories include features such as modern taps which are sensor operated and large square modern sinks which help to maximize space.

The airline is due to receive its first A380 (top) very soon, the first of 13 such aircraft on order and it will be deployed on one of its busiest routes, Doha – London Heathrow on June 17.

Qatar Airways is celebrating a year of exceptional fleet growth as it is also set to welcome the first of 80 Airbus A350s on order later this year, being the global launch customer of the world’s newest aircraft. Meanwhile the airline is also currently making enhancements to its select A320 and A330 fleet by upgrading its Business Class seating so that they recline into 180-degree fully lie-flat beds.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 138 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Over the next few months, the network will grow further with Al Hofuf, Saudi Arabia (May 15), Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22, 2014), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28, 2014), Miami, USA (June 10, 2014), Haneda, Japan (June 18, 2014), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1, 2014) and Djibouti (July 27, 2014).

In other news, Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight landed at Larnaca International Airport today (April 29), marking the five-star airline’s 138th destination from Doha.
The inaugural flight signals the start of a four-time weekly service to Larnaca that will be operated by an Airbus A320, with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Qatar Airways). Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) will be the first Airbus A380 to be delivered to Qatar.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Transaero Airlines to operate their Airbus A380s with 652 seats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: Airbus.

Transaero Airlines: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines to sponsor the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

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

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

Formula 1 logo

 

Singapore Airlines issued this statement:

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

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

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

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

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emirates: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: From National Geographic – Building the Airbus A380:

Asiana Airlines to introduce the Airbus A380 on June 13

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

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

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

A380 Flight Schedule

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

A380 seat map

seat map

Images: Asiana Airlines.

Asiana Airlines:

Lufthansa’s pilots vote to strike if necessary

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

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

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

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

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

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Video: PilotsEye TV:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary of Results

QANTAS Domestic

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

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

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

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

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

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

QANTAS International

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

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

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

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

Jetstar Airways

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

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

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

QANTAS Loyalty

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

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

QANTAS Freight

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

 Financial Position and Capital Expenditure

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

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

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

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

Outlook

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

The Group’s current operating expectations are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

In January 2014 QANTAS issued this announcement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Jetstar Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air France: AG Slide Show

 

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

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

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

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

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

British Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Emirates.

Emirates A380 Bar (Emirates)(LR)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emirates: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emirates: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

Network Service Increases:

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

Notes :

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

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

British Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways premiers its new Airbus A380 today to Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

Red Carpet Route Premiere, Hollywood Style

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

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

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

Tweetliner Race

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

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

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

British Airways: AG Slide Show

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

Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380 performs its first flight

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

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

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

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

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from QANTAS: CLICK HERE

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

The improvements are:

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

QANTAS Alan Joyce and Gareth Evans

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

*Subject to regulatory approval

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

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

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

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Airways: AG Slide Show

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

British Airways announces Los Angeles as the first Airbus A380 destination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British has 12 A380s on order.

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

All images: British Airways.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Airways logo

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa brings the Airbus A380 to Houston

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) started Frankfurt-Houston (Bush Intercontinental) Airbus A380 service yesterday (August 1) making it the fourth U.S. city serviced by the A380 by Lufthansa.
Flight LH 440 touched down at approximately 13:37 CDT and was greeted to a water canon salute and a welcome party by airline, airport and government officials. The registration of the A380 used was D-AIMB. The return flight was LH 441.
Copyright Photo: Joe Fernandez/Fernandez Imaging. A beautiful panoramic image captures the historic arrival at IAH.
Lufthansa: 

Permanent Airbus A380 wing repairs will ground each aircraft for up to 8 weeks

Airbus (Toulouse) has stated it will take up to eight weeks for each aircraft to make the permanent repairs to fix the wing crack problem. Operators will have the option to schedule the down time at their convenience.

Read the full report from the San Francisco Chronicle: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Clement Alloing.

Airbus to be dealing with the A380 wing cracks issue “for years”

Airbus (Toulouse) has admitted it will be dealing with the wing cracks issue on the A380 for “years” since cracks were found in most aircraft according to this story by Reuters and Today News.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

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