Tag Archives: Airbus

Airbus launches a ship from Hamburg carrying the first A320 Family components for the new Mobile, Alabama facility

Airbus logo (large)

Airbus (Toulouse) issued this statement and photo:

Airbus A320 family aircraft production in the U.S. is on schedule to begin this summer as the large aircraft components for the first U.S.-produced aircraft today depart from the port in Hamburg, Germany, bound for Mobile, Alabama. The major component assemblies (MCAs) consist of the wings produced in the UK, the rear fuselage section produced in Germany including the tail cone (produced in Spain), and the forward fuselage section, including the cockpit produced in France, all of which contain parts from all over the world. The horizontal (from Spain) and vertical (from Germany) stabilisers are also on board. The first aircraft is an A321ceo destined for delivery to JetBlue in 2016.

Airbus established the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile to assemble and deliver A319, A320 and A321 aircraft to meet the growing needs of its customers in the United States and elsewhere. It is the company’s first U.S.-based production facility, and the fourth in the network which includes Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China.

Approximately 200 employees, including some from Mobile who are training in Hamburg, celebrated this first shipment in a ceremony held today to launch the cargo ship, in the presence of the U.S. Consul General in Hamburg, Nancy Corbett. Traditional songs from all four European Airbus nations and the U.S. were played as the ship, bearing German and U.S. flags, and flags of the city state of Hamburg and the state of Alabama, sailed off.

Airbus MOB First Components leaving Hamburg (Airbus)(LRW)

American and United support the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to expand preclearance to 10 additional gateway airports

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and United Airlines (Chicago) have publicly come out in support of the announcement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of its intent to expand customs, immigration and agriculture preclearance to 10 additional gateway airports:

American Airlines issued this statement:

American Airlines 2013 logo

American Airlines applauds the announcement by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for their plans to enter negotiations to expand preclearance operations to 10 key gateway airports – seven of which are served by American.

“Expanding air preclearance is a tremendous step forward for improving the overall travel experience for our customers and welcoming more visitors to the United States,” said Robert Isom, chief operating officer for American Airlines. “Preclearance eases the congestion at our U.S. gateway airports and ensures our customers get to their destinations faster. We fully support Secretary Jeh Johnson and the Obama Administration’s plans for bringing more tourists to the United States, and we are excited to begin discussions on expanding preclearance facilities.”

American currently serves seven of the airports on the list for potential preclearance expansion – London Heathrow; Manchester, England; Tokyo’s Narita International; Spain’s Madrid-Barajas; Brussels; Amsterdam Schiphol; and Punta Cana International in the Dominican Republic.

At preclearance facilities, CBP Officers are stationed abroad to screen passengers and their accompanying goods or baggage heading to the United States. CBP Officers retain the authority to inspect these passengers after arriving in the U.S.

American will continue to work with DHS and CBP to ensure the negotiations are successful.

United Airlines issued this statement:

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We have worked closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and support developments that provide more convenience for our customers. We thank Secretary Johnson and his team at the Department of Homeland Security and CBP for their engagement with United and the airline industry, and we look forward to partnering with them on this initiative to facilitate travel and reduce wait times.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-323 N274AY (msn 342) of American Airlines climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. United Airlines Boeing 767-424 ER N69063 (msn 29463) lands in Zurich.

 

Limitless Airways starts operations in Croatia

Limitless logo-1

Limitless Airways (Rijeka, Croatia) started passenger operations on May 23 with this leased former China Eastern Airbus A320-214 now registered 9A-SLA (msn 828) (below). The airliner has been placed into service in this all-white condition and is leased from GECAS. The new airline is operating between Rijeka, Croatia and Gothenburg, Sweden and Kokkola, Finland.

The new airline issue this statement:

On May 23, Limitless Airways officially started with its operations.

In cooperation with Scandjet Travel, our first travellers were people from Sweden and Finland, returning to their homes from holiday. After that we flew new tourists back to Croatia, from Gothenburg and Kokkola.

All images by Limitless Airways.

Limitless A320-200 9A-SLA (Grd)(Limitless)(LR)

 

 

IAG moves one step closer to acquiring a 25% share of Aer Lingus

IAG logo

British Airways (London) and Iberia (Madrid) parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) (London) has confirmed that it has reached agreement with Aer Lingus (Dublin) to make a €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) (£1 billion) cash offer for Ireland’s national carrier.

Aer Lingus clover logo

The deal, which comes after months of negotiations, values Aer Lingus at €2.55 a share ($2.80 a share).

The board of the Irish carrier is recommending the offer, which was made after confirmation from the Irish government that it is willing to sell its 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus.

The decision of the sale was made at a meeting of the Irish cabinet late on Tuesday, which itself followed indications earlier in the day from Brussels that European competition authorities would not stand in IAG’s path.

Yesterday (May 28) IAG updated the Aer Lingus offer with this formal statement: CLICK HERE

Read more from The Irish Times: CLICK HERE

Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock reporting from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus Airbus A320-214 EI-DEO (msn 2486) in the special Green Spirit – Official Airline of the Irish Rugby Team livery taxies at the home of IAG and British Airways – London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Etihad Airways posts its fourth consecutive profitable year

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) posted a fiscal year net profit of $73 million on total revenues of $7.6 billion, up 52.1 percent and 26.7 percent respectively over the previous year.

The airline continued:

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The record performance, which marked the airline’s fourth consecutive year of net profitability, also saw earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 32.5 per cent to $257 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and rentals (EBITDAR) were up 16.2 percent to $1.1 billion, representing a 15 percent margin on total revenues.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said, “Our shareholder has set a clear commercial mandate for this business and we continue to deliver against that mandate. Our focus is on sustainable profitability and our fourth year of net profits, at a time when we continue to invest in the new routes, new aircraft, new product and new infrastructure needed to compete effectively, shows we are serious about that goal.

Etihad Airways carried a total of 14.8 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 22.3 percent year-on-year. Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) – measuring passenger journeys – increased by 23.6 percent to 68.6 billion (55.5 billion), while Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) – representing capacity – grew by 21.8 percent to 86.6 billion (71.1 billion). The growth in passenger demand and revenue over the 12-month period continued to outstrip Etihad Airways’ capacity increase, highlighting the strength of its long-term growth strategy.

Passenger numbers were strengthened by the continued enhancement of Etihad Airways’ global network last year. The airline launched services to 10 new destinations in eight countries – Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco, Rome, Zurich, Medina, Yerevan, Jaipur, Phuket and Perth – and increased capacity on 23 existing routes. By the end of the year, the average network-wide seat load factor was 79.2 per cent, compared to 78.0 per cent in 2013.

A key driver of Etihad Airways’ growth in 2014 was its partnership strategy, based on wide-ranging codeshares and its unique approach of minority equity investments in strategically important airlines. This has accelerated network growth, giving Etihad Airways the largest route network of any Middle Eastern carrier, reaching more than 500 destinations. It has boosted sales and marketing opportunities in key markets, as well as allowing significant business synergies and cost savings.

This strategy delivered revenues of $1.1 billion in 2014, an increase of 37.7 per cent (US$ 820 million), and represented 24 per cent of Etihad Airways’ total passenger revenues.

In 2014, Etihad Airways received final approval for its 49 percent investment in Air Serbia. It also invested €560 million to acquire a 49 per cent shareholding in new Alitalia, a 75 percent interest in Alitalia Loyalty, which operates the MilleMiglia frequent flier program, and the future purchase of five pairs of London Heathrow Airport slots for lease back to Alitalia. The transaction became effective on December 31, 2014, after receiving European Commission merger clearance.

Air Serbia and Alitalia are the latest additions to Etihad Airways’ equity partner network. Etihad Airways also owns minority stakes in Airberlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus (stake increased to 4.99 percent in 2014), Jet Airways and Virgin Australia (stake increased to 22.9 percent in 2014). An investment in Swiss-based Etihad Regional, operated by Darwin Airline, has now been formalized after Swiss Government approval earlier this year.

Etihad Airways launched new codeshare agreements with Air Europa, jetBlue Airways, Philippine Airlines, Gol, SAS, Hong Kong Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas, while Etihad Airways’ existing codeshares with South African Airways, Alitalia and Jet Airways were significantly expanded.

In addition, Etihad Airways Partners was unveiled last year, using a partnership cooperation model to offer passengers more choice through improved networks and schedules, plus enhanced frequent flyer benefits. The partnership also builds greater synergies for participating airlines, which currently include airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Etihad Airways, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI.

Etihad Airways’ fleet consisted of 110 aircraft at the end of 2014 (up 23.6 per cent year-on-year), with an average age of 5.5 years, one of the youngest in the sky. The airline took delivery of its first Airbus A380 and its first Boeing 787-9 in December, with both state-of-the-art aircraft offering new industry leading standards in cabin interiors, together with considerable fuel efficiency and environmental improvements.

An additional nine Airbus aircraft (two A330-200s, three A321s, three A320s and one A330-200F) and six Boeing aircraft (one 777-300 ER, five 777-200 LRs) were received in 2014, while further leased capacity was also added to enhance the airline’s rapid growth.

More than 200 aircraft are currently on firm order, together with options and purchase rights for 66 additional aircraft. In 2015, Etihad Airways plans to introduce 16 aircraft into its fleet, including nine wide-bodies (one Boeing 777-300 ER, four Boeing 787 Dreamliners and four Airbus A380s) and seven narrow-body Airbus A320 family aircraft (six A321s and one A320).

Mr Hogan added: “Our ability to provide guests with the best possible service was strengthened by a number of important developments last year, including the arrival of our first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft, the introduction of our ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery, the launch of The Residence by Etihad™ and our next-generation First, Business and Economy products, and a sophisticated new uniform, as showcased to the world last year.”

In January 2014, the airline conducted a milestone demonstration flight with a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, powered in part by the first UAE-produced aviation biofuel.

Mr Hogan said, “Although our growth continued strictly to plan in 2014, we are currently faced with unprecedented external challenges. Of particular concern has been the rise in aggressive protectionist sentiment in Europe and the US, where both Etihad Airways and its partner airlines are being targeted. These attempts to limit competition are detrimental to consumer choice. They threaten to damage the significant progress that our airline has made in offering improved travel connections, product and service standards, and value for money.

“Despite these hurdles, Etihad Airways will continue to grow as planned in 2015, working with our equity and codeshare partners around the world to serve the destinations that our guests want to visit and at the times they want to travel.”

Etihad Airways employed 24,206 people from 144 nationalities by the end of 2014, an increase of 37.5 per cent compared to the previous year.

Copyright Photo below: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-202 A6-AGB (msn 831) taxies at Amsterdam.

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Wizz Air to add two new routes from Vilnius, will open its 22nd base

Wizz Air 2015 logo

Wizz Air (Budapest) has announced further growth of its route network from Lithuania with two new Vilnius services to Stockholm and Billund starting from September 14 and operating with three and two weekly frequencies respectively.

Wizz Air (2015) logo-1

Wizz Air is now offering a total of 24 routes to 14 countries from Lithuania.

In other news, Wizz Air also announced that it will open its 22nd base on December16 in Debrecen (Hungary) with one new Airbus A320 and further increases to its regional Hungarian services.

Already served by Wizz Air flights, Debrecen will be Wizz Air’s second Hungarian airport with base operations. The new aircraft will increase the number of routes served from Debrecen to six and increase annual seat capacity from the airport by 136% to 145,000 seats per year. The airline hopes this will stimulate the local job market in aviation and tourism sectors as consumers will have access to more low cost routes.

Wizz Air will operate three new routes from its Debrecen base to Charleroi (near Brussels), Malmo and Beauvais (near Paris) starting December 16, all initially operating with two weekly flights. The Debrecen route to Beauvais will provide Hungarian consumers with Wizz Air’s low fare access to the French capital. Frequencies on its existing popular Debrecen services to London Luton and Eindhoven will also be increased.

Wizz Air now offers a total of 47 Hungarian routes to 22 countries from two Hungarian airports.

Copyright Photo below: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 F-WWIA (msn 6614) became HA-LYQ on delivery and was the first to introduce the new 2015 look.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

JetBlue Airways launches the New York JFK – Reno route

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JetBlue Airways (New York) today (May 28) launched service to its latest destination, Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), with nonstop service from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

JetBlue will serve the route with its Airbus A320 aircraft

JetBlue’s Schedule Between New York and Reno-Tahoe as of May 28, 2015:

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JFK – RNO RNO – JFK
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7.40 p.m. – 11.07 p.m. 11.59 p.m. – 8.09 a.m.
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Daily service will operate between June 18, 2015 and September 11, 2015, as well as between November 25, 2015 and January 4, 2016. Other times of year, service will operate Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Copyright Photo below: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N527JL (msn 1557) in the Blueberries scheme arrives at the New York (JFK) hub.

JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show