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Tag Archives: Airbus

Snowbird Airlines is coming to London Gatwick starting on December 6

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

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

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

 

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

The charter airline was planning to start operations on October 2.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Images: Snowbird Airlines.

Snowbird logo

Video:

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Lufthansa cancels 25 long-haul flights today from Frankfurt

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) today is dealing with another strike by its pilots, this time affecting its long-haul flights from the Frankfurt hub. The airline issued this statement:

Owing to the renewed strike announced by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots‘ union, Lufthansa has cancelled 25 long-haul flights from Frankfurt for Tuesday, September 30. A total of 57 intercontinental flights were originally scheduled from Frankfurt tomorrow and 32 of those are planned to depart. Of those 32 flights, 26 will be flown by volunteer pilots, two others will depart earlier and four have been deferred to the following day (Wednesday).

The Lufthansa hub in Munich will not be impacted by the strike: Flights to and from Düsseldorf and short-haul flights from and to Frankfurt will also operate as scheduled. Furthermore, flights operated by the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Swiss and Air Dolomiti (OS, SN, 4U, LX, EN) will not be affected either.

This fifth strike action within just four weeks will hit Lufthansa in the busiest air-traffic month of the year. Both the number of scheduled flights as well as capacities are traditionally at their highest level over the year at the end of September. Moreover, it is especially difficult at the end of the month to change crewing rosters and get pilots to volunteer for flights because planning options are restricted by the monthly limits on pilots’ flight-duty hours. Furthermore, Lufthansa is barred from resorting to night flights by the stringent night-flight ban after 11 p.m. at its home base in Frankfurt.

“Even if we manage under these difficult conditions to get more than half our scheduled long-haul flights from Frankfurt off the ground with volunteer crews tomorrow (Tuesday), the walkout will again severely damage our reputation and erode confidence in our airline’s reliability. The VC union’s repeated resort to strike action will damage Lufthansa with unforeseeable consequences for all 120,000 employees, including the pilots”, emphasized Kay Kratky, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board with responsibility for Operations and the Frankfurt Hub. “We apologize explicitly for the measures taken by the VC union, which is the only collective bargaining partner at Lufthansa intent on uncompromising and inconsiderate pursuit of its individual interests.”

Copyright Photo: Long-haul flights to the United States are severely impacted today. Airbus A340-642 D-AIHW (msn 972) taxies at Los Angeles.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

The Airbus A350-900 receives EASA certification

Airbus A350 Test Fleet in Formation 1 (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has announced the new A350-900 received its Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on September 30, 2014. The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification will follow shortly.

The EASA A350-900 Type Certificate was signed by EASA’s Executive Director, Patrick Ky. The document was handed over to Airbus’ Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion and Airbus’ A350 XWB Chief Engineer, Gordon McConnell.

Qatar Airways will take delivery of the first A350 before the end of the year. Our fleet of five test aircraft (above) completed the certification campaign, on time, cost and quality with more than 2,600 flight test hour

At the end of May 2014, the A350 XWB had received 750 orders from 39 customers worldwide.

All images by Airbus.

A350 XWB Inovations (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus A350 Test Fleet in Formation 2 (Airbus)(LRW)

Virgin Atlantic is close to making a decision on 5 additional Boeing 787s, updates its fleet retirement plans

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is close to making a decision on its five Boeing 787 options according to this report by Bloomberg. The British carrier is updating its fleet plans as it retires its older aircraft types with the new generation aircraft.

According to the report, Virgin Atlantic will retire the last Airbus A340-300 (above) at the end of February 2015. The last five Boeing 747-400s will leave the fleet between September 2015 and July 2016.

Two Airbus A340-600s will be retired at the beginning of 2015.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. The older Airbus A340-300s will be the first to be retired in February. Virgin Atlantic Airways’ Airbus A340-313 G-VFAR (msn 225) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Virgin Atlantic Airways: AG Slide Show

El Al and JetBlue Airways file with the DOT in order to codeshare

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) and JetBlue Airways (New York) today filed with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approval to codeshare.

Subject to government approval, El Al plans to place its “LY” code on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York (JFK/Newark).

El Al currently offers up to 22 weekly nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK/Newark) which easily tap into JetBlue’s growing network. With one stop in New York (JFK/Newark), customers may connect between Israel and 35 JetBlue destinations including Boston, Chicago/O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Houston/Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, San Juan, Washington/Dulles and West Palm Beach. JetBlue currently serves 86 cities across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.

El Al and JetBlue have been interline partners since 2010, allowing customers to purchase single-ticket itineraries, combining travel on both airlines.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. El Al’s Boeing 747-458 4X-ELB (msn 26056) climbs gracefully away from Heathrow Airport near London.

El Al Israel Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways’ Airbus A321-231 WL N923JB (msn 5960) with the Prism tail fin awaits its runway departure clearance at JFK International Airport.

QANTAS Airways launches the largest jetliner on the longest route to Dallas/Fort Worth

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) customers will now enjoy the luxury of the world’s largest passenger aircraft on the world’s longest route, with nonstop Airbus A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth which was launched on September 28.

QANTAS recently announced increased services to the USA, and will now offer customers 41 services per week to North America. About half of these services are operated by the pictured Airbus A380 aircraft and the other half by Boeing 747-400s with A380-style interiors.

QANTAS A380 First Class Suite (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. The First Class Suite.

The new Airbus A380 service is the result of several scheduling changes designed to unlock more flying time of the QANTAS fleet, as part of the wider Qantas Transformation program.

QANTAS A380 Business Class cabin (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. Business Class cabin.

QANTAS will operate the new Airbus A380 service six times per week (every day except Tuesdays). Flight QF 7 will depart Sydney at 1310 and arrive at DFW International Airport at 1345 local time (the same day).

The return flight QF 8, will depart DFW at 2215 local time and arrive in Sydney at 0605 two days later (due to an evening departure and the international dateline). Flying time from Sydney to DFW is around 14 hours 50 minutes, and flying time from DFW to Sydney is around 15 hours 30 minutes.

QANTAS A380 Economy Class seats (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. The Economy Class cabin.

Through its codeshare partnership with American Airlines, QANTAS offers onward connections to more than 100 destinations across the USA, with more than 50 of those from Dallas/Fort Worth including Orlando, Boston, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Washington, Toronto, Vancouver, Cancun and Mexico City.

This new service comes in the 60th anniversary year of QANTAS services between Australia and the USA. In 1954, QANTAS operated a Lockheed Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.

QANTAS A380 Texas hat tail (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways.

SPECIAL LIVERY:

To celebrate the milestone, QANTAS painted its Airbus A380-842 VH-OQL (msn 074) operating the route with a special livery; the kangaroo on the tail (above) features a traditional Stetson hat with a neckerchief in the American-stars print, with a “G’Day Texas” emblem next to the forward doors.

QANTAS A380-800 VH-OQL (G'Day Texas logo)(QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Ambassador John Travolta was at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to greet the inaugural Airbus A380 service from Sydney and said he was proud to help promote the new service (below).

“I’m thrilled to be part of this special and historic moment for QANTAS. It’s exciting news for Americans that the world’s biggest and one of the most luxurious passenger aircrafts is now flying between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney,” said Mr Travolta.

QANTAS John Travolta (QANTAS)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) climbs away from London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Video:

Lufthansa is facing another pilot’s strike tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) meanwhile is facing another day of strikes tomorrow (September 30) by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union. The strike revolves around a dispute concerning retirement benefits.

The union issued this statement (translated from German):

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) 2014 plans industrial action at Lufthansa for tomorrow Tuesday, September 30.

Lufthansa pilots are on September 30, 2014 from 8.00 – 23.00 local time will strike on long-haul flights with the aircraft types Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 will not perform any departures from Frankfurt Airport. With this strike, a new collective agreement transitional care will be achieved.

Since Lufthansa management has not submitted any compromise or competitive offer, we are forced to take these other measures.

The Vereinigung Cockpit declares that it is always ready to avert strikes. We regret any inconvenience to the customers of Lufthansa.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMB (msn 041) arrives back at the Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Fastjet’s first half loss widens to $30.5 million

Fastjet (Fastjet.com) (Dar es Salaam) reported today (September 29) its first half loss (through June 30) widened to $30.5 million (USD), including $13.9 million in losses in the associated Tanzanian operation. Fly540 Ghana and Angola had a $13.5 million adverse effect on the first half financial results. According to the carrier, “Fly540 Ghana and Fly540 Angola loss-making services remain suspended, with restructuring activity underway.”

Despite this loss, the low-fare airline has been expanding. Flights from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Lusaka, Zambia were launched in February 2014, from Dar es Salaam to Harare, Zimbabwe in August 2014 and from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe, Uganda on September 16, 2014.

The airline is filling a void left by the closure of Air Uganda.

Read the full financial report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 5H-FJC (msn 1145) taxies at Johannesburg (all others by Fastjet).

Fastjet: AG Slide Show

Fastjet crew

Expanding Route Map:

Fastjet 9.2014 Route Map

American Airlines Group pays renewed homage to the original Pacific Southwest Airlines

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has repainted the pictured US Airways Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) now with American titles. The Group is proud of its heritage logo jets and is also proud to remember its honored past. The group intends to have additional heritage jets (including TWA) for most of its heritage airlines that are now in the new and expanded American Airlines family tree (below).

The original Pacific Southwest Airlines-PSA (San Diego) operated from 1949 to 1988.

In other news, the continued negotiations for a combined pilot seniority list continues for the new American Airlines with some calling for America West pilots to be included in the negotiations.

This article by Ted Reed in Forbes details the on-going negotiations for a fair seniority list. Read the article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) in the 1977 livery of PSA and now with American titles departs from the Charlotte hub.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Pacific Southwest Airlines-PSA (1st): AG Slide Show

Photos of the original PSA via YouTube:

Family Tree: Courtesy of American Airlines (aircraft images from AirlinersGallery.com):

AA Heritage timeline poster - FINAL - 24x36.pdf

BOC Aviation delivers the first Airbus A320 to Vistara

Vistara say hello

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

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

Vistara logo (large)

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

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

Tata Air Lines DC-3

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

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

Images: Vistara.

Vistara Tails

Etihad Airways unveils a new Landor livery for its first Airbus A380 and the entire fleet

Etihad A380-800 A6-APA (14)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LRW)

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has unveiled a new look for the delivery of the first Airbus A380. The first Boeing 787 will follow in the same eye-catching color scheme. This new livery will be painted on the entire fleet. The fast-growing carrier issued this statement and photos:

Etihad Airways new livery banner

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today (September 26) unveiled a stunning new livery design which will be introduced across its fleet.

Created by leading brand consultants Landor Associates in partnership with Etihad Airways, the new livery is inspired by traditional Emirati design patterns, the landscapes of the desert and the geometric shapes found in the modern architecture of Abu Dhabi.

The result is a striking and unique livery design which will present Etihad Airways as the airline of a progressive and innovative cultural hub, firmly rooted in its rich history.

The new livery was unveiled as Etihad Airways’ first A380 rolled-out of the paint hangar at the Airbus Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg, Germany.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways said: “Only a few months ago Etihad Airways unveiled the new cabin interiors for our A380 aircraft and we are now proud to show the world how this aircraft will look on the outside.

Etihad A380-800 (14)(Flt)(Etihad)(LR)

“The striking new livery also continues our commitment to breaking from convention and doing things differently. This is a real divergence from the norms of traditional airline livery design and will stand out in the sky and at every airport we fly to.”

The design pattern named ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ uses a colour palette which reflects the varying hues of the landscape of the UAE, from the darker sands of Liwa to the lighter colours seen in the Northern Emirates. The design development involved researching design options amongst Emiratis and international travellers to help select the final ‘winning’ livery.

The UAE national emblem is given prominence along the fuselage next to the Etihad name and the national flag is respectfully featured forward near the cockpit.

The design pattern is also a key feature of the new cabin interiors being introduced on Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft, and is being rolled out across the airline’s corporate branding – from advertising to brochures to premium lounges.

Peter Knapp, Global Creative Officer of Landor Associates, said: “Etihad Airways is undoubtedly a leading airline on the international stage and this new livery is a real step change in the industry. I believe there will be nothing like it on any apron in the world.

“It tells the remarkable story of this region and of Abu Dhabi’s past, present and future, providing a narrative for an innovative airline brand. We used the ambient geometry present in the architecture and culture of the emirate and reinterpreted it with a sense of Arabian modernism which has become synonymous with Etihad and Abu Dhabi itself.”

Etihad logo

The entire Etihad Airways fleet of more than 100 aircraft, as well as those to be delivered, will be painted in the new livery during the next three years ensuring that the Facets of Abu Dhabi is seen across the world.

Etihad Airways will take delivery of seven wide-bodied aircraft in 2015 – four Airbus A380s and three Boeing 787-9s – and seven narrow-bodied aircraft – one A320 and six A321s.

Etihad Airways, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2013, has introduced unique liveries on several of its aircraft to mark special events and occasions.

These include an Airbus A340 and A320 in Formula 1 livery to celebrate the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The airline also flies a Manchester City FC Airbus A330 painted in the Premier League club’s sky-blue colours with the name and crest clearly visible on both sides of the aircraft.

Etihad Airways’ first Airbus A380 will operate on flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow from December 27, 2014. The two subsequent deliveries of the A380 in early 2015 will also service the route, making it a triple daily A380 operation.

Later in 2015, A380s will operate to Sydney and New York as Etihad Airways receives its fourth and fifth aircraft. The airline has currently 10 of the giant double-decker airliners on firm order.

The Etihad Airways A380 is set to transform luxury air travel with The Residence by Etihad, which features a living room, separate double bedroom and ensuite shower room, making it the first three-room luxury suite in history of commercial aviation.

The Residence by Etihad, located on the forward upper deck of the A380, can accommodate one or two guests who will also have a personal Butler trained by the Savoy Butler Academy in London.

Etihad Airways’ A380 will also feature new First Apartments, which are fully private suites with a separate reclining lounge seat and full-length bed; as well as the new Business Studio and Economy Smart Seat.

Copyright Photo: Airbus (all others by Etihad Airways). The first A380, the pictured A380-861 A6-APA (msn 166), is pictured at the Hamburg (Finkenwerder) Airbus facility.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Previously the airline unveiled images of the Airbus A380 interiors: CLICK HERE

Video: the painting of the Airbus A380:

Video: The unveiling of the new livery:

Video: The new livery:

Video: Time lapse video of the assembly of the first Airbus A380:

 

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


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The holding company of the flag carrier issued this statement:

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

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

Czech Airlines-CSA: AG Slide Show

Air France backs off on its Transavia project hoping the pilots will come back to work

Air France (Paris-CDG) is somewhat backing off on its previous proposal to expand the operations of subsidiary Transavia France (Paris-Orly) and Transavia Europe in the hoe the pilots will end their strikes. The on-going strike by the pilots is taking its toll financially.

The company issued this statement yesterday:

On the tenth day of a strike that is heavily penalizing Air France, its customers and its staff, Company management is making the following proposal to promote the rapid resolution of the conflict:

1. Immediate withdrawal of the Transavia Europe project,

2. The further development of Transavia France in competitive economic conditions and accompanied by the safeguards as discussed in the negotiations so far,

3. In these conditions, Air France Management calls on the pilots to return to work immediately.

This balanced proposal meets the unions’ requirements by providing a renewed guarantee that there will be no relocation.

It preserves the Transavia development project, a “made in France” solution to face the competition from foreign low-cost carriers and conquer this rapidly-expanding market.

It meets the needs of employees who want their company to get back on track.

It enables us to find an immediate outcome to this destructive conflict.

Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM, and Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and CEO of Air France, declared: “Our Transavia project is a 100% pro-France project. It is about developing Transavia to encourage growth in France and quickly create more than 1,000 jobs in France (including 250 pilot jobs). With the withdrawal of the Transavia Europe project, there is now no reason to strike because there are no longer any concerns about relocation. We therefore call on the striking pilots to return to work immediately.”

Meanwhile for tomorrow, Air France expects to operate 48% of its flights on Friday September 26, 2014, given an estimated 58% of pilots are planning to strike tomorrow.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-212 F-GTAN (msn 3051) gracefully climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Air France: AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A320neo flies today for the first time

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

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

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

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

Video:

Airbus A320neo First Flight

Spirit Airlines is coming to Cleveland starting on January 15

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced Cleveland will be the 57th city to join its expanding route network, with new service to eight cities. Service starts on January 15, 2015 to three cities, with three more starting February 5, 2015, and two more on April 16, 2015.

Here are the new routes from CLE (start date and number of days per week):

Orlando starts January 15, 2015 Daily
Tampa* January 15, 2015 Three Days a Week
Fort Myers* January 15, 2015 Four Days a Week
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood February 5, 2015 Daily
Dallas/Fort Worth February 5, 2015 Daily
Las Vegas February 5, 2015 Daily
Los Angeles April 16, 2015 Daily
Myrtle Beach** April 16, 2015 Daily

* Indicates winter seasonal service
** Indicates summer seasonal service

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N533NK (msn 3393) taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in the now old 2007 livery.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Expanding Route Map:

Spirit 9.2014 Route Map

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright Photos: JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

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

 

Finnair operates an Airbus A330 biofuel flight from Helsinki to New York

Finnair (Helsinki) operated a flight from Helsinki to New York on September 23 with an Airbus A330 using environmentally sustainable biofuel, coinciding with the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York on the same day.

 

The airline issued this statement:

As a leader in the sustainable development of commercial aviation, the airline believes strongly in proactive measures to manage environmental performance.

Most of an airline’s environmental impact arises from aircraft emissions during flight, and switching to a more sustainable fuel source can reduce net CO2 emissions by between 50 and 80 per cent. The biofuel mixture powering the flight to New York, provided by SkyNRG Nordic – a joint venture between SkyNRG and Statoil Aviation – is partly manufactured from cooking oil recycled from restaurants, an example of a biofuel alternative to ordinary jet fuel that significantly reduces net greenhouse gas emissions while also being sustainable in its own right. Finnair and its partners insist on the cultivation of biofuel sources that neither compete with food production nor damage biodiversity.

Aviation biofuel is a proven and exhaustively tested technology – Finnair first flew with biofuel in 2011 – but at more than twice the price of conventionally produced jet fuel, it is not yet economically viable for any airline to operate with exclusively. This demonstration flight is made possible thanks in part to cooperation with Airbus and SkyNRG Nordic.

“The UN Climate Summit is an important gathering to fight climate change, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the climate benefits of more widespread adoption of environmentally sustainable biofuels in aviation,” says Finnair’s Vice President of Sustainable Development Kati Ihamäki. “Finnair is committed to working further with industry partners and government bodies alike to help develop the biofuel supply chain and bring down the cost of sustainable biofuel for everyday use.”

“As air traffic contributes 2 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, it is very important to have this trial with the use of biofuels,” says Finland’s Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. “If the price of oil rises and biofuels become cheaper, there will hopefully be a day when we’ll be able to replace at least some of the fossil fuels with fuels made of renewable and waste material. I’m happy that Finnair is showing leadership in this development.”

“Finnair is a long-standing Airbus customer of almost 30 years and I am particularly proud to be collaborating with the airline for this commercial flight,” says Andrea Debbané, Airbus Vice President of Environmental Affairs. “Airbus and Finnair share the aviation industry’s ambitions to reach carbon neutral growth by combining the most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft with optimised Air Traffic Management and operational procedures, while also pushing for the commercial use of affordable sustainable jet fuels.”

“This flight is a warm up for a large offensive from our side with our partners Statoil Aviation, Neste Oil and many others to accelerate the local supply and production of sustainable and affordable jet fuel for the Nordic countries,” says SkyNRG CEO Dirk Kronemeijer. “With common effort – including crucial support from governments – and united purpose, we can realize a sustainable and long term future for aviation.”

Along with its partners Finnair is also currently investigating the possibility of establishing a biofuel hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair is active as well in the Nordic Initiative for Sustainable Aviation, a group of airlines, airport operators, manufacturers and government ministries working to accelerate the development of sustainable biofuel for aviation in the Nordic countries.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-302 OH-LTT (msn 1088) climbs away from the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Finnair:AG Slide Show

 

Greybull Capital is the preferred bidder to acquire Monarch Holdings Limited

Monarch Group (Monarch Airlines) has announced Greybull Capital LLP is the preferred bidder to acquired the group. The company has also announced that the various labor groups have agreed to major concessions to make the acquisition possible. The group issued these two statements:

The Board of Monarch Holdings Limited has announced that Greybull Capital LLP is the preferred bidder to acquire Monarch from the Group’s shareholders, principally the Mantegazza family.

Greybull is a family office with a focus on investing in private companies across a diversified range of industry sectors. Greybull backs incumbent management teams to support and invest into established businesses and brands and creates long-term sustainable and profitable businesses. It views an investment in Monarch as a long-term opportunity in a very strong brand with great potential in all of its markets, and intends to be supportive shareholders throughout Monarch’s next chapter.

Completion of a deal remains subject to the successful outcome of ongoing negotiations, whereupon Greybull intends to provide significant capital to Monarch in order to grow the Group and to capitalize on the long established and trusted brand name.

Conditional upon the successful conclusion of these negotiations with Monarch stakeholders, a transaction is expected to complete towards the end of October.

The Monarch Group has also confirmed that each of its staff groups has agreed to major concessions on pay and terms and conditions as part of its plan to evolve into a leading scheduled European low-cost airline.

Following supportive discussions with union representatives of BAPLA, the pilots union, and UNITE, which represents its cabin crew and engineers, staff were balloted on the proposed changes and on average more than 90% voted in favour, with a proportionately high level of staff deciding to vote.

Results showed pilots voted 96% in favor with over 90% of cabin crew voting yes and engineers at Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) also voting 88.43% in favor.

The changes impact all areas of the business and involve concessions of up to 30% in salaries, as well as changes to working patterns and other conditions.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 G-OZBO (msn 1207) prepares to land at Tenerife Sur.

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

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

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

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

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

 

Frontier Airlines to start Houston-San Francisco service on November 20

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) starting on November 20 will launch daily nonstop service between Houston (Bush Intercontinental) and San Francisco as the airline continues to add routes away its traditional Denver hub.

Frontier is a subsidiary and operating brand of Indigo Partners, LLC.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N919FR (msn 1980) with Lance, the Ocelot, approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Current Route Map:

Frontier (2nd) 9.2014 Route Map

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

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

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

Are airplane bathrooms getting too small for the general population?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

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

 

IAG converts eight Airbus A330-200 options into firm orders for Iberia

Iberia A330-200 (13)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

IAG (British Airways and Iberia) (London) has decided to convert eight A330-200 options, previously announced, into firm orders for Spain’s flag carrier Iberia, which will become a new operator of the A330-200. The aircraft will be delivered from the end of 2015 and will be equipped with GE CF6 engines. Iberia’s all Airbus fleet already includes eight A330-300s.

Iberia today operates an all Airbus fleet, including 13 A319, 12 A320, 18 A321, 8 A330-300, 8 A340-300 and 17 A340-600. On August 1, 2014, the new A330s were announced alongside an order for eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft. In total they will replace 16 A340 family aircraft in Iberia’s long-haul fleet. The airline flies to more than a 100 destinations in 38 countries.

Image: Airbus.

Iberia: AG Slide Show

US Airways puts its first American branded Airbus A330 into revenue service

US Airways (American Airlines Group) (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) has painted its first Airbus A330 in the American Airlines‘ 2013 livery. Airbus A330-323 N270AY (msn 315) was painted at Amarillo, Texas and was delivered to the Philadelphia hub on September 18, 2014. The first revenue service was from Philadelphia (PHL) to London (Heathrow) on September 19 followed by Venice on September 20.

The aircraft operated to Dublin, Ireland on September 21 arriving the next day. Today N270AY is pictured departing from Dublin for the return journey back to Philadelphia.

US Airways next will repaint the PSA heritage Airbus A319 with American titles.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

Katowice to Belfast (twice weekly) starting on March 31

Poznan to Malmo (twice weekly) starting on March 30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wizz Air (Hungary): AG Slide Show

 

American Airlines to add two-class Airbus A321 service to Boston and Denver from Miami

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will start two-class Airbus A321 service from its Miami hub to both Boston and Denver starting on December 2 per Airline Route.

American has gradually been expanding A321 operations on the following routes:

Dallas/Fort Worth – Los Angeles

Dallas/Fort Worth – Orlando

Los Angeles – Las Vegas

Miami – Dallas/Fort Worth

Miami – Las Vegas

Miami – Los Angeles

Miami – Orlando

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 N108NN (msn 5946) departs from Los Angeles.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Air France’s pilots: the strike will continue, Air France: we will speed up the development of Transavia France

Air France (Paris) is still reeling from a week-long strike by its pilots. The flag carrier has only been able to fly a small portion of its flights due to the on-going strike. Today (September 22) the pilot’s union rejected the latest offer by management to end the strike.

Air France announced today it expects to operate 42 percent of its flights tomorrow (September 23) as the strike continue.

Today Air France also announced it will speed up the development of the lower-cost Transavia France (Paris) with this announcement:

The pilots’ strike has been disrupting flight operations for seven days now, with catastrophic consequences for the Company’s customers, staff and financial situation. Alexandre de Juniac and Frédéric Gagey wish once again to thank all staff who have rallied round in France and around the world to support and assist customers in this unprecedented situation. The Company wishes once again to present its sincere apologies to its customers.

This strike generates an operating loss of up to 20 million euros per day, plus customer compensations and the impact of the gradual recovery in traffic in the days following the return to normal operations. Once the dispute is over, the Group will update its EBITDA target for the 2014 financial year.

Negotiations with the pilot unions, notably the SNPL, have taken place daily. Since the beginning of the strike action, Alexandre de Juniac and Frédéric Gagey have spent over 40 hours in meetings with pilot representatives. Every day, they have been submitting new constructive proposals to resolve this conflict. On their part, the pilot unions have not put forward any proposal demonstrating their willingness to find a solution.

Management can only note that talks have reached a deadlock situation.

Management also wishes to reassert that Air France-KLM’s development on the low-cost market in Europe is both strategic and urgent for the Group’s future, given that this market is fast-expanding and our competitors have adopted particularly offensive strategies on the French market.

The ambition set out in the Perform 2020 growth and competitiveness plan remains intact. The pilot unions have stigmatized the Transavia project by fuelling unfounded fears of “delocalization” and “social dumping”, which have never been at stake. Management regrets these mistaken interpretations, but has taken note of the concerns expressed.

Alexandre de Juniac, Frédéric Gagey and the managerial teams have since taken the following measures:

Postponing the plan to create Transavia subsidiaries in Europe (outside France and the Netherlands), while entering into extended talks about the project and building together the necessary guarantees by the end of the year.

A comprehensive negotiation and explanatory process with Air France and KLM unions will be set up. As for Air France, this process will begin as soon as the next Central Works Council meeting takes place, scheduled for September 25, 2014.
FASTER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRANSAVIA PROJECT IN FRANCE

The expansion of Transavia in France is vital for Air France, notably in order to defend the Group’s position at Orly Airport, as highlighted by the experts’ report published in July 2014 and supported by the SNPL. It is now urgent to implement this plan.

The project was presented to the unions of each staff category over a year ago, but was not finalized within the framework of the talks underway. The pilot unions’ demand to use, on the Transavia network, Air France pilots employed under Air France conditions and to replace the existing 44 Boeing 737s by Airbus A320s, would inevitably lead Transavia France to failure. The compromise solutions proposed by management have all been rejected.

In these conditions, if the pilot organizations do not agree to the economic and social terms and conditions of the project put forward, Management will be forced to begin the formal procedure for denouncing the agreement to create Transavia France (signed in 2007). This agreement currently restricts the development of Transavia France; its withdrawal will make it possible to implement the project more quickly.

The aim is to rapidly equip Transavia in France with additional aircraft beyond the 14 currently in the fleet. It should be remembered that this project included the creation of a thousand jobs over the next 5 years, including 250 jobs for French pilots. It will now be possible to hire staff faster. The project will, as expected, be primarily open to Air France pilots on a voluntary basis.

Moreover, Management confirms that the development of Transavia in France is not intended to impact Point to Point activity on the French domestic network. Transavia will not feed the Air France hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

“To remain in the race in Europe, we have no alternative than to rapidly expand Transavia. We are now taking every measure to explain and accelerate its growth out of France. The Air France-KLM Group is reaffirming its aim of reaching a fleet of more than 100 Transavia aircraft by 2017,” said Alexandre de Juniac. Frédéric Gagey continued: “These decisions must enable us to restore calm within the company and end the strike that has lasted too long for Air France, its customers and its staff.”

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Operations at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) will remain under the Air France brand but flights to Orly Airport will increasing be under the Transavia brand. With the expedited expansion of Transavia France the subsidiary is likely to get a new look. Airbus A319-111 F-GRHV (msn 1505) taxies at Nantes.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Transavia France: AG Slide Show

Current routes from Paris (Orly) by Transavia France:

Transavia France 9.2014 Route Map

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHC (msn 29651) wears the 2005 livery of the Dutch version of the original Transavia Airlines.

 

Aircalin rebrands its fleet with this beautiful island look

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

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

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

Aircalin fleet in the new look

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

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

Aircalin 2014 livery explanation

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

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

Route Map:

Aircalin 9.2014 route map

Top Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com.

Aircalin: AG Slide Show

Aircalin Video:

flyVista gets ready to add its first Airbus A320

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

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

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

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

Aegean Airlines adds more routes for the winter and next summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Increased frequencies on existing routes:

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

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

Planned new summer service:

From Corfu to Paris and Rome

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

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

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

Aegean Airlines: AG Slide Show

Aegean is celebrating this award from Skytrax:

Aegean FA-Best Regional (Aegean)(LRW)

 

Air China to increase the Beijing-London Heathrow route to double daily

Air China (Beijing), to meet market demand, starting October 26, 2014, will increase its Beijing – London (Heathrow International Airport) service to two daily flights.

The newly added flights are flights CA855/6. The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 14:30 and arrives in London at 17:50 local time. The inbound flight departs from London at 20:25 local time and arrives in Beijing at 14:45 Beijing time. The original daily flights CA937/8 are operated as normal – the outbound flight leaves Beijing at 12:30, and the inbound flight departs from London at 17:40.

After the schedule expansion, the Beijing – London (Heathrow) service as a whole is operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Its Business Class is configured with 180-degree full-flat seats whose ergonomic design can fully meet the needs of premium business travelers looking to have a fortifying rest during the flight. All classes of service are outfitted with personal entertainment system (AVOD) and power sockets, keeping passengers entertained for the duration of the flight. In addition, on its China-Europe routes, Air China also offers such services as seasonal healthy meals and chauffeured transfers for VIP passengers.

As a member carrier of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline network, Air China has been actively expanding its European route network. Currently, Europe has become Air China’s largest overseas market, and Air China now operates over 100 flights between China and Europe a week, enabling passengers to travel from Beijing nonstop to 20 European cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Moscow and Madrid. At the same time, relying on the extensive route network of the Star Alliance, Air China can easily fly passengers to 1,328 destinations in 195 countries.

Air China issued this statement on the arrival of the pictured B-2006 in Beijing:

Air China’s aircraft which sports the “Air China Loves China” color scheme arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport on September 28, Beijing time, and September 29 marks the day of its maiden flight CA 1501 Beijing – Shanghai. After that, it will be operated on routes Beijing-Shanghai/Guangzhou.

The background color of the new artwork is white. The aircraft’s tail is emblazoned with the “Air China Loves China” design, which is a nod to the red national flag painted on the nose. The fuselage is adorned with patterns of red silk, a Chinese cultural element, symbolizing the bond between Air China and China and highlighting the joyous celebration of China’s National Day. The letter “C” in the word “CHINA” is designed in such an artistic way as to wrap the character “love”, conveying to people of Chinese descent around the world the key message that Air China loves China.

According to an Air China executive, Air China’s predecessor was Civil Aviation Administration of China Beijing Branch established on January 1, 1955. Air China’s development in the past nearly 60 years is nothing short of a microcosm of the growing prosperity of the nation. The carrier has gone international and has joined the ranks of the world’s finest airlines. Therefore, the new color scheme worn by the aircraft is intended to express Air China’s congratulations to the mother country. To create an atmosphere of festivity, during the National Day Air China will also place an outdoor billboard and use baggage stickers, boarding passes and vehicle stickers that carry the “Air China Loves China” design to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of the republic.

Since the first Boeing 777-300 ER of China’s airline industry was put into service by Air China in July 2011, the type has been very popular with travelers. Today, Boeing 777-300 ER has become the leading type on Air China’s key international routes to European and American cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Houston, Vancouver, Frankfurt and Paris and hot domestic routes from Beijing to Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou. Of long-range twin-engine jets, Boeing 777-300 ER widebody aircraft has many pluses in terms of both range and passenger capacity. It is more fuel efficient and quieter, aligned with the universally endorsed concept of green flight. AirChina has always been committed to providing better flying space and wonderful travel experience for passengers. On Air China’s Boeing 777-300 ER, ultra-large First Class seats can accommodate 2 people having a meal at the same time; Business Class seats can become full-flat beds; Economy Class seats are designed based on ergonomic principles. First Class and Business Class passengers can have exclusive access to the Central Bar. All classes of service are outfitted with personal entertainment system, power outlets and barrier-free toilets. The mood lighting system can mimic wonderful moments in a day from sunrise to sunset. Boeing 777-300ER has become the preferred choice of business travelers, and is playing an important role in helping Air China expand its presence in the international market.

According to industry experts, Chinese airlines are renewing their fleet of long-range aircraft. With their state-of-the-art technologies and amenities, widebodies like Boeing 777-300 ER and Boeing 747-8 will become the leading types that will help Chinese airlines make inroads into long-haul international markets. In recent years, Air China has seen the number of widebodies delivered to it and the number of its international long-haul routes increasing rapidly, far ahead of the competition. By June 2014, Air China had a fleet of 512 aircraft of Boeing and Airbus families (including those operated by the companies Air China has a stake in). These aircraft are 6.22 years old on average. AirChina has the youngest fleet in China and a reasonable fleet structure featuring both long-range and medium-range aircraft. New aircraft additions will help further extend Air China’s route network.

It is reported in October, Air China’s newly delivered Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental widebody will be put into service. It is anticipated that by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan, Air China’s fleet (including the aircraft of the companies in which Air China has a stake in) will have reached about 665 aircraft. In the future, Air China will continue to introduce highly efficient, well-performing widebodies like Boeing 787-9 and Airbus 350. By the end of 2015, Air China will have received the delivery of 7 Boeing 747-8s, offering passengers pleasant travel experiences. At present, Air China has become an airline that offers services 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It operates 323 passenger routes, serving 162 cities in 32 countries (regions). Relying on the route network of the Star Alliance, Air China can fly passengers to 1328 destinations in 195 countries.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 777-39L ER B-2006 (msn 44931) is decorated in a special “Love China” motif and is pictured after its first flight on September 16, 2014. B-2006 is the last of an initial order of 20 stretched Triple Sevens. B-2006 was handed over on Friday, September 26.

Air China: AG Slide Show

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

JetBlue flight 1416 LGB

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

Read the full report from ABC 7: CLICK HERE

JetBlue Airways issued this statement:

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

UPDATE 11:00 PST

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

Twitter photo by Melanie Lawson.

Frontier Airlines to add three new routes from Phoenix

Frontier Airlines (2nd) has selected Phoenix for more new routes as it continues to build its network away from its traditional Denver hub. The low-fare airline on November 20 will add new routes from Phoenix to Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Salt Lake City and San Francisco per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N902FR (msn 1515) with “Woody”, the Wood Duck, on the tail, taxies to the runway at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Swiss orders 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft + 10 options

Airbus (Toulouse) has confirmed the previous report from the Lufthansa Group that Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) has placed a firm order for 15 new Airbus A320neo aircraft. Here is the short statement from Airbus:

Lufthansa Group’s supervisory board has announced that Swiss, a member-airline of the Group, will expand its Airbus A320 fleet with a firm order for 15 A320neo aircraft, plus an additional ten of the type to be confirmed at a later stage. The fuel-efficient NEO-fleet will gradually renew and replace Swiss’ existing fleet of A320 Family aircraft.

Related to this, Airbus also confirmed Lufthansa Group’s firm order for ten A320ceo aircraft for its subsidiary Eurowings. The new aircraft will become the backbone of the new low cost business model announced by the Lufthansa Group in July 2014, which foresees Eurowings operations on direct connections within Europe.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The newer A320neo aircraft will replace the older A320s like Airbus A320-214 HB-IJX (msn 1762) arriving at Zurich.

Swiss: AG Slide Show

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EasyJet orders 27 additional Airbus A320s

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

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

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

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

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Delta to bring back nonstop seasonal service to Liberia, Costa Rica, will expand flights to Punta Cana

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will bring back its nonstop seasonal service connecting Liberia, Costa Rica with Los Angeles and the airline’s hubs in Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York-JFK. Additionally, seasonal service between San Jose and Minneapolis/St. Paul will be reinstated.

Delta continues its expansion in Costa Rica, operating 40 weekly services during the peak season and connecting the cities of San Jose and Liberia with key destinations in the United States.

In other news, Delta will expand its service to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic during the high demand season, including flights from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York-JFK.

Flights will be operated using Airbus A320 and Airbus A319 aircraft and will complement existing Delta service to this luxury Caribbean destination.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 N322NB (msn 1434) takes off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

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Etihad Airways to introduce a special livery with its first Airbus A380, here is a clue

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has 10 new Airbus A380-800s on order. The airline is intending to introduce a new special livery (or a new color scheme for the fleet?) with the first delivery. The company has not yet unveiled this special design but we now have a clue. Today in Toulouse this Airbus A380 took to the skies.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-WWAB (msn 170) wears this temporary registration until the first A380 is handed over in December.

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Lufthansa Group approves 10 Airbus A320s for Eurowings, will replace its Bombardier CRJ900s, SunExpress Airlines may operate low-cost long-haul flights with Airbus A330-300s

Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa) (Frankfurt) today (September 19) outlined its plans for Eurowings (Lufthansa Regional) and its new long-haul division, possibly flown by SunExpress Airlines (Antalya), a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines (Istanbul).

The Lufthansa Group’s quality and growth initiative presented on July 9, 2014 is gathering pace.

At the Supervisory Board meeting on September 17, the Supervisory Board Members were informed by the Executive Board of the implementation progress made so far. The Lufthansa Group’s Supervisory Board has paved the way for the planned transition to a more economical type of aircraft at Eurowings by approving an order for ten Airbus A320ceo planes for the company. With its fleet of 23 aircraft, Eurowings services domestic German and European routes from airports other than the Frankfurt and Munich hubs on behalf of Germanwings. A further 13 A320s will be transferred from the Group’s total aircraft order volume to Eurowings starting in 2015, in order to make its entire fleet consist of Airbus aircraft. Replacing the current Eurowings fleet of Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets with modern A320ceo aircraft will further increase the Düsseldorf-based airline’s unit cost advantage and will thereby improve its ability to compete with low-cost airlines in Europe. The Lufthansa Group intends to use its Wings concept to cement its good market position in passenger traffic in its home markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium in the long term, including with point-to-point connections. Business on these routes away from the major hubs is characterised by above-average growth in the leisure travel segment and by stiff competition from the rapidly expanding low-cost airlines.

The Executive Board also presented its plans for the new cost-efficient offer for long-haul connections as part of the Wings concept to the Supervisory Board. One option for realizing this concept could be a new platform based on the airline SunExpress Airlines (Antalya), which is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines. In this respect, talks with the Star Alliance partner are to continue. The idea is for the new platform to complement the Lufthansa Group’s product range with up to seven Airbus A330-300s and to commence operations in autumn 2015 with three aircraft in Munich, Düsseldorf or Cologne. The focus here will be on destinations that promise above-average growth in the leisure travel segment and that round out the Lufthansa Group airlines’ current route networks. In addition to the founding of this new long-haul airline, other intercontinental traffic approaches will be developed in order to once again profitably fly leisure travel-dominated routes using the Lufthansa brand in the future.

To offer this, up to 14 Airbus A340-300s from the long-haul fleet will be fitted with a cabin that is optimized for leisure travel. Commencing with the start of the 2015/2016 winter flight timetable, this A340-300 sub-fleet will fly at a much lower cost while nevertheless offering the high-quality travel experience of a Lufthansa flight, with high service standards and comfort levels. The as many as 14 aircraft will operate without a First Class and with 18 Business Class seats, 19 Premium Economy seats and 261 Economy seats, and will in particular serve new leisure travel destinations or markets from which Lufthansa would otherwise have to withdraw without the introduction of this less expensive offer.

“The combination of our core brands’ focus on quality and the premium sector, and the development of new platforms for the leisure travel sector, which is experiencing dynamic growth but is also price-sensitive, is our way of working towards a successful future for the Lufthansa Group airlines,” said Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. This would strengthen the successful multi-hub system comprising the key hubs of Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, he added. This strategy additionally gave the Company the scope to also grow in sectors of this kind, where the Lufthansa Group’s traditional quality brands were not able to participate in market developments, he said.

In addition to the growth concept for the Lufthansa Group airlines, the Supervisory Board is approving capital expenditure of €60 million by Lufthansa Technik AG in Frankfurt. The Group’s technical division intends to build a new wheel and brake workshop in Frankfurt’s eastern dock area (Osthafen). The building is expected to commence operations as early as at the start of 2017. These new operations will allow Lufthansa Technik, which is the world’s leading provider of aircraft-related technical services, to also achieve further growth in the important segment of wheel and brake maintenance. In so doing, Lufthansa Technik will safeguard the existing 130 jobs for qualified employees based in Frankfurt and will create the parameters for further growth. The building is to be fitted with cutting-edge building services so as to exceed the requirements of Germany’s Energy Conservation Regulations (EnEV) by 30 per cent.

In related news,  Lufthansa Group also approved the purchase of 15 Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) family and ten Airbus A320ceo (Current Engine Option) aircraft at its meeting today. The new A320neo orders will be delivered to Lufthansa Group airline Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) from 2019 onwards, where they are intended to replace older aircraft from the same family. The ten new A320ceo aircraft will be delivered to Eurowings in 2016 and 2017 and will replace older Bombardier CRJ900s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. The aging and expensive 14 Lufthansa Airbus A340-300s will be assigned to the new leisure group starting with the 2015-2016 winter schedule. The 14 aircraft will operate without a First Class and with 18 Business Class seats, 19 Premium Economy seats and 261 Economy seats. Lufthansa’s Airbus A340-313 D-AIGT (msn 304) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.

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Delta Air Lines to introduce Airbus’ new pivoting overhead carry-on stowage bins for its new Airbus A321s

Delta A321-200 (07) overhead bag storage (Airbus)(LRW)

Airbus (Toulouse) has announced the following cabin enhancement option for the Airbus A320 Family aircraft. Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will be the first customer.

Airbus will introduce its new pivoting overhead stowage option for the A320 Family aircraft beginning in the first quarter of 2016 with the delivery of the first of 45 brand new A321 aircraft for Delta Air Lines. In 2013, Delta placed an order for 30 new A321s and added a further 15 in 2014.

The new pivoting bins from Airbus, which are also available for retrofit, take full advantage of the A320’s wide fuselage cross section to offer the most overhead stowage volume of any single-aisle airliner per passenger. Aesthetically, they embody a modern curved appearance which incorporates Airbus’ most up-to-date design branding – as exemplified in the cabin of the new A350 XWB airliner.

Addressing today’s passenger expectations for more carry-on baggage, not only do these new overhead bins offer 10 percent increased volume over current A320 bins, but the efficient A320 cross-section also allows increased capacity for up to 60 percent more luggage in practice. For example, each section now efficiently accommodates eight TP22-enhanced* roller bags. Alternatively, the same section can also hold four TP24s** (the largest type of carry-on roller bag).

* TP22 ‘enhanced’ roller bags measure 22x 14.5 x 9 inches – i.e. half an inch higher than ‘FAA’ standard bags.
** TP24 roller bags, measuring 24 x 14.5 x 11 inches

Copyright Photo: Airbus.

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Qatar Airways receives its first Airbus A380

Qatar A380-800 A7-APA (06) Delivery Ceremony (Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways (Doha) has taken delivery of the pictured Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) today (September 17), its first Airbus A380. Airbus issued this statement:

At a ceremony in Hamburg hosted by Airbus, Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines welcomed a new star to its fleet – the Airbus A380. In the presence of His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, the airline took delivery of the first of its 10 Airbus A380 aircraft on order.

The delivery marks the beginning of a new chapter for Qatar Airways, as it pushes boundaries and expands its operations. The A380, with its unique combination of increased capacity, long-haul range and unbeatable fuel efficiency, will enable the airline to carry its passengers even further and at deluxe comfort standards.

As a five-star performer, the A380 has become a firm favourite with passengers and airlines, due to the smoothness of the flight, quietness of the cabin and the spaciousness of the overall aircraft layout. These unique characteristics allow Qatar Airways to achieve their ambition of providing excellent services to their passengers. The A380’s built-in cabin flexibility has also given Qatar Airways the opportunity to make innovative use of the aircraft’s space, offering the airline’s passengers an exceptional in-flight experience.

All seats are equipped with the latest entertainment systems, and the stylish and comfortable interior for Qatar Airways’ A380 will accommodate a total of 517 people – 461 in Economy, 48 in Business and eight in First Class, featuring the widest first-class seats in the industry. The aircraft has two full-length passenger decks – First and Business Class cabins will both be located on the aircraft’s upper deck, along with a special lounge area for premium passengers.

Qatar Airways is the 12th world class carrier to fly the A380. The airline’s first A380 will make its debut on the popular London Heathrow route, from Hamad International in Doha, followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle.

With 318 orders so far by 19 customers the A380 captures 90 percent of the Very Large Aircraft market. With the delivery today, the global A380 fleet mounts up to 142 aircraft, having accumulated over 1.5 million flight hours on some 180,000 commercial flights. To date over 65 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 41 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Handing over Qatar Airways’ new A380 flagship: Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier (right) and His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive Qatar Airways.

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American Airlines and US Airways Passenger Service Agents vote to join the Teamsters-CWA Association

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways‘ (Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth) passenger service agents have voted to join the CWA-IBT Customer Service Employee Association. This is another step towards the final merger. The union issued this statement:

In a vote announced today by the National Mediation Board (NMB), more than 15,000 passenger service professionals at the newly-merged American-US Airways have voted to join the CWA-IBT Customer Service Employee Association. The joint effort to organize passenger service agents was led by Communication Workers of American (CWA) which will represent about 7,500 new members; 1,300 new members will be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Agents at both airlines voted over the phone and online in a month-long election administered by the NMB. The results were tallied and it was announced today that the workers had voted for the CWA-IBT Association by a 6-to-1 margin.

“We are honored to represent a total of more than 3,000 passenger service agents at the New American Airlines,” said Teamsters Airline Division Director David Bourne. “The Teamsters are committed to providing American Airlines employees and our existing members at US Airways with strong representation as both airlines continue to integrate in this merger.”

Prior to its merger with American Airlines, US Airways’ passenger service agents were represented by CWA in the east with approximately 4,700 members and by the Teamsters in the west with about 1,800 members. The shared representation was the result of US Airways’ merger in 2005 with America West Airlines whose customer service agents were Teamsters. US Airways’ latest merger with American Airlines, whose agents were nonunion, led to an election to determine representation for all agents at the newly-merged carrier.

“With our partners in CWA, the Teamsters are leading the way in protecting airline professionals involved in the biggest airline merger in history,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “Our union is dedicated to fighting on behalf of workers in this volatile industry. Our new members at the combined American-US Airways now have two of the strongest airline unions in their corner.”

American Airlines agents who have won representation for the first time are concerned about outsourcing, job security, fair work rules and having a strong contract. The agents know from experience how vulnerable they are without representation. American’s 2011 bankruptcy led to layoffs, outsourced job titles, and sharp cuts in pay and benefits for those who kept their jobs.

“I can’t tell you how great this victory is for us,” said Debra Ewing, a 15-year US Airways agent in Phoenix, Arizona. “American Airlines customer service agents have tried for over 20 years to gain representation and the merger with US Airways allowed the Teamsters to step in and bring home a win. This means an end to so much outsourcing for American agents who will regain profit-sharing, shift differentials, a three-tiered medical plan, paid vacation and more. That’s what union representation is – and now we all have it.”

Agents at US Airways have enjoyed strong representation for years and are looking forward to having an even stronger voice in the merger process with 9,000 new agents at American strengthening their association.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways Airbus A319-112 N701UW (msn 890) departs from Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) painted in American Airlines 2013 colors.

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Spirit Airlines brings back the Yellowbird with its new bright yellow “Bare Fare” livery

Spirit Less Money More Go logo

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) following Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has introduced a new full-fuselage bright yellow color scheme based on its recently introduced “Bare Fare” advertising campaign. Previously Northeast Airlines (Boston) and Hughes Airwest (Phoenix) used the color yellow to grab attention. The first flight will be tomorrow as flight NK 259 from Atlantic City to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood base. The first aircraft to be painted is Airbus A319-132 N534NK (msn 3395) (see below).

Spirit Bare Fare logo

Spirit Airlines issued this statement:

The skies will now have a plane with a unique paint scheme that will be clearly identifiable even at 35,000 feet. Spirit Airlines unveiled its new design that matches the bright and bold branding the company announced last May.

The bright yellow plane with black trim began service with a flight from Atlantic City (ACY) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

“This new livery perfectly matches Spirit Airlines,” said Ben Baldanza Spirit’s President and CEO. “It’s radically different from other airlines, and it’s fun, just like we are. When you see this plane in the air – or on the ground – there will be no question that this is a Spirit plane.”

The new livery also matches Spirit Airlines low-cost business philosophy. The simple, two-color design is much more cost-effective than more complex, multi-colored designs. Additionally, since Spirit does not spend money on expensive advertising campaigns, the bold and bright design acts as a flying billboard and captures a lot of attention with no additional cost. These savings are passed on to customers with even lower fares.

Airbus A319 N534NK is the first of Spirit’s fleet to get the new design. Six more planes will receive the new livery in the next couple of months. New planes currently on order will come with the new design beginning next year. Spirit planes currently in service will keep their current designs until their regularly scheduled time frame to be repainted.

Update: Airbus A319-232 N534NK arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for the first time in the new look on September 17 (below).

Spirit A319-100 N534NK (14)(Grd) FLL (Spirit)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Spirit Airlines.

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Finnair to add new seasonal service to Athens, Dublin and Malta next summer

Finnair (Helsinki) will add seasonal services from Helsinki to Athens, Dublin and Malta next summer season, with schedules designed for optimal connections with Finnair’s network of Asian destinations. Service to Dublin begins on March 30, Malta on April 2 and Athens on April 5. Service to all three destinations lasts until late October.

Dublin (DUB) will be served six times a week, except Tuesdays, with 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft operated on behalf of Finnair by Flybe Finland.

Flights to Malta International Airport (MLA) near the Maltese capital Valletta are operated two times a week — Mondays and Thursdays — with Airbus A321 Sharklet aircraft. Athens (ATH) is also served twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, with Airbus A319s or A320s.

In other news, Finnair is extending its network throughout the United Kingdom with new codeshare services from Manchester operated by partner airline Flybe. Effective September 15, the Finnair code will be added to Flybe services from Manchester (MAN) to 10 regional airports: Aberdeen (ABZ), Belfast City (BHD), Edinburgh (EDI), Exeter (EXT), Glasgow (GLA), Inverness (INV), Isle of Man (IOM), Jersey (JER), Newquay (NQY) and Southampton (SOU).

Separately, Finnair also cooperates with Flybe affiliate Flybe Finland, a joint venture between Finnair and Flybe established in 2011. Flybe Finland operates a mixture of contract-flights on behalf of Finnair as well as its own flights around Finland and the Nordic region from its base at Helsinki Airport.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-211 OH-LZE (msn 1978) arrives in Rome (Fiumicino).

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Lufthansa resumes normal operations after the pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit calls off its strike

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement:

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has cancelled the strike announcement for today (September 16).

Lufthansa pilots logo

Lufthansa has already returned to the regular flight schedule.

Previously the company published a special flight plan for all 40 long-haul flights from Frankfurt.

The union called off the strike after they received a new offer from company management.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 D-AIME (msn 061) departs from the Frankfurt hub.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Map of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) terminal:

United EWR Hub Map

The Beluga fleet celebrates 20 years of flying

Airbus (Toulouse) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its transport aircraft named the Beluga. The company issued this recognition:

With its maiden flight on September 13, 1994, the popular Beluga cargo aircraft, affectionately named after the white whale because of its remarkable shape, is celebrating this week twenty years of transporting Airbus component parts between Airbus’ European manufacturing sites.

Since 1995, the fleet of five Beluga aircraft (below) replaced the ageing Super Guppy transporters in order to supply the Airbus final assembly lines in Toulouse and Hamburg. Today, more than sixty flights are performed each week between eleven sites, carrying crucial parts for all of the Airbus programs, including the A380*.

The Beluga fleet is operated by Airbus Transport International (ATI), an Airbus subsidiary airline, and each Beluga crew is composed of a pilot, a co-pilot and a flight engineer.

With the production start of the A350 XWB in 2012 and the production ramp-up on other Airbus programmes, the Beluga activities again will substantially increase over the next five years.

In order to accompany this challenge, Airbus launched in 2011 the Fly 10 000 project. Flight crew numbers and flight hours have grown and loading procedures have been further optimized, with the opening of new integrated loading facilities in Hamburg and Bremen in Germany and Saint-Nazaire in France. Broughton, UK and Getafe, Spain will follow soon. Fly 10,000 should allow the Beluga fleet to double its activities by 2017 (from 5,000 to 10,000 flight hours).

“The Beluga is an essential element of Airbus’ integrated logistics and production ‎system. It is thanks to its reliability and engagement of the Beluga teams that we can fulfil our constant pursuit of efficiency”, said Günter Butschek, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.

The Beluga is based on the twin-engine A300-600R, appreciated for its reliability and its cost-effectiveness. It is powered by General Electric CF6-80C2 engines. With its impressive dimensions (56 m long, 17 m high, a fuselage diameter of 7.71 m and a main-deck cargo volume of 1,400m3), the Beluga is the champion of its category (compared with the Antonov AN-124 or even the C-17). The Beluga can carry a maximum payload of 47 metric tonnes non-stop over a range of 1,660 km/900 nm.

*only the Vertical Tailplane and tailcone, all other A380 components being transported through the “multimodal transport system (sea, river, road).

Top Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus Transport International A300B4-608ST Beluga F-GSTB (msn 751) gracefully (for a whale) departs from the Toulouse base.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. The Beluga fleet joins a rare group photo at Toulouse.

Airbus Beluga fleet (Grd) TLS (P. Pigeyre-Airbus)(LRW)

 

Air Seychelles to add two new destinations

Air Seychelles 2011 logo

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

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

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

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

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

Air Seychelles: AG Slide Show

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

Air Seychelles 9.2014 Route Map

Qatar Airways and Airbus resolve their dispute concerning the delivery of the first A380

Qatar Airways (Doha) and Airbus (Toulouse) have resolved a three-month dispute that was blocking the delivery of the first Airbus A380 according to this report by Reuters. As we had reported, Qatar had previously declined to take delivery of the pictured Airbus A380-861 A7-APA due to concerns about the quality of the cabin interior. Qatar has 10 A380s on order.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Qatar Airways logo

Qatar Airways has been delaying the inaugural flight from Doha to London (Heathrow). According to Airline Route the latest inaugural date is October 10 for this route. Doha-Paris (CDG) remains on target for October 16 so the airline is bound to take two aircraft at first on delivery.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) awaits the official handover date.

Qatar A380-800 First Class Cabin (Qatar)(LR)

Above Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways. The First Class section of the Airbus A380.

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Video: Qatar Airways unveiled its Airbus A380 product in March 2014:

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