Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) (Baku) has announced it is coming to Berlin. The airline will start twice-weekly Airbus A319 flights from Baku to Berlin (Tegel) on May 2.
The airline issued this statement:
The national carrier of Azerbaijan – AZAL – Azerbaijan Airlines announces the start of scheduled flights from Baku to Berlin commencing on May 2, 2015 and the opening of the ticket sales for this route from January 21. Flights to Tegel Airport (TXL) of the capital city of Germany will run twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays with departure from Baku at 07.25 and arriving to Berlin at 09.25 local time. The return flights from Berlin will be operated at 10.45 and coming to the capital of Azerbaijan at 18.40 at the same days of the week.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Azerbaijan Airlines Airbus A319-111 4K-AZ04 (msn 2588) is pictured in action at Moscow (Domodedovo).
Azerbaijan Airlines aircraft slide show:
Ural Airlines (Yekaterinburg) ended Moscow (Domodedovo) – Cologne/Bonn flights on January 23. The route was operated with Airbus A320s on three days a week.
Ural Airlines currently operates, under operating leases, 34 Airbus aircraft (19 A320s, 10 A321s, and 5 A319s) on their Russian and international routes. The airline’s strategic plans include operating long-haul wide-body aircraft of the Airbus A330-type by 2016.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Ural Airlines Airbus A320-214 VQ-BAG (msn 1063) arrives back at Moscow (Domodedovo).
Ural Airlines aircraft slide show:
Iberia (Madrid) is resuming summer seasonal service to Havana, Cuba with five weekly flights starting on June 1. The flag carrier will also operate three weekly flights on a Madrid – Medellin – Cali – Madrid routing commencing on July 3 per Airline Route. Both routes will operate with Airbus A330-300 equipment.
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Iberia Airbus A330-302 EC-LZJ (msn 1490) completes its final approach to the runway at the Madrid Barajas International Airport hub.
Iberia aircraft slide show:
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has announced it will launch a new improved business class experience for its long-haul flights staring on January 28. The airline issued this statement:
On January 28, SAS is launching an improved service concept in SAS Business on all its long haul flights. Customers will enjoy a restaurant experience in the air with an even greater number of choices, even more personal service and high quality in every respect.
SAS is currently in the process of updating its long haul fleet. This includes the renovation of seven existing aircraft and the introduction of new aircraft from fall 2015. The food and drink experience onboard in SAS Business is also being improved and customers will notice changes from January 28.
Additional choice and more personal service will be the most noticeable changes for customers in SAS Business. For example, they will have an extra starter and main course to choose from. To increase the restaurant feel and provide an even more personal service, proper tablecloths and porcelain will be used and food will be served from a service trolley to minimize the use of trays.
The improved service concept will be available on all SAS long haul flights from January 28. SAS’s long haul destinations from Scandinavia are New York (JFK), Washington (Dulles), Chicago (O’Hare), San Francisco, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo (Narita). In September 2015, SAS will open a new route from Stockholm to Hong Kong.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A330-343 SE-REF (msn 568) in the Star Alliance scheme arrives at Dulles International Airport near Washington.
SAS aircraft slide show:
Qatar Airways (Doha) has scheduled a number of Airbus A350-900 flights on the short Doha – Dubai route according to Airline Route during the month of March giving travelers a chance to sample the new type on a much shorter route. The A350-900 is currently in service between Doha and Frankfurt, the first route for the new type.
In other news, Qatar Airways Cargo is launching freighter service to EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area. The new route will operate weekly with Airbus A330-200F freighters on the Doha-Brussels-EuroAirport (Basel)-Doha route.
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Captured in beautiful light, newly-delivered Airbus A350-941 A7-ALA (msn 006) is seen at its first destination, Frankfurt. A7-ALA was handed over to the carrier on December 22 and entered service on the route on January 15.
Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:
Video: Thomas Cook Airlines. Cabin refurbishment of Thomas Cook Airlines‘ Airbus A330, carried out at Monarch Aircraft Engineering’s hangar facility at Manchester Airport.
Video: Sam Chui. First Class Apartment experience on board Etihad Airways from London to Abu Dhabi on its brand new Airbus A380.
Video: Sam Chui. The first airline outside of Norway to land during the Polar Night at Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen (Svalbard) in complete darkness at 2 pm in the afternoon. Event was organized by Airevents to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spitsbergen.
Aer Lingus (Dublin) is now expected to recommend a takeover by the International Airlines Group-IAG (London) (British Airways, Iberia and Vueling Airlines) according to a report today by The Irish Times. This change of heart comes after the IAG raised its bid for the flag carrier to a €2.50 ($2.80) a share cash bid. The offer could face opposition from the Irish government. If accepted and approved, Aer Lingus would join the Oneworld alliance.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus controls valuable slots at London’s Heathrow Airport. Airbus A320-214 EI-DEF (msn 2256) completes its final approach to Heathrow.
Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:
Wow Air (Keflavik) has moved forward its start of service from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Keflavik (KEF) (near Reykjavik) from June 4 to May 8. Initially the new route will operate four days a week with Airbus A320s. On June 11 this will expand to five days a week. The carrier will also operate to Boston starting on March 27.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Wow Air (operated by Air VIA) Airbus A320-232 LZ-MDD (msn 4305) approaches the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport.
Wow Air aircraft slide show:
Route Map for the 2015 summer season:
Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will offer new weekly service from its Munich hub to Fuerteventura starting on Saturday October 25, before the start of the autumn holidays in Bavaria, while flights to Tenerife will be offered from Sunday October 31.
Both destinations will be served by an Airbus A321 with 200 seats in a two-class configuration.
Lufthansa is also resuming flights to Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria, next winter.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-131 D-AIRY (msn 901) with “Die Maus” (The Mouse) markings at Zurich.
Lufthansa aircraft slide show:
Vueling Airlines (Barcelona) will add Rabat (Morocco), Yerba (Tunisia) and Accra (Ghana) from Barcelona starting on June 20.
The airline will also launch a summer service to Istanbul. From June through October the airline will fly three times a week from Barcelona.
After launching flights to Marrakech in 2009, the airline gradually added new African services and now has 16 routes reaching 11 destinations on the continent: Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, Nador, and Fez in Morocco; Tunis and Yerba in Tunisia; Algiers and Oran in Algeria; Dakar in Senegal; Banjul in Gambia; and Accra in Ghana. At 3,960 km, the Barcelona-Ghana route will be the longest operated by the airline.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 EC-LZE (msn 5885) taxies at Palma de Mallorca.
Vueling aircraft slide show:
Air France (Paris) will cut another 800 positions due to a “weaker revenue trend”. The airline issued this statement:
In 2015, Air France will benefit from the impact of the measures taken within the framework of Transform 2015 and from the fall in the fuel price. However, as announced in December 2014, the Group will also have to contend with the weaker unit revenue trend that has developed since the summer of 2014, which requires the implementation of additional measures.
Within this framework, the Air France management presented a number of actions to the Corporate Works Council: downwards revision in fleet and capacity growth, new initiatives to drive revenues, the reinforcement of ‘purchasing’ initiatives, maintained wage moderation and productivity efforts and further adaptation of headcount to requirements.
In particular, during a meeting of the Corporate Works Council to be held during the first fortnight in February, the Air France management will provide details on proposed new Voluntary Departure Plans. These Voluntary Departure Plans will relate to ground staff and cabin crew and aim at the departure of approximately 800 people. These measures relate to both the full execution of Transform 2015 and an immediate adaptation to the Group’s competitive environment.
In parallel, the Group is pursuing its efforts within the framework of the new Perform 2020 strategic plan. A progress report on this topic will be given during the Full Year 2014 results presentation on February 19. All the items shared during this meeting of the Air France Corporate Works Council refer exclusively to Air France and its subsidiary, and not Air France-KLM, whose targets remain unchanged.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 F-GKXJ (msn 1900) climbs away from Heathrow Airport near London.
Air France aircraft slide show:
Aruba Airlines (Aruba) wants to expand its route network to Florida and other U.S. markets. The island carrier has filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation to operate charter and scheduled flights to the USA according to Flightglobal.
The carrier commenced scheduled passenger operations with two Airbus A320s on May 13, 2013 on the Aruba – Maracaibo route. The Aruba – Panama City route was added on June 28, 2013. Valencia has also been added.
Copyright Photo: Michel Saint-Felix/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Aruba Airlines). This colorful livery was introduced in October 2012 on the pictured Airbus A320-232 P4-AAA (msn 582) (above).
Virgin America extends its partnership with the San Francisco Giants, adds a new logo to Airbus A320 N849VA
Virgin America (San Francisco) and the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball yesterday (January 21) announced a multi-year partnership extension, which maintains the Bay Area-based airline’s position as the “Official Airline of the San Francisco Giants” through the end of 2018. This announcement came during an “orange carpet” send-off for the 2014 World Championship Trophy as it heads to New York City for the East Coast leg of a three-month World Championship Trophy Tour presented by Bank of America.
The trophy will fly in style (above), riding in Virgin America’s exclusive eight-seat First Class cabin from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) onboard the Virgin America Airbus A320 aircraft “Fly Bye Baby,” (below) named in honor of the hometown team. Onboard the flight, Giants President and CEO Larry Baer will invite fellow Virgin America guests to grab photos with the trophy and will host a live Twitter chat at 35,000 feet using the airline’s inflight WiFi. Guests and fans alike are encouraged to follow along and submit questions using the hashtags #sfgtrophy and #flytogether.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Virgin America). Airbus A320-214 N849VA (msn 4991) has received this updated “World Champions 2014″ logo for 2015.
The extended partnership includes unique co-branding elements at AT&T Park, including the “Virgin America Loft,” a premium customized suite located in right field above McCovey Cove, and the “Virgin America Club Level” that features the airline’s signature cabin mood-lighting. In 2012, the airline first unveiled its Giants themed “Fly Bye Baby” aircraft that was updated in 2014 with a crowdsourced #FlyTogether design populated with the photos of hundreds of Giants fan who submitted photos on Instagram and Twitter. Today at SFO, Virgin America unveiled the aircraft’s newest design – the 2014 World Championship mark – in celebration of the San Francisco Giant’s latest World Series Victory.
Once in the Big Apple, the trophy will be available to Giants fans that have followed the team for generations – a history that dates back to when the team was based in New York before moving to San Francisco in 1958. A public viewing of the trophy will be held on Saturday, January 24 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Finnerty’s Bar in Manhattan.
In addition to a Main Cabin that offers custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch, the airline’s First Class cabin offers plush white leather seating with 55 inches of pitch, 165 degrees of recline and lumbar massagers. The carrier’s Main Cabin Select service offers 38-inches of pitch, free food and cocktails, an all-access pass to media content, dedicated overhead bins and priority check-in/boarding. The Red® in-flight entertainment platform offers guests their own seatback touch-screen TV, with more than 20 films, live TV, Google Maps, videogames, a 3,000 song library and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during a flight. Virgin America’s airport lounge – The Loft – is located at LAX and its Elevate frequent flyer program offers no black-outs or restrictions on rewards seats with three levels of status including Elevate Gold and Elevate Silver.
Virgin America aircraft slide show:
Eurowings signs a new wage agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union, Lufthansa remains unresolved
The Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement about a new pilot agreement with its expanded Eurowings (Dusseldorf) subsidiary which has just taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 (D-AIZQ, msn 5497) from Lufthansa.
New wage agreements apply for the approximately 300 pilots at Eurowings GmbH as of January 1, 2015. At the beginning of the year, the airline reached agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union on new settlements that are to run for five years. They govern such matters as developments in working conditions and “grandfathering clauses” for the duration of the agreements. The collective bargaining partners agreed on a wage increase of 2.5 per cent for the year 2015 and at least two per cent for subsequent years, depending on the rate of inflation. Signing the wage agreements means that the forthcoming renewal of the Eurowings fleet with Airbus A320 aircraft, and thereby the safeguarding of Eurowings and its future prospects, is being aided and supported in terms of collective bargaining, too.
Sustainable settlements with various pilotsʼ unions have already been reached for other flight operations in the Lufthansa Group.
Shortly before Christmas, the management of Swiss International Air Lines and the board of the Aeropers pilotsʼ association agreed on the basis for a new overall wage agreement. In particular, agreements on productivity improvements and an increase in the retirement age to 60 have been reached. The compromise that was reached also includes greater protection against dismissals, as well as foundations for a new career model and for an involvement of both pilot corps in the introduction of the new Bombardier CSeries and Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The details of the contract will be hammered out over the coming weeks. Should it be adopted, the agreement shall be valid from April 1, 2015 and will replace the existing overall wage agreement. A renegotiated overall wage agreement was signed with the IPG pilots’ association back at the end of May 2014.
At Austrian Airlines, an important agreement with the airborne staff was also reached back in October 2014. The new collective Group agreement applies to roughly 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants. Since December 1, 2014, it has governed the future salaries and pensions, working hours and career development for cockpit and cabin crew. A key element of the new agreement is the option for pilots and flight attendants to move to Austrian Airlines from the wholly owned Tyrolean Airways subsidiary. With this agreement, the airborne staff have made an important contribution to safeguarding the future of Austrian Airlines.
Lufthansa CityLine also reached an agreement with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the end of 2014. The agreement lays the foundation for the deployment of the Airbus A340-300 aircraft on long haul services at the regional carrier of the Lufthansa airline group.
These recent wage settlements mean that the Lufthansa Group and almost all its pilots now have agreements that reflect changes in the industry and that introduce sustainable wage conditions.
Still outstanding, however, are wage agreements at Lufthansa German Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings. In December 2014, Lufthansa offered further talks on unresolved topics, along with a concrete plan for arbitration. The Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union turned down this offer. Lufthansa is always prepared to cooperate on a viable solution for all sides.
SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines-SAS) (Stockholm) at its annual meeting discussed its financial results for its fiscal year 2013-2014 and also issued its annual report. The group fell back into a net loss of 719 million SEK ($88.4 million) for the year.
The group is coming under continued pressure from lower cost carriers in its markets (especially from Norwegian Air Shuttle) and also from the major European carriers, such as British Airways-Iberia, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, shifting its European operations to its lower cost subsidiaries such as Vueling Airlines, Germanwings, Transavia Airlines and Hop!
SAS Group’s share of the Scandinavian market:
The group summarized its fiscal year:
“The results for the 2013/2014 fiscal year reflect a year characterized by substantial overcapacity and pressure on yield and unit revenue, and in which market conditions stabilized slightly toward the end of the year.”
The group also issued this outlook for 2015:
“SAS is continuing the intensive efforts to strengthen competitiveness. The potential exists for SAS to post a positive EBT before tax and nonrecurring items in the 2014/2015 fiscal year. This is provided that the economy does not weaken, that the trend continues in terms of reduced capacity and lower jet fuel prices, is maintained, that exchange rates are not subject to further deterioration and that no unexpected events occur.”
In the 2013/2014 fiscal year, SAS phased in one long-haul aircraft and five medium-haul aircraft with modern cabins, in parallel with phasing out the last two Boeing 737 Classics. SAS also returned 11 MD-80s and seven Boeing 737 Classics that were taken out of service in the 2013 calendar year. With the phasing out of the MD-80 fleet and Boeing 737 Classics, SAS achieved an in-service aircraft fleet comprising only Next Generation aircraft in 2013/2014. SAS now has only one type of medium-haul aircraft per base, which provides a more stable and more efficient operational and technical plat- form. In addition, SAS plans to further streamline regional aircraft operations by phasing out Boeing 717s in 2015. SAS intends to transfer the CRJ900s to Cimber.
In addition, SAS has placed orders for four Airbus A330Es and eight Airbus A350s with delivery from 2015 to 2021, as well as 30 Airbus A320neo with delivery from 2016 to 2019. The first long-haul aircraft are expected to be in-service in autumn 2015. The introduction of long and medium-haul aircraft means SAS will be able to offer fre- quent travelers a world-class customer experience in parallel with lowering fuel and maintenance costs.
SAS Group’s strategy:
Read the full yearly financial report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. The SAS Group still operates both the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 Next-Generation family of aircraft in a very mixed short haul fleet. With the new A320neo aircraft being added the Boeing 737 fleet will be gradually reduced. Airbus A320-232 OY-KAP (msn 3086) arrives in London (Heathrow).
SAS aircraft slide show:
Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) will introduce the Milan (Linate) – Copenhagen route on March 30. The new route will initially operate three days a week with Airbus A320 aircraft according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Bernardo Andrade/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 EI-IKU (msn 1217) climbs away from the runway at Barcelona.
Alitalia aircraft slide show:
Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) is continuing to optimize its route network with the expansion of its services to the important focus market of Italy at the beginning of the summer schedule. Starting March 29, 2015, Airberlin will operate a new daily service from Stuttgart to Rome as well as three flights a day from Stuttgart to Milan (Linate) starting in May 2015. In addition, starting in May Airberlin will expand its service on the Stuttgart to Venice route to include three new daily flights.
The number of flights from Dusseldorf to Rome is also being increased: starting March 29, Airberlin will offer six new flights from Monday to Friday as well as two flights on Sundays. Several improvements to the departure times of existing services complete the optimization of the flight program from Germany to Italy. With up to ten additional flights per week compared to last year, Airberlin will operate a total of 260 flights a week from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to Italy during summer 2015.
The new flights will be integrated in the codeshare agreement with Alitalia (3rd) (Rome) and will carry Alitalia flight numbers. All of Airberlin’s and Alitalia’s direct flights between Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have been operated as codeshare flights since the start of the 2014/2015 winter schedule.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-ABFC (msn 4161) lands at EuroAirport serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg area.
Airberlin aircraft slide show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced it is kicking off extra flights between Boston and Phoenix for the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
JetBlue has added additional flights between Phoenix (PHX) and Boston (BOS), increasing capacity to its already sold out schedule. In addition to its normal schedule of daily BOS-PHX service, seats are now available on the below new flights:
Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N652JB (msn 3029) in the Dots livery taxies at JFK International Airport.
JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:
QANTAS Airways introduces its upgraded international Airbus A330 cabin, also introduces the Orton amenity kit
QANTAS Airways’ (Sydney) first upgraded international Airbus A330 cabin was introduced on January 16 on the Melbourne-Singapore route.
Passengers on flight QF 35 from Melbourne to Singapore were the first QANTAS customers to fly on the reconfigured international aircraft (see video below). It follows the introduction of the first domestic Airbus A330 last month, now operating on east-west services and key domestic routes.
The new A330 experience offers lie-flat Business Suites, designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, with a unique feature that allows customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing. A next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat has been introduced in Economy, and customers in all cabins will enjoy the latest inflight entertainment technology.
More than half of QANTAS’ 28 A330 aircraft are expected to be refurbished by the end of December 2015, with the project to be completed by the end of 2016.
Customers in Economy will enjoy QANTAS’ new inflight dining experience, launched on Singapore flights earlier this week, offering more choice, larger meals and improved service.
In other news, QANTAS has welcomed Oroton onboard as the latest designer brand to create the airline’s coveted Business amenity kit (above).
The limited edition Business Sleep Collection amenity kit features a signature Oroton styled bag paired with exclusive ASPAR products by Aurora Spa.
The unisex amenity kit has been designed to hold QANTAS’ signature Business pyjamas, eye mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and earplugs comfortably inside.
QANTAS International Head of Customer Experience & Creative Development Kylie Morris said the limited edition Oroton amenity kit was timed to celebrate the inaugural flight of the upgraded international A330 from Singapore to Melbourne.
The QANTAS Business Sleep Collection will be offered to customers travelling in the Business cabin from today on select Qantas international flights from Asia operated by the refurbished A330 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by QANTAS). Airbus A330-201 VH-EBA (msn 508) in the old CityFlyer markings arrives at the Sydney hub.
QANTAS aircraft slide show:
Video: QANTAS. A sneak peek of QF’s domestic A330 aircraft which gets reconfigured with its lie-flat Business Suites, designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, and next generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat in Economy.
Frontier Airlines to outsource 1,160 airport jobs at Denver International Airport, cuts back routes at Trenton
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver), under its new ownership group, is slashing 1,160 Denver jobs according to the Denver Post. The company informed its Denver employees yesterday it is outsourcing all ramp, baggage, gate and ticket counter positions at Denver International Airport according to the report. Contractor Swissport will take over the positions in March. Denver was the last Frontier station that serviced its flights with its own in-house employees.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, Frontier Airlines discontinued service from Trenton (Mercer County) to Nashville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Cleveland on January 6 due to low demand.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N213FR (msn 4704) completes its final approach to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) aircraft slide show:
The everlasting rivalry between Ireland’s two major carriers, Aer Lingus (Dublin) and Ryanair (Dublin), erupted into action again this week with the two airlines exchanging blows over Twitter. Well, we say “blows”, more like witty banter.
It all kicked off when flag carrier Aer Lingus pointed out that a photo of one of it’s own aircraft had been used in an advertisement of the low-cost carrier, Ryanair (above).
In response to this, a follower of the airline asked the question on everyone’s mind: do the two airlines actually hate each other?
Aer Lingus responded by tweeting “Just some healthy rivalry. Isn’t that right, @Ryanair”
However, Ryanair saw this as a challenge and swiftly responded (above) with a harsh uppercut to their rivals. Tweeting “We stopped being rivals in the 90s @AerLingus. We’d have to treble our fares & lose 81m customers to be your rival #EuropesNo1”
Aer Lingus ended the exchange with a simple “@Ryanair Okay, nevermind. #PeaceOut”
The two airlines occasionally exchange banter over the social network but this is one fray that couldn’t go unnoticed.
What’s next in this epic battle? Facebook statuses? Or all out text war? Watch this space.
Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Copyright Photo Below: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Now known by us as the “Aer Lingus-Ryanair “Photobomb” Airbus A320″, the real Aer Lingus A320-214 EI-DVM (msn 4634) in the 1963 retro jet scheme arrives at “Ryanair safe” Heathrow Airport.
Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:
BH Air (Sofia) plans to start trans-Atlantic routes to both New York and Chicago from Sofia starting in May according to novinite.com quoting Sofia Airport CEO Hristo Shterionov. The airline intends to operate four flights a week.
On June 4, 2014 the company leased its first Airbus A330-200 (A330-223 LZ-AWA, msn 255) (above and below) from AerCap.
Top Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 LZ-AWA (msn 255) arrives at Palma de Mallorca.
BH Air aircraft slide show:
Below Copyright Photos: BH Air.
Qatar Airways (Doha) today (January 15), as planned, inaugurated and operated the first revenue flight of the new Airbus A350-900. Flight QR 067 departed from Doha’s new Hamad International Airport this morning at 0810 local time bound for Frankfurt. The flight arrived at FRA at 1206 CET local time.
More to come on the arrival in Frankfurt.
In other news, Qatar Airways has announced the launch of new direct flights from Doha to Sofia from March, a destination currently served by the airline via Bucharest.
Frequencies are also increasing from Doha to Ankara, which will be served by a six weekly flight connection instead of five from March 1, while capacity will increase to Zagreb with an additional direct flight per week, increasing the frequency from four to five direct flights weekly.
Photo: Qatar Airways. The inaugural pushback from Doha today.
Video: Sam Chui was on the inaugural flight:
Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:
Aegean Airlines (Athens), in the wake of the demise of Cyprus Airways (Larnaca), has announced it is filling the void with a major Cyprus expansion. The airline issued this statement:
Aegean Airlines presented its plan for the dynamic growth of its presence in Cyprus and a more effective support of passengers’ needs.
After its 10 years operation in Cyprus and four years after creating its aircraft base in Larnaca, Aegean is taking a new step forward. As of March 30, 2015 – the beginning of the summer schedule – Aegean will base four Airbus A320 aircraft in Cyprus, while the number of destinations connected directly with Cyprus will increase to 14. The total yearly capacity will exceed 1.5 million seats. The company aims to support this venture with additional human resources from Cyprus at the earliest opportunity.
More specifically, with the company’s summer schedule as of April 2015, the connection between Greece and Cyprus is boosted with more frequent flights to Athens and Thessaloniki, and the introduction of a direct flight between Athens and Paphos. The new summer schedule also includes direct connections with Heraklion and Rhodes, while direct connections with Myconos and Santorini will be added in July and August. Eight to nine direct flights with destinations in Greece will depart daily.
The company’s planning focuses on the direct connection of Cyprus with Western Europe and therefore five important destinations are added: London – Heathrow, Paris, Munich, Rome and Milan.
Additionally, when the traffic rights procedures are completed, Aegean will offer flights to Israel, Kiev and Beirut.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 SX-DVL (msn 3423) approaches the runway at Stockholm (Arlanda).
Aegean Airlines aircraft slide show:
HolidayJet (Zurich) is the name of the new joint venture of Germania (Berlin) and tour operator Hotelplan. In August 2014 Germania established a Swiss affiliate airline based in Zurich. In September 2014, Germania and Hotelplan joined forces to start operations with two 150-seat Airbus A319s starting in March 2015. The new airline applied for its own Swiss Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in September 2014.
Operations are scheduled to start on March 26.
According to the published schedules on their website, Germania will operate the Airbus A319s for HolidayJet from Zurich to Antalya (staring on March 26), Corfu (June 2), Crete (May 3), Dalaman (May 22), Djerba (March 30), Hurghada (March 26), Kos (May 9), Mykonos (May 22), Rhodes (May 3), Santorini (May 22), Sharm el-Sheikh (March 30), Zakinthos (June 2), Zypern (March 28).
Images: HolidayJet. The image of the A319. At least one A319 will be painted in HolidayJet colors. Below: Flight attendants of Germania.
Emirates (Dubai) marked a record launch of 10 new Airbus A380 routes in 2014 and has released a ‘mash-up’ video that shows the iconic aircraft landing in 10 destinations spanning the globe.
Emirates aircraft slide show:
Qatar Airways (Doha) will introduce the first Airbus A350-900 (A350 XWB) tomorrow (January 15) on the Doha – Frankfurt route. On March 1 the carrier will add a second daily A350 flight on the route.
Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced it will be the only airline to offer nonstop service between Nevada’s Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and the U.S. East Coast as it launches service from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on May 28, 2015. Reno-Tahoe will be the airline’s 89th destination and is among a number of new JetBlue routes in the West.
JetBlue has continuously expanded its presence in the West, with new services recently launched between Salt Lake City (SLC) and Orlando, Florida (MCO) on November 12, 2014; San Francisco (SFO) to Las Vegas (LAS) on January 5, 2015; and the upcoming Portland, Oregon (PDX) to Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) on June 18, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N640JB (msn 2832) taxies to the gate at San Francisco International Airport.
JetBlue Airways aircraft slide show:
Air China (Beijing) will commence nonstop service from Chengdu to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015.
Air China will operate its Chengdu-Colombo service CA425/6 with Airbus A330 aircraft. The four flights a week will be offered on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. The outbound flight departs from Chengdu at 18:30 Beijing time and arrives in Colombo at 21:50 local time. The inbound flight departs from Colombo at 23:10 local time and arrives in Chengdu at 06:40 of the second day. The new nonstop route will be Air China’s fourth one to Southeast Asia after the launch of the routes to Kathmandu, Mumbai and Bangalore by the carrier. It will spare passengers who travel between southwest China and Sri Lanka the trouble of having to make flight connections in cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore, thusly cutting the travel time from 10 hours to 5.5 hours.
China is Sri Lanka’s third largest trading partner, and more and more Chinese tourists visit Sri Lanka. Statistics of 2013 suggest that China has become the country’s largest source of tourists in East Asia.
Chengdu – Colombo route is the first of the kind linking the two cities and represents one of the important moves of Air China to make Chengdu its regional hub of operations. It will solidify the position of Chengdu as a center of traffic in South Asia, and is part of Air China’s endeavor to make Chengdu an international hub of commercial aviation.
Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 B-6073 (msn 780) departs from Madrid (Barajas).
Air China aircraft slide show:
Finnair becomes the first European airline to achieve IATA Environmental Assessment Program certification
Finnair (Helsinki) has issued this statement:
Finnair is the first airline in Europe and one of only two global carriers (South African Airways) to be certified as a Stage 2 operator in IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) program, an environmental management system designed to independently assess and improve an airline’s environmental management.
Finnair has set ambitious environmental performance targets for its operations:
40% reduction of anti-icing fluid usage in 2014–2016.
20% reduction of CO2 emissions in 2009–2017.
10% reduction of energy usage in corporate facilities in 2007–2016.
10% decrease of the non-EU waste/passenger in 2014–2016.
40% noise reduction in 2014–2017.
IEnvA Stage 1 —which Finnair reached in June 2013 along with a small pilot group of other airlines—ensures an airline has developed the foundation and framework for its environmental management system. Stage 1 also certifies an airline has identified and complied with its environmental legal requirements.
IEnvA Stage 2 – This ensures that an airline has implemented all of the IEnvA Program Standards, identified and mitigated its significant environmental impacts and has set performance targets. Stage 2 also certifies that an airline has developed processes for monitoring and reviewing its performance against its targets and objectives, thus driving environmental efficiency.
The environmental standards that underpin IEnvA are based on recognised environmental management system (EMS) principles (such as ISO 14001) and have been developed by a joint team of environmental consultants and airline experts, including some Finnair personnel. Airline assessments—including Finnair’s—are undertaken by independent accredited Environmental Assessment Organisations that have demonstrated competencies in aviation and environmental auditing.
The scope of IEnvA is limited to flight operations and corporate activities, but modules covering ground and MRO operations are currently under development.
IEnvA has been developed in conjunction with airlines so that it addresses industry needs and specific concerns. IEnvA assesses environmental performance against sustainability standards across a broad range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) the management of air quality and emissions, noise, fuel consumption and operational efficiency, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, and biofuel utilization. As a result, IEnvA helps airlines to simplify regulatory compliance, demonstrate good governance and achieve financial savings from the better use of resources. IEnvA implementation followed a phased approach due to the complexity and global presence of airlines as well as the number of role players and touch points. There are two implementation phases:
Stage 1 which ensures an airline has developed the foundation and framework for its environmental management system. Stage 1 also certifies an airline has identified and complied with its environmental legal requirements.
IEnvA Stage 2 assessment, the highest level of IEnvA achievement, ensures that an airline has implemented all of the IEnvA Program Standards, identified and mitigated its significant environmental impacts and has set performance targets. Stage 2 also certifies that an airline has developed processes for monitoring and reviewing its performance against its targets and objectives, thus driving environmental efficiency.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Finnair Airbus A321-231 WL OH-LZL (msn 6083) with the “Official Airline of Santa Claus – Santa Claus Finland” markings arrives in London (Heathrow).
Finnair aircraft slide show:
Airbus (Toulouse) has officially launched the A321neo with 97 ton Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) having secured the first commitment from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). The Los Angeles based lessor signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 30 more A321neo, upsizing its commitments at the 2014 Farnborough Airshow from 60 to 90 and becoming the launch customer for Airbus’ increased range option.
According to Airbus, “The A321neo 97 ton version will have, with 4,000 nm, the longest range of any single aisle airliner available today and tomorrow, making it ideally suited to trans-Atlantic routes and will allow airlines to tap into new long haul markets which were not previously accessible with current single aisle aircraft.”
Under the assumption that ALC’s MOUs for 30 A321neo aircraft plus 25 A330neo Family become firm orders, ALC’s total orders for Airbus aircraft would stand at 258 (53 A320ceo Family, 140 A320neo Family, 15 A330 Family, 25 A350 XWB Family and 25 A330neo Family).
According to Airbus, “The A321 97 ton variant is building on the continued innovations brought to the A320 Family with Airbus Cabin-Flex (ACF), which offers passengers the highest standards of comfort while providing great flexibility and profit optimization to airlines. Thanks to an additional fuel tank in the forward underfloor hold of the aircraft, as well as minor improvements on the wing and fuselage, the A321neo 97t will be able to fly 206 passengers on longer routes of up to 4,000 nm in a comfortable two-class layout. First deliveries will have started by 2019.
The newest member of the best-selling A320 Family, the A320neo, incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets which together will deliver 20 percent in fuel savings by 2020. At the end of December 2014, firm orders for the NEO reached over 3,600 aircraft from 70 customers.”
Mixed scorecard for Airbus and Boeing in 2014: Deliveries: Airbus 629, Boeing 723, Orders: Airbus 1,456, Boeing 1,432
Airbus (Toulouse) has now released its sales results for 2014. Previously Boeing released its results for 2014. We can now compare the results for the two large manufacturers:
Airbus set a new record of 629 aircraft deliveries in 2014 for 89 customers of which eight are new, comprising 490 A320 Family aircraft, 108 A330s, 30 A380s and also our first A350 XWB. This production achievement means that Airbus’ aircraft deliveries in 2014 were up for the 13th year in a row, surpassing the previous record set in 2013.
Airbus also achieved 1,456 net orders from 67 customers (of which 14 are new) – our second best year ever, comprising 1,321 single aisle aircraft and 135 widebodies. As a result, by year end, the backlog had climbed to a new industry record of 6,386 aircraft valued at $919.3 billion at list prices.
Meanwhile Boeing, as previously reported, set a global industry record for the most commercial airplanes delivered in a single year at 723 in 2014, maintaining its position as the world’s largest airplane manufacturer for the third consecutive year.
In 2014, Boeing booked 1,432 net orders. The company also grew its backlog of unfilled commercial orders to a historic high of 5,789 airplanes.
In summary, both manufacturers can find some good news in these numbers. Clearly the recent decision by Delta to select the Airbus A330neo and the A350 over Boeing was the main deciding factor for who had the most orders in 2014.
For 2015, the battle lines are drawn.
The first 242 ton Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) version of the Airbus A330-300 flies today for the first time, will go to Delta Air Lines
Airbus (Toulouse) on January 12 issued this statement:
The newest evolution in Airbus’ market-leading widebody jetliner product line – the A330 with an increased 242-ton maximum takeoff weight capability – is another step closer to entering service later this year after its successful maiden flight.
Taking off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport today (January 12), the A330-300 variant carried out an airborne evaluation that concluded with its return to the southwestern France location – which is home to Airbus headquarters and the A330 final assembly line.
During the flight, a five-person crew – comprised of Captain Thierry Bourges and First Officer Jean-Louis Rabilloud, along with flight test engineers Joan Andre and Gert Wunderlich and test flight engineer Alain Pourchet– checked the jetliner’s flight control system and validated its flight envelope. This activity kicked off the increased takeoff weight A330-300’s flight test campaign, which is to involve some 15 total hours aloft to confirm its new aerodynamic package and performance.
The increased maximum takeoff weight A330 results from Airbus’ focus on incremental innovation, and will further increase the cost-effectiveness and versatility for its popular twin-engine A330 product line. Operators will benefit from these jetliners’ additional range and fuel-burn reduction, resulting from a combination of improved engine performance and the aircraft’s enhanced aerodynamics.
The 242-ton A330-300 maximum takeoff weight variant launch customer is U.S.-based Delta Air Lines, which is scheduled to take delivery of its first aircraft in the second quarter of this year. The shorter-fuselage A330-200 in the 242-ton configuration is planned to enter commercial service in early 2016.
In addition to Delta Air Lines, eleven customers worldwide have already selected this option since the launch in November 2012.
Airbus’ latest A330 variant is the basis for the A330neo (new engine option) version – which will incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 powerplants and aerodynamic improvements to provide unmatched operating economics, along with the latest in cabin technology.
Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Registered F-WWYY (msn 1628), the first flight is captured today at Toulouse.
China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC), the leading independent aircraft operating lessor in China, firmed up its contract in December 2014 with Airbus for 100 A320 Family aircraft. The order comprises 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo. Including this new order, CALC’s total backlog with Airbus stands at 140 A320 Family aircraft.
The A320neo “new engine option” incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 per cent by 2020 which is equivalent to a reduction of 5,000 tons of CO2 per aircraft per year.
China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC) was founded in 2006. The company has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin in China and Ireland, and also liaison and coordination staff in Toulouse, France. In addition, CALC has a wholly-own leasing subsidiary, namely China Asset Leasing company Limited, in Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone（DFTP） in Tianjin, China. Moreover, CALC sets up another wholly-owned leasing company at Shanghai FTA- Yongshun Financial Leasing Limited.
The flight data recorder of crashed AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) flight QZ 8501 operated with the pictured Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) has been located under the wing. The device was retrieved and is good condition and has been sent to Jakarta for analysis according to the The Straits Times quoting BASARNAS, the lead search and rescue agency of Indonesia. The cockpit voice recorder has also been located in the wreckage underwater in the Java Sea but has not yet been recovered.
AirAsia issued this statement yesterday:
AirAsia Indonesia wishes to inform the latest development on the SAR operation of flight QZ 8501 lead by The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia.
Good weather and clear visibility have allowed for SAR operations to continue with the focus remaining on the search and recovery of the passengers in the primary search area.
SAR vessels and sea divers also approached the area where the pings were detected, suspected to be the location of the aircraft’s black box. No additional remain recoveries were reported today.
In Surabaya, the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) today announced that they were able to identify three more remains, 1 Indonesian known as Vera Chandra Kho (female) and 2 South Koreans, identified as Kyung Hwa Lee (female) and Seongbeom Park (male).
To date, BASARNAS has confirmed to have recovered a total of 48 remains of which 32 remains have been identified by DVI POLRI and 16 remains are still being identified.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. PK-AXC is pictured arriving at Singapore before the tragic crash.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) on December 1, 2015 will start the Abu Dhabi – Dar es Salaam route. The daily will be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-232 D-AXAN 9msn 5821) became A6-EIU on the handover.
Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:
Emirates (Dubai) has announced that as of February 1, 2015, its EK019/020 service between Dubai International Airport and Manchester Airport, currently operated by a Boeing 777, will be replaced with an Airbus A380. The introduction of the second daily A380 means that half of Emirates’ 16 daily flights to the UK will be operated by an A380 from February.
The second daily A380 will increase Emirates’ capacity from Manchester by 13 per cent, with over 20 per cent of this increase in the premium cabins.
Emirates flight EK019 will depart Dubai International Airport at 1435 and arrive in Manchester at 1835. The outbound flight, EK020, will depart Manchester Airport at 2025 and arrive in Dubai at 0740 the next day.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. A dramatic up-close photo of Airbus A380-861 A6-EEM (msn 134) lifts off the runway at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
Video: Review of Emirates A380 business class:
Emirates aircraft slide show:
Bosnian World Airlines-BWA (Sarajevo) launched its first flight and route from Sarajevo to Stockholm (Arlanda) today (January 9). Athens will be added on January 11, followed by Amsterdam and Gothenburg on January 16.
Photo: Bosnian Wand Airlines. The pictured Air Mediterranee Airbus A321-111 F-GYAN (msn 535) in full BWA colors arrived in Sarajevo yesterday. Air Mediterranee will operate the aircraft.
Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:
The Lufthansa Group has made a successful start to the new year with the transfer of the Düsseldorf–Zurich route from Lufthansa to Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) today (January 8, 2015). One of the biggest structural projects ever undertaken by the company has thus been successfully completed on time.
The concept of the new Germanwings was presented in December 2012, followed by the market launch on July 1, 2013.
The transfer of the Düsseldorf–Zurich route means that the decision to operate all domestic and European routes under Germanwings, apart from at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, has now been fully implemented as scheduled.
In all, Germanwings has taken over 115 routes from Lufthansa in recent months, with the biggest number of routes (52) at Düsseldorf Airport.
The new Germanwings service between Düsseldorf and Zurich will comprise 24 flights per week, making it one of the most high-volume routes from the North Rhine-Westphalian capital. The early morning flight will depart from Düsseldorf at 7.00 a.m. In addition to this, there will be a midday flight at 1.30 p.m., an afternoon flight at 5.05 p.m. and an evening service at 6.55 p.m.
Copyright Photo: Germanwings’ Airbus A319-132 D-AGWZ (msn 5978) taxies at London (Heathrow).
Germanwings (2nd) aircraft slide show:
JetBlue Airways announces new routes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Cleveland, Detroit and Portland, OR
JetBlue Airways (New York) announced additional service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), where it is the largest airline. Nonstop flights to both Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) will begin on April 30, 2015. The announcement comes on top of the seven nonstop routes launched by JetBlue from its South Florida focus city last year. JetBlue currently offers up to 74 daily flights to 33 destinations from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and its plan is to grow to 100 daily flights by 2017 to meet the increasing customer demand in South Florida for JetBlue’s high-quality experience.
The airline added Detroit to its route map in March 2014, with nonstop service from its Boston focus city, and Cleveland will become JetBlue’s 88th destination on April 30, also with flights from Boston.
In other news, JetBlue Airways also announced additional service at Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon, with new nonstop service to Anchorage, Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) for the upcoming summer season.
The new route will operate daily between June 18 and September 8, 2015, and will be JetBlue’s fourth nonstop destination from Portland, where the airline offers flights to Boston, New York/JFK and Long Beach, Calif. in the Los Angeles area. From Anchorage, JetBlue offers nonstop summer seasonal service to Long Beach and Seattle/Tacoma.
The new routes will be operated by a 150-seat Airbus A320s.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N565JB (msn 2031) in the new Tartan tail design prepares to depart from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is adding more flights to Boston Logan Airport, with new daily nonstop service from Boston to Las Vegas, and seasonal service from Boston to Detroit and Cleveland, beginning in April 2015.
With these additional routes Spirit Airlines will now operate nonstop flights from Boston to ten cities. Current routes include: Atlantic City, Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Myrtle Beach, and West Palm Beach. The daily service to Las Vegas and the seasonal service to Detroit and Cleveland will begin on April 16, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N534NK (msn 3395) prepares to depart from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Spirit Airlines aircraft slide show:
AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (Jakarta) tail section from flight QZ 8501 from the pictured Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) which was operated on a flight from Surabaya to Singapore with 162 passengers and crew members has been located by divers in the Java Sea. In addition, a section of the fuselage with the aircraft’s PK-AXC registration marks has also been located in the Java Sea. It is now hoped the flight data recorders (not black boxes) will be located near the located tail section.
Tony Fernandes, CEO of the AirAsia Group, stated on his Twitter account; “I am led to believe the tail section has been found. If right part of tail section then the black box should be there.”
Read the full report from NBC News: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC at Singapore before the tragic accident.
Video: First images of the tail and registration markings:
Reuters is reporting Airbus beat Boeing for new orders in 2014 citing an unnamed source.
Reuters stated; “Airbus beat U.S. rival Boeing in aircraft orders in 2014, maintaining the lead in new business despite lagging in deliveries, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Boeing said earlier it had booked 1,550 gross orders and 1,432 net orders, which account for cancellations, in 2014.
Airbus is expected to announce next week that it was ahead of Boeing on both gross orders and net orders.”
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has issued this statement:
From next year the Lufthansa Group will be fuelling their aircraft at Oslo airport with a biokerosene mixture. The Group recently became the first airline group to sign this kind of contract with the Norwegian oil company Statoil Aviation. The Company is thus pushing forward along the path of research, testing and use of alternative fuels that it started on over four years ago.
For a period of one year beginning March 2015, Statoil will feed 2.5 million gallons of sustainably produced, certified biofuel into the tanks at Oslo airport. The approximately 5,000 flights the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Germanwings, Brussels Airlines) operates from the Norwegian capital will then be flying on a biokerosene mixture.
Oslo Airport is the world’s first large commercial airport to offer continuous provision of biofuel over a long period and to fuel aircraft with biokerosene directly from its hydrant system. For the Lufthansa Group, this is the next step from its previous test flights, made as part of the recently concluded burnFAIR project, toward the use of alternative fuels in regular flight operations.
In 2011, Lufthansa was the first airline in the world to run regular flight operations with a biokerosene mixture by operating an Airbus A321 between Frankfurt and Hamburg for half a year as part of the project. The long-term testing was accompanied by detailed emissions measurements and research into production processes and biomass availability.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Lufthansa’s Airbus A320-211 D-AIPL (msn 094) departs from London (Heathrow).
Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin daily, nonstop service this summer between Tokyo International Airport at Haneda (HND) and Kona International Airport (KOA) on Hawai’i Island. The airline’s action was prompted by the U.S. DOT’s decision last month to review the public interest served by Delta Air Lines’ Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo route after Delta reduced its frequency from daily to seasonal.
In its application, Hawai’i’s flagship carrier urged the U.S. DOT to reallocate Delta’s Haneda frequency based on market data, noting that Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu-Tokyo service has been “by far the most, if not only, successful route” of the four Haneda slot pairs granted to U.S. carriers in 2010.
The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) estimates that the proposed daily service will generate 531,721 visitor days and $146 million in visitor expenditures. Hawaiian Airlines’ application calculates that service directly to Kona will attract 39,000 additional visitors and result in 1,151 new jobs and $65 million in new direct spending.
The application has the full support of Governor David Ige and Hawai’i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.
If approved, this would be Hawaiian Airlines’ fifth Japan route and third daily nonstop flight between Japan and Hawai’i, joining daily service to Honolulu from Tokyo and Osaka and thrice-weekly service between Honolulu, Sendai and Sapporo. Hawaiian Airlines anticipates it will begin service on or about June 1, 2015, utilizing its fleet of 20 294-seat Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The departure and arrival times will vary depending on time of year.
In other news, Hawaiian Airlines announced its system-wide traffic statistics for the full year, fourth quarter and the month of December 2014. The airline set a new annual record in its 85-year history with 10,195,145 passengers transported in 2014, 2.6 percent higher than the previous year.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N381HA (msn 1114) approaches the runway at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.
Hawaiian Airlines aircraft slide show:
JetBlue Airways (New York) yesterday (January 5) launched new service from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS). The airline will offer twice daily nonstop flights on this route.
JetBlue will serve the route with its 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
In other news, JetBlue has outlined its growth plans to its employees:
Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL), where we are also the largest carrier, will receive both southbound Caribbean/Latin additions and new northbound domestic service.
Boston (BOS), where we are the largest carrier, will see a mix of new business markets and leisure destinations.
New York (JFK and LGA), which is largely slot constrained, will gain a handful of additional flights to new leisure-oriented BlueCities as well as the full rollout of Mint and the continued deployment of the high density A321s. In fact, in 2015 we plan to get more out of our NYC slot portfolio by increasing metro-area ASMs (available seat miles) by 8% while only increasing departures by 3%.
Orlando (MCO) will continue to grow organically due to its very strong profitability and will likely see a couple new destinations.
San Juan (SJU) will see another new destination, likely on the U.S. mainland.
Los Angeles (LAX and LGB) will see the full rollout of Mint (as will SFO) while in LGB we continue to work toward our goal of a customs facility at the airport to allow international flights.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N779JB (msn 3811) named “Blue Ribbon” in the Mosaic tail design taxies to the gate at San Francisco International Airport.
Jetstar Airways (Australia) (Melbourne) is planning to add three new routes on March 29 per Airline Route: Cairns – Denpasar, Gold Coast – Perth and Melbourne – Wellington.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 VH-VQO (msn 2587) taxies at Denpasar.
Jetstar Airways aircraft slide show:
Air Arabia (airarabia.com) (United Arab Emirates) (Sharjah) is buying a 49 percent share of Petra Airlines (Amman) and will open a new hub in Amman. Petra Airlines will become Air Arabia Jordan. The airline has issued this statement:
Air Arabia announced today (January 5) that it will open a new international hub at Amman Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, its fifth fixed-based operation globally, following the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Petra Airlines. The deal will see the existing principle shareholder of Perta Airlines, the RUM Group, maintain a 51 percent stake. The new partnership will also lead to the creation of Air Arabia Jordan and will reinforce the airline‟s leadership of the low-cost aviation market in the MENA and Levant region.
Following the acquisition and the establishment of the new Air Arabia Jordan, operations are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015. The newly established carrier, managed by Air Arabia, will follow the carrier’s business model serving as Air Arabia’s fifth hub in the Arab world. Air Arabia Jordan will provide direct service to a range of destinations across the Europe, Middle East and North Africa region from Queen Alia International Airport.
Air Arabia Jordan will serve as Air Arabia’s fifth hub and will follow the same proven value for money business model. Two Airbus A320 aircraft will initially be based at Amman Queen Alia International Airport and the fleet will grow as the business demands. Launch routes will be announced in the coming weeks.
Air Arabia, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, launched service from Sharjah, UAE, in October 2003. Today, the carrier provides service to 100 destinations, spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, from its four existing hubs in the UAE, Egypt and Morocco.
Petra Airlines is founded in Jordan in 2005 by RUM Group, Jordan’s leading travel and transport group. Petra Airlines currently operates two Airbus A320s.
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Arabia’s Airbus A320-214 A6-ANJ (msn 5143) taxies at the Sharjah hub.
Air Arabia (UAE) aircraft slide show:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Petra Airlines’ Airbus A320-212 JY-PTB (msn 537) taxies at Antalya, Turkey.