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Greybull Capital finalizes its 90% acquisition of Monarch Airlines, will return 10 aircraft

Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) has a new ownership structure. Gerbil Capital LLP has finalized its acquisition yesterday (October 24) of the 90 percent of the stock of the airline. The airline issued this statement:

The Board of Monarch Holdings Limited (Monarch Airlines), is pleased to announce the completion of its strategic review and restructuring program under which it has secured ₤125 million of permanent capital and liquidity facilities provided by Greybull Capital LLP anchored by a ₤50 million capital commitment, with contributions from the Group’s prior shareholders, principally the Mantegazza family. Greybull also acquired 90% ownership interest in Monarch, with the remaining 10% passing to the Group’s defined pension scheme and ultimately the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The Civil Aviation Authority has renewed the Group’s ATOL licence.

Greybull is a family office that manages investments in private companies across a diversified range of industry sectors. Greybull will provide significant capital to Monarch in order to grow the Group and build on its long-established heritage and trusted brand name.

Under the leadership of new Chief Executive Andrew Swaffield, Monarch has undertaken a comprehensive strategic review of all areas of the business, from operations to ownership and financing. The aim of the review has been to create the optimum structure to realize the significant opportunity to build on Monarch’s respected brand and distinctive offer to its customers in the European scheduled leisure carrier market.

The main outcomes of Monarch’s strategic review and restructuring, which have led to the successful transaction with Greybull, are:

1. Optimize fleet from 42 to 34 aircraft, and revised agreements with lessors to either mark-to-market or early return of 10 aircraft from the current fleet

2. Securing a new Boeing fleet order for 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft with deliveries from 2018 to 2020, providing a cost-effective and uniform fleet by late 2020

3. Both long-haul and charter flying to end by April 2015

4. Airline network to specialize on Monarch’s ‘heartland’ of scheduled short-haul European leisure routes, with increased average frequencies, aircraft utilization, productivity and profitability

5. Focus on five UK airport bases – London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, London Luton and Leeds-Bradford – and closure of East Midlands from summer 2015

6. Material concessions agreed with employees across the Group to enable the successful restructuring, including reductions in pay of up to 30%, with more than 90% of unionized staff voting to accept changes, and some 700 redundancies, two-thirds of which were voluntary
Reduction of the Group’s operating cost base, in line with other low-cost carriers, and increased efficiencies across the business
Resolution of the Group’s pension deficit through agreement with the Pensions Regulator, PPF and the Trustee of the Monarch Airlines

7. Limited Retirement Benefits Plan which will result in the Plan being assessed for entry into the PPF. The PPF would then hold a 10% stake in the Group, in line with its principles in restructurings such as this. The Pensions Regulator has cleared the restructuring. The pension deficit as per the company’s balance sheet was previously £158 million and the current estimated shortfall to secure full benefits is around £660 million.

Monarch Group CEO, Andrew Swaffield, said:

“I am delighted to welcome the Greybull team as the new owners of the Monarch Group. We have a shared vision for the strategic direction and prospects for the business, and I am looking forward to working with them to implement the exciting plans for building our future.”

“I would personally like to thank all Monarch employees who have been hugely supportive of the initiatives which were essential to complete this transaction. I am very proud to be leading such a team – together we will be building a great future for the Group.”

Commenting on behalf of the selling shareholders, Fabio Mantegazza said:

“We are very proud to have created one of the most loved aviation brands in the UK over the last 46 years. We think that now is an appropriate time to allow new shareholders to take Monarch into the future, with secure financial backing and clear strategic goals and we wish the Group every success.”

Said Greybull Partner Marc Meyohas:

“We are delighted to acquire Monarch and invest our capital into a very strong brand with great potential in all its markets and are grateful for the selling shareholders’ support in achieving this transaction. We see this as a long-term investment and hope we can be very supportive shareholders throughout Monarch’s next chapter.”

Advisers:

Seabury Securities (UK) Ltd., a unit of Seabury Group, acted as lead investment banker, along with co-adviser Dean Street Advisers, to the Monarch Group on the transaction with Greybull Capital LLP. Seabury Advisors LLC served as Monarch’s lead restructuring adviser and industrial consultant with respect to crafting the turnaround plan with Monarch’s management group. KPMG LLP and Short Partners LLP served as additional restructuring advisers. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Bird and Bird LLP served as legal advisers to Monarch.

Greybull was advised by Zolfo Cooper LLP as financial adviser and Forsters LLP as legal counsel.

PricewaterhouseCoopers served as adviser to the selling shareholders.

In August 2014, Monarch confirmed it was undergoing a strategic review with the objective of determining the optimal structure to take the company forward. The Group sees a significant opportunity to build on the respected Monarch brand and distinctive customer offer, in order to create a focused and efficient scheduled European leisure carrier. Part of this strategy involves a major investment into its aircraft fleet. In July 2014, Monarch announced Boeing was the preferred bidder for its narrow-bodied fleet replacement, with 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s for delivery from Q2 2018. At current list prices, this aircraft deal would be worth $3.1 billion. This transformational investment will enable Monarch to operate as efficiently as any European low-cost carrier.

As part of the strategic review, the Board of Monarch identified a number of cost-reduction initiatives that needed to be addressed in order to compete effectively in its chosen markets, specifically the scheduled European short-haul leisure market. With the strong support of all of Monarch’s stakeholders, including its employees, unions, third-party suppliers and regulators, a number of initiatives were set in motion and have been agreed to create a far stronger Group.

Greybull has private equity investments in various sectors including pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, energy, industrials, retail and leisure. It is a long-term active investor with significant or controlling stakes in all of its companies. Within its portfolio Greybull owns significant assets including:

Plessey Semiconductors Limited, where since 2010 Greybull has supported management’s plans to restructure and re-develop the company and has financed add-on acquisitions
New Era Petroleum Inc. Since 2010 Greybull has backed New Era with both working capital to develop its activities and capital to acquire and re-develop oil fields in the US
Arc Specialist Engineering Limited is a conglomerate of businesses in the steel industry. Greybull fully financed Arc and has been successfully trading the company since becoming its majority shareholder in 2013

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. As part of the restructuring all long-haul routes are being dropped as the “new Monarch” focuses on its core UK Heartland cities with popular short-haul routes to sunny destinations. Monarch is retiring its last two Boeing 757-200s and likely the pictured Airbus A330-200s as the long-haul routes are dropped. The company will focus around the Airbus A320/A320 Family aircraft until the new Boeing 737 MAX 8s are delivered. Airbus A330-243 G-SMAN (msn 261) is pictured taxiing at Palma de Mallorca. Is a new livery coming under the new owners?

Monarch Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

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Delta and Virgin Atlantic this weekend add to their trans-Atlantic joint venture with two swapped flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) this weekend are marking the launch of their new services between London (Heathrow) and Los Angeles and London-Heathrow and Atlanta respectively.

The new routes are the first transfer of operations between the two airlines since the launch of their joint venture earlier this year and will offer more choice and flexibility for both airlines’ customers on these key routes across the Atlantic.

From Sunday, Delta will be flying nonstop from London to California for the first time with one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights previously operated by Virgin Atlantic. The route is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, is operating its first ever flights into the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, having taken over one of Delta’s three daily services, and is now able to offer more than 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers at Delta’s hub airport.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate their Los Angeles and Atlanta services at Heathrow Terminal 3. This co-location adds to the New York-JFK, Boston and Seattle/Tacoma joint venture flights, which already operate from Terminal 3. This provides convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for passengers of both airlines, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Clubhouse for all business class passengers. Both carriers also offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all business class flights between the U.K and U.S..

Virgin Atlantic expects to fly around 160,000 passengers annually to Atlanta and beyond on its new service providing convenient connections to Delta flights across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Virgin Atlantic has recently announced plans to add a second daily seasonal flight to Atlanta in summer 2015 as part of a package of investment into North American routes that will see the total number of peak day flights operated by the joint venture at 37 from March.

Since the start of the Delta and Virgin Atlantic trans-Atlantic joint venture, 3.5 million passengers have experienced the benefits of the partnership. The two airlines also have a codeshare agreement in place, maximizing the customer appeal of the joint schedule. The partnership enables the airlines to offer more flight choices for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic by improving their travel options.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta will operate the Boeing 767-300 ER on the LHR-LAX route. Delta’s Boeing 767-332 ER N16065 (msn 30199) now carries special “Andrew Young – Atlanta ‘s Ambassador to the World” markings by the nose saluting the diplomatic career of Atlanta native Andrew Young.

Delta Air Lines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Atlantic will operate the Airbus A330-300 on the LHR-ATL route. Airbus A330-343 G-VUFO (msn 1352) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Lufthansa to fly to Aalborg and Keflavik

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will expand its European services in next year’s summer flight timetable. From March 29, 2015, the airline will be operating a new route from Frankfurt Airport to Aalborg in Jutland, Denmark, with 14 flights a week.

The commercial and university city will be Lufthansa’s third destination in Denmark, after Copenhagen and Billund.

The airline will also be launching a twice-weekly nonstop service between Frankfurt and Keflavik (near Reykjavík), Iceland, from May 2, until September 26, 2015. The Aalborg route will have two flights a day with a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, with 90 seats in Business and Economy Class. The service will depart from the Lufthansa hub every morning at 8.25 a.m. as flight LH 844 and every afternoon at 4.10 p.m. as flight LH 846, arriving in Aalborg at 10.05 a.m. and 5.50 p.m. respectively. The return flights will land in Frankfurt at 12.25 p.m. and 8.10 p.m. respectively.

The service to Keflavik (Reykjavík) will operate on Thursdays and Saturdays with an Airbus A319, with 138 seats in Business and Economy Class. Flight LH 856 will take off from Frankfurt in the morning and land in Reykjavík around midday. Flight LH 857 will arrive back at Frankfurt Airport in the early evening.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-AIBB (msn 4182) taxies at Geneva.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

WOW Air is coming to Boston and Baltimore/Washington with Airbus A321s

WOW Air (Keflavik) as planned, is coming to Boston in March 2015 with fares starting at $99 one-way. Kleflavik International Airport-Boston Logan International Airport will start on March 27 and operate six days a week with Airbus A321s.

WOW Air will also operate seasonal service between Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Keflavik International Airport with four weekly roundtrip flights starting on June 4, 2015.

For the service from BWI, WOW Air will also utilize Airbus A321 aircraft. The seasonal flights will operate four times per week, on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) arrives at London (Gatwick).

WOW Air Aircraft Slide Show:

WOW Air: AG Slide Show

WOW AIr crew-1

 

UPS’ pilots issue this statement regarding its unresolved contract and the upcoming holiday rush

UPS Airlines’ (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) pilots, represented by the Independent Pilots Association, have issued this statement:

“Will United Parcel Service deliver this Christmas? That’s the question that manufactures, shippers, retailers and consumers have been asking. While we can’t speak to all aspects of UPS’s operations we can say that despite UPS not finalizing our contract we remain committed to delivering this Christmas season,” said Independent Pilots Association spokesperson Brian Gaudet.

Gaudet went on to say, “UPS has done a lot to avoid a repeat of last year’s holiday delivery troubles: it developed and funded a $175 million Peak Plan; finalized its labor contract with the Teamsters; increased its seasonal hires by seventy-three percent. But UPS didn’t do everything it needed to; UPS neglected its air operations by not finalizing the contract with its pilots. We are now in our fourth-year of contract talks with UPS. In spite of this drawn out negotiation, the IPA remains committed to delivering this holiday season. But we encourage UPS, for the benefit of its customers, to close out this critical unfinished business.”

To help make this point the IPA has taken out full-page ads in the Asian, European and Eastern U.S. editions of the October 24 issue of the Wall Street Journal (below).

The Independent Pilots Association represents the professional pilots flying for United Parcel Service.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300F4-622R N164UP (msn 853) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

UPS: AG Slide Show

Ad appearing in the Wall Street Journal:

UPS IPA ad in the WSJ (LR)

 

Qatar Airways to bring the new Airbus A380 to Bangkok starting on January 5, 2015

Qatar Airways (Doha) will assign the new Airbus A380 to the Doha-Bangkok route starting on January 5, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Interjet arrives in Houston

Interjet water salute

Interjet (Mexico City) officially began flight operations in Houston, Texas today (October 23) as the airline celebrated the landing of its inaugural flight connecting Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Monterrey International Airport (MTY) in Monterrey, Mexico.

The airline will now offer passengers a choice between two daily flights Monday through Friday and one daily flight on Saturdays and Sundays. The inaugural flight from Monterrey arrived in Houston at 7:55 a.m. to the traditional water cannon salute and a welcome celebration featuring dozens of well-wishers.

The arrival of Interjet is the latest example of an unprecedented level of growth for international air travel in Houston. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is currently on pace to see more than 10 million international passengers in 2014, a number never reached in the facility’s 45 year history.

Photo: Interjet.

Interjet Aircraft Slide Show:

Virgin America and China Airlines start their codeshare relationship

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced the implementation of a codeshare arrangement with China Airlines (Taipei) that will offer customers seamless bookings and travel between Taipei, Taiwan, elsewhere in Asia and multiple destinations across the United States. The new codeshare agreement, the fourth for the California-based airline, involves China Airlines placing its two-letter airline code (CI) on a range of Virgin America markets including flights between Los Angeles and/or San Francisco to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle/Tacoma and Washington Dulles (IAD). Starting today, China Airlines guests can book their journey across the United States with Virgin America via China Airlines’ website and look forward to a convenient airport experience with one-stop check-in for boarding passes and checked bags.

China Airlines offers daily direct flights from Taipei to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and three flights per week to New York.

The codeshare partnership expands on the two airline’s existing interline agreement, which commenced in May 2012. China Airlines is Virgin America’s fourth codeshare agreement and enhances the airline’s growing partner portfolio.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N855VA (msn 5179) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport, a common connection point.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

China Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. China Airlines’ Airbus A330-302 B-18367 (msn 1278) arrives in Rome (Fiumicino).

JetBlue Airways Corporation reports a third quarter net profit of $79 million

JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue Airways) (New York) today reported its results for the third quarter 2014:

Operating income of $164 million in the third quarter. This compares to operating income of $152 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Pre-tax income of $132 million in the third quarter. This compares to pre-tax income of $119 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Net income for the third quarter was $79 million, or $0.24 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s third quarter 2013 net income of $71 million, or $0.21 per diluted share.

“Today, we are pleased to report record third quarter earnings,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “We saw improved profitability across our network, reflecting the success of our efforts to differentiate our product and culture and maintain competitive costs. I would like to thank our 15,500 crewmembers for their dedication to running a safe airline and delivering outstanding service to our customers.”

Operational Performance

JetBlue reported record third quarter operating revenues of $1.5 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 5.9% to 10.1 billion on a capacity increase of 4.5%, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 86.2%, an increase of 1.2 points year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.96 cents, up 0.9% compared to the third quarter of 2013. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter 2014 increased 2.4% year over year to 12.03 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 1.4% year over year to 13.00 cents.

Operating expenses for the quarter increased 5.7%, or $75 million, over the prior year period. Interest expense for the quarter declined 7.8%, or $3 million, due to JetBlue’s focus on debt reduction. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 1.2% year over year to 11.61 cents. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM(1) increased 2.6% to 7.13 cents.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

JetBlue continued to hedge fuel to manage price volatility. Specifically, in the third quarter JetBlue had in place hedges for approximately 23% of its fuel consumption and managed approximately 7% of its fuel consumption using fixed forward price agreements (FFPs). This resulted in a realized fuel price of $3.05 per gallon, a 2.7% decrease over third quarter 2013 realized fuel price of $3.14. JetBlue recorded $1 million in losses on fuel hedges that settled during the third quarter.

JetBlue has managed approximately 34% of its fourth quarter projected fuel requirements using a combination of FFPs, jet fuel swaps and caps. Based on the fuel curve as of October 16th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges, FFPs and fuel taxes, of $2.80 in the fourth quarter.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $742 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments. In addition, JetBlue maintains $550 million in lines of credit.

During the third quarter, JetBlue repaid approximately $61 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue plans to repay approximately $128 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the remainder of 2014.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Outlook

For the fourth quarter of 2014, CASM is expected to decrease between (3.0)% and (1.0)% versus the year-ago period. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in the fourth quarter is expected to increase between 1.0% and 3.0% year over year.

CASM for the full year is expected to increase between 0.5% and 2.5% over full year 2013. Excluding fuel and profit sharing, CASM in 2014 is expected to increase between 2.5% and 4.5% year over year.

Capacity is expected to increase between 5.0% and 7.0% in the fourth quarter. For the full year, capacity is expected to increase between 4.0% and 6.0%.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N821JB (msn 5417) with Sharklets arrives at the John F. Kennedy International Airport base in New York.

JetBlue Airways Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot extends its collective bargaining agreements with it employees

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has extended its collective bargaining agreement with its employees through 2017. The company issued this statement:

Aeroflot management and airline employee trade unions have successfully concluded negotiations that extend the collective bargaining agreement currently in place for the period 2014 through 2017. The collective agreement calls for a wide range of benefits for employees, irrespective of union membership.

Despite the challenging economic environment in Russia, the parties determined it was essential to keep in place all benefits, subsidies and guarantees included in the prevailing collective agreement. The trade unions have maintained the crucial role they have long held in facilitating labor relations. The agreement was signed by the United Representative Body of Aeroflot employees.

The collective agreement will remain in force through December 1, 2017. The range of benefits laid out under the collective agreement is unprecedented in the airline industry. To date the expenses incurred by Aeroflot to maintain these benefits exceeds 3 billion rubles a year.

Employees receive attractive and high salaries that are regularly re-indexed, and in addition receive additional payments (paid annual leave, awards upon retirement, paid public holidays, etc.).

The collective agreement calls for the following benefits:

Adding up to 14 days of holiday time (increasing total annual paid leave to 42 days);
Medical care (treatment at Aeroflot’s own Medical Centre, payment for treatment at other medical facilities, subsidised prescriptions);
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in 2014 employees enjoyed holidays and sanatorium treatments in Russia and abroad: Crimea, the Mineralnie Vody region of the Caucasus, the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the Krasnodar region, Slovakia, Israel, the UAE and Turkey;
Non-state pension fund payments;
Company-provided automobiles;
Subsidised air tickets for employees and their families;
Reimbursement of children’s pre-school expenses;
Corporate trainings.
A number of key benefits continue for employees after they have retired from the Company.

Aeroflot has always valued healthy lifestyles for employees, and for that reason leases exercise facilities on their behalf.

Approximately 70% of the cost of employee benefits are allocated to on-board personnel, the airline’s most valued group of employees. In addition to high salaries in line with those at the leading international airlines, pilots receive:

The most holidays in the industry, 70 days off (whereas European carriers typically give pilots 28 days);
Comfortable accommodations when spending the night away from the pilot’s home airport;
Minimum three-star hotel accommodation;
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in addition to the standard company options, a special program is available to pilots and their families in the Czech Republic);
Per-diem based on average salaried day for days spent on routine medical check-ups;
In the event a pilot leaves the Company due to physical inability to carry out his duties, a one-time payment is made equivalent to 20%-100% of his annual salary;
Injury compensation of USD 5,000-10,000 in the event of health problems;
Non-state pension fund payments (through a dedicated pension plan, “Golden Anchor”)
Subsidised airline tickets, including on high-demand routes, for pilots and their family members.

The current JSC Aeroflot collective agreement was first signed in 2005. The agreement was the result of extensive collective bargaining with JSC Aeroflot by the leading airline employee union, First Trade-union Organisation, of which more than half of all Aeroflot employees are members. The collective agreement was renewed twice, in 2008 and 2011, without modifying the benefits received by employees.

JSC Aeroflot employs approximately 18,000 people in Russia and abroad and is the leading employer in the Russian aviation industry.

In other news, Aeroflot on October 26 Aeroflot is relaunching Moscow — Tbilisi and Moscow — Chisinau service.

Aeroflot will provide daily flights to the capital of Georgia on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Daily flights to Chisinau will be operated on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BRX (msn 3063) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Aeroflot Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Finnair to introduce a new Marimekko special color scheme on an Airbus A330

Finnair A330-300 OH-LTO (14-Unikko)(Flt)(Finnair)(LRW)

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced a new Airbus A330 Marimekko special livery with this announcement:

The design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair takes a new step as a Finnair Airbus A330 will soon feature a previously unseen blue colorway of Marimekko’s classic Unikko (“poppy”) print. The plane will fly from Finnair’s Helsinki hub to the airline’s long-haul destinations starting from the end of 2014, joining a sister Airbus A340 aircraft (OH-LQD) painted in a different Unikko colorway in 2012 (below).

Above Copyright Photo:TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com.

“During this year we have been celebrating the fifty years of our most iconic pattern Unikko all over the world, reminding people of its story of courage and faith in oneself. We are very excited to continue the celebrations and our design partnership together with Finnair with the new Anniversary Unikko that will fly on the sides of Finnair’s Airbus 330, delighting people around the world,” says Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, Marimekko’s COO. “For the celebration and as a continuation of our wonderful partnership with Finnair, Unikko also now has been given a special blue colorway, inspired by Finland’s thousands of lakes and beautiful, clean nature.”

“We are excited to build on and extend our partnership with Marimekko, a great Finnish company that has long shared our values and vision,” says Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo. “Our two aircraft wearing the beloved Unikko livery are flying ambassadors of Finnish know-how, positivity and creativity. They make a proud statement as they soar toward the great cities of Asia, where both companies see a bright future.”

Finnair Marimekko tableware Business Class (Finnair)(LRW)

The design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair began in 2012 and Marimekko for Finnair textiles and tableware were brought to all of the Finnish airline’s aircraft in 2013 (above). The collection was designed according to the airline’s needs by Marimekko designer Sami Ruotsalainen, in original Marimekko patterns by Maija Isola. The blue, green and grey colours and the classic prints used in the collection tell the story of Finnish nature and recall the perspective of looking out from an aircraft window, flying high above the landscape.

Unikko (“poppy”), is one of Marimekko’s most beloved classic patterns. The pattern was created in 1964 as a protest against Marimekko´s founder Armi Ratia, who had announced that Marimekko would not print any floral patterns, because flowers were more beautiful in nature than on fabric. Designer Maija Isola refused to obey Armi and created an entire series of floral prints. One of them was Unikko, which rapidly became a firm favorite and has stayed in production for already fifty years. To celebrate this five-decade milestone and the design collaboration between Marimekko and Finnair, a special anniversary version of the iconic pattern in a new, custom colorway will feature on a Finnair Airbus A330.

Image and photo: Finnair.

Finnair Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Finnair logo

Video:

Lufthansa Group details its winter schedules changes with 18,900 flights a week

Lufthansa Group (Frankfurt) has announced the details of its combined schedules for the winter season:

The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – are again offering their customers a dense and high-frequency route network in the upcoming 2014/2015 winter flight timetable, with 18,900 flights a week. This winter, the Lufthansa Group airlines will be linking 260 destinations in 100 countries on four continents via its hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also with many point-to-point connections. Around 20,500 weekly code-share flights with other partner airlines extend the carriers’ respective programmes and enable single-source bookings. The winter flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, October 26, 2014 to Saturday, March 28, 2015. Thanks to the use of larger aircraft, the Group’s capacity in available seat-kilometers is increasing by 2.9 percent compared with the same period last year. At the same time, the number of flights in the period of the timetable is going down by 2.9 percent. On average, therefore, a Lufthansa Group aircraft is taking off somewhere around the world every 32 seconds. The individual route networks of the Group airlines are increasingly converging with one another. Almost all destinations are connected via a Lufthansa Group hub. End-to-end fares enable passengers to book multiple journeys with convenient and punctual connecting flights. 49 per cent of the nearly 105 million passengers a year now book a transfer connection via a Lufthansa hub. 19 European airports are even served by all five airlines in the Lufthansa Group.

Key news from the five Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

This winter, Lufthansa is extending its route network to attractive new holiday destinations in warmer regions. After a break of over 15 years, Lufthansa is resuming flights to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands this winter. From October 26, the new connection will take off from Munich to Gran Canaria every Sunday, and every Saturday during school holidays too. Also new in the winter months are flights from Munich to Split (Croatia) and Valencia (Spain). As of October 2, Lufthansa also flies from Frankfurt to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. This cultural city is situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains in the Moroccan interior and can be reached in just under four hours with an Airbus A320 every Thursday and Sunday. A further addition to the flight plan from Munich is Miami in Florida, the US sunshine state, which will now have a daily nonstop connection. Delhi, the Indian capital, will also get a daily service from Frankfurt with the Airbus A380. The Frankfurt-Luanda connection to the capital of Angola will be strengthened by a third weekly flight. Starting on 15 December, Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn will extend their joint AiRail product of fast ICE train connections to Frankfurt Airport from Karlsruhe and Kassel.

Swiss International Air Lines

In the winter flight timetable 2014/2015, Swiss is adapting its flight plans to winter demand. As well as seasonal reductions of some flights, Swiss is increasing its capacity to popular holiday destinations. The long-haul route between Zurich and Miami is to receive four extra Swiss flights a week, taking the total to fourteen weekly connections. Services to São Paolo, the biggest city in Brazil, will also be increased by three flights a week this winter, taking the total to ten weekly connections. The flight timetable will also include a daily connection to Los Angeles again. In Geneva, Swiss is continuing many destinations from its summer flight timetable throughout the winter, including Copenhagen, Rome, Lisbon and Pristina.

Austrian Airlines

In its 2014/2015 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines is again offering its passengers a wide range of up to 100 destinations in 56 countries around the world. Following the successful introduction of Newark (USA) last July, Austrian Airlines will increase its weekly capacity from five flights to six flights a week as of April 2015, and to one flight a day from June. From June 2015, Austrian will therefore be flying daily to all its North American destinations. As a result of high demand in transit traffic, Austrian Airlines is also increasing the frequency of its flights to and from Chişinău from seven a week to a maximum of ten a week in the future.

Brussels Airlines

Belgium’s largest airline is adding a new European destination to its winter flight timetable and improving many connections by adding additional flights: Riga, the capital of Latvia, will be served six times a week from Brussels as of October 26. Riga is one of the most important cultural and economic centres in the Baltic region and is hosting the EU presidency in the first half of 2015. Brussels Airlines is boosting its capacity with additional flights from Brussels to: Tel Aviv, Madrid, Marrakesh, Budapest, Geneva, Vilnius, Hanover and Bologna. Connections are also being improved to the African destinations of Douala, Yaoundé, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Luanda.

Germanwings

In its winter flight timetable, Germanwings is offering a total of 84 destinations from Berlin-Tegel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Additional capacity will still focus on Düsseldorf, where Germanwings is taking over more routes from Lufthansa. There are new high-frequency connections from the Rhineland metropolis to Berlin (57 flights a week), London-Heathrow (33 flights a week) and Zurich (24 flights a week). Also new from Düsseldorf are flights to Málaga (two flights a week), Naples (three flights a week), Nice (two flights a week), Moscow (seven flights a week) and Rome (five flights a week). The transfer of Lufthansa routes to Germanwings will be completed on January 8, 2015 with Düsseldorf – Zurich. Germanwings is also introducing a completely new route, Düsseldorf – Istanbul, with two weekly flights. Its programme in the German capital is also being extended with the takeover of two Lufthansa flights a week between Berlin-Tegel and Tel Aviv. With one flight a week, the German airline is also launching a new connection from Cologne/Bonn to the Cypriot port of Larnaca.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Lower cost Germanwings is taking most of the Dusseldorf routes from Lufthansa. Airbus A320-211 D-AIQH (msn 217) taxies at Antalya.

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Swiss: AG Slide Show

Austrian: AG Slide Show

Brussels: AG Slide Show

Germanwings: AG Slide Show

TAME launches its new Quito-Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood flights

TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador (Quito) launched a new service between Quito, Ecuador and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) beginning on October 17, 2014.

The new nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood increases the connectivity between Ecuador and key U.S. markets, including Miami and Orlando. With more than 70,000 Ecuadorians living in Florida, TAME’s flight service provides easy and accessible options.

The new route takes only four hours and will be offered daily from Quito at 2:15 a.m. and arriving to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at 7:15 a.m. The return flight from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood departs at 9:00 a.m. and arrives in Quito at 12:00 p.m. An Airbus A320 with a capacity for 162 passengers and an Airbus A319 for up to 140 passengers will be used.

Copyright Photo: Stefano Rota/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 HC-CID (msn 934) departs from Guayaquil.

TAME Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and Jetstar Japan announce a codeshare agreement

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).

Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.

Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Jetstar Japan: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.

Gulf Air to restore service to Shiraz, Iran and Hyderabad, India

Gulf Air A320-200 A9C-AC (09-Grand Prix 2012)(Grd)(Gulf Air)(LRW)

Gulf Air (Bahrain) has announced that it will be recommencing flights to Shiraz. Becoming the airline’s 40th destination, the capital of Fars Province in Iran, will be served with 3 weekly flights, starting on December 15, 2014.

Gulf Air is further strengthening and supplementing its Iran operations after the recent resumption of flights to both Mashhad (December 2013) and Tehran (March 2014).

Gulf Air will be operating one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft on this short-haul route.

In other news, Gulf Air has also announced that, following its successful resumption of operations to Thiruvananthapuram last year, it will be recommencing flights to Hyderabad, the fourth most populous city in India, with 5 weekly flights, starting from December 15, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Gulf Air. Airbus A320-214 A9C-AC (msn 4059) taxies to the runway.

Gulf Air Aircraft Slide Show:

Alitalia and Etihad Airways unveil two Airbus A330-200s in an unique Expo Milano 2015 livery

Alitalia (2nd)-Etihad A330-200 (14-Expo Milano 2015)(Tko)(Alitalia)(LRW)

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have unveiled two aircraft in a unique Expo Milano 2015 livery to mark their co-sponsorship of the global event.

Expo 2015 will be held in Milan from May 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015 with an estimated 20 million visitors expected to attend the event of which more than a third will travel to the northern Italian city by air.

Alitalia (2nd)-Etihad Expo Milano 2015 logo

Alitalia and Etihad Airways held joint simultaneous events at Malpensa Airport in Milan and Abu Dhabi Airport to unveil the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, to audiences gathered in both locations as well as thousands watching online around the world.

The Alitalia A330-200 and the Etihad Airways A330-200, both in the eye-catching special livery, operated their first flights on Tuesday, October 21, between Rome and Abu Dhabi and will carry the Expo Milano 2015 “feeding the planet, energy for life” message worldwide.

Flight frequencies to and from Milan are set to increase during Expo 2015 when Alitalia will commence daily flights to Milan Malpensa from Abu Dhabi and from Shanghai, that will be introduced in the next months, after approval by European authorities, and Alitalia will also increase domestic and international flights. These flights will connect with Etihad Airways’ services throughout the Middle East and with markets in the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways will link Milan with 560 unique online and codeshare destinations across the globe.

The new Alitalia service to Abu Dhabi will complement Etihad Airways’ successful daily passenger flights and regular freight flights between Milan and Abu Dhabi and contribute to the two airlines’ commitment to develop Malpensa as a global air cargo hub.

In addition to the joint liveried aircraft, Alitalia and Etihad Airways are offering a number of business initiatives including all-inclusive packages and special fares targeted at families, seniors, business travellers and young people for Expo Milano 2015.

The two air carriers are also implementing an integrated marketing and communication plan including onboard and ground announcements for their flights, as well as offers to loyalty program members, print and digital campaigns, and social media activities.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways will have a pavilion throughout Expo 2015 with an interactive social hub that will enable guests to enjoy activities in Milan whether in the city or around the world.

All images by Alitalia and Etihad Airways.

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Alitalia (2nd)-Etihad A330-200 (14-Expo Milano 2015)(Grd)(Alitalia)(LRW)

 

Hawaiian Holdings reports adjusted third quarter net income of $49.5 million

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (Honolulu), parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2014.

GAAP net income in the third quarter of $35.6 million or $0.56 per diluted share.

Adjusted net income, reflecting economic fuel expense, in the third quarter of $49.5 million or $0.79 per diluted share, an increase of $12.7 million or $0.10 cents per diluted share year-over-year.

Operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increase of 4.6% and passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increase of 2.2%.

Unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $582 million.

Announced new service from San Francisco to Maui beginning November 2014.

Operated Los Angeles to Kona, three-times-weekly, and Los Angeles to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.

Operated Oakland to Kona, three-times-weekly and Oakland to Lihu’e, four-times-weekly, summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.

Operated Los Angeles to Maui second daily summer seasonal service through the beginning of September.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 N393HA (msn 1422) arrives in Las Vgeas.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways unveils its new Airbus A330 Business Suite

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has unveiled and introduced its new Airbus A330 international Business Class product. The airline issued this statement and photos:

QANTAS logo (large)

QANTAS customers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.

QANTAS A330 Business Suite  1 (QANTAS)(LRW)

Designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of QANTAS’ A330 aircraft, offering the world’s first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing.* The Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.

QANTAS A330 Business Suite  2 (QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS A330 Business Suite  3 (QANTAS)(LRW)

The Vantage XL seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, was developed and customised extensively by Qantas after ergonomic trials and inflight monitoring with a panel of experts and ongoing feedback from customers.

QANTAS Economy Recaro seat (QANTAS)(LRW)

The Economy cabins on all international A330s will be fitted with a next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat (above), an earlier version of which has been extremely popular with QANTAS customers on the Airbus A380 and refurbished Boeing 747 aircraft. Economy seats on the A330-200s for QANTAS Domestic will also be refreshed.

Customers in both cabins on the international A330 aircraft will be able to enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, with larger seatback touchscreens in addition to Q Streaming technology, enabling them to stream content from an extensive entertainment library directly to their own devices.

Domestic Business Class customers on A330 aircraft will also enjoy the same Panasonic eX3 system, while Economy customers will have an individual inflight entertainment experience through either seatback touchscreens or devices provided by QANTAS in every seat.

The work to refresh the aircraft interiors – which will take about one month for each – will start at QANTAS’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month. The first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December from the east coast to Perth, and the first international A330 will commence flying in January 2015.

International and domestic routes currently serviced by QANTAS A330s:

· Sydney-Melbourne

· Sydney-Brisbane

· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth

· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore

· Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong

· Sydney-Bangkok

· Sydney-Jakarta

· Sydney-Manila

· Sydney-Honolulu

· Sydney-Shanghai

* Subject to final CASA certification.

Business Suites and Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems to be progressively introduced on A330 aircraft from December 2014.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Video:

Qatar Airways to introduce the new Airbus A350-900 on the Doha-Frankfurt route

Qatar A350-900 F-WZFA (A7-ALA)(06)(Grd) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced Frankfurt will be the first destination for its new Airbus A350-900. The fast-growing airline issued this statement:

Qatar Airways has announced Frankfurt as the first route for its highly anticipated A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB) aircraft.
As the Global Launch operator of the A350 XWB, the program will achieve another major milestone once the airline receives its first aircraft before the end of this year.

Upon delivery, following several weeks of induction preparation, Qatar Airways will then be set to introduce its first commercial service to the German business hub city of Frankfurt.

Frankfurt will be operated nonstop daily with an A350 starting from January of next year.

Qatar Airways currently flies twice-daily to Frankfurt, and the double pairings will both be operated by an A350 on the route.

Initially flights QR 067/068 will be the first pairing with the A350, followed shortly by flights QR 069/70.

The 283 seats are divided across a dual cabin layout, configured in Business Class and Economy Class; 36 seats and 247 seats respectively.

Qatar Airways has 80 Airbus A350s on order, and expects to induct the first eight production aircraft into its fleet before 2015 year-end.

Before the end of this year the airline will reach 146 destinations, launching new services to Djibouti, in the Republic of Djibouti, on October 26 and Asmara, in Eritrea on December 4.

Qatar Airways presently flies to 144 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and operates a modern mixed fleet of narrow and wide-body aircraft.

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 aircraft in September this year and it is currently operated daily on the Doha – London Heathrow route.

In other news, Qatar Airways Cargo has announced the launch of freighters to Stavanger in Norway, effective November 3, 2014.

Stavanger will be served once a week by an Airbus A330F freighter, with the freighter making a stop at Brussels before heading to Stavanger Airport and then returning to Doha.

Stavanger is known as the European oil and gas capital, with many of the major oil and gas companies and supplier companies having their Norwegian headquarters located in Stavanger. Other areas of activity and business include fishing, shipping, finance, culture, food and renewable energy. There is also great demand for Norwegian salmon worldwide, while imports include considerable quantities of motor vehicles and other transport equipment, raw materials, and industrial equipment.

With the introduction of scheduled freighter services, Qatar Airways Cargo will provide air transportation to these growing industries through the Doha hub, to and from more than 140 destinations worldwide.

The airline received its seventh Boeing 777 freighter on October 2, 2014, bringing up the total freighter fleet to 10.

Copyright Photo: Airbus/Qatar Airways. The pictured Airbus A350-941 F-WZFA (msn 006) will become A7-ALA on the official handover.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Full speed ahead; Emirates to continue its growth strategy despite the challenging environment

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has issued this statement on its on-going growth strategy:

Emirates will continue with its growth trajectory, in spite of global challenges like regional political instability, pandemic health issues in Africa and softening economic demand from dropping oil prices.

Speaking today at the Aviation Festival Middle East, Anand Lakshminarayanan, Divisional Vice President Route Planning and Economics said: “Countries recognize the importance of seamless global traffic flows and the multiplier effect to their own economies, and this has been instrumental in our own growth as an airline that attracts business and tourism opportunities. We will not deviate from our hub strategy and our future aircraft deliveries and orders are predicated on our non-stop services, connecting city pairs around the globe.”

Emirates expects to fly 70 million passengers in 2020, and the airline together with its partners in Dubai are already progressing on plans to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support and capitalise on this growth.

The Aviation Festival Middle East is a platform for airlines, airports and the aviation industry to address strategies for growth and development. On behalf of Emirates, Lakshminarayanan discussed profitable network growth, aero-political access, airport constraints and commercial partnerships. The core of Emirates network strategy and Dubai hub were also discussed, in addition to Emirates’ view on alliances and strategic partnerships.

He cited India as an example where Emirates services have brought positive economic benefits, where the 185 weekly frequencies allotted to the airline directly contribute $825 million to the local economy, according to a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

Emirates has also been able to capitalize on strategic alliances with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), which has helped spur tourism into Dubai through the partnership. Over 250,000 Australians visited Dubai last year, largely reflecting the convergence of both airlines’ networks. Another mutually beneficial partnership that has supported Emirates’ growing United States network has been with JetBlue Airways (New York), which has grown to a bilateral codeshare agreement, enabling Emirates passengers to connect to over 60 cities served by JetBlue beyond its US gateways.

The airline continues to work on various initiatives, in partnership with Dubai International Airport, to help ease slot congestion. Terminal 4, set to open in 2015, will also help to address overall capacity requirements at the airport.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates is also not afraid of its large and growing Airbus A380 fleet. The airline is also not concerned with the resale market for its A380s. It is happy to have single operator A380s. Emirates is an unique airline. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) with Expo 2020 markings departs from London (Heathrow).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

American Airlines Cargo and US Airways Cargo today are now using the same air waybill, another step in the merger process

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have reached a significant milestone in their merger today as the cargo divisions combined under a single air waybill. The new entity brings in more than $800 million each year and moves more than one billion pounds of freight and mail annually.

The cargo teams have successfully combined 154 facilities and harmonized products since December 2013, making it the first operations division at the airline to be fully integrated.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Another step in the repainting process at US Airways is the pictured Airbus A319-112 N745VJ (msn 1289) in the legacy 1966 Allegheny Airlines markings now has American titles.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Allegheny Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:

Airberlin to drop the Berlin Tegel-Miami route on May 4, 2015

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) is dropping the Berlin (Tegel)-Miami route on May 4, 2015 per Airline Route. The airline was planning to continue the route through next summer but this has now apparently changed. It is uncertain if the route will be added back for the following prime winter season. Airberlin was also feeding Oneworld partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) at the Miami hub.

Airberlin is adding frequencies to the New York (JFK) and Los Angeles routes.

Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-223 D-ABXA (msn 288) in the Oneworld motif arrives at Miami International Airport (MIA).

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

 

Aigle Azur to drop the Paris Orly-Moscow Vnukovo route

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

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

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

Aigle Azur: AG Slide Show

 

Aigle Azur (2013) logo

Current Route Map:

Aigle Azue 10.2014 Route Map

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

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

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

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

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Volaris is coming to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood from Mexico City and Guadalajara

Volaris (Mexico City) has announced the launch of two new routes to connect Mexico City and Guadalajara with Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Mexico City flights will start operating on December 1 and Guadalajara flights on December 4. Mexico City flights will operate four days a week and Guadalajara flights two days a week. FLL is the second destination in Florida after Orlando. FLL will serve the Miami area (see map below).

The carrier is also adding the following routes this winter:

Morelia-Oakland (twice-weekly, effective November 3)

Guadalajara-Orlando (twice-weekly, effective November 17)

Guadalajara-Chicago (O’Hare) (twice-weekly, effective November 19)

Cancun-Las Vegas (twice-weekly, effective December 18)

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-133 XA-VOC (msn 2997) lands in Las Vegas.

Volaris: AG Slide Show

Updated Route Map for routes from Mexico City:

Volaris MEX 10.2014 Route Map

Lufthansa is facing another two days of strikes by its pilots

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement concerning strike action against the carrier today and tomorrow:

Lufthansa is working flat out to devise special timetables for the next two days in response to planned strike action by its Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. The union has called for a nationwide strike affecting all Lufthansa flights operated with Airbus A320-family, Boeing 737 and Embraer aircraft from 13:00 CEST on Monday October 20 to 23:59 CEST on Tuesday October 21.

A first special timetable, valid for the first 24 hours of the strike, was placed on the http://www.LH.com website around 19:00 this evening. A second special timetable for the remaining strike period should be published tomorrow (Monday 20 October) around 13:00. The special timetables are also intended to ensure that Lufthansa services can be returned to normal once the strike is over.

In view of the length of the strike action called, Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul services are likely to suffer substantial disruption during the strike period. But as part of its special timetable preparations, the company is currently determining which flights can still be operated. Lufthansa’s long-haul services will operate normally tomorrow (Monday); but travellers are still asked to check the status of their flight prior to their departure. The company’s http://www.LH.com website is the best place to do so: since the strike action has been announced on a Sunday, it will be some time before the call centres can be brought up to maximum capacity.

Travellers whose flight is cancelled as a result of the strike action have the options of rebooking or cancelling their ticket free of charge. Customers who have booked a Lufthansa flight for 20 or 21 October can also rebook their ticket once free of charge even if their original flight is expected to operate. Tickets for travel within Germany can also be exchanged for a rail ticket on http://www.LH.com or at any Lufthansa Quick Check-In machine.

The flights of sister Lufthansa Group carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX and EN) will operate normally during the strike period. Lufthansa Cargo, too, remains largely unaffected. Germanwings is currently studying whether it can operate up to four Lufthansa flights that would otherwise be cancelled as a result of the strike action. And Lufthansa’s personnel are doing their utmost to ensure that travellers – and connecting passengers in particular – can be rerouted via the Lufthansa Group’s Zurich, Vienna and Brussels hubs wherever possible to get them to their destination on time despite the strike action. Customers who have provided contact details will also be informed by email or SMS text message of any changes to their flights.

Lufthansa views the Vereinigung Cockpit’s announcement of its latest strike action as totally incomprehensible and disproportionate. The company also feels that the continuing series of strikes here only confirms that urgent action is needed to review the current strike laws in Germany for companies providing critical infrastructural facilities.

The transitional benefits offered by Lufthansa are still among the best (if not the best) in the world and therefore a significant privilege, the company maintains, and are thus exactly the opposite of the “social slashing” that the Vereinigung Cockpit claims. The company’s concrete offer to redesign these transitional benefits includes a comprehensive retention of current status and privileges and a gradual transition to a sustainable model for all current pilots.

Lufthansa also aims to offer pilots who have joined (or will join) the company since 1 January 2014 the option of early retirement from flight duties. And the company has offered the Vereinigung Cockpit further talks to discuss the financing of the transitional benefits for these newer staff. In response, the company has received no proposals for redesigning the present transitional benefits to date from the Vereinigung Cockpit itself.

Around half of the just under 10,000 pilots within the Lufthansa Group currently work under transitional benefit provisions that only allow them to retire from flight duties at age 60 or over, if at all. Indeed, the Vereinigung Cockpit itself has concluded collective labour agreements incorporating such provisions within the Lufthansa Group. But, Lufthansa maintains, the union is now insisting on provisions for the pilots it represents that would give them benefits which would be exceptionally generous in the aviation industry worldwide.

Lufthansa’s remaining 115,000 employees have made their contribution to ensuring the company’s long-term future and competitiveness in a harsh and unfair global market arena. So Lufthansa does not see the slightest reason why this particular employee group should be solely determined to retain its present status and privileges for decades to come, and to do so even for pilots who are yet to join the company.

Read the analysis from Business Insider: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” arrives at London (Heathrow).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

Air Transat to fly to Budapest, Hungary next summer

Air Transat (Montreal) has announced it is adding a new destination, Budapest, Hungary, to its trans-Atlantic program for 2015, as well as increasing seats and frequencies on many of its European routes, including Paris, London, Barcelona, Athens, Lisbon, Marseille, Nantes, Rome and Venice.

The new route will be routed from Toronto (Pearson) to Montreal (Trudeau) and finally to Budapest with Airbus A330s from June 17 through October 8, 2015.

 

Besides service to secondary cities in France, the carrier is now offering twice-daily flights to Paris from Montreal and six a week from Toronto. Air Transat also remains the only airline offering direct flights to Paris from Quebec City, Calgary and Vancouver.

In addition, Air Transat announced a new connection between Halifax, Nova Scotia) to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and finally to London (Gatwick), with two weekly Boeing 737-800 flights in the high season, in response to strong demand from travellers in the region. The route will be operated from June 17 through September 3, 2015.

Elsewhere in Canada, the carrier will increase flight frequencies on its London routes as well, offering 10 weekly departures from Toronto, two each from Montreal and Halifax, six from Vancouver, and three from Calgary.

Flights will also be added to Athens and Barcelona from Montreal and Toronto, and to Lisbon from Montreal.

In 2015, Air Transat will no longer offer flights to Germany from Western Canada, and will no longer fly to Turkey. Although the airline is eliminating service between Montreal and Istanbul, Air Transat will continue to market that destination, with land tours sold under the Transat Holidays and Transat Discoveries brands.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 C-GTSZ (msn 971) of Air Transat departs from Toronto (Pearson).

Air Transat: AG Slide Show

Air Transat Aircraft Slide Show:

Gambia Bird is unable to resume London Gatwick flights

Gambia Bird Airlines (Banjul) has been unable to resume flights to London (Gatwick) according to Proactive Investors. The west African airline had been planning to resume operations to London on October 17. The UK government through the Department of Transport did not renew its permit to operate to the UK due to the on-going Ebola crisis. The airline has been hit hard by the outbreak.

Previously Gambia Bird had extended the suspension of all flights to and from Monrovia, in Liberia, and to and from Freetown, in Sierra Leone, until September 28. 2014, due to the current public health situation in both countries.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Germania’s Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) is seen in action at London’s Gatwick Airport.

Gambia Bird: AG Slide Show

Gambia Bird logo-1

Gambia Bird’s operating area is ground zero for the Ebola affected areas:

Gambia Bird 10.2014 Service Area

Gambia Bird Aircraft Slide Show:

 

Lufthansa to drop service to Abu Dhabi next summer

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has announced it will drop its daily route from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi, the home of Etihad Airways. The route will be dropped on March 29, 2015. The German airline has been getting increased price competition from Etihad and its partner Airberlin (Berlin) on the route.

The route is operated with Airbus A330-300s.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 D-AIKJ (msn 701) arrives at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.

Lufthansa Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

 

Spirit Airlines to start Denver-San Diego flights on January 6

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is again expanding its network. The carrier will add daily nonstop flight between Denver and San Diego starting on January 6, 2015 according to The Denver Post.

Spirit returned to Denver in 2012 and has been adding routes since then.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Reflecting the new “Bare Fare” advertising campaign, Airbus A319-132 N502NK (msn 2433) arrives in Las Vegas in the bright new canary yellow 2014 color scheme.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines has taken the “Bare Fare” concept (i.e. charging for all extras) to the extreme, even now charging for carry-ons. They provide this “Pro Tips” guidance to avoid some of the extra charges:

Bare Fare pro Tips

Spirit Airlines Aircraft Slide Show:

Video: The Bare Fare explained by Spirit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tigerair (Singapore): AG Slide Show

Tigerair (Singapore) Aircraft Slide Show:

Airbus to cut the monthly A330 production rate from 10 to 9 aircraft as it transitions to the new A330neo

Airbus (Toulouse) has decided to adjust the production rate for its A330 Family from the current rate 10 to 9 aircraft a month in the fourth quarter of 2015 as it transitions towards the A330neo.

Since 2013, Airbus has been building 10 A330 Family aircraft each month, the industry’s highest ever production rate for this aircraft size category.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Demonstration aircraft Airbus A330-223F F-WWYE (msn 1004) became TC-JDO with Turkish Airlines.

Airbus A330s from around the world Slide Show:

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

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

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

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

Read the full story from ABC: CLICK HERE

CDC logo

The CDC issued this statement in cooperation with Frontier Airlines:

CDC and Frontier Airlines Announce Passenger Notification Underway

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

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

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

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

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

Frontier 2014 logo (large)

Frontier Airlines Statement

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

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

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

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

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

AFA Logo

 

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

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

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

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

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

CDC logo

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2014 Update

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

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

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

Meanwhile Airports Council International (ACI) issued this statement:

ACI logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Planefinder Ebola Plane Tracker

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

The website explains how it all works:

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

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

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

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show:

EASA certifies the Airbus A350-900 for up to 370 minutes ETOPS, the first delivery A350 makes its first flight

Airbus (Toulouse) has announced it has received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for operators of the new Airbus A350-900 for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) “Beyond 180 minutes” diversion time with an option for up to 370 minutes maximum diversion time. Airbus issued this statement and new logo:

Airbus A350 370 min ETOPS logo

The A350-900 is the first new airliner ever to be approved before EIS for “ETOPS Beyond 180 minutes”.

This includes an option for up to 370 minute maximum diversion time, for the most efficient, reliable and direct long-range routings of any two-engined aircraft.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the new A350-900 airliner for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) ‘Beyond 180 minutes’ diversion time. This significant achievement marks the A350 XWB as being the first new aircraft type ever to receive such a level of ETOPS approval prior to entry into service (EIS). Moreover, this means that operators will benefit from the most efficient, reliable and direct long-range routings of any two-engined aircraft. The FAA’s respective ETOPS certification of the A350 is expected soon.

The approval which includes ETOPS 180 minutes in the basic specification also includes provisions for “ETOPS 300 minutes” and “ETOPS 370 minutes” depending on individual operator selection. The latter option extends the diversion distance up to an unprecedented 2,500 nautical miles – a distance which corresponds to a maximum ETOPS diversion time for the A350 of approximately 370 minutes, at one-engine-inoperative speed under standard atmospheric conditions.

A350 operators will thus be able to serve new direct non-limiting routings, compared with a 180 minutes ETOPS diversion time: The ETOPS 370 minutes option will be of particular benefit for new direct southern routes such as between Australia, South Africa and South America; while the ETOPS 300 minutes option will facilitate more efficient transoceanic routes across the North and Mid-Pacific – such as from South East Asia to US, and Australasia to the US. Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180 minutes diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter and consequently quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have access to more – and possibly better equipped – en-route diversion airports if needed.

The granting of this ETOPS capability prior to the A350’s EIS is a testimony to the development teams’ emphasis on securing the aircraft’s design and systems maturity, which had to be demonstrated as equivalent to that of a proven ETOPS aircraft such as its widebody sibling – the versatile and extremely reliable A330. The latter has proven the robustness of its systems as demonstrated in over 30 million flight hours in almost seven million flights.

Around 70 percent of A350 flight hours will be ETOPS. At the end of September 2014, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers worldwide.

“ETOPS” is a set of rules initially introduced by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in the mid-1980s to allow commercial operations with twin-engine aircraft on routes beyond 60min flying time from the nearest airport and which were previously operated only by aircraft with more than two engines. These rules, which are now named “EDTO” (Extended Diversion Time Operations) by ICAO have been progressively revised to allow operations beyond 180min diversion time. In 2009, the Airbus A330 became the first airliner to gain an ETOPS “Beyond 180 minutes” certification, when it was granted an ETOPS 240 minutes certification by EASA. As of today, Airbus twin-engined airliners have accumulated over 16 million ETOPS flight hours, out of which over 12 million have been accumulated by the A330 models.

TopCopyright Photo: Eurospot/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A350-941 F-WZFA (msn 006), the first delivery model going to Qatar Airways as A7-ALA performs a taxi test. F-WZFA flew today (October 16) for the first time at Toulouse.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. Qatar Airways’ future first delivery to be registered as A7-ALA takes to the skies for the first time today in Toulouse. Qatar Airways will become the first operator of the A350 XWB when it takes delivery of its first aircraft later this year. The airline has 80 A350s on order, including 43 A350-900 and 37 of the larger A350-1000 models.

Qatar A350-900 F-WZFA (A7-ALA)(06)(Tko) TLS (Airbus)(LRW)

Qatar Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

Frontier Airlines to pull out of Eugene, Oregon

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

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

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

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

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Frontier Airlines (2nd) Aircraft Slide Show:

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

Frontier 10.2014 Route Map

Video: The new ultra low cost Frontier:

George Hobica of USA Today rates the best U.S. trans-con airline, what do you think?

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is the winner as far as one person’s opinion (George Hobica of USA Today) of the “Trans-Con Upgrade Wars”. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and Virgin America have all recently upgraded their First Class and/or Business Class cabin and service products on the hotly-competitive East Coast-West Coast trans-con routes.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

If you have recently flown these trans-con routes of these five airlines, please tell us what you think:

CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines’ Airbus A321-231 N107NN (msn 5938) arrives at New York (JFK). American upgraded its trans-con product with new Airbus A321s.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Bottom Photo: American Airlines. Meanwhile the first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (N800AN, msn 40618) has been rolled out of the Boeing 787 assembly building at Paine Field, Everett. Next stop, the paint shop.

American 787-8 N800AN (white)(RO) PAE (American)(LR)

American Airlines current livery aircraft slide show:

IndiGo signs MOU for 250 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

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

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

IndiGo is celebrating its 8th anniversary.

IndiGo Great to be 8

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

IndiGo:

IndiGo logo-2

Current Route Map:

IndiGo 10.2014 Route Map

IndiGo Aircraft Slide Show:

Video: 2010 TV commercial for IndiGo:

 

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

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

Airberlin has issued this statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Niki: AG Slide Show

Airberlin Aircraft Slide Show:

 

EasyJet announces six new routes from Amsterdam

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

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

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

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

Base opening Spring 2015

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

Summer 2015 schedule

The new routes are:

Dubrovnik 2 weekly

Nice 7 weekly

Olbia 2 weekly

Toulouse 3 weekly

Venice 7 weekly

Hamburg 6 weekly

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

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

EasyJet Aircraft Slide Show:

 

TransAsia Airways paints and unveils its first V air Airbus A321

V Air A321-200 B-22608 (14)(Grd) (V Air)(LR)

V air (subsidiary of TransAsia Airways) (Taipei) has repainted and unveiled its first Airbus A321-231 registered as B-22608 (msn 6009) into the new low-cost carrier’s bear livery. The TransAsia A321 was unveiled today on their Facebook page.  B-22608 will arrive at Taipei’s Songshan Airport very shortly.

V air is proposing to start low-fare operations to Bangkok pending a difficult approval process.

Photo: V air.

TransAsia Airways: AG Slide Show

TransAsia Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

 

Air France and KLM announce their schedule changes for the winter season

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) have issued details of their winter schedule from October 26 through March 28, 2015. Overall group capacity will only increase by 0.7 percent as Air France tries to recover from its devastating pilot strikes. However Transavia will see a 13.3 percent increase in capacity as the group tries to drive more operations to the lower cost divisions. Air France is cutting dome domestic AF services with the goal of breaking even by 2017. Here is the full report:

For the 2014-15 winter season (from October 26, 2014 to March 28, 2015), Air France-KLM Group capacity is scheduled to increase by 0.7%, with an increase of 0.1% for passenger operations(Air France, KLM and HOP!) and 13.3% for low-cost leisure operations (Transavia in France and the Netherlands).

Short and medium-haul capacity at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol hubs will increase slightly (+3.1%). In the same way as last summer, point-to-point short and medium-haul capacity will continue to decrease (-11.3%). Transavia capacity will increase by +13.3%, with growth concentrated on the French market (+56%).

Air France-KLM has chosen to move upmarket with the progressive introduction of new products and services of the highest global standards.

On the long-haul network, 22 Boeing 747-400s have been equipped with KLM’s new World Business Class and 777-200s will be finished before the summer of 2015, followed by implementing the new World Business Class in the 777-300s. By the end of 2016 about 80% of the KLM fleet will be done. Air France continues to roll out its new Best cabins: five Air France Boeing 777s will be equipped by end-2014. Flights to New York, Singapore and Jakarta have already been equipped with these brand new products. Services to Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai, Dubai, Houston, Sao Paulo, Douala and Malabo will gradually be added to this list in winter 2014.

Furthermore, this winter the Company will operate two new destinations by Airbus A380: Miami and Abidjan, in addition to Los Angeles, New York, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Shanghai already served by the super jumbo this summer.

Long-haul: + 0.3%

On the long-haul network, Air France-KLM Group capacity is up slightly compared with winter 2013-14 at +0.3%.

On the North American network, capacity is up +2.4% compared with winter 2013-14

KLM is once again increasing capacity to Atlanta, from 7 to 12 weekly flights, in response to market demand. These new frequencies will facilitate connections with the Delta Air Lines network in Atlanta, one of the main hubs served by the Air France-KLM partner.

The Air France Airbus A380 will be flying the Miami route as from early December. Three U.S. destinations will thus be operated this winter by the A380 on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle – New-York-JFK, Los Angeles and Miami.

In Mexico, KLM will increase its frequencies to Mexico City, from 7 to 9 weekly flights in November and December, in line with seasonal demand. Air France capacity on a code-share basis with Aeromexico is increasing with 13 new destinations in Mexico and Central America on departure from Mexico City.

In Central and South America, Group capacity is up +1.1%.

Air France continues to serve Brasilia (Brazil) three times a week and Montevideo (Uruguay) is served daily in continuation of Buenos Aires (Argentina). The Company is increasing capacity to Panama City, increasing from three to five weekly frequencies by B777-200 and benefits from Copa’s Central American hub thanks to the commercial agreement between the two airlines.

Air France-KLM continues its close cooperation with the Brazilian airline GOL in order to take advantage of its joint network in the region and offer its customers improved connecting opportunities with the Brazilian domestic network this winter.

In the Caribbean, Air France-KLM capacity is revised downwards (-2.2%). Between mid-December and mid-January, Air France will operate 13 weekly flights (instead of 14) to Pointe-à-Pitre and 11 weekly flights (instead of 14) to Fort-de-France. KLM will increase capacity in the Caribbean in response to increasing demand for these destinations.

In Asia, Group capacity is up slightly at +0.7%.

In continuation of the summer schedule, Air France is continuing to serve Tokyo-Haneda airport up to 11 times per week in addition to the daily flight to Tokyo-Narita, providing connecting opportunities to Noumea (New Caledonia). Services to Jakarta (Indonesia) in continuation of the Singapore flight are also maintained on a daily basis.

To take advantage of the seasonal nature of certain destinations, Air France is increasing capacity during the peak winter season between mid-December and mid-March to Bangkok (Thailand) (one daily flight) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) (addition of a fourth frequency).

In China, capacity to Wuhan is being increased by one weekly frequency, with three weekly flights. Guangzhou will be served by four weekly flights.

KLM continues to cooperate with its Asian partners to offer customers a wider choice of connecting flights and even more destinations in Asia.

Africa: capacity slightly down by -0.8%

In Africa, Group capacity is slightly down to -0.8%.

Air France is adjusting its flight offering and reinforcing its most buoyant routes such as Abidjan (Ivory Coast), with the entry into service of the A380, and Pointe Noire (Congo) with the introduction of a sixth weekly frequency.

In East Africa, KLM is reorganizing its network to adapt it to specific market expectations. Capacity to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Entebbe (Uganda) is up. The two cities are now served directly three times a week. On the other days, they are served via Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda) respectively. KLM has suspended direct service to Harare (Zimbabwe) and Lusaka (Zambia). These two destinations remain in the Group’s capacity and are currently served by Kenya Airways via Nairobi (Kenya).

In the Indian Ocean region, Air France-KLM is adjusting capacity (-2.8%). From mid-December to mid-January, Air France will offer 11 flights to Reunion island (instead of 12) and an additional flight to Mauritius.

Middle East: capacity down by -5.2%

In the Middle East, Air France-KLM capacity is down by -5.2%. KLM is again increasing capacity to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in combination with Bahrein, as a result of its optimized cooperation with Etihad Airways, Air France-KLM’s partner. KLM will serve this destination using an Airbus 330-300, instead of an A330-200. Dubai will be served by the Air France B777-300 equipped with the new Best cabins in early 2015.

Medium-haul

On the medium-haul network, the 2014-15 winter season sees the full effect of the measures of the Transform 2015 plan.

On departure from the Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol hubs: capacity increases by +3.1%
Air France and KLM continue to serve the routes launched this summer: on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Stavanger (Norway) with two daily frequencies; on departure from Amsterdam-Schiphol, two daily flights to Turin (Italy), one daily flight to Bilbao (Spain) and Zagreb (Croatia).

KLM strengthens its position in Scandinavia by increasing frequencies to Bergen (Noway) with three daily flights and five daily flights to Billund (Denmark). KLM will also increase capacity to Moscow (Russia) and Bordeaux with three daily flights.

Air France aims to better seize connecting opportunities to the rest of the world and maintain capacity adapted to variations in demand between winter and summer: for example, one daily frequency is being suspended to Munich (Germany), Bucharest (Romania), Moscow (Russia), Rome (Italy) and Bremen (Germany).

On departure from Paris-Orly and the French provinces: capacity down by -11.3%
This winter, point-to-point short and medium-haul capacity (Air France, HOP!) is down by -11.3%. Seasonal adjustments are more pronounced, with the aim to return to operational breakeven by 2017.

On departure from Paris-Orly, Air France suspends one daily flight to Bordeaux and two daily frequencies to Toulouse. From the provinces, structural adjustments continue, notably with the suspension of several destinations in Europe and North Africa on departure from Toulouse and Marseille.

HOP! capacity is slightly up in France and to major European cities on departure from the French provinces. With its 26 destinations, Lyon is the Company’s main base, giving customers from the French regions access to a vast network of connecting flights.

Low-cost leisure operations

Transavia: strong increase in capacity of +13.3%

Transavia France, a low-cost subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group, will continue to develop as outlined in the Transform 2015 plan. During the 2014-15 winter season, Transavia France will operate nine new routes launched this year on departure from Paris-Orly – Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Budapest, Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Athens, Pisa and Prague. On departure from Lyon, Transavia will also inaugurate a service to Tel Aviv as from October 2014.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. As previously reported, Air France is bringing the Airbus A380 to Miami this winter. A380-861 F-HPJI (msn 115) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub with the special 80 And (Years) markings.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Air France Aircraft Slide Show:

Virgin America arrives at Dallas Love Field, departs from DFW

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

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

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

Virgin America First Class VIP Check-in Experience

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

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

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

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Video: Sir Richard’s Love List:

Virgin America Aircraft Slide Show:

Finnair’s board approves the incentive plan for its pilots

Finnair (Helsinki) as part of the agreement with its pilots announced last month, has received board of directors approval for a one-time, long-term incentive plan for its pilots. The company issued this statement:

The Finnair Board of Directors has approved a one-off long-term incentive plan for Finnair pilots. The plan is a part of the savings agreement between Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) that brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. The savings agreement was contingent on the realization of the incentive plan.

The plan period is 2015-2018 and the prerequisite for rewarding pilots based on this plan is the materialization of the agreed cost savings over this time period. In addition, the company share price must at least be 4 euros at the end of the incentive plan. If these conditions are met, the pilots are entitled to a cash payment. The amount of the payment is based on the Finnair share price. The total reward to pilots amounts to 12 million euros if the share price is 4 euros or a maximum of 24 million euros, if the share price reaches at least 8 euros. Divided over the four year period, the annual earnings potential for an individual pilot is equivalent to 5-10 per cent of annual base salary.

Finnair plans to hedge the additional costs above the 4 euro share price with a market-based call option. If the conditions of the plan are met, the associated total cost over the four year period is thus limited to approximately 12 million euros. The closing price of Finnair share was 2.39 euros on 10 October 2014.

The number of pilots eligible to participate in the plan is approximately 700. The cash reward will be paid to pilots in spring 2019, provided that the aforementioned performance criteria are met.

“With this incentive plan the savings agreement negotiated with pilots enters into force, which is essential to improve Finnair’s competitiveness. If the plan’s performance criteria are met, Finnair shareholders will have enjoyed a significant increase in the company’s valuation and the pilots will receive a one-time compensation for the permanent savings they have agreed on,” says Finnair’s CEO Pekka Vauramo.

“I am also very pleased that we reached a negotiation result with our cabin crew. With both pilots and cabin crew we negotiated significant savings agreements that support the company’s growth. In return for savings, Finnair gives its cabin crew protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and a pension incentive as well,” says Vauramo. “The agreed changes in the collective labour agreements and other savings measures are not easy for our flying personnel or other employee groups with whom we have made savings agreements. I am grateful that our employees have responsibly contributed to the negotiated solutions. This is quite exceptional in our industry and demonstrates the kind of commitment to Finnair’s future that I am very proud of.”

The share prices for target and maximum level rewards are identified solely for the purpose of this incentive scheme, and they shall not be considered as guidance on Finnair’s share value.

Finnair used PCA Corporate Finance as an advisor in the planning of this incentive plan.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 OH-LZL (msn 6083) with Sharklets departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Finnair Aircraft Slide Show:

Finnair: AG Slide Show

KLM is coming to Edmonton starting on May 3, 2015

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will launch Amsterdam-Edmonton Airbus A330-200 flights starting on May 3, 2015. The new route will be operated four days a week per Airline Route. The airline has not yet officially announced this new route.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOK taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

KLM: AG Slide Show

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

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

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

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

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

Airberlin: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways today inaugurates Airbus A380 service to London Heathrow

Qatar Airways (Doha) today (October 10) finally inaugurated Airbus A380 service on the Doha-London (Heathrow) route becoming the 12th airline to operate the Super Jumbo.

From Airbus:

Twelve airlines have taken delivery of more than 140 A380s, which are operating on routes around the world as of September 2014. In total, more than 65 million passengers have flown on Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner since its 2007 service entry.

Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first A380 in October 2007, and began operations with Singapore-Sydney service. This carrier also is successfully using its A380s on long-haul routes to destinations such as London, Paris and Zurich, as well as for the approximately 3-hour-plus Singapore-to-Hong Kong flight, and on the intra-Asia service linking Singapore with Tokyo.

Emirates – the largest single A380 customer – has expanded its route network since inaugurating operations with the double-deck jetliner in July 2008. In addition to service from Dubai to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Seoul, Sydney/Auckland and Toronto, Emirates is now flying A380s on the shorter-haul, but high-density Dubai-Jeddah route.

Service on the North Atlantic was introduced by Air France, which has operated its prestigious Paris-New York flight with the A380 since November 2009. Air France replaced two mid-sized “classic” widebody aircraft with the A380 on this route, allowing the airline to offer the same capacity with much higher economic efficiency, at significantly lower fuel consumption, and with lower emissions. The carrier also is using its A380s on flights from Paris to Tokyo and Johannesburg.

QANTAS has been operating its A380s since September 2008 from two cities in its Australian home market – Sydney and Melbourne, providing the jetliner’s first service to Los Angeles on the U.S. West Coast, along with routes to Dubai, London and Hong Kong. Lufthansa joined the ranks of A380 operators in May 2010 – deploying its growing fleet on routes between Frankfurt and Beijing, Houston, Johannesburg, San Francisco, Singapore and Tokyo.

Korean Air, which has a long-standing relationship with Airbus that dates back to 1974, received its first A380 in May 2011 and has ordered a total of 10 aircraft to help expand its global route network. As Airbus’ sixth international operator, Korean Air flies the A380 from its Seoul hub to selected destinations in Asia, North America and Europe.

The no. 1 A380 for China Southern Airlines entered revenue service in October 2011 with round-trip flights linking Beijing and Guangzhou. After this introductory domestic service, the airline began using the A380 on international routes starting with flights between Guangzhou and Los Angeles in October 2012.

In May 2012, Malaysia Airlines became the fifth airline in the Asia-Pacific region – and the eighth worldwide – to incorporate the double-deck A380 into its fleet. Malaysia’s A380s are used in operations from Kuala Lumpur to London, Paris and Hong Kong.

Thai Airways International (THAI) became the ninth airline worldwide to incorporate the A380 into its fleet in September 2012. The carrier’s A380s – which seat 507 passengers in a premium three-class layout – provide service to Frankfurt, Tokyo and Paris after being used on Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes upon initial entry into service.

British Airways became the 10th airline to receive an A380 in July 2013 and inaugurated its long-haul operations with the double-deck jetliner between London and Los Angeles two months later.

In May 2014, Asiana Airlines took delivery of its first of six A380s on order, which is a key element in the South Korea-based carrier’s future vision and fleet modernisation strategy. Asiana – the 11th operator worldwide to receive Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner – initially will deploy its no. 1 aircraft from Seoul on regional services in Asia to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok; to be followed by long-haul routes to Los Angeles in the U.S.

Qatar Airways became the world’s 12th airline to add the A380 to its fleet during September 2014. Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner is taking this Gulf airline to new heights, enabling it to carry passengers even further while providing an unrivalled in-flight experience. Qatar Airways is scheduled to begin service with its initial A380 from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to London Heathrow.

Qatar will inaugurate A380 to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) on November 1 and a second flight to Heathrow on December 1.

Map of A380 operators and routes operated: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. This historic photo shows the first, Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137), arriving at London (Heathrow) as flight QR 03 at 1225 local time. The flight back to Doha departs as flight QR 04 at 1415 each day.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Videos:

 

The second Livingston (New Livingston) suspends operations

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

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

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

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

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

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

The airline commenced operations on march 31, 2012.

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

Livingston (2nd): AG Slide Show

Apsara Air starts Airbus A320 operations in Cambodia

Apsara Air logo

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

The new airline received its AOC in September.

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

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

China Aviation Supplies orders 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Airlines (China): AG Slide Show

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