QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has unveiled and introduced its new Airbus A330 international Business Class product. The airline issued this statement and photos:
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.
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.
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.
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/Brisbane to Perth
· Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore
· Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong
* Subject to final CASA certification.
Business Suites and Panasonic eX3 entertainment systems to be progressively introduced on A330 aircraft from December 2014.
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.
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).
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.
Allegheny Airlines (1st) Aircraft Slide Show:
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).
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.
Current Route Map:
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.
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.
Updated Route Map for routes from Mexico City:
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).
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 Aircraft Slide Show:
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’s operating area is ground zero for the Ebola affected areas:
Gambia Bird Aircraft Slide Show:
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.
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 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:
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) 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
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 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:
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 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:
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.
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) 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:
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.
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 Airways Aircraft Slide Show:
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) Aircraft Slide Show:
The changing route map of the “new” Frontier Airlines; less small cities, more large cities:
Video: The new ultra low cost Frontier:
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:
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.
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 Airlines current livery aircraft slide show:
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.
Top Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A3e20-232 VT-IEI (msn 4813) arrives in Dubai.
Current Route Map:
IndiGo Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: 2010 TV commercial for IndiGo:
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 Aircraft Slide Show:
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 Aircraft Slide Show:
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.
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 Aircraft Slide Show:
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 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.
Video: Sir Richard’s Love List:
Virgin America Aircraft Slide Show:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 (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.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) is now planning to introduce the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on December 27 on the Abu Dhabi-Dusseldorf and Abu Dhabi-Doha routes per Airline Route. The new type will also be operated to Brisbane (starting on June 1, 2015), Moscow (Domodedovo) (starting on June 1, 2015), Mumbai (starting on January 1, 2015) and Washington (Dulles) (starting on January 1, 2015).
Etihad is also scheduling the Airbus A380 inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London (Heathrow) also on December 27.
Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. This overhead view shows Boeing 787-9 A6-BLA (msn 39646) being prepared for its formal delivery to the carrier.
Emirates (Dubai) will grow its services to and from Milan with the upgrade of one of its daily Boeing 777-300 services to an Airbus A380 from December 1. This will be the first ever permanently scheduled A380 service to Milan Malpensa Airport.
Bringing the A380 onto one of Emirates’ three daily Milan services will mean an increase in capacity of almost 38%. The triple-daily service connecting Dubai to Milan is currently operated with a mix of Boeing 777-300 and 777-300 ER aircraft. One of these services continues onward to New York.
Emirates currently operates 53 Airbus A380s.
The A380 service will operate daily as flight EK 91, departing Dubai at 1540 and arriving at Milan Malpensa airport at 1935. The return flight, EK 92, departs Milan at 2120 and arrives in Dubai at 0625 the next day.
Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EEV (msn 150) taxies at the new destination of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
Finnair to open a new summer route to Split, Croatia and reaches a savings agreement with its cabin crews
Finnair (Helsinki) is opening a new route to the Croatian city of Split, operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May 5 to October 3, 2015. Scheduled service to the popular gateway to the Dalmatian coast will be flown with Airbus A320 aircraft.
Elsewhere in Croatia, Finnair flies daily in the summer to historic Dubrovnik, south of Split and also on the Dalmatian coast.
Earlier this year Finnair announced new European destinations including Dublin, Athens and Malta, as well as new scheduled services to Chania, Heraklion, Kos and Rhodes in Greece; Catania and Naples in Italy; Marmaris in Turkey; Mallorca in Spain; Paphos in Cyprus and Innsbruck in Austria.
In other news, Finnair and the Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) have reached a savings agreement in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.
The agreement brings Finnair 18 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 75% of the savings materialize during this agreement period and 25% in the future through changes to the employment terms of new cabin attendants. In return, Finnair gives cabin personnel protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and pension incentive. The savings impact of the outsourcing contracts already made were acknowledged in the targets of the agreement.
As a result of the savings agreement, Finnair is no longer planning on further outsourcing of cabin services. As announced on 1 September, however, Finnair has already signed a contract with OSM Aviation to outsource cabin services on Singapore and Hong Kong routes, and this will go ahead as planned.
In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. After the agreement signed with SLSY, Finnair has reached savings agreements with almost all of its personnel groups. Savings measures continue in the areas where savings targets have not been reached.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXC (msn 1544) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Swiss to reinvent itself as the “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” with 22 new European routes and a new cabin design
Swiss International Air Lines (Zurich) is reinventing its European network with 22 new routes from Zurich for the next summer season and a new cabin look. The new strategy is called the “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland”. The airline issued this statement:
Swiss (styled as “SWISS”) will be investing billions of Swiss francs in advanced aircraft, attractive destinations and further product enhancements over the next few years as part of its “Next-Generation Airline of Switzerland” strategy. The airline will be adding 22 new European destinations to its Zurich network with the start of the 2015 summer schedules, and will also be commencing a new Geneva-Lugano service. On board, meanwhile, the carrier will introduce a new-look cabin on its European Airbus fleet from the end of November onwards, along with fresh new Swiss products for its inflight foodservice in the Swiss Economy cabin.
Swiss, The Airline of Switzerland, will be investing several billion Swiss francs in its aircraft fleet and in making its products and services even more appealing to its guests. In doing so, it will also be putting an even firmer focus on the Swiss population’s air travel needs, and on keeping Switzerland even better connected with the world.
New European destinations from Zurich and Geneva
From the start of the 2015 summer schedules, Swiss will be supplementing its traditional hub concept with a new point-to-point system and expanding its Zurich-based European network through the addition of 22 new destinations. Sixteen of the new points – Naples, Bari, Bilbao, Porto, Toulouse, Leipzig, Dresden, Graz, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Riga, Krakow, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Sofia and Zagreb – will be provided with year-round service, while six of them – Palermo, Brindisi, Malta, Thessaloniki, Izmir and Santiago de Compostela – will be served in the summer months. Parallel to this, Swiss will also be expanding its range of services from and to Geneva, with the addition of 16 weekly Geneva-Lugano flights. The innovations will give Swiss a highly attractive timetable with more nonstop connections than ever, to meet the needs of the Swiss people, the Swiss economy and the Swiss tourist sector.
Refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet
Swiss will also be introducing extensive innovations for its European aircraft fleet. Work will begin this November on a number of enhancements to its Airbus A320s and A321s that will also increase their seating capacity. By adopting a new type of seat which offers more legroom than at present, the new configurations will offer passengers the same comfort levels as today, and even more comfort in the Business Class section. At the same time, capacity will be increased by 12 seats on the A320 and by 19 seats on the A321. The new cabin interiors (including the seat covers) will also be modified to the style already seen in the Swiss Lounges and on the long-haul fleet. The first A320-family aircraft with the new-style cabin will be back in service towards the end of November.
New Swiss Economy foodservice on European flights
The refurbishment of the European Airbus fleet will also see the adoption of a new foodservice concept for the Swiss Economy cabin. Under the new approach, all the products will be sourced fresh daily from local Swiss producers. And these will include – depending on the flight’s length – warm quiches, fresh bakery items or (on longer flights) fresh salads and warm desserts. The meals will also be served in an attractive new packaging. As a result of these innovations, Swiss will now offer quality Swiss products in Swiss Economy on all European flights.
Billions of investment in one of the most advanced aircraft fleets
Swiss is continuously investing in its aircraft fleet. On the short- and medium-haul front the airline will be taking delivery of 30 new Bombardier CS100s from next year onwards to replace the present Avro (BAe) RJ100 fleet. The Airbus fleet will be further expanded with the arrival of a new Airbus A321ceo in 2016. And between 2019 and 2022 Swiss will add ten state-of-the-art new Airbus A320neos and five Airbus A321neos to its fleet to replace ten of its older A320s and five A321s. Swiss also holds ten further options on A320neo-family aircraft. And on the long-haul front, six Boeing 777-300 ERs will join the Swiss fleet from 2016 onwards. All in all, the new aircraft represent a total investment of some CHF 5 billion.
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 HB-JLT (msn 5518) with Sharklets arrives in Brussels.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will introduce the new Airbus A319 from the Miami hub on the following routes starting on November 6 per Airline Route: Atlanta, Belize City, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Manaus, Montreal (Trudeau), Roatan, San Salvador and Washington (Dulles).
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-115 N9016 (msn 6040) taxies at Memphis.
British Airways (London) is adding four European short-haul routes from London Heathrow for the next summer season per Airline Route. Service to Corfu (four weekly flights) starts on May 1, Kos (twice-weekly) starts on May 2, Olbia (twice-weekly) starts on May 2 and Split (twice-weekly) starts on May 3.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 G-EUOH (msn 1604) “The Dove” taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is shutting down its Airbus A320 feeder operation operated by Aer Lingus (Dublin). The feeder flights known as “Little Red” will end on September 26, 2015. The operation currently feeds London (Heathrow) from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester. Manchester flights will end sooner on March 28, 2015.
The Little Red operation is flown by four wet leased Airbus A320s.
Aberdeen flights began on April 9, 2013
Edinburgh flights began on April 5, 2013
Manchester flights began on March 31, 2013
On October 6 the airline issued this statement:
Little Red was launched in March 2013 as an attempt to reintroduce consumer choice on key domestic services after British Airways’ takeover of bmi gifted them a monopoly on these routes. Over the past eighteen months, Little Red has delivered for consumers, leading the way on customer service and on-time performance at Heathrow. Flying well over a million passengers between London, Scotland and Manchester, Little Red also offers convenient onward connections to the rest of Virgin Atlantic’s worldwide network.
Bookings grew steadily for the service in the first part of 2014 with the airline enjoying excellent customer feedback. However the demand has been predominantly from point to point customers rather than connecting traffic. High levels of connections onto Virgin Atlantic’s long haul network have always been important to the success of Little Red.
Chief Executive Craig Kreeger has committed to returning Virgin Atlantic to profit by the end of this year and the airline is on track to deliver that, however Little Red has unfortunately not been able to make a positive contribution to Virgin Atlantic’s network.
Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Craig Kreeger said:
“Little Red came about through an enduring passion at Virgin Atlantic to make a difference for our customers. We really wanted it to be a success and everyone involved worked extremely hard and has given it their best efforts.
“It was always a huge challenge on behalf of the consumer, as the totally inadequate number of slots made available by the European Commission did not deliver close to BA’s network position, even when supplemented by our own slots to fly between Heathrow and Manchester. The time lag between the takeover of bmi and our entering the market also meant Little Red initially faced an uphill battle to win recognition and convert customers to its services.
“While this challenged environment meant Little Red ultimately did not deliver the results we had hoped, this certainly will not dampen our enthusiasm to try new things in the future. We have always fought for what we believe is best for our customers and we will continue to do so.
“We’re very grateful for all of the support and goodwill shown to Little Red in Scotland and Manchester, where we received a warm welcome. I would also like to personally thank the Little Red team who have been fantastic ambassadors providing exceptionally high levels of customer service. We look forward to continuing to work with the Little Red cabin crew as we will be offering them roles on our long haul operation when these services end.”
The President of Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson, said:
“When the competition authorities allowed British Airways to take over British Midland and all of its slots, we feared there was little we could do to challenge BA’s huge domestic and European network built through decades of dominance.
“To remedy this, we were offered a meagre package of slots with a number of constraints on how to use them and we decided to lease a few planes on a short term basis to give it our best shot. The odds were stacked against us and sadly we just couldn’t attract enough corporate business on these routes. We will stop flying the Little Red services between Manchester and London at the end of March 2015 and the Aberdeen and Edinburgh services at the end of September 2015.
“The team did their absolute best to make a go of it and I thank them all for their amazing efforts. In the meantime, keep flying on Little Red where you’ll continue to get amazing offers and great service.”
Virgin Atlantic would like to thank its customers and teams in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Heathrow and Manchester as well as its partner Aer Lingus, for their loyalty and commitment to Little Red and looks forward to continuing to work with them on the service over the next 12 months.
Passengers can continue to book with Little Red with confidence until this time and frequent fliers will be able to enjoy special loyalty benefits for doing so. There will be an increased earning incentive per-sector as well as a significant reduction in the number of Flying Club miles needed to redeem a flight.
The airline remains committed to its operations in both Manchester and Scotland. Its existing services from Manchester to Orlando, Barbados and Las Vegas will continue, with the addition next summer of a new daily Virgin Atlantic flight between Manchester and Atlanta. In Scotland, the popular seasonal service from Glasgow to Orlando will continue with eight extra return flights just announced for summer 2015, alongside a new route between Glasgow and Las Vegas.
The decision on the airline’s short haul carrier follows a major review of Virgin Atlantic’s wider network. Last month the airline announced a network update delivering five new daily transatlantic flights and an ambition to grow to record levels of sustained profitability by 2018. This will be supported by a major programme of work that will see £300m invested into customer experience.
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Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Aer Lingus’Airbus A320-214 EI-DEI (msn 2374) in Virgin Atlantic’s colors arrives at London (Heathrow).
Edelweiss Air increases the frequencies on its routes to Havana, Las Vegas, Tampa and Vancouver for next summer
Edelweiss Air (Zurich) is expanding operations for the summer of 2015. The airline is increasing the number of long-range flights to Havana, Las Vegas, Tampa and Vancouver. The airline is also expanding its schedule to other European destinations next summer.
The airline issued this statement:
Edelweiss is continuing to grow and invest in its core markets. With its 2015 Summer Timetable, the airline is introducing new destinations in Europe and expanding its flight offering in North America and the Caribbean.
More flights to North America and the Caribbean
With its 2015 Summer Timetable, Edelweiss is increasing the number of flights to Las Vegas, Tampa and Vancouver. These holiday destinations will be served with three weekly flights.
As well as the additional flights to North America, Edelweiss will be operating more flights to the Caribbean. Starting in summer 2015, there will be two weekly flights to Havana.
New destinations and more flights to existing holiday destinations in Europe
With the 2015 Summer Timetable, Edelweiss is also expanding its offer to include the up-and-coming cities in Southeast Europe. To that end, new destinations such as Banja Luka and Podgorica are being included in the route network and the number of flights to Pristina, Skopje and Split is being increased.
The choice of flights to the region of Greece/Turkey is also being expanded. Edelweiss will be serving the new destination Corfu and upping the number of flights to Heraklion und Dalaman. Furthermore, the airline will be strengthening its existing offer in Spain and Italy with additional flights to Alicante, Palma de Mallorca and Catania.
The 2015 Summer Timetable is valid from March 29 until October 24, 2015.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Edelweiss Air’s Airbus A330-343 HB-JHQ (msn 1193) arrives back at the Zurich base.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has introduced a new advertising campaign called “We Are Travelers”. The airline issued this statement and video:
SAS has launched a new marketing concept “We Are Travelers”. This concept reinforces the idea of travel as part of our way of life and it also
celebrates the joy and anticipation we feel before a flight.
“Travel is a way of life for many Scandinavians; we love to travel and we do it a lot. It is an important part of who we are. Here at SAS, we are very familiar with this lifestyle, because it is our way of life too,” says Stefan Hedelius, Vice President Brand & Marketing at SAS.
“We Are Travelers” is a long-term concept that reflects the fact that SAS is the obvious choice for frequent travelers in Scandinavia. The concept is based on a deep understanding of the positive emotions associated with flying and how we at SAS can enhance the joy of travel, as well as the fact that people who travel a lot have a greater need for smooth and efficient travel.
“Even those who travel frequently see flying as being so much more than just transportation. It is about taking a break from everyday life and about the anticipation of going somewhere, whether you are travelling on business or looking for new experiences on vacation. We travel to be part of the wider world, to feel important and needed, and to grow as human beings,” says Stefan Hedelius.
The insight into our way of life and the emotions attached to travel is the result of our extensive long-term efforts to listen to our frequent travelers in focus groups and through broader customer surveys. We want to make life easier
for frequent travelers in Scandinavia and the best way to do that is by listening to them.
Initial campaign presents travel profiles – of customers and employees
Using portraits of real customers and employees, SAS wants to show that there are many different kinds of travelers, but they all have something in common – they love to travel and they do so often.
Our new concept is being launched through a campaign – via SAS’s own channels, on TV, in print, online and outdoor advertising – in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The campaign starts with an emotional film that pays tribute to aviation and all of us who love to travel.
During the fall, SAS will be releasing several shorter films featuring SAS crew and customers, all chosen because they love to travel, they travel a lot and because they are interesting people.
Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by SAS). Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A320-232 OY-KAN (msn 2958) completes its final approach to the runway at the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.
Irelandia Aviation and Grupo IAMSA, owners of Mexico’s low-cost airline VivaAerobus (Monterrey) and the Colombian airline VivaColombia (Medellin), announced their intention to expand the Viva airline brand in Central and South America.
Grupo Viva is being established as a multinational airline holding company based in Panama City, Panama. The new company will be responsible for the further development of the Viva airline brand beyond current operations in Mexico and Colombia, maximizing cost synergies and operational efficiencies across the group and centralizing key management functions.
Grupo Viva is chaired by Roberto Alcántara Rojas, also Chairman of the Board of VivaAerobus and Grupo IAMSA. Irelandia Aviation Managing Partner Declan Ryan will be a principal investor.
Tony Davis, currently Partner and COO of Irelandia Aviation, has been appointed CEO. In addition to working with Irelandia Aviation for the past three years, Tony has an extensive track record in establishing low-cost airlines around the world, and he has been closely involved in the recent development of VivaAerobus and VivaColombia. Tony will be responsible for the creation of the Group’s corporate structure and management infrastructure over the next 12 months.
Joe Mohan, who is joining from his position as Senior VP Commercial at COPA Airlines, has been appointed President and COO. Joe has worked in Central and South America for more than 10 years and led the commercial function in one of the region’s most successful airline groups, consistently achieving impressive growth and profitability results. He also brings direct experience of helping lead a high-performing Latin American company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Joe will be responsible for the expansion of the group’s regional coverage and improving cost synergies and operational efficiencies for airlines in the group.
Commenting on the appointments, Declan Ryan said, “We are delighted that two executives of the caliber of Tony and Joe have agreed to lead the creation and development of our new low-cost airline group in Latin America. We are convinced that there are tremendous opportunities for our ultra-low-cost airline model to expand in the region. With our existing airlines already well-established in Mexico and Colombia, together with our order last year for 52 new Airbus A320 aircraft, this is the right time to establish Grupo Viva.”
Top Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. VivaAerobus (vivaaerobus.com) Boeing 737-3B7 XA-VIB (msn 23378) taxies at Austin, TX.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated by OLT Express, Airbus A320-214 EI-EPX (HK-4905) (msn 1454) is now with VivaColombia (VivaColombia.com).
Cebu Pacific Air (Manila) now flies three nonstop weekly flights between Manila and Riyadh. The inaugural flight for Cebu Pacific’s Manila-Riyadh service departed at 5:05 pm (1705) on October 3. Cebu Pacific is the only low-cost carrier flying between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Cebu Pacific’s flights from Manila to Riyadh departs at 5:05 pm (Manila time) and arrives in Riyadh at 11:35 pm (Riyadh time) every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Flights from Riyadh to Manila departs at 12:45 am (Riyadh time) and arrive in Manila at 3:40 pm (Manila time) every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
The new route utilizes the pictured brand-new Airbus A330-300 aircraft with a configuration of 436 all-economy class seats.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific will fly nonstop to and from Dammam three days a week, starting on October 4. Aside from Dubai, Riyadh, and Kuwait, Cebu Pacific’s long-haul division also operates nonstop flights between Manila and Sydney.
Cebu Pacific’s 51-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319s, 28 Airbus A320s, 5 Airbus A330s and 8 ATR 72 500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2014 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 11 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and one Airbus A330 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-343 RP-C3342 (msn 1445) arrives in Singapore.
EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has benefitted from the recent Air France pilots strikes with an increase in traffic. The airline issued this preliminary financial statement:
The impact of the Air France pilots’ strike in September is expected to increase EasyJet’s revenue by c.£5 million as Air France passengers switched to EasyJet. This combined with the strong finish to the year means that the Board’s expectation is for a pre-tax profit for the twelve months ended September 30, 2014 of between £575 million and £580 million compared with the previous guidance of £545 million to £570 million. In line with its revised dividend policy, EasyJet expects to declare a dividend in respect of the year ended September 30, 2014 based on a pay-out ratio of 40% of profit after tax.
EasyJet will publish its full fiscal year results on November 18, 2014 and will provide further details on its performance in the twelve months to 30 September 2014.
Commenting on the pre-close statement, Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s Chief Executive said:
“EasyJet has continued to execute its strategy, delivering another strong performance in the second half of the year. This has enabled EasyJet to deliver record profits for the fourth year in a row. This will also lead to our largest ever ordinary dividend payment as we are also proposing to increase the proportion of our profits after tax paid in dividends from 33% to 40%.
We finished the year strongly. Our performance demonstrates our continued focus on cost and progress against all our strategic revenue priorities and further emphasises easyJet’s structural advantage against both legacy and low-cost competition.”
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWO (msn 5785) with Sharklets holds short of the runway at Palma de Mallorca.
British Airways (London) yesterday (October 2) began flying its new 469-seat Airbus A380 aircraft between London Heathrow and Washington Dulles International Airport. This marks the first and only nonstop A380 service between the two nations’ capitals. The airline also officially unveiled its new, improved business and first class lounge for customers departing from Washington D.C.
British Airways will initially operate five A380 services a week from Washington Dulles. This will increase from the end of October to a daily A380 service, in conjunction with the daily flight BA 292, operated by a Boeing 747-400 and the thrice weekly flight BA 264, operated by a Boeing 777.
British Airways has ordered 12 A380s for delivery by 2016. The airline currently has six A380s in service. The first flight was operated with the pictured Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB.
British Airways currently flies its A380 aircraft from Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Johannesburg, with Singapore beginning on October 28 and San Francisco in April 2015.
In other news, British Airways has added another three new routes to its 2015 London Gatwick schedule. Seville in Spain, Funchal in Madeira and Las Palmas in Gran Canaria with the first flights from March 29, 2015.
The news follows announcements on eight other new London Gatwick routes, taking the total number of destinations British Airways flies to from London Gatwick to over 50 for Summer 2015.
From December this year, new winter sun and ski destinations will include Fuerteventura, Friedrichshafen and Grenoble.
Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands will operate from December 13 this year and other sunshine routes launching for summer 2015, will include Cagliari in Sardinia, Heraklion in Crete, Rhodes in Greece and Bodrum and Dalaman in Turkey.
The services to all three destinations will be served by a mixture of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft from London Gatwick.
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by BA). Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) taxies at Los Angeles to the gate.
Below Photo: The cabin of the Airbus A380:
Wow Air (Keflavik) is coming to Dublin, Ireland. The Icelandic carrier is planning to launch a new Dublin-Keflavik (near Reykjavik) service from June 2, 2015. The service, which will run year round, will see flights operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and marks the first scheduled service between the two locations.
The airline is also planning to introduce North American service to Boston next year (possibly in March) according to Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Avion Express for Wow Air, Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) taxies at Amsterdam.
Video: Aerial view of Iceland by Elisabetta Rosso:
Spirit Airlines‘ (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) 1,400 flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have voted down by 64% a tentative agreement with management for a new contract according to the Sun-Sentinel.
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Copyright Photo: Spirit Airlines. Airbus A319-132 N534NK (msn 3395) is the first aircraft to be repainted in the new 2014 canary yellow livery.
Airbus (Toulouse) has unveiled the first delivery aircraft for its first A350 customer, Qatar Airways (Doha). The pictured A350-941 A7-ALA (msn 006) is now fully painted. Airbus issued this statement:
The first A350 XWB for Qatar Airways is progressing towards delivery before year end. The aircraft equipped with Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines rolled out of the Airbus factory in Toulouse fully painted, prominently bearing Qatar Airways’ livery.
Following the recent EASA Type Certification, the Qatar Airways A350-900 is now entering into its final stage of production during which Airbus and the airline teams are actively working together in order to ensure a seamless hand-over process. The remaining steps up to delivery comprise notably the cabin completion as well as ground and flight tests.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line and the newest member of Airbus’ leading widebody family. The A350 XWB stands out in its class thanks to its combination of passenger comfort, technological innovation and its unique industrial process. Built hand-in-hand with our customers, the A350 XWB sets new standards in terms of passenger experience, operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
At the end of September 2014, the A350 XWB had won 750 orders from 39 customers worldwide.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Volaris (Mexico City) has announced the launch of new international services connecting the city of Guadalajara with Reno, Nevada, starting on December 16, adding yet another important destination to the United States.
Reno, Nevada becomes the carrier’s 16th international destination on its roster, and the second one to service the market in the State of Nevada.
The new route will operate twice-weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 XA-VOW (msn 3543) prepares to land in Los Angeles.
Routes from Guadalajara: