EgyptAir (Cairo) will resume the Cairo – Manchester route on July 3 initially with three weekly flights per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-866 SU-GDX (msn 40757) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).
Virgin Australia Airlines’ (Brisbane) announced its Business Class began flying across the Tasman Sea on February 28, as part of a progressive rollout in the New Zealand and Pacific Island markets.
The inaugural return flight operated from Auckland to Sydney and signifies an enhancement to the airline’s premium service offering on trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes. All other services come into effect on March 31, 2015.
A progressive refit on 10 of the airline’s Boeing 737 fleet is currently underway, reconfiguring the aircraft with the 2-2 business class configuration, which feature luxury leather seating and menus designed by resident head chef Luke Mangan, as well as the introduction of priority services including check-in and boarding.
Virgin Australia Business Class features include:
Luxury leather seating with 38” seat pitch on the Boeing 737 (above)
Comfort packs with luxurious blankets, pillows, and International-style amenity kits including Australian organic cosmetics by GROWN for flights over three hours
Newspapers until noon daily
Exclusive Luke Mangan gourmet full service dining experience
Premium Australian wines, beers, and spirit selection
Gourmet tea selection from Madame Flavour
Priority baggage service where available
On the financial side, the company issued its half year results ending on December 31, 2014. CEO John Borghetti announced a significant improvement with an underlying profit before tax of A$10.2 million, an improvement on a loss of A$45.4 million in the first half of 2014.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBB (msn 33797) taxies at Auckland, New Zealand.
Norwegian Air Norway (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Oslo) is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Norwegian Air Shuttle recently transferred its first aircraft (Norwegian registered LN-DYY, msn 39012) to the Irish registry according to Skyliner Aviation. The Boeing 737-8JP was reregistered on the Irish registry as EI-FHA on February 17. Ireland is part of European Union. Under Ireland, Norwegian registered aircraft will be able to operate on more European routes due to the prevailing bilateral restrictions from Norway to the EU.
In February 2014, Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International, received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC). The AOC issued in Ireland gives the company future traffic rights to and from the European Union. Norwegian Air International is seeking rights to operate the Boeing 787s to the United States and theoretically replace Norwegian Long Haul.
The Norwegian Long Haul Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners (currently operating on long range routes) are also registered in Ireland. Norwegian Long Haul however has a separate Norwegian AOC with the IATA code of DU.
All aircraft operate under the “Norwegian” brand.
According to News in English (from Norway) the pilots are striking because airline management wants to “cut their pensions, pay and insurance benefits”. According to the report, the pilots are “fighting for a permanent collective bargaining agreement with Norwegian Air’s parent company, Norwegian Air Shuttle.” The union also fears the company will try to replace them with cheaper crews from crewing agencies or possibly declare bankruptcy.
Read the full full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile Norwegian Air Norway (Oslo) issued this statement:
Norwegian regrets that it was not possible to reach an agreement in mediation between the subsidiary Norwegian Air Norway (NAN) and the Norwegian Pilot Union (NPU). Norwegian’s goal remains to implement this weekend flights so far as is possible when a limited number of pilots have been on strike in the first round.
Norwegian had before the mediation proposed several completely necessary cost savings to ensure a sustainable business and future jobs. Unfortunately, the NPU / Parathyroid did not comply with these requirements but instead presented a claim that goes in the wrong direction relative to the agreements reached at the previous hearing in 2013. NPU demand the right to control the Norwegiankoncernen, collective agreements with a company they are employed in, and that the Norwegian collective agreement shall also apply outside Norway. Norwegian could not accept the requirement for koncernansenitet for NAN pilots, ie ansenitet in a company they are employed in. In practice, it would have given Scandinavian pilots the opportunity to oust colleagues at the other bases in Europe.
We really regret the uncertainty being created among our passengers. Our goal has always been to avoid a strike and get a solution and peace in the company. Now we will do what we can to take care of the passengers in the best possible way, says Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos.
The conflict comes for Norwegian Scandinavian subsidiary Norwegian Air Norway (NAN). This means that long routes between Scandinavia / UK and USA / Asia runs as usual. The bases in England, Finland and Spain are also not directly concerned.
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Registered in Norway, Boeing 737-86N LN-NOQ (msn 32658) departs from London (Gatwick).
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today published 16 additional flights, including service to eight new nonstop cities, from Dallas Love Field. The new routes will begin on August 9, 2015. With this latest service enhancement, Southwest will offer a total of 180 weekday departures to 50 nonstop destinations from Dallas Love Field.
Beginning August 9, 2015, the carrier will start once-daily, nonstop service between Dallas (Love Field) and:
Salt Lake City
Also on August 9, Southwest will offer additional nonstop service between Dallas (Love Field) and Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Houston (Hobby), Little Rock, Chicago (Midway), and Seattle/Tacoma. Finally, Southwest will upgrade the Saturday-only nonstop service between Dallas and Charleston, South Carolina, that is scheduled to begin on April 11, 2015, to daily service on August 9.
Southwest is able to expand at DAL due to the end of the Wright Amendment and the sublease of two additional Love Field gates from United Airlines in the newly rebuilt 20-gate facility, which is a collaborative effort between the City of Dallas and Southwest Airlines.
Airfield construction continues with additional taxiway capacity scheduled to open in mid-March and mid-July and additional ramp space scheduled to open in late August and in November of this year.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest continues its fleet modernization efforts to replace its Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 Classic aircraft with more fuel-efficient and longer-range aircraft with winglets. Boeing 737-8H4 N8653A (msn 37037) with the Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Wings arrives at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Iraqi Airways (Baghdad) announced on February 20 that it will begin services to Manchester, UK beginning on March 15, 2015.
The twice-weekly service, flown by one of the carrier’s Boeing 737-800s, will include the first flight being between Manchester and Erbil on Wednesdays at 22:00 and the second flight being between Manchester and Sulaymaniyah on Sundays, also departing at 22:00.
Erbil is the largest city and capital of the semi-autonoumous Kurdistan region of Iraq. Erbil is located 55 miles east of Mosul.
Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.
Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 737-8Z YI-ASR (msn 40080) was just handed over to the carrier on February 20.
Air Pacific Ltd, trading as the Fiji Airways Group (Fiji Airways) (Nadi), has announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. Mr. Nalin Patel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Air Pacifc Ltd., trading as Fiji Airways said the airline and its consolidated group (Fiji Airways Group) made record operating profits. The Group comprises of Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, its subsidiaries Fiji Link & Pacific Call Comm Ltd, and a 38.75% stake in the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island, Nadi. Fiji Airways reported another record breaking year in terms of revenue and passenger numbers.
Fiji Airways reported a profit before income tax of $65.2 million compared to a profit before income tax of $8.3 million for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2013.
Air Pacific Ltd (the Group) reported a profit before income tax of $60.8 million compared to a profit before income tax of $14.2 million for nine-month period ended December 31, 2013.
On a net basis, Fiji Airways reported an after tax profit of $55.6m and the Group reported an after tax profit of $52.9m (versus after tax profits of $8.7m and $14.5m respectively for the nine-month period ended 31st December 2013.
These results are more than two times better than the best operating profit achieved in the history of APL back in 2005.
“The airline is already prepared for a busy year ahead, with the addition of a Boeing 737-800 and a new Airbus A330-300 to its fleet, the launch of new routes (Nadi-Wellington) and increased frequencies to key destinations. It is also assessing a new long-haul route in Asia. Our guests can also look forward to further enhancements to our on-board offering, as well as further enhanced customer service at its airports and new Reservations Centre.”
In other news, Fiji Airways is planning to commence a new nonstop route linking Fiji with the Solomon Islands, with Saturday only Nadi – Honiara flights with Boeing 737-700 aircraft from April 4 per Airline Route. The airline currently operates once-a-week flight on the Nadi – Port Vila – Honiara route on Tuesdays.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8X2 DQ-FJH (msn 29969) taxies at Sydney.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) failed to inspect 128 Boeing 737-700s standby hydraulic systems used to control the rudder if there is a main system failure. The airline discovered the failure to inspect at the proper time, reported the problem to the FAA and got approval to quickly complete the inspections in the next five days.
The airline issued this statement:
Southwest Airlines discovered an overdue maintenance check required to be performed on the standby hydraulic system, which serves as a back-up to the primary hydraulic systems. As a result of this discovery, 128 Boeing 737-700 aircraft were identified as having overflown a required check.
Once identified, Southwest immediately and voluntarily removed the affected aircraft from service, initiated maintenance checks, disclosed the matter to the FAA, and developed an action plan to complete all overdue checks. The FAA approved a proposal that would allow Southwest to continue operating the aircraft for a maximum of five days as the checks are completed.
Approximately 80 cancellations occurred on February 24 as a result of the events and the airline is anticipating a very minimal impact to their operations today (February 25). The Safety of our Customers and Employees remains our highest priority and we are working quickly to resolve the situation.
Today the airline issued this short statement on Twitter:
A select number of aircraft have been removed from service for maintenance checks, resulting in minimal delays.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N905WN (msn 36617) with the special “Kidd’s Kids – Kidd Kraddick in the Morning” markings and the underside Southwest Heart logo, departs from Los Angeles International Airport.