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Tag Archives: Boeing 777

Turkish Airlines converts five Boeing 777-300 options to firm orders

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) has converted five Boeing 777-300 ER orders into firm orders according.

The aircraft will be delivered in 2016 and 2017, according to a filing with the Istanbul stock exchange.

Today, Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing and Turkish Airlines have announced a order for five 777-300 ER(Extended Range) airplanes, valued at $1.6 billion at list prices. The Turkish flag-carrier has exercised options on five 777-300 ERs that were first announced in December 2012 as part of a previous firm order for 15 777-300 ERs. Turkish Airlines now has 20 777-300 ERs currently on order from Boeing.

Turkish Airlines’ fleet currently includes 12 777-300 ERs, the first of which Boeing delivered in October 2010. In that time, the 777-300 ER has played a significant role in Turkish Airlines’ incredible long-haul growth.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3F2 ER TC-JJN (msn 40795) is pictured at Everett (Paine Field).

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Philippine Airlines to continue Toronto flights

Philippine Airlines (Philippines) (Manila) was planning to drop all service to Toronto (Pearson) on September 18 per Airline Route. The flag carrier was serving YYZ via an extension of the Manila-Vancouver route three days a week.

Update: According to Airline Route, PAL appears to have reversed its decision and has re-opened reservations for Toronto flights after September 18.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-36N ER RP-C7776 (msn 37712) prepares to land at Sydney.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

Philippine Airlines to return to Europe

Philippine Airlines (Philippines) (Manila) is returning to Europe after an absence of 15 years after the European Union lifted its ban against the carrier. PAL intends to fly again to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Rome and Madrid.

The airline issued this statement:

Philippine EU Statement

Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-36N RP-C7777 (msn 37709) prepares to land in Sydney.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

Asiana Airlines’ pilot sees a bright light on the final approach

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (Washington) has conducted its final press conference in San Francisco. The landing Asiana Airlines pilot reported a bright light source on his final approach (reflection of the sun on the water?). The pilot looked away and did not think it blinded him. The other pilot did not report any source of light. Here is the briefing from yesterday afternoon (July 11). The final accident report will probably take a year or longer before it is issued. If there are any recommendations, the NTSB will issue those recommendations sooner to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Meanwhile the remains of the Boeing 777 are slowly being removed.

Air China starts nonstop Beijing-Houston service

Air China (Beijing) began its four weekly nonstop services between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) in Beijing, China and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas yesterday (July 11).

The inaugural flight from Beijing, CA 995, arrived at 3:40 (1540) yesterday afternoon to a Texas-sized welcome which included a traditional water cannon salute. Houston Mayor Annise Parker was on hand to greet the delegation from Chinaled by Ms. Yinxiang Wang, Co-Chairwoman of Air China Limited; Chinese Consul General for Texas and seven U.S. southern states and Puerto Rico, Ms. Erwen Xu; and, former Houston Rockets star and now Houston’s Honorary Goodwill Ambassador, Yao Ming.


Copyright Photo: Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Air China’s New Nonstop Service Between Houston, Texas and Beijing, China. (PRNewsFoto/Houston Airport System).

With the launch of the nonstop service, Houston becomes Air China’s fifth gateway in North America, joining Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Vancouver.  Air China will operate inside Terminal D at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston’s gateway for all foreign carriers.

Houston and Beijing have enjoyed a strong relationship for several decades. China’s paramount leader, the late Deng Xiaoping, visited Houston during his historic trip to the United States in 1979.

Air China will operate the nonstop flights, CA 996, from Houston to Beijing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing at 1:00 AM local time (0100) and arriving in Beijing at 4:50 AM (0450) local time, next day.   The chart below shows the schedule of the new service.

Flight Number Code-Share Flt. No. Route Departure Arrival Schedule Aircraft
CA 996 UA7602* Houston-Beijing 01:00 04:50+1 Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun B777-300ER
CA 995 UA7601* Beijing-Houston 15:00 15:40 Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun B777-300ER

NOTES: All times are local.  “+1″ stands for next-day arrival.

Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2036 (msn 38676) arrives at the Frankfurt terminal.

Air China: AG Slide Show

* Codeshare flight.

Singapore Airlines unveils its next generation cabin product and KrisWorld

Singapore First Class Seat (Singapore)(LR)

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) has unveiled its next generation First, Business and Economy Class seats, together with the next generation KrisWorld, according to the airline “the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system”. The airline issued this statement:

Customers will soon be able to experience the next generation KrisWorld, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system to date, on new Boeing 777-300 ERs entering Singapore Airlines’ fleet in the coming months.

The new KrisWorld, based on a Panasonic Avionics hardware platform, will initially be available on eight new Boeing 777-300 ERs that will begin to enter service from September 2013. It will also be introduced on new Airbus A350s scheduled for delivery in the coming years, in line with the terms of an agreement valued at nearly $400 million that was signed with Panasonic Avionics in 2012. Existing KrisWorld systems on other aircraft already in service may also be retrofitted with the new system.

Singapore Airlines agreed last year to be the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ next-generation eX3 system for the Airbus A350s, as well as the first to offer the eX3 experience on the Boeing 777-300ERs. The airline will also be the first to offer Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite on the A350s, with the capability to provide broadband Internet services to passenger devices and the seat-back, as well as mobile phone services.

Singapore First Class (Singapore)(LR)

The new KrisWorld features larger LCD screens and video touch-screen handsets across all classes. LCD screens will increase from 23 to 24 inches in First Class, 15.4 to 18 inches in Business Class and 10.6 to 11.1 inches in Economy Class. Economy Class customers will also be able to browse through the more than 1,000 on-demand entertainment options by swiping or scrolling through the touch-screen monitor.

Working with renowned design company Massive Interactive, Singapore Airlines has seamlessly integrated the functionality of the video touch-screen handset into the core design of a new, innovative KrisWorld user interface to ensure that navigating through menus and programmes is intuitive and user-friendly. Customers will be able to multi-task among the varied entertainment options available. For example, they may watch a movie, while at the same time use the handset to keep up to date with the latest news headlines or track the aircraft’s flight path. Alternatively, customers may use the handset as a touchscreen trackpad to navigate KrisWorld. New features such as  “Quick Search”, where a flick of the handset pulls up a playlist of entertainment choices, are also being introduced.

Leveraging on technology, a number of thoughtful features are being incorporated into KrisWorld with customers’ convenience in mind. For example, the Notification Centre on the KrisWorld dashboard contains information relevant to the flight, reducing the number of onboard announcements, thereby allowing customers to watch movies uninterrupted.

Customers will also experience greater personalisation, with KrisWorld providing content recommendations based on passengers’ preferences. They may also rate movies and see how others have rated these.

Twenty-one aircraft have been equipped to date and the service will be rolled out to the rest of the Airline’s Airbus A380-800 and Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft by the end of next year. Inflight connectivity service on the 21 aircraft is provided by OnAir. For the new 777-300 ERs entering the fleet over the next two years, the service will be provided by Panasonic Avionics.

Key Features

First Class

Business Class

Economy Class

IFE screen size 61 centimetres 24 inches 46 centimetres  18 inches 28 centimetres  11.1 inches
Touch-screen handset Available across all three classes
Ports HDMI, USB & eXPort  HDMI, USB & eXPort    USB & eXPort  
In-seat power supply Available across all three classes
Headphones Bose Quiet Comfort QC15noise-cancellation headphones Phitek Supra Auranoise-cancellation headphones   Standard headphones

Entertainment – movies, TV, music, radio channels

More than 230 movies, over 340 TV programmes, 22 hosted radio programmes and more than 790 CDs.
Games In addition to more than 80 interactive games including high performance 3D games, popular touch-screen games are now available.
Applications New to KrisWorld: 

  • Travel Forum: Introducing a social networking element to KrisWorld, customers can now share their travel experiences, tips and recommendations with fellow passengers.
  • DK Travel Guides: comprehensive guides to major cities in the world.
  • Live News: Customers can stay connected to the happenings on the ground with news from Channel NewsAsia
  • Flight Path iXplor 2: Improved flight path information  allowing customers to view key points of interests, for example, the Taj Mahal, when they are flying over it. 

Copyright Photos: Singapore Airlines. The airline has launched its next generation First, Business and Economy Class seats, together with the next generation KrisWorld, the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment system. They will be available on new Boeing 777-300 ERs over the next two years. Customers travelling on select flights between Singapore and London will be the first to experience the new products from September 2013.

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-312 ER 9V-SWJ 9msn 34575) arrives back at the SIN hub.


Etihad Airways posts record profits for the second quarter and the first half of 2013

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) posted record profits for the second quarter and the first half of 2013. The airline issued this statement:

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates achieved an eight per cent increase in Q2 2013 passenger revenues, generating $921 million (all amounts in US Dollars) (2012: $855 million), while passenger revenues for the first half of 2013 reached $1.8 billion (2012: $1.6 billion), up by 13 per cent.

Revenue generated by codeshare and equity alliance airline partners was $184 million in Q2 2013. This was 25 per cent above the $147 million turnover in the same period of 2012.  Partnership revenue comprised 20 per cent of the airline’s total passenger revenue in both Q2 and the first half of 2013.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said the company’s Q2 and half year results were achieved despite the continuation of unsteady economic and geopolitical factors, with air fare yields slightly lower for the quarter, compressed by strong competitive capacity growth and resultant price competition.

“Despite the tough global trading climate, we have still achieved record, double digit growth in both Q2 and the first half of 2013,” Mr Hogan said.

“This reflects not only the continuing popularity of our Abu Dhabi hub, but the growing maturity of our airline partnership strategy and the strength of our cargo operations, which continue to well exceed industry growth rates.”

Mr Hogan said a significant achievement in Q2 was the improved contribution of the Etihad Airways equity alliance partners, in particular Germany’s Airberlin, which has become the largest codeshare contributor. This reflects increased connectivity between the integrated networks of the two airlines.

Etihad Airways increased its codeshare partnerships during Q2, adding Serbia’s national carrier, Jat Airways (Belgrade), and announced new partnerships with Air Canada (Montreal), South African Airways (Johannesburg) and Belavia (Minsk) of Belarussia, all to take effect during Q3. With these inclusions, Etihad Airways will have 45 codeshare partners and a virtual global network of more than 350 destinations, the most comprehensive of any alliance or Middle Eastern airline.

In Q2, Etihad Airways’ Available Seat Kilometers (ASKs) – reflecting network seat capacity – rose by 13 per cent to 17.2 billion  (2012: 15.2 billion).  Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) – reflecting traffic – increased by 13 per cent to 13.3 billion in Q2 2013 (2012: 11.8 billion).

This growth was achieved through the delivery of two new Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft –  a three-class version seating 328 passengers and a two-class model seating 380 –  and a corresponding increase in flights, including new services to Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Belgrade.

Results for Q2 were further strengthened by the introduction late in March of daily flights to a fourth new destination, Washington, D.C.

Etihad Cargo continued to achieve the strongest growth in the company, with 112,963tons uplifted in Q2 2013 (2012: 89,470 tons) and 215,124 tons in the first half of 2013 (2012: 174,622 tons). This reflected a massive 26 per cent growth in Q2 and 23 per cent growth for the first half of 2013.

The growth in cargo volumes was underpinned by the delivery in Q2 of three new freighter aircraft – one Airbus A330-200F, one Boeing 777-200F and the company’s first Boeing 747-8F, which was wet leased from Atlas Air – taking the cargo fleet to nine. Cargo performance was further boosted by increased passenger services, providing more under-floor freight capacity.

During Q2 Etihad Airways announced that, subject to regulatory approvals, it would acquire 24 per cent of India’s Jet Airways, enlarging the Etihad Airways equity alliance and group network.

In addition, Etihad Airways signed an Initial Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Serbia to discuss potentially investing in Jat Airways.  Etihad Airways also secured Australian regulatory approval to increase its equity stake in Virgin Australia from 10 per cent to 19.9 per cent.

As well as its Virgin Australia stake, Etihad Airways holds a 29 per cent shareholding in Airberlin (Berlin), 40 per cent of Air Seychelles (Mahe) and three per cent of Aer Lingus (Dublin).

Copyright Photo: Duncan Kirk/AirlinersGallery. Newly-built Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETP (msn 41699) lands at Paine Field near Everett after a test flight. The new airliner was delivered on June 25, 2013.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

ALPA pushes back on growing pilot error media conclusions

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, released the following statement regarding the crash landing of Asiana Airlines (Seoul) flight 214 in San Francisco on Saturday, July 6, 2013.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with those who were involved in the accident this past Saturday. From the crew to the passengers to the families and first responders, we hope they can gain some comfort during this difficult time.

ALPA is stunned by the amount of detailed operational data from on-board recorders released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this soon into the investigation. The amount of data released publicly during the field portion of the accident investigation is unprecedented.

It is imperative that safety investigators refrain from prematurely releasing the information from on-board recording devices. We have seen in the past that publicizing this data before all of it can be collected and analyzed leads to erroneous conclusions that can actually interfere with the investigative process.

The release of individual data points from the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder—without the context of the entire body of factual investigative data—represents a potential detriment to flight safety. It encourages wild speculation, as we have already seen in the media, about causes of the accident before all the facts are known, before investigators have the ability to determine why the events occurred, and in this case before the flight crew had even been interviewed.

This premature release of partial data is often taken out of context and creates the impression that the NTSB has already determined probable cause even before the investigation has started. Since each factor of flight, landing, airport environment, and crew is part of safe air travel, we need to ensure that reckless release of information is not sensationalized by the media for the purpose of a few headlines.

ALPA has long supported an objective accident investigation process that is based on the fundamental principle of obtaining all the facts to perform accurate analysis in the context of all factors that may have led to an accident. We stand ready to assist the NTSB or any state investigative agency in obtaining those facts and ensuring that an appropriate operational context is maintained.

ALPA urges the NTSB to make sure that the objective investigative process continues by gathering all the facts and relevant information before leading the public to believe that a cause has been determined.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada.

NTSB Videos:

CNN Video:

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Here is another view of the ill-fated Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) arriving at Los Angeles before the accident at SFO.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Breaking News: Asiana’s Boeing 777-28E HL7742 crashes on landing at San Francisco

Asiana Airlines‘ (Seoul) flight OZ 214 from Seoul (Incheon) to San Francisco with a reported 291 passengers and 16 crew members crashed landed short of runway 28L on landing at San Francisco at 1127 local time. The underside of the fuselage, possibly the main gear, impacted the rock seawall while landing leaving a trail of debris down the overrun area and on to the runway. The forward section of Boeing 777-28E ER HL7742 (msn 29171) was consumed by fire. The main fuselage separated from the tail section on impact. Most passengers and crew members were able to escape the burning aircraft from the main section.

The flight crew gave no indication of a problem before attempting its landing.

Two people have died in the crash. 181 people were initially transported to nine area hospitals from the triage area. 123 people are listed as uninjured. 34 people have been transported to the Trauma Center at the San Francisco General Hospital. Of these 34, five are listed now as “critical” and five are now listed as “serious”. One person is now listed as “unaccounted”. The remainder were later transported to area hospitals for medical attention and are expected to be released.

One eyewitness, watching the planes landing, reported to CNN that he saw the airliner land short of the runway with the landing gear hitting the seawall. A fire ball flared on the underside of the aircraft during the hard landing. The aircraft cartwheeled according to the eyewitness with the tail section and vertical stabilizers separating quickly. The right wing tip shows damage.

Another eyewitness who was a passenger in the rear section of the aircraft told CNN the tail section hit the ground very hard and at least two Flight Attendants “fell out” from rear into the gap that was created when the tail section separated.

An United Boeing 747-400 was very close to the final resting spot of the forward section and was preparing to depart.

Weather was reported to be clear and visibility at 10 miles at the time of the accident.

San Francisco International Airport is now reporting it has opened two runways.

HL7742 was delivered new to Asiana on March 7, 2006.

More news will be posted as it is confirmed.

Read the report from NBC: CLICK HERE

Local TV news coverage from PIX 11: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. HL7742 is pictured on final approach previously at Los Angeles.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Videos from San Francisco:

Report from CNN:

Alitalia issues a new Turnaround Plan, Air One to be rebranded

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome), a carrier that is familiar with financial problems, has issued this new “Industrial Plan 2013-2016″ to turnaround the flag carrier along with Air One (Milan-Malpensa):

Gabriele Del Torchio, new CEO of Alitalia, presented the strategic outline of the new Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 for Alitalia and the new mission of the Company.
With this Plan, the Group wants to better respond to changes in the aviation market which, in recent years, has seen a sharp reduction in the domestic traffic sector, against a growth of international and intercontinental routes, particularly to Eastern Europe, North and South America, Middle and Far East.
The Plan foresees an increase in revenue from overseas activities which already account for over 50% of the total revenue of the Group, making Alitalia one of the main Italian companies to contribute to the balance of payments of Italy.
The Industrial Plan 2013 – 2016 will focus on 3 principal businesses – Alitalia, Air One and Alitalia Loyalty (the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and enhancement of the MilleMiglia program) and will be based on 4 strategic lines with the goal of recovering the productivity of the Company, allowing it to remain in the market efficiently and profitably.
This will involve the redefinition of the Alitalia Group’s short and medium haul network, differentiating the activities of Alitalia and Air One, avoiding overlapping between the two Companies, with the aim to better respond to the needs of all customer segments.
The Smart Carrier Air One: a web oriented company, which will have operational bases in Sicily, North East Italy and Pisa.
A new image and branding project is under way for Air One. The new brand, which will replace Air One, will have a stronger likeness to Alitalia. The Smart Carrier will offer, with a predominantly web-oriented sales model, 2 fares and 2 levels of service (GO and SMART) to meet the needs of both price-sensitive and premium segments. GO fare passengers will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The Smart Carrier’s new short and medium haul network structure will be dedicated to serve point-to-point connections, from the bases of Catania, Palermo, Venice and Pisa, strengthening, in particular, the provision of international flights.
The increase of the offer in Sicily and in North East Italy responds to the need to meet the high traffic demand in Sicily and to regain market share in North East Italy, which was lost in recent years to other European airports. Maintaining a presence in Pisa and Tuscany is also of great importance.
Alitalia strengthens its operations at the hub of Rome Fiumicino and at Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports
Alitalia will operate all national and international connections to/from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and to/from Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports, increasing international and intercontinental services at these 3 airports.
With regard to Milan Linate airport, whilst maintaning the connections to Southern Italy, the Plan provides that selected Rome-Milan-Rome slots will be replaced with new international point-to-point connections, thereby allowing Alitalia to satisfy the needs of customers in Northern Italy, especially business travellers.
During the course of the Plan, new flights from Milan Linate to Copenhagen, Budapest, Vienna, Stockholm, Helsinki, Malta, Tallinn, Prague and Warsaw will be introduced.
Alitalia will also operate services from Milan Malpensa airport to non-EU destinations such as Cairo, Tunis, Moscow and Tirana, in addition to connections to Rome Fiumicino.
The international offer will be further enhanced, as early as 2013, with new flights from Rome Fiumicino to several international routes. Possible new destinations are: Nuremberg, Lviv, Bordeaux, Skopje, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Ankara, Marrakech, Misurata, Minsk, Basel, Marseille, Rostov, Pristina, Damascus, Erbil.
New pricing strategy and servicing
The safeguard and the development of the domestic and international market share will be ensured through a rethinking of pricing strategies to take into account and to attract not only those who choose a premium fare (the vast majority of Alitalia passengers today), but also price-sensitive customers, who, in any case, will be able to customise their travel experience by choosing additional services.
The new strategy also embraces other customer groups by offering dedicated initiatives. For example, young people (thanks to the already introduced JUMP ON-BOARD fares) and, soon, families and foreign nationals living in Italy.
The Strategic Plan 2013 – 2016 sees a strong projection on the intercontinental network.
Development of the long-haul fleet
To support the development of the intercontinental network, 6 long-haul aircraft are expected to be introduced into the Alitalia fleet, during the course of the Plan.
Various actions are needed in order to increase profitability of the current intercontinental routes. In October 2013, as part of a specific plan, the reconfiguration of 10 Airbus A330 aircraft part of the Alitalia fleet will commence and is expected to be completed by 2014.
The new configuration is the result of a research into the precise needs of the Italian air transport  market.
New long-haul routes with high potential
New long-haul routes with high traffic potential to/from Italy will be identified and introduced. The new routes will operate mainly from the hub of Rome Fiumicino and the airports of Milan Malpensa and Venice.
The new intercontinental destinations which may be introduced between Winter 2014 and Winter 2016 are Nairobi, Seoul, Santiago de Chile, San Francisco and Johannesburg from Rome. Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Osaka from Milan Malpensa; Tokyo from Venice.
The launch of the new routes will be combined with the strengthening of the Alitalia presence through increased frequencies to North and South America (especially the United States and Brazil), Japan and the Arabian peninsula.
This process will boost the attractiveness of Rome Fiumicino as a national and intercontinental hub, with a strong and innovative trade policy to attract increasing volumes of passengers.
Strengthening of business partnerships with major companies
Parallel to the development of new long-haul routes served directly, Alitalia will expand its worldwide presence in countries which, are today insufficiently served, by strengthening existing commercial partnerships.
Thanks to the reinforcement of existing codesharing agreements, or through the development of new agreements, Italian passengers will be able to reach destinations throughout the world, even if not directly served by Alitalia.
Development of market share and of commercial activity abroad
Alitalia, as ambassador of Italy and of Italian excellence in the world, aims to increase its market share abroad and, in particular, in those countries where there is a strong presence of Italian communities, such as Canada, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia.
At the same time, to further increase the flow of traffic to Italy, of both leisure and business travellers, Alitalia will strengthen its commercial network, already present in many worldwide countries.
The expansion of Alitalia abroad will be made possible by alliances and codesharing agreements.
An all-encompassing activity, which will fast forward the achievement of the objectives highlighted in the first two strategic lines of the 2013 – 2016 Industrial Plan, is the Re-Hubbing project of the Alitalia hub at Rome Fiumicino Airport, which will be launched in October for the Winter 2013 – 2014 timetable.
This process consists of the reorganization and optimization of the time slots for domestic, international and intercontinental flights departing from and arriving at Rome Fiumicino, with the aim of improving the quality of the service offered to passengers.
The change of the time slots for flights to/from Rome Fiumicino has been implemented in favour of both business passengers, who will benefit from flights to Italy and Europe with early morning departures and evening returns, and passengers departing from other Italian airports, who will be able to take advantage of more convenient connections in Rome Fiumicino to reach long-haul destinations, such as the Americas.
This reorganization will also guarantee significant benefits and economic advantages for Alitalia, thanks to a more efficient operational structure and use of flight and ground resources at the Rome Fiumicino hub.
It involves the identification of new partnerships and the strengthening of existing ones, with key infrastructure partners in Italy, such as, for example, airports.
The goal of these partnerships is to create synergies and improve customer satisfaction through increased efficiency of ground operations, joint development of network and infrastructures and the expansion of services which are not closely related to flight operations (parking or transfers to/from airports).
The Plan calls for another key element of future collaboration: the opportunity to introduce and develop appropriate intermodal connections between aviation and high speed rail.
A more efficient allocation of traffic between train and plane will allow to optimize the inputs of the Italian national production system.
This relates to Alitalia Loyalty, the new company of the Group, founded at the end of 2012, which deals with the development and the enhancement of the Alitalia MilleMiglia programme.
The main guidelines of the Plan relating to the operation of Alitalia Loyalty include: the push to increase the number of members of the MilleMiglia programme, the development of new ways to redeem miles on flights or other services, the creation of high value partnerships with leading financial and credit institutions, the entrance of the MilleMiglia programme in a coalition of many loyalty programs to increase the opportunities of earning and redeeming Alitalia miles, the development of new forms of communication and marketing towards MilleMiglia members.
During the course of the four-year plan, with the implementation of all the expected industrial and financial measures, the Company plans to achieve the following economic results:
  • 2013: positive industry EBIT in the second semester, resulting from an improvement in industrial management
  • 2014: break-even operating margin
  • 2015: balanced budget
  • 2016: balance sheet profit
Concurrently, the following objectives have also to be achieved:
  • Increase the convertible shareholders loan by 55 million euros within December 2013
  • Increase the financial resources by 300 million euros in December 2013
The Industrial Plan provides that Alitalia refocuses on the values that have always distinguished the Company in Italy and in the rest of the world: the being Italian, the high quality service and the pride of belonging.
These elements define the new mission of the Company:
The new mission of Alitalia, which will be made as visible as possible to customers on planes and at airports, is, in a nutshell, the new spirit of Alitalia: a company that, with its highly recognizable tricolor tailfin and thanks to the passionate effort of all its employees, is the ambassador of the quality, the elegance and the typical Italian lifestyle that make Italy an icon in the world.
The first initiatives will address the re-branding of the three flight service classes, the improvement of on-board services, the new VIP Lounges and the new assistance service dedicated to passengers in transit at the airport hub of Rome Fiumicino.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia will concentrate on adding new, higher-yield long-range international routes. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISA (msn 32855) climbs away from Tokyo (Narita).

Alitalia (2nd): AG Slide Show

Air One: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Air One will be rebranded, possibly as “Smart Carrier”. Air One’s Airbus A320-215 EI-DSK (msn 3328) taxies at the Milan (Malpensa) base in the 1995 color scheme.

Garuda Indonesia celebrates the arrival of its first Boeing 777-300 ER in Jakarta

Garuda Indonesia 777-300 PK-GIA (09)(Flt)(Garuda)(LR)

Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) on June 27, 2013 took delivery of its first Boeing 777-3U3 ER (PK-GIA, msn 40074). Boeing and Garuda Indonesia are celebrating the delivery in Jakarta today. Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing and Garuda Indonesia celebrated the arrival of the airline’s first 777-300 ER (Extended Range) in Jakarta Tuesday (July 2).

The long-haul, twin-aisle airplane is the first of 10 777-300 ERs delivered to the airline and is a key component of the Garuda Indonesia’s Quantum Leap fleet revitalization program.

The airline configured its new 777-300 ERs with eight first-class suites, 38 business-class seats and 268 seats in economy class. The aircraft is also equipped with in-flight internet connectivity.

The airplane can fly up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,490 km). The 777-300 ERs are equipped with GE90-115B engines, the world’s most powerful commercial jet engine.

Copyright Image and Photo: Garuda Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia FAs (Garuda)(LR)

Garuda Indonesia: AG Slide Show


American Airlines and Disney collaborate to promote “Disney Planes”

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the Walt Disney Studios announced a strategic collaboration on the upcoming “Disney’s Planes” movie, including a cameo appearance by Tripp – inspired in part by American’s Boeing 777-300 ER, the newest addition to American’s fleet.


Tripp dons the airline’s new look, complete with the company’s newly developed flight symbol and stripes on his tail for a special cameo appearance in the film.

American-Disney Planes Banner

“Disney is a global family brand and working with them gives us a fun opportunity to connect with families who know and love the iconic American Airlines brand,” said Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President – Marketing.  “Through this collaboration, we have a lot of great things planned for this summer, including exciting trip promotions and in-airport activities, so I encourage everyone to stay tuned.”

To kick off the excitement, American and Disney surprised customers traveling throughLos Angeles International Airport (LAX) with gate celebrations and giveaways, including special guest appearances by the film’s director Klay Hall and actor Carlos Alazraqui, who provides the voice of passionate racer El Chupacabra (El Chu) in the film.

In addition, American and Disney today premiered a special version of the “Disney’s Planes” trailer for LAX customers, as well as American’s new custom animated commercial directed by Hall, and developed in conjunction with McCann Worldgroup. In the spot, characters from the movie, including DustyEl Chu and Tripp, highlight American’s fleet modernization efforts with a comedic flare. American also held the inflight debut of the trailer and commercial spot onboard Flight #2442 from LAX to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

“Disney’s Planes” and Tripp soar into theaters nationwide beginning Aug. 9, 2013.  Leading up to the film’s release, the companies plan to roll out an integrated marketing effort, including collaborated advertising, promotions and inflight entertainment. American will also feature an inflight version of the movie in October, one month earlier than other airlines, as part of American’s continuing effort to provide customers with the latest and most exclusive content.

“Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty‘s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helpsDusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty‘s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

American Airlines completes Electronic Flight Bag (iPad) implementation

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has completed the successful rollout of its industry-leading Electronic Flight Bag program with the discontinuation of paper revisions to terminal charts, making it the first majorcommercial airline to fully utilize tablets in all cockpits during all phases of flight. In April, American completed testing on its Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft and has secured FAA approval to use the Apple iPad on all of its current fleet types – Boeing 777, 767, 757, 737 and MD-80.

An Electronic Flight Bag, which replaces more than 35 pounds of paper-based reference material and manuals that pilots often carried in their carry-on kitbag, offers numerous benefits for American and its pilots.

“Our Electronic Flight Bag program has a significant positive environmental and cost-savings impact,” said David Campbell, American’s Vice President – Safety and Operations Performance. “In fact, removing the kitbag from all of our planes saves a minimum of 400,000 gallons and $1.2 million of fuel annually based on current fuel prices. Additionally, each of the more than 8,000 iPads we have deployed to date replaces more than 3,000 pages of paper previously carried by every active pilot and instructor. Altogether, 24 million pages of paper documents have been eliminated.”

All American pilots now enjoy the benefits associated with replacing their heavy kitbags – one of the airline’s biggest sources of pilot injuries – with a 1.35-pound iPad. The digital format also requires less time to update each of the six or more paper manuals found in each pilot’s kitbag, as manual paper revisions take hours to complete every month, compared to the minutes it takes for electronic updates.

“Our focus on technological improvement throughout our operation has never been stronger as we continue to build the new American,” said Patrick O’Keeffe, American’s Vice President – Airline Operations Technology. “As the first major commercial airline to successfully complete the Electronic Flight Bag transition across its fleet, we are proud to count this among our other successful programs that provide the tools our people need to perform their duties safely and efficiently.”

As part of the Electronic Flight Bag program, American’s pilots use mobile software and data from Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing Digital Aviation. The FAA-approved Jeppesen Mobile Terminal Chart application is allowed for gate-to-gate use throughout all phases of flight and, with the exception of a few select documents, replaces paper operating manuals with up-to-date electronic information that is easier to access.

“We congratulate American Airlines on the success of its Electronic Flight Bag program,” said Jeppesen President Thomas Wede. “Working closely together on this program over several years, we take pride in American’s achievements as it continues to eliminate paper-based materials in the flight deck, reducing pilot workload and increasing operational efficiency in a competitive business environment.”

American and the Allied Pilots Association (APA) began working on the feasibility of using a tablet device as an Electronic Flight Bag in June 2010, and American was the first commercial airline to receive FAA approval to use a tablet during all phases of flight in December 2011 on its Boeing 777 fleet. American has worked closely with its pilots throughout all phases of development that led to the program’s full integration.

Beginning July 10, American Eagle Airlines pilots will have the option to use Apple iPads to access reference material and manuals, making American Eagle one of the first regional carriers to adopt Electronic Flight Bags.

Top Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-223 ER N782AN (msn 30003) arrives at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) hub.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Technical Videos:

Korean Air agrees to order five Boeing 747-8s and six additional 777-300 ERs

Boeing (Chicago) and and Korean Air (Seoul) today announced that the airline has agreed to purchase five 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes and six 777-300 ER (Extended Range) jetliners, valued at approximately $3.6 billion at current list prices. Boeing will work with Korean Air to finalize the order, at which time the order will be posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.

Korean Air is the only airline in the world to order both the passenger and freighter variations of the 747-8. When today’s order is finalized, Korea’s flag carrier will have 10 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes on order. The airline has taken delivery of three of its seven 747-8 Freighters on order.

Korean Air currently operates a fleet of 90 Boeing passenger airplanes that consist of 737, 747 and 777 airplanes. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet of 27 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters. In February 2012, Korean Air became the first airline in the world to operate both the 747-8 and 777 Freighters.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Korean Air is already an operator of the Boeing 747-800F freighter. Korean Air Cargo Boeing 747-8HTF HL7609 (msn 37132) climbs briskly in the Southern California sky after departing from Los Angeles International Airport.

Korean Air: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3B5 ER HL7782 (msn 37643) lands at Paine Field near Everett.

Qatar Airways orders nine additional Boeing 777-300 ERs, increases the Chicago route to daily service

Qatar Airways (Doha) and Boeing today announced agreements for nine Boeing 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes at the 2013Paris Air Show.  The agreements include a firm order for two airplanes previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing Commercial Airplanes Orders and Deliveries website, plus a commitment for an additional seven airplanes. The total value of the agreement is $2.8 billion at current list prices.

The Doha-based airline currently operates 35 Boeing passenger and cargo 777s of various types, including 22 777-300ERs, nine 777-200LR (Longer Range) airplanes and four 777 Freighters.

The two firm airplanes give Qatar Airways a backlog of nine Boeing 777s. When the additional seven become firm, the backlog will rise to 16.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 125 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first Boeing 777 in November 2007. In September 2011, the airline received a 777-200LR that became the 100th airplane to join its fleet.

“It is a great honor to have Qatar Airways operate the 777 as its long-haul flagship aircraft,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 777’s unrivaled economics and customer-preferred passenger experience make it a cornerstone of Qatar Airways’ success.”

The demand for the Boeing 777 led to an increased production rate of 8.3 per month — 100 airplanes per year — in February 2013. In the past three years, the 777 program has increased rate two times, first from five airplanes per month to seven in 2011, then to the current, all-time high rate of 8.3.

In other news, the flag carrier has announced  that effective on June 15, Qatar Airways has stepped up frequency on the Chicago – Doha route to daily flights ahead of the peak summer travel season.

As of May 2013, 1,105 777s have been delivered and a total of 1,452 have been ordered by 68 customers around the globe.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 777-3DZ ER A7-BAW (msn 41741) was handed over to the flag carrier on January 29, 2013.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

El Al’s stockholders approve the Fimi acquisition

El Al Israel Airlines‘ (Tel Aviv) stockholders have approved a 47 percent acquisition by Fimi Fund, a local Israeli investment fund. The airline issued this statement:

According to agreement signed by El A and the Fimi Fund in April, the Fund will invest up to $75 million in El Al and become a controlling group in the airline along with Knafaim.

According to the draft of the transaction, Fimi will invest up to $50 million by July 2013, and can extend completion of the transaction by two 45-day periods.

Fimi Fund’s commitment to complete the transaction is subject to several conditions, among them approval by El Al stockholders, which was accomplished on June 6.

The completion of the transaction is conditional on approvals by regulatory authorities and a signed agreement between El Al and its people on a new collective agreement whose terms are acceptable to Fimi.

On the financial side, El Al reported its first quarter profit declined to $37.9 million, down from $40.5 millionin the same quarter a year ago.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-258 ER 4X-ECD (msn 33169) climbs away from the runway Los Angeles International Airport.

El Al: AG Slide Show

Emirates launches a new route to Tokyo Haneda today

Emirates (Dubai) today (June 3) celebrated the start of its daily, nonstop service from Dubai to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) with the launch of its inaugural flight. Haneda is the company’s third destination in Japan.

Emirates’ flight EK 312 departs Dubai at 0935, touching down at Haneda 0001 the following day. The return flight, EK 313, departs Haneda at 0130 and arrives at Dubai at 0705 the same day.

According to the airline, the Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft operating the route is equipped with eight luxurious private suites in First Class, 42 of its latest lie-flat seats in Business, and generous space for 216 passengers in Economy, along with gourmet cuisine in all cabins which has been tailored to Japanese passengers, served by Emirates’ multinational cabin crew.

The aircraft also features ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system which offers over 1,500 channels showing the latest Japanese blockbusters, subtitled Hollywood films and Japanese music and TV.

Emirates now operates services to 134 destinations in 77 countries from Dubai, earlier this year Emirates launched services to Warsaw and Algiers. In addition to Haneda, Emirates has announced plans to launch services to Stockholm starting 4 September, Clark International Airport (Philippines) beginning on 1 October; the same day as it begins its transatlantic route between Milan and New York.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWD (msn 35577) touches down at Geneva.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Air France and KLM introduce WiFi on limited trans-Atlantic flights

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) on May 29 launched its first flight with WiFi services. KLM issued this statement:

On May 29 Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will operate their first inflight connectivity flights with Wi-Fi on board. The new service will allow customers to remain connected with the world by being able to send text messages and e-mails and surf the Internet during their flight. On our specially designed inflight website we also offer a broad range of free and up to date services including live television news and sports channels, relevant airline and destination information.

Online Access

In partnership with Panasonic Avionics, Air France and KLM will conduct a trial phase throughout the rest of 2013 on two Boeing 777-300s. During that time, customers can connect to the internet using their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops or tablets at a fixed rate and use their mobile phones for text messages or email, no matter what travel class they are in. The two Wi-Fi equipped aircraft will operate on several long-haul destinations during the trial.


During the pilot phase we will offer hourly and full-flight fees: EUR 10.95 per hour or EUR 19.95 for the full flight, applicable for all classes. These fees are in line with industry average. Travellers can pay for their internet access by credit card. Mobile phone usage (for text and data) will be billed to the phone users according to their own roaming agreements. Access to the inflight website will be free of charge.

Wireless service — whether the on-board portal or satellite internet — will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet, shortly after take-off.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. KLM’s Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVD (msn 35979) in the SkyTeam livery powerfully climbs away from Paine Field near Everett.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: AG Slide Show

KLM WiFi logo (large)


AeroMexico avoids a strike today by its flight attendants

AeroMexico (Mexico City) today (June 1) avoided a strike by its flight attendants. According to Reuters, the ASSA union, which represents approximately 1,300 light attendants, had threatened a strike at midnight if it did not get a 5 percent salary increase.

The airline offered a 4.7 percent increase and the union agreed to the proposal averting a strike.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, the airline is planning to introduce its first Boeing 787 on October 1, 2013 from Mexico City to Moterrey according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/AirlinersGalley.com. Boeing 777-2Q8 ER N774AM (msn 28689) climbs away from Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) bound for the Mexico City hub.

AeroMexico: AG Slide Show

Video: AeroMexico commercial:

Historic Photo of the Day – May 25, 2013

Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-232 ER N864DA (msn 29736) (Soaring Spirit – Salt Lake City 2002) CDG (Christian Volpati). Image: 912048.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Historic Photo of the Day – May 24, 2013

Aeroflot Russian Airlines Boeing 777-2Q8 ER VP-BAS (msn 27607) LAX (Roy Lock). Image: 912236.

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock.

Aeroflot Russian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frameable Color Prints and Posters: AG All Photos Available


WSJ: Update on the American Airlines-US Airways merger

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have circled August 31 as a target date for its possible merger approval pending any anti-trust concerns of the government. In the meantime, according to this Wall Street Journal update, 29 employee teams are currently analyzing differences between the two carriers and ways to integrate the merger process. This research will lead to a sequence of events once the approval is granted. CEO Parker and CEO Horton co-lead the transition team. The new American livery still remains an resolved issue for the possible new American.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE 

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-323 ER N722AN (msn 31547) arrives at the DFW hub.

Video: What is it like to take delivery of a brand new Boeing 737-800:

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Air India considers selling all eight Boeing 777-200 LRs

Air India (Mumbai) is considering selling all eight of its Boeing 777-200 LRs (Longer Range) according to a report by Reuters. The airline is working with Boeing on the sale of the aircraft. The aircraft would be replaced with newer Boeing 787s.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALD (msn 36303) climbs into the clear sky at Tokyo (Narita).

Air India: AG Slide Show

American launches Dallas/Fort Worth-Seoul (Incheon) service

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today (May 9) launched daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Incheon International Airport (ICN) in Seoul, South Korea.

The new service is operated as part of American’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld®alliance member Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo).

The new route is operated with a Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft (above), featuring 16 Flagship Suite seats in First Class that transform into fully lie-flat 6-foot-6-inch beds with drop-down armrests. The aircraft will also feature inflight entertainment at every seat, including Korean movies and pop music (K-Pop), Hollywood movies (with Korean audio or subtitles), and games.

Daily DFW-ICN Service Schedule

AA 27

  • Departs DFW at 10:20 a.m. CT
  • Arrives at ICN at 2:50 p.m. KST the following day

AA 26

  • Departs ICN at 4:50 p.m. KST
  • Arrives at DFW at 4:05 p.m. CT the following day

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters. Boeing 777-223 ER N775AN (msn 29594) taxies at the large DFW hub.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines to add a leased Boeing 777-200 ER for eight years

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) is planning to add another long-range Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft to expand its international operations. The airline issued this statement:

At its meeting yesterday, the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa approved the Austrian Airlines Group the lease of an additional Boeing 777-200 ER amounting to about EUR 33 million. Austrian Airlines Group will lease the aircraft for a period of about eight years from an internationally renowned leasing company. The aircraft will be transferred to Austrian Airlines Group in spring next year. Before it is put into operation, it will be subject to a maintenance check in Vienna and equipped with the new long-haul cabin including the new modern Economy seats, the new in-flight entertainment system and the new Business Class seats which can be converted into completely flat beds. The new Boeing 777 is scheduled to take off on its first flight in the summer of 2014.

“The expansion of the airline’s long-haul offering is an integral part of the restructuring program launched in 2012“, says Austrian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albrecht. “The long-haul market has growth potential, particularly destinations in Asia and North America. In this way we will secure our long-term competitiveness at the Vienna flight hub.”

At present the long-haul fleet of Austrian Airlines Group consists of ten wide-bodied aircraft, of which four are Boeing 777-200 aircraft and six are Boeing 767-300s. On the basis of the new Boeing 777, the Austrian Airlines Group long-haul fleet will be expanded to eleven aircraft. The most recent expansion of the long-haul fleet took place in 2007 when one Boeing 777 with the registration OE-LPD was added. The Boeing 777 is the world’s largest twinjet and has a capacity of over 300 passengers.

The airline is also upgrading its cabins on its long-hail aircraft and issued this statement:

After passing its test flight and subsequently receiving approval from the authorities, the last Boeing 777 to feature the all-new cabin, aircraft with the registration OE-LPB has been put into revenue service. This means the conversion of the Austrian Boeing 777 fleet is now complete.

A total of 1,232 new seats have been fitted in the four Boeing 777 aircraft to have been converted, 192 in Business Class and 1,040 in Economy Class. The new cabin on the Boeing 777 offers space for a total of 308 passengers. Sophisticated seat distribution allows four out of every five Business Class passengers direct access to the aisle.

The national carrier has now converted its entire Boeing 777 fleet, and two of its Boeing 767 aircraft. Some 1.1 million customers fly long-haul with Austrian Airlines every year, on 5,500 flights.

On the financial side, the Austrian Airlines Group reported an operating loss of $73.5 million for the first quarter. The group issued this statement:

The Austrian Airlines Group continued to make progress in its restructuring program, as shown by its financial performance indicators, in spite of a difficult first quarter related to the winter season. In spite of massive cost burdens to the amount of EUR seven million related to the airline ticket tax and fuel price increases, the country’s largest domestic airline succeeded in improving its operating result by EUR 11 million, or 16.4 percent from the prior-year quarter. Accordingly, Austrian Airlines posted an operating loss of minus EUR 56 million in the first quarter of 2013 (Q1 2012: minus EUR 67 million).

“Austrian Airlines had a tough opponent in the likes of Jack Frost. Winter-related flight cancellations and expensive de-icing unnecessarily burdened our efforts to get back into the black”, says Chief Executive Officer Jaan Albrecht. “We are in a substantially better position than in the previous year, though our performance is slightly below our expectations. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that we will already achieve a turnaround this year”, he adds.

Total operating revenues declined slightly in the first quarter of 2013, down 1.3 percent to EUR 458 million (Q1 2012: EUR 464 million). Operating expenditures also fell by 3.2 percent, from EUR 531 million to EUR 514 million, an indication that the cost reduction measures have begun to take hold. On balance, the airline posted an operating loss of minus EUR 56 million in the first three months of the year. There were no one-off effects in the first quarter.

The number of passengers carried by the Austrian Airlines Group decreased by 2.7 percent to approximately 2.3 million in the period January to March 2013, which can be attributed to the streamlined fleet. As a consequence of optimized fine-tuning, capacity utilization (= passenger load factor) improved by 3.3 percentage points to 74 percent.

The number of people employed by the Austrian Airlines Group totaled 6,265 employees as at the quarterly balance sheet date of March 31, 2013 (December 31, 2012: 6,236 employees). In 2012/13, about 150 people were hired for positions as flight attendants, ground crew and pilots.

Austrian Airlines launched a comprehensive restructuring program at the beginning of 2012 designed to enhance the airline’s competitiveness and profitability. The focal point of the initiative was the successful transfer of flight operations to its subsidiary Tyrolean Airways effective July 1, 2012. This step served to bundle flight operations, which in turn enabled the elimination of redundancies in flight administration. A corresponding program is currently being implemented in 2013. The harmonization of the fleet for European flights was successfully concluded at the end of March. Eleven Boeing 737 aircraft were taken out of flight operations, whereas seven Airbus 320 aircraft were added to the fleet.

In October 2012, Austrian Airlines also launched a product campaign on its long-haul flights. All Boeing 767 and 777 aircrafts will be equipped with new, modern cabins, new Economy Class seats, new horizontal full-flat Business Class seats and a new in-flight entertainment system by September 2013. Five aircraft have already been remodeled. Investments related to the redesigning of the interiors of all the aircraft will amount to more than EUR 90 million. Moreover, as of May 17, 2013, Austrian Airlines has added the Chicago route to its destinations. As a result, the number of flight connections to North America has been increased to 26. The forecast for bookings to Chicago show capacity utilization of over 80 percent.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPC (msn 29313) lands at New York (JFK).

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways is coming to Philadelphia

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced it will start a new nonstop route from Doha to Philadelphia with Boeing 777s. Qatar is expanding its relationship with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and PHL is a future AA hub city. Philadelphia will become the carrier’s fifth U.S. destination and service will commence on March 1, 2014. Charlotte and Miami are likely to see future Qatar service.

Additionally the flag carrier will add a new route to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on September 18 followed by Clark International Airport (near Manila) starting on October 28.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. A beautiful banking shot of Boeing 777-2DZ LR A7-BBC (msn 36015) at Washington (Dulles).

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Reuters: Boeing to offer the longest range airliner with the proposed 777-8X and a 400-seat 777-9X

Boeing logo

Boeing (Chicago) according to Reuters, is offering a new 777-8X model that would have a range of 9,500 nautical miles. The 777-8X is a proposed replacement for the current 777-200LR (Longer Range).

A 400 seat version, dubbed the 777-9X, is being offered to prospective airlines as a competitor to Airbus’ A350-1000.

Both models are being refined with input from the prospective airlines. The biggest customers will come from the Gulf region where range is important.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Air Canada and Etihad Airways to code-share

Air Canada (Montreal) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a commercial cooperation agreement that will enhance travel services between the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

While the two carriers currently have interline agreements in place for passenger and cargo services, Etihad Airways and Air Canada intend to offer customers through-checked bags, reciprocal codeshare services and frequent flyer benefits.

The MoU provides for reciprocal codeshare services to Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub and select points in North America served by Air Canada via its Toronto hub.  The two parties have commenced discussions to finalize details with the objective of introducing codeshare services in the third quarter of 2013.

The agreement will also allow frequent flyer mileage accrual on codeshare flights by members of Etihad Guest and Aeroplan programs and reciprocal premium lounge access at Toronto and Abu Dhabi airports for eligible passengers of both airlines.

This announcement follows the recent decision by the Governments of the UAE and Canada to restore the previous visa regime which means Canadian nationals can once again obtain a free visa on arrival in the UAE.

The UAE is Canada’s largest merchandise export market in the Middle East region and more than 40,000 Canadians reside in the UAE. Furthermore approximately 150 Canadian companies are based in the UAE.

Subject to regulatory approval, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on Air Canada flights between Toronto and select North American points.

In return, Air Canada will place its AC code on Etihad Airways’ non-stop services between Toronto and Abu Dhabi, as well as Etihad Airways’ flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways and Air Canada will also work together to enhance cargo services into and out of Abu Dhabi and Toronto, and beyond on each other’s networks.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 nIGW C-FHJU (msn 19000044) arrives at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 777-3FX ER A6-ETK (msn 39686) takes off from London (Heathrow).

FedEx renews its contract with the United States Postal Service

FedEx Corporation (Memphis) has announced that its FedEx Express (Memphis) subsidiary has entered into a new express air transportation contract with the United States Postal Service. The current contract ends in September 2013, and the new contract will begin in October 2013.

Under this seven-year agreement, valued at approximately $10.5 billion, FedEx Express will provide airport-to-airport transportation of USPS Express Mail and Priority Mail within the United States.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N884FD (msn 37137) gracefully climbs away from the Boeing factory at Paine Field near Everett, Washington.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show

Air Canada reports a first quarter net loss of approximately C$260 million

Air Canada (Montreal) today provided preliminary results for the first quarter of 2013:

  • Adjusted net loss of approximately $143 million versus an adjusted net loss of $162 million in the first quarter of 2012
  • Net loss of approximately $260 million versus a net loss of $274 million in the first quarter of 2012
  • Operating loss of approximately $106 million versus an operating loss of $91 million in the first quarter of 2012
  • EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment, and aircraft rent) of approximately $145 million versus $174 million in the first quarter of 2012

In the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada’s financial results were negatively impacted by an estimated $10 million due to flight cancellations caused by severe weather conditions and operational challenges at the airline’s major Canadian airport hubs, as well as aircraft deicing service delays at Toronto Pearson International Airport.   A higher proportion of leisure passengers versus business passengers, in part due to a shift of the Easter holiday, and an unfavourable foreign currency impact on passenger revenues also contributed to the lower operating results year-over-year.  In addition, Air Canada expects to record an impairment charge of $24 million related to Airbus A340-300 aircraft (none of which are operated by Air Canada) which is reflected in Air Canada’s preliminary operating loss and net loss results.

Air Canada estimates that its passenger revenue per available seat mile (“RASM”) in the first quarter of 2013, on a system-wide basis, increased by approximately 1.1 per cent as compared to the first quarter of 2012, due to passenger load factor improvements partly offset by lower yields. Air Canada also estimates that, in the first quarter of 2013, its adjusted cost per available seat mile (“adjusted CASM”), which excludes fuel expense, the cost of ground packages at Air Canada Vacations and unusual items (such as impairment charges) increased approximately 1.4 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012, a more favourable outcome than the range of the 3 to 4 per cent increase previously projected in its February 7, 2013 news release. The result was better than forecasted due largely to Air Canada having recorded favourable accrual adjustments of $15 million which had not been previously projected, and to timing of certain maintenance events.

Adjusted net debt is estimated to be $3,987 million at March 31, 2013, a decrease of $246 million from March 31, 2012, with cash and short-term investments estimated to represent 17 per cent of 12-month trailing operating revenues at the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Air Canada’s system capacity, as measured by available seat miles (“ASMs”), in the first quarter of 2013 was 1.1 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2012, within the range of the 0 to 1.5 per cent decrease previously projected in its February 7, 2013 news release.

All figures reported above with respect to the first quarter of 2013 are preliminary, have not been reviewed by Air Canada’s auditors and are subject to change as Air Canada’s first quarter 2013 financial results are finalized.  The outlook and preliminary estimates provided in this news release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws, are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties.

Air Canada continues to expect full year 2013 system ASM capacity to increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent when compared to the full year 2012.  Air Canada also continues to expect its full year 2013 domestic capacity to increase in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent from the full year 2012.  Taking into account the better than expected adjusted CASM result in the first quarter of 2013, Air Canada now expects its full year 2013 adjusted CASM to decrease in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent from the full year 2012 (as opposed to the 0 to 1.0 per cent decrease projected in Air Canada’s February 7, 2013 news release).

Air Canada’s above-mentioned outlook assumes Canadian GDP growth of 1.25 to 1.75 per cent for 2013.  In addition, Air Canada expects that the Canadian dollar will trade, on average, at C$1.02 per U.S. dollar for the full year 2013 and that the price of jet fuel will average 86 cents per litre for the full year 2013.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Boeing 777-333 ER C-FITL (msn 35256) climbs away from Frankfurt.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

AMR reports a net profit of $8 million in the 1Q (excluding reorganization costs) and a GAAP net loss of $341 million

AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth) today reported its financial results for the first quarter. The holding company of American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and American Eagle Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) issued this statement:

In the first quarter, AMR reported a net profit of $8 million, excluding reorganization and special items, a $256 million improvement compared to the prior-year period. AMR incurred a GAAP net loss of $341 million versus a GAAP net loss of $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012.  First quarter results were negatively impacted by $349 million of reorganization and special items, which are detailed below.

Restructuring Progress

AMR is on track to realize savings targeted in the restructuring process. To date, AMR has completed the majority of its financial restructuring, including reducing debt, renegotiating aircraft leases and facilities agreements, grounding older aircraft, rationalizing the regional fleet, renegotiating supplier relationships, and making a number of other important changes.

“The fundamental changes we have been able to achieve in streamlining our cost structure and making our operations more efficient are yielding substantial results,” said Bella Goren, AMR’s chief financial officer. “Building on the substantial progress that is evident in our results, we are continuing to implement initiatives that create greater value for our financial stakeholders, employees and customers.”

Year-over-year cost reductions in salary, benefit and non-operating expenses were driven by AMR’s restructuring efforts. Through the restructuring process, American reached six-year agreements with all workgroups and reduced management positions, making American’s management staffing the leanest among network carriers.

AMR also realized improvements in depreciation and amortization expense, offset by increased aircraft rent expense with the company taking delivery of a combined 36 new modern, fuel efficient Boeing 737-800 and 777-300ER aircraft over the past 12 months, all of which have been leased. American is in the midst of significant renewal and transformation of its fleet and expects to take delivery of 59 new mainline aircraft during 2013.

Throughout the remainder of the year, AMR expects to realize additional savings improvements as the company gains court approval to implement new terms negotiated with certain vendors and suppliers. It also plans to build on momentum from restructuring by implementing new scope clauses established in new labor agreements that will enable AMR to compete more effectively in certain markets by better matching aircraft size with demand as American begins operating larger regional jets and expands codeshare agreements.

Revenue Performance

For the first quarter of 2013, AMR reported consolidated revenue of $6.1 billion, approximately 1.0 percent higher compared to the prior-year period on 1.3 percent less capacity. First quarter consolidated and mainline passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent year-over-year, respectively.  Consolidated revenue performance was driven by record passenger yield, or average fares paid, of 16.27 cents per mile, a 0.6 percent year-over-year improvement, and strong consolidated and mainline load factors, or percentage of seats filled, of 79.9 percent and 80.6 percent, respectively.

Domestic PRASM improved 2.7 percent in the first quarter versus the first quarter of 2012, with PRASM increases across all five of American’s hubs, with the Los Angeles and Chicago hubs showing particular strength. International PRASM increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 over the prior-year period, driven by strong performance in the Atlantic entity. Absolute PRASM and yields in the Latin entity remain robust and further American’s belief that targeted growth in the region will be accretive to earnings.

Other revenues in the first quarter increased 1.2 percent compared to the prior period, driven primarily by an increase in AAdvantage® miles sold to partners and by growth in American Eagle’s ground-handling business performed for third parties.

“We achieved a quarterly yield that was the highest in company history for any quarter, and an all-time first quarter record in revenue,” said Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer. “As we look to the second quarter, we remain focused on delivering for our customers through new products and services, the renewal of our fleet and greater access to more destinations across our growing global network.”

Operating Expense

For the first quarter, AMR’s consolidated operating expenses decreased $80 million, or 1.3 percent, versus the same period in 2012. Excluding special items, AMR’s consolidated operating expenses decreased $142 million, or 2.3 percent, year-over-year.  American’s mainline cost per available seat mile (unit cost) in the first quarter decreased 0.6 percent, including special items in both periods, and 1.7 percent versus the same period last year, excluding special items. Taking into account the impact of fuel hedging, AMR paid $3.26 per gallon for jet fuel in the first quarter of 2013 versus $3.24 per gallon in the first quarter of 2012, a 0.7 percent increase. As a result, the company paid $14 million more for fuel in the first quarter of 2013 than it would have paid at prevailing prices from the prior-year period.

Excluding fuel and special items, mainline and consolidated unit costs in the first quarter of 2013 decreased 4.1 percent and 3.2 percent year-over-year, respectively, primarily driven by the company’s restructuring efforts. Despite lower capacity, this was the second consecutive quarter of non-fuel unit cost reduction. In addition, AMR achieved an operating profit of $125 million and an operating margin of approximately 2.0 percent, an improvement of approximately $203 million and 3.3 points, respectively, over the prior-year period, excluding special items.

An unaudited summary of first quarter 2013 results, including reconciliations of non-GAAP to GAAP financial measures, is available in the tables at the back of this press release.

Cash Position

AMR ended the first quarter with approximately $5.1 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted cash balance of $853 million, compared to a balance of approximately $5.6 billion in cash and short-term investments, including a restricted balance of approximately $771 million, at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

Operational Performance

American ran a strong operation in the first quarter, achieving an on-time arrival rate of 80.8 percent. In the month of March, 81.8 percent of American’s mainline flights arrived on time, American’s best March performance since 2003. American’s solid operational results for the quarter also include posting a completion factor of 98.4 percent.

Other First Quarter Highlights

  • In January, American Airlines became the first and only U.S. airline to introduce the Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft – the new flagship of American’s fleet. The company now has five 777-300ER aircraft in service, operating between New York Kennedy and both London Heathrow and Sao Paulo, and between Dallas/Fort Worth and London Heathrow.
  • LATAM Airlines Group announced it will join oneworld®, and American filed applications with regulators for codeshare agreements with TAM and LAN Colombia. Pending approval, this will strengthen American’s existing service to Latin America by offering customers greater travel options and convenience.
  • American and Finnair announced Finnair’s intent to join the transatlantic joint business American shares with British Airways and Iberia, providing our North American and European customers more choices and better connections across the Atlantic.
  • American signed agreements with oneworld member-elect Qatar Airways, based in Doha, Qatar, and the newest oneworld member, Malaysia Airlines, to codeshare on each other’s flights, which will provide new growth opportunities for American in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as for our new partners in the United States.
  • American and Alaska Airlines announced an expanded codeshare agreement
  • American filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for the right to fly additional frequencies from its Los Angeles and Chicago hubs to Brazil, beginning in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
  • American completed its private offering of two tranches of enhanced equipment trust certificates (EETC) in the amount of $664.4 million. This marked the first EETC financing in history for an airline in restructuring.

Pending Merger Transaction

On Feb. 14, AMR and US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix) announced that the boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine to create one of the world’s largest global airlines, which will have an implied combined equity value of approximately $11 billion based on the price of US Airways stock as of Feb. 13, 2013. The merger will offer benefits to both airlines’ customers, communities, employees, investors and creditors. Among other things, the combined company is expected to:

  • Benefit customers due to an expanded global network and investment in new aircraft, technology, products and services
  • Enhance the oneworld alliance, offering a seamless global network
  • Improve loyalty benefits for both airlines’ members by expanding opportunities to earn and redeem miles
  • Provide a path to improved compensation and benefits with greater long-term opportunities for employees of both companies
  • Enhance recoveries for financial stakeholders – AMR stakeholders to own 72 percent and US Airways shareholders to own 28 percent of the combined company’s diluted common stock
  • Build upon the iconic, globally recognized American Airlines brand
  • Be headquartered in Dallas/Fort Worth, with a significant operational presence in Phoenix

American’s proposed Plan of Reorganization provides the potential for full recovery for American’s creditors and a recovery of at least 3.5 percent of the aggregate diluted common stock of the combined airline for the company’s shareholders. It is unusual in Chapter 11 cases – and unprecedented in recent airline restructurings – for shareholders to receive meaningful recoveries.

Merger Milestones

The following merger milestones have been achieved to date:

  • Jan. 31: Filed the required notification materials under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Federal Trade Commission
  • Feb. 14: Announced the definitive merger agreement between AMR and US Airways
  • Feb. 25: AMR and US Airways announced that Beverly Goulet, senior vice president and chief integration officer for American Airlines, and Scott Kirby, president of US Airways, will jointly lead a transition-planning team to design and oversee the new American integration
  • March 21: AMR and US Airways announced the creation of the Integration Management Office (IMO) to support the transition team and the selection of McKinsey & Company to advise the IMO
  • March 28: AMR received court approval to merge with US Airways
  • April 15: AMR filed its Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, Disclosure Statement and Registration Statement; a hearing to consider approval of the Disclosure Statement is scheduled for June 4

The merger is conditioned on the approval by the Court, regulatory approvals, approval by US Airways shareholders, other customary closing conditions, and confirmation and consummation of the Plan of Reorganization in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. The combination is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2013. Prior to closing of the transaction, the transition-planning team composed of leaders from both companies will develop an integration plan designed to assure a smooth and sustainable transition with a focus on maximizing the potential value of the merger.

Reorganization and Special Items

AMR’s first quarter 2013 results include the impact of $349 million in reorganization and special items.

  • Of that amount, AMR recognized a $160 million loss in reorganization items resulting from certain of its direct and indirect U.S. subsidiaries’ voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 on Nov. 29, 2011. These items primarily result from an adjustment to previously recorded estimated allowed claim amounts for certain special facility revenue bonds, as well as for professional fees.
  • The company recognized interest charges of $116 million to recognize post-petition interest expense on unsecured obligations which is to be allowed pursuant to the company’s Plan of Reorganization filed on April 15.
  • The company’s operating expenses for the first quarter also include special charges and merger-related expenses of $28 million, and a $45 million charge to benefits expense due to an increase in workers’ compensation claims in recent months, as well as adverse developments on older claims.

Capacity Guidance

AMR estimates consolidated capacity in the second quarter of 2013 to be up approximately 1.0 percent versus the second quarter of 2012. For the full year 2013, consolidated capacity is estimated to increase approximately 1.5 percent versus the prior year.

American continues to make progress in implementing Main Cabin Extra, removing certain seats to provide customers with more leg room in the Main Cabin. To date, American has completed the retrofit of its Boeing 757 and 767 fleets and more than 90 percent of its 737 fleet.  The retrofit of the MD-80 fleet commenced in January 2013, and to date, Main Cabin Extra has been added to approximately two-thirds of the MD-80 fleet with completion targeted for the second quarter of this year.

Copyright Photo: Brian Peters. Boeing 777-323 ER N718AN (msn 41665) climbs gracefully into the sky from the Dallas/Fort Worth main hub.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

American has a day it would like to forget

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) yesterday was a day that did not fit the image that the company would like to project as an airline that is being reborn after emerging from Chapter 11. American was forced to ground all of its flights yesterday (April 16) for several hours after a nationwide problem with its computer systems. Over 400 flights were cancelled. The company apologized to its customers and slowly returned to normal operations later in the day.

Read the full report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 777-223 ER N759AN (msn 32638) in the old 1968 livery with the special “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” markings arrives at Miami.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Emirates is coming to Stockholm

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has announced that it will begin operating a daily flight to Stockholm, Sweden from September 4, 2013.

The new route will be operated with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The daily service will offer three cabin classes with eight seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class and 304 seats in Economy Class.

The new daily flight to Stockholm will depart Dubai as flight EK 157 at 0715 and arrive at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 1200 the same day. The return flight, EK 158 will depart at 1355 and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2225.

Emirates’ launch of Stockholm service will follow the launch of Tokyo Haneda service on June 3 . Closely following the launch of Stockholm in September, Emirates will launch a daily flight to Clark in the Philippines (near Manila) on October 1.

Copyright Photo: Nik French. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EGO (msn 35598) with the special “1000th 777″ departs from Manchester.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Emirates to enter the trans-Atlantic battle

Emirates Airline (Dubai) will launch a direct nonstop service between Milan (Malpensa) and New York (JFK), the airline’s only trans-Atlantic service, from October 1, 2013.

In addition to the existing passenger market between Milan and New York, Emirates has timed its flight schedule to ensure maximum connectivity for other key feeder markets. Customers looking to fly on the airline’s award-winning product will be able to seamlessly connect from points all over the U.S., including the West Coast, taking advantage of Emirates’ partnership with JetBlue, and across Europe, maximizing the airline’s frequent flyer partnership with easyJet.

“Operating a trans-Atlantic route has been on our agenda for some time. Having carefully monitored traffic flows we have identified strong demand for both a direct connection and, importantly, for the Emirates product.  The route is currently underserved, particularly with a strong premium product offering this is where we see a clear opening for Emirates. We intend to capitalize on this opportunity, stimulating further demand and encouraging additional traffic flow in both directions,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates.

Operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER, the flight will be an extension of one of Emirates’ existing three daily, Dubai to Milan flights. The service will originate in Dubai with passengers then able to enjoy a stopover in Milan en-route to New York. On the return flight, passengers will have the option of stopping in Milan before continuing on to Dubai.  This one-stop service has proved popular on other Emirates’ routes, giving passengers the opportunity to experience a new destination or to break their journey on longer trips.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-ENA (msn 41082) arrives back at the Dubai base.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

JAL celebrates 30 Years of the Tokyo Disney Resort with a new “JAL Happiness Express” logojet

JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) on March 29 introduced this 30th Anniversary logojet to help celebrate the success of the Tokyo Disney Resort. Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) at Tokyo (Haneda) is the first JAL aircraft to wear the special Disney livery. The titles proclaim Year 30 is The Happiness Year. JA8985 is named the “JAL Happiness Express”.

JAL will add five more Disney aircraft including one additional 777-200 domestic and four 737-800 domestic aircraft.

According to Wipipedia, The resort opened on April 15, 1983, as a single theme park (Tokyo Disneyland), but developed into a resort with two theme parks, three Disney hotels, six non-Disney hotels, and a shopping complex. Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disney theme park opened outside of the United States.

JAL Toyko Disney Resort 30 Logo

Copyright Photo: Shige Sakaki.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

Austrian Airlines to concentrate all Tyrolean Airways administration functions in Vienna, 100 jobs to be cut

Austrian Airlines (Vienna) is making further changes at its lower-cost Tyrolean Airways (Innsubruck) subsidiary. All Austrian Airlines aircraft, except one aircraft, are now operated by Tyrolean in the Austrian brand since July 1, 2012. Boeing 777-2Z9 OE-LPB was kept on the Austrian certificate to maintain Austrian as an operating airline.

All Tyrolean aircraft maintenance and the call center functions will remain in Innsbruck. However all administrative functions will now be centered in Vienna. All crew operations and traffic control will also be concentrated in Vienna. This will result in the loss of 100 positions.

Austrian expects to turn to profitability this year.

Read the full report (in German): CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. The only true Austrian Airlines-operated aircraft, this former Lauda Air Boeing 777-2Z9 ER OE-LPB (msn 28699), arrives at Bangkok.

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show


Japan Airlines considers ordering 20 Airbus A350s

Japan Airlines-JAL (Tokyo) has been a loyal Boeing customer. However the recent problems with the much-delayed Boeing 787 may have soured that relationship. According to Nikkei, the company is now considering an order from rival Airbus for 20 Airbus A350s and it will make a decision in June. However this may also be a ploy to get better terms and compensation from Boeing for the 787 delays. JAL is considering replacing its current Boeing 777-300 ERs with the new Airbus A350-100s for its European routes.

Read the full report from the Chicago Tribune: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Akira Uekawa. Boeing 777-346 JA8941 (msn 28393) approaches the Tokyo (Haneda) hub for landing.

JAL-Japan Airlines: AG Slide Show

TNT Express to cut 4,000 jobs and will focus on Europe

TNT Express (Hoofddorp), the parent of TNT Airways (Liege), announced today an extensive reorganization plan to go it alone after its takeover by UPS was rejected by the European Commission. The downsizing will result in a loss of 4,000 jobs as it will now concentrate on serving mainly its European routes. The struggling company needs to save approximately $286 million by 2015.

Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE

Read the official statement by the company: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon. Some of the long-range aircraft are likely to be dropped from the fleet with this downsizing. Operated by Southern Air for TNT Airways, Boeing 777-FHT N778SA (msn 39286) prepares to touch down at Dubai International Airport.

TNT: AG Slide Show

American bankruptcy trustee questions the $19.9 severance package for CEO Tom Horton

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is facing a new round of questioning in the bankruptcy court to further explain the large $19.9 million severance package afforded to departing CEO Tom Horton. According to this report by Reuters, Trustee Tracy Hope Davis is asking the carrier to explain the large settlement  and  also the “sweeping changes” to its employee pay programs under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Brian Peters. Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) arrives at the large Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport hub.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: American Airlines. Outgoing AA CEO Tom Horton.

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton (LR)

JetBlue announces a new code-share agreement with Qatar Airways

JetBlue Airways (New York) and Qatar Airways (Doha) today announced a one-way codeshare agreement to connect the carriers’ networks via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, subject to receipt of government approval.

The two airlines have been interline partners since 2011, enabling customers to enjoy the convenience of a single combined ticket for Qatar and JetBlue-operated flights, plus other benefits including one-stop check-in and baggage transfer.

Tickets featuring a Qatar Airways flight number will soon be available for sale for JetBlue-operated connections in 26 markets between New York/JFK and Washington Dulles, including the following U.S. destinations:

  • Buffalo, New York (BUF)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT)
  • Denver, Colorado (DEN)
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
  • Fort Myers, Florida (RSW)
  • Jacksonville, Florida (JAX)
  • Long Beach, California (LGB)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)
  • Palm Beach, Florida, (PBI)
  • Phoenix, Arizona (PHX)
  • Portland, Oregon (PDX)
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC)
  • Syracuse, New York (SYR)

“We are pleased to deepen our successful relationship with Qatar Airways through this new codeshare at JFK and Dulles, providing customers more access to both networks,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s president and CEO. “Qatar has been a great partner for JetBlue, serving our customers well with their outstanding product and service.”

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are delighted to further expand our partnership with JetBlue, an airline that focuses on quality and service, a key hallmark of Qatar Airways. Through this enhanced agreement, we will extend our reach to more customers and more markets, providing greater convenience for travellers to and from our global network.”

JetBlue customers can avail themselves of Qatar Airways’ connecting service to destinations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific regions, including 12 cities in India and a number of destinations including Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Kuwait, Riyadh, Islamabad, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

JetBlue is a top domestic airline at JFK, with more than 150 daily departures to dozens of major U.S. cities including Boston, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, from its home at the modern Terminal 5.

At Washington Dulles, the airline offers service to Boston, New York, and Long Beach and Oakland, California. Customers traveling with JetBlue enjoy premium amenities including unlimited free snacks and drinks, personal seatback televisions, spacious leather seating, the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch), and personalized service from JetBlue’s award-recognized in-flight crewmembers.

Top Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen. JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N655JB (msn 3072) sports the “Our 100th A320″ special livery at the New York (JFK) hub.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-3DZ ER A7-BAB (msn 36103) arrives at Washington (Dulles).

Qatar Airways wants to be the second largest cargo airline in the world

Qatar Airways (Doha) is one of the fastest-growing passenger airlines in the world. This year the flag carrier will move into a new and larger Doha International Airport currently under construction. According to this report by The National, Qatar Airways also wants to be the second largest cargo airline in the world.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael Stappen. Boeing 777-FDZ A7-BFB (msn 36100) lands at Amsterdam.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air Worldwide dry-leasing subsidiary Titan Aviation acquires a Boeing 777 Freighter

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today announced the acquisition of a Boeing 777 Freighter by its dry-leasing subsidiary, Titan Aviation. The aircraft is currently on long-term lease to AeroLogic GmbH (Leipzig), a cargo airline based in Germany and a joint venture of DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo AG.

“With the purchase of this 777 freighter, we gain entry into an attractive aircraft type consistent with our strategy of investing in new technology that creates superior value for our customers,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide.

“This deal represents an important part of our plan to grow Titan’s dry-leasing platform through selective investments in aircraft with existing leases that support leading operators in the airfreight industry. While Titan is principally a cargo aircraft dry lessor, its portfolio includes passenger narrow-body aircraft, engines and related equipment. It also provides customers expertise in asset management, passenger-to-freighter conversion, and other technical services.”

Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (NORD/LB), a leading aircraft financier based in Hanover, Germany, provided financing for the 2010 vintage aircraft.

AeroLogic GmbH was founded in September 2007 with headquarters in Schkeuditz/Leipzig, Germany. The AeroLogic fleet is composed of eight Boeing 777Fs.

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. AeroLogic’s Boeing 777-FZN D-AALC (msn 36003) is pictured at Everett (Paine Field) prior to its handover.

AeroLogic: AG Slide Show

TAM to join the Oneworld Alliance

LATAM Airlines Group (LAN Airlines and TAM Linhas Aereas) (Santiago) today confirmed its selection of oneworld® as the global alliance for all its passenger airlines.

The decision, announced at a meeting of the oneworld Governing Board held in Hong Kong today, means:
  • Brazil’s TAM Airlines will leave the Star Alliance to join oneworld, along with its Paraguay subsidiary.  Their transition is expected to be completed during 2014’s second quarter.
  • LAN Colombia, the latest part of LAN, will join oneworld as an affiliate member, in the fourth quarter of 2013.
With Chile’s LAN Airlines flying as a full member of oneworld since June 2000 and LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru added since as affiliate members, today’s announcement will bring all of Latin America’s top airline group into the same global airline alliance, alongside 11 of the other leading carriers from around the world and 30 of their affiliates.
An exact date for TAM’s departure from the Star Alliance will be announced in due course.  The intention is for it to become part of oneworld immediately after it exits Star.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. TAM Brasil’s (TAM Linhas Aereas) Boeing 777-32W ER PT-MUE (msn 38886) arrives at London (Heathrow).
LAN: AG Slide Show
TAM: AG Slide Show

SAS and Thai expand their code-share relationship

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) and its Star Alliance partner Thai Airways International (Bangkok) on April 8 will expand  their present code-share agreement to also cover Stockholm – Bangkok, Oslo – Bangkok and Copenhagen – Bangkok. This will be in addition to the present code-share destinations on Thai’s regional destinations in Asia and SAS’ Scandinavian and European destinations.
Top Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren. SAS’ Airbus A330-343X LN-RKH (msn 497) departs from the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.

Scandinavian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Thai: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Thai’s Boeing 777-3D7 ER HS-TKA (msn 29150) climbs away from the Bangkok hub.

American Airlines and US Airways receive a DOJ request for additional information for its proposed merger

AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. (Dallas/Fort Worth), and US Airways Group, Inc. (the parent of US Airways) (Phoenix) announced that, on March 4, 2013, each company received a request for additional information (Second Request) from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the proposed merger of the two airlines.

A DOJ Second Request is a standard part of the regulatory process. A Second Request extends the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, during which the parties may not close the transaction, until 30 days after American Airlines and US Airways have substantially complied with the Second Request (or the waiting period is otherwise terminated by the DOJ). American Airlines and US Airways expect to respond promptly to the Second Request and to continue working cooperatively with the DOJ as it conducts its review of the proposed combination.  American Airlines and US Airways continue to expect the combination to be completed in the third quarter of 2013.

The merger is conditioned on the approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, regulatory approvals, approval by US Airways shareholders, other customary closing conditions, and confirmation and consummation of the Plan of Reorganization.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut. American Airlines’ Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) in the new look made its first appearance at London (Heathrow) yesterday.


American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

American signs a new sale-lease back agreement with ILFC for Boeing aircraft including 15 737-800s and one 777-300 ER

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) announced today both companies have entered into an agreement for the purchase and leaseback of an additional 15 new Boeing 737-800 and one new 777-300 ER aircraft.

The Boeing 737 aircraft are scheduled for delivery between May 2013 and December 2014. The Boeing 777 widebody aircraft is forecasted to be delivered in the second half of March 2013. ILFC and American had entered into a previous sale-leaseback agreement for 15 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft in 2011. The final delivery of those aircraft was completed in 2012 and they are operating today.

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade. The pictured Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) on its final approach at London (Heathrow) was delivered on December 11, 2012 becoming the first of the type for AA.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

ALC orders 10 new Boeing 777-300 ERs, places two with Air New Zealand

Boeing (Chicago) and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) announced an order today for 10 777-300 ERs (extended range) airplanes. The order, valued at $3.2 billion at current list prices, adds to the growing portfolio of long-haul airplanes for the Los Angeles-based leasing company.

ALC has ordered 185 airplanes from Boeing including 78 Next-Generation 737s, 80 737 MAXs, 12 787 Dreamliners and 15 777-300ERs. The leasing company also has reconfirmation rights on 20 additional 737 MAX airplanes.

In other news, Air Lease Corporation announced long term lease agreements today with Air New Zealand (Auckland) for two new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft delivering in 2014.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Air New Zealand: AG Slide Show

Boeing delivers the first 777 built at the increased rate


Boeing (Chicago) has delivered the first 777 built at the increased production rate of 8.3 per month, or 100 airplanes per year. The airplane, a 777 Freighter, was delivered to Korean Air (Seoul).

In the past 32 months, the 777 program has increased its production rate twice. The rate went from five to seven per month in 2011, and now to the all-time high of 8.3 per month.

1,072 777s have been delivered through the end of January and a total of 1,431 have been ordered from 66 customers around the globe.

Copyright Photo: Boeing. Boeing 777-FB5 HL8226 (msn 37640) was handed over to the carrier on February 25.

Korean Air: AG Slide Show

Air France-KLM trims its loss in 2012

Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) reported a net loss of $1.56 billion for 2012.

Read the full report from the group: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis by the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 777-328 ER F-GSQK (msn 32845) approaches the runway at Los Angeles.

Air France: AG Slide Show

KLM: AG Slide Show

Emirates is coming to Clark International Airport in the Philippines

Emirates Airline (Dubai) announced it will begin daily, non-stop flights to Clark International Airport, the airline’s second destination in the Philippines starting on October 1.

Emirates has been operating flights to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, since 1990 and, due to the demand, has continued to increase its flight frequency on the route to its current triple daily, nonstop service.

Clark International Airport is located in the province of Pampanga in Central Luzon, which is 80 kilometres to the north of Manila. Its strategic location means it has a catchment area of 17 million people.

The new route will be operated with two-class Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. Flight EK 338 will depart Dubai at 0400 and arrive at Clark International Airport at 1640. The return flight, EK 339 will depart at 1835 and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2305.

A government study estimated that there are 10 million Filipinos living outside the Philippines – about 10% of the country’s home population. The largest number of overseas Filipinos reside mainly in the United States. The region with the largest temporary overseas Filipino population is the Middle East with approximately 2.9 million Filipinos, with 680,000 living in the UAE.

Central Luzon is one of the leading growth regions in the Philippines and is host to the country’s premier economic zones – the Clark Freeport Zone and the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 777-31H ER A6-EGW (msn 35601) approaches Dubai International Airport for landing.

Emirates: AG Slide Show


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