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Tag Archives: Boeing

Philippines retires its last Boeing 747

Philippines-Philippine Airlines (Manila) today (September 1) operated its last Boeing 747 revenue flight. The last flight with a Boeing 747-400 touched down from San Francisco early this morning at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, ending an era that has spanned 35 years according to Philippine Flight Network.

The Boeing 747 entered service with Philippine Airlines in December 1979, when the carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 747-200B. PAL added its first Boeing 747-400 in November 1993.

Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C7473 (msn 27828) operated the last flight. RP-C7473 departed San Francisco on August 31 for the last time with 285 passengers on board according to PFN.

Read the full story with photos from Philippine Flight Network: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 747-4F6 RP-C8168 (msn 27827) was a familiar sight at Los Angeles International Airport.

Philippines: AG Slide Show

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Flydubai adds three more routes, reaches 80 destinations

Flydubai (Dubai) has announced the addition of three new east African routes, bringing the total number of destinations in the carrier’s network to 80. With the launch of flights in September 2014 to Bujumbura in Burundi, Entebbe in Uganda and Kigali in Rwanda, Flydubai will fly to nine destinations in Africa.

In addition to operating between Dubai and these three new cities, Flydubai has obtained the rights to carry passengers between Uganda and Burundi.

Rwanda and Burundi are home to some of the most biodiverse places. Filled with numerous volcanoes, nature reserves and the second deepest lake in the world, the two countries also have one third of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas and one third of Africa’s bird species. While tourism is the largest contributor to Rwanda and Burundi’s economies, Uganda is considered one of Africa’s most progressive economies and is emerging as one of the leading commercial centres within Africa.

Within Africa, Flydubai currently operates flights to Alexandria in Egypt, Khartoum and Port Sudan in Sudan, Juba in South Sudan, Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa as well as Djibouti’s capital Djibouti.

Flydubai will operate seven flights a week between Entebbe and Dubai starting from September 28, 2014.

Flydubai will operate two flights a week between Bujumbura and Dubai via Entebbe starting from September 30, 2014.

Flydubai will operate two flights a week between Entebbe and Bujumbura starting from September 30, 2014.

Flydubai will operate three flights a week between Kigali and Dubai via Entebbe starting from September 27, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8KN A6-FDN (msn 40241) approaches the runway at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Flydubai: AG Slide Show

Expanded route map: Flydubai 8.2014 Route Map

 

Flights MH 370 and MH 17 continue to impact Malaysia Airlines, second quarter loss grows

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) reported a larger second quarter net loss of RM307 million ($97.4 million) for the three months ended June 30, 2014.

The company continues to suffer as a result of the March 8, 2014 disappearance of flight MH 370 and the shooting down of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014.

Here is the complete financial statement by the company:

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 in March 2014 continued to impact the airline’s second quarter financial results with Malaysia Airlines’ reporting a net loss of RM307 million for the three months ended June 30, 2014. Adding to the earlier loss of RM443 million in first quarter, the national carrier’s first half 2014 results stood at a loss of RM750 million, 65% more than the previous corresponding period in 2013.

For the three months ended June 2014, Group revenue fell 5% to RM3.59 billion compared to one year ago as a result of lower yield and seat factor following the MH 370 tragedy. The lower revenue coupled with a marginal 2% increase in cost, principally due to fuel cost for the quarter, resulted in a net loss After Tax of RM307 million after taking into consideration depreciation (RM223 million), finance costs (RM119 million) and unrealized forex gains (RM52 million).

Having lost substantial potential revenue from the popular MATTA Fair in early March and the decision by MAS to impose a deliberate advertising black-out in March and April due to the tragedy of MH 370, more aggressive marketing activities picked up in May and June.

The market responded positively to the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair (MATF) held in May which saw sales increase 29% and higher than average daily sales compared to previous fairs that ran earlier in the year. MATTA Sabah, MATF Penang plus a greater push in all markets around the world further helped sales and restored confidence in MAS.

Seat factor which fell 9.5 points in May to 68.9% was seen to pick up in June to return to above the 80% levels again.

For the second quarter 2014, capacity rose 9% year-on-year based on improved aircraft utilization; however traffic remained the same year-on-year. Consequently, the airline’s seat factor recorded a fall of 6.7 points for the Quarter to 73.7% compared to 80.4% in the previous year. Malaysia Airlines carried 4.2 million passengers in the months of April to June 2014.

Fuel expenditure in second quarter 2014 rose 10% to RM1.53 billion compared with the previous corresponding period due to a rise in fuel price and weakening of the Ringgit against the US Dollar.

In an effort to reduce fuel costs and increase productivity, Malaysia Airlines brought forward the retirement of its older Boeing 737-400 fleet from end 2014 to mid-June. As at mid-August, the Group’s fleet comprised 127 aircraft. Of this, Malaysia Airlines’ operates 88 aircraft, which includes 54 Boeing 737-800s, 15 Airbus A330s and 6 Airbus A380s. The average age of the fleet for the Group as at June 30, 2014 is 5.28 years.

For the first half of 2014, total revenue fell 2%, however total expenditure grew 4%. Fuel costs, representing 43% of total expenditure, was 12% higher. Earnings before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) stood at negative RM134 million for the first half of 2014 against a positive RM258 million in the same period one year ago. Depreciation charges (RM460 million) and finance costs (RM241 million) continued to remain high.

Despite increases in capacity and revenue as well as cost saving measures and productivity improvements, the Group has continued to report weak financial performance.

The weak financial performance has made Malaysia Airlines acutely aware of the need to restructure the Company’s operations, even prior to the double tragedies of MH 370 and MH 17. The occurrence of the two incidences within a short span of 4 months served to worsen the situation further.

“We operate in a harsh business environment of stiff competition from regional and global carriers and high operational costs. Coupled with the impact of the two tragedies which have damaged our brand, the need to restructure the Company was accelerated. The full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH 370 and MH 17 is expected to hit Malaysia Airlines in the second half of the year”, said Ahmad Jauhari.

“Our Company has had to undergo a thorough re-examination and re-evaluation in order to reposition ourselves as a stronger and more sustainable Malaysia Airlines for the future”, said Ahmad Jauhari.

On August 8, 2014, majority shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, announced its intention to take full ownership of Malaysia Airlines and delist it from Bursa Malaysia. If approved, it will put into action a plan to restructure the airline group towards returning it to profitability.

Yesterday (August 29) the airline issued this statement about the recovery plan for the national airline:

The Board of Malaysia Airlines welcomed the release by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”), its majority shareholder, of “Rebuilding a National Icon: The MAS Recovery Plan” – a plan to facilitate the airline’s achievement of sustained profitability and competitiveness. It also acknowledged receipt of a letter from Khazanah relating to Khazanah’s planned investment in MAS to facilitate its delisting from the main market of Bursa Malaysia and restructuring, and the terms of such funding.

At its last Annual General meeting on June 25, Chairman of MAS, Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, and Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, made clear that even before the disappearance of MH370, radical change was already firmly on the Board’s agenda. The urgency for change, evident through our continued poor performance, was also accelerated by the loss of MH 17.

The publication of the Recovery Plan follows the formal request by Khazanah to the MAS Board of Directors to undertake a Selective Capital Reduction (“SCR”) exercise made on August 8, 2014. The SCR will be put to shareholders’ vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be convened in due course.

In parallel, MAS’ senior leaders have been engaging with almost 2,500 staff at multiple locations across the Group, to hear their views and concerns resulting from plans to take the Company private and restructure.

We, together with representatives of the employees’ unions, met this morning with Khazanah. We will continue this process of engagement with all parties including directly with employees and with representatives of the employees’ unions.

In the meantime, there will be no disruption to our current service. We will continue to fly, honor existing reservations, and plan future travel. The announcement on August 8 and this Plan will have no impact on the current fares we offer our customers and corporate accounts nor our membership in the oneworld alliance.

We are an award winning airline– including having won World’s Best Cabin Crew numerous times. It is our duty and honour to serve and we will continue to do so with pride and care.

In his foreword to the Recovery Plan, the Prime Minister called on Malaysia Airlines, all those who work with Malaysia’s national carrier and all Malaysians to play their part in ensuring today’s Plan becomes an enduring success. We look forward to playing our role and being a part of this effort to ensure that Malaysia Airlines becomes a profitable and sustainable national carrier of which all Malaysians can be truly proud.

Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia Airlines retired its last Boeing 737-400 in mid-June 2014. Boeing 737-4H6 9M-MMA (msn 26443) arrives in Singapore.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

9 air takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-800, preparing to start operations

9 air (9air.com) (Nine Star Airways) (Guangzhou and Bangkok) as we previously reported is a new budget airline in China. On August 27 the new company took delivery of its first Boeing 737-800, the pictured 737-8GP B-1715 (msn 39819). The company hopes to launch scheduled passenger operations next month when a second aircraft is delivered.

According to Reuters, 9 Air finalized its order for 50 Boeing 737 jets, becoming the second Chinese carrier which operates an all-Boeing fleet.

The order includes a mix of Boeing Next-Generation 737 jets and 737 MAX aircraft.

9 air is owned by privately held Juneyao Airlines which is an Airbus A320 operator.

Nine Star Airways also intends to operate Airbus A320s from Bangkok.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. B-1715 passes through Honolulu. B-1715 is one of three 737-800s leased from Transportation Partners (Lion Air) which are being leased in order to start operations.

 

Xiamen Air takes delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Xiamen Airlines (Xiamen Air) (Xiamen) yesterday (August 29) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner.

With the delivery of its first 787-8, Xiamen Airlines becomes the third Chinese airline to operate the 787. The airline will use the 787 on long-haul routes from its Fujian province base to Europe, North America and Australia.

Formed in 1984 as China’s first joint venture between the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and a municipal government, Xiamen Airlines started services in 1985 with two Boeing 737-200s serving three cities. The carrier has grown into China’s sixth largest airline serving 218 domestic routes and 26 international and regional routes.

As part of Xiamen Airlines’ 12th five-year plan ending 2015, the carrier plans to grow its fleet to 150 airplanes, including six 787s. The 787 is the most advanced airplane in commercial aviation and will help Xiamen Airlines develop more point-to-point routes globally, while also establishing the airline as an emerging force in the commercial aviation market.

To support Xiamen Airlines’ 787, Boeing will provide a comprehensive suite of support and services that includes flight training, Airplane Health Management, electronic charts and navigation data, and Maintenance Performance Toolbox through its Commercial Aviation Services business.

Xiamen Airlines is China’s only all-Boeing carrier. In November 2013, the airline took delivery of its 100th Boeing airplane, a Next-Generation 737-800. Xiamen Airlines has a total of six 787s on order.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 B-2768 (msn 41538) is pictured at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Xiamen Air: AG Slide Show

American and Orbitz make up, all is good again

Orbitz Worldwide has announced that it had reached an agreement with American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) to continue to offer American Airlines and US Airways flights on all of its sites. Consumers should see all available flights immediately. All tickets previously purchased on Orbitz Worldwide sites remain valid.

“We are pleased that our long-standing relationship with American Airlines allowed us to quickly resolve business matters and that we continue to offer a broad range of options, including American Airlines
and US Airways flights, to the millions of shoppers who book travel on our global sites each day,” said Sam Fulton, president of Orbitz.com.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-323 ER N723AN (msn 33125) of American Airlines completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

American Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

QANTAS loses a record $2.6 billion for its fiscal year, outlines its fleet plans

QANTAS Group (Jetstar Airways and QANTAS Airways) (Sydney) is changing its corporate organization in the wake of a large (record) financial loss of A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion) for its fiscal year. The company hopes to attract new foreign investors with these changes.

The main changes is the creation of a holding company that will manage separate domestic and international divisions.

The company also performed a major write down of the value of its aircraft due to currency fluctuations in the past when the aircraft were purchased.

The company issued this full financial report (all figures are in Australian dollars) and its fleet plans.

QANTAS Group has announced an Underlying Loss Before Tax of $646 million and a Statutory Loss After Tax of $2.8 billion for the 12 months ended 30 June 2014.

The Underlying PBT result was driven by the cumulative impact of two years of industry capacity growth ahead of demand, leading to a $566 million decline in FY14 revenue, and by record Australian dollar fuel costs of $4.5 billion – up $253 million from FY13.

In response, QANTAS is driving an earnings recovery and de-leveraging the Group’s balance sheet to shape a profitable future and build long-term shareholder value.

The $2 billion accelerated QANTAS Transformation program announced in February is permanently reducing costs and laying the foundations for sustainable growth in earnings.

Transformation benefits totalled $440 million in FY14, including $204 million of second-half benefits from the accelerated QANTAS Transformation program.

A further $900 million of accelerated transformation projects are in the implementation phase, with more than $600 million of benefits from these projects to be realised in FY15.

To date, projects equivalent to more than half the $2 billion target have been delivered or are underway.

Unit costs were reduced by 3 per cent over the year, accelerating from a 2 per cent reduction in the first half to a 4 per cent reduction in the second half.

QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce said the underlying result had been foreshadowed at the Group’s half-year announcement in February.

“There is no doubt today’s numbers are confronting, but they represent the year that is past,” Mr Joyce said.

“We have now come through the worst. With our accelerated QANTAS Transformation program we are already emerging as a leaner, more focused and more sustainable QANTAS Group.

“There is a clear and significant easing of both international and domestic capacity growth, which will stabilise the revenue environment.

“We expect a rapid improvement in the Group’s financial performance – and a return to Underlying PBT profit in the first half of FY15, subject to factors outside our control.”

Significant one-off costs associated with QANTAS Transformation are recognized in the statutory result, including restructuring and redundancies ($428 million) and primarily non-cash costs relating to early aircraft retirements ($394 million). Of the 5,000 redundancies announced in February, 2,500 have been implemented as at August 28.

At the same time as delivering cost reduction, the Group has taken action to adjust its capacity and network in response to shifts in demand and the competitive environment – while retaining flexibility to make further adjustments if required.

International competitor capacity growth is expected to be 2.4 per cent in the first half of FY15 and domestic market capacity growth is expected to be around 1 per cent, significantly below recent trends for both markets.

Financial Position

Group liquidity at June 30 was $3.6 billion, comprising $3 billion in cash – up around $600 million from the half-year – and $630 million in undrawn committed facilities. With operating cash flow of $1.1 billion, the Group was net free cash flow neutral in FY14.

The Group significantly extended its debt maturity profile through two landmark bond issuances totalling $700 million, with no major unsecured refinancing required before April 2016. Net debt including operating lease liability was reduced by $96 million.

Overall capital investment has been reduced to maximise net free cash flow for debt reduction, while the Group has maintained targeted investment in fleet, product and service to sustain brand and yield premiums for Qantas and Jetstar.

Capital investment was $874 million in FY14. Planned capital investment in FY15 has been reduced from $800 million to $700 million, with a forecast of $800m in FY16.

The Group’s average fleet age remains at a 20-year low of 7.7 years, with 35 per cent of the fleet debt-free. Thirty-one new debt-free aircraft have been added since FY10, including seven in FY14.

Outcome of Structural Review

QANTAS today also announced the outcomes of the structural review that commenced in December 2013.

The Group has identified, valued and will continue to assess opportunities to sell non-core assets such as airport terminals, property and land holdings. Any proceeds from such sales will be used to repay debt.

After detailed strategic and structural assessment of QANTAS Loyalty, the decision has been made to retain this highly valuable business within the existing Group structure. It was determined that there was insufficient justification for a partial sale. QANTAS Loyalty continues to offer major profitable growth opportunities.

No new Jetstar ventures will be established while the Group is focused on transformation. Substantial value exists across the Jetstar Group airlines, to be realised over time.

Since 2012, QANTAS’ international and domestic airlines have reported their financial performance as separate segments, to strengthen accountability and performance. Following the partial repeal of the QANTAS Sale Act, the Group will establish a new holding structure and corporate entity for QANTAS International. This decision will create the long term option for QANTAS International to attract external investment and participate in partnership opportunities in the international aviation market, with a view to achieving efficiencies and improved returns to shareholders.

Fleet write down

Under accounting standards, the decision to establish a new holding structure and corporate entity for QANTAS International requires a change to QANTAS’ Cash Generating Units (CGUs) for impairment testing. The previous ‘QANTAS Brands’ CGU has been split into four separate CGUs: QANTAS International, QANTAS Domestic, QANTAS Loyalty and QANTAS Freight.

After being tested on a standalone basis for the first time, the QANTAS International CGU requires a write down of $2.6 billion. The size of the write down is largely due to the historic cost of aircraft purchased with an average exchange rate from Australian dollars to U.S. dollars of $0.68.

This writedown is a non-cash charge, recognised in the statutory result, with no cash impact on the Group’s or QANTAS International’s operations. It is a writedown to the carrying value of aircraft that QANTAS has no intention to sell and intends to retain in its fleet.

Following the write down, the carrying value of QANTAS International aircraft will be more reflective of the current market value of the fleet, and future depreciation expense will be approximately $200 million per year lower as a result of this change.

CEO Comment

Mr Joyce said the Group’s priority now was to push forward with the accelerated QANTAS Transformation program after a positive start.

“After an extremely difficult period, we are focused on building momentum with our turnaround in FY15,” Mr Joyce said.

“Our cash balance and liquidity position is strong, and the Group’s overall financial performance is rapidly improving. We are removing costs to drive earnings growth. And the work we’ve done over recent years to renew our fleet and improve service has been recognised with a string of awards and record customer satisfaction.

“In February we made a deliberate choice to continue investing in core initiatives for customers in order to hold our competitive position, keep our brands strong and maintain a yield premium in a challenging market. As we transform our business at pace, our airlines are providing better service than ever.

“The structural decisions we announce today give the Group maximum scope to attract capital in a fiercely competitive international aviation market. Standing still while the world changes around us is not an option.

“With our structural review complete, we can move forward with certainty.”

Breakdown of Results

QANTAS Domestic

QANTAS Domestic reported Underlying EBIT of $30 million, down from $365 million in FY13.

Group Underlying EBIT, including QANTAS Domestic and Jetstar’s domestic operations, was just below $50 million.

The earnings deterioration in FY14 was a result of market capacity increases ahead of demand, weaker demand in the resources and government sectors, price pressure in all industries, unrecovered carbon tax costs and an unfavourable fuel cost of $68 million.

In this volatile market, QANTAS Domestic’s strategy of maintaining a capacity, frequency and product advantage over the competition saw it remain Australia’s premium carrier of choice.

The airline held an 80 per cent share of the domestic corporate travel market by revenue, including 48 new accounts, eight accounts won back from the competition, 10 accounts lost and 182 accounts renewed.

Comparable unit costs were reduced by 3 per cent as QANTAS Transformation benefits began to flow, helping close the cost gap with the competition.

Both customer satisfaction and customer advocacy were at record levels in FY14, helped by QANTAS Domestic’s consistently superior on-time performance.

QANTAS Domestic was Australia’s most punctual major domestic airline every month in FY14 and, as at June 2014, had led the competition for 18 straight months – a key factor in winning and retaining corporate accounts.

QANTAS International

QANTAS International reported an Underlying EBIT loss of $497 million, compared with a loss of $246 million in FY13.

The business delivered another strong year of cost reduction, cutting comparable unit costs by 4 per cent, and has now realised more than $400 million of transformation benefits over the past two financial years. However, these benefits were offset in FY14 by competitor capacity growth of 9.5 per cent – well above demand – and record fuel costs.

Fuel price and foreign exchange movements hit Qantas International hardest of any of the Group’s businesses, with an impact of $142 million.

Between FY09 and FY14, competitor capacity growth in the Australian international market was 44 per cent, compared with global growth of 29 per cent. Importantly for the Group’s outlook, capacity expansion is now slowing, with expectations for competitor growth of 2.4 per cent in the first half of FY15.

By optimizing its network and fleet, including the retirement of older Boeing 747s, QANTAS International is cutting unit costs while improving the travel experience for customers. Retiming the QF9/10 services to Dubai and London, for example, has freed up an A380 to operate on the popular Dallas/Fort Worth route and will lead to a significant increase in asset utilization.

Customer satisfaction reached record levels in FY14 and customer advocacy was a record for the year. New lounges were opened in Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, while new and expanded codeshare agreements were struck with China Southern, LAN Airlines and Bangkok Airways.

These agreements complement the ground-breaking QANTAS-Emirates partnership launched in FY13. The Dubai route continues to receive the highest customer satisfaction anywhere on the QANTAS International network, with more than 2 million QANTAS customers having already travelled through the hub since the partnership was launched.

QANTAS International now offers its biggest ever global network, with 1,200 destinations available with Qantas and its partner airlines.

Jetstar Group

The Jetstar Group reported an Underlying EBIT loss of $116 million, down from Underlying EBIT of $138 million in FY13.

Controllable unit costs were reduced by 2 per cent. However, these gains were offset by an unfavourable fuel cost of $86 million, a yield decline of $113 million across the highly competitive South East Asian and Australian markets and an increase in associate start-up losses of $20 million. Total associate start-up losses in Asia were $70 million due primarily to the rapid expansion of Jetstar Japan as it consolidates its leading LCC position in the Japanese domestic market.

Jetstar’s domestic business in Australia remained profitable – as it has been every year since launch in 2004 – and continued to play its part in the Group’s successful two-brand strategy.

Customer satisfaction remains at record levels in Jetstar Airways’ domestic and international operations, helped by continued improvement in on-time-performance and the introduction of the Dreamliner on key international routes, including Bali, Phuket and Bangkok.

The Jetstar Group airlines in Asia, in which QANTAS is a minority investor, remain focused on distinct market priorities:

Growth at Jetstar Asia has been suspended in a very challenging Singapore market that saw capacity expand by 23 per cent in FY14, but the business made productivity gains, holds a substantial yield premium to its LCC competitors, and is ranked the nation’s leading LCC. Its performance is expected to improve as capacity growth moderates, with market correction already underway.

Jetstar Japan is Japan’s largest and fastest growing LCC, having carried over 5 million passengers since launch and opened a second domestic base in Osaka. The launch of operations from the second base is improving unit cost performance, as a result of increased asset utilisation from the 24-hour airport in Osaka. With LCCs still holding just 6 per cent of the Japanese domestic market, the business has significant growth potential.

Vietnam’s Jetstar Pacific cut unit costs and increased customer advocacy in a high-growth market. The business has completed its recapitalisation, has begun international services and will expand its fleet from 7 to 10 aircraft by December 2014.

The Board and management of Jetstar Hong Kong continue to work with local regulators towards gaining approval to begin operations.

QANTAS Freight

QANTAS Freight reported Underlying EBIT of $24 million, compared with $36 million in FY13.

Earnings were lower as a result of the sale of Star Track Express in FY13, while global air cargo markets remained challenging. However, the integration of Australian air Express with Qantas Freight is now complete and full run-rate benefits began to flow in the second half of FY14.

Outlook

The Group expects a return to an Underlying Profit Before Tax in the first half of FY15, subject to factors outside its control.

This is based on the following expectations:

A target of $300 million of Qantas Transformation benefits to be realised in the first half.

A stabilising operating environment, as market capacity growth subsides.

First half fuel costs in line with the first half of FY14.

The repeal of the carbon tax.

Reduced depreciation costs compared with the first half of FY14.

Fleet Update:

The QANTAS Group provided an update on its fleet and network strategy for FY15 and beyond.

Since FY09, the Group has taken delivery of more than 140 aircraft and retired or returned leases for 80 aircraft, resulting in an average fleet age of 7.7 years – the youngest for two decades and significantly below the average in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific.

The Group’s focus now is on maximizing the advantages of this young, competitive fleet, and completing the retirement of older aircraft types.

QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce said the Group’s fleet strategy was based on clear, consistent principles:

Increasing fleet utilization in the international and domestic markets.

Putting the right aircraft on the right route.

Offering the best experience in every market for customers.

Realising the cost benefits of new-generation aircraft.

Fleet and Network Changes

Key fleet and network changes completed or announced during FY14 are as follows:

QANTAS International

A more than 5 per cent increase in asset utilization by QANTAS International, including the retime of Melbourne-Dubai-London services and allocation of an Airbus A380 to the Dallas/Fort Worth route from September 2014.

Gradual replacement of Boeing 747s with A330s on routes to Asia, with all Sydney-Singapore and Brisbane-Singapore services to be operated by A330s by the end of September 2014.

Early retirement of four Boeing 747-400s, as the Group works towards the retirement of all non-reconfigured Boeing 747-400s by early 2016. This will leave nine, newer Boeing 747-400s fitted with A380-standard interiors.

Four Boeing 787-8s delivered to Jetstar, allowing the transfer of three A330-200s from Jetstar to QANTAS Domestic.

QANTAS Domestic

Planning for a reduction in average ‘turn time’ for QANTAS Domestic aircraft to increase utilization, to be implemented during FY15.

The announcement that all the Group’s Boeing 737-800s will be refurbished from mid-2015, expanding total Boeing 737-800 capacity by 3 per cent, along with improvements to inflight entertainment systems.

Retirement of all older Boeing 737-400s (completed in February 2014).

Early retirement of seven Boeing 767-300s, with all aircraft of this type to go by the end of 2014. Current fleet size is 10 aircraft.

More targeted use of QANTAS Domestic’s bigger A330-200s to reflect demand, with a focus on East-West routes to Perth and peak East Coast services.

All of Network Aviation’s seven Brasilia turboprop aircraft have been retired (effective August 2014).

Network aviation now has a single fleet of 12 Fokker F100 jets.

Fleet Renewal and Simplification

In FY14 the Group took delivery of 23 new aircraft, retired 19 older aircraft and returned eight leases.

Under current plans for FY15 the Group will receive 10 new aircraft, retire 18 aircraft and return two leases.

As a result of ongoing fleet retirements and simplification, the Group’s mainline fleet will be reduced from 11 different types in FY13 to seven different types in FY16.

Restructured Order Book

The Group announced in February that more than 50 aircraft on order would be deferred or sold to reflect more efficient fleet utilization and slower capacity growth.

In light of the more subdued domestic capacity outlook and shift to more efficient utilization of narrow-body aircraft:

Two QANTAS Boeing 737-800s, including one sourced from the domestic fleet and one from the trans-Tasman fleet, will be sold during FY15.

A decision has been taken not to renew the leases on two QANTAS Domestic A330-200s, meaning these aircraft will leave the fleet in the first half of FY16.

Five Airbus A320ceos on order for Jetstar Airways have been sold, reflecting the more subdued outlook for domestic capacity in FY15.

Two QANTAS Link Bombardier Q300s will be sold during FY15.

In addition:

Orders for 21 Airbus A320ceos have been deferred by four years and converted to orders for 21 of the more-fuel-efficient A320neos, meaning that the Group has orders for a total of 99 A320neos.

The Group has pushed back the first of its 50 Boeing 787 options and purchase rights from 2016 to 2017, in line with the completion of the accelerated QANTAS Transformation plan.

As previously announced, the Group has deferred the final eight Airbus A380s on order for QANTAS International, with an ongoing review of delivery dates to meet potential future requirements.

As previously announced, the Group has deferred the final three of 14 Boeing 787-8s on order for Jetstar.
The Group retains significant flexibility in arrangements with manufacturers and lessors should the competitive environment or capacity forecasts change substantially.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. QANTAS is now planning for an early retirement of seven Boeing 767-300s. All 767s will be gone by the end of 2014. The current 767-300 fleet size is 10 aircraft. Boeing 767-338 ER VH-OGD (msn 24407) arrives at the Sydney hub.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Jetstar Airways (Australia): AG Slide Show

Silk Way Airlines takes delivery of its first two Boeing 747-800F freighters

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) and Silk Way Airlines (Baku, Azerbaijan) today (August 28) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s two 747-83QF freighters. The first airplane (4K-SW881, msn 44444) was delivered last week and the second airplane (4K-SW882, msn 44937) was delivered today (August 28).

To date, Boeing has delivered 49 747-8 Freighters.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-83QF VQ-BVC (4K-SW882) lands after a test flight at Paine Field near Everett, WA.

Silk Way Airlines: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing a strike by its pilots tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has issued this statement today:

Lufthansa regrets the announcement of strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) for tomorrow (Friday). This morning – and therefore just a few hours before the start of talks that had been agreed for today – the union announced that there would be a strike at Germanwings if agreement wasn’t reached today (Thursday) on the issue of transitional benefits for pilots.

In a letter on Monday, Lufthansa had proposed today’s talks in order to resume negotiations and had prepared a suggestion on what form further negotiations should take. As per Lufthansa’s invitation, the aim of these talks would primarily have been to specify an orderly process and a timetable for further negotiations.

Dr Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Human Resources and Legal at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: ‘We are very disappointed that we cannot avert strike action. The impression given is that the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union had already decided to strike. It is unrealistic to expect to reach agreement on a new model for sustainable transitional benefits in the course of a single day. The fact that an ultimatum for concluding a wage agreement was issued on the morning of negotiations – even though we made it clear that the talks would initially have to be about what form the further negotiation process should take – is very unusual and incomprehensible.’

Lufthansa and Germanwings will now be primarily focusing on limiting the impact of the strike. The strike action announced for Friday will coincide with the end of school holidays in Thuringia and Saxony. Dr Bettina Volkens says: ‘We will do everything to provide the best-possible service to Germanwings passengers and, if possible, to get them to their destination in spite of the strike.’

Prior to the strike, Lufthansa had already made an offer to the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union at the start of April concerning future early retirement from flight service and had therefore created a basis for further negotiations. This offer would provide all cockpit staff with the option of early retirement from flight service, including in the future.

In concrete terms, Lufthansa’s offer on transitional benefits provides for the following:

• For employees who have been working at Lufthansa since before 1 January 2014, Lufthansa will bear the costs of early retirement, including in the future. This means that employer-financed transitional benefits will be maintained for several decades.

• For employees who start or have started work at Lufthansa after 1 January 2014, it will still be possible to retire early from flight service. However, the costs of this will no longer be borne by Lufthansa, but rather by the employees. In the event of incapacity for flight service, a purely employer-financed insurance policy will still be included for all employees.

• The individual age for retiring from flight service will be raised, depending on the length of service, from 55 for more senior up to 60 for younger employees. The longer employees have already been in the company, the less affected they will be by the increase in the earliest possible individual retirement age. Employees who have been with the company for a very long time are not affected at all by the changes.

• Today, on average, cockpit crew leave Lufthansa German Airlines at the age of 59. In future, the average age for employer-financed retirement from flight service at Lufthansa German Airlines is intended to go up gradually over several years to 61. The average age of 61 reflects an overall trend in society towards a longer working life.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-830 D-ABYP (msn 37839) with the special 1500th Boeing 747 markings departs from Washington (Reagan).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

ABX Air to return four Boeing 767-200F freighters to DHL

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (Wilmington, Ohio) announced its airline subsidiary, ABX Air (Wilmington, Ohio), has received termination notices from DHL affecting four DHL-owned Boeing 767-200 freighter aircraft that ABX Air leases and operates within the U.S. under terms of the Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (CMI) agreement between the companies. DHL sought bids to operate the aircraft from other vendors earlier this year.

The notices are effective in late December 2014 for two aircraft, and in January 2015 for the two remaining aircraft. This reduction in CMI operations for DHL will likely reduce ATSG’s earnings from continuing operations by less than one cent per share in 2015. Excluding those four aircraft, ATSG currently operates 21 freighter aircraft over scheduled routes for DHL, including 17 Boeing 767s and four Boeing 757s.

Related to this announcement, Atlas Air announced it will expand its service for DHL Express’ North American route network using four additional Boeing 767-200 freighter aircraft owned by DHL. Atlas Air expects to start flying the first incremental aircraft in December 2014, and to operate all four by the end of January 2015.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. ABX Air’s Boeing 767-281 (F) N798AX (msn 23431) arrives in Miami in DHL colors.

ABX Air: AG Slide Show

DHL: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines struggles to fill its seats

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) continues to be in a crisis mode. Based on some recent online photos showing many open seats on its flights, The Mirror is reporting the airline is dispatching flights with rows of empty seats as it struggles in the wake of two highly-reported accidents.

Meanwhile a restructuring plan for the beleaguered company is expected to be announced soon.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/AirlinersGallery.com. Both Airbus and Boeing could suffer if the airline is downsized. Malaysia has been loyal to both manufacturers. Brand new Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSJ (msn 40152) passes through Honolulu on delivery.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

China Eastern to unveil a new “color” scheme on its first Boeing 777-300 ER

Airline color schemes (also known as airline liveries) have been getting simpler (i.e. cheaper to maintain) for several years. It started with the “Europe White” style which removed the traditional fuselage cheat line and replaced it with a basic (boring) white fuselage with a tail design (less area to maintain).

Unless there is more to come, apparently China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) will join this growing trend and has taken it a step further. The airline will only have its traditional fuselage titles and a simple (less colorful) tail logo. The traditional China Eastern cheat line will be retired adding to a growing list of airlines that have joined this club.

The new livery is seen for the first time on newly painted Boeing 777-39P ER B-2001 (msn 43269) (above) pictured arriving at Paine Field after being painted at Victorville, CA. B-2001 is the first Boeing 777-300 ER for the carrier and the airline felt it needed a new look for this new chapter in its history. It will replace the more colorful 1988 color scheme (below).

China Eastern will take delivery of its first 777-300 ER in late September and has 20 on order. It will become the third stretched Triple Seven operator in China following Air China and China Southern Airlines.

Top Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com.

China Eastern Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-89P B-5086 (msn 32800) at Beijing displays the 1988 color scheme.

Poll: what do you think?

Emirates SkyCargo arrives in Los Angeles

Emirates SkyCargo (Dubai), the freight division of Emirates has added Los Angeles to its network of freighter destinations across the United States, with the start of a weekly service to the city.

Los Angeles recently joined Chicago (O’Hare), Atlanta and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) in Emirates SkyCargo’s US freighter network.

Emirates SkyCargo uses a Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft on the route, which is capable of carrying 103 tonnes of cargo, and with its main deck door being the widest of any freighter aircraft, it’s able to uplift outsized cargo and carry larger consignments. The top exports from Los Angeles are mainly perishables ranging from fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, chilled and frozen meat and seafood, foodstuffs, as well as personal effects, construction equipment and electrical products, while top imports range from textiles, to perishables, electronics and personal effects.

In 2013, Emirates SkyCargo transported a total of 49 000 tons of cargo from the United States, equalling a 134 tons a day, while it carries more than 940 tons of cargo from the US to various points across the world each week. The top three exports from the US are machinery, construction equipment and electrical products and its three top imports are apparel, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.

The LAX flight is routed Dubai – Zaragoza – Mexico City – Los Angeles – Copenhagen – Dubai.

In other news, parent Emirates and Arik Air (Lagos) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop and expand their existing commercial relationship and explore further areas of co-operation.

Emirates and Arik Air currently have a one-way interline agreement, whereby Emirates passengers are connected throughout Nigeria and West Africa via Arik Air’s current domestic and regional network.
The MOU was signed by Adnan Kazim, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Planning, Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs, and Chris Ndlulue, Arik Air’s Managing Director, at Emirates Group Headquarters in Dubai.

Emirates and Arik Air will also explore other areas of cooperation for the future, including frequent flier programs, passenger and cargo handling.

Arik Air is the largest airline in Western and Central Africa and has developed and successfully operates an extensive domestic route network in Nigeria, and regionally across Western Africa from its twin hubs in Lagos and Abuja, and to Johannesburg in South Africa and intercontinentally to New York and to London from its Lagos hub.

Emirates operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft and Airbus A380s.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-1F1H A6-BFI (msn 25609) approaches Dubai.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air expands operations for DHL Express

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today (August 27) said that its Atlas Air, Inc. (New York) unit will provide expanded operating service for DHL Express’ North American route network using four additional Boeing 767-200 freighter aircraft owned by DHL. Atlas Air expects to start flying the first incremental aircraft in December 2014, and to operate all four by the end of January 2015.

The operation represents a continued expansion of Atlas Air’s non-asset-intensive CMI (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) service solution, as well as its Boeing 767 platform. With the addition of the aircraft to Atlas Air’s operating certificate, the company’s fleet of Boeing 767s will increase to 15 aircraft, including nine operated for DHL in North America and two for DHL in the Asia-Pacific region.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Atlas Air also operates Boeing 767-300F freighters for DHL. Atlas Air’s Boeing 767-3JHF N644GT (msn 37810) dressed in DHL’s well-known yellow and red livery arrives in Tokyo (Narita).

DHL-Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

American Airlines drops Orbitz in a fee dispute

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has issued this statement:

American Airlines has withdrawn its fares from consumer websites powered by Orbitz, effective immediately. American Airlines Group has notified Orbitz it also will withdraw US Airways fares on September 1, 2014. Corporate clients that use Orbitz for Business to book travel are not affected by this change.

“We have worked tirelessly with Orbitz to reach a deal with the economics that allow us to keep costs low and compete with low-cost carriers,” said Scott Kirby, President – American Airlines. “While our fares are no longer on Orbitz, there are a multitude of other options available for our customers, including brick and mortar agencies, online travel agencies, and our own websites.”

American expects these changes will have minimal disruptions for its customers. Customers can continue to purchase tickets and all options for travel on American and US Airways through aa.com and usairways.com. American and US Airways fares are also available through reservations agents and other travel agencies.

Tickets already purchased through Orbitz websites remain valid for travel, but changes to reservations must be made through each airline’s reservations department.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N350AN (msn 33089) lands in Zurich.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Royal Jordanian takes delivery of the first Boeing 787

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (August 26) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner. The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline’s strategic plan for fleet modernization. Royal Jordanian acquired this airplane through leasing company AerCap.

With this delivery, Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787.

The airline will configure its Dreamliner to carry 24 passengers in business class and 246 in economy class.

To support Royal Jordanian’s Dreamliners, Boeing is providing a comprehensive suite of support and services through its Commercial Aviation Services business. Royal Jordanian has received flight and maintenance training and will be using Airplane Health Management, a diagnostic and predictive capability that evaluates airplane operations data while airplanes are in flight and notifies ground crews of potential maintenance issues; a Rotable Exchange Program that provides a dedicated pool of high-value, mission-critical parts and manages inventory at a reduced cost; and Maintenance Performance Toolbox, a digital real-time-information tool that enables quick resolution of airplane maintenance issues.

Royal Jordanian currently flies a network of over 50 global destinations and plans to deploy the Dreamliner on services to North American destinations as well as to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

To date, more than 180 Dreamliners have been delivered to 20 customers worldwide.

Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JY-BAA (msn 37983) lands at Paine Field on a test flight.

Royal Jordanian: AG Slide Show

Norwegian Air International calls on the DOT to grant its application

Norwegian Air International (subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Dublin) today (August 26) filed its reply to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) notice of August 4, 2014 requesting comments on the meeting between the U.S. Government and the European Commission. Norwegian Air International urges the Department to grant its application for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit without further delay.

Norwegian Air International is joined by many supporters, who have also filed in support of its application, including the Irish Aviation Authority, U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Travel Agents, European Low Fares Airline Association, the Oakland, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport authorities, Federal Express, and Atlas Air. The American public deserves more choice and lower fare options for flights between the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. economy will benefit from the increased tourism, and Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners—the largest of any European airline—represents thousands of jobs at Boeing and Boeing’s suppliers throughout the U.S.

In the Notice, the Department summarized the views of the European Commission that a party to the Open Skies Agreement cannot unilaterally deny an airline’s application based on the so-called “social dimension” article of the agreement. “The Commission’s position echoes what we have been saying from the beginning, and we trust that the clear views of the Commission answer once and for all our opponent’s objections in this regard,” said Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International. “We look forward to the Department approving our application so that we can enjoy the same rights afforded to every other European airline serving the U.S. market – rights guaranteed to us under the Open Skies Agreement.”

As described in its prior filings, Norwegian Air International promises to offer the American public competitive fares, award-winning service that is responsive to market preferences and demand, and increased service to previously-underserved markets. Norwegian Air International’s support for the U.S. aviation industry is evidenced by its multibillion-dollar commitment to Boeing, its hiring of hundreds of U.S.-based cabin crew, and its support for hundreds of jobs at U.S. airports and the communities it will serve. It will provide new competition for Americans flying to Europe in a market that is dominated by three immunized airline alliances that currently control nearly 90 percent of the market.

The public interest in promoting service authorized by the Open Skies Agreement strongly supports the grant of Norwegian Air International’s application. The grant of the application will enable the Department to protect the important opportunities made available to U.S. carriers by the European parties to the Open Skies Agreement. It will afford an airline of Ireland, one of America’s closest partners in Europe, access to route authority it fully deserves under the Open Skies Agreement.

Open Skies has succeeded beyond all expectations, and it has done so because America made a principled decision to focus on fostering competition and new opportunities, not on protecting the existing market shares of a small number of incumbent carriers that already dominate the market. Three former Secretaries of Transportation — Andrew Card, Norman Mineta, and Mary Peters — have confirmed that these guiding principles of breaking down barriers and increasing competition are the core values the U.S. has sought to promote in open skies agreements. “If the Department wishes to stay the successful course of Open Skies, and promote a pro-growth, pro-competition, pro-consumer policy, the Department should grant Norwegian Air International’s application without further delay,” Norwegian International stated in today’s filing.

Over six months after Norwegian Air International completed its application, and with a regulatory docket filled with hundreds of pages of pleadings, the Department must now make a decision. It is time to let Norwegian Air International fly, and give consumers the choice they deserve.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LNE (msn 34796) with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on the tail holds short of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

IAM files for mediation at Southwest Airlines

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has issued this statement against Southwest Airlines (Dallas):

After more than two years of direct talks with Southwest Airlines, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced it will file for mediation with the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that oversees contract negotiations in the airline industry.

“Southwest earned nearly a billion dollars last year, is on pace to report a larger profit for this year, has the most productive workforce in the airline industry and yet refuses to offer any real improvements,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “Management is hell-bent to move to a risky variable compensation system as opposed to offering guaranteed wage increases. It’s clear this is a numbers oriented airline instead of a people oriented airline.”

Coupled with Southwest’s deteriorating labor relations, the carrier’s operational performance has plummeted. The carrier has among the worst on-time arrival rate in the airline industry, it ranks among the bottom in mishandled baggage and hovers at the top of the airline industry in denied boardings.

“Southwest has merged its way to super-profits and is doing everything it can to stonewall its employees from sharing fairly in the success they’ve worked so hard to create,” continued Higginbotham. “This is greed, pure and simple and the IAM will not stand for it.”

If the IAM’s application for federal mediation is granted by the NMB, the agency then begins the process of attempting to resolve the differences between the parties via mediated discussions. If no agreement can be reached through mediation, the Railway Labor Act (RLA)—the federal law that governs collective bargaining in the airline industry—has several mechanisms to bring both sides together, including arbitration and a possible strike.

The IAM represents approximately 6,000 passenger service and reservation agents at the carrier and has never before had to utilize the NMB’s mediation services to achieve an agreement with Southwest.

The IAM represents over 100,000 workers in the airline and railroad sectors and is the largest transportation union in North America.

Meanwhile Southwest issued this statement about “listening” to its internal and external customers through a new “Listening Center”:

On August 26 Southwest Airlines unveiled a Listening Center devoted to engaging with Employees and Customers in real time. Located at Southwest Airlines Headquarters in Dallas, the Listening Center is the first of its kind in the domestic airline industry. It serves as the airline’s nerve center, integrating traditional media, social media, and operational data to allow various functions to move quickly and efficiently from insight to action.

The Listening Center is staffed seven days a week with Southwest Employees from the Customer Relations, Communication, and Marketing departments. The Employees are available around the clock to answer questions, engage with Customers, and share feedback across the organization to enhance the Customer experience.

“The Listening Center symbolizes our commitment to listening to our internal and external Customers, and taking that feedback to make smarter business decisions,” said Linda Rutherford, Vice President Communication & Outreach at Southwest Airlines. “As we continue to evolve as a social business, we’ll connect with our Employees and Customers in ways that are meaningful to them.”

The Listening Center works closely with Southwest’s Network Operations Control center (NOC), and has staffed a satellite Listening Center within the heart of the NOC to relay real-time feedback from Customers as operational challenges arise. The satellite Listening Center allows Employees on the Social Media Team to proactively communicate with Customers as operational updates become available.

“The best companies are innovating at the speed of the customer,” said Scott McCorkle, chief executive officer, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. “Utilizing our technology, Southwest Airlines is connecting with their customers to deliver a phenomenal customer experience.”

Southwest Airlines is regarded as a pioneer in the social media space and has been recognized in many ways for embracing social technologies. The Nuts About Southwest Blog is a PR News Hall of Fame inductee, and many social media campaigns and Social Media Team members have been awarded best-in-class recognitions.

The Listening center was designed by Corgan and built by Structure Tone. The visualizations displayed within the facility are powered by Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s Radian6 Command Center and Crowd Reactive. The technology allows Southwest to quickly identify hot topics, influencers, trends, and consumer-generated media.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 N8305E (msn 36683) touches down in Las Vgeas.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines to offer Newark-Sarasota/Bradenton flights this winter and spring

United Airlines (Chicago) will offer seasonal service to Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida (SRQ) this winter and spring from February 12 through May 15 from its Newark hub. The temporary route will be operated with 154-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft according to News 13. United currently serves SRQ with year-round daily service to Chicago (O’Hare).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N78509 (msn 31638) arrives in Toronto (Pearson).

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

PEOPLExpress is coming to Orlando on October 16

PEOPLExpress (Vision Airlines) 737-400 N745VA (14)(Apr)(Peoplexpress)(LRW)

PEOPLExpress Airlines (2nd) (Vision Airlines) (Newport News/Williamsburg) has announced new, nonstop service between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Orlando International Airport effective on October 16.

The popular Florida destination will be the eighth city served from its Newport News base and the first new city since PEOPLExpress announced its initial destinations in May.

PEOPLExpress launched service June 30 to Newark, New Jersey, Boston and Pittsburgh from Newport News and has since added West Palm Beach, Florida, and Atlanta. Service to New Orleans starts on August 28 with St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida, on August 29 to complete its initial growth.

Since its inaugural flights, PEOPLExpress has carried nearly 40,000 customers on more than 450 flights.

Service to Orlando begins on October 16 with flights on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Introductory fares start at $89 each way. Reservations are now open for the new route.

Copyright Photo: PEOPLExpress. Operated by Vision Airlines, Boeing 737-405 N745VA (msn 24271) is now being operated in PEOPLExpress (2nd) colors.

Expanded Route Map:

PEOPLExpress (2nd) 8.2014 Route Map

 

QANTAS’ passengers will be able to use personal electronic devices starting tomorrow

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) today issued this statement:

From tomorrow afternoon QANTAS customers will be able to use their personal electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and music players in flight mode, for the duration of each flight, providing uninterrupted access to work and entertainment.

QANTAS was approved to revise its personal electronic device policy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority today following new guidance on the safe use of personal electronic devices inflight.

Advice for customers:

Devices can be used whether passengers are boarding via aerobridge or transiting across tarmac.

Once aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in ‘flight mode’.

Customers are required to secure handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seat pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger items such as laptops will still need to be stowed.

Customers are still required to listen to all inflight safety briefings and comply with cabin crew instructions.

Mobile and smart phones will still not be able to be used to make calls or send texts from the air.

QANTAS plans to lift restrictions on electronic devices across the entire QANTAS Group for regional, domestic and international flights.

QANTAS Link and Jetstar Airways are in the final stages of preparing their submission to CASA for the extended use of personal electronic devices.

The changes to CASA’s ruling on personal electronic devices inflight follows an announcement by the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October last year that it would allow passengers to leave their electronic devices on through all phases of flight if individual airlines could prove that it did not interfere with the operation of the aircraft.

Experts from airlines, aircraft manufacturers, passenger groups, pilot associations, flight attendants, and mobile services have since been investigating the impact of personal electronic devices inflight.

Until today, devices in Australia were required to remain off until the seatbelt sign turned off, meaning passengers were unable to use them while the aircraft was taxiing to the runway or through much of the climb or descent.

In addition, QANTAS is working towards enabling customers to use their own devices to access 350 hours of on-demand entertainment from gate to gate on selected Domestic and International aircraft. Initially this functionality would encompass Apple devices including iPads and iPhones, followed by laptops and Android devices at a later stage.

Customers would only need to download a Q Streaming app to their device, or connect via their browser to the Q Streaming Inflight Entertainment network to access movies, TV shows and music. Qantas will continue to offer complimentary tablets for customers to access Q Streaming on a number of aircraft types.

The new policy will apply to all QANTAS Domestic and QANTAS International flights from 3:00pm tomorrow (August 26).

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-VXS (msn 33725) prepares to taxi from the gate at Denpasar on the island of Bali, Indonesia.

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Pegasus Airlines slips into the red for the first half of 2014

Pegasus Airlines (flypgs.com) (Istanbul) slipped into the red, reporting a net loss of TL 17.9 million ($8.2 million) for the first half of 2014. This unfavorably compares to a net profit of TL 44.1 million ($20.2 million) for the same period a year ago.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com (others by Pegasus). Boeing 737-82R TC-CPG (msn 40880) approaches the runway at EuroAirport.

Pegasus logo

 

Pegasus 737-800 Tails (Pegasus)(LR)

Pegasus Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

BOC Aviation orders 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs

BOC Aviation logo

Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) announced today an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at $8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation’s 20-year history and part of the Singapore-based leasing company’s effort to grow its portfolio of fuel-efficient airplanes.

 

LAN Airlines continues to expand Boeing 787 operations

LAN Airlines (Santiago) continues to expand its 247-seat Boeing 787 operations. As previously reported, daily Santiago-Miami service was inaugurated on August 9 as well as weekly 787 flights to Cancun and Punta Cana also on August 9.

Santiago-Mexico City 787 service will start now on December 11 (delayed from November 15) on alternating days.

Santiago-Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) flights start on October 1 (three days a week) and daily starting in November).

Finally daily Santiago-Los Angeles service starts on October 1.

The company continues to operate the 787 to Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt as well as New York (JFK).

In financial news, the LATAM Airlines Group reported a net loss of $58.9 million for the second quarter, reduced from a net loss of $329.8 million in the same quarter a year ago. According to the group, “results this quarter were negatively affected by reduced passenger and cargo demand during the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in Brazil, as well as by very week seed exports in the cargo business.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 CC-BBB (msn 38466) taxies at Paine Field near Everett before the hand over to the carrier.

LAN Airlines (Chile): AG Slide Show

 

Jay Selman’s An Inside Look: Farewell to 406

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Farewell to 406

by Guest Editor Jay Selman

In over 50 years, I have lost count of how many airplane flights I have taken. I’ve flown on airliners, military airplanes, corporate jets, private aircraft, and helicopters. I’ve flown in just about every airliner from the Comet to the Concorde. I’ve flown from Greensboro, North Carolina to Winston-Salem, a 7-minute (maybe) hop, and I’ve flown from New York to Hong Kong. I’m saying this to say that I have taken some memorable flights, but the vast majority of the airplanes I’ve flown in don’t stick in my mind.

One flight that I do vividly remember occurred on September 15, 1988, when I flew on N406US (man 23876), from Boeing Field in Seattle to Greensboro, North Carolina. 406 was a Piedmont Airlines Boeing 737-401, just one of well over 12,000 737s that have been built or are on order. What made it special was the fact that it was the first 737-400 in the world to be delivered to a customer, and I was privileged to be on that delivery flight, 26 years ago.

Piedmont 737-400 N406US (88-1st 737-400)(Grd) BFI (JET)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jim “Jet” Thompson. Boeing 737-401 N406US is towed out at Boeing Field on a cloudy Seattle day with a special “First Boeing 737-400″ banner.

Piedmont was one of the early operators of the 737-300, a vastly-upgraded version of the venerable 737-200. Powered by a pair of CFM-56 engines, the 737-300 represented a tremendous advantage in terms of economy, power, and lowered noise levels inside and outside the cabin. The -300 was an immediate hit with airlines and passengers. A year after the first -300 entered service, Boeing offered the -400, featuring a 10-foot fuselage stretch over the -300. Needing a replacement for its fleet of aging 727-200s, Piedmont became the launch customer for the -400, with an initial order for 25. In 1987, USAir announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Piedmont. 20 737-400s of Piedmont’s original order were delivered, and USAir ordered an additional 35 of the type and, in all, the company eventually operated 55 737-400s.

By the time that 406, named the Thomas H Davis Pacemaker in honor of the founder of Piedmont Airlines, was ready to leave her nest in Seattle, Piedmont was heading toward a merger with USAir, and she was delivered in a hybrid color scheme of a bare metal fuselage and a Piedmont blue cheat line. As a useless bit of trivia, only four Piedmont 737-400s were delivered with a blue stripe: 406, 407, 408, and 409. The rest came on property with the red USAir cheat line.

Piedmont 737-400 N406US (88)(Ldg) CLT (JS)(LRW) 10.88

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. N406US wears the Piedmont metal transition livery as it lands in Charlotte.

Boeing did a nice job of catering the first-ever delivery of a -400, and there was cause for celebration. It was, indeed, an historic event. Yet, the mood among most of the Piedmont people was a bit subdued, as reality set in that the company we loved was on its way toward non-existence. William Howard had recently stepped down as President and CEO of Piedmont, and his replacement, Tom Schick, was onboard, along with a number of other airline dignitaries, most of whom were, for all practical purposes, in a lame-duck environment. 406 was even delivered with a USAir registration, rather than its originally-allocated N404P. While it was still an historic and exciting moment, there was not complete joy.

For me, the highlight of the entire flight was after we landed in Greensboro. As we came to a stop, I looked out the window and saw Piedmont founder Tom Davis himself standing at the bottom of the airstairs. Not only was he a legend, but also a true gentleman. He also had a gift for remembering faces and names, and as I reached the bottom of the steps, he shook my hand and, without hesitation, told me, “Jay, I expect to see some good pictures of our new plane from you.” (He got some!)

On August 5, 1989, Piedmont Airlines ceased to exist, as everything Piedmont became USAir. Altogether, USAir operated 55 out of the 482 737-400s that Boeing built. Still, I always found myself smiling when I would see 406. I knew she was special. Fast forward 25 years. Years ago, under the leadership of Stephen Wolfe and Rakesh Gangwal, US Airways (as the company had since rebranded itself) elected to hitch its wagon to the Airbus narrow-body product. Slowly but surely, 737s were being replaced with a mix of Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s.

US Airways 737-400 Patches (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Metal patch on N406US.

During her time in service with Piedmont/USAir/US Airways, 406 served the company well. She was not involved with any significant incidents, although the number of patches on the fuselage suggests there may have been more than a couple of minor issues throughout her life. She did suffer some minor damage when a loading bridge came in contact with the pitot tubes and angle-of-attack indicator located just in front of the forward entry door. This was not an uncommon problem with the 737 Classics, and a loading bridge operator always has to take extra care with these model 737s. Altogether, seven different engines hung on each wing of 406, and a total of 17 auxiliary power units (APUs) were installed in the tail of 406, and over its lifetime, she underwent many B-Checks and C-Checks. These numbers are fairly consistent with the average maintenance activities of a 737 of this age. For the record, 406 was the first 737-400 to wear the final US Airways color scheme.

US Airways 737-400 N406US (05)(Apr) CLT (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. A nice flying portrait of N406US in the final (2005) US Airways color scheme.

Her last revenue flight occurred on August 1, when she arrived from Pittsburgh at Charlotte. Maintenance personnel worked on her for three days, getting 406 ready for her last flight. Finally, early in the morning of August 5, 25 years to the day of the Piedmont/USAir merger, 406 was ready for her last flight as a US Airways-operated trip.

US Airways 737-400 Data Plate (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The original Boeing data plate.

I met Captains Gene Thomas and Doug Christen, who were going to do the honors of flying “Cactus 9240” from Charlotte to Tucson, Arizona. Each of them had several thousand hours in the 737, and although both of them had plenty of seniority to hold positions on the company’s “big iron”, they elected to stay on the 737 until the very end because of their love of the aircraft. Captain Thomas retired shortly after ferrying 406 to Tucson, and Captain Christen has moved on to the Boeing 757/767. They both praised the 737 as being a real “pilot’s airplane”, and will miss flying them. They were both struck by the historic significance of both aircraft 406 and the date, August 5.

US Airways 737-400 N406US pilots for final flight (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Captains Gene Thomas and Doug Christen.

As the pilots cranked the engines, it felt a little strange sitting in Row 2 of an empty airplane. Brakes were released at 9:20 am local, and Captain Thomas guided 406 to the end of Runway 36C at Charlotte. A few minutes later, Cactus 9240 was given takeoff clearance. With no passengers or cargo onboard, we were airborne in around 3000 feet at 9:27 am. 406’s final flight had begun.

US Airways 737-400 Jay in cabin (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay in the empty cabin of N406US en route to the desert.

Since this flight was operated under Part 91 rules, the pilots were permitted to leave the door of the flight deck open, and I was able to enjoy a view not only of the cockpit, but the world beyond the cockpit windows. The pilots were kind enough to take time to explain to me a lot about what goes on behind those perpetually-closed doors. They both talked about their love for the 737. Along with both of them agreeing that it is a plane that pilots fly, rather than program, they both commented on the robustness of the 737 airframe. As one of them noted, “Quite a few of our old 737s have been converted to cargo carriers, and will continue to fly for quite a few years. How many A320s have been converted to freight dogs?”

US Airways 737-400 N406US cockpit (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The cockpit of N406US.

Unlike the nicely-catered delivery flight 26 years ago, I sat alone in 406’s cabin, eating a Jersey Mike’s sub that I brought along, and drinking a bottle of water that catering left onboard after stripping the interior of any equipment that could be used on other aircraft. It gave me a chance to wander around this historic airplane and savor this one last flight in her. Truth be told, I was probably one of handful of people who really appreciated the significance of 406, but that’s okay. I was given the chance to fly on her this one last time. I am not one who keeps a log of all the planes I have flown in, but I do know that I’d flown in 406 at least a dozen times over the years.

US Airways N406US final approach TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The final “Final Approach” as US Airways for N406US.

Captain Thomas said that during her final flight, 406 performed flawlessly. She did not produce a single squawk during the flight, and every flight parameter was met or exceeded. Sooner than I would have wanted, we began our descent into Tucson, where we followed an Air Force KC-135 on visual approach to Runway 11L. Captain Thomas greased the lightly-laden 406 onto the runway at 10:09 am local time, and we then taxied back to the facilities of Ascent Aviation Services. Ascent is a premiere narrow body maintenance and storage center located at Tucson International Airport. Several ex-US Airways 737s are stored there, where they will either be readied for a new operator, or broken up and sold for parts. The fate of 406 is uncertain as of this writing. Captain Christen said that typically, a plane will sit for two or three months as their owners look for another operator. After a certain point, it will be scrapped. I would certainly like to see her fly again, as she has plenty of life left in her, but the fate of 406 has yet to be determined as of this writing.

US Airways 737-400 N406US aircraft in storage TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Aircraft in storage at Ascent Aviation Services in Tucson awaiting their fates.

At 10:15 am, Captain Thomas shut down the engines of 406 for the last time as a US Airways flight. Over nearly 26 years, she had accumulated 69967.4 total flight hours, and 47032 cycles. We climbed down the airstairs, and posed for a couple of final pictures. And that was it. The Ascent technicians hooked 406 up to a tug and towed her to a spot in between two other 737s awaiting their fates. I took one last photo of an historic plane, and a special airliner to me, and then I hopped into a truck to take me to the terminal for my flights home. This had been one flight I won’t forget.

US Airways 737-400 N406US towed into position at TUS (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. N406US is pushed into its storage spot at Tucson (TUS) next to a Solaseed Air Boeing 737-400 which was just retired.

Boeing 737 Slide Show: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Solaseed Air to retire the last Boeing 737-400 on September 30

Solaseed Air (formerly SNA-Skynet Asia Airways) (Miyazaki) is planning to retire its last Boeing 737-400 on September 30, becoming an all Boeing 737-800 operator according to Airline Route. The 737-400 is currently being operated on the Tokyo (Haneda) to Kumamoto, Nagasaki and Oita routes.

Read more from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Y0 JA737E (msn 26069) taxies at Haneda Airport (Tokyo International Airport) in Tokyo.

Solaseed Air: AG Slide Show

Solaseed Air Logo

Jet2 to add four new routes from Leeds/Bradford for the summer of 2015

Jet2 (Leeds/Bradford) has announced four new destinations for the summer of 2015 for Leeds/Bradford: Antalya, Kefalonia, Malta and Enfidha Airport in Tunisia starting on May 27, 2015..

The company is also adding new services from its key Northern airports; East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

In other news, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have announced further expansion plans at Glasgow Airport, including new routes, an additional aircraft (the sixth at GLA) plus even more seats for summer 2015. The new routes include Prague – a brand new route for Glasgow airport – plus Antalya, Larnaca and Malta.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-377 G-CELB (msn 23664) wears the special Yorkshire livery.

Jet2: AG Slide Show

Ryanair launches daily Dublin-Brussels flights, wants to acquire Cyprus Airways

Ryanair (Dublin) on August 21 launched new daily Dublin-Brussels (Zaventem) service (three roundtrips daily) as part of an extended Dublin winter 2014 schedule, with nine new routes and increased flights on 21 existing routes to/from Dublin Airport. This new Brussels Zaventem route complements Ryanair’s existing Dublin-Charleroi (near Brussels) route.

The nine new routes from Dublin are to Basel, Brussels (Zaventem), Bucharest, Cologne, Glasgow, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Nice and Prague.

In other news, Ryanair will soon be in talks with the government of Cyprus about a possible takeover of loss-making Cyprus Airways (Larnaca) according to this report by Reuters. Ryanair believes it can turn around the failing carrier. Nearly 20 companies have submitted non-binding expressions of interest about Cyprus Airways.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-DHN (msn 33577) touches down at EuroAirport near Basel.

Ryanair: AG Slide Show

Urumqi Air to launch operations now on August 29 in northwest China

Google Maps - Urumqi Air

Urumqi Air (Urumqi, Xinjiang) is a new airline in China. The new airline is a joint venture between the HNA Group and the state-owned Urumqi Urban Construction Investment Company Limited.

Urumqi Air will be based at Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport, in the capital of Xinjiang in the remote northwest part of China (please see map above).

Urumqi Air took delivery of Boeing 737-84P B-2157 (msn 32600) from Hainan Airlines on August 20 which will provide the technical support and three leased Boeing 737 aircraft for the new carrier. The parent HNA Group will control 70 percent of the stock. Operations are due to start now on August 29, delayed from August 15.

Read the full report from Travel Daily Asia: CLICK HERE

The logo “integrates the three-color Adlai silk and flying dove, which highlights the geographical reputation of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, symbolizing peace and friendship” according to wcarn.com.

Map: Google Maps.

PAL Airlines stops flying mining charters

PAL Airlines (Santiago) has ceased flying mining charters. In early August, sources inside the airline said they will no longer fly domestic charters, becoming a ground services provider and possibly, operating the southern hemisphere charters to tropical destinations, blaming the current economic situation in Chile, the open skies policy and the stop in mining investments.

This happened after losing its AOC for the second time in the year.

A mining charter flight was operated on August 4. This is likely the last flight.

The airline has shut down its website.

The Chilean airline started operations in 2003 as Principal Airlines-Aerolinea Principal de Chile.

Thanks to Alvaro Romero, reporting from Chile.

Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-2K9 CC-ACD 9msn 23404) is pictured in the past at the Santiago base.

PAL Airlines: AG Slide Show

QANTAS to boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) will boost services between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and between Sydney and Santiago, from early 2015, and introduce a new schedule providing the flexibility of morning, midday and evening departures between Australia and the US.

From January 21, 2015, QANTAS will increase its Melbourne to Los Angeles service from a daily service to ten per week and from February 20 will increase its Sydney to Santiago service from three to four per week.

The new services are the result of some schedule adjustments across the Pacific allowing for increased Boeing 747-400 flying time, one of the key elements of the QANTAS Transformation Program announced earlier this year.

“As part of our strategy to build a stronger QANTAS, we’ve introduced a new approach to aircraft utilization so we can take advantage of opportunities in the market. It means adjusting our schedules across the network to ensure our fleet spend less time on the ground and more time in the air, as we have done with our new Airbus A380 Dallas/Fort Worth service starting next month,” added Mr Hickey.

“This new schedule also builds on 25 supplementary services to the US and South America over the Christmas holiday period. The new schedule also enhances connections for our customers right across the US,” added Mr Hickey.

Customers connecting through to destinations across central and eastern parts of the United States will now have three options from Sydney – a morning and evening service to Los Angeles, and afternoon service to Dallas/Fort Worth.

“We recently announced new codeshare services with our partner LAN from Santiago to six destinations across South America and will now operate A380 services to both Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles, connecting with codeshare partner American Airlines to more than 100 destinations across North America.

Adjustments will be made to the timing of some of our flights across the Pacific in order to facilitate the improved schedule options for our customers.

Fleet and network adjustments are earmarked to save up to $600 million over three years for the QANTAS Group from the overall $2 billion cost reduction target that is at the centre of the airline’s turnaround plans. Increased aircraft utilisation and accelerated retirement of older, non-reconfigured Boeing 747s form part of this.

These changes come in a year of the 60th anniversary of QANTAS services to the US. In 1954, QANTAS operated a Lockheed Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.

Summary of Schedule and Network Changes:

QANTAS Summary of Changes

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 747-400 is gradually leaving the QANTAS passenger fleet. Boeing 747-438 VH-OJS (man 25564) in the special Socceroos color scheme arrives in London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Great Boeing 737 cockpit videos from the 737Channel

As the news is light during the “dog days” of the late summer in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought you would appreciate a diversion. We are always looking for great airline oriented videos (please send us your recommendations). Here is a new one. The 737Channel brings aviation enthusiasts an insight to the airline world from a pilot’s perspective. You can now see what pilots see, as HD footage is captured in real life operations. The above Episode 2 video is a nighttime approach. Below are a few more of the episodes.

Episode 1 video above.  De-icing as seen from the flight deck of a Boeing 737-800.

Episode 3 video above.

Episode 4 video above. Boeing 737-800 ILS CAT II approach to minimums with Autoland.

Episode 5 video above. Flying a Boeing 737-800 from a Caribbean airport to a Canadian snowstorm.

Episode 7 video above. A Boeing 737-800 landing in Jamaica.

Episode 8 video above. Flying a Boeing 737-800 across North America and the Caribbean.

Cathay Pacific is coming to Boston starting on May 3, 2015

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has announced at a joint press conference at the Massachusetts State House with Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation, Richard Davey, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Paul Guzzi, and Thomas P. Glynn, CEO, Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), that it will commence a new four-times-weekly nonstop service from Boston Logan International Airport to Hong Kong on May 3, 2015, subject to government approval.

The new service will link New England and Hong Kong directly for the first time, and marks Cathay Pacific’s sixth gateway in the United States, and eighth in North America. The airline, which was recently named “World’s Best Airline” in the 2014 annual Skytrax World Airline Awards™, currently serves Chicago, Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Newark, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. 2014 saw a huge increase in capacity, with the launch of a daily Newark service, the addition of a fourth daily flight from Los Angeles, and three additional flights per week from Chicago.

The total origin-destination market between Boston and Hong Kong, plus the 44 Asian cities accessed via Cathay Pacific / Dragonair’s Hong Kong hub, represented over 331,000 passengers and $332 million revenue annually in 2013. Boston is the largest U.S. – Hong Kong market without nonstop service. More than 53,000 passengers flew between Logan and Hong Kong in 2013.

The Boston service will be operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft featuring Cathay Pacific’s renowned cabin products, including the newly-refreshed First Class; awarding-winning Business Class; the newest cabin class, Premium Economy; and the new long-haul Economy Class. Together with the exceptional service provided by Cathay Pacific’s award-winning cabin crew and a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system in all classes, passengers will be provided with the best possible travel experience when they fly between Boston and Hong Kong.

The flight schedule for Cathay Pacific’s Boston (BOS) service, effective May 3, 2015 will operate four days a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays).

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPI (msn 36833) arrives in New York (JFK).

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

United Airlines announces new and improved in-flight food and beverage service for first class and business domestic customers

United Airlines (Chicago) has issued this statement:

United Airlines today unveiled new, improved lunch, dinner and beverage choices for domestic first-class customers, offering travelers chef-inspired meals and premium beverages that elevate their in-flight experience.

Among the changes:

New, premium salads beginning this month for customers flying United First and United Business within North America;

New, premium sandwiches and wraps, beginning Sept. 1, for United First and United Business customers within North America;

Addition of Prosecco sparkling wine in premium cabins beginning this fall;

Introduction of premium-cabin meals to flights of shorter duration, beginning in 2015; and

Fresh meal options for premium-cabin customers on United Express flights, beginning in 2015.

Premium-Cabin Refresh

This month, United began offering customers in premium cabins on North America flights four new salad entrée choices – a Southwestern salad, an Asian-style noodle salad, a seasonal greens with roast beef and blue cheese salad and a Strawberry Fields salad – replacing the previous chicken and shrimp salad options.

In September, premium-cabin customers on flights within North America will enjoy new chilled sandwiches and wraps – Italian prosciutto on tomato focaccia, a Thai-style chicken wrap, Cobb salad wrap and caprese on Asiago baguette – as well as new warmed options – turkey and Swiss on cranberry baguette, ham and Swiss on pretzel baguette, chicken and mozzarella on tomato focaccia and roast beef and cheddar on Asiago baguette.

Designed by United’s team of chefs, the new salads and sandwiches will be made fresh daily and paired with a gluten-free soup, along with United’s signature service elements, including warmed nuts, premium snacks and warmed cookies.

United Asiago Baquette (United)(LR)

Copyright Photo: United Airlines. The caprese on asiago baguette is one of the new sandwiches United Airlines will introduce in September 2014 in premium cabins on North America flights.

On trans-continental flights and on longer mid-continental dinner flights, the airline will continue to offer customers a choice between a pasta dish and a chicken or beef option.

United basil soup (United)(LR)

Copyright Photo: United Airlines. Tomato basil gluten-free soup.

“These changes mark the beginning of an extensive overhaul of our North America and international food service, offering travelers a level of service above that offered by our peers,” said Lynda Coffman, United’s vice president of food services. “Our new selections offer customers more of what they tell us they want when they travel – variety, bold flavor combinations and higher quality.”

Additional Food and Beverage Changes

United wines (United)(LR)

Copyright Photo: United Airlines.

Beginning this fall, United will add Prosecco sparkling wine to its premium-cabin beverages on mainline North America flights.

By mid-2015, United will further enhance its in-flight dining by:

Launching completely redesigned menu concepts and expanding premium-cabin meals within North America to flights that are more than two hours and 20 minutes, or 800 miles;

Upgrading premium-cabin meal service on domestic and international United Express flights, replacing snack boxes with freshly prepared food; and

Significantly enhancing United Economy meals and beverages on long-haul international flights.

United offers in-flight meals and snacks depending on flight duration, departure time, origin and destination. Specific breakfast, lunch and dinner parameters are available at united.com.

Customer Investments

The airline’s food and beverage enhancements are United’s latest investment in its customers’ onboard experience. The company also offers:

Premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every long-haul international flight to and from the continental United States – the only U.S. airline to do so;

Wi-Fi on more than 290 aircraft, including the airline’s entire Airbus and Boeing 747 fleets;

Personal device entertainment on dozens of aircraft; and

Live television on more than 200 aircraft, the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television.

Top Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N546UA (msn 25367) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Emirates SkyCargo is coming to Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates (Dubai), is set to further strengthen trade lanes between Switzerland and its worldwide network with the introduction of a weekly freighter service from Basel to Dubai starting September 21, 2014.

The new freighter flight will supplement the existing belly-hold cargo capacity in the Swiss market provided on Emirates’ double-daily passenger services to Zurich as well as on the daily Geneva flights. Emirates SkyCargo currently offers more than 380 tons of capacity each week on its routes into Switzerland. Basel, the center of the Swiss pharmaceutical and chemical industry will become the 40th European destination to join the Emirates SkyCargo network, giving a further boost to bilateral trade links already in place between the UAE and the region.

Emirates SkyCargo will use a Boeing 777 freighter aircraft on the Basel-Dubai route, which is capable of carrying over 100 tons of cargo, and with its main deck cargo door being one of the widest of any aircraft, enabling it to uplift outsized cargo and carry larger consignments. The Boeing 777F is one of the most modern and technologically advanced freighters available and has the lowest fuel burn of any comparable size aircraft. Popular commodities and goods into and from the region are expected to be pharmaceuticals, chemicals, spare parts and medical devices.

Emirates has continuously built up its presence in Europe since the launch of London-Gatwick services in 1987. Today, Emirates operates passenger and cargo services to 37 European destinations, with Oslo (effective September 22), Brussels (starting September 5) and Budapest (effective October 27) joining soon the airline’s global route network spanning six continents. In addition to the new destinations, Emirates continues to add capacity to many of its European routes through larger aircraft and added frequency.

In addition to belly-hold cargo services on Emirates’ fleet of 225 aircraft to more than 140 destinations around the world, Emirates SkyCargo has a fleet of 13 freighters, comprising of eleven Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 747-400 ERFs that operate from their base at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport.

The cargo flights will be routed Dubai – Djibouti – Nairobi – Amsterdam – Basel – Dubai.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-F1H A6-EFG (msn 35613) taxies at Amsterdam.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

SAS arrives in Houston from Stavanger, Norway

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm)  is now connecting Houston, Texas, with Stavanger in Norway through six days a week nonstop air service. The initiative is expected to significantly strengthen the economic and cultural ties that already exist within the oil and gas industry in the regions. The route will be operated by a business version of the Boeing 737-700 aircraft and will have a SAS Long Haul Business Class concept on board with just 44 comfortable business seats, in-flight entertainment and full-service meals.

Departures from Stavanger will be daily, except Tuesdays, at 4:00 pm arriving in Houston (Bush Intercontinental)  at 7:40 pm (1940) the same day. SAS will depart from Houston to Stavanger daily except Tuesdays at 9:35 pm (2135) arriving the next day in Stavanger at 2.20 pm (1440). SAS will be the only airline with nonstop service between Scandinavia and Houston.

In addition to the Houston-Stavanger route, SAS also operates nonstop service from Newark to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, from Chicago (O’Hare) to Copenhagen and Stockholm, and from Washington, D.C. and San Francisco to Copenhagen.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-705 LN-TUD (msn 28217) arrives at the Stockholm (Arlanda) hub.

SAS: AG Slide Show

United now offers its customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app

United Airlines (Chicago) today (August 20) became the first airline to offer customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app, further enabling travelers to use the United app for services throughout their entire travel experience.

Customers with iOS and Android mobile devices may access Uber ground transportation information in the United app’s menu or in the “My Reservations” card with a current reservation. The app will display Uber information, including types of available vehicles, estimated wait times and prices. After customers select a ride, the United app will automatically transfer them to the Uber app or the Uber website to sign up for an account to complete the transaction.

Customers who sign up for Uber via the United app and complete their first transaction will receive 1,000 MileagePlus award miles for a limited time.

In addition to accessing ground transportation options and other features, customers can use the United mobile app on iOS and Android devices to do the following:

Book United flights, including award travel
Scan a valid passport to check in for international flights
Store mobile boarding passes for easy access at security and during boarding
Select seats and choose Economy Plus seating
Check the status of an upgrade and view inflight amenities
Access United Club information and purchase one-time passes

In July, United became the first U.S. carrier to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check in for international flights via their iOS and Android mobile devices. Later this year, United will begin to introduce its all-new united.com website, providing customers a simplified, clearer and faster user experience.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

In other news, United is also ending United Express passenger service on the Crescent City-Arcata/Eureka, Los Angeles-Yuma and Sacramento-Arcata/Eureka routes on December 3 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-422 N128UA (msn 30023) arrives at Tokyo (Narita).

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Jay Selman’s Inside Look: US Airways operates the last Boeing 737 Classic revenue flight

Guest Editor Jay Selman

Guest Editor Jay Selman

An Inside Look: The End of a Classic Era

by Jay Selman

When I was hired by Piedmont Airlines (Winston-Salem) in 1981, the Boeing 737 reigned supreme. We were taking delivery of brand new Boeing 737-200s, and oh how I loved those birds. They were short and fat, and NOISY in an era when noise was still acceptable! In the early days of my airline career, I was on an airplane virtually every weekend. Those were the days when an airline could make money with a 50% load factor, and on those rare occasions when a flight did fill up, there was usually room in the cockpit for a company employee. I’d venture to say that 95% of my flights during the first 10 years of my career were in 737s.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-201 N736N (msn 19420) of Piedmont waits for its next assignment at Atlanta. The -200 is painted in the original 1974 livery.

By 1985, the 737-300 had joined the Piedmont fleet. Although it still had the 737 designation, it seemed to be a whole new animal. Those CFM-56 engines were massive compared to the JT-8Ds on the -200s, and the 737-300 promised significant increases in payload and range, as well as significant reductions in fuel burn. Oh yes, and they were QUIET. In fact, a common complaint among crewmembers flying the -300 was that they had to lower their voices so that passengers would not join in their conversations. The cockpits of Piedmont’s -300s still had the old “steam gauges” but they also had greatly improved avionics, and even a lovely feature called “Autoland”, which the company was never actually certified to use.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-301 N307P (msn 23259) of Piedmont wears the updated white top 1974 color scheme.

Piedmont was the launch customer for the Boeing 737-400, essentially a stretched -300, and in September, 1988, I had the good fortune to fly on the delivery flight of N406US, the first 737-400 in the world to be delivered by Boeing.

 

Copyright Photo: Nigel P. Chalcraft/AirlinersGallery.com. The first delivered -400, Boeing 737-401 N406US (msn 23876) taxies at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood in the bare metal 1988 livery.

At one time, Piedmont was able to claim the title of the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 737. No wonder I had a love affair with the Seven Three throughout my career in the airline industry.

In 1989, Piedmont and USAir merged and I was now working for USAir. The merger brought a large number of different aircraft types to my company, but I still loved the 737.

 

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. Suddenly the Piedmont name and brand were going way. USAir later gave way to US Airways as a brand.

Then in 1997, USAir CEO Steven Wolf shocked the aviation community by announcing an order for up to 400 narrow-body Airbus aircraft. Ultimately, this would reduce the composition of the company’s narrow-body fleet to one basic type (the A319, A320, and A321 are all the same basic airplane).

The handwriting was on the wall for the USAir (later US Airways) 737s…in fact, all of the narrow body aircraft operated by USAir. With respect to the 737s, the dwindling fleet of 737-200s was parked following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, while the last of the -300s was retired in 2013. Finally, on August 19, 2014, N435US operated the final flight of a US Airways 737, appropriately designated as flight US 737.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. There are now no longer any US Airways 737 Classics operating out of the Charlotte hub. N406US landed at CLT with 43515 cycles and approximately 65405.45 hours. The airliner was a trusted performer for the carrier and has now been retired to the desert.

“Cactus 737”, its ATC callsign, flew from Charlotte to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Philadelphia and back to Charlotte on August 19, and I was able to fly all three legs on it. US Airways elected to keep the event low-key, since, after all, the “new American Airlines” is currently operating over 230 Next-Generation 737-800s, and will eventually own a fleet of over 300 of the type. But what made the trip special for me was the fact that the pilot in command, Captain Jeff Tarr, was also flying his last trip as an airline pilot.

US Airways 737-400 N435US at the gate (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The end of an era. N435US sits at the gate, unlikely to carry passengers again.

 

When Cactus 737 pulled into Gate D7 at 9:48 pm at CLT, there was no real fanfare for the airplane, but there was plenty of recognition for Captain Tarr.

US Airways 737-400 Captain Jeff Tarr and F-O Robert Channell (JS)(LRW)

 

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Pictured in the cockpit of N435US is Captain Jeff Tarr (left) and F/O Robert Channell (right). This also was Jeff’s retirement flight.

And, after all, that is the way it should be. Too often, an airline is defined by its aircraft, or its color scheme, or its catch phrase. But what should REALLY define an airline is it’s employees. For most of us who have been in this industry for any length of time, it’s more than a job…it’s a way of life. Most of us who have been here for awhile began working in the days when we were envied for our status as airline employees. We remember hearing, “You have one of the best jobs in the world,” rather than, “I wouldn’t have your job for anything in the world.” An airline is about people, and not just airplanes.
 Having said that, the Boeing 737 has been part of the airline I work for during my entire 33-year career. Admittedly, the Airbus offers many advantages to the passenger than the old 737 Classic. And, of course, once the merger is complete, I will, again, be working for a company that will be operating 300+ Next-Generation 737s.

US Flt 737 Crew (JS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. The proud crew of flight US 737 that operated the flight from DFW to PHL and finally to CLT.

 

In my personal opinion, an Airbus simply cannot compare to a Boeing in terms of useful life and ruggedness. Why do I say this? Just consider this fact. There are still plenty of 737s around with 30+ years on their airframes. Many still haul passengers, while countless others have been converted to freight dogs. I have no idea how many 737s have been converted to cargo carriers, but I can tell you exactly how many A320s have been.
 So, vive la 737. You’ve given me a great ride.

 

Piedmont Airlines (1st): AG Slide Show

USAir: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Is AirAsia considering an investment in Skymark Airlines?

Skymark Airlines (Tokyo-Haneda) has been retrenching. Besides the cancellation of its Airbus A380 order by Airbus, the low-fare carrier has also announced it will leave Tokyo Narita and concentrate its flights at Tokyo (Haneda). Now according to ZipanguFlyer, there may be a new development:

“On August 19, the Nikkei Shimbun reported that the AirAsia Group has started considering an investment in ailing Skymark Airlines (BC/SKY), including a possible takeover. It said that the Malaysian LCC, a very important customer for Airbus, is also talking with the European manufacturer to reduce the penalties they are seeking with Skymark for the canceled Airbus A380 order.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AirAsia is currently working with new Japanese partners to launch the second version of AirAsia (Japan) next year. If this report is correct and it is consummated, it would probably be the end of Skymark Airlines and Boeing would lose a loyal Japanese customer.

Stay tuned.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Boeing 737-81D JA73NN (man 39422) passes through Honolulu on its delivery flight.

Skymark Airlines: AG Slide Show

Cathay Pacific to retire the last passenger long-haul Boeing 747-400 on August 31 on the San Francisco route

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) will operate its last long-haul scheduled Boeing 747 passenger flight to San Francisco on August 31. The last departure will be from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Hong Kong. The company will continue to operate Boeing 747 freighters and the 747-400 on some short-haul Asian routes (Beijing, Manila, Osaka Kansai, Sapporo, Shanghai Pudong, Taipei Taoyuan and Tokyo Haneda per Airline Route).

 

Cathay Pacific Farewell 747 Giveaway

To mark the historic occasion, Cathay Pacific is running a “Farewell 747 Giveaway” contest. 20 winners will receive a Boeing 747 model. CLICK HERE for the details.

The inaugural flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong via Vancouver was flown on a Boeing 747-200B on July 1, 1986.

Cathay Pacific SFO Inaugural 7.1.86

Above Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific.

Top Copyright Photo: KSK/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467, the Queen of the Skies, B-HOY (man 25351) in the 1994 livery gracefully climbs away from the runway at Tokyo (Haneda)

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-267B VR-HIE (msn 28872) taxies at Zurich in the original 1971 green and white color scheme.

Video: Trip Report on a CP Boeing 747-400:

Air Canada to operate the Boeing 787 on the Toronto-Copenhagen route

Air Canada (Montreal) on October 26 will introduce the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the Toronto (Pearson)-Copenhagen route. The new aircraft will operate three days a week replacing a Boeing 767-300 ER until December 31 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPT (msn 35258) is parked between flights at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

 

Thai Airways to axe 1,500 jobs this year, hopes to return to profitability by the fourth quarter

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) meanwhile expects to cut 1,500 jobs this year as it expects to return to profitability in the fourth quarter according to this article by the Business Times.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4D7 HS-TGG (msn 33771) departs gracefully from Phuket, Thailand.

Thai: AG Slide Show

City Airways is grounded, stranding passengers

City Airways (Bangkok-Don Mueang) was grounded on Saturday, August 16, stranding passengers. The Thai airline, which was formed in 2011 started operations in October 2012 and specialized in flights from and to Chinese cities, was grounded by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) for alleged safety violations.

Stranded passengers are being flown home by R Airways.

According to the South China Morning Post, co-owner Terence Mak Hung claimed the airline was safe and hilt back at the Thai authorities.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Company Profile (from their website):

City Airways Company, Ltd was established on February 24, 2011. The airline, incorporated with 200 million baht of capital, focused on the China market, is spreading its wings by adding three jetliners and launching its first scheduled domestic flights. City Airways, owned by a group of Thai, Chinese tour firms and Hong Kong airline owner, took delivery of three Boeing 737-400 single-aisle jets.

Top Copyright Photo: Jacques Guillem Collection/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by City Airways). Boeing 737-4Y0 HS-GTA (man 24688) rests at the Don Mueang Airport base between flights.

City Airways FAs (City Airways)(LR)

City Airways Ad:

City Airways Ad

City Airways (Thailand) logo

Route Map:

City Airways 8.2014 Route Map (LRW)

Sunwing Airlines fights back, will launch package charter flights from Buffalo, New York

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto-Pearson) has seen some of its Canadian traffic being syphoned by U.S. carriers with vacation flights leaving from close-by U.S. cities like Buffalo, New York. Canadian citizens have been crossing the border to catch the cheaper flights at these close-by U.S. airports. Now the Canadian carrier has decided to do the same thing.

The carrier is introducing two new services in association with Sunwing Vacations. Departing from Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) on Saturdays, services to Cancun International Airport (CUN) will begin on January 17, 2015 and operate until May 9, 2015, while flights to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) will be available between February 14, 2015 and May 9, 2015.

The new routes represent the first direct scheduled international destinations to be offered, increasing the number of airports accessible via a direct connection from Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Sunwing Airlines’ nonstop flights are operated on Boeing 737-800 series aircraft which seat 189 passengers.

According to the carrier, these “low cost, high frills” flights enable travellers to start off their vacation in style with a complimentary welcome glass of champagne. Passengers will also be able to sit back and relax while enjoying award winning onboard service along with Hot & Fresh Bistro meals served with a choice of wine plus complimentary in-flight entertainment and children’s activity kits.

Sunwing travellers departing from Buffalo this winter will be able to choose from a broad selection of all-inclusive vacation packages in both Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and Cancun, Mexico. Offering an array of properties and exclusive products to suit a number of different tastes and budgets ranging from adults only to group and family vacations, Sunwing resorts in both locations stand out for their beachfront settings, wealth of land and water sports, varied dining options and children’s activities.

Introductory pricing for a one-week vacation from Buffalo to Cancun starts from just $1135 + $140 taxes per person, based on double occupancy at Oasis Tulum departing on January 17, 2015. Buffalo departures to Punta Cana start from just $1195 + $170 taxes per person, based on double occupancy at Vista Sol Punta Cana departing on May 2, 2015.

All Sunwing Vacations packages include award winning Sunwing Airlines’ Champagne Service, which features a complimentary glass of champagne, hot towel service, Hot & Fresh Bistro meals™ served with a choice of wine at lunch and dinner, and complimentary in-flight entertainment, including first run movies and a generous 20 kg free baggage allowance. For just $40 more per flight segment, travellers can upgrade to Sunwing’s Elite Plus service, which features advance seat selection, separate check-in at a majority of airports, advance boarding, 30 kg baggage allowance, priority baggage handling, and extra legroom seats.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86Q C-FEAK (msn 30292) taxies at Palma de Mallorca on a summer lease.

Sunwing Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Ethiopian Airlines and United Airlines to start a codeshare agreement on August 30

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) has announced that it has entered into a codeshare agreement with United Airlines (Chicago), effective on August 30, 2014.

Ethiopian, the biggest airline in Africa, currently flies to 82 international destinations across five continents operating a young and modern fleet, such as Boeing 787 and 777 aircraft. The carrier provides daily services to Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) using the Boeing 777 or Boeing 787 aircraft with convenient and easy connections through its main hub in Addis Ababa (ADD) to 49 cities across Africa.

The new codeshare agreement between the two Star Alliance member airlines covers the Addis Ababa–Washington, D.C. trunk route, as well as points in Africa and the U.S.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-260 LR ET-ANO (msn 40771) of Ethiopian Airlines lands at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Ethiopian Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines (current): AG Slide Show

Aeroflot and Transaero must obtain prior approval to fly over the Ukraine

The Ukrainian government (Kiev) is taking countermeasures after Russia banned Ukrainian airlines from flying over Russian airspace, severely impacting Ukrainian International Airlines (Kiev) as previously reported.

According to the Moscow Times, “Ukraine demanded that Russian airlines Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) and Transaero Airlines (Moscow) obtain permission for every flight they make over its territory, because these airlines fly over Crimean airspace which Ukraine considers to be closed.”

The new airspace rule became effective on August 14.

European airlines could face additional airspace restrictions by Russia on trans-Siberian routes following sanctions by the European Union of Russian due to its on-going interference in the Ukraine. If this “airspace war” continues to escalate, airlines like Finnair (Helsinki) could be severely impacted as previously reported.

Ironically Russia and the Ukraine were former members of the old Soviet Union.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, Transaero is planning to introduce a weekly St. Petersburg-Vienna route (flown with Boeing 737-300s) starting on October 31.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Aeroflot’s Boeing 737-8LJ VP-BRF (msn 41195) completes its final approach to Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Aeroflot Russian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Transaero Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

KLM leases two additional Boeing 777-300 ERs from Air Lease Corporation

Air Lease Corporation (Los Angeles) has announced long term lease agreements with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) for two additional new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2016 and early 2017. These aircraft placements are in addition to the two new 777-300 ER aircraft scheduled for lease from ALC to KLM in early 2015 and early 2016, all from ALC’s order book.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVK (msn 42172) of KLM taxies at the Amsterdam base.

KLM: AG Slide Show

Delta to move its Boston Delta Shuttle flights to Terminal C at LaGuardia Airport

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will move New York operations of its Delta Shuttle between Boston-Logan International Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airport from the Marine Air Terminal to Terminal C beginning on November 2.

Boston Shuttle customers will enjoy new departure and arrival facilities at LaGuardia in Terminal C as well as upgraded service to Boeing 717 aircraft. The move is part of Delta’s strategy of adding bigger aircraft on more routes.

In 2012, Delta completed renovations to Terminal C as part of its $160 million investment to modernize and connect Terminals C and D at LaGuardia and opened a new 7,600 square foot Delta Sky Club featuring a full wall of windows with runway views. Customers will also have access to Delta’s five new restaurants with menus led by celebrity chefs, an expansive food hall and fresh markets.

Weekday flights depart near the top of the hour from 6 a.m. through 8 p.m. and will be operated by Delta using Boeing 717 aircraft which accommodates 110 passengers including 12 First Class seats in a two by two configuration, 15 Economy Comfort and 83 economy seats in a two by three configuration. Boston-based customers will now be able connect through Delta’s LaGuardia hub for access to 64 additional cities.

Delta Shuttle service began on its Boston to New York and Washington, D.C. to New York routes on September 1, 1991 after Delta completed the purchase of the Pan Am Shuttle. For nearly a quarter century the Delta Shuttle has been a core part of its New York operations. In June 2010, Delta added New York to Chicago-O’Hare service to the Shuttle operation.

Customers flying the Delta Shuttle between New York-LaGuardia and Boston will enjoy:

Convenient, top of the hour schedule for Delta Shuttle customers including 15 weekday departures

Check-in as close as 15 minutes prior to departure without bags or 30 with checked bags

Dedicated check-in counters exclusively for Shuttle customers

Expedited security screening with nearby access to TSA Pre-Check lanes for eligible passengers

Dedicated gates – located near the Delta Sky Club in LaGuardia’s Terminal C – with access to complimentary coffee and newspapers for all customers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times and power at the gate

Advanced seat selection on all Delta Shuttle flights and complimentary access to Economy Comfort seats for SkyMiles Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion members at the time of booking

Two classes of service with complimentary upgrades for SkyMiles Medallion members when available.
Complimentary onboard snacks including bagels in the morning before 10:30 a.m. or gourmet nut mix for flights after 10:30 a.m.

Complimentary beverages in-flight including craft beer and wine in all classes of service

Cocktails available for purchase in economy

Access to in-flight Wi-Fi on all Shuttle flights

Access to power from every seat on the Boeing 717 aircraft

The November 2014 schedule between New York–LaGuardia and Boston is below.

Delta Shuttle LGA-BOS Schedule (LRW)

 

 

Delta Shuttle flights between New York and Chicago-O’Hare International Airport or Washington Reagan-National Airport will continue to operate from LaGuardia’s Marine Air Terminal operated by Delta Connection partner, Shuttle America using Embraer E175 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-AirTran Airways Boeing 717-2BD N995AT (msn 55139), now with Delta, arrives at Washington (Dulles).

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show

United ends July with its best on-time performance in four years, rewards employees with a cash bonus

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that it is rewarding all eligible employees with a cash bonus for exceeding the airline’s on-time arrival and departure performance goals for the month of July. United’s goal for on-time performance is to be first or second among the largest four U.S. carriers. The on-time arrival rate is based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. Eligible employees also earned an additional cash bonus for exceeding United’s customer satisfaction goal for July, resulting in a total payout of $125 per eligible employee for the month.

Despite challenges across the system and runway construction at San Francisco – one of the airline’s largest hubs – United ended July with its best July on-time performance in four years. The performance was an improvement over the same month last year as well as June of this year. United’s mainline and United Express D :00 were also better than target and better than last year’s performance.

“While we still have room for improvement, we’re seeing a lot of momentum as we work to create a more reliable and efficient airline,” said Greg Hart, United’s executive vice president and chief operations officer. “These bonuses are further proof that the actions we are taking are paying off.”

Five of United’s seven hubs had the best July A :14 performance since 2010, with the airline’s Los Angeles hub leading the pack. United also placed first or second of the four largest U.S. carriers in A :14 for 13 of the last 18 days of the month.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N37422 (msn 31620) climbs away from the Los Angeles station.

United Airlines (current):

Jet Airways to discontinue the JetKonnect brand

Jet Airways (Mumbai) has issued this statement about consolidating all of its operations under a stronger Jet Airways brand:

Jet Airways has announced that it will streamline and align its domestic operation, creating a strong, uniform Jet Airways master brand, simultaneously revitalizing its product and service offering.

Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways, said: “The publication of our first quarter results shows we have made demonstrable progress in the implementation of our three-year turnaround strategy to return Jet Airways to profitability.

“However there are still challenges in the very competitive market in which we operate. Our next critical step will be re-establishing Jet Airways as a master brand in India.

“This means harnessing our proud heritage and original values in one consistent, predictable and clearly recognisable brand.

“Over the next few months, you will see this brand reflected across our entire business – in the livery, staff uniforms, the interiors, the product and service offering, and the frequent flyer program.

“I give you my commitment, that by the end of the year, Jet Airways will have the best domestic full-service product in India. We will always be competitive to ensure our customers get the best value for their money.”

Subject to government approvals, the Jet Airways master brand will cover the whole fleet including services currently operated by JetLite, to deliver a consistent, high quality experience for guests. The Jet Airways master brand will provide operational flexibility across the airline’s domestic fleet.

JetKonnect logo

JetLite currently operates a fleet of 11 aircraft under the JetKonnect™ brand deployed across Jet Airways’ domestic network which includes more than 50 cities. These aircraft will be progressively repainted in the Jet Airways livery over the coming months.

In order to address the challenges of the increasingly competitive domestic market and better meet the needs of the Indian travelling public, the airline will further enhance its domestic product offering, including improving connectivity within India and to and from international services, along with the expansion of codeshare partnerships.

A full service Business Class offering will implemented across all operations to ensure a premium experience on the ground and in the air, along with reciprocal frequent flyer rewards and recognition in partnership with Etihad Guest.

Domestic Economy Class will provide a differentiated offering to address the needs of travellers seeking value and competitive fares, while ensuring service continuity with inbound international flights.

The enhanced domestic offering will provide a quality product with exclusive value adds, including premium seating, lounge passes, and higher baggage allowances than competitors.

Uniquely, JetPrivilege, which has recently announced an enhanced accrual and redemption structure, will provide more benefits and privileges for Jet Airways domestic frequent flyers. In addition to the minimum 500 miles per flight, they will now also gain tier and recognition benefits and be able to redeem domestic miles on international flights of Jet Airways and Etihad Airways, with plans to expand the benefits to its partner airlines

In conclusion, Naresh Goyal said: “These exciting changes once again demonstrate Jet Airways unwavering commitment to provide our guests with an exceptional experience whenever they travel.

“By taking care of our guests, we ensure the success and relevance of our business in the future.”

Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 112 aircraft, which include 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 8 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 4 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, 72 next generations Boeing 737-700/800/900/900 ER aircraft and 15 ATR 72-500 and 3 ATR72-600 aircraft. With an average fleet age of 5.08 years, the airline has one of the youngest fleet of aircraft in the world.

Flights to 74 destinations span the length and breadth of India and beyond, including Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok, Brussels, Colombo, Dammam, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kathmandu, Kuwait, London (Heathrow), Muscat, New York (Newark), Paris, Riyadh, Sharjah, Singapore and Toronto.

JetKonnect is a dedicated product designed to meet the needs of the low fare segment. JetKonnect will also offer guests a Premiere service on nearly all domestic routes. With its mixed fleet of Boeings and ATR aircraft with nearly 251 daily flights connecting 46 destinations across India, JetKonnect provides more flexibility and choice to its guests. JetKonnect’s convenient schedules, reliable service and low fares, promise to bring greater value and a seamless flying experience to our customers.

Jet Airways and JetKonnect together operate over 465 daily flights, both domestic and international.

Previously effective on March 25, 2012, all JetLite and Jet Airways Konnect services began to operate under the JetKonnect brand.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85R VT-JFW (msn 42799) was delivered new to the company on July 23, 2014 in the 2007 livery.

Jet Airways: AG Slide Show

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