Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Habitat for Humanity International will join forces March 7-16, to help build 10 Habitat homes in Quezon City, outside the capital of Manila, as part of Delta’s Force for Global Good program to effect positive local and global change. This year’s volunteers come from 16 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
While building the 10 new homes, Delta volunteers will work side by side with the families who will live in the new community — called Bistekville 4 — when it is completed. The structures will be built to resist earthquakes, hurricanes and floods and will be primarily made from concrete block, which will require minimal ongoing maintenance for the new owners.
For a second consecutive year, Delta volunteers will be joined by Dan DeRiemer of Roswell, Georgia, a DeltaSkyMiles Diamond Medallion member who bid a record 556,000 miles through Delta’s SkyMiles Online Auctionto win the opportunity to participate in the build with his wife, Laura.
Delta employees from around the globe use vacation time and pay a portion of their expenses to volunteer on the international builds and help those in need of simple, decent and affordable housing, while also taking the opportunity to learn more about the country and its culture. Delta has participated in similar projects in Chile,China, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.
Delta has supported Habitat for Humanity for more than a decade and strengthened the partnership in 2006 by becoming a national partner and unveiling the first 767-300 featuring a unique Habitat for Humanity livery and aDelta Force for Global Good decal. The special livery helps raise awareness of Habitat for Humanity’s global work and highlights the efforts of employee participation in Delta’s Force for Global Good.
Delta operates daily flights from Manila to Tokyo-Narita and Nagoya-Centrair, where customers can connect to daily flights to the U.S. More than 150 employees are based in the Philippines. Delta is committed to supportingthe Philippines community, a country that Delta has served for more than 60 years. During the past 10 years, Delta has sponsored a scholarship program at Concordia College Manila to support underprivileged students and recently partnered with Ayala Foundation, a Manila-based nonprofit organization, through the SkyWish charity program thus allowing customers to donate miles to support its efforts.
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission.
Top Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Delta has been a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity and has painted this Boeing 767-332 ER (N171DZ, msn 29690) to express that support. N171DZ arrives at Los Angeles.
SpiceJet (Delhi) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have announced at the India Aviation 2014 show an order for 42 737 MAX 8s. The order, previously listed as unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website, is valued at $4.4 billion at list prices.
Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,800 orders to date and will have 8 percent lower per-seat operating costs than the future competition.
With this announcement, SpiceJet has ordered 90 airplanes directly from Boeing, which includes the 737-800, 737-900 ER and now the 737 MAX. To date, SpiceJet has taken delivery of 31 of the airplanes.
Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8GJ VT-SZD (msn 39430) departs from Shannon.
Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) and S7 Airlines (Novosibirsk), both members of oneworld®, have agreed to further expand the code share flights with adding 12 domestic destinations in Russia from March 19, 2014.
The new codeshare routes between Moscow (Domodedovo) and domestic cities in Russia includes Saint Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, and also Sochi, which is the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as other attractive cities.
Routes between Moscow (Domodedovo) and domestic cities in Russia
・Moscow = St. Petersburg
・Moscow = Perm
・Moscow = Samara
・Moscow = Ufa
・Moscow = Kazan
・Moscow = Chelyabinsk
・Moscow = Yekaterinburg
・Moscow = Volgograd
・Moscow = Nizhny Novgorod
・Moscow = Krasnodar
・Moscow = Rostov
・Moscow = Sochi
* Code share flights are subject to government approval.
* All of the above flights are operated by S7.
* Flight schedule and dates are subject to changes. Please visit JAL website for the latest information.
Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL-Japan Airlines’ Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) in the special Tokyo Disney Resort – 30th Anniversary livery taxies at Fukuoka.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. S7 Airlines added its first Airbus A321, the pictured A321-211 VQ-BQH (msn 3070) in September 2013.
Emirates (Dubai) yesterday (March 10) launched its daily, nonstop service between Dubai and Boston. Boston becomes the airline’s eighth US destination and the 142th on its global network which links key tourism and trading destinations across six continents.
The inaugural flight EK 237 departed from Terminal 3, Dubai International at 09:45 hours, carrying a delegation of senior airline executives including: Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline; Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer; Hubert Frach, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations West; and Hiran Perera, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Planning and Freighters.
Also travelling on the inaugural flight was a VIP delegation from the UAE including: His Excellency Abdulrahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber; His Excellency Mohammad Khamis Bin Harib Al Muhairi, Director General, The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities; Rahul Agarwal, Manager of Recruiting, McKinsey & Co; Chadi Chahine, Chief Financial Officer, Smith Nephew.
Emirates will operate daily flights between the two cities with a Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range) aircraft in a three-class configuration, offering eight seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 216 in Economy Class.
In addition to passengers, Emirates SkyCargo will operate bellyhold cargo space to help transport goods to and from Boston – such electronics, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, machine parts, leather products, consumer commodities, as well as New England’s finest lobster. Emirates SkyCargo can carry up to 15 tons per day.
EK 237 will depart Dubai at 09:45 and arrive in Boston at 15:15. The return flight, EK 238, will take off from Boston at 23:15 and land in Dubai at 19:30 the next day.
Emirates began passenger services to America in 2004 with the launch of daily nonstop flights from New York JFK to Dubai, and now offers daily flights to Washington (Dulles), Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle/Tacoma, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Emirates). Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWB (msn 35573) approaches the runway at Washington’s Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Did Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 fly west into the Strait of Malacca?, Cathay Pacific flight reports metal objects floating in the water off the South China Sea near Ho Chi Minh City
Malaysia’s military believes it traced the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 flight MH 370 into the Malacca Strait (northwest of Kuala Lumpur) according to this report by Reuters. According to the military, the aircraft changed course after passing over Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude and headed west to this large body of water (see map above).
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) is still missing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The previous oil slick in the Gulf of Thailand (north of Kota Bharu) has been identified as not coming from the missing aircraft. No wreckage has been found in the Gulf of Thailand from the missing and presumed crashed airliner.
Meanwhile Malaysia has identified and issued photos of the two Iranians who used the stolen passports.
Read the full Reuters report: CLICK HERE
Video: Report on the two Iranians:
Meanwhile the chief of Interpol says he does not believe the missing airliner was due to terrorism.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
The New York Times offers this “Questions and Answers” (to common questions) on the missing MH 370: CLICK HERE
A Cathay Pacific Airways flight has reported a relatively large metal debris area off the Vietnam coast near Ho Chi Minh City.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Map of the area where the Cathay Pacific Airways flight has reported the floating metal debris:
Southwest moves to protect its Dallas Love Field home with 12 proposed new routes if it gets two new gates
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) plans to add 20 flights to 12 new nonstop destinations if the airline is able to acquire two additional gates at Dallas Love Field. Southwest would add nonstop service to:
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Detroit, Michigan
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
- Newark, New Jersey
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
- Sacramento, California
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
These 12 new nonstop destinations would be added to Southwest’s schedule if the airline is able to obtain the rights to two Love Field gates that American Airlines must relinquish under the terms of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. These destinations would be in addition to the 15 cities that Southwest previously announced it would serve from Love Field beginning later this year, and five new nonstop destinations currently planned for service in 2015 that Southwest has announced:
- Boston, Massachusetts (Boston Logan)
- Oakland, California
- Panama City Beach, Florida
- Portland, Oregon
- San Jose, California
With the upcoming sunset of the Wright Amendment restrictions on long-haul flights from Love Field, demand for Southwest nonstop service from the airport far exceeds the Company’s current gate capacity. Access to two additional gates would allow Southwest to provide North Texas residents and visitors with the benefits of new nonstop flights to 12 additional destinations that would not otherwise be possible – a BIG win for consumers, businesses and the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a single aviation market that is served by two airports, DFW International Airport and Dallas Love Field. In total, these airports have 175 gates (155 at DFW and 20 at Love Field). If Southwest were to acquire the two additional Love Field gates, its percentage of gates in the Dallas-Ft. Worth market would remain very small, around 10 percent. Importantly, other carriers, such as Virgin America and Delta Air Lines, already have a presence at DFW International Airport and can easily expand at DFW’s ample gate facilities. In contrast, Southwest’s growth in North Texas can occur only at Love Field under the terms of the five-party agreement that resulted in the end of the Wright Amendment.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N714CB (msn 27848) is retained in the gold “Southwest Classic” classic livery. It is pictured arriving at Las Vegas.
Air Serbia (Belgrade) is currently planning to operate the last Boeing 737-300 flight on April 28. The aging Jat Airways Boeing 737-300 fleet is being upgraded and replaced with newer Airbus A319s. Currently the last Boeing 737-300 scheduled service is now scheduled for flight JU 415 from Stockholm (Arlanda) to Belgrade on April 28 according to Airline Route.
This will also be end of the Jat Airways (JAT) brand and name.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Because of the imminent retirement the former Jat Airways Boeing 737-300s are not being repainted in Air Serbia’s colors. Boeing 737-3H9 YU-ANJ (msn 23714) completes its final approach to the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport in the current 2004 livery.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. JAT was the first airline in Europe to order and operate the new Boeing 737-300 in 1985. The new type entered revenue service after the first (YU-AND) was delivered on July 31, 1985. The pictured 737-3H9 YU-ANL (msn 23716) displays the original 1963 livery worn by the type.
CanJet Airlines (2nd) (Halifax) will develop and launch its own in-house travel tour operation for the next winter season. The company is diversifying after Air Transat (Montreal) decided to use its own Boeing 737-800s to conduct its holiday package flights rather than using the Boeing 737-800s of CanJet. The company will use either the CanJet vacations or CanJet Holidays name for the new division.
Read the full report from the Financial Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS C-FTCX (msn 29921) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and JetBlue Airways (New York) plan to terminate their interline traffic agreement and reciprocal frequent flyer program accrual agreement, which includes select routes from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and New York’s John F. KennedyInternational Airport (JFK).
Each airline will no longer accept new interline sales for travel on the other carrier. Effective April 1, customers will no longer earn miles or points when traveling on eligible routes operated by the other airline. All American AAdvantage miles or JetBlue TrueBlue points already accrued through this partnership will be credited to customers’ accounts and are not affected. The two airlines are working together to ensure these changes have little impact to customers.
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N922NN (msn 29523) approaches the runway at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N599JB (msn 2336) in the Barcode tail design taxies to the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
At least two passengers used stolen passports to board Malaysia flight MH 370, U.S. Navy joins the search for the missing Boeing 777
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) still remains missing. However a vessel from Singapore participating in the search has found “suspicious objects” according to the Los Angeles Times. The objects have no yet been conformed as coming from the aircraft. 40 ships 22 airplanes are searching a larger area around the discovered oil slick (see above). The U.S. Navy has joined the search. There are also some indications that the aircraft may have turned around according to the radar records.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile at least two passengers travelled on flight MH 370 with stolen passports (some media reports have it at four passengers) adding to the suspicion of terrorism in bringing down the flight. According to CNN, the two passengers who used the stolen passengers appear to have purchased the tickets together. The passengers were using Beijing as a connection point for on-going travel to Europe.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
5 theories on what could have happened to MH 370 according to the The Straits Times: CLICK HERE
Malaysia Airlines issued this statement on March 9:
More than 24 hours after the lost of contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, the search and rescue teams are still unable to detect the whereabouts of the missing aircraft.
The airline is doing its utmost to provide support to the affected family members, this includes immediate financial aid.
The airline has deployed a team of 94 caregivers consisting of well-trained staff and also Tzu Chi Foundation members to provide emotional support to the families. The airline will also be deploying another set of caregivers to Beijing later today.
Last night, a Malaysia Airlines’ Senior Management team arrived at Beijing to address the media and met with family members. Families of affected passengers in Kuala Lumpur were also met by the team.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines will set up a command center at Kota Bharu, Malaysia or Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam as soon as the location of the aircraft is established and the airline will make the necessary arrangements.
The airline is continuously working with the authorities in providing assistance. In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time.
On Monday March 10 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement for the missing airplane:
The purpose of this statement is to update on emergency response activities at Malaysia Airlines.
On notification of the incident the following steps have been taken:-
1. Activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the early morning of 8 March 2014. The EOC is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out emergency management functions at the strategic level during a disaster.
2. In addition to the EOC, various departments of Malaysia Airlines are also addressing to all the different needs during this crisis.
1. Malaysia Airlines is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia, as well as with the immigration of Malaysia on the issuance of their visas into Malaysia.
2. Malaysia Airlines is deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on 11 March 2014.
3. When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Centre (RCC) will be established within the vicinity to support the needs of the families. This has been communicated specifically to the families.
4. Once the Response Coordination Centre is operational, we will provide transport and accommodation to the designated areas for the family members.
5. Our oneworld partners have been engaged to help bring family members in other countries aside from China into Kuala Lumpur.
Search and Rescue
1. Malaysia Airlines has been actively cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport
2. DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America have come forward to assist. We are grateful for these efforts.
We also want to address a few common queries from the media.
We are receiving many queries about how the passengers with the stolen passports purchased their tickets. We are unable to comment on this matter as this is a security issue. We can however confirm that we have given all the flight details to the authorities for further investigation.
We also confirm that we are making necessary arrangements for MH 370 passengers’ families from Beijing to travel to Kuala Lumpur. However, flight details of the families’ arrival are highly confidential. This is to protect the privacy and well-being of the families during this difficult time and to respect their space. Our position is not to reveal any information on the flight or movements of the families.
Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines.
All other Malaysia Airlines’ flights are as per schedule. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been and will continue to be of utmost importance to us.
The airline continues to work with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international parties and agencies during this critical and difficult time.
Malaysia Airlines reiterates that it will continue to be transparent in communicating with the general public via the media on all matters affecting MH 370.
Video: Follow MH 370 on radar via Flightradar24:
CNN explores the question of question of why there so few facts for the missing 777: CLICK HERE
Map: Google Maps.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday reported “hairline cracks” on about 40 787s in production according to Reuters. The wings are made by Mitsubishi. The cracks were also discovered on the new 787-9 which could delay the introduction of the new type. No cracks were found on aircraft currently flying with the airlines.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Breaking News: Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 is missing, Vietnamese Navy says it crashed into the sea south of Phu Quoc Island, oil slick spotted, two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft
Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 (operated with the pictured Boeing 777-2H7 ER 9M-MRO, msn 28420) departed Kuala Lumpur at 0041 local time on March 8 bound for Beijing, China. The flight has gone missing and did not enter Chinese airspace. Radar contact was lost with the aircraft near Vietnam airspace over water (Gulf of Thailand). The aircraft was last reported to be flying at 35,000 feet. There was no communication from the crew about any problem. Search and Rescue units are now searching for the aircraft.
According to CNN, “the Vietnamese Navy confirmed the plane crashed into the Gulf of Thailand. According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, a regional commander, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea south of Phu Quoc island.”
However no debris has been located.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Read the latest report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
A 12-mile oil slick has been discovered between Malaysia and Vietnam by a Vietnamese Navy Antonov An-26 according to the New York Times. The last reported position of the aircraft was between Malaysia and Vietnam. It is unclear if this is from the aircraft.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
There are now reports that at least two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft which is now raising the question that this may have led to a possible terrorist attack.
The Telegraph explores this issue (along with a picture of the oil slick): CLICK HERE
Phu Quoc Island is on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia, southwest of Phnom Penh and west of Ho Chi Minh City (Google Maps):
The airline initially issued this statement:
We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH 370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning (March 8) bound for Beijing. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30 am local Beijing time. Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40 am (local Malaysia time).
Flight MH 370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities. Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft. Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.
Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members. The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.
The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. Meanwhile, the public may contact +603 7884 1234 for further info.
Malaysia Airlines issued this latest update midday on March 8:
Malaysia Airlines is still unable to establish any contact or determine the whereabouts of flight MH 370. Earlier today (March 8), Subang ATC had lost contact with the aircraft at 2.40 am. The last known position of MH370 before it disappeared off the radar was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude).
We are still trying to locate the current location of the flight based on the last known position of the aircraft. We are working with the International search and rescue teams in trying to locate the aircraft. So far, we have not received any emergency signals or distress messages from MH 370. We are working with authorities and assure that all sources are deployed to assist with the search and rescue mission.
The passenger manifest will not be released until all families of the passengers have been informed. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants) and 12 crew members.
We are deploying our “Go Team” to Beijing which will depart Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 4.30 pm with a team of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.
The passengers are of 14 different nationalities. All crew on-board are Malaysians.
Please take note that the earlier statement did not include the number of Indian nationals. This was due to confusion between the country code of Indonesia and India.
The below table shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:-
|China/Taiwan||154 including infant|
|USA||3 including infant|
Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize our full support.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.
Shortly after midnight, Sunday March 9 local time, Malaysia Airlines issued this update:
Malaysia Airlines humbly asks all Malaysians and people around the world to pray for flight MH 370.
It has been more than 24 hours since we last heard from MH 370 at 1.30 am. The search and rescue team is yet to determine the whereabouts of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
An international search and rescue mission from Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam was mobilized this morning (March 8). At this stage, they have failed to find evidence of any wreckage. The sea mission will continue overnight while the air mission will recommence at daylight.
We are dispatching all information as and when we receive it. The situation in Beijing is also being monitored closely. As many families of passengers are in China, we have deployed our “Go Team” to Beijing with a team of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.
Immediate families of passengers are advised to gather at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Travel arrangements and expenses will be borne by Malaysia Airlines. Once, the whereabouts of the aircraft is determined, Malaysia Airlines will fly members of the family to the location.
Our sole priority now is to provide all assistance to the families of the passengers and our staff. We are also working closely with the concerned authorities in the search and rescue operation
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) is pictured arriving at Stockholm (Arlanda) before the accident.
We will update this initial report with more information as it becomes available.
Satellite Weather – Southeast Asia from Meteoblue. The current weather appears to be mostly clear over Vietnam:
Other Airline News: CLICK HERE
WestJet (Calgary) will start a new route linking the Toronto (Pearson) hub with Phoenix, Arizona starting on October 26. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft on a daily basis per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-7CT WL C-FWSO (msn 32759) plans to land in Las Vegas.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has released the 2015 SkyMiles U.S. Award redemption charts as part of its commitment to inform members of upcoming SkyMiles program improvements. Of the 44 Award level pricing changes, more than 95 percent of the changes reflect a decrease in the miles needed for Award Travel redemption by SkyMiles members.
The new SkyMiles U.S. Award chart: CLICK HERE
According to the airline, “With the release of the U.S. Award chart, members can learn even more about Delta’s 2015 SkyMiles program including how the new five-tier Award structure will be implemented. The lowest level for SkyMiles Saver Awards will remain at 25,000 miles plus taxes and fees for an Economy Class Award ticket for travel within the U.S. andCanada excluding Hawaii. The introduction of two additional redemption tiers will offer members more price points for Awards and is designed to complement new features such as new One-Way Award tickets which will start as low as 12,500 miles plus taxes and fees within the U.S. and Canada excluding Hawaii and the ability to redeem Miles + Cash Award options. In addition, members will experience significant improvements to award-redemption functionality at delta.com and Delta reservations in 2015.”
Delta is moving the emphasis of the mileage awards program to its premium flyers who pay more for their tickets.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-432 ER N841MH (msn 29714) with the special “100 Years – American Cancer Society – The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” logo and inscription arrives in Las Vegas.
EVA Air (Taipei) wants to expand its route map with more flights to North America. The airline is planning to add new routes to both Chicago (O’Hare) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) according to the Taipei Times.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Earlier this year EVA Air put out this statement on its North American expansion:
Starting in June 2014, EVA Air will increase North American service from 45 flights per week to 55, boosting frequency to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. By adding 22 percent more flights, EVA will also expand capacity, offer passengers greater convenience and provide more flights between North America and Taiwan than any other airline.
Since joining Star Alliance in June 2013, EVA has experienced growing demand for its services among business travelers. There has been a substantial increase in the numbers of business passengers flying the airline from North America to Southeast Asia via its hub in Taipei, Taiwan. Bookings for EVA’s Royal Laurel Class business cabin have also climbed. The luxurious service was launched on the New York – Taipei route in June 2012.
The average load on EVA’s North America flights surpassed 80 percent in 2013 and company officials expect bookings to keep climbing in 2014. It will accommodate this growth and the added frequency by taking delivery of three Boeing 777-300 ERs in the second quarter of 2014 and deploying the new aircraft on long-haul flights between North America and Taiwan. EVA will add the service in two phases. It will increase:
- Vancouver from three to four flights per week on 2 June, 2014.
- Los Angeles from 17 to 20 flights per week, New York from five to daily flights and Toronto from three to four flights per week on 4 June, 2014.
- San Francisco from 12 to 14 flights per week and Los Angeles from 20 to 21 flights per week on 3 July, 2014.
North America is a major market for EVA. In addition to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, it operates five flights a week to Seattle/Tacoma. The airline has seen stable market-share growth in all six cities it serves, lifted by not only Chinese and Asian passengers but also American business travelers.
※EVA Frequency Increase in North America
|City||Current Frequency||Added from||New Frequency|
|Vancouver||3 per week||2 June||4 per week|
|Toronto||3 per week||4 June||4 per week|
|New York||5 per week||4 June||7 per week|
|Los Angeles||17 per week||4 June/3 July||20 per week/21 per week|
|San Francisco||12 per week||3 July||14 per week|
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. EVA Air is proud to be in the Star Alliance and is benefitting from the membership. Boeing 777-35E ER B-16701 (msn 32639) now displays the Star Alliance colors and is seen arriving at the popular destination of Los Angeles.
National Airlines (5th) (formerly Murray Air) (Orlando) is celebrating the accomplishment of becoming the latest FAA designated Flag/Domestic Air Carrier. The airline issued this statement:
National Airlines is proud to announce that on February 28, 2014, the FAA approved National to become the United States’ newest Flag/Domestic air carrier. National Airlines has a long history of supporting governments and militaries around the world — by, among other things, flying ad hoc cargo shipments in and out of crisis areas and also operating charter passenger operations for sports teams in the United States, visitors to/from Cuba, and contractors traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. US Flag/Domestic authority will allow National Airlines to expand its services to include conducting scheduled passenger flights throughout the United States and across the globe. It also provides an opportunity for National Airlines to continue its support of the US government travelers under the Fly America Act, whereby US government funded travelers fly on US Flag Carriers whenever available.
National Airlines maintains the highest standards of safety, security, and compliance. “This is nowhere more important than in the Middle East, which has been a significant market for National Airlines,” said Glen Joerger, National Airlines’ President. “This operating authority will further strengthen our position as an emerging passenger carrier of choice for discerning customers seeking US Flag service in the region,” he added. “This tremendous addition to National’s operating certificate reinforces our corporate commitment to serve every facet of transportation and logistics for our key clientele around the globe,” continued Joerger.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-28A N176CA (msn 24543) prepares to land at Dubai.
Jet Airways (Mumbai) launched a new daily nonstop service from Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi staring on March 1, 2014.
Jet Airways flight 9W 550 departed Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 2025 and arrived in Abu Dhabi International Airport at 2310 (LT). On the return leg, the flight 9W 549 will depart Abu Dhabi at 1045 (LT) and arrive in Hyderabad at 1610.
Jet Airways currently operates a daily flight each from Delhi, Kochi and Chennai and 11 flights a week from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi.
The airline will deploy Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the new route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-85R VT-JBF (msn 35082) arrives in Bangkok.
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has agreed to be the launch customer in Europe for Exede® In The Air in-flight Internet service from ViaSat Inc. To begin, ViaSat plans to deliver the service to El Al Boeing 737s flying routes from Tel Aviv into several European cities. The two companies plan to immediately begin working toward certification and installation of the Exede terminals on EL AL aircraft with a target date to launch service within one year.
For El Al, ViaSat is responsible for providing and managing a complete in-flight Internet service to the aircraft, including airborne terminals, antennas, radomes, and air time from the Eutelsat KA-SAT high-capacity Ka-band satellite. Additional details of what services will be offered to EL AL passengers will be announced closer to the launch of service.
Exede in-flight Internet service is designed to eclipse the service quality and speeds of other in-cabin airline broadband services. The major differentiator is an innovative, high-capacity Ka-band satellite system developed by ViaSat. The more favorable economics of the ViaSat system enable airlines to provide a consistent, high-speed service level to each passenger, rather than simply an aggregate amount of bandwidth to the plane that leaves passengers competing for service. The system is capable of delivering 12 Mbps or more to each connected passenger.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86Q 4X-EKO (msn 30287) climbs away from Geneva.
Canadian North (Yellowknife) will launch a new weekly and seasonal Iqaluit-Halifax-St. John’s route from June 20 through September 5. The new route will be operated with Boeing 737-300 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-36Q C-GCNW (msn 28760) departs from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
Current route map with the new seasonal route to the Maritimes:
Garuda Indonesia Airways (Jakarta) today (March 5) has become the 20th member of SkyTeam. SkyTeam issued this statement:
SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, has welcomed Garuda Indonesia as its 20th member and second airline from Southeast Asia. Garuda’s membership adds Jakarta as an alternative gateway to and from South East Asia, as well as 40 new destinations to SkyTeam’s global network served uniquely by the alliance.
Garuda flies to 64 destinations in 12 countries, including 40 domestic destinations. SkyTeam customers from every continent will benefit from easier access to Indonesia’s key business and tourism destinations, facilitated by Garuda’s partnerships with alliance members.
The airline boosts SkyTeam’s presence in Australia with service to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney; and in Tokyo with flights to both Narita and Haneda airports. Garuda will increase its service to Europe in May this year with a new route between Jakarta and London’s Gatwick airport.
As part of the requirements of joining SkyTeam, Garuda is implementing the alliance’s customer-focused initiatives. These include SkyPriority – priority airport services for Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers worldwide – which has been rolled out at over 900 airports globally. Effective immediately, Garuda’s 19 million annual passengers will be able to earn and redeem miles when flying on SkyTeam member-operated flights. Members of other SkyTeam airlines’ frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when flying on Garuda Indonesia operated flights.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Garuda Indonesia has added new Boeing 777-300 ERs for its long-range routes. Boeing 777-3U3 ER PK-GIC (msn 40075) departs from Paine Field near Everett.
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) on March 2 launched a new daily service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong with a first flight celebration that included a lion dance and traditional roast pig cutting ceremony.
The new service complements Cathay Pacific’s current four-times-daily service from John F. KennedyInternational Airport (JFK) in New York.
The Newark service is operated by Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
Newark is Cathay Pacific’s fifth gateway in the United States, and seventh in North America. The airline currently serves Chicago (O’Hare), Los Angeles, New York (JFK), San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.
The flight schedule for Cathay Pacific’s Newark (EWR) service, is as follows (all times local and subject to change):
|Flight no||From||To||Departure/Arrival||Days of operation|
|CX899||EWR||HKG||0110/0600 +1 day||Daily|
Daylight saving time:
|Flight no||From||To||Departure/Arrival||Days of operation|
|CX899||EWR||HKG||0150/0540 +1 day||Daily|
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPC (msn 34432) climbs away from Los Angeles.
Air China (Beijing) following up on our report last month, will commence Beijing-Washington (Dulles) nonstop service on June 10, 2014, making Washington the 7th North American destination that Air China serves alongside New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Honolulu and Vancouver.
The four-times weekly service CA 817/8 will be offered on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The outbound flight leaves Beijing at 13:00 and arrives in Washington at 14:35 local time. The return flight leaves Washington at 16:35 local time and arrives in Beijing at 18:15 Beijing time the following day.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 777-39L ER B-2040 (msn 38680) climbs away from Paine Field near Everett, Washington.
Nordwind Airlines (Moscow) has announced a long term lease agreement for four new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2015.
Nordwind’s fleet is 51 aircraft today, including Boeing 777-200 ERs, 767-300 ERs, 757-200s, 737-800s and Airbus A321s.
Nordwind says it has been able to successfully operate a mixed fleet of aircraft despite difficulties because of its keen understanding of the environment it operates in. The airline has been able to maintain profitability with modern aircraft and technology.
According to the airline, “the company is focusing on running the airline efficiently, reducing inefficient flying and implementing strong capacity discipline by “matching” the right size aircraft with each market, while improving customer satisfaction.”
Further from the company, “According to 2013 statistics, Nordwind transported 3.7 million passengers (up 69% from 2012). Among the top-ten Russian airlines, Nordwind is the fastest growing, having a 4.8 times higher rate than the industry average. In 2014 the company plans to scale new heights – begin scheduled flights and expand its fleet even more to reach 6 million passengers”.
“With this brand new aircraft commitments, Nordwind will continue to gradually grow and modernize its operating fleet with more frequencies and destinations for the convenience of our passengers. It provides best-in-class efficiency, economics, reliability and passenger comfort that Nordwind needs for its fleet renewal initiative.” said Oguz Senol Yuce, a Member of Board of Directors. He added ”Nordwind expects to finalize more brand new 737-800s for 2015.”
Passenger traffic carried by Nordwind grew 38.7% in January 2014 compared with January 2013 with a 93.8% load factor. This is the highest load factor in the country.
Copyright Photos: Nordwind Airlines.
Air Canada (Montreal) first Boeing 787-8 (C-GHPQ, msn 35257) has been painted and is due to be delivered soon. The carrier is expected to introduce the new type domestically on May 1 between Toronto (Pearson) and Montreal (Trudeau) and will operate on select routes as the new type is introduced to the system (reportedly on select flights from Toronto to London Heathrow and Zurich). However the new type will be dedicated to the Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) route starting on July 1 and the Toronto-Tel Aviv route also in July.
Read more about the new type: CLICK HERE
Video: Air Canada.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced the next phase of its international service by offering Customers new Southwest Airlines flights to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Mexico, as well as other new domestic and international flying, as the carrier extended flight schedules through October 31, 2014.
Beginning August 10, 2014, Southwest Airlines will operate daily, nonstop flights between:
- Cancun, Mexico, and Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, and (Saturdays only) Milwaukee
- San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico, and Santa Ana/Orange County
- Nassau, Bahamas, and (Saturdays only) Atlanta
As the planned conversion of wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways’ destinations continues, Southwest intends to serve five countries previously served by AirTran by the end of this year. Southwest previously announced service to Aruba, Nassau, and Montego Bay, beginning on July 1, 2014, and throughout this booking window is adding domestic connectivity through international gateway cities to many of the more than 80 cities served by Southwest Airlines across the United States.
Southwest’s phased rollout of international nonstop with domestic connecting service also brings new options for Denver customers who have made Southwest Airlines the largest air carrier in Colorado.
Beginning in October 2014, Southwest Airlines will offer nonstop service between Denver and:
- Cancun, with daily roundtrip flights beginning on October 7, 2014; and
- San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, with Saturday-only service beginning on October 11, 2014
Some flights will be operated by AirTran Airways which is being slowly integrated into Southwest Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N730SW (msn 27862) completes its final bank on the river approach into downtown Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
British Airways (London) today (March 3) launched the new London (Heathrow)-Austin, Texas Boeing 787 route with the help of Texan Jerry Hall (formerly married to Mick Jagger). The inaugural flight is utilizing 787-8 G-ZBJC (see below).
Austin is British Airways’ 25th North American gateway and third in the state of Texas (Houston and Dallas being the other two). This is the first trans-Atlantic route between Austin and London.
The callsign for British Airways aircraft is Speedbird. The Speedbird symbol was designed by Lee-Elliott for Imperial Airways in 1932. It represents speed, flight and power – and became one of the most successful motifs of the twentieth century.
Speedbird 191 will arrive in Austin later today.
Read the full report from the Daily Mail: CLICK HERE
British Airways issued this statement:
British Airways today launches its inaugural flight between Austin, Texas and London, England. This marks the first regular trans-Atlantic nonstop service for the city of Austin. The inaugural flight into Austin Bergstrom International Airport will be met by Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and British Airways EVP Americas Sean Doyle.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and inaugural British Airways Captain Dave Willsher flying the 787 Dreamliner Simulator and welcoming British Airways to Austin, Texas. (PRNewsFoto/British Airways)
For this much anticipated route, British Airways will operate one of the newest aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The service will be available five days a week, increasing to daily flights in May. The first flight is perfectly timed to help accommodate travelers from Europe heading to the international South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals.
The new aircraft features three cabins: Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy). The cabins feature stylish new interiors with state-of-the-art entertainment systems. British Airways provides meals, snacks and beverages, including full-service bar for free. Customers can also benefit from a generous baggage allowance.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJD (msn 38619) was delivered on September 27, 2013.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJC touches down in Austin on the historic first flight.
Australian government wants to relax ownership rules for QANTAS Airways, won’t back any loans for the state airline
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) may get a break on the restrictive ownership rules and allow for more foreign ownership. The Australian government under Prime Minister Tony Abbott has agreed to relax ownership rules for the state airline after it posted a large first half loss. Currently the airline is restricted to 35 percent for any foreign airline or 25 percent for any single foreign private investor.
However any reforms would need the approval of the Senate which is concerned about the possibility of any loss of jobs overseas due to increased foreign ownership. In return, the government is also ruling out guaranteeing a loan for the struggling flag carrier.
Read the full report from the Associated Press via ABC: CLICK HERE
QANTAS has issued this statement in response to several issues involving the carrier in the Australian media:
ISSUE: Potential removal of elements of the Qantas Sale Act rather than removing fundamental element that limits foreign ownership to 49 per cent.
FACTS: The government has recognized that the Qantas Sale Act puts us at a disadvantage.
The field is either levelled or it’s not; tilting it a bit won’t fix the fundamental problem, especially given Virgin has a two year head start on attracting foreign investors.
ISSUE: Claims that Qantas did not meet its obligations to consult with the Australian Services Union (ASU) on redundancies at Sydney International Airport.
FACTS: Qantas intends to run a voluntary redundancy program for full-time employees at Sydney International Airport to better align staffing levels with flight scheduling.
There will be changes to the mix of customer service staff to better suit the peak periods at the airport. This will result in an increase in part-time staff and a reduction in full-time staff. This was announced on 27 February.
Qantas met its obligation to consult and is meeting again with the ASU on our intention to offer voluntary redundancies to employees at Sydney International Terminal.
ISSUE: Claims by Senator Nick Xenophon that Qantas should open its books to prove it is not cross-subsidising Jetstar
FACTS: These claims have been made a number of times over the past few years and Qantas has categorically denied them each time.
Qantas has obligations as an ASX listed company, which require us to publish accurate financial data.
Qantas has previously offered the unions an opportunity to have our financial accounts audited independently on the condition that they would cease making baseless claims about cross subsidisation when it was shown it wasn’t occurring. They didn’t take Qantas up on this offer.
ISSUE: Claims that the carbon tax is a key issue facing Qantas
FACTS: The major issues faces Qantas are not related to carbon pricing.
We have been clear that levelling the playing field is the most important policy measure that needs to be fixed, and with some urgency.
ISSUE: Claims that Qantas’ partnership with Modern Family may have cost us up to $4 million.
FACTS: For commercial reasons we don’t disclose the cost of partnerships such as Modern Family, but the $4 million figure is grossly inflated and simply wrong. There are several partners involved in this deal and a large part of Qantas’ contribution has been providing flights.
We’re very comfortable with the investment we’ve made and the return we’re getting. This is not exactly new territory for us and we know that exposure through things like Ellen and Modern Family equals more visitors flying Qantas to Australia.
There are things we will need to cut back on as a business, but investing in Australian tourism and encouraging more people to fly here is key to running an airline.
The Queensland Government (through Tourism Queensland and Screen Queensland) has been closely involved in the Modern Family promotion.
Last year, Qantas helped to bring the Ellen DeGeneres Show to Australia in a move that saw a 22 per cent increase in inbound flights to New South Wales alone, as well as an overall boost in destination awareness for Australia.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-438 ER VH-OEH (msn 32912) prepares to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
Norwegian Long Haul‘s (Norwegian Air Shuttle) (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today launched the first nonstop flight between Stockholm (Arlanda) and Los Angeles in California with twice weekly service. As of April 30, Norwegian will operate three flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is the first time that Sweden has a nonstop flight to Los Angeles.
Twice-weekly nonstop Stockholm – Oakland flights will begin on May 3, 2014 and will operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Currently Norwegian’s other long-haul routes from Stockholm Arlanda operate to New York (JFK), Fort Lauderdale/Fort Lauderdale and Bangkok.
Norwegian is currently attempting to transfer the Norwegian Long Haul operations to Norwegian Air International (Dublin). All of the 787s are registered in Ireland.
Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 EI-LNA (msn 35304) lands at Malaga with Olympic skater Sonja Henie on the tail.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) according to Bloomberg ”is struggling to find buyers for 11 of its earliest 787 Dreamliners valued at $1.1 billion after two airlines dropped orders for the holdover models from the jet’s troubled birth.”
The partially built 787s, now sitting unfinished at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, are known as the “terrible teens” (due to the line numbers). The undelivered aircraft start at line number 10. The “terrible teens” weight more than the current production and flying 787s and will not be able to fly as far if they are finished and delivered to a willing customer looking for a bargain. Most have been parked for around four years according to the report.
Garuda Indonesia is reportedly considering buying the under-performing “terrible teens” according to the report.
The 11 aircraft were originally destined for Lion Air, RwandAir and Transaero Airlines.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Bloomberg originally reported in January 2010 how Boeing was working on trimming the weight of the early 787 Dreamliners.
Read this report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Most of the “terrible teens” are sitting in a sealed manner like the pictured Air India 787-8 VT-ANB (msn 37274, line number 26) once did. VT-ANB was just delivered to Air India on January 31, 2014.
Ryanair (Dublin) on February 27 opened its second base in Belgium at Brussels (Zaventem) with four based Boeing 737-800s. The ultra low-fare airline will operate to 10 destinations (Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Lisbon, Malaga, Palma, Porto, Rome, Valencia and Venice) with 200 weekly flights.
In other news, the carrier on February 26 added extra flights on nine London Stansted routes to Bologna, Dublin, Lanzarote, Marrakech, Paphos, Riga, Salzburg, Santiago and Tours.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8AS EI-EVV (msn 40314) with special “Krakow and Malopolska” sub-titles departs from the lunar-like landscape of Tenerife (Sur) in the Canary Islands.
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) on February 26 in partnership with Family Mart (a national chain of Japanese stores) unveiled this special “Samurai Blue Jet” livery on Boeing 777-246 JA8985 (msn 27652) at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The new logo jet supports Japan’s national football team in the upcoming FIFA World Cup championship series in Brazil this year.
The special sticker (above) includes the logo of the Japan Football Association (JFA) and photos of 400 supporters who submitted their photos for selection according to the airline.
JA8985 was previously one of JAL’s six Disney Happiness Express logo jets which are being retired. The special logo jet will fly over Japan until July 2014.
Read the full story from ZipanguFlyer: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Japan Airlines:
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is improving its inflight food service and has issued this translated statement today:
As a part of the continuous development of SAS’ service concept, SAS has developed the onboard food and beverage offering to improve the customer experience. The adjustments follow a broad customer survey and are introduced from beginning of March.
In June 2013, SAS launched the new service concept called “SAS Go & Plus” which has been overall well-received by SAS customers. A customer survey, with more than 4500 respondents, shows that the customers appreciate SAS Go & Plus for its
simplicity and 85% of the customers are positive or neutral to the concept.
There are three main initiatives in the development of SAS Go & Plus:
1. Improvements of the food and beverage offering; adjustments of onboard concept and clarification of the difference between SAS Go & SAS Plus.
2. We introduced SAS Go & Plus to make travel easier for our customers. By clarifying and improving our on board offering we want to ensure a pleasant and joyful overall experience for customers when they choose SAS says Snorre Andresen, Vice President Product Management and Development at SAS.
The first changes to the onboard concept come into effect on March 1 and again on March 20. The improvements of meals are ongoing.
Facts about improvements and adjustments:
SAS improves food experience on board
SAS customers appreciate proper meals on longer flights, and snacks and beverages on shorter flights.
SAS reduces the number of menu variants and introduces a clearer concept for flights within Europe: one for the Nordic region and one for flights to Europe.
SAS Plus includes a new evening meal and drinks served in classic Orreforsglass
Warm bread with the meal.
The cafe offers a selection of fresh food, such as sandwiches salads and hot wraps.
The cafe menu is continually updated with seasonal additions.
The dining experience will be enhanced on intercontinental flights for SAS Go & Plus and Business.
All meals will be renewed or enhanced and the food presentation improved with new design and packaging.
Along with other treats, pre-departure champagne will be re-introduced in Business. SAS Go includes pre-departure water and one non-alcoholic drink together with meals. Alcoholic beverages are included in SAS Business and Plus, and are for sale in SAS Go.
SAS clarifies the difference between SAS Go and Plus:
SAS Plus includes everything, also food and drinks onboard, and with SAS Go food and drinks are for purchase.
Breakfast included in SAS Plus and available for purchase in SAS Go. It is possible to buy breakfast with EuroBonus points.
Coffee, tea and newspaper are as always included for all SAS passengers.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-883 LN-RCY (msn 28324) in the special “Disney Planes” motif taxies at Munich, Germany.
Southwest Airlines‘ (Dallas) pilots, represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA), issued this statement today in opposition to the application to the DOT by Norwegian Air International of Ireland:
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is joining numerous pilot groups across the United States along with Airlines for America to battle against Norwegian Air International’s application to the Department of Transportation that would provide them the ability to circumvent labor laws of their home country.
SWAPA’s opposition is contradicted by the Washington Airports Task Force who have chosen to support the Norwegian Air International (NAI) application. SWAPA has written to the Task Force to rethink their position and not oppose the many D.C.-area Southwest Airlines pilots.
NAI is an attempt by a Norwegian-owned entity to capitalize on the EU’s loose labor and aviation oversight regulations. They have applied for – and received – an Operating Certificate from Ireland although not one of their aircraft will operate from there. They have also contracted a Singapore-based company to staff their cockpits with Bangkok-based contract pilots (to evade EU labor and tax provisions).
“This ‘Flag of Convenience’ strategy is one that has decimated the U.S. Maritime industry,” said Captain Paul Jackson, Chair of SWAPA’s Governmental Affairs. “That industry was once robust and employed over 200,000 U.S. workers. Today the number of jobs has been reduced to around 2,500 due to the offshoring of work through foreign flag registrations of ships seeking the lax labor laws of those countries. Southwest pilots will not stand by and let this happen to the U.S. airline industry.”
“We are not opposing the entrance of an airline that competes fairly and doesn’t use the lax EU laws to drive out labor protections, bringing a questionable level of oversight to their operation,” continued Jackson. “We strongly believe that our product and the work of our industry can stand up to any competitor if they play by the rules in place and do not seek to lower costs at any price.”
Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 6,800 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-5H4 N527SW (msn 26569) completes its final approach for the runway at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has ended its policy of extending special fares to family members who must buy a ticket a last-minute flight because of a relative’s death according to the Associated Press.
The change at American now mirrors the policy at merger partner US Airways, which does not offer bereavement fares. US Airways management is now running the “new American”.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N815NN (msn 33208) completes its final approach from the south into Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) will again serve as the official airline sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, marking the 36th year the carrier has supported the event.
As the official airline of the Iditarod, Alaska continues its tradition of presenting the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes one musher for providing exemplary dog care and is considered the highest honor a competitor can receive. Voted on by trail veterinarians, the Leonhard Seppala award is named after one of Alaska’s most-celebrated mushers, whose 1925 sled-dog team traveled the longest distance to transport diphtheria serum to Nome.
As part of its sponsorship, Alaska Airlines also will help provide air transportation and dog-care supplies for 45 Iditarod veterinarians who come to Alaska from across the United States to care for the race dogs’ health and safety.
In addition, many Alaska Airlines employees contribute their time at the event. Among them are several pilots who lead the Iditarod Air Force, flying veterinarians, supplies and volunteers to remote checkpoints along the trail.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-490 N705AS (msn 29318) in the “Spirit of Alaska Statehood” special color scheme departs from Anchorage, Alaska.
QANTAS to cut 5,000 jobs and 50 aircraft, including 8 remaining A380s to be deferred, last 3 787s to be deferred, retirement of 747-400s to be expedited
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has also issued its cost-reduction plan on the heels of its first half financial loss reported today (please see the separate financial report). The QANTAS Group issued this statement detailing the cuts:
QANTAS today announced detail of its $2 billion cost reduction program and capital expenditure review.
QANTAS will take action to permanently reduce costs in all parts of the QANTAS Group through to FY17, including fleet and network changes, productivity improvements, consolidation of business activities, new technology and procurement savings. More than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold and the Group’s workforce will be reduced by 5,000 full-time equivalent positions by FY17.
The QANTAS Group’s planned capital expenditure net of operating lease liability will be reduced to $800 million in both FY15 and FY16, a total reduction of $1 billion.
QANTAS has reached agreement on the return of its Brisbane Airport terminal lease, together with related assets, to the airport owner at a cash value of $112 million. The broader structural review of the QANTAS Group portfolio continues and no final decisions have been made on other assets.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said QANTAS would do everything in its control to overcome some of the toughest market conditions it had ever faced.
“It’s clear that the market QANTAS operates in has changed, with structural economic shifts exacerbated by an uneven playing field in Australian aviation policy,” Mr Joyce said.
“This situation is reflected in the financial result QANTAS announces today, an Underlying PBT1 loss of $252 million for the half-year. This is an unacceptable and unsustainable result. Comprehensive action is needed in response.
“QANTAS’ competitors have increased capacity to Australia by 46 per cent since 2009, more than double the world average, at a time of record fuel costs and economic volatility.
“We have met these challenges head on. Over the past four years, we have been carrying out the biggest transformation since QANTAS was privatized – cutting comparable unit costs1 by 19 per cent over four years, introducing new aircraft and technology on a large scale, modernizing work practices and revitalising service. But this is not enough for the circumstances we now face.
“The Australian domestic market has been distorted by current Australian aviation policy, which allows Virgin Australia to be majority-owned by three foreign government-backed airlines – yet retain access to Australian bilateral flying rights.
“Late last year, these three foreign-airline shareholders invested more than $300 million in Virgin Australia at a time when, as Virgin Australia reported to the ASX on 6 February, it was losing money. That capital injection has supported continued domestic capacity growth by Virgin Australia despite its growing losses.
“The Virgin Australia Group has increased capacity into the domestic market at more than twice the rate of the Qantas Group since July 2011. As a result of these combined capacity increases, the total domestic profit pool has been shrunk from more than $700 million in FY12 to less than $100 million in 1H14.
“We have been clear with the Australian Government about the uneven playing field and the measures we believe could address it. But our focus today is on the immediate steps that Qantas must take.”
“We must take actions that are unprecedented in scope and depth to strengthen the core of the Qantas Group business.
“To reach $2 billion in cost cuts over three years, we have to work our assets harder, become more productive, retire older aircraft, and make sure that our fleet and network are the right size. We must defer growth and cut back where we can, so that we can invest where we need to.
“We have already made tough decisions and nobody should doubt that there are more ahead.
“While the implementation and pace of delivery must change, the guiding principles of our strategy will not. Safety remains our first priority and we are committed to being the airlines of choice for customers in all our markets.
“Our long-term goal remains the transformation of the Qantas Group for profitable, sustainable growth.
“Over the next three years, we aim to secure our strong Group domestic position and maximise Qantas International’s competitiveness.
“QANTAS Loyalty will continue to access new markets and revenue streams, building on its success to date.
“When it comes to Jetstar in Asia, we need to take the right decisions in accord with current market circumstances and our balance sheet. In Singapore, growth has been suspended by the Jetstar Asia Board until such time as conditions improve.
“The over-arching focus in Asia continues to be profitably bedding down existing businesses and partnerships. Jetstar has been a pioneer Australian brand across Asia and we continue to see major opportunities for it in the world’s fastest-growing aviation region.”
Commitment to Customers
“Despite the tough decisions we have to make, we will keep delivering outstanding service for our customers,” Mr Joyce said.
“Important customer investments will continue, such as the upgrade of our Airbus A330 fleet and the opening of new lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, and the service that QANTAS passengers receive will not be compromised. Thanks to the skill and commitment of our people, we have earned record customer advocacy, and we plan to keep it there.”
Accelerated Qantas Transformation Program
Fleet and Network
After a detailed review of network and schedules, the QANTAS Group will re-assign aircraft to better match demand, defer aircraft orders, dispose of aircraft, increase fleet utilization and exit under-performing routes.
- QANTAS Domestic will increase utilisation of narrow-body aircraft, allowing Airbus A330 aircraft in the domestic market to concentrate solely on East-West services and peak services on the Sydney-Melbourne-Brisbane triangle.
- A330-200s will be freed up to enter the QANTAS International fleet as replacement aircraft, helping to accelerate the retirement of older Boeing 747 aircraft.
- All six of QANTAS International’s non-reconfigured Boeing 747s will be retired ahead of schedule, by the second half of FY16. Nine reconfigured Boeing 747s with A380-standard interiors will remain.
- QANTAS’ final two Boeing 737-400s have been retired this month and all Boeing 767s will be retired by the third quarter of FY15, resulting in cost and passenger benefits from fleet simplification.
- QANTAS International’s eight remaining Airbus A380 orders will be deferred, with an ongoing review of delivery dates to meet potential future requirements. Schedule changes will allow maximum use of QANTAS’ current 12 A380s.
- The final three of 14 Jetstar Airways Boeing 787-8s on firm order will be deferred.
- Jetstar’s A320 order book has been restructured.
In total, more than 50 aircraft will be deferred or sold.
By FY16, the Group’s passenger fleet will have been simplified from 11 aircraft types to seven aircraft types, with an average age of eight years.
Over the next 12 months, QANTAS will exit underperforming routes and make aircraft changes on certain routes to better match capacity to demand.
- QANTAS International will withdraw from the Perth-Singapore route (first quarter FY15).
- QANTAS’ Brisbane-Singapore and Sydney-Singapore services will be operated by Airbus A330s, replacing Boeing 747s (first quarter FY15)
- QANTAS services between Melbourne and London will be re-timed in November 2014 to reduce A380 ground time in Heathrow (second quarter FY15). There are no changes to overall capacity on London flights.
- The Melbourne-London service change frees up an A380 for additional flying, and QANTAS will evaluate opportunities to use the aircraft on other routes.
Over the next three years, QANTAS will reduce employee numbers across the Group by the equivalent of 5,000 full-time positions, through measures including:
- Reduction of management and non-operational roles by 1,500.
- Operational positions affected by fleet and network changes.
- Restructure of line maintenance operations.
- The closure of Avalon maintenance base, as previously announced.
- Restructure of catering facilities including the closure of Adelaide catering, as previously announced.
The wage freeze for executives implemented in December 2013 will continue and will be extended to all QANTAS Group employees.
The wage freeze will be:
- Ongoing for executives.
- Immediate for open EBAs.
- Proposed for other EBA-covered staff.
This is in addition to the reduction of fees paid to the QANTAS board and a reduction in the take home pay of the QANTAS CEO by 36 per cent this financial year.
No pay rises or bonuses will be contemplated until QANTAS is profitable again on a full-year Underlying PBT basis.
Mr Joyce said these were hard but necessary decisions to protect as many QANTAS jobs as possible and build a strong business for the future.
“I regret the need for these wide-ranging job losses, but we will do everything we can to make the process easier for employees who leave the business,” Mr Joyce said.
“At the end of this transformation, QANTAS will remain an employer of more than 27,000 people, the vast majority based in Australia – and we will be a better and more competitive company.”
Capital Expenditure and Financial Position
The Group’s planned capital expenditure net of operating lease liability in FY14 will be $1 billion.
Planned capital investment, including movements in operating lease liabilities, will be $800 million per year in FY15 and FY16 – a total reduction of $1 billion over the two years. QANTAS will maintain flexibility to make further changes if needed.
Transformation through FY17 will be funded through the reprioritisation of capital, future free cash flow as benefits from the cost reduction program begin to flow, and asset sales. QANTAS continues to target positive free cash flow from FY15, with capital expenditure aligned to financial performance.
QANTAS has total liquidity of $3 billion, comprising $2.4 billion in cash and $630 million in standby debt facilities, as at 31 December 2013.
Update on Structural Review
QANTAS has reached agreement on the return of its Brisbane Airport terminal lease, together with related assets, to Brisbane Airport Corporation, with a cash value of $112 million to be recognised in the second half of FY14.
QANTAS continues to work through the broader structural review of the QANTAS Group portfolio launched in December 2013.
The review has identified a number of high-quality assets of significant value.
No final decisions have been made about other assets within the Group’s portfolio.
QANTAS will update the market as and when required.
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. The retirement of the on-converted Boeing 747-400s will be expedited. Boeing 747-48E VH-OEB (msn 25778) rests between flights at Frankfurt.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (New York) today said that its Atlas Air, Inc. unit (New York) and QANTAS Airways Ltd. (Sydney) have extended their long-standing ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) relationship.
Under the terms of the agreement, Atlas Air will continue to operate two Boeing 747-400 freighters in ACMI service for QANTAS on trans-Pacific routes linking Australia and Asia with the United States.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) departs from Anchorage, Alaska after a cargo and fuel stop. The freighter also carries small QANTAS Airways sub-titles.
Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) yesterday (February 25) delivered the first 777-300 ER (Extended Range) (777-31B ER, B-2099, msn 43219) to China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), Asia’s largest airline in fleet size and number of passengers carried. The new airplane is the first of 10 777-300 ERs China Southern has on order with Boeing.
China Southern plans to operate its first 777-300ER on its new North America route, where it will be able to directly connect passengers in the southern region of China to the eastern coast of the United States. Initially it will be deployed on the domestic Guangzhou-Shanghai (Hongqiao) route in March.
China Southern has configured its new 777-300 ER to feature four distinct cabins. On board passengers will find four first class seats, 34 business class seats, 44 premium economy seats and 227 economy seats, for a total of 309 passengers.
China Southern Airlines has been a valued Boeing customer for 25 years. In 2013, China Southern was the first Chinese carrier to operate the 787 Dreamliner. The airline was the first carrier in Asia to operate the 777 in 1995 and the first to operate 777s on nonstop routes across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Guangzhou and Los Angeles.
China Southern was the first Chinese carrier to take direct delivery of the 757-200, 777-200, 777-200 ER (Extended Range), 777 Freighter and 747-400 Freighter from Boeing.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Alaska Airlines‘ (Seattle/Tacoma) and Horizon Air‘s (Seattle/Tacoma) employees are receiving annual bonuses today of more than 9 percent of their annual pay, or more than five weeks’ pay for most workers. The bonus is in addition to $1,150 in 2013 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals.
The combined monthly and annual bonuses amounted to nearly $105 million, the highest in Alaska’s history, and are part of the company’s incentive-based pay program.
“Our company’s success wouldn’t be possible without the award-winning customer service, industry-leading on-time performance and solid execution by our outstanding employees,” Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said. “On behalf of the leadership teams at Alaska and Horizon Air, I want to thank and congratulate our people for their terrific efforts.”
Nearly $51.3 million in annual bonuses — 62 percent of the total — is being paid to about 6,400 Alaska and Horizon employees in the Puget Sound area. Another $11 million is being paid to 2,026 employees in thePortland, Ore., area, while $8.2 million is going to workers throughout the state of Alaska.
“It’s really great to work for a company that recognizes all of their employees who contribute to the success of their business,” said JoAnne Ryan, an Alaska Airlines customer service agent based in Seattle. “The fact thatAlaska includes all workgroups in the incentive-based pay program just reinforces to me that I work for a company that values me as an employee, and the work I do makes a difference in our success.”
Ryan said she plans to use her bonus to pay off bills and take a two-week vacation to Australia.
Bonuses in Alaska Air Group’s Performance Based Pay Plan are determined by meeting specific company-wide goals for safety, customer satisfaction, cost control and profit that are approved annually by the board of directors. Since the inception of the program in 2003, Alaska has paid employees $538 million in combined incentive-based pay and monthly bonuses, which is about 5.75 percent on average each year.
As part of its philosophy to provide employees with rewarding careers and good retirement benefits, Alaska Air Group has contributed $620 million over the past 5 years to its defined benefit pension plans, which were fully funded in 2013.
In addition to the financial benefit the employee bonuses provide to the Puget Sound area, the 22,000 jobs at Alaska Air Group and in related industries in Washington state generate $5.6 billion in annual economic activity.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 N306AS 9msn 30014) arrives in Los Angeles.
Caribbean Airlines (Port of Spain), as we first reported in July of 2012, was modifying its aircraft that were painted in the Air Jamaica (Kingston) brand. The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) in 2012 mandated Caribbean Airlines must drop the Air Jamaica brand because of the conditions of their Air Operators Certificate (AOC) that it operate under one name. The first casualty was the pictured Boeing 737-8Q8 9Y-JMA (msn 30645) “Spirit of Kingston” which was sporting Caribbean Airlines titles on the Air Jamaica 2011 livery in 2012. The airliner previously had full Air Jamaica titles and color scheme.
This thorny issue, one of national pride in Jamaica, has moved slowly since the issue first emerged in 2012. Now Caribbean Airlines has repainted 9Y-JMA (above) with full Caribbean Airlines titles (minus the tail logo) eliminating the Air Jamaica colors. The aircraft re-entered revenue service on the February 23, 2014. This new change may be a new signal that Caribbean has decided to move ahead with the mandated one brand ruling eliminating the iconic Air Jamaica brand and name.
Caribbean Airlines had previously adopted a “two brands, one airline” marketing strategy to mainly keep alive the Air Jamaica brand, especially for the Jamaican market. Because the aircraft were intermingled between markets, this often led to a diverse identity in the two main markets.
A report by The Gleaner of June 19, 2013 reported the government of Jamaica (which retains a 16 percent share) was concerned about the reduction of flights by Caribbean Airlines to the island nation. Caribbean Airlines reduced the number of flights to Jamaica on April 16, 2013. The new CAL board was given a month to come back with a new development plan for Air Jamaica. Previously the Jamaican government has threatened to withdraw the Air Jamaica brand from the combined airline per Caribbean 360.
Read the full report The Gleamer: CLICK HERE
Read the full report from Caribbean 360: CLICK HERE
Finally, if this drama was not enough, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday reported Caribbean Airlines and Bahamasair (Nassau) in January 2014 were holding discussions on possible closer ties. Will this lead to a three-brand airline? Not likely.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In addition, Americans were warned not to fly Caribbean Airlines to and from Guyana because of possible threats against the carrier.
In conclusion, Caribbean Airlines needs to make a final decision of this difficult national pride issue and move ahead towards profitability once again.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Nigel Steele/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 9Y-JMA (msn 30645) arrives back at the Port of Spain base with the new (almost full) identity.
Current Route Map:
Air Transat (Montreal) will introduce seasonal twice-weekly flights from Montreal (Trudeau) to Las Vegas with its newly-acquired Boeing 737-800s starting on August 31 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema/AirlinersGallery.com. Leased from Transavia France, Boeing 737-8K2 F-GZHD (msn 29650) in full colors arrives back at the Montreal (Trudeau) home.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to add two new routes from Los Angeles in June including the first Boeing 717 route. According to Airline Route the carrier will add Delta Connection daily service from LAX to Boise, Idaho with Embraer 175s starting on June 5.
The first Boeing 717 route from LAX will operate between LAX and Austin, Texas on a daily basis starting on June 16.
In other news, seasonal Delta Connection flights will be operated from the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub to Idaho Falls with Bombardier CRJ900s three days a week from June 7 through October 29 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-2BD N995AT (msn 55139) lands at the Atlanta hub.
QANTAS Airways (Sydney) yesterday (February 23) retired its last Boeing 737-400. According to the QANTAS Source, Boeing 737-476 VH-TJS (msn 24444) operated flight QF 819 from Canberra to Melbourne. VH-TJS was originally delivered to Australian Airlines (1st) on May 4, 1993.
In other news, the group is expected to post a large loss for the first half of its fiscal year this week. Media speculation in the Australia press reports the company could cut upwards of 5,000 jobs according to Herald Sun.
Read the full report from The Australian: CLICK HERE
QANTAS issued this short statement:
There is fresh speculation about what things we will or won’t announce on Thursday as part of our half year results. We are not in a position to comment on that speculation.
We have said that we will be making some tough decisions in order to achieve $2 billion in cost savings over the next three years, which is a consequence of an unprecedented set of market conditions now facing QANTAS.
We’ve also said that we must take steps to reduce our costs regardless of whether the Federal Government acts on the uneven playing field in the Australian aviation market.
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 737-436 VH-TJE (msn 24430) arrives at Sydney.
Emirates (Dubai) today announced that it is launching a daily service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 5 from August 5, 2014. The service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 LR powered by GE90 engines.
Chicago will become the airline’s ninth gateway in the USA, following soon after the commencement of its services to Boston, Massachusetts on March 10, 2014.
Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, with a fleet of 122 passenger and 10 freighter Boeing 777s currently in its fleet, and is a launch customer of Boeing’s new 777X having placed the largest single order in commercial aviation history for 150 of them valued at $76 billion in November 2013.
The new service will operate as flight EK 235 from Dubai International Airport at 09:45 hours (9:45 am) arriving into Chicago at 15:25 (3:25 pm). The return flight, EK 236 will depart O’Hare at 20:35 hours (8;35 pm), arriving into Dubai at 19:10 (7:10 pm) the next day.
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-21H LR (Longer Range) A6-EWF (msn 35586) returns to the Dubai hub and base.
United Airlines (Chicago) is adding new summer seasonal flights to the Caribbean. The carrier will start weekly Houston (Bush Intercontinental)-Aruba (Boeing 737) and twice-weekly Washington (Dulles)-Nassau (CRJ700) flights from June 5 through August 18 per Airline Route. In addition, Newark-Santiago (Dominican Republic) (Boeing 737) route will be resumed for the same period as a daily service.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-924 ER N34455 (msn 41743) departs from runway 27R at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
DHL today (February 23) sent off two giant pandas from Chengdu to Brussels, using a dedicated DHL Air (UK) (East Midlands) Boeing 767-300 freighter aircraft. Their departure marks the start of a 15-year cooperation of giant panda breeding research between China and Belgium. The female, Hao Hao, and the male, Xing Hui, both aged four, are expected to be delivered via DHL’s global transportation network to their new home at the Pairi Daiza animal sanctuary in Brugelette, Belgium on February 23.
“The Pandastic journey from China Conservation Research Center of the Giant Panda’s Dujiangyan panda base to Belgium’s Pairi Daiza will be a little over 8,000 kilometers. We are extremely proud to be entrusted with transporting China’s friendship messengers. The pandas, Hao Hao and Xing Hui, are without a doubt our VIPs — Very Important Pandas. A DHL team of specialists has worked with panda experts in China and Brussels to research and plan for their journey,” said Jerry Hsu, Chief Executive Officer of DHL Express Asia Pacific.
‘Hao Hao and Xing Hui’s Pandastic Journey’ started at the China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Chengdu, China at 11:45 am on February 22, and will end with a delivery to a specially constructed Chinese Garden at Pairi Daiza, Belgium the following day. The two giant pandas were flown from China to Belgium on a dedicated DHL B767 freighter aircraft, accompanied by a team of two animal handlers, a veterinary physician and a plentiful supply of 100 kilograms of bamboo.
The pandas are expected to spend 15 years at Pairi Daiza, a 55-acre garden that plays host to over 5 000 animals. With the support of the University of Ghent, a special breeding and research program has been designed, aimed at helping to avert the future extinction of this endangered species.
To ensure an easy and comfortable journey, DHL and China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda created bespoke travelling crates spacious enough for pandas to stay comfortable throughout the journey. The cages were also designed with a special roof in the style of ancient Chinese architecture.
“The panda is China’s national treasure, and also a messenger of friendship and peace,” said Wu Dongming, Managing Director of DHL-Sinotrans and Executive Vice President of DHL Express Asia-Pacific. “We are deeply honored for having been selected to transport Hao Hao and Xing Hui. With strong transportation expertise and capabilities, we believe DHL will carry out a Pandastic Journey with the utmost care and consideration.”
DHL has supported a number of conservation projects in recent years, including the return of nine silverback gorillas from the UK to the wild in Gabon, the delivery of two rare Sumatran tigers from the Australia and the US to ZSL London Zoo for a breeding program. Last year, DHL also provided expert logistics and both ground and air transportation to relocate several endangered Florida manatees.
Copyright Photos: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. The specially-marked Boeing 767-3JHF ER G-DHLG (msn 37807) of DHL Air (UK) arrives at Brussels with the two honored guests.
SilkAir (Singapore) introduced its first Boeing 737-800 into revenue service yesterday (February 20) with the 737-8SA 9V-MGA (man 44217). The carrier is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The subsidiary of Singapore Airlines has also rolled out a new brand campaign emphasizing its full-service amenities. The carrier issued this statement:
SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, has launched a new brand campaign that looks to rekindle the joy of flying. Moving away from the idea of travel as being purely transactional, the campaign focuses on how Asia’s most awarded regional carrier creates journeys worth taking by offering customers a seamless and enjoyable travel experience at all times.
From check-in to touch down, the full-service carrier caters to the needs of the well-travelled global customer, providing comfort and convenience to those looking to explore Asia’s newest frontiers. Titled ‘A Joy to Fly’, the campaign redefines true value for the discerning traveller, emphasising and bringing to life the many benefits that SilkAir offers through a set of distinctive icons that feature across all the ads.
Having established its personable and warm in-flight service in its previous campaign ‘Feel at Home in the Air’, SilkAir aims to further differentiate itself and cement its positioning as a full-service carrier. The new regional campaign presents a visual display of a range of these benefits, including 30kg and 40kg baggage allowance for Economy and Business class respectively, inflight meals, reliable flight schedule, the KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme and through check-in service. Additionally, a wireless inflight entertainment system that is currently on trial will progressively be rolled out from Q2 2014. This new system will allow for free wireless streaming of blockbuster hits, short features as well as chart-topping music to customers’ laptops and personal handheld devices, keeping them entertained throughout the flight.
“SilkAir has always endeavoured to deliver a flying experience that is enjoyable and assuring, by placing our customers’ needs at the forefront of our product offerings. With the aim of celebrating the joy of flying, our new campaign is a reflection of the commitment and effort that goes into ensuring that every single detail – from the check-in process to entertainment and meals on-board – makes it a joy for customers to fly with SilkAir,” said SilkAir’s Vice President, Commercial, Mr. Ryan Pua.
Beyond functional benefits, the campaign also illustrates the joy of flying by highlighting SilkAir’s extensive network of 47 exotic destinations around the region, as well as the seamless connectivity between Singapore Airlines and SilkAir that customers can enjoy.
Created in conjunction with SilkAir’s 25th anniversary and the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 737-800, the campaign is set to run on print, out-of-home and digital platforms. The advertisements are currently on display at City Hall MRT station platforms.
To mark the launch of the campaign, SilkAir will also hold an online contest where fans can either visit silkair.com/ajoytofly or scan the QR code located below each aircraft window on the City Hall MRT platform to stand a chance to fly to their dream destination on SilkAir’s new Boeing planes by voting for their top 3 dream destinations. The contest closes on March 13, 2014, with 12 Economy Class return tickets up for grabs.
On top of dressing the airline’s first Boeing 737-800 in a specially designed livery to commemorate its silver anniversary, SilkAir will also be rewarding its customers with special promotional deals later this month, with 250,000 tickets made available at special rates for customers in Singapore and across the region.
The number of destinations includes two new destinations, Kalibo and Mandalay, which will be launched on May 27, 2014 and June 10, 2014 respectively.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Brand new Boeing 737-8SA 9V-MGA passes through Honolulu on its delivery routing on February 10, 2014.
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) (Seattle) announced today that AeroMexico (Aerovias de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.) (Mexico City) has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets for its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft. APB’s newest program is the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake. APB received FAA certification for the Split Scimitar Winglets on February 6, 2014.
APB will develop and certify the Split Scimitar Winglet System for several variants of the Boeing Next-Generation 737 series of aircraft including the structurally provisioned and non-provisioned 737-700, 737-800, Boeing Business Jets, the structurally provisioned 737-900 and the 737-900 ER.
APB expects Scimitar Winglet Systems installed on a 737-800 to save AeroMexico more than 55,000 gallons of jet fuel per aircraft per year resulting in a corresponding reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of 530 tons per aircraft per year. Additionally, AeroMexico can realize incremental payload on several of its long haul 737-800 operations such as Mexico City to Lima, Peru and Caracas, Venezuela.
APB’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is the most successful product launch in its history. Since launching the program early last year, APB has now taken orders and options for 1,461 Split Scimitar Winglet systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold more than 7,000 Blended Winglet Systems. Over 5,100 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide over 4 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date.
Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.
Image: PRNewsFoto/Aviation Partners Boeing. A computer rendering of an AeroMexico Boeing 737-800 with Split Scimitar Winglets.
United Airlines to introduce the Boeing 787-9 internationally from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on October 26
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced that it will introduce nonstop flights between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport and Melbourne, Australia, effective on October 26, 2014 (westbound), subject to government approval. The airline will fly the route six times weekly with new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. United is the North American launch customer for the 787-9, and this will be its first international deployment of the aircraft type.
Flight UA 98 will depart Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m. (2230) daily except Tuesday and Thursday and arrive in Melbourne at 9:15 a.m. (0915) two days later (all times local). On Thursday, flight UA 98 will depart Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. (2130) and arrive in Melbourne at 8:15 a.m. (0815) two days later (all times local). The flights to Melbourne will not operate on Tuesdays.
On the return, flight UA 99 will depart Melbourne at 11:15 a.m. (1115) daily except Thursday and Saturday and arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:50 a.m. (0650) the same day. On Saturday, flight UA 99 will depart Melbourne at 3:15 p.m. (1515) and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:50 a.m.(1050) the same day. The flights to Los Angeles will not operate on Thursday.
Flying times will be approximately 15 hours, 45 minutes westbound, and 14 hours, 35 minutes eastbound.
Sydney Schedule Changes
With the launch of nonstop Los Angeles-Melbourne service, United will end service between Melbourne and Sydney. The airline will seek to retime its daily departures from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney in order to allow a greater range of connections beyond the hubs and to provide more convenient arrival times for customers on connecting flights from Sydney to New York and other East Coast destinations.
Onboard Products and Services
The Boeing 787-9 aircraft operating the new Los Angeles-Melbourne service will offer a total of 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 63 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst flat-bed seat reclines 180 degrees and features an on-demand entertainment system with touch-screen monitors. BusinessFirst amenities include power outlets, USB ports and multi-course meals with complimentary premium wines and spirits.
Economy Plus seats offer up to five inches of extra legroom, and both Economy Plus and United Economy seats feature adjustable headrests, power outlets and personal seat-back monitors delivering a multi-channel inflight entertainment system on demand.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
The 787 Dreamliner is revolutionizing the flying experience for United customers and crews while delivering unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions. Customers experience greater comfort with improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and enhanced ventilation systems, among other passenger-friendly features. The aircraft’s use of lightweight composites, together with its modern engines and improved aerodynamic design, allow it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft.
United is the 787 North American launch customer and now has nine Dreamliners in its fleet. The airline has a further 56 Dreamliners on order and expects to take delivery of five more from Boeing, including its first two 787-9s, by the end of 2014.
United in Australia
United started service to Australia in 1979 and today operates more flights to more destinations in Australia than any other U.S. carrier, with daily flights from its San Francisco and Los Angeles hubs to Sydney and Melbourne and twice-weekly service to Cairns from Guam. The airline will begin introducing Boeing 777-200 aircraft to replace Boeing 747-400s on its trans-Pacific services to Australia at the end of March 2014.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. United currently operates the original 787-8. 787-8 N27908 (man 36400) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.