Boeing issues a new statement concerning failed IAM talks in Puget Sound for the 777X, receives relocation proposals from 22 states
Boeing (Chicago) has issued this statement concerning the contract extension discussions with the IAM for the Puget Sound (Seattle) area for the new 777X:
Boeing and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 have completed a third day of meetings following an attempt last month to secure a contract extension.
This afternoon, in response to a proposal presented yesterday by the union to secure 777X work in the Puget Sound region, Boeing presented a best and final counterproposal. That offer was rejected by the union leadership.
Boeing’s revised 8-year contract extension would have built on the company’s previous offer with substantial economic improvements. On top of the previous $10,000 signing bonus, employees would have received an additional lump sum bonus of $5,000. Employees also would have received additional dental benefits.
The proposal would have kept in place the current rate in which employees accelerate to the top of the pay scale – commonly referred to as “ZOOM.”
The company would have committed to placing final assembly of the 777X, as well as the fabrication and assembly of the airplane’s composite wing, at a Boeing location in the Puget Sound area. In addition, a separate agreement committing final assembly of the 737 MAX at the Renton, Washington site would have been extended through 2024.
As previously proposed, the long-term contract extension would have included changes to the way members earn future retirement benefits. Employees would keep everything they have accrued under the existing defined benefit plan and earn future benefits under a defined contribution plan with the new Special Company Retirement Contribution, starting November of 2016.
“We entered these discussions to address the concerns we were hearing from our employees,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We’ve listened to the union leadership and had an open dialogue in hopes of moving toward each other. Unfortunately the offer, which would have ensured this great airplane for the Puget Sound region, was immediately rejected by the union leadership.”
The 777X site selection process has continued in parallel with this week’s IAM meetings. In an overwhelmingly strong response from interested participants, Boeing has received proposals from 22 states, many of which submitted multiple sites for consideration. A total of 54 sites are now being evaluated in the next critical stage of the process.
Who will now build the new 777X?
Boeing 777X Video:
Southwest completes the installation of Water Vapor Sensing Systems on 87 Boeing 737 aircraft, will fly international routes next year
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has completed the installation of Water Vapor Sensing Systems (WVSS-II) on 87 Boeing 737 aircraft. The water vapor initiative, a result of a partnership between Aeronautical Radio Incorporated (ARINC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and SpectraSensors, has the potential to improve weather forecasting by providing real-time and frequent humidity data when aircraft takeoff and land at airports around the country.
“Southwest’s meteorology team has always worked closely with ARINC and NOAA, and the WVSS-II project is symbolic of our strong reliance on each other. We are proud to be the only passenger airline currently participating in the project and look forward to the many ways WVSS-II will impact and improve both weather forecasting and the impact on airline operations,” said Rick Curtis, Chief Meteorologist, Southwest Airlines.
National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters routinely use WVSS-II observations in their day-to-day operations. Monitoring the distribution of moisture in the atmosphere and how the moisture levels change with time play an integral role in forecast preparation. Aviation forecasters rely on WVSS-II data to help determine location and timing of fog, cloud formation, and dissipation, and altitudes of cloud ceilings, all critical to determining safe conditions for aircraft travel.
“Water vapor is the most rapid-changing and under-sampled element in the atmosphere,” said Carl Weiss, an aviation meteorologist for NOAA. “On the heels of a tumultuous weather year, WVSS-II is part of a larger initiative contributing to Weather Ready Nation, our initiative focused on building community resilience in the face of extreme weather events. WVSS-II data upon takeoffs and landings allow forecasters to monitor and stay on top of how moisture is changing in the atmosphere, specifically in severe weather situations when preparedness is especially important.”
WVSS-II, manufactured by SpectraSensors, Inc., measures water vapor in the atmosphere hundreds of times during an aircraft’s flight. These measurements are automatically transmitted to ARINC’s headquarters in Annapolis, MD, via the ARINC GLOBALink/VHFTM data link service. The moisture data along with other aircraft weather data are then forwarded in near real-time to the U.S. National Weather Service, which uses them to improve the accuracy of its computer-generated weather forecasts and severe weather warnings.
“The WVSS-II observations add a critical new piece of weather data to the forecasting puzzle,” says Jeannine Hendricks, ARINC’s Manager for the WVSS program. “For the first time in aircraft operations, we are collecting water vapor data that measures the humidity in the air. This has the potential to revolutionize weather forecasting—especially when predicting thunderstorms—a significant weather occurrence for aviation.”
While weather balloons, previously the only method for capturing weather data, measure wind, temperature, and humidity data just twice per day at certain locations, the water vapor sensors gather humidity data throughout the day at multiple points across the nation. The improved water vapor data will have a direct benefit in the accuracy of forecasts of precipitation and clouds, which will benefit the aviation community, its customers, and the general public.
Southwest Airlines plans to continue working with ARINC and NOAA in conjunction with the National Weather Service to expand WVSS-II installations on its aircraft fleet.
In other news, Southwest will announce a schedule for international service next year according to CEO Gary Kelly and Reuters. This will be the first international routes for the carrier. Subsidiary AirTran Airways currently flies to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H4 WL N8310C (msn 38807) arrives in Las Vegas.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has added flights to support fans traveling to the Bowl Championship Series, including the National Championship Game in Pasadena, California as well as the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl.
A schedule of flights and cities are below:
National Championship, Pasadena, California – January 6, 2014:
|Departure||Departure Time||Arrival||Arrival Time|
|9:45 a.m.||Los Angeles||11:40 a.m.|
|Tampa, Fla.||10 a.m.||Los Angeles||12:28 p.m.|
|Birmingham, Ala.||9:45 a.m.||Los Angeles||11:25 a.m.|
|Birmingham, Ala.||10:45 a.m.||Los Angeles||12:25 p.m.|
|Jan. 7||Los Angeles||10:05 a.m.||Tallahassee, Fla.||5:30 p.m.|
|Los Angeles||10:55 a.m.||Tampa, Fla.||6:20 p.m.|
|Los Angeles||12:55 a.m.||Birmingham, Ala.||6:55 a.m.|
|Los Angeles||09:05 a.m.||Huntsville, Ala.||3:05 p.m.|
|Jan. 7||Los Angeles||10:30 a.m.||Birmingham, Ala.||5:37 p.m.|
|Jan. 7||Los Angeles||11:30 a.m.||Atlanta||6:44 p.m.|
|Jan. 7||Los Angeles||11:40 a.m.||Birmingham, Ala.||5:38 p.m.|
|11 a.m.||Atlanta||6:14 p.m.|
|12:20 p.m.||Atlanta||7:32 p.m.|
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California – January 1, 2014:
|Departure Time||Arrival||Arrival Time|
|Dec. 31||Detroit||10 a.m.||Los Angeles||12:11 p.m.|
|10 a.m.||Detroit||5:28 p.m.|
|12:25 p.m.||Detroit||7:30 p.m.|
|12:30 p.m.||Detroit||7:58 p.m.|
Sugar Bowl, New Orleans – January 2, 2014:
|Date||Departure||Departure Time||Arrival||Arrival Time|
|10:30 a.m.||New Orleans||12:10 p.m.|
|9 a.m.||Oklahoma City||10:50 a.m.|
Orange Bowl, Miami, January 3, 2014:
|Date||Departure||Departure Time||Arrival||Arrival Time|
|Jan. 2||Columbus, Ohio||9 a.m.||Miami||11:30 a.m.|
|Jan. 5||Miami||9 a.m.||Columbus, Ohio||11:45 a.m.|
Delta traditionally adds capacity to support the strong demand for nonstop service associated with postseason sporting events.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-232 N6715C (msn 30486) with the special Grammy Awards logo lands in Baltimore/Washington (BWI).
Air Canada switches back to Boeing for its narrow body fleet, plans to order up to 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
Air Canada (Montreal) has announced its mainline narrowbody fleet renewal plan that includes commitments, options and rights to purchase up to 109 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The new aircraft will replace Air Canada’s existing mainline fleet of Airbus narrowbody aircraft, creating one of the world’s youngest, most fuel efficient and simplified airline fleets.
The agreement with Boeing, which is subject to completion of final documentation and other conditions, includes firm orders for 33 737 MAX 8 and 28 737 MAX 9 aircraft with substitution rights between them as well as for the 737 MAX 7 aircraft. It also provides for options for 18 aircraft and rights to purchase an additional 30. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017 with 2 aircraft, 16 aircraft in 2018, 18 aircraft in 2019, 16 aircraft in 2020 and 9 aircraft in 2021, subject to deferral and acceleration rights.
“We are pleased to announce our agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 737 MAX aircraft as part of the ongoing modernization of Air Canada’s fleet,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “Renewal of our North American narrowbody fleet with more fuel efficient aircraft is a key element of our ongoing cost transformation program and the enhanced passenger cabin comfort provided by the Boeing MAX will help us to retain Air Canada’s competitive position as the Best Airline in North America. Our narrowbody fleet renewal program is expected to yield significant cost savings. We have estimated that the projected fuel burn and maintenance cost savings on a per seat basis of greater than 20 per cent will generate an estimated CASM reduction of approximately 10 per cent as compared to our existing narrowbody fleet.”
Air Canada continues to evaluate the potential replacement of its Embraer ERJ 190 fleet with more cost efficient, larger narrowbody aircraft that are better suited to its current and future network strategy. Consistent with this strategy, the agreement with Boeing provides for Boeing to purchase up to 20 of the 45 Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft currently in Air Canada’s fleet. The E190 aircraft exiting the fleet will be initially replaced with larger narrowbody leased aircraft until the airline takes delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The company will be reviewing various options over the next six months for the remaining 25 Embraer E190 aircraft including continuing to operate them or replacing them with a yet to be determined number of aircraft in the 100 to 150 seat range.
Air Canada’s plan is for its total fleet including Air Canada rouge™, excluding aircraft flown by its contracted regional carriers, to grow from 192 aircraft as at September 30, 2013 to approximately 214 by the end of 2019, on a pro forma basis. Additionally, for further growth flexibility, Air Canada has 13 options and rights to purchase 10 Boeing 787 aircraft, rights to purchase 13 Boeing 777 aircraft as well as the 18 options and 30 purchase rights for Boeing MAX aircraft.
Boeing 737 MAX Video:
Planned Boeing 737 MAX Cockpit:
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) on December 9 unveiled the third edition of the airline’s “Spirit of Hong Kong” livery at a special ceremony held at Hong Kong International Airport. The new livery marks the climax of the recent “The Spirit of Hong Kong” campaign run by the airline.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar officiated at the livery unveiling ceremony, held in the hangars of the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd (HAECO). Guest of Honour at the event was Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. More than 200 other guests, including government officials, aviation partners, campaign winners and their friends and relatives, were in attendance.
The livery design, painted onto one of the pictured Boeing 777-367 ER B-KPB (msn 35299), carries the silhouettes of the 110 “The Spirit of Hong Kong” winners. The campaign was launched by the airline in July in support of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s own “Hong Kong: Our Home” campaign, and called on Hong Kong people to submit creative entries that illustrated the true spirit of the city.
The contest attracted an overwhelming response from the public, with more than 5,000 high-quality entries received, all of which demonstrated the true spirit of Hong Kong and what the city means to the contestants.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, John Slosar said: “We launched ‘The Spirit of Hong Kong’ campaign to encourage people to share what makes them proud of their home city and to promote this city’s extraordinary spirit. Having had such a great response to the campaign, we are now excited to be able to highlight that spirit through this unique livery. Our third ‘Spirit of Hong Kong’ aircraft will fly around our global network, helping to highlight the qualities that make this city so special.
“Cathay Pacific has been the home carrier of Hong Kong since 1946. For six decades we have been growing together with Hong Kong, supporting the city and its people every step of the way. We will continue to uphold the Hong Kong spirit, support our home, and infuse the city with positive energy as we move forward together,” Mr Slosar added.
At the ceremony, Mrs Carrie Lam said, “Cathay Pacific’s ‘The Spirit of Hong Kong’ campaign echoes the theme of the Government’s ‘Hong Kong: Our Home’ initiative launched earlier this year. I look forward to seeing the ‘Spirit of Hong Kong’ livery spreading the Hong Kong spirit, which values people from different cultures, backgrounds and generations and encourages creativity, to the whole world.”
“The Spirit of Hong Kong” campaign called for entries that best represented the spirit of Hong Kong in terms of the relevance of the message, the ability to inspire, creativity and presentation quality. Two-hundred weekly winners were selected by public voting, while a judging panel separately selected 100 Top Winners and 10 Champions. A total of 620 round-trip tickets were given to the winners to enjoy trips to destinations around the networks of Cathay Pacific and sister airline Dragonair.
Cathay Pacific began highlighting the spirit of its home city in 1997, when the airline created a special livery for one of its aircraft that showcased the Hong Kong skyline in celebration of the transfer of sovereignty. In 2000, the airline unveiled its second “Spirit of Hong Kong” aircraft, created through a livery design competition, that highlighted the resilience of Hong Kong and urged people to come together to overcome the challenges the city faced.
The latest “Spirit of Hong Kong” aircraft was set to begin its mission soon after the unveiling ceremony, carrying silhouettes of 110 of the city’s people to destinations around the world.
Copyright Photo and Images: Cathay Pacific.
Video (how the design was selected):
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) will bid aggressively for landing and takeoff slots at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) that are being divested by American Airlines-US Airways according to this report by Reuters. American Airlines-US Airways are giving up 52 slot pairs at DCA. Southwest currently has 32 slots at DCA.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest’s Boeing 737-7H4 WL N443WN (msn 29838) with the special “The Spirit of Hope” markings banks on the river approach into DCA.
US Airways (Phoenix) will join oneworld® on March 31, 2014, following completion of its merger with alliance founding member American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth). All its regional affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld at the same time.
The entry into oneworld on March 31, 2014 will follow immediately upon their exit from the Star Alliance with the final flights on March 30, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 757-200s and Airbus A319s currently in the Star Alliance color scheme are expected to receive the oneworld version shortly. Boeing 757-2B7 N936UW (msn 27244) arrives at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
British Airways (London) has also announced its summer schedule for 2014 confirming the new routes for its new Airbus A380s and Boeing 787-8s:
British Airways confirms the next routes for its new A380s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners and increases frequencies to select cities as part of the airline’s 2014 summer schedule (March 30, 2014).
The new Airbus A380 will begin flying from Washington Dulles International Airport to London Heathrow on September 1, 2014. The aircraft is already flying from Los Angeles and Hong Kong direct to London and will start services between London and Johannesburg in February 2014.
In North America the new Boeing 787s will fly nonstop to London Heathrow from Austin beginning on March 3, Philadelphia (US Airways is joining the Oneworld alliance on March 31, 2014) beginning on June 5 and Calgary from July 5, 2014.
Across the British Airways network, the 787s will also launch new services to Hyderabad, India from March 30 and Chengdu, China from May 5, 2014.
Network Service Increases:
– Mexico City will benefit from an increase from five to six services a week from April 27.
– British Airways will increase the number of flights to Chengdu from three to five a week (from May 5, 2014).
– From May 6, Tokyo Haneda will move from five a week to daily flights and will be re-timed to a more convenient 8.50 am departure from Haneda.
– Cape Town will gain an extra three Boeing 777-200 ER flights a week through South Africa’s cooler winter season (the Northern Hemisphere’s summer) taking it from a daily service to 10 flights a week and accommodating an additional 219 customers in four cabins.
– All summer 2014 increases are versus winter 2013/14.
– The A380 to Washington D.C. will be available on the BA217 and BA216 o Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
– The 787 from Austin will operate five days a week, increasing to daily later in the year.
– The 787 from Philadelphia and Calgary will be a daily service.
– All aircraft are subject to change depending on operational requirements.
– The airline is also refreshing its short-haul fleet, so is taking delivery of one new aircraft every two weeks on average up until October 2014.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 G-XLEB (msn 121) arrives at Los Angeles.
ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) has announced its schedule plans for the summer season of 2014. The airline will add new service to Vancouver and Hanoi starting on March 30, 2014. Here are the full details:
|ANA is announcing a new international flight schedule for summer 2014, introducing services to Vancouver (Canada) and Hanoi (Vietnam) for the first time. Additional services will be introduced at that time, with further route and schedule details to be announced.This expansion, effective from March 30, 2014, will make ANA the biggest airline carrier at Haneda, offering the most international flights to and from this airport. Haneda Airport is easily accessible from Tokyo and the new flight schedule, combined with ANA’s existing domestic network, will make it easier and more convenient for passengers to connect within Japan and to travel to overseas destinations. While new destinations such as Vancouver and Hanoi will be serviced from Haneda airport, flights toLondon, Paris, Jakarta and Manila will also start flying from Haneda airport in addition to existing services from Narita airport.ANA is also increasing the number of North American destinations it services from Asian cities via Narita, to improve convenience for transit passengers.
ANA operates a dual-airport strategy in the Tokyo area, capitalizing on the respective strengths of Haneda and Narita Airport. Routes and schedules for destinations served from both airports are carefully planned to complement one another, offering passengers the greatest choice and convenience, and to meet the growing demand for international travel.
Full details of the new flights, routes and aircraft are as shown below: *1
*1 Flight schedules are dependent on approval by the relevant authorities. Please be reminded that these are only scheduled plans and are subject to change.
*2 Some flight numbers are subject to change due to the reorganization of international services. Please check ANA SKY WEB for more details.
*1 Schedule for NH857 is 10 minutes earlier than shown during March 30-Apr 30. Boeing 787-8 will be introduced from June.
*2 Boeing 787-8 will be introduced from May.(2)Added flights
*1 Boeing 787-8 will be introduced from July.(3)Changes in flight schedules
*1 Due to changes in operating schedules, flights originating in Jakarta will be suspended on March 30.
*2 Flight schedule for NH1163 and NH1164 will be changed and operated as NH1167 and NH1160. Due to changes in schedules, NH1160 on March 30 will be suspended.
(4)Suspended and reduced flights
ANA will offer alternative flights to passengers who have made reservations on flights that will be suspended after March 30.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The new Vancouver route from Tokyo (Haneda) will be operated with Boeing 767-300 ERs. Boeing 767-381 ER JA611A (msn 32980) with “Forward together as one Japan” special markings arrives at Tokyo (Narita).
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) and partner Korean Air (Seoul) have announced Korean Air has exercised its option and brought in another equity partner. Travel Service Airlines (Prague) is acquiring a 34 percent share in Czech Airlines. Korean Air retains its 44 percent share.
The airlines issued this statement:
Czech Aeroholding has been informed by Korean Air about its requirement to use option to exercise its right to purchase further 34% of Czech Airline stock from Czech Aeroholding. This step is in accordance with the purchase contract on the sale of 44% of Czech Airline stock signed by Korean Air and Czech Aeroholding in April this year. Korean Air will subsequently sell 34% stake to Travel Service, an air carrier, which will thus become a co-shareholder of Czech Airlines thus joining Korean Air which holds 44% of shares, Czech Aeroholding with the final share of 19.74% and Ceska Pojistovna which will continue to hold its 2.26% share in Czech Airlines.
Korean Air explains the decision to exercise its option on further 34% of the Czech Airlines shares which is to be subsequently sold to Travel Service by its plan to reinforce its operations in Europe. Working together with Travel Service, the company wishes to make Vaclav Havel Airport Prague its European hub. The entry of Travel Service into Czech Airlines will provide Korean Air with connections to approximately 40 new destinations in Europe to which their passengers will be able to fly after their transfer at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.
As early as in spring of this year, Korean Air purchased 44% of Czech Airlines shares from Czech Aeroholding which it will continue to hold. Now it wishes to use the Czech Airlines platform to collaborate with Travel Service. With regard to the fact that Travel Service, the new shareholder, is a Czech air carrier, Czech Airlines will not lose the status of the so called national carrier.
“We regard the development of Vaclav Havel Airport Prague aiming to make it a Central-European hub as absolutely crucial. The fact that Korean Air is bringing another key partner into Czech Airlines represents a step toward fulfilling this aim. I am convinced this partnership will be advantageous particularly for passengers who, in future, will be able to choose from a more quality product – a wide network of destinations – provided by the three carriers,” said Miroslav Dvorak, chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Czech Aeroholding.
In spite of the fact that the contractual documentation might be signed as promptly as possible, it will surely include suspensory conditions. This is because the entire transaction is first subject to approval by the competent antitrust authorities, which may take several months before it can take effect.
In the context of changes of the Czech Airlines shareholder structure, Philippe Moreels, the current President and Chairman of the Board, announced its intention to resign from both positions. “I welcome the entry of Travel Service into Czech Airlines and also perceive it as the culmination of the company’s intensive four year restructuring period. In this new phase, Czech Airlines is going to need some new blood and a change in its management style. Therefore, it is logical that all the shareholders will agree on a new company president after the transaction has been completed. Until then, I will continue to be available and will be working on all the steps necessary allowing the transaction to bring a synergy effect to allthe partners as soon as possible,” said Philippe Moreels about his intention to resign from both his positions after the transaction has been approved by antitrust authorities.
After the transaction has been approved by antitrust authorities, the Czech Airlines statutory bodies will continue to consist of three members and their composition will reflect the new shareholder structure of the company.
Top Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 OK-NEM (msn 3406) of Czech Airlines arrives in Amsterdam with the special 90 Years (1923-2013) logo.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Travel Service Airlines’ (Czech Republic) Boeing 737-8CX OK-TVB (msn 32362) prepares to land in Nantes, France.
AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced that it will begin to offer its traditional seasonal service between Mexico City and Denver as of December 15, 2013.
The carrier will serve the route with the following schedules:
|Denver – Mexico City*|
|AM 0659||02:30 p.m.||07:02 p.m.||Daily|
|Mexico City – Denver*|
|09:37 a.m.||12:15 p.m.||Daily|
* Times are shown in each country’s local time and are subject to change without notice.
AeroMexico will offer customers more options as of January 1st, 2014 with a second nonstop flight to this destination with the following schedules:
|Denver – Mexico City*|
|AM 1659||05:00 p.m.||
|Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday|
|Mexico City – Denver*|
|AM 1658||01:00 p.m.||03:40 p.m.||Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday|
* Times are shown in each country’s local time and are subject to change without notice.
The carrier will serve the route with its Boeing 737-700 aircraft configured with 124 seats — 12 in Clase Premier, Aeromexico First Class cabin.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-752 WL XA-DRD (msn 35117) with the special Fight Against Breast Cancer in Mexico – Pink Ribbon markings arrives in Las Vegas.
AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix) today announced the completion of their merger to officially form American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) and begin building the new American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).
According to the new airline group, “The new American has a robust global network with nearly 6,700 daily flights to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries and more than 100,000 employees worldwide. The combined airline has the scale, breadth and capabilities to compete more effectively and profitably in the global marketplace. Customers will soon enjoy access to more benefits and increased service across the combined company’s larger worldwide network and through an enhanced oneworld® Alliance. US Airways will exit Star Alliance on March 30, 2014 and will immediately enteroneworld on March 31, 2014. With an expanded global network and a strong financial foundation, American will deliver significant benefits to consumers, communities, employees and stakeholders.”
Although American and US Airways have come together as one company, the process to achieve a Single Operating Certificate is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months. In the meantime, customers should continue to do business with the airline from which travel was purchased just as they did before the merger. In short, it is “business as usual.” The airlines’ separate websites, aa.com and usairways.com, as well as the two airlines’ reservations systems and loyalty programs, will continue to operate separately until further in the integration process.
Customer benefits of the transaction to be rolled out over time include:
- A codeshare agreement between American and US Airways, creating more convenient access to the combined company’s global network
- More choices and connectivity, with nine hub airports across the U.S.
- Global access to a stronger oneworld alliance – including joint businesses with British Airways, Iberia and Finnair across the Atlantic and with Japan Airlines and Qantas across the Pacific – creating more options for travel and benefits both domestically and internationally
- Reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits and reciprocal elite recognition
- Upgrade reciprocity
- Consolidation of loyalty programs and expanded opportunities to earn and redeem miles across the combined network
- Full integration of policies, websites, kiosks and customer-facing technology to ensure a consistent worldwide travel experience
- Co-location of ticket counters and gates in key markets
- With firm orders for more than 600 new mainline aircraft, American will have one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry, and a solid foundation for continued investment in technology, products, and services
Customers will begin to see enhancements to their experience in early January, including the ability to earn and redeem miles when traveling on either American Airlines or US Airways, reciprocal American Admirals Club and US Airways Club benefits, and reciprocal elite recognition. The combined airline expects to share more details around these key customer benefits early next year.
As the integration process is underway, American’s new Find Your Way site, aa.com/findyourway, will connect customers to key information throughout the merger integration process. Additionally, customers should visit aa.com and usairways.com, which will continue to be regularly updated with news on any fee, policy and procedure changes.
Employees of the new American will benefit from being part of a company with a more competitive and stronger financial foundation, which will create greater career opportunities over the long term. The completed merger also provides the path to improved compensation and benefits for employees.
Alignment of pay, benefits, work rules and other guidelines for employees of both airlines will be phased in over time so that all changes can be carefully considered. Represented employees will continue to work under their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements, with the modifications provided under the negotiated Memoranda of Understanding for certain groups. American’s non-represented Agents, Representatives and Planners will operate under their current terms and conditions of employment with merger-related adjustments.
The combination is expected to deliver enhanced value to American Airlines’ stakeholders and US Airways’ investors. The transaction is expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual net synergies by 2015.
The common and preferred stock of American Airlines Group will trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols “AAL” and “AALCP,” respectively.
Rothschild is serving as financial advisor to American Airlines, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Jones Day, Paul Hastings, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and K&L Gates LLP are serving as legal counsel. Barclays and Millstein & Co. are serving as financial advisors to US Airways, and Latham & Watkins LLP, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Dechert LLP and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP are serving as legal counsel to US Airways. Moelis & Company and Mesirow Financial are serving as financial advisors to the Unsecured Creditors Committee. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Togut, Segal & Segal LLP are serving as the Unsecured Creditors Committee’s legal counsel.
Copyright Photo: Brian Peters/AirlinersGallery.com. Repainted with the new tail markings, Boeing 777-223 ER N791AN (msn 30254) departs from the DFW Hub in the “new look” AA Oneworld livery. N791AN is the first American aircraft to appear in the updated Oneworld color scheme.
Video: A “Thank You” from outgoing CEO Tom Horton of the American Airlines:
Air India (Mumbai) has finalized the details in order to sell five Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range) aircraft to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). As previously prorated, the two airlines signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) in October. The aircraft will be delivered by March 2014 according to this report by The Economic Times.
The 777-200 LR is a new type for Etihad Airways.
Read the full story from The Economic Times: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-237 LR VT-ALH (msn 36307) is relatively new as it was delivered to Air India on August 28, 2009.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) new incoming CEO, Doug Parker of US Airways (Phoenix), is facing his biggest professional challenges of his airline career as the merger of American Airlines and US Airways moves to the final stages. For Doug, he is actually returning to AA. Doug was at the old American Airlines from 1986 to 1991 where he served under former CEO Robert Crandall.
This article by the Star-Telegram outlines the challenges Doug is now facing at the new AA as he prepares to take the leadership role in the day-to-day operations. The new world’s largest airline is facing many challenges as it integrates again two airlines. Critics will argue that Doug has failed to fully integrate America West Airlines (Phoenix) with the old US Airways (Washington). Today the current US Airways still operates as two airlines with East and West divisions with separate contracts, crews and aircraft. Now Doug will have to integrate three airlines into one.
The good news is Parker has already negotiated conditional labor agreements with AA’s three largest unions.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Doug is probably going to have to accept the new American look due to the already large number of repainted AA aircraft and the on-going “new look” advertising campaign. This effort by the current AA management has probably already settled the decision on what AA will look like going forward even though this livery is not Doug’s design. It will always be known as out-going CEO Tom Horton’s livery. American’s Boeing 737-823 WL N973AN (msn 29548) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport in the new look.
Mascots and school colors from two of Alaska’s most beloved and heated collegiate rivals, the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will soon be featured on two of Alaska Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) turboprop aircraft. The colorful paint themes will be unveiled tonight (December 6) to a crowd of fans at the Sullivan Arena where the Alaska Nanooks and UAA Seawolf hockey teams will battle in the first of a four-game series to claim the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup.
“We’re thrilled to show Alaska Airlines’ strong support of education while growing our fleet of university paint themes with our first two schools in Alaska,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president – Alaska. “The UAA and UAF school colors will proudly fly between our two largest cities and from Anchorage to Kodiak.”
Like other university-themed aircraft operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Nanook and Seawolf planes will be painted at no cost to the university and will fly primarily between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Anchorage and Kodiak when the carrier introduces the 76-seat DHC-8-402 (Q400) to the state of Alaska on March 3, 2014. The UAF and UAA planes will be painted and unveiled in February next year.
The UAF and UAA planes will be the 10th and 11th university-themed aircraft flown by Horizon Air since 2008. Other paint themes represent the universities of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, as well as Boise State, Montana State, Oregon State, San Diego State and Washington State. Alaska Airlines recently unveiled the “Spirit of Education” (see below). The specially-themed Boeing 737-900 ER was dedicated to the students and staff of Raisbeck Aviation High School located in Tukwila, Washington.
Above Images: The University of Alaska Anchorage (top-green tail) and University of Alaska Fairbanks (second from top-blue tail) colors will be featured on two university-themed Q400 aircraft. (PRNewsFoto/Alaska Airlines)
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-990 ER N403AS (msn 41730) with the special “Supporting Education Helping Dreams Soar” markings for the Raisbeck Aviation High School departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Air Canada (Montreal) today announced that it will operate daily flights between Toronto -Pearson and Tokyo-Haneda (Tokyo International Airport) beginning on July 1, 2014 using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new year-round service will be both the only nonstop flight between Canada and Tokyo-Haneda, located less than 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo, and the first daytime flight to Tokyo-Haneda from North America . This is the first deployment of Air Canada’s Dreamliner — featuring the airline’s new seating and cabin amenities — in the Asian market. The new route will complement Air Canada’s existing flights to Tokyo Narita International Airport from Toronto , Calgary and Vancouver .
Air Canada will begin taking delivery of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in spring 2014, further raising the bar in customer comfort. The aircraft features a brand new contemporary décor and three cabins of service, International Business with 180-degree lie-flat pod seating, Premium Economy and Economy. It also offers an extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced-definition, seat-back touch screens along with power outlets and USB ports available for all customers.
Tickets for Toronto -Tokyo-Haneda go on sale starting December 10, 2013 with service beginning July 1, 2014 .
|AC 005||Toronto at 13:00||Tokyo-Haneda at 14:55 (plus one day)|
|AC 006||Tokyo-Haneda at 17:40||Toronto at 16:40|
With the new Tokyo-Haneda route, the fifth Asian airport to be served from our Toronto hub, Air Canada will offer the most flights of any airline between Canada and Japan with service from three Canadian cities:
- Daily Toronto – Narita service.
- Three times weekly Calgary – Narita nonstop service, increasing up to daily service during summer 2014.
- Daily Vancouver – Narita nonstop service.
Image: Air Canada.
Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is what could be considered a strategic response move, will begin daily nonstop service between Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, California, starting on June 9, and will add a third nonstop flight to its existing service between Salt Lake City and Seattle/Tacoma.
Salt Lake City is the home of a large hub of partner Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). Delta Air Lines has recently been adding new routes at Alaska’s Seattle/Tacoma hub.
Alaska Airlines first began service between Seattle/Tacoma and Salt Lake City on April 4, 2013.
Summary of new service:
Los Angeles-Salt Lake City
|Los Angeles-Salt Lake City||5:35 p.m.||8:20 p.m.||Daily||737|
Salt Lake City-Los Angeles
|7:00 a.m.||7:55 a.m.||Daily||737|
Portland-Salt Lake City
|June 9||Portland-Salt Lake City||3:10 p.m.||6:00 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 10||Portland-Salt Lake City||9:50 a.m.||12:45 p.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 9||Salt Lake City-Portland||6:50 p.m.||7:45 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 10||Salt Lake City-Portland||8:05 a.m.||9:05 a.m.||Daily||CR7|
San Diego-Salt Lake City
San Diego-Salt Lake City
|7:00 a.m.||9:55 a.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 10||San Diego Salt Lake City||7:55 p.m.||10:45 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 10||Salt Lake City-San Diego||1:20 p.m.||2:20 p.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 11||Salt Lake City-San Diego||8:30 a.m.||9:25 a.m.||Daily||737|
San Jose-Salt Lake City
|San Jose-Salt Lake City||8:55 p.m.||11:40 p.m.||Daily||737|
|Salt Lake City-San Jose||7:00 a.m.||8:00 a.m.||Daily||737|
|Seattle-Salt Lake City|
|Start date||City pair||Departs||Arrives||Frequency||Aircraft|
|Existing flight||Seattle-Salt Lake City||7:00 a.m.||9:59 a.m.||Daily||737|
|Existing flight||Seattle-Salt Lake City||1:10 p.m.||4:10 p.m.||Daily||737|
|June 9||Seattle-Salt Lake City||8:30 p.m.||11:30 p.m.||Daily||CR7|
|June 10||Salt Lake City-Seattle||10:30 a.m.||11:40 a.m.||Daily||CR7|
|Existing flight||Salt Lake City-Seattle||11:00 a.m.||12:07 p.m.||Daily||737|
|Existing flight||Salt Lake City–Seattle||5:10 p.m.||6:17 p.m.||Daily||737|
All times based on local time zones.
The routes will be operated with Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft and SkyWest Airlines (Alaska SkyWest) (St. George, Utah) 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-990 WL N318AS (msn 30018) in the Spirit of Disneyland II special scheme taxies at the SeaTac hub.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) issued this short statement concerning its largest hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) due to a winter ice storm:
Because of the anticipated winter weather American Airlines and American Eagle have proactively canceled nearly 500 flights in and out of the DFW Airport through 11 a.m. central time Friday, December 6.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. American Airlines’ Boeing 777-223 ER N790AN (msn 30251) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. American Eagle Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N928AE (msn 14500911) lands at Baltimore/Washington.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has acquired 12 takeoff and landing slots (for six roundtrip flights) at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) being divested by American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) as part of its merger with US Airways (Phoenix). In addition, Southwest gained permanent control of 10 takeoff and landing slots (for five roundtrip flights) that it currently operates under a lease from American. Details of the transactions are confidential. Southwest plans to begin its new service at LGA in May 2014. Details of the new service will be available later this month.
Southwest and its subsidiary AirTran Airways currently operate 27 daily roundtrip flights to and from LGA to eight nonstop destinations. The acquired slots will allow the airlines to add six daily roundtrips.
Southwest currently serves Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia Airport, and Long Island MacArthur Airport. These six additional roundtrips at LGA will strengthen Southwest’s service to and from the New York City area.
In other news, Southwest Airlines announced its decision to close three cities in the airline’s network. On June 7, 2014, Southwest will cease operations at Branson Airport (BKG), Key West International Airport (EYW), and Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN). Southwest began service to Jackson-Evers International in 1997. The airline added Branson Airport and Key West International Airport to its route map in 2012 as part of its integration with AirTran, a wholly-owned subsidiary.
“Unfortunately, the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve these markets,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “Southwest takes pride in becoming not only a great choice for air travel in the cities we serve, but we also become a member of the community. These decisions are never easy.”
Over the next six months, Southwest will operate its full schedule at each of these cities, and there will be no disruption to reservations for travel through June 6, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines retains one Boeing 737-700 in a gold “Southwest Classic” version of the original 1971 color scheme. Boeing 737-7H4 N714CB (msn 27848) taxies at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) in another move to underscore its growing presence at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and in celebration of its 80th anniversary of service and growing presence in the Seattle/Tacoma area, unveiled at Boeing Field a new Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft (737-932 ER N809DN, msn 31915) as the ‘Spirit of Seattle,’ dedicated to the city of Seattle and the airline’s customers, employees and partners in the region.
The dedication took place in a ceremony at Boeing Field, the same location that Delta began service in Seattle on December 3, 1933, through Northwest Airways, which eventually became Northwest Airlines. The inaugural flight was flown from Spokane to Seattle and back to Spokane on a Waco JTO biplane carrying no passengers. Initial passenger service was a Tacoma-Seattle-Wenatchee-Spokane route using 7-passenger, 120-mph Hamilton H47 Metalplanes.
Today, Delta operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from its growing gateway in Seattle, including non-stop international service to Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai and Beijing. Additional international service is planned in 2014 to London-Heathrow as well as Hong Kong and Seoul, pending government approval. Delta will also expand Seattle service to Anchorage, Alaska; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and San Francisco and also recently announced new service to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Vancouver, Canada, beginning in the summer of 2014.
More than 100 Delta Chairman’s Club honorees attended the dedication event along with local employees and corporate and community partners. The honorees are accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight from Seattle to Atlanta prior to entering service later this month. Chairman’s Club is Delta’s highest honor in employee recognition, and honorees embody Delta’s values through their distinguished contributions and exceptional service to customers and the communities Delta serves.
The ‘Spirit of Seattle’ is the ninth of 100 new 737-900 ERs that will be delivered to Delta between 2013 and 2018 as it retires older mainline jets and upgrades its fleet. The 737-900 ER will be deployed on several routes to and from Seattle/Tacoma, among others, and has a range of 3,200 nautical miles, giving it the ability to operate any domestic route in Delta’s extensive network.
Delta will take delivery of three additional 737-900 ERs this year for a total of 12 aircraft in 2013, 19 aircraft per year in 2014 through 2017, and 12 aircraft in 2018. The 180-seat aircraft will replace older, less efficient aircraft on a capacity-neutral basis while providing customers with an industry-leading on-board experience.
As Delta’s first aircraft to feature Boeing’s new “Sky Interior,” the 737-900 ER offers the airline’s customers expanded carry-on baggage space, a roomier, more airy cabin and an LED lighting system that provides different color schemes, such as a soft blue sky and a relaxing pallet of sunset colors.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 737-932 ER N805DN (msn 31913), the fifth, was delivered on November 1, 2013.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. N809DN “The Spirit of Seattle” is seen at Boeing Field in Seattle.
Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-332 N182DN returns to Madrid with a missing wing panel, runs off the side of the runway
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) flight DL 415 departed Madrid (Barajas) bound for New York (JFK) yesterday (December 4) with the pictured Boeing 767-332 ER N182DN (msn 25987). The flight was involved in an incident. According to Aviation Safety Network, the crew elected to return to MAD after reporting it blew a tire on takeoff. Pictures taken from the plane show a missing wing panel on the top of the right wing.
On landing the aircraft veered to the left and ended up off the side of runway 18R-36L in the grass.
Read the full report with photos from Foroaviones.com: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N182DN (msn 25987) taxies at Milan (Malpensa).
The QANTAS Group (QANTAS Airways) (Sydney) has announced a market update, accelerated cost reductions and a capital expenditure and structural review, in response to fundamentally changed market conditions.
The Group expects to report an underlying loss before tax in the range of $250 million to $300 million for the six months ending December 31, 2013. Trading conditions saw a marked deterioration in November in particular, with both passenger loads and yields below the already negative trends for the year to date.
The Group can also provide the following guidance for the first half of FY14:
- Group capacity is expected to increase by 1.1 per cent in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13. Group Domestic capacity (comprising QANTAS Domestic, QANTAS Link and Jetstar Domestic) is expected to increase by 1.9 per cent in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13;
- Total domestic market capacity is expected to increase by approximately 2.7 per cent, driven by estimated competitor capacity growth of 3.9 per cent;
- Group yield (excluding the impact of foreign exchange movements) is expected to be approximately 3.5 per cent lower in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13, largely due to increased capacity in the domestic and international markets;
- Group loads are expected to be 1.6 percentage points lower in 1H FY14 compared to 1H FY13; and
- Underlying fuel costs (excluding the impact of the carbon tax) for 1H FY14 are expected to be approximately $2.27 billion, an increase of $88 million from 1H FY13.
The outlook for the second half of FY14 remains volatile and, given the uncertainty in global economic conditions, fuel prices and foreign exchange rates, it is not possible to provide further guidance at this time.
QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce said the circumstances demanded urgent action.
“We will do whatever we need to do to secure the QANTAS Group’s future,” Mr Joyce said.
“The challenges we now face are immense – but we will overcome them and we will continue to build a stronger and better QANTAS for Australia.
“Since the Global Financial Crisis, QANTAS has confronted a fiercely difficult operating environment – including the strong Australian dollar and record jet fuel costs, which have exacerbated QANTAS’ high cost base.
“The Australian international market is the toughest anywhere in the world.
“Our competitors in the international market, almost all owned or generously supported by their governments, have increased capacity to pursue Australian dollar profits, changing the shape of the market permanently.
“Since early 2012, there has also been an unprecedented distortion of the Australian domestic market, with Virgin Australia’s strategy to seek majority ownership and massive financial backing from foreign government-owned airlines (see Appendix 1).
“This foreign government capital has been used to finance dramatic increases in domestic capacity, with profound implications for the future of Australia’s aviation industry. In November, Virgin Australia signaled its intention to continue its strategy, which is designed to weaken QANTAS in the domestic market, with a $300 million-plus injection from its foreign owners.
“The uneven playing field in Australian aviation is being tilted further.”
“We cannot and we will not stand still in these extraordinary circumstances.”
“As we take these urgent actions, we will continue to take the fight to the competition and strengthen our leading position in the domestic market, and we will continue the turnaround of Qantas International.”
Accelerated cost reduction program
The Group will make accelerated cost reductions across all areas of the business, to achieve total cost savings of $2 billion over three years.
The existing QANTAS Transformation program will be accelerated, with an expanded mandate to achieve these targets, including the following steps:
- Head count reduction of at least 1,000 positions within 12 months, with an ongoing review
- CEO and Board pay cut
- Pay freeze and no FY14 bonus for executives
- Review of spending with top 100 suppliers
- Network optimisation and improved fleet utilization
- Further overhead reductions
Mr Joyce said the Group had already made significant progress in becoming leaner and more efficient.
“We have reduced the Group’s unit costs, excluding fuel, by a total of 19 per cent since FY09, including by 5 per cent in FY13 (see Appendix 2).
“But these actions are not enough to deal with the current situation.”
Capital expenditure and structural review
Given the deterioration in earnings, the Group no longer expects to generate positive net free cash flow in the current financial year.
The Group will conduct a review of all planned capital expenditure to achieve further substantial reductions to ensure that the business generates positive net free cash flow from FY15.
This continues the deep cuts to capital expenditure already achieved since 2011.
The Group will also launch an immediate review to identify structural changes that could potentially unlock sources of capital and value for shareholders. No options will be excluded from the review.
Mr Joyce said the Group would take all steps necessary to respond to the toughest market conditions it had ever faced.
“We will focus relentlessly on cutting costs and improving productivity, while maintaining our competitive advantages as a business,” Mr Joyce said.
Australia’s best airline for customers
Mr Joyce said customers would remain at the heart of the Group’s strategy, with a continued focus on service in all areas.
“We have Australia’s best airline and loyalty program, with nearly 10 million loyal frequent flyers,” Mr Joyce said. “Over the past two years, we have developed a global network based on strategic alliances, including the ground-breaking Emirates partnership and expanding relationships in Asia.
“The QANTAS customer experience is the best it has ever been. After an intensive fleet renewal program, our average passenger aircraft age is now below eight years, the youngest in two decades, and we have revitalised service with a focus on training and new technology. Customer satisfaction is soaring, with record scores in both the international and domestic markets.”
Discussions with the Australian Government
“As we work through our cost reductions, capital expediture and structural review, no options will be off the table,” Mr Joyce said.
“Political leaders recognize QANTAS’ strategic importance, its critical role in providing essential air services, and the benefits to Australia of a strong and viable national carrier.
“None of the measures being discussed with the government would alleviate the need for us to take the comprehensive actions we have announced today. Government action will, however, be key in enabling us to keep competing effectively on a level playing field.”
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: John Adlard/AirlinersGallery.com. QANTAS Airways’ Boeing 737-838 VH-VXA (msn 29551) with special “Official Airline of Cricket Australia – Now It’s On Our Turf” color scheme in support of Cricket Australia.
Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and Virgin America (San Francisco) are interested in buying the slots at New York (LaGuardia) that American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) have agreed to give up with the DOJ for the merger approval according to Reuters.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-7H4 WL N216WR (msn 32488) with “Free Bags Fly Here” extra markings departs from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).
Hainan Airlines (Haikou and Beijing) today announced it plans to launch nonstop service from Boston’s Logan Airport to Beijing on June 20, 2014. This will represent the first scheduled nonstop flight from Boston to Mainland China in history – and with the industry’s most advanced airliner – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Hainan Airlines will operate the flights every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. With its international hub at Beijing, Hainan will offer connections to cities throughout China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xi’an and Haikou. Travelers may stopover in Beijing in either direction and connect with numerous additional Chinese cities across the Hainan network such as Chengdu or Dalian. The new Boston flight will complement the carrier’s existing North American service to Beijing from Seattle, Chicago and Toronto.
Flight 482 will depart Logan Airport at 5:10 pm (1710) and arrive in Beijing at 6:50 pm (1850) the following day. Flight 481 will depart Beijing at 1:50 pm (1350) and reach Logan Airport at 3:10 pm (1510) the same day. Flight time is a little over 13 hours.
Copyright Photo: Royal S. King/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner B-2728 (msn 34938) lands at Paine Field near Everett.
Qatar Airways (Doha) today announced it will be extending its footprint in the USA by announcing its seventh gateway to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Service will commence on July 1, 2014. The move was expected due to its new Oneworld relationship with partner American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth).
The Dallas/Fort Worth route will be operated with the airline’s flagship Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, which features a two-class design with 42 Business Class lie-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration (below).
Qatar Airways currently flies to four destinations in the United States – New York (JFK), Washington (Dulles), Chicago (O’Hare) and Houston (Bush Intercontinental). The airline will nearly double its footprint in the United States with the addition of three new routes in 2014: Philadelphia (April 2, 2014), Miami (June 10, 2014) and now Dallas/Fort Worth (July 1, 2014).
Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2DZ LR A7-BBE (msn 36017) taxies at Paris (CDG).
Jetairfly (TUI Airlines Belgium) (Brussels) and Boeing on December 3 celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 787-8 (OO-JDL, msn 34425) named “Diamond” (above). The airplane departed Paine Field in Everett on Tuesday on its delivery flight to Brussels.
The 787 is scheduled to begin flying short and medium haul Jetairfly routes in early December and long haul routes between Christmas and the New Year.
Jetairfly is part of the TUI Travel PLC, the largest tourism group in the world.
Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Air Canada (Montreal) announced today it will take delivery of the first of 37 Boeing 787Dreamliner aircraft in the spring of 2014, as it continues to renew its fleet of wide-body aircraft.
As the planes are gradually introduced into its fleet, the airline will offer a preview of its new Dreamliner service on some domestic and trans-Atlantic flights on a temporary basis this spring
Beginning in July 2014, the first route that the Dreamliner will operate will be Air Canada’s Toronto (Pearson)-Tel Aviv route.
Air Canada plans to take delivery of the first of 15 787-8 series aircraft in the spring. The first delivery of 22 larger capacity 787-9 series aircraft is planned for July 2015. All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019.
Air Canada is premiering its brand new international cabin design and seating that the airline will feature on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. The airline will take delivery of the first of 37 Boeing 787 aircraft in the spring of 2014.
Air Canada will provide three cabins of service on board its Boeing 787 Dreamliners highlighted by a brand new contemporary decor and comfortable ergonomic seating that features 180-degree lie-flat seats in its International Business Class cabin. An extensive choice of in-flight entertainment on enhanced definition seat back touch screens will be available for all customers along with power outlets and USB ports.
Beginning in July 2014 , the first Air Canada route to be operated with 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring the new cabin interior and amenities will be the carrier’s Toronto – Tel Aviv route.
As the first three 787 aircraft are gradually introduced into the Air Canada fleet in the spring of 2014, the airline will offer a preview of its new Dreamliner service on select domestic Canada and trans-Atlantic flights on a temporary basis.
Contemporary New Cabin Design
With the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner into its widebody fleet, Air Canada is unveiling a contemporary, sophisticated cabin design in a palette of slate grey and neutral tones with accents of Canadian red and celeste blue.
The interior decor, cabin architecture and seating in all three cabins – International Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy – have been designed to provide customers with an exceptional travel experience.
Highlights of Air Canada’s new International Business Class cabin on the 787 Dreamliner include 20 lie-flat Executive Pods with an adjustable pneumatic cushion system that can be extended into a fully flat sleeping position 80 inches in length. New features that enhance the airline’s award-winning International Business cabin include:
- An adjustable pneumatic cushion headrest offers a massage feature, unique for an airline in business class.
- The personal entertainment screen with touch handset, at 18 inches, is the largest offered by a North American airline in business class. Universal power and USB outlets are available at each seat.
- Air Canada is also debuting a new espresso and cappuccino service for International Business Class customers featuring Lavazza coffee freshly brewed onboard.
- A 1-2-1 configuration guarantees direct aisle access with window views featuring the largest windows of any aircraft flying today.
Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin on the 787 Dreamliner has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration providing 38-inch legroom and generous 19.5-inch seat width and 7-inch recline. Each seat is equipped with a 9- or 11-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen, as well as universal power and USB outlets. Air Canada’s Premium Economy cabin service, unique in North America , offers premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport.
Air Canada’s Economy cabin has 210 slimline seats in a 3-3-3 configuration providing personal space consistent with the comfort of Air Canada’s current Economy cabin. Each seat is equipped with a 9-inch enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screen with USB outlet and a universal power outlet available at arm’s reach.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner: A New Generation in Comfort and Fuel Efficiency
Boeing is the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials in the construction of its airframe, allowing for significant fuel efficiencies, a more economical long flying range and an enhanced passenger experience with less impact on the environment. Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier to order this new generation aircraft.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is 20 per cent more fuel efficient than the Boeing 767 aircraft it will replace.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner provides passengers with an unparalleled passenger experience:
- A quieter, smoother flight, lower cabin pressure, higher humidity levels and ambient mood lighting contribute to a more rested feeling upon arrival;
- Windows are 30 per cent larger than those on most similarly sized airplanes and feature an electrochromatic electronic dimming system;
- A more spacious interior cabin design featuring larger overhead bins;
- Cleaner air continuously circulating through an advanced filtration system.
Air Canada will take delivery of the first of 15 787-8 aircraft in spring 2014. The first delivery of 22 larger capacity 787-9 aircraft is planned for July 2015 . All 37 Boeing 787 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019.
As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 and Airbus A319 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.
Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 175 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2012 served close to 35 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 49 destinations in the United States and 67 cities in Europe , the Middle East , Asia , Australia , the Caribbean , Mexico and South America . Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance , the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,328 destinations in 195 countries. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax that ranked Air Canada in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers as Best Airline in North America in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year.
All Images by Air Canada.
Video: Air Canada.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add new daily nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from Fairbanks International Airport and Vancouver International Airport, beginning May 29, 2014 and June 5, 2014, respectively. We previously reported the new Seattle-Vancouver route.
Delta will offer customers five daily flights between Vancouver and Seattle, operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) using 76-seat, two-class Bombardier CRJ900s. Additionally, the airline will begin one daily summer seasonal flight between Fairbanks, Alaska and Seattle/Tacoma using a Boeing 737-800. Each aircraft is equipped with First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as onboard Wi-Fi.
Delta recently announced expanded Seattle/Tacoma service to Anchorage, Alaska, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon,, San Diego and San Francisco to support its increasing international network which currently operates nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Beijing, Paris, Shanghai-Pudong and Tokyo. The airline will also operate new nonstop international service in 2014 to London-Heathrow in March, as well as Hong Kong and Seoul in June, pending government approval.
Every long-haul international Delta flight from Seattle/Tacoma now features full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, Economy Comfort seating and entertainment on demand in every seat throughout the aircraft.
Delta currently operates 35 peak-day departures to 15 destinations from Seattle/Tacoma, and every flight offers BusinessElite/First Class and Economy Comfort seating as well as domestic Wi-Fi service. The airline has also invested $14 million in its facilities at Sea-Tac, including its recently completed lobby renovations, new Delta Sky Club, Sky Priority services, new gate area power recharging stations and expanded ticket counters.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N387DA (msn 30374) climbs away from the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Holidays Video by Delta:
JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) announced today its new “JAL Sky Suite 777″ service will be introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt in April 2014.
JAL Sky Suite 77 service boasts increased comfort and functionality in all four classes. According to JAL, the revamped aircraft has yielded favorable feedback from customers since it was launched on Tokyo (Narita) and London route in January 2013. It won a Good Design Award in 2013 and Skytrax’s Best Business Class Airline Seat of the year for 2013.
JAL Sky Suite 77 has been introduced between Tokyo (Narita) and London, between Tokyo (Narita) and New York, and between Tokyo (Narita) and Paris as well as between Tokyo (Narita) and Los Angeles.
Between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt (JL407/JL408):
Name of seat
Number of Seats
JAL SKY SUITE
JAL SKY PREMIUM
JAL SKY WIDER
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. JAL’s Boeing 777-346 ER JA731J (msn 32431) wears a special “JAL Sky Suite 777″ logo on the rear fuselage at its approaches London’s Heathrow Airport.
WestJet (Calgary), WestJet Vacations and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (Canada) today pulled back the curtain on their most exciting adventure yet — a custom-painted Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 series aircraft featuring Mickey Mouse in his most famous role, Sorcerer Mickey.
WestJet, WestJet Vacations and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (Canada) first forged a relationship in 2004 based on a shared vision of creating memorable experiences for their guests. Known in the social media world as the #MagicPlane, the aircraft will perform its inaugural flight on December 3, 2013, from Calgary to Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World Resort. Following the flight, the Magic Plane will fly throughout WestJet’s domestic, trans-border and international network.
“We are very proud of our work with Disney and everything we’ve done together over the years to enrich the lives of our guests,” said Gregg Saretsky , WestJet President and CEO. “With the Magic Plane, we are soaring to new heights, offering guests of all ages the chance to share the skies with one of the world’s most beloved and iconic figures. We also look forward to having fun with our guests on the ground as they see the Magic Plane flying over their communities and at airports across our expanding network.”
“Bringing this vision to life has been a true collaboration between our companies and it’s so exciting to see the final result — the aircraft is absolutely beautiful,” said Marlie Morrison , Managing Director, Marketing & Sales, The Walt Disney Company (Canada) Ltd. “WestJetters are the first point of contact for many of our Walt Disney World guests embarking on their memorable family vacation. We have a great appreciation for WestJet, which shares a similar culture in bringing guests an exceptional experience from beginning to end.”
Fun facts about the Magic Plane:
- The two sides of the aircraft are mirror images of each other in all aspects but one. We’ll leave it to our guests to decide what that is!
- There are a total of 36 different paint colours on the aircraft.
- It took a team of 26 people 24 days working around the clock to paint the Magic Plane.
- The painting crew consumed more than 150 doughnuts over the 24 days.
- The painting crew consisted of people from four countries, five states, two provinces and 12 cities.
- The cookies that will be served on board are a special treat in the shape of Disney characters.
- Over the next five years, the Magic Plane will fly more than 400,000 guests a total of nearly eight million kilometres.
On board the Magic Plane’s inaugural flight on December 3 will be 16 members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada from various cities across the country. Along with club chaperones and WestJet volunteers, the group will travel to Orlando for three days of fun at Walt Disney World Resort, “pay-it-forward” charity activities, teambuilding and leadership training.
WestJet serves Orlando, home of Walt Disney World Resort, with a total of 39 flights per week during peak winter months from Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, London, Toronto Pearson, Ottawa, Montreal Trudeau, Halifax, Moncton and St. John’s , Newfoundland.
WestJet Vacations offers a variety of vacation packages to the Walt Disney World Resort. Play, stay, dine and save when you book a five- to 15-night vacation package at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels that includes Magic Your Way tickets and a Disney dining plan. Offer is valid for bookings made by February 22, 2014 , for travel between January 5 and April 12, 2014 .
Copyright Photos: WestJet. The pictured Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSZ (msn 37092) “Magic Plane” was formerly painted in the special “Care-antee” color scheme.
United Airlines (Chicago) today announced it is the first and only airline to offer premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled trans-continental flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco and between New York JFK and Los Angeles.
The revamped p.s. aircraft offer 28 180-degree flat-bed United BusinessFirst seats, offering up to 6’4″ of sleeping space and more room for storage; 42 extra-legroom United Economy Plusseats; and 72 United Economy seats.
Designed to give customers an experience comparable to long-haul, international flights, United’s refurbished p.s. aircraft also offer:
- Inflight Wi-Fi
- Personal, on-demand entertainment at every seat - with 15.4″ monitors in United BusinessFirst and 9″ monitors in United Economy - offering hundreds of movies and television shows, plus other entertainment options
- Power outlets and USB ports at every seat
- Two additional inches of legroom in United Economy Plus compared to Economy Plus legroom on pre-renovation p.s. service
- Multi-course meals in United BusinessFirst on most flights
- Wine selections recommended by Doug Frost, United’s Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, including half bottles of premium wines for purchase in United Economy
“Our investment in these aircraft and in the p.s. service will add greatly to our flyer-friendly customer experience on these coast-to-coast flights,” said Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. “This is just one more example of the many things we are doing to provide greater onboard comfort and convenience on every United flight.”
Customer Service Investments
United’s renovated p.s. aircraft are among the many investments the airline is making to enhance its customers’ experience in the air and on the ground. United also offers:
- Premium-cabin, flat-bed seats on every scheduled long-haul international flight from the continental United States
- Satellite-fed Wi-Fi on more than 130 aircraft so far, with nearly all of United’s mainline fleet outfitted with Wi-Fi by the end of 2014
- An all-new mobile application for the iOS 7 platform, offering customers innovative new features, better functionality and an improved touch-friendly design
- Live television on more than 200 aircraft, the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television
- Significantly upgraded United Club lounges in Chicago O’Hare Terminal 2, Seattle and San Diego, with improved amenities, modern interiors, more power outlets and complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by United). Boeing 757-224 WL N19141 (msn 30354) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.
Cargolux Airlines International S.A. (Luxembourg) has announced the launch of a weekly service to Bamako, the capital of Mali, from December 5, 2013. The flights are operated with the airline’s Boeing 747 freighters which offer main deck capacity for the transport of airfreight supplies that support the local industries in the areas of natural resources, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceutical products, perishables and general appliances.
In 2010, Bamako Airport inaugurated a new cargo terminal with a yearly capacity of 10,000 tons and extended the runway to 3,180 meters, enabling the operation of large aircraft, such as Cargolux’s 747 freighters.
Flight CV 7124 is operated every Thursday on the routing Luxembourg – Bamako – Lagos – Libreville – Nairobi – Manston – Luxembourg. Departure in Luxembourg is scheduled for 16.30 GMT with arrival in Bamako at 21:40 GMT. With this service, Cargolux connects another African destination to its worldwide network and offers shippers fast and reliable airfreight solutions to a market with growing importance.
Cargolux’s African network now covers 13 destinations that show promising export potential with strong shipments for the oil and gas industry. Cargolux also offers direct services between the United States and Africa.
Previously the cargo carrier started weekly service to Buenos Aires via Campinas (Viracopas) near Sao Paulo on November 13.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F LX-VCV (msn 34235) approaches Johannesburg for landing.
Air New Zealand unveils its latest Hobbit theme aircraft for the new movie “The Desolation of Smaug”
Air New Zealand (Auckland) has done it again. The champion of promotion today launched it latest Hobbit-theme aircraft, this time with Smaug, the dragon, emblazoned on Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) (above) now flying to Los Angeles for the movie premier.
The airline issued this statement:
The Official Airline of Middle-earth today announced the key elements of its global marketing campaign two weeks ahead of the premiere of the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, which is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
A key feature of the airline’s campaign, titled Middle-earth is closer than you think, is a competition to give three Hobbit movie fans from around the world the money-can’t-buy opportunity to attend the world premiere movie screening with a friend. A fourth lucky entrant will win a once-in-a-life-time Middle-earth experience for two in New Zealand.
The video Just Another Day in Middle-earth stars Air New Zealand flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshall, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a cheeky film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras. It aims to inspire travellers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey – with the key message ‘Middle-earth is closer than you think’.
The video also features Kiwi Dean O’Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy’s Radagast the Brown.
Dean O’Gorman says the video captures both the magic of The Hobbit films and the unique personality of Air New Zealand.
“The cast and crew have been travelling to New Zealand so much over the past few years the airline’s become like a second home to some of them and they just love the uniquely Kiwi service. It was great to be involved in this video and see so many Air New Zealand staff having a bit of fun with all the Hobbit film references.”
Viewers of the video from around the world can enter for their chance to win one of four trips of a lifetime for two to their choice of either Middle-earth (New Zealand) or to the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles, including airfares, accommodation and rental car.
Another feature of the Air New Zealand marketing campaign will be the unveiling of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft in special Hobbit film-inspired livery on December 2 in Auckland (see above). The flying billboard will leave that night for Los Angeles where it will touch down in time for the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiere.
Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says there is a common perception that New Zealand is tucked away at the bottom of the earth and the perceived distance barrier stops some travellers considering the country as a destination.
“For travellers from the majority of Air New Zealand’s long haul destinations, including Shanghai, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Middle-earth is just a sleep away.”
Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey show 82 percent of international survey respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand. 8.5 percent of international visitors to New Zealand during January-March this year said The Hobbit Trilogy was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand and one percent said it was the most important factor.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, director of “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.
The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.com
Copyright Photos: Air New Zealand.
Thomas Cook Group (London) has unveiled its new “Sunny Heart” livery. Airbus A321-211 G-TCDC (msn 5872) was delivered to Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) on November 22 and will go into revenue service in mid December. the second of the 23 new Airbus A321 aircraft to be delivered to the Thomas Cook Group Airlines by 2016, previously announced in early 2013. This follows the first A321 delivered to sister airline Condor Flugdienst (Frankfurt) in May 2013.
Six aircraft will be deployed in the UK and will be in operation by the summer season of 2014.
The group explains the new look, a departure from its traditional blue and white colors:
“Our new ’Sunny Heart’ livery expresses the philosophy of our airline; our team putting their heart into every flight and making sure our customers’ holiday starts as soon as they board their flight to their holiday destination. The Sunny Heart is the perfect symbol for our passion to create memorable holidays for our guests.”
G-TCDC is also the first Airbus aircraft in the Thomas Cook Group to be fitted with wing-tip Sharklets which help the aircraft fly using less fuel, contributing – with the new fuselage shape – to an overall fuel efficiency of up to 6 per cent compared to the existing aircraft in the fleet.
Meanwhile Condor Flugdienst has already painted its first aircraft in the new brand, Boeing 757-330 D-ABOJ (above).
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Condor’s Boeing 757-330 D-ABOJ (msn 29010) sits at the Frankfurt base today between flights in the new look.
Video: Painting of the first A321 for Condor (in the old colors):
Video: Thomas Cook Airlines:
Aerovias DAP (Las Aerolineas de la Patagonia) (Punta Arenas, Chile) has become a new Boeing 737 operator. Former SKY Airline (Santiago) Boeing 737-2Q3 CC-ABD (msn 22736) is the first Boeing 737-200 to be operated by Aerovías DAP. CC-ABD is being operated on behalf of the mining industry as DAP Mineral Airways. Aerovias DAP is expected to add two additional Boeing 737-200s from SKY Airline. This leaves the Aerovias DAP BAe 146s/Avro RJs to operate mainly in southern Chile (Patagonia) and Antarctica.
Video: BAe 146 landing on King George Island in Antarctica:
Thai Lion Air (Bangkok-Don Mueang) has secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and is planning to launch scheduled low-fare passenger operations on December 4 with two new 215-seat Boeing 737-900 ERs. The first routes will be from Don Mueang to Chiang Mai, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur according to the Bangkok Post. The low-cost carrier will add Singapore, Guangzhou, Hong, Shenzhen, Delhi and Mumbai next year.
Thai Lion Air is part of the Lion Air Group.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-9GP ER N5515R (msn 38738) became HS-LTI when it was handed over on October 18, 2013 in Seattle.
Cathay Pacific to replace its Johannesburg and San Francisco Boeing 747-400 routes on October 26, 2014
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) has been progressively replacing its Boeing 747-400s from passenger service especially on long-haul routes.. The company is currently planning to replace the last two long-range Boeing 747-400 passenger routes to Johannesburg and San Francisco with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs on October 25, 2014 per Airline Route.
This will end long-haul passenger service of the type with CPA. It is unclear at this time if the airline will continue short-haul Asian service of the aircraft after this date.
In addition, the company will end Boeing 747-400 passenger service to London (Heathrow) on December 31, 2013.
Cathay Pacific continues to operate an extensive Boeing 747 freighter operation.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-467 B-HOP (msn 23815) approaches London (Heathrow) when it once served that route.
WestJet (Calgary) has announced that its pilots have voted against a tentative agreement by a margin of 58.7 percent. Turnout was very strong, with 96 per cent of pilots voting.
The current agreement remains in effect until a new agreement is reached. Pilots at WestJet are represented by the WestJet Pilots Association (WJPA), a non-union employee association.
“We are disappointed with the results of the vote,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. “Our leadership team and the WJPA will regroup in the coming weeks, focusing on understanding the specific concerns of the pilot group and, just as we’ve always done, work collaboratively to bring forward a new agreement.”
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7CT C-FWAQ (msn 32748) touches down in Las Vegas.
SunExpress Airlines (Antalya) will add new flights from its Izmir hub to Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lyon, Nantes and Paris (Charles de Gaulle) in April 2014. SunExpress will fly 200 flights a week from Izmir International Airport to 26 destinations in Europe, mainly in Germany, Switzerland and Austria (see map below).
The airline is also expanding operations next summer at Gazipasa Airport (GZP) in the Antalya Province of Turkey according to Haber Alanya. The Turkish carrier will offer flights to Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart through its German subsidiary.
SunExpress is a joint venture between Turkish Airlines (50 percent) and Lufthansa (50 percent).
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8HC TC-SNU (msn 40756) taxies at the Antalya base.
AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced its new seasonal flights from Morelia and Puerto Vallarta to Chicago (O’Hare), as of December 12 and 21, respectively.
The schedules for these new flights are listed as follows:
|Morelia – Chicago *||Puerto Vallarta – Chicago *|
|2:24 am||FR, SA||AM 1773||12:44 pm||4:44 pm||WE|
|Chicago – Morelia *||Chicago – Puerto Vallarta *|
|3:39 am||8:04 am||SA, SU||AM 1774||7:00 am||11:45 am||WE|
* Times published are local to each country and are subject to changes without notice.
AeroMexico will serve the Morelia – Chicago flight with its Boeing 737-800 airplane with the AeroMexico Contigo program, a product the airline recently launched that offers customers in the migrant market personalized attention and the option to transport bulky luggage. This aircraft is especially configured for 174 passengers, with 18 seats in AM Plus that increase legroom to its passengers.
As of January 29, 2014, AM will add a weekly Saturday flight with the same schedule from Puerto Vallarta to Chicago and back.
AeroMexico now offers three daily flights from Chicago O’Hare to Mexico City and one daily frequency to Guadalajara, which represents nearly 1,000 daily seats between these destinations.
In other news, AM also announced the beginning of its new seasonal service between Fresno and Morelia and Sacramento and Bajio/Leon in central Mexico as of December 17, 2013.
The schedules for these new flights are listed as follows:
|Morelia – Fresno *||Bajio – Sacramento *|
|00:11 a.m.||TU||AM 630||10:30 p.m.||00:35 a.m.||TU|
|Fresno – Morelia *||Sacramento – Bajio*|
|AM 731||01:26 a.m.||07:04 a.m.||WE||AM 631||01:35 a.m.||07:15 a.m.||WE|
* Times published are local to each country and are subject to changes without notice.
These new routes will be served with Boeing 737-800 aircraft especially configured with AeroMexico Contigo program, a product the airline recently launched that offers customers in the migrant market personalized attention and the option to transport bulky luggage.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-81Q N520AM (msn 29052) with the additional Contigo markings taxies at Los Angeles.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) continues to expand in Europe and will open a new base in Barcelona in the spring of 2014. The fast-growing company is launching four new routes from Barcelona to Berlin, Hamburg, Warsaw and Sandefjord Torp.
Barcelona is Norwegian’s sixth Spanish base along with Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.
Norwegian will base three new Boeing 737-800 aircraft in Barcelona, recruiting 100 employees locally and launches four new routes from April 2014:
Barcelona – Hamburg: Four times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting
April 3, 2014
Barcelona – Berlin: Three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting April 2, 2014
Barcelona – Warsaw: Three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, starting April 3, 2014
Barcelona – Sandefjord Torp: Twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays starting on April 3, 2014
Norwegian will also expand the following existing routes from Barcelona:
Stockholm – Barcelona: 13 flights a week
Helsinki – Barcelona: Daily
Barcelona – London: Daily from March 31, 2014
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8JP WL LN-DYV (msn 39009) (Elsa Beskow) arrives at Munich.
Do you need an aviation gift idea for the holidays for a friend or relative? Every aircraft image in the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library is available as framable color prints and posters and all products from mouse pads, mugs and T-shirts. The watermarks are automatically removed for all products when processed.
AMR Corporation (American Airlines) (Dallas/Fort Worth) today issued this statement:
Today, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the settlement of the lawsuit reached with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain states relating to the merger of AMR Corporation and US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways). The court also ruled that the merger may be consummated despite the pendency of a private antitrust lawsuit. As a result of the Court’s rulings, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., today filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York a notice that the proposed effective date of the Plan of Reorganization will be December 9, 2013.
Consummation of AMR’s Plan of Reorganization and the merger of US Airways Group, Inc. with and into a subsidiary of AMR Corporation is planned to be completed prior to the securities markets opening on December 9, 2013. Assuming this expected schedule, the last day of trading of all outstanding securities of AMR, including the common stock trading under the symbol “AAMRQ,” and the common stock of US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix) will be December 6, 2013.
Upon the anticipated closing of the merger on December 9, 2013, AMR Corporation will be renamed American Airlines Group Inc., with its common stock to be listed and traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AAL” and its preferred stock to be listed and traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AALCP.”
At the time the Plan of Reorganization becomes effective and the merger closes, each outstanding share of US Airways Group, Inc. common stock will be converted into one share of American Airlines Group Inc. common stock and substantially all pre-Chapter 11 unsecured claims against and outstanding equity securities of AMR Corporation will be satisfied by American Airlines Group Inc. common stock or preferred stock in accordance with the Plan of Reorganization.
This merger will create the world’s largest airline. It will be the end of US Airways as a stand alone company (operating initially under the American Airlines Group until the merger is finally implemented). The top management of US Airways will essentially take over the new American Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 737-823 N922NN (msn 29523) soars away from Los Angeles International Airport.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) has flatly turned away Ryanair’s (Dublin) (please see the previous post) offer to feed Alitalia’s long range flights at its Rome Fiumicino hub. Ryanair has announced it will move many of its flights to its new Fiumicino base.
Alitalia issued this terse and short statement:
“Alitalia has its own strategy, an industrial plan, a fleet and its own crews that allow it to have the necessary passenger traffic to feed its international and intercontinental connections leaving from the hub at Fiumicino airport”.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s Boeing 767-343 ER EI-CRM (msn 30009) arrives from Rome (Fiumicino) at New York (JFK).
Ryanair to open its second Belgian base at Brussels and a new base at Rome Fiumicino, offers to feed Alitalia’s long-range flights
El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) has announced it will start a new low-fare subsidiary to compete against the low fare airlines like Ryanair and easyJet that are now flying to Israel. The new subsidiary will be called Up and will be assigned five Boeing 737-800s. Operations are due to be launched on March 30, 2014 from Tel Aviv to Berlin, Budapest, Kiev, Larnaca and Prague according to the Jerusalem Post.
Read the full story: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by El Al). El Al’s Boeing 737-85P 4X-EKH (msn 35485) taxies at Zurich.
Guest Editor Joel Chusid
Hello Kitty Takes to the Skies
In 1974 the “Hello Kitty” character appeared in Japan on a vinyl change purse targeted to young girls, and it crossed the Pacific to the U.S. two years later. Today it is a multi-billion dollar phenomenon with over 50,000 products ranging from dolls and stickers to products aimed at more mature audiences such as debit cards, electric guitars and wines. But Taiwan-based EVA Air took it to a whole new level in 2005 when it premiered a “Hello Kitty” themed jetliner, used on domestic and intra-Asia flights. The experiment ended in 2009, but due to pressure from the public, EVA dedicated three new wide-body Airbus A330-300s with the theme. But even that wasn’t enough, and the plane took off more than anyone expected. Today EVA Air has no fewer than five Hello Kitties, specially-painted and appointed Airbus A330s, both -200s and the larger -300s, flying on its system, including trans-Pacific, to Los Angeles. The theme extends well beyond the livery. Flight attendants wear Hello Kitty aprons (even the male attendants?) and serve themed meals. The variety of Hello Kitty items aboard defies imagination, from boarding passes and baggage tags to headrest covers, pillows, soap dispensers; even toilet paper and air sickness bags bear the Hello Kitty emblem. Oh yes, the Business Class cabin also follows the theme, although instead of the bright pink and other colors used throughout, it’s more discreetly appointed in a neutral gray. See for yourself: http://evakitty.evaair.com/en/
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. EVA Air Boeing 777-35E ER B-16703 (msn 32643) in the new Hello Kitty – Sanrio Family scheme lands in Los Angeles.
Ten, now Eleven?
The original Boeing 747 jumbos had eight seats across the economy class cabin. I recall a 2-4-2 configuration, much like many airlines have today on their slightly narrower, but still twin-aisle Airbus 330s and some Boeing 777s. But times have changed. Emirates was the first airline to install ten seats across on its Boeing 777s, and many other airlines followed. At this past November’s Dubai Air Show, Tim Clark, the President of Emirates, told the media he would favor an eleven seat across version, if it could be worked out. Emirates is by no means alone, since it’s understood that the more seats filled, the more revenue an airline brings in. Consider Russia’s Transaero, which has opted to put 652 seats on its new twin-deck Airbus A380s, which normally hold 470-520 passengers. Most of those seats, 616 to be exact, will be dedicated to economy class, to be used on long haul flights like Moscow to Bangkok or the Dominican Republic. Talk about a long, long ride with over 600 of your closest friends! Air Austral, a French airline that flies between Paris and Reunion in the Indian Ocean, announced plans in 2008 to buy two all-economy A380s with an astounding 840 seats, but they reversed that plan more recently, and it’s questionable if they will take the airplane at all.
Speaking of Russia, passengers tend to imbibe quite a bit more when flying. Over the years there have been many stories in the media about drunken passengers and even crews on some of the Russian airlines, yes, the ones in the cockpit, occasionally taking nips, or a bit more. A recent easyJet flight carrying enthusiastic football fans from Moscow to Manchester diverted to Copenhagen to offload not one, but seven drunken passengers. They probably got to enjoy Copenhagen, but I’m sure they’d rather have been at the game.
Inflight Entertainment, to Some
To the delight of, or dismay to some, passengers flying over the holidays will get to view some of the more creative inflight safety videos. As long as the required safety information is delivered, whether by flight attendants doing it personally over a PA, an audio recording or a video, the regulatory agencies are satisfied. Some airlines have been getting more and more creative and light-hearted in designing these. American uses a diverse group of actual employees. Delta has a new holiday-themed video, which features everything from Santa, elves, a yule log, an ugly Christmas sweater, mistletoe and even a dreydel in the aisle. Air New Zealand has had a tradition of creating some of the more unusual ones such as with Richard Simmons, a hobbit-themed video (“Welcome aboard Air Middle Earth”) and one that featured flight crew with clothing painted on their bodies (“The Bare Essentials of Safety”). The most recent additions, depending on the aircraft, can be found starring TV host and survival expert Bear Grylls or the ageless Betty White whose slow-paced version is aimed at seniors. But Virgin America has the glitziest with the “Safety Dance”, featuring a high tempo montage of music and dancing, clearly aimed at a hip, younger audience. They’re all available for your viewing, whether you’re flying or not, online. Look ‘em up and decide for yourself if you’d be entertained or turned off. I enjoyed them all… the first time.
AMR asks the bankruptcy court to approve the DOJ agreement leading to a merger with US Airways Group
AMR Corporation (American Airlines) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has asked the bankruptcy court to approve the settlement agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) permitting it to merge with the US Airways Group (US Airways) (Phoenix) according to this report by Reuters. One group of consumers opposed the merger, otherwise no one is objecting to DOJ settlement according to the AMR lawyers.
Bankruptcy Court Judge Sean Lane said he would offer a ruling in 24 to 36 hours.
If approved, the new merged group would become the American Airlines Group.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The rapid repainting of the American fleet in the new 2013 look has likely hit the “tipping point” that incoming CEO Parker is now unlikely to change due to the delay in getting the merger approval. This livery will probably remain as the color scheme of the “new American” once the merger is completed. The new American is really America West Airlines (due to the ongoing management) doing business soon as American Airlines (formerly US Airways). Boeing 777-223 ER N770AN (msn 29578) climbs away from Los Angeles.
Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) today announced 34 new peak summer routes for the summer 2014 timetable.
In 2013, SAS launched more than 50 new domestic and European routes, as well as the popular Copenhagen-San Francisco route. With the announcement today, adding more than 40 new routes for 2014, SAS has then launched nearly 100 routes in the past two years.
New routes from Sweden:
Stockholm to: Pisa (21 Jun-9 Aug), Olbia (21 Jun-9 Aug), Napoli (21 Jun-9 Aug),
Chania (24 Jun-14 Aug), Bristol (30 Jun-15 Aug), Sarajevo (21 Jun-30 Aug),
Bastia (26 Jun-7 Aug), Biarritz 24 Jun-8 Aug), Bodö (29 Jun-17 Aug)
Gothenburg to: Palma de Mallorca (2 Jul-13 Aug), Athens (1 Jul-5 Aug), Alicante
(30 Jun-1 Nov), Pula 1 Jul – 5 Aug), Berlin (30 Jun-15 Aug)
New routes from Norway:
Oslo to: Olbia (4 Jul-8 Aug), Venice (2 Jul-6 Aug), Pisa (28 Jun-9 Aug), Larnaca
(1 Jul-12 Aug), Biarritz (1 Jul-12 Aug)
Kristiansand to: Split (3 Jul-7 Aug)
Stavanger to: Alanya (2 Jul-6 Aug)
Bergen to: Alanya (2 Jul-6 Aug), Billund (28 Jun-16 Aug)
New routes from Denmark:
Copenhagen to: Pisa (28 Jun-9 Aug), Napoli (1 Jul-7 Aug), Faro (2 Jul-6 Aug),
Chania (30 Jun-11 Aug), Bastia (2 Jul-6 Aug), Montpellier (28 Jun-9 Aug)
Billund to: Alanya (3 Jul-7 Aug), Split (2 Jul-6 Aug), Nice (2 Jul-6 Aug)
Aalborg to: Split (1 Jul-5 Aug), Nice (1 Jul-5 Aug)
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-86N LN-RGF (msn 38038) taxies at the Med destination of Palma de Mallorca.
United Airlines (Chicago) is giving up on the Seattle/Tacoma-Tokyo (Narita) route on January 16, 2014 according to The News Tribune. This was one of United’s first trans-Pacific routes, operated since April 1983. Delta is back-filling United’s departure with increased flights from SEA to Asia. United’s Star Alliance partner, ANA, will also continue to serve the route.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Meanwhile United will launch a new route connecting the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub and Munich starting on April 24, 2013 per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. United’s Boeing 777-222 ER N222UA (msn 30553) taxies to the gate after landing at SeaTac on a flight from Tokyo (Narita).
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) on March 2, 2014 will launch a new nonstop route from Orlando to Las Vegas with Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The route will be operated three days a week per Airline Route.
Delta is also starting Raleigh/Durham-Las Vegas service on March 2, 2014. Both are traditional Southwest Airlines routes.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-832 N393DA (msn 30377) prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.