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Tag Archives: London

Delta to restore seasonal service to Nice on March 29, 2015

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will once again be offering nonstop daily flights between Nice’s Cote d’Azur Airport and New York John F. Kennedy International Airport for the 2015 summer season.

Flights will begin five times a week on March 29, 2015, increasing to a daily service from May 2, 2015. Delta has scheduled a Boeing 767-400 aircraft with 245 seats on the route, which is operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Air France-KLM.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-432 ER N841MH (msn 29714) with the special “100 Years – American Cancer Society – The Official Sponsor of Birthdays” logo departs from London (Heathrow).

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

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SAS and Etihad Airways announce a codeshare agreement

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has announce a new codeshare agreement with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). Etihad Airways is building an alliance of carriers.

Here is the official announcement:

SAS and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, are set to begin codeshare operations and provide customers with enhanced travel options between Scandinavia and the UAE.

The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, will strengthen both carriers by enabling them to offer greater connectivity to and from a number of key European cities. SAS is Etihad Airways’ 47th airline partnership globally and its 22nd in Europe. For SAS, Etihad is the 23rd codeshare partner and the third with strong presence in the Middle East.

Both airlines will also develop and sign a Frequent Flyer agreement, which will benefit the members of Etihad Airways’ Etihad Guest and SAS’ EuroBonus loyalty programs.

The deal will see SAS place its SK code on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Zurich, Geneva and London Heathrow.

In turn, Etihad Airways will place its EY code on SAS-operated flights from these European destinations, excluding Brussels, onto SAS’ hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm.

The EY code will also be placed on flights beyond Copenhagen to Billund and Ålesund; beyond Oslo to Ålesund, Kristiansand, Trondheim, and Stavanger; and beyond Stockholm to Umeå, Sundsvall, and Östersund.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS’ Boeing 737-705 LN-TUF (msn 28222) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Scandinavian Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Another view of Etihad Airways’ first Airbus A380 at Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The pictured A380-861 F-WWSS (msn 166) will become A6-APA on delivery.

QANTAS Airways to expand its codeshare partnership with American Airlines

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) and American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) have expanded their joint business, enabling QANTAS customers to codeshare on an additional nine American Airlines services including to four new destinations – Kona, Lihue and Maui in Hawaii and Richmond, Virginia.

Effective from November 27, the QANTAS codeshare on American Airlines will extend to the following nine services.

Los Angeles – Lihue (LIH)

Los Angeles – Kona (KOA)

Los Angeles – Maui (OGG)

Los Angeles – Atlanta (ATL)

Los Angeles – San Antonio (SAT)

Los Angeles – Tampa (TPA)

Dallas/Fort Worth – Richmond (RIC)

Dallas/Fort Worth – Tucson (TUS)

Dallas/Fort Worth – Albuquerque (ABQ)

QANTAS operates nonstop QANTAS A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth. QANTAS upgraded its three per week services from Sydney to Honolulu from a Boeing 767-300 to an Airbus A330, which will increase to four per week from December 20, and from January 21 next year the QANTAS Melbourne to Los Angeles service will increase from a daily service to ten flights per week.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) departs from London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

American counters Delta’s Philadelphia announcement, will start daytime Philadelphia-London Heathrow flights

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) on the heels of the Delta PHL-LHR announcement, has announced it will start new daily daytime service from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on March 29, 2015.

The new flight complements American’s existing overnight PHL-LHR service.

The new flight will be operated with a US Airways Boeing 757-200 on the following schedule:

PHL–LHR (all times local)
Departs PHL at 9:55 a.m.
Arrives at LHR at 10:10 p.m.

Departs LHR at 8:20 a.m.
Arrives at PHL at 11:35 a.m.

American’s PHL-LHR service will continue to be operated as part of the airline’s joint business agreement with fellow oneworld® member British Airways. Together, the two airlines offer customers four daily flights year-round between Philadelphia and London. From London, American’s customers have access to more than 70 destinations in Europe on British Airways.

The largest airline in the world also is the airline with the most extensive network out of Philadelphia.

American offers more than 475 daily flights to 124 destinations from its PHL hub.

Copyright Photo: Michael Kelly/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 757-223 N174AA (msn 31308) in the oneworld livery departs from Dublin.

American Airlines (current livery) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines-US Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines (classic liveries) aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Delta to fly the Philadelphia-London Heathrow route starting on April 8, 2015

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) will expand their partnership between the U.K. and U.S. next year with the introduction of Delta’s nonstop service from London to Philadelphia.

Starting on April 8, 2015 the daily service will be Delta’s eighth destination to the U.S. from Heathrow. By next summer, the partnership will offer 39 daily flights to 16 destinations across North America from the U.K..

Delta’s Philadelphia service will be operated from Heathrow Terminal 4 using a Boeing 757-200 aircraft with 164 seats. Passengers travelling in the BusinessElite cabin will enjoy fully flat-bed seats and a range of dining options. Additionally, throughout the aircraft, all passengers will have access to on-demand in-flight entertainment.

To date, more than four million people have flown on the Delta-Virgin Atlantic partnership.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-TWA/American Boeing 757-2Q8 N706TW (msn 28165) arrives in New York (JFK).

Delta aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

British Airways fits ZEUS, a volcanic ash detector, on a Boeing 747-400

British Airways (London) has issued this statement concerning its part in volcanic ash detection research:

In response to the Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010 which caused widespread flight disruption to travellers, scientists at the Met Office and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have developed a prototype ash detection device, capable of detecting small amounts of ash in the atmosphere. In time, this research could aid ash forecasting and also help airlines more accurately plan their flight and engineering operations.

The device, aptly named ZEUS after the Greek God of the skies, has been fitted on a British Airways 747 and data has already been successfully downloaded from its first flight to Johannesburg and will be analysed by the Met Office. It will continue to fly on long-haul routes around the world for a year, collecting data for analysis.

ZEUS was developed after a pilot in a research aircraft noticed that static levels created by low levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere caused his hair to stand on end. Met Office and NERC scientists seized on this phenomenon to develop and patent the device which uses measurements of static as a tool to detect ash.

An early prototype of ZEUS has been flying on the NERC/Met Office dedicated research aircraft and a Flybe Bombardier Q400 passenger aircraft since 2012, gathering background data from around Europe. This data was used to demonstrate that the ZEUS sensor can distinguish between the levels of electrostatic charge on the aircraft when flying in normal conditions and when volcanic ash is present.

The advanced ZEUS prototype will be on the British Airways aircraft for a year and will build up a picture of background electric field in normal atmospheric conditions around the globe. When information from ZEUS is downloaded and correlated with flight data – including weather conditions, speed, altitude, location – it can help scientists build a picture of volcanic ash distribution. Aircraft engineers can also use this data to schedule post-flight inspections of engines and aircraft systems.

British Airways’ Captain Dean Plumb said: “We were very keen to be involved in this pioneering research which will be of great value to the aviation industry and beyond. Aircraft regularly encounter small quantities of ash in flights around the world, perfectly safely, and pilots use expert forecasts to plan their routes to avoid more dense ash clouds. ZEUS has the potential to provide a clearer picture of ash distribution and could be used to inform decision making-processes in the event of future volcanic eruptions.”

Ian Lisk, Met Office Head of Natural Hazards said: “This is a very exciting development and a great result of cross-industry collaboration, including British Airways, Flybe, NERC and the Met Office. While further development is still required, we are delighted with progress with this prototype volcanic ash sensor to date and the findings we have so far received from the tests are very promising.”

The Met Office is an expert in aviation forecasting, with responsibility for providing international aviation meteorological services and advice. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), one of nine VAACs worldwide, is hosted and run by the Met Office as part of its aviation forecast operations. London VAAC provides advice on the likely dispersion of ash clouds emitted from eruptions originating in Iceland and the North East Atlantic, and this information is used by the aviation industry to help make decisions on airspace management.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLE (msn 24047) climbs away from the London (Heathrow) hub.

British Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Kuwait Airways selects Boeing for 10 777-300 ERs

Kuwait Airways (Kuwait City) has selected Boeing (some good news for Boeing) with an intent to acquire 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Boeing issued this statement:

Boeing is pleased that Kuwait Airways has announced its intent to purchase 10 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes worth $3.3 billion at current list prices.

“We appreciate the start of a new partnership with Kuwait Airways,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing looks forward to an enduring relationship with Kuwait Airways and we are excited to see that the 777-300 ER airplane, which is the preferred long-haul carrier for so many airlines around the world, will now play an important role in the airline’s fleet strategy and expansion.”

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Kuwait Airways also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order. The airline was on the cusp of becoming an all-Airbus airline. It’s Boeing 777-200 fleet (pictured) is being phased out but this new order will restore the Boeing name in Kuwait. Boeing 777-269 ER 9K-AOB (msn 28744) completes its final approach to London (Heathrow).

Kuwait Airways aircraft slide show:

Air Canada to expand Boeing 787 operations at Vancouver

Air Canada (Montreal) has announced it will expand the introduction of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft featuring the airline’s new International Business Class and Premium Economy seating to more of its routes to Asia from Vancouver including Beijing in February and Seoul in March 2015. Air Canada recently converted its Vancouver-Shanghai route to 787 Dreamliner service, with Vancouver-Tokyo (Narita) to be converted mid-December.

More information on Air Canada Boeing 787: CLICK HERE

Air Canada’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft feature three cabins of service offering comfortable ergonomic seating and enhanced definition intuitive touch personal entertainment screens. AirCanada’s International Business Class cabin features 20 Executive Pods with 180-degree lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration guaranteeing direct aisle access. The Premium Economy cabin has 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and, unique for a North American airline, Air Canada’s Premium Economy seating offers more generous personal space, wider seats and greater legroom and recline as well as premium meals, complimentary bar service and priority check-in and baggage delivery at the airport. The 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.

The fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners opens up opportunities for Air Canada to serve new international destinations and convert existing routes to Dreamliner service as the airline replaces existing Boeing 767 aircraft with the new Boeing 787 fleet. AirCanada’s first new route to be operated with the 787 Dreamliner was Toronto-Tokyo (Haneda) in July, followed by the conversion of the airline’s Toronto-Tel Aviv route to 787 Dreamliner service in August.

Air Canada will take delivery of six Boeing 787 aircraft by the end of 2014, with all 37 aircraft scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2019. The carrier’s Dreamliner fleet will consist of a total of 15 787-8 aircraft and 22 of the larger capacity 787-9 aircraft. As Air Canada takes delivery of new widebody aircraft for its mainline fleet, current Boeing 767 aircraft will be transferred to its leisure carrier subsidiary, Air Canada rouge.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 C-GHPT (msn 35258) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Air Canada aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Video: Air Canada’s Boeing 787:

Video: Born to fly:

SAS signs a contract with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo, Norway

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) has issued this statement regarding a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport:

SAS has, along with the Lufthansa Group and KLM, signed an agreement with Statoil Aviation for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport.

SAS was first off the ground in Norway and from Stockholm Arlanda in Sweden with a biofuel mix around a week ago and this agreement shows the airline takes its corporate social responsibility seriously in reducing its green house gas emissions.

Via an agreement signed with Avinor and the above named airlines, Statoil Aviation is to supply 2.5 million liters of biofuel to the refueling facility at Oslo Airport. With a 50% biofuel mix, this will fuel around 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen and make OSL the first major airport in the world to offer a regular supply of biofuel as part of daily operations from March 2015.

Via a continuous renewal of its airline fleet and a comprehensive environment efficiency drive in the air and on the ground, SAS has reduced its total CO2 emissions by the airline by around 13% since 2005.

The airline has also enjoyed an increase in production over the same period. SAS is also the first and only airline in Scandinavia whose fleet consists exclusively of next generation jet aircraft.

From next year, the most energy efficient short and long-haul aircraft will be rolled out one after the other: Airbus A330 Enhanced, Airbus A320 Neo, followed by the Airbus A350.

SAS aims to use synthetic fuel on an increasingly regular basis in the next few years, and expects biofuel to become competitive with the fossil fuel alternative. For this to happen, a general environment and tax policy will be required from governments, based on aviation being a form of internationally competitive public transport with thin profit margins.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A319-132 OY-KBO (msn 2850) in the 1952 retrojet scheme taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

SAS aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Kenya Airways slumps to a fiscal first half loss of $116.1 million, retires its last Boeing 767-300

Kenya Airways (Nairobi) reported a fiscal first half net loss of 10.45 billion Kenyan Shillings ($116.1 million) for the six months ending on September 30, 2014.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In other news, Kenya Airways quietly retired its last Boeing 767-300 ER when 5Y-KYV (msn 29386) was returned to ILFC per ch-aviation.

The new Boeing 787s replaced the older 767s.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 767-36N ER 5Y-KQY (msn 30841) is seen at Heathrow Airport near London.

Kenya Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

 

Finnair announces new scheduled services to Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will be offering new scheduled flights to popular holiday destinations for next winter season, including Ho Chi Minh City, Eilat, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Madeira. Several of these destinations have previously been served with flights chartered by tour operators, but by now offering scheduled services, Finnair is catering to increasing demand from travelers who prefer to tailor their own holiday experience.

Flights to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City will be operated once a week between December 10, 2015 and March 24, 2016. Ho Chi Minh City, previously named Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam, with 9 million people living in the metropolitan area.

Finnair will operate to Eilat from Helsinki once a week between October 28, 2015 and March 23, 2016. Located where the Negev Desert meets the northern tip of the Red Sea, Eilat averages 360 sunny days per year and is well regarded for its beaches, water sports and nightlife.

Finnair will fly to Lanzarote once a week between October 31, 2015 and March 26, 2016. Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is known for its volcanic origin and unique nature, charming beaches and small beautiful villages.

Finnair will fly to Fuerteventura once a week between October 25, 2015 and March 20, 2016. Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and is a magnet for surfers, sailors and kayakers.

Finnair will start scheduled flights to Madeira in the summer of 2015, and will fly to the island on Mondays all year starting on April 27, 2015. Madeira is a popular year-around holiday destination that combines beautiful landscapes, hiking opportunities and the many attractions of the busy harbor city Funchal.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A320-214 OH-LXL (msn 2146) taxies to the runway at London (Heathrow).

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Vietnam Airlines to bring the Boeing 787 to London Gatwick in July

Aerial View of Coastline of Tahiti

Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) is planning to launch the new Boeing 787 from both Ho Chi Minh City (twice-weekly starting on July 1, 2015) and Hanoi (three days a week starting on July 3, 2015) to London Gatwick per Airline Route.

The airline has eight Boeing 787-9s on order from Boeing with the first due for delivery next year but is expected to lease additional 787s.

The company also has 10 Airbus A350-900s on order.

Image: Boeing.

Vietnam Airlines aircraft slide show:

Monarch Airlines retires its last three Boeing 757-200s

Monarch Airlines (London-Luton) as planned retired its last three Boeing 757-200s (G-DAJB, G-MONJ and G-MONK) this past week with the end of the summer season schedule.

The last flight was operated with G-MONK on a return charter flight from London (Gatwick) to
Krakow on November 12 as flights MON 9064 and MON 9065 returning late in the evening. G-MONK was then ferried from Gatwick Airport to Birmingham (BHX) for the end of lease checks.

All three of the Boeing 757s are currently at BHX awaiting their fate.

 

The airline is now all-Airbus ironically until those aircraft are replaced with new Boeing 737 MAX 8s.

Monarch has published this nice salute the venerable type on its Monarch blog:

Monarch has bid a sad but fond farewell to its Boeing 757s this month after years of tremendous service within the fleet. The Boeing 757 had a very interesting life within the fleet, due to it’s phenomenal flexibility and wide range and payload capabilities. It has served with Monarch all over the world and has probably seen more corners of the globe than our Airbus A300 or A330 wide body aircraft.

As word got out in the press and via social media that Monarch’s Boeing 757s were retiring, we received lots of interesting questions about the aircraft from you. In response, we’d like to share some of the beloved aircraft’s wonderful history and key stats with you. We’ve turned to passionate Boeing 757 enthusiast Toby Hiller, Monarch’s Senior Economic Planning Analyst, for his expertise.

Can you tell us a bit more about the history of the Boeing 757 fleet?

Between November 1993 and November 2014, Monarch’s Boeing 757 fleet operated planned flights to 439 airports in 128 countries and territories worldwide, including glamorous destinations such as New York, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney! The furthest airport from Luton that the aircraft served was Auckland, New Zealand.

How many passenger seats/capacity does a Boeing 757 have?

With extra legroom seats the aircraft has 229 seats; without the extra legroom seats it has 235 seats. Interestingly, if the capacity is set up in a VIP “Captain’s Choice” configuration (which we operated on special charter flights – see below) then there is 92 business class seats and 12 economy seats.

Monarch 757-200 G-MONJ (02-Captain's Choice)(Grd)(Monarch)(LR)

Is there a fixed amount of staff needed for a Boeing 757?

The amount of crew needed for a Boeing 757 flight is subject to the length of the flight. A standard Monarch ZB short haul flight has 2 pilots (a captain and first officer) and 6 cabin crew serving our customers but this could change to 3 pilots and 8 cabin crew on long-range flights. It is interesting to know that VIP flights are subject to charterer requirements and on VIP flights an engineer would also travel.

How many toilets does a Monarch Boeing 757 have?

There are 2 toilets located at the front of the aircraft, 2 more at “door 3” which is further down the plane, so there are 4 in total.

How many galleys are there?

There are 2. There is a galley at the front of the aircraft and 1 at the rear. On VIP flights, a chef’s station could also be added to prepare fresh meals for customers.

What is the maximum take-off weight of the Boeing 757 aircraft?

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): 113,398 kg

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Monarch). One of the most colorful liveries worn by a Monarch 757 is the pictured Boeing 757-2T7 G-MONJ (msn 24104) that wore the the second version of the special “Hedkandi” color scheme.

Monarch Airlines aircraft slide show:

Video: A full flight on board G-DAJB from London (Gatwick) to Faro:

Alitalia and Etihad Airways receive European Commission approval for Etihad to save the Italian airline

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has received permission from the European Commission to permit Etihad to acquire a 49 percent share in the Italian carrier for €387.5 million and also implement their strategic partnership. Finally Alitalia has found its savior.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways jointly issued issued this statement:

Alitalia and Etihad Airways are pleased to confirm that they have received merger clearance from the European Commission under EU Regulation No. 139/2004. They can therefore proceed with the proposed strategic partnership announced in August.

Following the completion of its review, the European Commission on Friday (November 14) confirmed that the partnership complies with the European regulations on competition. In line with previous cases, the airlines undertook commitments aimed at facilitating the entry of new airlines on the Rome to Belgrade route.

The parties continue to work together with a view to completing the transaction before the end of the year.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said: “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to a positive outcome and the final conclusion of a our transaction with Alitalia.

“An equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for the both airlines, but, more importantly, it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travellers into and out of Italy.”

Gabriele del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. This investment will provide financial stability and a foundation for impressive long-term growth for the Company and for the travel and tourism industry in Italy, in which Alitalia is a fundamental player.

Top Copyright Photo: Alitalia’s Airbus A321-112 EI-IXI (msn 494) pushes back from the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport displaying the 1960 retrojet colors.

Alitalia aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Both Alitalia and Etihad have painted an Airbus A330 with these promotional Expo Milano 2015 markings.

 

British Airways to add Airbus A380 service to Miami on October 25, 2015

British Airways (London) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the London (Heathrow)-Miami route on October 25, 2015. The new type will be operated on the route twice-daily.

Today, British Airways made it official with this announcement:

British Airways today announced that Floridians planning to travel to Europe next year will have the chance to experience British Airways’ new state-of-the-art Airbus A380 superjumbo. From October 2015, the premium British airline will offer two daily A380 services from Miami International Airport to London Heathrow, with onward connections to more than 100 destinations.

The largest commercial airliner in the sky, British Airways’ A380 can accommodate up to 469 customers across two decks and four cabins.

The First cabin features 14 luxurious suites with 30 percent more personal space than the previous generation. Customers in First will be able to enjoy a la carte dining or try the A380 exclusive five course taster menu.

97 Club World (business class) seats that convert into full flat beds

The popular World Traveller Plus (premium economy) cabin will have 55 seats and 303 seats will be available in World Traveller (economy).

The new A380 route to Miami is part of British Airways’ plans to enhance the usage of facilities in Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 by combining its operations in two terminals and moving out of Terminal 1.

In the coming 12 months, flights to 20 British Airways destinations, including Miami, will change terminals at Heathrow and by the middle of October 2015 all of the airline’s services will depart from either its flagship home of Terminal 5 or the main oneworld alliance Heathrow base in Terminal 3.

Copyright Photo: Airbus A380-841 G-XLEF (msn 151) taxies at London (Heathrow).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Turkish Airlines reports a record profit for the first nine months of 2014

Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) recorded a record net profit for the first nine months of 2014. The airline also recorded a net profit of $164.8 million in the third quarter and a net profit of $682.7 million for the first nine months of 2014.

The company issued this financial statement:

Turkish Airlines’ first nine months 2014 consolidated financial statements were reported to Borsa Istanbul. Compared to the same period of 2013, sales revenue increased by 33 percent (15 percent in USD terms) reaching 18,4 billion TRY.

Turkish Airlines recorded 1 billion 154 million TRY operating profit in the third quarter of 2014, implying a 38 percent increase compared to the same period of 2013 and completed the first nine months of 2014 with 1 billion 467 million TRY operating profit.

Net profit stood at 1 billion 373 million TRY for the third quarter and 1 billion 545 million TRY (increasing 87 percent) for the first nine months of 2014.

During the first nine months of 2014, 41.4 million passengers were carried impliying a 14% increase in passenger traffic. Available seat kilometers (ASK) and revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) increased by 17%, resulting a stable load factor of 79.7%.

Number of international to international transfer passengers increased by 23 percent reaching a 43 percent share within total international passengers.

Being one of the fastest-growing air cargo brands in the world, Turkish Cargo also witnessed a 20 percent tonnage growth and carried 491 thousand tonnes of cargo in the first nine months of 2014. Turkish Cargo was named “Overall Carrier Of The Year” and “Combination Carrier of the Year” at the Payload Asia Awards 2014.

As of today, Turkish Airlines has scheduled flights to 45 domestic and 219 international destinations in 261 cities and 264 airports in 108 countries worldwide.

Being one of the youngest in Europe Turkish Airlines fleet consists of 260 aircraft comprising of 198 narrow body, 53 wide body and 9 cargo aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Boeing 777-35R ER VT-JEM (msn 35162) of Turkish Airlines taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Turkish Airlines: AG Slide Show

Singapore Airlines Group’s net profit declines by 55.5% to S$126 million ($97.7 million), reports demand is flat

Singapore Airlines Group (Singapore Airlines, Scoot, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines Cargo) (Singapore) reported its net profit in the first half was down by $157 million (a decline of 55.5%) year-on- year to S$126 million ($97.7 million US).

The group issued this full statement:

GROUP FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

First Half 2014-15

The Group earned an operating profit of $171 million in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, an improvement of $2 million (+1.2%) over the same period last year.

Group revenue was down $154 million (-2.0%) to $7,587 million, mainly due to lower incidental revenue stemming from reduced compensation pertaining to changes in aircraft delivery slots [see Note 2], and lower income from the lease of aircraft, due to the expiry of leases to Royal Brunei Airlines. Passenger revenue was lower year-on-year (-0.4%), notwithstanding a 1.4% increase in traffic, as a result of yield declines (-1.8%) amid the competitive operating environment and depreciating revenue-generating currencies, led by the Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen. Cargo revenue fell 1.6%, driven by a capacity cut (-3.8%), though this was partially compensated for by better yields and higher load factor.

Group expenditure at $7,416 million declined $156 million (-2.1%) over the previous financial year. Fuel costs after hedging fell $107 million, attributable to lower volume uplifted (-3.2%), the weaker US Dollar against the Singapore Dollar, and a 0.4% decline in jet fuel price after hedging.

Note 1: The SIA Group’s unaudited financial results for the half year and second quarter ended 30 September 2014 were announced on 6 November 2014. A summary of the financial and operating statistics is shown in Annex A. (All monetary figures are in Singapore Dollars. The Company refers to Singapore Airlines, the Parent Airline Company. The Group comprises the Company and its subsidiary, joint venture and associated companies).

Note 2: The settlement agreement was reached in Q1 FY1314 and $92 million was recognised in the first half of FY1314, of which $59 million pertained to change in prior years. $34 million compensation was recognised in the first half of FY2014-15.

Group net profit in the first half was down $157 million (-55.5%) year-on- year to $126 million. The share of results of associated companies fell $154 million, largely attributable to the Group’s share of Tiger Airways’ loss of $129 million, which included material charges relating to the sublease of surplus aircraft and sale of Tigerair Australia. The commencement of equity accounting for Virgin Australia from the second quarter further contributed to the weaker results (-$16 million). Exceptional items accounted for a loss of $10 million in the first half, compared to a net exceptional gain of $22 million last year [see Note 3]. These were partly offset by higher gains on disposal of aircraft, spares and spare engines (+$31 million).

The Parent Airline Company’s operating against the corresponding period last year. Revenue was down $151 million (-2.4%), arising from reduced incidental revenue [see Note 2] and passenger revenue. The fall was nearly offset by a $148 million (-2.4%) reduction in expenditure, due to lower fuel costs after hedging, and stringent cost management. Unit ex-fuel cost was down 3.9% year-on-year.

SIA Engineering’s operating profit declined $19 million (-33.9%). Total revenue fell by $4 million (-0.7%) as a result of lower airframe and component overhaul revenue, offset in part by higher fleet management revenue. Expenses rose by $15 million (+2.8%), primarily as a result of an increase in subcontract services.

SilkAir’s operating profit declined $17 million (-77.3%), as weaker yields (-5.0%) put a drag on revenue and capacity injection (+3.7%) pushed operating expenditure up.

SIA Cargo’s operating loss narrowed by $37 million from last year. With better capacity management, yields and load factor were up 1.9% and 0.2 percentage points, respectively.

Note 3: Exceptional items in the first half of FY1415 pertained to the Parent Airline Company’s provision for settlement with plaintiffs in the Transpacific Class Action ($11 million), SIA Cargo’s additional impairment on two marked-for-sale B747-400F aircraft ($7 million), partly offset by additional gain on sale of Virgin Atlantic Limited (VAL) to Delta Air Lines, Inc. ($7 million), and partial refund of fine on appeal from the Korean Fair Trade Commission ($1 million). Exceptional items in the first half of FY1314 was $22 million, mainly pertaining to gain on sale of VAL ($339 million), partially offset by SIA Cargo’s impairment on four B747-400 aircraft removed from operation ($293 million) and SFC’s impairment loss on its assets with the closure of its Maroochydore operations ($24 million).

Second Quarter 2014-15

Group operating profit for the second quarter improved $45 million (+51.7%) to $132 million.

Group revenue was almost flat at $3,905 million. Passenger revenue increased marginally, as higher passenger carriage was largely offset by a 0.9% decline in yields. Cargo revenue was down 0.5% on the back of lower capacity (-4.1%), but was mitigated by improved yields (+2.8%).

Group expenditure declined $41 million (-1.1%) to $3,773 million. Fuel costs before hedging fell $115 million, partially offset by a loss on fuel hedging, compared to a hedging gain in the same quarter last year (+$76 million).

Group net profit was down $70 million (-43.5%) year-on-year to $91 million. This was largely attributable to weaker results from associated companies (-$138 million), partly mitigated by higher operating profit (+$45 million), and higher gains on disposal of aircraft, spares and spare engines (+$35 million).

FIRST HALF 2014-15 OPERATING PERFORMANCE

The Parent Airline Company’s passenger carriage (in revenue passenger kilometres) increased marginally by 0.1%, while capacity (in available seat-kilometres) dipped 0.2% during the first half of the financial year. As a result, passenger load factor improved by 0.2 percentage points to 79.8%.

SilkAir recorded a 0.4 percentage-point increase in passenger load factor to 69.7%, as its 4.2% growth in traffic outpaced capacity injection of 3.7%.

SIA Cargo reduced its capacity (in capacity tonne-kilometres) by 3.8%. Airfreight carriage (in load tonne-kilometres) declined by 3.4%. Consequently, cargo load factor improved 0.2 percentage points to 62.2%.

No. 05/14 6 November 2014 Page 4 of 6

INTERIM DIVIDEND

The Company is declaring an interim dividend of 5 cents per share (tax exempt, one-tier), amounting to $59 million, for the half-year ended 30 September 2014. The interim dividend will be paid on 27 November 2014 to shareholders as of 18 November 2014.

FLEET AND ROUTE DEVELOPMENT

The Parent Airline Company took delivery of two Airbus A330-300s in the second quarter. As at September 30, 2014, the operating fleet of the Parent Airline Company comprised 105 passenger aircraft – 57 Boeing 777s, 29 Airbus A330-300s and 19 A380-800s, with an average age of 7 years.

During the quarter, SilkAir took delivery of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, sold one Airbus A320-200 and decommissioned another A320-200 in preparation for return to lessor. As at September 30, 2014, its operating fleet comprised 26 aircraft – 14 Airbus A320-200s, six A319-100s and six Boeing 737-800s.

There was no change to Scoot’s fleet during the July-September quarter, comprising six Boeing 777-200s.

SIA Cargo operated a fleet of eight Boeing 747-400 freighters at September 30, 2014, the same as the previous quarter. It suspended freight operations to Lagos from July 29, 2014, and added services to Amsterdam, Brussels and Delhi in September to cater to seasonal demand.

In the Northern Winter season (October 26, 2014 – March 28, 2015), the Parent Airline Company will increase capacity to Auckland with daily Airbus A380 services, replacing the smaller Boeing 777-300 ER. To cater to peak period demand, three additional weekly services will be operated to Melbourne and Sydney, and two additional weekly services will be operated to Brisbane and Christchurch, from the end of November 2014 to January 2015. In addition, three weekly services will be operated to Sapporo from December 2014 to mid-January 2015. As part of a service restructuring to the Middle East, flights to Cairo and Riyadh have been suspended from October 2014. SilkAir suspended its twice-weekly services to Solo with effect from October 26, 2014. From December 12, 2014, it will begin daily services to Denpasar. Together with the Parent Airline Company, a total of five daily trips will be served between Singapore and the city, subject to regulatory approval. This will bring the combined network of both airlines to 99 cities in 35 countries.

OUTLOOK

The operating landscape for the airline industry remains competitive and challenging, as an uncertain global economic climate and geopolitical concerns persist.

Demand is generally flat, and yields will remain under pressure amid intense competition from other airlines and promotional activities in weaker markets.

Airfreight demand has seen a moderate recovery in recent months, with demand projected to be stronger in the third quarter as a result of the traditional peak period in the lead-up to Christmas. However, overcapacity in the airfreight market is expected to continue to put pressure on yields.

While there has been a reprieve from cost pressures arising from the decline in fuel prices in recent months, there is concern that the decline reflects a slow- down in major economies in the world which could ultimately hurt travel demand.

The Group will continue to track market movements closely and make appropriate adjustments to capacity, while practising cost discipline in all business areas. With a strong balance sheet, the Group is well positioned to meet the challenges ahead.

Analysis of the financial report:

Comment by Kelvin Wong of www.cityindex.com.sg

Earnings per share for 1H 2014/2015 has declined to $0.107 from $0.24 (y/y) which represents a sharp drop of 55%. Similar for Q2 2014/205 which EPS has declined to 7.7 from 13.6 (y/y) which translates to a 76% decline.

This poor performance has been contributed by its subsidiaries’ contribution towards the SIA Group’s operating profit where we see poor performance in SIA Engineering & SilkAir (both decline drastically by 33.9% and 77.3% respectively from 1H 2013/2014 to 1H 2014/2015.)

Going forward, SIA Group is likely to see downside pressure on its bottom-line due to intense competition from budget airline operators and economic risks such as the spread of Ebola that will hamper international travel.

Technically, SIA is still trading in a multi-year sideways configuration since Nov 2011 and in order to see a change of trend to the upside, it needs to break above the key resistance at 10.92

Link to Kelvin’s page at http://www.cityindex.com.sg/market-talk/analysts/kelvin-wong/

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-841 9V-SKL (msn 058) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Singapore Airlines: AG Slide Show

Air Canada and Air China sign a MOU for a revenue sharing joint venture

Air Canada (Montreal) and Air China Limited (Beijing) today (November 8) announced that the airlines have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) setting out the main principles for a comprehensive revenue sharing joint venture providing for an enhanced partnership on routes between Canada and China which will stimulate traffic growth between the two countries.

The two airlines continued:

The joint venture will generate additional service and pricing benefits for consumers travelling between the two countries as well as provide for enhanced cooperation between the two carriers in the areas of sales, marketing and airport operations. The announcement was made in Beijing during an official visit to China by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, prior to a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) member nations.

Subject to Air Canada and Air China making the necessary filings, obtaining competition and other regulatory approvals and finalizing documentation, the joint venture is expected to come into effect by the end of 2015.

Currently, Air China offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air Canada between Vancouver and six Canadian cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) and Air Canada offers its customers codeshare flights operated by Air China between Beijing and six cities in China (Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xi’an).

Air Canada operates up to a total of 28 flights per week between Canada and China, from Toronto and Vancouver to and from Beijing and Shanghai. Air China operates up to 11 flights per week between Beijing and Vancouver.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada’s Boeing 777-333 ER C-FIVS (msn 35784) climbs away from London (Heathrow).

Air Canada: AG Slide Show

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Boeing 777-39L B-2037 (msn 38677) of Air China taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.

EasyJet continues its growth at Bristol, adds new routes for next summer

EasyJet (easyJet.com) (UK) (London-Luton) has announced its plans for four new routes from Bristol to Lanzarote, Catania, Porto and Gibraltar from Summer 2015.

The new destinations follow easyJet’s five year agreement with Bristol Airport last winter to continue growth at the airport, and will result in an extra aircraft being located at the base. There will now be up to 12 easyJet aircraft based at the airport from Summer 2015.

In total, EasyJet now flies to 50 destinations from Bristol – more than any other airline from the airport.

Bristol to Lanzarote is a year round service, flying twice a week from April 18, 2015.
Bristol to Catania is a summer service, flying twice a week from May 14, 2015.
Bristol to Porto is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 19,2015.
Bristol to Gibraltar will be Bristol’s only direct scheduled flight service to Gibraltar. It is a year round service, flying three times per week from April 19, 2015.

According to Airline Route, the low-fare carrier will also add the following routes next summer:

London Gatwick – Stuttgart 12 weekly, starting on March 29, 2015
Lyon – Krakow 3 weekly, March 29
Toulouse – Seville 3 weekly, March 29
Nantes – Porto 4 weekly, March 30
Naples – Athens 3 weekly, March 30
London Gatwick – Brindisi 2 weekly, April 1
Toulouse – Agadir 2 weekly, April 1
Milan Malpensa – Stuttgart 6 weekly, April 24
London Luton – Antalya 2 weekly, April 25
London Luton – Porto 3 weekly, April 26
London Luton – Essaouria, May 1
London Luton – Bodrum 2 weekly, May 17
Belfast City – Split 1 weekly, May 20
Manchester – Porto 3 weekly, June 16
Manchester – Marseille 2 weekly, June 17
Manchester – Pisa 2 weekly, June 17
Naples – Olbia 4 weekly, June 28
Glasgow – Bordeaux 2 weekly, June 29
Toulouse – Palma de Mallorca 2 weekly, July 3
Paris Orly – Split 2 weekly, July 5

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZWP (msn 5927) with Sharklets arrives back at London (Gatwick).

EasyJet (UK): AG Slide Show

Aer Lingus’ third quarter operating profit increases almost 14% to $140.1 million

Aer Lingus (Dublin) reported an operating profit of €112.9 million ($140.1 million) for the third quarter ending on  September 30 2014, up 19 percent from the €94.9 million ($117.7 million) reported a year ago.

This was the best third quarter financial report for the company since the financial crisis of 2008.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 EI-EPU (msn 3102) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Airways introduces new entertainment options

QANTAS logo

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has implemented its new and improved inflight entertainment program giving customers more choice and variety and more regular and in-depth news coverage as a result of its new partnership with Sky News, Foxtel and Fox Sports.

QANTAS customers will be able to view a complete package of news, sport, entertainment and lifestyle programs with the partnership marking the start of a comprehensive transformation of Qantas’ inflight entertainment programming.

QANTAS is the only Australian airline to give its customers an inflight entertainment solution on every aircraft no matter what cabin they are traveling in.

New inflight entertainment features:

More news – QANTAS customers will enjoy multiple daily news bulletins on international and domestic flights seven days a week.

More exposure – A new international Australian news service called Australia Channel will broadcast live to Qantas’ international network of lounges so customers returning home will be able to watch the latest news, sport and business updates from Australia. Domestic customers will also enjoy this service.

More sport – Fox Sports content will be on offer for customers including highlights packages, interviews and documentaries.

More variety – A Foxtel Picks channel will showcase a library of lifestyle, drama, food, sport and entertainment programming from the likes of The Lifestyle Channel, Fox8, Showcase, the History Channel and Comedy Channel.

More content – Customers can expect more volume in popular categories including double the number of new releases and blockbusters, kid’s and drama content. Four times more business programming.

More music – Customers can now listen to a greater selection of music with triple the number of albums added each quarter.

QANTAS has also engaged Stellar Entertainment, a full-service content service provider, offering world-class IFE. The partnership has already seen QANTAS double its number of new releases and blockbusters, adding 100 hours of additional content.

Bottom Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQC (msn 022) arrives in London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Thomas Cook Airlines is coming to Reno, Nevada

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Manchester) will launch seasonal twice-weekly Airbus A330-200 London (Gatwick)-Reno flights from December 19, 2015 through April 9, 2016 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-243 G-OYMT (msn 301) taxies at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and British Airways to operate four daily flights between Los Angeles and London Heathrow starting on March 28, 2015

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced it will add more service between Los Angeles and London (Heathrow) beginning in March 2015. The new flight will be operated with three-class Boeing 777-300 ERs.

With four daily direct flights to London Heathrow – two operated by American with its flagship 777-300 ERs and two by American’s Atlantic joint business partner British Airways (London) with its Airbus A380s.

LAX-LHR (four times per day, year round, all times local)

American-British LAX-LHR Schedule

The new 5:55 p.m. (1755) LAX to LHR nonstop begins on March 28, 2015.

During 2014, American has expanded its LAX hub with new twice-daily service to Vancouver, Canada (YVR), daily nonstop service to Edmonton, Canada (YEG) and San Antonio, Texas (SAT). American launches new daily nonstop service to Tampa, Florida (TPA), on Nov. 5 and three daily nonstop flights to Atlanta (ATL) on March 5, 2015. With these new destinations, American will serve 55 domestic and international destinations from LAX. Earlier this month, American also submitted a motion to the U.S. Department of Transportation asking it to reallocate an underutilized U.S.-Tokyo Haneda (HND) frequency to American, which American would use to operate year-round service between LAX and HND.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-323 ER N717AN (msn 31543) climbs away from London’s Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

TAP Portugal braces for a cabin crew strike, delays Guinea-Bissau inaugural for 45 days

TAP Portugal (Lisbon) has issued this statement regarding a strike planned by its cabin staff on October 30 and November 1:

TAP Cabin Crew Union announced two separate strikes to take place on October 30 and November 1 between 00.00 and 23.59.

Therefore, and in order to mitigate as much as possible the effects of the strike, TAP is authorizing date changes free of charge within the same cabin and tickets validity, or its refund. In order to do so, passengers should contact TAP through the Contact Center or their Travel Agencies.

Despite the situation, we inform that TAP flights operated by PGA Portugália Airlines will not be affected, as well as the flights established to operate as minimum services, available below.

All passengers with flights affected by the strike will be contacted, in order to find the best alternative.

Whenever the contact cannot be established TAP will reissue the ticket for the next available flights, keeping the schedule and dates as closer as possible to the original ones.

We suggest passengers to check their bookings here and do the online check-in if the flights are confirmed. This option is available up to 72 hours prior to departure, despite some exceptions depending on the destination.

Beforehand, and due to the high number of calls received, we apologize for any delays that may occur on the Contact Center response.

TAP regrets the situation and assures all efforts are being made to minimize the impact of this strike.

In other news, TAP Portugal has announced the delay of its new services to Guinea-Bissau in west Africa for 45 days due to the Ebola virus concerns. The carrier had planned to start three weekly flight from Lisbon to Guinea-Bissau on October 28.

Copyright Photo: TAP’s Airbus A321-211 CS-TJE (msn 1307) taxies at London (Heathrow).

TAP Portugal Aircraft Slide Show:

Virgin Atlantic introduces the new Boeing 787-9 on the Boston route

Virgin Atlantic She is Here

Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) yesterday (October 28) introduced its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (G-VNEW, “Birthday Girl) on the London (Heathrow)-Boston route as planned.

The airline celebrated the new launch with this entry in its blog:

In 1984, the inaugural Virgin Atlantic transatlantic flight took place. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this historic event, we’re introducing our new Boeing 787-9, also known as the ‘Dreamliner.’

Named “Birthday Girl”, this brand new aircraft started flying from London to Boston, on October 28, 2014. It’s a whole new chapter for air travel. Here’s why…

The Virgin Atlantic Boeing Dreamliner 787-9The new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Prepare for an evolution in air travel

A strong connection

Now, you can stay connected throughout the whole flight with the onboard WiFi connection. So you can tweet from your seat or make a call mid air.

The Wander Wall

Head over to grab a bite to eat or a drink and meet other travellers at the Wander Wall in Premium Economy. And make sure you say hello to our friendly cabin crew, because if there’s one thing they love, it’s getting to know customers from across the globe. Stretching your legs has never been so interesting.

A bright idea

Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Mood Lighting
The dynamic new mood lighting on board the 787 Dreamliner

Feel lighter, brighter and say goodbye to jet lag. The new dynamic mood lighting on the 787 adjusts throughout the flight to the destination time zone, helping you arrive feeling relaxed and as energised as you would on a normal day.

Drinks all round

Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Dreamliner Bar
The Dreamliner Bar, a social space for Upper Class travellers

The Upper Class Bar is the new social space for Upper Class travellers. You can relax, chat to friends and other customers. Or just take some time out to enjoy the extraordinary views over your favourite drink. Unwinding never felt so good.

Sitting comfortably

Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Seat

The new 787 offers maximum legroom and soft seating throughout all cabins

Economy seating on the 787 is more comfortable than ever. We’ve made the most of the space around the seats, so there’s maximum legroom and plenty of space for reclining. Whichever cabin you’re in, the seats are soft and beautifully designed. And if you’re travelling in Upper Class, you can look forward to stretching out in a 33″ wide flat bed. Ceilings throughout are also higher, allowing more air and light to circulate and giving a feeling of space and freedom.

Time flies

Birthday Girl has a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet, a range of over 8,300 miles and speeds of over 640 mph. Prepare to reach your destination faster than you ever thought possible.

Pure and simple

Feeling comfortable onboard the 787 goes even further than advanced seating and ample legroom. The air’s cleaner and the cabin pressure is lower, meaning you’ll arrive feeling refreshed and revived. Not only that, the windows are the largest on any commercial aircraft. So you can eat, dine or relax in perfectly natural light. And when you’re ready for the end of the day, the dynamic mood lighting and electronically dimmable windows lower the brightness.

Ending on a high note

Our new 787 is 21% more fuel efficient than the aircraft it’s replacing. It’s innovation at its greenest.

Our 787 Dreamliner is innovative, luxurious and miles ahead. And it’s built to make flying even more enjoyable.

All images by Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Emirates arrives in Budapest

Emirates (Dubai) yesterday (October 27) as planned launched a daily nonstop service to Budapest, marking its first entry into Hungary.

Emirates’ daily flight to Budapest is operated with a wide-body Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class configuration. The inaugural flight was welcomed by Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer, Budapest Airport, along with partners from the travel trade and local media, at a special reception held at the airport. A contingent comprising His Excellency Zoltan Jancsi – Ambassador of Hungary to the United Arab Emirates and other business leaders, accompanied by senior Emirates representatives, was present on the inaugural flight.

Emirates’ Airbus A330-200 will offer 27 seats in Business Class and 251 Economy Class seats.

Flight EK 111 will depart Dubai at 0820 and will arrive at Budapest Airport at 1135. The return flight, EK 112 will depart at 1505 and will arrive at Dubai International Airport at 2330.

Copyright Photo: Emirates A330-243 A6-EKW (msn 316) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Emirates Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Flybe launches seven routes from London’s City Airport, is in talks with other carriers about taking over unprofitable short-haul routes

Flybe Spirit of Belfast (Flybe)(LR)

Flybe (Exeter) today (October 27) as planned launched seven routes from London’s downtown City Airport. The regional carrier now flies from LCY to Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Belfast (City) Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness (see map below).

Flybe Land in London

In other news, according to Bloomberg, quoting CEO Saad Hammed, the airline is in talks with several European airlines about taking over their unprofitable short-haul routes. Flybe currently has such a deal with Finnair (Helsinki).

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Flybe. To celebrate the launch of Flybe’s new London City Airport routes, six purple planes have been christened with a ‘Spirit of the Regions’ theme. Here’s the ‘Spirit of Belfast’ aircraft, ahead of it’s inaugural flight from George Best Belfast City Airport.

Flybe Aircraft Slide Show:

Routes from London’s City Airport:

Flybe LCY 10.2014 Route Map

 

Delta and Virgin Atlantic this weekend add to their trans-Atlantic joint venture with two swapped flights

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) this weekend are marking the launch of their new services between London (Heathrow) and Los Angeles and London-Heathrow and Atlanta respectively.

The new routes are the first transfer of operations between the two airlines since the launch of their joint venture earlier this year and will offer more choice and flexibility for both airlines’ customers on these key routes across the Atlantic.

From Sunday, Delta will be flying nonstop from London to California for the first time with one of two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights previously operated by Virgin Atlantic. The route is Delta’s seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, is operating its first ever flights into the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, having taken over one of Delta’s three daily services, and is now able to offer more than 100 additional international and domestic connections to its customers at Delta’s hub airport.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate their Los Angeles and Atlanta services at Heathrow Terminal 3. This co-location adds to the New York-JFK, Boston and Seattle/Tacoma joint venture flights, which already operate from Terminal 3. This provides convenient connections and a seamless customer experience for passengers of both airlines, including access to Virgin Atlantic’s award winning Clubhouse for all business class passengers. Both carriers also offer full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all business class flights between the U.K and U.S..

Virgin Atlantic expects to fly around 160,000 passengers annually to Atlanta and beyond on its new service providing convenient connections to Delta flights across the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Virgin Atlantic has recently announced plans to add a second daily seasonal flight to Atlanta in summer 2015 as part of a package of investment into North American routes that will see the total number of peak day flights operated by the joint venture at 37 from March.

Since the start of the Delta and Virgin Atlantic trans-Atlantic joint venture, 3.5 million passengers have experienced the benefits of the partnership. The two airlines also have a codeshare agreement in place, maximizing the customer appeal of the joint schedule. The partnership enables the airlines to offer more flight choices for travellers on both sides of the Atlantic by improving their travel options.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta will operate the Boeing 767-300 ER on the LHR-LAX route. Delta’s Boeing 767-332 ER N16065 (msn 30199) now carries special “Andrew Young – Atlanta ‘s Ambassador to the World” markings by the nose saluting the diplomatic career of Atlanta native Andrew Young.

Delta Air Lines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin Atlantic will operate the Airbus A330-300 on the LHR-ATL route. Airbus A330-343 G-VUFO (msn 1352) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

WOW Air is coming to Boston and Baltimore/Washington with Airbus A321s

WOW Air (Keflavik) as planned, is coming to Boston in March 2015 with fares starting at $99 one-way. Kleflavik International Airport-Boston Logan International Airport will start on March 27 and operate six days a week with Airbus A321s.

WOW Air will also operate seasonal service between Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) and Keflavik International Airport with four weekly roundtrip flights starting on June 4, 2015.

For the service from BWI, WOW Air will also utilize Airbus A321 aircraft. The seasonal flights will operate four times per week, on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 TF-WOW (msn 2457) arrives at London (Gatwick).

WOW Air Aircraft Slide Show:

WOW Air: AG Slide Show

WOW AIr crew-1

 

Qatar Airways to bring the new Airbus A380 to Bangkok starting on January 5, 2015

Qatar Airways (Doha) will assign the new Airbus A380 to the Doha-Bangkok route starting on January 5, 2015.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) climbs away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Video: The painting of the first Airbus A380:

http://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/photos/swfpopup.mg?AlbumID=15371372&AlbumKey=HmMsmS

Video: A classic Qatar Airways commercial from 2013:

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Aeroflot extends its collective bargaining agreements with it employees

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) has extended its collective bargaining agreement with its employees through 2017. The company issued this statement:

Aeroflot management and airline employee trade unions have successfully concluded negotiations that extend the collective bargaining agreement currently in place for the period 2014 through 2017. The collective agreement calls for a wide range of benefits for employees, irrespective of union membership.

Despite the challenging economic environment in Russia, the parties determined it was essential to keep in place all benefits, subsidies and guarantees included in the prevailing collective agreement. The trade unions have maintained the crucial role they have long held in facilitating labor relations. The agreement was signed by the United Representative Body of Aeroflot employees.

The collective agreement will remain in force through December 1, 2017. The range of benefits laid out under the collective agreement is unprecedented in the airline industry. To date the expenses incurred by Aeroflot to maintain these benefits exceeds 3 billion rubles a year.

Employees receive attractive and high salaries that are regularly re-indexed, and in addition receive additional payments (paid annual leave, awards upon retirement, paid public holidays, etc.).

The collective agreement calls for the following benefits:

Adding up to 14 days of holiday time (increasing total annual paid leave to 42 days);
Medical care (treatment at Aeroflot’s own Medical Centre, payment for treatment at other medical facilities, subsidised prescriptions);
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in 2014 employees enjoyed holidays and sanatorium treatments in Russia and abroad: Crimea, the Mineralnie Vody region of the Caucasus, the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the Krasnodar region, Slovakia, Israel, the UAE and Turkey;
Non-state pension fund payments;
Company-provided automobiles;
Subsidised air tickets for employees and their families;
Reimbursement of children’s pre-school expenses;
Corporate trainings.
A number of key benefits continue for employees after they have retired from the Company.

Aeroflot has always valued healthy lifestyles for employees, and for that reason leases exercise facilities on their behalf.

Approximately 70% of the cost of employee benefits are allocated to on-board personnel, the airline’s most valued group of employees. In addition to high salaries in line with those at the leading international airlines, pilots receive:

The most holidays in the industry, 70 days off (whereas European carriers typically give pilots 28 days);
Comfortable accommodations when spending the night away from the pilot’s home airport;
Minimum three-star hotel accommodation;
Expense-paid holidays in sanatoriums (in addition to the standard company options, a special program is available to pilots and their families in the Czech Republic);
Per-diem based on average salaried day for days spent on routine medical check-ups;
In the event a pilot leaves the Company due to physical inability to carry out his duties, a one-time payment is made equivalent to 20%-100% of his annual salary;
Injury compensation of USD 5,000-10,000 in the event of health problems;
Non-state pension fund payments (through a dedicated pension plan, “Golden Anchor”)
Subsidised airline tickets, including on high-demand routes, for pilots and their family members.

The current JSC Aeroflot collective agreement was first signed in 2005. The agreement was the result of extensive collective bargaining with JSC Aeroflot by the leading airline employee union, First Trade-union Organisation, of which more than half of all Aeroflot employees are members. The collective agreement was renewed twice, in 2008 and 2011, without modifying the benefits received by employees.

JSC Aeroflot employs approximately 18,000 people in Russia and abroad and is the leading employer in the Russian aviation industry.

In other news, Aeroflot on October 26 Aeroflot is relaunching Moscow — Tbilisi and Moscow — Chisinau service.

Aeroflot will provide daily flights to the capital of Georgia on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Daily flights to Chisinau will be operated on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 VP-BRX (msn 3063) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Aeroflot Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

American Airlines and Jetstar Japan announce a codeshare agreement

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) customers will have greater access to domestic Japanese destinations starting on October 22, 2014, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between American and Jetstar Japan (Tokyo-Narita).

Under the new arrangement, American Airlines will place its ‘AA’ code on services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose), with first flights under the codeshare starting on October 26, 2014.

Jetstar Japan is a partnership between the QANTAS Group, Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. It operates 18 Airbus A320 aircraft across 10 destinations in Japan.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 777-223 ER N776AN (msn 29582) slips into the clouds over the London area after departing from Heathrow Airport.

American Airlines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Jetstar Japan: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus A320-232 JA15JJ (msn 5701) arrives at the Tokyo (Narita) base.

Full speed ahead; Emirates to continue its growth strategy despite the challenging environment

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has issued this statement on its on-going growth strategy:

Emirates will continue with its growth trajectory, in spite of global challenges like regional political instability, pandemic health issues in Africa and softening economic demand from dropping oil prices.

Speaking today at the Aviation Festival Middle East, Anand Lakshminarayanan, Divisional Vice President Route Planning and Economics said: “Countries recognize the importance of seamless global traffic flows and the multiplier effect to their own economies, and this has been instrumental in our own growth as an airline that attracts business and tourism opportunities. We will not deviate from our hub strategy and our future aircraft deliveries and orders are predicated on our non-stop services, connecting city pairs around the globe.”

Emirates expects to fly 70 million passengers in 2020, and the airline together with its partners in Dubai are already progressing on plans to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support and capitalise on this growth.

The Aviation Festival Middle East is a platform for airlines, airports and the aviation industry to address strategies for growth and development. On behalf of Emirates, Lakshminarayanan discussed profitable network growth, aero-political access, airport constraints and commercial partnerships. The core of Emirates network strategy and Dubai hub were also discussed, in addition to Emirates’ view on alliances and strategic partnerships.

He cited India as an example where Emirates services have brought positive economic benefits, where the 185 weekly frequencies allotted to the airline directly contribute $825 million to the local economy, according to a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

Emirates has also been able to capitalize on strategic alliances with QANTAS Airways (Sydney), which has helped spur tourism into Dubai through the partnership. Over 250,000 Australians visited Dubai last year, largely reflecting the convergence of both airlines’ networks. Another mutually beneficial partnership that has supported Emirates’ growing United States network has been with JetBlue Airways (New York), which has grown to a bilateral codeshare agreement, enabling Emirates passengers to connect to over 60 cities served by JetBlue beyond its US gateways.

The airline continues to work on various initiatives, in partnership with Dubai International Airport, to help ease slot congestion. Terminal 4, set to open in 2015, will also help to address overall capacity requirements at the airport.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Emirates is also not afraid of its large and growing Airbus A380 fleet. The airline is also not concerned with the resale market for its A380s. It is happy to have single operator A380s. Emirates is an unique airline. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) with Expo 2020 markings departs from London (Heathrow).

Emirates: AG Slide Show

British Airways’ Boeing 787s are due for service work at Boeing

British Airways (London) is taking each of its eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners out of service one at a time for routine warranty service work by Boeing at Victorville, California. Starting with the pictured Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJA (msn 38609), each aircraft from the first four deliveries (JA-JD), is expected to take around 10 days for the service work. The last four 787s to be delivered (JE-JH) are expected to take less time since they are closer to the new 787s being delivered. Each of the eight aircraft, when finished, will be the same as new production 787s currently being delivered. This is normal procedure for a new aircraft type as the manufacturer often makes some changes as aircraft roll off the production line.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. G-ZBJA departs from London (Heathrow).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Lufthansa is facing another two days of strikes by its pilots

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) issued this statement concerning strike action against the carrier today and tomorrow:

Lufthansa is working flat out to devise special timetables for the next two days in response to planned strike action by its Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union. The union has called for a nationwide strike affecting all Lufthansa flights operated with Airbus A320-family, Boeing 737 and Embraer aircraft from 13:00 CEST on Monday October 20 to 23:59 CEST on Tuesday October 21.

A first special timetable, valid for the first 24 hours of the strike, was placed on the http://www.LH.com website around 19:00 this evening. A second special timetable for the remaining strike period should be published tomorrow (Monday 20 October) around 13:00. The special timetables are also intended to ensure that Lufthansa services can be returned to normal once the strike is over.

In view of the length of the strike action called, Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul services are likely to suffer substantial disruption during the strike period. But as part of its special timetable preparations, the company is currently determining which flights can still be operated. Lufthansa’s long-haul services will operate normally tomorrow (Monday); but travellers are still asked to check the status of their flight prior to their departure. The company’s http://www.LH.com website is the best place to do so: since the strike action has been announced on a Sunday, it will be some time before the call centres can be brought up to maximum capacity.

Travellers whose flight is cancelled as a result of the strike action have the options of rebooking or cancelling their ticket free of charge. Customers who have booked a Lufthansa flight for 20 or 21 October can also rebook their ticket once free of charge even if their original flight is expected to operate. Tickets for travel within Germany can also be exchanged for a rail ticket on http://www.LH.com or at any Lufthansa Quick Check-In machine.

The flights of sister Lufthansa Group carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, SWISS and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX and EN) will operate normally during the strike period. Lufthansa Cargo, too, remains largely unaffected. Germanwings is currently studying whether it can operate up to four Lufthansa flights that would otherwise be cancelled as a result of the strike action. And Lufthansa’s personnel are doing their utmost to ensure that travellers – and connecting passengers in particular – can be rerouted via the Lufthansa Group’s Zurich, Vienna and Brussels hubs wherever possible to get them to their destination on time despite the strike action. Customers who have provided contact details will also be informed by email or SMS text message of any changes to their flights.

Lufthansa views the Vereinigung Cockpit’s announcement of its latest strike action as totally incomprehensible and disproportionate. The company also feels that the continuing series of strikes here only confirms that urgent action is needed to review the current strike laws in Germany for companies providing critical infrastructural facilities.

The transitional benefits offered by Lufthansa are still among the best (if not the best) in the world and therefore a significant privilege, the company maintains, and are thus exactly the opposite of the “social slashing” that the Vereinigung Cockpit claims. The company’s concrete offer to redesign these transitional benefits includes a comprehensive retention of current status and privileges and a gradual transition to a sustainable model for all current pilots.

Lufthansa also aims to offer pilots who have joined (or will join) the company since 1 January 2014 the option of early retirement from flight duties. And the company has offered the Vereinigung Cockpit further talks to discuss the financing of the transitional benefits for these newer staff. In response, the company has received no proposals for redesigning the present transitional benefits to date from the Vereinigung Cockpit itself.

Around half of the just under 10,000 pilots within the Lufthansa Group currently work under transitional benefit provisions that only allow them to retire from flight duties at age 60 or over, if at all. Indeed, the Vereinigung Cockpit itself has concluded collective labour agreements incorporating such provisions within the Lufthansa Group. But, Lufthansa maintains, the union is now insisting on provisions for the pilots it represents that would give them benefits which would be exceptionally generous in the aviation industry worldwide.

Lufthansa’s remaining 115,000 employees have made their contribution to ensuring the company’s long-term future and competitiveness in a harsh and unfair global market arena. So Lufthansa does not see the slightest reason why this particular employee group should be solely determined to retain its present status and privileges for decades to come, and to do so even for pilots who are yet to join the company.

Read the analysis from Business Insider: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 D-AILU (msn 744) “Lulu Stork” arrives at London (Heathrow).

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

British Airways to resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London Heathrow-Denver route

British Airways (London) will resume Boeing 747-400 service on the London (Heathrow)-Denver route on March 29, 2015, replacing a Boeing 777-200 ER according to Airline Route. BA last operated the Jumbo on the route in 2003.

British Airways issued this statement:

British Airways announced that customers in Denver will soon be able to enjoy British Airways’ new First class cabin. From March 2015 the Denver to London service will be operated by a four class Boeing 747-400 aircraft.

British Airways began flying to Denver 16 years ago and the airline now offers a daily service to London Heathrow. The Boeing 747 aircraft will provide customers with a choice of World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business class) and the airline’s flagship brand, First.

Premium First Experience

The First class cabin has 14 suites that are based on classic design and discrete luxury. Features include:

Individual seats that turn into a 6 ft. 6 in. fully flat beds with a simple twist of a button
Signature turn down service includes a luxurious quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow, along with pajamas and luxury amenity kit.
A personal closet and leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table
A la carte dining and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together
A 15” in-flight entertainment screen with extensive TV, movie and audio selections
Lighting and electronic blinds that can be modified to reflect mood and time of day
All British Airways long haul flights include benefits such as free meals and all beverages, as well as free baggage allowance and seat allocation. The airline also provides a “Feed Kids First” service ensures that children are served first, allowing parents to enjoy their own meal.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-436 G-BNLS (msn 24629) departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

Ethiopian Airlines and ANA agree to codeshare

Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa) and ANA (All Nippon Airways) (Tokyo) have signed a codeshare agreement.

From October 26, 2014, the travelling public will enjoy seamless bookings on ANA and Ethiopian Airlines network from Japan to 49 destinations in Africa through joint connecting airports of both carriers in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Paris (CDG), London (Heathrow) on all code shared flights. .

ANA and Ethiopian Airlines started joint Frequent Flyer Program in December 2011 as both carriers are members of Star Alliance.

Top Copyright Photo: Ethiopian’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner ET-AOR (msn 34746) is seen up-close at London’s Heathrow Airport, one of the connecting points for the two carriers.

Ethiopian Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

ANA Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

Gambia Bird is unable to resume London Gatwick flights

Gambia Bird Airlines (Banjul) has been unable to resume flights to London (Gatwick) according to Proactive Investors. The west African airline had been planning to resume operations to London on October 17. The UK government through the Department of Transport did not renew its permit to operate to the UK due to the on-going Ebola crisis. The airline has been hit hard by the outbreak.

Previously Gambia Bird had extended the suspension of all flights to and from Monrovia, in Liberia, and to and from Freetown, in Sierra Leone, until September 28. 2014, due to the current public health situation in both countries.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Germania’s Airbus A319-112 D-ASTA (msn 4663) is seen in action at London’s Gatwick Airport.

Gambia Bird: AG Slide Show

Gambia Bird logo-1

Gambia Bird’s operating area is ground zero for the Ebola affected areas:

Gambia Bird 10.2014 Service Area

Gambia Bird Aircraft Slide Show:

 

Royal Jordanian brings the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Geneva

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) today (October 18) inaugurated Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Geneva.

Royal Jordanian 787 arrives at GVA (IATA)

Above: Twitter photo by IATA. The arrival was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute.

In other news, RJ announced a new policy for checked luggage, based on the piece concept instead of the weight concept. The new policy will be effective for ticketing on October 15, 2014, for travel as of November 2, 2014 to all RJ destinations.

Checked baggage allowance to all destinations except North America

Crown Class

Two pieces, the weight of the first is up to 30kg and the weight of the second is up to 23kg.The sum of the three dimensions of one piece must not exceed 158cm/62 inches

Economy Class

One piece, with a weight up to 30kg.
The sum of the three dimensions of one piece must not exceed 158cm (62 inches).

Infants Fare

One piece with a maximum weight of 10 kg/22 lbs the sum of the 3 dimensions must not exceed 115cm/45 inches, and a carry-on fully-collapsible child stroller/push-chair, or infant carrying basket or infant car seat, which may be carried in the passenger cabin subject to the availability of space.

Children Fare

The same baggage allowance as passengers paying full adult fare.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 JY-BAA (msn 37983) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Royal Jordanian Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

 

British Airways to bring the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Montreal starting on March 29, 2015

British Airways (London) today announced that from March 29, 2015, Montreal will be served by the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, marking the first scheduled Dreamliner service between Montreal and London.

British Airways operates a daily service between the two cities and provides connections to more than 130 cities beyond London. The first Dreamliner received by British Airways made its inaugural flight to Toronto one year ago and last month Calgary became the second Canadian city to receive the most modern aircraft in the airline’s new fleet.

Updated Cabins

The new aircraft accommodates 214 passengers: 35 in Club World (business class), 25 in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and 154 in World Traveller (economy). The three newly designed cabins feature high quality materials, comfortable seats and increased bag storage. Customers in British Airways Club World cabin can take advantage of wide, full-flat beds and Club Kitchen, a snack bar open throughout the flight.

The 787 also has the largest windows of any commercial airliner, offering customers views of the horizon from every seat. Instead of pull down blinds, each one has its own dimmer switch.

Enhanced Entertainment

British Airways’ 787 features the airline’s new Thales entertainment system. Each seat has a television screen and customers can choose from more than 700 hours of content, including 230 TV programs, 70 movies and 400 music albums and interactive games. Travelers can also chat and play games with friends elsewhere on the aircraft using an in-seat chat system.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Up-close taxiway action of BA’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner G-ZBJD (msn 38619).

British Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways Aircraft Slide Show:

Delta Air Lines reports a third quarter net profit of $357 million

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) today reported financial results for the September 2014 fourth quarter. Key points include:

Delta’s pre-tax income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.6 billion, excluding special items, an increase of $431 million over the September 2013 quarter on a similar basis. Delta’s net income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, or $1.20 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 15.8 percent, excluding special items.

On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $579 million, operating margin was 7.5 percent and net income was $357 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.

Results include $384 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals, which makes a year-to-date profit sharing accrual of $823 million.

Delta generated $910 million of free cash flow during the September 2014 quarter. The company used its strong cash generation in the quarter to reduce its adjusted net debt to $7.4 billion and return $325 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Delta Air Lines Q3 Earnings INFO

Revenue Environment

Delta’s operating revenue improved 7 percent, or $688 million, in the September 2014 quarter compared to the September 2013 quarter, driven by continued strength in corporate and domestic revenues. Traffic increased 3.7 percent on a 3.2 percent increase in capacity.

Passenger revenue increased 6 percent, or $522 million, compared to the prior year period. Passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 2.4 percent year-over-year with a 1.9 percent improvement in yield. Seat-related products and other merchandising initiatives increased revenues by nearly $50 million versus the prior year period.

Cargo revenue increased 7 percent, or $15 million, on higher freight yields and volumes.

Other revenue increased 15 percent, or $151 million, driven by joint venture, SkyMiles revenues, and third-party refinery sales.
Comparisons of revenue-related statistics are as follows:

Cost Performance

Consolidated unit cost excluding fuel expense, profit sharing and special items (CASM-Ex2), was up 0.3 percent in the September 2014 quarter on a year-over-year basis as the benefits of Delta’s domestic refleeting and other cost initiatives offset the company’s investments in its employees, products and operations.

Excluding special items, total operating expense in the quarter increased $320 million year-over-year driven by higher revenue- and volume-related expenses and $135 million higher profit sharing expense. These cost increases were partially offset by lower fuel expense and savings from Delta’s cost initiatives.

Excluding mark-to-market adjustments,3 fuel expense declined $23 million driven by lower market prices and higher refinery profits. Delta’s average fuel price was $2.90 per gallon for the September quarter, which includes $63 million in settled hedge gains. Operations at the refinery produced a $19 million profit for the September quarter, a $16 million improvement year-over-year.

Non-operating expense declined by $63 million excluding special items as a result of lower interest expense and a $23 million increased contribution associated with Delta’s 49 percent ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Tax expense, excluding special items, increased $629 million compared to the prior year quarter, as the company now recognizes tax expense for financial reporting purposes following the reversal of its tax valuation allowance at the end of 2013. Delta’s net operating loss carryforwards of more than $13 billion largely offset cash taxes due on future earnings.

On a GAAP basis, consolidated CASM increased 12 percent and total operating expense was up $1.4 billion compared to the September 2013 quarter primarily due to special items associated with fleet restructuring and mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods. GAAP fuel expense increased $609 million on a year-over-year basis primarily driven by the hedge performance including mark-to-market adjustments. GAAP fuel cost per gallon for the quarter was $3.23. Non-operating expenses for the quarter increased by $56 million as a result of a $134 million special item for loss on extinguishment of debt resulting from Delta’s debt reduction initiatives. On a GAAP basis, tax expense was $222 million in the quarter.

Cash Flow

Adjusted cash from operations during the September 2014 quarter was $1.3 billion, driven by the company’s September quarter profit, partially offset by the normal seasonal decline in advance ticket sales. The company generated $910 million of free cash flow. Adjusted capital expenditures during the September 2014 quarter were $411 million, including $322 million in fleet investments. During the quarter, Delta’s net debt maturities and capital leases were $301 million. On a GAAP basis, cash from operations for the September 2014 quarter was $1.4 billion and capital expenditures were $457 million.

With its strong cash generation in the September 2014 quarter, the company returned $325 million to shareholders through $75 million of cash dividends and $250 million of share repurchases. For the first nine months of 2014, the company has returned a total of $776 million to shareholders, including $176 million in quarterly dividends and $600 million in share repurchases.

Delta ended the quarter with $6.4 billion of unrestricted liquidity and adjusted net debt of $7.4 billion. The company has now achieved nearly $10 billion in net debt reduction since 2009.

December 2014 Fourth Quarter Guidance

Following are Delta’s projections for the December 2014 fourth quarter:

4Q14 Forecast

Operating margin

10% – 12%
Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact

$2.69 – $2.74
Consolidated unit costs – excluding fuel expense and profit sharing
(compared to 4Q13)

Up 0 – 2%
Profit sharing expense

$200 – $250 million
Non-operating expense

$175 – $200 million
System capacity (compared to 4Q13)

Up ~3%
Special Items

Delta recorded a $657 million special items charge, net of taxes, in the September 2014 quarter, including:

a $397 million charge for fleet and other items, primarily associated with the decision to accelerate the retirement of Delta’s 747 fleet as part of its Pacific network restructuring;
a $215 million charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods;
an $87 million charge for debt extinguishment and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s debt reduction initiative; and
a $42 million gain related to a litigation settlement.

Delta recorded a net $157 million special items gain in the September 2013 quarter, including:

a $285 million gain for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges settling in future periods; and
a $128 million charge for facilities, fleet and other items, primarily associated with Delta’s domestic fleet restructuring.

Delta will hold a conference call at 1000 am EDT today.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-232 LR N707DN (msn 39091) departs from London (Heathrow).

Delta Air Lines (current livery): AG Slide Show

Delta Air Lines Aircraft Slide Show (current livery):

Finnair’s board approves the incentive plan for its pilots

Finnair (Helsinki) as part of the agreement with its pilots announced last month, has received board of directors approval for a one-time, long-term incentive plan for its pilots. The company issued this statement:

The Finnair Board of Directors has approved a one-off long-term incentive plan for Finnair pilots. The plan is a part of the savings agreement between Finnair and the Finnish Air Line Pilots’ Association (SLL) that brings Finnair 17 million euros in permanent annual savings. The savings agreement was contingent on the realization of the incentive plan.

The plan period is 2015-2018 and the prerequisite for rewarding pilots based on this plan is the materialization of the agreed cost savings over this time period. In addition, the company share price must at least be 4 euros at the end of the incentive plan. If these conditions are met, the pilots are entitled to a cash payment. The amount of the payment is based on the Finnair share price. The total reward to pilots amounts to 12 million euros if the share price is 4 euros or a maximum of 24 million euros, if the share price reaches at least 8 euros. Divided over the four year period, the annual earnings potential for an individual pilot is equivalent to 5-10 per cent of annual base salary.

Finnair plans to hedge the additional costs above the 4 euro share price with a market-based call option. If the conditions of the plan are met, the associated total cost over the four year period is thus limited to approximately 12 million euros. The closing price of Finnair share was 2.39 euros on 10 October 2014.

The number of pilots eligible to participate in the plan is approximately 700. The cash reward will be paid to pilots in spring 2019, provided that the aforementioned performance criteria are met.

“With this incentive plan the savings agreement negotiated with pilots enters into force, which is essential to improve Finnair’s competitiveness. If the plan’s performance criteria are met, Finnair shareholders will have enjoyed a significant increase in the company’s valuation and the pilots will receive a one-time compensation for the permanent savings they have agreed on,” says Finnair’s CEO Pekka Vauramo.

“I am also very pleased that we reached a negotiation result with our cabin crew. With both pilots and cabin crew we negotiated significant savings agreements that support the company’s growth. In return for savings, Finnair gives its cabin crew protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and a pension incentive as well,” says Vauramo. “The agreed changes in the collective labour agreements and other savings measures are not easy for our flying personnel or other employee groups with whom we have made savings agreements. I am grateful that our employees have responsibly contributed to the negotiated solutions. This is quite exceptional in our industry and demonstrates the kind of commitment to Finnair’s future that I am very proud of.”

The share prices for target and maximum level rewards are identified solely for the purpose of this incentive scheme, and they shall not be considered as guidance on Finnair’s share value.

Finnair used PCA Corporate Finance as an advisor in the planning of this incentive plan.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 OH-LZL (msn 6083) with Sharklets departs from London’s Heathrow Airport.

Finnair Aircraft Slide Show:

Finnair: AG Slide Show

Cathay Pacific is facing a contract showdown with its pilots next week

Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) is facing a showdown with its pilots this coming week. 51 percent of the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association voted down the company’s offer on an online poll. The carrier said it was disappointed with the vote. The airline had offered a 10 percent salary increase over three years. Contract talks will start next week.

If the talks fail, the pilots may got to invoke a “contract compliance”, a form of a strike. This slow down action if implemented could have an impact on operations.

Read the full report from Malaymail Online: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 747-467 B-HOO (msn 23814) taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Cathay Pacific Aircraft Slide Show:

Cathay Pacific: AG Slide Show

KLM is coming to Edmonton

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will launch Amsterdam-Edmonton Airbus A330-200 flights starting on May 3, 2015. The new route will be operated four days a week.

On November 3 KLM confirmed the new destination however delaying the start to June 22, 2015 with this announcement:

The flights will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, including Fridays effective June 22, 2015.

In catering to customer requirements, KLM will offer three different passenger classes on board the A330-200: 30 seats in World Business Class, 178 seats in Economy Class and 35 seats in the Economy Comfort zone (offering 10 cm more legroom, back supports capable of reclining twice as far, and priority deboarding). Schedule

The flight departs from Amsterdam at 2:35 PM (1435) and arrives at 3:35 PM (1535) local time in Edmonton. The return flight departs at 6:10 PM (1810) from Edmonton and the arrival in Amsterdam is at 10:45 AM (1045), the next day.

The Air France-KLM Group operates flights to five destinations in Canada, with departures from Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal (operated by KLM and Air France), Calgary and Edmonton (operated by KLM).

Air France-KLM has a codeshare agreement with Canadian carrier WestJet. This offers passengers access to 30 extra routes in Canada connecting to the worldwide Air France-KLM network. About Edmonton Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is also the fifth largest city in Canada after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. It is the largest economic center of northern Alberta, and an important city for the oil and gas industry.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A330-203 PH-AOK taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

KLM: AG Slide Show

The EU puts additional pressure on the DOT to approve the application of Norwegian Air International

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) currently operates its Boeing 787s to the United States under its Norwegian Long Haul division (Oslo). The company would like to move the operation to Ireland as Norwegian Air International where the aircraft are registered. The European Union (EU) through its European Commission has request an “urgent” meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) about the pending application. Several union groups have opposed the application. The EC issued this statement:

In an unprecedented move, the European Commission requested an urgent meeting between the European Union and the United States to discuss Norwegian Air International’s pending application for a foreign air carrier permit before the U.S. Department of Transportation. The extraordinary meeting, which is being requested by the Commission on behalf of the European Union as a party to the U.S-EU Open Skies Agreement, sends a clear message that the European Union is closely watching Norwegian Air International’s application, to fly to the U.S from several cities in Europe which has been pending for over eight months.

Norwegian Air International welcomes the European Union’s action to protect the rights of European airlines under the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement, which obligates parties to grant operating authority “with minimum procedural delay.” Asgeir Nyseth, CEO of Norwegian Air International, said, “We are confident that the Department of Transportation will do the right thing and grant our application without further delay.”

Norwegian Air International’s application has taken nearly four times as long as applications of other European carriers applying for the same authority. “We look forward to bringing new competitive and affordable fares on new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the U.S.-Europe market,” said Nyseth. With over 300 U.S. based crew, and plans for a pilot base in New York, Norwegian’s new service will bolster the U.S. economy through increased tourism, jobs, and support of the nation’s largest exporter, Boeing.

Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian Long Haul’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner EI-LND (msn 35310) with Norwegian Marthoner Grete Waitz on the tail holds shot of the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport. The flight was headed to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Norwegian: AG Slide Show

Qatar Airways today inaugurates Airbus A380 service to London Heathrow

Qatar Airways (Doha) today (October 10) finally inaugurated Airbus A380 service on the Doha-London (Heathrow) route becoming the 12th airline to operate the Super Jumbo.

From Airbus:

Twelve airlines have taken delivery of more than 140 A380s, which are operating on routes around the world as of September 2014. In total, more than 65 million passengers have flown on Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner since its 2007 service entry.

Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first A380 in October 2007, and began operations with Singapore-Sydney service. This carrier also is successfully using its A380s on long-haul routes to destinations such as London, Paris and Zurich, as well as for the approximately 3-hour-plus Singapore-to-Hong Kong flight, and on the intra-Asia service linking Singapore with Tokyo.

Emirates – the largest single A380 customer – has expanded its route network since inaugurating operations with the double-deck jetliner in July 2008. In addition to service from Dubai to Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Seoul, Sydney/Auckland and Toronto, Emirates is now flying A380s on the shorter-haul, but high-density Dubai-Jeddah route.

Service on the North Atlantic was introduced by Air France, which has operated its prestigious Paris-New York flight with the A380 since November 2009. Air France replaced two mid-sized “classic” widebody aircraft with the A380 on this route, allowing the airline to offer the same capacity with much higher economic efficiency, at significantly lower fuel consumption, and with lower emissions. The carrier also is using its A380s on flights from Paris to Tokyo and Johannesburg.

QANTAS has been operating its A380s since September 2008 from two cities in its Australian home market – Sydney and Melbourne, providing the jetliner’s first service to Los Angeles on the U.S. West Coast, along with routes to Dubai, London and Hong Kong. Lufthansa joined the ranks of A380 operators in May 2010 – deploying its growing fleet on routes between Frankfurt and Beijing, Houston, Johannesburg, San Francisco, Singapore and Tokyo.

Korean Air, which has a long-standing relationship with Airbus that dates back to 1974, received its first A380 in May 2011 and has ordered a total of 10 aircraft to help expand its global route network. As Airbus’ sixth international operator, Korean Air flies the A380 from its Seoul hub to selected destinations in Asia, North America and Europe.

The no. 1 A380 for China Southern Airlines entered revenue service in October 2011 with round-trip flights linking Beijing and Guangzhou. After this introductory domestic service, the airline began using the A380 on international routes starting with flights between Guangzhou and Los Angeles in October 2012.

In May 2012, Malaysia Airlines became the fifth airline in the Asia-Pacific region – and the eighth worldwide – to incorporate the double-deck A380 into its fleet. Malaysia’s A380s are used in operations from Kuala Lumpur to London, Paris and Hong Kong.

Thai Airways International (THAI) became the ninth airline worldwide to incorporate the A380 into its fleet in September 2012. The carrier’s A380s – which seat 507 passengers in a premium three-class layout – provide service to Frankfurt, Tokyo and Paris after being used on Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes upon initial entry into service.

British Airways became the 10th airline to receive an A380 in July 2013 and inaugurated its long-haul operations with the double-deck jetliner between London and Los Angeles two months later.

In May 2014, Asiana Airlines took delivery of its first of six A380s on order, which is a key element in the South Korea-based carrier’s future vision and fleet modernisation strategy. Asiana – the 11th operator worldwide to receive Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner – initially will deploy its no. 1 aircraft from Seoul on regional services in Asia to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok; to be followed by long-haul routes to Los Angeles in the U.S.

Qatar Airways became the world’s 12th airline to add the A380 to its fleet during September 2014. Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner is taking this Gulf airline to new heights, enabling it to carry passengers even further while providing an unrivalled in-flight experience. Qatar Airways is scheduled to begin service with its initial A380 from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to London Heathrow.

Qatar will inaugurate A380 to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) on November 1 and a second flight to Heathrow on December 1.

Map of A380 operators and routes operated: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. This historic photo shows the first, Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137), arriving at London (Heathrow) as flight QR 03 at 1225 local time. The flight back to Doha departs as flight QR 04 at 1415 each day.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

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Austrian Airlines finally finds labor peace with its pilots and cabin staff, flight operations to return to Austrian on March 1, 2015

Austrian Airlines‘ (Vienna) flights and aircraft (except one Boeing 777) are currently operated by Tyrolean Airways and its staff. Representatives of the pilots, flight attendants and management of Tyrolean Airways (Austrian Airlines Group) agreed on a new collective wage agreement effective December 1, 2014. The new contract will allow flight operations to once again be transferred back to Austrian Airlines on March 1, 2015. The company issued this statement:

Following a new and intense round of negotiations, the management and Works Council for the flight and cabin crew of Tyrolean Airways agreed last night on the cornerstones of a new Group collective wage agreement for the approximately 3,200 members of the flight staff. A framework agreement to this effect was already signed by the social partners. The Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines also gave its stamp of approval to the proposal solution.

“I am relieved. The agreement is the best of all the options open to Austrian Airlines. We managed just in time to prevent the possible reorganization of the airline”, says Austrian Airlines CEO Jaan Albrecht. “The negotiating partners demonstrated a sense of responsibility. I pay tribute to them.”

The framework agreement serves as the basis for a new Group collective wage agreement which will be drafted in detail and already apply to the approximately 900 pilots and 2,300 flight attendants as of December 1, 2014. The agreement regulates future salaries and retirement benefits, working time and career development for the cockpit and cabin crew. The parties to the negotiations agreed not to disclose any details about the agreement.

“It was very difficult to find a viable solution. However, ultimately the shared desire helped us achieve our goal“, says Klaus Froese, Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways and chief negotiator on the employer’s side. “On the basis of the agreement that has been reached, especially thanks to the targeted legal certainty, we have now laid the foundations for the good development of our company.”

A key aspect of the negotiated solution is also the transfer of flight operations to Austrian Airlines effective March 1, 2015. In this connection special severance payments were agreed upon.

“Due to the agreement we now have a new starting point for a new, unified Austrian Airlines – flown by Austrian, operated by Austrian. We can now concentrate on designing the future. This includes the modernization of the fleet“, Jaan Albrecht adds.

Austrian Airlines employs a total staff of 6,300 employees. The fleet is comprised of 78 aircraft, which fly to about 130 destinations from its home airport in Vienna.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Austrian Airlines’ (operated by Tyrolean Airways) Boeing 737-6Z9 WL OE-LNM (msn 30138) arrives at London (Heathrow).

Austrian Airlines: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways to introduce the Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380 both on December 27

Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) is now planning to introduce the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on December 27 on the Abu Dhabi-Dusseldorf and Abu Dhabi-Doha routes per Airline Route. The new type will also be operated to Brisbane (starting on June 1, 2015), Moscow (Domodedovo) (starting on June 1, 2015), Mumbai (starting on January 1, 2015) and Washington (Dulles) (starting on January 1, 2015).

Etihad is also scheduling the Airbus A380 inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to London (Heathrow) also on December 27.

Copyright Photo: Bernie Leighton/AirlinersGallery.com. This overhead view shows Boeing 787-9 A6-BLA (msn 39646) being prepared for its formal delivery to the carrier.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Finnair to open a new summer route to Split, Croatia and reaches a savings agreement with its cabin crews

Finnair (Helsinki) is opening a new route to the Croatian city of Split, operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May 5 to October 3, 2015. Scheduled service to the popular gateway to the Dalmatian coast will be flown with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Elsewhere in Croatia, Finnair flies daily in the summer to historic Dubrovnik, south of Split and also on the Dalmatian coast.

Earlier this year Finnair announced new European destinations including Dublin, Athens and Malta, as well as new scheduled services to Chania, Heraklion, Kos and Rhodes in Greece; Catania and Naples in Italy; Marmaris in Turkey; Mallorca in Spain; Paphos in Cyprus and Innsbruck in Austria.

In other news, Finnair and the Finnish Cabin Crew Union (SLSY) have reached a savings agreement in the negotiations related to Finnair’s savings program.

The agreement brings Finnair 18 million euros in permanent annual savings. Approximately 75% of the savings materialize during this agreement period and 25% in the future through changes to the employment terms of new cabin attendants. In return, Finnair gives cabin personnel protection from redundancies for the next two years, protection from outsourcing and pension incentive. The savings impact of the outsourcing contracts already made were acknowledged in the targets of the agreement.

As a result of the savings agreement, Finnair is no longer planning on further outsourcing of cabin services. As announced on 1 September, however, Finnair has already signed a contract with OSM Aviation to outsource cabin services on Singapore and Hong Kong routes, and this will go ahead as planned.

In October 2012 Finnair began a 60 million euro cost savings program – additional to the 140 million euro cost savings program begun in August 2011 – mainly in personnel-related costs. After the agreement signed with SLSY, Finnair has reached savings agreements with almost all of its personnel groups. Savings measures continue in the areas where savings targets have not been reached.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 OH-LXC (msn 1544) arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

British Airways to add four short-haul routes from London Heathrow for next summer

British Airways (London) is adding four European short-haul routes from London Heathrow for the next summer season per Airline Route. Service to Corfu (four weekly flights) starts on May 1, Kos (twice-weekly) starts on May 2, Olbia (twice-weekly) starts on May 2 and Split (twice-weekly) starts on May 3.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 G-EUOH (msn 1604) “The Dove” taxies at London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

 

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