The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) (Washington) has asked the special master handling discovery disputes to limit the number of documents it must turn over to American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix). The DOJ is suing both carriers to block their effort to merge. All parties are currently in the discovery phase. According to this report by Reuters, the DOJ objects to the airlines’ request to turn over all confidential internal documents relating to all previous airline merger requests in the past 10 years.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi/Airlinersgallery.com. Boeing 737-823 N804NN (msn 29567) lands at Washington’s Reagan National Airport, across the Potomac River from the contentious and gridlocked District of Columbia.
Alitalia’s (2nd) (Rome) first half loss increased to over $398 million. The struggling Italian carrier is proposing a capital infusion of $135 million according to this report by Reuters which would only delay the ultimate fate. The Air France-KLM Group which controls 25 percent of the shares, voted against the capital increase. AF-KL has also asked for additional information about AZ before investing any more money. AF-KL has their own financial challenges.
The capital infusion does not solve the underlying financial problems of high-cost Alitalia. As we asked before, is Alitalia headed towards another bankruptcy? This time, their previous savior, the Air France-KLM Group, given this vote, is less likely to help Italian flag carrier given their own financial condition.
Meanwhile there are reported interested parties in China and Russia that could be interested in Alitalia. This Italian opera is not over.
Read thee full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-112 EI-IXG (msn 516) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).
Read the full report from France 24: CLICK HERE
Lufthansa is also carefully evaluating its relationships with the very successful and aggressive Gulf carriers. So far, the Lufthansa Group has decided to serve those markets on its own but it will not rule out a possible future alliance with the Gulf carriers like Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.
Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. SAS is one of the limited number of Boeing 737-600 operators. Boeing 737-683 LN-RPS (msn 28298) departs from the runway at Amsterdam International Airport Schiphol.
Fly Jamaica Airways (Kingston) will launch a new route to Toronto (Pearson) on October 8.
The new airline commenced scheduled services on February 14, 2013 between Kingston, Jamaica and New York (JFK) with this former ATA Airlines Boeing 757-23N N524AT (msn 30233).
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.
Sunwing Airlines to operate weekly vacation flights for Kelowna, BC to Ixtapa, Mexico for this winter season
Sunwing Airlines (Toronto-Pearson) is planning to launch a new route from Kelowna, British Columbia to Ixtapa, Mexico for the upcoming winter season. Flights from Kelowna to Ixtapa will start on Thursday, December 19, 2013 and operate weekly until March 27, 2014.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Sunwing expands its fleet during it busy winter season adding extra Boeing 737-800s from European carriers who experience slower demand during their winter seasons. This creates a variety of hybrid color schemes during the winter months. One example is this Boeing 737-8K5 C-FYUH (msn 34689) leased from TUIfly in their colors but with Sunwing markings.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that the company has reached tentative agreements on new joint collective bargaining agreements with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) for the fleet service, passenger service and storekeeper workgroups at its United, Continental, Continental Micronesia and MileagePlus subsidiaries. United and the IAM reached these agreements with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, and the agreements are subject to ratification by IAM members.
The agreements cover more than 28,000 United employees.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-824 N14228 (msn 28792) completes its final approach to the runway at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
JetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) is getting ready to take delivery of its first Airbus A321. Besides introducing a new upscale cabin for the competitive trans-con routes next year, JetBlue will also introduce a new tail fin design.
The airline has 40 copies on order with 11 aircraft featuring 16 seats in first class which will arrive in the first quarter of 2014.
The carrier will launch the new Airbus A321 on December 19. The first three A321 routes will be from New York (JFK) to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Barbados (Bridgetown) and San Juan.
As announced last month, JetBlue unveiled its new, fully customized lie-flat seat which will be available on the highly popular trans-continental routes next year.
New lie-flat seats are expected to debut in the market on new Airbus A321 aircraft beginning in the second quarter of 2014 on the two most popular nonstop routes in the United States – New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco. In addition, JetBlue will be the first and only airline in the market to offer customers the option of a completely separate single suite seat that includes a closable door for increased privacy.
The new lie-flat seat, created in a partnership with Northern Ireland-based Thompson Aero Seating, will be displayed in a unique 2-1 configuration. Rows 1, 3 and 5 will offer 2-by-2 seating, and rows 2 and 4 will offer private suites, with one seat on each side of the aisle.
The new seats also offer air cushions with adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch widescreen television featuring the most live entertainment in the skies, and a unique “wake-me-for-service” indicator if the customer chooses to sleep in, putting more control back into the customer’s hands. In addition, JetBlue will refresh the core JetBlue Experience in 2014 which will include a comfortable seat design with movable headrests, a new entertainment system with up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming on 10.1-inch wide screens, and 110-volt and USB power ports accessible to all customers. And of course, more legroom throughout coach than any other U.S. airline.
JetBlue’s wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV will begin installing Fly-Fi on JetBlue’s fleet by the end of the year, a new high-speed, satellite-based wi-fi product that will offer true broadband speeds and serve as the fastest internet access at altitude. JetBlue expects to increase frequencies on JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO with new Airbus A321 aircraft next year to offer even more options, convenience and comfort for customers. There will be a dedicated sub-fleet of 11 aircraft initially used for the two core transcontinental routes. Additional markets are possible, based on customer response and demand for more service.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/Airlinersgallery.com. Appearing today taxiing around Finkenwerder Airport in Hamburg, Germany is JetBlue’s first Airbus A321. The pictured A321-231 D-AVZA (msn 5783) with a tail design that now includes green, will become N903JB on delivery.
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Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. today announced that its Atlas Air, Inc. (New York) unit has entered into a contract with Astral Aviation Limited (Nairobi), a Kenya-based cargo airline, to provide Boeing 747-400 Freighter service.
The contract is for one aircraft under an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) agreement, with service expected to begin in the next few weeks. This is the first 747-400F in Astral Aviation’s global network, and it will provide all-cargo operations between Europe and Africa.
Astral Aviation operates in partnership with UK-based ANA Airline Management Limited. ANA specializes in the development and operation of all-cargo aircraft across a wide range of scheduled routes as well as providing air charter capacity on a worldwide basis to the various airlines it works in partnership with. ANA was founded in 1985 and has offices throughout Europe, Africa and North America.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Atlas Air’s Boeing 747-47UF N492MC (msn 29253) climbs beautifully away from Anchorage International Airport.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will extend the Amsterdam-Buenos Aires route to Santiago, Chile starting on February 2, 2014. The airline issued this statement:
From February 2, 2014, flights will be operated with a Boeing 777-300 (KL 701 and KL 702), with a stop in between in Buenos Aires three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Amsterdam and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Santiago.
To suit its clients’ needs, KLM offers 3 classes on board:
- 35 seats in World Business Class for 777-300,
- 350 seats in Economy Class and
- 40 seats in the Economy Comfort Zone that offers 10 cm extra room for passenger’s legs, twice the lean back of their seats and priority disembarking.
KLM weekly schedules as per February 2, 2014 are:
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVD (msn 35979) painted in the SkyTeam alliance livery arrives back at the AMS hub.
EasyJet (UK) (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) has announced that it will open a base in Hamburg as well as increasing its fleet in Berlin in the Spring of 2014. The announcement was made by chief executive Carolyn McCall at an event at Airbus’ facilities in Hamburg.
Building on its success to date in both Hamburg and Berlin, EasyJet’s new base will open with three A319 aircraft with the airline increasing its fleet in Berlin by an additional plane.
EasyJet will more than double its network from Hamburg with 15 additional new business and leisure routes on the top of its existing portfolio of six routes offering almost 170 flights a week during summer 2014. With more frequencies and early morning departures from Hamburg the schedule will make easyJet more attractive to business passengers.
Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZUD (msn 4536) taxies to the runway at Geneva.
AeroMexico (Mexico City) yesterday (September 24) introduced its new Boeing 787-8 on the Mexico City-New York (JFK) route. AM is now operating its flights AM 0409 and AM 0408 from New York to Mexico City with its new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with the following schedule:
|New York – Mexico City||Mexico City – New York|
|AM 0409||1440||1850||Daily||AM 0408||0725||1300||Daily|
The schedules are published in each country’s local time and are subject to changes without notice.
According to the airline, “the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has unique technological and structural advances in its type. The cabins are configured with 32 seats with a 180 degree “full flat bed” tilt in Clase Premier, y 211 cutting edge seats with greater space in the Economy cabin. The aircraft is also equipped with Sky Interiors Led lighting and outfitted with significantly larger windows for its kind of airplane, with pressurization features that reduce fatigue during the flight”
This new airplane is also equipped with personal entertainment systems with 16 inch Elite High Definition Panasonic screens in Clase Premier and Eco Monitor touch screens in the Economy cabin, where passengers can enjoy watching a wide variety of films and TV series. It also features the Moving Maps system that offers real time flight information the Jukebox software that allows users to program playlists with the 1,500 songs the system offers; iConnect to synchronize iPods with the entertainment system and the Seat Chat feature passengers can use to chat with each other on the same airplane, among many other advances.
The AeroMexico 787 operates with General Electric GEnx-1B engines whose structure is made of carbon fiber, plus high efficiency systems and equipment that serves to maximize operating and maintenance costs. All of this translates into significant benefits in environmental terms as this new airplane significantly reduces pollution levels with its lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and lower takeoff and landing noise pollution.
By operating the Boeing 787-8, AeroMexico becomes one of the first 14 carriers in the world to operate the new type.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. AeroMexico’s first Boeing 787-8 N961AM (msn 35306) is pictured at Paine Field near Everett.
Air Canada (Montreal) and Premier Aviation have announced the signing of a five-year agreement for the provision of airframe maintenance in support of Air Canada’s fleet of 60 Embraer ERJ 190 and ERJ 175 aircraft. With the addition of a second line of maintenance at Premier Aviation’s Trois-Rivières, Quebec facility now in place, the work performed for Air Canada will have created a total of 120 jobs for aircraft technicians on the two lines. This contract follows a successful year of operations meeting the quality and on-time delivery requirements for 37 Air Canada Embraer ERJ 175 and ERJ 190 maintenance visits at Premier’s Trois-Rivières maintenance center.
Premier Aviation performs maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services consisting of airframe, painting and support services for Air Canada’s Embraer fleet at its Trois-Rivières maintenance center. Air Canada’s Embraer fleet consists of 45 ERJ 190 aircraft, with an additional 15 ERJ 175 aircraft now operated by Sky Regional Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Air Canada’s Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW C-FHNY (msn 19000085) taxies at the Vancouver hub.
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BOC Aviation (Singapore, the aircraft leasing subsidiary of Bank of China, has announced during the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing an additional firm order for the purchase of 25 A320 Family aircraft comprising 13 A320ceo and 12 A320neo family aircraft. The order comprises A320 and A321 variants. BOC Aviation will make its engine selection at a later date.
The order from BOC Aviation for 25 more A320 Family aircraft comes less than a year after their previous order for 50 A320 Family aircraft, confirming the fast pace at which the market requires Airbus’ fuel efficient single-aisle planes.
Including this latest purchase agreement, BOC Aviation’s cumulative orders for new Airbus aircraft reach a total of 212 (206 A320 Family and six A330 Family aircraft).
Spring Airlines (Shanghai-Pudong) has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklet fuel saving wing-tip devices. Airbus A320-214 B-9965 (msn 5778, ex D-AXAD) was handed over on September 23.
The A320, powered by CFM56 engines, features a single class economy cabin, seating 180 passengers. The A320 will make its first commercial flight from Shanghai to domestic destinations on September 27.
Sharklets are made from light-weight composites and are 2.4 meters tall. They are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and standard on all members of the new A320neo family. They offer operators up to four per cent fuel burn reduction on longer range sectors and provide the flexibility of either adding an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms.
Established in 2004, Spring Airlines is one of China’s first private airline companies. It operates more than 50 domestic routes and several regional and international routes. Its fleet comprised 37 Airbus A320 jetliners by end of August 2013.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. D-AXAD became B-9965 when it was handed over on September 23.
Qingdao Airlines, a newly established airline based in the Eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, has selected the Airbus A320 Family aircraft to build up its fleet.
The airline has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for a total of 23 A320 Family aircraft, including five A320ceo and 18 A320neo aircraft. The agreement was signed by He Li, director of the Board of Qingdao Airlines and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing. The deal is subject to approval from China’s central government. The first delivery is expected to begin in 2016. The airline will start operation in 2014 with leased A320 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Airbus.
Zhejiang Loong Airlines, an airline based in Hongzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo. The airline has recently been approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for passenger flight operation.
The MOU was signed by Liu Yi, President of Zhejiang Loong Airlines and Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO, at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing.
Zhejiang Loong plans to start operating later in 2013. It’s passenger operation will start with domestic routes from Hangzhou to first tier airports like Chengdu, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Xi’an. The airline has the ambition to start regional and international routes in three to five years.
Copyright Photo: Airbus. Zhejiang Loong Airlines, an airline based in Hongzhou, capital city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo aircraft.
Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) stated yesterday after a board meeting that it will defer its decision on what to do with its 25 percent share in Alitalia (2nd) (Rome). The Air France-KLM Group board is seeking more information from Alitalia which continues to lose money. Meanwhile AF-KL is constrained in what it can do because the group has posted financial losses for the past two years.
Read the full analysis from the Wall Street Journal: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Alitalia’s 1960 retrojet in the form of Airbus A321-112 EI-IXI (msn 494) prepares to land at Amsterdam.
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Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is expanding its charter program flying professional and college teams to and from their games. Delta and Syracuse University announced today that Delta will serve as the official airline of Syracuse University Athletics. The Syracuse football team will also use Delta as their charter carrier for the 2013 season.
As the official airline of the Orange, Delta will be featured on game day signage at the Carrier Dome and sponsor in-game promotions during football, basketball and lacrosse games.
Delta has marketing relationships with eight NCAA athletic programs in addition to Syracuse – Boston College, Brigham Young, Duke, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and University of North Carolina. Delta serves as the charter carrier for 41 NCAA Football programs.
Beginning in March 2012, Delta added new all-jet service from LaGuardia to key Upstate New York markets, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. It continues to maintain its commitment to the Upstate community through its support of local civic arts and community organizations, including the Syracuse YMCA and the Taste of Syracuse.
Delta offers 15-peak day departures from Syracuse Hancock International Airport to five destinations, including Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia and New York-JFK. A portion of travel for some itineraries may be on the Delta Connection carriers: Chautauqua, Compass, Endeavor Air (formerly Pinnacle Airlines), ExpressJet or GoJet.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-114 N363NB (msn 1990) arrives at the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub.
British Airways (London) is premiering its “Red Carpet Route” between Los Angeles and London today, the inaugural flight for the airline’s first Airbus A380. The City of Angels is the first of the airline’s more than 150 destinations to receive the super jumbo, offering a premium experience to customers who want to travel in style to the U.K. and beyond.
Scheduled to touch down at Los Angeles International Airport this evening, the new British Airways aircraft offers customers a superior travel experience, including:
- Spacious interiors, featuring 469 seats across four cabins, 14 First, 97 Club World (business class), 55 World Traveler Plus (premium economy) and 303 World Traveler (economy)
- First ‘suites’ with 30 percent more space, turndown service, a la carte dining and champagne supper
- Full-flat beds in business class with new 2:3:2 configurations on the upper deck, designed for maximum personal space and comfort
- State-of-the-art in-flight entertainment with 1,600 hours of programming, including more than 130 of the latest Hollywood blockbusters and classic movies and 650 TV shows from around the world
- Complimentary bar, three course meals, amenity kits and blankets for all customers
- Cleaner air, as a result of advanced filters and a system that allows 15 different temperature control zones with cabin air refreshed every three minutes.
The British Airways A380 also features a new menu designed by The Langham, London, for customers travelling in First and Club World. This includes an elegant five-course tasting menu and afternoon tea, inspired by the range of indulgent treats offered at The Langham, London – famed as the birthplace of Afternoon Tea over 140 years ago.
New aircraft are part of British Airways £5 billion investment in products and services to benefit customers. The airline has ordered 12 A380s and 24 Boeing 787s.
Red Carpet Route Premiere, Hollywood Style
Celebrating the connection between two entertainment capitals of the world, British Airways has partnered with Variety magazine to present “10 Brits to Watch”. The best emerging U.K. talent in Hollywood will be recognized at a red carpet event on September 25.
At the premiere party, guests will experience signature elements of the A380 while honoring the magazine’s “10 Brits to Watch.” These up-and-coming actors, writers, directors and musicians include Sam Claflin, Tuppence Middleton, Harry Treadaway, Sally El Housani, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Georgia King, Ed Whitworth, George Blagden, Alexandra McGuiness and Lauren Harris.
“London and Hollywood have been productively-linked entertainment business hubs for all of Variety’s 108 years as the pre-eminent source of industry news, so the chance to partner on the Brits to Watch project with an esteemed global brand like the U.K’s British Airways was irresistible,” said Steve Gaydos, Executive Editor, Variety. “Business travelers and business readers both have high expectations due to their fast-paced careers and sophisticated lifestyles, so this is a partnership born out of our mutual strengths of experience and dedication to delivering on those daily demands, 24/7.”
To further celebrate the launch of the A380, British Airways is staging the world’s first-ever social race between a virtual plane and real plane. The competition invites British Airways fans and followers to ‘tweet’ a message using #racetheplane @British Airways. Each tweet will fuel the ‘tweetliner” and move it nearer to its destination – LA. Three lucky winners will receive a pair of tickets to fly to London.
The 5,454-mile race begins when BA 269 takes off from London Heathrow at 4:15pm BST and will culminate when the inaugural flight touches down at LAX at approximately 7:15pm PST. Visit http://racetheplane.ba.com/ for additional information, including terms and conditions.
Copyright Photo: SM Fitzwilliams Collection/AirlinersGallery.com. A beautiful landing photo of the first British Airways Airbus A380-841 G-XLEA (msn 095) arriving at Shannon on a training and photo flight.
Videos: British Airways is using social media to promote this inaugural flight:
Easyjet (easyJet.com) (London-Luton) will start a new twice-weekly from Southend to the island of Tenerife starting on December 13.
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 G-EZTE (msn 3913) arrives at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) welcomed the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve the carriers’ joint venture by granting antitrust immunity on routes between North America and the United Kingdom.
In their filing to the DOT, Delta and Virgin Atlantic noted that nearly 60 percent of the slots at London Heathrow Airport are controlled by British Airways and its joint venture partners. As a result, the carriers dominate air travel between the U.S. and the U.K, including the New York-London market, the most important business market in the world. By combining Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow slots and U.K. brand strength with Delta’s powerful U.S. network, the joint venture will offer significant competition in the market and benefit consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.
New schedule between New York-JFK and London Heathrow
With the customer at the forefront of their partnership, the airlines unveiled a new schedule for the competitive New York to London travel market designed with business travelers in mind and offering a total of nine daily nonstop flights. Effective March 30, 2014, Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate a harmonized schedule between New York-JFK and London Heathrow featuring seven daily nonstop services at convenient time slots. The new schedule will include departures every 30 minutes during the early evening peak and then hourly until 22:30 from New York-JFK to London Heathrow and a spread of seven daily flights from London Heathrow to New York-JFK, including two late afternoon and early evening departures. These services will be complemented by two daily nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic will operate the following New York-JFK-London Heathrow schedule beginning March 30, 2014:
|New York (JFK) – London (LHR)||London (LHR) – New York (JFK)|
|*arrives the following day|
The two airlines will work together to coordinate other schedule and network opportunities. Combined, the airlines will operate a total of 32 peak daily nonstop flights between North America and the U.K. of which 24 flights will operate between London Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington. Business customers will also benefit from a high-quality product: Delta and Virgin Atlantic’s business class uniquely includes forward-facing full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on every flight. In addition, both airlines will offer a premium economy product on its trans-Atlantic services.
Customers are already seeing improved travel options from the partnership as they are benefiting from codesharing across 104 routes offering seamless connections to 63 destinations across North America and the UK. The partnership also means that members of frequent flyer SkyMiles and Flying Club loyalty programs have more opportunity to earn and use miles/points, while Premium customers have reciprocal access to Delta Sky Club and Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges. In addition, business class passengers receive priority check-in, boarding, baggage handling and additional baggage allowance on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic operated flights worldwide, including those outside of the codeshare agreement.
Delta and Virgin Atlantic will unveil further product enhancements later in the year, appealing to the business customer and improving the travel experience of customers across the trans-Atlantic.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-Northwest Airlines Airbus A330-323X N813NW (msn 799) of Delta approaches the Tokyo (Narita) hub for landing.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Olivier Gregoire/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Airbus A330-343X F-WWCG (msn 1341) became G-VWAG on delivery to Virgin Atlantic.
Air Canada (Montreal) today announced that it will undertake a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select a new regional airline to operate certain existing U.S. regional trans-border routes, starting in mid-2014. Select Canadian and U.S. regional carriers will be invited to participate in the RFP process and submit their respective pricing and other terms and conditions of carriage.
“The launch of a request for proposals is an important next step in our regional airline diversification strategy and ongoing cost transformation program,” said Kevin Howlett , Senior Vice President, Regional Markets. “Over the past two years, Air Canada has made significant changes to its strategy and relationship with its regional partners, now all operating under the Air Canada Express banner. Most recently, we transferred the operation of our Embraer 175 aircraft to a regional carrier whose cost structure is more in line with the U.S. regional carriers, and as low cost operators continue to grow in the rapidly evolving North American regional markets, it is critical for Air Canada to take the necessary steps to ensure its cost structure in these markets is also competitive.”
Air Canada currently has capacity purchase agreements with four regional airline partners: Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian and EVAS.
AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth), the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways Group, Inc. (Phoenix), the parent of US Airways (Phoenix), have each agreed to extend the outside date at which either party may terminate the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger (the Merger Agreement), in light of the trial schedule surrounding litigation with U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a joint statement, Tom Horton, chairman, president and CEO of AMR, and Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of US Airways, said, “The Boards and management teams of AMR and US Airways remain committed to completing this combination to create the new American, and the extension of this outside date is a reflection of this commitment. Our focus is on mounting a vigorous defense and winning our court case so the new American can enhance competition, provide better service to our customers and create more opportunities for our employees.”
The amended Merger Agreement extends the date on which either AMR or US Airways may terminate the Merger Agreement from December 17, 2013 to the later of January 18, 2014, or, if the Court enters an order on or before January 17, 2014 in favor of American and US Airways, on the 15th day following the entry of such order. In the event of an unfavorable ruling by the Court, AMR or US Airways may terminate the merger agreement five days after the Court enters a final, but appealable, order permanently enjoining the merger.
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. American’s Boeing 737-823 N925NN (msn 31169) prepares to touch down at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. US Airways’ Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N961UW (msn 19000183) taxies to the runway at the Charlotte hub.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) on April 2, 2014 will launch a new twice-weekly route linking Venice with Tokyo (Narita). The new route will be operated with Boeing 777-200 ERs according to Airline Route.
In other news, Italian transport minister Maurizio Lupi expects Air France-KLM to strongly reaffirm the value of Alitalia and strengthen its role according to a report by Reuters. AF-KL own 25 percent of AZ and will soon announce its intention with the Italian flag carrier.
read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-243 ER I-DISE (msn 32856) departs from the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is planning (subject to change) to operate the last Boeing 767-200 revenue flight on May 7, 2014 between Los Angeles and New York (JFK) according to Airline Route.
The 767-200 is mainly being used on the trans-con routes and will be replaced with new Airbus A321-200s.
American introduced the 767-200 in November 1982 and has been gradually phasing out the venerable type.
In other news, American Airlines and Qatar Airways (Doha) today announce an expansion of their relationship to include a reciprocal frequent flyer program agreement, providing customers more opportunities to earn and redeem miles when traveling across each airline’s global network.
Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. The Boeing 767-200s are not being repainted in the new livery because of the imminent retirement. Boeing 767-223 ER N320AA (msn 22321) “Flagship Independence” climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Zest Air (Zest Airways) (Manila) has rebranded as AirAsia Zest (AirAsia Zest Airways, Inc., formerly Asian Spirit) following the investment of AirAsia (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur) through AirAsia Philippines (Clark).
In other related news, AirAsia Philippines will be temporarily suspending flights to Davao, Kalibo, Taipei and Hong Kong from Clark International Airport effective on October 9, 2013.
Flights between Clark and Hong Kong, however, will continue to operate from December 20, 2013 until January 6, 2014 to cater to the strong holiday demand.
Maan Hontiveros, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Philippines said, “The temporary suspension is primarily to manage costs following the recent grounding of Zest Air by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). This has affected many factors and allocating necessary resources such as aircraft and crew is critical to ensure its recovery.”
“Right now we need to focus our resources to support Zest Air where we have significant economic interest, and we believe in Zest Air’s potential with their Manila based operations,” added Hontiveros.
AirAsia Philippines holds a 49 percent share in Zest Air, a low-cost carrier operating in Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Manila; and Zest Air will be carrying the AirAsia brand once it is approved by the CAAP.
Read the full story from Business World Online: CLICK HERE
All images by AirAsia Zest.
United Airlines (Chicago) is dropping the Los Angeles-Inyokern route on November 5 per Airline Route. The United Express route is operated with Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias of SkyWest Airlines (St. George, UT).
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/Airlinersgallery.com. Wearing the new identity, Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N295SW (msn 120322) taxies at the San Francisco hub.
British Airways‘ (London) and IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh stated in an article published by Travel Weekly, has warned “a number” of European carriers are poised to fail this winter season.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Wearing a Panda face for the launch of the new route to Chengdu, China, Boeing 777-236 G-YMMH (msn 30309) arrives at the London (Heathrow) hub.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) (Oslo) is suffering with technical issues with its two delivered Boeing 787-8s and has called in Boeing to fix the problems according to this report by Reuters. Norwegian has been forced to ground the two 787s several times in recent weeks, due to problems with brakes, hydraulic pumps and power issues.
One of the 787s remains grounded in Oslo today due to problems with the oxygen supply to the cockpit.
Norwegian Long Haul is depending on the 787 to expand its long haul international route map. As reported, Norwegian plans to launch new routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK) and Orlando (MCO) in the spring of 2014. At the same time Norwegian will launch a new route between New York (JFK) and Copenhagen.
Norwegian continues to launch new intercontinental routes as it takes delivery of more 787s.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Air Astana (Almaty) will start a weekly nonstop route linking the capital of Astana with London (Heathrow) starting on October 31. The new route will complement existing Almaty-London (Heathrow) flights and will be operated with Boeing 757-200s per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-2G5 P4-GAS (msn 28112) arrives at the resort destination of Antalya, Turkey.
Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) yesterday (September 20) grounded upwards of 30 McDonnell Douglas MD-80s (DC-9-80s). The cancellation of flights was due to an inspection of the emergency chutes of its 52 MD-80s.
Allegiant issued this statement:
Allegiant announces it has discovered a compliance issue which will require immediate re-inspection of many slides in its MD-80 fleet. The Company has already begun the re-inspections and expects to complete the process by the end of September. MD-80 aircraft will be placed back in service as soon as possible after the slides pass re-inspection. In the meantime, Allegiant will take as many as 30 MD-80s out of service and delay, reschedule or cancel a number of flights over the next several days.
“We apologize for the disruption to our passengers and ask that they please remain patient as we work to correct the issue, reschedule affected flights and accommodate any passengers impacted,” said Andrew Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. “Allegiant is committed, above all else, to the safety of our passengers and crew, and we are dedicated to working around-the-clock to ensure that all of our fleet meets the highest standards.”
At this time, it is unknown how long the disruption in flight schedule will last.
The company has secured sub-service on seven aircraft from other carriers to assist in operating its Sunday and Monday flight schedule and expects to have 22 MD-80 aircraft in service by Saturday. Allegiant expects delays and reschedules to continue, but is working around-the-clock to re-accommodate and update passengers.
During a thorough incident review earlier this week, Allegiant maintenance became aware of a discrepancy in its slide maintenance schedule. In 2007, the original manufacturer recommendation for slide maintenance schedule changed from once every three years to once a year for slides older than 15 years. Allegiant discovered that many of the slides had not been inspected within the last year and did not comply with this recommendation. This prompted Allegiant to proactively remove aircraft from service until all slides could be brought into compliance. To inspect and overhaul the slides, the slides must be removed and sent to a regulated inspection and maintenance facility.
Allegiant teams are working to accommodate all affected passengers and will offer the following compensation:
- Flights delayed less than four hours: $100 voucher for future travel
- Flights delayed 4-6 hours: $150 off voucher for future travel
- Flights delayed 6 or more hours: $200 voucher for future travel
- Reschedule flights: Full refund and $200 voucher for future travel
For passengers delayed overnight, hotel accommodations and meals will be provided. For travel and compensation questions, please call Allegiant Customer Care at 702-505-8888
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Officially designed as a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83), N417NV (msn 53347) prepares to depart from Long Beach.
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has officially launched its new wireless in-flight entertainment system, representing a new era in the way travelers experience entertainment in the sky according to the airline.
The entertainment platform is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, giving customers the ability to stream content to their own devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, through in-built wireless technology on board.
Following a successful trial earlier this year, Virgin Australia is now extending the wireless innovation across its domestic and short-haul international network. Thirty-seven aircraft are now fitted out with the new technology, including aircraft operating on routes to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, which went live today.
The roll-out across Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800 and Embraer ERJ 190 fleet will be complete before the end of the year.
Since the trial started in August 2012, the App has been downloaded close to 200,000 times.
The wireless in-flight entertainment system supports Wi-Fi-enabled Apple iOS devices (iPad®; iPhone®; iPod touch®), Android devices (phone or tablet) and Windows laptops. To access the system, download the free “In-flight Entertainment by Virgin Australia” App to your phone or tablet, or have the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight downloaded on your laptop.
Copyright Photo: Roy Lock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-3ZG ER VH-VOZ (msn 35302) taxies to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
Air France (Paris) has announced a new round of job cuts as the airline is headed towards its sixth consecutive annual operating loss due to weakening air travel demand. The carrier is plan to cut another 2,800 jobs in 2014. The airline is already cutting around 5,120 positions by the end of this year according to Reuters.
The airline issued this statement and update on its recovery plan:
Air France management presented an update on Transform 2015 to the Central Works Council.
Air France’s recovery has begun and Transform 2015 is taking effect. In the first half, the implementation of measures led operating income to increase by 100 million euros. However, in 2013, the Air France Group will not achieve its objective of returning to equilibrium.
To ensure the sustainability of the Company and to continue investing for our customers, the return to equilibrium in 2014 is essential. This return to equilibrium requires the deployment of all action plans and the completion of Transform 2015, which requires additional measures to reduce costs and accelerate the recovery of short and medium-haul operations and cargo.
ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO REDUCE COSTS ACROSS THE COMPANY
The number of excess staff has been estimated at 2,800 people for 2014. New Voluntary Departure Plans will be implemented. They will be thoroughly discussed with staff representatives and unions as from October 4. In addition, Air France will continue its policy of wage moderation in 2014 and a better adaptation of business costs to the seasonality of operations will be required.
ACCELERATED RECOVERY OF SHORT AND MEDIUM-HAUL OPERATIONS AND CARGO
Concerning short and medium-haul operations, the Air France Group intends to maintain its strong presence on the French market. It has therefore decided to develop the activity of Transavia France on departure from Paris-Orly, to adjust its domestic point-to-point network and provincial bases, to increase seasonal capacity and to reorganize French stations.
• Transavia France, which will operate five additional aircraft as from the summer 2014 season, will expand its offering to new high-potential European destinations on departure from Paris-Orly. In parallel, the Air France’s point-to-point network will be adjusted downwards. Also, the seasonal adjustment of the schedule implemented in 2013 at the provincial bases has been a success and will be continued in 2014.
• For all French stations, a change in production methods is necessary to ensure the Air France Group is in line with market standards, to better handle customers and reduce costs in a sustainable way. This will induce a reorganization of processes and a greater use of outsourcing. The objectives, station by station, will be specified at the Central Works Council meeting on 4 October.
Concerning cargo operations, the contribution of hold cargo remains essential to the long-haul economy. Furthermore, the cargo capacity of holds on passenger aircraft carries an increasing share of global air freight and the global air freight market is permanently in overcapacity. In this context, Air France has decided to refocus its cargo fleet on its two Boeing 777F. The Boeing 747 all-cargo aircraft will leave the fleet in 2015, at the same time as the 747 will leave the passenger fleet.
In addition, cargo operations at Paris-Orly, which have never reached a sufficient size, are currently operating at non-market costs. For this reason, an outsourcing project will be implemented in 2014.
AMBITIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF GROWTH SECTORS
Growth will continue on long-haul routes and new routes will continue to be launched. In parallel, the renewal of the long-haul fleet will be accelerated with the early retirement of the Boeing 747 by 2015 and the arrival of the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, respectively in 2017 and 2018.
At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, a new “Future hub” plan is being set up to enhance the hub’s attractiveness and competitiveness. It will be based in particular on the development of technological changes in passenger operations, as well as the move upmarket of Air France products and services.
In the engineering and maintenance sector, Air France will continue its development of engine and equipment products with its external customers. This strategy is contributing to Air France’s recovery thanks to lower maintenance costs and a positive contribution to operating income.
“Transform 2015 is taking effect and has had positive results in 2012. Air France is continuing its thorough transformation based on the commercial development of its markets with high growth potential, the move upmarket of its products and services and the reduction of its costs. I intend, together with all Air France staff, to concentrate on customer service and the successful recovery of our Company” declared Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Air France.
Read the analysis by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Ole Simon/AirlinersGallery.com. All of the Air France Boeing 747s, both passenger and cargo, will be retired by 2015. Boeing 747-428 F-GITF (msn 25602) taxies at the Paris (CDG) hub.
Singapore Airlines (Singapore) and the Tata Group of India are coming to together to form a new full service Indian airline based in Delhi. Tata Sons will control 51 percent of the shares and Singapore the other 49 percent. The two entities will invest $100 million together according to this report by Reuters. Tata is the largest business group in India. Previously Tata in February announced a partnership with AirAsia (Kuala Lumpur) to form a new low-cost carrier based in Chennai, India.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Volaris (Mexico City) will become a publicly-owned company. The Mexican carrier has issued this statement:
Volaris has announced it has priced its initial public offering comprised of 61,992,540 Series A shares for the Mexican offering and 226,469,000 Ordinary Participation Certificates (CPOs) in the form on American Depositary Shares (ADSs) for the international offering at an initial offering price of Ps.15.51 per Series A share and U.S. $12.00 per ADS. Each ADS represents 10 CPOs and each CPO represents a financial interest in one Series A share of common stock of the Company. Shares are expected to begin trading on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), under the symbols “VOLAR” and “VLRS”, respectively.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and UBS Securities, LLC acted as international joint bookrunners; Santander Investment Securities Inc. and the before mentioned acted as joint local bookrunners. Santander, Evercore, Barclays Capital Inc., and Cowen and Company, LLC served as international co-managers; Evercore Casa de Bolsa, S.A. de C.V.and Barclays served as local co-managers.
Copyright Photo: Juan Carlos Guerra/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-133 XA-VOP (msn 4403) in the promotional Puebla livery departs from the Mexico City hub.
FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) reported earnings of $1.53 per diluted share for the first quarter ended August 31, compared to $1.45 per share last year.
“Growth in overall demand for our broad global portfolio of solutions drove our improved first quarter results,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “FedEx Express remains focused on reducing costs while facing challenging global economic conditions. Meanwhile, FedEx Ground continues to generate strong profitability on growing customer demand for its services.”
First Quarter Results
FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the first quarter:
• Revenue of $11.0 billion, up 2% from $10.8 billion the previous year
• Operating income of $795 million, up 7% from $742 million last year
• Operating margin of 7.2%, up from 6.9% the previous year
• Net income of $489 million, up 7% from last year’s $459 million
Revenue and earnings increased during the quarter, driven by solid performance at each of the company’s transportation segments. Results include significant headwinds from the net year-over-year impact from the timing lag that exists between when fuel prices change and indexed fuel surcharges automatically adjust, as well as one fewer operating day.
FedEx reaffirmed its forecast of full-year earnings per share growth of 7% to 13% from last year’s adjusted results. This outlook assumes the market outlook for fuel prices, U.S. GDP growth of 2.1% and world GDP growth of 2.6%. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2014 remains $4 billion.
“We remain confident in our full year earnings outlook despite tepid global economic growth,” said Alan B. Graf, Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “FedEx Express continued to execute on its profit improvement initiatives during our first quarter. We remain focused and are committed to FedEx Express achieving its $1.6 billion operating profit improvement target by the end of fiscal 2016.”
2014 Rate Increases
FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 3.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services effective January 6, 2014. The FedEx Ground and FedEx SmartPost pricing changes for 2014 will be announced later this year. FedEx Freight implemented a 4.5% general rate increase on July 1, 2013.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N852FD (msn 37723) approaches Anchorage International Airport for landing.
JetBlue Airways (New YorK) today announced the intent to begin service to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (POS) with once daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Service is set to begin on May 1, 2014. The airline will also begin once-daily nonstop service to POS from New York’s JFK International Airport starting on February 24, 2014. These flights are subject to receipt of government operating authority.
Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up almost one-third of JetBlue’s route network. In the Caribbean, JetBlue is the largest carrier in terms of capacity in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, offering more flights than any other carrier. JetBlue serves 27 Latin American and Caribbean destinations, including: Aruba; The Bahamas (Nassau); Barbados; Bermuda; Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman); Colombia (Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena); Costa Rica (Liberia and San Jose); Dominican Republic (La Romana, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana, Santiago and Santo Domingo); Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay); Mexico (Cancun); Puerto Rico (Aguadilla, Ponce and San Juan); St. Croix; Saint Lucia; St. Maarten; St. Thomas; and, Turks and Caicos (Providenciales). The airline will also begin service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti this winter, subject to receipt of government approval.
JetBlue’s schedule between Fort Lauderdale and Port of Spain:
|FLL to POS:||POS to FLL:|
|Depart – Arrive||Depart – Arrive|
|7:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.||11:45 a.m. – 3:54 p.m.|
|- First flight operates daily beginning May 1 , 2014 (a) — All times local -|
JetBlue’s flights from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and JFK to Port of Spain will be operated with its Airbus A320 fleet with seating for 150.
In addition, JetBlue will also launch twice-daily nonstop service between Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), convenient to both Georgia and South Carolina, and New York (JFK) on February 13, 2014.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N585JB (msn 2159) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Avianca Colombia (Bogota) has cancelled 160 domestic flight through next Wednesday because its pilots are refusing to work overtime due to a pay dispute according to Reuters.
Avianca’s 1,000 pilots are demanding a 15 percent pay increase from the company. Avianca Colombia is a part of Avianca Holdings. TACA’s pilots and other pilots under the Avianca brand are not involved in the dispute.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Aldo Ciarini. Avianca added its first ATR 72 on July 3, 2013 when the pictured ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-600) F-WWEE was handed over as HK-4954 (msn 1092). The new type is pictured landing at Toulouse before the delivery.
Air Georgian Limited (AGL) (Air Canada Express) (Toronto-Pearson) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Regional 1 Airlines (R1) (Calgary), a subsidiary of Avmax Group Inc., a fully integrated aviation company with operations in Canada, United States, Africa and Afghanistan. Regional 1 Airlines and Air Georgian Limited will merge operations under one management team through the creation of a parent holding company.
Air Georgian will continue to focus primarily on its CPA relationship with Air Canada (Montreal). Air Georgian currently operates Beechcraft (Raytheon) 1900D aircraft under the brand name of Air Canada Express. R1 will focus on expanding its domestic presence, specializing in serving the natural resource sector. R1 will further expand upon its existing international operations, specializing in ACMI contracts in remote regions, as well as continuing to support the United Nations World Food Program and other peacekeeping and humanitarian programs.
This strategic merger will allow the new combined entity to position itself as a unique, fully integrated airline leveraging the technical, geographical and asset strengths of Avmax and the professional management and strong operational background of Air Georgian. Air Georgian and Regional 1 Airlines will benefit from having access to the world’s largest private fleet of Dash 8 and CRJ series aircraft, over $100 million in spare parts and domestic maintenance bases in Halifax, Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. International operations will be supported through Avmax maintenance bases in Great Falls, Montana, Jacksonville, Florida, Nairobi, Kenya and N’djamena, Chad in Africa.
Eric Edmondson will assume the President and CEO role at the newly formed parent company, as well as the role of President at both Air Georgian and Regional 1 Airlines. Daniel Revell will continue to be the CEO of Air Georgian and John Binder will continue in his role as CEO of Regional 1 Airlines. Scott Monsen will become the CFO & VP Finance at the parent company and its subsidiaries. Daniel Bockner will be the VP, Flight Operations & Security, while Brad Warren will fill the role of VP, Maintenance & Technical. Rick Giacomuzzi will hold the position of VP, Finance at Regional 1 Airlines. This merger does not impact the current structure or operations of any other subsidiary within AvMax Group Inc.
Upon closing, the combined operations will utilize Beechcraft 1900D, de Havilland Canada (Bombardier) DHC-8-100, DHC-8-300 and CRJ100/200 aircraft types, with the ability to quickly add additional larger gauge aircraft types with the long term goal of positioning the brands as major players in the 18-76 seat turbo-prop and jet market. Air Georgian will continue to operate, maintain and support the corporate jet charter market in Toronto as well as offering third-party training to the airline and corporate aviation sectors.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Beechcraft (Raytheon) 1900D C-GORA (msn UE-326) taxies at the Toronto (Pearson) hub in the Air Canada Express livery.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced will launch nonstop summer seasonal service between its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport and Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning on May 22, 2014, subject to government approval. This will be the first scheduled nonstop service between the two cities.
The flights will operate five times weekly from May 22 to June 11, daily between June 12 and September 1 and four times weekly between Sept. 2 and Oct. 5, 2014.
The flights will depart Chicago O’Hare at 6 p.m. (1800), arriving in Edinburgh at 7:45 a.m. (0745) the following day. The return flights will depart Edinburgh at 10:25 a.m. (1025), arriving in Chicago at 1 p.m. (1300) the same day (all times local). Flight times are seven hours, 45 minutes eastbound and eight hours, 35 minutes westbound.
The flights will operate using Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
United offers more nonstop service to more destinations from its Chicago O’Hare hub than any other carrier and has added 11 new routes from Chicago since the beginning of 2013.
United currently operates year-round nonstop service from its Newark Liberty International Airport hub to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, having started service to Scotland in 1998.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 757-222 N521UA (msn 24891) climbs away from Los Angeles International Airport.
Air Lease Corporation has announced the long term lease of one Boeing 737-700 jet aircraft (msn 33015) to Airzena Georgian Airways (Tbilisi, Georgia). The aircraft is scheduled for delivery in October, 2013.
Airzena Georgian Airways is the designated national airline of Georgia, operating extensive scheduled services to many destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Russia, with Boeing 737s and CRJ regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The carrier already operates the type but the new addition will replace an older Boeing 737-500. Boeing 737-790 WL 4L-TGM (msn 33012) taxies at Amsterdam.
United Airlines (Chicago) has announced plans to launch new nonstop service from its Chicago hub at O’Hare International Airport to Elmira, New York, and State College, Pennsylvania. The airline also plans to begin new service from Chicago O’hare to Topeka, Kansas, subject to government approval. ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) will operate the United Express flights using 50-seat regional jet aircraft. The State College and Topeka flights will begin on January 7, 2014, and the Elmira service will begin on February 13, 2014.
The weekday flight schedules follow. Weekend schedules may vary. Schedules are subject to change.
|Chicago – Elmira||Elmira – Chicago|
|2:15 p.m.||5:00 p.m.||6:15 a.m.||7:18 a.m.|
|9:00 p.m.||11:45 p.m.||5:30 p.m.||6:33 p.m.|
|Chicago – State College||State College – Chicago|
|1:55 p.m.||4:33 p.m.||6:20 a.m.||7:17 a.m.|
|6:45 p.m.||9:23 p.m.||5:03 p.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|Chicago – Topeka||Topeka – Chicago|
|1:00 p.m.||2:44 p.m.||6:00 a.m.||7:36 a.m.|
|8:30 p.m.||10:14 p.m.||3:14 p.m.||4:50 p.m.|
Elmira and Topeka are both new destinations in United’s route network. The airline currently serves State College from its hub at Washington Dulles.
With these new routes, United has added service to ten new destinations from Chicago O’Hare since the beginning of 2013. Other new year-round and seasonal destinations include Mobile, Alabama; Fairbanks, Alaska; Nassau, Bahamas; Shannon, Ireland; San Jose, Costa Rica; Thunder Bay, Ontario; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
United and United Express operate nearly 570 daily flights from the O’Hare hub to more than 125 domestic and more than 30 international destinations.
Copyright Photo: ExpressJet’s Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N11194 (msn 145940) arrives at the Dulles International hub near Washington.
Thai Airways International‘s (Bangkok) Airbus A330-321 HS-TEF (msn 066) while operating flight TG 679 from Guangzhou (CAN) to Bangkok (BKK) (Suvarnabhumi) with 287 passengers and 14 crew members skidded off the runway on landing in Bangkok after the front landing gear failed late last night (September 8). At least 8 passengers were slightly injured during the evacuation (some media reports raise this number to 14).
Read the report from the WSJ: CLICK HERE
Thai issued this statement:
“Thai Airways International Flight TG 679, Guangzhou – Bangkok operated with Airbus 330-300 aircraft departing Guangzhou at 16:03 hrs. (local time) scheduled to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 23:00 hrs. (local time) experienced incident while landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport. As the aircraft was landing, the landing gear touched the runway, the nose gear failed. As a result, the plane skidded off the runway. The captain took control of the aircraft until it stoped and the passengers were evacuated using slides. The aircraft was carrying 287 passengers and 14 crew members. 8 passengers were slightly injured. Injured passengers were taken care and sent to hospital for medical treatments.”
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. HS-TEF approaches BKK for landing before the accident.
Discovery Air (Lagos) is another new airline in Nigeria. The first Boeing 737-300 has been painted in this bright color scheme at Southend. Former Virgin Express and Brussels Airlines Boeing 737-36N OO-VEH (msn 28571) is now registered as N571TP with Wells Fargo Bank Northwest. It is due to become 5N-BQO on delivery.
LOT Polish Airlines will not seek any more public aid, will drop underperforming destinations during the winter season
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) will not apply in September to the Treasury for payment of the second tranche of public aid. According to the airline, this is possible thanks to the promising results of the Restructuring Plan consistently implemented in the Company. At the same time LOT is introducing the flight schedule for the winter season 2013/2014 to its reservation systems. A new network is in line with the Restructuring Plan submitted by the Ministry of the Treasury to the European Commission. It is also a result of necessary compensation required by the European Commission.
The first tranche of aid for LOT was paid in December of last year. Disbursement of the second – in accordance with the Restructuring Plan submitted by the Ministry of the Treasury to the European Commission – was planned for August this year. Meanwhile, the Company has not applied for the second tranche in August and will not apply for it in September. An amount of the second tranche will be carefully assessed when the Company will apply to the Treasury for its payment. Perhaps this will happen only in October.
According to its underlying principles, the Company will achieve sustained profitability starting from 2015.
Consistently implemented restructuring measures include, among others, the network of destinations for the winter season. These changes are in line with the objectives of the Restructuring Plan submitted in June by the Ministry of Treasury to the European Commission. They are also a result of necessary compensation required by the European Commission. Within planned changes, destinations from Warsaw to Bydgoszcz, Rome and Stuttgart will be suspended from the beginning of the winter season 2013. In the coming months, passengers will also not find in the network flights to Beirut, Cairo and Nice, which are seasonal destinations. At the same time, like last winter, flights with the aircraft staying overnight from Warsaw to Stockholm will be suspended. This means two, not three flights a day to the Swedish capital.
The Polish carrier also decided to suspend flights from Warsaw to Zurich, Helsinki and Dusseldorf. These destinations did not generate enough transfer traffic for other LOT flights from Warsaw, especially the long haul which are key to the company’s long-term strategy.
Since, in accordance with assumptions, LOT focuses on expansion of its hub in Warsaw, there will be also less flights from Polish regional airports. In winter 2013, LOT aircrafts will not fly from Cracow to Frankfurt, from Poznan to Munich and from Katowice to Munich.
At the same time, flights from Warsaw to Yerevan, Athens and Belgrade will be unchanged in the coming winter season. Belgrade, one of the strongest destinations in the network of the Polish carrier, will continue to support the flow of transit passengers in their further travel to North America or other European ports. And Athens will remain in the flight schedule due to Greek Presidency of the European Union, which will begin on January 1, 2014.
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography. LOT Polish has been gradually replacing its older Boeing 737 fleet with newer Embraer E-Jets. The remaining 737-400s are likely to be retired this winter with this schedule reduction. Boeing 737-45D SP-LLF (msn 28752) approaches Belgium for landing in the updated 2011 livery.
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has introduced a new “Flying Nanny” program that will be appreciated by parents flying with children (and probably other passengers around them). The airline has also introduced new in-flight entertainment for children. The airline issued this statement:
Etihad’s in-flight entertainment system includes a fun-filled children’s section, with a special interface that features our four much-loved animated characters: Kundai, Boo, Zoe and Jamool.
There’s a huge variety of entertainment on offer to keep your children entertained, all carefully selected with a younger audience in mind. Etihad also offers a parental lock feature, which allows parents to block unsuitable content at request.
For television and movie buffs, there’s our Kids Club for pre-schoolers and children under 12 years old, with a combination of live-action and animated titles. Teenagers also have access to their own section, offering Disney and a variety of popular Hollywood titles for their age group.
We also provide around 30-60 games across our fleet, together with a variety of music albums on our Audio-on-Demand section, including albums from teen-idols like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.
In addition to the in-flight entertainment and Flying Nanny, every child over 3 years old will also receive their own children’s pack, containing enough games, activity books and stickers to help keep boredom at bay.
Copyright Photos: Etihad Airways.
Ryanair (Dublin) celebrated a milestone in August and issued this statement (while taking a swipe at Aer Lingus):
Ryanair released its passenger and load factor statistics for August 2013:
- Traffic increased by 1% to over 9 million passengers.
- First European airline ever to carry 9 million passengers in one month.
- Annual traffic to end August grew 2% to over 80 million passengers.
- Load factor increased 1% to 89%.
- Ryanair carries 9 million passengers in a month, Aer Lingus carries 9 million in a year!
Yr to Aug 13
Ryanair celebrated its first ever 9 million passenger month by releasing 900,000 seats for travel in October and November at fares starting from just €14.99 one-way.
Jetairfly (Jetairfly.com) (Ostend and Brussels) today announced the April 2014 launch of nonstop service between Miami International Airport and Brussels, Belgium, the capital of the European Union. The new service will mark Jetairfly’s first U.S. route, Florida’s only nonstop connection to Brussels, and MIA’s 14th European destination.
With Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft featuring Economy and Comfort service, Jetairfly will begin the new service on April 4, 2014 with flights on Mondays and Fridays. Bookings are scheduled to be available at the end of October.
Additional new routes scheduled this year from Miami are: Oranjestad, Aruba by new carrier Aruba Airlines on September 15; Calgary by WestJet in October; and Milan, Italy and the Brazilian destinations of Curitiba and Porto Alegre by American Airlines in November.
Created in 2003, Jetairfly operates a network of 168 routes and connects 107 airports. It has a fleet of 22 modern aircraft and transported 2.8 million passengers in 2012. Jetairfly is part of TUI Travel Belgium, the largest tourism group in Belgium, and of TUI Travel PLC, the largest Pan-European tourism group, operating a fleet of 141 aircraft and offering a wide range of other services.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-341 ER OO-TUC (msn 24844) prepares top taxi from the Brussels base.
Finnair (Helsinki) today (September 6) has become the first airline in the world to operate Airbus A321 aircraft equipped with new, fuel-saving Sharklet wing tip devices. The extended-range, single-aisle aircraft, which has the lowest fuel burn, emissions and noise footprint in its class, will be quieter and more comfortable for passengers than the older planes it replaces, as well as about 7 per cent more fuel efficient per seat. Representing a substantial reduction in costs and CO2 emissions, the aircraft is the first of five orders for the A321 with Sharklets, with another two expected to enter the fleet later this year and the remainder due in the first half of 2014.
The five A321s with Sharklets will replace Finnair’s four Boeing 757-200s that have been used mainly for leisure and charter flights, enabling more flexibility and inter-operability between European scheduled and leisure flights, driving up aircraft utilization and thus improving returns on the fleet investment. The new aircraft also complete Finnair’s shift to an all-Airbus fleet, bringing further cost efficiencies in maintenance and pilot training to flight operations.
The first aircraft, registered in Finland as OH-LZG, leaves the Airbus facility in Hamburg today and enters regular service in Finnair’s fleet.
The A321s are configured with 209 Recaro BL3510 seats (three on each side of the aisle) with a 31” pitch.
Finnair first announced the A321 order in June 2010. The airline also has firm orders for 11 next-generations Airbus A350s, the first of which is expected in the second half of 2015.
Fact sheet: A321 with Sharklets
Additional fuel tanks
Yes (180 minutes)
* Estimate based on average flight distance
** With full payload on average flight distance
*** Extended Range Twin Operations certificate for operation in areas where nearest airport is within 180 minutes
From the Finnair Blog: Buying an aircraft by Finnair Fleet Manager Miika Haatio:
Finnair received, as the first airline in the world, a new A321 Sharklet aircraft from Airbus in Hamburg in the beginning of September, so it’s a good time to take a look at what goes on during an aircraft purchase. The purchase agreements are normally signed years before the aircraft deliveries and for brand new aircraft types even when the aircraft is still in design phase and no actual parts have been manufactured. Airlines have a fair amount of say in the final configuration of the aircraft and this customization is done depending on the aircraft type some 1-3 years before the aircraft delivery. The A320 series for example has already been in production for 25 years and the A321 Sharklet Finnair received now, got serial number 5758. In a serial production mode like this, the customization is done roughly one year before delivery. The A350 aircraft type on the other hand is still in design phase, and Finnair has already made customization decisions three years before the first delivery, which is scheduled in the second half of 2015.
Most possibilities for customization are in the cabin, where we aim to differentiate from other airlines by our interior design and service level. We have the possibility to select the passenger seat type, seat pitch, in-flight entertainment system and galley equipment and to design the overall cabin look and feel. Out of these the passenger seats are actually also bought by the airline directly from the seat supplier. The decision on which seat type to choose is determined by comparing different products by their price, weight, sitting comfort and post delivery support conditions. On the technical side the single most important decision is to determine the engine type by comparing fuel efficiencies and predicted maintenance costs. On top of this there are roughly a hundred other smaller technical decisions.
The customization of the aircraft Finnair is now receiving has largely aimed at fitting them into our existing fleet at seamlessly as possible. The seat and cabin look and feel are identical to exiting aircraft and most other decisions have been made for commonality reasons. The biggest differences are the sharklets, extra fuel tanks and a more fuel efficient engine type. In addition Airbus is constantly developing the aircraft further, so as a whole the aircraft look technically quite different than the last A321 series aircraft we received from Airbus in 2004. Finnair will be receiving all together five A321 Sharklet aircraft of which three during this year and the last two in the beginning of 2014.
The A321 Final Assembly Line is located in Hamburg, and fuselage parts are shipped there from Airbus facilities in England, France, other parts of Germany and Spain and smaller components are of course manufactured all over the world. Finnair monitors the manufacturing of the aircraft very closely and for this aircraft has for example inspected the wings in England, front fuselage in France and passenger seats in Poland. The most important inspection of the two month Final Assembly is the Cabin Check during which all details of the cabin are inspected.
The actually delivery of the aircraft takes one week and is comprised of the physical and operational checks and the inspection of all the paperwork coming with the aircraft. For the operational test a pilot first checks the aircraft behaviour on ground. This is followed by a taxiing test, engine test runs and finally a test flight. This so called acceptance flight lasts normally around two hours during which the aircraft flight characteristics are inspected. This includes for example flying on maximum and minimum speeds and angles of attack and at maximum bank angles. These should trigger specific cockpit alerts and this is also verified. Things that cannot be performed on ground are also checked, for example cabin pressure leak rate and automatic oxygen mask deployment during pressurization failure, emergency gravity extension of the landing gear and deployment of the airflow powered ram air turbine. During the flight the aircraft is obviously very light and it is amazing how powerful the acceleration feels when coming out of the low speed test!
When all three parts of the inspection are adequately performed and Airbus has rectified the findings, the delivery is concluded by the ceremonious signing of the Bill of Sale. Once we have taken care of formalities with the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority, like registering the aircraft, adding it into the Finnair Air Operator Certificate, getting all needed Airworthiness Documents and insured the aircraft, it can be flown to our home base in Helsinki. After the addition of some specific equipment the aircraft is finally ready to serve our customers.
A350 Program Fleet Manager
Germanwings (2nd) (Cologne/Bonn) on October 27 will add more routes and schedules for Berlin (Tegel), Hamburg, Cologne/Bonn, Hannover, Stuttgart and Nuremberg as the Lufthansa subsidiary expands as planned.
Here is a list of the Germanwings new winter 2013/2014 routes:
Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 D-AGWU (msn 5457) climbs away from the runway at EuroAirport, serving the Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg in three countries.