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Tag Archives: XFW

Yeti Air International to relaunch as Himalaya Airlines on October 28

Yeti Air International (Kathamandu), a subsidiary of the Yeti Airlines Group, has been reformed as a new joint venture between Tibet Airlines (Lhasa, Tibet) (49 percent) and Yeti World Investment and HIF Aviation Investment according to The Economic Times. This time the airline will operate as Himalaya Airlines.

Himalaya Airlines will launch operations on October 28 on the Kathamndu-Lhasa route with leased Airbus A320 Family aircraft.

The airline will literally fly “on top of the world”.

Tibet Airlines started operations on July 26, 2011 and is 31 percent owned by Air China.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Tibet Airlines will likely be the operator of the aircraft for the new joint venture. Airbus A319-115 D-AVYH (man 4766) became B-6436 on delivery.

Tibet Airlines:

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Asiana to add the Airbus A380 on the Seoul-Los Angeles route now on August 20

Asiana Airlines (Seoul-Incheon) has moved forward the start of Airbus A380 service on the route to Los Angeles to August 20, instead of August 26 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com.

Asiana Airlines:

Qatar Airways to start a new route to Tokyo Haneda tomorrow, Airbus A380 to be introduced now to London Heathrow on August 1

Qatar Airways (Doha) is set to continue its expansion into the Far East tomorrow (June 18) when it launches its newest destination, Tokyo Haneda International Airport. The addition of its newest destination will double the airline’s service to the city of Tokyo with up to two flights a day. The route, which will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will be Qatar Airways’ third into Japan, joining Osaka and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

With the commencement of flights to Tokyo Haneda, the number of flights to Japan rises from 14 to 21 frequencies each week.

In other news, Qatar Airways is now planning to introduce the new Airbus A380 on August 1 to London (Heathrow) and Paris (CDG) on August 15 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 F-WWST (msn 137) has now become A7-APA for its handover.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

 

Asiana Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 becoming the 11th operator

Asiana Airlines (Seoul) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, becoming the eleventh operator of the type in the world. The A380 was handed over to Park Sam Koo, Chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, during a special ceremony today (May 26) in Toulouse, France.

Asiana Airlines has ordered six A380s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The airline has specified a premium three class layout for its fleet, seating a total of 495 passengers, with 12 private suites in First Suite, 66 fully flat seats in Business Smartium and 417 seats in Travel Class. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems.

Asiana Airlines will initially deploy its new flagship aircraft from Seoul on regional services in Asia to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok, followed by long-haul routes to Los Angeles.

As part of its widebody fleet modernization strategy, Asiana Airlines also has 30 of the all-new the A350 XWB on order. The A350 XWB will offer a step change in efficiency, with operating costs 25 per cent lower than the competition. The A380 and A350 will complement an existing Airbus fleet at Asiana that currently includes the A330 and A320 Family.

Airbus currently has 324 firm orders for the A380, from 20 customers.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-841 F-WWAP (msn 152) became HL7625 on the handover.

Asiana Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus. Park Sam Koo, Chairman of Kumho Asiana Group, and Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier toured the number 1 Asiana Airlines A380 after this aircraft’s formal handover ceremony on May 26, held at Airbus’ Toulouse, France delivery center.

Asiana A380 Delivery Ceremony (Airbus)(LR)

Video: Painting of the first A380:

Qatar Airways to debut its first Airbus A380 on the Doha-London Heathrow route on June 17, offers more glimpses of the interiors

Qatar Airways (Doha) has revealed an additional glimpse of its first Airbus A380-800 (above) with its First and Business Class lounge and bathroom interiors.

The onboard lounge of Qatar Airways’ A380 has been designed to ensure that every feature is the finest and most comfortable in the sky. Designed with passengers foremost in mind, the lounge offers them an ideal place to engage with a friend, sit and relax, or just move around.

Qatar A380-800 Interior 2 (Qatar)(LR)

The lounge also offers passengers an escape from the typical airplane environment and has been developed to make them feel like they are in their own executive club. The spaciousness of the lounge combined with the most advanced mood lighting system available helps make passengers feel refreshed when they return to their cabin for rest or work.

Qatar A380-800 Interior 1 (Qatar)(LR)

The First Class bathrooms have also been customised to create a spa-like warmth with contemporary clean lines and a finish that comes with the most luxurious amenities. The lavatories include features such as modern taps which are sensor operated and large square modern sinks which help to maximize space.

The airline is due to receive its first A380 (top) very soon, the first of 13 such aircraft on order and it will be deployed on one of its busiest routes, Doha – London Heathrow on June 17.

Qatar Airways is celebrating a year of exceptional fleet growth as it is also set to welcome the first of 80 Airbus A350s on order later this year, being the global launch customer of the world’s newest aircraft. Meanwhile the airline is also currently making enhancements to its select A320 and A330 fleet by upgrading its Business Class seating so that they recline into 180-degree fully lie-flat beds.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 138 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Over the next few months, the network will grow further with Al Hofuf, Saudi Arabia (May 15), Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22, 2014), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28, 2014), Miami, USA (June 10, 2014), Haneda, Japan (June 18, 2014), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1, 2014) and Djibouti (July 27, 2014).

In other news, Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight landed at Larnaca International Airport today (April 29), marking the five-star airline’s 138th destination from Doha.
The inaugural flight signals the start of a four-time weekly service to Larnaca that will be operated by an Airbus A320, with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Qatar Airways). Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) will be the first Airbus A380 to be delivered to Qatar.

Qatar Airways: AG Slide Show

Newcomer Qingdao Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A320

Qingdao Airlines (Qingdao, Shandong Province), a Chinese start-up airline, has taken delivery of the company’s first ever aircraft, an Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets, on lease from Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC). The airline will become a new operator and make its first commercial flight from its home base of Qingdao in Eastern China to Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province in Southwestern China, later in April.

The A320, powered by CFM56 engines, features a comfort two-class cabin with eight business and 144 economy class seats.

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.

Qingdao Airlines placed an order for 23 A320 Family aircraft in 2013 (see photo below).

Qingdao-Airbus Signing Ceremony (Airbus)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A320-214 D-AXAJ at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became B-9955 (msn 6061) on the hand over yesterday (April 10).

Qingdao Airlines: AG Slide Show

Hong Kong Airlines lands in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hong Kong Airlines‘ (Hong Kong) reported its Ho Chi Minh City inaugural flight touched down in the Vietnamese city at 13:55 (1:55 pm) local time today (March 17). The passengers and flight crew received a warm welcome from the Airlines’ representatives upon their arrival.

Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh route is operated by Airbus A320 aircraft configured with all-economy class. The flight operates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The new flight service to Ho Chi Minh City is complimented by Hong Kong Airlines’ daily flight to Hanoi, bringing it to a total of 10 weekly flights between Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 D-AUBU (msn 6003) with Sharklets at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) will become B-LPL on delivery.

Hong Kong Airlines: AG Slide Show

The 6,000th Airbus A320 Family aircraft is delivered

Airbus (Toulouse) has delivered the 6,000 A320 Family aircraft. Airbus has issued this statement:

This handover involved a Sharklet-equipped A320 received by Air Arabia (Sharjah) during a ceremony at Airbus’ Hamburg, Germany facilities – home to one of three A320 Family final assembly sites worldwide. The jetliner is the 37th A320 Family aircraft received by Air Arabia, a leading low cost-carrier in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

Since the A320’s service entry in 1988, ongoing improvements to the A320 Family developed by Airbus – including engine enhancements, aerodynamic refinements such as the incorporation of Sharklets, and upgrades to its widest-in-class passenger cabin – have resulted in the world’s best-selling and most modern single-aisle product line, with more than 10,200 aircraft ordered to date.

In addition, the company is continuing to apply innovations to the A320 Family with the A320neo (new engine option) – which has captured some 60 per cent market share ahead of its 2015 service entry. These jetliners share 95 per cent commonality with current engine option (CEO) aircraft, while incorporating two new powerplant choices – CFM International’s LEAP-1A and the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney – along with Sharklets wingtip devices as standard equipment.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 A6-ANW (msn 6000) was handed over to Air Arabia (United Arab Emirates) (Sharjah) on March 6 and wears a special emblem.

Air Arabia (UAE): AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Airbus.

Airarabia.com A320-200 WL A6-ANW (04)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LRW)

Finnair to operate a fifth daily flight to London Heathrow

Finnair (Helsinki) is increasing the number of flights it operates to London Heathrow from Helsinki from four to five times daily. Effective March 30, 2014, flight AY 995 departs Helsinki at 4:25 P.M. (1625) for arrival in London three hours later at 5:30 P.M. (1730), while AY 996 departs London at 7:35 P.M. (1935) and arrives in Helsinki at 12:30 A.M. (0030). The new frequency will be flown primarily with Finnair’s new Airbus A321 aircraft, which are equipped with fuel-efficient Sharklet wingtip devices and operate within Heathrow’s strictest noise parameters.

In addition to its own five daily frequencies, Finnair offers two daily codeshare roundtrips operated by fellow oneworld partner British Airways.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 D-AZAO with Sharklets became OH-LZG (msn 5758) on September 5, 2013.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

JetBlue to introduce the new Airbus A321 tomorrow

JetBlue Airways (New York) tomorrow (December 19) will begin revenue operations of their new Airbus A321s.  The first all-coach (JetBlue calls it “core”) A321s, outfitted with 190 seats, will debut on routes from New York JFK to Barbados, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and San Juan. By the launch of service, JetBlue have four A321s in service, the first of an order for 83.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A321-231 with the temporary marks of D-AVZA was the first A321 and became N903JB on delivery on October 24. It was followed by N905JB on November 13 and N907JB on November 16. The new A321s are also introducing the new Prism tail design.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Video:

American Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A321

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today took delivery of the first Airbus A321 trans-continental aircraft, complete with fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats. The new aircraft is scheduled to enter service next year, making American the only U.S. carrier to offer customers more choices with a three-class configuration when flying between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles, and New York (JFK) and San Francisco.

The “A321T” (as American calls it) will offer a comfortable flying experience from coast to coast with fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, with direct aisle access for all First Class customers for ease of moving about the cabin. The aircraft is equipped with Main Cabin Extra seating, giving Main Cabin customers the option of up to six inches of extra legroom, and every seat onboard features in-seat entertainment with up to 200 movies, up to 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 20 games. Individual AC power outlets and USB jacks are available at every seat throughout the aircraft. Customers will have an enhanced experience connecting with Gogo’s upgraded ATG-4 Wi-Fi service.

American will begin operating the A321T between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in January. The aircraft will initially operate two of American’s daily flights between JFK and LAX and will operate all frequencies between the two airports in June, when American increases its frequencies to 13 daily flights. The A321T will also begin flying between JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in March 2014 and will operate all frequencies between the two airports in June, when American increases its frequencies to five daily flights.

The new A321T incorporates the latest improvements to reduce fuel burn, marking another important advancement toward American’s efforts to build a more fuel-efficient fleet. On the road to building a younger and more modern fleet, American plans to take delivery of nearly 60 new aircraft total by the end of the year, including new Boeing 777-300 ERs, Boeing 737-800s, Airbus A319s and Airbus A321s. The airline will continue its fleet renewal program in 2014 with more new aircraft deliveries, including the Boeing 787, which is scheduled to join American’s fleet late next year.

In addition, American’s current and future deliveries from the Airbus A320 Family, including the A321T, feature Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS). This onboard cockpit technology increases pilots’ situational awareness during landing, reduces exposure to runway excursion risk, and, if necessary, provides active protection.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Officially the aircraft is an Airbus A321-231. The pictured D-AVZK (msn 5834) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became N101NN on the handover.

Video:

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Avianca Holdings reports adjusted net income of $99.1 million in the third quarter

Avianca Holdings S.A. (Avianca) (Bogota) for the third quarter of 2013 reported a consolidated adjusted net income of $99.1 million (all amounts in US dollars) excluding FX effects related to liabilities denominated in Colombian Pesos and on the gain on sale of assets. This represents an increase of 151.3% over the same period in 2012. Avianca´s adjusted net profit margin increased by 450 basis points reaching 8.5%. Including the aforementioned effects on net income, Avianca Holdings S.A. and its subsidiaries generated a net income of $39.9 million.

Operating revenue came in at $1.182 million, representing an increase of 9.6% over the same period of 2012. Said increase is the result of a rise of 9.4% in passenger income resulting from a growth of 3.5% in carried passengers. Cargo and other revenues grew by 10.9%. This increase is mainly driven by the cargo and loyalty program business unit.

Revenue per Seat Kilometer (RASK) grew 3.6% whereas the Cost per Available Seat Kilometer (CASK) in 3Q 2013, grew from USD$10.3 cents to USD$10.4 cents, an increase of 1,5% with respect to the same period in 2013.

EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and aircraft rentals) increased 23.1% with respect to 3Q 2012. The EBITDAR margin reached 20.1%.

Operating income (EBIT) for 3Q 2013 rose to $132.2 million, a 32.2% increase with respect to the $100.0 million reached in the same period in 2012. The operating margin in 3Q 2013 came in at 11.2%, increasing by 1.9pp with respect to 3Q 2012. Said rise was generated by an increase in operating revenue as well as by cost control measures.

Capacity, measured in ASKs (Available Seats per Kilometer) grew by 5.87% throughout 3Q 2013. This growth is driven by the expansion of Avianca’s operations in its core markets, the incorporation of larger aircraft as well as an improvement in operating cycles of 1.1%. Traffic measured in RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometer) grew 5.9%, resulting in a Load Factor of 82.0% representing an increase of 20 basis points with respect to the Load Factor of 3Q 2012.

In accordance with the fleet renovation and modernization plan, between July and September 2013, the company through its subsidiary Avianca S.A., took delivery of one Airbus A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklets (see above), one ATR 72-600 and one A330-200 freighter. As a result, Avianca Holdings S.A. subsidiaries ended the quarter with a consolidated operating fleet of 154 aircraft.

With these third quarter results, Avianca Holdings S.A. reports a consolidated net income for the last 9 months of $183.4 million, reaching accumulated net margin of 5.4% year to date.

During the remainder of 2013, the company expects to continue with a capacity expansion in its key markets, as a result the company forecasts ASK growth between 7% and 8% for the full year 2013 compared to 2012. In terms of passenger traffic, the company expects a sustained growth during the remainder of 2013. Passenger numbers are expected to increase between 9% and 10% for the full year 2013 and as a result the load factor should stand between 79% and 80%.

Avianca Holdings S.A. is an investment firm that serves as an instrument for the execution of the shareholders agreement which resulted in the integration process known as AviancaTaca and acts as the controlling company for the integrated operation of various airlines that operate both domestically and internationally: Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. Avianca (Avianca), Tampa Cargo S.A. incorporated in Colombia, Aerolíneas Galápagos S.A. Aerogal incorporated in Ecuador, and the companies that make up the TACA Group: TACA Internacional Airlines S.A., incorporated in El Salvador; Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A., LACSA, incorporated in Costa Rica, Trans American Airlines S.A. TACA Peru incorporated in Peru, Servicios Aéreos Nacionales S.A., SANSA incorporated in Costa Rica, Aerotaxis La Costeña S.A., incoporated in Nicaragua and Isleña de Inversiones C.A. de C.V. ISLEÑA incorporated in Honduras.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A320-233 D-AXAS (msn 5840) was handed over to Avianca (Colombia) as N603AV on November 5.

Avianca (Colombia): AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A321 is painted for American Airlines

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) will soon take delivery of its first Airbus A321-200. The first, the pictured A321-231 with the temporary registration of D-AVZK (msn 5834), has been pulled out of the paint shop at the Airbus facility in Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The first airframe will be delivered as N101NN.

American plans to take delivery of 130 current generation Airbus aircraft from the A321 and A319 variants and up to 100 Boeing 737-800s through 2017. American plans to configure some of the A321s for use on trans-continental flights and intends to use the remaining A321s, as well as all of the A319s and new Boeing 737-800s to retire aging aircraft in its existing fleet.

The A321 aircraft will be equipped with V2500-A5 engines from International Aero Engines (IAE), a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, MTU and JAEC.

American intends to take delivery of the A321s beginning in November 2013 through 2014. The A321 trans-continental aircraft will replace American’s existing fleet of Boeing 767-200s and fly between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and JFK and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

American intends to replace its fleet of domestic Boeing 757-200s and DC-9-82/83s (MD-80s) with A321s, A319s and Boeing 737-800s.

Beginning in 2017, American expects to begin taking delivery of 130 aircraft from the A320neo (New Engine Option) family featuring next-generation technology. The new aircraft are about 15 percent more fuel efficient than today’s models. American is scheduled to be the first network airline in the U.S. to deploy this new technology. Engine selection for the A320neo family aircraft will be made in the future.

The new type provide a three-class layout for trans-continental flights on its new Airbus A321s – which includes these full lie-flat beds in business class (all photos from Airbus).

Inside American Airlines’ new A321s – which are equipped with Sharklets – passengers will benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the cabin, as well as inflight entertainment (IFE) and 100v AC power outlets and USB jacks at every seat.

The first class cabin offered in American Airlines’ new Airbus A321s will feature full lie-flat beds for coast-to-coast direct service initially between New York and Los Angeles, followed by a New York-San Francisco route.

Top Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com (all others by Airbus).

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American Airlines: AG Slide Show

EVA Air takes delivery of its first Airbus A321 with Sharklets

EVA Air (Taipei) of Taiwan has taken delivery of its first Sharklet equipped Airbus A321 aircraft, on lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). The aircraft was handed over during a ceremony in Hamburg attended by Chang Kuo Wei, Chairman of EVA Air, and Norman Liu, President and CEO of GECAS.

This A321 is the first of eight A321s with Sharklets that will be operated by EVA Air under lease agreement from GECAS.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-211 D-AVZG  (msn 5806) painted in the Star Alliance color scheme became B-16206 when it was handed over to the carrier on October 22.

EVA Air: AG Slide Show

JetBlue to serve Barbados with daily Airbus A321 flights from New York

JetBlue Airways (New York) has announced plans to serve the New York (JFK) to Bridgetown, Barbados route with daily Airbus A321 service, adding up to 580 seats per week each way, starting on December 19, 2013.  Additionally, JetBlue has filed to offer more capacity to Barbados during peak holiday times, including President’s Day and Easter, subject to receipt of government approval.

JetBlue expects to meet peak winter holiday demand by deploying brand new A321 aircraft on the route starting on December 19, 2013.  These aircraft will be fresh from the Airbus factory and will not initially have LiveTV programming (television, movies or radio) available.  As a new aircraft to the JetBlue fleet, the A321 must receive a supplemental type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before JetBlue can install and activate the airline’s signature entertainment on all A321s.  The certification timeline may be impacted by the partial U.S. government shut down.  JetBlue anticipates offering LiveTV’s full suite of entertainment on the first A321 aircraft by April 2014.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The first A321 became N903JB on delivery.

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JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Sichuan Airlines receives its first Airbus A321 with Sharklets

Sichuan A321-200 WL D-AZAE (B-9967)(91)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LRW)

Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu), the largest all Airbus operator in China, took delivery of its first A321 aircraft equipped with Sharklets fuel saving wing tip devices on September 26. The pictured A321-231 B-9967 (msn 5470) will also be the first A321 with Sharklets to be operated in China. The A321, powered by IAE V2500 engines, features a comfortable two class cabin, seating 194 passengers with 8 in business class and 186 in economy.

Sichuan Airlines is China’s largest all Airbus operator. It introduced an A320 in 1995 to become the first Chinese airline to operate an Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft. It was also the first airline to operate Airbus A321 in China. In 2009, the airline received the first A320 assembled at the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly.

At the end of August 2013, Sichuan Airlines operated a fleet of six A330s and 75 A320 Family aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A321-231 D-AZAE (msn 5470) became B-9967 on the hand over.

Sichuan Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways is set to introduce a new tail fin design with the first Airbus A321

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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Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Spring Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A320 with Sharklets

Spring Airlines-China-sss.com A320-200 WL D-AXAD (B-9965)(06)(Grd) XFW (GB)(LRW)

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.

Spring Airlines: AG Slide Show

Finnair becomes the first airline to operate an Airbus A321 with Sharklets

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

 

A321-231

Engines

IAE V2533-A5

Additional fuel tanks

Yes

Range

5741km

Wing span

34,10m

Overall length

44,51m

Height

11,76m

Passenger seats

209

Fuel consumption

2740kg/h*

Freight

2500kg**

ETOPS***

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.

Tail view

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.

IAE Engine and Sharklet

 

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.

Miika Haatio

A350 Program Fleet Manager

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Finnair): Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A321-231 D-AZAO (msn 5758) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became OH-LZG on the hand over.

Finnair: AG Slide Show

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Zest Air is grounded in the Philippines due to alleged safety violations

Zest Air (Zest Airways) (Manila) was grounded today for alleged safety violations by the Civili Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Zest Air’s AOC is suspended until it can rectified the government’s concerns.

Read the full report from Inquirer Business: CLICK HERE

Zest Air logo-3

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 D-AXAK (msn 4533) became RP-C8991 when it was delivered on December 16, 2010.

Zest Air: AG Slide Show

 

Philippine Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A321

Philippine Airlines (PAL) (Philippines) (Manila) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321. The aircraft was handed over at the Airbus delivery center in Hamburg (Finkenwerder), Germany on August 6 and is the first of 64 new Airbus aircraft ordered by the airline in 2012 under a major fleet modernization program. These include 44 single aisle A321s and 20 widebody A330s.

Philippine Airlines has specified a two class layout for its A321s, with 12 seats in Business Class and 187 in Economy. The airline will operate its new A321s primarily on international routes across the Asian region, as well as on selected domestic flights.

The A321 joins an Airbus fleet at Philippine Airlines that already includes 22 A320 Family aircraft flying on domestic and regional routes, as well as nine in service with its budget subsidiary PAL Express. The carrier also operates eight widebody A330s on higher capacity routes across Asia and seven A340-300s on its longest services to the United States.

Following the introduction of the A321, Philippine Airlines will take delivery of the first of its 20 new A330s in the third quarter of the year. The carrier is also currently adding four A340-300s to its fleet for deployment on new non-stop services to Europe, scheduled to begin next month.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Airbus A321-231 D-AZAS (msn 5715) on a test flight at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) on August 5 became RP-C9901 on the hand over the following day.

Update: PAL introduced the new A321 on August 9 between Manila and Cebu and Manila and Davao.

Philippines-Philippine Airlines: AG Slide Show

American Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A319 in Hamburg

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today (July 23) welcomed its first Airbus A319 aircraft, the first of 260 planned Airbus narrow body deliveries. American and Airbus celebrated this important milestone with a special delivery ceremony at the Airbus manufacturing facility in Hamburg (Finkenwerder), Germany.

According to American, “The Airbus A319 will offer customers modern technology and increased comfort onboard, including leather seats, Wi-Fi and in-seat entertainment throughout the aircraft. In addition, customers will be able to stay connected throughout their travels with individual universal power outlets and USB jacks at every seat.”

The Airbus A319 will offer a wide selection of inflight entertainment options for customers throughout the aircraft. First Class customers will enjoy a complimentary selection of up to 200 movies, up to 180 TV programs, more than 350 audio selections and up to 15 games, on a 12.1-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitor at each seat. Each seat throughout the Main Cabin will offer 8.9-inch HD-capable touchscreen monitors with an assortment of entertainment options, including movies, TV programs, games and audio selections.

In addition to increased technology offerings, the new Airbus aircraft pave the way for American to have a more fuel-efficient fleet, incorporating the latest in aerodynamic improvements. The A319s have Sharklets on the wings and other modifications to reduce fuel burn and keep American on the path toward being a more environmentally friendly airline.

American’s A319s will begin service in September from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to select cities, followed by additional routes throughout the end of the year. Initial routes planned for the A319 include service between DFW and Charlotte, North Carolina; Cleveland, Ohio; Memphis, Tennessee; and Wichita, Kansas.

As previously announced, American plans to take delivery of 260 Airbus aircraft from the A320 family, including 130 current-generation aircraft from the A321 and A319 variants through 2017, and 130 A320neo aircraft with next-generation engine technology beginning in 2017. American will configure some of the current-generation A321s for use on trans-Continental flights, designating these aircraft as A321Ts. The A321T is scheduled to begin service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and JFK and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in early 2014.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 WL D-AVYQ became N8001N (msn 5678) on the hand over. N8001N is also the first AA Airbus aircraft with Sharklets.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

UTair takes delivery of its first Airbus A321

UTair Aviation (Khanty-Mansiysk) took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft. The brand-new A321-211 VP-BPS was handed over at a ceremony held at Airbus in Hamburg (Finkenwerder), Germany. The aircraft is part of a firm order for 20 A321s signed by UTair in July 2012, which is today the largest single order for this type in Russia.

UTair’s A321, powered by CFM56 engines, features a single-class cabin layout seating 220 passengers. The airline is planning to operate its A321s to further develop its high density route network.
Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured A321-211 D-AZAA became VP-BPS on the hand over.
UTair: AG Slide Show

American Airlines to use the new Airbus A319 on a new DFW-Bogota route

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) is planning to operate the new Airbus A319 on a new overnight daily Dallas/Fort Worth-Bogota and return route starting on November 21 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 D-AVYQ (msn 5678) will become N8001N on delivery this month.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

The first American Airlines Airbus A319 is rolled out of the Hamburg plant

American A319-100 N8001N (13)(Grd) XFW (American)(LR)

American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) first Airbus A319 has been rolled out of the paint shop at the Airbus facility in Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The airline is expected to introduce the new type in September. AA has not been an Airbus operator since it retired the last Airbus A300-600 on August 26, 2009.

American will take delivery of the first of 130 Airbus A319 and Airbus A321 aircraft beginning in July 2013, with continued deliveries through 2017.

Features on the “new” American fleet (not including an US Airways aircraft types):

American New Fleet Features (American)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: American Airlines. The pictured aircraft does not show any markings. It is believed to be Airbus A319-112 with the future marks of N8001N (msn 5678). The new aircraft also will be delivered with Sharklets. Ironically the new aircraft currently displays a small German flag on the top of the tail over the “American flag” design! While the aircraft is in testing it will wear a D- German aircraft registration.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss/AirlinersGallery.com. A319-112 D-AVYQ (msn 5678) has started its testing phase. The new airliner will become N8001N when it is handed over later this month.

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

Newsworthy Photo of the Day – May 14, 2013

British Airways Airbus A380-841 F-WWSK (G-XLEA) (msn 095) XFW (Gerd Beilfuss). Image: 912074.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

Video:

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

British Airways: AG Slide Show

Vueling Airlines’ board accepts IAG latest raised bid, won’t be merged with Iberia

Vueling Airlines‘ (Barcelona) board of directors has approved the latest bid by the International Airlines Group (IAG) (London) after IAG raised its bid for the remaining shares by 32 percent to €9.25 a share.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh also stated Vueling Airlines will remain a separate carrier and will not be merged with the higher cost and troubled Iberia (Madrid).

Read the full report from Bloomberg: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A320-214 D-AXAS (msn 5533) with Sharklets at a snowy Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became EC-LVO when it was handed over on April 5.

Vueling Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Virgin America wants to fly to Hawaii

Virgin America‘s (San Francisco) CEO David Cush has stated the carrier would like to add new routes to Hawaii starting in 2015 when it has a sufficient number of new Airbus A320s with Sharklets. This will be the first use of A320s to the islands although Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) will be using new Airbus A321s from Hawaii to the Mainland.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The pictured Airbus A320-214 WL D-AXAL (N361VA) (msn 5515) is the first Virgin America A320 with Sharklets.

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

Hot New Photos: AG Slide Show

Virgin America arrives in Newark, will name the first Airbus A320 with “Sharklets” as “Jersey Girl”

Virgin America (San Francisco) yesterday (April 9) celebrated the launch of its new service to Newark, New Jersey – the 20th destination in the carrier’s growing network.  The carrier is serving Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) with three daily nonstop flights from both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Late last month, the airline named the 53rd member of its fleet in honor of the Garden State after inviting social audiences to show their “New Jersey” pride by submitting a name.  The winning name, “Jersey Girl,” will grace the nose of the first aircraft in Virgin America’s fleet to be outfitted with Airbus’s new “Sharklet” technology, which promises to be one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the nation once she takes to the skies later this month.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The pictured Airbus A320-214 WL D-AXAL was handed over to the carrier as N361VA (msn 5515) on March 19 through a lease with AerCap. It is the first Virgin American A320 with Sharklets and will be named “Jersey Girl” in honor of the new service to Newark.

Hot New Photos: AG Hot New Photos

Virgin America: AG Slide Show

The first Airbus A380 for British Airways is rolled out of the paint shop

British Airways A380-800 F-WWSK (G-XLEA)(97-Union flag)(Grd) XFW (Airbus)(LR)

British Airways‘ (London) first A380 has been rolled out of the paint shop facility at Hamburg (Finkenwerder), following the application of its full livery. Its livery includes some 10,000 individual dots on the tailfin to produce the effect of the Union flag.

Copyright Photos: Airbus. The pictured A380-841 F-WWSK (msn 095) will become G-XLEA on delivery.

British Airways: AG Slide Show

British Airways A380-800 F-WWSK (G-XLEA)(97-Union flag)(Grd-1) XFW (Airbus)(LR)

Armavia suspends operations, will file for bankruptcy

Armavia Air Company (Yerevan, Armenia) suspended all operations yesterday (March 29) and plans to filed for bankruptcy on Monday (April 1) according to local reports. The company was previously planning to operate through tomorrow but this has changed. No flights are operating today.

At the end, the flag carrier was operating one Airbus A320, three Boeing 737-500s and three Bombardier CRJ200s. One Airbus A319 was operated for the government of Armenia.

Armavia Air company LLC was established in December 12, 1996 and had been struggling financially.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A319-111 D-AVYM (msn 3834) became EK32007 on delivery. However this airframe has since gone on to FlyGeorgia as 4L-FGA.

Armavia: AG Slide Show

Armavia logo

Air Namibia modernizes its fleet and updates its route structure

Air Namibia (Windhoek) is making changes. The government of the Republic of Namibia, Air Namibia’s sole shareholder, has decided to recapitalize the airline, with an equity injection in the form of two brand new Airbus A319-100 aircraft (total now four) for use on regional routes. New A319 services from Windhoek to Gaborone (three times a week) and Harare (four times a week) will commence on May 15.

The airline is also adding two Airbus A330-200s to replace the current two A340-300s which are operated on the valuable Windhoek-Frankfurt route. The first of the A330-200 aircraft is expected to enter the fleet in October 2013 and the second one is expected to enter the fleet in November 2013. These aircraft will offer 30 business class seats with full flat beds and personalized video and audio inflight entertainment, and 214 economy class seats also fitted with personalized audio/video inflight entertainment system.

However the carrier is expected to drop the Windhoek-Accra route on April 11 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A319-112 D-AVWG (msn 5366) became V5-ANM when it was handed over to the carrier. It is pictured at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) prior to the delivery.

Air Namibia: AG Slide Show

Air Namibia logo-4

Route Map:

Air Namibia 3:2013 Route Map

EVA Air becomes a new Airbus A321 operator

EVA Air (Taipei) of Taiwan has become a new operator of Airbus single aisle aircraft following the delivery today (October 31) of its first A321. The aircraft is being leased from Aviation Capital Group (ACG) and is the first of 12 A321s ordered by the US lessor. The aircraft was handed over at a ceremony in Hamburg attended by Chang Kuo Wei, President of EVA Air.

EVA currently plans to introduce 12 leased A321s into its fleet between now and end-2014 for operation on regional routes. The airline has specified a high comfort two class layout for the aircraft seating 184 passengers. EVA’s A321 fleet will be powered by CFM International CFM56 engines.

EVA Air plans to introduce the new A321 on November 10 on the Taipei (Taoyuan)-Macau route according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The first, the pictured Airbus A321-211 D-AVZD (msn 5354) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder), became B-16201 at today’s handover.

Hot New Photos: 

EVA Air: 

Thai Airways International to introduce its first Airbus A380 in October

Thai Airways International’s (Bangkok) first Airbus A380-800 aircraft bearing the airline’s distinctive livery has been rolled out from the Airbus paint shop in Hamburg. Now the pictured A380-841 with the temporary marks of F-WWAO (msn 087) is seen for the first time on the runway at Hamburg (Finkenwerder)

According to the carrier, “this important milestone marks the unveiling of the fully-painted, first Airbus A380 for Thailand’s national flag carrier. Thai’s symbol is an abstract image suggesting movement, inspired by the crown flower used in Thai handicraft work and Thai garlands used in traditional ceremonies such as weddings and auspicious events. Colors used are purple, magenta and gold representing, respectively, a Thai orchid, shimmering Thai silk and the brilliance of a Thai temple.”

Thai will become the ninth operator of the A380 when it takes delivery of first the aircraft later this month on September 27. The airline has firm orders for six A380s and will operate the aircraft on its premier routes from Bangkok to Europe.

Thai is now planning to introduce the new wide body type on October 6 between Bangkok and Hong Kong (instead of the original planned October 28 launch date).

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A380-841 F-WWAO will become HS-TUA on hand over.

Hot New Photos:

Thai Airways International: 

Frameable Color prints and Posters: 

Hong Kong Airlines to drop the London Gatwick route on September 10, will concentrate on the Asian market

Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong) has confirmed it will discontinue the Business Class Hong Kong-London (Gatwick) route on September 10. The carrier added the route only in March 2012. The airline will concentrate on regional routes in Asia.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The airline is also modifying its color scheme. Newly-manufactured Airbus A320-214 F-WWIA (msn 5264) displays the updated look at Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The airline has been stylizing its name as Hongkong Airlines. The new airliner will become B-LPF on delivery.

Hot New Photos: 

Hong Kong Airlines: 

Thai Smile takes delivery of its first Airbus A320, will now launch operations on July 7

Thai Smile Air (subsidiary of Thai Airways International) (Bangkok) will now launch operations on July 7 (delayed from July 1) following the delivery of its first aircraft. The first route will be from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Macau. Eventually four A320s will be utilized to fly from BKK to Chiang Mai, Phuket, Kolkata, Jakarta, and Phnom Penh in the first year.

Thai Smile will be a “light-premium sub-brand” according to the parent.

In its first year of operations, using Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport as its main hub, Thai will replace the mainline service to Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai, and Surat Thani.

According to Thai, “the main target market for these initial in-country flights will be the young small and medium business traveler as well as local traveler, government agents, who wants a relaxed, stylish atmosphere on board without the premium price.”

Thai Smile’s light premium service will offer a complimentary meal and drink service, free passenger seat selections, faster check-in procedures, 15-20 kg baggage allowances, and the ability to accrue frequent flyer mileage on both Thai and the Star Alliance network.

Thai does not believe the new Thai Smile brand will be a conflict with low-cost subsidiary Nok Air since Nok Air only flies domestically out of Don Muang airport, while Thai Smile passengers will be able to connect to international flights out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai Smile will also fly to Khon Kaen and Chiang Rai, two destinations not covered by Nok Air.

The name Thai Smile was chosen from 2,229 entries submitted in a contest to name the airline.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The pictured Airbus A320-232 with the temporary registration of D-AVVM, was handed over yesterday (June 30) as HS-TXA (msn 5198). It seen at the Hamburg (Finkenwerder) plant.

Hot New Items: 

Spring Airlines challenges China Eastern and Cathay Pacific on the Shanghai-Hong Kong route

Spring Airlines (Shanghai) added the mainline Shanghai-Hong Kong route on September 27. The low-cost carrier is challenging incumbents China Eastern Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways on the route.

Read the full article from Bloomberg:

CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A320-214 D-AXAQ (msn 4331) rotates at Hamburg (Finkenwerder). The airliner became B-6705 on delivery.

Shanghai Airlines to exit the Star Alliance at the end of October

Shanghai Airlines (Shanghai) will exit the Star Alliance on October 31 as a result of the merger with China Eastern Airlines. Shanghai Airlines was welcomed as the 19th member of Star Alliance on December 12, 2007.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Looking nice in the updated 2007 livery, Shanghai’s Airbus A321-231 D-AVZM (msn 6591) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became B-6591 on delivery.

Lufthansa reports a $135 million first half loss

Lufthansa (Deutsche Lufthansa AG) (Frankfurst) reported a $135 million net loss for the first half of the year. The loss was blamed on the strike by its pilots and the European airspace closures due to the Icelandic volcanic ash.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. LH’s first Airbus A380-841 is pictured at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) as F-WWSH (msn 038) before it became D-AIMA on delivery.

Uzbekistan Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A320

Uzbekistan Airways (Tashkent) yesterday (July 16) took delivery of its first new Airbus A320.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A320-214 D-AVVA (msn 4371) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) on July 13 became UK32011 on delivery.

Lufthansa accepts arbitration settlement with its pilots

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has elected to accept the arbitration settlement resolved with its pilots.

Press release:

CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. The first Airbus A380-841 F-WWSH (msn 038) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) for Lufthansa became D-AIMA on delivery.

TAROM joins the SkyTeam alliance today

TAROM-Romanian Air Transport (Bucharest) officially joined the SkyTeam global airline alliance at a ceremony held in Bucharest today (June 25). TAROM becomes the 13th carrier to join SkyTeam, which marked its 10th anniversary on June 22, 2010.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A318-11 D-AUAC (msn 2552) at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) became YR-ASA on delivery.

Lufthansa and Frankfurt Airport welcomes the first based Airbus A380, will host special events

Frankfurt Airport (FRA) will once again welcome the A380 super jumbo. Fraport, owner and manager of FRA, expects the A380 to land at approximately 16:00 hours today (May 18). Upon arrival, this first A380 to join the Lufthansa fleet will be officially named “Frankfurt am Main” by Frankfurt’s lord mayor Petra Roth in a ceremony at the A380 maintenance base on the southern side of the airport. Lufthansa has ordered 15 A380s and taken options on another 10 for its superjumbo fleet to be based at the FRA intercontinental hub. The inaugural flight of Lufthansa’s first A380 is scheduled for June 6 at about 20:30, when the German national soccer team takes to the skies on the Frankfurt am Main to Johannesburg for the World Cup 2010 hosted by South Africa.

To celebrate the start of A380 service at FRA and the World Cup, Fraport is offering a special program of family-oriented events on May 19, May 27 and June 6. Along with airport tours, there will be activities at the outdoor Visitors’ Terrace and in the terminals, including a shopping festival with music (June 6). Fans wishing to send off the German national team in style can do so on June 6 from the Terminal 2 Visitors’ Terrace using hand wavers painted in Germany’s national colors, provided by Fraport free of charge. Happy landings for the A380 and good luck Germany at World Cup 2010!

The A380 has been a frequent guest at Frankfurt. The FRA international air transportation hub was considered the first airport worldwide to have an A380-compatible infrastructure. As early as 2004, Fraport started detailed planning for introducing the new super jumbo, a passenger aircraft of unparalleled dimensions. Only a few years later, Fraport modified the first docking position at Terminal 2 to accommodate super jumbos. Finally, on October 29, 2005, a prototype of the new generation aircraft landed for the first time ever at a commercial airport; Airbus had chosen FRA for this test operation. FRA was the only airport able to provide all prerequisites for conducting reliable and promising test operations under realistic conditions.

At FRA comprehensive handling tests were carried out for the A380. These included the first time ever rehearsal of docking a passenger bridge to the upper level of the double-decker A380. At nighttime, important tow tests measured the effects of the A380 on the airport’s instrument landing system. Following successful completion of these airport compatibility tests, Fraport modified five more docking positions for the A380 at both of FRA’s passenger terminal.

In March 2007, Frankfurt served as the international hub for so-called A380 maturity flights (route provings) with passengers flown from FRA to New York, Washington and Hong Kong and Munich. In renewed boarding tests with the A380 Frankfurt Airport successfully achieved turn-around times of 90 minutes. Also in 2007, construction started on the A380 maintenance base as well as on the CD connector building that links FRA’s two passenger terminals. The architecture of the connector building is geared to the special handling requirements of the mega liner. Meanwhile, FRA’s Pier B has also been modified to serve the A380. Frankfurt Airport currently boasts a total of 10 terminal docking positions for the A380. In addition, there are five A380-compatible remote parking positions. With the new Pier A-Plus (now under construction), Terminal 1 will soon feature another four A380 docking positions.

In 2010 the authorities officially approved regular A380 operations for Runway South, Runway West and large parts of the movement areas (ramp and taxiways) at FRA. From the outset, Runway North already conformed to the regulatory requirements for super jumbo operations. In April 2010, Fraport put its infrastructure and equipment to the final test, after enhancements following the previous 2007 A380 visit. With some six years of planning and implementation, Frankfurt Airport is optimally prepared to welcome the first A380 jet to be home-based at FRA.

Featuring a strategic geographic location in the heart of Germany and the EU, Europe’s largest airport catchment area (38 million inhabitants within a 200 kilometer radius), unsurpassed ground-based feeder networks (high-speed rail and autobahn networks), and outstanding A380 infrastructure, equipment and handling expertise, FRA is ready to serve as a super hub for the A380 in 2010 and beyond.

Catch the A380 Excitement at FRA:

Along with the arrival of the A380 on May 19, airport visitors will get another chance to see the super jumbo from the Visitors’ Terrace on May 27, when the mega liner will be docked at the terminal from 14:00 to 19:30 for handling checks; airport tours will be available for those wanting a close-up view of the A380. Access to the Visitors’ Terrace will be free of charge for children up to and including age 15.

On June 6, the Airport Tours counter in the Airport City Mall Frankfurt (Level 0, Terminal 1) will raffle tickets for rides in Fraport’s follow-me trucks and the giant A380 tow tractor. Shopping deals, live music, activities for the kids and much more will make this a day of super jumbo fun.

Print-quality photos of Frankfurt Airport and Fraport AG are availale free for downloading via the Internet athttp://www.fraport.com (Menu: select Press Center > then Photo Service). For TV news and information broadcasting purposes only, we also offer free footage material for downloading via http://fraport.cms-gomex.com.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A380-841 F-WWSH (msn 038) became D-AIMA on delivery.

Lufthansa to introduce the new Airbus A380 on June 11 between Frankfurt and Tokyo (Narita)

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has decided to introduce its first Airbus A380 on the FRA-Tokyo (Narita ) route on June 11. The new type will be operated three times a week.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Airbus A380-841 F-WWSH (msn 038) “Frankfurt am Main” is pictured at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) undergoing high-speed rejected takeoff trials. The new type is due to be delivered around May 19 as D-AIMA.

Emirates to add Dubai-Jeddah A380 service on February 1, 2010

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Please click on photo for full view, information and other photos.

Emirates Airline Airbus A380-861 A6-EDA (msn 011) XFW

Originally uploaded by Airliners Gallery

Emirates Airline (Dubai) will bring the Airbus A380 to Saudi Arabia when it inaugurates A380 service to Jeddah on February 1, 2010. The A380 will be operated four times a week.

News link:

www.ameinfo.com/219656.html

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

Air France brings the Airbus A380 to New York

Air France (Paris) brought the new Airbus A380 to New York (JFK) yesterday (November 20, 2009). Operating as flight AF 380 it carried 380 winning bidders on the auction flight. The proceeds will go to humanitarian projects. Regular CDG-JFK service commences on November 23.

Here is the official AF press release:

This morning (November 20), at 11:39 am, Air France’s A380 took off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, operating flight AF 380, the first transatlantic flight between Europe and the United States by A380. Among the passengers were the 380 winning bidders for seats on the inaugural Paris-New York – Paris flights. This auction raised proceeds of 300,000 euros which will finance five different humanitarian projects by charities chosen by the Air France Foundation.

The aircraft, registration F-GHJA, landed at New York-Kennedy airport at 1:20 local time, 7:20 Paris time.

The proceeds of this auction of seats on the two inaugural Paris-New York-Paris flights finally reached 300,000 euros, more than expected. The amount will thus finance 5 humanitarian projects for children in need instead of the three initially planned.

The benefits of the auction for the inaugural Paris-New York-Paris flights will go to several projects in aid of humanitarian associations for children in need all over the world. The Air France Foundation supports these projects.

Starting on Monday November 23, the A380 will operate daily scheduled flights:

  • AF 006 Paris-New York leaving at 1:30, arriving at 3:45 pm;
  • and AF 007 New York-Paris leaving at 7:15 pm, arriving at 8:35 the following day.

From Paris, Air France will operate the A380 on its Johannesburg route as from February 3, 2010 and will therefore be the first airline to operate the A380 to Africa.

News link including a video:

www.euronews.net/2009/11/21/first-transatlantic-flight-for-superjumbo-jet/

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

NYC Aviation (Phil Derner) was also there to record the event:

http://nycaviation.com/2009/11/20/air-france-a380-completes-first-flight/

Air France takes delivery of its first Airbus A380

Air France (Paris) as planned took delivery of its first Airbus A380 yesterday (October 30). A380-861 F-HPJA (msn 033, ex F-WWSB) was accepted by the flag carrier.

News link:

www.airbus.com/en/presscentre/pressreleases/pressreleases_items/

09_10_30_a380_delivery_airfrance.html

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.

Please click on photo or link below for full view, information and other photos:

http://airlinersgallery.com/2/2346d0a/#/gallery/air-france/air-france-a380-800-f-wwsb-f-hpja-09-grd-xfw-gb-lr-903645/

Armavia adds Bahrain, SuperJet 100 delayed

Armavia (Yerevan) added Bahrain as a new destination on October 26, 2009.

Meanwhile in other news, the delivery of the first SuperJet 100 has been delayed by “several months” according to published reports.

News link:

www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/10/27/334036/superjet-delivery-to-armavia-postponed-for-several-months.html

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss

Please click on photo or link below for full view, information and other photos:

http://airlinersgallery.com/2/1a51afb/#/gallery/armavia/armavia-a319-100-d-avym-ek32007-09-grd-xfw-gb-lr-902591/

Sydney passengers stranded by A380s for 26 hours

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.  Please click on photo for more photos.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Please click on photo for more photos.

QANTAS Airways’ (Sydney) normal sterling reputation took another hit again when some of its London-bound QF 31 passengers where stranded for 26 hours in Sydney after two Airbus A380s had mechanical problems. Critics have stated that outsourcing of maintenance for the past 18 months has hurt the company’s reputation and led to several well-documented incidents.

News link:

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article6872263.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093

Air France to bring A380 to Paris Orly Nov. 11

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss.  Please click on photo for full view, information and other photos.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Please click on photo for full view, information and other photos.

Air France (Paris) is planning to bring its first Airbus A380 to Paris (Orly) on November 11 at 1700 local time for airport familiarization (as an alternate airport). AF is due to take delivery of F-HPJA (msn 033) on October 30 and the new type will go into revenue service on November 23 between Paris (CDG) and New York (JFK).

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