airBaltic tentatively schedules the last Boeing 737 revenue flights

airBaltic Boeing 737-31S YL-BBS (msn 29267)  ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943127.

airBaltic, which had been aggressively replacing its older Boeing 737s with new Airbus A220-300s, has tentatively scheduled the last Boeing 737 revenue flights in the fall.

According to Airline Route, the last Boeing 737-300 (top) revenue flight is tentatively scheduled for October 26, 2019.

Above Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Meanwhile, the last Boeing 737-500 (above) revenue flight will tentatively be operated on November 29, 2019. The last flight is currently scheduled between Copenhagen and Riga.

Top Copyright Photo: airBaltic Boeing 737-31S YL-BBS (msn 29267) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 943127.

airBaltic aircraft slide show:

 

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Sun Country Airlines announces new service from Providence to Punta Cana

Sun Country Airlines has announced new seasonal nonstop service from T.F. Green Airport (PVD) to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ).

The announcement was made by Sun Country Airlines at T.F. Green Airport alongside RIAC President and CEO Iftikhar Ahmad, Warwick Mayor Joseph J. Solomon, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, Providence City Council President Sabina Matos, Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor and RIAC Board Chairman Jonathan N. Savage.

The new seasonal service to Punta Cana will begin on November 16 and initially operate once weekly on Saturdays. Service will move to twice weekly on December 25, operating on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Sun Country Airlines announced in January that they would begin service at T.F. Green Airport this year. The airline launched seasonal nonstop service to Nashville and Minneapolis/St. Paul in April, with connection opportunities to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anchorage, Alaska and Denver. Nonstop service to New Orleans and Las Vegas will begin in September.

Swift Air is acquired by the iAero Group

Swift Air (2nd) (USA) Boeing 737-4B7 N458UW (msn 25022) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403679.

iAero Group has released this statement:

iAero Group, a leading integrated aviation platform business headquartered at Miami International Airport, completed the acquisition of Swift Air, the leading independent airline charter business in the United States. Swift Air now joins engine MRO AeroThrust and airframe MRO AeroTech under the iAero Group integrated aviation platform family.

Swift Air will now have access to iAero Group’s MRO capabilities to build and maintain the highest quality and most flexible fleet of aircraft in the market to deliver even higher levels of customer satisfaction. In addition, Swift Air will be able to reduce cost, increase in-service rates, and extend the life of their fleet.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Swift Air to our family of businesses,” said iAero Group Chief Executive Officer, Robert Caputo. “Swift Air will immediately benefit from our MRO and aircraft refurbishment capabilities and can further expand its capacity with our owned Boeing 737 aircraft.”

Jeff Conry, Swift Air’s Chief Executive Officer said, “we have been looking forward to joining iAero Group to leverage their capabilities to provide industry leading aircraft and service levels and have access to new capital to refresh and expand our fleet.”

Top Copyright Photo: Swift Air (2nd) (USA) Boeing 737-4B7 N458UW (msn 25022) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403679.

Swift Air aircraft slide show:

Wizz Air celebrates 200 million passengers flown in 15 years

Wizz Air  (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXT (msn 7706) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946587.

Wizz Air, the fastest growing airline in Europe, celebrated the 15th anniversary of its first flight as well as a remarkable milestone of 200 million carried passengers.

The very first Wizz Air flight took off on May 19, 2004 from Katowice to London Luton. Since then the airline has grown its fleet to 112 Airbus aircraft, including the modern state-of-the-art A321neo aircraft powered by two Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines, representing the most efficient single-aisle aircraft in the world. With the exemplary fuel economics and a 239 seat configuration, passengers, choosing to fly with Wizz Air’s A321neo benefit from Wizz Air’s lowest fares while ensuring that they are leaving the smallest environmental footprint per passenger.

Looking back on the past twelve months, Wizz Air has a lot to be proud of: WIZZ has pioneered air travel in Austria by setting up operations from Vienna International Airport; founded Wizz Air UK, a UK-based airline that will soon boast eleven brand new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft in its fleet; welcomed the 100th aircraft to the WIZZ fleet, decorated with a special livery; opened the state-of-the-art, Budapest-based Training Centre, an investment of over €300 million; opened and commenced flights from the newest Polish WIZZ base in Krakow, as well as added two of the 256 next generation Airbus A321neo aircraft to the rapidly expanding WIZZ fleet.

During the 15 years in service Wizz Air gained trust and loyalty of 200 million passengers. WIZZ reached 100 million passengers in October 2015 and it took less than four years to double that amount. To mark this notable achievement, all passengers of the celebratory flight from Kyiv, Ukraine to Katowice, Poland were greeted by Wizz Air and Katowice International Airport management upon arrival with a small celebration on the ground and EUR 200 vouchers.

József Váradi, the Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air said: “We operated our first flight in 2004 between Poland and the UK, and today, 15 years later, we celebrate a total of 200 million passengers carried from 146 airports across 44 countries. While it is undeniable that our people are the biggest driver of this achievement, there are also four key elements that have set WIZZ apart from our competitors and helped establish our unrivalled strategic position in Europe. Thanks to our exceptional ULCC business model, we are cost leaders in a commodity industry and one of the most valued airlines in Europe.

Our market leadership and increased focus on the CEE region gives us a unique advantage by allowing us to enter an underpenetrated market, in which we strive to get people into the franchise of flying, rather than compete for the passengers of existing airlines. We have an order of over 250 A321neo aircraft, an extremely valuable asset and a true game-changer for WIZZ, offering the lowest unit cost and environmental footprint per passenger, as well as reduced noise and NOX footprint.

Finally, our culturally diverse organization and leadership team, represented by over 50 nationalities, ensure that we have a truly global vision, take balanced decisions and swiftly adapt to changes in our environment. I thank our customers, partners and of course the WIZZ team for their trust and support during these 15 years behind us and can state without a doubt that we have an even more exciting 15 years ahead.”

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LXT (msn 7706) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946587.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:

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For the first time in it’s 74 year history, TAP has 100 aircraft

TAP has released this statement:

  • TAP has received yet another Airbus A330neo, bringing the total number of aircraft of the company’s fleet to 100;
  • The new aircraft have enabled record growth to be achieved in the United States. TAP was the fastest growing European airline over the past four years on routes between Europe and the United States;
  • On average, each new TAP aircraft results in €28 million in duties and taxes each year to the Portuguese economy. And more than 750 jobs in Portugal.

On May 20, TAP marks a historic day in its 74 year history. With the arrival of another A330neo – CS-TUI, which has been named King Afonso Henriques – the company has 100 aircraft in its fleet for the first time.

The renovation of the TAP fleet, with 71 new aircraft due to arrive by 2025, is one of the main pillars of the new shareholders’ Strategic Plan. This was presented and approved by the Portuguese State when the company was privatised in 2015. A significant part of TAP’s transformation and modernisation rests on these latest generation aircraft, offering more seats and lower costs.

The new aircraft allow new routes to be opened and help TAP diversify its income streams. The company continues to grow in Brazil, a market in which it retains market leadership for connections to Europe, with a 22.8% increase in the number of passengers carried between 2015 and 2018. We also have a strong commitment to the North Atlantic market, where there has been a 176.5% growth in passenger numbers between 2015 and 2018, alongside almost four-fold growth in the number of seats available in four years.

TAP was the fastest growing European airline on routes to the United States, offering 245,000 more seats compared to 2015.

The new fleet is also an important contribution to the country. Each new TAP airline makes a significant contribution to the country’s GDP, generating an average of €28 million in duties and taxes each year for the Portuguese economy and creating more than 750 jobs in Portugal, on average.

The growth in TAP’s fleet has, in just four years, put the company above the average of other leading European airlines in terms of growth: TAP’s fleet grew by 21% between 2015 and 2018, while other European airlines have grown 13% on average, according to data from Flight Global.

TAP’s passenger numbers have also grown faster than the average of other leading European airlines: The number of passengers carried between 2015 and 2018 is up 39%, compared to the average of 19% for our European competitor airlines.

TAP will continue receiving new aircraft for the rest of this year, and will open new routes – flights to Chicago, San Francisco and Washington start in June. TAP will also bring more tourists to Portugal. In 2018, TAP brought 4 million tourists to Portugal, who contributed more than €5.5 billion to the national economy.

Reuters: FAA chief has no timetable for ungrounding Boeing 737 MAX

From Reuters:

The acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday he does not have a specific timetable for when the agency may unground the Boeing 737 MAX that has been involved in two fatal crashes since October.

“I’m not tied to a timetable,” Dan Elwell told reporters ahead of a meeting planned for Thursday with more than 30 international air regulators including China, the European Union and Canada. He said he plans to share the FAA’s safety analysis to date on Thursday, but said the agency is still waiting Boeing’s formal software upgrade and emphasized the FAA has not decided on the revised training requirements.

Top Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. The newly-produced Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are being stacked up at all Puget Sound airports including Paine Field in Everett. Another car parking lot at Boeing Field is being converted to additional aircraft parking areas.