Video: Oman Air’s First and Business Class

New video from Sam Chui:

I traveled on Oman Air in July to try out their new Boeing 787 in First and Business Class from Dubai to London via Muscat. It was an amazing experience on both flights with excellent product and service. Oman Air crew is wearing their new uniform on-board as well.

During my transit in Muscat, I visited Oman Air First Class Lounge. The lounge is total luxury and feel extremely intimate. Have you flown Oman Air in premium class?

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Flybondi renews its relationship with Superliga Argentina (SAF)

Flybondi (flybondi.com) Boeing 737-8F2 WL LV-HQY (msn 34406) PAL (Yulia Furda). Image: 947386.

Flybondi has announced a renewal of their alliance with “Superliga Argentina de Futbol SAF”.

SAF is the organization who manages the Argentina’s league of football soccer. Through this agreement, the airline will facilitate the transport of football teams between the different provinces of country.

Currently the Superliga (A series) is in the match week number 3 and it’s will extend until March 2020.

Most relevant matches

Week 5: River – Boca 01/09 17hs

Week 6: Rosario Central – Newell’s – 15/09

Week 9: Unión – Colón – 06/10

Week 10: Huracán – San Lorenzo – 20/10

Week 12: Gimnasia – Estudiantes – 03/11

Week 13. Lanús – Banfield – 10/11

Week 19: Racing – Independiente – 02/02/2020

Martin Ortiz reporting from Argentina.

Top Copyright Photo: Flybondi (flybondi.com) Boeing 737-8F2 WL LV-HQY (msn 34406) PAL (Yulia Furda). Image: 947386.

British Airways to be struck by BALPA in September

BALPA made this announcement:

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has given notice to British Airways that it will call on its members to strike on 9th, 10th and 27th September 2019.

Over several days of ACAS talks BALPA put forward a number of packages that we believe would have resolved this dispute without a strike, and which we could have recommended to our members for acceptance prior to strike action. BA did not accept any of these packages, and it is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA’s most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots.

In these circumstances, with a 93% vote in favour of taking industrial action, and with no prospect of any further meaningful talks, we have no choice but to call this action.

A day of strike action will cost BA around £40m. Three days will cost in the region of £120m. The gap between BA’s position and BALPA’s position is about £5m. Our proposal remains on the table should BA wish to reach agreement prior to strike action.

British Airways is an extremely profitable and successful company, and pilots have been proud to play their part in that. In 2018 the company announced profits of £2bn. Over recent years BA pilots have made sacrifice after sacrifice to assist the company such as taking a pay cut, productivity increases, closing the final salary pension scheme, giving up annual leave days, a new rostering system, and reducing flying pay.

In what is British Airways’ centenary year, this will be the very first time its pilots will go on strike. They do so as a last resort and with enormous frustration at the way the business is now being run.

Our ballot is valid until January, and more dates may be announced until such time as this matter is resolved.

British Airways made this announcement:

It is completely unacceptable that BALPA is destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action.

BALPA has given us notice that they will strike on September 9th, 10th and 27th. We are extremely sorry that after many months of negotiations, based on a very fair offer, BALPA has decided on this reckless course of action.

We are now making changes to our schedule.  We will do everything we can to get as many people away on their journeys as possible. However, it is likely that many of our customers will not be able to travel and we will be offering refunds and re-bookings for passengers booked on cancelled flights.

  • Flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected
  • We are exploring options to supplement our fleet by using aircraft and crew from other airlines (wet-leasing)
  • We are working with our partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take the maximum number of customers

Our proposed deal of 11.5 per cent over three years is very fair and well above the UK’s current rate of inflation, and by contrast to BALPA, has been accepted by the members of the Unite and GMB trade unions, which represent nearly 90 per cent of all British Airways colleagues including engineers, cabin crew and ground staff. In addition to basic pay, pilots also receive annual pay increments and regular flying allowances.

We continue to pursue every avenue to find a solution to avoid industrial action and protect our customers’ travel plans.

 

 

Transat shareholders approve the takeover by Air Canada

Air Transat Airbus A321-271NX WL C-GOIF (msn 8876) BOD (Ton Jochems). Image: 947385.

Air Canada made this announcement:

Air Canada is pleased by the announcement, earlier today, by Transat A.T. Inc. (“Transat”) of the approval, by a majority of nearly 95% of its shareholders, of its Arrangement Agreement with Air Canada under which Air Canada will acquire all its issued and outstanding shares.

“We are pleased with the outcome of Transat’s special meeting and grateful to Transat shareholders for this overwhelming show of support,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. “We will build a combined company greater than the sum of its parts that we can all be proud of.  We now look forward to engaging with Transport Canada and the Competition Bureau to secure the required approvals to complete the transaction and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the many benefits it will bring.”

“This is the best possible outcome for all stakeholders,” added Mr. Rovinescu. “For shareholders of Transat and Air Canada, the combination delivers excellent value, while also providing increased job security for both companies’ employees through greater growth prospects. Air Canada plans to preserve the Transat and Air Transat brands and maintain the Transat head office and its key functions in Montreal. Travellers will benefit from the combined companies’ enhanced capabilities in the highly competitive, global leisure travel market and from access to new destinations, more connecting traffic and increased frequencies. Customers and the Quebec economy will derive maximum advantage of having a Montreal-based, growth-oriented global champion in aviation, the world’s most international business, spurring more employment and securing Montreal’s position as a leader among world aviation centres.”

Plan of Arrangement

The acquisition will proceed by way of a court-approved plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act. The transaction remains subject to court and regulatory approvals and the other closing conditions set out in the Arrangement Agreement. If such approvals are obtained and conditions are met, the transaction is expected to be completed in early 2020. Further details regarding the transaction are provided in Transat’s management proxy circular for the special meeting of shareholders and in the Arrangement Agreement and the Amending Agreement entered into between Air Canada and Transat.

Note: If the acquisition is approved, Air Transat is expected to continue to operate as a separate brand.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Transat Airbus A321-271NX WL C-GOIF (msn 8876) BOD (Ton Jochems). Image: 947385.

Air Transat aircraft slide show:

Wizz Air to add two new routes from Southend and one from Luton

Wizz Air  (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LTC (msn 8295) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946808.

Wizz Air has announced that from November, we will offer flights from London Southend to the popular Eastern European destinations of Bucharest in Romania and Vilnius in Lithuania plus a new service from London Luton to Castellon in Spain.

The new Southend services will operate starting from November 23, 2019 and the London – Castellon route commences on December 9, 2019.

Additionally the carrier has also announced it is adding two more Airbus A321 aircraft to the Vienna base, enabling the start of six new long-awaited services from Vienna to Athens, Castellon, Cologne, London-Luton, Prishtina and Tirana, and the increase of frequencies of our existing Lisbon and Tel Aviv routes.


The seventh aircraft joins the Vienna fleet on December 18, 2019 from when our Athens, Cologne, Prishtina and Tirana routes kick off and the eighth aircraft arrives on July 1, 2020 which marks the start of our Castellon and London services.

Finally Wizz Air has also announced the start of two new routes from Kutaisi to Bologna in Italy and Cologne (Köln) in Germany.

The route to Bologna starts on November 23, 2019 and to Cologne from July 1, 2020.

The airline has also announced the previously announced Kutaisi-Nice service to start on December 12, 2019 and to increase the frequency of the Kutaisi-Milan route to four services per week.

Top Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL HA-LTC (msn 8295) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 946808.

Wizz Air aircraft slide show:

Cargojet announces a strategic agreement with Amazon

Cargojet Airways Boeing 767-39H ER WL C-FGSJ (msn 26256) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 947384.

Cargojet Inc. has announced today that it has entered into a new strategic agreement with Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Amazon.com.ca, Inc.

Cargojet is a key air cargo carrier for Amazon’s middle mile transportation in Canada. This agreement is in conjunction with Amazon’s and Cargojet’s existing commercial agreement for overnight air cargo services and charters and to incentivize growth in Amazon’s utilization of those services to support fast delivery for Amazon customers in Canada. Under the new strategic agreement, Cargojet will issue warrants to Amazon to purchase variable voting shares that will vest based on the achievement of commercial milestones related to Amazon’s business with Cargojet. Cargojet expects the agreement to generate additional revenue growth and be meaningfully accretive to Cargojet’s earnings and cash flows over time.

Amazon utilizes Cargojet’s overnight air network and charter aircraft services to move packages from Amazon facilities to other Amazon or last mile carrier locations before final delivery to customers. Speed and reliability in this component of the logistics network are critical for enabling consistent delivery performance for Amazon customers across Canada.

Growth in e-commerce and recent industry announcements for even faster deliveries as well as 7 days-a-week deliveries will drive Cargojet to further strengthen its premium domestic network.  Cargojet plans, over time, to add more non-stop flights allowing later departures and earlier arrivals to the 15 major cities that Cargojet already serves and to add new cities on its overnight network. These service and frequency enhancements will be available to all Cargojet customers, and will expand Cargojet’s reach to approximately 95% of the Canadian population. This optimized network will further improve fleet utilisation, create additional opportunities, and continue to help Cargojet enhance its customer-neutral, cost effective network for all its customers.

As part of the agreement, Cargojet will issue the warrants to Amazon in two tranches. The first tranche of warrants allows Amazon to acquire up to 9.9 percent of Cargojet’s variable voting shares at an exercise price of $91.78 per share, comprising the 30-day volume weighted average trading price (“VWAP”) immediately prior to the date of the agreement.  The first tranche of warrants will vest over a period of six and a half years, with vesting tied to the delivery by Amazon of up to C$400 million in business volumes during the same term.

Amazon will also receive additional warrants to acquire up to an additional 5 percent of Cargojet’s variable voting shares with vesting tied to the delivery by Amazon of up to an additional C$200 million in business volumes after the first tranche of warrants is fully vested. The vesting period for the second tranche of warrants will continue for an additional year, making the aggregate term of all the warrants equal to seven and a half years from the date of the agreement. The exercise price of the second tranche of warrants will be set two years after the date of the agreement using the 30 day VWAP immediately prior to the second anniversary of the agreement (or, if earlier, the date on which the first tranche of warrants is vested in full).

Top Copyright Photo: Cargojet Airways Boeing 767-39H ER WL C-FGSJ (msn 26256) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 947384.

Cargojet aircraft slide show:

Korean Air to reduce Japan routes and increase Southeast Asian routes

Korean Air Boeing 777-2B5 ER HL7734 (msn 34207) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 947382.

Korean Air has announced its plans to adjust the frequency of some routes, in consideration of decreasing demand of Japanese routes due to Korea-Japan tensions. At the same time, the airline will increase the frequency of routes in the Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Chinese markets.

Korean Air will suspend the Busan-Osaka route (14 flights a week) from September 16, as well as Jeju-Narita (3 flights a week) and Jeju-Osaka (4 flights a week) from November 1.

The airline will also temporarily suspend some of its other routes. Incheon-Komatsu (3 flights a week) and Incheon-Kagoshima (3 flights a week) will be suspended from September 29 to November 16, and Incheon-Asahikawa (5 flights a week) will be suspended from September 29 to October 26.

Photo: Korean Air.

For Incheon-Osaka/Fukuoka routes, both routes currently have 28 flights a week, and the frequency will be decreased to 21 flights a week between October 27 and November 16. The frequency of Incheon-Okinawa will be reduced from seven to four flights a week, and Busan-Narita/Fukuoka from fourteen to seven flights a week, between September 29 and November 16.

In the meantime, Korean Air plans to strengthen its route competitiveness by focusing more on other markets, such as Southeast Asia, Oceania, and China in the winter season.

To begin with, Korean Air will launch a new daily route to Clark, Philippines, starting from October 27. The airline will also add four more operations a week for Incheon-Chiang Mai/Bali, increasing the number of flights per week to eleven. In Oceania, the frequency of the Incheon-Brisbane route will be increased from five to seven flights a week.

Korean Air is also planning to expand its network to China with the launch of new direct services. The airline plans to start direct flights from Incheon to Zhangjiajie and Hangzhou three times a week each, and Incheon-Nanjing four times a week. The service between Incheon and Beijing will be operated 17 times a week, up from the previous 14 a week.

In other changes, Korean Air will boost the frequency on some domestic routes. It will launch a new service between Pohang and Jeju seven times a week, and the Ulsan-Jeju flight will be operated seven times a week, an increase of two flights a week.

Top Copyright Photo: Korean Air Boeing 777-2B5 ER HL7734 (msn 34207) LAX (Ron Monroe). Image: 947382.

Korean Air aircraft slide show: