WestJet adds more sun routes and frequencies for the coming winter

WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8CT SSWL C-GWSZ (msn 37092) (Walt Disney World - Magic Plane) YVR (Steve Bailey). Image: 936503.

WestJet Airlines (Calgary) has announced an additional 55 weekly nonstop flights this winter from Toronto Pearson International Airport to key domestic business destinations as well as popular sun spots in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The service is part of the airline’s seasonal schedule for the winter of 2017-18.

Details of WestJet’s increased service from Toronto:

  • TorontoMontreal, from 83 to 91 times weekly (14 times each business day).
  • TorontoOttawa, from 77 to 85 times weekly (13 times each business day).
  • TorontoVancouver, from 45 to 52 times weekly (eight times each business day).
  • TorontoCalgary, from 56 to 68 times weekly, more than any other carrier (10 times each business day).
  • TorontoWinnipeg, from 31 to 38 times weekly (six times each business day).
  • TorontoKelowna, from five to seven times weekly.
  • TorontoOrlando, from 12 to 15 times weekly.
  • TorontoFort Lauderdale/Hollywood, from 11 to 14 times weekly.
  • TorontoCancun, from 11 to 15 times weekly.
  • TorontoMontego Bay, from 13 to 14 times weekly.
  • TorontoNassau, from seven to nine times weekly.
  • TorontoLiberia, from four to five times weekly.
  • TorontoAntigua, from two to three times weekly.
  • TorontoPunta Cana, from six to seven times weekly.
  • Toronto-Puerto Plata, from five to six times weekly.

WestJet also announced the addition of dozens of new flights across Canada. The additional flights deliver optimized service for both the business and leisure traveller and give Canadians greater connectivity into and out of WestJet hubs in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, providing more flight frequency between key routes, better scheduling and greater access from smaller airports into the wider WestJet network.

Highlights of WestJet’s 2017-18 winter schedule include:

  • New nonstop weekly service from Calgary to Belize City, Belize.
  • New nonstop weekly service from Edmonton and Vancouver to Huatulco.
  • Service from both Regina and Abbotsford to Puerto Vallarta will increase by one weekly flight for a total of twice weekly.
  • Additional flights from Edmonton to a number of domestic and international destinations including Cancun, Abbotsford and Victoria.
  • Additional flights from Calgary to a number of sun destinations including Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Palm Springs and Puerto Vallarta.
  • Additional flights from Calgary to a number of domestic destinations including Kitchener, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Kelowna and Brandon.
  • Additional flights from Vancouver to a number of domestic and international destinations including Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Fort St. John, Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray.
  • Extension of existing summer service increases through the winter including three daily flights between Toronto and Moncton, six daily flights between Edmonton and Kelowna and 12 weekly flights between Calgaryand Houston.

This winter WestJet will operate an average of 700 daily flights to 93 destinations including 37 in Canada, 22 in the United States, 33 in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America and one in Europe.

Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8CT SSWL C-GWSZ (msn 37092) (Walt Disney World – Magic Plane) YVR (Steve Bailey). Image: 936503.

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Hawaiian to place the new Airbus A321neo in service in January

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) has announced the first schedules for its upcoming new Airbus A321neo aircraft. According to Airline Route, the first A321 daily route will be between Kahului, Maui and Portland, Oregon starting on January 18, 2018.

The second route will be between Kona, Hawaii and Los Angeles starting on March 11, 2018.

The third route will connect Lihue, Kauai with Oakland commencing on April 11, 2018.

Image: Airbus.

 

Air Côte d’Ivoire receives a new Airbus A320

Air Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivory Coast’s flagship airline based in Abidjan, received its new Airbus A320 at a ceremony that was held at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse on Monday, July 17, 2017. This ceremony was jointly presided over by Didier Evrard, Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes and General Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Chairman of Air Côte d’Ivoire’s Board of Directors.

Air Côte d’Ivoire already operates six Airbus aircraft (four A319s and two A320) in the framework of a leasing contract. Air Côte d’Ivoire operates 25 different domestic routes in West Africa and Central Africa.

The cabin of the aircraft is configured in two classes (16 business class and 132 economy class seats). The business class offering provides an unbeatable level of comfort with the new “Celeste” seat provided by Stelia Aerospace, while the economy class provides a high level of service, particularly in terms of the lighting system and internet connectivity.

Air Côte d’Ivoire currently flies to 20 international destinations located in West and Central Africa, and to five domestic destinations.

Photo: Airbus. Airbus A320-214 TU-TSV (msn 7742) was the new aircraft accepted.

Regional Routes:

 

 

Jetlines is planning to start operations in the summer of 2018

Jetlines (Canada Jetlines Ltd.) is now planning to launch scheduled low-fare passenger operations for the summer of 2018.

Jetlines plans to establish its base in Vancouver along with base in southern Ontario and a secondary base at Winnipeg. The company plans to start with four Boeing 737-700s or 737-800s and expand to 40 aircraft over the first eight years.

The CEO is Stan Gadek, formerly of Sun Country Airlines and AirTran Airways.

The upstart has also revised its planned livery and logo.

The company stated its philospohy and goals:

Who We Are

Canada Jetlines Ltd. is a publicly traded company set to become Canada’s first ultra-low fare airline to serve the millions of Canadians living in unserved or underserved markets across the country with an alternative to the unreasonably high cost of air travel in Canada.

Jetlines will use the proven and profitable ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC) model which has enjoyed decades of success in every other industrialized region of the world where leisure travel passengers are offered air tickets at fraction of the prices currently available in Canada to create a whole new audience of passengers, along with a plan to retain them by demonstrating a “passion for service” unrecognizable in the current market.

In order to meet the significant demand for low fares and direct flights, Jetlines will fly point to point across Canada and non-stop from Canada to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean from 30+ secondary airports that offer better access, and cheaper prices combined with a more stress-free and comfortable travel experience.

With support from our partners at Boeing, InterVISTAS, and other industry specialists, Jetlines is currently developing a detailed route model and targets to begin commercial operations with six Boeing 737 aircraft within its first year. Jetlines recently gained unprecedented government support with the grant of a five-year Foreign Ownership Exemption Order allowing up to 49% foreign voting interests in Jetlines, an increase from the 25% that is otherwise permitted. This exemption has opened up avenues for financing and paved the way for Jetlines to pursue the value creating catalysts needed to move the Company towards initiating commercial passenger service by the second half of 2018.

What We Stand For

Our philosophy is simple, we want to offer Canada affordable airfares with a passion for service. We want to offer a memorable travel experience at a great value. Our motto, “Flying Your Way”, is rooted in the belief that customers want the opportunity to create their own personal travel experience.

This is an airline that will appeal to people who wish to save money when traveling by air; people who value low-base fares, convenience, great service, safety, and want the option to fly their way. By applying the proven ULCC model, not only will more Canadians fly more often, but a new market of Canadian travelers will emerge, comprised of people who:

  • are not presently flying from Canadian airports due to high airfares;
  • are not flying because of the lack of jet service from Canada’s secondary airports/local airports;
  • are using American ULCC airlines, flying from airports located in border towns near the Canada-United States border; or
  • are not flying to domestic or trans-border destinations because the service is not currently offered, or is offered only with multiple stops and connections.

Our Values:

  • Safety and Reliability- safety is paramount at Jetlines, and reliability underscores all aspects of operations;
  • Our People- hand-picked, professionally trained and customer-centric, delivering great customer experiences, building brand awareness and loyalty, and most importantly, earning repeat business; and
  • Innovation- using innovation and technology to continuously drive customer satisfaction and corporate profitability, while reducing and controlling costs.

Our Customer Service Value Proposition:

  • A high-touch customer-centric service level both in-flight and on-ground, a result of our focus on cabin attendant recruitment, training, management support and individual ‘empowerment’;
  • Culturally diversified staff, including cabin attendants;
  • Value added ‘up-sales’ and ancillary products that are made simple, clear and reasonable;
  • A seamless and continuous in-flight service responding to customer wants and needs, with a range of ‘route specific’ products and services, true to the philosophy that ‘one size does not fit all’;
  • An addition commission-based pay structure for all cabin attendants for on-board sales;
  • A high cabin attendant presence in the cabin during the flight with increased accessibility for the passengers; and
  • A goal to provide a simple and friendly customer experience

Planned route map:

All images by Jetlines.

Tigerair to be merged into Scoot on July 25, 2017

Tigerair (Singapore) Airbus A320-232 WL 9V-TRI (msn 5596) BKK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 924909.

Tigerair (Singapore) (originally Tiger Airways) is going away. Parent Singapore Airlines has decided to consolidate its budget airline subsidiaries under the Scoot brand and name on July 25, 2017. Tigerair’s (Singapore) aircraft are being repainted in Scoot’s livery. Tigerair’s TR code will survive and will be transferred to Scoot, replacing Scoot’s TZ code.

Tigerair Taiwan and Tigerair Australia will continue to operate under the Tigerair brand.

Scoot issued this statement:

Since May 2016, Scoot and Tigerair has been working to integrate reservation systems, flight schedules and connections, conditions of carriage, check-in counters and call centers. Those integrations have since been completed.

On July 25, 2017, the integration will be finalized and Scoot and Tigerair will merge to operate under a single brand, Scoot. With the merger, Tigerair will operate under the Scoot brand, however the Scoot designator code (TZ) will be re-designated as TR. This merger is part of our long-term growth strategy and to enable a more seamless travel experience for all our guests.

Top Copyright Photo: Tigerair (Singapore) Airbus A320-232 WL 9V-TRI (msn 5596) BKK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 924909.

Video: 

Map: Tigerair (Singapore) destinations are in orange:

Aer Lingus welcomes back the Douglas DC-3

"St. Gall" in the 1956 livery is unveiled on July 20, 2017

Aer Lingus (Dublin) unveiled a 1956 livery on this Douglas DC-3 at Dublin Airport on the afternoon of July 20, 2017. The event was titled  “Aer Lingus celebrates Irish Aviation History”. The airliner arrived at Dublin from Shannon (above, by Michael Kelly).

The C-47A-DK (DC-3) is currently registered as ZS-NTE (msn 11926) and is based in Germany. The propliner also carries the historic EI-ACD Irish registration. 

Historically the EI-ACD registration was previously used on an actual Aer Lingus DC-3.

Springbok Classic Air Douglas C-47A-DK (DC-3) ZS-NTE (msn 11926) QRA (Keith Burton). Image: 938726.

Copyright Photo Above: Springbok Classic Air Douglas C-47A-DK (DC-3) ZS-NTE (msn 11926) QRA (Keith Burton). Image: 938726.

The aircraft arrived at Shannon from Zweibrucken on June 13, 2017 in the Springbok Classic Air livery (above) and it was painted by IAC at Shannon.

"St. Gall" in the 1956 livery is unveiled on July 20, 2017

At the publicity event at Dublin, it was announced that the aircraft, named “St. Gall”, would remain in the  Aer Lingus historic livery. This beautiful aircraft will participate in air shows across Europe over the next five years according to the airline.

The DC-3 above and below (copyright photos by Michael Kelly) is fitted with 28 seats in a 2-2 configuration. There is a crew jump seat beside the rear passenger door.

Oddly the seats previously were fitted in a South African Airways Boeing 747SP.

“St. Gall” will take part in the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift in 2018 and the “Daks over Normandy Anniversary” event in June 2019.

Aer Lingus took delivery of its first Douglas DC-3 in April 1940. The first DC-3 revenue flight was from Dublin to Liverpool on May 7, 1940.

Aer Lingus operated a total of 19 Douglas DC-3s from 1940 until April 1964 when the type was retired.

"St. Gall" in the 1956 livery is unveiled on July 20, 2017

The Irish Historic Flight issued this statement:

“The IHFF is delighted to be associated with the appearance of a flying Douglas DC-3 in Ireland during the summer of 2017. This project was initiated by IHFF board member Hugh Flynn and made possible by the support of Aer Lingus, which originally operated the DC-3 between 1940 and April 1964.

 

 

The DC-3 appearing in Ireland was manufactured in September 1943 and is currently registered ZS-NTE. It served with the Royal Air Force until transfer to the South African Air Force in 1945. There it remained until retired in 1995. It was sold and registered ZS-NTE and after a period of 7 years in storage was restored to flying condition in 2009 and modified from a C47 cargo version to a DC3 passenger configuration.

The pilots who will be flying ZS-NTE while in Ireland are Flippie Vermeulen and Noel Flynn. Flippie is a retired Captain from South African Airways and the previous owner and current operator of the aircraft in his company, Springbok Safaris. Noel is a training Captain with Cargolux Airlines in Luxembourg and flies B747-8 and -400 series cargo aircraft.

Aer Lingus introduced the DC-3 in April 1940 but World War 2 interfered with operations and the type became more relevant when nine former USAAF C-47s were purchased in 1945, seven of which were converted to DC-3 airliner standard and two were parted out.  In addition, two new DC-3s were delivered off the Douglas production line in February 1946. These became core to the fleet in expanding services to cities including London, Amsterdam and Paris. The replacement aircraft was the Fokker F.27 Friendship, but these did not replace all of the DC-3s, and five aircraft remained in service until 1963-1964.

Aer Lingus has funded and supported the arrival of the DC-3 to Ireland in summer 2017. This includes the accurate painting of the DC-3 in the livery deployed in 1956. Aer Lingus will showcase the aircraft at a number of events including the Bray Air Display on Sunday, July 23, 2017.”

Copyright Photos: Michael Kelly. Aer Lingus (Springbok Classic Air) Douglas C-47A-DK (DC-3) ZS-NTE (EI-ACD) (msn 11926) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 938723.

 

Primera Air to open three European bases to fly to Newark and Boston

Primera Air has announced the opening of three new bases in Europe: London (Stansted, STN), Paris (Charles de Gaulle, CDG) and Birmingham, UK (BHX) that will now fly to the New York area (Newark/Liberty, EWR airport) and Boston Logan (BOS airport) beginning in April 2018. Two more transatlantic routes from the new bases will be announced by the end of summer 2017.

We are very proud to announce our new bases and routes to the US. With our brand new Airbus A321neo airplanes, we will operate routes traditionally served only by wide-body aircraft. Owing to unmatched efficiency of these new-generation aircraft, we will be able to offer unprecedented prices to passengers from France and the UK to the US. At the same time, we are very excited to offer a product and service concept that merges low fares and high quality — perfect both for leisure and business travelers,” said Andri M. Ingolfsson, President and Chairman of Primera Air.

The new aircraft has two classes of cabin — full-service Premium and low-fare Economy. All passengers will have access to Wi-Fi and the option to charge their devices on board.

Flights to US will commence in April 2018 and will be offered year-round. Primera Air will offer daily flights to New York and four weekly flights to Boston from all three bases.

Over the next two years, Primera Air will increase its presence at its existing bases and continue to open new ones, linking more airports than ever, thanks to its existing fleet and the 20 new Boeing MAX 9 ER on order (below). Other transatlantic routes are due to be opened, as well.

Image: Boeing.

Primera Air is a scheduled flight carrier operating flights to more than 70 airports in Europe. The airline is based in Denmark and Latvia, and is part of the Primera Travel Group, which runs travel agencies and tour operating companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Estonia.