Vueling adds its first Airbus A320, ex-Alaska N621VA

Vueling Airlines has added its first Airbus A320. N621VA is pictured landing at Palma de Mallorca after its delivery flight from San Antonio to Bangor, Glasgow and Palma.

Ex-Alaska Airlines N621VA (msn 2616) (above) is the first Airbus A320 for Volotea. The airframe will become EC-NNZ.
Copyright Photo : Javier Rodriguez.
Volotea aircraft slide show:

American to start Ontario, CA – Chicago O’Hare flights in August

American Airlines has announced it will begin service from Ontario International Airport (ONT) to Chicago O’Hare. The new flights will begin on August 17 and will depart ONT at 11:40 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. with ONT arrivals scheduled for 12:14 p.m. and 10:39 p.m.

Flight # Origin Destination Departs Arrives
877 ONT ORD 11:40a 5:48p
910 ONT ORD 11:30p* 5:38a
977 ORD ONT 9:55a 12:14p
910 ORD ONT 8:20p 10:39p

                                                                   *Overnight/red-eye service (All times local)

The carrier, which flies to Phoenix and Dallas-Fort Worth from Terminal 4 at ONT, will serve the Chicago O’Hare route with Boeing 737-800 aircraft equipped to accommodate 172 passengers in a three-class cabin with 16 in First-Class, 30 in Main Cabin Extra and 126 in Main Cabin.

Uganda Airlines to fly long-haul Airbus A330neo flights Dubai, London, Guangzhou and Mumbai

"Mt Elgon" - new Uganda Airlines' first Airbus A330-800

Uganda Airlines is in the final phase of the Airbus A330neo certification process. The new type will soon enter service from Entebbe to Dubai, London, Guangzhou and Mumbai.

The new type will start flying to London Heathrow on March 28, 2021.

The two Airbus A330-800 aircraft are named “Mt Rwenzori” (5X-CRN) and “Mt Elgon” (5X-NIL).

The flag carrier will also expand its African network to include Johannesburg, Lusaka, Harare, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Accra, Goma, and Lubumbashi.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Uganda Airlines (2nd) Airbus A330-841 F-WWYS (5X-NIL) (msn 1977) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 951957.

Icelandair Boeing 767-300 in action at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica

From Flugblogg: Icelandair Boeing 767-300 TF-ISN landing at the Troll Airfield in Antarctica in February 2021.

Video:

TF-ISN departing from Antarctica:

From Norwegian Polar Institute:

Ryanair’s traffic was down 95% in February with only 500K guests

Ryanair issued this traffic report for February:

78% load factor as COVID-19 continues to impact traffic

Ryanair Holdings plc today (March 2) released its February traffic statistics as follows:

   2020 2021      Growth
Ryanair Group  10.5m 0.5m     -95%
     
Rolling Annual 153.8m 32.7m  (74% LF)     -79%

Ryanair operated approximately 6% of its normal February schedule with a 78% load factor.

Emirates Economy Class customers can purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight

Emirates has made this announcement:

Emirates’ Economy Class customers can now enjoy even more personal space and privacy onboard with the ability to purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight.

These seats will be offered to all Economy Class customers holding a confirmed booking. Customers will not be able to pre-book empty seats, as these are subject to availability. Empty seats will only be offered for purchase at the airport check-in counter prior to flight departure, and costs range from AED 200 to AED 600 (US$ 55 to US$ 165) per empty seat, plus applicable taxes depending on flight sector.

Emirates has introduced this new seat product on the back of customer feedback, addressing the needs of a range of customers seeking extra privacy and space while still flying in Economy Class. This includes couples who wish to have the entire row to themselves (maximum of three seats in same row), parents traveling with in-lap infants, or those who simply want the added assurance of more space while traveling during pandemic times.

In addition to the new empty seats option, Emirates currently offers a variety of seat products for Economy Class customers to choose their favorite seat based on their travel needs:

  • Extra legroom seats: exit row seats offering additional space but subject to safety requirements;
  • Twin seats: seats in a row of two at the back of Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft, and on the upper deck of Emirates’ 2-class Airbus A380 aircraft;
  • Preferred seats: seats in the first section of the cabin and on the upper deck of a two-class A380;
  • Regular seats: all other Economy seats.

These seats, available via Emirates.com, Emirates contact centers, at airport check-in, onboard, and through travel agent partners, are offered for free or at a charge, depending on the customer’s Emirates Skywards membership tier, fare type, time to departure, and other special needs. Visit our page on emirates.com for more information.

Emirates has also introduced generous discounts on excess baggage rates, to help customers flying on essential trips take home what they need most.

These discounts range from 35% up to 60% off normal rates depending on sector and must be pre-booked and pre-paid up to 4 hours prior to flight departure via emirates.com, through contact centers or at an Emirates sales office.

Alaska Airlines inaugurates Boeing 737-9 MAX service

Alaska Airlines on March 1, 2021 inaugurated Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 into revenue service from the Seattle/Tacoma hub to San Diego.

Besides this route, Alaska Airlines will initially operate the new 737-9 MAX 9 between Seattle/Tacoma and Los Angeles.

Alaska’s second 737-9 MAX is expected to start service later in March.

Alaska Airlines commented on its plans to inaugurate the new type:

Teams from across various divisions at Alaska will now follow a strict readiness timeline that guides the actions that must be taken before the start of passenger flights. The process – involving rigorous rounds of test flying, verifying and specific preparations – will take five weeks:

  • Maintenance technicians will undergo training to become even more acquainted with the new aircraft. They will receive at least 40 hours of “differences training,” which distinguishes the variations between the new MAX and the airline’s existing 737 NG fleet. Certain technicians will receive up to 40 additional hours of specialized training focused on the plane’s engines and avionics systems.
  • Alaska’s pilots will put the 737-9 through its paces, flying it more than 50 flight hours and roughly 19,000 miles around the country, including to Alaska and Hawaii. These “proving flights” are conducted to confirm our safety assessments and those of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and to ensure a full understanding of the plane’s capabilities in different climates and terrain.
  • Our pilots will receive eight hours of MAX-specific, computer-based training prior to flying the aircraft over the course of two days, which includes at least two hours of training in Alaska’s own certified, state-of-the-art MAX flight simulator. That’s where they fly several maneuvers specific to the aircraft and better understand the improvements that have been made to the plane.

Alaska announced a restructured order agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to receive a total of 68 737-9 MAX aircraft in the next four years, with options for an additional 52 planes. The airline is scheduled to receive 13 planes this year; 30 in 2022; 13 in 2023; and 12 in 2024. The agreement incorporates Alaska’s announcement last November to lease 13 737-9 aircraft as part of a separate transaction.

These 68 aircraft will largely replace Alaska’s Airbus fleet.

First MAX 9 for Alaska Airlines, in service March 1, 2021 SEA-SAN

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 N915AK (msn 44080) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 947423.

Video:

Alaska Airlines aircraft slide show (Current livery, Boeing):

Air India resumes flights to Moscow

Air India resumed regular flights to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 27 on the Delhi – Moscow – Delhi route.

Flights to Moscow (AI 155) will operate on Saturdays, with arrival at 22:35 Moscow time. The Moscow-Delhi flight (AI 156) will operate on Sundays, departing at 18:50 Moscow time.

Air India will serve the route on Airbus A320neo aircraft, and service will be from Terminal D.

Air India aircraft photo gallery:

Air India aircraft slide show:

 

Porter Airlines’ tentative return to flying shifts to May 19

The target date for Porter Airlines to resume flights is being pushed back to May 19.

Porter Airlines’ tentative return to flying shifts to May 19 (CNW Group/Porter Airlines)

“The implementation of more restrictive travel rules by governments since our last update makes an early spring restart unviable,” said Michael Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “While there are signs of progress in containing the pandemic, it is necessary to reset our sights based on changing conditions. We remain optimistic that things are moving in the right direction, but it is possible that this tentative date may also need to be modified if vaccinations don’t accelerate to enable the easing of travel restrictions.”

Porter previously set March 29, as its tentative restart date. Updates will be provided in the coming weeks about the status of flights. Operations were temporarily suspended on March 21, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Nordic Aviation Capital delivers a second Embraer 190 to Breeze Airways

Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) has delivered one Embraer E190, MSN 19000055 to Breeze Airways on lease.

This is the second aircraft to deliver as part of a fifteen E190 aircraft lease agreement made with Breeze Airways.