Photo of the Day: United Airlines Boeing 747-422 N121UA (msn 29167) (4-Star 747 Friend Ship) LHR (Antony J. Best). Image: 939640.

Celebrating the 747 retirement with 1972 "4 Star 747 Friend Ship" titles

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 747-422 N121UA (msn 29167) (4-Star 747 Friend Ship) LHR (Antony J. Best). Image: 939640.

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Air Mauritius takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

"Le Morne Brabant", the first Air Mauritius A350

Air Mauritius took delivery of its brand new Airbus A350-900 on Friday, October 20, 2017 during a ceremony held at SSR International Airport following the touchdown of the aircraft.

The Chief Guest at the delivery ceremony was the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Honorable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.

The A350-900 is a latest generation aircraft equipped with state of the art cabin products and marks the start of a fleet modernisation programme that will see 8 new aircraft (6 A350 and 2 A330neo) join the fleet within the next 5 years.

The flight path took the new aircraft over eastern part of the Island where it flew over the Fuel State, the Anjalay Stadium in the North, the Caudan in Port Louis, Cascavelle in the West as well as over Bagatelle before proceeding to Plaisance.

The aircraft will operate its inaugural flight to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur on Monday, October 23, 2017.

Copyright Photo: Air Mauritius Airbus A350-941 F-WZNN (3B-NBP) (msn 145) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 939412.

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First Air unveils a new look and logo

First Air on October 12, 2017 revealed a total makeover of its brand after 71 years as Canada’s preeminent northern airline.

Two aircraft in the new livery go into service immediately. The new livery wipes out the previous 2005 livery which featured photo images of the Arctic region on the tails.

The new brand features a modern and unique version of the iconic Arctic symbol: The Inuksuk. This logo is representative of the people and land of the Arctic. In the words of one Inuit Elder consulted during the design process, “We never go anywhere without an Inuksuk showing the way.”

The airline’s new primary colors are red and grey.  Brock Friesen, President and CEO of First Air said “We wanted colors that would showcase our stunning new logo, and that would stand out in the snowy Arctic and at busy southern airports.  What better color than Canadian red?”

In addition, the airline’s tagline is now: “Fly the Arctic”.  To many around the world, Ottawa and Edmonton are the North.  First Air’s operation has an Arctic responsibility attached to it, whether it’s transporting essential food, mail, or medical passengers, or uniting friends and families. There are no roads connecting the Arctic to southern Canada.

Above Photo: Boeing 737-436 C-FFNM (msn 25839) at Iqaluit previously displayed an iceberg on the tail.

Friesen added: “We also want to inspire more tourists to visit this truly exotic destination. The Arctic is a place of wonder and increasingly, tourists from around the world are looking for out-of-the-ordinary travel experiences.”

The First Air brand embraces premium customer service for all passengers, similar to business class on some airlines. Meals, special coffee, warm cookies, and wine, all at no extra charge. Starbucks Coffee was recently added.

The changes don’t stop with the new logo and livery. A new Wifi based entertainment system will soon be launched on jet routes and the website is being upgraded to improve the online booking experience.

 

First Air is 100% owned by Makivik Corporation.  Its membership is composed of the Inuit beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement.

All images by First Air.

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Air Canada today says goodbye to C-FCAB

Air Canada Boeing 767-375 ER C-FCAB (msn 24082) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 939638.

This Air Canada Boeing 767-300ER, registered as C-FCAB with the fleet number of “681”,  started its airline life with Canadian Airlines in April 1988 in their old chevron livery.
C-FCAB was merged into the Air Canada fleet in 1999.   The fleet number was changed to “681”, because AC already had a “631” in their fleet.
Today, after getting the number 2 engine swapped to a higher time engine, C-FCAB will depart for Marana (MZJ) this afternoon (October 21, 2017) for its last ever flight.
C-FCAB has logged 129,900 hours and approximately 23,404 cycles approximately.
Its sistership, C-FCAE “682”, has the honor of having the highest flying time on any Boeing 767 in the world (according to AC sources) at 131,300 hrs and 23,400 cycles approximately.
C-FCAE will also be headed to MZJ in the coming days.
C-FCAB will be operating as flight AC7099 departing Toronto (Pearson) (YYZ) at 14:00 hours today.
Air Canada is gradually retiring its Boeing 767-300 fleet.
 Tom Kim reporting from Toronto.
Copyright Photo: Air Canada Boeing 767-375 ER C-FCAB (msn 24082) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 939638.

Emirates to receive its 100th Airbus A380 aircraft in November

Emirates, the world’s largest Airbus A380 operator, is set to receive its milestone 100th A380 aircraft on November 3, 2017.

Over 80 million passengers have flown on the superjumbo in the nine years since it first joined Emirates’ modern fleet. Today, Emirates flies the A380 to over 45 destinations spanning Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Everywhere it operates, the Emirates A380 attracts consumer demand for its industry-leading inflight experience in all cabin classes, and is welcomed by local economies as a contributor to tourism and visitor growth.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The A380 has been, and continues to be hugely popular amongst our customers, many of whom deliberately plan their travel so that they can fly on it. But we don’t rest on our laurels and continually invest to enhance our product so as to continue offering our customers the best possible inflight experience.

“Our frequent flyers will have noticed countless improvements onboard over the years, ranging from minor updates such as the addition of in-seat USB and HDMI ports, to bigger cabin overhauls where for instance we relocated the central overhead luggage bins to create more spacious cabin on the upper deck, and when we introduced bigger and better inflight entertainment systems, amongst many other initiatives.”

On the ground, Emirates had also worked closely with stakeholders to launch and operate an A380-dedicated airport concourse with 20 gates offering direct boarding from the airport lounge, and one of the world’s most advanced engineering centres which include six heavy maintenance hangars, paint shops, and the capability to completely overhaul an A380.

Industry firsts and continual innovation

With its inaugural A380 flight in 2008, Emirates introduced several industry firsts including its iconic A380 Onboard Lounge and First Class Shower spa.

The Onboard Lounge remains one of the biggest draws of the aircraft to date, and is arguably the most popular spot at 40,000 feet. It has gone through several successive and subtle changes, such as the introduction of electric window blinds, before a brand new look was unveiled last July.

The latest makeover of the Onboard Lounge, inspired by private yacht cabins, features a more intimate and social area for up to 26 guests. The lounge now has a larger 55 inch LCD screen with surround sound speakers giving customers the latest flight information, or live TV broadcasts of the latest news or sports updates.

The First Class Shower spa, catering exclusively for the 14 passengers travelling in Emirates’ First Class private suites, continue to generate as much curiosity and buzz today as when first launched. Since Emirates blazed a trial for the ultimate shower spa experience, only one other commercial airline has offered a similar facility in the sky. With nearly 100 A380s in its fleet, safe to say that if anyone is taking a shower at 40,000 feet, chances are it’s on an Emirates A380.

With its many thoughtful design touches including a heated floor, shower timer, a hairdryer, and spa products, Emirates’ Onboard Shower spa remains the standard to beat for inflight luxury.  The airline recently introduced sustainable VOYA spa products and exclusively-developed moisturizing pyjamas, allowing customers to arrive at their destination refreshed.

Inflight entertainment

Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice, has also been constantly updated to provide customers with more choices for on demand entertainment as well as improvements to the viewing experience. While the equipment has become smaller, media capacity has only expanded and Emirates now provides more than double the entertainment with 2,500 channels of blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music and documentaries.

In addition to choice, Emirates has invested close to US $1 billion on hardware to provide a more comfortable viewing experience. Over the years, in-seat screens have been made larger across all classes. The screen in First Class has increased from 27 inches to 32 inches, the screens in Business Class from 17 inches to 20 inches, while screens on the latest A380 aircraft offer the industry’s largest in Economy at 13.3 inches from its original 10 inch screen. Little touches have also been introduced including USB ports for power and data in each seat as well as HDMI ports in premium classes to connect personal devices to the ice screen.

The entire A380 fleet has also been fitted with connectivity to allow for free 20mb of Wi-Fi throughout the cabin. In June last year, the first A380 was fitted with Live TV allowing passengers to watch news and sports matches live on board.

Extended capability 

Since 2008, the efficient A380 aircraft has been further enhanced to operate even longer routes. This had enabled Emirates to add more destinations to its A380 network, including the world’s longest A380 flight – a nonstop Dubai-Auckland service introduced in March 2016.

Today, the Emirates A380 reaches all ends of the globe with non-stop flights to Sao Paulo, Casablanca, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Los Angeles from Dubai.

Emirates also introduced the world’s first 2-class configured A380 in November 2015, making it the highest-capacity plane in the world with 615 seats on board while retaining the airline’s signature inflight services and comfort.

Photo: Emirates.

Emirates:

The first QANTAS Dreamliner arrives home in Sydney

The first QANTAS Airways Dreamliner has touched down in Sydney, marking the start of an exciting new era for the national carrier and for how Australians travel.

With its extended flying range and spacious cabin layout, Qantas will use the 236-seat Boeing to not only open up direct routes like Perth to London but take passenger comfort to the next level.

The 787-9 features QANTAS’ next-generation seating across Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class. The aircraft also features the Boeing-designed turbulence dampening technology, improved air quality to reduce jetlag and 65 per cent larger windows that give an increased sense of space.

This morning, around 1,000 of the airline’s employees welcomed the aircraft, which has been given the name Great Southern Land, into a hangar at Sydney Airport after it touched down from the United States. As part of the celebrations, Australian band ICEHOUSE performed their anthemic 1982 song Great Southern Land, the inspiration for which came to singer and songwriter, Iva Davies, as his Qantas flight crossed the country’s red centre.

QANTAS Group CEO Alan Joyce said the arrival of a new type of aircraft was a special time for any airline, but the capability of the Dreamliner put it in a different category.

“We’ve taken delivery of hundreds of aircraft in our 98-year history but only a few of them have been game-changers like this one,” he said.

“In the 1940s the Lockheed Constellation meant we could fly around the world, and in the 1960s the Boeing 707 took us into the jet age and cut flying time in half. The Boeing 747 changed the economics of travel for millions of people and the sheer size of the Airbus A380 meant we could reimagine what inflight service was like.

“Our version of the Dreamliner follows in those footsteps. It gives us a combination of flying range and passenger comfort that will change how people travel.

“This aircraft means we can finally offer a direct link between Australia and Europe, with our Perth to London flight that starts next year. We’re looking at several other exciting route options as well.

“The arrival of the Dreamliner coincides with a new chapter for Qantas. We’re recruiting more pilots and cabin crew, we’re expanding the number of places we fly and we’re investing in technology to improve all parts of the customer journey. It’s a very exciting time, especially as we prepare for our centenary in 2020,” added Mr Joyce.

The first Dreamliner, registered as VH-ZNA, will fly a number of domestic passenger services around Australia to assist with crew familiarisation before its first international service from Melbourne to Los Angles on 15 December this year.

The second QANTAS Dreamliner is currently on the production line at Boeing’s Seattle factory and will be delivered by early December. Two more Dreamliners will be delivered by March next year to coincide with the start of Perth-London services; all eight will have arrived by the end of 2018.

The Business Suites and Premium Economy seats featured on the Dreamliner will also be installed on the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet from 2019 onwards as part of an upgrade of its largest long-range aircraft.

 Seven facts about the QANTAS 787

  1. With a total seat count of 236 passengers, it has significantly fewer seats than many other airlines who have configured the aircraft to carry more than 300 passengers.
  2. Currently, most aircraft have cabin air pressure equivalent to that of an altitude of 8,000 ft. For the Dreamliner, Boeing cut that down to 6,000 ft, meaning it’s closer to conditions on the ground.
  3. The 787 uses up to 20 per cent less fuel that other traditional aircraft of its size.
  4. QANTAS took a ‘best of Australia’ approach to configuring the aircraft, with Australian designer David Caon shaping the look and feel of the cabins; leading restaurateur Neil Perry designing the meals; and Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre collaborating on how to improve health and wellbeing on board.
  5. Windows that are 65 per cent larger and positioned higher create an improved onboard environment and mean every seat is effectively a window seat.
  6. The QANTAS 787s are named after Australian icons following a nationwide poll that generated more than 45,000 suggestions.
  7. The Perth to London route will be the first time Australia and Europe have been connected by a direct air link.

Photo: QANTAS Airways.

Delta to consolidate New York-LGA operation in Terminals C and D

From Delta Air Lines:

In support of the Port Authority’s efforts to accommodate the ongoing rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport in New York, Delta will consolidate its New York-LGA operation in Terminals C and D, a significant step toward the construction of Delta’s own state-of-the-art facility at the airport.

Beginning Dec. 9, Delta Shuttle flights to Chicago and Washington, D.C., will relocate from the Marine Air Terminal to Terminal C, where customers will enjoy enhanced amenities while retaining the distinct Delta Shuttle product. Shuttle flights from LaGuardia to Boston already operate from Terminal C.

Delta is one of six airlines to change terminals at the airport later this year. The consolidation of carriers’ flight operations will streamline customer travel and make airfield movements more efficient while facilitating the continuation of work to transform the 78-year-old facility into a brand new airport.

​”Consolidating our operation at LaGuardia is one of the first significant steps toward Delta’s future $3.9 billion, 37-gate facility as the airport moves ahead with its historic redevelopment into a completely rebuilt and unified 21st-century transit hub,” said H​enry Kuykendall, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Airport Operations, Northeast.

Delta has invested more than $2 billion in New York airport infrastructure over the past seven years, in addition to the many other investments the airline is making in the customer experience across its system, including in new cabin interiors, Wi-Fi, free entertainment, onboard food and beverage, biometric and RFID technology and much more.

In Terminal C, Shuttle customers will have access to dedicated check-in counters; expedited security with Clear, dedicated TSA Precheck lanes, and a Shuttle security line; a 7,600-square-foot Delta Sky Club; and chef-driven restaurants, an expansive food hall and upscale retail. Shuttle customers will also continue to enjoy:

  • Check-in as close as 15 minutes prior to departure without bags or 30 minutes with checked bags
  • Dedicated gates with access to complimentary coffee and newspapers for all customers
  • Expedited security screening with access to dedicated TSA Precheck lanes and a Shuttle security line
  • Advanced seat selection on all Delta Shuttle flights and complimentary access to Delta Comfort+ seats for SkyMiles Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Medallion members, when available
  • Three classes of service with complimentary upgrades for SkyMiles Medallion members when available
  • Complimentary onboard snacks including breakfast cookies in the morning before 9:45 a.m. or gourmet nut mix for flights after 9:45 a.m.
  • Complimentary beverages in-flight, including craft beer and wine in all classes of service
  • Complimentary spirits in First Class and Comfort+; available for purchase in economy
  • Access to in-flight Wi-Fi on all Shuttle flights including free messaging
  • Complimentary In-Flight Entertainment on your personal device powered by Delta Studio streaming

Shuttle flights will continue to be operated by Delta Connection partner Republic Airline using E-170 and E-175 aircraft. Weekday flights to Washington will continue departing near the top of the hour beginning at 6 a.m. with 12 peak-day departures between Washington and New York on the November schedule. Flights to Chicago will continue to depart at 15 minutes past the hour beginning at 6:15 a.m. with 14 peak-day departures between Chicago and New York scheduled for November. Weekday flights to Boston will continue departing near the top of the hour beginning at 6 a.m. with 17 peak-day departures between Boston and New York on the November schedule.

Delta Shuttle service from New York to Boston and Washington, D.C., began on Sept. 1, 1991, after Delta completed the purchase of the Pan Am Shuttle. For more than 25 years, the Delta Shuttle has been a core part of its New York operations. In June 2010, Delta added Shuttle service to Chicago-O’Hare. The Delta Shuttle to Boston Logan International Airport relocated to Terminal C in 2014.

Delta is New York’s largest carrier with more than 500 peak-day departures to more than 130 destinations worldwide from its hubs at LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport – including more destinations from New York State than any other airline. Delta and its more than 10,000 New York-based employees are part of the fabric of the New York community, acting as the official airline of not only Madison Square Garden, but also the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Chelsea Piers and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The airline also partners with more than 40 community organizations. In 2017, Delta paid out more than $119 million in profit sharing to its New York employees and committed to contributing 1 percent of its net income from the previous year to k​ey charitable organizations, including organizations in New York.​

From the Port Authority:

Starting December 9, American, Delta, JetBlue, Alaska, Frontier and Spirit will relocate to improve the travel experience, minimize inconvenience and reduce delays

Changes will consolidate JetBlue and Alaska in Terminal A (Marine Air Terminal), American in Terminal B, Delta in Terminals C and D and Frontier and Spirit in Terminal D; Goal is to make travel around airport more efficient for passengers

American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and three other airlines will consolidate their flight operations as part of major relocations of airline carriers at LaGuardia Airport beginning Saturday, December 9, an initiative designed to streamline passenger travel in conjunction with ongoing construction to transform the 78-year-old facility into a brand new, unified airport.

Under an agreement reached between the Port Authority and the airlines this week, the following changes will take effect on Saturday, December 9:

  • American will consolidate its operations – including American Airlines Shuttle – at Terminal B, ceasing its flights at Terminal C
  • Delta will co-locate its LaGuardia operations in Terminals C and D by relocating its Delta Shuttle to Chicago and Washington, D.C. from Terminal A (Marine Air Terminal) to Terminal C
  • JetBlue and Alaska will move its operations to Terminal A (Marine Air Terminal) from Terminal B
  • Frontier and Spirit also will move from Terminal B and begin operations at Terminal D (Departing passengers, however, must check in at Terminal C.)

LaGuardia is in the midst of a transformation to create a 21st century unified airport, with modern terminal amenities and gates that can accommodate larger aircraft. Consolidation of these six airlines will help further streamline operations and enhance the customer experience at LaGuardia.

“We want to provide LaGuardia’s passengers and employees with ample time to become aware and prepare for these significant changes to existing flight operations,’’ said Lysa Scully, the Port Authority’s general manager at LaGuardia Airport. “We are working with our airline partners to make the terminal consolidation changes as convenient as possible for our passengers as they navigate the airport during this exciting – but extremely busy – time in LaGuardia’s storied history.”

Consolidation of aircraft operations for American and Delta will help make airfield movements more efficient, helping to reduce on-the-ground delays. It also will improve the experience for passengers. All of American’s customers, for example, will be dropped off, checked in and picked up at Terminal B regardless of where they are flying to or from. Delta Shuttle customers in Terminal C will have access to amenities that include a 7,600-square-foot Delta Sky Club, chef-driven restaurants, an expansive food hall, and upscale retail.

The ongoing $8 billion transformation of the 680-acre LaGuardia Airport – nearly 75 percent of it financed by private capital – will create an entirely new airport with a state-of-the-art unified facility. The redevelopment includes a revamped on-airport and access roadway network, with planning underway for a new AirTrain LaGuardia connection to provide convenient, direct rail access to the airport.

The Port Authority and LaGuardia Gateway Partners are advancing a $4 billion public-private partnership to replace the deteriorating and outmoded Terminal B that opened in 1964 into a state-of-the-art new Terminal B. The world-class project is designed to move LaGuardia into the future with superior customer amenities, increased passenger capacity and reduced congestion.

Delta has committed $3.4 billion to build a new 21st century passenger terminal to replace the existing Terminals C and D, with a $600 million investment from the Port Authority to help cover costs of the project and related supporting infrastructure.

Together, the new terminals will be unified and located closer to the Grand Central Parkway, allowing more airfield room for taxiing aircraft and gate space for modern aircraft. The structure will add terminal space and a Central Hall, linking the new Terminal B to Delta’s future new terminal on the airport’s eastern end.

Below is a chart further outlining the upcoming changes:

Airline Terminal
Current Future (Effective Dec. 9)
American Airlines B/C B
American Shuttle C B
Delta Shuttle (All) A/C C
JetBlue B A
Alaska Airlines B A
Frontier Airlines B Departures – C
Arrivals – D
Spirit Airlines B Departures – C
Arrivals – D

Travelers are urged to allow extra time and use mass transit to travel to the airport. Updates on traffic and parking can be found by visiting http://laguardiaairport.com/.

For more about LGA On the Move, please visit the LaGuardia site for more information: http://laguardiaairport.com/lgaonthemove/.

For information and real-time updates on airport conditions, visit http://laguardiaairport.com/.

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