Monthly Archives: August 2010

AeroSur is now operating “Skarko” on the Santa Cruz-Miami route

AeroSur (Bolivia) (Santa Cruz) has now placed it recently-painted Boeing 767-284 ER CP-2659 (msn 24742) “Sharko” on the Santa Cruz-Miami route.

Copyright Photo: Robert Collazo. CP-2659 prepares to land on runway 9 at MIA.

Virgin America to fly to Cancun and Cabo

Virgin America (San Francisco) has announced it will serve San Jose del Cabo International Airport (SJD) and Cancun International Airport (CUN) with nonstop flights from California starting this winter. Nonstop flights launch from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to SJD as of December 16, 2010, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to CUN as of January 19, 2011, and from SFO-CUN as of January 20, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-214 N625VA (msn 2800) awaits takeoff clearance at Seattle/Tacoma.

Mexicana, Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link all shut down

Nuevo Grupo Aeronáutico, S.A. de C.V. (“Grupo Mexicana”) (Mexico City) announced that as a result of the group’s delicate financial situation when it changed owners a week ago, compounded by failure to reach agreements that would allow for the capitalization of its three airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Mexicana Click and Mexicana Link flights suspended all operations until further notice as of midday (12:00 p.m.) on Saturday, August 28, 2010.

Among the factors that have contributed to this announcement are:

1. Grupo Mexicana’s fragile financial situation, which has deteriorated further over the last four weeks due to the previous management’s decision to suspend ticket sales, forcing the company to continue operating in the interests of passengers without receiving any revenue.

2. No substantial agreements were reached to give companies in the Group long-term viability.

3. Lack of effectiveness in the insolvency (Concurso Mercantil) process intended to protect additional financial resources available to the company so it could to continue operating.

4. Given the uncertainty of the situation, certain suppliers have begun demanding advanced payment of services that are essential to the airlines’ operations.

Compañía Mexicana de Aviación, S.A. de C.V., commonly known as Mexicana, was the first airline ever established in Mexico.

The company was established on July 12, 1921, by American residents in Mexico, L.A. Winship and Harry J. Lawson when the Compañía Mexicana de Transportación Aérea, S.A. (literally: “Mexican Company of Air Transport”), (CMTA) was awarded the Mexico City to Tampico route by the Mexican government. The purpose was to transport wages to the oil fields near Tampico, on the Gulf of Mexico. Mexicana’s first aircraft type was the Lincoln Standard, a two-seat biplane, starting operations with two airplanes of the type.

Copyright Photo: Manuel Delgado. Historic Photo: De Havilland Comet 4C XA-NAS (msn 6425) taxies past the camera at San Antonio.

Frontier Airlines to add weekly Denver-Liberia (Costa Rica) service

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced plans to expand its international service with the addition of a second Costa Rica destination. Frontier will launch seasonal service to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) beginning Feb. 13, 2011, with weekly nonstop flights to/from its hub at Denver International Airport (DEN). The flight will operate on Sundays with Airbus A319s through August 21, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A319-111 N919FR (msn 1980) departs from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

United and Continental win antitrust approval for their merger

United Airlines (Chicago) has secured U.S. antitrust approval to merge with Continental Airlines (Houston) yesterday (August 27), throwing a sweetener to rival Southwest Airlines (Dallas) to allow the creation of the world’s largest carrier according to this report by Reuters.

United and Continental struck a deal to give Southwest some take-off and landing rights at a key airport hub, Newark Liberty International Airport near New York City, to get the approval from the U.S. Justice Department — a decision that came sooner than industry insiders had expected.

Continental and United have scheduled special stockholder meetings on September 17 to vote for approval of the merger and its is expected the deal will be closed by October 1. The deal won clearance from the European Commission in July 2010.

Read the full report:


Southwest is coming to Newark

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and Continental Airlines (Houston) confirmed yesterday (August 27) that they entered into a lease providing Southwest Airlines access to 36 Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) slots which are currently held by Continental.

The lease deal, contingent upon the closing of the Continental and United airlines’ merger by November 30, 2010, and certain governmental approvals, would give Southwest Airlines the right to operate up to 18 daily roundtrip flights at Newark, New Jersey, with some flights beginning in March 2011 and a full schedule in place by June 2011. The slots are spread throughout the day and would allow Southwest the ability to integrate Newarkservice conveniently into its extensive national route network.

Southwest is working with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Continental and United Airlines to finalize arrangements for commencing its Newark service inMarch 2011, including the approval of the acquisition of the necessary airport gates and facilities. Details on what cities Southwest will serve from Newark and on what dates that service will begin have not yet been determined.

Virgin Blue and Etihad Airways sign a commercial agreement, will acquire Airbus A330-200s

Virgin Blue Holdings Limited (Brisbane) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) have signed an agreement establishing a commercial partnership that will enable Virgin Blue’s international arm, V Australia, to launch direct services to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and the two airlines to offer a joint network of more than 100 destinations from October 1, 2010.

Together, Etihad and V Australia will move towards a total of 27 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Australia – including double-daily services between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi flights and six frequencies per week between Abu Dhabi and Brisbane.

V Australia will operate three Sydney-Abu Dhabi services per week from February 2011 and three Brisbane-Abu Dhabi services per week by February 2012, using its new fleet of three-class Boeing 777-300ER and becoming the first Australian carrier to operate to the Middle East since 1991.

From October, Virgin Blue Group customers can access Etihad’s network of 65 destinations across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Subcontinent. All Virgin Blue services will be available to Etihad customers, opening up 45 destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and to Asia, South Africa and Los Angeles.

In other news, The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines announced the second phase of its network review with the introduction of Airbus A330-200 aircraft for its domestic network and an overhaul of its international long haul network.

The introduction of the two Airbus A330-200 will increase the fleet size to 90 aircraft. The first A330-200s will operate services between Perth and the east coast of Australia.

From February 2011, Virgin Blue will consolidate its international V Australia network to two strategic hubs in Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi providing a gateway to a truly international network through partnerships.

V Australia will withdraw from its loss making Boeing 777-300 services to South Africa and Phuket.

Copyright Photo: John Adlard. Boeing 737-8FE VH-VUA (msn 33997), decorated with the “Mile High Karaoke” markings taxies at Sydney.

QANTAS grounds five Bombardier Q400s

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) grounded five Bombardier DHC-8-400 (Q400) turboprop aircraft due to landing gear problems.

The aircraft, operated by its QANTAS Link carriers were removed from service on August 21 following advice from the manufacturer, the airline said in a statement.

Cracks were discovered in a major component of a landing gear fitting in five of its 21 Q400s, with the remaining 16 Q400s unaffected and to remain in service.

The company issued the following statement:


Copyright Photo: Peter Gates. Sunstate Airlines’ Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) VH-QOS (msn 4263) arrives at Brisbane.

jetBlue Airbus A320 evacuates on the runway at Sacramento

JetBlue Airways’ (New York-JFK) flight B6 262 from Long Beach to Sacramento yesterday (August 26) operated with an Airbus A320 had its tires burst on landing causing a fire in Sacramento. 14 people complained of minor injuries while evacuating the aircraft on the runway. However only four were taken to area hospitals.

Read the full report from CNN:


Delta wants to add two non-hub routes from London Heathrow

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has filed applications with the European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting permission to operate twice-daily year-round service between London’s Heathrow Airport and Boston, and daily year-round service between Heathrow and Miami.

The slots for the new service are available following the U.S. and E.U. governments’ approval of an immunized trans-Atlantic alliance between American Airlines and British Airways. The government required the airlines to divest some Heathrow slots in order to enhance competition in the most tightly restricted markets.

If approved, Delta’s Heathrow service from Boston and Miami would begin March 27, 2011, and would be offered in cooperation with its trans-Atlantic joint venture partners Air France-KLM and Alitalia.

If approved, Delta would operate Boeing 767-300 ERs on both routes.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi. Boeing 767-332 ER N1605 (msn 30198) prepares to land at Sao Paulo (Guarulhos).