Monthly Archives: March 2011

Lufthansa to introduce the Airbus A380 on the Frankfurt-Miami route

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the Frankfurt-Miami route on June 10, 2011.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Please click on the photo for additional information.

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Boeing calls for an end of subsidies to Airbus

Boeing (Chicago) today issued the following statement as the WTO issued their final report concerning government subsidies:

“A World Trade Organization final case ruling published today confirms the massive market advantage Airbus has enjoyed from billions in illegal government subsidies provided to fund the company’s commercial airplane product line since its inception more than 40 years ago.

“This WTO ruling shatters the convenient myth that European governments must illegally subsidize Airbus to counter U.S. government assistance to Boeing,” said J. Michael Luttig, Boeing executive vice president and general counsel.  “The ruling rejects 80 percent of the EU’s claims against the U.S., finding no more than $2.7 billion of impermissible subsidies to Boeing not previously remedied. That amount includes$2.6 billion in NASA R&D funding, which is but a small fraction of the total amount challenged,” Luttig said.

Today’s ruling resulted from the European Union’s attempt to counter a U.S. case that successfully challenged illegal subsidies to Airbus.  Last June, the WTO upheld approximately 80% of the U.S. claim, finding Airbus had received more than $20 billion in illegal government subsidies, which harmed the U.S. aerospace industry and resulted in the loss of billions in exports and tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.

Illegal government subsidies to Airbus included:

  • $1.5 billion in R&D subsidies,
  • $1.7 billion in infrastructure subsidies,
  • $2.2 billion in equity infusions, and
  • $15 billion in launch aid (including $4 billion for the A380) – a subsidy that is unique to Airbus and is the most pernicious and market-distorting subsidy under the law.

“Comparing today’s decision with the decision last June reveals a market distorted by Airbus’ practices, with illegal launch aid being the key discriminator,” Luttig said. “The WTO ruling on launch aid goes to the heart of the Airbus business model, which now must change. In contrast, there are no comparable findings or consequences to the U.S. or Boeing from today’s decision, as the WTO has now fully and finally rejected most of the EU’s claims.”

Both sides may appeal today’s ruling. Once any appeal concludes, Boeing will support whatever steps the U.S. government deems necessary to fulfill its WTO obligations, and expects the same commitment to compliance from Airbus and its sponsor governments.

“Illegal launch aid must end. Airbus must take immediate steps to withdraw the outstanding prohibited subsidies provided to the A380, and it must finance the A350 and all other future programs on commercial terms,” Luttig said.

“With $16.6 billion of cash on hand, EADS/Airbus can, and now must, develop its products without illegal government subsidies,” he added.

Luttig said the WTO had done an outstanding job adjudicating the subsidy dispute.

“An impartial arbiter has spoken, and has set important precedents for all nations with ambitions to grow their aerospace industries. Compliance with WTO rules is essential to fair play and to the public’s confidence in the global trading system,” he said.”

AirTran Airways introduces “Dophin 1” today in Atlanta

AirTran Airways (Orlando) may be heading towards its sunset as it awaits approval of its pending merger and takeover by Southwest Airlines, however the company is not slowing down on introducing logojets. Today (March 31) AirTran Airways and Georgia Aquarium unveiled a custom designed aircraft celebrating their long partnership. The Boeing 737-7BD registered N354AT (msn 36725), named “Dolphin 1”, is uniquely adorned with dolphins and an aquatic theme to celebrate the airline’s partnership with the world’s largest aquarium while highlighting the facility’s newest attraction, the AT&T Dolphin Tales gallery and theater.

The one-of-a-kind aircraft was introduced to the AirTran fleet with a water cannon salute from the Atlanta Fire Department and festive music from the Tri-Cities High School Marching Band. Executives from AirTran Airways and the Georgia Aquarium gathered with AirTran Airways Crew Members and other guests to commemorate the launch. “Dolphin 1” will serve AirTran’s growing national and international network of more than 70 cities and will be seen by millions of travelers.

The unveil is part of the community’s celebration of Georgia Aquarium’s $110 million dolphin exhibit, which features a 1.8 million gallon habitat featuring bottlenose dolphins. The gallery includes a lobby featuring an expansive underwater viewing window, and an 1,800-seat theater featuring a live production with dolphins, human actors and singers, and special effects and lighting. To help underscore Georgia Aquarium’s commitment to marine mammal conservation and research, in 2008 the Aquarium donated $1.5 million to build a new marine animal rescue, care and research facility, the Dolphin Conservation Field Station at Marineland, Florida.

Copyright Photo: PR Newswire. N354AT poses for the camera at Atlanta at the unveiling.

Volaris adds Las Vegas, will increase frequencies

Volaris (Toluca) yesterday (March 30) added Las Vegas (5th U.S. destination) and the Guadalajara-Las Vegas route. Advance bookings are strong and the fast-growing airline will add two more weekly frequencies.

Copyright Photo: James Helbock. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Volaris’ routes from Guadalajara (GDL):

AeroMexico to add new routes, increase capacity

AeroMexico (Mexico City) as of April 4, 2011 will begin operating daily flights between Guadalajara and Fresno, California and between Monterrey and Mexicali on a Boeing 737. There will also be daily flights between Guadalajara and Hermosillo, on an Embraer ERJ 145, and an overnight flight from Culiacan to Mexicali on an Embraer ERJ 190 operated by AeroMexico Connect.

Also beginning on the same date, AM routes between Mexico City and Mazatlan, Mexico City and Ciudad del Carmen, and Mexico City and Veracruz will be offering a greater passenger capacity, thanks to new planes that will be larger than the planes currently traveling those routes. There will also be additional flights between Hermosillo and Mexicali, Tijuana and Hermosillo, as well as Mexico City and Tapachula.

As of May 9, there will be an increase in the frequency of flights on several routes that are already running. AeroMexico will add another flight to the Mexico City – Campeche connection, the Monterrey – Veracruz connection, and two more flights between Mexico City and Oaxaca, which will amount to 40 connections a week to the city.

Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney. Please click on the photo for aircraft details.

GECAS finalizes its order for 10 Boeing 777-300 ERs

Boeing (Chicago) and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) finalized an order for 10 777-300 ER (extended range) airplanes. The order is worth approximately $2.8 billion at list prices.

GECAS has now ordered 53 777s, including 41 777-300 ERs.

DirectAir to add Lakeland and Hagerstown

DirectAir (Myrtle Beach) announced yesterday (March 30) it will add two new cities to its growing route map – Lakeland, Florida and Hagerstown, Maryland effective on June 23.

Lakeland (LAL) (close to Disney World and Legoland Cyprus Gardens) will see new service to Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, NY and Springfield, IL. LAL, the home of the annual spring Sun ‘n Fun Air Show and fly-in, recently became a Part 139 commercial airport. DirectAir will now bracket the Orlando area by serving Sanford on the north side and Lakeland on the south side.

Hagerstown will see new service to Myrtle Beach and Lakeland.

Service is expected to be operated by Sky King Airlines, which is also now based at LAL.

Read the full story from TheLedger.com: CLICK HERE

DurectAir is a public charter airline and contracts with Part 121 air carriers to operate the flights.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Please click on the photo for additional aircraft details.

DirectAir’s current route map (without the two new cities):