Monthly Archives: March 2011

Sun Country Airlines to fly for Apple Vacations from Dallas/Fort Worth

Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) will be flying for Apple Vacations from DFW to Puna Cana. Apple Vacations has announced new exclusive vacation flights to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. Nonstop flights on Sun Country to Punta Cana will depart on Sunday and Thursday mornings, operating from June 2 through August 11, 2011 for 3, 4, 7, 10 and 14 night durations.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional aircraft information.

JetBlue Airways extends its contract with the Boston Red Sox, logojet coming?

JetBlue Airways (New York), Boston’s largest airline, has announced an eight-year extension as the Official Airline of the Boston Red Sox and the Official Airline of Fenway Park. Additionally, the airline will sponsor JetBlue Park, the new Spring Training ballpark for the Boston Red Sox in Lee County, Florida. Red Sox Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sam Kennedy and JetBlue’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Commercial Strategy Marty St. George celebrated the announcement today with JetBlue crewmembers at the JetBlue Airways Ticket Counter at the Southwest Florida International Airport. The ballpark and adjoining Player Development Complex are scheduled to open for the 2012 Spring Training season.

The centerpiece of JetBlue’s partnership with the Red Sox in Lee County, FL, is the team’s new Spring Training ballpark, and at today’s event the airline announced it will make an annual contribution during the term of the agreement to the capital improvement fund already established by the Red Sox and Lee County to support ongoing maintenance and improvements to the facility. JetBlue also announced the creation of a new program that, beginning in 2012, will provide Spring Training game tickets to Lee County, FL non-profit groups.

As part of the extension, JetBlue also becomes a Fenway Park Preservation Partner, making it one of a select group of organizations that will play a key role in helping the Club celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Boston home next year. JetBlue will also continue as a sponsor of Lindos Suenos, the Red Sox’ youth volunteer exchange program in the Dominican Republic.

Additional extension terms include JetBlue signage throughout Fenway Park, naming rights to the Red Sox Dominican Academy, continued sponsorship of the annual Spring Training “Truck Day” and preferred partner status of the Red Sox Destinations fan travel program.

JetBlue is the largest carrier at Boston Logan International Airport, serving 39 destinations with up to 100 flights daily. As of June 2011 JetBlue will be serving 42 destinations non-stop from Boston. Customers traveling through Boston from most destinations may also take advantage of convenient connecting service operated by JetBlue’s marketing partner, Cape Air, to fly onward to some of New England’s most beautiful destinations including Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Provincetown, Mass., and Rutland/Killington, VT.

Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Is there a red “JetBlue” plane coming? Click on the photo for additional facts about the New York Jets logojet.

AMR receives a $3.25 billion takeover offer

AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth) yesterday received a takeover proposal from a Florida entity for $3.25 billion. AMR is skeptical that the offer is genuine.

AMR said it received a letter from Sterling Global Holdings, which offered $9.25 a share for the corporation, representing a 48 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price of $6.58 according to this article by the Star-Telegraph.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for aircraft information.

Alaska Airlines declares a tie in the Portland Timbers “Paint-The-Plane” Contest

Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) and The Portland Timbers (Portland) on March 22 announced a winner’s tie in their “Paint-The-Plane” contest. Elements of the two first-place designs created by Paul Wright, of Portland, and John Bode of San Mateo, California, will be combined into a final design that will adorn an Alaska Airlines 737-700 jet and fly throughout the carrier’s network.

Wright, who was born and raised in Portland, used the Timbers jersey as the inspiration for his design, which features the team’s name across the fuselage overlaid against a subtle soccer ball screen. The tail boasts the team’s signature chevron and ax.

Bode is a passionate soccer fan and remembers attending matches during the years of the original North American Soccer League as a child with his father in San Jose, California. He appreciates the spirit of Rose City soccer fans and has been a follower of all “Left Coast” soccer teams for more than three decades. His winning artwork combines the team’s trademark colors with a rising sun across the forward part of the fuselage.

Bode said he felt a responsibility to the Timbers’ loyal and spirited fans and chose to honor them with the rising sun, a symbol traditionally associated with Timbers fans.

The artwork by Wright and Bode was among about 500 designs submitted by fans across the country. The winning artwork was selected by representatives from Alaska Airlines and the Portland Timbers. In addition to the first-place winners, Lee Zeman, of Portland, was named runner-up and seven other submissions were named honorable mentions.

Besides having their designs featured on a plane, Bode and Wright will each receive the grand-prize package, which includes two first-class tickets on Alaska Airlines, two club seats to the Timbers’ home opener on April 14 and a team-autographed jersey.

The final design of the Timbers-themed airplane will be unveiled during a special event at Portland International Airport in early May and immediately enter regular service to all cities currently served by Alaska Airlines with a 737-700.

Above images: Alaska Airlines. The two designs will be combined into a joint design to be unveiled in early May.

Below images: Some of the runner-up submitted images:

AirTran Airways’ Fleet and Passenger Service/Reservation employees vote to join the IAM

AirTran Airways’ (Orlando) 2,900 Fleet and Passenger Service/Reservation employees have voted to join the Machinists Union (IAM).

The National Mediation Board conducted the Internet and telephone vote from February 28-March 28, 2011. A majority of participating employees voted in favor of the Machinists Union.

The IAM represents Passenger Service/Reservation employees at AirTran’s proposed merger partner, Southwest Airlines. IAM members at Southwest earn $8.56 an hour more per hour than AirTran Passenger Service Agents, and $9.66 an hour more than AirTran Reservation Agents.

AirTran issued the following statement:

“AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI – News), announced today that the results of the representation vote by its customer service, ramp and reservations agents have been released by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Ballots for the election, which was conducted by the NMB, were counted today in Washington. The Board informed the airline that 34 percent of the 2,904 eligible voters cast votes in favor of representation by the International Association of Machinists (IAM)-a majority of the votes cast. Thirty percent of eligible voters voted against representation and 36 percent of eligible voters did not vote.”

Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith. Please click on the photo for additional aircraft details.

AirTran Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Air New Zealand recruits Richard Simmons to get its passengers “fit to fly”

Air New Zealand’s (Auckland) new safety ambassador for its new inflight safety video is US fitness legend Richard Simmons.

Starting on March 28, Simmons will be putting Air New Zealand customers through their paces, as he takes them step-by-step through the airline’s pre-flight safety briefing.

The inflight video features Air New Zealand cabin crew and Les Mills fitness instructors working out in colorful lycra, fluorescent leg warmers and sweat bands.

Simmons is also assisted in conveying the key safety messages with some celebrity cameo roles by the Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, sporting a bright yellow headband, television personality Paul Henry, in orange shorts and pink sweat band, and Silver Fern Temepara George in some stunning silver hot pants.

Watch carefully and you may even catch a glimpse of Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe, who donned pink shorts and a purple head band for the occasion.

Simmons, accompanied by the cabin crew, shows passengers the essential safety information, including how to “stretch like a giraffe” to put baggage into the overhead lockers, and Simmons’ favorite move “the duck.”

“Fit to Fly” follows on from the airline’s hugely successful recent inflight safety videos, which have totaled more than 7,000,000 views on YouTube, including “Bare Essentials of Safety” which featured body-painted staff and “Crazy about Rugby” featuring All Blacks players including captain Richie McCaw.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications Mike Tod says the new in-flight safety briefing again features Air New Zealand cabin crew, working alongside Simmons, to convey the safety messages.

The new “Fit to Fly” safety video goes live on March 28 onboard Air New Zealand’s narrowbody aircraft fleets, and will also be showing on the airline’s widebody aircraft from May 1.

The music track featured on the inflight safety video is a specially recorded version of Yazz’s 1980s hit record “The Only Way is Up,” performed by New Zealand singer Leza Corban.

The new safety video and exclusive behind-the-scenes content with some hilarious additional dance-offs with Phil Keoghan, Temepara George and Paul Henry can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/airnewzealand or below.

Well done ANZ. You make flying interesting!

Camair-Co launches operations

Camair-Co (Cameroon Airlines Corporation) (Douala) operated its inaugural flight on March 28, 2011, from Douala to Yaoundé Nsimalen, then on to Paris (CDG) with the pictured 767-33A ER TJ-CAC (msn 28138).

Read the full account in the CamerPress (in French): CLICK HERE

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Ural Airlines is adding three former Aer Lingus Airbus A321s

Ural Airlines (Yekaterinburg) is adding three former Aer Lingus Airbus A321s.

Copyright Photo: Malcolm Nason. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Ural Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

UPS launches next-day service from Hong Kong to Europe

UPS-United Parcel Service (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) today announced the launch of direct flights from Hong Kong to Europe.

With the addition of four direct flights, UPS now offers a total of 11 flights from Hong Kong to Europe each week.

The new daily direct flights will link Hong Kong with Cologne, Germany, Monday to Thursday using Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft. The freighters will operate in addition to the seven flights that UPS already offers each week between Hong Kong and Cologne via Dubai.

UPS’s Cologne air hub is the centerpiece of the company’s extensive and integrated European air and ground network, which includes 460 operating facilities and 156 daily intra-Europe flight segments, ensuring UPS can deliver to every address in Europe.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for the aircraft details.

Southwest Airlines arrives at Newark

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today (March 28) celebrates the airline’s new service into the New Jersey/New York area via Newark Liberty International Airport. This new service will provide six daily nonstop flights to Chicago Midway and two daily nonstop flights to St. Louis. Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO, joined Chris Bollwage, Mayor of the City of Elizabeth, and Bill Baroni, Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in today’s news conference at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Southwest Airlines’ new service to Newark Liberty International Airport will offer direct or connecting service to more than 45 destinations including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, and San Diego. Beginning June 5, 2011, Southwest will offer more service from Newark with three daily nonstops to Baltimore/Washington, three daily nonstops to Denver, two daily nonstops from Houston Hobby, and two daily nonstops to Phoenix Sky Harbor.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for the aircraft details.

Southwest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Southwest’s initial routes from EWR: