Monthly Archives: November 2011

United Airlines is issued a single operating certificate, goodbye Continental Airlines

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (Chicago) announced today (November 30) that it received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for a single operating certificate (SOC), marking another significant achievement in the integration of United Airlines (Chicago) and Continental Airlines (Houston).

This regulatory milestone, while significant from an operational policies and procedures perspective, does not change how customers interact with the airline. Customers of United and Continental will continue to shop for flights, obtain seat assignments and check flight status on each carrier’s respective website until the company migrates to a single passenger service system in the first quarter of 2012. At that point, from a customer’s perspective, the two carriers will function as one airline.

The Continental Airlines website is still being maintained although all flights are now operated as United Airlines.

The two carriers went through a rigorous 18-month process of aligning operating policies and procedures to obtain a single operating certificate from the FAA. A team of more than 500 employees from both carriers worked together to evaluate closely each pre-integration program, process and operating specification from both airlines to determine the best choice for the new United. The team streamlined more than 440 operational manuals, programs and procedures down to approximately 260 manuals for the new United – a process that involved roughly 2,000 changes.
Effective today, air traffic control communications will refer to all United and Continental flights as “United.” United and Continental announced their merger in May 2010 and closed the transaction on October 1, 2010.

From this point onwards, technically “Continental Airlines” is no longer an airline. Ironically, as mentioned previously, the Continental Part 121 Air Operating Certificate (AOC) is the surviving AOC for the new United Airlines. The old United AOC was officially retired today. The CO AOC will live on (as well as the 1991 color scheme) as the operating AOC of the new United Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Brandon Farris. Please click on the photo for additional information on this special color scheme.

Continental Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Czech Airlines celebrates the jet era with this 1957 retrojet

Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) has introduced this 1957 Soviet-era retrojet color scheme on this Boeing 737-500. In 1957 CSA introduced the Tupolev Tu-104A jetliner and was one of the first airlines in the world to operate a jet aircraft on scheduled airline service.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren. Please click on the photo for additional information.


Lufthansa to fly to Vnukovo Airport in Moscow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will add new service to Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. The twice-daily flights from Frankfurt will supplement the airline’s existing services to Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. The new route will be added on March 25, 2012 and will be operated with Airbus A320s.

In other news, Lufthansa is reportedly ending its Lufthansa Regional contract with Contact Air (Stuttgart) in October 2012. Contact Air currently operates six Fokker 100s for Lufthansa and a pair for Swiss International Air Lines.

Contact Air became the first partner airline in the Team Lufthansa regional group in April 1996. On October 16, 2003 Contact Air introduced the Lufthansa Regional brand and began operating as Lufthansa Regional in early 2004.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Lufthansa Slide Show: CLICK HERE

British Airways to introduce the Boeing 777-300 ER on the Los Angeles route

British Airways (London) will introduce the new Boeing 777-300 ER on the London (Heathrow)-Los Angeles route on March 25, 2012 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Wingnut.

British Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Vieques Air Link adds two additional Britten-Norman Islanders

Vieques Air Link-VAL (San Juan) has added two additional Britten-Norman Islanders (N907VL and N908VL) for its expanding network. The small airline from Vieques to Culebra, José Aponte de la Torre Airport (JAT) (the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Base), and San Juan (Isla Grande and Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport-SJU).

Vieques (Isla de Vieques) is an island–municipality of Puerto Rico in the northeastern Caribbean, part of an island group sometimes known as the Spanish Virgin Islands. Like the rest of Puerto Rico, a United States Commonwealth, Vieques retains strong influences from 400 years of Spanish ownership.

Vieques lies about 8 miles (13 km) east of the Puerto Rican mainland, and measures about 21 miles (34 km) long by 4 miles (6 km) wide. Its two main towns are Isabel Segunda (sometimes written “Isabel II”), the administrative center on the northern side of the island, and Esperanza on the southern side. At peak, the population of Vieques is around 10,000.

The island’s name is a Spanish spelling of a Native American word said to mean “small island”. It also has the nickname “Isla Nena”, usually translated from the Spanish as “Little Girl Island”, alluding to its perception as Puerto Rico’s little sister. During the colonial period, the British name was “Crab Island”.

Vieques is best known internationally as the site of a series of protests against the United States Navy’s use of the island as a bombing range and testing ground, which led to the Navy’s departure in 2003. Today the former Navy land is a national wildlife refuge, with numerous beaches that still retain the names given by the Navy, including Red Beach, Blue Beach, Green Beach and others. The beaches are commonly listed among the top beaches in the Caribbean for their azure-colored waters and white sands.

VAL started operations in 1965 when owner Osvaldo “Val” Gonzalez-Duriex piloted a flight with three passengers from Vieques to Humacao. Today it operates the Islander, Trislander and the Cessna Grand Caravan.

Copyright Photo: Raul Sepulveda. BN-2B-26 N908VL (msn 2187) is pictured at San Juan (SJU).


Interisland Airways of Hawaii files for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

Interisland Airways (Hawaii) (Honolulu) (Trans Executive Airlines of Hawaii, Inc. dba Transair dba) has filed with the Department of Transport (DOT) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in order to operate interstate air transportation in Hawaii. The carrier is currently a charter and sightseeing airline operating seven Shorts SD3-60s.

Photo: Interisland Airways.



In the wake of the AMR bankruptcy, Spirit announces four new routes from Dallas/Fort Worth

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) on the same day AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization, announced four new routes from AMR’s home airport of Dallas/Fort Worth.

Starting on February 9, 2012, Spirit will offer daily nonstop service from DFW to New York (LaGuardia) and Atlanta. Daily nonstop service from DFW to Orlando and Boston will begin on March 22, 2012.
Spirit is offering $11 introductory fares on a limited number of seats (just what a bankrupt carrier needs for competition!).

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

Spirit Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Route Map:

The AMR bankruptcy clouds the potential American Boeing 737 orders

AMR Corporation’s (Dallas/Fort Worth) Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization filing yesterday is clouding American Airlines’ large aircraft orders with both Airbus and especially Boeing which is still not firm.

The bankruptcy court can approve or reject any contracts that involve spending AMR’s money during the up to 18-month Chapter 11 reorganization period.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

In other news, AMR and American Airlines announced today Judge Sean H. Lane of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday granted approval of a series of first day motions filed by the Company to help facilitate American’s and American Eagle’s continued normal business operations throughout the reorganization process.

The Company also reported that, as expected, American and American Eagle continued normal operations yesterday, with flights, reservations, baggage handling, customer service and other functions operating as usual.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for additional information.

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Norwegian to add the Copenhagen-Milan route

Norwegian Air Shuttle ( (Oslo) will add the Copenhagen-Milan (Malpensa) route on June 29, 2012 according to Airline Route. The new route will be operated twice a week with Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade.

Norwegian Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Avianca Brazil to expand its fleet to 26 aircraft, likely to add the 15 LAN A318s

Avianca Brazil (OceanAir Linhas Aereas dba) (Sao Paulo) is expanding its fleet to 26 aircraft from 17 by the end of this year according to this report by CAPA.

The fast-growing airline is also the likely buyer of the 15 former Airbus A318s being remarketed by Airbus. LAN Airlines (Santiago) is replacing its A318 fleet with larger A320s.

Avianca Brazil is phasing out its older Fokker 100s. The company also added its first Airbus A320 this month.

Avianca Brazil is the operating name of Oceanair Linhas Aéreas. Even though the legal name of the airline remains OceanAir, Avianca (Colombia) authorized OceanAir to use its name as a brand name. Avianca (Colombia) and Avianca (Brazil) remain separate legal entities although they are closely linked and belong to the same holding group.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi.

Avianca Brazil Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Route Map: