Monthly Archives: August 2012

Delta and AeroMexico to jointly build a heavy maintenance facility in Guadalajara

Delta Air Lines Inc. (Atlanta) and AeroMexico (Mexico City) plan to begin construction of a jointly operated aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) center at the Intercontinental Airport in Queretaro, next to that State’s Aerospace Park.

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and continuation of their commercial alliance, the carriers will invest equal amounts in a project to move work currently being done at the Guadalajara International Airport and expand MRO capabilities for their own aircraft and other carriers. The new facility’s heavy maintenance capacity will allow for up to seven aircraft to be serviced simultaneously.

According to both carriers, “this project represents one of the most important investments in aviation infrastructure in Mexico in history and proves that the joint efforts between the private and public sectors benefit the country’s economic growth.”

Delta Air Lines acquired a 4.17 percent stake in Grupo Aeromexico in June of this year.

It is unclear if any heavy maintenance will be moved from Atlanta to Guadalajara.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 767-332 N139DL (msn 25984) with a United Way logo approaches for landing at Los Angeles International Airport.



American and US Airways announce they are now formally exploring a merger

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and US Airways (Phoenix) announced today they are now officially exploring a merger. The following statement was issued this morning:

“AMR Corporation (“AMR”), the parent company of American Airlines®, and US Airways Group, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”), under which the companies have agreed to exchange certain confidential information and, in close collaboration with AMR’s Unsecured Creditors Committee, to work in good faith to evaluate a potential combination.

The companies do not expect to provide any further announcements regarding the status of any such discussions unless and until the parties have entered into a transaction or discussions between the parties have been terminated. Furthermore, AMR and US Airways have each agreed while they are evaluating a potential combination that they and their representatives will not engage in discussions with other parties concerning a potential combination of AMR and US Airways. The companies noted that there can be no assurance that a transaction will result from these discussions.”

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. American is a large Boeing operator with Airbus aircraft on order. Boeing 737-823 N959AN (msn 30828) taxies at Miami.

American Airlines: 

US Airways: 

Bottom Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. US Airways has a large Airbus fleet. The company is also getting ready to phase out its last Boeing 737-300 after Labor Day. Boeing 737-301 N574US (msn 23739) departs from Charlotte.

MNG Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-200F freighter

MNG Airlines (Istanbul) yesterday (August 30) took delivery of its first (of four) Airbus A330-200F freighter. The airline already operates a fleet of seven Airbus A300 cargo aircraft, and will expand its services by moving up to the A330 freighter.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A330-243F F-WWTS (msn 1332) at Toulouse was handed over as TC-MCZ.

MNG Airlines: 

ROC Aviation’s Islander B-68801 is missing in Taiwan with three people on board

ROC Aviation’s (Taipei) Britten-Norman BN-2B-26 Islander B-68801 (msn 2255) with three people on board  took off this morning from Taipei for a photo flight. The aircraft is now missing and has disappeared off the radar screen. ROC Aviation was operating this single BN-2B-26 Islander.

Copyright Photo: Manuel Negrerie. B-68801 is pictured on final approach to Taipei (Sung Shan International Airport) prior to today’s accident.

Lufthansa is facing a strike by its flight attendants tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is facing a strike by its cabin staff (flight attendants), represented by the Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO).

The company issued the following statement:

Strike actions by the Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO) announced for Friday, August 31, 2012

No strike actions are planned for today, Thursday, August 30, 2012. Thus, Lufthansa is confident to provide stable flight operations.

According to the latest UFO announcement, strike measures will start tomorrow, Friday, August 31, 2012. Details on the scope of the strikes (affected airports and expected duration) will be published by the union at very short notice only.

Lufthansa will do its utmost best to communicate the details on this page as soon as possible and to minimize the impacts on its customers.

In case of strike and resulting flight irregularities, passenger support and service have paramount priority.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to strike action are entitled to rebook or cancel free of charge, regardless of the fare conditions.

Passengers travelling within Germany whose flights have been cancelled due to strike action may alternatively travel by train with Deutsche Bahn. To do so, customers can exchange their e-ticket for a travel voucher under “My bookings” or at any Lufthansa check-in kiosk.

Beyond that Lufthansa cannot offer further compensation or reimbursement. Flight cancellations due to strike action are considered force majeure by EU regulation. Thus, Lufthansa is exempted from the obligation of providing compensation payments.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A380-841 D-AIMB (msn 041) arrives at the Frankfurt hub.


United announces a series of domestic Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner flights

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced plans to fly its new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft on domestic routes starting in November as it prepares to begin previously-announced international service in December and January.

United expects to take delivery of the first five new Dreamliners this year from its total order for 50 of these aircraft.  As the initial aircraft are inducted into the fleet, they will be based at United’s Houston hub and will enter into service according to the following schedule:

Late September 1st 787 delivery
October Proving/validation flights and training activities that allow United to meet FAA certification requirements and prepare United to become the first North American operator for this new aircraft type. 2nd 787 delivery.
November Scheduled commercial flights from Houston to other U.S. hubs.  3rd and 4th 787 deliveries expected.
December Scheduled commercial flights from Houston to other U.S. hubs.  5th 787 delivery expected. First international service Dec. 4.
January Commencement of scheduled commercial flights on additional international routes as announced on Aug. 23.

United will phase in scheduled 787-8 service between Houston and each of its other domestic hubs beginning on November 4, 2012 as shown below. This schedule allows United’s 787s to operate more than 470 flight segments in the U.S. in the last two months of 2012 in addition to international flights beginning in early December:

Route Flight times Effective Date End Date Frequency
IAH-SFO-IAH 5:45 p.m. westbound

12:15 a.m. eastbound

Nov. 4, 2012 Dec. 2, 2012 5 x weekly
IAH-LAX-IAH 3:30 p.m. westbound
6:25 p.m. eastbound
Nov. 4, 2012 Dec. 3, 2012 6 x weekly
IAH-ORD-IAH 7:25 a.m. northbound

11:15 a.m. southbound

Nov. 4, 2012 Dec. 3, 2012 6 x weekly
IAH-EWR-IAH 8 a.m. northbound

3:30 p.m. southbound

Nov. 4, 2012 Jan. 3, 2013 Daily, except Nov. 18
IAH-CLE-IAH 7 a.m. northbound
4 p.m. southbound
Nov. 10, 2012 Nov. 10, 2012 One-day service
IAH-IAD-IAH 7 a.m. northbound
3:50 p.m. southbound
Nov. 17, 2012 Nov. 17, 2012 One-day service
IAH-SFO-IAH 5:45 p.m. westbound

12:15 a.m. eastbound

Dec. 3, 2012 Jan. 3, 2013 Daily
IAH-LAX-IAH 3:30 p.m. westbound
6:25 p.m. eastbound
Dec. 4, 2012 Jan. 3, 2013 Daily
IAH-DEN-IAH 7:20 a.m. westbound
10:15 a.m. eastbound
Dec. 5, 2012 Jan. 2, 2013 Daily
IAH-LAX-IAH 7:35 a.m. westbound
12:30 p.m. eastbound
Jan. 3, 2013 March 31, 2013 Daily
IAH-ORD-IAH 7:25 a.m. northbound

11:15 a.m. southbound

Jan. 4, 2013 March 29, 2013 Daily
IAH-DEN-IAH 9:15 a.m. westbound
2:15 p.m. eastbound
March 31, 2013 Open Daily

Note: Timing may vary slightly depending on day of the week.  Schedules are subject to change.

The 787-8 aircraft will display for sale for these domestic routes on and other distribution channels beginning September 1. In October, United will announce plans for the official first commercial 787 flights, which are expected to occur prior to November 4 but only after proving/validation flights and training are complete.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Boeing 787-8 N20904 (msn 34824) is the first United Dreamliner, pictured being prepared for delivery at the Boeing assembly factory at Everett, WA. With the 787 Boeing has dropped its long-running customer codes. Many sites are still reporting this as a “787-822” but this is not correct.

United Airlines Slide Show: 

RayaJet of Jordan to add its first Airbus A320

RayaJet (Amman) was launched in April 2005 as a charter airline specializing in serving both Amman and Aqaba in Jordan with business jet aircraft.

Now the company is getting ready to lease its first airliner from ILFC.

The former Spanair Airbus A320-232 EI-EUS (msn 1497, ex EC-HXA) is pictured arriving back at Dublin Airport, after it was repainted by Eirtech Aviation at Shannon Airport.

Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle.

Hot New Photos: 


Caribbean Airlines takes delivery of its first Boeing 767-300

Caribbean Airlines (Port of Spain) yesterday (August 28) took delivery of its first (of two) Boeing 767-300. The former LAN Airlines (Santiago) Boeing 767-316 ER CC-CEB (msn 26327) is now registered appropriately as 9Y-LGW. The wide-body airliner was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute at POS on its arrival. Caribbean is planning to restore London (Gatwick) service from both Barbados and Trinidad with this new type.

The pictured 9Y-LGW also carries a special “Trinidad and Tobago – Celebrating 50 Years of Independence” logo.

Copyright Photo: Nigel Steele. The historic moment is captured at Port of Spain.

Caribbean Airlines Slide Show: 

Spirit Airlines announces even more new routes

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) today announced that it is adding two more new routes from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport starting October 4, 2012, including:

  • daily nonstop service between Houston and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and
  • daily nonstop service between Houston and Las Vegas

Spirit also recently announced it is launching twice daily nonstop service between Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on September 20, 2012, with connections available to six destinations including, Baltimore/Washington, Las Vegas, Mesa, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Toluca, and Portland, Oregon.

Spirit Airlines also announced schedules for new service to/from Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico starting November 8, 2012.

  • Daily nonstop service between Los Cabos, Mexico (serving Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo) and San Diego starts November 8, 2012, with connecting service to Dallas/Fort Worth.
  • In addition, four weekly nonstop flights between Los Cabos, Mexico and Dallas/Fort Worth start June 13, 2013.
  • Three weekly nonstop flights between Cancun, Mexico and Dallas/Fort Worth start April 25, 2013, with service increasing to daily on June 13, 2013.

The company also announced it is adding daily nonstop service between Denver International Airport and Mesa (Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport) starting on October 4, 2012.

Finally the ultra-fare airline announced it is adding daily nonstop service between Portland International Airport and San Diego International Airport starting on November 8, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A320-232 N604NK (msn 4431) taxies to the runway at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood hub.

Spirit Slide Show: 

Spirit’s growing Route Map:

Please click on the map to expand.



Tyrolean Airways to lease two Airbus A320s from GECAS

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, announced it will lease two Airbus A320-200 aircraft to a new customer, Tyrolean Airways (Innsbruck).

Tyrolean Airways is now responsible for operating all Austrian Airlines flights. Austrian Airlines (Vienna) has become virtually a marketing name rather than an operating airline. Only one aircraft for legal reasons has been retained on the Austrian certificate. Otherwise all other Austrian aircraft and personnel have been shifted to lower-cost Tyrolean. Tyrolean is also dropping the Austrian arrow name.

The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in early 2013 and will expand the existing fleet to around 80 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. Austrian Airbus A320-214 OE-LBO (msn 776) taxies at Zurich.

Austrian Airlines Slide Show: