Monthly Archives: September 2012

Wizz Air to start Budapest-Geneva service on December 14

Wizz Air (Hungary) (Budapest) will launch a new route from Budapest to Geneva starting on December 14. The new route will operate on three days a week. In addition, the company will launch a new route from from Belgrade to Beauvais.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Airbus A320-233 HA-LPA (msn 839) is seen in action at London (Luton).


Sita Air Dornier 228 crashes in Nepal, 19 killed

Sita Air (Kathmandu) flight 601 on September 28 operated with a Dornier 228 (9N-AHA) crashed after takeoff from Kathmandu International Airport. All 16 passengers and three crew members on board were killed. The crew reported a bird strike and the loss of an engine and was attempting to return to the airport when it crashed and burned. The flight was bound for the mountainous airport of Lukla, a popular destination near Mount Everest. The Nepalese government is investigating the tragic accident.

Read the full report from the San Francisco Chronicle: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Sita Air.

Route Map:

Please click on the map for the full size image.

British Airways and Japan Airlines to start their joint venture on October 1

British Airways (London) and JAL-Japan Airlines (Tokyo) will start their new joint venture on October 1.

British Airways issued the following statement:

British Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) will begin a joint business agreement with the two airlines sharing revenue on applicable flights between Europe and Japan.

The joint business, which starts on October 1, 2012, will benefit customers by providing better links between Europe and Japan, greater choice of flights to more destinations, enhanced frequent flyer benefits and the potential to launch new routes.

British Airways and JAL, both members of the oneworld® alliance, have been forging ever closer ties in their evolution to the joint business. Earlier this month, JAL and British Airways began offering codeshare flights between Tokyo (Haneda and Narita) and London (Heathrow). The joint business will now see the two airlines co-operating on all non-stop flights operated by JAL or British Airways between Japan and Europe. This will not only include the 19 weekly services between the UK and Japan, but also JAL’s services to Paris and Frankfurt. This gives customers the flexibility of using a combination of JAL and British Airways flights and aligned fares on their journey to and from Japan and Europe, significantly increasing their options.

JAL and British Airways will also be improving flight transfers for customers by enhancing and expanding the codeshare network beyond their respective hub cities. JAL customers will, be able to book seats to the new codeshare destinations of Belfast, Helsinki, Frankfurt, and Gothenburg. British Airways will extend its reach to more destinations in Japan by codesharing on flights to Kansai, Okayama, Izumo, Okinawa, Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Kagoshima. Further expansion of codeshare arrangements are expected in the future. The websites of the two airlines will also be updated to enable customers to make bookings and check-in online, and access the flight information they need, irrespective of the carrier they are flying on.

Customers participating in JAL and British Airways’ loyalty programs will continue to enjoy reciprocal benefits as customers of oneworld, but top tier members of the respective loyalty schemes will now have the opportunity to earn bonus points on applicable flights on either airline.

In other news, British Airways will start nonstop London (Gatwick)-Alicante Boeing 737-400 service service on March 31, 2013 per Airline Route.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 767-336 ER G-BNWD (msn 24336) climbs away from the London (Heathrow) hub.

British Airways: 

JAL-Japan Airlines: 

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen. Boeing 767-346 ER JA615J (msn 33850) in the special Samantha Thavasa motif lands at the Tokyo (Narita) hub.

Thomson Airways’ new TV ad features the upcoming Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

Thomson Airways (London-Luton) has introduced this new TV advertisement featuring the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The holiday airline has 13 copies on order for deliveries starting next year.

Image: Thomson Airways.


Allegiant to start two new routes from Mesa, Arizona in December

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) will start two new routes from Mesa, Arizona (west Phoenix) in December. Twice-weekly Mesa-Oakland service will be added on December 15 followed by twice-weekly Mesa-Casper, Wyoming service on December 20 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: McDonnell Douglas MD-88 N414NV (msn 49766) taxies at Los Angeles International Airport.

Allegiant Air: 

Southern Air files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization

Southern Air, Inc. (2nd) and the holding company, Southern Air Holdings, Inc., today (September 28) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization.

The company issued the following statement:

To position the company for future growth and success, Southern Air has been taking steps in response to the economic challenges and extreme industry changes that have impacted the international freight market, including major cutbacks in spending by the U.S. Department of Defense. At the same time, we have been making good progress in transitioning to a modern, fuel-efficient fleet of 777s and 747-400s serving global customers. The next component of our transformation is the restructuring of our corporate debt and other costs associated with our acquisition in 2007. With an improved balance sheet, Southern Air will have a greater capacity to move forward as a global air cargo industry leader on a financially stronger and more competitive foundation for the long term.

In order to implement this financial restructuring, Southern Air Holdings, Inc., including Southern Air Inc., filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on September 28, 2012 with the support of a majority of our key financial stakeholders. We will work with them to finalize, obtain court approval for, and implement a plan of reorganization as quickly as possible.

We have also filed a proposed plan of reorganization that has the support of a majority of our key financial stakeholders and provides for the continuation of our business in the normal course. We are working to complete the debt restructuring as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Southern Air remains open for business as usual, and fully expects to continue normal business operations, fulfilling all customer requirements as scheduled and providing uninterrupted high quality air cargo services.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Boeing 747-2F6B (F) N765SA (msn 21833) lands at Baltimore/Washington.

Southern Air: 

UNI Air takes delivery of its first new ATR 72-600

UNI Air (subsidiary of EVA Air) (Taipei) yesterday (September 27) accepted at Toulouse its first new ATR 72-600. The delivery of B-17001 (msn 1044) is the very first ATR 72-600 aircraft in the livery of an Asian carrier. This ATR 72-600 is expected to enter revenue service on October 11, with a commercial domestic flight from Taipei to Taidong.

With the introduction of its new fleet of 10 ATR 72-600s, UNI Air will progressively replace its fleet of Bombardier DHC-8-300 turboprops.

Since ATR launched the -600 series aircraft in late 2007, the newest ATR 72-600 has proven itself as the best-selling 70-seat regional aircraft worldwide, with some 240 orders since then. The ATR 72-600 received its EASA-certification in May 2011, thus becoming the world’s most-recently certified 70-seat regional aircraft. Among other improvements, it features the most modern avionics suite, equipped with full-glass cockpit specifically developed for ATR by Thales, and totally redesigned cabin interiors, by Italian designer Giugiaro.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. B-17001 is pictured at Toulouse prior to the handover in the new livery reflecting its relationship with parent EVA Air.

Hot New Photos: 

US Airways’ flight attendants reject the new contract

US Airways‘ (Phoenix) flight attendants, represented by the the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), voted 51 percent against ratifying the proposed five-year agreement that would have amended existing contracts for the 6,800 flight attendants.

US Airways issued the following statement:

Flight attendants at US Airways, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) have voted 51 percent to 49 percent to not ratify a proposed five-year collective bargaining agreement between the carrier and AFA. US Airways and AFA reached a tentative agreement on August 7, 2012 that would have amended existing contracts for the airline’s 6,800 flight attendants who are based in its three hub cities of Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix and its Washington, D.C. focus city.

“We are disappointed that our flight attendants chose to vote against ratification of a new contract,” said Doug Parker, US Airways’ Chairman and CEO. “The tentative agreement was unanimously endorsed by AFA leaders in each domicile and by the members of the AFA negotiating committee, and we thank them for their leadership. We would also like to express our appreciation to National Mediation Board Member Linda Puchala and Mediator Jim Mackenzie and Veda Shook, AFA’s International President, for their assistance in reaching the tentative agreement. Going forward, our current collective bargaining agreements remain in place, and we will consult with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to determine the next steps.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A319-112 N745VJ (msn 1289) painted in the 1966 Allegheny Airlines legacy livery taxies to the runway at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport hub.

US Airways: 

Thai takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 today in Toulouse

Thai Airways International (Bangkok) has taken delivery of its first A380, becoming the ninth airline to operate the world’s largest airliner. The aircraft was handed over to Captain Montree Jumrieng, Executive Vice President Technical, by Kiran Rao,  Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Airbus, at a special ceremony in Toulouse today.

Thai has ordered six A380s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The airline has specified a premium three class layout for its fleet, seating a total of 507 passengers. All classes feature new cabin designs, with 12 private suites in First Class, 60 fully flat sleeper seats in Royal Silk Class and 435 seats in Economy. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems, communication outlets and individual power supply.

Thai will inaugurate commercial service with the A380 in early October on the Bangkok – Hong Kong and Bangkok – Singapore routes. As more aircraft are delivered, the airline will begin service to Frankfurt at the end of the year, followed by Tokyo and Paris early in 2013.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A380-841 F-WWAO (msn 087) became HS-TUA on delivery.

Thai Airways International: 

FlyGeorgia to launch Amsterdam service on October 6

FlyGeorgia ( (Tbilisi) is planning to launch a new long-range route from Tbilisi to Amsterdam on October 6 with its Airbus A319. The carrier currently serves Antalya and Batumi from Tbilisi.

Copyright Photo: Paul Doyle. Airbus A319-111 EI-EWF (msn 3834) is pictured at Dublin before it became 4L-FGA for the new Georgian flag carrier.