Monthly Archives: January 2013

Malaysia Airlines joins the oneworld alliance on February 1

Malaysia A330-300 9M-MTE (09-Oneworld)(Grd) KUL (TKA)(LRW)

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) tonight at midnight (February 1) became a part of oneworld® at midnight Kuala Lumpur time, adding one of Asia’s leading airlines to the global airline alliance that aims to be the first choice for frequent international travelers the world over.

The first flight in the new alliance is MH 386, which departed Kuala Lumpur at 1.40 am (0140) for Shanghai (Pudong). The national airline of Malaysia will be offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.  Another key focus flight for the airline is the first departure by the first of its aircraft featuring the full oneworld livery – an Airbus A330-300 (see above) operating flight MH 129 to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur at 10.15 am.

For Malaysia Airlines, joining oneworld completes the latest phase of its repositioning plan. Becoming part of the world’s premier global airline alliance will strengthen its competitiveness, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by partners including some of the best and biggest airlines in the world.

Malaysia Airlines, which serves more than 60 destinations in almost 30 countries, will substantially expand the alliance’s network in one of the world’s fastest growing economic powerhouses, South East Asia.

Its addition to oneworld makes Malaysia – which has one of the world’s 30 biggest national economies and with a population of almost 30 million – a home market for the alliance.  Its capital Kuala Lumpur, the world’s 10thmost visited city by international visitors according to the latest annual Mastercard survey, is now a oneworld hub.

Malaysia Airlines connects new 16 destinations and one country – Brunei – to the oneworld map.  More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance’s connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world.

Its addition expands oneworld’s global coverage to 842 destinations in 156 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$ 110 billion.  Add oneworld’s other members elect – Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines – and the alliance network will reach 860 destinations in 159 countries.

Currently three of oneworld’s active member airlines serve three points in Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, Cathay Pacific operating to Penang and its Dragonair regional affiliate to Kota Kinabalu.

Copyright Photo: T. K. Ali. It is a new dawn for Malaysia Airlines. The pictured Airbus A330-323X 9M-MTE (msn 1243) at Kuala Lumpur is the first aircraft in the company to wear the Oneworld livery.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Oneworld logo

Oneworld airlines




Brussels Airlines is coming to Washington Dulles on June 18

Brussels Airlines (Brussels) on June 18 will open a new route from its Brussels hub to Washington (Dulles). The new route will operate five days a week with Airbus A330 aircraft. The route will connect with Star Alliance partner United Airlines (Chicago).

Flight schedule (in local times):

Flight Number Route Departure Arrival Days of week
SN515 Brussels – Washington DC 17h30 20h15 2/4/5/6/7
SN516 Washington DC – Brussels 22h35 12h10 2/4/5/6/7

(flight time: 8 hours and 45 minutes)

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Airbus A330-223 OO-SFZ (msn 249) climbs away from the Brussels hub.

Brussels Airlines logo-1

Brussels Airlines: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines announces four new routes starting on April 25

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced it is starting ultra low fare service on four new routes starting April 25, 2013, including:

  • Daily nonstop service between Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Daily nonstop service between Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • Daily nonstop service between Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Daily nonstop seasonal service between Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Denver International Airport (DEN) running through November 6, 2013


Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A320-232 N602NK (msn 4264) approaches in preparation for landing at Washington (Reagan National).

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Spirit logo-2

Route Map:

Please click on the map for the full-size view.

Please click on the map for the full-size view.

Emirates is coming to Tokyo Haneda on June 3

Emirates Airline (Dubai) will launch daily nonstop flights between Dubai and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) on June 3, 2013.

Haneda Airport is located in Ota-ku, Tokyo and handles the majority of domestic flights to and from Tokyo; it opened its doors to international carriers following the opening of the fourth runway and the international terminal in October 2010.

Haneda will become Emirates’ 131st destination, is currently ranked as the second busiest airport in Asia.

The new route will be operated by a three-class Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range) aircraft. Flight EK 312 will depart Dubai at 0935 and arrive at Haneda Airport at 0001 the following day. The return flight, EK 313 will depart at 0130 and arrive at Dubai International Airport at 0705.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. Boeing 777-21H LR A6-EWJ (msn 35590) climbs away from Zurich.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Air Arabia accepts its first Airbus A320 with Sharklets A320-200 WL F-WWIM (A6-ANO)(04)(Grd)(Airbus)(LR)

Air Arabia ( (Sharjah, UAE) on January 24 took delivery of its first Airbus A320 with the new Sharklets wing tip device. Airbus delivered the first Sharklet equipped A320 in the Middle East to Air Arabia, which becomes the first operator in the region of the new fuel-saving large wing tip devices.

The company issued this statement:

Air Arabia, the first and largest low cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, announced that it has taken delivery of its first Sharklet equipped Airbus A320 aircraft. Air Arabia becomes the first airline in the Middle East to take delivery of Sharklet equipped Airbus A320, further enabling the airline to achieve increased operational efficiency.

Sharklets are an option on new-build Airbus A320 Family aircraft, which are equipped with fuel-saving large wing tip devices. Sharklets are made from light-weight composites, and the newly designed wing-tip devices reduce fuel burn and emissions by improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft significantly.

The delivery of the new aircraft marks yet another step in Air Arabia’s fleet expansion strategy, while creating the industry’s most modern fleet. The new aircraft has gone straight into service across Air Arabia’s network of 82 destinations.

“We are extremely proud to become the first airline in the Middle East region to take delivery of an A320 fitted with Airbus’ new, fuel saving Sharklets,” said Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia. “Air Arabia has a long-standing commitment to operational efficiency and fuel saving. These new wing tip devices will contribute to fulfilling our goal of becoming one of the world’s most efficient and innovative low cost airlines.”

“As a strong advocate for the A320 family, it is fitting that Air Arabia has become the first carrier in the region to benefit from the four per cent fuel saving our new Sharklets deliver,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. “Air Arabia, with their Sharklet-equipped A320s, can now assure their passengers that they are also travelling on board the world’s most environmentally friendly single-aisle aircraft.”

Air Arabia has now received 15 of the 44 A320 aircraft it has ordered from Airbus in 2007. The delivery of the 44 new aircraft will be completed by 2016, and will more than double the size of Air Arabia’s fleet. It expects to take delivery of seven new A320 aircraft in 2013.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family.  All Air Arabia aircraft cabin interiors are fitted with a world-class comfort seats offering highest seat pitch of any economy cabin across the globe and therefore, offering passengers extra leg room to sit back and relax during their flight.

Copyright Photo: Airbus. Airbus A320-214 F-WWIM became A6-ANO on its delivery.

AirArabia logo

Route Map:

Routes from Sharjah.

Routes from Sharjah.



GoAir takes delivery of its first Airbus A320 equipped with Sharklets

GoAir ( (Mumbai), promoting itself as ‘The Fly Smart Airline”, and wholly owned by the Wadia Group, has taken delivery of its first Sharklet equipped A320 aircraft financed by ACG (Aviation Capital Group) under a sale and leaseback arrangement.

Airbus A320-214 VT-GOL (msn 5463) was turned over to the carrier on January 30 and is part of an order placed by GoAir for 20 A320ceo in 2006. So far 13 aircraft have been delivered to GoAir making the first Sharklet equipped A320 the 14th to join the fleet. All subsequent seven deliveries will be equipped with Sharklets.

Due to the very strong customer demand for Sharklets, all Airbus’ single-aisle final assembly lines (FALs) will be engaged in building A320 Family aircraft with Sharklets. These FALs are located in Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany) and Tianjin (China) and will soon be followed by an additional A320 FAL in Mobile (Alabama, USA).

Sharklets are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft and offer operators the option of an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms. Sharklets are standard on all members of the A320neo Family. In 2011, GoAir placed an order for 72 A320neo aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Airbus A320-214 F-WWBE (msn 5463) became VT-GOL on delivery.

GoAir: AG Slide Show

GoAir logo

Route Map:

Please click on the map for the full size image.

Please click on the map for the full size image.



Can AMR’s CEO Tom Horton survive the American-US Airways merger?

American Airlines CEO Tom Horton (LR)

AMR Corporation’s and American Airlines‘ (Dallas/Fort Worth) CEO Tom Horton, as we have noted, is fighting to keep his job in a new American Airlines as the merger talks with US Airways (Phoenix) progresses. Initially he rebuffed any merger talks with Doug Parker of US Airways. Gradually he has warmed up to the idea. US Airways Group’ (the entity with the money) CEO Doug Parker is likely to become the new CEO of the new American should the merger be completed. This was the situation when America West Airlines (Phoenix) acquired the old US Airways (Washington) and kept the old US name but assumed the management of the new company. This also happened with the Delta-Northwest and United-Continental mergers. Usually one CEO steps aside as there is not enough room in the “kitchen” for two strong CEOs (cooks).

This sensitive issue is one of the remaining issues in the American-US Airways merger discussions. Is there enough room to keep Tom Horton? Maybe as the Chairman of the Board? Would this lead to conflict? Reuters explores these burning questions (see below for the link).

Here is the bio of Thomas W. Horton:

Thomas W. Horton was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMR Corporation and American Airlines in November 2011. He also currently serves as Chairman of the oneworld® Alliance, where American is a founding member.

Horton became President of AMR Corporation and American Airlines in July 2010. In this role, he oversaw finance, planning, sales and marketing, customer service, information technology and American’s global network and alliance strategy.

Previously, Horton served as Executive Vice President – Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer of AMR and American Airlines. He was named to that position in March 2006 upon returning to American from AT&T Corporation, where he served as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.

Horton initially joined AMR in 1985 and has held a range of leadership positions, including Vice President responsible for the airline’s Europe business, based in London. In January 2000, he was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of AMR.

In 2002, Horton joined AT&T, where he served first as CFO and later was also appointed Vice Chairman. In 2005, Horton led the evaluation of strategic alternatives, ultimately leading to the combination with SBC, which formed the new AT&T.

Horton holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, magna cum laude, from Baylor University. Horton serves on the Board of Directors of Qualcomm, Inc., a leading developer and innovator of advanced wireless technologies and data solutions. He also serves on the Executive Board of the Cox School of Business at SMU.

Reuters interestingly explores this thorny issue. Read the article: CLICK HERE

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show


Air China to introduce the Boeing 777-300 ER on the Beijing-New York JFK route on March 31, will launch Chengdu-Frankfurt flights on May 19

Air China (Beijing) on March 31, 2013 will upgrade its aircraft to the Boeing 777-300 ER (see above) and increase its frequency from 7 to 11 per week for its nonstop New York (JFK)-Beijing flights.

Air China is the only airline with nonstop service between New York and Beijing.  It is also the only airline with first class cabin between these two cities.  Current daily flights between New York and Beijing are CA 982 and CA 981.

The additional outbound flight, CA 990, departs from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2:50 AM, arriving in Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 2:20 PM local time the next day.  Inbound, CA 989 leaves Beijing at 9:00 AM also on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in New York at 10:20 AM local time on the same day.

According to the airline, the “Triple Seven” has a wider cabin than any competing aircraft.  It is designed for maximum passenger comfort and convenience.  Air China’s Forbidden Pavilion (first class) features eight luxury suites, 41 full-flat bed seats in the Capital Pavilion (business class) and 259 economy seats with individual monitors and in-seat audio-video on demand (AVOD).

Designed for maximum passenger comfort, the interior of Air China’s Boeing 777-300 ER feature ten mood lighting variations in the Forbidden and Capital Pavilions, each timed to complement the different  phases of a flight—from boarding through meal service, sleeping and pre-arrival.  The ambient lighting recreates the sunset, night and sunrise to reflect the various services associated with each phase and create a totally relaxing environment.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s approval granted to Air China by the U.S. Department of Transportation to start four weekly nonstop services between Houston and Beijing on July 11, 2013 using the Boeing 777-300 ER. Houston is Air China’s fifth gateway in North America in addition to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.  The Los Angeles-Beijing service, operated with the Boeing 777-300ER, will resume its double daily flights on March 31, 2013.  Vancouver-Beijing is scheduled to increase from 7 to 11 flights per week on May 17, 2013.  A bigger Boeing 747-400 full passenger aircraft will be used for the San Francisco-Beijing daily operation beginning on March 31, 2013.

In other news, Air China will commence nonstop Chengdu-Frankfurt service on May 19, 2013.

Chengdu, the capital of a province widely known as China’s breadbasket, is a southwestern Chinese city with huge growth potential. Recent years have seen a continuous uptick in the number of outbound travelers from Chengdu and other southwestern neighboring cities like Lhasa, Kunming and Xi’an who leave China via Chengdu. Currently, passengers who travel between Chengdu and other southwestern regions and Germany have to transfer in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong, and the whole journey takes at least 15 hours. The opening of the new Chengdu-Frankfurt nonstop service will make Chengdu the third Mainland China city with direct air links to Frankfurt. The whole flight takes just 10 hours, which represents a significant cut in travel time. This faster service will be another driver of the fast growth in tourism and economy of southwestern China.

The three-times weekly service, CA431/432, will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 (see below) on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight time is approximately 10 hours. The flight leaves Chengdu at 01:30 and arrives in Frankfurt at 06:10 on the same day. The return flight is expected to take off from Frankfurt at 14:00 and arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 05:40 the next day.

Top Copyright Photo: Yuji Wang. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) in the “Smiling China” special livery climbs away from Shanghai (Hongqiao).

Air China: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A330-243 B-6117 (msn 903) completes its approach back at the Beijing hub.

Air Malta reduces its third quarter loss to $6.5 million

Air Malta (Luqa) has reduced its third quarter net loss to $6.5 million (€4.8 million) from $13.2 million (€9.8 million) in the same quarter in 2011 according to Malta Today.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. The new 2012 brand promotes the destination of Malta. Airbus A319-111 9H-AEL (msn 2332) prepares to land at London (Heathrow).

Air Malta 2012 logo

Air Malta: AG Slide Show

Monarch introduces a new “Let’s Make Flying Fun Again” ad campaign

Monarch Airlines ( (London-Luton) has launched its third television advertisement.

The new advertisement (see below), which will be the first to use the airline”s redesigned branding, was created by Iris Worldwide and will run for three weeks on ITV in the Central, Yorkshire, Granada and London TV regions during popular programs such as ”Dancing On Ice” ”Coronation Street” and ”The Chase”. As part of the multi-channel campaign it will also be shown on other channels including Sky One, Sky Living and E4.

There will be two versions, one of 10 seconds and one of 30 seconds. The shorter advertisement will demonstrate the airline”s price offering, while the longer version will position the brand. Both will reflect the airline”s aim ”to be the customer”s choice for outstanding service” and the aspiration to put the fun back into flying. These ideals will run through other marketing projects, as the rebranding is embedded in other airline activity this year.

The advert will be further supported by national and regional press, social media, radio, email, digital and outdoor advertising in the new theme.

Kevin George, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines, commented, “We are building on the success of our previous television campaign with this latest production, which evokes happy memories, prompting our teams and our passengers to put the fun back into flying.” He continues: “With Monarch now clearly established as a scheduled airline it is important that we showcase the products on offer across our extensive network of European and Mediterranean routes.”

Monarch Airlines operates scheduled services from Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester airports.



Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil. Airbus A320-212 G-OZBB (msn 389) prepares to land at Brussels painted in the updated 2011 livery.

Monarch Airlines: AG Slide Show