Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hawaiian Airlines’ flight attendants ratify a new narrow-body aircraft agreement

Hawaiian Airlines‘ (Honolulu) flight attendants have ratified a tentative agreement reached earlier this month between the company and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) on new contract terms covering the operation of long-range, single-aisle aircraft the company plans to acquire to complement its current fleet of wide-body aircraft serving Hawai’i from the U.S. West Coast.

On January 7, Hawaiian announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with airframe manufacturer Airbus to acquire 16 new A321neo aircraft between 2017 and 2020, with rights to purchase an additional nine aircraft.

The company also announced that the acquisitions are contingent upon the signing of new agreements with its pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions covering operation of the new aircraft type.

Hawaiian’s pilots ratified a similar agreement between the company and the Air Line Pilots Association on January 28.

The fleet expansion is expected to generate roughly 1,000 new jobs at Hawaiian.

The long-range, single-aisle A321neo aircraft will complement Hawaiian’s existing fleet of
wide-body, twin-aisle aircraft used for long-haul flying between Hawai’i and the U.S. West Coast.

At 146-feet-long, the A321neo will seat approximately 190 passengers in a two-class configuration (First and Coach) and has a range of 3,650 nautical miles. The aircraft will offer the more comfortable seat widths found in the twin-aisle A330.

Copyright Photo: Andy Jung. Hawaiian currently operates the narrow-body Boeing 717 in the inter-island network. The new A321s will open some new thin long-range Mainland routes previously pioneered by Aloha Airlines and largely filled recently by Alaska Airlines with its Boeing 737-800s. The pictured Boeing 717-2BD N488HA (msn 55101) arrives at the Honolulu hub.

Hawaiian Airlines: AG Slide Show

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ExpressJet Airlines joins with Cape Air in the JetBlue University Gateway Program

ExpressJet Airlines (Atlanta) has joined the JetBlue University Gateway Program to give pilots a career path. The following statement was released:

The highly-successful University Gateway Program, a four-way collaboration with JetBlue Airways (New York), Cape Air (Hyannis), the University of North Dakota (UND) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), has added another airline.  ExpressJet Airlines, the largest regional airline in the world, will partner with Cape Air to provide a parallel path for aspiring pilots to join JetBlue. The Gateway Program has been designed to facilitate the early-entry of highly-qualified pilots from Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) programs, who have appropriate flight instructor experience, into Cape Air, where they further hone their skills. After gaining their Captain’s credentials at Cape Air, pilots can choose to interview with ExpressJet.  If accepted, they will be slotted for a training class providing valuable time as pilots in command.  They then will be eligible for a final interview with JetBlue after gaining their necessary hours.

There are now 140 pilots in the Gateway Program.  To date, four pilots have successfully completed the necessary steps and have been hired by JetBlue, with more qualifying for a final interview every month.  Cape Air expects as many as 50 pilots per year will eventually join JetBlue via the program.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. ExpressJet’s Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N16147 (msn 145749) is pictured at the Houston (Bush Intercontinental) hub operating as an United Express carrier.

United Express-ExpressJet: AG Slide Show

Routes flown for United Airlines:

Please click on the map for the full size view.

Please click on the map for the full size view.

JetBlue Airways and Airbus reach agreement to retrofit the Airbus A320 fleet with Sharklets

JetBlue logo

JetBlue Airways (New York) announced today that it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Airbus to acquire 110 ship-sets of retrofit Sharklets for the airline’s in-service A320 aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2014. Just last week, JetBlue Airways unveiled the first of its A320 aircraft to be outfitted with Sharklets. Sharklets are newly designed wing tip devices that are expected to improve the aerodynamics of Airbus aircraft and significantly cut fuel burn and emissions by up to four percent.

Sharklets are an option for the A320 Family aircraft and offer JetBlue the option of an additional 100 nautical miles range or increased payload capability of up to 1,000 pounds. Sharklets are standard on all members of the A320neo Family. JetBlue is not only the first carrier to fly with Sharklets in North America but, with the conclusion of this agreement and the retrofitting, will have the largest A320 fleet in the world with Sharklets. JetBlue’s future Airbus deliveries also will come outfitted with Sharklets.

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: JetBlue was an early volunteer with Airbus for testing two early winglet concepts.

 

Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot® volunteer program takes off in schools nationwide inspiring more than 412,000 students since the program’s inception

Southwest 737-700 WL N273WN (01-Adopt A Pilot)(Nose) SNA (MCR)(LRW)

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today announced the official kickoff of its award-winning Adopt-A-Pilot® program where thousands of fifth-grade students “adopt” Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Pilots.  Through this unique volunteer program, Pilots commit their resources and time from February through May to educate students through aviation-themed activities related to math, science, and other core subjects as well as inspire them to stay in school, set goals, and dream big dreams for the future.  Now in its 16th year, more than 900 Pilots are visiting and inspiring students across the country.

“We hear countless stories from participating Pilots about how much they get back personally by helping students learn and inspiring them to dream big dreams,” said Chuck Magill, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations.  “We may be an airline, but we also do extraordinary work on the ground.  The Adopt-A-Pilot® program is a prime example of our dedication to community and commitment to bringing future leaders unique learning opportunities.”

During the four-week long curriculum, Pilots volunteer their time in participating classrooms and correspond from the “road” via e-mail and postcards. Beyond the program’s core mentorship and curriculum-based activities, participating Pilots often take it one step further and seek mentors for their students.

Created in 1997, Adopt-A-Pilot® started as a community outreach program in just 50 classrooms in Southwest’s destination cities, and has grown to reach more than 412,000 students nationwide. Southwest Airlines developed the program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the Smithsonian Institution of National Air and Space Museum. National leaders such as Gen. Colin Powell, President Bill Clinton, and First Lady Laura Bush have recognized the excellence that the Adopt-A-Pilot program offers students.

Copyright Photo: Michael Carter. The emblem that was carried on the nose of Boeing 737-7H4 N273WN (msn 32528).

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Island Air is acquired by Larry Ellison of the Oracle Corporation

Island Air ATR 72-200 N348AE (N941WP)(12)(Flt)(Island Air)(LRW)

Island Air (Honolulu) closed the sale of the airline today to a newly formed holding company owned by Lawrence J. Ellison. The sale secures the future of Island Air and its employees.

“This is another major investment and commitment toHawaiʻi,” said Paul Marinelli, vice president of Lawrence Investments, LLC. “We understand the critical importance of transportation in an island state and we will ensure that Island Air strengthens its role, capacity and service to the people of Hawaiʻi. We recognize the need for providing options for travelers, and we believe Island Air has tremendous potential to deliver value to both residents and visitors.”

“We are excited Mr. Ellison has acquired Island Air. He has the vision and resources to literally take Island Air to new heights,” said Les Murashige, Island Air president.

“The entire Island Air team pulled together over the past year to restructure and position the company for success and this sale represents the culmination of that process. I want to personally thank our 245 employees, the unions that represent them, and our entire management team for their efforts this past year. And, on behalf of all of us at Island Air, we welcome Mr. Ellison and we look forward to an exciting future together.”

Island Air has already added one new ATR 72 aircraft to its fleet (above).

There are no planned staff changes and Island Air will continue its operations as usual while developing plans for additional planes, routes and services. All current tickets will be honored and all Cloud9 members will retain their status and benefits.

According to Wikipedia, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle Corporation, one of the world’s leading enterprise software companies. As of 2012, he was the third-wealthiest American citizen, with an estimated worth of $41 billion. The bulk of Ellison’s fortune comes from his 22.5 percent stake in Oracle.

Larry Ellison purchased the island of Lāna‘i (LNY), so this airline purchase ensures that tourists will have access to the island.  Hawaiian may have the ATR 42, but with the larger ATR 72, Island Air can bring more passengers to LNY.

Top Copyright Photo: Island Air. The first ATR, ex-American Eagle ATR 72-212 N348AE (msn 349) has become N941WP.

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura. (L-R) Paul Marinelli, VP Lawrence Investments; Michael Rodynuck, Senior Consultant; Les Murashige, Island Air CEO.

Island Air (Hawaii) (L-R) Paul Marinelli, VP Lawrence Investments; Michael Rodynuck, Senior Consultant; Les Murashige, Island Air CEO (IN)(LRW)

Island Air: AG Slide Show

Island Air logo

Route Map:

Island Air (Hawaii) 2-2013 Route Map

Video: CLICK HERE

Airbus moves the first A350 XWB to outside testing

Airbus A350 (Grd) TLS (Airbus)(LR)

Airbus (Toulouse) has moved the first A350 XWB – msn 001 – now showing its completed wings, to its next phase of ground testing, from Roger Béteille A350 XWB FAL “Station 30” to the Clément Ader area “Station 18” in Toulouse. The aircraft is structurally complete and shows the installed winglets, belly fairing panels, main landing gear doors.

The aircraft has recently completed successfully a series of indoor ground tests including stability tests on ‘movable’ elements such as rudder, elevators, ailerons and wing spoilers and landing gears extraction/retraction. The next steps which will take place outdoors at Station 18 will include three planned families of tests: Fuel tanks testing – including levels, flows, sealing and internal fuel transfer functions; pressure testing of the fuselage; and radio equipment testing.

Copyright Photo: Airbus.

Emirates to add a second daily Airbus A380 to Sydney on June 1

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has announced it will add a second Airbus A380 service on the Dubai – Sydney route from June 1, 2013. The second A380 will operate on the early morning service and demonstrates the airline’s commitment to New South Wales and demand for the flagship aircraft.

Currently served by a Boeing 777-300ER, deploying the Airbus A380 on Emirates’ flights EK 414 and EK 415 will see an increase in capacity of 1,890 seats per week.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDI (msn 028) taxies at Amsterdam.

Emirates: AG Slide Show

Frameable Color Prints and Posters: AG All Photos Available