Monthly Archives: September 2014

El Al and JetBlue Airways file with the DOT in order to codeshare

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) and JetBlue Airways (New York) today filed with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) seeking approval to codeshare.

Subject to government approval, El Al plans to place its “LY” code on select JetBlue-operated flights to/from New York (JFK/Newark).

El Al currently offers up to 22 weekly nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK/Newark) which easily tap into JetBlue’s growing network. With one stop in New York (JFK/Newark), customers may connect between Israel and 35 JetBlue destinations including Boston, Chicago/O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Houston/Hobby, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco, San Juan, Washington/Dulles and West Palm Beach. JetBlue currently serves 86 cities across the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America.

El Al and JetBlue have been interline partners since 2010, allowing customers to purchase single-ticket itineraries, combining travel on both airlines.

Top Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. El Al’s Boeing 747-458 4X-ELB (msn 26056) climbs gracefully away from Heathrow Airport near London.

El Al Israel Airlines: AG Slide Show

JetBlue Airways: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Fred Freketic/AirlinersGallery.com. JetBlue Airways’ Airbus A321-231 WL N923JB (msn 5960) with the Prism tail fin awaits its runway departure clearance at JFK International Airport.

QANTAS Airways launches the largest jetliner on the longest route to Dallas/Fort Worth

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) customers will now enjoy the luxury of the world’s largest passenger aircraft on the world’s longest route, with nonstop Airbus A380 services between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth which was launched on September 28.

QANTAS recently announced increased services to the USA, and will now offer customers 41 services per week to North America. About half of these services are operated by the pictured Airbus A380 aircraft and the other half by Boeing 747-400s with A380-style interiors.

QANTAS A380 First Class Suite (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. The First Class Suite.

The new Airbus A380 service is the result of several scheduling changes designed to unlock more flying time of the QANTAS fleet, as part of the wider Qantas Transformation program.

QANTAS A380 Business Class cabin (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. Business Class cabin.

QANTAS will operate the new Airbus A380 service six times per week (every day except Tuesdays). Flight QF 7 will depart Sydney at 1310 and arrive at DFW International Airport at 1345 local time (the same day).

The return flight QF 8, will depart DFW at 2215 local time and arrive in Sydney at 0605 two days later (due to an evening departure and the international dateline). Flying time from Sydney to DFW is around 14 hours 50 minutes, and flying time from DFW to Sydney is around 15 hours 30 minutes.

QANTAS A380 Economy Class seats (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways. The Economy Class cabin.

Through its codeshare partnership with American Airlines, QANTAS offers onward connections to more than 100 destinations across the USA, with more than 50 of those from Dallas/Fort Worth including Orlando, Boston, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Washington, Toronto, Vancouver, Cancun and Mexico City.

This new service comes in the 60th anniversary year of QANTAS services between Australia and the USA. In 1954, QANTAS operated a Lockheed Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.

QANTAS A380 Texas hat tail (QANTAS)(LRW)

Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways.

SPECIAL LIVERY:

To celebrate the milestone, QANTAS painted its Airbus A380-842 VH-OQL (msn 074) operating the route with a special livery; the kangaroo on the tail (above) features a traditional Stetson hat with a neckerchief in the American-stars print, with a “G’Day Texas” emblem next to the forward doors.

QANTAS A380-800 VH-OQL (G'Day Texas logo)(QANTAS)(LRW)

QANTAS Ambassador John Travolta was at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to greet the inaugural Airbus A380 service from Sydney and said he was proud to help promote the new service (below).

“I’m thrilled to be part of this special and historic moment for QANTAS. It’s exciting news for Americans that the world’s biggest and one of the most luxurious passenger aircrafts is now flying between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney,” said Mr Travolta.

QANTAS John Travolta (QANTAS)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-842 VH-OQD (msn 026) climbs away from London (Heathrow).

QANTAS Airways: AG Slide Show

Video:

Lufthansa is facing another pilot’s strike tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) meanwhile is facing another day of strikes tomorrow (September 30) by its pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit union. The strike revolves around a dispute concerning retirement benefits.

The union issued this statement (translated from German):

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) 2014 plans industrial action at Lufthansa for tomorrow Tuesday, September 30.

Lufthansa pilots are on September 30, 2014 from 8.00 – 23.00 local time will strike on long-haul flights with the aircraft types Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 will not perform any departures from Frankfurt Airport. With this strike, a new collective agreement transitional care will be achieved.

Since Lufthansa management has not submitted any compromise or competitive offer, we are forced to take these other measures.

The Vereinigung Cockpit declares that it is always ready to avert strikes. We regret any inconvenience to the customers of Lufthansa.

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

Lufthansa: AG Slide Show

The pilot’s strike against Air France ends, the airline attempts to return to a full schedule

Air France (Paris) is attempting to get back to a full schedule after the strike by its pilots has ended. The airline issued this statement yesterday (September 28):

Air France welcomes the end of the strike action, which it called for firmly and repeatedly. The strike has been costly and damaging. It has lasted too long.

The Company deeply regrets that despite lengthy negotiations since the beginning of the conflict, enabling much progress to be made, the balanced and reasonable protocol to end the conflict proposed by Management has not been signed by the unions. Air France regrets that the pilots’ unions have not seized these opportunities.

Air France confirms its decision to continue the accelerated development of Transavia in France, one of the Group’s key growth factors. This development will take place in the planned competitive economic and social conditions (in particular: development beyond 14 aircraft, a single fleet of Boeing 737, Transavia France operating and remuneration conditions, transfer of Air France pilots on a voluntary basis). As announced, this project will quickly create 1,000 jobs in France (including 250 pilot jobs).

The end of the conflict strengthens the Company’s determination to develop its business model to reinforce its leadership in the context of constructive and balanced social dialogue. The strategic interest of the Company must remain the top priority.

Air France is now totally mobilized to regain its customers’ trust, restore serenity among staff and promote corporate cohesion.

Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM, declared: “The management team, Frédéric Gagey and I are well aware of the trauma that our customers, our employees and our partners have just experienced with this long strike. Our priority is now to join forces around the Air France-KLM group’s growth and competitiveness project, Perform 2020. I would like to thank all those who, in the belief that growth is within our reach if we provide ourselves with the necessary means, have supported our development projects. I would also like to thank all the staff at Air France who, over the past two weeks, have done a remarkable job in extremely difficult circumstances. To all our customers and our staff, I want to express our confidence and our commitment to restore the links and regain momentum”.

The company issued this statement about returning to a full schedule and today’s flights:

Following the end of strike action, Air France is gradually resuming its flight schedule.

Flights already cancelled for Monday September 29 will remain cancelled. Air France operated 45% of its scheduled flights yesterday.

For today, Monday September 29, 2014, Air France is planning to operate almost 60% of its scheduled flights.

The situation will gradually return to normal over 2 to 3 days due to operational and regulatory constraints.

As aircraft have not flown for several days, mandatory checks are required before operations resume. In addition, aircraft and crews must be repositioned at all Air France stations throughout the world and flight crews must be given their legal rest periods before carrying out return flights.

Last-minute changes and disruptions may still occur.

Air France advises its customers to check flight information before going to the airport and not to go to the airport if their flight is cancelled.

The strike, which still did not resolve the underlying issues, may have cost the company over $600 million. Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis by the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-228 ER F-GSPD (msn 29005) completes its final approach to the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Air France: AG Slide Show

Fastjet’s first half loss widens to $30.5 million

Fastjet (Fastjet.com) (Dar es Salaam) reported today (September 29) its first half loss (through June 30) widened to $30.5 million (USD), including $13.9 million in losses in the associated Tanzanian operation. Fly540 Ghana and Angola had a $13.5 million adverse effect on the first half financial results. According to the carrier, “Fly540 Ghana and Fly540 Angola loss-making services remain suspended, with restructuring activity underway.”

Despite this loss, the low-fare airline has been expanding. Flights from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Lusaka, Zambia were launched in February 2014, from Dar es Salaam to Harare, Zimbabwe in August 2014 and from Dar es Salaam to Entebbe, Uganda on September 16, 2014.

The airline is filling a void left by the closure of Air Uganda.

Read the full financial report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 5H-FJC (msn 1145) taxies at Johannesburg (all others by Fastjet).

Fastjet: AG Slide Show

Fastjet crew

Expanding Route Map:

Fastjet 9.2014 Route Map

American Airlines Group pays renewed homage to the original Pacific Southwest Airlines

American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways) (Dallas/Fort Worth) has repainted the pictured US Airways Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) now with American titles. The Group is proud of its heritage logo jets and is also proud to remember its honored past. The group intends to have additional heritage jets (including TWA) for most of its heritage airlines that are now in the new and expanded American Airlines family tree (below).

The original Pacific Southwest Airlines-PSA (San Diego) operated from 1949 to 1988.

In other news, the continued negotiations for a combined pilot seniority list continues for the new American Airlines with some calling for America West pilots to be included in the negotiations.

This article by Ted Reed in Forbes details the on-going negotiations for a fair seniority list. Read the article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N742PS (msn 1275) in the 1977 livery of PSA and now with American titles departs from the Charlotte hub.

American Airlines-US Airways: AG Slide Show

American Airlines: AG Slide Show

US Airways: AG Slide Show

Pacific Southwest Airlines-PSA (1st): AG Slide Show

Photos of the original PSA via YouTube:

Family Tree: Courtesy of American Airlines (aircraft images from AirlinersGallery.com):

AA Heritage timeline poster - FINAL - 24x36.pdf

The first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for Etihad Airways is rolled out

Etihad 787-9 A6-BLA (14)(Grd) PAE (Boeing)(LRW)

Boeing (Chicago) last night (September 27) rolled out of its paint hangar the first 787-9 Dreamliner that will be delivered to Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi). Boeing 787-9 A6-BLA (msn 39646) is painted in the airline’s new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery with colors reminiscent of the desert landscape, inspired by the culture, Islamic design and architecture motifs of the United Arab Emirates.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will take delivery of its first 787-9 later this year. Etihad Airways is one of the world’s largest customers for the 787 with a total of 71 Dreamliners on order, including 41 787-9s and 30 787-10s.

The new 787-9 complements and extends the super-efficient 787 family. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, the 787-9 can fly more passengers and more cargo farther with the same exceptional environmental performance – 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces.

Nearly 60 customers from around the world have ordered more than 1,000 Dreamliners, approximately 40 percent of which are 787-9s.

Etihad Airways’ first Boeing 787-9 will be delivered in December 2014, and more than 40 international routes have been identified for future operation by the airline’s Dreamliners. The aircraft will initially operate between Abu Dhabi and Düsseldorf and between Abu Dhabi and Doha. Services to Brisbane, Mumbai, Moscow and Washington D.C. will follow in the first half of 2015.

Etihad Airways has also revamped its product offering on the Boeing 787 based on extensive consumer research, with refinements in all three cabins.

The new First Suite on the B787 will offer guests a private sanctuary with many new features, including a chilled mini-bar and 5-star cuisine prepared on board by world-class chefs. The new Business Studio offers larger seats, all of which have direct aisle access and convert to a fully flat, pneumatically adjustable bed. The Economy Smart Seat is an industry-first and provides unparalleled comfort for travellers with a new ‘fixed wing’ headrest, maximising comfort and enhancing the sleep experience. The B787 will also feature the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system, providing more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment, improved gaming and high-definition screens in all cabins.

The new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ livery uses a color palette which reflects the varying hues of the landscape of the UAE, from the darker sands of the Liwa desert to the lighter colors seen in the Northern Emirates. The result of extensive research, the design will also be a key feature of the new cabin interiors being introduced on Etihad Airways’ Boeing 787 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Boeing.

Etihad Airways: AG Slide Show

Video: Building the 787:

Video: The painting of A6-BLA:

Video: Etihad’s new 2014 livery:

Kharkiv Airlines adds two new routes to Istanbul

Kharkiv Airlines (Kharkiv, Ukraine) on September 16 added two new routes Istanbul (Sabiha Gokcen) from both Odessa and Kharkiv. Kharkiv is in disputed eastern portion of the Ukraine.

Kharkiv Airlines, a charter airline until now, becomes a scheduled carrier with these two routes.

Copyright Photo: Karl Corni/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8Q8 UR-CLS (msn 32841) arrives in Antalya.

Kharkiv Airlines: AG Slide Show

SunExpress to start five new routes from Antalya for next summer

SunExpress Airlines (Antalya) will start five new routes from Antalya for the summer season of 2015. The new routes include Amsterdam (three days a week effective April 27, 2015), Geneva (weekly, March 28), Klagenfurt (weekly, May 13), Luxembourg (weekly, April 3) and Strasberg (weekly, April 24) per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/AirlinersGallery.com. SunExpress Airlines’ Boeing 737-86Q WL TC-SUU (msn 30274) lands at Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg.

SunExpress Airlines: AG Slide Show

BOC Aviation delivers the first Airbus A320 to Vistara

Vistara say hello

Vistara (TATA SIA Airlines Limited) (Delhi) on September 25 announced that it has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320-200 single aisle aircraft with Sharklets. Airbus A320-232 VT-TTB (msn 6223) was handed over on September 24. The brand new aircraft is the first of 20 A320 Family aircraft to be leased from BOC Aviation, Asia’s leading aircraft operating lessor.

The aircraft’s arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (below) is a key milestone for Vistara as it moves toward operational launch in October 2014.

Vistara first A320 arrives (Vistara)(LRW)

Photo: Vistara.

Vistara logo (large)

With this first acquisition, Vistara plans to increase its fleet to 20 aircraft, including A320neos, by the end of the fourth year of operation.

TATA SIA Airlines Limited, known by the brand name Vistara, is a joint venture between Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) with Tata Sons holding the majority stake of 51% in the company and SIA holding the remaining 49%. Vistara brings together Tata’s and SIA’s legendary hospitality and renowned service excellence to launch the finest full service carrier in India aimed at creating memorable and personalized flying experiences for its customers. Obsessed with quality, the company aims to set new standards in the aviation industry in India, with international best practices and state-of-the-art technology in the Indian air transport sector.

Tata Air Lines DC-3

Above Photo: Vistara has a link to the previous Tata Air Lines on India.

BOC Aviation, owned by Bank of China, is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Dublin, London and Seattle.

Images: Vistara.

Vistara Tails