Monthly Archives: November 2014

Lufthansa to be hit again by a pilot’s strike starting tomorrow

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) is facing another strike by its pilots starting tomorrow, Monday, December 1. The airline issued this statement:

Strike by pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit from 12.00 on December 1 to 23.59 on December 2

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit has announced a strike for all Lufthansa short-haul and continental flights departing between 12.00 CEST on December 1 to 23.59 CEST on December 2, and for all intercontinental flights departing between 03:00 CEST to 23:59 CEST on December 2. During the strike period disruptions of Lufthansa flights are expected. Lufthansa is currently working intensely on a special timetable for the strike period. All flights operated by the Lufthansa Group airlines Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, Swiss and Air Dolomiti (operated by OS, SN, 4U, LX, EN) will not be affected.

Passengers, whose flights have been cancelled, can rebook free of charge to alternative flights.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-313 D-AIFF (msn 447) arrives in Washington.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

Lufthansa hands over an Airbus A340-300 for the transport of Ebola patients

 

Lufthansa logo-2

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) has turned over an Airbus A340-300 for Ebola patient humanitarian evacuation flights by the German government. Airbus A340-313 D-AIGZ (msn 347) has been converted from a passenger aircraft to this special transport aircraft. The airline issued this statement:

Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe accepted receipt of the world’s first evacuation aircraft for transporting and treating Ebola patients on behalf of the German government.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr handed over an Airbus A340-300 for its new role in Berlin on Thursday (November 27). At the request of the Federal Foreign Office, Lufthansa Technik spent the last few weeks converting what was previously a passenger aircraft called the “Villingen-Schwennigen” so that it could be used for this special humanitarian mission. Under its new name, the “Robert Koch”, it now serves as the world’s only evacuation facility for highly contagious patients. Unlike the smaller aircraft that have been sporadically available to date, the facility can provide comprehensive intensive care on board. The Lufthansa Group was able to complete such a complex and technically demanding undertaking so quickly because the airline was in a position to provide a long-haul aircraft at short notice that was suitable for the specific requirements of the project. As a global leader in aviation technology, Lufthansa Technik also has a wealth of experience in installing a diverse range of non-standard cabin interiors on aircraft for governments, VIPs and the business travel sector. It was able to draw on this expertise for the construction and installation of the special isolation unit in the aircraft cabin. The aircraft conversion, which started on November 17 in Hamburg, was carried out in partnership with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

In the middle and rear of the long-haul aircraft, passenger seats, kitchen and washing areas, and baggage lockers were removed to make way for a patient transport isolation unit surrounded by an airtight tent with negative pressure. Inside, medics can provide patients with intensive care and treatment during the flight while remaining fully protected. Two exterior tents, which are also airtight, serve as buffers so that the treatment tent can be entered and exited safely. At the front of the cabin, there are still seats for up to 19 passengers such as doctors, attendants from the RKI, isolation tent technicians and a Lufthansa engineer. Within a short space of time, a total of more than 700 pilots and flight attendants volunteered as cockpit and cabin crew for the “Robert Koch” humanitarian project, which will initially run for six months.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Air Seychelles takes delivery of its first Airbus A320

Air Seychlles A320-200 Welcome (Air Seychelles)(LR)

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, this morning (November 30) celebrated a historic occasion as its first Airbus A320 touched down at Seychelles International Airport.

The aircraft, named “Amirantes” in honor of a group of coral islands discovered in the Seychelles archipelago in the 16th century, was welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute after landing at 9:30 am.

“Our new Airbus A320 will be used to launch three new routes, including Mumbai, Dar es Salaam and Antananarivo, representing the fastest rate of expansion our airline has ever seen. We have been able to accomplish this incredible feat thanks also to the support of our equity partner, Etihad Airways.

The aircraft has a two-cabin configuration comprising 16 seats in Business Class and 120 seats in Economy Class.

Photo: Air Seychelles. The Airbus A320 is leased from partner Etihad Airways.

Air Seychelles aircraft slide show:

Emirates launches three new Airbus A380 routes in three days

Emirates (Dubai) is launching three new Airbus A380 destinations in three days.

Hitting the high notes first is the San Francisco flight, where Emirates has been flying since 2008. The Bay City is home to the renowned San Francisco Symphony, which Emirates first started sponsoring in 2011.

Kicking off second is Milan, home of AC Milan, the world famous football team which Emirates has sponsored since 2007.

Since Emirates launched flights to the city in 2000, the airline has flown 3.1 million people on the route, that’s enough to fill the San Siro stadium 38 times.

Emirates launched its daily service to Houston in 2007, and since then has flown over 1.2 million people on the route. Known as the “Energy Capital of the World” Houston is the last of the trio to take off that week on 3rd December. Between them, the three flights will have travelled 61,784 kilometres to and from Emirates’ A380 hub in Dubai.

With these three up-gauges Emirates’ A380 route network will total 33 destinations, spanning from Auckland in the East to Los Angeles in the West.

Emirates now has 55 A380s in its fleet, one third of all A380s currently in the skies.

According to the airline, “It’s been a busy year for the Emirates A380 program with 11 of these new double-decked aircraft joining the fleet. The airline has also launched nine new A380 destinations in the past 12 months, including Mumbai, Frankfurt, Dallas/Fort Worth and Kuwait. Glasgow, Manila, Tehran and Vienna have also seen the Emirates A380 touchdown on their tarmac for a one off showcase in 2014.

Over 32 million passengers have now enjoyed the Emirates A380 experience and many of these are repeat customers, thanks to the airline’s unique on-board product. Emirates A380 features its signature First Class Suites, 14 luxurious private cabins, giving passengers the most exclusive inflight experience which includes access to the world’s only onboard ShowerSpas. Another world first on the Emirates A380 is the On-Board Lounge where First Class and Business Class passengers can socialise at 40,000 feet. In addition all Emirates A380s offer wi-fi throughout and the largest selection of movies in the sky, with ice Digital Widescreen screening 500 films – that’s nearly one film per passenger.

Emirates’ San Francisco service will operate daily as EK225 departing Dubai at 0850 hrs arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 1250 hrs the same day. The return flight, EK226, will depart San Francisco at 1530 hrs and arrives in Dubai the following day at 1925 hrs.

Emirates flight EK91 leaves Dubai at 1540 hrs and lands at Milan Malpensa Airport at 1935 hrs. The return flight EK92 departs Milan at 2120 hrs and arrives back at Concourse A, the home of the Emirates A380 and the world’s first purpose-built facility for the aircraft at Dubai International Airport at 0625 hrs the following day.

Emirates’ daily flight EK211 to Houston will depart Dubai at 0930 hrs and arrives at 1605 hrs. The return flight, EK212, takes off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 1825 hrs and lands in Dubai at 1905 hrs the next day.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A380-861 A6-EDQ (msn 080) departs from London (Heathrow).

Emirates aircraft slide show:

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras to become a new Airbus A320neo operator

Azul A320-200neo (Flt)(Azul)(LRW)

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Sao Paulo) will become a new Airbus A320neo operator starting in 2016. The company has issued this statement (translated from Portuguese):

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras will have a new aircraft type to its fleet from 2016: this is the Airbus A320neo. The company intends to use the new aircraft to increase its supply of seats on routes of long distances and high demand of customers. The A320neo will be configured for up to 174 seats and equipped with the new generation of CFM International LEAP-1A engines. The agreement provides for the introduction of 63 aircraft, of which 35 will be acquired by the Blue and the other 28 will be through leasing with AerCap companies (20 units) and GECAS (8 units). All aircraft will be gradually introduced to the company’s fleet between 2016 and 2023.

“The A320neo will be a perfect addition to our fleet of Embraer and ATR jets. We evaluated the Boeing aircraft, which has options in the same category, but we chose the Airbus for comfort and lower operating costs, allowing us to offer even more competitive rates on long-haul routes. The A320neo consume up to 20% less fuel per seat / km over the current model. They will have already established the Azul Area and will be equipped with slimline seats and live TV. In addition, the bathrooms of the new model have been repositioned and give more space to the cabin, “said David Neeleman, founder and CEO of Blue. “The new aircraft will also benefit other Blue’s business units. We may, for example, devote more space to carry loads, or even provide more seats for customers of TudoAzul and Blue Travel, “added Neeleman.

Image: Airbus.

 

Finnair and Santa

Finnair (Helsinki) has issued this new Santa video with this explanation:

You know how mysterious it is that Santa can get to every house and home around the world in just 24 hours? Well, we here at Finnair happen to share something with Santa and you seem like someone who can keep a secret. So here we are, ready to open the curtain hiding one of Christmas’s biggest mysteries.

Airberlin launches its 2014 Christmas plane and a spotter contest

Airberlin 737-800 WL D-ABML (14-Christmas)(Ldg)(Airberlin)(LR)

Airberlin (Berlin) following in its tradition, yesterday (November 27) launched its 2014 Christmas special livery on Boeing 737-86J D-ABML (msn 37773). The airline has also announced a “spotter contest”. The airline issued this statement:

Boeing 737-800 bearing the code D-ABML entered into service as the 2014 Christmas aircraft, and can be found flying around the Airberlin route network. The elaborate motif is the work of illustrator Thies Schwarz. ‘This was the biggest picture I’ve ever done,’ said Schwarz in reference to the challenge of creating the 2.3 m tall, 18.7 m long motif. In the place of the usual airberlin lettering, the fuselage is festooned with a Christmas landscape, and below it reads the Airberlin Christmas motto: ‘Flying home for Christmas’. The windows of the aircraft also serve as the windows of the houses in the scene. ‘I’m looking forward to the impact it will have in the dark: once the windows are lit, the Christmas spirit can really unfold,’ says Schwarz.

The aircraft decorated in Christmas livery was greeted at Terminal C of Berlin’s Tegel Airport with a special surprise: within seconds, departure gates 44 and 45 turned into a winter wonderland with Christmas trees, a merry-go-round for children and snowflakes. airberlin staff dressed as Christmas angels and elves handed out mulled wine and chocolate hearts to the 700 guests in Terminal C before the Christmas aircraft took off at 5 pm for Stockholm.

Airberlin 737-800 WL D-ABML (14-Christmas)(Santa)(Airberlin)(LRW)

‘The 2014 Christmas aircraft continues an Airberlin tradition that goes back to 2011. A digital Christmas plane on our website in 2010 led to many guests calling for a real Christmas aircraft. The annual presentation of the unusual aircraft also marks the start of our Christmas festivities. Airberlin passengers can look forward to special festive snacks on board: gingerbread or Lebkuchen (a traditional German cake) and 1,240,000 Christmas-edition chocolate hearts. On Airberlin flights within Germany or to Austria and Switzerland, as well as in the waiting areas in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Vienna we will be inviting our passengers for a glass of mulled wine from 4 pm; we will be pouring a total of 7,100 litres over the Christmas season. As for food, the Sansibar restaurant classic ‘duck in orange sauce with a seasonally stuffed baked apple, potato dumplings and red cabbage’ is also especially popular in the winter months: the dish is ordered close to 2,000 times between October and March,’ says Aage Dünhaupt, SVP of Communications at Airberlin.

Airberlin’s social media channels are also buzzing with the Christmas spirit: from Facebook, to Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, Airberlin is making the most of all channels to spread the festive cheer with exciting offers. For example, on the prize-winning Instagram page with more than 13,000 followers, users can upload a Christmas photo with the hashtag #flyinghomeforchristmas for a chance to win free flights. Fans will also have the chance to win flights on Facebook through a worldwide search for Santa.

Photos: Airberlin.

Airberlin 737-800 WL D-ABML (14-Christmas)(Reg)(Airberlin)(LRW)

Frontier Airlines to drop more routes from Denver

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is gradually dropping its spoke routes from and to its hometown Denver International Airport hub due to rising costs.

According to Airline Route, the carrier is planning to drop the following routes through April 2015: Eugene (November 29), Bakersfield (December 1), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (December 19), New York (LaGuardia) (December 20), Idaho Falls (January 5, 2015), Fresno, Harrisburg and Spokane (all January 6), Bloomington, Chicago (Midway), Minot, Newport News/Williamsburg, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara (all January 7), Oklahoma City (April 29) and Fargo (April 30).

Frontier has already ended service from Denver to Branson, Bellingham, Great Falls and Jackson Hole.

Read the full report from The Denver Post: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-214 N227FR (msn 6184) in the new look taxies to the gate at Raleigh-Durham.

Frontier aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

 

JAL to launch “JAL Sky Suite 787” service to Frankfurt on December 1

Japan Airlines (JAL) (Tokyo) will launch the first “JAL Sky Suite 787” service between Tokyo (Narita) and Frankfurt on December 1, 2014.

JAL 787 Sky Suite bed

JAL will introduce fully-flat seat (above), “JAL Sky Suite”, in Business Class of “JAL Sky Suite 787”. Premium Economy service will be provided onto the latest Boeing 787-8s with “JAL Sky Premium” seats, and in Economy Class, new “JAL Sky Wider II” seats in a 2-4-2 configuration will be offered.

JAL Sky Suite 787 layout

Following its launch on Narita – Frankfurt route, “JAL Sky Suite 787” will be sequentially operated on Tokyo (Narita) – New York route (JL004/JL003) from January 2015.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner JA826J (msn 34836) arrives at the Narita International Airport (NRT) hub.

JAL aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show