Monthly Archives: December 2014

Happy New Year to all of our loyal contributors, editors, photographers and readers

Happy New Year Fireworks (ASC)(LRW)

As we enter 2015 in the different parts of the world, I would like to thank the loyal contributors, assistant and contributing editors, staff photographers and of course, all of the loyal readers of World Airline News. Without you, this would not be possible. Our goal is to record the history of the world’s airlines with the best photography.

2014 was a very successful year for World Airline News. Readership of this news blog tripled in 2014 and we expect this trend to continue in 2015. All readers are encouraged to send us any news, photos or videos from your part of the world.

On behalf on the WAN staff, we wish you the most successful and healthful year in 2015. Thank you for reading this news blog.


Photo: Ariel Shocron.

Bruce Drum

Managing Editor

World Airline News

2014 in Review: Some of the airlines we lost in 2014

We lost the following airlines in 2014, with some changing names (all photo are from the photo library, please click on the photo for the full-size view and the photo credit):

Air Armenia (suspended operations on October 29, currently talking with new investors to relaunch operations in 2015)

Air One (ceased operations on October 30, assets merged into Alitalia)

Air Uganda (ceased operations on July 17 after its AOC was revoked)

AirTran Airways (operated its last flight on December 28, assets merged into Southwest Airlines)

Alitalia (2nd) (Compagnie Aerea Italiana) (technically the second version of Alitalia ends today and the new ownership takes over tomorrow). Assets transferred to Alitalia (3rd) (Societa Aerea Italiana)

American Connection – Chautauqua Airlines (ended operations on August 19)

Bingo Airways (shut down on June 15)

CCA – Central Connect Airlines (ended operations on June 30)

Dobrolet (2nd) (shut down on August 4 due to western sanctions against Russia)

Era Alaska (Era Aviation) (became Ravn Alaska)

Eznis Airways (ceased operations on May 22)

Fly Olympic (Sweden) (shut down on July 29)

Fly Romania (Tend Air) (cancelled all flights on August 19 and declared bankruptcy on September 29)

Gambia Bird Airlines (as reported, suspended all operations on December 30)

go! (Mesa Air Group) (ended operations on March 31)

Greenland Express (denim Air) (quit flying on September 18)

JAL Express (JAL officially ended the subsidiary on September 30)

JetKonnect (parent Jet Airways ended the brand and subsidiary on November 30)

Lakeshore Express (ceased operations on April 1 – no joke)

Livingston Compagnia Aerea (2nd) (stopped trying on October 6)

Mandala Airlines (Tiger Airways Indonesia) (the Tigerair brand did not help, shut down on July 1 after many years)

North American Airlines (4th) (this historic airline shut down on April 29)

Our Airline (became Nauru Airlines on August 1)

PAL Airlines (ceased operating on August 4)

PEOPLExpress (Vision) 737-400 (14)(Grd)(Peoplexpress)(LRW)

PEOPLExpress (2nd) (Vision Airlines) (the virtual airline using the iconic name ceased operating September 26 after almost three months)

Polet Flight (Polet Airlines) (suspended operations on November 24)

Pullmantur Air (became Wamos Air on December 17)

RAK Airways (rakairways) (stopped again, for the last time on January 1)

Sky Aero ( (Kenya) (stopped in September)

Skywings Asia Airlines (Cambodia) (ceased operations on November 30)

Small Planet Airlines (Italy) (the subsidiary quit on January 17)

Tigerair Mandala (see Mandala) (stopped trading on July 1)

TMA Cargo (2nd) (the second version of TMA shut down in September 2014)

Transmile Air Services (suspended operations in 2014 but hopes to come back)

Trawel fly

Valuair (the name was quietly retired on October 26)

Vincent Aviation (Australia) (the Australia division shut down on May 28)

World Airways (an iconic name for many years stopped on March 26)


Is Cyprus Airways facing a shut down in 2015?

Cyprus Airways‘ (Larnaca) management may be wanting that 2014 never ends. The airline could be facing a very uncertain future in 2015.

According to the Cyprus Mail, “Cyprus Airways could face imminent closure after the holidays if it fails to produce a credible restructuring program and prove its financial viability to the government, Kathimerini newspaper reported.”

The newspaper added further, “The airline must by January 8, 2015 present fully audited 2014 results to authorities, and provide evidence that it is a going concern for it to be allowed to continue to operate, Phileleftheros said in an unsourced report.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The airline and the government are under review by the European Commission for alleged state aid in 2012 and again in 2013. The EC is expected to rule in 2015 if this alleged state aid violated EU rules.

The government of Cyprus controls 93.67 percent of the company’s shares.

Copyright Photo: Paul Bannwarth/ The Cyprus Airways fleet has shrunk to just six Airbus A320s. Airbus A320-232 5B-DCJ (msn 2108) arrives in Zurich.

Cyprus Airways aircraft slide show:

Aviation Safety Network: American Airlines flight 251 blows its right main tires on landing at Rio de Janeiro

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) flight AA 251 from the Dallas/Fort Worth to Rio de Janeiro (Galeao) landed at Galeao on December 30 with the pictured Boeing 767-323 ER N380AN (msn 25449). The flight apparently blew one or more right main gear tires on landing and according to the Aviation Safety Network and this video, taxied to the gate. The aircraft did receive some damage according to ASN.

Video: Jose Nonato Coutinho.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

Aeroflot to launch two new routes on January 2

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) on January 2, 2015 will launch the Moscow — Murmansk — Moscow and Moscow — Arkhangelsk — Moscow routes.

Aeroflot will provide two daily flights to each city on Airbus A320s from Sheremetyevo Airport Terminal D.

Copyright Photo: SPA/ Aeroflot Russian Airlines’ Airbus A320-214 VQ-BBC (msn 3835) arrives in London (Heathrow).

Aeroflot Russian Airlines aircraft slide show:


Canada follows the U.S. and bans the shipment of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada

Canada logo

The government of Canada through the Minister of Transport has issued this statement:

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced a suite of amendments to Canada’s Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The updates include a ban on transporting lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada, as well as new labelling and Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) requirements for certain dangerous goods.

In 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a ban on the shipment of lithium metal batteries as cargo aboard passenger aircraft. The main concern is that if ignited, they can cause any nearby batteries to overheat and catch fire as well. Most passenger airlines in Canada have already voluntarily banned lithium metal batteries as cargo.

The prohibition comes into effect on January 1, 2015, to comply with the ICAO ban. It applies to all shipments of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger planes within Canada. It does not apply to batteries already contained in or packed with equipment, but only to those packaged and shipped separately. The ban will not affect travellers’ personal devices such as laptops and smartphones, which use lithium ion batteries.

Other updates to the TDGR include:

Incorporating Protective Direction (PD) 33 into the TGDR. Introduced in April 2014, PD33 ordered rail shippers of ethanol, petroleum crude oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products to have an approved Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) in place to ensure proper emergency response in the event of an incident or release involving these flammable liquids.

Adding ERAP requirements for petroleum sour crude oil and Alcohols N.O.S. (typically used to classify ethanol in the US), which were not previously included under PD33.
New United Nations (UN) product numbers for petroleum sour crude oil and biomedical waste.

Transport Canada held extensive consultations on the amendments with stakeholders from across Canada. The updates will align the TDGR with UN recommendations and other international norms.

Quick Facts

The new ban under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) applies only to lithium metal batteries shipped as cargo on passenger aircraft.

It does not apply to batteries already contained in devices, therefore passengers with medical equipment are not affected by the ban.

The U.S. has already banned the transportation of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights.

Gambia Bird ceases operations, an apparent victim of the Ebola crisis in west Africa

Gambia Bird Airlines (Banjul), since the Ebola crisis spread, continued to operate the Banjul – London (Gatwick) route but dropping the stop in Sierra Leone due to the on-going crisis. A few days ago, the company announced they would add London (Gatwick)-Accra and Gatwick-Lagos flights. However yesterday (December 30), the west African airline ceased all operations.

The airline issued this statement yesterday:

Gambia Bird Airlines has suspended commercial flight operations until further notice. This operational decision is effective as of December 30.

We wish to express our sincere regrets for disrupting the travel plans of those of our esteemed guests who are booked on the suspended flights. We further wish to confirm that we will provide a full refund of all tickets purchased prior to this flight suspension.

Furthermore, Gambia Bird Airlines wishes to reaffirm that we will comply with all our obligations and that we will provide all necessary support services to passengers affected by the flight suspension.

Copyright Photo: Terry Wade/ Gambia Bird Airlines-AJW Aviation (Germania) Airbus A319-112 D-ASTB (msn 4691) arrives at LGW.

Gambia Bird aircraft slide show:

Sonar may have detected the wreckage of AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC

AirAsia Indonesia (Indonesia AirAsia) (part of the AirAsia Group) (Jakarta) missing flight QZ 8501 may have been located. Indonesian searchers battled bad weather today in the Java Sea. The searchers are using sonar and may located the fuselage of Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC possibly with the remaining passengers on board. Divers are trying to reach the possible wreckage but rough seas are hampering the attempts.

The debris found yesterday has been confirmed to be from the missing flight. Ten bodies has been recovered that were floating in the water. There were 162 passengers and crew members on the ill-fated flight.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told reporters he hoped there was “at least some closure” for families according to CNN.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

AirAsia issued this statement yesterday:

AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ 8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th December 2014.

The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun.

The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.

At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. AirAsia Indonesia employees have been sent to the site and will be fully cooperating with BASARNAS, National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), and relevant authorities on the investigation.

Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ 8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia added: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”

AirAsia Indonesia will be inviting family members to Surabaya, where a dedicated team of care providers will be assigned to each family to ensure that all of their needs are met. Counsellors, religious and spiritual personnel have also been invited to the family center to provide any necessary services.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/ Airbus A320-216 PK-AXC (msn 3648) taxies at Singapore before the accident.


AirAsia Zest Airbus A320 overshoots the runway at Kalibo, Philippines

AirAsia Zest A320-200 RP-C8972 overshoots the runway at Kalibo

AirAsia Zest (AirAsia Philippines) (formerly Zest Air) (Manila), another associated airline of the AirAsia Group (Malaysia) (Kuala Lumpur), today (December 30) was involved in an incident in the Philippines while the world attention focuses on the crash of an AirAsia Indonesia Airbus A320. An AirAsia Zest Airbus A320-216, registered as RP-C8972 (msn 2826), today overshot the runway on landing at Kalibo on the island of Panay in the Philippines. Flight Z2 272 was operating from Manila to Kalibo with 159 passengers and crew members on board. There were no reported injuries.

Twitter photo by Jet Damazo-Santos.

Lufthansa to add two new routes from Munich to the Canary Islands

Lufthansa (Frankfurt) will add new weekly service from its Munich hub to both Lanzarote and Tenerife Sur for the winter 2015/2016 season. The two routes will be operated with Airbus A321s according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: SPA/ Airbus A319-131 D-AIRX (msn 887) in the 1955 retro jet scheme departs from London (Heathrow).

Lufthansa aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show