Monthly Archives: January 2015

Airberlin today introduces Milo, the giant red ostrich on Airbus A320 D-ABFO

Airberlin.com A320-200 D-ABFO (15-Milo-topbonus)(Grd)(Airberlin)(LRW)

Airberlin (airberlin.com) (Berlin) today introduced a 66-foot long giant portrait of Milo, the new ostrich mascot of Airberlin’s topbonus frequent flyer program. The Airbus A320-214 registered as D-ABFO (msn 4565) entered service today (January 31). The airline issue this statement.

A giant image of Milo, the new mascot for Airberlin’s topbonus frequent flyer program, will soon be cruising the skies along the airline’s European route network. The very first Airbus A320-200 to carry the mascot’s likeness, registration D-ABFO, took off from Munich at 8:20 a.m. on January 31, 2015, and arrived in Hamburg at 9:40 a.m. From there, Milo continued to Palma de Mallorca, touching down at 1:40 p.m., before completing the final leg of the journey and landing in Faro at 3:20 p.m.

Measuring approximately 22 meters (66 feet) in length, both sides of the aircraft will carry an image of Milo the red ostrich. Seven employees at Airberlin’s technical service in Munich were responsible for the paint job, which kept them busy for two days in total.

“Milo will take to the skies to increase the prominence and visibility of topbonus at the approximately 120 airports across the European route network. We will continue in our efforts to make our frequent flyer further even more attractive this year, and will therefore reach out to people who strictly speaking may not be the most frequent flyers. We are confident that the Airbus decorated with the friendly image of Milo will continue to increase awareness of topbonus within this particular target group”, explains Anton Lill, Managing Director at topbonus.

The scheduled routes the Airbus will service over the coming days are shown at airberlin.com/topbonusflieger.

There will be a competition on Airberlin’s social media channels on February 2, 2015 to coincide with the première of the topbonus plane, inviting people to report sightings.

Topbonus is using Milo to target infrequent flyers in particular. Ostriches are the world’s largest flightless birds, and topbonus is helping Milo realize its dream of soaring across the skies by collecting miles on the ground with around 100 topbonus partners. These miles can then be redeemed for free tickets and other attractive premiums.

Photo: Airberlin.

Airberlin aircraft slide show:

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Qatar Airways acquires a stake in IAG

Qatar Airways (Doha) has bought a 9.99 per cent stake in British Airways’ owner International Airlines Group (IAG), becoming the company’s largest shareholder.

The move will cement a close commercial relationship between BA and the airline, whose owner, the Qatari government, is a significant investor in Britain.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, the BA owner, said in : “We’re delighted to have Qatar Airways, one of the world’s premier airlines, as a long-term supportive shareholder. We will talk to them about what opportunities exist to work more closely together and further IAG’s ambitions as the leading global airline group.”

BA sponsored Qatar’s entry into the Oneworld airline alliance, and they also have a cargo partnership. Qatar has indicated it would seek to extend ties following the investment, which could include codeshares on flights via the Gulf state, allowing the airlines to sell tickets on each other’s planes.

Akbar Al Baker, the Qatar airline’s CEO said: “IAG represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our westwards strategy.”

Qatar Airways is prohibited from owning more than a minority stake in IAG under EU ownership rules and said it does not currently intend to increase its 9.99% shareholding.

Report by Assistant Editor Oliver Wilcock from Manchester.

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Qatar Airways’ second Airbus A380, the pictured A380-861 A7-APB (msn 143) completes its final approach to London’s Heathrow Airport, the home of IAG’s British Airways.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:

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Southwest Airlines announces three new destinations from Dallas Love Field

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced it will add new destinations with more nonstop flights made possible by acquiring the rights to two additional Love Field gates.

Beginning in April, Southwest will offer daily nonstop flights to nine new cities from Dallas (Love Field), including Memphis, Milwaukee, and Seattle/Tacoma, and will increase the number of nonstop flights to recently introduced destinations added after the October 2014 expiration of the Wright Amendment restrictions on long-haul flying at Love Field.

Details on numbers of flights as well as the full list of the cities and fares will be announced soon. The new flights will be made possible through a long-term sub-lease agreement that will transfer usage of two gates in the newly rebuilt 20-gate facility from United Airlines to Southwest Airlines. Terms of the deal are confidential. The transaction was reviewed and cleared without conditions by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The City of Dallas, the owner and operator of Love Field, also has approved the sublease.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-790 N560WN (msn 30542) taxies to the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

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Okay Airways takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 ER

Okay Airways Co Ltd YH681 5223 (OKY) 3737-900 C1 Take off

Okay Airways (OKAir) (Tianjin) and Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) yesterday (January 30) celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Next-Generation 737-900 ER (Extended Range). The delivery marks the first 737-900 ER to be delivered to a Chinese customer and is the first of eight 737-900 ERs that Okay Airways has on order.

The addition of the 737-900 ER airplanes will join the existing fleet of 737-800 airplanes.

Okay Airways’ new 737-900 ER is configured with 200 seats in a one-class layout. It will feature Boeing’s Sky Interior.

Okay Airways, the first privately owned airline in China, is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN). Its jetliner fleet includes 13 Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 737-300 Freighter, which serves more than 100 domestic and international routes.

Photo: Boeing. Boeing 737-9KF ER B-1739 (msn 41114) departs from Boeing Field.

OKAir aircraft slide show:

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American Airlines’ pilots approve the new five-year contract

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has announced its 15,000 pilots have ratified the new contract. The company issued this statement:

The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing 15,000 pilots at American Airlines, announced its members have approved a new five-year contract which provides immediate pay raises of 23 percent and subsequent annual raises of three percent for the next five years.

American Airlines President Scott Kirby said, “Today’s results provide immediate and significant pay increases to our pilots, and represent another step forward in our integration. We are especially pleased that American is in a position to support pay increases that recognize the contributions of our pilots this early in our integration. We also acknowledge and applaud the hard work and leadership of APA President Capt. Keith Wilson, the APA national officers, the negotiating teams from the APA and the company, as well as members of the APA Board.”

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-323 ER N383AN (msn 26995) arrives in Miami.

American Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

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Spirit Airlines takes a swipe at the expensive Super Bowl ads

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) is using the media hype for the upcoming Super Bowl to take a jab at the (expensive) TV ads to their make their “ultra low fare” point. The airline issued this short statement and video:

Spirit Super Bowl ad

Spirit Airlines has created perhaps the cheapest “Big Game” Ad ever. No Hollywood actors, no pyrotechnics, no elaborate sets and of course no expensive television buy. A few puppets and some stock footage promote Spirit’s ultra-low Bare Fares.

Spirit Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Transavia introduces a new bright and whimsical look

Transavia (2015) logo (large)

Transavia Airlines (Netherlands) (Amsterdam) and Transavia France (Paris-Orly) have introduced a new brighter shade of green and white livery, ten years after the last change. The new makeover by Studio Dumbar redesigns the “t” logo and the new style font titles also drop the .com.

Transavia New Year

 

The company is advertising the change as “the new Transavia”.

Read how the new brand was developed by Studio Dumbar: CLICK HERE

Images below: Studio Dunbar.

Transavia (Netherlands) 737-700 WL PH-XRX (15)(Tko)(Studio Dunbar)(LR)

Transavia (Netherlands) 737-800 WL PH-HZN (15)(under)(Transavia)(LR)

All images by Transavia:

Transavia (Netherlands) aircraft slide show:

Video: The unveiling of the new brand:

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Emirates unveils an ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Airbus A380 logo jet

Emirates A380-800 A6-EDZ (99-ICC Cricket World Cup 2015)(Tko)(Emirates)(LR)

Emirates (Dubai) has issued this statement, photos and video for its sponsorship of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The pictured Airbus A380-861 A6-EDZ (msn 107) now carries special markings. The airline issued this statement:

With just two weeks to go until the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Emirates airline, a global connector of people, places and passions, has unveiled the first of its aircraft that will feature the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Logo.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 logo
The Emirates Airbus A380 recently set off to Australia and New Zealand, and is the first of a number of “specially-dressed” Emirates aircraft that will fly around the globe, celebrating this major event with cricket-lovers and uniting fans around the world.

Emirates A380-800 A6-EDZ (99-ICC Cricket World Cup 2015)(Flt)(Emirates)(LR)

Emirates has been the official partner of the International Cricket Council since 2007 and all its major tournaments including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

In partnership with the ICC, Emirates also sponsors the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees.
Cricket has provided Emirates with a powerful platform to connect with fans and communities across Asia, Australasia, South Africa and the UK. In addition to its partnership with the ICC, Emirates’ cricket sponsorships include:

Title Sponsor of the Emirates Airline Twenty20, which brings successful County Cricket Clubs to Dubai to compete for the coveted Emirates T20 Championship.

In the UK, Emirates has partnerships with Durham County Cricket Club and Lancashire County Cricket Club, including naming rights to both clubs’ playing grounds and their respective T20 representative teams.

Emirates has unveiled “specially-dressed” aircraft on special occasions and during major events, such as during the 2020 World Expo bid, which Dubai won in 2013.

Photo Below: A380 Photo Credit Club Med. The Airbus A380 cabins are beyond luxury, with living rooms, double bedrooms and private suites. Each onboard apartment, which has a 64 inch high sliding door, includes a reclining armchair and a full-length ottoman, both upholstered by Poltrona Frau. The ottoman transforms into a separate 80 inch long fully flatbed.

Airbus A380 Ad

Video: With just two weeks to go until the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand, Emirates reveals the first of its A380s that will feature the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Logo.

Emirates aircraft slide show:

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The sale of Flybe Nordic’s 60% share formerly held by Flybe is approved

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced the sale of Flybe’s (Exeter) 60% share in Flybe Nordic has been approved. The airline issued this statement:

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority has approved the transaction in which Flybe UK Ltd’s 60% ownership of Flybe Nordic venture will be transferred to StaffPoint Holding Ltd and G.W. Sohlberg Ltd (GWS) . The letter of intent on this transaction was announced on January 7, 2015. Upon completion of the sale, StaffPoint’s ownership in the joint venture will be 45%, GWS’s 15% and Finnair’s 40%. The transaction is expected to be closed in early February 2015.

Flybe Nordic owns fully the Finnish subsidiary Flybe Finland, which is in charge of Finnair’s regional airline operations. Flybe Finland currently operates to a number of domestic and European destinations from Helsinki on behalf of Finnair on a contract-flying basis. In addition, Flybe Finland operates to five domestic destinations as well as Tartu, Estonia and Norrköping, Sweden at its own commercial risk.

Will the Flybe Finland brand now be changed to a new name? Flybe Finland was formerly FinnComm Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Flybe Finland’s ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) OH-ATG (msn 757) sits on the ramp at the Helsinki (HEL) base.

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Video: A time lapse full flight window view of a flight from Edinburgh to Birmingham, onboard Flybe Embraer ERJ 175 G-FBJE, operating flight BE 852 on October 31, 2014.

QANTAS Airways to preserve its first Boeing 747-400 in Australia

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has saved historic Boeing 747-438 VH-OJA (msn 24354) from a Victorville scraping. Instead, the first QANTAS Jumbo will be preserved with the Historical Aviation Restoration Society (HARS) at Illawarra Regional Airport at Albion Park, south of Wollongong.

The airline issued this statement:

In a coup for New South Wales tourism, QANTAS will donate its first Boeing 747-400, known as City of Canberra, to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in March.

It will be the first 747-400 in the world to be preserved for public display and the biggest aircraft by far to be on show at the HARS facility at Illawarra Regional Airport, Shellharbour.

HARS is home to the largest collection of both flying and static heritage aircraft in Australia and run by more than 450 volunteers, including dozens of retired QANTAS employees, who dedicate their time to the maintenance and restoration of some of aviation’s most iconic aircraft.

The newly retired 747 represents a key part of both Australian aviation and QANTAS history after it blazed its way in to the record books in 1989 for the longest nonstop commercial flight from London to Sydney in 20 hours, 9 minutes and 5 seconds. The record still stands.

Ironically, QANTAS will deliver the aircraft, registration VH-OJA, in early March on what will be the airline’s, and perhaps the world’s, shortest ever delivery flight with an expected flying time of approximately ten minutes from Mascot in Sydney to Illawarra.

The delivery flight from Sydney International Airport to Illawarra Regional Airport will be the first time a Boeing 747 has landed at the regional port. The QANTAS pilots operating the final flight will undergo special simulator training to prepare for the delivery and the airline is working with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to finalize approvals for the special landing.

Over the past few years, QANTAS has been gradually retiring its older Boeing 747s. Nine of its newest jumbos, the last of which was delivered in 2003, have been refurbished and will continue flying into the future. Since 2008, the QANTAS Group has taken delivery of almost 150 new aircraft, lowering its fleet age to an average of just over seven years.

The aircraft will join an impressive lineup of famed aircraft now located at HARS including a Lockheed Super Constellation, Catalina, Douglas DC-3 and DC-4 and a Desert Storm US Army Cobra.

The official handover will take place on March 15, 2015 to coincide with HARS monthly open days.

QANTAS Boeing 747-400 VH-OJA facts:

· 25.3 years in service

· 13,833 flights

· 4,094,568 passengers carried

· This aircraft has flown nearly 85 million kilometers, which is equivalent to 110.2 return trips to the moon

· VH-OJA was QANTAS’ first Boeing 747-400 aircraft and was named the City of Canberra

· It was delivered to QANTAS on August 11, 1989 and made its debut flight on August 16, 1989 from London to Sydney

· On Thursday August 17, 1989, it set the record for having flown the longest nonstop flight (London-Sydney) of any commercial airline (flight number QF 7441)

· The flight and subsequent media attention around the world at the time underlined QANTAS’ role as the leader in long-range commercial aviation.

· All of QANTAS’ Boeing 747-400 aircraft were named ‘Longreach’ as a tribute to our place of origin and to demonstrate the long-range of the aircraft.

In other news, QANTAS together with Samsung Electronics Australia has launched a new trial entertainment service that uses Samsung virtual reality (VR) technology to give customers a spectacular three dimensional experience in a 360 degree style interactive format.

QANTAS’ VR headsets will transport customers to an immersive virtual world at the click of a button and showcase the sights and delights of network destinations, new QANTAS products and the latest inflight blockbuster movies.

As part of the trial, a number of Samsung Gear VR headsets will be made available to customers in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges as well as in the First Class cabins on select A380 services. QANTAS will be the only airline to offer a virtual reality entertainment experience inflight.

The trial will run for three months to assess customer feedback on how this kind of VR offering might add to their overall travel experience on long-haul flights.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. VH-OJA (msn 24354) was a frequent visitor to Los Angeles before the Airbus A380s.

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QANTAS aircraft slide show: