Monthly Archives: October 2016

Airberlin operates its last Boeing 737 revenue flight with AB crews

Airberlin ( Boeing 737-86J WL D-ABMP (msn 37779) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 935417.

Airberlin on October 28, 2016 operated its final Boeing 737 revenue flight with its in-house Airberlin crew members.

The final flight was operated with the pictured Boeing 737-86J D-ABMP (msn 37779) between Munich and Berlin (Tegel) as flight BER419E (AB6208). The two remaining Airberlin-owned Boeing 737-800s are now out service with the pictured D-ABMP in maintenance at Budapest (ferried on October 31, 2016 TXL-BUD) and the other (D-ABBK), has been parked at Berlin (Tegel) since October 21, 2016.

Now all of the remaining AB-painted Boeing 737s (five Boeing 737-700s and eight 737-800s) are operated under contract by TUIfly (Germany) with their crew members.

Airberlin expects to remove the last TUIfly-operated Boeing 737 in the near future as it moves towards an all Airbus fleet.

Copyright Photo: Airberlin ( Boeing 737-86J WL D-ABMP (msn 37779) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 935417.



Lufthansa says farewell to the Boeing 737, D-ABEF operates flight LH153 as “BOBBY1”


Lufthansa has now operated its last Boeing 737 revenue flight. Nuremberg Airport gave the traditional water cannon salute to the pictured Boeing 737-330 D-ABEF (msn 25217) as it departs NUE for the Frankfurt hub. This is the last departure of a Boeing 737 of Lufthansa with passengers after nearly 49 years of service of the Boeing 737 Family (starting with the Boeing 737-130, then the 737-230 and the 737-330 followed by the 737-430 and the 737-530). The farewall flight was operating by D-ABEF, which is named “Weiden in der Oberpfalz”. D-ABEF was operated with the ATC callsign on “BOBBY1” on the route Nuremberg – Frankfurt. The last flight was operated as planned on October 29, 2016.

On October 30, 2016 Lufthansa issued this statement and photos:

On October 29, 2016, the Boeing 737 fleet of Lufthansa carried out its last commercial flights.

At 7:53 pm in the evening, the last Boeing 737-300 with registration D-ABEF (christened “Weiden in der Oberpfalz”) landed at Frankfurt Airport with 131 passengers on board. For Captain Ulrich Pade and his crew (below), this last flight was a special and moving occasion.


The passengers applauded after landing and they had the opportunity to take photos in the cockpit afterwards. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, didn’t miss the chance to be there in person to thank the crews.

Shortly before this, three further Boeing 737 aircraft had also landed, arriving from Stuttgart, Geneva und Leipzig/Halle. As a sign of honor they were led by “follow-me” cars to the parking position in front of terminal 2. A crowd of aircraft fans and plane spotters could take a final look at the planes from the Visitor’s Terrace (below).


On October 31, 2016 Lufthansa issued this statement:

On October 31, 2016 Lufthansa said goodbye to its Boeing 737 fleet after 48 years. This marks the end of an era for Lufthansa, spanning almost 50 years.

D-ABEC flies a farewell Frankfurt - Hamburg - Frankfurt roundtrip flight on October 31, 2016

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) FRA (Ole Simon). Image: 911535.

A Boeing 737-300, with registration D-ABEC (“Karlsruhe”) (above), flew from Frankfurt to Hamburg this morning on special flight LH9922, where Lufthansa’s Boeing 737 fleet is to be officially bid farewell during a joint event with Lufthansa Technik. After a special ceremony, Captain and Fleet Commander Ulrich Pade and his crew flew back to Frankfurt, with a group of media representatives as well as a number of employees on board; the flight was scheduled to land at 5.10 pm local time.

Over the decades, Lufthansa has had a total of 148 Boeing 737 of almost all generations. At the beginning of the 1960s, the then Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik, Professor Gerhard Höltje, pushed the project forward and supported the joint development of a short and medium-haul jet with Boeing. The cabin design and the positioning of the engines under the aircraft’s wings were based on the long-haul aircraft of the time.

A 1960s children’s book described the Boeing 707 as the father and the Boeing 727 as the mother of the small jet named “Bobby”. This name caught on. “The Boeing 737 has always been called “Bobby” by Lufthansa employees and aircraft fans. Many passengers and employees associate a very special time with this aircraft model. We want to thank the Boeing 737 for almost 50 years of reliable and successful operations,” said Klaus Froese, CEO Lufthansa Hub Frankfurt.

With the start of the winter schedule, all six remaining Boeing 737-300 aircraft had its last commercial flights on October 29, 2016. The planes will be transferred to Florida in the coming weeks, where they will be resold. In future, Lufthansa will offer continental services with a single type of aircraft, which will result in synergies in various areas, such as pilot licensing, cabin crew and planning and provision of spare parts. The Lufthansa A320 family currently consists of around 150 A319, A320 and A321 aircraft and also includes four aircraft of the latest generation – the A320neo.

On February 19, 1965, Lufthansa was the world’s first purchaser of 22 Boeing 737-100s. Almost three years later, on February 4, 1968, Lufthansa landed the first Boeing 737 in Hamburg. Within a short time, the Boeing 737 became the normal size for short-haul aircraft. Besides the Boeing 737-200 in various passenger and freight versions, the first Boeing 737-300 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1986, which offered a high level of comfort, efficient fuel consumption and low noise levels compared to other aircraft of the period.

In May 1988, the first co-pilots were trained to fly the Boeing 737, which was also the first aircraft to witness to the reunification of the two Germanys as it was the first aircraft to land in the former GDR at Leipzig Airport. A little later on October 2, 1990, the first Lufthansa flight with the Boeing 737 “Sindelfingen” took off to West Berlin. In the summer of 2016, the Boeing 737 was given one last great honor when the Boeing 737 with registration D-ABEK was given the colors of the “Fanhansa” and flew to France with German national football team on board.

Top Copyright Photo and Below: Gunter Mayer. Sunset of an era. D-ABEF sits at Gate 12 at Albrecht Dürer Airport Nuremberg at sunset in preparation for the farewall flight.



Below Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEF (msn 25217) ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 934454.

Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEF (msn 25217) ZRH (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 934454.

Below Copyright Photo: Lufthansa was the launch customer for the Boeing 737 as Boeing came close to not launching the now very successful model. Lufthansa took delivery of its first 737-130 (D-ABEB, msn 19014) on December 27, 1967 in these updated colors. Named “Marburg”, the pictured 737-130 D-ABEV (msn 19032) also carries “City Jet 737” sub-titles. The 737-130 fleet would later be sold to Peoplexpress. Lufthansa Boeing 737-130 D-ABEV (msn 19032) (Christian Volpati). Image: 904027.

Lufthansa Boeing 737-130 D-ABEV (msn 19032) (Christian Volpati). Image: 904027.

Below Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-230 D-ABHN (msn 22139) ZRH (Rob Rindt Collection). Image: 934204.

"Trier City Jet 737", delivered September 3, 1981


SaudiGulf Airlines finally launches operations on October 29, 2016

SaudiGulf Airlines launches scheduled operations

SaudiGulf Airlines (Dammam, Saudi Arabia) is finally getting airborne. The new airline announced it launched scheduled passenger flights on October 29, 2016 from Dammam to Riyadh. Service to Jeddah will begin later on November 27, 2016.

The company was established in 2013 by Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al-Qahtani and Sons Group of Companies. The airline acquired its AOC on June 22, 2016.

The new airline published its mission statement:


“Build an airline that pushes the boundaries of service and technology and make it the new benchmark of efficiency.

Connect travelers across the Kingdom and beyond, creating engaging experiences and achieve the highest levels of service by delivering seamless operations and custom-made products and services.

Be a friendly, approachable and hospitable airline that offers individual attention to customers, proactively thinking ahead to provide tailor-made solutions.

Write a new chapter in the Kingdom’s aviation history and serve the nation with pride and innovation.”

Copyright Photo: SaudiGulf Airlines Airbus A320-232 WL D-AVVN (HZ-SGC) (msn 6583) XFW (Gerd Beilfuss). Image: 927987.



Emirates to retire three aircraft types this month as it simplifies its fleet

Emirates Airline (Dubai) back in December 2015 announced its fleet plans for 2016. In total, the airline announced it will retire 26 aircraft, including 12 Airbus A330-300s, 4 A340-300s, 1 A340-500, 6 Boeing 777-200mERs, 2 Boeing 777-300s and 1 Boeing 777-300 ER. The average age of the Emirates aircraft slated for retirement in 2016 will be 15.7 years, well-below the average industry retirement age of 25. In addition, 13 more aircraft will be retired in 2017 and another 13 will be retired in 2018.

As part of this plan, three aircraft types will be retired by the end of October 2016 from revenue service.

The last Emirates Airbus A340-300 revenue flight will be flight EK863 from Muscat to Dubai on October 29, 2016

Above Copyright Photo: Emirates Airline Airbus A340-313 A6-ERS (msn 139) DXB (Paul Denton). Image: 911100.

According to Airline Route,  the last Airbus A340-300 (above) revenue service is currently scheduled as flight EK863 from Muscat to Dubai on October 29, 2016.

The last Airbus A330-200 revenue service to be flight EK523 (Thiruvananthapuram – Dubai) on October 30, 2016

Copyright Photo: Emirates Airline Airbus A330-243 A6-EKW (msn 316) (World Cup Germany 2006) LHR. Image: 924943.

The last Airbus A330-200 (above) revenue service is scheduled to be flight EK523 (Thiruvananthapuram – Dubai) and the last Boeing 777-200 ER (below) revenue flight is scheduled to operate as flight EK539 (Ahmedabad – Dubai) both on October 30, 2016.

The last Boeing 777-200 ER revenue flight will be flight EK539 (Ahmedabad – Dubai) on October 30, 2016.

Copyright Photo: Emirates Airline Boeing 777-21H ER A6-EMI (msn 27250) (World Cup Germany 2006) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 900537.

After the retirements, Emirates will operate a simplified fleet of two basic aircraft types (Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777 which includes the 777-200 LR, -300 and -300 ER variations.


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SkyWest reports net income of $41 million in the third quarter, outlines its fleet plans

United Express-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N108SY (msn 17000401) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930967.

SkyWest, Inc. (St. George, Utah) reported its financial and operating results for the third quarter of 2016, including net income of $41 million or $0.79 per diluted share, up from net income of $36 million or $0.71 per diluted share in Q3 2015. Excluding the $9 million non-cash impact of early lease return charges on six CRJ700s, adjusted diluted earnings per share was $0.90 in Q3 2016. Pre-tax income for the third quarter of 2016 was $67 million compared to $60 million in Q3 2015.

Commenting on the results, Chip Childs, SkyWest, Inc. Chief Executive Officer, said “Since early 2014, we have grown earnings by executing a complex fleet transition that added 67 new E175s and reduced our 50-seat fleet by over 120 aircraft. Our focus through 2017 will be on reducing the overall risk profile of the company, integrating the remaining deliveries of 37 E175s, optimizing how our assets and capital are deployed and positioning for future growth. Our employees have delivered amazingly well against challenging goals and have again provided our customers with solid operating performance, despite the significant changes to our fleet during the quarter.”

SkyWest’s total fleet in service decreased by 13 aircraft during the third quarter of 2016 as follows:


Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N223AG (msn 10010) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 924092.

Above Copyright Photo: Alaska SkyWest (SkyWest Airlines) Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N223AG (msn 10010) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 924092.

SkyWest’s total fleet in service decreased by 14 aircraft from September 30, 2015 to September 30, 2016 as follows:


During Q3 2016, SkyWest redeployed six CRJ700 aircraft into service under a multi-year agreement with American and redeployed four CRJ700 aircraft into service under a multi-year agreement with Delta.

SkyWest previously operated the combined 10 CRJ700s under an agreement that expired with United. A total of 37 CRJ700 aircraft with scheduled contract expirations with United are scheduled to be redeployed with American by mid-2017, eliminating the related financing tail risk on these aircraft through 2019.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2013

Copyright Photo: American Eagle Airlines (2nd)-SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N492SW (msn 7168) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 927579.

SkyWest anticipates its CRJ200 fleet and its ERJ145 fleet (“50-Seat Aircraft”) will be reduced by approximately 16 aircraft by the end of 2016 as a result of flying agreement expirations with multiple major partners. During Q3 2016, SkyWest extended the contract term on nine CRJ200s with American from the end of 2016 to the end of Q3 2017.

Under a previously announced lease return arrangement, SkyWest is currently scheduled to return 11 additional CRJ700s over the next six months. If the aircraft are returned as scheduled, SkyWest anticipates largely non-cash termination costs of approximately $15-17 million (pre-tax), which will be recognized as the aircraft are removed from service and processed.

The following table outlines SkyWest’s anticipated delivery schedule for new E175 aircraft through the end of 2017:


Top Copyright Photo: United Express-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N108SY (msn 17000401) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930967.


QANTAS refreshes its brand and livery, unveils the upcoming Boeing 787-9 cabins

QANTAS Airways refreshes its brand and livery

QANTAS Airways (Sydney) has just released this statement and images for its new updated 2016 livery:


Qantas has revealed an update to its iconic Kangaroo logo as part of preparation for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (below) entering its fleet a year from now.


The change is only the fifth time the red-and-white image on the tail of Qantas aircraft has been updated since it was first introduced in 1944. The last update was in 2007 to coincide with the introduction of the Airbus A380 to the national carrier’s fleet.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, revealed the new design together with the new Business Suites and Economy seats that will feature on the Boeing 787-9 to a hangar of around 1,000 employees and guests in Sydney.

787-9 Business Class Seats:


787-9 Economy Class Seats:


“Since the image of a kangaroo first appeared on a Qantas aircraft more than 80 years ago, it’s come to represent the spirit of Australia. When passengers see the Qantas tail at airports around the world, it’s a symbol of home,” said Mr Joyce.

“We wanted to make sure our brand remained familiar but we also wanted it to be more modern and dynamic, like the 787 and like Qantas.

“When we looked at the history, we found that the logo has been updated around the time of a game-changing new aircraft joining the fleet. It’s a tradition that goes back to the Lockheed Constellation in 1947, the Boeing 747-300 in 1984 and the A380 in 2007.


“A fresh brand helps symbolise the new era Qantas is entering as we head towards our centenary. It’s an era of new destinations, new technology and a new standard of service,” added Mr Joyce.

The new design was overseen by Qantas consultant designer, Marc Newson, in partnership with Australian design agency Houston Group.

Marc Newson, who has helped design Qantas’ lounges, the A380 cabin and the iconic Skybed, said:

“Aircraft tails are fantastic canvas to work on and the Qantas logo is one of the most recognisable in the world. This re-design aims to retain the fundamental essence of the flying kangaroo but also move the brand forward.

“This new brand is more streamlined and the shading behind the kangaroo gives a better sense of movement and depth. A silver band now extends from the tail to the rear of the fuselage, to give a more premium feel.

“The typography for the word Qantas, which measures almost two metres high on the 787, has been carefully streamlined. And Qantas will appear on the aircraft’s belly, so you can tell when it’s the national carrier flying overhead,” Mr Newson added.

In another link to the airline’s heritage, the classic winged kangaroo that appeared on tails across three decades will feature under the cockpit window and incorporate the individual name of each aircraft.

The new design will gradually appear across the Qantas network from today, starting with digital assets, signage and advertising. Inventory of other items – such as pyjamas – has been run down in preparation for the new logo. Updating branding on aircraft will be sequenced with scheduled re-paints, to be completed in time for the airline’s centenary in 2020.

The updated brand follows the introduction of new cabin crew uniforms in 2014 and new pilot uniforms, unveiled earlier this year, that roll out today.



  • A streamlined Kangaroo on the tail of the aircraft, with shading to give it a sense of depth and movement. The Kangaroo itself has been simplified for a cleaner, more modern look.
  • A silver band has been added to the rear of the aircraft, flowing from the tail through to the rear of the fuselage for a more premium feel and more contrast between the red tail and the rest of the aircraft.
  • A new, slimmer font for the world ‘Qantas’ on the side of the aircraft and the colour made slightly lighter.
  • The word Qantas is added to the belly for increased visibility when aircraft are flying overhead.
    Adding the Kangaroo to the inside curved edge of the wingtips so that they are in-flight and meaning they will also appear in pictures people take out the aircraft windows.
  • Replacing, centring and enlarging the Kangaroo that appears on outboard engine cowls, so that it is more prominent and identifiable.
  • Re-introducing the iconic ‘winged Kangaroo’ that featured on Qantas tails in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s by placing it under the cockpit window and integrating it with the aircraft name currently in this position (note: the actual aircraft names are unchanged).
  • The classic ‘Qantas red’ and white of the fuselage are unchanged.

Top Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Airbus A330-303 VH-QPJ (msn 712) SYD (John Adlard). Image: 935336. The pictured VH-QPJ is the first to wear the updated look and arrived at the Sydney base on October 27, 2016.





SAS takes delivery of its first Airbus A320neo


Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), has taken delivery of its first of 30 A320neo aircraft ordered, becoming the first Arline in Scandinavia to operate the world’s most fuel efficient single aisle aircraft.

SAS ordered the A320neo as part of its strategy to modernize its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft, reducing environmental impact such as emissions and aircraft noise. The A320neo will join SAS’s existing Airbus fleet of 25 A320 Family aircraft, eight A330s and eight A340s.

SAS’s A320neo is configured in a comfortable single class layout with 174 seats. The aircraft is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and will be deployed on short to medium-haul routes from its Scandinavian home bases to destinations throughout Europe.

Photo: Airbus/C. Brinkmann. Airbus A320-251N LN-RGL “Sol Viking” (msn 7290) was handed over on October 21, 2016.


Alas Uruguay operates its last revenue flight

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2015

Alas Uruguay (Montevideo) has operated its last revenue flight. Boeing 737-36N CX-OAC (msn 28563) operated flight YZ163 from Buenos Aires (AEP) to Montevideo on October 24, 2016.

The carrier has now suspended all operations.

The airline recently commenced operations on January 21, 2016.

Alvaro Romero reporting from Chile:

At dusk of October 24 2016 (19:55), the Boeing 737-300 registered CX-OAC of Alas Uruguay, took off from Buenos Aires Aeroparque Jorge Newbery bound for Carrasco airport near Montevideo, Uruguay. The airliner performed the flight YZ163 which is to date, the last of this short-lived airline.

According to local media, the lessor of CX-OAC asked for the return of the aircraft because of debts, while CX-OAA has been preserved some weeks ago before returning it to the owner; it has been said that OAC would be leased by the Chilean company LAW. Before the last flight, Alas halted operations between Montevideo and Asunción, Paraguay last week because of poor loads.

A statement published on Twitter by Alas, indicated that passengers who had bought tickets from October 25 onwards must contact the airline for finding a solution as the flights were cancelled “because of operational reasons”: 300 passengers are affected by this situation.

What would happen to the airline constituted by ex-Pluna workers? Some sources say that there are talks with foreign airlines interested in the routes and the AOC, but current evidence states Alas (wings, in Spanish) is not to fly anymore, as Uruguay government said no more economical aids would be given to the company after supporting it with USD $15 million.

A complex situation not only for Alas’ workers and passengers, but also for the Uruguayan taxpayers.

Copyright Photo: Alas Uruguay Boeing 737-36N WL CX-OAA (msn 28569) GRU (Rodrigo Cozzato). Image: 932748.

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Singapore Airlines launches its nonstop Singapore – San Francisco route

Airbus celebrates the "10,000th Airbus Aircraft" delivery with a special logo

Singapore Airlines has launched its new Singapore-San Francisco service, linking Singapore with the US West Coast on a nonstop basis. The new flights will be operated daily using Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

The inaugural flight, SQ32, departed Singapore Changi Airport at 0925 hrs local time on October 23, 2016 and arrived at San Francisco Airport at approximately 0850 hrs local time the same day. The aircraft deployed for the inaugural flight is Singapore Airlines’ sixth A350-900, which also happens to be the 10,000th aircraft delivered by Airbus (pictured). This milestone aircraft was received at a special ceremony in Toulouse, France earlier this month and has a “10,000th Airbus Aircraft” logo on the fuselage.

The new flights are the longest in the Singapore Airlines network. Flying time will range between 14:35 hrs and 17:45 hrs depending on direction and time of year.

With advanced technology and superior operating efficiency, the A350-900 offers customers an improved travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag.

Singapore Airlines took delivery of its first A350-900 in March and now has six of the aircraft type in its fleet, with another 61 on firm order, including seven of the ultra-long-range A350-900ULR variant. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the A350-900ULR, for which deliveries will begin in 2018. The aircraft will be used to re-launch nonstop flights between Singapore and both New York and Los Angeles.

SIA serves San Francisco twice-daily, with the other flight operating via Hong Kong. Singapore Airlines also serves the US cities of Los Angeles via both Seoul Incheon and Tokyo Narita, Houston via Moscow, and New York JFK via Frankfurt. (Houston services will be operated via Manchester rather than Moscow with effect from October 30, 2016).

Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 F-WZFD (9V-SMF) (msn 054) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 935104.



Sunwing Airlines introduces its Jameson promotional livery

Sunwing Airlines' 2016 Jameson promotional livery

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto) has introduced it latest promotion for Irish whiskey maker Jameson.

The pictured C-FPRP was rolled out on Wednesday evening out in Toronto then it flew to Dublin Thursday morning, October 20.

Jameson is a blended Irish whiskey produced by the Irish Distillers subsidiary of Pernod Ricard.

Copyright Photo: Sunwing Airlines ( Boeing 737-8FH SSWL C-FPRP (msn 39959) (Jameson) DUB (Greenwing). Image: 935249.


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