Monthly Archives: December 2016

VIM Airlines takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-200

The delivery of the first Airbus A330 to VIM Airlines

On December 23, 2016 VIM Airlines (VIM Avia) took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200. The pictured VIM Airlines A330 is pictured departing Dublin, Ireland bound for the Ulyanovsk Vostochny Airport (UWLW) on its delivery flight. VP-BDV was painted by Eirtech at their Dublin facility. The airliner arrived in Dublin on August 1, 2016 registered as OE-IEA.

Copyright Photo: VIM Airlines (VIM Avia) Airbus A330-203 VP-BDV (msn 535) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 936268.

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Jeju Air acquires another Boeing 737-800 from Ryanair

Jeju Air Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EFR (msn 37541) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 936267.

The pictured Jeju Air Boeing 737-800 was formerly operated by Ryanair as EI-EFR. It is seen arriving at Dublin on December 23, 2016 from Bournemouth in the UK where it was painted into the Jeju Air livery. The airframe will be delivered to the South Korean carrier in January 2017.

Copyright Photo: Jeju Air Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-EFR (msn 37541) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 936267.

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SkyWest’s ExpressJet to retire its CRJ200 fleet over the next year

ExpressJet to retire its CRJ200 fleet in late 2017

SkyWest, Inc. has announced additional fleet transitions and contract updates designed to reduce SkyWest’s long-term fleet risk and enhance its ability to respond to changing partner needs.

Specifically, SkyWest’s ExpressJet operation expects to transition to flying primarily dual-class aircraft in its CRJ operation by removing its Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft from service over the next year.

The removal of the CRJ200 aircraft reduces ExpressJet’s future required investment in its 50-seat fleet and is expected to improve the airline’s operating efficiency by eliminating an aircraft type from its platform.

SkyWest also announced ExpressJet and American Airlines have agreed to place 12 dual-class CRJ700s into service under a multi-year term. These CRJ700s had been scheduled to be removed from service under a previously-disclosed early lease return arrangement.

Additionally, SkyWest and Bombardier entered into a termination agreement covering Bombardier’s residual value guarantee (“RVG”) agreements on 76 CRJ200 aircraft owned by SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet. Bombardier agreed to pay SkyWest $90 million by January 2017 along with certain other consideration in exchange for the release. Both the required sale of each aircraft and the cost to SkyWest of returning the aircraft to mid-time condition were points of risk and uncertainty for SkyWest that this termination agreement eliminates.

As a result of the expectation to remove ExpressJet CRJ200s from service and the Bombardier RVG termination agreement, SkyWest is evaluating its total 50-seat CRJ200 fleet and related long-lived assets for impairment in Q4 2016. SkyWest currently anticipates it will record a non-cash impairment charge in Q4 2016 estimated to be in the range of $440 million to $490 million (pre-tax) on its CRJ200 aircraft and other 50-seat aircraft assets, net of the $90 million in cash proceeds from the Bombardier termination agreement.

Copyright Photo: Delta Connection-ExpressJet Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N923EV (msn 7826) ATL (Jay Selman). Image: 403333.

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Iran Air and Airbus finalize a firm contract for 100 aircraft

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Iran Air and Airbus have signed a firm contract for 100 aircraft, building on an initial commitment signed in January 2016 in Paris. The agreement signed by Farhad Parvaresh, Iran Air Chairman and CEO and Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO, covers 46 A320 Family, 38 A330 Family and 16 A350 XWB aircraft. Deliveries will begin in early 2017.

The agreement is subject to US government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) export licences which were granted in September and November 2016. These licenses are required for products containing 10 per cent or more US technology content. Airbus coordinated closely with regulators in the EU, US and elsewhere to ensure understanding and full compliance with the JCPOA. Airbus will continue to act in full compliance with the conditions of the OFAC licences.

Bombardier delivers the first CRJ200 Special Freighter to the IFL Group

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Bombardier Commercial Aircraft on December 21, 2016 announced it has delivered the first CRJ200 Special Freighter (CRJ200SF) aircraft to launch operator Gulf & Caribbean Cargo, Inc. dba IFL Group (IFL Group) of Waterford, Michigan.

The CRJ100SF/CRJ200SF jets are converted from the passenger version of the aircraft by Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) of Miami who is a Bombardier-licensed Third Party Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) provider. The freighter design includes a large 94 in. x 77 in. (238.7 cm x 195.6 cm) cargo door, hold up to 14,840 lbs. (6,731 kg) of payload on the main deck and offer eight 61.5” X 88” pallet positions for containerization.

Photo: Bombardier.

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Lufthansa takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

The first Airbus A350-900 is delivered to Lufthansa

Lufthansa has taken delivery of its first A350 XWB, the pictured A350-941 D-AIXA (msn 074). The new type is pictured arriving back at Toulouse on December 21, 2016 after a training flight.

The aircraft is the first of 25 A350-900s that Lufthansa has on order. Lufthansa will deploy their first A350s on long-haul routes from Munich to Delhi and Munich to Boston.

Powered by Rolls-Royce engines, Lufthansa’s A350 XWB will feature a comfortable three-class cabin layout with 48 seats in Business, 21 seats in Premium Economy and 224 seats in Economy. The A350 XWB is equipped with Lufthansa’s latest cabin products including new seats, an all-new inflight entertainment experience and, for the first time, inflight connectivity, offering new levels of comfort and convenience to Lufthansa’s passengers in all classes.

Lufthansa made this announcement on December 21, 2016:

It is one of the most important events for the year for the Lufthansa Group: The first Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 landed at its home airport of Munich airport on December 21, 2016. With a total of ten aircraft, Lufthansa stations the world’s most modern long-haul fleet at the Munich hub.

Captain Martin Hoell flew the A350-900 “home”, and is thrilled: “The A350-900 is the most modern plane with the most up-to-date technical features a commercial pilot can fly.”

For the cabin crew who brought the A350-900 to Munich, the event is also “a milestone that makes us very proud”, says flight attendant Annika Wittmann.

Flight LH 9921 from Toulouse landed on the southern runway, and was greeted by the fire brigade spraying arches of water as a welcome. There was a Lufthansa Christmas angel on board, Lufthansa employee Anja Oskoui, who had a special something in her suitcase: She gave a 10,000 euro cheque to a Munich orphanage from help alliance, Lufthansa’s non-profit employee organization.

The help alliance organization has been around for more than 17 years. It is committed to ensuring that more people on our planet can decide for themselves how to live their lives. The result of the 13 Lufthansa-founded associations: More than 140 successfully supported aid projects, more than ten million euros in donations – in addition to emergency aid provided in the event of various natural disasters.

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Airbus A350-941 D-AIXA (msn 074) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 936200.

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Rossiya Airlines resurrects Transaero’s “Siberian Tiger” nose on EI-XLD

Transaero's Siberian Tiger color scheme

Transaero Airlines in June 2015 unveiled at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport, the official presentation of the joint project with the Amur Tiger Center of a new “Siberian Tiger” livery on the pictured 447-seat Boeing 747-412 EI-XLN (msn 28029). The special color scheme was designed to “draw attention of the international and the Russian public to the issues of environmental protection and conservation of rare and endangered species.”

The airline continued;

The project, called “Striped Flight”, has acquired the characteristics and features of the tiger with the nose of the aircraft adorned in the image of the head of the Amur tiger.

According to surveys conducted in 2015, the Amur tiger population in Russia in the wild has stabilized at around 510-540 individuals.

In the coming decade, the fate of tigers and the whole natural complex will largely depend on the concerted action of the international community. The airline and the Amur Tiger Center have joined forces under the motto: “Let’s save nature together.”

In flight, Transaero passengers on “Striped flight” will be able to view the documentaries produced by the Center under the “Siberian Tiger” project.

The Amur Tiger Center, located in Moscow and Vladivostok, specializes in the protection of Siberian Tigers.

However, as previously reported, Transaero ended ended all operations at midnight on October 25, 2015 after losing its AOC.

Rossiya Airlines, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, has taken over the Boeing 747-400s formerly operated by Transaero. The carrier has decided to carry on the “Siberian Tiger” campaign on this Boeing 747 (below).

Top Copyright Photo: Transaero Airlines Boeing 747-412 EI-XLN (msn 28029) (Siberian Tiger) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 929397.

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Bottom Copyright Photo: Rossiya Russian Airlines Boeing 747-446 EI-XLD (msn 26360) (Siberian Tiger) BKK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936198.

Resurrecting Transaero's "Siberian Tiger" nose on EI-XLD