Monthly Archives: January 2017

Dubai retains title with the largest number of international passengers for 2016

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Dubai International has retained its title as the world’s number one airport for international passengers with annual traffic reaching 83.6 million passengers in 2016, according to the annual traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports.

DXB’s annual traffic in 2016 totalled 83,654,250 passengers, compared to 78,014,838 in 2015, up 7.2 per cent. The surge of travellers during the holiday season boosted monthly traffic in December to 7,706,351, up 9.3 per cent compared to 7,053,243 recorded in December 2015.

During 2016 a number of new airlines, including Nepal Airlines and Rossiya, launched services to DXB, while 11 new passenger destinations were added to the hub following network expansion by flydubai, Emirates and other carriers.

India continued to lead as Dubai’s single largest destination country in 2016 with 11,440,215 passengers in 2016, up 10.1 per cent compared to 10,391,376 recorded in 2015. Saudi Arabia took the second spot with 6,086,158 passengers (+11.3 per cent) just marginally overtaking the UK at 6,061,342 (+6.7 per cent). Among cities, London took the top spot with 3,751,596 passengers, while Doha clocked 2,999,762 passengers followed by Mumbai with 2,357,103 passengers.

DXB also leads the way globally in terms of the average number of passengers per flight which reached 209 during 2016, up 4 per cent from the same period in 2015.

Aircraft movements in 2016 reached 418,220 compared to 406,705 in 2015, up 2.8 per cent.

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Airlink to replace its Avro RJ85s with new Embraer E170s and E190s

RJ85s to be replaced with new Embraer E170s and E190s by 2020

Airlink, Southern Africa’s largest independent regional airline, is joining the E-Jet operator’s family. The airline is acquiring five E-Jets – three E170s and two E190s, from ECC Leasing, a wholly-owned Embraer subsidiary. Airlink will start to receive the aircraft in the first half of 2017.

Airlink already operates a large fleet of ERJ aircraft – last December, the airline started to add 11 further ERJ 140 jets to its fleet. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2017, the airline will be operating 30 ERJs, comprising all three types – ERJ 135, ERJ 140 and the ERJ 145.

Rodger Foster, CEO of Airlink, said, “This is the beginning of the implementation of a well planned growth and modernization strategy for Airlink that includes replacing our current fleet of Avro RJ85s over the next three years. The strategy calls for a total of 13 E-Jets, and we are in the process of sourcing the balance of the fleet requirement – an additional 8 E190s – from the market.”

Copyright Photo: Airlink (South African Airlink) BAe RJ85 ZS-ASY (msn E2316) JNB (Michael Stappen). Image: 906856.

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United’s first Boeing 777-300ER, named “New Spirit of United”, is set to take flight

United Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER

United Airlines made this announcement on January 17, 2017 about its first Boeing 777-300ER:

Next month, a brand-new United Airlines plane will push back from the gate with a new name: “New Spirit of United.” This special aircraft is also the company’s first Boeing 777-300ER featuring the United Polaris all-aisle access, lie-flat seat. It represents a commitment to the future and the commencement of an exciting new chapter for the company as it builds the best airline in the world.

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“This aircraft symbolizes the new spirit, the energy and enthusiasm that I have seen in our employees who take great pride in the work they are doing to take care of our customers and one another,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. “The new 777-300ER fleet will play a crucial role in connecting our customers to far-away destinations and to the moments that matter most.”

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The “New Spirit of United” is exemplified by the significant progress the company made in operational reliability last year – achieving its best full-year on-time performance in company history, the elevated customer experience and the completion of new agreements with every domestic unionized work group in 2016. As United Airlines continues to build on this momentum, this new aircraft serves as a symbol of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of the entire United team to our customers.

As previously reported, the new aircraft will start regularly scheduled service on February 16, 2017 initially between the Newark and San Francisco hubs.

This is the first of 14 777-300ER aircraft United expects to place into service in 2017.

Internationally, the new type is expected to enter service on March 25, 2017 between San Francisco and Hong Kong. The 366-seat 777 is replacing a 374-seat Boeing 747-400.

As previously announced, all United Boeing 747-400s will now be replaced and retired by late 2017.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by United): United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2331U (msn 62642) PAE (Joe G. Walker). Image: 936140.

United Airlines (current livery):

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Widerøe to become an Embraer E190-E2 jet operator

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Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, for up to 15 Embraer E2 family jets. The contract consists of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 family aircraft. This flexible mix of purchase rights for E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2 will give Widerøe the ability to grow their fleet with a family of aircraft from 80 to 130+ seats, to right size capacity to meet market requirements.

 

Widerøe will configure the E190-E2s in a comfortable single-class layout with 114 seats. Deliveries are scheduled for 2018. This deal brings the E-Jets E2 backlog to 275 firm orders plus Letters of Intent, options and purchase rights covering another 415 aircraft giving a total of 690 commitments from airlines and leasing companies.

The flies close to 3 million passengers annually and flies to 46 domestic and international destinations. Widerøe operates more than 450 flights every day and operates to more than twice as many airports in Norway than any other airline. Today our network consists of 60% commercial routes, and 40% PSO routes (Public Services Obligations).

Image: Embraer.

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Route Map:

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Air India Regional retires its last Bombardier CRJ700

Type Retired: January 2017

Air India Express (formerly Alliance Air) retired its last Bombardier CRJ700 in January 2017. The pictured VT-RJE passed through Southend on January 14, 2017 bound for Keflavik and beyond.

Copyright Photo: Air India Regional Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) VT-RJE (msn 10029) SEN (Keith Burton). Image: 936628.

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Lufthansa’s last Boeing 737-300 makes it to Sanford, Florida

Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 936542.

As previously reported, 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.

A Boeing 737-300, with registration D-ABEC (named “Karlsruhe”) (above), flew from Frankfurt to Hamburg on the morning on October 31, 2016 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.

As an update, the last Lufthansa Boeing 737-300, the pictured 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149), made its long journey across the Atlantic Ocean from Frankfurt to Sanford, Florida via Keflavik and Bangor. D-ABEC arrived at Sanford on January 11, 2017.

THere is the transatlantic journey as flight LH9924 according the Flightradar 24:

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Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 936542.

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Iran Air takes delivery of its first of 100 Airbus aircraft

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Iran Air has taken delivery of its first new aircraft, an A321, in a handover ceremony in Toulouse with Mr. Farhad Parvaresh, Iran Air Chairman and CEO, and Mr. Fabrice Bregier, President, Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Chief Operating Officer Airbus, in the presence of Gael Meheust, SVP Sales and Marketing CFM, Tom Enders, Airbus Chief Executive Officer, and international media.

The delivery is the first from a firm order placed by Iran Air in December 2016 for 100 Airbus aircraft (46 single aisle and 54 wide-body jets) to renew and expand its fleet.

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Fabrice Bregier, President, Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Chief Operating Officer Airbus. stated “Clearly in a country of 80 million people, there is a need for the latest passenger aircraft to meet domestic as well as international demand.

Iran is forecast to require some 400 to 500 new aircraft to modernise as well as to grow its existing passenger fleet to catch up with years of pent up demand on domestic as well as international routes. The latest generation of fuel efficient aircraft will also allow new routes and markets to be exploited.

The delivery complies with all relevant international laws. Airbus coordinated closely with regulators in the EU, US and elsewhere to ensure understanding and full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPA). Airbus will continue to act in full compliance with the conditions of the US government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) licences.

Photos: Airbus. Airbus A321-211 WL EP-IFA (msn 7418) was officially handed over on January 11, 2017.

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