Monthly Archives: February 2017

United Airlines aggressively adds service to 31 destinations

United Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER

United Airlines is revitalizing its route network with more destinations, more flights and more convenient connections for customers in both domestic and international markets.

Subject to government approval, the carrier will add a seasonal route between San Francisco and Munich for the first time ever, and one of the carrier’s daily flights between Newark, New Jersey and Tel Aviv, Israel will be upgauged with the new Boeing 777-300ER (above). The airline is also growing its domestic network, adding even more connections and additional service to 30 destinations across the U.S.

New International Service

United’s seasonal flight between San Francisco International Airport and Munich Airport begins on May 24 with service from MUC to SFO returning the next day. The route will be operated with one of the most advanced passenger airplanes, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (below), which delivers unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions.

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Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2012 (787s only)

Copyright Photo Above: United Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N26902 (msn 34822) LAX (KSK). Image: 913059.

Beginning May 5, United will operate one of its Newark-Tel Aviv flights with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, featuring the all new United Polaris seats. This will be the second route – in addition to the carrier’s flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong – that will utilize the brand new Boeing 777-300ER.

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New Domestic Markets

United is growing its domestic network by improving connectivity through its hubs, offering better products and scheduling optimal flight times. The new routes bring non-stop service to more cities giving customers more convenient travel options to some of the country’s largest cities, and beyond. The carrier is adding service to thirteen cities, including four all-new destinations: Champaign/Urbana, IL; Columbia, MO; Rochester, MN and United’s shortest flight to Santa Rosa, CA.

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Expanded Domestic Service

United is also introducing daily summer service in six markets. Flights to Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale, Tucson and New Orleans not previously offered in the summer, will now move to year round service.

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Added Flight Frequencies

In an effort to increase customer choice in key business and leisure markets, United will add additional daily flights in 15 existing markets.

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In total, United is adding 47 new daily round trips to its domestic schedule. The flights will be on a variety of mainline and regional jets that will add nearly 8,700 additional seats per day and approximately 90,000 new flight miles. These flights are now available for purchase with domestic service beginning as early as June 8.

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

United Airlines (current livery):

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Brussels Airlines introduces “Amare” to promote Tomorrowland

"Amare" - Brussels Airlines' 2017 Tomorrowland logo jet

Brussels Airlines made this announcement:

Amare, an ode to Tomorrowland, was welcomed on February 23, 2017 as the fourth Airbus A320 in our Belgian Icons series (following “Rackham”, “Magritte” and “Trident”).

Since 2012, Brussels Airlines and Tomorrowland have been bringing people together from around the world to Belgium. And that is exactly what Amare will continue to do. It is now on a mission to unite “the People of Tomorrow”, so as to gather fine memories and create lasting friendships.

We are one world. Like Tomorrowland, Amare means: Live Today. Love Tomorrow. Unite Forever.

“Amare” stands for unity, love and friendship.

The pictured OO-SNF will wear this special livery until 2022.

Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNF (msn 2810) (We fly you to the home of Tomorrowland) BRU (Karl Cornil). Image: 937091.

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Lufthansa welcomes its second Airbus A350-900

Second Airbus A350-900, delivered on February 24, 2017

On February 24, 2017 Lufthansa welcomed its second Airbus A350-900 to the Munich base. Flight LH 9921 from Toulouse landed at around 11:00 at Munich Airport. There was also a special welcome from the airport’s fire service who received the new Airbus with a ceremonial fountain of water (below). Captain Georg Obermaier carried out the transfer flight from the Airbus works in Toulouse and is full of enthusiasm for the newest member of the fleet.

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Photo Above: Lufthansa.

The airline continued;

The flight crew completed their first training flights from the northern runway at Munich Airport to Leipzig. After a short interim stop, the A350-900 continued on to Cologne where it is pictured, where it landed for the first time at around 15:00.

Second Airbus A350-900, delivered on February 24, 2017

The new aircraft has capacity to carry 293 passengers – 48 passengers in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy Class and 224 in Economy Class. The A350-900 is currently the world’s most advanced and most environmentally-friendly long-haul aircraft. It uses 25 percent less kerosene, produces 25 percent fewer emissions and is significantly quieter on take-off than comparable types of aircraft.

On March 14, 2017, the second A350-900 will take off for Boston as its first flight in scheduled service.

Copyright Photos: Lufthansa Airbus A350-941 D-AIXB (msn 080) CGN (Rainer Bexten). Image: 937081.

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N885FD with “FedEx Panda Express” 2017 special markings transports Bao Bao to China

N885FD with "FedEx Panda Express" 2017 special markings transports Bao Bao to China

Bao Bao (BOW-BOW) the 3 ½ year-old giant panda began her journey to China on the morning on February 21, 2017. She departed the Smithsonian’s National Zoo at 11 a.m. for Dulles International Airport, where she boarded a FedEx Express Boeing 777F plane bound for Chengdu, China. The nonstop flight took about 16 hours. Bao Bao’s departure from the Zoo was broadcast via Facebook Live.

On the morning of February 21, 2017, the panda team arrived at 6:30 a.m. to finalize preparations for Bao Bao’s departure. Bao Bao received her morning diet of 17 pounds (8 kilograms) of bamboo and 5.4 (150 grams) leafeater biscuits and spent time in her outdoor habitat. Already acclimated from daily training, keeper Marty Dearie called Bao Bao back indoors and then into the custom travel crate at approximately 10 a.m. Zoo staff moved the crate onto a specially-decorated forklift which traveled carefully out of the David M. Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat through the Zoo and was loaded on a FedEx Express truck. Dennis Kelly, director of the Zoo, was joined by Ambassador Cui Tiankai from the People’s Republic of China, Smithsonian Regent and Zoo giant panda conservation program supporter David Rubenstein and animal care staff to say goodbye.

In 2010, FedEx Express transported Bao Bao’s brother Tai Shan from The National Zoo to the China Conservation and Research Center in Chendgdu. FedEx Express also provided the transport for Bao Bao’s parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, from China to the United States in 2000.

The specialized travel crate is made of steel and weighs approximately 800 lbs. Marty Dearie, one of the keepers who has cared for Bao Bao since her birth, and Katharine Hope, veterinarian at the Zoo will make the 8,600-mile trip with her. They continuously monitored Bao Bao during the trip and traveled with a supply of her favorite treats, including 50 pounds of bamboo, 2 pounds apples, 2 bags of leafeater biscuits, cooked sweet potatoes and water.

Upon arrival in Chengdu, Bao Bao’s new keepers from China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda drove her to Dujiangyan Panda Base where she will stay in quarantine for approximately 30 days. The American team will follow, and Dearie will remain with Bao Bao for three days while she acclimates to her new home. It is not confirmed if Bao Bao will remain at Dujiangyan after the quarantine period has ended. Bao Bao will enter the giant panda breeding program when she reaches sexual maturity between 5 and 6 years old.

The panda team prepared Bao Bao for the move to make sure she is comfortable and safe during her journey. To slowly acclimate her to the travel crate, keepers asked Bao Bao to walk through it every day. After she became comfortable doing that, they got her used to spending short periods of time in it with the doors closed.

Bao Bao was born at 5:32 p.m. August 23, 2013, at the Zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. Her name translates to “precious” or “treasure” in Chinese. Both Mrs. Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States, and Madame Peng Liyuan, first lady of China sent congratulatory messages for her naming ceremony when she was 100 days old. At her first birthday zhuazhou (dra-JO) ceremony, she selected a banner depicting peaches, representing longevity. She is the second surviving cub of her parents Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

Giant pandas are listed as “vulnerable” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are an estimated 1,800 in the wild. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is a leader in giant panda conservation. Ever since these charismatic bears arrived at the Zoo in 1972, animal care staff and scientists have studied giant panda biology, behavior, breeding, reproduction, and disease. These experts are also leading ecology studies in giant panda’s native habitat. The Zoo’s giant panda team works closely with colleagues in China to advance conservation efforts around the world. Chinese scientists are working to reintroduce giant pandas to the wild.

Copyright Photo: FedEx Express Boeing 777-FS2 N885FD (msn 41064) (FedEx Panda Express 2017) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 936065.

 

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Citilink becomes the first airline in Indonesia to operate the Airbus A320neo

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Citilink, the low cost unit of Garuda Indonesia, has taken delivery of its first A320neo at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of 35 A320neo set to enter service with the carrier.

Citilink has selected CFM Leap-1A engines to power its A320neo fleet, which will be operated on its domestic network, and new international services to China and the Middle East.
Seating 180 passengers in a single class layout, the A320neo joins an existing fleet of 44 A320ceo aircraft flying with the carrier.

Photo: Airbus. Airbus A320-251N F-WWDZ became PK-GTA (msn 7466) when it was handed over on February 22, 2017.

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What’s happening behind the scenes before your flight

When you arrive at the airport for a flight, you probably have your routine down. To get to your gate with time to spare, you should be arriving two to three hours before your flight (depending on …

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Lufthansa Group airlines to fly to 308 destinations in 103 countries this summer

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The airlines in the Lufthansa Group – Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and Swiss International Air Lines – will be an even more attractive option for holidaymakers this summer. As always, passengers can rely on the high standard of service, quality and reliability of the Lufthansa Group.

The Group continued;

In the forthcoming 2017 summer flight timetable, the airlines will offer their customers precisely 23,476 flights each week around the world. This summer, the Lufthansa Group airlines will link 308 destinations in 103 countries via their hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels, but also via many point-to-point routes. These services will be supplemented by more than 18,000 code-sharing flights with some 30 partner airlines, offering passengers a network which almost spans the globe. The summer flight timetables for the individual Group airlines apply from Sunday, March 26, 2017 until Saturday, October 28, 2017.

The main news from the Lufthansa Group airlines:

Lufthansa

Lufthansa is adding new attractive tourist destinations to its European flight timetable for the forthcoming summer season 2017. Lufthansa flies its holiday passengers to the “best weeks of the year” with the service of a scheduled airline – whether it’s for a beach holiday, an expedition or a city break.

From the end of March 2017 for the first time, there will be three flights a week from Frankfurt to Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Bordeaux (France) is on Lufthansa’s flight plan from Frankfurt twice a week for wine fans and sun-seekers. Flights leave on Thursdays and Sundays for the metropolis on the Gironde, the economic, political and cultural capital of south-west France.

Lufthansa is offering flights to Shannon (Ireland) once a week from Frankfurt. Shannon is in County Clare, one of Ireland’s most popular holiday regions.

The program of summer destinations from Frankfurt is completed by Pula in Croatia and the Baltic resort of Heringsdorf.

Last but not least, fans of the flower island of Madeira will be happy, because Lufthansa is now offering flights to Funchal (Portugal) from Frankfurt all year round, not just in winter. And Frankfurt–Paderborn is now back in the Lufthansa flight plan, too.

Starting this summer, Lufthansa will be extending its route network from Munich to include two great new flight destinations. Beginning March 28, 2017, there will be flights six times a week from Munich to Nantes, located in the Pays de la Loire region of France. Additionally, at the beginning of the Easter holidays, on April 9, 2017, Lufthansa will, for the first time, offer flights from Bavaria‘s capital to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. From March 27, 2017 onwards, there will also be flights departing from Frankfurt every Monday, Thursday and Friday to the pilgrimage destination in Spain. This summer travelers will also have the chance to fly non-stop to Marrakech for the first time. There will be flights twice a week to the Moroccan royal city – popular with lovers of culture – departing every Friday and Sunday.

Aside from these new destinations, the summer flight schedule is also being expanded to include more flights to some already popular destinations. There will be more weekly flights to Malta, Cologne, Dublin, the Romanian city of Sibiu, Geneva, Graz and St. Petersburg.

The first Airbus A350-900 is delivered to Lufthansa

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

North America fans starting from Munich will be happy too – both the Canadian city of Montreal and Denver in the USA will be featured daily in the future flight program. There is also something special coming for Lufthansa passengers traveling to Boston – from March 14, 2017 onwards, the new Lufthansa A350-900 will be flying to this city in Massachusetts. A third A350-900 service will start to Mumbai in the second half of April. This aircraft is currently the most advanced and most environmentally-friendly long haul aircraft in the world. If you don’t want to wait until then for this amazing new flight experience, starting February 10, 2017, you can fly with the Airbus A350-900 to New Delhi. Lufthansa will be operating daily flights to the Indian capital throughout the summer.

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Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines is adding another long-haul destination in North America to its 2017 summer flight timetable. From April 10, 2017, there will be up to six flights a week with a Boeing 777-200 to the biggest city in California, Los Angeles (USA). Austrian Airlines will offer a total of up to 44 weekly non-stop flights to North America in the 2017 summer flight plan. They include up to five flights a week to Miami, up to six a week to Los Angeles and Toronto, and up to seven connections a week to Washington and Chicago. Austrian will continue to offer a total of 13 flights a week to Newark and JFK in New York. The airline will be adding a second long-haul destination to its portfolio in 2017. From October 25, 2017, there will be a nonstop flight every Wednesday from Vienna to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers a wide range of up to 130 destinations in total in its 2017 summer flight timetable.

Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is welcoming five new destinations this summer. From March 30, the Belgian airline in the Lufthansa Group will connect Brussels Airport five times a week with Mumbai (India). Several tourist destinations will be added to the short- and medium-haul route network at Brussels Airlines. Funchal (Portugal), Comiso (Italy), Rhodes (Greece) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain) will feature in the Brussels Airlines flight plan for the first time. As well as introducing new destinations, the Belgian airline is also increasing the number of flights on existing routes. Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Accra (Ghana), Lisbon, Porto (both Portugal), Alicante (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Billund (Denmark), Warsaw (Poland) and Athens (Greece) will have more frequent connections to Brussels Airport, the Brussels Airlines hub.

Eurowings

Eurowings will continue to expand its long-haul program from Cologne/Bonn in the forthcoming 2017 summer flight timetable. From June, passengers can fly twice a week to Las Vegas (USA). Windhoek (Namibia) is the first route to Africa to feature in the flight timetable. Another new destination from Cologne is the iconic German island of Sylt. It will be served with three flights a week, with one flight a week to the Greek island of Karpathos. Then there are the eastern European cities of Pula (Croatia) and Cracow (Poland), with two and six flights a week respectively from Düsseldorf.

For passengers who don’t want to fly far for their sun and sand, Eurowings is flying three times a week to Ibiza (Spain) and once a week to Cagliari (Sardinia) from Hanover this summer. Our passengers also have the opportunity to fly to Faro, on the Portuguese Algarve, twice a week.

Passengers can also fly from Berlin Tegel to Faro (Portugal) every Sunday and to the Greek island of Mykonos once a week.

There are also two new connections for Eurowings passengers from Stuttgart. They can fly three times a week to Pisa (Italy) and once a week to Cyprus.

Eurowings is also adding four new routes from Vienna to its summer flight timetable. There are two flights a week to Kavala in the Macedonia region of Greece and one to Lamezia Terme in Calabria. Zadar in northern Dalmatia will be served with three flights a week, with two flights a week to Santorini (Greece).

Two Airbus A320s are initially to be stationed at the new Eurowings base in Palma de Mallorca from the end of May 2017. In the summer, they will fly from Mallorca to Paderborn/Lippstadt, Münster/Osnabrück and Saarbrücken, as well as to Basel in Switzerland.

Eurowings is offering a total of 32 new routes from Munich for the first time, starting in the summer. They include six connections a week from Munich to Paris, London and Amsterdam, along with three to Naples and two to Mykonos.

"Landing at the Zurich Base"

Copyright Photo: Swiss International Air Lines Boeing 777-3DE ER HB-JNB (msn 44583) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 933436.

Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss International Air Lines will expand its capacity from Zurich and Geneva in the forthcoming summer flight timetable. From April 22, 2017, Swiss will operate new daily services from Zurich to San Francisco (USA) with the Boeing 777-300ER. Between June and October 2017, the Boeing 777-300ER will also be in service on six of the 12 weekly connections to Chicago. Swiss will add five new seasonal destinations to its summer flight plan: Bergen, Cork, Figari, Niš and Sylt. Introducing additional Bombardier CSeries aircraft in Zurich and Geneva will enable Swiss to offer its passengers even greater comfort on European routes.

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Edelweiss

Edelweiss, the sister airline of Swiss, will begin services to the Greek island of Zakynthos in the summer season.

Top Image: Lufthansa Group.

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