Monthly Archives: September 2017

Ibex Airlines retires the last CRJ200 regional jet

Type Retired: September 27, 2017 (FW17 Fukuoka- - Sendai with JA03RJ)

Ibex Airlines operated the last Canadair (Bombardier) CRJ200 regional jet revenue flight with the pictured JA03RJ on September 27, 2017 as flight FW17 between Fukuoka and Sendai per ch-aviation.

Copyright Photo: Ibex Airlines-ANA Connection Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) JA03RJ (msn 7624) NRT (Michael B. Ing). Image: 907882.

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Air Nostrum promotes the Cies Islands

Promoting the "Islas Cies"

Air Nostrum has painted one of its Bombardier CRJ1000 (EC-MNQ) in a Cies Islands promotional special livery.

The Cíes Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra, in the region  of Galicia (Western Spain) in the mouth of the Ria de Vigo.

They belong to the municipality of Vigo. They were declared a Natural Reserve in 1980 and are included in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park.

Javier Rodriguez reporting from Spain.

Copyright Photo: Air Nostrum-Iberia Regional Bombardier CRJ1000 (CL-600-2E25) EC-MNQ (msn 19051) (Islas Cies) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 939314.

Malaysia to lease six ex-Airberlin Airbus A330-200s

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-223 9M-MKV (msn 296) (Visit Malaysia Year) SIN (Michael B. Ing). Image: 900997.

Malaysia Airlines has provided further clarification on its fleet strategy, following its previous updates on the matter.

Malaysia Airlines fleet strategy is a key component of the ongoing five-year 12-point MAS Recovery Plan (MRP) unveiled on August 29, 2014, which calls for the resetting of the airline’s operating business model towards a competitive cost position, with a focus on the network and revenue management.

In his presentation to media, Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew provided an in-depth update on Malaysia Airlines’ fleet strategy, as well as its business performance, products and services, among others.

As emphasized in its statement on September 21, 2017, Malaysia Airlines has a firm order of 25 Boeing 737 aircraft and options on other types of aircraft, including both new and used aircraft from Boeing and Airbus. Overall, this strategy will provide Malaysia Airlines with the flexibility in deciding which aircraft suits its operational environment best moving forward.

In line with this, Bellew also announced that Malaysia Airlines has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the lease of six (6) second hand Airbus A330-200, as replacement for six narrow body Boeing 737 that are being returned to lessors . The A330-200 aircraft, expected to begin arriving from February 2018, will allow the airline to bridge the next generation wide-body aircraft orders. The LOI with AerCap, the lessor of the aircraft, was signed today.

As per the LOI, the A330-200s will be leased for six years from 2018 to 2023 and will mainly be used to up-gauge several high-demand medium haul routes. The aircraft features are very similar to Malaysia Airlines’ current A330-300 fleet with exactly the same Pratt & Whitney engines. Malaysia Airlines is negotiating a maintenance support program with Pratt & Whitney. The six aircraft will have a two class configuration, 287 seats with 19 fully lie flat Business Class seats, brand new IFE on all seats and WiFi.

Malaysia Airlines previously operated Airbus A330-200s (see photo).

Malaysia Airlines currently operates six A380s, 15 A330-300s and 48 Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-223 9M-MKV (msn 296) (Visit Malaysia Year) SIN (Michael B. Ing). Image: 900997.

 

Boeing’s Dreamliner surpasses one million flights

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N789EX (msn 41988) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 913660.

In less than six years of service, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family has already surpassed 1 million passenger flights, faster than any twin-aisle jet. Connecting the world with over 150 new nonstop routes, the Dreamliner family has flown more than 190 million passengers while saving 18 billion pounds of fuel since its first delivery in September 2011.

Copyright Photo: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N789EX (msn 41988) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 913660.

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WestJet announces the name and logo for its ultra-low-cost airline, named Swoop

WestJet has announced the name and logo for its ultra-low-cost airline (ULCC) in Canada.

Named Swoop, the ULCC will begin selling flights in early 2018.

“The name Swoop denotes exactly what we plan to do,” said Bob Cummings WestJet Executive Vice-President, Strategy and the executive member responsible for the launch of Swoop. “It’s a powerful verb that demonstrates we plan to swoop in to the Canadian market with a new business model that will provide lower fares and greater opportunity for more Canadians to travel.”

Swoop will provide Canadians with a no-frills, lower-fare travel option backed by an airline with a proven track record of bringing lower fares to Canadians and an investment-grade credit rating.

 

Swoop will be based in Calgary.

Swoop has flown in to the Canadian travel market to provide the country with a no-frills, lower-fare air travel option that will get more Canadians travelling. Swoop has the unique position of being the only ultra-low-fare carrier in Canada with a strong balance sheet, a modern fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft and a management team with deep knowledge of the aviation market.

Frontier announces nine additional routes connecting 13 cities

"Powder, the Polar Bear"

Frontier Airlines issued this statement:

As a further expansion of its commitment to deliver low fares nationwide, low cost airline Frontier Airlines has announced nine more routes connecting 13 cities. This announcement comes just two months after the airline’s previous announcement of more than 80 new routes across the US, meaning the airline now serves more than 90 percent of American households. All routes are on sale, with new route fares as low as $39.

Departure City Arrival City Start Date
Atlanta to/from San Jose April 9, 2018
Austin to/from Cleveland April 9, 2018
Charleston to/from Chicago O’Hare May 11, 2018
Charleston to/from Philadelphia Feb. 20, 2018
Colorado Springs to/from San Antonio April 8, 2018
Colorado Springs to/from San Jose April 9, 2018
Colorado Springs to/from Minneapolis April 9, 2018
Colorado Springs to/from Seattle April 8, 2018
San Jose to/from Cincinnati April 8, 2018

These additional announcements come just two months after the carrier made the largest network expansion announcement in its history. In that announcement, the carrier introduced 21 new cities and 85 new routes. These previously announced routes are now on sale today. These announcements come as the carrier continues to deliver on their promise of providing Low Fares Done Right to more customers than ever before.

In addition to these new announcements, Frontier has extended its schedule through Aug. 11, 2018.

Copyright Photo: Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A321-211 WL N711FR (msn 7184) (Polar Bear) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403406.

Sundair operates its first revenue flight

Sunair starts operations on September 27, 2017

Sundair, the new German charter airline, launched its first revenue flight on September 27, 2017 after its AOC was granted on the previous day. The very first operation was flight SDR2402 from Kassel to Palma de Mallorca with the pictured Airbus A320-214 D-ASEF (msn 4974).

Sundair is 50 percent owned by Schauinsland Reisen, a German tour operator that will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018, in collaboration with Spaniard entrepreneur Marcos Roselló, CEO of the Air41 technology company and founder of Sundair.
 
D-ASEF is pictured on departure at Palma de Mallorca on runway 06R on its way back to Kassel.
Copyright Photo: Sundair Airbus A320-214 D-ASEF (msn 4974) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 939303. 
Javier Rodriguez reporting from Palma de Mallorca.

Eastern Airways adds its first ATR 72-600

Eastern Airways' first ATR 72-600

Eastern Airways on September 27, 2017 introduced a new 72-seat ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet, the first of its kind to operate in the regional airline’s network.

The modern aircraft will operate on the Aberdeen to Scatsta (Shetland Isles) oil contract charter services for the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC).

This is the first of two new ATRs being added, reflecting the airline’s on-going commitment to the oil and gas UK-based sector.

The aircraft was delivered from the production line in Toulouse, France, earlier this month and will enter service in the coming weeks.

Tony Burgess, Eastern Airways’ chief operating officer, said: “These efficient, modern aircraft help us to fulfil a vital role and provide a long-term commitment supporting the oil and gas industry.

The aircraft has twin turbo props using two powerful Pratt and Whitney 172m engines, giving the aircraft a maximum cruise speed of 317mph.
The aircraft manufacturers serial number (MSN 1448) and is being leased from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC).

Eastern Airways celebrates its 20th anniversary later this year. The airline operates two Embraer 170s, three Embraer 145 jets, nine SAAB 2000s, and is the largest operator in the world of Jetstream 41 aircraft with 17.

Previously on September 1, 2017 Eastern AIrways made this announcement:

Island communities in particular will, from September 1, 2017), enjoy the added benefits of extra choice, lower fares and a wealth of onward connections as Flybe’s new joint venture flights with alliance partner, Eastern Airways, take to the skies for the first time in Scotland.

To further mark its longstanding commitment to serving the residents of Orkney, Shetland and Stornoway, Flybe’s CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener will this morning announce details of an exciting new local communities’ initiative.

Europe’s largest regional airline will provide a continuation of six branded Flybe routes now  operated by Eastern Airways’ aircraft from: Sumburgh to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Aberdeen to Kirkwall and from Glasgow to Stornoway and Manchester, with frequency as follows.

The airlines’ partnership will also see the Embraer 170 jet service operating on Shetland routes for the first time, shaving some 30 minutes off the recognised flight times.

FREQUENCY OF THE SIX ROUTES:

  • Aberdeen – Sumburgh & Kirkwall:      Up to 3 flights a day
  • Edinburgh & Glasgow – Sumburgh:    Daily flights
  • Glasgow – Stornoway:                           Up to 3 flights a day
  • Glasgow to Manchester:                       Up to four flights a day

Eastern Airways had previously signed a Heads of Terms agreement with Flybe forming an alliance between both UK airlines.  The aim is for contracts to be finalized and signed within a matter of weeks.

The agreement includes a five year franchise partnership whereby Eastern Airways will operate its scheduled network under the Flybe brand.  In addition to this, Eastern Airways will provide four aircraft to operate a number of existing Flybe branded routes from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester under the Flybe franchise.

As part of the franchise partnership, Eastern Airways routes will operate with Flybe’s BE flight codes.  Eastern Airways livery will be retained on its aircraft for scheduled services and the carrier’s ad-hoc charter services and corporate shuttle operations.

Photo: Eastern Airways.

Delta to offer free mobile messaging in flight

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

From an airplane 30,000 feet in the air, a text message pops up on a smart phone on the ground. “Looks like my flight is arriving ahead of schedule,” the message reads. “Should be ready for pickup 15 minutes early.”

Beginning Oct. 1, 2017 Delta Air Lines will become the first U.S. global carrier* to offer free mobile messaging, providing more customers access to free messaging than any other carrier. The airline will also have the most aircraft enabled with free messaging.

This new, complimentary capability will enable customers to stay fully connected with those on the ground and exchange real time messages in flight with friends, families, colleagues, and clients via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The enhancement is part of Delta’s multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience.

Free messaging will be available on all Gogo-enabled Delta flights, including all aircraft with two or more cabins. Customers will be able to access free messaging through Delta’s Wi-Fi portal page, airborne.gogoinflight.com. Free mobile messaging will be for text use only and does not support the transfer of photo or video files.

 

In addition to mobile messaging, Delta continues expanding High-Speed Wi-Fi, seat-back entertainment screens and free entertainment to give travelers more choice and flexibility in how to spend their time from takeoff to touchdown.

 

Delta’s High-Speed Wi-Fi, powered by Gogo’s 2Ku Wi-Fi technology, is delivering next-generation technology that provides consistent, uninterrupted coverage anywhere in the world, including over oceans. Delta has the largest current fleet of Gogo 2Ku aircraft and the largest commitment to 2Ku of any airline in the world. Over the next two years, Delta is set to install over 600 aircraft with High-Speed Wi-Fi for domestic and international flights.

The airline’s High-Speed 2Ku Wi-Fi gives customers an at-home experience in flight, including the ability to stream video and use work-related networks, such as VPN, globally. Unlike prior versions of in-flight technology on Delta, customers may now use Wi-Fi from gate to gate on 2Ku-enabled aircraft. To date, the airline has installed 200 aircraft with the improved Wi-Fi technology.

Additionally, Delta offers customers more aircraft with seatback entertainment than any airline in the world, installing its 500th aircraft with seat-back entertainment in July. With a commitment to install over 600 aircraft with seat-back screens by the end of 2018, in partnership with Panasonic, Delta is putting choice in the hands of the customer. In addition to investing in seat-back entertainment, customers can also choose to stream Delta Studio to their personal devices on the airline’s entire mainline fleet as well as all two-class regional aircraft.

*U.S. Global Carrier = U.S.-based airlines operating trans-oceanic routes: Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines​

AirAsia Group turns to Inmarsat for high-speed broadband

AirAsia X (AirAsia.com) Airbus A330-343 9M-XXK (msn 1433) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 939297.

Inmarsat has announced that the AirAsia Group has selected its next-generation GX Aviation inflight broadband solution for more than 120 Airbus aircraft.

The landmark contract signed by Inmarsat and AirAsia Group, through its subsidiary ROKKI, covers all existing and future Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft operated across the AirAsia Group, including the long-haul operator AirAsia X. The agreement also has the scope to include any additional aircraft types due for delivery in the coming years, such as the Airbus A350.

The first installations of GX Aviation onboard AirAsia Group aircraft, together with the launch of commercial service, are both scheduled to commence in the first half of 2018.

 

This contract supports Inmarsat’s strategy of providing airlines with tailored scalable capacity by designing, owning and operating a global network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

AirAsia Group will connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

Copyright Photo: AirAsia X (AirAsia.com) (Malaysia) Airbus A330-343 9M-XXK (msn 1433) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 939297.