Monthly Archives: September 2018

New milestone agreement reached to merge First Air and Canadian North

Canadian North Boeing 737-36N C-FGCN (msn 28590) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 928273.

Makivik Corporation (Makivik) and the Inuvialuit Corporate Group (ICG) have announced they have signed a definitive agreement to merge First Air and Canadian North in order to provide the best possible air services across the Arctic.

Following the receipt of government regulatory approvals, Makivik and ICG will proceed to complete the merger. The parties expect to complete the transaction by the end of 2018.

The proposed Pan-Arctic airline will operate under the name Canadian North and aircraft will feature the new First Air livery, including its Inukshuk logo.

Headquarters for the proposed airline will be located in Ottawa. The two airlines first announced their intention to merge on July 6, 2018.

Customers of First Air and Canadian North will see continuity in operations while the merger is finalized. The parties are committed to keeping customers up-to-date on all developments related to schedules and commercial flights on an ongoing basis.

The new, wholly Inuit-owned airline intends to be an economic driver in the circumpolar region as one of the North’s largest private-sector employers. Offering more flights to more destinations, the new airline hopes to help expand Arctic tourism in the communities it serves by increasing demand for tourist-related businesses and services.

The parties are pleased to announce this merger will result in significant service improvements for their valued customers, including:

  • Improved schedule: Better time-of-day options on certain routes, enabling day trips;
  • Better connectivity: Improved connections for Northern communities;
  • Increased service opportunities: Potential new routes to service more Northern destinations;
  • Existing service maintained: No reduction in flight options as a result of merger
  • Further enhanced safety: Will enable aircraft modernization across the network, as well as specialization in maintenance of Boeing 737 and ATR aircraft; and
  • Expanded charter business: Particularly related to Alberta natural resources and Northern charters, including for tourism.

As dedicated stewards of the Arctic environment, both Makivik and ICG are energized by the positive ecological impact the merged airline will have. The consolidation of duplicate, undercapacity flights, for example, will not only improve business efficiencies, but also significantly reduce GHG emissions and black carbon particulate along those routes.

A Lufthansa Consulting report commissioned by the Government of Nunavut supports the need for more efficiency in Nunavut air transportation services; the parties are confident the merger between First Air and Canadian North will meet these essential needs for all Northerners.

In the meantime, both First Air and Canadian North will continue providing Northerners with access to safe, friendly and reliable air travel services across the Arctic.

The First Air brand will be retired.

Top Copyright Photo: Canadian North Boeing 737-36N C-FGCN (msn 28590) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 928273.

Canadian North aircraft slide show:

First Air aircraft slide show:

Bottom Copyright Photo: First Air Boeing 737-406 Combi C-FFNE (msn 27233) YUL (Gilbert Hechema). Image: 942730.

Combi - Cargo up front

Route Maps:

Canadian North:

First Air:

 

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Air Transat adds Split, Croatia to its European destinations for summer 2019

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2017

Air Transat has announced it will be adding Split, Croatia, to its transatlantic flight program.

Starting in the summer of 2019, the airline will offer a weekly nonstop flight to Split.

Air Transat, besides adding Split, Croatia, to its destinations and is also increasing its nonstop flights for many of its main transatlantic markets, namely, Italy, Greece, Croatia, France and Portugal.

With 27 destinations in Europe and the Middle East accessible from six airports in Canada via connecting flights, Air Transat makes planning a dream vacation a breeze for Canadians. Moreover, as of summer 2019, passengers heading to destinations such as Nice, Porto and Basel will fly in one of two new Airbus A321neo LR airplanes being added to its fleet.

A new destination and a bigger footprint in key markets

Given Canadians’ growing interest in the Balkan Peninsula, Air Transat is pleased to be adding Split to its destinations. With its two flights to Zagreb, that makes three direct flights to Croatia every week from Toronto. There will be more direct flights to Greece and Italy, for a total of four weekly flights to Athens (Greece) from Montreal and Toronto. Lamezia (Italy), the gateway to the South of Italy, will be accessible twice a week from Toronto. The airline is increasing its departures to a number of other destinations as well: from Montreal, there will be three flights to Porto (Portugal), three to Nice (France)and two to Basel (Switzerland). Meanwhile, there will be five weekly flights to Dublin (Ireland) from Toronto.

The United Kingdom, France and the Mediterranean in demand

By flying direct every week from four Canadian cities, the airline makes London (England) accessible to vacationers with departures from Toronto (daily), Vancouver (daily), Montreal (three times a week) and Calgary (three times a week). Vacationers looking to discover other areas of the UK can count on five direct flights weekly to Manchester and Glasgow from Toronto, as well as connecting flights from Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec City, Calgary and Edmonton.

Air Transat, the leading airline between Canada and France, remains the benchmark for leisure travel in France. This year, Air Transat is once again offering direct flights from Montreal to the biggest cities in France, that is, Paris (daily direct flights), Marseille (five direct flights weekly), Lyon and Toulouse (four direct flights weekly), as well as Nice, Nantes and Bordeaux (three direct flights weekly). And with its vast network of connecting flights, Air Transat makes most of these destinations available to people in and around Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

Furthermore, Air Transat is set to offer passengers a new product combining air and rail travel, in partnership with SNCF, France’s national rail service. The airline’s customers will be able to purchase a single ticket comprising a flight to Paris plus TGV AIR service enabling them to complete their journey on the TGV high-speed rail network within France or to Brussels, Belgium, thus facilitating access to French provinces and Brussels on a daily basis. Air Transat and SNCF promise a simple service delivering several benefits: a single booking, a single fare and a single ticket. It will be available as of January 2019, and travellers will be able to book from Canada starting in December.

The Mediterranean region, with its idyllic turquoise waters, is vital to the airline’s flight program. First, there’s Spain, which remains an undeniable draw thanks to its dream combination of scenic beaches and captivating culture. Air Transat will continue its direct flights from Montreal to Barcelona (five direct flights weekly) and Malaga (three direct flights weekly) as well as from Toronto, with three direct flights weekly to Barcelona. These Spanish destinations remain accessible to people in the Quebec City, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton areas via Air Transat’s network of connecting flights. Finally, getting to Lisbon (Portugal) will be as easy as ever with five direct flights weekly from Montreal and four from Toronto.

Rome remains accessible too, with five direct flights from Montreal and seven from Toronto. The Italian capital will be easily reachable for travellers from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton via connecting flights through Toronto.

Tel Aviv, Prague, Brussels and Amsterdam: passenger favourites

Air Transat flies direct to Tel Aviv from Montreal twice a week and from Toronto once a week with a connecting flight. Brussels, the Belgian capital, is accessible from Montreal with three direct flights weekly, and from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary with connecting flights.

The airline offers Canadians seven direct flights to Amsterdam, including four from Toronto, two from Vancouver and one from Calgary, along with two direct flights to Prague from Montreal.

Canada year round

For the past five years, Air Transat has been expanding its domestic flights, linking the country’s major cities. “These flights give an increasing number of Canadians access to more European destinations than ever, with connecting flights to Toronto and Montreal, as well as give access to other Canadian cities,” explains Annick Guérard.

It’s also worth noting Air Transat is launching a new summer flight between Edmonton and Toronto, opening the door to European travel to people in northern Alberta.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Transat Airbus A330-243 C-GTSN (msn 369) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 940475.

Air Transat aircraft slide show:

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Lufthansa Group converts purchase options for 24 Airbus A320neo and three A321neo aircraft into firm orders

Delivered on September 3, 2018

Lufthansa Group has made this announcement:

On September 28, 2018 the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG approved the purchase of 27 short- and medium-haul aircraft.

Purchase options for 24 Airbus A320neo and three A321neo will be converted into firm orders.

With this decision, the Lufthansa Group is reacting to the positive market and earnings development and thus ensuring the necessary fleet size in the coming years. The total investment of this order amounts to a list price of about three billion US dollars.

This increases the total number of A320neo and A321neo orders to 149 for the Group, 13 of them are already operating with Lufthansa.

The A320neo and A321neo (short for “New Engine Option”) are scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

Ten of the 27 new aircraft are intended for Swiss, the remaining aircraft will be in service by other flight operations within the Aviation Group. One part of the order will be equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines (PW1100G), the other with LEAP-1A engines from CFM International. This means that both engine types will continue to be available to the Lufthansa Group in roughly equal proportions for the “Neo” family.

The innovative engine technologies developed by Pratt & Whitney and CFM International as well as the aerodynamic wingtips (sharklets) with which the aircraft are equipped reduce fuel consumption significantly by up to 20 percent per seat kilometer. As all Lufthansa A320 Family aircraft, the A320neo and A321neo are serially equipped with noise-reducing vortex generators. An A320neo taking off has a noise carpet that is around 50 percent smaller than that of other aircraft of this type.

Top Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Airbus A320-271N WL D-AINM (msn 8456) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 943646.

Lufthansa aircraft slide show:

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American Airlines goes pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

American Airlines has made this announcement:

To recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, American Airlines, its team members and its customers will “go pink” this October to raise awareness and critical funds for long-time partner Susan G. Komen®.

“Breast cancer is a personal and all too real battle for thousands of our team members and tens of thousands of our customers,” said Chris Singley, Managing Director of Community Relations & Employee Engagement for American. “It’s a disease that has touched us all in one way or another and we stand with Susan G. Komen to raise funds, build awareness and take action in the nonstop fight against breast cancer.”

Every dollar raised by American and its customers goes to support the Susan G. Komen Young Investigators Grant Program. Through this grant program, researchers are discovering breakthroughs for the most aggressive and deadly breast cancers, including triple negative breast cancer and all forms of the disease that have advanced to stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, meaning they have spread to other parts of the body.

“When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I compared myself to other cancer fighters. But I learned your cancer belongs to you and no one else,” said Felecia Ingram, a Charlotte, North Carolina (CLT)-based Flight Attendant and 2018 American Airlines Be Pink campaign participant. “Each day you live, fight! Each day you are able to fight, live!”

American is raising awareness and funds for Susan G. Komen in several ways:

  • AAdvantage® customers can receive 20 AAdvantage miles for every $1 donated to Susan G. Komen with a minimum donation of $25 from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31.
  • Team members who are survivors of breast cancer will be prominently featured on aa.com, on our flight and gate information display screens, in our Admirals Clubs and more at airports around the world.
  • Pink will play a prominent role in flight. Customers will notice that everything from beverage napkins to the inflight menu, amenity kits, Wi-Fi portal and more have gone pink for the month of October.
  • For the first time ever, customers can donate directly to Komen while in flight.
  • Team members around the world are purchasing and wearing American-branded pink items with 30 percent of the proceeds from every sale benefiting the organization.

Additionally, throughout the month of October, you’ll learn more about 10 American team members from around the world who have fought or are still fighting breast cancer. Their stories will be featured on aa.com, American’s social media platforms, in Komen’s inflight public service announcement and more. They are: Tamara Bramnik, Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)-based Flight Attendant; Laura Crossley, Customer Service Coordinator, Indianapolis; Patricia Bustamante, Lima, Peru-based Flight Attendant; Julie Daudelin, Chicago (ORD)-based First Officer; Felecia Ingram, CLT-based Flight Attendant; Patrizia Maggi, Passenger Sales Assistant in Rome, Italy; Myrtle Norman, Aviation Maintenance Technician in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Claudia Nouer, Reservations Representative in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Rita Perez, ORD-based Flight Attendant; and Winnie Su, DFW-based Flight Attendant.

“It makes me incredibly proud that American supports the fight against cancer of all types, but I especially love seeing everyone wear pink during October,” said Crossley, a two-time breast cancer survivor. “It reminds me that breast cancer awareness is important to my fellow team members. During this month, we all come together to raise funds, share stories and more importantly, celebrate our victories.”

American’s partnership with Susan G. Komen dates back to their very first race in 1983 when the airline became the organization’s first corporate sponsor. In the time since the partnership began, American has helped raise more than $36 million for the organization.

Air Senegal to add Paris on February 1, 2019

Air Senegal (3rd) on February 1, 2019 will launch Dakar – Paris (CDG) service with its new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft.

Air Senegal launched operations in May with two ATR 72-600s.

It also plans to expand its regional operations with two Airbus A319s.

All images by Air Senegal.

AerCap takes delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX for China Southern

AerCap Holdings N.V. has today announced that it has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8.

The aircraft will be leased to China Southern Airlines, the first of 5 aircraft to go on lease to the airline from AerCap’s 737 MAX order book with Boeing.

AerCap has a total of 104 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft owned and on order, delivering through 2022.

AerCap and China Southern Airlines have recorded several firsts in recent years. In March 2018, AerCap made history when it delivered China Southern Airlines’ first A321neo, making the airline the first operator of the aircraft type in China. In 2016, AerCap delivered the first Pratt & Whitney powered A320neo into China, to China Southern Airlines.

Photo: AerCap.

Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 overruns the runway at Chuuk, Micronesia

Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 P2-PXE overran the runway at Chuuk Airport in Micronesia and ended up in the lagoon. Flight PX 073 had just arrived from Pohnpei.

35 passengers and 12 crew members were able to safely evacuate the aircraft.

On social media:

Air Niugini issued this statement:

Air Niugini provides the following update regarding the short landing of its Boeing 737-800 series aircraft at Chuuk International airport, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) this morning.

P2-PXE was operating scheduled flight PX 073 between Pohnpei and Chuuk Airport in FSM when the incident occurred. The incident occurred at 10:10 am FSM local time. Air Niugini has been informed that the weather was very poor with heavy rain and reduced visibility at the time of incident.

The aircraft had 35 passengers and 12 crew members onboard, all of whom were able to safely evacuate the aircraft.

Air Niugini is now positioning assistance to Chuuk for our passengers and crew. We are also in touch with the embassies, passenger representatives, stakeholders and families of the crew.

We thank everyone in Chuuk for the assistance provided today.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers, crew and their families at this time.

Air Niugini further advises that it has scheduled a special flight for company personnel tomorrow morning to take airline management to provide assistance to passengers and crew who were on PX 073, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft that landed short at Chuuk International airport runway today.

This will include the company doctor to assist with treatment of few passengers who had injuries from the incident.

The special flight will be available to allow those passengers who wish to complete their trip to Port Moresby and onward to their final destinations.

Air Niugini has also arranged hotel accommodation for the other 27 passengers and 12 crew members.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.