Monthly Archives: February 2019

Bahamasair acquires its first Boeing 737-700

Bahamasair on February 4, 2019 took delivery of its first 144-seat Boeing 737-700 from AerCap. Formerly with Lucky Air, Boeing 737-790 was delivered as C6-BFX (msn 30662) and will enter service serving the Florida – Bahamas market.

The new type arrived at the Nassau base on February 14, 2019.

Video of the arrival at Nassau:

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British Airways’ BOAC-painted Boeing 747-400 lands at London Heathrow, heads to New York JFK

British Airways made this announcement:

  • The BOAC-liveried Boeing 747, reg: G-BYGC, arrived back at Heathrow from the paint factory on the morning of February 18 in the rain (above) and entered the airline’s flying schedule, heading first to New York (JFK)
  • Arrival coincides with the Boeing 747 first flight anniversary just days earlier

Monday, February 18, 2019 – Large crowds gathered at Heathrow in the rain to watch the much-anticipated arrival of a British Airways Boeing 747-400 painted in the iconic design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) (top).

The aircraft entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport on February 5 where it was stripped of its current British Airways Chatham Dockyard design before being repainted with the BOAC livery which adorned the BOAC fleet between 1964 and 1974 (below).

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “The enormous interest we’ve had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways’ history. It’s something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it’s a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future. We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service.”


Picture by: Stuart Bailey

From the paint bay at Dublin Airport, the BOAC Boeing 747-400 flew directly to Heathrow on the aptly named BA100 touching down in the morning (top). Its next flight is today, Tuesday February 19, when it departed for New York JFK operating as flight BA117. This flight is particularly significant as it was the first route the Boeing 747-100 flew in BOAC colors.


Picture by: Stuart Bailey

After this, the aircraft will continue to fly British Airways’ 747-operated routes proudly showcasing the design as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations. The aircraft can be tracked using Flight Radar, which will feature a special image of the livery.

The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747-400 until it retires in 2023, to allow as many customers as possible to have the chance to see it. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with new state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft. This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years – which feature new cabins and are more environmentally efficient – as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers.

Top Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

Air Canada flight departs Port-au-Prince, Haiti with 209 passengers

Air Canada flight AC1815 departed Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 18 with 209 customers and 16 crew and support employees onboard a Boeing 767-300ER Air Canada Rouge aircraft.

Air Canada normally operates two flights weekly between Montreal and Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Following the Government of Canada’s advisory to avoid all travel to Haiti, Air Canada’s next scheduled flight on Wednesday to Haiti is cancelled. Air Canada is monitoring this situation closely to determine when it will be safe to resume flights.

Schiphol Airport starts facial recognition boarding using Vision-Box platform

Passengers traveling with Cathay Pacific can now participate in a trial of facial recognition self-boarding at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This trial is part of the first phase of Seamless Flow, the program that intends to make paperless travel possible in the long term.

After checking in, passengers are invited to take part in the trial. Participants are escorted to one of the special registration kiosks. At this moment, the passport and the boarding pass are scanned, while a high-quality face image is captured, in order to generate the traveler’s single token.

This will allow passengers to self-process through a boarding gate without having to show any documents. At the departure gate, they use a dedicated biometric-enabled eGate, where they simply have to look at a camera that scans their face. The live photo is automatically compared with the scan that was made at the registration process. When the face is identified, the gate opens and the passenger is boarded on the airline system. This only takes a few seconds.

Schiphol Airport _GoLive Seamless Flow_Vision-Box_2   Schiphol Airport _GoLive Seamless Flow_Vision-Box_4

“It’s all about the passenger. The whole idea of Seamless Flow is to modernize the airport landscape to improve the convenience, simplify the processes, propose modern interactions and deliver effective value to passengers. We’re very excited to continue working with our partners in this landmark program, offering Cathay Pacific customers with a pioneering seamless travel platform that will absolutely reshape how we travel.”, says Miguel Leitmann, Vision-Box CEO

By making self-boarding available, Schiphol is closer to achieving a completely Seamless Flow, which aims at offering passengers more convenience and a frictionless flow across the airport.

“For passengers, the journey from arrival at the airport to boarding becomes easier and more efficient”, says Wilma van Dijk, Schiphol’s Safety and Security Director. “Now you have to show your passport, your boarding card or both at various checkpoints at the airport, for example, when dropping your luggage, at the entrance to the security check, when passing the border and when you go boarding. In the future you can pass these control points more smoothly because you are recognized by your face. You can leave your passport and boarding pass in the bag. ”

“Cathay Pacific is always looking for ways to improve the experience of our customers at every stage of their journey with us, and the experience at the airport is an important and integral part of that journey. We are therefore happy to be part of this innovative trial, in order to prepare ourselves and our passengers for the future way of traveling”, says Will Kerr-Muir, Cathay Pacific Country Manager Benelux & France.

In the coming months, scanning of the face, passport and boarding pass will be experienced during registration and boarding. The next phase will add passport control to the trial.

To bring this program to life, a partnership has been established by the Dutch Government, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Cathay Pacific, KLM and Vision-Box, who is responsible for the seamless flow technology platform.

Etihad Airways to deploy the Boeing 787 on all routes to China, reduces aircraft on order, will retire the last Airbus A330-300

Etihad Airways will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Chengdu, effective July 1, 2019, replacing the Airbus A330-200 currently operating the route. Also from July 1, the airlines’ daily service from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai will be upgraded from the 787-9 to the larger 787-10 Dreamliner.

  • Chengdu to be served daily with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from July 1, 2019
  • Shanghai to be upgraded to larger 787-10 Dreamliner from July 1, 2019

Once the changes take effect, the airline will fly all 28 weekly services to China’s four main gateways – Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong – with the next generation Dreamliner aircraft.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A6-BLU (msn 39675) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 945709.

Above Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner A6-BLU (msn 39675) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 945709.

The 787-9 service to Chengdu will feature Etihad Airways’ next-generation Business and Economy cabins, configured with 299 seats – 28 Business Studios and 271 Economy Smart Seats. The upgrade of aircraft will also see an increase in belly-hold cargo capacity of four tonnes.

The 787-10 service to Shanghai will be configured with 336 seats – 32 Business Studios and 304 Economy Smart. Belly-hold cargo capacity will be increased by two and a half tonnes.

Etihad Airways recently celebrated 10 years of direct flights between Abu Dhabi and China, the capital-capital airlink was launched in 2008. Since 2008, the airline has carried over four and a half million passengers between Abu Dhabi and China.

Timetables: Abu Dhabi – China schedules

Flight

Origin

Departs

Desti

Arrives

Freq

Aircraft

EY 818

Abu Dhabi

08:15

Cheng
du

19:40

Daily*

Boeing 787-9

EY 811

Cheng
du

21:00

Abu Dhabi

00:25

Daily*

Boeing 787-9

Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time. *Daily operation during summer timetable, three weekly flights during winter timetable.

Flight

Origin

Departs

Desti

Arrives

Freq

Aircraft

EY 862

Abu Dhabi

21:45

Shang
hai

10:35

Daily

Boeing 787-10

EY 867

Shang
hai

00:45

Abu Dhabi

05:55

Daily

Boeing 787-10

Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time. Shanghai to be upgraded to 787-10 from July 1, 2019. Departure of 1st 787-10 from Shanghai will be on July 3, 2019.

Flight

Origin

Departs

Desti

Arrives

Freq

Aircraft

EY 888

Abu Dhabi

21:30

Beijing

08:50

Daily

Boeing 787-10

EY 889

Beijing

01:25

Abu Dhabi

06:10

Daily

Boeing 787-10

Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time. Beijing upgraded to 787-10 Dreamliner on Jan 1, 2019.

Flight

Origin

Departs

Desti

Arrives

Freq

Aircraft

EY 834

Abu Dhabi

22:05

Hong Kong

10:05

Daily

Boeing 787-9

EY 833

Hong Kong

19:45

Abu Dhabi

00:05

Daily

Boeing 787-9

Note: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time. Hong Kong to be served by 787-9 Dreamliner from March 31, 2019. Departure of 1st 787-9 from Hong Kong will be on April 1, 2019.

In other news, the airline is also reducing its aircraft on order. In a statement, the airline stated it will take delivery of five Airbus A350-1000s and 26 A321neos plus six Boeing 777-9s “over the coming years” (no specific delivery dates).

The carrier stated it will also continue to take delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, but did specify the number. Etihad has so far received 28 of 71 Dreamliners it has on order.

With these fleet changes, Etihad Airways will also retire its last three remaining Airbus A330-300s in March 2019.

Below Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways Airbus A330-343 A6-AFF (msn 1245) (Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 927297.

Last three A330-300s to be retired in March 2019

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show:

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Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Virgin Atlantic G-VEIL “Queen Of The Skies”

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340-642 G-VEIL (msn 575) (Backing the Bid) LHR (SPA). Image: 924507.

MotoArt has made this announcement:

Fifteen years ago, the Virgin Airlines Airbus A340-600 series plane, “G-VEIL” rolled out of a factory in Toulouse, France. As with other famed “Flying -MORE-Ladies” of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, she featured a creative name and a beautiful pin-up girl on her nose. This queen was named by the Queen herself, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on the centenary of an historic agreement between Great Britain and France called the “Entente Cordiale.” This important understanding resolved long standing disputes and established a diplomatic relationship between the two countries that has stood the test of time.

“I am now delighted, in this Entente Cordiale centenary year, to name this new Airbus for Virgin Atlantic Airways: The Queen of the Skies.” – Queen Elizabeth II.

The plane was decommissioned in San Bernardinoin 2016 and was destined for the scrapyard. It was purchased by Dave Hall, owner of MotoArt, a Torrance, California based builder who makes furnishings and decor using upcycled plane components. “Not everyone can own a plane, or even furniture made from a plane,” states Hall, “But everyone can own a part of a historic plane like this one and pass it on to the next generation.”

As with other planes they have rescued from destruction, his company produced the PlaneTags™ from the skin of the plane and sells them through their website. Each PlaneTag™ is unique and numbered as a limited edition and allows aviation enthusiasts to collect rare pieces of history. In addition to owning a piece of the “Queen of the Skies”, for each PlaneTag™ sold a $3.00 donation will be made to The Virgin Atlantic Foundation, a charity which supports the welfare of children and young people worldwide, almost exclusively through their partner WE.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340-642 G-VEIL (msn 575) (Backing the Bid) LHR (SPA). Image: 924507.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340-642 G-VEIL (msn 575) LHR (Michael B. Ing). Image: 909771.

The type to be replaced with new Airbus A350-1000s

Volotea grows by 36% in 2018

Volotea Airbus A319-111 EC-MTB (msn 1684) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 943839.

Volotea, the airline of mid and small‐sized European cities, has carried 6.57 million passengers in 2018, up 36% in comparison to 4.82 million in 2017. The airline will operate in 83 airports which will be connected with 319 routes, 41 of them new destinations.

This increase in passengers has been achieved all across its network and in the 13 countries in which Volotea operates. Traffic in all its bases enjoyed a significant growth in passengers in 2018: Toulouse (37%), Verona (36%), Palermo (32%), Bordeaux (29%), Genoa (28%), Nantes (24%), Asturias (15%), Venice (14%) and Strasbourg (13%). The three new bases opened during the year have achieved a significant boost in passenger numbers: Athens (204%), Bilbao (161%) and Marseille (77%).

Volotea operated a total of 53,400 flights in 2018 in comparison to 44,500 in 2017, becoming one of the fastest growing large LCC airlines in Europe. The airline has been growing year-on-year in passengers and operations. Volotea celebrated twenty million passengers in October 2018.

“After these first seven years of operations, we are very proud of Volotea’s development. Volotea links already more than eighty mid-sized cities in Europe, as Bordeaux, Nantes, Venice or Bilbao, that were clearly dependent on connections through hubs. The 6.5 million passengers carried last year, our 1,200 employees in 2019, and the solid and continued growth in operations and fleet  (evolving towards a complete Airbus 319 fleet) are the best evidence of our strong development” Carlos Muñoz, Founder and CEO of Volotea stated.

In 2019, additional 41 new routes will be launched and available for sale for Volotea to increase its network up to 319 routes connecting with direct flights 83 European mid and small-sized cities in 13 countries. Volotea is also ranked among the top airlines in the world opening more routes.

Volotea will continue increasing its operations this year, expecting more than 7.5m passengers. For these purposes, four new aircraft Airbus A319 are being received, increasing its fleet up to 34 units.

Additionally, Cagliari (Sardinia) have been announced to become the new Volotea base this year. Aircraft will start being based in this airport in May to boost operations with an enhanced tailor-made offer of additional seats and new destinations.

Among its headquarters and its twelve bases, more than 200 new positions will be open for recruitment for Volotea to capitalize in its continuous growth in operations in 2018.

In 2019, Volotea is opening 41 new routes to serve a lineup of 319 routes, operating flights to more than 80 mid and small-sized European cities in 13 countries: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Malta, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg and Morocco. The airline expects to carry more than 7.5 million passengers in 2019.

Volotea has currently twelve bases: Venice, Nantes, Bordeaux, Palermo, Strasbourg, Asturias, Verona, Toulouse, Genoa, Bilbao, Marseille and Athens. These last three have been inaugurated in 2018. Volotea will inaugurate a new base in Cagliari in 2019.

Volotea has employed over 1,000 people in summer 2018 capitalizing in its activity growth. In 2019, 200 new positions will be created.

In 2019, Volotea operates its network with 34 aircraft, Boeing 717s and Airbus A319s. Both models are recognized for their comfort and reliability, with Volotea offering reclining seats which are 5% wider than the average in airlines.

The Airbus A319 is the aircraft model selected for its future growth and will allow the company to increase its passenger capacity by 25% to 156 seats and to serve longer routes.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Volotea Airbus A319-111 EC-MTB (msn 1684) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 943839.

Volotea aircraft slide show:

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