Monthly Archives: May 2021

Air Do and Solaseed Air to merge

Air Do's "Beardo Hokkaido Jet", introduced in July 2016

Air Do (Hokkaido), and Solaseed Air (Miyazaki), both backed by ANA, have announced the two companies have signed a basic agreement with the goal of establishment of a joint holding company by October 2022.

The two companies issued this statement:

“In order to quickly recover the damaged financial base of both companies, survive the new business environment, provide more added value to customers, and achieve sustainable growth…the … cooperative relationships between the two companies will be further deepened.”

Top Copyright Photo: Air Do Boeing 767-381 JA602A (msn 27944) (Beardo Hokkaido Jet) HND (Michael B. Ing). Image: 935474.

Solaseed Air Boeing 737-86N WL JA812X (msn 43402) BFI (Steve Bailey). Image: 926968.

Above Copyright Photo: Solaseed Air Boeing 737-86N WL JA812X (msn 43402) BFI (Steve Bailey). Image: 926968.

Air Do aircraft slide show:

Solaseed Air aircraft slide show:


Qatar Airways expands U.S. network to 12 destinations and over 85 weekly flights, expands strategic alliance with Oman Air

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1041 A7-ANS (msn 420) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 953354.

Qatar Airways’ resumption of four-weekly Atlanta flights on 1 June marks the full return of the airline’s pre-pandemic U.S. network increasing its gateways to 12, two more than it operated before COVID-19. The airline will also be increasing frequencies to Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle offering more flexible travel options for its passengers with more than 85 weekly flights across the United States. These increased services will provide enhanced connectivity to several of the airline’s global leisure destinations including Cape Town, Maldives, Seychelles and Zanzibar, along with other key traffic flows in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Americas Network Enhancements:

  • Atlanta – Four weekly flights resuming 1 June
  • Boston – Increasing to four weekly flights from 3 July
  • Miami – Increasing to five weekly flights from 7 July
  • New York – Increasing to double daily flights from 21 July
  • Philadelphia – Increasing to five weekly flights from 2 July
  • Sao Paulo – Increasing to double daily flights from 6 August
  • San Francisco – Increasing to daily flights from 2 July
  • Seattle/Tacoma – Increasing to daily flights from 8 July

In other news, Qatar Airways and Oman Air have taken the next step in further strengthening strategic cooperation, expanding their codeshare partnership to cover more than 80 destinations on Qatar Airways’ network.

The expansion of the agreement will provide more convenient and seamless travel options for both airlines’ passengers. This expansion follows shortly after the two airlines announced an agreement to significantly strengthen strategic cooperation between the two airlines in December 2020.

This most recent expansion of the strategic partnership will enable Oman Air passengers to enjoy seamless connections via the Best Airport in the Middle East to and from 16 new routes* – Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul Sabiha and Izmir in Turkey; Berlin and Munich, Germany; Mykonos, Greece; St. Petersburg, Russia; Zurich, Switzerland; Atlanta and Seattle in USA; Abuja, Nigeria; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Gassim, Saudi Arabia.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 130 destinations with plans to increase to more than 1,200 weekly flights to over 140 destinations by end of July 2021.

*Subject to regulatory approval

Top Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1041 A7-ANS (msn 420) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 953354.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:

flydubai adds Sharm El Sheikh to its network


flydubai, the Dubai-based airline, has announced the launch of flights to Sharm El Sheikh.

The carrier will operate three weekly flights to Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (SSH) from June 15, 2021. The route will become flydubai’s second destination in Egypt alongside Alexandria Borg El Arab International Airport (HBE).

The launch of flights to the popular resort city follows the launch of several holiday destinations brings the number of seasonal routes served by flydubai to seven destinations including Bodrum and Trabzon in Turkey, Batumi in Georgia, Mykonos and Santorini in Greece and Tivat in Montenegro.

flydubai will restart its operations to Batumi in Georgia and Tivat in Montenegro from June 25, 2021and both destinations offer UAE residents visa on arrival. Flights to Bodrum and Trabzon in Turkey will start from June 4 and June 24 respectively with flights Mykonos and Santorini starting on June 18, 2021. The carrier plans to start flights to Naples in Italy and Salzburg in Austria from July onwards.

Top Copyright Photo: Flydubai Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 A6-FMM (msn 60985) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 953802.

Flydubai aircraft slide show:

Air Seychelles to resume flights from Johannesburg to the Seychelles and Maldives

"Veuve" - Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher

Air Seychelles has made this announcement:

Air Seychelles will resume direct services from Johannesburg to the Seychelles and Maldives on June 5, 2021.

The flights will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays from O R Tambo International Airport to the Seychelles and will also include an overnight service on Saturday nights to provide more flexibility to those planning a quick getaway. To maximize their holiday, travelers can also book their connections from Johannesburg up to Praslin without having to overnight in Mahé.

Air Seychelles flight HM060 will depart O R Tambo International Airport at 13:30hrs to arrive in the Seychelles at 20:45hrs, whilst flight HM061 bound to South Africa will depart the archipelago at 9:25hrs to arrive in Johannesburg at 12:30hrs. The overnight Saturday service will depart from Johannesburg at 00:45hrs (Sunday) to arrive in Seychelles at 7:45hrs.

To offer greater choice and connectivity to travelers thinking of an all-inclusive vacation or a stunning retreat on a private island, the flights departing Johannesburg on Friday evenings to Maldives will do the trick.

Making an intermediate stop briefly in the Seychelles before continuing onto Male’s International Airport, the returning flights from Male scheduled on Saturdays will provide travelers a full week of complete relaxation in the Maldives.

The flights to be served by the airlines’ A320neo aircraft.

In other news, Air Seychelles will operate more flights from Seychelles to Dubai this July.

The weekly service starting from July 1 until July 24, 2021 utilizing the airlines’ A320neo jetliner will provide a total of 840 seats on this route. To provide leisure and business travelers the chance to plan a quick getaway to Dubai, the airline will also operate an additional flight on 18 July, 2021.

The scheduled service will depart Seychelles International Airport on Thursday afternoon, whilst the returning flight from Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 will operate every Friday morning.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Seychelles Airbus A320-251N WL S7-VEV (msn 8972) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 950492.

Air Seychelles aircraft slide show:

Boeing halts 787 Dreamliner deliveries pending approval of planned inspection method


Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker.

From Reuters:

“The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that Boeing had temporarily halted deliveries of 787 Dreamliners as the agency waits for more data to determine if the planemaker’s planned inspection method meets federal requirements.

Boeing said earlier it was providing the FAA with more information on its undelivered 787 Dreamliners but that there was no impact on planes already in service.

The FAA noted it had issued two airworthiness directives to address production issues for in-service airplanes.”

Boeing to pay at least $17 million to settle enforcement cases on 737

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made this announcement:

The Boeing Company will pay at least $17 million in penalties and undertake multiple corrective actions with its production under a settlement agreement (PDF) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA found that the Chicago-based manufacturer installed equipment on 759 Boeing 737 MAX and NG aircraft containing sensors that were not approved for that equipment; submitted approximately 178 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for airworthiness certification when the aircraft potentially had nonconforming slat tracks installed; and improperly marked those slat tracks.

“Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility. That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

Boeing will pay the $17 million penalty within 30 days after signing the agreement. If Boeing does not complete certain corrective actions within specific timeframes, the FAA will levy up to $10.1 million in additional penalties. The corrective actions include but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening procedures to ensure that it does not install on aircraft any parts that fail to conform to their approved design.
  • Performing Safety Risk Management analyses to determine whether its supply-chain oversight processes are appropriate and whether the company is ready to safely increase the Boeing 737 production rate.
  • Revising its production procedures to enable the FAA to observe production rate readiness assessments, the data on which the company bases the assessments, and the results of the assessments.
  • Taking steps to reduce the chance that it presents to the FAA aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification or a Certificate of Export.
  • Enhancing processes to improve its oversight of parts suppliers.

The FAA will continue its oversight of Boeing’s engineering and production activities and is actively implementing oversight provisions from the 2020 Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act.

Norwegian resumes flights from Sweden, exits bankruptcy protection (Norwegian Air International) (Ireland) Boeing 737-8Q8 WL EI-FHE (msn 35280) (Sonja Henie) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 952170.

Norwegian Air Shuttle made this announcement:

As of today, May 31,2021 Norwegian will resume flights in Sweden and expand to 33 destinations during the spring and summer.

Today Norwegian starts flying domestically to Umeå and Luleå from Stockholm as well as international to Oslo and Malaga. In June, more direct routes will start and during the summer the company offers 31 destinations from Stockholm and two destinations from Gothenburg.

In June, Norwegian will begin flying to Visby, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Nice, Palma, Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Athens, Berlin, Burgas, Dubrovnik, Split, Chania, London, Riga and Sarajevo from Stockholm.

Direct flights to Malaga and Alicante from Gothenburg will also start in June.

In July, the route network will be further expanded with direct flights to Kiruna, Vilnius, Palermo, Rome, Rhodes, Prague, Larnaca, Krakow, Budapest and Belgrade from Stockholm.

In other news, the company exited bankruptcy protection on May 26, 2021.

Restructuring saw the company shed a large part of its fleet (156 to 51 aircraft) and a reduction of its debt. The number of employees has dropped to around 3,300.

Norwegian is out of the long-haul business and will concentrate on flights in Europe.

The restructuring plan has now been approved in both Ireland and Norway where the aircraft are registered.

Top Copyright Photo: (Norwegian Air International) (Ireland) Boeing 737-8Q8 WL EI-FHE (msn 35280) (Sonja Henie) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 952170.

Norwegian aircraft slide show (Ireland):

Belavia suspends flights to Larnaca, Belgrade, Budapest and Kishinev

Belavia Belarusian Airlines Boeing 737-8ZM WL EW-455PA (msn 61421) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 939770.

Belavia, as a result of the Ryanair ‘hijacking’, is facing more obstacles on where it can fly in European airspace.

The struggling airline made this new announcement:

Flights to Larnaca, Belgrade, Budapest and Kishinev are suspended, flights to Istanbul is operated with an amended route.

Due to EU and Ukrainian aviation bans and the inability to operate scheduled flights to Larnaca, Belgrade, Budapest and Chisinau, flights are cancelled from May 29, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

Airline specialists are calculating possible routing options for scheduled and charter flights that are affected by the bans in order to determine their feasibility. Please follow the news, information on possible cancellations will be published on the airline’s website as well as on its social media pages.

Scheduled flights to Istanbul will follow a modified timetable due to the need to overfly the airspace of a number of countries. Please follow the schedule changes and check the departure time of your flight via the “Booking Status”.

The airline is working hard to resolve this situation. Passengers on cancelled flights may change their departure date or request a refund within one year from the date of purchase of the ticket or flight on the same transit route.

Top Copyright Photo: Belavia Belarusian Airlines Boeing 737-8ZM WL EW-455PA (msn 61421) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 939770.

Belavia aircraft slide show:

Flair Airlines introduces a new livery with its new MAX 8s

New livery introduced with new MAX 8s

Flair Airlines has modified its livery again, this time with the introduction of its new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8s.

The first MAX 8, C-FLEJ (msn 64941) was handed over to the carrier on May 26, 2021.

The second, the pictured C-FFEL (msn 64942) (top) is seen today at Boeing Field in the new look.

The Flair delivery team:


Previously on January 27, 2021, Flair announced that it would be acquiring 13 new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 jets.

Like other Canadian airlines, the airline is concentrating on domestic routes as it awaits for holiday markets to reopen.

Top Copyright Photo: Flair Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FFEL (msn 64942) BFI (Nick Dean). Image: 953916.

Flair Airlines aircraft slide show: