Author Archives: Bruce Drum

About Bruce Drum

I have started the ultimate digital photo library of the fascinating world of airliners and airlines. The goal is to have the complete history of all airlines and the various aircraft operated. I have been photographing airplanes since 1965. Join us in this adventure.

Allegiant celebrates flying 2,000 wish kids via Make-A-Wish

Allegiant Air on January 19 celebrated its 2,000th wish flight as a Make-A-Wish travel partner, flying Annabelle from Reno, NV, to Las Vegas, where she will fulfill her wish of hitting the ice as a professional hockey player.

Annabelle, 8, who battles cystic fibrosis, was given a superstar welcome when she landed at Harry Reid International Airport. There, she was met by dozens of Allegiant and Make-A-Wish staff members who cheered her on as she and her family made their way through the airport. Allegiant Chief Marketing Officer Scott DeAngelo presented her with a gift basket filled with Vegas Golden Knights gear, including a jersey signed by Mark Stone, a hockey stick, and other goodies.

Allegiant became a national partner with Make-A-Wish in 2012. Since then, the company has donated more than $7 million to the organization through in-kind flights and sponsorships. While wish fulfillments often involve amusement parks and beach destinations, Allegiant has flown several wish kids to Las Vegas over the years. In 2018, the airline’s 1000th wish kid – “Cuatro” — flew from his home in Texas to Las Vegas to attend the Monster Jam World Finals XIX.

Allegiant’s partnership with Make-A-Wish extends beyond wish flights. In 2017, the airline donated office space at its Las Vegas headquarters to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada. This allows the nonprofit to reduce its administrative costs, dedicating those funds to wish fulfillment.

Allegiant also donates $1 from every Wingz Snack Packs sold in flight to Make-A-Wish and is the presenting sponsor of the annual Walk for Wishes event in Las Vegas.

Top Copyright Photo: Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 N218NV (msn 1229) (Make-A-Wish) FLL (Bruce Drum). Image: 104921.

Allegiant Air aircraft photo gallery:


Spirit Airlines agrees to sell 29 Airbus A319s, the last to leave will be in 2025

Spirit Airlines, Inc. has entered into an agreement, dated January 13, 2023, to sell 29 unencumbered Airbus A319ceo aircraft powered with V2500 engines to Gryphon Trading Company, LLC, an affiliate of Gryphon Aviation Leasing, LLC, for an aggregate price ranging between approximately $152 million and $201 million, depending on price adjustments specified in the Agreement.

Deliveries of the aircraft are anticipated to occur beginning in the first quarter 2023 through the end of the third quarter 2024.

The Company expects to remove 14 and 15 A319ceo aircraft from its operating fleet in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The remaining two A319ceo aircraft in the Company’s operating fleet, which are leased, are anticipated to be returned to the lessor upon lease expiration in 2025.

Spirit Airlines will retire its last Airbus A319 in 2025.

Top Copyright Photo: Spirit Airlines Airbus A319-132 N509NK (msn 2603) LAS (Gunter Mayer). Image: 959917.

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Delta Air Lines firms order for 12 additional Airbus A220 aircraft

Delta Air Lines has firmed up an order for a dozen more Airbus A220-300 aircraft, bringing the airline’s total firm order for A220s to 119 aircraft – 45 A220-100s and 74 A220-300s.

Throughout the years, Delta has reordered the A220 four times and is today the largest A220 customer and operator.

Delta took delivery of its first Airbus A220 in October 2018, and was the first U.S. carrier to operate the aircraft type. Delta currently owns a fleet of 415 Airbus aircraft, including 59 A220 aircraft, 266 A320 Family aircraft, 62 A330s and 28 A350-900 aircraft.

With 246 A220s delivered to 16 airlines operating on four continents, the A220 is the optimal aircraft to offer operational flexibility for both regional as well as long-distance routes. To date, more than 70 million passengers have enjoyed the A220. The fleet is currently flying on over 825 routes and 325 destinations worldwide. As of the end of December 2022, nearly 30 customers have ordered close to 800 A220 aircraft – confirming its leading position in the small single-aisle market.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A220-300 (CS300 BD-500-1A11) N312DU (msn 55170) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 959910.

Delta Air Lines aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

Lufthansa submits offer to acquire a minority stake in ITA Airways

Deutsche Lufthansa AG is aiming to acquire a stake in the Italian national carrier ITA Airways (Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A.). The plan is to agree on the initial acquisition of a minority stake as well as on options to purchase the remaining shares at a later date. Today, the company submitted an offer to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell’economia e delle finanze) to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this respect. Contingent on both parties signing this MoU, further negotiations and discussions would be conducted on an exclusive basis.

These talks would primarily focus on the form of a possible equity investment, the commercial and operational integration of ITA into the Lufthansa Airline Group, as well as resulting synergies. In case of a binding agreement is reached, its implementation would be subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

For Lufthansa Group, Italy is the most important market outside of its home markets and the US. Italy’s importance for both business and private travel lies in its strong export-oriented economy and status as one of Europe’s top vacation spots.

Top Copyright Photo: ITA Airways Airbus A350-941 EI-IFF (msn 283) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 959390.

ITA Airways aircraft photo gallery:


airBaltic marks 2022 as a year of growth

airBaltic looked back at its successes at 2022:

Summarizing the key statistics and events of 2022, the Latvian airline airBaltic announces that the previous year has continued the company’s purposeful growth, also contributing to a return or even exceeding various pre-pandemic results. The following report overlooks data and information (such as passengers, flights, destinations, fleet, cargo, employees, technical and operational achievements, and other), that represent the operations of airBaltic in 2022.

Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic: “Although characterized by the simultaneous need to adapt the changing world and seek growth, 2022 proved to be challenging, but rich year. The past 12 months have been full of positive milestones – beginning with the on-going increase of carried passengers and operated flights, continuing with opening a new base in Tampere and launching fresh routes to Marrakesh, Gran Canaria and Batumi. Definitely, reaching new destinations would not be possible without new aircraft, thus, last year the fleet of airBaltic attained already 39 Airbus A220-300, and we welcomed our 50-millionth passenger.”

“Nevertheless, we are full of strength, ideas and determination, by looking ahead to 2023, and our core goals remain – to ensure the best connectivity between the Baltics – one of the key European business centers of the future – and the world, as well as maintain improved passenger experience and deliver a considerable contribution to the economy. This year we will expand, launching 18 new routes from Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius, and offering up to 70 direct routes in total,” Gauss concluded.

In 2022, airBaltic has carried 3,342,200 passengers or by 105% more than in 2021. During the last 12 months, the airline performed 37 300 flights – 59% more than the year before.

  2022 2021 Change
Number of passengers 3 342 200 1 628 000 +105%
Number of flights 37 300 23 440 +59%

The most popular destinations were Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dubai, Lisbon, London, Paris, Rome, Tallinn, Tenerife, and Vilnius.

Since the first Airbus A220 joined the company’s fleet in late 2016, airBaltic has carried over 10,460,000 passengers on these aircraft, of which over 3,025,000 last year. A220s have completed more than 1,20,300 flights and flown above 263,000 block hours, of which respectively nearly 35,000 and 71,000 last year.

To this day, airBaltic is the largest air cargo and mail carrier in Riga Airport, which has resulted in more than 10 000 tons of cargo and mail delivered during 2022. In total, airBaltic carried more than 750,000 bags of mail within its network, among which more than 100,000 bags (approximately 600 tons) originated from Ukraine, thus marking excellent cooperation with Ukrposhta, the national postal service of Ukraine.

Undeniably, the airline’s Call Center plays a significant role in providing services of quality. It employs 100 specialists, who handle incoming calls, messages and e-mails in 7 languages (in Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, English, German, Finnish, and Russian) daily.

The average age of people working at airBaltic is 35 years, but the average seniority level reaches 6 years. Until now, 8 employees have been working in the company since its establishment in 1995. The proportion of gender equality is 46% women and 54% men. Today members of 30 nationalities work at airBaltic, including 50 Ukrainians, who have joined the company due to Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.

Top Copyright Photo: airBaltic Airbus A220-300 (Bombardier CS300 – BD-500-1A11) YL-CSJ (msn 55038) (Estonia) LGW (Richard Vandervord). Image: 959904.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

Etihad Airways signs a ground-breaking contrail management contract with SATAVIA

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has signed a ground-breaking contrail management contract with SATAVIA, a leading UK-based green aerospace firm. The partnership will build on a previous proof-of-concept engagement to expand the scope for contrail management within day-to-day flight operations. The partnership also incorporates an agreement to collaborate on the generation of future carbon credits from contrail management activity.

The contract was signed by Etihad’s Head of Sustainability and Excellence, Mariam Al- Qubaisi and SATAVIA CEO Dr Adam Durant on January 18, 2023 at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi. Once in force, the new agreement will see Etihad scaling SATAVIA contrail prevention across daily flight schedules, accelerating the airline’s progress towards climate neutral operations.

Aircraft-generated condensation trails, or contrails, cause surface warming responsible for up to two-thirds of aviation’s climate impact, significantly outweighing direct CO2 emissions from aircraft engines. SATAVIA’s contrail management platform, DECISIONX:NETZERO, optimises commercial flight plans for greener operations, implementing small routing changes on a minority of flights to avoid the formation of persistent warming contrails.

In addition to enabling contrail management in day-to-day flight operations, SATAVIA conducts climate impact analysis for conversion into future carbon credits to be shared with Etihad.

QANTAS flight QF144 flies on one engine between Auckland and Sydney

QANTAS Airways flight QF144 from Auckland to Sydney on January 18 flying in the Tasman Sea was forced to shut down one of its engines. VH-XZB landed safely in Sydney.

QANTAS issued this short statement:

“Qantas Flight 144, a 737 flying from Auckland to Sydney, experienced an issue with one of its engines about an hour from its destination.”

Top Copyright Photo: QANTAS Airways Boeing 737-838 WL VH-XZB (msn 39360) (Wi-Fi) SYD (John Adlard). Image: 959902.

Social media:

Frontier Airlines today launches its 2023 “Fur & Feathers” calendar

Frontier Airlines today launched the 2023 “Fur & Feathers” calendar featuring mascots from America’s Greenest Airline.


Fans of the company’s fun-loving mascots can download their own free digital version of the calendar after entering a sweepstakes for a chance to win a special edition print copy. The calendar features the animals in a variety of humorous and, in some cases, ‘unexpected’ situations. One hundred print versions will be given away via the random drawing. Entries will be accepted between now and January 31, 2023.

Future plans for the calendar include making the print edition available for sale. Additional details will be available in the coming days.


Qatar Airways and Air Serbia sign comprehensive codeshare agreement

Qatar Airways has announced it has signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement with Air Serbia, the flag carrier of Serbia, allowing passengers seamless travel to over 40 destinations when travelling on each other’s networks effective 01 February 2023.

Qatar Airways currently operates five weekly flights between its hub in Doha, Qatar and Belgrade, the Serbian capital. The codeshare agreement opens up a host of new exciting destinations for its passengers to use a single booking to continue their journey to European countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia among others served by Air Serbia.

From its hub at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, Air Serbia serves more than 70 destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, Asia and Africa. As a part of this collaboration, Air Serbia will add its marketing code on Qatar Airways direct flights between Belgrade and Doha, as well as various points beyond Doha including Adelaide, Baku, Brisbane, Tbilisi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Muscat, Nairobi, Perth, Seychelles, Singapore and Sydney. Additionally, subject to obtaining all necessary government approvals and once all conditions are fulfilled, Air Serbia plans to extend its coverage to Bangkok, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Phuket, Seoul, Tokyo, Yerevan, Zanzibar and many more.

Qatar Airways and Air Serbia have a long standing interline cooperation and today’s signing marks a milestone in the mutual commitment of both airlines to improving customer experience. Passengers can book their travel with both airlines, through online travel agencies as well as with local travel agents.