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.

United’s first Boeing 777-300ER, named “New Spirit of United”, is set to take flight

United Airlines' first Boeing 777-300ER

United Airlines made this announcement on January 17, 2017 about its first Boeing 777-300ER:

Next month, a brand-new United Airlines plane will push back from the gate with a new name: “New Spirit of United.” This special aircraft is also the company’s first Boeing 777-300ER featuring the United Polaris all-aisle access, lie-flat seat. It represents a commitment to the future and the commencement of an exciting new chapter for the company as it builds the best airline in the world.

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“This aircraft symbolizes the new spirit, the energy and enthusiasm that I have seen in our employees who take great pride in the work they are doing to take care of our customers and one another,” said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. “The new 777-300ER fleet will play a crucial role in connecting our customers to far-away destinations and to the moments that matter most.”

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The “New Spirit of United” is exemplified by the significant progress the company made in operational reliability last year – achieving its best full-year on-time performance in company history, the elevated customer experience and the completion of new agreements with every domestic unionized work group in 2016. As United Airlines continues to build on this momentum, this new aircraft serves as a symbol of the hard work, professionalism and dedication of the entire United team to our customers.

As previously reported, the new aircraft will start regularly scheduled service on February 16, 2017 initially between the Newark and San Francisco hubs.

This is the first of 14 777-300ER aircraft United expects to place into service in 2017.

Internationally, the new type is expected to enter service on March 25, 2017 between San Francisco and Hong Kong. The 366-seat 777 is replacing a 374-seat Boeing 747-400.

As previously announced, all United Boeing 747-400s will now be replaced and retired by late 2017.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by United): United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2331U (msn 62642) PAE (Joe G. Walker). Image: 936140.

United Airlines (current livery):

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Widerøe to become an Embraer E190-E2 jet operator

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Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, for up to 15 Embraer E2 family jets. The contract consists of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 family aircraft. This flexible mix of purchase rights for E175-E2, E190-E2, and E195-E2 will give Widerøe the ability to grow their fleet with a family of aircraft from 80 to 130+ seats, to right size capacity to meet market requirements.

 

Widerøe will configure the E190-E2s in a comfortable single-class layout with 114 seats. Deliveries are scheduled for 2018. This deal brings the E-Jets E2 backlog to 275 firm orders plus Letters of Intent, options and purchase rights covering another 415 aircraft giving a total of 690 commitments from airlines and leasing companies.

The flies close to 3 million passengers annually and flies to 46 domestic and international destinations. Widerøe operates more than 450 flights every day and operates to more than twice as many airports in Norway than any other airline. Today our network consists of 60% commercial routes, and 40% PSO routes (Public Services Obligations).

Image: Embraer.

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Route Map:

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Air India Regional retires its last Bombardier CRJ700

Type Retired: January 2017

Air India Express (formerly Alliance Air) retired its last Bombardier CRJ700 in January 2017. The pictured VT-RJE passed through Southend on January 14, 2017 bound for Keflavik and beyond.

Copyright Photo: Air India Regional Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) VT-RJE (msn 10029) SEN (Keith Burton). Image: 936628.

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Lufthansa’s last Boeing 737-300 makes it to Sanford, Florida

Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 936542.

As previously reported, on October 31, 2016 Lufthansa issued this statement:

On October 31, 2016 Lufthansa said goodbye to its Boeing 737 fleet after 48 years. This marks the end of an era for Lufthansa, spanning almost 50 years.

A Boeing 737-300, with registration D-ABEC (named “Karlsruhe”) (above), flew from Frankfurt to Hamburg on the morning on October 31, 2016 on special flight LH9922, where Lufthansa’s Boeing 737 fleet is to be officially bid farewell during a joint event with Lufthansa Technik. After a special ceremony, Captain and Fleet Commander Ulrich Pade and his crew flew back to Frankfurt, with a group of media representatives as well as a number of employees on board; the flight was scheduled to land at 5.10 pm local time.

Over the decades, Lufthansa has had a total of 148 Boeing 737 of almost all generations. At the beginning of the 1960s, the then Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Technik, Professor Gerhard Höltje, pushed the project forward and supported the joint development of a short and medium-haul jet with Boeing. The cabin design and the positioning of the engines under the aircraft’s wings were based on the long-haul aircraft of the time.

As an update, the last Lufthansa Boeing 737-300, the pictured 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149), made its long journey across the Atlantic Ocean from Frankfurt to Sanford, Florida via Keflavik and Bangor. D-ABEC arrived at Sanford on January 11, 2017.

THere is the transatlantic journey as flight LH9924 according the Flightradar 24:

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Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 737-330 D-ABEC (msn 25149) NUE (Gunter Mayer). Image: 936542.

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Iran Air takes delivery of its first of 100 Airbus aircraft

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Iran Air has taken delivery of its first new aircraft, an A321, in a handover ceremony in Toulouse with Mr. Farhad Parvaresh, Iran Air Chairman and CEO, and Mr. Fabrice Bregier, President, Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Chief Operating Officer Airbus, in the presence of Gael Meheust, SVP Sales and Marketing CFM, Tom Enders, Airbus Chief Executive Officer, and international media.

The delivery is the first from a firm order placed by Iran Air in December 2016 for 100 Airbus aircraft (46 single aisle and 54 wide-body jets) to renew and expand its fleet.

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Fabrice Bregier, President, Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Chief Operating Officer Airbus. stated “Clearly in a country of 80 million people, there is a need for the latest passenger aircraft to meet domestic as well as international demand.

Iran is forecast to require some 400 to 500 new aircraft to modernise as well as to grow its existing passenger fleet to catch up with years of pent up demand on domestic as well as international routes. The latest generation of fuel efficient aircraft will also allow new routes and markets to be exploited.

The delivery complies with all relevant international laws. Airbus coordinated closely with regulators in the EU, US and elsewhere to ensure understanding and full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPA). Airbus will continue to act in full compliance with the conditions of the US government Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) licences.

Photos: Airbus. Airbus A321-211 WL EP-IFA (msn 7418) was officially handed over on January 11, 2017.

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Delta reports a $6.1 billion pre-tax profit for 2016

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Delta Air Lines on January 12, 2017 reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2016.  Highlights of those results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are below and incorporated here.

Adjusted pre-tax income for the fourth quarter 2016 was $923 million, a $524 million decrease from the fourth quarter 2015, primarily driven by the new pilot agreement.  For the full year, adjusted pre-tax income increased 4 percent year over year to $6.1 billion.

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United Airlines moves up the retirement date of its last Boeing 747

United Airlines Boeing 747-422 N177UA (msn 24384) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 910644.

United Airlines today (January 11) issued this statement to its employees:

“There’s something very special about a Boeing 747. It’s the one aircraft that even casual travelers can easily identify. And we know that the experience of traveling on one, or flying one, is unforgettable.

As deeply connected as we all are to this iconic aircraft, the time has come to retire our 747 fleet from scheduled service. Last March, we announced that this would occur by the end of 2018; now we plan to operate our last 747 flight in the fourth quarter of this year.

It’s a bittersweet milestone — this jumbo jet with its unmistakable silhouette once represented the state-of-the-art in air travel. Today, there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated inflight experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights.

For these reasons, we’re saying farewell to the Queen of the Skies, which has been part of our fleet since we first flew the aircraft between California and Hawaii in 1970.

We’ll be working with all of you who fly or work on the 747s to ensure a smooth transition to other fleets. Our forward-looking fleet plan will cover 747 replacements and anticipated growth opportunities. And of course, we’ll honor the 747 with an unforgettable retirement celebration — we’ll keep you posted with more details on her final flight in the months ahead.

Thank you for all that you are doing. I am so proud and excited about the great future we’re building together as we create the best airline in the world.

Sincerely,

Scott Kirby – President, United Airlines

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 747-422 N177UA (msn 24384) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 910644.

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