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.

Myway Airlines to expand to Budapest

Myway Airlines (Tbilisi) will start a new route from Tbilisi to Budapest starting on October 28, 2018 with Boeing 737-800s.

The new route will be operated two days a week (Thursdays and Sundays).

Previously the new airline announced a new route from Tbilisi to Kiev starting on October 5, 2018.

All images by the airline.

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Bombardier delivers first 90-seat Q400 aircraft to SpiceJet

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced the delivery of its first 90-seat Q400 aircraft.

The aircraft was handed over to India’s SpiceJet Limited, the launch operator for the extra-capacity, 90-seat aircraft.

“We are excited to induct the 90-seat Q400 aircraft into our fleet,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet. “The additional seats and performance improvements will result in substantial reduction in unit costs and also we will be able to address our market needs in the regional space.”

“This is a very important milestone for the Q400 aircraft program because the 90-seat option demonstrates the increased profitability potential that this unique turboprop has to offer,” said
Colin Bole, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The increased passenger capacity allows 15 per cent reduction of seat cost compared to the previous standard Q400 aircraft and provides an enormous benefit for airlines. We are thrilled that SpiceJet will be the first operator to showcase the unique capabilities and unbeatable productivity of our turboprops.”

All images by Bombardier and SpiceJet.

Air France to bring the Airbus A380 to Atlanta as a regular flight

Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJJ (msn 117) (Paris-Candidate City 2024 Olympic Games) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 943611.

Air France temporarily assigned the 516-seat Airbus A380 to the Paris (CDG) – Atlanta route in December 2017. The short-lived service is coming back as a regular flight.

Starting on March 31, 2019, AF will upgrade one of its daily Boeing 777 flights on the route to the larger A380.

AF currently operates the A380 Abidjan, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York (JFK), San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington (IAD) from CDG.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Air France): Air France Airbus A380-861 F-HPJJ (msn 117) (Paris-Candidate City 2024 Olympic Games) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 943611.

Air France aircraft slide show:

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Air Belgium suspends scheduled flights to Hong Kong, will focus on ACMI

Air Belgium (2nd) Airbus A340-313 OO-ABB (msn 844) LHR (SPA). Image: 943610.

Air Belgium (2nd) has made this announcement:

Air Belgium confirms that it is to temporarily pause its flights  from Charleroi Airport to Hong Kong during the coming winter period. The interruption will be effective from October 1, 2018 until March 30, 2019. 

The reason for the pause is the fact that Air Belgium faced the non-respect of contractual terms by its major commercial partner regarding tariffs and load factor. Under these conditions, Air Belgium is unwilling to carry out the winter program as initially planned and to endanger its financial position. In good faith we’ve tried to find a solution for our partner’s defaulting situation to date.

The negotiations went on for several weeks. Because the new season was about to start, and due to the lost confidence in the partner, Air Belgium however did not want to risk having to operate from an even more complex situation.

During the pause Air Belgium will continue operating for other legacy airlines and focus on launching its air service to Mainland China, such as Zhengzhou. We are maintaining our development plans.

The pause will have no consequences on Air Belgium’s employment level. On the contrary, we  continue our hiring efforts to meet the market demands and to realize our plans.

We also would like to make clear that our decision to operate scheduled air services from Brussels Charleroi airport is not questioned and will be maintained. Customers satisfaction and the convenience has been validated by massive positive feedback and our strategy to operate from Charleroi is to remain.

Needless to say that passengers holding reservations during the suspension period will be contacted individually and handled personally.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Belgium (2nd) Airbus A340-313 OO-ABB (msn 844) LHR (SPA). Image: 943610.

Air Belgium (2nd) aircraft slide show:

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Copa Airlines puts its new Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 into revenue service

First MAX 9, delivered on August 31, 2018, in service to Tampa on September 20, 2018

Copa Airlines on September 20, 2018 put its new Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 (above) into revenue service.

The first route from the Panama City hub was to Tampa.

The new type was introduced to San Francisco (pictured top) came the next day on September 21.

The airline issued this statement:

Copa Airlines, subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S. A., and member of the global Star Alliance network, began its new MAX Era with the first commercial flight of its modern Boeing MAX 9, which departed September 20 from the Tocumen International Airport in Panama to Tampa, United States (below).

The passengers aboard this flight were the first to experience the comfort, convenience and sustainability of the MAX 9, which elevates the airline’s daily world-class service.

“This first flight marks the beginning of a new era for Copa Airlines. We are very proud to have the latest Boeing technology available to our passengers. The MAX 9 means more efficiency in our operations and greater comfort for our passengers, but, above all, it represents a symbol of development and growth that motivates us to continue innovating and promote Panama as a powerhouse of the industry,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines.

The inaugural flight of Copa Airlines’ MAX 9 was the focus of an event held at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, honoring Copa’s new MAX Era. The celebration featured the participation of company executives as well as government officials.

Flight CM393, which departed Panama at 9:10 a.m. and arrived at the Tampa International Airport at 1:35 p.m. (local time), where the vessel was greeted with a traditional water salute. After a ceremony with airport authorities and Copa Airlines executives, flight CM394 departed from Tampa at 3:24 p.m., arriving at the Tocumen International Airport at 5:48 p.m. (local time).

“The MAX 9 embodies Copa Airlines’ commitment to continuously improve, seeking to offer our passengers a more comfortable and convenient flight experience. We are proud to have one of the most modern aircraft in the industry as part of our fleet, which will allow us to be more efficient, more environmentally friendly and transport more passengers to our farthest destinations,” said Pedro Herrera, Copa Airlines Director of Flight Operations.

The MAX 9’s first commercial flight allowed its passengers to enjoy for the first time the new and modern Business Class Dreams, with 16 lie-flat seats. Each seat has a 16-inch touch screen with remote control power and USB connectors, and two compartments for storing personal items.

Passengers aboard the new Economy Extra and Economy class enjoyed a renewed experience thanks to newly redesigned modern and stylish Meridian seats, power connectors and USB ports, as well as compartments for storing personal items. In addition, Economy Extra passengers will benefit from more legroom and priority status when boarding their flight.

In addition to the comfort and convenience offered by the MAX 9, sustainability is another differentiating factor of this aircraft, thanks to the incorporation of the most advanced and silent engine in the world, the LEAP-1B, and aerodynamically updated AT winglets (located at the ends of wings), which improve fuel consumption by 14% and reduce emission of polluting gases by 50%.

The new MAX 9, officially presented on September 18 in Panama, is the first of the five aircraft of its class that the airline will receive between October and December of this year, which will operate on the airline’s longest routes starting with San Francisco in December 2019.

The pictured HP-9901CMP was delivered on August 31, 2018.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Copa Airlines): Copa Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 HP-9901CMP (msn 44161) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 943609.

Copa Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Boeing delivers the first 787 Dreamliner to Shanghai Airlines

Shanghai's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing and Shanghai Airlines today (September 21) celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first 787-9 Dreamliner (B-1111).

Photo Above: Boeing.

The airline says it plans to use the super-efficient and passenger-preferred Dreamliner to upgrade its regional and long-range service from its base in China’slargest city.

The new airplane, with a special symbol of “100” on its fuselage, is the 100th airplane for Shanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines.

The 787-9 is the second member of the Dreamliner family, which offers 20 to 25 percent better fuel efficiency per seat and lower emissions than the airplanes they replace. As the longest-range member of the family, the 787-9 can fly 290 passengers, in a typical two-class configuration, up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km).

Shanghai Airlines is set to receive additional 787-9s in the coming years. The airline plans to fly their initial 787s on popular domestic routes such as Shanghai to Chengdu and Beijing, as well as regional routes from Shanghai to Japan and Korea. As the carrier’s 787 fleet grows, it plans to take advantage of the aircraft’s long range and superior fuel efficiency to open new, international routes.

Since 2013, more than 60 Dreamliners have entered service across China, flying more than 22 million people on more than 75 unique routes while saving an estimated one million tons of fuel compared to other aircraft.

Top Copyright Photo: Shanghai Airlines Boeing 787-9 B-1111 (msn 63706) PAE (Royal S. King). Image: 943578.

Shanghai Airlines aircraft slide show:

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QANTAS and Cathay Pacific to code share

"Official airline partner of Sydney Mardi Gras"

The two airlines have jointly announced:

Cathay Pacific Airways and QANTAS Airways customers are set to benefit from a new codeshare agreement that leverages the strengths of each carrier’s regional networks and provides more options for customers traveling between Australia and Asia.

The codeshare agreement will see QANTAS add its code to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s services within Asia from Hong Kong to 10 cities across India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and on Cathay Pacific’s long-haul services from Hong Kong to Perth and Cairns*.

In turn, Cathay Pacific will add its code to 13 routes on QANTAS’ domestic network in Australia*.

Customers of both airlines will also have increased opportunities to earn frequent flyer points through their respective loyalty programs.

QANTAS Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn more QANTAS Points and status credits when traveling on the QANTAS-coded flights. Similarly, Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club members will earn more Club Points when travelling on a Cathay Pacific-coded flight.

Cathay Pacific and QANTAS together operate more than 100 services a week between Hong Kong and Australia. As oneworld alliance partners, eligible customers will continue to enjoy access to both Cathay Pacific and QANTAS lounges in Australia and Hong Kong, as well as other oneworld associated lounges across both airlines broader networks.

Tickets for the codeshare services will be available for sale from October 22, 2018, for travel from October 28, 2018.

*Flights subject to regulatory approval.

Codeshare routes

Qantas codeshare on Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon routes

Between Hong Kong and Asia

  • Hong Kong – Bangalore, India
  • Hong Kong – Mumbai, India
  • Hong Kong – Calcutta, India
  • Hong Kong – Delhi, India
  • Hong Kong – Chennai, India
  • Hong Kong – Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Hong Kong – Danang, Vietnam
  • Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Hong Kong – Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hong Kong – Yangon, Myanmar

Between Hong Kong and Australia

  • Hong Kong – Cairns
  • Hong Kong – Perth

Cathay Pacific codeshare on Qantas domestic routes

  • Adelaide-Melbourne
  • Adelaide-Sydney
  • Alice Springs-Sydney
  • Brisbane-Cairns
  • Brisbane-Melbourne
  • Brisbane-Sydney
  • Brisbane – Townsville
  • Canberra-Melbourne
  • Cairns-Melbourne
  • Cairns-Sydney
  • Darwin-Perth
  • Hobart-Melbourne
  • Melbourne-Sydney

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the two airlines): QANTAS Airways Airbus A330-303 VH-QPJ (msn 712) (Sydney Mardi Gras) SYD (John Adlard). Image: 937063.

QANTAS aircraft slide show:

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