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 Airlines increases service between San Francisco and 18 destinations

Aviation Partners Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets

United Airlines (UAL), the leading carrier in the San Francisco Bay Area, has announced it is increasing the number of flights between SFO and eight destinations. Additionally, the airline announced it will convert select regional jet flights to larger mainline aircraft in ten markets. These schedule enhancements build on previously announced new service from SFO to seven U.S. cities beginning June 8.

Adding additional flights between SFO and 8 destinations

City Pair

Increasing
service to

Beginning

Aircraft type

SFO – Seattle (SEA)

10 flights daily

Aug. 1

A320

SFO – Albuquerque (ABQ)

2 flights daily

Aug. 15

EMB-175

SFO – Baltimore (BWI)

2 flights daily

Aug. 15

A319

SFO – Indianapolis (IND)

2 flights daily

Aug. 15

A319

SFO – Kansas City (MCI)

3 flights daily

Aug. 15

EMB-175

SFO – Nashville (BNA)

2 flights daily

Aug. 15

A319

SFO – Philadelphia (PHL)

3 flights daily

Aug. 15

A319

SFO – Portland (PDX)

9 flights daily

Aug. 15

A319

 

Larger aircraft on daily service between SFO and 10 cities

SFO to

Starts

Aircraft

Burbank (BUR)

June 8

B737

Calgary, AB (YYC)

June 8

A320

Dallas (DFW)

June 8

A320

Kansas City (MCI)

June 8

A320

Minneapolis (MSP)

June 8

A320

Palm Springs (PSP)

June 8

B737

Santa Barbara (SBA)

June 8

A319

Bozeman (BZN)

July 1

A320

Sacramento (SMF)

July 1

B737

Fresno (FAT)

Aug. 15

B737

Service to Bozeman, Montana; Kansas City, Missouri; and Calgary, Alberta, are seasonal mainline flights for the summer.

New and expanded service between SFO and 7 cities starting June 8

United previously announced service to new destinations starting June 8. The new routes bring nonstop service to more cities, giving customers more convenient travel options to some of the country’s largest cities and beyond.

SFO to

Starts

Schedule

Aircraft

Cincinnati (CVG)

June 8

Year-round, daily

A320

Detroit (DTW)

June 8

Year-round, daily

A320

Hartford (BDL)

June 8

Seasonal, daily
through Sept. 5

B737

New Orleans (MSY)

June 8

Adding summer
service and expanding
to year-round, daily

B737

Santa Rosa (STS)

June 8

Year-round, daily

CRJ

Spokane (GEG)

June 8

Year-round, daily

E175

Kalispell (FCA)

July 1

Seasonal, daily
through Sept. 5

CRJ

United has approximately 300 daily departures to nearly 100 destinations from San Francisco, more than any other carrier in the Bay Area.

New trans-Atlantic service

Earlier this year, United announced new service to 31 destinations across the U.S. and Europe, including new seasonal service between San Francisco and Germany. Starting May 24, for the first time ever, United will launch nonstop, seasonal service between San Francisco and Munich (MUC). The route will be operated with one of the most advanced passenger airplanes, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which delivers unprecedented operating efficiency, comfort and lower emissions.

From San Francisco, United offers year-round, nonstop trans-Atlantic service to destinations including, Frankfurt (FRA), London (LHR), Paris (CDG) and Tel Aviv (TLV).

There is no change to United’s full-year 2017 capacity guidance.

San Francisco International Airport, United’s gateway to the Asia Pacific

United flies nonstop to more destinations in Asia than any other U.S. carrier from San Francisco International Airport, United’s gateway to the Asia Pacific. The airline provides U.S. travelers with convenient access to some of the most dynamic cities throughout Asia and gives travelers access via San Francisco for onward convenient connections to destinations throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America.

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 737-824 SSWL N73259 (msn 30803) (Split Scimitar Winglets) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 922829.

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Airbus begins production of first U.S.-built A320 in Mobile

The Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama, has received the major component assemblies for the first A320 that will be produced in the U.S. The 27 aircraft delivered from the facility thus far have been A321s.

This marks another important milestone for the manufacturing facility, which began production in July 2015 and is equipped to build three members of the A320 Family: A319, A320 and A321.

This A320 is destined to be delivered to Spirit Airlines this summer.

Photos: Airbus.

AIRBUS178-1st-A320-Arrival

Hawaiian Airlines unveils a revised brand and livery

Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii’s carrier, on May 1, 2017 revealed an updated brand identity and the freshly-painted livery of a Boeing 717 (N488HA) (below), the first of its fleet of more than 50 aircraft that will feature the new design. Pualani (Flower of the Sky), the beloved icon of Hawaiian’s brand for more than four decades, continues to gaze forward on the tail of the aircraft; beneath her, a silver maile lei with woven pakalana flowers wraps around the fuselage in a larger-than-life expression of the aloha spirit.

Hawaiian Airlines unveils a revised brand and livery

Copyright Photo: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717-26R N488HA (msn 55001) HNL (Elway Kibota). Image: 937671.

“Our new livery embodies a stronger, more contemporary representation of Hawaiian Airlines’ culture of service and hospitality, which is the bedrock of our guest experience,” said president and CEO Mark Dunkerley, who unveiled the new brand design at Honolulu International Airport during a special employee event on Lei Day, a statewide annual celebration of Hawaiian culture. “It acknowledges our place as Hawaii’s airline and underscores the commitment our employees make every day to provide our guests with a gracious and genuine island welcome.”

In addition to the refreshed livery, travelers across Hawaiian’s U.S. and international networks will begin to see the new logo (above) throughout their journey — on web and digital assets, airport lobby signage and kiosks, and at boarding gates. Painting of all aircraft and ground service equipment is scheduled to be complete by 2020.

Hawaiian worked with Lippincott, a global creative consultancy, on the new identity. Hawaiian’s brand team and Lippincott spent a year studying the airline’s history, working with a committee of front-line employees, and immersing themselves in Hawaiian culture to arrive at the new design.

“So much of our visual identity, which is 15 years old, still resonated deeply with our guests and employees,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing for Hawaiian. “Our aim was to retain the essence of our brand and arrive at a bolder, truer expression of our unique Hawaiian hospitality.”

The new identity retains Hawaiian’s distinctive color palette of purple, fuchsia and coral. Pualani—the singular icon of the brand—remains at its core. The new logo and livery emphasize Pualani by featuring her more prominently and liberating her from the floral “holding shape” of the former logo. She gazes proudly with the wind in her hair, adorned with a hibiscus flower and framed by a Hawaiian sunrise. The expressive, organic graphics reflect the natural forms of Hawai‘i.

The addition of the lei elements to the livery accentuate the three-dimensional contours of the aircraft fuselage while also incorporating a rich, meaningful cultural narrative that reflects the carrier’s strong sense of place and identity. Updated typography and bright, emotive imagery support Hawaiian’s positioning as a premium leisure airline, focused on warm hospitable service.

“The Hawaiian Airlines’ brand has been and always will be iconic,” said Su Mathews Hale, senior partner at Lippincott. “The refreshed look honors their rich history and culture, while continuing to celebrate the unique, authentic spirit that has led the airline industry for years.”

Serving as a brand constant, Pualani has evolved at pivotal moments in the carrier’s ever-changing phases of growth as seen in a historical timeline (see below). Debuting in October 1973, she was one of the first female icons painted on the tail of a commercial airline and marked Hawaiian’s transformation to an all-jet airline with the entry of McDonnell Douglas DC-9s. While slight variations were made to the red hibiscus in her hair over the next 28 years, Pualani’s last evolution was in 2001 when Hawaiian’s new interisland Boeing 717s and transpacific Boeing 767s entered the fleet, ushering in a more competitive and sophisticated airline at the time expressed through brand adaptations representing the look of a 21st century Island woman.

The new visual identity preludes the next chapter in Hawaiian’s 88-year history with the arrival of the medium-haul, single-aisle A321neo fleet later this year. It is the next step in a series of major investments Hawaiian has made to aircraft cabins, lounges, and other aspects of the customer experience over the past five years, to elevate the carrier’s service and ensure Hawaiian’s position as the preferred airline for travelers flying to and within Hawaii. To complement its new phase of growth, the airline will also roll out new uniforms for its frontline employees, themed Kū Mākou or Together We Stand, by the end of 2017.

Since 2001, Hawaiian has more than doubled its route network, from 13 to 27 airports served, including 11 international destinations. Hawaiian currently operates a fleet of 23 Airbus A330s, 20 Boeing 717 aircraft and eight Boeing 767s. It also provides turbo-prop flights using three ATR-42 aircraft through its ‘Ohana by Hawaiian service. The airline expects to take delivery of 18 new A321neo aircraft between the fourth quarter of 2017 and 2020.

 

The evolution of the Pualani logo over the years:

Video:

 

WestJet orders 10 firm Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners + 10 options

WestJet on May 2, 2017 announced a definitive purchase agreement with The Boeing Company for up to 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This agreement includes commitments for 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft to be delivered between the first quarter of 2019 and December 2021, with options for an additional 10 aircraft to be delivered between 2020 and 2024. The airline also announced it has selected General Electric’s GEnx-1B engine for the 787.

As part of this purchase agreement, WestJet is converting 15 firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX that were to be delivered between 2019 and 2021 to options available between 2022 and 2024.

On the financial side, WestJet also announced its 48th consecutive profitable quarter, with first quarter 2017 net earnings of $48.3 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), or $0.41 per diluted share. This compares with quarterly net earnings of $87.6 million, or $0.71 per diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2016. These first quarter 2017 results include a pre-tax non-cash adjustment to its maintenance provision of $18.5 million and irregular operations related costs of $7.0 million due to severe winter weather experienced in the quarter. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 10.0 per cent, compared with the 11.3 per cent reported in the previous quarter.

“We are pleased to report strong topline revenue growth and our first positive unit revenue (RASM) performance in eight quarters. We are seeing good results from Plus, our premium economy product, growth in our WestJet Rewards program and penetration into the business traveller segment all of which gives us confidence that RASM will continue to improve for the remainder of the year,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “I want to thank our over 12,000 WestJetters for their continued dedication to safely providing our growing number of guests with WestJet’s award-winning brand of friendly caring service, especially given the challenging winter weather conditions we endured in the quarter.”

Image: WestJet.

China Southern Airlines orders 20 Airbus A350-900s

China Southern A350-900 (91)(Flt)(Airbus)(LRW)

China Southern Airlines has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 A350-900s, becoming the latest customer for the aircraft.

China Southern Airlines now operates one of the largest Airbus fleet in the world with more than 300 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising the A320 Family, the A330 Family and five A380s.

 With this latest order, Airbus has recorded a total of 841 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Image: Airbus.

Wow Air takes delivery of its first Airbus A320neo

Wow Air (Keflavik) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo on lease from  Air Lease Corporation (ALC). Wow Air is an all Airbus operator with 12 aircraft in its fleet to date.

The pictured A320-251N TF-NEO (msn 7560) will feature a single-class cabin layout with 180 seats.
The airline has chosen CFM engines to power the aircraft that will operate throughout Europe.
Photo: Airbus.

American’s Doug Parker and Robert Isom issue a letter to the employees on pay

Fellow Team Members:

Today, we are excited to make an announcement that reinforces our commitment to building a foundation of trust at American.

When we merged, we committed that American Airlines team members would be compensated in line with their peers at other airlines. Committing to “pay in line with our peers” is difficult to define in an industry like ours with complex contracts and work rules. American generally has contractual work rules and scope clauses that require us to employ more team members than our competitors, and those add costs to the airline. But we also know that base pay rates are a very visible and meaningful indicator of relative compensation, so we set out to meet our commitment by setting American’s base pay rates at the top of the industry.

With each joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA) reached, our team has had the highest pay rates in the industry at the time of the signing. For groups who have not reached a joint contract yet, like those represented by the TWU-IAM Association, we implemented pay increases providing the highest average hourly pay rates in the business, even though the other terms of the JCBA have not been resolved yet. These actions have increased the average pay per represented team member by more than 39 percent in the three years since our merger closed.

But as our industry has rapidly evolved and pay increases at other airlines have accelerated, some of our colleagues have fallen behind their peers at other airlines in base pay rates. And, unless their current contracts are modified, they’ll remain far behind for more than two years. Two groups specifically fall into this category today: Our pilots and flight attendants both ratified new five-year contracts in late 2014/early 2015, well in advance of some significant pay increases at our two largest competitors. Today our pilot hourly pay rates are approximately 8 percent lower than the industry’s highest rates, and our flight attendants’ hourly pay rates are approximately 4 percent lower. Absent any action, these gaps would remain at similar levels until those contracts become amendable in December 2019 for flight attendants and January 2020 for pilots.

This doesn’t feel right for the new American, and it doesn’t feel consistent with our commitment. As one of our pilots said after a recent town hall, “We all understood that we would be leapfrogged by other carriers mid-contract, but no one expected this. It is just too much for too long.”

We agree. While the commitment was met when the contract was signed, we never anticipated this large of a gap for this long a period, and we don’t like that it exists, contract or not. Therefore we intend to work with the unions to adjust the hourly base pay rates of all American pilots and flight attendants to levels that are equal to the highest rates currently in place at either Delta or United. We cannot unilaterally implement these increases – APA and APFA must agree to any contractual changes. Because we are not requesting other contractual changes, we do not expect disagreement. If they agree, these changes could be effective as soon as the May crew bid period.

The rest of our contract team members are not affected at this time, either because your pay rates remain at or near industry-leading levels, as they were at the time your JCBAs were reached, or in the case of the TWU-IAM Association, we are still negotiating a JCBA. Specifically for those negotiations, in recent weeks we’ve had productive executive sessions in Washington, D.C., with the assistance of a federal facilitator. And when those talks conclude, our contractual base pay rates will be industry-leading. Regarding our non-contract team members, we assess the market annually and attempt to ensure our compensation is always in line with our competitors, including airlines and other large companies.

But make no mistake: This is a program for everyone at American and these adjustments reflect a real philosophical change that is an important trait of the new American. As we move forward, if we see sizable discrepancies in pay rates between our team members and other major airlines and our contracts are still years away from their amendable dates, we will work to address those discrepancies. Today’s news is not about buying trust because we all know trust cannot be purchased.

Today’s news is about doing the right thing and doing so not because we are contractually required to or because we are locked in a contentious contractual battle. We must continue moving past the days of discontent as we build a new American where team members trust each other and work together with our customers’ care in mind.

We also know pay does not build culture – we have made great progress there but have more work ahead and we must continue to work together to improve the lives of our frontline team members. That work will continue. Today’s action is an important step along that path and we are pleased to be part of an organization that has the courage to take steps like this. We thank the American Airlines Board of Directors and our investors for their long- term focus and their appreciation of the value of supporting our team.

Most importantly, thanks to each of you for all you do for American. Our customers are counting on us to validate the trust they place in us each time they step onboard one of our aircraft. Thanks to the greatest, most professional team in the business, they are always in good hands. It is an honor to work with and for each of you.

Doug Parker Robert Isom Chairman and CEO President