Vietjet converts order for 42 Airbus A320neo to A321neo

9000th Airbus Aircraft

Vietjet (Hanoi) will convert its existing order for 42 Airbus A320neo to the larger A321neo, bringing to a total of 73 A321neo and 11 A321ceo on order for future delivery.

The first A321neo “new engine option”, registered as VN-646, has also arrived at Tan Son Nhat International Airport from Hamburg recently, marking a major milestone for Vietjet as it has become the first airline in Southeast Asia to operate the Airbus aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation GTF engines.

Fitted out with 230 comfortable leather-covered seats and high-quality carpeting, the first five rows of Vietjet’s spacious new A321neo have been especially designed to accommodate passengers flying Skyboss, the airline’s premium service. The aircraft’s interior also features a unique color-changing LED light system and striking décor to create a comfortable and refreshing ambience throughout the whole cabin.

The brand new A321neo incorporates the latest in engine design, advanced aerodynamics and cabin innovations. According to the aircraft manufacturer, its GTF engines offer a significant reduction in fuel consumption — at least 16 percent from day one and 20 percent by 2020 — as well 75% reduction in noise and 50% in emissions.

The A321neo is also the 17th aircraft Vietjet has received in 2017 alone, increasing its total fleet to 55. The new aircraft has begun operating on domestic and international routes to and from Vietnam as of January 2018.

 

Copyright Photo: Vietjet Air (VietJetAir.com) Airbus A321-211 WL VN-A651 (msn 5295) (9000th Airbus Aircraft) HAN (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 939474.) (9000th Airbus Aircraft) HAN (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 939474.

Vietjet aircraft slide show:

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Arkia to fly the Tel Aviv – Yerevan route

Arkia's new 2017 livery

Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) will start a new weekly route from its Tel Aviv hub to Yerevan, Armenia. The new service will be operated with Embraer 195s per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Arkia Airlines Embraer ERJ 190-100LR 4X-EMC (msn 19000713) CFU (Antony J. Best). Image: 938868.

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Air Astana takes delivery of first Airbus A321neo

Air Astana (Almaty) has taken delivery of the first Airbus A321neo at the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft is on an operating lease from Aercap, with the deal including two further A321neo and one A320neo aircraft for delivery planned in 2018.

The Air Astana A321neo is configured with 28 Business Class and 151 Economy class seats, all of which are equipped with personal IFE systems. The A321neo is powered by the latest generation Pratt & Whitney engines, which together with aerodynamic improvements, make it the quietest aircraft in its class and also delivers fuel consumption 15% lower than the previous model. The cabin features larger overhead-bin capacity and a new mood-lighting system with LED technology.

The aircraft will be operated on Air Astana’s network of domestic and regional routes.

Air Astana currently operates 13 Airbus A320 aircraft and one A320neo, which was delivered in 2016. The carrier plans to increase the fleet of A320neo family aircraft to 17 by 2020.

Photo: Air Astana. The pictured Airbus A321-271N D-AYAK (msn 7567) became P4-KDC when it was officially haned over on December 30, 2017.

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All JetBlue crewmembers to receive a $1,000 bonus

JetBlue's 2017 version of the New York Jets logo jet

Following the lead of American and Southwest, JetBlue has joined the ranks of those U.S. airlines offering a $1000 bonus to its employees. Here is the announcement:

On January 4, 2018 the JetBlue Senior Leadership Team shared the following note regarding the airline’s plan to distribute $1,000 to all of its 21,000 crewmembers, excluding CEO and executive vice presidents, following recent tax reform legislation:

Dear Crewmembers,

You’ve likely seen the news about U.S. tax reform. We believe these tax changes will be positive for our company, and provide us the opportunity to do good things for our Crewmembers, Customers and shareholders.

When tax reform looked like a real possibility late last year, we formed a team to think through what it could mean for each of these important groups. Many ideas are on the table but we believe our Crewmembers should be the first to benefit.With that in mind, we are excited to announce we will be paying every Crewmember employed as of December 31, 2017, a $1,000 bonus by the end of February!

Crewmembers like you are the heart of JetBlue and the reason we have become one of the most awarded airlines (and brands) in the world. We’re delighted we’re able to offer this extra thank you for your incredible efforts. In the months ahead, we look forward to working with our Values Committees and directly with you on other ideas for how we can use tax reform benefits to make JetBlue even stronger.

As a smaller airline competing against four very large competitors it is vital we continue to run a sustainable and profitable company. With over 50% of Crewmembers also being shareholders, we understand the importance of retaining investors’ confidence in our company better than anyone else.

Ultimately, we will continue to succeed because we have the best Crewmembers in the business. All 21,217 of us are continuing to do something that is truly unique in our industry by genuinely caring for each other, our Customers and our shareholders.

Finally, the new year has barely begun and we are already in our first winter irregular operation. We know today’s weather presents demanding operating conditions. As we manage through the storm, let’s remind ourselves of our #1 value – Safety. Every Crewmember is empowered to call a safety time-out if needed. This is ultimately the most important responsibility any of us have.

We’re looking forward to a great 2018 here at JetBlue. Thanks for being part of it.

Best wishes,

Robin Hayes
President & CEO

Mike Elliott
EVP People

Joanna Geraghty
EVP Customer Experience

James Hnat
EVP General Counsel

Jeffrey Martin
EVP Operations

Steve Priest
EVP Chief Financial Officer

Marty St George
EVP Commercial

Eash Sundaram
EVP Chief Digital and Technology Officer

Top Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A320-232 N746JB (msn 3622) (New York Jets) LGB (Michael B. Ing). Image: 940445.

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CWA: American Airlines bonus no substitute for fair wages

The CWA union has issued this statement:

In late November, CWA President Chris Shelton contacted the CEOs of some of the largest corporations where CWA members work, including American Airlines, to ask them to guarantee the $4,000 wage increase and new jobs promised by the Republican corporate tax cut.

While we are pleased that our request has prompted American to pay employees a one-time $1,000 bonus, it falls short of the permanent wage increase that working families were promised.

American continues to insist on paying poverty-level wages to passenger service agents at its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Passenger service agents play a critical role in ensuring the safety of thousands of passengers each day, yet many agents at these airlines earn less than $11 an hour and qualify for food stamps and other public assistance.

These agents, represented by CWA, are currently in contract negotiations. Despite American’s continued profitability and the massive windfall from the tax bill, Envoy and Piedmont are refusing to offer fair wages as part of these negotiations.

“Passenger service agents at Envoy and Piedmont serve passengers in communities across this country, from big airports like Dallas-Fort Worth to smaller locations like Knoxville, TN,” said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 Vice President and Chair of CWA’s Passenger Service Airline Council. “It’s time for American to invest in these communities by increasing wages so that working people at Envoy and Piedmont can have family-supporting and community-building careers, instead of living paycheck to paycheck.”

CWA represents more than 25,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines, including its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Overall, CWA represents 700,000 working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.

 

SmartLynx to lease Airbus A321 YL-LCV to Jet2.com in summer 2018

SmartLynx has issued this statement:

In December 2017 SmartLynx signed a long-term damp lease agreement for 2018 with Jet2.com.

According to the agreement between SmartLynx Airlines Ltd. and Jet2.com, SmartLynx will damp lease one 220-seat Airbus A321-200 with Latvian registration mark of YL-LCV (msn 2216) to Jet2.com from May 15, 2018 until October 31, 2018. The aircraft will operate from the base in Birmingham Airport (BHX), UK.

Smartlynx took delivery of YL-LCV on December 15, 2017 from Macquarie Airfinance Acquisitions Ltd. (Ireland).

Aircraft will fly to holiday destinations such as Rhodes, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Larnaca, Palma de Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Malaga, Fuerteventura etc.

SmartLynx had a successful collaboration with Jet2.com in 2017.

TAP to offer flights from Porto to Barcelona, London City and Ponta Delgada and boost its services to Brazil and Canada

CS-TJH with new titles and tail logo

TAP Postugal (Lisbon) has announced it will add new routes:

  • TAP will again fly from Porto to Milan and Barcelona, after the suspension of the route in 2016, offering a greater number of flights
  • The airline also announces new routes from Porto to London City and Ponta Delgada
  • TAP’s operations out of Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport grow by an additional 41 flights every week
  • The airline also announces 10 flights per week between Lisbon and Florence
  • And a further four flights per week to São Paulo and one additional flight to Brasilia and to Belo Horizonte in Brazil, and one to Toronto, Canada

TAP Air Portugal will grow its operations from Porto Airport over the coming year. The airline has started two flights a day to Barcelona and to Milan, reinstating and intensifying two routes that were suspended in 2016 as part of the operation redesign carried out at that time.

In addition to reinstating these routes, TAP has also announced the launch of new routes from Porto, with six flights per week to London City airport and a new daily service to Ponta Delgada.

With these new flights, which start on March 25, 2018, TAP is introducing a total of 41 new services per week between Porto and four different cities. These flights will be available to book as soon as the operational details have been finalised. The two daily flights to Barcelona will depart Porto at 6.30am (TP1030) and 7.35pm (TP1031). The flights to Milan will depart Porto at 6.30am (TP818) and 5.55pm (TP816). The six flights a week between Porto and London City will leave Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport at 12.05pm (TP354), arriving in London at 2.20pm, with the return flight leaving London at 2.50pm (TP353), arriving in Porto at 5.10pm.

Another new flight on TAP’s summer timetable from Porto is the creation of a daily flight to Ponta Delgada. TP1861 will depart Porto at 1.20pm, arriving in Ponta Delgada at 2.45pm. The return flight (TP1866) will take off at 3.35pm, landing in Porto at 6.50pm, both local times.

From Lisbon to Florence

TAP also announces the launch of a direct service between Lisbon and Florence, with 10 flights per week, beginning on June 10, 2018. Florence joins Rome, Bologna, Milan and Venice to become the company’s fifth destination in Italy. This demonstrates TAP’s commitment to the Italian market, which is important not just for point-to-point traffic, but also as a way of generating traffic to other TAP destinations through its Lisbon hub.

The service between Lisbon and Florence will have two different timetables. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays the flight will leave Lisbon at 7.05am, arriving in Florence at 10.50am. Flights will depart Florence at 11.35am, arriving in Lisbon at 1.35pm. On Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there will also be flights leaving Lisbon at 3.50pm, arriving in Florence at 7.35pm. Flights will then depart Florence at 8.20pm, arriving in Lisbon at 10.20pm.

More flights to Brazil and Canada

From June 1, 2018, TAP is also boosting its long-haul operation with four more flights each week to São Paulo and one more to Brasilia and Belo Horizonte in Brazil and to Toronto in Canada.

Next year the company intends to offer flights between Lisbon and Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania, a service that is currently awaiting government authorization.

Copyright Photo: The pictured TAP Airbus A321-212 is wearing the revised “Air Portugal” titles instead of “TAP Portugal” on the tail. In addition, the web address has been changed from www.flytap.com to flytap.com with some additional touch of color. TAP Portugal – Air Portugal Airbus A321-211 CS-TJH (msn 2270) MUC (Arnd Wolf). Image: 940450.

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