Eastern Air Lines to operate from Houston for Havana Air Charters

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) has issued this statement:

Eastern (2nd) logo

Havana Air Charters (Miami) continues its expansion into the Cuba market with their direct air carrier partner Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc.

Havana Air logo

Havana Air will begin weekly, nonstop service from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport to Havana, Cuba giving U.S. West Coast gateway cities a more convenient and faster route to Cuba.

Havana Air is one of the largest providers of passenger traffic to the island, currently operating some 65 flights a month to Havana from Miami with additional service to Santa Clara and Camaguey.

Havana Air utilizes Eastern Air Lines Boeing 737-800 (Next Generation) aircraft, on the weekly flights, which will operate on Wednesdays starting in August.

Key Facts:

Havana Air will operate, with Eastern, weekly on Wednesdays, from Houston to Havana

Havana Air operates twice daily service to Havana and weekly service to Camaguey and Santa Clara from Miami.

Havana Air’s operations are supported by Eastern Air Lines Boeing 737-800 (Next Generation) aircraft, supporting some 65+ flights to Cuba monthly.

Havana Air is a licensed 14 CFR 380 Airline Charter Operator and holds OFAC CSP License # CU-2013-305073-2.

In other news, Eastern has added its second Boeing 737-800 (N277EA) as announced on their Twitter page:

Eastern 737-800 N277EA roll out (EAL)(LR)

Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com.

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The new Gol – a closer look

Gol's new livery unveiling 7.15.15 CNF (RDC)(LRW)

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (Gol Transportes Aéreos) (São Paulo), as we previously reported, unveiled a new look yesterday (July 15).

The pictured Boeing 737-8EH PR-GXZ (msn 40739) (above) was presented to the media and guests at the Gol Maintenance Center at Confins International Airport at Belo Horizonte (CNF/SBCF). CNF is the Gol’s main maintenance center.

Above Copyright Photo: Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com. PR-GXZ is later rolled out into the sunshine at Belo Horizonte.

Gol 737-800 WL PR-GXZ (15)(Tail) CNF (RDC)(LRW)

In addition to the new visual identity (everything will change, from the website to the aircraft, through uniforms, napkins, cups, tickets etc.), the company presented the new seats, now in ecological leather.

Gol 2015 seat (RDC)(LRW)

Above: The new seats.

The pictured PR-GXZ is also the 100th 737NG purchased directly from Boeing. Gol has a total fleet of 140 aircraft. Gol also has 15 737NG to be delivered through 2018, which can be converted to the newer 737 MAX.

Gol 2015 logo (LRW)

In 2018, Gol will receive the first 737 MAX. In all, 100 units were purchased.

Finally, Gol announced a partnership with Go Go to offer a complete inflight entertainment system with on demand Wi-Fi content and streaming – all offered free in a basic page or premium paid packages.

Gol CEO Paulo Kakkinof (RDC)(LRW)

Above Photo: Gol CEO Paulo Kakkinof.

Gol 2015 WL (RDC)(LRW)

Rodrigo Cozzato reporting from Belo Horizonte.

All Copyright Photos by Rodrigo Cozzato/AirlinersGallery.com.

Gol aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show


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VivaColombia is coming to Miami

VivaColombia (Medellin) is coming to Miami International Airport. The low-fare carrier is intending to start daily scheduled passenger flights from Bogota and Medellin, Colombia to Miami starting on December 2, 2015.

VivaColombia operates A320 aircraft and commenced operations on May 25, 2012.

Vivacolombia logo 2

Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com.  Airbus A320-214 EI-EPX (msn 1454)  became HK-4905 on delivery.

Video: VivaColombia.

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SAS to retire the last Blue1 Boeing 717 on November 6

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS (Stockholm) is now planning to phase out the last Boeing 717 with subsidiary Blue1 (Helsinki) on November 6. The last 717 flight is expected to be flight SK724 from Stockholm (Arlanda) to the Helsinki base according to Airline Route.

As previously reported, Blue1 will sell its entire Boeing 717-200 fleet to Volotea and Delta Air Lines and replace them with Boeing 737-600s transferred from Scandinavian Airlines.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 717-2CM OH-BLI (msn 55061) taxies at Amsterdam.

Blue1 aircraft slide show:

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Norwegian reports a second quarter profit of $56 million, load factor increases to 85%

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) today issued its financial results for the second quarter:

Norwegian.com logo-1 (LRW)

Norwegian today reported its second quarter results for 2015. The pre-tax result (EBT) was 456 million NOK ($56.0 million), an improvement of 593 million NOK ($72.8 million) from the previous year. The load factor for this period was 85 percent with strong progress in all of Norwegian’s markets. This also applies to the long-haul operation, where the load factor was over 90 percent and the passenger number has more than doubled since the same period last year.

The load factor for the second quarter was 85 percent, up five percentage points from the same quarter last year. Norwegian’s long-haul operation had an even higher load factor of 91 percent. During the second quarter, the airline carried 324,000 passengers on its long-haul network. This means that passenger figures for the long-haul operation has more than doubled since the same period last year, where the passenger number was 139,000. Norwegian currently operates 434 routes in Europe, USA and Asia – 21 of which are long-haul routes. All in all, Norwegian has 28 long-haul destinations for sale, with more to come within just a few weeks, including London Gatwick – Boston.

During the second quarter, Norwegian took delivery of a new 787 Dreamliner and two Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Today, Norwegian has a long-haul fleet of eight Dreamliner aircraft. Four more Dreamliners will be added to the fleet next year; all of which will be a bigger version of the ones Norwegian operates today.

Solid growth in all markets

Seven million passengers chose to travel with Norwegian in the second quarter – an increase of nine percent. Norwegian’s strongest growth in terms of passenger numbers was at London Gatwick, with Oslo Airport as a close runner up. The Spanish airports are also experiencing a solid rise in number of Norwegian-passengers. During this quarter, Norwegian has launched domestic routes in Spain, new routes to the Caribbean, as well as new routes between the Caribbean and the cities of Boston, New York and Washington DC.

Despite a weak Norwegian krone, the unit costs are down, ensuring the company’s competitiveness in the future. The fuel prices have decreased, which more than outweighs the effects of a weak Norwegian krone. New aircraft consume considerably less fuel than older aircraft, which gives Norwegian a significant competitive advantage. Norwegian boasts one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets with an average age of just four years.

During the second quarter, Norwegian’s total revenue was almost 5.9 BNOK, up 16 percent from the same quarter last year. Norwegian’s long-haul routes had a revenue growth of 60 percent. Norwegian’s production growth (ASK) for this quarter was 8 percent, while the company’s traffic growth (RPK) was 15 percent, which reflects that each of Norwegian’s passengers on average flies significantly longer than they did before. In addition, more and more passengers are purchasing optional extras on board.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Norwegian is phasing out the last of the older and less fuel efficient Boeing 737-300s. The last of the type is expected to be retired at the end of the current summer season. Boeing 737-31S LN-KHB (msn 29264) is pictured departing at Southend.

Norwegian aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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AeroMexico to start Mexico City – Cozumel flights

AeroMexico (Mexico City) has announced the beginning of its new daily AeroMexico Connect service between Mexico City and Cozumel starting on October 1 with Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.

Cozumel becomes the 46th destination AM serves in Mexico.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) XA-YLI (msn 145400) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

AeroMexico Connect slide show:

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Spirit Airlines attacks other airlines for “bundling” with its own survey

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has issued a new advertising campaign (see the videos) that attacks other airlines for their high ticket prices through their “bundling” of services. The airline issued this statement and survey:

Spirit Less Money More Go logo

For decades, the major airlines have been playing a psychological trick on their passengers. They charge people very high airfares, and then tell them they are giving away different items and services for “free.” In reality those airlines are forcing all of their customers to pay for those items upfront with bundled, all-inclusive fares. Spirit Airlines (SAVE) wants air travelers to know they’ve been bundled by other airlines and is giving travelers a way to fight back.

Every product or service on an airline has a built-in cost: Agents handling bags and printing boarding passes, the cost of beverages, food, and magazines and stocking these items on planes, and the extra costs in fuel for the added weight of carry-on bags and in-flight entertainment systems, just to name a few. Many consumers don’t realize that airlines pass those costs on to their customers and, even if the product or service isn’t used, the airline still financially benefits.

“Bundling is a practice that, at best, is less-than-transparent,” said Spirit’s President and CEO Ben Baldanza. “When airlines tell their customers the item or service is free, it just isn’t true. We feel air travelers should only have to pay for what they want or need — not be forced to pay for everything an airline may offer. We did the math on all those unused items and it adds up to billions of customer dollars.”

At Spirit, customers pay for their seat and a personal item to get them from point A to point B. Spirit calls this their Bare Fare(R). If you want other options they are available, but Spirit puts you in charge by allowing you to pay only for what you want, not what you don’t. This is called Frill Control(R). This unbundled approach allows Spirit customers to pay the lowest total price for air travel. According to the Department of Transportation, Spirit’s fares are 40 percent less than other airlines, on average. Even after adding optional items Spirit’s total price is still 30 — 35 percent lower, making Spirit the smart choice for air travel.

To understand the impact of airline bundling, Spirit conducted a nationwide study of air travelers regarding their most recent flight. The survey reveals that many passengers skip the complimentary services that they paid for in a bundled price. For example, one in four (25%) passengers didn’t bring a “complimentary” carry-on bag, but likely had to pony up as much as $35 within their ticket price for that amenity. In some cases, customers lost that money because the overhead bin space was full, and they were forced to have their bag checked. With 586 million travelers on major airlines in 2014, Spirit estimates customers spent more than $5 billion on carry-on bags that they didn’t use.

It may seem small, but the costs for those “free” snacks add up too. Twenty percent of passengers skipped the complimentary snacks, but may have been charged up to $3.50 for each one. That’s approximately $410 million of unused snacks that airlines benefited from by charging their customers in the price of their ticket.

To help air travelers understand this long-held less-than-transparent practice, Spirit has introduced a vigilante lawyer team called “The Unbundlers” dedicated to getting air travelers their money back. The fictitious, but hilariously-truthful duo encourages travelers who have been bundled to directly calculate how much money they lost as a result of not checking a bag, passing on ‘free’ soda, or not using various other products and services. They can demand their money back by posting a message on Twitter to the offending airline. You can see The Unbundlers in action at http://www.Unbundlers.com

“It’s a fun way to point out a serious issue,” said Baldanza. “At Spirit we pride ourselves on being very upfront and honest about what you get — and what you don’t — when you purchase tickets on our airline. All airlines should be as transparent with their customers and should let them know exactly what they’re paying for.”

Other results of the survey, conducted by Toluna Research for Spirit Airlines:

25% of air travelers did not bring a carry-on
20% skipped the snack (peanuts, chips, etc.)
21% said no to coffee, tea, or soda
40% didn’t read the in-flight magazine
41% didn’t check-in with an agent
52% didn’t use WiFi (however other surveys suggest WiFi usage is below 10%)
It’s time to take a stand against being bundled.

Spirit Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Videos: Spirit Airlines.