Southwest Airlines quietly takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

The new MAX 8 for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) decided it did not want a ceremony afterall at Dallas (Love Field) for the delivery flight arrival of its first new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 (N8710M). The airline cancelled the delivery event at its base due to the on-going flooding of former Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

Southwest was the launch customer of the new Boeing type but delayed its delivery and was not the first airline to take delivery nor the first to put the new type into revenue service. Malindo Air (Lion Air) will hold that title.

N8710M, operating as flight SWA8701/WN8701, departed from Boeing Field at 10:58 am and arrived at DAL at 15:16 (4:16 pm) local time on August 29, 2017 according to FlightAware.

Southwest has ordered 200 copies and plans to receive a total of 14 this year.

The new type will enter revenue service on October 1, 2017. The carrier decided to delay the inaugural flight until it could retire its last Boeing 737-300 as previously reported.

The last Boeing 737-300 revenue flight is currently scheduled for September 29, 2017.

Copyright Photo: Sister Ship: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8706W (msn 42559) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 937642.

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Samoa Airways to commence operations on November 14, 2017

Samoa Airways (Apia) is the new airline of Samoa. The new flag carrier will launch scheduled passenger operations on November 14, 2017 with a leased Boeing 737-800. The first two routes will radiate from the Apia base to both Auckland and Sydney.

Airbus delivers first U.S.-produced A320 to Spirit Airlines

The first delivery of an Airbus A320 aircraft (N650NK) from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility has taken place in Mobile, Alabama. The aircraft, delivered to Spirit Airlines, is the 37th overall delivery from the U.S. facility since production began in July 2015. The previous 36 aircraft were A321 aircraft, making this delivery another important milestone for Airbus.

 

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle product line and comprises four models (A318, A319, A320, A321) Typically seating 150 passengers in two classes, or up to 180 in a high-density layout for charter and low-cost operations, the A320 is in widespread service around the world, flying routes ranging from short commuter sectors to coast-to-coast U.S. flights. To date, the Family has won over 13,200 orders and more than 7,700 aircraft have been delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide.

Airbus announced its commitment to build a single-aisle assembly line in Mobile, Alabama in July 2012, and broke ground for the $600 million facility in April 2013. The ceremonial inauguration of the plant took place in September 2015. Airbus anticipates delivering four aircraft per month from the Mobile plant by the end of this year.

Photo: Airbus.

Spirit Airlines:

Southwest adds 19 new routes and international service to San Jose, Sacramento, Columbus and New Orleans

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-76N WL N7709A (msn 32654) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936847.

Southwest Airlines has announced a substantial investment for its California travelers and communities served as it extended its bookable flight schedule through June 1, 2018. Carrying more passengers to, from, and within the great state of California1, Southwest is thanking its loyal Golden State Customers with even more flights including nearly 20 new nonstop routes and increasing frequency to 27 existing routes as well as opening new international gateways.

1Based on U.S. DOT O&D Survey from grouped by years 1998-2016

Effective March 10, 2018

New nonstop service will be offered on Saturdays between both California cities of San Jose and Sacramento and San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas, subject to requisite government approvals. Additionally, San Diego Customers will be able to enjoy nonstop service on Saturdays and Sundays to and from Puerto Vallarta, complementing daily international service between San Diego and San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Effective April 8, 2018

Among the new routes, travelers can enjoy daily nonstop service between:

Fort Lauderdale 

and

Jacksonville (Three daily flights)

Sacramento

and

Austin

Sacramento

and

St. Louis

San Francisco

and

Austin

San Jose, CA

and

Boise

San Jose, CA 

and

Houston (Hobby)

San Jose, CA 

and

St. Louis

San Jose, CA 

and

Spokane 

Effective May 6, 2018

San Jose, CA 

and

Orlando

Sacramento 

and

Orlando

New Service to Cancun

The carrier also announced today that, beginning April 14, 2018, nonstop service on a seasonal basis is intended to operate on Saturdays between Cancun and both Columbus, Ohio, and New Orleans, both routes subject to requisite government approvals.

Seasonal Returning Routes

The airline also published returning seasonal nonstop routes throughout the country. Effective Sunday, April 8, 2018, Southwest will operate daily service between Houston and Portland, Ore., and weekend service between Denverand Charleston, S.C. Weekly service on Saturdays between Albuquerque and Orlando, and between Kansas Cityand Pensacola, Fla., will operate beginning April 14, 2018.

Southwest continues to estimate its year-over-year available seat mile (ASM) growth to be less than four percent in the first half of 2018 and its full year 2018 ASM growth to be less than its 2016 year-over-year ASM growth of 5.7 percent.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-76N WL N7709A (msn 32654) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936847.

Lanmei Airlines to commence operations on September 15, 2017

Lanmei Airlines (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. was founded in Phnom Penh, capital of Kingdom of Cambodia in 2016. Lanmei refers to Lancang-Mekong River.

The new airline has announced its first scheduled passenger flight will take off on September 15, 2017 linking Phnom Penh with Hanoi, Vietnam and also Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Service to Macau, China will start the following day. Services will be flown with Airbus A320 aircraft.

According to the airline, the logo represents a “peacock spreading its tails. Lanmei Airlines choose the peacock as logo because it symbolizes propitious totem in both oriental and western culture. The six feather of the wings-like logo represents the six Greater Mekong River countries who are community of common destiny drinking the same water. The logo also looks like a rotating aircraft engine, implying to supply new and steady thrust to these six nations.”

All images by Lanmei Airlines.

Fiji Airways to purchase three new Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otters for Fiji Link

Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, has announced plans to expand and upgrade Fiji Link’s Twin Otter fleet, allowing for increased frequencies to key domestic routes like Savusavu and Taveuni. The airline will purchase three brand new latest model DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otters from manufacturer Viking Air Ltd, to replace two of its existing three Series 300 aircraft (below). This will increase the Twin Otter fleet to four aircraft.

Fiji Link de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter DQ-PSE (msn 406) NAN (Rob Finlayson). Image: 934640.

Above Copyright Photo: Fiji Link de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter DQ-PSE (msn 406) NAN (Rob Finlayson). Image: 934640.

Arriving in October 2017 and early 2018, the three new Twin Otter aircraft will have air-conditioned cabins for increased customer comfort. Their state of the art digital avionics systems and operating features will greatly enhance operational reliability and an easier transition for Fiji Link pilots to progress onto the ATR fleet. The impending fleet expansion has already initiated the recruitment and training of additional local pilots, resulting in more employment opportunities for Fijians.

 

The ever-versatile Twin Otter remains the aircraft of choice for Fiji Link’s domestic operations into smaller airports with short airstrips, and where airport and runway infrastructure is limited. It has the ability to land on most runway surfaces given its size, weight, and take-off and landing requirements. It has proven especially reliable in the Fijian domestic operating environment, with Fiji Link having over ten years of experience operating this aircraft type. Fiji Link also has the option to purchase a fourth brand new Series 400 Twin Otter aircraft. A decision on exercising this option will be made in 2018.

Fiji Link:

Fiji Airways:

Route Map:

French Blue takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

First Airbus A350, delivered on August 22, 2017

French Blue (Paris-Orly) on August 22, 2017 took delivery of its first Airbus A350-900.

The new type entered revenue service between Paris-Orly and Saint-Denis de La Réunion that night and arrived at the destination on August 23, 2017.

Copyright Photo: French blue (Air Caraïbes) Airbus A350-941 F-HREU (msn 005) ORY (Jacques Guillem). Image: 939208.

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