Southwest Airlines and Discovery Channel team up for “Shark Week”

Southwest Airlines and the Discovery Channel are teaming up once again to bring television’s most anticipated summer event, Shark Week, to new heights. Southwest revealed a Shark Week- themed 737-700 aircraft, the pictured 737-7H4 N944WN (msn 36659), with an all new, larger-than-life underwater scene depicting five shark species along the fuselage. The plane will fly the skies as part of the Southwest fleet through August 31, 2017, as millions tune in to Discovery’s Shark Week airing July 23 through July 30, 2017.

Customers and Shark Week fans who spot the Shark Week plane throughout the summer are encouraged to take a photo and share it with @SouthwestAir and @SharkWeek, using the hashtag #SharksTakeFlight.

While Shark Week fans anxiously await the July 23 premiere of Shark Week, Southwest Customers are getting in on the jawsome action early. Continuing throughout the summer, Customers onboard WiFi-equipped aircraft can enjoy a pre-premiere episode of African Shark Safari through Southwest’s onboard entertainment portal via the Shark Week ondemand Channel. Customers flying during Shark Week can tune-in live via the entertainment portal live TV on Discovery Channel July 23 through July 30. Southwest and Discovery will also host a surprise takeover on a special flight to kick off Shark Week!

This exciting partnership with Discovery’s Shark Week is an opportunity to celebrate the carrier’s newest international destination, Grand Cayman, which Southwest serves with nonstop flights from Ft. Lauderdale. Want a bite of the nonstop action? Southwest and Discovery will send a winner and three guests on an adventure of a lifetime through the Dare to Dive Sweepstakes.  Customers and Shark Week fans can enter for a chance to win the Dare to Dive sweepstakes which includes roundtrip Southwest air travel for four (Government-imposed per passenger travel taxes of up to $150 per person are not included and are payable by each of winner and guest prior to travel), a $2,000 Ritz Carlton gift card, and a $1,000 Visa gift card for an aquatic adventure of the winner’s choosing.

Photos: Southwest Airlines/Stephen M. Keller.

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Northern Air Cargo to become a new Boeing 767-300 freighter operator, adds its first Boeing 737-400

1st 737-400F, delivered June 13, 2017, new livery

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. stated its subsidiary, Cargo Aircraft Management, has reached agreement with Northern Aviation Services, Inc. for the lease of three Boeing 767-300 freighters to be operated by subsidiary Northern Air Cargo.  The aircraft will provide service to its cargo brands Aloha Air Cargo based in Hawaii, StratAir based in Florida, and Northern Air Cargo (NAC) based in Alaska.

Northern Aviation Services, Inc. operates Boeing 737 freighters and provides 767 freighter services under ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) agreements with ATSG’s airline subsidiaries.

Under the agreements, CAM will lease three 767-300 freighters to Northern Aviation Services, Inc. for seven-year terms, beginning with the first lease in October 2017. The agreements also provide for the potential lease of additional 767-300s from CAM in 2018.  These long-term lease placements will add to the already greater than 80 percent of CAM’s 767 fleet contracted under multi-year dry lease.

Some of the leased 767-300s will replace CAM-owned 767-200/300s currently operating on an ACMI basis under ATSG’s Wet-2-Dry program, which allows carriers to prove their business case for 767s under ACMI arrangements, then transition to long-term dry lease arrangements.

ATSG President and CEO Joe Hete said, “Our relationship with Northern Aviation Services and its affiliates began in 2015 and is expanding based on the solid relationship the companies have developed over that time. We are pleased that NAS has come to appreciate the advantages of our midsize Boeing 767s and the benefits they can provide to regional air cargo networks like the one that NAS is developing. We hope to provide more details about our continuing role as a provider of reliable midsize freighters to NAS in the coming months.”

NAS President and CEO David Karp said, “We’re pleased to be moving forward with our transition from wet leasing to dry leasing with CAM. Our experience over the past two years has given us the confidence to move ahead with this initiative. We look forward to continued mutually beneficial collaboration with ATSG, CAM, and their family of companies. We have already commenced hiring and training of pilots to accommodate this expansion and our operating companies are excited about providing expanded services to our valued customers.”

NAC just recently added its first Boeing 737-400 freighter and also has simplified its livery (above). N401YK arrived on June 13, 2017 and was entered into revenue service to Nome the following day from Anchorage.

Copyright Photo: NAC-Northern Air Cargo Boeing 737-436 (F) N401YK (msn 25860) ANC (Marco Finelli). Image: 938387.

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Azur Air Germany commences operations

New German charter airline commences operations

Azurair GmbH, trading as Azur Air Germany (Dusseldorf), is a new German charter airline. The airline is owned by tour operator Anex Tourism Group.
The new airline received its AOC on June 30, 2017.
Operations commenced on July 4, 2017 with a flight from the DUS base to Palma de Mallorca with the pictured Boeing 767-33A ER D-AZUB (msn 28043, ex VQ-BUP).
Copyright Photo: Azur Air (Germany) Boeing 767-33A D-AZUB (msn 28043) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 938494.

United Airlines to introduce the Boeing 777-300ER on additional routes

 

United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2639U (msn 62650) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 938448.

United Airlines has announced additional Boeing 777-300ER service, the airline’s newest aircraft type featuring the all-new United Polaris business class seats, to its flight schedules. With the schedule update over the weekend, the airline expects to begin 777-300ER service on the following routes*:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Beijing (PEK) beginning September 6, 2017 westbound (September 8, 2017 eastbound)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA)** beginning October 5, 2017 eastbound (October 6, 2017 westbound)
  • New York/Newark (EWR) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) beginning October 28, 2017 westbound (October 29, 2017eastbound)

*Flight and aircraft schedules are subject to change.
** United offers two daily flights between SFO-FRA through October 27, 2017. The 777-300ER will serve flights UA 58/59.

Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are already in service on United’s San Francisco – Hong Kong (HKG), San Francisco to Tokyo Narita, and New York/Newark – Tel Aviv (TLV) routes and will begin service from San Francisco to Taipei (TPE) on August 1. United expects to place into service all 14 aircraft in its first 777-300ER order in 2017. The airline recently announced an order for four additional 777-300ER aircraft.

All-New Business Class Seat

United’s 777-300ER aircraft offers a modern, spacious interior envisioned in partnership with design firm PriestmanGoode, including the airline’s all-new United Polaris business class seat. Each United Polaris suite-like pod features direct access to the aisle, a 180-degree flat-bed that measures 6’6” and 23 inches wide with infinite seat recline options and one-touch lumbar support, ample storage, multiple surfaces that enable passengers to dine while working, universal A/C power as well as 2-USB ports, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen, electronic privacy dividers for seats in the center of the cabin, mood lighting and an illuminated “Do Not Disturb” sign. Additionally, a marble-topped bar unit offers customers in business class a place to grab a mid-flight drink or snack.

This new seat represents the latest in the continued roll-out of United Polaris, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience for intercontinental travelers.

The Boeing 777-300ER features 60 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct-aisle access from all seats.

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2639U (msn 62650) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 938448.

BRA operates its last SAAB 2000 revenue flight

On June 25, 2017 BRA – Braathens Regional Airlines (Stockholm-Bromma) flew for the last time with the SAAB 2000. The last flight was operated from Stockholm-Bromma to Umeå.

On landing the crew was met by the tradtional water cannon salute.

The company replaced its older SAAB 2000s with newer ATR 72s.

BRA serves 13 destinations in Sweden.

Copyright Photo: Andreas. SAAB 2000 SE-MFM (msn 022) departs from Umea Airport.

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BVI Airways to launch nonstop Tortola – Miami service

Miami International Airport has announced BVI Airways is scheduled to launch first-ever nonstop service between Tortola, British Virgin Islands and MIA on July 22, with two weekly roundtrip flights on Saturdays and Sundays.

BVI Airways will use the pictured BAe (Avro) RJ100 aircraft (VP-LWW, msn E3274, above) to serve the new route, which connects Miami to the British Virgin Islands’ capital and largest island. Tortola will also be MIA’s 40th Caribbean destination with nonstop service.

Previously British Caribbean Airways (below) was a short-lived British airline that attempted to connect Tortola in the British Virgin Islands with Miami via Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The 146 operator flew between April 14, 1986 and October 12, 1987.

Top Photo: BVI Airways.

Copyright Photo Below: British Caribbean Airways BAe 146-100 N246SS (msn E1003) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 103394.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 1986