Delta to acquire Embraer 190s and more Boeing 737-900 ERs

Named for "C.E. Woolman, Principal Founder and First CEO"

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add up to 20 Embraer 190 and 20 new Boeing 737-900 ER jets acquired through a new agreement with The Boeing Company.

The agreement is part of the airline’s continued strategy to improve its efficiency by adding additional 737-900 ERs and upgauging its mainline fleet with the nearly 100-seat, twin-engine E190 jets while reducing the use of small regional aircraft.

The order announced today offered Delta more compelling economics over a previously cancelled order that also included Boeing-held E190s.

Expected to begin flying in early 2017, Embraer’s unique cabin design in the E190 includes two-by-two seating throughout the Main Cabin, one-by-two in First Class, and large overhead bins and oversized windows.

The additional Boeing 737-900 ERs will bring the total in Delta’s fleet to 120 by 2019. The aircraft features large overhead bins and audio/video seatback entertainment with 20 seats in First Class, 21 seats in Delta Comfort+ and 139 seats in the Main Cabin.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-932 ER WL N827DN (msn 31938) is named for C.E. Woolman, Principal Founder and the First CEO of Delta Air Lines.

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EVA Air to lease four Boeing 787-9s and two 787-10s from ALC

EVA Air 787-10 (01)(Flt)(Boeing)(LRW)

Air Lease Corporation (ALC) (Los Angeles) has announced long term lease agreements with EVA Air (Taipei) for four new Boeing 787-9s and two new Boeing 787-10s. These aircraft are from ALC’s Dreamliner order book with Boeing and will deliver from mid-2018 through early 2020. These placements will bring the number of new Boeing widebody aircraft that EVA Air will lease from ALC to ten, including four Boeing 777-300 ERs already contracted.

ALC logo

Image: Boeing.

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United to add the San Francisco – Nashville route

United Airlines Airbus A319-131 N840UA (msn 1522) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930677.

United Airlines (Chicago) on May 5, 2016 will add a new daily route from its San Francisco hub. The SFO – Nashville route will be added with Airbus A319 aircraft per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-131 N840UA (msn 1522) approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

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American to add six American Eagle routes

American Eagle Airlines (2nd)-Republic Airlines (2nd) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N115HQ (msn 17000182) CLT (Jay Selman). Image: 402723.

American Airlines Group (Dallas/Fort Worth) on April 5, 2016 is adding six new daily American Eagle-branded routes per Airline Route:

Charlotte – Madison (CRJ700s, PSA Airlines)

Chicago (O’Hare) – Norfolk (CRJ700s, Envoy Air)

Chicago (O’Hare) – Providence (CRJ700s, Envoy Air)

New York (LaGuardia) – Kansas City (ERJ 170s, Republic Airlines)

Washington (Reagan National) – Cleveland (CRJ200s, Air Wisconsin)

Washington (Reagan National) – Minneapolis/St. Paul (ERJ 170/175s, Republic Airlines)

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N115HQ (msn 17000182) departs from the Charlotte hub.

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Air New Zealand lands in Houston

Air New Zealand flight NZ28 arrives in Houston to a kapa haka performance. (PRNewsFoto/Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand flight NZ28 arrives in Houston to a kapa haka performance. (PRNewsFoto/Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand’s (Auckland) inaugural flight to Houston touched down yesterday (December 15) at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Flight NZ 28 departed Auckland at 6:30 pm on December 14 and arrived in Houston around 1:15pm local time.

The flight, operated by a Boeing 777-200 aircraft, was welcomed to Houston with a performance on the tarmac by a kapa haka group made up of Air New Zealand staff.

Air New Zealand 2012 logo

This week ANZ marks 50 years of flying to the U.S.

Air New Zealand’s Star Alliance partner United Airlines, which has a large Houston-based hub, will code share into Houston from numerous North American cities. A global gateway city, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) provides nonstop service to nearly 200 airports around the globe (113 domestic U.S. destinations).

Air New Zealand will fly between Houston and Auckland up to five times per week, operating its fully-refurbished Boeing 777-200 ER.

With the addition of Houston, Air New Zealand offers direct service to New Zealand from five North American gateways, also including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Honolulu.

The inaugural flight from Houston to Auckland departed yesterday at 8:25 pm (2025) local time.

Photo: Air New Zealand.

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WestJet releases its fourth annual Christmas video

WestJet (Calgary) today celebrates the release of the airline’s fourth annual holiday video, WestJet Christmas Miracle: 12,000 Mini Miracles, showing how WestJetters and Blue Santa inspired nearly 32,000 random acts of kindness across Canada and from as far away as Europe and Australia.

Set to the tune of the Carol of the Blue Hats, the video tells the story of a magical 24 hours where WestJetters, and those moved by their actions, went out of their way to do something special for someone else. The video’s narrative demonstrates the power a simple act of thoughtfulness can have on someone’s day. The video launches on WestJet’s social media channels on Wednesday, December 16.

This year’s initiative garnered 10,000 mentions on Facebook and Twitter, 200 million Twitter impressions and more than 300,000 visits to the mini-miracle website hub.

Since the launch of the very first WestJet Christmas Miracle video in 2012, videos have nearly 50 million views.

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Virgin America to lease 10 Airbus A321neo aircraft from GECAS

 

GECAS logo

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of GE, has announced it signed an agreement with Virgin America, Inc. (San Francisco), to lease 10 new Airbus A321neo aircraft powered by CFM’s LEAP-1A engines to expand the carrier’s fleet.

The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in in the first quarter of 2017 and the remainder will deliver in 2017 and 2018. All 10 aircraft are part of GECAS’ existing orderbook with Airbus.

Virgin America A321neo (Airbus)(LR)

Image: Airbus.

The A321neo, featuring Airbus’ “Sharklets” and CFM’s LEAP-1A engines (above), delivers per seat fuel savings of up to 20 percent, and provide the best seat-mile costs of any single-aisle aircraft on the market.

Virgin America logo-1

Virgin America also made this announcement:

Virgin America has announced it has agreed to acquire 10 new state-of-the-art Airbus A321neo aircraft, which are up to 20 percent more fuel and carbon efficient than the airline’s current fleet and which will help further reduce operating unit costs and increase revenue opportunities. The 10 new A321neos (short for New Engine Option), which provide the best seat-mile costs of any single-aisle aircraft on the market, are slated for delivery beginning in the first quarter of 2017 continuing through the third quarter of 2018, and will be leased from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS).

With this delivery schedule, Virgin America is expected to be among the first airlines globally to operate A321neo aircraft powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines. The new neo engine option significantly reduces noise levels, with half the noise footprint compared to the ceo engine option[1]. The aircraft will come equipped with fuel-saving Sharklet wingtip devices, similar to the equipment on the airline’s most recent aircraft deliveries, which began service in fall 2015, and the aircraft promise nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that are 50 percent below regulatory limits outlined by the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). In addition, the aircraft promise to deliver up to 20 percent reduced fuel burn over current generation aircraft per seat, which is equivalent to cutting 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions per plane every year.

In addition to their environmental and sustainability benefits, the new A321neos will position Virgin America to take advantage of new revenue opportunities and further improve its unit costs. With its stretched fuselage and cabin innovations, the aircraft allows for more seating capacity without sacrificing the award-winning guest experience the airline has become known for over the past eight years. The aircraft will be configured for Virgin America to include 185 total seats, roughly 24 percent more seating capacity than the airline’s existing A320 aircraft. The A321neo has a similar configuration to – and will feature 95 percent airframe commonality with – other aircraft in the Airbus A320 Family, thereby ensuring a seamless fit into Virgin America’s existing fleet of A320s and A319s. By operating a single fleet type, Virgin America is able to avoid the costs and added operational complexity that come with maintaining different fleet types.

 

This announcement by Virgin America reinforces the airline’s commitment to sustainability and minimizing its carbon footprint by investing in the latest aircraft and engine technologies. Virgin America maintains a relatively young fleet that, even prior to the addition of these new, greener A321neos, is already 15 percent more fuel efficient than the U.S. industry average. Recently, Virgin America joined forces with NASA to test new software created by the space agency that will help reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The technology connects to existing cockpit systems and allows for easier, more automatic route optimization, which could eventually help Virgin America use up to 1.4 million fewer gallons of fuel every year. Virgin America was also the first U.S. airline to document its carbon footprint via the Climate Registry’s accepted standards.

Furthering its green credentials, in 2011, Virgin America opened its sleek and energy-efficient new home at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2). The Terminal achieved LEED® Gold-certification, and Virgin America’s T2 office spaces in 2012 achieved the highest possible LEED® Platinum-certification. Both the Gold and Platinum levels are the first such certifications for a major commercial airport in the U.S. The airline’s Burlingame, California Headquarters has a LEED®-certified Silver standard and has an Energy Star Rating of 87 out of 100.

Virgin America currently operates a fleet of 58 Airbus A320 Family aircraft comprised of A319 and A320 aircraft equipped with original “ceo” engine options. By mid-2016, Virgin America will have taken delivery of five additional A320ceos, bringing the total size of Virgin America’s fleet to 63 aircraft before the new A321neos begin to arrive in 2017.

 

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