Finnair receives permission to transfer its 60% share of Nordic Regional Airlines

Finnair logo

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced its has received permission to transfer its 60 percent stock ownership in Nordic Regional Airlines to StaffPoint Holding Oy and Kilco Oy. Finnair wiill retain a 40 percent interest in the regional feeder airline. Here is the official statement:

Nordic Regional-Norra logo (blue)(LRW)

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority has approved the transaction in which Finnair transfers 60% of the shares in Nordic Regional Airlines AB to StaffPoint Holding Oy and Kilco Oy. Upon completion of the sale, StaffPoint’s ownership in the joint venture will be 45%, Kilco’s 15% and Finnair’s 40%. The transaction is expected to close in November 2015.

Finnair-Nordic Regional aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Copyright Photo Below: Rolf Wallner/ Nordic Regional operates ATR 72s and Embraer regional jets for Finnair in Finnair colors. Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKL (msn 19000153) taxies at Zurich.

Finnair (Nordic Regional Airlines-Norra) Embraer ERJ 190-100LR OH-LKL (msn 19000153) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 929151.


Allegiant announces nine new routes and two new cities

Allegiant's special 2013 Make-A-Wish charity logo jet

Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) has announced nine new routes and service to two new cities — Dayton, Ohio and Flint, Michigan.

The new routes include:

Year-round nonstop service to Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) from:

Belleville, Illinois – Begins Feb. 18, 2016
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Begins Feb. 18, 2016

Seasonal nonstop service to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) from:

Pittsburgh – Begins Feb. 19, 2016 and ends May 16, 2015

Year-round nonstop service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) from:

Pittsburgh – Begins Feb. 19, 2016

Year-round nonstop service to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) from:

Flint, Michigan – Begins April 13, 2016
Dayton, Ohio – Begins April 15, 2016

Year-round nonstop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) from:

Flint, Michigan – Begins April 14, 2016
Dayton, Ohio – Begins April 14, 2016
Richmond, Virginia – Begins April 14, 2016

All newly announced routes will be twice weekly.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/ Allegiant Air Airbus A320-214 N218NV (msn 1229) in the special Make-A-Wish livery departs from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Allegiant Air aircraft slide show:“>

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Colorful Guizhou Airlines to commence operations

Colorful Guizhou ERJ 190-100 (15)(Flt)(Embraer)(LRW)

Colorful Guizhou Airlines (Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China) has announced it will commence operations on December 28 with Embraer E190s. As previously announced by Embraer on June 15, 2015, the manufacturer had concluded an agreement with the new airline for 17 E190s.

CGA is the first locally-owned airline in China’s Guizhou Province. The contract is for seven firm orders with the first delivery in December 2015.

Colorful Guizhou Airlines is Embraer’s fifth E-Jet customer in China and the first in the southwest of the country.

Colorful Guizhou Airlines was established by the Guizhou Industrial Investment (Group) Company, Limited.

CGA will target operating to cities in Guizhou and neighboring provinces. Its entrance marks the end of the absence of a locally-owned airline in Guizhou and the start of improvements to regional aviation in western China.

The scope of the carrier’s business covers transport of cargo, aviation advertising, mail delivery, cabin supply, catering industry, tourism and real estate industry. The airline is expected to start flying in 2015. The fleet plan calls for 30 aircraft by 2020, and between 120 and 140 in the future.”

Image: Embraer.

American Airlines follows others and updates its AAdvantage® Program

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) has updated its frequent flyer rewards program with this announcement:

American Airlines 2013 logo

American Airlines is taking the first step in the evolution of its award-winning AAdvantage® loyalty program. In the second half of 2016, the program will shift how customers earn award miles from distance flown to dollars spent. Award redemption rates will be adjusted with some award levels increasing, while others will be decreasing. Additionally, American will offer the best elite-qualifying mile multipliers in the industry and simplify the elite qualification process to better reward customers.

Earning Award Miles

In the second half of 2016, when traveling on flights marketed by American, members will begin earning award miles based on the price of the ticket purchased (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees) and that member’s elite status level.

AAdvantage members will receive five miles for every U.S. dollar spent on the base fare and carrier-imposed fees. Gold members will receive seven miles, Platinum members will receive eight and Executive Platinum members will receive 11 miles per dollar spent.

American AAdvantage Change 1

*Calculation based on an AAdvantage member flying round-trip on an American marketed flight from Dallas (DFW) to London-Heathrow (LHR). Base fare plus carrier-imposed fees – $1,894.

**Calculation based on an AAdvantage member flying round-trip on an American marketed flight from Dallas (DFW) to London-Heathrow (LHR). Flight distance – 9,502 miles round-trip.

Award miles for travel on most flights marketed by partner airlines will be based on a percentage of the flight distance and the booking code purchased. More details will be announced in 2016.

Until the new award mile earning structure takes effect, members will still earn award miles based on the distance flown. American is extending its bonus miles promotion that allows members to earn even more on purchased First or Business class tickets. More information can be found at

Award Redemption Levels

In March 2016, some award redemption levels will be reduced by as much as 40 percent, and AAdvantage members will continue to book award travel on any day of the year without any blackout dates. For tickets booked on or after March 22, award redemption levels to popular destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America will be reduced, and MileSAAver awards for flights 500 miles or less in the U.S. and Canada will be redeemable for as low as 7,500 miles one way (plus any applicable taxes and carrier-imposed fees). Award redemption levels on other routes, such as some flights to Europe and Asia will increase due to changes to market pricing and demand.

AAdvantage Elite Qualification

Beginning January 2016, the AAdvantage program will offer two simple ways to qualify for elite status – Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) at the same thresholds as today. Elite-qualifying points will be discontinued. Members will earn more EQMs for purchasing higher fares, and EQSs will still be awarded for each eligible flight segment flown. American will offer the most generous multipliers in the industry.

American AAdvantage Change 2

Beginning with the 2017 membership year, elite status will be valid through January 31 of the following year.

Upgrade Programs

The AAdvantage program provides complimentary, auto-requested upgrades for all elite members on domestic flights 500 miles or less, and AAdvantage Executive Platinum members receive complimentary, auto-requested upgrades on all domestic flights regardless of length.

With the higher EQM earn rates in 2016, beginning March 1, Gold and Platinum members will earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 12,500 EQMs earned during the membership year. The cost of a 500-mile upgrade will be 40 dollars when purchased online, at the airport or from an agent.

Beginning January 1, 2016, Executive Platinum members will receive four systemwide upgrades upon qualification for the 2017 membership year, with the opportunity to earn up to four more based on flight activity – two for every 50,000 EQMs earned above the 100,000 EQM threshold up to 200,000 EQMs.

The AAdvantage program was the first loyalty program in the industry, created in 1981.

Crystal Luxury Air to launch operations with a Boeing 777-200LR


Crystal Cruises for Crystal Luxury Air (Los Angeles) has made this announcement:

Crystal Cruises, the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, is once again pioneering new fronts in the luxury travel industry with the purchase of a Boeing 777-200 LR, offering an array of global itineraries for its expanded brand extension Crystal Luxury Air. The announcement comes on the heels of Crystal’s groundbreaking news in July of an extensive brand expansion, which will include extravagant air vacations around the world aboard a luxurious Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

In addition to doubling the initial air projections with the expanded aircraft fleet, Crystal will work with the Registry of Aruba in developing and securing an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). This will pave the way for Crystal Luxury Air to launch international operations. The twin-aisle Boeing 777-200 LR will be redesigned to accommodate just 88 guests with flat-bed first class seats; a beautifully appointed lounge and bar; and offer 14- and 28-day around-the-world and international itineraries, beginning in 2017.

The twin-aisle Boeing 777-200 LR, and the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which typically seats up to 300 passengers and will be redesigned to accommodate just 52 guests, will boast the premium luxury that discerning global travelers have come to expect from Crystal, including copious amounts of guest space, plush amenities and Crystal’s world-class service and crew. Trips will include accommodations at the world’s most luxurious hotels, the finest Michelin star-level cuisine prepared by celebrated chefs and fabulous local cultural entertainment. Additionally, the aircrafts can be arranged for special charters.

Images: Crystal Cruises.


Air Canada’s flight attendants ratify the latest contract offer

Air Canada (Montreal) issued this statement:

Air Canada logo-1

Air Canada welcomes the confirmation by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing approximately 6,500 flight attendants at Air Canada and 700 at Air Canada rouge, that its members have ratified a ten-year agreement on collective agreement terms for ten years.


The agreement is subject to certain openers over the ten year period. The agreement has been approved by the Air Canada Board of Directors.

This agreement with CUPE follows on the conclusion in October 2014 of a new agreement with Air Canada’s 3,000 pilots on collective agreement terms for ten years. It is the fifth collective agreement reached by Air Canada and its unions, including those with Unifor representing the airline’s 4,000 Customer Service and Sales Agents in Canada, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) representing its U.S. unionized workforce and UNITE representing its U.K unionized workforce.

Delta to start Los Angeles – Denver flights

Delta Connection-SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N807SK (msn 15082) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 929995.

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch five daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Denver International Airport beginning June 1, 2016.

In 2016, Delta will begin operating Boeing 717 aircraft on all Delta Shuttle flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco, increase to 10 daily flights to both New York-JFK and Seattle/Tacoma and add a third daily flight to Boston. Delta’s seat growth in Los Angeles has grown more than 99 percent since 2009, the most of any carrier.

Delta’s Los Angeles to Denver flights will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George) using two-class, 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft.

Delta operates 160 peak-day departures to 60 destinations from Los Angeles.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/ Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N807SK (msn 15082) of SkyWest Airlines departs from LAX.

Delta Connection-SkyWest aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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