Tag Archives: Airbus A320-214

Tbilisi, a new Air France destination

"Paris 2024 Candidate City" special markings

Air France has made this announcement:

For the 2019 summer season (March 31 to October 26, 2019), Air France will offer its customers Tbilisi (Georgia) on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. This route will be operated with two weekly flights (Wednesday and Sunday) from April 1, 2019.

Flight schedules (in local time):

AF1760: leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 13:30, arrives in Tbilisi at 20:25;
AF1761: leaves Tbilisi at 9:00, arrives at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 12:10.
Flight operated on Wednesdays and Sundays by Airbus A320 on departure from Paris.

In addition, with its partner Georgian Airways, Air France customers will benefit from a total 5 weekly flights between Paris and Tbilisi (2 weekly flights operated by Air France and 3 weekly flights operated by Georgian Airways).

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Air France Airbus A320-214 F-GKXI (msn 1949) (Paris-Candidate City 2024 Olympic Games) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 941983.

Air France aircraft slide show:

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Small Planet Airlines of Lithuania ceases operations

Small TUI stickers on the doors

Small Planet Airlines (Lithuania) (Vilnius) ceased all operations at midnight on November 28, 2018 after its AOC was suspended by the government of Lithuania.

The airline was in administration after it Polish and German subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in October and November. The airline was attempting to reorganize but failed.

The airline issued this statement:

Small Planet Airlines flights are not operating any more.

If you have flight scheduled for Small Planet Airlines: please contact your tour operator for rebooking.

We say big “Thank you” for all passengers who were with us for more than 10 years.

Small Planet Airlines was the largest subsidiary of the Small Planet Group which also owned smaller and now defunct sister companies in Germany, Poland, Italy and Cambodia.

The airline at the end was operating seven Airbus A320s.

Top Copyright Photo: Small Planet Airlines (Lithuania) – TUI Airbus A320-214 LY-SPF (msn 967) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 935826.

Small Planet Airlines aircraft slide show:

Will Air France end the Joon experiment?

Joon (Air France) Airbus A320-214 F-GKXT (msn 3859) LIS (Ton Jochems). Image: 940724.

The new CEO of Air France-KLM (Ben Smith) wants to end Joon, the lower-cost subsidiary project of Air France designed to appeal to millennials according to Reuters.

Joon was the project of previous CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac.

The employees of Joon are expected to be placed with parent Air France if the final decision is made.

Look now, Joon painted aircraft could become a rarity in 2019.

Previously Joon was planning to add six new destinations for the summer of 2019:

Starting in summer 2019, Joon will serve 6 new destinations:

In Europe:

  • Madrid;
  • Stockholm;
  • Prague;
  • Manchester.

In the Caribbean:

  • Saint Martin.

In South America:

  • Quito.

Starting next summer Joon will serve 6 new destinations from Paris-CDG: Madrid* (Spain), Stockholm* (Sweden), Prague* (Czech Republic), Manchester* (UK), Saint-Martin* (France) and Quito (Ecuador).

  • Madrid, Stockholm, Prague and Manchester by Airbus A320 and A321!

From Paris-CDG, Joon will fly to Madrid, Stockholm, Prague and Manchester by Airbus A320 (174 seats) and A321 (212 seats).

Here is the full report by Reuters:

Air France-KLM is mulling the closure of Joon, its newest airline brand, company sources told Reuters, in an about-face that could help new boss Ben Smith address the chronic underperformance of the main Air France business.

The discussion about scrapping Joon, which has not been decided, may be a sign of the Canadian chief executive’s determination to tackle weak Air France profitability head-on rather than mitigate it with lower-cost secondary offerings, as many of his predecessors have tried and failed to do.

The new CEO “has made clear he doesn’t understand the positioning or identity of Joon,” one Air France source said. “It’s a question he’s raised internally, several times.”

An Air France-KLM spokesman declined to comment.

Smith, hired in August to restore peace and prosperity to the Franco-Dutch group after devastating strikes that led to his predecessor’s resignation, has said Air France must narrow the profitability gap with its more efficient KLM stablemate. The Dutch carrier recorded an 8.8 percent profit margin last year, more than double Air France’s 3.7 percent margin.

The former Air Canada second-in-command is now urging Air France pilots to relinquish some perks if they want more pay rises, two people familiar with the matter said. That may include giving up downtown hotels and sleeping at the airport on long-haul layovers, as their KLM colleagues already do.

Layover accommodation is just one aspect of the complex accords now up for renegotiation with pilots’ unions – who are pressing for a 4.7 percent pay increase in addition to the 4 percent company-wide raise negotiated last month to offset real-income erosion during earlier pay freezes.

“We’ve always had downtown hotels as part of our package,” one pilot union official said. “It’s not really our job to hang around at airports for two days, as nice as they are.”

By winding down Joon, created a year ago, Smith could actually foster staff goodwill and help reach cost-saving agreements for Air France and its other two brands – low-cost operator Transavia and domestic short-haul Hop. Strikes earlier this year wiped 335 million euros ($381 million) off earnings.

Created by his predecessor Jean-Marc Janaillac to replace Air France on the least profitable routes, Joon combines standard company pilot contracts with 540 cabin staff on lower-cost terms. But it has proven unpopular with clients, employees and investors alike.

“The intention to get rid of Joon would be understandable,” said HSBC analyst Andrew Lobbenberg. “You’ve got a whole new business created with all the complexity and cost, just to get a handful of cheap cabin crew – that’s not rational.”

Smith “should be negotiating what he can get in terms of productivity and efficiency across the whole Air France group, against which he trades the closure of Joon,” Lobbenberg added.

The decision may be swayed by growing discontent among Joon cabin crew, who recently threatened fresh strike action unless pay and conditions are improved.

“When Ben Smith got here, he said to us, ‘What is this Joon thing?’,” another Air France union official said. “That’s more or less what we’ve been saying all along.”

Top Copyright Photo: Joon (Air France) Airbus A320-214 F-GKXT (msn 3859) LIS (Ton Jochems). Image: 940724.

Joon aircraft slide show:

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Brussels Airlines announces its summer 2019 schedule

Brussels Airlines' salute to Belgian artist René Magritte

Brussels Airlines increases its flight frequencies to African destinations Accra, Freetown, Lomé and Monrovia to offer more flexibility and even better connecting options.

Furthermore, the airline adds flights to European leisure destinations in different regions during summer 2019. While technology becomes ever more important for the airline, a personal service on the ground remains very important to Brussels Airlines.

Brussels Airlines adds extra flights on its routes to Accra (Ghana), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Lomé (Togo) and Monrovia (Liberia), offering its guests more flexibility and even better connecting options via Brussels to the large continental and intercontinental network of the airline. On the European network, Brussels Airlines flies for the first time ever in summer to Kiev and Wroclaw. On top of that, the airline increases its frequencies to different holiday regions. Compared to the summer season last year, the airline will have more flights to Alicante, Athens, Faro, Florence, Naples, Saint Petersburg and  to the Greek islands Crete, Kos and Rhodes as well as to Lanzarote and Djerba, offering even more possibilities for leisure travel. Furthermore, during the runway works at Linate Airport, all flights to Milan between July 27 and October 27, will be shifted from Linate Airport to Malpensa Airport.

New destinations

Kiev (Ukraine): 4 x week

Wroclaw (Poland): 3 x week

Extra frequencies

Accra (Ghana) : 7 x Week

Freetown (Sierra Leone): 5 x week

Lomé (Togo): 7 x week

Monrovia (Liberia): 5 x week

Alicante: 8 x week

Athens: 6 x week

Faro: 8 x week

Florence: 8 x week

Naples: 8 x week

Saint-Petersburg: 4 x week

Heraklion (Crete): 9 x week

Kos: 4 x week

Rhodes: 5 x week

Lanzarote: 4 x week

Djerba: 3 x week

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-SNC (msn 1797) (René Magritte) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 944509.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Aeroflot to launch flights to Dublin

CSKA Moscow Football Club

Aeroflot issued this statement:

Starting from October 28, 2018, Aeroflot will operate regular flights to Dublin, the capital of Ireland (below).

Daily flights on Airbus A320 aircraft will operate on the following schedules:

Moscow-Dublin (all times local):

– flight SU 2590 will depart Sheremetyevo at 19:20 and arrive in Dublin at 20:45.

– return flight SU 2591 will depart Dublin at 21:45 and arrive at Sheremetyevo at 04:50 +1.

Flights will operate under the winter timetable effective from October 28, 2018 through March 30, 2019.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Aeroflot): Aeroflot Russian Airlines Airbus A320-214 VP-BWE (msn 2133) (CSKA Moscow Football Club) CDG (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 943847.

Aeroflot aircraft slide show:

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Aer Lingus to introduce a new livery and uniforms in January 2019

Aer Lingus Airbus A320-214 EI-DEK (msn 2399) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 943518.

Aer Lingus in January 2019 will roll out a new brand according to CEO Stephen Kavanagh ahead of the first Airbus A321LR delivery in April 2019.

The update will also include new uniforms.

Let’s hope Aer Lingus does lose its “color” in its color scheme for a bland “Eurowhite” “updated” livery.

Previously on August 3, 2018 CEO Stephen Kavanagh issued this report on the first six months of 2018:

Aer Lingus has an ambitious flight path – to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic. This vision is enabled by a profitable, sustainable short-haul network; and is supported by a guest-focused brand and digitally-enabled value proposition. Todays’ results are the latest manifestation of the airline’s successful business model. A business model that has delivered accelerated growth, boosted traffic, created new Irish job opportunities and driven Irish tourism growth particularly from North America over the past number of years.

We are now re-investing in the business to deliver future growth. This year Aer Lingus is flying 17 times daily to 13 North American gateways, providing a record 2.75 million seats between Ireland and North America: we have almost doubled our North American transatlantic capacity from Dublin over the past five years. This growth has a very positive impact on the wider economy in this country with tourism receipts from North American visitors up 27% since 2015 to over €1.5 billion.

We have invested in our people with hundreds of new Cabin Crew, Pilot and Ground positions created this summer; we had over 8,600 applicants for the Aer Lingus Future Pilot Programme which launched in April; our Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme launched in May is a four-year programme run in conjunction with DIT and SOLAS, Further Education & Training Authority in Ireland. Our commitment to investing in our people is exemplified by the multi-million euro investment in a new joint flight crew and cabin crew training centre which will be open in 2020.

We have been undergoing a programme of positive change in response to our ambitious growth strategy. We have repositioned our brand and enhanced our product and guest experience offering a new Aer Lingus Business Class; WiFi on A330s; new website and mobile app; automated check-in and bag drop experience at Dublin airport, to name just a few. All of these changes are informed by extensive guest engagement, we listen carefully to the over 12 million guests we carry every year and adapt our offer accordingly.

In order to realise our growth ambitions, significant infrastructure development and process improvement is required at Dublin Airport. We expect that the airport’s forthcoming Capital Investment Programme will begin to address the infrastructure deficits at the airport. Prior to the delivery of such infrastructure, we are hopeful that airlines can work with Dublin Airport to make significant process improvement and to optimise existing infrastructure in order to address the existing congestion and to facilitate growth.

Our aim is to compete on the global stage and to realise our ambition to be the leading value carrier on the North Atlantic. Our new aircraft being delivered from 2019 – the Airbus A321 NEO LR, will make new airports in the US more attractive and present a variety of potential destination cities. To realise the new opportunity that these new modern fuel-efficient aircraft will provide, we launched a search for new 2019 North American Airport destinations presenting a unique opportunity for local communities to invest, alongside Aer Lingus, in the introduction or expansion of our service, as has been so successfully realised in Hartford. Our new uniform will project a distinctive, contemporary Irish brand that can compete internationally, as we target travel to Europe from North America as well as those travelling west. We have a clear path for continued growth.

This success is the result of our value model, based on the pillars of cost, product and service which continues to deliver. Our investment in new aircraft, new uniforms, new facilities, and new people is part of our objective to futureproof the business and is demonstrative of our big ambitions.

Stephen Kavanagh is CEO of Aer Lingus

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Aer Lingus): Aer Lingus Airbus A320-214 EI-DEK (msn 2399) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 943518.

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

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Brussels Airlines invests further in its Africa network, drops Mumbai

Brussels Airlines continues to invest in its position on the African market, by further reinforcing its flight offer to and from the continent.

As of next year, the airline adds 3 extra flights per week to Banjul (Gambia) and will operate 3 out of the 7 weekly frequencies to Dakar (Senegal) as a direct flight, without a stop in another African airport.

At the same time, the airline ceases its operations to and from Mumbai on January 6, 2019, but continues to offer its customers smooth travel options via Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich with Lufthansa Group partners Lufthansa and Swiss.

After a network expansion of 26 short- and medium-haul destinations this summer, Brussels Airlines invests further in its African long-haul network in winter. The airline will service Banjul (The Gambia) daily instead of 4 times a week. From the 7 weekly flights to and from Dakar, 3 flights will become direct flights, without a stop in another African airport from 7 January onwards, creating more capacity on the flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Brussels Airlines’ Mumbai flights, which were launched in March 2017, will be stopped on January 6, 2019 for economic reasons, as the route does not deliver the anticipated results. At the same time, passengers still have ample alternative travel options via Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich thanks to Lufthansa Group airlines Lufthansa and SWISS. The Mumbai flight capacity will be used to refocus on Africa, the core intercontinental business of Brussels Airlines.

Customers who had booked flights to or from Mumbai after 6 January are being contacted by Brussels Airlines and are offered alternative travel solutions to get to their final destination.

On the short-haul network, Brussels Airlines adds two new destinations: as from October Kiev (Ukraine) will be served 4 times a week and as of February a 3-weekly service to Wroclaw (Poland) will be launched. Furthermore the airline adds additional frequencies to existing destinations this winter season, including Alicante, Billund, Bordeaux, Faro, Geneva, Lisbon, Malaga and Tel Aviv.

Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-TCV (msn 1968) LHR (SPA). Image: 941759.

Above Copyright Photo: Brussels Airlines Airbus A320-214 OO-TCV (msn 1968) LHR (SPA). Image: 941759.

Brussels Airlines aircraft slide show:

Brussels Airlines is also making a significant investment this winter in its long-haul product and overall on board experience by gradually renewing the cabins of its ten Airbus A330 aircraft, launching a brand new Business Class, a renewed Economy Class and for the first time a Premium Economy Class in a separate cabin. The first refurbished aircraft will be ready in December.

New destinations starting in Winter 2018-2019:

  • Kiev 4x/week (as of October 2018) – all-year destination
  • Wroclaw 3x/week (as of Feb 2019) – all-year destination

Additional frequencies as from Winter Season (starting on October 29, 2018)

Short Haul

  • Alicante +1/week
  • Billund +2/week
  • Bordeaux +1/week
  • Faro +1/week
  • Geneva +1/week
  • Lisbon +1/week

Long Haul (changes effective as from January 7, 2019)

  • Banjul +3/week (daily service)
  • Dakar: remains daily service but 3 times direct

All other images by Brussels Airlines.