Tag Archives: Airbus A320-251N WL

IAG, Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air submit French ATC strikes complaint to European Commission

A320neo, delivered on April 25, 2018

International Airlines Group (IAG), Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air have submitted complaints to the European Commission against France as its air traffic controllers’ strikes restrict the fundamental principle of freedom of movement within the EU.

The airlines are not questioning the right to strike but believe France is breaking EU law by not enabling flights over the country during strikes. Passengers on overflights are being denied their fundamental freedom to travel between member states not affected by strike action.

So far this year, French ATC strikes have increased by 300 per cent versus 2017. Last month, the French Senate confirmed that France alone is responsible for 33 per cent of flight delays in Europe. The Senate states also that the right to strike has to be balanced against the obligation to provide public service. (*).

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “The right to strike needs to be balanced against freedom of movement. It’s not only customers flying in and out of France who are affected during French ATC strikes. Passengers on routes that overfly France, especially the large airspace that covers Marseille and the Mediterranean, are also subject to delays and massive disruptions. This affects all airlines but has a significant negative impact on Spain’s tourism and economy.”

The complaints state that there is a legal precedent to this case. In 1997, the Spanish complained to the European Commission after they suffered for many years when French farmers prevented their fruit and vegetable exports into the EU. The European Court ruled against France as the French authorities didn’t address the farmers’ actions and failed to ensure the free movement of goods (**).

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said: “Europe’s ATC providers are reaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled and delayed daily either because of ATC strikes or because Europe’s ATC don’t have enough staff. When Greece and Italy have ATC strikes, overflights continue as normal. Why won’t France do the same? ATC providers (especially in Germany and the UK) are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough air traffic controllers to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate. These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on Europe’s Governments and the EU Commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that ATC providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.”

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, said: “We fully respect the right to strike and have been in constructive dialogue with the EU and the French government to address the issue of ATC strikes. Unfortunately, our passengers have felt little progress so far, which is why we felt it is necessary to take this next step – particularly given the sustained industrial action this year which has totalled 29 days to date.”

József Váradi, Wizz Air’s chief executive, said: “The failure of French air traffic control authorities to ensure a continued and adequate service has already caused massive disruption to the travel plans of thousands of passengers across Europe, with airlines left to pick up the pieces. Addressing this issue must be a priority for the European authorities to ensure European citizens and businesses are no longer held hostage to national industrial relations issues.”

According to Eurocontrol, more than 16,000 flights had been delayed by June this year due to ATC strikes, affecting more than two million passengers.

Last summer, the European Commission said that since 2005 there have been around 357 ATC strikes in Europe. That’s the equivalent of roughly one month per year when the EU skies are disrupted.

Top Copyright Photo (all other photos by respective airlines):

British Airways aircraft slide show: British Airways Airbus A320-251N WL G-TTNB (msn 8139) LIS (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 942707.

British Airways slide show (Airbus):


easyJet adds its 1,000th route

easyJet (UK) Airbus A320-251N WL G-UZHC (msn 7802) (NEO) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 942644.

easyJet on July 12 reached a key milestone with the launch of its 1000th route. The 1000th route, is from Manchester to Bordeaux.

The new routes commencing in winter 2018 are:

Belfast to Fuerteventura

Belfast to Prague

Belfast to Salzburg

Bristol to Larnaca

Bristol to Are Ostersund

Bristol to Sofia

Glasgow to Venice

Liverpool to Toulouse

London Luton to Gibraltar

London Luton to Krakow

Manchester to Lanzarote

Manchester to Barcelona

Manchester to Bordeaux

Manchester to Faro

Manchester to Innsbruck

London Stansted to Hurgharda

The easyJet brand is now operating over 300 aircraft to 150 airports across 33 countries.

Copyright Photo: easyJet (UK) Airbus A320-251N WL G-UZHC (msn 7802) (NEO) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 942644.

easyJet (UK) aircraft slide show:

Frontier continues to grow, will add two more cities

"Skye, the Blue Jay", delivered on March 7, 2018

Frontier Airlines has announced service from two new cities, adding four new routes to their network that will begin service this fall.

The airline will add new service to Huntsville, AL and Lafayette, LA from both Denver and Orlando.

This announcement increases the number of cities in the Frontier Airlines network to 95.

Summary of New Service:


F9 611 Depart HSV: 11:55 a.m. Arrive DEN: 1:58 p.m.

F9 610 Depart DEN: 7:25 a.m. Arrive HSV: 11:05 a.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Monday, Friday**

Service Start: October 5


** operates: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday Effective 10/21


F9 1334 Depart HSV: 5:07 p.m. Arrive MCO: 7:46 p.m.

F9 1335 Depart MCO: 8:15 a.m. Arrive HSV: 8:54 a.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

Service Start: October 21



F9 691 Depart LFT: 10:12 a.m. Arrive DEN: 11:53 a.m.

F9 690 Depart DEN: 12:43 p.m. Arrive LFT: 4:08 p.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Wednesday, Saturday

Service Start: October, 24



F9 398 Depart LFT: 4:58 p.m. Arrive MCO: 8 p.m.

F9 397 Depart MCO: 8:15 a.m. Arrive LFT: 9:22 a.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Wednesday, Saturday

Service Start: October, 24


Top Copyright Photo (all other by Frontier): Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A320-251N WL N326FR (msn 8102) (Skye, the Blue Jay) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941693.

Frontier aircraft slide show:

Vistara places orders with Airbus and Boeing

Vistara takes delivery of its first Airbus A320neo

Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has agreed to place firm orders with Airbus for 13 A320neo (above) family aircraft and with Boeing for six 787-9 Dreamliners. Together, the deals are valued at $3.1 billion, based on published list prices.

The letter of intent (LOI) signed with Airbus comprises 13 firm-ordered A320neo and A321neo aircraft, as well as options for seven more aircraft from the A320neo family.

In addition, Vistara will lease another 37 new A320neo-family aircraft from leasing companies. Together, Vistara will be adding a total of 50 A320neo-family aircraft into its existing fleet.

Vistara has selected the LEAP 1-A engines from CFM International to power the A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which will be due for delivery between 2019 and 2023. Vistara will use these aircraft to densify its domestic network and to support its international operations planned for later this year.

Photo Above: Boeing.

The letter of intent (LOI) signed with Boeing comprises six firm-ordered 787-9 Dreamliners and purchase rights for four more aircraft from the 787 Dreamliner family. Vistara has selected the General Electric GEnx-1B engines to power the aircraft, which are scheduled to be delivered between 2020 and 2021. The 787-9s are intended for use on medium-haul and long-haul international routes.

The addition of the new aircraft will complement Vistara’s existing fleet of 13 Airbus A320ceo (above) and 8 A320neo aircraft that have enabled the airline thus far to achieve operational excellence. From the initial order, Vistara has an impending delivery for one A320neo which is due in September 2018.

Vistara today serves 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week and fleet of 21 aircraft. In a short span of time since starting operations in 2015, the airline has redefined the air travel experience for travellers in India, and has already flown 10 million happy customers.

Copyright Photo: Vistara Airbus A320-251N WL F-WWDJ (VT-TNB) (msn 7606) TLS (Eurospot). Image: 937778.

Vistara aircraft slide show:

Frontier Airlines adds three new cities and eight routes

"Scout, the Pine Marten"

Frontier Airlines today announced service from three new cities, adding eight new routes to their network that will begin service this fall. The airline will add new service in Albany, Bloomington and Greenville/Spartanburg, SC.

From Albany and Bloomington, the low-cost carrier will add flights to/from Denver and Orlando. Greenville/Spartanburg will see flights to/from Denver, Las Vegas and Orlando and Tampa.

Summary of New Service:  



F9 179 Depart GSP: 12:20 p.m. Arrive DEN: 1:50 p.m.

F9 178 Depart DEN: 6:30 a.m. Arrive GSP: 11:30 a.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Wednesday, Saturday

Service Start: September, 8




F9 1792 Depart GSP: 3:40 p.m. Arrive MCO: 5:15 p.m.

F9 447 Depart MCO: 6:05 p.m. Arrive GSP: 7:50 p.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Wednesday, Saturday

Service Start: September, 8




F9 447 Depart GSP: 8:40 p.m. Arrive LAS: 10:00 p.m.

F9 1792 Depart LAS: 7:40 a.m. Arrive GSP: 2:51 p.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Wednesday, Saturday

Service Start: September, 8




F9 175 Depart BMI: 5:21 p.m. Arrive DEN: 6:45 p.m.

F9 176 Depart DEN 1:21 p.m. Arrive BMI: 4:31 p.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Monday, Friday

Service Start: Sept. 24




F9 1502 Depart BMI: 10 a.m. Arrive MCO: 1:30 p.m.

F9 175 Depart MCO: 4:25 p.m. Arrive BMI: 5:50 p.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A319

Frequency: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

Service Start: Oct. 2




F9 131 Depart ALB: 12:32 p.m. Arrive DEN: 4:45 p.m.

F9 130 Depart DEN: 6 a.m. Arrive ALB: 11:42 a.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Monday, Friday

Service Start: September, 17




F9 130 Depart ALB: 12:45 p.m. Arrive MCO: 3:40 p.m.

F9 131 Depart MCO: 2:15 p.m. Arrive ALB: 4:59 p.m.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

Frequency: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

Service Start: Oct. 2


Flights from GSP to TPA will begin this fall and will be available for purchase in July.

Copyright Photo: Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A320-251N WL N328FR (msn 8118) (Scout, the Pine Marten) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 941892.

Frontier Airlines aircraft slide show:

easyJet supports the expanded Heathrow Airport

2nd easyJet Airbus A320neo, delivered on July 10, 2017

easyJet issued this statement:

easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, confirmed at the Heathrow Connectivity Conference that the expansion of Heathrow Airport would allow the entry of low cost carriers to the airport at scale for the first time.

Passengers would benefit from the increased competition to legacy carriers and would enjoy fares around 30% lower on routes to existing UK and European destinations.  The new entrants would also launch flights to UK and European airports not currently served by Heathrow providing important economic connections to the UK’s only hub airport.

easyJet encouraged UK airports and their local, regional and national Governments and other business and development agencies to make the most compelling case for their airport to be connected to Heathrow.

The decline of UK and European flights from Heathrow

Passengers flying to and from Heathrow Airport have seen a sustained reduction in routes and flights to the UK and Europe.  From 2000 to 2017 total passengers at Heathrow grew by 21% and flights across Europe as a whole grew by 91%.  However, at Heathrow during the same period there has been a:

– 40% decrease in number of domestic flight seats

– 13% decrease in European flight seats

– Reduction in UK destinations served from 14 to 8

That’s 200,000 fewer short haul seats per week today compared to 2000 – the equivalent to the population of York or Dundee.

Due to its constrained capacity Heathrow’s passengers have been denied the benefits of the low cost aviation revolution and routes today remain dominated by expensive, inefficient flag carriers.

Low cost v legacy airline

Typically when easyJet enters an airport in competition with legacy airlines it can offer fares around 30% lower. This is because easyJet’s low cost operating model delivers a cost per passenger significantly lower than those airlines – and Heathrow would be no exception.

This is driven by a range of factors – such as using one type of aircraft which easyJet buys at a very competitive rate and which all its pilots, crew and engineers can operate, higher seat density and higher load factors. The airline is obsessed with reducing waste and weight on its aircraft and has light weight seats, carpets and trollies. Being low cost is in easyJet’s DNA – almost all passenger contact is on line and its HQ is in an aircraft hangar.

Robert Carey, easyJet’s Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer, outlined the airline’s views on Heathrow at the Heathrow Connectivity Conference, Olympia London:

“easyJet supported the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits, including lower fares by opening up the airport to increased competition.

“Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant benefits to all parts of the UK and is in the best interests of all passengers – both business and leisure, long and short haul.

“This expansion would enable low cost airlines like easyJet to operate from Heathrow (in addition to existing London bases) allowing them to provide new routes and increased competition on dozens more UK and European routes.

[p”easyJet’s costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines so easyJet’s fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today.[/p]

“We look forward to engaging with the UK’s regional airports and their Governments and other local organisations to work out which regions will enjoy the largest growth in passenger demand and economic benefits from new connections to Heathrow and the rest of the world.

“Expansion at Heathrow must be delivered sustainably.  Local noise and environmental impacts need to be addressed and easyJet supports the Commission’s recommendations on these issues.

“easyJet will bring our long term environmental strategy, a key element of which is the next generation Airbus A320 neo aircraft. These aircraft produce 15% less carbon emissions and are 50% quieter than current generation aircraft.  We are taking delivery of 130 of these aircraft and all will be flying with easyJet before the new runway opens at Heathrow.

“Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant economic benefits to all of the UK and that’s why we urge MPs to support the Government’s National Planning Statement so that work can start to increase the aviation capacity for the UK. ”

easyJet’s operations at Heathrow

The airline has been working closely with Heathrow for a number of years and has been able to confirm that low cost operations would be viable at Heathrow.  This would include easyJet’s requirements for its ‘walk in, walk out’ boarding process and 25-minute aircraft turnaround time.  easyJet and Heathrow Airport agreed an Indicative Operating Framework in 2015 on these practicalities.

An easyJet base at Heathrow would be in line with easyJet’s strategy of flying between Europe’s primary airports with strong demand from leisure and business passengers.  easyJet already operates successfully from other hub airports such as Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles De Gaulle.

Worldwide by easyJet

easyJet would also look to connect passengers to long haul destinations at Heathrow by using ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ – the first global airline connections service by a European low fares airline.

Launched in 2017, it enables customers to connect easyJet flights to long haul flights with a number of airline partners. easyJet is extending Worldwide to Berlin Tegel, Venice Marco Polo, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly and Edinburgh airports. This means that, combined with the connections previously announced through London Gatwick and Milan Malpensa, over half of the airline’s flights – and 53 million easyJet customers a year – will be able to connect to airline partner services and other easyJet flights in a single booking through easyJet’s digital booking portal.

Reducing easyJet’s environmental impact

easyJet has a strategy to progressively decarbonise and reduce noise from aviation operations. Since 2000, easyJet’s emissions have reduced by over 31% from 116.2 grams to 79.98 grams per passenger kilometre in 2016. easyJet has a carbon emissions target of 72 grams by 2022, which would be a 10% reduction from today’s performance and a 38% improvement from 2000.

A key driver of this is the Airbus neo aircraft which is bringing a step change in aircraft performance, bringing significant environmental and operational benefits – a 15 percent saving in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and a reduced noise footprint of 50 percent on take-off and landing providing a benefit to airport neighbourhood communities.

easyJet has taken delivery of five A320neo aircraft (pictured above) to date, with 95 on order for delivery by August 2022.  In addition, easyJet has 30 A321neo aircraft on order, with the first delivery expected in July 2018. These aircraft have a 235 seat configuration. The A321neo aircraft will enable easyJet to reduce its CO2 emissions as it provides an increase in seats per flight of around 30% compared to an A320 and 50% when replacing an A319 while benefitting from the lowest operating costs in the single aisle aircraft category.

Beyond that, easyJet believes that for the first time the aviation industry can now envisage a future which isn’t wholly reliant on jet fuel, and its harmful CO2 and NOX emissions, and where its noise footprint is significantly reduced for all flights and completely eliminated for many.

The decarbonisation of other forms of transport like road and rail is advancing quickly and could now be matched by aviation. easyJet is already using electric ground equipment and is to trial new onboard hybrid technology which could lead to the removal of carbon fuels and all noise from airport operations.

Even more significantly, easyJet has formed a partnership with Wright Electric to develop, build and operate an all-electric commercial passenger jet which could be flying across the airline’s UK and European network within a decade.

Copyright Photo: easyJet (UK) Airbus A320-251N WL G-UZHB (msn 7705) (NEO) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 938701.

easyJet (UK) aircraft slide show:

Frontier Airlines expands at Raleigh-Durham including three international destinations

"Champ, the Bronco"

Frontier Airlines is expanding its service between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and six new cities, starting this winter. The addition of these destinations, which includes flights to Jamaica, means the airline will serve 27 cities nonstop from the Triangle. Schedules and fares will be released in the next few weeks.

The new cities from Raleigh/Durham include the following international destinations: Cancun, Montego Bay, and Punta Cana. Frontier is also adding domestic service to Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Phoenix. Frontier will be the only airline offering nonstop service on four of these six routes. The carrier will operate these new routes with the Airbus A320 family of aircraft.

Following is a summary of the new service:

International Service:

Cancun Q4 2018
Montego Bay Q4 2018
Punta Cana Q4 2018

Domestic Flights:

Fort Myers Q4 2018
West Palm Beach Q4 2018
Phoenix Q4 2018

Copyright Photo: Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A320-251N WL N307FR (msn 7472) (Champ, the Bronco) MIA (Jay Selman). Image: 403761.

Frontier Airlines aircraft slide show: