Tag Archives: Airbus A321-211

Ural Airlines flight U6 178 with Airbus A321 VQ-BOZ suffers a bird strike on takeoff, lands safely in a cornfield

Flight U6 178 from Moscow (Zhukovskogo) to Simeropol on August 15, 2019 aborted its takeoff into a cornfield after a bird strike in both engines

Ural Airlines flight U6 178 from Moscow (Zhukovskogo) with the pictured Airbus A321 VQ-BOZ today aborted its takeoff. The flight, headed to Simeropol, suffered a bird strike on takeoff. The flight after becoming airborne landed in a cornfield. There were 226 passengers and seven crew members on board

The airline issued this statement (translated from Russian):

When flying a flight to Simferopol from Moscow (Zhukovskogo), there was a large hit of birds in both engines. The flight crew made a forced landing.

Thanks to the professionalism of the crew and their glorious actions, the landing was accomplished without tragic consequences. There were 226 passengers in the aircraft, no one was injured, passengers evacuated and at the moment are in the terminal of the airport.

The airline then issued the statement (also translated):

The Commander of the aircraft flight U6 178 was Damir Yusupov, the second pilot – Georgy Murzin. It was due to their professionalism, grit and glorious actions that the plane managed to land without tragic consequences.

Damir Yusupov is 41 years old. In 2013, he graduated with honors from the St. Petersburg State University of civil aviation. Right after the university was accepted to work in the airline Ural Airlines.

In 2018, he received a second specialty: He graduated from the ulyanovsk institute of civil aviation named after the chief marshal of aviation, B.P. Bugaeva, in the direction of aéronavigaciâ.

The total raid of Damir Yusupov is more than 3000 hours.

The second pilot of George Murzinu, 23 In 2017. He graduated from St. Petersburg State University of Civil Aviation.

Top Copyright Photo: Ural Airlines Airbus A321-211 VQ-BOZ (msn 2117) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 947309.

Ural Airlines aircraft slide show:


Austrian’s financial results for the first half of 2019: Earnings still in the red before the strong summer months

Named "Wien" (Vienna)

Austrian Airlines has reported its financial results for the first half of 2019:

Finance Results

• Q2 profit of EUR 46 million insufficient to offset Q1 loss of EUR 99 million
• Adjusted EBIT down to minus EUR 53 million in the first half-year
• 2019 remains a challenging year: glut of budget airlines and expensive jet fuel burden earnings
Austrian Airlines reported adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted EBIT) of EUR 46 million in the second quarter of 2019. However, this performance was not enough to compensate for the loss of EUR 99 million generated in the previous quarter. For this reason, Austria’s flag carrier announced an adjusted EBIT of minus EUR 53 million in the first half of 2019. Investments in the fleet and service had a positive impact, as reflected in the significant rise in passenger volume of six percent to 6.7 million.

“The sharp decline in earnings can be mainly attributed to two factors: the glut of budget airlines in Vienna and higher jet fuel costs”, states Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani.

Revenue in the first half of 2019 fell by three percent to EUR 982 million (H1 2018: EUR 1,008 million). Total operating expenditures in the same period were up two percent to EUR 1,073 million (H1 2018: EUR 1,048 million). The main reason for the higher costs were the additional expenses for jet fuel and routine maintenance. Jet fuel costs rose by 17 percent or EUR 34 million whereas technical expenditures were up 47 percent or EUR 27 million. Adjusted EBIT, which deducts book gains from sales of aircraft, amongst other items, totaled minus EUR 53 million (H1 2018: EUR 5 million). EBIT in the first six months of 2019 equaled minus EUR 54 million.

Considering the second quarter by itself, adjusted EBIT totaled EUR 46 million, down 41 percent or EUR 32 million from the previous year (Q2 2018: EUR 78 million). Accordingly, the large first-quarter loss could not be offset.

More flights, more passengers, high capacity utilization

Austrian Airlines significantly expanded its traffic volume. In the first six months of 2019, the airline transported 6.7 million passengers, comprising a year-on-year increase of six percent or about 375,000 more passengers than in the first half of 2018. The intercontinental business developed exceptionally well, with passenger volume up 13.2 percent during the first half-year. The overall flight offering in available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by five percent to 13.6 billion. Capacity utilization (passenger load factor) further improved by 2.3 percentage points to 78.1 percent.

The regularity of operation rose to a gratifying 99.0 percent in the first half of 2019 (H1 2018: 98.1 percent). However, punctuality on departure fell to 76.9 percent. This can be primarily attributed to air traffic control problems at Vienna Airport, which have quadrupled compared to the first half-year 2018. The punctuality rate on arrival equaled 79.9 percent.

Fleet renewal takes shape: six additional jets, turboprop phase-out

Austrian Airlines has carried out 66,419 flights deploying a total of 82 aircraft, or an average of about 364 flights per day, since the beginning of the year. The two aircraft leased from Adria Airways as part of a wet lease agreement are not included. The renewal of the fleet announced in January 2019 is beginning to take shape. In July 2019 Austrian Airlines signed lease agreements for six additional A320 aircraft. The first of these jets will be transferred in August 2019. On balance, ten additional Airbus jets will replace the airline’s 18 Dash 8-400 turboprop airplanes by 2021. Accordingly, Austrian Airlines is expanding its Airbus fleet from 36 to 46 aircraft.

“The expansion of our Airbus fleet will help us in competing with budget airlines. This is because these jets enhance customer comfort. The change in the fleet structure will also positively impact our unit costs because we can offer more seats in fewer aircraft”, says Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani.

The total staff of Austrian Airlines amounted to 6,999 employees at the balance sheet date of June 30, 2019 (June 30, 2018: 7,118 employees). The reduction of 119 employees (minus two percent) is related to productivity gains in connection with the last reform of the collective wage agreement and the fact that fewer pilots are undergoing retraining.

Outlook for the entire year 2019: positive earnings but significantly below the prior year

Austrian Airlines expects an economically challenging year as a consequence of low-cost competition at Vienna Airport and high jet fuel prices. “We continue to anticipate a difficult year in 2019. We will generate positive results, but substantially below the previous year”, Austrian Airlines CFO Wolfgang Jani adds. In 2018 Austrian Airlines had an adjusted EBIT of EUR 83 million.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Austrian Airlines Airbus A321-211 OE-LBF (msn 1458) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 946842.
Austrian Airlines aircraft slide show:

Say goodbye to the Joon brand tonight

Joon (Air France) Airbus A321-211 F-GTAM (msn 1859) LIS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946801.

Air France, as planned, is closing out the Joon brand at the close of operations tonight.

As previously reported, the new CEO did not want the diverse brands.

AF launched the Joon brand on leisure routes to appeal to millennials on October 29, 2017.

Above Photo: Anna Zvereva.

Joon painted aircraft and crews will be rolled back into Air France.

Top Copyright Photo: Joon (Air France) Airbus A321-211 F-GTAM (msn 1859) LIS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946801.

Joon aircraft slide show:

Air Transat announces its winter schedule including New Orleans

Air Transat Airbus A321-211 C-GEZN (msn 4103) YUL (Gilbert Hechema). Image: 946579.

Air Transat has announced the new features of its flight program for winter 2019–2020, effective November 1, and is continuing to develop its service to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, Florida and Louisiana, offering over 30 Sun destinations as well as several European regions. In addition, the carrier will add new Airbus A321neoLR aircraft to its operations this winter.

Even more new routes and destinations

This winter, the airline will introduce new destinations and routes out of several regions of the country. Air Transat will now be the only airline to offer a direct flight from Montreal to New Orleans, Louisiana, with two direct flights per week beginning in November.

In the West, Air Transat will refocus a significant portion of its operations on Vancouver, becoming the only carrier to serve Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida (two direct flights a week). In addition, the airline will offer new flights to San José and Liberia, Costa Rica (two flights a week), and reintroduce a direct flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

In Ontario, the carrier will increase its presence, including a new direct flight to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, from London. A new direct flight to Santa Clara, Cuba, from Hamilton will also be added, as well as an additional direct flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for a total of two direct flights a week.

More flights to Florida and sustained frequency to the Dominican Republic and Mexico

Air Transat will be investing in Florida, with a focus on Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood. Daily direct flights will now be offered from Montreal during peak season as well as an increased frequency from Quebec City (five direct flights a week).

Air Transat will enhance its program with an additional direct flight to Puerto Plata out of Montreal (five direct flights weekly). Punta Cana will also benefit from an additional direct flight out of Hamilton (two direct flights a week), in addition to existing daily direct flights out of Montreal and Toronto.

To Mexico, Air Transat will be offering an additional direct flight to Puerto Vallarta out of Calgary, for a total of four direct flights a week, in addition to its daily direct flights to Cancun/Riviera Maya from Montreal and Toronto.

Winter in Europe

Beginning in winter 2019–2020, Air Transat will fly year-round to Madrid and Malaga, Spain, out of Montreal (two direct flights a week, respectively) as well as out of Toronto and Vancouver through connecting flights in addition to its daily direct flight from Montreal to Paris, France.

Out of Toronto, the airline will offer its two weekly direct flights to Glasgow and Manchester, United Kingdom, year-round and will extend the flight season until mid-January for Barcelona, Spain (two flights a week), and Rome, Italy (two direct flights a week), in addition to offering daily flights to London, United Kingdom.

Domestic and connecting flights for more options

Air Transat’s domestic flights program, which connects several of Canada’s major cities, will offer a wider choice of transatlantic destinations through connecting flights and will also give Canadians a chance to discover their own vast country. The carrier will continue its daily flights between Montreal and Toronto, in addition to its seven direct flights a week between Vancouver and Toronto and its three weekly direct flights between Montreal and Vancouver.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Air Transat Airbus A321-211 C-GEZN (msn 4103) YUL (Gilbert Hechema). Image: 946579.

Air Transat aircraft slide show:

An update by Air Canada on the Transat AT acquisition

Air Transat Airbus A321-211 C-FTXW (msn 1921) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 946081.

Air Canada issued this update statement on the Air Transit acquisition:

Air Canada on June 4 said that it is in the process of finalizing its binding agreement to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of Transat AT Inc. and its combination with Air Canada to create an industry leading, Quebec-based leader in the global leisure travel industry. Air Canada announced on May 16, 2019 that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with Transat regarding the proposed transaction and that the agreement was subject to Air Canada completing a 30-day due diligence period now expected to be complete towards the end of June.

Air Canada’s acquisition will result in job creation and economic growth in Quebec, given the travel and tourism opportunities. Moreover, Air Canada has all necessary funding to complete the transaction and therefore it is not subject to financing conditions and does not require government or taxpayer assistance.

The transaction, valued at $520 million, remains subject to the finalization of definitive agreements, confirmatory due diligence, regulatory and shareholder approvals and other closing conditions usual in this type of transaction. There is no assurance that the transaction will be completed as described in this news release or at all.

Air Canada serves 11 airports across Quebec. The international reach of Air Canada’s network makes Quebec a gateway to the world and is an important tool for economic development, including tourism.

Montréal-Trudeau Airport is a strategic hub for Air Canada connecting its Quebec and Atlantic Canada domestic network, with its U.S. transborder, Caribbean, European, North African, Asian and South American flights. To the U.S. alone, Air Canada connects Montreal-Trudeau to some 24 cities.

Since 2012, Air Canada has launched 35 new routes from Montréal-Trudeau to global markets including Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Lima, Sao Paulo, and Casablanca. This growth has allowed Montreal to rank amongst the top 50 most internationally connected cities in the world and to become one of the largest North American hubs.

Air Canada served more than 10 million passengers in Montreal in 2018.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Transat Airbus A321-211 C-FTXW (msn 1921) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 946081.

Air Transat aircraft slide show:


Thomas Cook reportedly receives inquiries for its divisions

Leased from Avion Express

Thomas Cook has received inquiries for its business and also parts of its business according to the BBC. The company put its airline division up for sale in February.

Read the full report.

Thomas Cook Group plc is a British global travel company. It was formed on June 19, 2007 by the merger of Thomas Cook AG.

The airline group includes:

Thomas Cook Airlines (UK)

Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics

Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia

Condor Flugdienst

Thomas Cook Group operates across 16 source markets, employs 21,000 people and has generated a total of £9.6 billion in group sales in the year ended 30 September 2018. Thomas Cook has around 200 own-brand hotels and resorts across seven brands – SENTIDO, Sunprime, Sunwing, SunConnect, smartline, Casa Cook and Cook’s Club.

For the 2019 summer schedule the group is making these changes:

  • Group Airline with a total of four additional short- and medium-haul aircraft compared to summer 2018
  • Three further Airbus A321s in service for Condor as of early summer, one additional A321 to take-off for Thomas Cook Airlines UK
  • 105 aircraft in UK, Scandinavia, Spain and Germany
The Thomas Cook Group Airline is taking delivery of two additional Airbus A321 aircraft, which will be added to the Condor fleet for the 2019 summer flight schedule.
The jets will be in service for Thomas Cook Airlines UK from winter 2019/20 afterwards.
The Group Airline recently announced to include two further Airbus A321 for summer 2019, and will have a total of 105 aircraft then. Its short- and medium-haul fleet has been expanded by four additional own aircraft in total compared to the previous year.
Two Airbus A321s fly for Condor and are stationed in Leipzig and Hanover in summer 2019. In Leipzig, Condor is significantly increasing capacity with around 100,000 additional seats to the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, Turkey and Egypt. Another A321 is flying in Germany as well, the fourth airplane completes the A321 fleet of Thomas Cook Airlines UK.
Top Copyright Photo: Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) (Avion Express) Airbus A321-211 LY-VEC (msn 3267) TFS (Wingnut). Image: 946248.
Thomas Cook (UK) aircraft slide show:

Air Canada updates its schedule for May in response to ongoing grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FSOC (msn 61224) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 945960.

Air Canada has issued this statement:

Air Canada said today that due to Transport Canada’s continued closure of Canadian airspace to the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, it has further adjusted its schedule through to May 31. The carrier anticipates it will cover 98 percent of previously planned flying for the month through a series of mitigation measures, schedule changes and temporary route suspensions.

“Air Canada assures its customers that we are doing everything possible to mitigate the effects of the 737 MAX grounding, and we appreciate our customers’ patience and flexibility as we continue to work on transporting them safely to their destinations. By adjusting our schedule for the month of May, we are providing certainty for our customers so they can continue to book and travel with confidence on Air Canada,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.

In compliance with the safety notice issued by Transport Canada on March 13, 2019, Air Canada grounded its fleet of 24 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing has advised that deliveries of its 737 MAX are currently suspendedAir Canada was expecting six new aircraft in March and April.

Air Canada is now updating its June schedule to optimize its fleet and re-accommodate customers. Because the timeline for the return to service of the 737 MAX is unknown, for planning purposes and to provide customers certainty for booking and travel, Air Canada has removed 737 MAX flying from its schedule until at least July 1, 2019. Final decisions on returning the 737 MAX to service will be based on Air Canada’s safety assessment following the lifting of government safety notices and approval by international regulatory authorities.

Among the measures taken by Air Canada:


To mitigate the impact, Air Canada has been substituting different aircraft on 737 MAX routes. This includes flying routes with similar-sized or larger aircraft. To help provide this replacement flying, the carrier has extended leases for aircraft which were scheduled to exit the fleet. Air Canada is also accelerating the in-take of recently acquired Airbus A321 aircraft from WOW Air into its fleet.

Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GJVX (msn 1726) YVR (Rob Rindt). Image: 941073.

Above Copyright Photo: Air Canada Airbus A321-211 C-GJVX (msn 1726) YVR (Rob Rindt). Image: 941073.

Working with our Partner Airlines

The carrier has worked with other carriers to provide immediate extra capacity and provide alternative options to passengers. For example, its MontrealFrankfurt flight for the month of May will be operated by Star Alliance partner Lufthansa.

Schedule Changes until June 30

The airline has implemented a number of route changes to date, either changing operating times or substituting larger aircraft with fewer frequencies on routes operated more frequently by smaller aircraft. For example, beginning in May two daily flights between Toronto and Calgary have been consolidated onto one larger Airbus A330, leaving nine daily flights.

In some cases, seasonal route launches have been delayed. This includes: TorontoPortland, which will now start July 1 instead of May 24; VancouverBoston, which will now start June 16 instead of June 1; and CalgaryHalifax, which will now start July 1 instead of May 18. The seasonal start of the carrier’s TorontoShannon route and new MontrealBordeaux service will both be delayed until early July.

In addition, selected frequencies on domestic routes such as TorontoEdmonton, will be served by Air Canada Rouge aircraft.

Route Suspensions

In a small number of cases, Air Canada has temporarily suspended service on certain 737 MAX routes where alternative aircraft are not presently available. This includes flights from Halifax and St. John’s to London Heathrow, for which it is re-accommodating customers over its Toronto and Montreal hubs. These routes are now suspended to May 31, but Air Canada remains committed to these routes.

Customer Information

As changes are finalized in the flight schedule, customers whose flight times or flight numbers have changed can expect to receive an email detailing their updated itinerary. This information is also available in My Bookings on the Air Canada app or Air Canada website. Customers are advised, whether they have booked directly through Air Canada or not, to ensure their contact information is on their booking to facilitate communication of any flight changes.

Top Copyright Photo: Air Canada Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FSOC (msn 61224) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 945960.

Air Canada aircraft slide show:


Level to fly from Amsterdam to seven European destinations

Level (Austria) Airbus A321-211 OE-LCF (msn 1966) LGW (SPA). Image: 945029.

Level (Austria) (Anisec) has announced it is coming to Amsterdam as its second hub after Vienna. The brand will start flying from AMS to Rome and Vienna starting on April 6.

Service to London (Luton) will begin operating on April 7 followed by Fuerteventura and Lisbon in June.

Barcelona and Milan (Malpensa) will be added in August.

Three Airbus aircraft will be based at AMS.

The Level brand is a subsidiary of the International Airlines Group (IAG).

Top Copyright Photo: Level (Austria) Airbus A321-211 OE-LCF (msn 1966) LGW (SPA). Image: 945029.

Level aircraft slide show:


Air France considers the future of Joon

Joon (Air France) Airbus A321-211 F-GTAK (msn 1658) CDG (Manuel Negrerie). Image: 942239.

Air France has made this announcement:

A project for Joon’s future

After much discussion with employees and customers alike, and in consultation with the unions, Air France has decided to launch a project studying the future of the Joon brand and the integration of Joon employees and aircraft into Air France.

Despite the many positive impacts of Joon, in particular the invaluable contribution of the teams at Joon who launched the company and worked with passion and dedication, the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors.

The plurality of brands in the marketplace has created much complexity and unfortunately weakened the power of the Air France brand.

Through integration, Air France would see many benefits thanks to fleet, brand, and product harmonisation. Managing the operation would be improved through a common fleet of aircraft. Air France will also be able to ensure a smooth transition of the Airbus A350, currently on order, to the Air France fleet with a more economical cabin configuration.

All Joon flights currently sold or for sale would of course be operated by Joon until the project is completed, and then taken over by Air France.

The simplification of the brand portfolio, while capitalizing on the Air France mother brand, is an undeniable asset for our employees, our customers, and indeed all stake holders. It would also enable Air France to complete this integration without impacting the efficiency of the Air France-KLM Group.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Joon): Joon (Air France) Airbus A321-211 F-GTAK (msn 1658) CDG (Manuel Negrerie). Image: 942239.

Joon aircraft slide show:


Germania is currently examining various financing options to ensure its short-term liquidity needs

Germania Fluggesellschaft Airbus A321-211 D-ASTP (msn 684) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 944581.

Germania has issued this statement:

Europe’s aviation industry has undergone major changes recently, 2018 was a particularly challenging year. The entire industry is undergoing transition and Germania with it.

Unforeseeable events such as the massive increases in fuel prices last summer and the simultaneous weakening of the euro against the US dollar were major burdens for our company, as were considerable delays in phasing aircraft into our fleet and an unusually high number of maintenance events that our aircraft required.

Therefore, Germania is currently examining various financing options to ensure its short-term liquidity needs. We are focusing on the central question of how we can continue to be effective in a market environment dominated by airlines under larger corporate structures.

Nevertheless, there are no restrictions on our flight operations and all Germania flights continue to be operated as planned.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Germania Fluggesellschaft Airbus A321-211 D-ASTP (msn 684) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 944581.

Germania aircraft slide show: