Tag Archives: Airbus A350-941

Thai to resume services on 36 international routes on October 31

Thai Airways International Airbus A350-941 HS-THJ (msn 177) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 955511.

Thai Airways International has announced it is resuming operations on 36 international routes to Europe, Asia and Australia on October 31, 2021

Thailand will allow fully vaccinated visitors from initially 10 low-risk countries to enter Thailand with no quarantine requirements starting on November 1.

Top Copyright Photo: Thai Airways International Airbus A350-941 HS-THJ (msn 177) BRU (Ton Jochems). Image: 955511.

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Singapore Airlines launches seasonal flights to Seattle/Tacoma and Vancouver, adds San Francisco to vaccinated Travel Lane network


Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SJA (msn 364) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 955506.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is launching four-times weekly seasonal services to Vancouver, Canada and Seattle/Tacoma, the United States of America (USA), from December 2, 2021 to February 15, 2022. Two of the weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore flights will operate as Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) services, providing eligible customers quarantine-free entry into Singapore.

SIA is also converting its daily nonstop services from San Francisco, USA, to Singapore, to designated VTL services from Wednesday, October 20, 2021.

These provide additional quarantine-free travel options for customers who wish to travel to and from North America, on top of the earlier announced VTL services from Los Angeles and New York.

SIA will deploy the 253-seater Airbus A350-900, with 42 Business Class seats, 24 Premium Economy Class seats and 187 Economy Class seats, on the Singapore-Vancouver-Seattle service.

Flight SQ28 will depart from Singapore at 0915hrs, arrive at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 0730hrs, and depart Vancouver at 0840hrs before arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) at 0930hrs.

Flight SQ29, SIA’s twice-weekly designated VTL service, will depart from Seattle at 1100hrs, arrive at Vancouver at 1145hrs on the same day, depart from Vancouver at 1315hrs, and arrive in Singapore at 2205hrs the following day. Customers who fly on SQ29 must ensure that they meet all applicable VTL eligibility criteria.

SIA will also operate SQ27, a twice-weekly Seattle-Vancouver-Singapore service that is not a designated VTL flight. This would cater to customers who are ineligible to enter Singapore under the VTL arrangement.

On the San Francisco service, flight SQ34 departs Singapore at 1840hrs and arrives at 1905hrs. The return flight SQ33 departs San Francisco at 2205hrs and arrives in Singapore at 0545hrs two days later1 . For this service, SIA operates the 161-seat Airbus A350-900 ULR with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats.

The addition of San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver expands the SIA Group’s VTL network to 17 cities. SIA will operate VTL services from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, and Rome from 19 October 2021, and Seoul from 16 November 2021. These are on top of the existing VTL services from Bandar Seri Begawan, Frankfurt, and Munich. Scoot, SIA’s sister airline, will begin VTL flights from Berlin from 20 October 2021.

Multi-city itineraries within VTL countries are allowed if customers meet the eligibility criteria. Customers traveling on the VTL flights also enjoy fuss-free transfers via Singapore Changi Airport to 59 destinations within the SIA Group network.

Top Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SJA (msn 364) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 955506.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

SIA Group’s quarantine-free vaccinated travel lane network expands to 14 cities

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMW (msn 341) SEA (Joe G. Walker). Image: 955469.

The Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group has expanded its quarantine-free Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) network to 14 cities, with additional points expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

This comes as Singapore widened its VTL arrangements to include Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These are on top of the existing VTL arrangements with Brunei and Germany, which began in September 2021.

Singapore Airlines will operate VTL services from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, and Rome starting October 19, 2021. SIA’s VTL services from Seoul will begin on November 16, 2021. Today, SIA operates VTL services from Bandar Seri Begawan, Frankfurt, and Munich.

Scoot, SIA’s sister airline, will operate VTL flights from Berlin from October 20, 2021.

Multi-city itineraries within VTL countries are allowed if customers meet the 14-day travel history requirement, which includes transit countries. For example, a traveller may fly from Singapore to Paris, and then Paris to Amsterdam, and still be eligible for the VTL flight from Amsterdam to Singapore. However, a customer who flies from Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo will not be eligible for SIA’s nonstop VTL flight from Los Angeles if the stay in Los Angeles is less than 14 days.

Customers traveling on the VTL flights can also enjoy fuss-free transfers via Singapore Changi Airport to 59 destinations within the SIA Group network.


Top Copyright Photo: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 9V-SMW (msn 341) SEA (Joe G. Walker). Image: 955469.

Singapore Airlines aircraft slide show:

SAS reports an increase of almost 90% in September over the same month last year

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 SE-RSD (msn 418) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 955425.

Scandinavian Airlines-SAS reported its traffic figures for September 2021:

Customer demand has increased further and 1.1 million passengers flew with SAS in September. This is an increase of almost 90% compared to the same month last year. Capacity increased and was 74% higher compared with September last year. The load factor for September ended at 54%, which was 17 percentage points higher than the same month last year but is impacted by longhaul, which currently is driven primarily by cargo operations.

“Travel restrictions are easing up and we instantly see higher demand. We are very pleased we transported more than a million passengers for the third consecutive month and we increase capacity accordingly. Uncertainty regarding the pandemic and future demand remains. SAS has to stay agile and flexible to be able to quickly respond to customers’ willingness to travel,” says Anko van der Werff, President & CEO of SAS.

SAS scheduled traffic Sep21 Change1 Nov20- Sep21 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 2,137 70.3% 14,216 -32.7%
RPK (Mill.) 1,127 151.4% 6,322 –50.6%
Passenger load factor 52.8% 17.0 pp 44.5% -16.1 pp
No. of passengers (000) 1,102 85.3% 6,032 -48.5%
Geographical development, schedule Sep21           vs.          Sep20 Nov20- Sep21   vs. Nov19-Sep20
Intercontinental 356.0% 136.9% -77.0% -37.1%
Europe/Intrascandinavia 273.4% 110.1% -42.4% -37.5%
Domestic 30.0% -0.5% -31.5% -18.6%
SAS charter traffic Sep21 Change1 Nov20- Sep21 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 144 149.1% 527 -46.2%
RPK (Mill.) 108 136.2% 387 -54.1%
Load factor 75.1% -4.1 pp 73.4% -12.7 pp
No. of passengers (000) 46 133.6% 159 -44.2%
SAS total traffic (scheduled and charter) Sep21 Change1 Nov20- Sep21 Change1
ASK (Mill.) 2,281 73.8% 14,743 -33.3%
RPK (Mill.) 1,236 150.0% 6,709 -50.8%
Load factor 54.2% 16.5 pp 45.5% -16.2 pp
No. of passengers (000) 1,148 86.9% 6,191 -48.4%

1 Change compared to same period last year. pp = percentage points

Preliminary yield and PASK Sep21 Nominal change1 FX adjusted change
Yield, SEK 1.10 -12.5% -12.9%
PASK, SEK 0.58 29.1% 28.6%
Punctuality (arrival 15 min) 88.1%
Regularity 98.4%
Change in total COemissions, rolling 12 months -47.4%
Change in COemissions per available seat kilometer -12.4%
Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions 52%


RPK – Revenue passenger kilometers

ASK – Available seat kilometers
Load factor – RPK/ASK
Yield – Passenger revenues/RPK (scheduled)

PASK – Passenger revenues/ASK (scheduled)

Change in COemissions per available seat kilometers – SAS passenger related carbon emissions divided with total available seat kilometers (incl. non-revenue and EuroBonus), rolling 12 months

Carbon offsetting of passenger related emissions – Share of SAS passenger related carbon emissions compensated by SAS (EuroBonus members, youth tickets and SAS’ staff travel)

From fiscal year 2020 we report change in CO2 emissions in total and per Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) to align with our overall goal to reduce our total CO2 emissions by 25% by 2025, compared to 2005.

Top Copyright Photo: Scandinavian Airlines-SAS Airbus A350-941 SE-RSD (msn 418) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 955425.

SAS aircraft slide show:

Qatar Airways Group reports a yearly net loss of QAR14.9 billion (U.S. $4.1 billion)

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-941 A7-AML (msn 257) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 955290.

Qatar Airways Group has published its Annual Report for 2020/21, covering a challenging year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing extensive loss of traffic and revenues as part of a pattern seen across the global aviation industry. Despite the difficulties, Qatar Airways Group proves that rising to the challenge is nothing new for the airline and its subsidiaries, projecting the Group’s strength, resilience, and commitment.

Qatar Airways Group reported a net loss of QAR14.9 billion (U.S.$4.1 billion), of which QAR8.4 billion  (U.S.$2.3 billion) is due to a one-time impairment charge related to the grounding of the airline’s Airbus A380 and A330 fleets. Despite the difficulties posed by the ongoing pandemic, the Group’s operating results demonstrated its resilience during the crisis, with the reported operational loss at QAR1.1 billion (U.S.$288.3 million) 7 per cent less compared to 2019/20. Furthermore, the Group achieved a significant improvement in EBITDA, which stood at QAR6 billion (U.S.$1.6 billion) compared to QAR5 billion (U.S.$1.4 billion) the previous year.

A combination of our Qatar Airways Cargo division and the Group’s commercial adaptability have been at the core of this recovery. The flexibility and ingenuity of the Group’s commercial strategy played a pivotal role in significantly increasing its market share, enabling the business to expand its focus from its mission of ‘getting people home’ at the height of the pandemic, to playing an industry-leading role in rebuilding passenger confidence in the safety of air travel during the most critically-adverse market conditions in the history of commercial aviation. Whilst, the Group’s freight division, Qatar Airways Cargo, maintained its position as the world’s largest cargo carrier and grew its market share during 2020/21. During the pandemic’s peak, Cargo more than tripled its daily services, operating a record 183 flights in one day during the month of May 2020.

Cargo has also overseen a 4.6 per cent rise in freight tonnes handled over the previous fiscal year (2019/20), with 2,727,986 tonnes (chargeable weight) handled in 2020/21. This increase in freight handled, as well as a significant increase in cargo yield, also saw the carrier’s cargo revenues more than double.

Despite enduring one of the most difficult years in the Group’s history, based on strong commercial fundamentals, the airline has rebuilt its network from a low of 33 destinations to more than 140 destinations today. The airline continued to identify new markets, launching nine new destinations – Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Abuja, Nigeria; Accra, Ghana; Brisbane, Australia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Luanda, Angola; Lusaka, Zambia; San Francisco and Seattle/Tacoma, U.S.

The carrier was also one of only a few global airlines to continue operating to key cities, including Amsterdam, Dallas-Fort Worth, London, Montréal, São Paulo, Singapore, Johannesburg, Sydney and Tokyo. This is in addition to the expansion of Qatar Airways’ operations beyond pre-pandemic levels in several markets, including Brazil, Canada, Nigeria, and the U.S., ensuring the airline is well-positioned to take advantage of the recovery of international travel.

The Group also made significant progress in its ambition to forge new strategic partnerships with several major airlines, including American Airlines, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and China Southern Airlines. These new alliances, along with an expanded cooperation with several existing partners, including JetBlue, Iberia, LATAM, Cathay Pacific and Oman Air, further strengthened Qatar Airways’ connectivity, unlocking the value of the airline’s relationships and providing a range of increased travel options for passengers.

Reflecting on what has been the most challenging and extraordinary 12 months in the airline’s history, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “There are three words that I believe best describe Qatar Airways Group’s response in the past year – strength, resilience, and commitment. Strength to not shy away from taking a risk or avoiding difficult decisions, resilience in remaining focused and not allowing events to overcome us, and commitment by never reneging on our promises to customers, partners, and employees.

“Whilst our competitors grounded their aircraft and closed their routes, we adapted our entire commercial operation to respond to ever-evolving travel restrictions and never stopped flying, operating a network our passengers and customers could rely on. With the support of our varied fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, we were able to ensure that more of our scheduled flights operated than any other carrier and fulfilled our mission of taking stranded passengers home, whilst maintaining global supply chains to transport medical aid and supplies essential to the fight against COVID-19. We also significantly expanded our charter business as a direct response to increased demand in this area, providing vital and reliable services to support our customers during uncertain times, an effort that was publicly appreciated and acknowledged by many governments and organizations around the world.  This commercial flexibility further consolidated our leadership position at the forefront of the recovery of global air travel.

“I am extremely proud of our people across the Qatar Airways Group who have remained agile and adapted quickly to this new reality, displaying the tenacity, versatility, and commitment to excellence so often associated with everything we do. “I also wish to take this moment to express our gratitude to our shareholder, the Government of the State of Qatar, for its firm support of the Qatar Airways Group during this challenging period. While our organization did not receive any subsidies in the form of salary support or grants, our shareholders did provide an equity injection of QAR11 billion (U.S.$3 billion) to support the business’s continuity.

“As ever, the strength of our financials has enabled us to continue to concentrate on the long-term, investing in a sustainable, fuel-efficient fleet and innovative digital technologies, establishing and strengthening strategic partnerships with leading airlines around the globe, and also launching new routes. This strategic focus will ensure we emerge stronger from this difficult period and continue to maintain our position as the world’s leading international airline.”

Top Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways Airbus A350-941 A7-AML (msn 257) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 955290.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:

Finnair announces the sale and leaseback agreement of four Airbus A350-900 aircraft

Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWB (msn 019) (Oneworld) LHR (Rolf Wallner). Image: 948295.

Finnair made this announcement:

In conjunction with Finnair’s efforts to emerge from the corona crisis, the company is proceeding with its refinancing plan and has finalized a sale and leaseback arrangement for four of its Airbus A350 aircraft. In the arrangement, Finnair sold these aircraft – delivered between June 2017 and February 2019 – and has leased them back for its own operation. The operating lease period is, on average, 12 years and the counter parties are GE Capital Aviation Services (“GECAS”) and Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (“PIMCO”) as the lessors; GECAS is the lease servicer.

The arrangement will not have a significant impact on Finnair’s operating result for the third quarter of 2021; however, the immediate positive cash effect for Finnair is in excess of 400 million US dollars. Finnair will use the cash to refinance existing debt and retire its undrawn revolving credit facility of 175 million euros.

“This is the biggest single aircraft financing transaction in the history of our company”, says Finnair’s CFO Mika Stirkkinen. “It is a significant part of our refinancing plan, which we have executed diligently during the pandemic, and it helps us to further improve our capital structure.”

Finnair has ordered a total of 19 new A350-900 XWB aircraft from Airbus, of which 16 have been delivered. The remaining three A350 aircraft are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2022, the fourth quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.

Top Copyright Photo: Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWB (msn 019) (Oneworld) LHR (Rolf Wallner). Image: 948295.

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Finnair and Turkish Airlines launch code shares

Delivered on December 13, 2018

Finnair and Turkish Airlines today announced a codeshare agreement that brings more choice to the airline’s customers. Starting September 29, the Finnair AY code will be added to Turkish Airlines route between Helsinki and Istanbul, and from Istanbul to Athens, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Amman, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor, Antalya and Gazipasa.  Respectively, the Turkish Airlines TK code will be added to the following routes from Finnair’s Helsinki hub: Kuopio, Vaasa, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Reykjavik, Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, Vilnius, Antalya and Gazipasa.

2021 special scheme for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics Games, Team Türkiye

Turkish Airlines flies to more countries and international destinations than any other airline in the world, and currently operates to more than 300 international passenger and cargo destinations in total, in 127 countries.

Top Copyright Photo: Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWM (msn 264) LHR (SPA). Image: 945935.

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Above Copyright Photo: Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-203 TC-JNB (msn 704) (Team Türkiye) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 954480.

Turkish Airlines aircraft slide show:

Finnair adds frequencies and destinations to Europe, Asia and North America

Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWA (msn 018) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 955017.

Finnair has made this announcement:

As the share of fully vaccinated people continues to increase and societies are opening, travel is picking up in several markets. Finnair is meeting the increased travel demand by adding frequencies and destinations in its network to Europe, Asia and North America for the upcoming winter season.

Finnair continues to serve its key Asian destinations, flying daily to Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok, and offers multiple weekly frequencies to Singapore and Hong Kong. Finnair’s Osaka service resumes in October, expanding Finnair’s presence back into the Japanese market, with Nagoya joining this route portfolio in February. Finnair will also start serving its Dubai connection with a wide-body aircraft.

Finnair will strengthen its North American services and will serve Chicago, previously a summer route, throughout the winter season. Finnair also serves New York daily from Helsinki and operates three weekly flights to Miami and Los Angeles respectively.

In addition to serving North America from its Helsinki hub, Finnair will introduce direct routes to Los Angeles and New York from Stockholm, Sweden.

Finnair will also introduce direct routes from Stockholm to Miami, Phuket and Bangkok, as previously announced.

Finnair’s European network will rapidly increase in frequencies throughout the winter, with double daily services to key European cities such as Amsterdam, Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Frankfurt, and three daily frequencies to London and Paris. Finnair also increases frequencies to St. Petersburg to support the traffic flows to Finnair’s North American destinations. 

Finnair also offers multiple frequencies daily to Scandinavian capitals, and Finnair will introduce Krakow and Gdansk for the winter season.

Finnair will increase frequencies to the popular holiday destinations in Spain, serving Malaga, the Canary Islands, Madrid and Barcelona with multiple weekly frequencies.

Also the Finnish Lapland continues to attract winter travelers and Finnair offers four daily connections to Rovaniemi, Ivalo and Kittilä, and two daily services to Kuusamo, with smooth connections from Helsinki.

Top Copyright Photo: Finnair Airbus A350-941 OH-LWA (msn 018) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 955017.

Finnair aircraft slide show:

Philippine Airlines to return 22 aircraft in Chapter 11 reorganization

Philippine Airlines, as previously reported, is now going through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process in the United States.

PAL will use the process to shed 22 unused jets, mainly Airbus and Boeing aircraft on lease.

The carrier expects to trim its fleet from 92 aircraft to around 70 in the process according to Reuters.

The airline has also negotiated with Airbus to delay the delivery of 13 narrow-body aircraft.

COVID-19 has ravaged the airline’s markets.

In other news, Philippine Airlines is operating special flights from the UAE, Malaysia and Thailand in September in support of the Philippine Government’s “Bayanihan” repatriation program.

PAL Bayanihan flights:

  • Dubai-Manila (PR 659) – September 2, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 14
  • Kuala Lumpur-Manila (PR 526) – September 4
  • Bangkok-Manila (PR 731) – September 9
  • Jakarta to Manila (PR 540) – September 12

For Lufthansa

Above Copyright Photo: This A350 has already gone to Lufthansa: Philippines (Philippine Airlines) Airbus A350-941 RP-C3506 (msn 243) MUC (Arnd Wolf). Image: 954404.

PAL aircraft slide show:


Photo: JAL-Japan Airlines Airbus A350-941 JA06XJ (msn 405) (Minna-no JAL 2020 JET Vol. 3) HND (Akira Uekawa). Image: 954735.

Gold logo - "Everyone's JAL 2020 JET Vol. 3" celebrating the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Copyright Photo: Gold logo – “Everyone’s JAL 2020 JET Vol. 3” celebrating the 2020 Tokyo Olympics: JAL-Japan Airlines Airbus A350-941 JA06XJ (msn 405) (Minna-no JAL 2020 JET Vol. 3) HND (Akira Uekawa). Image: 954735.