Tag Archives: DCA

Farewell Gate 35X: American Airlines welcomes customers to a new regional concourse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

American Airlines has made this announcement:

New 14-gate concourse transforms the travel experience, offering customers a more seamless journey to and from the nation’s capital

  • American transitions regional flight operations from Gate 35X to new 14-gate concourse at Reagan National Airport (DCA).
  • New concourse offers a one-to-one replacement of remote hardstand gates with new indoor gate areas, climate-controlled jet bridges and customer amenities.
  • Up to 85 daily departures scheduled from Gates 46-59 in the new concourse this summer.

This morning, American Airlines began welcoming customers to a new, state-of-the-art 14-gate regional concourse at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), designed to replace Gate 35X.

The new concourse, constructed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) as part of a $1 billion initiative to transform the customer experience at DCA, provides customers a range of new amenities while offering a more seamless connection to the National Capital Region.

“The dreaded Gate 35X is no more! American’s new regional concourse at Reagan National Airport is fantastic news for our customers,” said Robert Isom, president of American Airlines. “When fully complete, the investments made in partnership with MWAA will finally enable American to deliver a convenient, accessible, world-class product befitting the gateway to our nation’s capital.”

Fourteen spacious new boarding areas replace the cramped and dated waiting room for Gate 35X.

Floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Washington, D.C. and a range of new seating options with integrated power provide customers more room to relax and recharge before their flight.

The new concourse incorporates more than 850 new seats in a range of styles and configurations for improved customer comfort.

A final farewell to Gate 35X

Since Terminal B/C opened in 1997, Gate 35X has served as the primary gateway for millions of customers traveling to and from the nation’s capital on flights operated by American’s regional partners. At its peak, more than 6,000 customers a day passed through its cramped corridors and onto buses before boarding a flight parked at one of 14 remote hardstand gates.

Before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, operations from Gate 35X accounted for 16% of all customer traffic and 30% of all departures from DCA. But due to schedule reductions driven by COVID-19, Gate 35X was temporarily closed for most of 2020. As a result, airport partners were able to accelerate portions of construction — completing key components of the new concourse early.

Gate 35X was reactivated to support an increase in flight activity earlier this year. To commemorate the last of more than 250,000 departures from Gate 35X, American, Piedmont and PSA Airlines team members joined together last night to send off flight 5482 as it departed for Albany, New York (ALB).

Transforming the customer journey

Comprised of 14 spacious gate areas and enclosed jet bridges connected to DCA’s existing Terminal B/C, the 225,000 square-foot regional concourse offers a completely new experience for customers as they return to the skies.

“The opening of the new concourse is the culmination of years of work by thousands of employees who overcame numerous challenges and the seismic changes of a global pandemic to deliver a world-class passenger experience at Washington, D.C.’s airports,” said John E. Potter, president and chief executive officer of the Airports Authority. “The airport’s $1 billion investment to transform the traveler experience inside the terminals at the gates and along the roadways will bring a new era of travel to American Airlines’ customers, who can now board regional jet aircraft from jet bridges instead of through Gate 35X.”

Customers departing on regional flights from Gates 46-59 are now able to relax and recharge in one of 850 new seats while enjoying panoramic views of the Washington, D.C., skyline. Additionally, customers can take advantage of new amenities, including four public restrooms, two mother’s care rooms and an indoor pet relief area. When complete, the new concourse will also include more than 10 new shopping and dining options and a new 14,000 square-foot Admirals Club — currently scheduled to open in 2022.

Behind the scenes, more than 20,000 square-feet of space on the ramp level will serve as home to American’s wholly-owned regional subsidiaries Piedmont and PSA Airlines — providing team members new break areas, workspaces and locker rooms. A new baggage handling system will help expedite the luggage off-load and transfer process, further enhancing the overall customer experience.

Restoring service to the nation’s capital

In response to increasing demand, American plans to operate up to 180 peak day departures from DCA this summer — restoring service to more than 15 markets served before the pandemic, including Hilton Head, South Carolina (HHH); Traverse City, Michigan (TVC); and Asheville, North Carolina (AVL). To accommodate regional flights, up to 85 daily departures are scheduled to operate from the new concourse this summer.

As demand for air travel returns, American plans to provide service on larger regional aircraft operating to and from DCA — adding seat capacity without increasing the number of scheduled flights. Long-term, American intends to operate regional flights with the 65-seat Bombardier CRJ-700, the 76-seat CRJ-900 and the Embraer E175, offering customers a premium two-cabin experience.

Delta Sky Club at DCA debuts with fresh look, more seating and bites from local chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley

Delta Air Lines has made this announcement:

The newly renovated Delta Sky Club at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is officially open for business (or leisure) – now with an additional 1,800 square feet of space for guests to enjoy – and featuring fresh fare from chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley. ​

“We are looking forward to sharing the stunning Delta Sky Club at DCA with Washingtonians. From the cherry-blossom inspired chandelier to the sophisticated finishes, we’ve thoughtfully designed every detail of this Club for our guests,” said Claude Roussel – Managing Director of Delta Sky Club. “The investments Delta is making in Delta Sky Clubs reflect our commitment to take the guest experience to the next level.”

The 9,000 square feet space includes features for which Delta Sky Club is known, along with special touches inspired by Washington, D.C.

Some highlights include:

  • Striking lighting features, modern finishes and leather furnishings
  • Open seating plan to maximize views of the runway and the Potomac River
  • Menu crafted by local chef and former Top Chef finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley, which will be rotated seasonally
  • A full-service bar, now with additional seating, that features seasonal cocktails, an exclusive all-American whiskey menu with 15 choices and wine selected by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson
  • Beltway-themed artwork from up-and-coming artists from across the country, as a part of THE GALLERY program
  • Comfortable seating, Wi-Fi and easily accessible power outlets at nearly every seat​

Sky Club

“In addition to the new elements of the redesigned Club, we’re partnering with chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, who has extensive experience at some of the leading restaurants in D.C. She’s bringing her expertise, flare and creative style to the Club menu,” continued Roussel. ​

“I am very excited to partner with Delta at the Delta Sky Club at DCA. I look forward to bringing my passion for local, seasonal ingredients to travelers, whether they are heading out of town or just passing through our awesome city,” said Marjorie Meek-Bradley, chef and partner at Smoked and Stacked, and executive chef at St. Anselm.

Photos: Delta Air Lines.

Air Wisconsin to fly exclusively under the United Express livery by March 2018

American Eagle-Air Wisconsin Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N444ZW (msn 7788) DCA (Jay Selman). Image: 403522.

Air Wisconsin Airlines (Appleton, WI) is phasing down its contract as an American Eagle operator.

Air Wisconsin Airlines, founded in 1965, operates nearly 350 departures per day system-wide to 26 states and 3 Canadian provinces with American Airlines and United Airlines, serving nearly 6 million passengers per year.

Air Wisconsin will be exclusively flying under the United Express livery by March of 2018.

The fleet is actively being repainted into United Express colors.

On March 1, 2017, Air Wisconsin announced a new agreement with United Airlines to once again operate under the United Express banner.

Air Wisconsin became an American Eagle operator when US Airways was merged into American. Air Wisconsin had previously been an US Airways Express operator. The American contract is due to expire in March 2018.

The remaining American Eagle routes radiate from the Philadelphia hub. They will all be gone by March 2018.

Meanwhile the expanding United Express routes radiate from the Washington (Dulles) and Chicago (O’Hare) UA Hubs.

Air Wisconsin is reestablishing a familiar route this summer. Starting this summer on June 8, 2018 Air Wisconsin will operate a nonstop flight from Appleton to Denver for United Airlines.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Air Wisconsin): American Eagle-Air Wisconsin Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N444ZW (msn 7788) DCA (Jay Selman). Image: 403522.

American Eagle-Air Wisconsin aircraft slide show:

United Express-Air Wisconsin aircraft slide show:

 

 

Delta selects Airbus A321neo for narrowbody fleet renewal, orders 100 firm copies

Delta Air Lines Airbus A321-211 WL N310DN (msn 7293) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 936666.

Delta Air Lines and Airbus have agreed to terms for a 100 firm and 100 option order for state-of-the-art Airbus 321neo (new engine option) aircraft with deliveries beginning in 2020. The new jets, which will be powered by Pratt & Whitney geared-turbofan engines, will feature cutting-edge safety, efficiency and comfort.

“This is the right transaction at the right time for our customers, our employees and our shareholders,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Delta, Airbus and Pratt & Whitney share the same commitment to safety, efficiency, innovation and continuously improving the customer experience. This order for the state-of-the-art A321neo with Pratt’s Pure Power next-generation jet engines reflects our long-term commitment to these values for Delta people and all our constituents.”

Airbus A321neo

Delta A321neo

Delta will configure the A321neo to a total of 197 seats including seating for 20 in First Class, 30 in Delta Comfort+ and 147 in the main cabin. On-demand inflight entertainment, fast satellite-based 2Ku in-flight Wi-Fi, power ports as well as streaming video content will be available at every seat through Delta Studio. The cabin will also feature expansive, 25-percent-larger bookshelf-style overhead bins and full spectrum LED cabin lighting.

Delta expects to take delivery of its first A321neo in the first quarter of 2020 with new aircraft arriving through 2023.

“The A321neo will equip Delta employees with a customer-preferred, versatile narrowbody aircraft befitting their position as a global airline leader — and we are excited to continue to partner with them as they deliver industry-leading operational performance, customer satisfaction and financial results,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer — Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “This purchase furthers our commitment to U.S. aviation — a commitment that has never been stronger.  Today, there is more U.S. content in Airbus aircraft than from any other country, with more than 40 percent of our aircraft-related procurement coming from the United States.  In addition, our workforce at the U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama is proud that they will be delivering many of these A321neos to Delta in the coming years.”

Pratt & Whitney engine MRO provider

Delta is also announcing a long-term commitment with Pratt & Whitney for Delta TechOps to be a major maintenance, repair and overhaul provider for the Pure Power PW1100G and PW1500G engines, powering Delta’s A321neo and C Series aircraft. This latest generation family of Pratt & Whitney engines is a major factor in the 12 percent fuel efficiency improvement on a per seat basis Delta expects over classic A321 performance.

“Pratt & Whitney’s commitment to complete over 5,000 engine repairs and overhauls at Delta TechOps is possible because of the high level of professionalism and quality MRO work the Delta TechOps team performs for the Delta fleet and to more than 150 additional airline and aviation customers based across the globe,” said Delta COO Gil West. “Delta TechOps’ position as an MRO industry leader and the largest in North America will be fortified even further with the addition of Pratt & Whitney engines to its extensive portfolio.”

This commitment by Pratt & Whitney will drive significant job creation within the Delta TechOps workforce and comes as Delta is already making significant investments to its engine overhaul capabilities at its Atlanta Technical Operations Center, including the first new engine test cell to be built in the U.S. in more than 20 years and expanded engine shop space.

“The addition of geared-turbofan technical knowledge at Delta TechOps will not only be applied to the 200 engines that will power Delta’s A321neo fleet, but will also uniquely position TechOps as an MRO leader in this space as future engine types are developed,” West said.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our long standing relationship with Delta, which dates back to the 1930s,” said Pratt & Whitney President Robert Leduc. “Fast forward nearly 90 years, and the GTF engine has revolutionized aviation technology, and will provide Delta with proven performance and environmental benefits. We are honored to power and support Delta’s new fleet of A321neo aircraft well into the future.”

Copyright Photo: The new Airbus A321neo aircraft will join the current fleet of Airbus A321-200s. Delta Air Lines Airbus A321-211 WL N310DN (msn 7293) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 936666.

Piedmont Airlines officially retires the last DHC-8-100 Dash 8 from scheduled service, some will continue as a back-up aircraft

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Piedmont Airlines, as planned, officially retired the last de Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 Dash 8 from scheduled service from the Philadelphia hub on November 29, 2017.

The type goes back to the Henson Airlines days. The last scheduled flight was flight AA 4810 from Philadelphia to the Salisbury, MD base with the pictured N806EX.

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The airline made the following short announcement on November 29, 2017 on social media:

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Our last scheduled Dash-8-100 flight happens later on November 29, 2017 (PHL-SBY 4810) so it’s fitting that we also received jet #34 this morning. 100s are still being used as spares, so don’t be surprised if you see one out in the wild somewhere.

Interesting day at Piedmont – we said goodbye to the Dash 8 in PHL and HVN, introduced the Embraer-145 in IPT and took delivery of our 34th jet in SBY (below).

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Piedmont Airlines is due to retire the larger DHC-8-300 Dash 8 in July 2018.

Bottom Copyright Photo (all others by Piedmont Airlines): The pictured N837EX was operating from the Charlotte hub on November 29, 2017 as a spare aircraft. American Eagle (2nd)-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-102 Dash 8 N837EX (msn 217) (Piedmont Airlines colors) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 935577.

American Eagle (2nd)-Piedmont Airlines (2nd) Bombardier DHC-8-102 Dash 8 N837EX (msn 217) (Piedmont Airlines colors) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 935577.

Plans are underway to bring back Midwest Express Airlines

Curt Drumm of Manitowoc, WI is leading an effort to bring back Midwest Express Airlines. A website has been established and a small group is looking for investors. If it happens, the second version of Midwest Express would also be based in Milwaukee.

The website has made this statement:

The Return of a Legend:

Plans are underway to bring back the iconic Midwest Express Airlines. Remember the great service, comfortable seating and chocolate cookies? So much of that went away, and hasn’t come back.

With fewer flights out of Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE), and even fewer non-stop destinations, travel has become more of a hassle. Add long connections, service fees and crowded planes, it’s just not fun anymore. Many other mid-size airports face the same problem, too.

That’s why we’re working hard to bring back Midwest Express. With convenient destinations for business travelers, roomy seats, WiFi and friendly people who care about you, it’s going to help you plan your travel more efficiently. Flights to many of our destinations will allow you to travel out and back on the same day, getting you back home at night, instead of being away.

We are currently finalizing our plans. If you’d like to be part of it, either as an investor or a member of our team, let us know. There’s a contact form below. Or just follow our progress right here. We’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for your interest in the new Midwest Express. More details will be coming soon. We can’t wait to get in the air!

(Oh, and by the way, we haven’t forgotten the cookies!)

Midwest Express Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 N302ME (msn 47102) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 103360.

Above Copyright Photo: Midwest Express Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 N302ME (msn 47102) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 103360.

Note: The original Midwest Express Airlines (above) commenced scheduled passenger flights on June 11, 1984. In March 2003 it became Midwest Airlines (below). On June 23, 2009, Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. announced they would acquire Midwest Airlines for $31 million. The purchase was finalized on July 30, 2009. On November 2, 2009 the last flight was operated and the brand was retired.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2003

Above Copyright Photo: Midwest Airlines (USA) Boeing 717-2BL N924ME (msn 55190) DCA (Bruce Drum). Image: 100801.

Frontier Airlines announces a major expansion to 21 new cities

"Weston, the Woodpecker", delivered on April 11, 2017

Frontier Airlines has announced a significant network expansion adding 21 new cities which will increase the number of destinations served by the low-fare carrier by 30 percent and double the number of total routes. By next spring, Frontier will offer low fares to 90 percent of the U.S. population, which is expected to bring more than $1 billion dollars in savings to consumers through lower airfares. To celebrate the announcement, Frontier is offering limited time fares from $39.

Highlights of the announcement include the following:

  • Twenty-one new cities (eight on sale today), about a 30 percent increase in cities to 82 cities
  • Eighty-five new routes
  • Nonstop routes nearly double by Summer of 2018 to 314
  • Total routes (including connections) grow to well over 1000 by Summer 2018 (more than double the current number of total routes)
  • Expansion of winter service to warm weather destinations with significant growth in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, Fort Myers, Fla., and Cancun, Mexico

Copyright Photo: Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A320-251N WL N309FR (msn 7555) (Weston, the Woodpecker) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 937846.

Route Map:

 

Frontier launches career pilot program with Great Lakes Airlines and Silver Airways

Frontier launches career pilot program with Great Lakes Airlines and Silver Airways

Frontier Airlines has entered into pilot hiring partnerships with both Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Great Lakes Airlines and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood-based Silver Airways as part of the Frontier Career Pilot Program, designed to remove many of the career uncertainties that pilots face as they begin their airline careers by guaranteeing pilots entering the Career Pilot Program a first officer position with Frontier upon completion of defined experience requirements.

Frontier plans to launch the Frontier Career Pilot Program this month.

Frontier will work with its new partners by recruiting and interviewing new pilot candidates for this new program.

Frontier will help its new partners interview and recruit new pilot candidates. Once selected, the pilot needs to remain employed by the regional airline, upgrade to captain and build at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time. Once these and other conditions are met such as dependability metrics and a letter of recommendation from the partner airline, Frontier will guarantee that the pilot will transition to Frontier as a first officer.

Pilots who currently fly for Great Lakes Airlines or Silver Airways also will be eligible and encouraged to participate in the Career Pilot Program. Depending on staffing needs at the regional airlines.

Copyright Photo: Frontier Airlines (2nd) Airbus A320-214 WL N228FR (msn 5526) (Orville, the red Cardinal) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 926942.

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China Southern Airlines and Virgin America to expand their codeshare agreement

China Southern Airlines Boeing 777-31B ER B-2029 (msn 43224) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930493.

Virgin America (San Francisco) and China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou) have announced a codeshare agreement to offer seamless booking and travel between China, Southeast Asia and multiple Virgin America destinations across the United States.

Under the new agreement, China Southern will place its two-digit airline code (CZ) and flight numbers on a range of Virgin America routes operating from Los Angeles and San Francisco – including West Coast flights to and from Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle, San Diego and Washington DC.

This partnership will bring expanded choice and convenience for travelers flying between China Southern’s numerous Chinese and Southeast Asia destinations and the United States. This agreement is unique in that China Southern is the only airline offering non-stop service between Guangzhou and Wuhan and the United States.

China Southern offers daily flights from Guangzhou to San Francisco (three flights per week with one stop in Wuhan), ten flights per week from Guangzhou to Los Angeles, and daily flights from Guangzhou to New York.

This new agreement builds and expands on China Southern’s existing interline arrangement with Virgin America. China Southern is Virgin America’s sixth codeshare agreement and joins the airline’s growing partner portfolio.

Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. China Southern’s Boeing 777-31B ER B-2029 (msn 43224) departs from Los Angeles.

Below Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Virgin America’s Airbus A320-214 N855VA (msn 5179) prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).

Virgin America Airbus A320-214 N855VA (msn 5179) DCA (Brian McDonough). Image: 930492.

Virgin America aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

China Southern aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

 

AG Rare Historic Photos

 

Southwest Airlines reports a record third quarter net profit

Southwest Airlines Company (Dallas) today reported its third quarter 2015 results:

Southwest 2014 logo-1

Record third quarter net income, excluding special items, of $623 million, or $.94 per diluted share. This represented a $241 million increase from third quarter 2014 and exceeded the Thomson Reuters First Call mean estimate of $.92 per diluted share.

Record third quarter GAAP net income of $584 million, or $.88 per diluted share, compared with third quarter 2014 GAAP net income of $329 million.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to report outstanding third quarter 2015 results marked by a 63.1 percent year-over-year increase in net income, excluding special items. Our record third quarter operating income, excluding special items, of $1.0 billion produced a strong 20.3 percent operating margin, which is a 680 basis point improvement from the year-ago period. The significant margin expansion was driven largely by lower fuel prices. Our results also benefited from a continued focus on cost control and solid overall revenue performance, including a significant contribution from our Rapid Rewards program. Customer demand for our low fares was evident with an all-time quarterly record load factor of 85.4 percent for third quarter 2015. That’s what low fares without ‘gotcha’s’, which we call TransfarencySM, will do for you. My thanks to our superb Employees for producing our tenth consecutive quarter of record profits and my congratulations to them on their record $484 million profitsharing accrual, thus far this year.

Fleet and Capacity

During third quarter 2015, the Company received three pre-owned Boeing 737-700s to end the quarter with 692 aircraft. The Company continues to manage to approximately 700 aircraft at year-end 2015 and continues to expect to grow its fleet approximately two percent, year-over-year, in 2016. Additional information regarding the Company’s aircraft delivery schedule is included in the accompanying tables. The Company’s capacity plans remain unchanged with expected available seat mile growth of approximately seven percent this year, and an estimated five to six percent in 2016, both year-over-year.

Southwest 737 Delivery Schedule 10.2015

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3H4 HL N644SW (msn 28329) approaches the runway at Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

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