Tag Archives: IAD

CommutAir becomes all-jet, phases out its last DHC-8-200 Dash 8

United Express-CommutAir Bombardier DHC-8-202 (Q200) N363PH (msn 520) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 909271.

CommutAir operated their last scheduled turboprop flights on Sunday, January 7, 2018.

The final United Express turboprop flight, operated by CommutAir, operated on Sunday, January 7, 2018. Flight UA 4909 departed from Syracuse, New York (SYR) at 7:30 p.m. and arrived at Washington (Dulles) (IAD) at 8:45 p.m. with the pictured N363PH (top).

On Monday, the Dash 8s were replaced with Embraer 145 regional jets.


CommutAir operated 16 37-seat DHC-8-200 Dash 8s and five 50-seat DHC-8-300 Dash 8s.

The DHC-8-300 were previously retired on September 5, 2017.

In August 2017, CommutAir and United announced plans to replace the Dash 8s with 21 Embraer 145 regional jets.

The Embraer fleet has already grown to 23 and could expand to 60.

CommutAir operates to 20 + cities in the midwest, and northeast.

Albany, NY Lexington, KY
Buffalo, NY Manchester, NH
Burlington, VT Milwaukee, WI
Charleston, SC Norfolk, VA
Cleveland, OH Portland, ME
Columbus, OH Providence, RI
Fayetteville, NC Richmond, VA
Grand Rapids, MI Rochester, NY
Greensboro, NC Savannah, GA
Greenville / Spartanburg, SC St. Louis, MO
Harrisburg, PA Syracuse, NY
Hartford, CT Washington, DC
Indianapolis, IN
Ithaca, NY
Jacksonville, FL


Cape Air (Hyannis) operates three turboprops for United Express on local routes from Guam.

These three aircraft are now the last turboporps to be operated in United colors.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by CommutAir): United Express-CommutAir Bombardier DHC-8-202 (Q200) N363PH (msn 520) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 909271.

United Express-CommutAir aircraft slide show:



KLM launches its new World Business Class cabin in Airbus A330-300 PH-AKA

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ first Airbus A330-300 to be fitted with the new World Business Class cabin interior made its first flight over the weekend to Havana (KL723). The cabin refit for the remaining 20% of KLM’s fleet will be completed by the end of 2018. In addition to the new design, there will be full-flat seats and a new inflight entertainment system for all World Business Class passengers to enjoy.

The first A330-300 to be fitted with the new World Business Class cabin is registration number PH-AKA (below).

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Airbus A330-303 PH-AKA (msn 1287) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 908520.

Above Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Airbus A330-303 PH-AKA (msn 1287) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 908520.

Refits complete in 2018

The refurbishment of the business class cabins in the remaining four A330-300s has already commenced; the last is expected to be completed in July 2018. KLM’s eight A330-200s will follow. Their refits are expected to be completed in October 2018.

The World Business Class interiors of all the Boeings 747,777-200 and 777-300 have already undergone this transformation. KLM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners already have the new-style World Business Class cabins.

New World Business Class

Renowned Dutch designer, Hella Jongerius, designed the new seats and cabin interior. In addition, KLM’s new World Business Class also contains:

  • Full-flat seats: 180 degrees reclinable and 206 cm long
  • In-seat power and improved privacy
  • Brand-new personal entertainment system with an 18” screen, HD quality films and a touchscreen navigation menu in 12 languages

Photos: KLM.






United is bringing United Express service to Wilmington, NC

United Express-Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N21130 (msn 14500704) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929955.

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is thrilled to welcome United Airlines to Wilmington, North Carolina.  United Airlines will add two new nonstop routes between ILM and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and between ILM and Dulles/Washington DC area (IAD).  The new daily nonstop flights will begin April 9, 2018.

The new daily flights to both hubs will be operated by Trans States Airlines.

Copyright Photo: United Express-Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N21130 (msn 14500704) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929955.

ViaAir expands Austin service with new nonstop flights to Oklahoma City and Tucson

ViaAir to add two routes from Charlotte

ViaAir has announced new nonstop flights from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Oklahoma City and Tucson beginning January 18, 2018. These new flights join a growing portfolio of new nonstop options; beginning with new Winter seasonal flights between Austin and Steamboat/Hayden, CO starting December 13.

Nonstop flights from Austin to Oklahoma City and Tucson begin January 18, 2018.

City Pair Depart Arrive Frequency
Austin – Tucson 10:50am 12:20pm Monday, Thursday, Friday
Tucson – Austin 1:05pm 4:10pm Monday, Thursday, Friday
Austin – Oklahoma City 5:05pm 6:25pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Oklahoma City – Austin 7:10pm 8:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

All times local

ViaAir plans to base crews and maintenance at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, positioning its Austin based operations to expand.

ViaAir is partnering with Embark Aviation to commercially manage these flights which includes: pricing, revenue management, network planning, and marketing functions. This innovative air service model allows ViaAir to plug major airline commercial planning functions into its operations and permitting Via the ability to focus their resources and expertise on the operational functions of the airline.

Founded in 1997, ViaAir is an aviation company offering daily scheduled flights, charters and AirCruise vacation packages. The airline operates domestic and supplemental operations and was the first to be certified in the FAA’s Part 5 Safety Management System, ensuring the highest level of safety in the aviation industry. The airline operates a fleet of Embraer ERJ-145s with 50 seats.

Top Copyright Photo: ViaAir (Via Airlines) Embraer ERJ 145EP (EMB-145EP) N802HK (msn 145066) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929714.

Route Map:

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Etihad Airways to drop the Abu Dhabi – Dallas/Fort Worth route due to American

Etihad Airways (Air India) Boeing 777-237 LR A6-LRE (msn 36304) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 924445.

Etihad Airways has announced the suspension of its Abu Dhabi – Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) route effective March 25, 2018, as it will become commercially unsustainable following American Airlines’ unilateral decision to terminate its codeshare agreement with the airline.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth.

“We are open to American Airlines reversing its decision to cancel our codeshare agreement so that Etihad Airways can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines.”

Etihad Airways has invested heavily in the DFW route since its launch in December 2014. The route commenced with three flights a week and was upgraded to a daily service in February 2017, providing travellers in the US and across the airline’s network with access to more US cities through American Airlines’ primary hub. More than 235,000 travellers have flown on the route since its launch. Almost half of Etihad Airways’ DFW customers connect on US codeshare flights operated by American Airlines.

Mr Baumgartner added, “The cancellation of the Dallas route is one of several adjustments that we are making to our US network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability. Further changes are possible as we monitor the full impact of the American Airlines codeshare cancellation on summer 2018 bookings.

“Etihad Airways is grateful to the state of Texas, its authorities, including the Mayor’s offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, DFW International Airport, local businesses, the travel trade, and the travelling public for their partnership throughout the years of our operation.”

Etihad Airways currently operates 42 nonstop flights a week to five US gateways – Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York and Washington. Additionally, Etihad Cargo operates twice weekly Boeing 777F freighter services to and from Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, and Tucson, Arizona.

Copyright Photo: Etihad Airways (Air India) Boeing 777-237 LR A6-LRE (msn 36304) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 924445.

South African Airways gets a government capital infusion

South African Airways Airbus A340-313 ZS-SXE (msn 646) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 920715.

South African Airways on October 25, 2017 issued this statement:

1. South African Airways (SAA) welcomes the announcement of a capital injection made by government for the airline on October 25, 2017. The injection will go a long way to stabilise the airline financially and will help restore the confidence of all stakeholders in the operational sustainability of the company.
2. In order to turn its fortunes around, SAA had approached its shareholder with a request for recapitalisation of R13.1 billion over three years. The announcement today means that a total amount of R10 billion has been allocated to SAA in the current financial year. For the period ending 30 September, the airline received R5.2 billion.  Of this, R2.2 billion was used to settle a maturing loan with Standard Chartered in July 2017 and another R700 million was paid to Citibank in September this year as part of the agreed payment plan and R1.2 billion was used towards working capital requirements.  The funds remaining out of the R5.2 billion are ring-fenced to enable SAA to meet its payment plan with Citibank and to cover working capital requirement and/or partially settle the domestic lenders. Out of the remaining R4.8 billion, 60% will be used to partially pay the local lenders and the remainder of the funds will be used as working capital.
3. SAA is aware and sensitive to the reality that the allocation comes at a time when government faces a number of demands competing for resource allocation. This calls for departure from a mundane flight path, work with urgency towards bringing more shareholder value, and become financially sustainable in the shortest time possible.
4. The implementation of SAA’s turnaround plan must switch to a higher gear and reassure through results, all stakeholders that the airline is on course towards financial sustainability.
5. Both the lenders and the shareholder have imposed strict conditions, increased oversight and demand more accountability from the airline.  The conditions imposed include revalidation of the turnaround plan and implementation thereof within specific time frames, appointment of mission-critical personnel (including a permanent Chief Executive, Chief Financial and Chief Restructuring Officers) as well as compliance on all governance issues. In addition, four other executive management positions will be advertised this weekend. Furthermore, National Treasury last week announced new appointments to strengthen the current SAA board of directors.
6. SAA has made significant headway in meeting the requirements set out by the shareholder and its lenders. The company has no intention to falter on the remainder of the conditions.
7. SAA is implementing some major initiatives as part of its remediation to improve financial performance and optimise operational performance. The airline has already announced its network changes and other milestones will be announced as the turnaround plan is implemented.
Copyright Photo: The Airbus A340-300s are now likely to be replaced sooner with any reorganization. South African Airways Airbus A340-313 ZS-SXE (msn 646) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 920715.

United Airlines to resume seasonal service to New Zealand

United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2639U (msn 62650) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 938448.

United Airlines’ seasonal service between San Francisco (SFO) and Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) scheduled to resume on Sunday, October 29, 2017. United will operate its SFO-AKL route six days per week from October 29 through December 17 and then daily through March 22, 2018.


“Together with our Joint Venture partner Air New Zealand, United is excited to provide customers with convenient travel options between the U.S. and New Zealand,” said John Gebo, senior vice president of alliances for United. “New Zealand’s summer season is a popular time for travelers to enjoy New Zealand, and we are pleased to offer the larger Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and the all-new United Polaris business class seat for our customers traveling between San Francisco and Auckland.”

The United and Air New Zealand partnership makes it easy for customers to travel to Auckland, where Air New Zealand’s Auckland hub connects to a network of more than 20 routes across the North and South Islands of the country. For customers traveling from AKL to SFO, United has timed this flight to connect at SFO with an extensive network of service throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. United operates more than 280 daily flights from SFO to 65 airports across the U.S. and 22 international destinations.

United’s SFO-AKL route is operated by its newest aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER. With a focus on providing a more tranquil journey for customers, the new cabin design on United’s 777-300ER fleet features LED mood-lighting to complement sleep and assist with time-zone changes as well as textured and softer touch materials, which not only provide a more premium feel, but also absorb aircraft noise and other sound within the cabin.

United Polaris business class features a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience for intercontinental travelers, including a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat. Each United Polaris seat offers direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.

Throughout the 777-300ER aircraft, the cabin interior is comprised of bespoke branding elements as well as carpets, fabrics and wall laminates – that, like the United Polaris seat, were specially designed for United, as well as redesigned lavatories which include modern finishings and farmhouse-style sinks.

Copyright Photo: United Airlines Boeing 777-322 ER N2639U (msn 62650) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 938448.