Tag Archives: IAD

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.

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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.

Polaris-Seat

“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.

United Airlines to introduce the Boeing 777-300ER on additional routes

 

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

United Airlines has announced additional Boeing 777-300ER service, the airline’s newest aircraft type featuring the all-new United Polaris business class seats, to its flight schedules. With the schedule update over the weekend, the airline expects to begin 777-300ER service on the following routes*:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Beijing (PEK) beginning September 6, 2017 westbound (September 8, 2017 eastbound)
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Frankfurt (FRA)** beginning October 5, 2017 eastbound (October 6, 2017 westbound)
  • New York/Newark (EWR) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) beginning October 28, 2017 westbound (October 29, 2017eastbound)

*Flight and aircraft schedules are subject to change.
** United offers two daily flights between SFO-FRA through October 27, 2017. The 777-300ER will serve flights UA 58/59.

Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are already in service on United’s San Francisco – Hong Kong (HKG), San Francisco to Tokyo Narita, and New York/Newark – Tel Aviv (TLV) routes and will begin service from San Francisco to Taipei (TPE) on August 1. United expects to place into service all 14 aircraft in its first 777-300ER order in 2017. The airline recently announced an order for four additional 777-300ER aircraft.

All-New Business Class Seat

United’s 777-300ER aircraft offers a modern, spacious interior envisioned in partnership with design firm PriestmanGoode, including the airline’s all-new United Polaris business class seat. Each United Polaris suite-like pod features direct access to the aisle, a 180-degree flat-bed that measures 6’6” and 23 inches wide with infinite seat recline options and one-touch lumbar support, ample storage, multiple surfaces that enable passengers to dine while working, universal A/C power as well as 2-USB ports, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen, electronic privacy dividers for seats in the center of the cabin, mood lighting and an illuminated “Do Not Disturb” sign. Additionally, a marble-topped bar unit offers customers in business class a place to grab a mid-flight drink or snack.

This new seat represents the latest in the continued roll-out of United Polaris, the airline’s most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience for intercontinental travelers.

The Boeing 777-300ER features 60 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct-aisle access from all seats.

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

N885FD with “FedEx Panda Express” 2017 special markings transports Bao Bao to China

N885FD with "FedEx Panda Express" 2017 special markings transports Bao Bao to China

Bao Bao (BOW-BOW) the 3 ½ year-old giant panda began her journey to China on the morning on February 21, 2017. She departed the Smithsonian’s National Zoo at 11 a.m. for Dulles International Airport, where she boarded a FedEx Express Boeing 777F plane bound for Chengdu, China. The nonstop flight took about 16 hours. Bao Bao’s departure from the Zoo was broadcast via Facebook Live.

On the morning of February 21, 2017, the panda team arrived at 6:30 a.m. to finalize preparations for Bao Bao’s departure. Bao Bao received her morning diet of 17 pounds (8 kilograms) of bamboo and 5.4 (150 grams) leafeater biscuits and spent time in her outdoor habitat. Already acclimated from daily training, keeper Marty Dearie called Bao Bao back indoors and then into the custom travel crate at approximately 10 a.m. Zoo staff moved the crate onto a specially-decorated forklift which traveled carefully out of the David M. Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat through the Zoo and was loaded on a FedEx Express truck. Dennis Kelly, director of the Zoo, was joined by Ambassador Cui Tiankai from the People’s Republic of China, Smithsonian Regent and Zoo giant panda conservation program supporter David Rubenstein and animal care staff to say goodbye.

In 2010, FedEx Express transported Bao Bao’s brother Tai Shan from The National Zoo to the China Conservation and Research Center in Chendgdu. FedEx Express also provided the transport for Bao Bao’s parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, from China to the United States in 2000.

The specialized travel crate is made of steel and weighs approximately 800 lbs. Marty Dearie, one of the keepers who has cared for Bao Bao since her birth, and Katharine Hope, veterinarian at the Zoo will make the 8,600-mile trip with her. They continuously monitored Bao Bao during the trip and traveled with a supply of her favorite treats, including 50 pounds of bamboo, 2 pounds apples, 2 bags of leafeater biscuits, cooked sweet potatoes and water.

Upon arrival in Chengdu, Bao Bao’s new keepers from China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda drove her to Dujiangyan Panda Base where she will stay in quarantine for approximately 30 days. The American team will follow, and Dearie will remain with Bao Bao for three days while she acclimates to her new home. It is not confirmed if Bao Bao will remain at Dujiangyan after the quarantine period has ended. Bao Bao will enter the giant panda breeding program when she reaches sexual maturity between 5 and 6 years old.

The panda team prepared Bao Bao for the move to make sure she is comfortable and safe during her journey. To slowly acclimate her to the travel crate, keepers asked Bao Bao to walk through it every day. After she became comfortable doing that, they got her used to spending short periods of time in it with the doors closed.

Bao Bao was born at 5:32 p.m. August 23, 2013, at the Zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. Her name translates to “precious” or “treasure” in Chinese. Both Mrs. Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States, and Madame Peng Liyuan, first lady of China sent congratulatory messages for her naming ceremony when she was 100 days old. At her first birthday zhuazhou (dra-JO) ceremony, she selected a banner depicting peaches, representing longevity. She is the second surviving cub of her parents Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

Giant pandas are listed as “vulnerable” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are an estimated 1,800 in the wild. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is a leader in giant panda conservation. Ever since these charismatic bears arrived at the Zoo in 1972, animal care staff and scientists have studied giant panda biology, behavior, breeding, reproduction, and disease. These experts are also leading ecology studies in giant panda’s native habitat. The Zoo’s giant panda team works closely with colleagues in China to advance conservation efforts around the world. Chinese scientists are working to reintroduce giant pandas to the wild.

Copyright Photo: FedEx Express Boeing 777-FS2 N885FD (msn 41064) (FedEx Panda Express 2017) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 936065.

 

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Porter Airlines’ “Ottawa 2017” promotional livery for Canada’s 150th birthday

Porter Airlines' "Ottawa 2017" promotional livery for Canada's 150th birthday

The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are thrilled to welcome Porter Airlines as the Official Canadian Airline for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the nation’s capital.

“As the nation’s capital, Ottawa will be at the center of celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Porter proudly embodies the modernity and founding spirit of Canada, so this partnership is a perfect fit for us.”

Porter will provide flights for artists, contests and promotions, as well as collaborate with Ottawa 2017 on pageantry items at the Ottawa International Airport and other marketing initiatives. Additionally, the airline company will add the Ottawa 2017 logo (below) to the exterior of all of its aircraft and two planes in the Porter fleet will have their tails wrapped with the colourful look of the celebration.

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Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of exciting experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Copyright Photos: Porter Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GLQB (msn 4130) (Ottawa 2017) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 935182.

Porter Airlines' "Ottawa 2017" promotional livery for Canada's 150th birthday

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Saudia to retire the last Boeing 777-200 by the end of 2017

Boeing 777-200 type to be phased out before the end of 2017

Saudia has announced it will phase-out 5 aircraft from its Boeing 777-200 fleet of 23 aircraft and the remaining 18 aircraft will be phased-out before the end of 2017.

Copyright Photo: Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines) Boeing 777-268 ER HZ-AKA (msn 28344) (SkyTeam) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 908483.

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