Airlines protest over FAA slot auction plan  

2008-08-25

An airline trade group is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to delay its planned Sept. 3 auction of slots at the Newark airport. The auction next week would be the first of several the FAA has said it wants to conduct. It has said that selling the slots to land and take off at LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark should reduce congestion. The protest filed earlier this month with the FAA’s Office of Dispute Resolution Acquisition argues that FAA needs Congressional authority for the slot auctions. Photo: The evening “rush hour” at New York’s JFK Airport is in full swing as over 60 aircraft await takeoff (Photo Copyright Tom Alfano)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Boeing 737-200 crashes in Kyrgyzstan, 68 killed  

2008-08-24

An Itek Air (Bishkek) Boeing 737-200 (registration EX-009, cn 22088) has crashed shortly after takeoff from Kyrgyzstan’s capitol city of Bishkek. The pilots reported a mechanical problem shortly after departure on a flight to Iran, and were attempting to return to the airport when the plane crashed several miles short of the runway in a field. 68 of the 90 passengers and crew are confirmed dead. Photo: Itek Air 737-200 EX-009 was the aircraft involved in today’s accident (photo Copyright Oleg Revin)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Plane spotter struck, killed by plane in St. Barths  

2008-08-21

An American tourist taking photos of airplanes was struck and killed by a departing aircraft at the St. Barthelemy airport in Guadeloupe Wednesday. The photographer was reportedly standing on the beach area at the departure end of runway 10 when he was struck in the head by the landing gear of a Tropical Airlines plane which had rolled abnormally long during its takeoff. The 40 year old man was airlifted University hospital Point-with-Pitre/Abymes where he later died. Photo: St. Barthelemy airport is famous for its low-flying aircraft and pristine beach located just meters from the runway. (Photo Copyright PAOLO ROSSINI)

Comments

<<previous123next>>

TSA Inspector damages nine American Eagle planes  

2008-08-20

American Eagle (Dallas/Ft. Worth) had to ground nine of its aircraft on Wednesday after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspector “used sensitive instrument probes to climb onto the parked aircraft at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport,” according to ABC News. At least 40 flights were canceled. The snafu came as the inspector was conducting overnight security checks on the aircraft. American Eagle issued a statement on the incident reading: “If not observed by vigilant Eagle employees in Chicago, the actions of this inspector would have been unknown and could have jeopardized the safety of our customers and crew because of potential damage to the sensitive equipment mounted on the aircraft fuselage.”

Comments

<<previous12next>>

Death toll rises to 153 in Spanair MD-82 crash  

2008-06-11

A Spanair (Palma de Mallorca) flight crashed today while departing runway 36L at Madrid’s Barajas Airport enroute to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. MD-82 EC-HFP (cn 53148) had aborted its first takeoff attempt and returned to the gate due to engine trouble about an hour and a half prior to the accident. There were 172 passengers and crew aboard. Eyewitness reports state that the aircraft struggled to gain altitude on departure and crashed, coming to rest between runways 36R and 36L. A large brush fire ignited by the crash hampered rescue efforts initially. An official with the SAMUR municipal rescue service said that there were only 19 survivors, putting the death toll in the accident at 153. Photo 1: MD-82 EC-HFP, painted in Spanair’s Star Alliance livery, was the aircraft involved in the accident. (Photo Copyright A.Bacallado) Photo 2: Investigators look over the scene of today’s accident as a piece of fuselage is hoisted off the ground. (Photo Courtesy El Mundo)

Fewer air travelers expected over Labor Day weekend  

2008-08-18

Fewer people will be boarding airplanes over the Labor Day holiday, capping a summer in which airlines slapped passengers with new fees and higher fares. A new forecast from the Air Transport Association predicts that domestic U.S. airline travel will drop nearly 7 percent from Aug. 27 through Sept. 3, compared to a year ago. International travel will be up slightly, according to the group. Passenger traffic was also down substantially during June and July, according to recent reports from the airlines.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Foreign airlines cutting flights at LAX  

2008-08-18

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is set to lose several international carriers by the end of this year. Air India plans to end its six weekly flights between LAX and Frankfurt, which connect to New Delhi and Mumbai. Meanwhile, in late October, Thai Airways will no longer offer nonstop flights to Bangkok and Cathay Pacific has said it will suspend one of three daily flights between Hong Kong and LAX. Other foreign carriers cutting flights at LAX include Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Malaysia Airlines. Photo: A colorful collection of foreign aircraft await passengers at LAX’s Bradley International Terminal (Photo Copyright Eric Dunetz)

Comments

<<previous12next>>

American Airlines fined for safety violations  

2008-08-14

American Airlines (Dallas/Ft. Worth) was fined $7.1 million by the FAA on Thursday for safety violations relating to maintenance issues and problems with its drug and alcohol testing programs. Nearly $4.5 million of the proposed fines stem from American’s continued operation of two MD-83 jetliners in December 2007 after pilots reported problems with the autopilot systems, the FAA said. Regulators also accuse American of operating planes without timely inspections of their emergency lighting systems and of unspecified “past deficiencies” regarding drug and alcohol testing.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Lower oil has airlines predicting profits for 2009  

2008-08-12

Airline stocks have soared in recent days, as oil prices fell to $113 a barrel today. Several analysts suggested that declining jet-fuel costs could put some airlines in the black next year and lead to brighter flying days ahead. “At $115 a barrel, we see the industry turning a profit in 2009,” a Morgan Stanley analyst said in a research report. The recent drop in oil prices, “if sustained, is a game-changing event for the industry.” Airline shares have been rising since mid-July on falling oil prices and amid airlines’ moves to reduce seats, raise fares, and charge passengers new fees. Photo: American Airlines jets congregate at the carrier’s Dallas/Ft. Worth hub (Photo Copyright Chris Eggers)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Qantas cancels more flights, removes jets from service  

2008-08-12

Qantas Airways (Sydney) has canceled more flights this morning and removed six of its jets from service, because it appears a step in the planes’ maintenance checks was not completed. Three flights were canceled overnight and another eight this morning after the Boeing 737 planes were grounded last night. Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has begun an investigation.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Alaska Airlines resumes flights canceled by volcano  

2008-08-12

Alaska Airlines (Seattle) said it has resumed its flights to Alaska that were canceled because of volcanic ash created by the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands. More than 5,200 passengers were affected by the cancellations of 44 flights. Flights from the northwestern United States to Alaska resumed Tuesday.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

British Airways and American Airlines 'close to merger'  

2008-08-04

Major airlines British Airways (London) and American Airlines (Dallas-Ft. Worth) are said to be close to striking a deal over a possible merger. BA is making a third attempt to join forces with its U.S. partner despite being twice turned away by officials in the US due to competition laws. It tried both in 1997 and 2002 to strike up a similar deal with AA but previously had its offer rejected. Photo: AA and BA jets taxi at Manchester International Airport, England. (Photo Copyright Paul Markman)

Comments

<<previous1234next>>

Emirates introduces Boeing in-flight mobile service  

2008-08-04

Emirates Airline (Dubai) is celebrating yet another first this week with the introduction of mobile phone services on a Boeing plane. The pioneering move makes the carrier the first in the industry to allow passengers on a number of its Boeing 777 flights to make calls and send texts while onboard. The service is expected to be rolled out to other aircraft and passengers will be issued with guidelines as how to use the service appropriately. Those wanting to use the service will be expected to keep their phones on “silent mode” and will be asked to keep night time calls to a minimum. Photo: Emirates is known for being an industry leader in newer, extravagant aircraft interiors. (Photo Copyright Chris Kilroy)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

IATA: Air passenger demand growth declined in June  

2008-08-04

International air cargo volume fell in June, while passenger demand growth slowed, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Monday, citing global economic woes. Cargo contracted by 0.8 percent compared to June 2007. It was the first such decline seen since May 2005 and follows several months of falling manufacturing sector confidence indicators. Passenger demand growth fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest level since 2003, IATA said. Passenger load factors dropped to 77.6 percent, 1.2 percentage points below the 78.8 percent recorded for June 2007.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Qantas 747 lands with gaping hole in fuselage  

2008-07-25

A hole the size of a small car in the underside of a Qantas (Sydney) Boeing 747-400 carrying 346 passengers over the South China Sea forced the pilot to make an emergency landing Friday after a rapid descent. The aircraft was cruising at 29,000 feet when a loud bang rattled the plane. Video shot by a passenger shows people sitting with their oxygen masks on as the jet descended quickly to 10,000 feet. Applause erupted as the plane touched down safely. There were no injuries. (Photo Copyright The Age Company Ltd. Used with Permission)

More airlines swing to losses on fuel prices  

2008-07-22

The losses keep piling up for airlines, as three of the nation’s biggest carriers said Tuesday high fuel costs overwhelmed higher revenue in the quarter that ended June 30: - United Airlines (Chicago) posted the biggest loss – $2.73 billion or $21.74 per share. United also expanded the number of jobs it plans to eliminate by the end of the year from 3,800 to 7,000. - US Airways (Phoenix) rolled up a $567 million loss – $6.16 per share. Revenue rose 3 percent, but CEO Doug Parker also pointed to soaring fuel costs for most of his company’s financial woes. - jetBlue Airways (New York) posted the smallest loss – $7 million or 3 cents a share, as revenue climbed 18 percent. JetBlue will shut down its operations in Ontario, Calif., because of rising costs.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

After 6 years, flights begin at Manila's Terminal 3  

2008-07-21

After being in mothballs for six years, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) began partial operations Tuesday with a total of 16 domestic flights on schedule, an official of the Manila International Airport Authority said. All 16 flights, eight inbound and eight outbound, were to use ATR-72 aircraft operated by Cebu Pacific Air. Philippine Airlines is also expected to begin operations of its budget brand PAL-Express at the new terminal. PAL and CEB will field planes that do not require the use of airbridges. In a dry run last month, one of NAIA 3’s airbridges malfunctioned as it was being tested on an Airbus A340. The MIAA said it hoped to keep domestic operations running for six months to a year before shifting to full domestic and international operations. Photo: Terminal 3 at Manila’s international airport had been nearly completed, but unused, for over 6 years. (Photo Copyright Rommel Dorado)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

One-Two-Go grounded, pilots' licences cancelled  

2008-07-21

The Thai Civil Aviation Department has ordered One-Two-Go airlines to halt operations for 30 days due to substandard operations and revoked or suspended the flying licenses of nine of its pilots. According to the CAD, the department had found shortcomings in the airline’s aviation operations, flight schedules and maintenance, along with a lack of quality assurance. The low-cost airline had violated aviation safety regulations and lacked proper airline management, the edict continued.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Airbus orders top Boeing at Farnborough Air Show  

2008-07-18

Airbus topped rival Boeing Co.’s sales tally at the Farnborough International Air Show, where plane orders from Middle Eastern and Asian airlines shored up an industry besieged by high oil prices. The world’s two largest airliner manufacturers announced $64 billion in orders, with more than 60 percent of the total going to Toulouse, France-based Airbus. That fell short of the $69.7 billion in purchases at the most recent comparable event, November’s Dubai Air Show. Photo: An aerial overview of the 2006 Farnborough Air Show (Photo Copyright Thomas Brackx)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Qantas cuts 1,500 jobs, blames rising fuel costs  

2008-07-17

Qantas Airways (Sydney) says it will cut 1,500 jobs across the world to try to offset the rising cost of jet fuel and challenging conditions in the aviation industry. The Australian national carrier has also scrapped plans to hire another 1,200 workers in the new financial year and will retire 22 older aircraft from its fleet of 228. Chief executive Geoff Dixon said the aviation industry is facing a major crisis and Qantas needs to ensure its future. Photo: A Qantas A330 departs from the carrier’s Sydney hub. (Photo Copyright Anthony Jackson)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

U.S. airlines announce quarterly results, losses  

2008-07-17

Several of the major U.S. airlines announced second quarter operating results today, with heavy losses. All of the reporting airlines blamed sky high fuel prices for their disappointing results. Among the heavy hitters: - Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) reported a $1 billion loss including special charges. The airline, however, earned a net profit of $137 million excluding special charges. - American Airlines (Dallas/Ft. Worth) lost $1.45 billion in Q2, much of which was attributed to write downs of the value of American’s jet fleet, which the airline is trimming to save money. Excluding writedowns, AMR would have lost $284 million. - Continental (Houston) lost $3 million in Q2 2008. Excluding a net gain of $22 million from one-time events, the carrier lost $25 million, or 25 cents per share. A year ago, Continental earned a profit of $228 million. - US Airways (Phoenix) will report its quarterly earnings on Tuesday. Analysts, on average, expect the airline to lose $1.21 per share during the second quarter on revenue of $3.27 billion.

Comments

Air China announces agreement for 777s and 737s  

2008-07-17

The Boeing Company has signed an order with Air China, the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, for 15 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 30 Next-Generation 737-800 jetliners. Shown here is an artist’s rendering of a 737-800 in Air China livery. Air China operates international and domestic scheduled passenger and cargo services and will use the airplanes to expand its international and domestic routes. The carrier is based in Beijing, the home of the 2008 Olympic Games, and is the only Chinese airline selected as a 2008 Beijing Olympics partner. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

Boeing gets additional 737 order from Arik Air  

2008-07-15

Boeing and Arik Air today announced an order for an additional seven Next-Generation 737s at the Farnborough Airshow. The airline ordered 10 Next-Generation 737s in September 2007 and now has a total of 17 Next-Generation 737s on order. Arik Air currently operates six 737-700s. Today’s order has been attributed on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site to an unidentified customer. “We are committed to the advancement of Nigerian aviation through the utilization of the most modern and reliable airplanes available today,” said Arik Air Chairman Sir Arumemi-Johnson, in remarks prepared for the event. “With the Next-Generation 737 as the cornerstone of our regional operations, Arik is well positioned across the Boeing product line to pursue our growth plan and usher in a new era of commercial aviation in Nigeria.” Arik Air has five 777-300ERs (Extended Range) and seven 787-9 Dreamliners on order. The airline also announced its intent to purchase four 747-8 Intercontinentals. “Arik Air has set a new standard for commercial airlines operating in Nigeria,” said Ray Conner, vice president of sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. ‘We value our relationship with this remarkable airline and know that operating Boeing jets will increase Arik’s efficiency and offers its passengers the highest levels of comfort and reliability.” Arik Air is Nigeria’s fastest-growing privately owned airline and serves more than 14 domestic routes with a fleet of 18 airplanes. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Boeing 777F makes first flight  

2008-07-15

The first Boeing 777 Freighter, the world’s most capable twin-engine cargo airplane, today successfully took to the sky for the first time and completed an initial series of tests during a flight lasting more than three-and-a-half hours. The airplane performed well. “The 777 Freighter completed the scheduled three-hour inaugural flight with no airplane performance-related issues,” said Dennis O’Donoghue, vice president of Flight Operations, Test & Validation. “The only issue was a data-communication problem between the airplane and the telemetry room at Boeing Field.” Boeing will identify and fix the problem to resume the flight test program as soon as possible. Due to the data-transmission issue, the 777 Freighter was unable to complete all of the first-flight tests and was returned to Paine Field in Everett, Wash. per Federal Aviation Administration procedure. The original first-flight plan called for a landing at Boeing Field. The newest member of the 777 airplane family took off at 10 a.m. (PDT) from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. It landed at 1:38 p.m. at Paine Field. During today’s flight, 777 Chief Pilot Suzanna Darcy-Hennemann and 777 Deputy Chief Pilot Van Chaney took the airplane to an altitude of 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) and an air speed of 270 knots, or about 311 miles (500 kilometers) per hour, customary on a first flight. Typically, the 777s cruise altitude is 35,000 (10,668 meters), and its cruise speed is Mach 0.84, about 484 miles (779 kilometers) per hour. “This is the moment that thousands of Boeing employees have worked towards in the design, build and test of the 777 Freighter. The airplane handled perfectly,” said Darcy-Hennemann after the flight ended. “Being at the controls of a commercial airplane on its maiden flight is a rare and unique opportunity and it was a great day.” The 777 Freighter, the sixth member of the 777 airplane family, will be capable of flying 4,885 nautical miles (9,047 km) with a full payload, making it the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter. The airplane’s range capability will translate into significant savings for cargo operators: fewer stops and associated landing feeds, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter cargo delivery times. “I’m very proud of our 777 team and what they’ve accomplished with this airplane,” said Larry Loftis, vice president 777 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “By working together with our customers and suppliers we have built the best possible new cargo airplane. I couldn’t be more pleased.” The flight-test program will involve the airplane flown today and a second one. The two aircraft will prove the airplane’s safety, reliability and service-ready condition during approximately 270 flight hours and more than 450 ground test hours. Boeing’s plan is to earn certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe’s Joint Aviation Authority during the fourth quarter and deliver to launch customer Air France shortly thereafter. To date, Boeing has secured 78 firm orders from 11 customers for the 777 Freighter. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

USA Jet crash caught on video  

2008-07-14

Surveillance video images have emerged showing the moment that a USA Jet Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9 freighter crashed at Mexico’s Plan de Guadalupe Airport in Saltillo earlier this month. While the images give little detail of the cause, they appear to indicate that the aircraft was experiencing significant roll before dropping to the ground and exploding. One frame of the video shows a brief, bright flash, perhaps lending weight to suggestions that the aircraft clipped a power line during the event.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Boeing wings FlyDubai initial order at Farnborough  

2008-07-14

Boeing and Dubai’s recently launched low-cost airline FlyDubai today announced an order for 50 Next-Generation 737-800s at the Farnborough Air Show. Valued at approximately $3.74 billion at current list prices, the order will be added to Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site at the next regularly scheduled update. FlyDubai has substitution rights to convert its 737-800 orders to 737-900ERs in the future. “The Boeing Next-Generation 737 is ideally suited to our mission to bring some two billion regional inhabitants affordable, efficient and flexible travel options to and from Dubai,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman of the new low-cost airline. “FlyDubai will be the first step for a new set of passengers seeking out high-demand tourist destinations in the Gulf States and surrounding countries, while bringing connectivity to all parts of the globe.” The Dubai government initially formed FlyDubai in March. Since then, the airline has been building a business model based on flexible flight operations with a high degree of interactivity with its customers, giving them greater control in booking flights and tailoring their in-flight services. The low-cost airline’s operations will be entirely separate from Emirates Airline and Group. Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer CEO Jim McNerney hosted a ceremonial signing and press conference held at the air show. “Our relationship with the UAE is something we truly value and have worked to strengthen over time,” McNerney said. “Today’s order is the result of a thorough analysis of the contributions the Next-Generation 737 can make to FlyDubai’s innovative business model. We foresee the unmatched efficiency and operability of this incredible airplane bringing the same success to our partners in Dubai as it does to so many of the world’s most successful low-cost carriers.” One hundred sixteen customers have ordered more than 4,800 Next-Generation 737s. Boeing has more than 2,200 unfilled orders for the Next-Generation 737 valued at more than $160 billion at current list prices. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Etihad revealed as mystery Boeing customer  

2008-07-14

Boeing and Etihad Airways today announced an order for 35 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs at the Farnborough Airshow. Valued at $9.4 billion at current list prices, the order has been attributed on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site to an unidentified customer. “The new-generation Boeing aircraft we have ordered are among the most fuel efficient and will help maintain Etihad’s fleet as one of the youngest and greenest in the sky,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ CEO. “The size of our order also mirrors the rising prominence of the Middle East and its increasing emergence as a new focal point of global aviation offering the fastest air links for travelers and freight forwarders.” Since beginning commercial operations in November 2003, Etihad Airways has grown rapidly to offer service to 45 destinations. The Abu Dhabi-based airline carried 2.8 million passengers during the first six months of 2008, compared to nearly 2 million for the same period in 2007. “We count Etihad as an outstanding, world-class customer, and we congratulate the airline on its remarkable growth,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. “Boeing’s commitment to provide the world’s most fuel-efficient airplanes is clearly demonstrated by both the 777 and 787, and we know Etihad will benefit from the reliability and efficiency these airplanes bring to twin-aisle operations.” (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Airbus wins A330 order from Saudi Arabian  

2008-07-14

Airbus announced that it has won an order for eight of its A330 wide-bodied jets from Saudi Arabian Airlines. Airbus said the Middle Eastern airline had signed a firm contract for the A330-300s, although it did not disclose the value of the deal, nor delivery dates. The contract follows one for 22 Airbus A320s signed by Saudi Arabian Airlines at the end of 2007.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Bombardier launches CSeries aircraft program  

2008-07-13

Bombardier today announced that its Board of Directors has granted approval for the launch of the CSeries family of aircraft, a new game-changing five abreast commercial airliner family, with the economics, performance, environmental and passenger-oriented improvements demanded by airline customers for the next quarter century. Entry into service is scheduled for 2013. Launch customer, Lufthansa, a leading German airline, has signed a letter of interest (LOI) for up to 60 aircraft, including 30 options. The approximate list price of each aircraft is $46.7 million US. Additionally, discussions with a number of established airlines worldwide are progressing well. Bombardier made the announcement today at the Farnborough International Airshow during a press conference at its CSeries pavilion hosted by Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc.; Guy C. Hachey, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace and Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. Nico Buchholz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fleet, Lufthansa attended the event as well as: David Moloney, Assistant Deputy Minister, Industry Canada; Raymond Bachand, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export, Government of Québec; Right Honourable Shaun Woodward MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; Arlene Foster MLA, Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment; and Steve Finger, President, Pratt & Whitney. Also in attendance were representatives from the Shenyang Municipal Government, AVIC I/SACC, Rockwell Collins, Parker Hannifin Corporation, and Liebherr Aerospace Toulouse SAS. “Today is a great day for Bombardier, our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our suppliers. I am proud to say that we have met our business plan objectives: a technologically advanced aircraft family, a strong pipeline of orders and repayable investments with governments and agreements with key suppliers. With the latest in system technologies and aerodynamics, the CSeries family of aircraft will revolutionize the economics and network strategies for airline operations in the 100- to 149-seat commercial market. It is another example of our commitment to designing and manufacturing innovative aircraft that will ensure our continued industry leadership,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “At Lufthansa, we are committed to a balance between commercial success, environment and business policies oriented toward sustainability,” said Nico Buchholz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fleet, Lufthansa. “Our initial evaluations of the CSeries family of aircraft and discussions with Bombardier over the last few months have evolved and made us believe that the CSeries family of aircraft clearly meets our stringent requirements for sustainable fleet development, both in terms of environmental and commercial requirements, and flexibility for the future. We are proud to be a part of its launch.” (Photo and story copyright Bombardier Media Service)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Sukhoi to announce 30 orders at Farnborough  

2008-07-12

Sukhoi will be announcing 30 orders for its Superjet 100 regional aircraft at the Farnborough air show, a spokeswoman said on Saturday. The orders will be unveiled at a news conference on Tuesday. Russia aims to secure at least 10% of the world airliner market with new passenger jets and to take third place among aircraft-producing countries by 2015-2018.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Qatar flight diverted by unruly passenger  

2008-07-12

Qatar Airways (Doha) flight 612 was diverted to Mumbai early Saturday after a passenger “misbehaved” during the flight. The passenger, identified as Fahad Mohammed Dulal, a 34-year-old Kuwait national, was drunk and was getting violent with other passengers. The captain of the Airbus A330 elected to land the aircraft at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai, so that Dulal could be offloaded. According to airline officials here, the passenger would be sent back to Doha Sunday on Qatar airways flight 201. Flight 612 spent about two and a half hours on the ground before resuming its trip to Bangkok.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Northwest plans 2500 job cuts; adds new fees  

2008-07-10

Northwest Airlines (NWA) today announced it will reduce its frontline and management employees by 2,500 as a result of capacity reductions taken to address the unprecedented run-up in oil prices. In addition, NWA will match its competitors and charge fees for the first checked bag and for frequent flier award tickets, and increase the fees for ticket changes. “Our fuel costs have more than doubled in the past year,” said Doug Steenland, President and CEO of Northwest Airlines. “In order to manage through this unprecedented fuel challenge, we have to take action to both control costs and increase our revenue.” In June, Northwest announced plans to reduce its system mainline capacity (domestic and international) in the fourth quarter of 2008 by 8.5% - 9.5% versus the fourth quarter of 2007. As a result of these flight reductions, Northwest will reduce its frontline and management personnel by 2,500. All NWA employee groups will be affected by this. The reductions will be first achieved through a variety of voluntary programs including early-out programs, voluntary leaves, work rule modifications and attrition. Furloughs will be employed only if voluntary means fail to achieve the targeted reductions. “These reductions are the direct result of our extraordinary fuel costs and the necessary actions we must take to right-size our airline and eliminate unprofitable flying,” said Steenland. NWA will also match other competitors by adding fees to offset some of its extraordinary fuel costs. Additionally, NWA is matching several competitors including American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, with plans to charge $15 for the customer’s first checked bag. The new policy applies to tickets sold on or after July 10, for travel starting August 28, throughout the United States as well as travel between the U.S. and Canada. NWA also charges $25 for a second checked bag and $100 for three or more checked bags. Frequent flier elites are exempt from the policy, along with full-fare coach passengers. NWA is also matching competitors by implementing a service fee for award tickets. For WorldPerks® Award tickets issued in North America on or after September 15, 2008, NWA will charge $25 for domestic tickets, $50 for Trans-Atlantic tickets, and $100 for Trans-Pacific travel. Steenland noted, “This is a temporary service fee to partially offset our fuel costs. As fuel comes down, we will re-visit this decision.” NWA also followed moves by American, United, Continental and US Airways to increase fees for ticket changes. Starting July 9, the fee for domestic non-refundable ticket changes will increase from $100 to $150. International ticket change fees will increase by an additional $50 to $150 per ticket, depending on class of service and other restrictions. Steenland said, “In addition to helping offset our extraordinary fuel prices, these fee increases also better align our costs with providing these services.” He concluded, “We expect these three incremental revenue enhancing measures to generate $250 million to $300 million a year, which will help ease the burden of these record high oil prices.” Photo: Four Northwest aircraft lined up in Amsterdam. (Photo Copyright Pamela de Boer)

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Kunpeng Airlines orders 5 E190s; plans on 50  

2008-07-10

Shenzhen Airlines’ domestic regional carrier Kunpeng Airlines has ordered five Embraer 190s and hopes to eventually get Chinese Government approval for a total of 50. A senior source at Kunpeng says China’s National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) has granted approval for the airline to purchase five E-190s, with the first to be delivered in late August. All the E-190s are the long-range model because Kunpeng plans to eventually move beyond the domestic market and launch international services to neighbouring countries.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Air Canada cancels outstanding A340-600 order  

2008-07-09

Air Canada has cancelled an outstanding agreement to take three Airbus A340-600 aircraft, 10 years after placing its order for the type. The Canadian flag-carrier had been among the first to sign for the A340-600 having committed to the aircraft ahead of its industrial launch in late 1997. It also signed for a pair of A340-500s at the time. Airbus has disclosed the Air Canada A340-600 cancellation in its latest order figures, covering the first half of 2008.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

ExpressJet suspends branded commercial operations  

2008-07-09

ExpressJet Airlines announced today that it will suspend flying under several lines of its at-risk flying operations in September 2008. ExpressJet mutually agreed to terminate its agreements with Delta Air Lines effective September 1, 2008 and will cease its branded (XE) commercial passenger flight operations on September 2, 2008. The 39 aircraft currently used in these operations will be among those returned to the lessor no later than June 2009. ExpressJet Airlines will continue flying a fleet of 205 aircraft as Continental Express to more than 150 destinations, as well as continue to serve charter customers with a fleet of 30 aircraft through ExpressJet Corporate Aviation. “On behalf of everyone at ExpressJet Airlines, I would like to express our gratitude to the communities that provided such a warm welcome and were always supportive of our branded service,” said Jim Ream, President and Chief Executive Officer. “If we had any other choice, we would not take this difficult action. However, rising fuel prices has made the operation impossible to sustain.” Tickets on ExpressJet Airlines for travel prior to September 2 will not be affected. In fact, ExpressJet will continue selling tickets for any customers desiring travel prior to September 2. Tickets are available for purchase online at http://www.expressjet.com, by calling 888.958.XJET (9538), and through most travelers’ preferred providers, including travel agents and online distributors. Customers holding tickets for a flight after September 1, 2008 should contact ExpressJet Reservations at 888-958-XJET (9538) to request a refund. Effective immediately, ExpressJet will stop selling tickets for travel beyond September 2, 2008. For more information, contact ExpressJet Reservations at 888-958-XJET (9538).

Comments

<<previous1next>>

MK Airlines is launch customer for Freight Feeder  

2008-07-09

Freight Feeder Aircraft Corporation announced today that the company has entered into a Letter of Intent with MK Airlines (East Sussex), the British-based all-cargo carrier, for the purchase of 10 (ten) FF5000 Freight Feeder Aircraft, with an option to purchase an additional 5 (Five). Mike Kruger, CEO of MK Airlines stated, “The Freight Feeder Aircraft could play an important role in the future development of an air cargo industry that is already short of competitive and cost-effective airframe capacity. Its use of state-of-art technology makes the FF5000 regional container aircraft an innovative option for us to select and MK Airlines is delighted to sign this agreement as the first European airline to commit to this project and to help launch the aircraft into the global market.” John J. Dupont, President and CEO of Freight Feeder Aircraft Corporation stated, “We are very pleased with MK Airlines’ decision to enter into an LOI for FF5000 aircraft for its UK cargo airline operations, and for its commitment in helping the FF5000 come to market in the European, and global marketplace. We are looking forward to a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with MK Airlines as one of our valuable launch customers, as we continue to develop the FF5000 and bring it into production.” Officials of both Freight Feeder Aircraft Corporation and MK Airlines plan to meet within the year to complete the final negotiations. The purchase order will become finalized upon “first flight” of the FF5000 Prototype currently under construction. The planned completion of the FF5000 Prototype Aircraft is in the spring of 2009. The turboprop twin is expressly designed to carry six standard air freight container in a rear-loading configuration. Empty, it could fly 2,175 nm but with 35,000 lbs of freight aboard it will go 878 nm, striking distance for most regional courier and freight operations feeding a major hub. Normal cruise is 250 knots. For more details on the Freight Feeder line of aircraft, visit their website here: http://www.freightfeeder.com

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Two killed as Kalitta 747 crashes in Colombia  

2008-07-07

A Kalitta Air (Ypsilanti) Boeing 747 has crashed near Mosquera, Colombia, about 20 miles from Bogota. Reports indicate that the cargo airliner, which was operating for Miami-based Centurion Air Cargo, suffered some sort of problem and crashed into a field, impacting a house and killing the 15 and 52 year old occupants of the home. All 8 crewmembers aboard the aircraft were rescued, and are receiving medical care in the local hospital in Santa Matilde de Madrid.

Comments

USA Jet Airlines DC-9 crashes in Mexico  

2008-07-06

A USA Jet Airlines (Belleville) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15F (N199US msn 47153) crashed Sunday just west of Monterrey, Mexico, killing the pilot and injuring the co-pilot. The co-pilot received second- and third-degree burns and is currently in critical condition at a hospital. The crash occurred around 2:15 am as the aircraft approached the Plan de Guadalupe International Airport in Saltillo, Mexico, carrying a load of auto parts. The National Transportation Safety Board, which confirmed the death of the pilot, reported no one was injured on the ground. The co-pilot suffered severe burns. The NTSB has sent a team of investigators to assist the Mexican government in its probe of the incident.

Comments

<<previous1next>>

Nationwide could restart operations in 3 months  

2008-07-05

Nationwide Airlines (Johannesburg) could soon come out of liquidation and be taken over by a new airline that will begin operating from Durban International Airport in three months. This move would come on the back of a recent announcement by Emirates Airlines to abandon plans for direct flights between Durban and Dubai due to high fuel costs. A proposal to purchase the failed carrier is currently on the table. If the process to accept and finalise the proposal goes ahead smoothly, the new airline will start operations in a few months, just in time for the busy festive season. No word on whether or not the airline would retain the Nationwide name or change identities. Haroon Laher, a Johannesburg insolvency attorney representing Nationwide, said he was in the process of drafting legal documents following a successful meeting with the potential buyer this week. A meeting between the company’s attorneys and the liquidators will take place next week before the process goes further. “We have a very, very good proposal. But it is dependent on the liquidators’ input,” said Laher. Photo: A Nationwide Boeing 737-200 approaches Johannesburg. (Photo Copyright Hannes Meyer - Flying Sprinboks)

Comments

Airbus predicts A380 sale to All Nippon Airways  

2008-07-04

Airbus is expected to sell five of their A380 superjumbo aircraft to All Nippon Airways Co (ANA)(Tokyo). If completed, it would be Airbus’ first sale of the world’s largest passenger plane to a Japanese airline. A sale in Japan would be a big breakthrough for the European plane maker as it has controls about 4% of Japan’s market, compared with a half share elsewhere. Japanese airlines have traditionally purchased almost all of their aircraft from the Boeing company as part of a wider effort to mend trade relations between Japan and the United States after a period of friction in the late 1980s. A spokesman for ANA said that the carrier had established a committee earlier this week to select a new fleet of large aircraft, but that no decisions have been made at this time. The committee is reportidly examining three options for a new fleet; the Airbus A380, Boeing’s new 747-8, or not acquiring a new fleet at all. There is no information on when the final decision will be made.

Comments

Ben

After listening/reading to a couple of interviews, it sounds like structural failure, looks like a complete forward section of that wing area has come off taking part of the underlying skin with it, thankfully no-one was injured. I'm curious, this flight went to HK first and this incident happened after taking off from HK. Would they of used the same plane from London? Reg looks like VH-OJK and I'm pretty certain I saw that taking off about 12:30ish.

2008-07-25

Tom

it looks like the fairing came off no big deal.

2008-07-25

Courtney

The most important thing was that there were no injuries in this accident.

2008-07-25

Courtney

The most important thing was that there were no injuries in this accident.

2008-07-25

Rodolfo a silva II

this is not one of this fall`s most thrilling TV series in america,this is for real!

2008-07-25

someone

no the exploson occured in the air not at landing- i saw the video at www.cnn.com

2008-07-25

Lukasz

Thank God no one was hurt. I wonder if it was metal fatigue that caused this or was it some thing with loading the plane when it was loaded and it could have some how created a crack or from a hard lending?? This will be an interesting report. Perhaps it was a terrorist attack that didn’t go their way? But the most important thing is that every one is okay and the plane made a safe landing.

2008-07-25

Jason H

It was QF30 from LHR-HKG-MEL. Just after takeoff from HKG the incident occurred. VH-OJK was used for the entire flight from London to Melbourne, so i'm guessing the problem worsened between London and Hong Kong? Media blew it out of proportion by saying the jet "dropped suddenly 5km". This would have been a controlled drop because of de-pressurization. However, media try to get as much dirt on Qantas as they can because of outsourcing heavy maintenance overseas.

2008-07-25

Jarrod Baniqued

Was the plane flying from Sydney to Hong Kong to London, or London to Hong Kong to Sydney? Oh, and it's a good thing it landed in Manila. I think the hole was caused by a fuel tank explosion.

2008-07-25

Cannon

wat dis? my country no occur dis aorplane land in dis state. my country dem planes no allow take land with out holes in da plane. Dis time if dis occur one time, dem bang dis plane down wid da super aiming super shot one be one gun. den dey no if they is hit big time. lik lik praise dem time in hole, philpines dey no deserve dis gape gape.

2008-07-25

American Airlines to cut 6800+ jobs  

2008-07-04

American Airlines (Fort Worth) could be eliminating more than 6,800 jobs later this year as the carrier struggles to survive record fuel costs. AMR Corporation, the parent of American Airlines and regional carrier American Eagle, said that it will cut domestic service 11-12% by the fourth quarter, which becomes a systemwide reduction of 8% when including international flights. In a memo to all employees, AMR said the employment reduction will be commensurate with the capacity cuts. AMR has about 85,500 employees, which means an 8% decrease would be about 6,850 workers. American’s announcement is the latest furlough announcement in the airline industry, which also is trying to raise fares and fees to cope with record fuel prices. Other announced staff cuts include 4,000 at Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), 3,000 at Continental Airlines (Houston), 2,550 at United Airlines (Chicago) and 1,700 at U.S. Airways (Phoenix).

Comments

Five to stand trial for fatal Concorde crash  

2008-07-03

Two employees each from Continental Airlines (Houston) and Concorde-maker Aerospatiale and one French civil aviation authority official were indicted for manslaughter over the fatal crash of an Air France (Paris) Concorde in 2000. All the 109 passengers on board the New York-bound the supersonic jetliner were killed on July 25, 2000 when it crashed immediately after take-off from the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Four workers on the ground were also killed in the accident that led to all Concorde planes, both French and British, being grounded in 2003. A French inquiry into the tragedy concluded in December 2004 that a strip of metal, which fell on the runway from a Continental Airlines DC-10 that took off just before the Concorde flight, sparked the fire that engulfed the supersonic airliner. Continental Airlines, mechanic John Taylor, and chief of maintenance Stanley Ford are to face prosecution for a “failure of aircraft maintenance.” A prosecutor in Paris said in a statement that the Continental employees are responsible for the faulty installation of the metal strip, while Aerospatiale employees and French civil aviation official “neglected the risk of fires” on the ill-fated jet plane. The trial is expected to start early next yearAccording to reports.

Comments

British Airways to purchase L'Avion  

2008-07-03

British Airways (BA)(London) has announced plans to purchase the privately-owned French carrier L’Avion (Wissous) for £54 million. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of July, at which time BA will merge the French carrier with its new subsidiary OpenSkies. The combined airline will operate three daily flights from Paris to New York. Flights will run from Paris Orly Airport to both Newark and JFK in New York.

Comments

Air Canada Jazz plans job cuts  

2008-07-03

Air Canada’s discount airline Jazz Air (Halifax) will be cutting 270 employees as the regional airline reduces capacity by 5%. Jazz commented on Thursday that in addition to soaring fuel prices, Canadian airlines also must contend with federal and provincial fuel excise taxes, security fees, and expensive airport charges. The cuts that were announced today follow the mid-June move by Air Canada (Montreal) to cut 2,000 jobs as it reduces its capacity by 7%.

Comments

ABX Air 767 catches fire on ramp in San Francisco  

2008-06-30

Fire seriously damaged an ABX Air (Wilmington) Boeing 767-200 freighter while the aircraft was parked at San Francisco International Airport late Sunday. The aircraft suffered substantial damage to the forward fuselage section and has a hole burned through the top of the body near the forward exits. There is also evidence of smoke around the cockpit windows. No firm information has been disclosed as to where the fire started and the extent of any internal damage. Two pilots are said to have been on board the aircraft at the time, preparing for a flight to ABX’s Wilmington base in Ohio, and escaped with only minor injuries. The aircraft is reported to be a 22-year old example, N799AX (msn 23432), operating in DHL colors.

Comments

Spirit Airlines fined for violating Cuba embargo  

2008-06-30

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has been fined $100,000.00USD for illegally paying the Cuban government for permission to use the island’s airspace. According to a report by the Office of Foreign Asset Control of the Treasury Department, the carrier made several money transfers to Cuban government accounts from September 2004 to March 2007 without a valid license for such activity. According to federal law, airlines can only make those payments when they have a legal permit from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Spirit Airlines maintains that the move was not intentional. “During the beginning of 2007, Spirit Airlines realized that the permit required by the Treasury agency for authorizing flights over Cuba for the use of their airspace had not been renewed,” said Spirit’s spokeswoman, Misty Pinson. “Spirit Airlines never had the intention of violating any requirements or laws to carry out its international operations.”

Comments

Horizon to accelerate turboprop transition  

2008-06-30

With fuel prices remaining at record high levels, Horizon Air (Seattle) is moving up the phase out of its smaller turboprops to speed its transition to a single fleet of highly fuel efficient Bombardier Q400s. In the process, the airline is implementing additional schedule changes to further improve its financial performance. All 12 of Horizon’s remaining 37-seat Q200s will be out of its operating fleet by Oct. 28, instead of the original target date of April 2009. Horizon will also begin the phase out of its 70-seat CRJ-700 jets in September. During this transition, it will take delivery of 14 additional 76-seat Q400s. The Q400 is the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft of its size in the world, burning 30% less fuel and producing 30% less CO2 than a comparable jet. Horizon currently has 34 Q400s in its fleet and holds options for 20 more (in addition to the 14 already on the way). Horizon now expects its transition to an all-Q400 fleet to be completed by the end of 2009, unless market conditions warrant another adjustment. The schedule changes shown below will appear in reservation systems July 5, except for the changes to Pendleton service, which are pending government approval. (Story copyright Horizon Air Media Service)

Comments

Finnair selects name for retro aircraft  

2008-06-30

The Finnair (Vantaa) retro Airbus A319 aircraft, which will be launched at the end of July to celebrate Finnair’s 85 years of flying, will be named Silver Bird based on the outcome of a competition asking the public to name the aircraft. Finnair is painting one of its Airbus A319 in the livery of a Convair aircraft, which Finnair flew under its original name Aero in the 1950s. The name Silver Bird will be painted underneath the cockpit window. “The name is international and stylish, it fits the times and has a touch of the grey panther about it,” said Finnair’s SVP Commercial Division Mika Perho. Other popular suggestions included names from the Finnish epic Kalevala, names of Finnish Presidents and cities, as well as birds and flowers beginning with blue.

Comments

Air China announces large A330 order  

2008-06-27

Air China (Beijing) has announced that it will be purchasing 20 Airbus A330 aircraft from the manufacturer. At current list prices, the deal will be valued at $3.82 billion USD. The airline said it will use cash, bank loans and debt instruments to pay for the aircraft, which will boost capacity by 16.5%. The additions will also allow it to increase flight frequencies from Beijing. Airbus has yet to confirm the order, nor have they given any indication of likely delivery dates.

Comments

ABX Air to lose 23 DC-9s to DHL  

2008-06-27

ABX Air (Wilmington) will be losing 23 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 aircraft as its primary customer, DHL Network Operations, reduces its business with the cargo airline. DHL notified ABX on June 20 that it would reduce the services ABX is providing by 23 aircraft by the end of 2008. That will affect 16 of ABX’s scheduled air routes, the airline said. DHL contributes more than 70% of ABX’s revenue, according to its parent, Air Transport Services Group Inc.

Comments

New Chinese turboprop set to take flight  

2008-06-27

The MA600, a new aircraft to join China’s turboprop fleet, is expected to roll off the assembly line in Xi’an on Sunday. This latest MA “Modern Ark” member could be the stepping stone to China gaining a larger share of the world’s turboprop aircraft market, insiders said. Currently, the 50- to 60-seat MA60, the first and only model of the MA series on sale, has received 122 orders since 2005, mainly from African and East Asian countries. “To assure a bigger slice of the turboprop market, the MA600 is designed to meet demand for the next 10 years,” Chen Fusheng, deputy director general of the commercial aircraft department of AVIC I, said yesterday. Engineers have optimized the aircraft’s structure and its aviation electronics system, improved the interior decoration, and added maritime survival functions for island countries, He Shengqiang, chief engineer and vice-president of Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company Ltd under AVIC I, said. “The total weight of the MA600 is 300 kg less than the MA60, further reducing the aircraft’s fuel consumption,” He said. The MA600 is set to begin trials in September and will be delivered to its first customer - the Civil Aviation Fight University of China in Guanghan, Sichuan province - next year, He added. AVIC I has drawn up an ambitious blueprint for its MA series, which will be comparable to the Canadian Bombardier and the French ATR aircraft. Chen said, “We hope to see that 40 percent of all turboprop aircraft delivered in the world in 2018 are from the MA series.” To remain competitive in the years after 2018, AVIC I has already started work on the development of the MA700, an aircraft mainly targeted at markets in Europe and America, Chen said. The entire series - MA60, MA600 and MA700 - will coexist to cater to the different demands of customers, he said. “Turboprops have huge potential in this era of increasing oil prices,” Chen added. Turboprop aircraft use much less fuel than equivalent turbojets produced by Boeing and Airbus, and are just as safe as turbojets, he said. “Some of our airline customers abroad have reported profits in the first quarter after they replaced turbojets with the MA60,” he said. Joint research by Bombardier and the Aviation Industry Development Research Center of China, found that of the 5,300-5,500 regional aircraft need in the next two decades, there will be a need for 1,900 turboprop aircraft.

Comments

Frontier announces reductions in fleet/workforce  

2008-06-26

Frontier Airlines (Denver) announced today a 17% reduction in its flight operations beginning in September and a “proportional” reduction in workforce. Because Frontier employs approximately 6,000 people, this could mean that 1,000 of their workers will be out of a job. The airline will retire 7 aircraft from its fleet of 60 Airbus planes. Two others already have been sold, which means its fleet will consist of 51 planes by September, Frontier spokesman Steve Snyder said. Officials from the carrier have met with union officials to discuss the cutbacks and will continue meeting, Snyder said.

Comments

Dozing Air India flight crew flies past destination  

2008-06-26

An Air India (Mumbai) flight headed for Mumbai overshot its destination and was halfway to Goa before air traffic control was able to wake the sleeping flightcrew, a recent report says. The high altitude nap took place approximately two weeks ago, the Times of India reported Thursday. The report, however, drew a furious denial from Air India. Some 100 passengers were on board flight 612 that originated from Dubai and flew to the western Indian city of Jaipur before heading south to Mumbai when both pilots fell asleep, a source told the paper. The source, who was not identified in the report, went on to say, “After operating an overnight flight, fatigue levels peak – and so the pilots dozed off after taking off from Jaipur.” The plane flew to Mumbai on autopilot, but when air traffic there tried to help the aircraft land, the plane ignored their instructions and carried on at full speed towards Goa. “It was only after the aircraft reached Mumbai airspace that air traffic control realized it was not responding to any instructions and was carrying on its own course,” the source said. “The aircraft should have begun its descent about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from Mumbai, but here it was still at cruising altitude. We checked for hijack.” Finally air traffic control buzzed the cockpit and woke up the pilots, who turned the plane around, the report said. Air India on Thursday said a plane had overshot its Mumbai destination on June 4, but furiously denied it was because the pilots were sleeping, putting the glitch down to a brief communications breakdown. “The report is absolutely incorrect, devoid of facts, misleading and irresponsible. It is a figment of imagination,” Air India spokesman Jitender Bhargava said. “We have gone through the flight reports of the last 30 days. A plane did cross Mumbai for 15 kilometres because it had lost contact for a few moments. At those speeds 15 kilometres is covered in a very short time. The plane quickly established contact with air traffic control and landed a short while later.” Bhargava accused the Times of India, one of the country’s biggest papers, of “batting for somebody.”

Comments

Boeing announces Biman Bangladesh 737-800 order  

2008-06-25

Boeing and Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka) today announced an order for two Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s, with purchase rights for two additional 737s. Today’s signing ceremony, held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, was attended by dignitaries from Bangladesh and the United States and also celebrated Biman’s selection of an all-Boeing jet fleet for its future operations. “Today marks a progressive step forward for Biman,” said Dr. M. A. Momen, managing director and CEO of Biman. “Our fleet consolidation with Boeing airplanes is based upon a partnership that combines aircraft efficiency, reliability and in-service support to maximize our competitiveness - something we need to drive forward to be an instrumental part of the country’s economic growth and development.” Biman recently announced an order for four 777-300ERs and four 787-8s with purchase rights for four more of each model type. The airline currently connects Bangladesh with 18 countries around the world, and has agreements in place that will allow it to serve a total of 42 countries as it implements its growth plan. “Boeing is committed to working closely to help airlines in developing nations grow in the most efficient way possible, and our product line reflects that commitment,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for the Middle East & Africa. “We look forward to working closely with Biman Bangladesh over the long term as it capitalizes on traffic growth driven by the country’s expanding economy.” Biman Bangladesh Airlines, which began as a government-owned national carrier in 1972, became Bangladesh’s largest public limited company in 2007. The purchase of Boeing airplanes represents the largest capital expenditure in the country’s history. One hundred fifteen customers have ordered more than 4,800 Next-Generation 737s. Boeing has more than 2,200 unfilled orders for the Next-Generation 737 valued at more than $160 billion at current list prices.

Comments

American Airlines to start in-flight WiFi trials today  

2008-06-25

American Airlines (Fort Worth) will soon be offering passengers free Internet access on flights from New York to the West Coast. The carrier will be testing in-flight Internet today on selected services from JFK to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami after installing the Gogo WiFi service on fifteen (15) of its Boeing 767-200 aircraft. Passengers will be able to check e-mail and use Instant Messaging services on notebook computers and wireless-enabled devices such as smart phones. Initial services will be free. American ultimately plans to charge between $9.95 and $12.95 for the service, based on the duration of flights. The full test will last between six and nine months, when the airline will decide whether or not to introduce the network on all planes. Photo: An American 767-200 arrives in Los Angeles. (Photo Copyright Andrew Brescini)

Comments

ILFC may order up to 300 aircraft from Boeing/Airbus  

2008-06-25

International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), the world’s biggest aircraft lessor, said it may soon be ordering 300 jetliners from Boeing and Airbus to meet demand from airlines that can no longer afford to buy their own planes. The orders will likely materialise at the upcoming Farnborough International Air Show in the UK. Executives also indicated that the leasing firm may also wait six months to a year to place orders if prices of aircraft seemed likely to decline further. ILFC may purchase 150 single-aisle aircraft from each manufacturer, chief operating officer, John Plueger, said in an interview. The order could likely be worth about $22 billion USD at current list prices, though the lessor said it’s seeking major discounts. Executives said that a marketplace in disarray could provide a “lot of opportunities” as airlines are increasingly looking at deferring, or even cancelling, orders placed by them in better times.

Comments

FlyDubai announced as name for new low-cost carrier  

2008-06-25

In March of this year we reported that Emirates Airline (Dubai) would be establishing a new low-cost carrier to offer service to the region. The new airline now has a name, FlyDubai. The brand identity and livery for FlyDubai will be unveiled in the coming months. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the name FlyDubai from a shortlist presented by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of the new low-cost airline. Sheikh Ahmed said, “FlyDubai is a simple, yet powerful call to action. It makes an immediate link to our core business, which is providing no-frills flights to bring people to and from Dubai. The name also carries a strong association with the city of Dubai, itself a brand synonymous with excellence, reliability and an international, pro-business approach. FlyDubai’s operations will potentially cover an area of some two billion inhabitants. It will support Dubai’s commercial and tourism sectors by serving a new set of travellers, and providing them with affordable air links to popular, high-demand destinations. A lot of ground work has been done thus far, and I’m pleased to note that FlyDubai is on track to launch its first flights by mid-2009.” FlyDubai will initially focus on regional flights within the GCC area and surrounding countries. Its operations will be entirely separate from Emirates Airline and Group. Ghaith al Ghaith, Chief Executive, FlyDubai said, “Since the government announced the formation of Dubai’s new low cost airline in March, it has been all systems go. We are recruiting for key positions, evaluating aircraft options and routes, working out our pricing and distribution strategy, and putting in place the structure and operational resources for the business. Efficiency is the pillar of our business model. In terms of our customer proposition, we will focus on keeping things simple and flexible. We want to make it easy for our customers to interact with us, and to have more control in how they book, purchase and select value-added services to their basic flight experience. It has been a busy time, but everything is going to plan. The selection of a name for the airline is only the first of many milestones to come, and we look forward to announcing more details over the coming months.”

Comments

United to cut 950 pilot jobs  

2008-06-24

United Airlines (Chicago) says that it is planning to lay off 950 pilots as it prepares to cut domestic capacity to offset soaring fuel prices. The layoffs would be about 15% of United’s 6,518 pilots. The carrier has said it plans to cut its staff by 1,400 to 1,600 as it aims to reduce domestic capacity by 14% in the fourth quarter. According to Megan McCarthy, spokesperson for the airline, the initial notices for the layoffs will be sent out in mid-July, and will start taking effect in September, following into next year. She also said that the cuts announced were in addition to the job cuts for 1,600 salaried positions announced at an investor conference a week ago. Details on the cuts are yet to emerge. A company statement said, “As we reduce the size of our fleet and take actions company wide to enable United to compete in an environment of record fuel prices, we must take the difficult but necessary step to reduce the number of people we have to run our business.” Photo: United’s cuts will most likely come from the Boeing 737 fleet that is being downsized. (Photo Copyright Eric D Smith - Northern Exposures)

Comments

Indonesia cancels Adam Air's operating certificate  

2008-06-24

The government of Indonesia has cancelled the air operator’s certificate (AOC) of Adam Air (Jakarta), effectively putting an end to the already grounded carrier. Deputy director of flight standards at Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Diding Sunardi, says the authority sometime around June 16 cancelled the AOC. On March 18, Indonesia’s transport ministry forced the airline to ground its entire operations because of shortcomings in the airline’s operational, training, and maintenance procedures. The airline also experienced severe financial problems throughout its last year of carriage, as well as being involved in Indonesia’s most fatal crash in the past couple of years.

Comments

Royal Jordanian receives Airline of the Year award  

2008-06-24

Royal Jordanian (Amman) has earned the “Airline of the Year 2007″ award from the Air Finance Journal, a leading financial magazine in commercial aviation industry. The journal published an extensive report listing the reasons why the carrier deserves the award which is given once a year to the most distinguished and financially efficient airline worldwide. According to the report, the airline has doubled its 2001 size by the end of 2007 in terms of passenger numbers, financial revenues, flying hours and flights frequencies. It started since 2004 to achieve net profits under difficult operational circumstances and daunting challenges such as regional instability, soaring fuel prices as well as fierce regional and international competition, it added. The journal awarded Royal Jordanian this title also in appreciation of the success of its privatization process, which saw 71% of the total issued share capital for the Initial Public Offering (IPO) floated last December, the report said.

Comments

ANA to purchase three additional Q400s  

2008-06-23

Bombardier Aerospace has announced that All Nippon Airways (ANA)(Tokyo) is exercising options to buy three Dash 8-Q400 turboprop airliners. The deal is worth a potential $80 million USD at current prices. “We are pleased to extend our relationship with Bombardier Aerospace with these aircraft acquisitions,” Tomohiro Hidema, executive vice-president at All Nippon Airways, stated Monday. “We are using the Q400 airliner on several routes resulting in a significant saving in operation costs.” (Photo Courtesy Bombardier Media Service)

Comments

Japan Airlines to experiment with biofuels  

2008-06-23

Japan Airlines (JAL)(Tokyo) seems to be jumping on the bandwagon of testing biofuels with their aircraft. The carrier will launch a test flight next year that it claims will make a “significant contribution” to the search for a viable and sustainable biofuel for commercial use. JAL will carry out a one-hour demonstration flight at the end of the year using a Boeing 747 powered by jet fuel blended with second-generation biofuel. Second-generation biofuels aim to eliminate the problems associated with their first-generation predecessors, which used sources such as corn and soybean derivatives, thereby creating competition between demand for food and fuel.

Comments

jetBlue considering First Class seating  

2008-06-22

jetBlue Airways (New York) may be looking at adding first class seating to its aircraft. The carrier has never had two-class seating, but in April the airline introduced a program where it charges more for seats with added legroom on its Airbus and Embraer jets. Six rows of JetBlue’s 107 Airbus planes were given 4 more inches of room than regular seats and 34 of its Embraers have one row of 4 more inches of leg room. “We’re looking at even more legroom as a way to transition into something that’s a little more of a premium product,” said jetBlue’s new CEO David Barger, “Everything is on the table.” Bryan Baldwin, a JetBlue spokesman at headquarters in Forest Hills, N.Y., said first-class seats are “an option down the road” but that the airline is currently focusing on studying the revenue derived from the added legroom for some seats. JetBlue charges $10 to $30 extra for the additional legroom. “We have no specific plans for a premium product, but if we were to go that way, it would be through this ‘even more legroom’ program.”, Baldwin said.

Comments

Air China flight forced to divert to Moscow  

2008-06-22

An Air China (Beijing) flight on its way to Beijing was forced to divert to Moscow after the crew received a low oil indication for the #1 engine. Flight 934 from Paris landed safely about an hour after the indication was noted. A young passenger had reported to flight attendants (and later to the press) that he saw the right wing on fire. Russian and Chinese Authorities however have discounted any fire. The airline reported that the crew noticed an oil leakage, decreasing oil quantities, followed by low oil pressure. The aircraft (B-2387 msn 201) was repaired and completed its journey after replacement parts arrived. No one was hurt in the incident. Photo: B-2387 departs from Rome. (Photo Copyright Proietto Daniele - Italian Spotting Group)

Comments

Qantas forced to ground flights after latest strikes  

2008-06-22

Qantas Airways (Sydney) has been forced to cancel twenty-four flights across three states over the next two days as a result of the latest industrial action by the airline’s engineers. Six Qantas flights scheduled to depart Sydney and Melbourne today have been cancelled and a further eighteen flights will be cancelled tomorrow. Engineers will walk off the job for up to four hours at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Cairns airports in support of their pay claim. The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association is seeking a 5% pay rise for its members while Qantas is offering a 3% rise. The union has accused Qantas of trying to drive down wages and conditions, claiming it was putting its international reputation at risk.

Comments

Sudan Airways grounded after safety audit  

2008-06-22

Sudan Airways (Khartoum) has been banned from flying for a month for failing to comply with local/international aviation rules. The carrier has been told that it will not be allowed to fly domestically or internationally starting Monday. The ruling comes less than two weeks after a Sudan Airways aircraft burst into flames after landing at Khartoum International Airport, killing 30 people; however, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the decision had nothing to do with that accident. The CAA’s director of safety and flight operations, Mohamed Hassan al-Mujammar, said Sudan Airways had failed to undertake measures outlined by the Authority in an annual audit carried out at the end of May. He said it was time to stop this type of non-compliance with international standards. As a result the company’s Air Operators Certificate has been suspended from Monday, which will affect all international and domestic flights. The airline has one month to appeal against the suspension or to carry out the necessary improvements.

Comments

787 Dreamliner fatigue airframe departs factory  

2008-06-21

Boeing yesterday moved the 787 Dreamliner designated for fatigue testing from the final assembly factory in Everett, Wash., to another production bay at the facility, where assembly work will continue. The move paves the way for the second flight-test airplane to advance to the next position in the production line today. The first Dreamliner remains in the nose-to-door position and the third flight-test airplane is in the first position. It will remain there until the fourth flight-test airplane is ready for assembly to begin later this month. (Story and Picture Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

Midwest to start parking MD-80s  

2008-06-20

Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee), hurt by high fuel costs, plans to ground twelve (12) of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jetliners that provide charter service as well as regular passenger service to leisure destinations. The word came in today as Midwest executives met with employees about the fleet change. Midwest’s main fleet consists of twenty-five (25) Boeing 717 jets, which are much more fuel-efficient than the MD-80s. Midwest uses two to three MD-80 jets for charter service, with nine jets for regular passenger service, he said. The MD-80s are used on long-haul routes and leisure destinations, with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Orlando, among their destinations.

Comments

GAO upholds Boeing protest of KC-X award  

2008-06-20

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week sustained Boeing’s protest of the USAF’s award of a contract to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for KC-X aerial refueling tankers. Boeing challenged the Air Force’s technical and cost evaluations, conduct of discussions, and source selection decision. “Our review of the record led us to conclude that the Air Force had made a number of significant errors that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing and Northrop Grumman. We therefore sustained Boeing’s protest,” said Michael R. Golden, the GAO’s managing associate general counsel for procurement law. “We also denied a number of Boeing’s challenges to the award to Northrop Grumman, because we found that the record did not provide us with a basis to conclude that the agency had violated the legal requirements with respect to those challenges.” The GAO recommended that the Air Force reopen discussions with the offerors, obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with the GAO’s decision. The agency also made a number of other recommendations including that, if the Air Force believed that the solicitation, as reasonably interpreted, does not adequately state its needs, the Air Force should amend the solicitation prior to conducting further discussions with the offerors; that if Boeing’s proposal is ultimately selected for award, the Air Force should terminate the contract awarded to Northrop Grumman; and that the Air Force reimburse Boeing the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees. By statute, the Air Force is given 60 days to inform the GAO of the Air Force’s actions in response to GAO’s recommendations. The GAO decision should not be read to reflect a view as to the merits of the firms’ respective aircraft. Judgments about which offeror will most successfully meet governmental needs are largely reserved for the procuring agencies, subject only to such statutory and regulatory requirements as full and open competition and fairness to potential offerors. The GAO bid protest process examines whether procuring agencies have complied with those requirements. Specifically, GAO sustained the protest for the following reasons: 1. The Air Force, in making the award decision, did not assess the relative merits of the proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria identified in the solicitation, which provided for a relative order of importance for the various technical requirements. The agency also did not take into account the fact that Boeing offered to satisfy more non-mandatory technical “requirements” than Northrop Grumman, even though the solicitation expressly requested offerors to satisfy as many of these technical “requirements” as possible. 2. The Air Force’s use as a key discriminator that Northrop Grumman proposed to exceed a key performance parameter objective relating to aerial refueling to a greater degree than Boeing violated the solicitation’s evaluation provision that “no consideration will be provided for exceeding [key performance parameter] objectives.” 3. The protest record did not demonstrate the reasonableness of the Air Force’s determination that Northrop Grumman’s proposed aerial refueling tanker could refuel all current Air Force fixed-wing tanker-compatible receiver aircraft in accordance with current Air Force procedures, as required by the solicitation. 4. The Air Force conducted misleading and unequal discussions with Boeing, by informing Boeing that it had fully satisfied a key performance parameter objective relating to operational utility, but later determined that Boeing had only partially met this objective, without advising Boeing of this change in the agency’s assessment and while continuing to conduct discussions with Northrop Grumman relating to its satisfaction of the same key performance parameter objective. 5. The Air Force unreasonably determined that Northrop Grumman’s refusal to agree to a specific solicitation requirement that it plan and support the agency to achieve initial organic depot-level maintenance within two years after delivery of the first full-rate production aircraft was an “administrative oversight,” and improperly made award, despite this clear exception to a material solicitation requirement. 6. The Air Force’s evaluation of military construction costs in calculating the offerors’ most probable life cycle costs for their proposed aircraft was unreasonable, where the agency during the protest conceded that it made a number of errors in evaluation that, when corrected, result in Boeing displacing Northrop Grumman as the offeror with the lowest most probable life cycle cost; where the evaluation did not account for the offerors’ specific proposals; and where the calculation of military construction costs based on a notional (hypothetical) plan was not reasonably supported. 7. The Air Force improperly increased Boeing’s estimated non-recurring engineering costs in calculating that firm’s most probable life cycle costs to account for risk associated with Boeing’s failure to satisfactorily explain the basis for how it priced this cost element, where the agency had not found that the proposed costs for that element were unrealistically low. In addition, the Air Force’s use of a simulation model to determine Boeing’s probable non-recurring engineering costs was unreasonable, because the Air Force used as data inputs in the model the percentage of cost growth associated with weapons systems at an overall program level and there was no indication that these inputs would be a reliable predictor of anticipated growth in Boeing’s non-recurring engineering costs. The 69-page decision was issued under a protective order, because it contains proprietary and source selection sensitive information. The GAO has directed counsel for the parties to promptly identify information that cannot be publicly released so that GAO can expeditiously prepare and release, as soon as possible, a public version of the decision. Although the Air Force intends to ultimately procure up to 179 KC-X aircraft, the solicitation (No. FA8625-07-R-6470) provided for an initial contract for system development and demonstration of the KC-X aircraft and procurement of up to 80 aircraft. The solicitation provided that award of the contract would be on a “best value” basis, and stated a detailed evaluation scheme that identified technical and cost factors and their relative weights. With respect to the cost factor, the solicitation provided that the Air Force would calculate a “most probable life cycle cost” estimate for each offeror, including military construction costs. In addition, the solicitation provided a detailed system requirements document that identified minimum requirements (called key performance parameter thresholds) that offerors must satisfy to receive award. The solicitation also identified desired features and performance characteristics of the aircraft (which the solicitation identified as “requirements,” or in certain cases, as objectives) that offerors were encouraged, but were not required, to provide. The agency received proposals and conducted numerous rounds of negotiations with Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The Air Force selected Northrop Grumman’s proposal for award on February 29, 2008, and Boeing filed its protest with the GAO on March 11, supplementing it numerous times thereafter. In accordance with GAO’s Bid Protest Regulations, GAO obtained a report from the agency and comments on that report from Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The documentary record produced by the Air Force in this protest is voluminous and complex. The GAO also conducted a hearing, at which testimony was received from a number of Air Force witnesses to complete and explain the record. Following the hearing, GAO received further comments from the parties, addressing the hearing testimony as well as other aspects of the record. In response to the ruling, Boeing released the following statement from Mark McGraw, vice president, Tanker Programs: “We welcome and support today’s ruling by the GAO fully sustaining the grounds of our protest. We appreciate the professionalism and diligence the GAO showed in its review of the KC-X acquisition process. We look forward to working with the Air Force on next steps in this critical procurement for our warfighters.” Information about GAO’s bid protest process can be found at http://www.gao.gov/legal/aboutbid.html

Comments

Boeing completes 787 Dreamliner 'Power-On'  

2008-06-20

The Boeing Company has completed the Power On sequence for the first 787 Dreamliner, marking the completion of the next major milestone on the path to first flight later this year. Power On is a complex series of tasks and tests that bring electrical power onto the airplane and begin to exercise the use of the electrical systems. The 787 is a more-electric airplane with the pneumatic, or bleed air, system being totally replaced by electronics. “The team has made great progress in bringing the bold innovation of the 787 to reality,” said Pat Shanahan, vice president and general manager of the 787 program. “There is plenty of work to be done between now and first flight, but with every step forward we grow more and more confident.” The Power On sequence began in early June with a series of pretest continuity checks to verify that the wiring installed in the airplane had been connected properly. Upon completion of those checks, the Boeing team plugged in an external power cart and slowly began to bring full power into each segment of the system, beginning with the flight deck displays. From that point forward, the pilot’s controls were used to direct the addition of new systems to the power grid. At each step of the testing, power is allowed to flow into one additional area and gauges are used to verify that the right level of electrical power reached the intended area. “We are very methodical in ensuring the integrity of the airplane’s systems,” said Shanahan. “In completing the Power On sequence, we have verified both that the electrical power distribution system is installed as designed and that it functions as intended.” An inside look at the Power On testing sequence will be featured on www.boeing.com and www.newairplane.com beginning Monday at 5 a.m. PDT. Work will continue to finish building the first 787 and further test its readiness for operations. First flight is expected in the fourth quarter. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a more fuel-efficient mid-sized jetliner capable of serving on long-distance routes. The 787 is expected to enter revenue service in 2009 after an extensive flight test program. Fifty-eight customers around the world have ordered nearly 900 787s since the program was launched in April 2004, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history. (Story and Picture Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

FedEx posts fourth quarter loss  

2008-06-19

FedEx (Memphis) posted a fourth-quarter loss yesterday and offered a gloomy outlook that shows how much high fuel prices are eating into the profits of even the cargo carriers. The international package-delivery company predicted 2009 earnings of $4.75 to $5.25 a share, well below expectations of $5.92 a share. “Looking ahead to ‘09, we do expect conditions to remain extremely challenging, and we anticipate in both the first-quarter guidance and the yearly target the current economic weakness will continue and the current level of fuel costs will not mitigate,” says company chief financial officer Alan Graf. FedEx, which owns the world’s largest cargo airline, spent almost $1.4 billion on fuel in the fourth quarter, and those costs represented 14% of total operating expenses. The company posted a loss for the fourth quarter, which ended May 31, of 78 cents a share, or $241 million, compared with a profit of $610 million, or $1.96 a share, for the same quarter a year earlier. Photo: “Zachary” (N427FE msn 362) approaches the airfield in San Jose. (Photo Copyright Haik Nguyen - Vietnam Air Spotters)

Comments

Gemini Air Cargo files for Chapter 11 again  

2008-06-19

Gemini Air Cargo (Dulles) recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in two years. The airline, that owns a fleet of DC-10 and MD-11 freighters, has been struggling with rising debts caused, primarily, by rising fuel costs. Several of the company’s flight officers have received letters similar to this: “We regret to inform you that, due to the extreme financial instability of Gemini Air Cargo, Inc (“Gemini”), your position is being eliminated, and your employment with Gemini will end effective today, June 17, 2008. In this difficult economic climate, marked most prominently by skyrocketing fuel costs, Gemini’s operating performance, working capital, and overall financial stability have eroded significantly. In an effort to persevere and sustain its current operational capacity, Gemini has actively pursued a variety of financial remedies including financing, additional capital, loan forgiveness and sale of the business. Unfortunately, however, such remedies, to date, have either run their course or been unattainable. Consequently, as of today, Gemini does not have the financial wherewithal to run its business at current operational levels, and program cuts must be implemented immediately, which regrettably involves the elimination of jobs, such as yours, throughout the United States and abroad. We are sorry that circumstances were such that we were unable to give you more advanced warning, but, as discussed above, our efforts were focused on securing the financial solutions that ultimately would have allowed Gemini to avoid the drastic action it must now take.” A spokesman for the carrier said that the airline simply is reducing their crew size to match their current operating needs in a step for survival.

Comments

OpenSkies takes to the skies  

2008-06-19

British Airways’ (London) new subsidiary, OpenSkies, launches its first flight today between Paris Orly airport and New York JFK airport. OpenSkies is the first airline created to take advantage of the Open Skies aviation agreement that allows airlines to fly between any destination in the EU and USA. In a statement from British Airways’ chief executive, Willie Walsh, “This is an exciting new chapter in our history as, for the first time, we will be flying directly between continental Europe and the US. While the economic climate has worsened in recent months, we believe that OpenSkies can compete effectively. It has a low cost base and support from British Airways in key areas such as sales and marketing. This differentiates it from some new airlines that have failed recently which were operating in isolation without the backing of an established carrier.” OpenSkies plans to be operating a second Boeing 757 later this year, and will have six aircraft by the end of 2009. The airline says it is looking at a number of other destinations in Europe including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan.

Comments

MEA gets new A330 from Airbus  

2008-06-19

Middle East Airlines (Beirut) took delivery of its first A330-200 that was directly purchased from Airbus. The new aircraft also represents the first delivered as part of 2006 order for four. Photo: F-ORMA (msn 926) returns to Toulouse after a test flight. (Photo Copyright French Frogs AirSlides)

Comments

Mitsubishi possibly close to second MRJ customer  

2008-06-19

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is reportedly close to securing a second firm order for its new regional jet (MRJ), with the company possibly announcing the deal at the Farnborough Air Show in July. “We have gone to the USA, Europe and around Asia over the last few months talking to potential customers. We have now come very close to finalising an order with one customer, and we hope to announce it soon if all goes well,” says an official from Mitsubishi Aircraft Company. She declined to identify the potential customer, where the airline is from, or how many aircraft could be ordered;however, the company been keen to secure a foreign order to go with launch customer All Nippon Airways, Japan’s second-largest carrier.

Comments

British Airways flight skids off runway in Africa  

2008-06-18

In what must have been a terrifying experience for the 87 passengers and 6 crew on board, British Airways (London) flight 6203 (operated by Comair) from Johannesburg skidded off the runway at Durban International on Wednesday. “The aircraft hit a wet patch on the runway and skidded, resulting in one of the wheels ending up off the runway as the plane was brought to a stop,” said Glenda Zvenyika, communication manager for Durban International Airport. A spokesman from Comair (Johannesburg) said the damage to the aircraft appeared to be minor but that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would be investigating further. All aboard are now safe with only minor injuries being sustained.

Comments

Airberlin unveils fleet/route reductions  

2008-06-18

Airberlin (Berlin) recently announced that it will be permanently grounding 14 of its aircraft and will be dropping some of its long-haul destinations to help boost profitability, effective with the start of its winter flight schedule. The company, which last month issued a profit warning on surging fuel prices, will cut flight capacity by 10% this winter, with the bulk of reductions in the long-haul segment, at 30%, according to a statement. The number of aircraft in use will decline to 120 from 134, with primarily older planes being grounded.

Comments

U.S. Airlines to lose $10 billion over next year  

2008-06-18

U.S. airlines and analysts agree that soaring fuel prices will likely lead to losses of at least $10 billion USD for the carriers in 2008. Air Transportation Association CEO James May told a Senate hearing that capacity cuts to reduce expenses could cause hundreds of communities to lose airline service. “This nation’s economy is inextricably linked to the viability of its air transportation system. If the airlines continue to spiral downward, so will the economy,” May said.

Comments

Air Canada announces employee reductions  

2008-06-18

Air Canada (Montreal) is scrapping at least 2,000 jobs because of the high price of fuel. Canada’s largest airline is also making severe cuts in the number of flights it offers, including some to the United States, Italy, and Japan. Air Canada’s President and CEO, Martie Brewer, said losing eight percent of Air Canada’s workforce would be painful, as staff had helped make the business cost-effective. He refused to rule out more job losses if fuel prices remained high.

Comments

Northwest announces further capacity cuts  

2008-06-18

Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis) has announced that it will be making further capacity cuts in the wake of skyrocketing fuel bills. The carrier has said it will reduce its main route capacity, including domestic and international flights, by up to 9.5% in the fourth quarter of 2008. No domestic station closures are being planned, but the reductions to the fleet will see a removal of 14 Boeing 757s and Airbus narrow body aircraft from the fleet. In addition, the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 fleet will be reduced from 94 aircraft at the start of 2008 to 61 aircraft by the end of the year. Photo: A Northwest DC-9 departs out of Toronto. (Photo Copyright Greg Gabbidon)

Comments

Thomsonfly and First Choice to combine efforts  

2008-06-18

Starting next May, carriers Thomsonfly (Luton) and First Choice Airways (Crawley) will be operating as one brand. The combined company will be named Thomson Airways and offer flights to all destinations currently served by the two airlines. Parent company TUI announced the change this week, revealing that the merger will create the third largest airline in the UK. Chris Browne, managing director of the new airline, said, “Our aim is to build on the very best from these two award-winning airlines that share a very strong drive to provide a truly exceptional customer experience. By incorporating both airlines under one name, we will now operate 65 planes to over 80 destinations from 21 airports in the UK.”

Comments

ANA receives first 767-300BCF  

2008-06-16

Boeing (Chicago), Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd (ST Aerospace) and ANA (All Nippon Airways) celebrated the completion and certification of the first 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter at a redelivery ceremony held in Singapore today. Boeing launched the 767-300BCF passenger-to-freighter conversion program in 2005 with three firm orders and four options from ANA. Since then, ANA has exercised all the options and now has ordered seven passenger-to-freighter conversions in all. “We are delighted to take delivery of the first 767-300BCF. It will be a key aircraft in the expansion of our cargo operation and express delivery services to countries neighbouring Japan,” said Shinsuke Maki, ANA’s senior vice president, Engineering & Maintenance, who was present at the ceremony. “The 767 has long been the work-horse of the ANA passenger fleet; it is very gratifying to see an old friend work beyond retirement, and in doing so contribute to the environment in terms of saving and reusing resources. We thank Boeing for their design and SASCO for their work in carrying out the conversion,” he added. “Boeing employees and ST Aerospace worked as true partners to complete this well-designed and expertly managed conversion,” said Lou Mancini, vice president and general manager for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services. “We do everything possible to help customers increase the environmental and operational efficiencies throughout the entire lifespan of their airplanes.” The ANA jet began its transformation from a passenger airplane to a freighter on Oct. 18, 2007, when it arrived at ST Aerospace’s subsidiary ST Aviation Services Company (SASCO) in Paya Lebar, Singapore. Boeing, SASCO and ANA celebrated the completion of the door cutting ahead of the production schedule on Nov. 18, a significant process that signifies the readiness of the aircraft for major modifications, and they completed the conversion work for this prototype in April on schedule. On April 10, Boeing test pilots flew the airplane from Singapore to Seattle, followed by two months of flight testing. The 50-ton-capacity freighter flew nonstop to Seattle, completing the 14-hour, 51-minute flight at 10:13 a.m. the same day, but 15 time zones away. Boeing began its ground testing and certification program immediately thereafter. The prototype passed its flight tests with outstanding results and was flown back to Singapore on May 26. “This first 767-300BCF redelivery is another demonstration of ST Aerospace’s ability to provide on-time, quality and reliable conversions,” said Tay Kok Khiang, president of ST Aerospace. “We are honored by Boeing’s and ANA’s trust in us, and are pleased to work with our long time partners to, once again, deliver a quality product that meets their expectations. We will continue to leverage our engineering capabilities to enhance customers’ asset reliability and value.” A part of Boeing’s international network of modification facilities, and actively involved in performing passenger-to-freighter (PTF) conversions for aircraft including the DC-10, MD-10BCF, MD-11BCF, 727 and 757-200 Special Freighter, ST Aerospace, through its subsidiary SASCO, was appointed to perform the conversions under this 767-300BCF program. The conversion work involves the removal of passenger interiors equipment and furnishings, installation of the main deck surround structure and side cargo door, replacement of the main deck floor structures, installation of a 9-G rigid cargo barrier and a new cargo handling system, and a maximum take-off weight upgrade as well as other systems changes. This Boeing Converted Freighter meets Boeing’s demanding standards for quality and consistency. BCF airplanes are economical to maintain and operate. This assures the highest value in the freighter market. With more than 30 years of successful PTF conversion experience, original design data and a deep understanding of the production freighters, Boeing offers something no one else can: conversion by the original equipment manufacturer. With up to 54 tonnes of lift, high dispatch reliability, superior performance, low noise and thrifty fuel consumption, the 767-300 is a valuable member of any freighter fleet. Passenger-to-freighter conversion is an excellent strategy for augmenting lift or for replacing aging DC-8s, A300s, and DC-10s. Boeing Converted Freighters are one example of Boeing’s LIFECYCLE SOLUTIONS, innovative solutions to improve airplane and airline operational and environmental efficiencies through the entire life of the airplane. The Boeing Company is the world’s leading aerospace company, providing products and services to customers in 145 countries. Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, a unit of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, provides products, services and integrated solutions to improve fleet utilization, reduce costs, leverage leading-edge information and ensure passenger well-being. ST Aerospace is the aerospace arm of ST Engineering. Operating a global maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) network with facilities in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, it is the world’s largest airframe MRO provider with a global customer base that includes many of the world’s leading airlines, airfreight operators and military operators. ST Aerospace provides a full spectrum of maintenance and engineering services through its two business segments: Aircraft Maintenance & Modification (AMM) and Component & Engine Total Support (CETS). Its services include airframe, engine and component maintenance, repair and overhaul; engineering design and technical services; and aviation materials and management services, including Total Aviation Support. ST Aerospace has a global-staff strength of more than 7,000 engineers and technical specialists. For more information please visit www.staero.aero. Ranked among the top 10 airlines in the world carrying 50 million passengers every year to 50 destinations in Japan and 27 cities throughout Asia, Europe and the United States, ANA is recognized for outstanding passenger service both on the ground and in the air. In the greatest Japanese tradition of mixing hospitality with high technology, personalised à la carte service complements state-of-the-art entertainment systems and the latest in cabin design. ANA has been in the airline business for over 50 years, and combined with ANA Group companies its activities extend across a host of complete travel and aviation-related services. It is the launch customer of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Mitsubishi MRJ, which will complement its present fleet of over 210 aircraft, including 120 wide-bodies. As a member of Star Alliance, the world’s foremost airline alliance, ANA passengers enjoy access to a network of 965 airport destinations in 162 countries, and reciprocal benefits such as mileage accrual and redemption, and lounge access. (Story and Picture Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

Germanwings makes emergency return to Dublin  

2008-06-16

A Germanwings’ (Cologne) Airbus A319 was forced to make an emergency return to the airport in Dublin after crew members became dizzy and passengers passed out just minutes into the flight. It was feared at the time that the cabin had failed to pressurize properly. The plane, which was packed full with 117 Irish and German passengers, including two infants and six crew members, was thrown into crisis after a number of passengers passed out just minutes into the flight on May 27. In a terrifying scene for passengers, while they were struggling to stay awake crew members including the co-pilot also became dizzy and unwell. Adding to the growing fears of the over 100 people on board, when the crew was alerted to the emergency some of the oxygen masks which dropped down for passengers failed to operate. An investigation into the dramatic situation has now been launched by the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit (IAAIU), which is being assisted by its German equivalent the Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation. “While it sounded like a pressurisation issue we don’t believe this is what caused the situation,” explained the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit (IAAIU) officer leading the investigation.

Comments

Qantas Airways starts selling A380 tickets  

2008-06-16

Qantas Airways (Sydney) has started selling tickets for Airbus A380 flights that will soon be starting on October 20. The carrier’s first flight will be from Melbourne to Los Angeles, with flights from Sydney to Los Angeles and London beginning a week later. Qantas’ Airbus A380 aircraft will include fully-flat beds, extra wide seats, and self-service refreshment bars. “The A380 will also offer significant improvements in terms of environmental performance, including reduced fuel consumption and emissions, greater efficiency and less noise,” said Qantas sales and distribution general manager Rob Gurney.

Comments

British Airways working on deal for 777s  

2008-06-16

British Airways (London) is close to finalising a deal with Boeing (Chicago) to acquire up to twelve (12) 777-300ERs to provide bridging capacity following the major delivery delay of the 787 Dreamliners it has ordered. The airline, which has twenty-four (24) of the Dreamliners on order, has yet to reveal exactly when it is scheduled to start taking delivery of the aircraft, but reports out of the manufacturer are that delays are averaging around twenty (20) months. Reports indicate that British Airways could start taking delivery of the 777s as soon as 2010.

Comments

Deal to resurrect Silverjet collapses  

2008-06-13

The proposed buyout of collapsed all-business-class airline Silverjet (London) fell apart on Friday and its 420 pilots, cabin crew, and administrative staff were formally fired. Irish-based Kingplace Ltd. announced earlier this week that it had provisionally agreed to take over Silverjet, which suspended operations two weeks ago after running out of money; however, Nigel Atkinson and Mark Fry of Begbies Traynor, joint administrators for Silverjet, said Friday that Kingplace was no longer in a position to proceed with a deal. “We now understand that, as a result of the unusually complex negotiations with third parties, Kingplace is no longer in a position to acquire Silverjet as a going concern,” the administrators said. “As a consequence, we have today had to make the entire work force formally redundant, in line with our legal obligations as administrator. We are extremely disappointed to have had to make these redundancies, which we had been working hard to prevent. We continue to negotiate the sale of Silverjet’s assets for the benefit of the company’s creditors and will provide an update as soon as we are able.”

Comments

United & US Airways announce new cuts/fees  

2008-06-13

To major U.S. airlines, US Airways (Phoenix) and United Airlines (Chicago), are doing everything they can to survive in tough times. Both this week have announced changes that will affect the travelling public. United, the first legacy carrier to implement a $25 fee to check a second bag, announced yesterday that they will be following American Airlines by charging a $15 fee to check a first bag. The new fee will start in August of this year. New bag-check fees, which have rankled the traveling public, are part of a broad effort by airlines to charge passengers for services that used to be included in the fare. “With record-breaking fuel prices, we must pursue new revenue opportunities, while continuing to offer competitive fares, by tailoring our products and services around what our customers value most and are willing to pay for,” John Tague, UAL’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. Earlier last week, United announced capacity and employee cuts to take effect later this year. US Airways is following a similar line of thought as they impose a similar $15 fee for your first checked bag. Additionally, starting in August, the carrier will start charging coach passengers $2 for non-alcoholic drinks on flights, and has added an additional $2 to the cost of alcoholic drinks. US Airways has started taking a very serious look at the “pay-for-what-you-use” business model. “We must write a new playbook for running a profitable airline in this new and challenging environment,” US Airways Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William D. Parker said in a statement. Separately on Thursday, US Airways said it will be eliminating 1,700 jobs and will return ten (10) leased jets to counter surging fuel bills. US Airways will be reducing its fourth-quarter domestic mainline capacity by 6-8%, having previously planned a 2-4% cut.

Comments

Government grounds Aero Condor 737-200s  

2008-06-12

Peru’s Government has ordered the suspension of Boeing 737 services by local carrier Aero Condor Peru (Lima) following concerns over safety at the airline. The carrier grounded its four (4) 737-200s yesterday, but claims it has taken the action because the rise in fuel prices is making the fleet uneconomical. On Tuesday, engine trouble prevented an Aero Condor flight from taking off from the city of Cajamarca. A week earlier, mechanical trouble forced a plane to turn back to the Amazon city of Pucallpa. “The suspension does not include the rest of the company’s fleet,” says the ministry. “The company can continue with its charter flights and tourism operations. Aero Condor says it is committed to offering a reliable, quality service. The carrier states that it will continue operating flights with its British Aerospace 146 regional jet aircraft and its Fokker and Antonov turboprops.

Comments

Poor English, coordination nearly leads to LOT mid-air  

2008-06-12

A Polish flight crew, forced to rely on air traffic control directions after their navigation system shut down, nearly collided with another plane over London Heathrow Airport in 2007 because the flight crew had such poor English skills, according to reports that emerged today. The LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) Boeing 737, carrying 89 passengers to Warsaw, wandered around the skies over London for nearly half an hour as the pilots struggled to understand basic instructions. The jetliner’s Flight Management System had apparently failed because the co-pilot entered the wrong geographic coordinates before taking off. Instead of entering an westerly longitude as Heathrow lies to the West of the Prime Meridian Line in the London district of Greenwich, he entered an easterly one. The error meant that the electronic navigational tools that modern pilots use to fly shut down, a report by the Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) said. Because of this failure, the pilots were forced to fly the plane manually using standby instruments and struggled to follow the instructions given by air traffic controllers. Several times the co-pilot, who was flying, turned the airplane in the opposite direction given by controllers. At one point he flew the aircraft too close to another flight, forcing the other to change its course. This caused a “Short Term Conflict Alert” but was not close enough to count as a “near miss", an AAIB spokesman said. Eventually controllers guided the aircraft step by step back to Heathrow Airport until they could see the runway where they landed, 27 minutes after take off. The June 2007 incident highlights the risk of having so many foreign pilots using British airports who have just a small grasp of English. Only 15 out of 800 Polish pilots flying internationally have passed the test for the required standard of English. English is the international language of aviation but many countries failed to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation deadline of March 2008 for ensuring their pilots were proficient in the language. The AAIB investigation concluded that the initial error by the co-pilot was “compounded by the difficulty of obtaining information from the pilots because of their limited command for English". The report also notes that all airports around London are very close to the Meridian line and that this “can lead crews to make such co-ordinate entry errors of this nature". The investigation further concluded that, “An incident like this demonstrates how reliant pilots have become on the Flight Management System.”

Comments

Boeing conducts "Power-on" tests of 787  

2008-06-12

The Boeing Company (Chicago) began testing the 787 Dreamliner’s power systems Wednesday in an effort to meet a revised schedule to fly the plane by year-end and deliver it to the first customer in the third quarter of 2009. The “power-on” test is a key step for the new carbon-composite aircraft, which has been postponed at least 14 months already from the original delivery target of last month because of manufacturing delays and design issues. The 787’s electric system plays a bigger role than on any other commercial aircraft, with power levels that are five times higher than on Boeing’s 767, Tim Morris, president of aerospace power systems for the Hamilton Sundstrand unit of United Technologies Corp., said earlier this month. (Photo Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

Northwest pilots urge DOT to deny merger  

2008-06-12

Representatives of Northwest Airlines’ (Minneapolis) pilots have asked the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny an application to transfer the airline’s routes to Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) as part of a planned merger because it will “harm the public interest by creating a weaker merged airline than Northwest would be on its own". The two carriers announced their intention to merge in April and subsequently made an application to the DOT to transfer Northwest’s route authorities to Delta as part of the plan. As part of their application, the airlines said it would create annual sustainable synergies of $1 billion USD. However, the Northwest Master Executive Council of pilots union ALPA says these synergies are unattainable since Northwest’s existing pilots agreement precludes putting the airline’s code on Delta’s flights. The council also argues that Delta will not be able to use Northwest aircraft, which it says are most suited to international routes, without their prior approval. The union said in their submission to the DOT, “Failure to reach a new accord with Northwest’s pilots not only will impair the merger’s anticipated gains to the parties and to the public, but also will increase the merger’s recurring anticipated costs. Indeed, the higher costs and reduced synergies from failure to reach an accord with Northwest’s pilots may imperil the very viability of the new Delta/Northwest. The merger represents a bet that, by paying (we are told, the actual number may, as in most mergers, end up greater) a billion dollars in one-time integration costs, the combined entity will achieve sufficient recurring short-term synergies and savings to absorb this cost and sufficient recurring long-run benefits such that each airline is better off merged than each would be on its own. However, since the parties announced their merger agreement, some of the fundamental economic assumptions on which it was based no longer hold. Most significantly, since the merger was planned, the price of oil has shot up from $100 to over $130 a barrel. The bet of a long-run payoff from incurring greater short-term costs is accordingly less attractive today than when Delta and Northwest announced the merger.”

Comments

Mitsubishi expects big numbers for MRJ  

2008-06-12

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. aims to sell about 1,000 units of its own Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a 70- to 96-seat passenger aircraft currently being developed, between the launch year 2013 and 2026, company president Hideaki Omiya said on Thursday. The company will highlight the aircraft’s low fuel consumption as an attractive feature amid the current surge in crude oil prices, he said. The MRJ, the first commercial passenger jetliner with turbofan engines developed by a Japanese company, will be nearly 30% more fuel-efficient than existing models of similar sizes, according to the company. Japan’s second-largest carrier, All Nippon Airways Co., has already ordered 25 units of the MRJ. Mitsubishi Heavy will manufacture the aircraft in Japan and the United States, and possibly in Vietnam. The company regards the U.S., Europe and Asia as the main demand centers for the MRJ, Omiya said.

Comments

Air Astana inks deal for six A320s  

2008-06-12

Air Astana (Almaty), the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, has signed a firm contract for the purchase of six A320s, as part of its expansion programme on domestic and medium-haul routes. The contract, which is the airline’s first with Airbus, confirms the Memorandum of Understanding which was announced in December 2007. Air Astana’s A320s will feature the brand-new cabin recently introduced on all members of the A320 Family, which provides more comfort and space for passengers in a modern and quiet environment. The aircraft on order will accommodate up to 148 passengers in a two-class cabin layout. The choice of engines has not yet been made. The aircraft will join Air Astana’s existing fleet which already includes some A320 Family aircraft, which are currently being operated on its domestic and international network. Peter Foster, President of Air Astana said, “This order is consistent with our strategic business plan aimed at expanding our fleet, and continuously improving the service to our passengers. The A320, which combines operational efficiency with unprecedented cabin comfort, fits perfectly in with our long-term strategy of providing modern and productive aircraft.” “We are delighted Air Astana has decided to expand its Airbus fleet. Air Astana will benefit from the aircraft’s advanced technology and high fuel efficiency, while its passengers will undoubtedly like the new cabin, which has become even more spacious, lighter and quieter. We are happy to contribute to the success of this fast-growing airline with our market leading A320 Family,” highlighted Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy. The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. The A320 Family’s optimised cabin cross-section - the widest single-aisle fuselage on the market - sets the standards for passenger cabin adaptability in this segment allowing for top-of-the-range comfort with wider seats and aisles. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share unique cockpit commonality across the range. This allows pilots to fly the whole family, and enables the same team of mechanics to maintain the aircraft, generating valuable savings in training and operational efficiency. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. In addition, the A320 Family is an environmentally responsible neighbour, offering the lowest fuel burn, emissions and noise footprints in its class. With over 6,100 Airbus single-aisle aircraft ordered and more than 3,500 delivered to date, the A320 Family is without doubt the most successful airliner programme. The A320 Family has more than 275 customers and operators to its credit. Twelve carriers from CIS currently operate more than 100 Airbus aircraft. Photo: Still seen with its test registration, this aircraft (msn 3484) will be registered P4-WAS. (Photo Copyright Amaury) (Story Copyright Airbus Media Service)

Comments

Genesis to lease two 737-700s to VRG  

2008-06-12

Genesis Lease Limited today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to lease two Boeing 737-700 aircraft to VRG Linhas Aereas S.A (Varig)(São Paulo), a wholly-owned subsidiary of GOL Airlines (São Paulo), for a period of seven years. The two aircraft were previously on lease to Aloha Airlines. VRG is expected to take delivery of the aircraft prior to the end of July 2008.

Comments

ATA Airlines sues FedEx over military contract dispute  

2008-06-12

ATA Airlines (Indianapolis) claimed Wednesday that FedEx (Memphis) abruptly canceled a $400 million USD Pentagon charter, that ATA relied on to stay in business, to accommodate Northwest Airlines’ (Minneapolis) request for the military passenger business. ATA has filed a lawsuit against FedEx in the United States District Court in Indianapolis. Its deal with FedEx traces to a general Pentagon contract the cargo line has to haul troops and military freight. FedEx can hand segments of the contract to other carriers. For years, ATA ferried U.S. troops to bases worldwide under the arrangement, which became the financial mainstay for ATA after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2006. In January, FedEx said it would cancel ATA’s participation in the deal. No reason was stated publicly. After revealing the deal had been canceled, ATA announced it would liquidate operations. In the lawsuit, ATA calls FedEx’s actions malicious and asks for unspecified punitive damages. ATA contends actual damages are $30 million and with special undisclosed consequences could exceed $150 million. FedEx officials could not be reached for comment.

Comments

New airport plan for Dubai unveiled  

2008-06-12

The Chief Executive of Dubai Aerospace announced that Dubai has unveiled a plan to build the world’s largest airport, which will be the size of 19,200 football fields, or the equivalent of Chicago and London Heathrow airports combined. The Dubai World Central airport, at Jebel Ali, is hoping to cater to 120 million passengers a year. The airport would be the airport of the future, offering less bureaucracy and inspection procedures for passengers. Moreover, official for the new airport say that the new field is scheduled to commence operations next year.

Comments

Rumor: Frontier to make major announcement today  

2008-06-11

Rumors have been swirling around the grapevine here that Frontier Airlines (Denver) will be making some sort of major announcement today, June 11. No information on whether or not it will be good or bad news. This has led many to speculate on mergers or halting operations altogether. Frontier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April of this year.

Comments

Sudan Airways flight crashes; over 100 feared dead  

2008-06-10

A Sudan Airways (Khartoum) airliner (believed to be an Airbus A310) has veered off of a runway at Khartoum airport today amid thunderstorms and burst into flames, killing about 100 people. It is not clear what caused the aircraft, which was en route from Amman, Jordan, to crash in Khartoum, although inclement weather and severe rain seem to be a factor in the plane’s inability to land safely. Airport authorities say the plane may have come in too high for a landing and overshot the runway. The head of Sudanese police, Mohammad Najib, said, “Bad weather caused the plane to crash land, split into two and catch fire. We believe that most of the passengers were able to make it out and escape with their lives.” Najib stressed that officials could not say for sure how many were killed as about 200 passengers were thought to be aboard the plane when it landed. A death toll of 100 would make it the deadliest crash since July 2007, when a Tam Linhas Aereas SA (São Paulo) jetliner Airbus 320 skidded off runway while landing in São Paulo, Brazil, killing all 187 people on board and 12 on the ground.

Comments

Excuse me sir, is this your Boeing 727??  

2008-06-10

Vietnamese aviation authorities still haven’t been able to find out who is the owner of a Boeing 727-200 that has been left at the Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport after several months of searching. The aircraft, which bears a strange name “Air Dream", has been parked at Noi Bai Airport for over six months. The aircraft flew several times after arriving at the airfield, transporting passengers from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Hanoi and vice versa, but since then has been left idle at the airfield. Neither the crew nor owner can be found. Though the aircraft has a Cambodian flag on its fuselage, nobody has any information about an airline named Air Dream in Cambodia. There is also no information about Air Dream on the website of the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA) nor the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). According to officials of Noi Bai Airport, this aircraft had a breakdown in late 2007. Representatives of some airlines say that perhaps the owner abandoned this aircraft in order to not have to pay parking fees, which are quite high. They say this is the most mysterious case that they have seen though. Photo: The aircraft in question (XU-RJK msn 20989) is an ex-American Airlines aircraft that would ultimately see service with Jatayu Airlines. (Photo Copyright nguyenphuong - Vietnam Air Spotters)

Comments

Delta attempting to drop Pinnacle Airlines  

2008-06-10

After recently attempting the same maneuver with Mesa Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. said Tuesday that its Pinnacle Airlines (Memphis) subsidiary had been notified by Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) of their intent to terminate Pinnacle’s contract as a Delta Connection carrier, effective July 31. Pinnacle said the attempt to terminate the contract is ‘wrongful.’ Delta alleges that Pinnacle didn’t meet minimum arrival-time performance requirements for a period, while Pinnacle President and Chief Executive Phil Trenary said many factors affecting on-time performance are beyond Pinnacle’s control. Trenary also said Delta is required to collaborate with Pinnacle to create a mutually acceptable operating schedule and that Delta has failed to do so since the beginning of operations in December 2007. “We are extremely surprised and disappointed that Delta is attempting to take this drastic and improper action,” Trenary said.

Comments

Near miss at LAX is eighth in less than a year  

2008-06-10

The Federal Aviation Administration says a Southwest Airlines (Dallas) Boeing 737 at Los Angeles International Airport got within 50 yards of a runway in which a SkyWest Airlines (St. George) Embraer EMB-120 was on short final to land. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the pilot of the Southwest flight bound for Sacramento on Sunday morning did not have permission from a controller to cross onto the runway. The SkyWest flight was instructed to go around before touching down. Sunday morning’s incident was the eighth runway incursion at the airport since October 1.

Comments

Air New Zealand to conduct biofuel testflight  

2008-06-10

Air New Zealand (Auckland) recently announced that they will make a test flight with one of their Boeing 747-400s utilizing a fuel derived from the Jatropha plant. The test is scheduled to take place in the last quarter of 2008, with the biofuel powering one of the four RB211 engines of the Boeing aircraft. Jatropha refers to several plant families that are native of Central America and are renowned for producing seeds with high oil content. The more hardy varieties, which tend to produce more oil, are commonly found in India and Africa because they can cope with poor soil and withstand drought. The airline’s chief executive, Rob Fyfe, says “Jet fuel recently reached a high of $174 a barrel, whereas the cost of jatropha is at least 20-30% cheaper.” Fyfe goes on to add, “We have already had offers from organisations in Asia and Africa willing to guarantee enough supply to meet our 2013 target,” referring to Air New Zealand’s aim of sourcing at least 10% of its annual fuel consumption from environmentally sustainable fuels by 2013.

Comments

Emirates reschedules A380 to JFK for August  

2008-06-09

Emirates Airline (Dubai) will conduct its first Airbus A380 service to New York JFK on August 1, two months earlier than originally planned. The carrier will operate the flights as EK3801 and EK3802 with a second connection operating as EK3803 outbound to JFK on August 3 and EK3804 inbound on August 6. Emirates is due to take delivery of its first A380 on July 28. Operating the flight earlier will allow Emirates to claim the first commercial A380 service to the Americas.

Comments

Aeroflot to lease 19 A320s, seeks strategic partner  

2008-06-09

Aeroflot (Moscow) confirmed last week that it plans to lease an additional nineteen (19) A320 family aircraft, but provided no further details. Interfax reported that the carrier plans to add up to 65 Airbus aircraft in the future, and reportedly wants to double its current level of domestic service by 2014. CEO Valery Okulov said that Aeroflot is looking for a European airline with which it can form a strategic partnership. “We are considering Austrian Airlines, but it is too early to talk about a definitive deal,” he said. Photo: Aeroflot currently operates 36 narrowbody Airbus aircraft such as the example seen here. (Photo Copyright Ronny Busch - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Two Northwest A330 aircraft clip wings at MSP  

2008-06-09

A Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis) airplane was evacuated after it clipped wings with another company aircraft at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Sunday. Airport officials say the incident happened just before 4 p.m. An A330 airplane was taxiing to the gate and as it came in, its left wing clipped the right wing of another A330 aircraft at the next gate. The incident happened at gates G8 and G9. Passengers were deplaned from the aircraft that was taxiing to the gate. The other plane did not have any passengers. There were no injuries. Both planes sustained some damage to the wing tips and were taken to hangars to be repaired. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was contacted, and federal authorities will decide whether the FAA or the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Comments

Should airlines set airfares based on traveller weight?  

2008-06-09

As the airline industry grapples with surging fuel costs, airlines have been forced to get creative in order to stay aloft. Fuel surcharges, baggages fees, and increase fares are just some of the recent answers to the question of how to cover the high cost of fuel. It’s no secret that extra weight requires more fuel and more money to complete a flight, so what if airlines start setting passenger airfares the same way air freight charges are calculated, by weight? Picture this…you step up to the ticket counter, put your bag on the scale, and then it’s your turn to weigh in. Think of it as paying by the pound. “I’m not sure that’s really fair,” said one traveller. “I’m concerned about many people having varied prices.” But not everyone is concerned. “For me, I would appreciate it if I got a cheaper ticket,” said another flier. The idea of a weight-based fare is floating around the internet. Air freight companies have operated that way for years. The reason is all in the math. “For every 1,000 pounds of weight that you add to the airplane, you burn an additional 50 pounds of fuel,” said aviation expert, Mel Burkart. At an average of $5 per gallon of jet fuel, that’s an extra $35 in lost revenue for every 1000 pounds. The weight and the money add up, so airlines think the fare should as well. “So at some point they have to figure a way to raise the fares, lower the price of fuel and fly them more efficiently,” Burkart said. “How could they do that? Well if its effective, they could charge people for their weight.” Leave your comment and tell JetPhotos.net what you think.

Comments

Airbus and Boeing still predict solid sales in 2008  

2008-06-09

Airlines worldwide are scrambling to cut costs in the wake of soaring fuel prices, but Boeing and Airbus are both still expecting a solid year for jetliner orders. Neither airplane maker will come close to matching the record-setting order pace of the past three years that saw them combine for more than 6,000 jetliner sales, but 2008 won’t be nearly as bad as the industry’s recent gloom-and-doom developments might suggest, according to senior executives with both companies. “This crisis is a bit of a two-edge sword,” said John Leahy, chief operating officer for Airbus, “Airlines are grounding older, gas-guzzling jets, but they continue to buy new and more fuel-efficient ones.” Heading into 2008, Leahy believed Airbus would likely win 700 to 800 orders, which would be a better-than-average year for either airplane maker. Boeing’s Scott Carson, chief executive of the company’s jetliner business, also said in an interview in Istanbul that Boeing’s orders are still likely to be in that range, or about half what they were in 2007 when Boeing won a record 1,413 orders. “It’s a very challenging market but we are still seeing good response,” Carson said. Through May, Airbus had won net orders for 435 jets this year, and Boeing had won 418 net orders through June 3. The net figure includes cancellations.

Comments

Air France sues Canada over 2005 crash  

2008-06-06

Air France (Paris) is suing Toronto airport and Canadian transportation authorities for failing to take actions that it says could have prevented the crash of an Airbus A340 in 2005. The airline and its insurers are after $180 million USD from the Greater Toronto Airport Authority and NAV Canada for “failing to provide a safe environment for the conduct of civil air operations,” says a statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. A spokeswoman for Air France, Diane Audet, said that she was unaware of the lawsuit. The Air France jetliner skidded off of a runway and burst into flames in Toronto in August 2005. All 309 passengers and crew survived, but several sued for injuries suffered as they scrambled to exit the aircraft. The Airbus A340 overshot the runway at nearly 80 knots and stopped in a ravine nearly 1,000 feet (305 meters) from the end of the strip, badly damaged, and on fire. Canada’s Transport Safety Board said a thunderstorm, a strong tailwind, and a delay in engaging engine thrust reversers as the crew struggled to keep the aircraft aligned on the runway contributed to the crash. Investigators also suggested adding a 300-meter (985-feet) buffer zone at the end of Canadian runways to allow extra stopping room for aircraft in emergencies. “The overrun and the consequent injuries to persons and damage to property were caused solely by the negligence of the defendants,” the Air France statement of claim says. Photo: The Air France A340 (F-GLZQ msn 289) crashed while landing on runway 24L at Pearson Airport on the evening of August 2, 2005. (Photo Copyright George Bonner)

Comments

Air India has right to fire overweight FAs  

2008-06-06

A court has ruled that Air India (Mumbai) is within its rights to fire overweight stewardesses. The airline ended up on trial after they instituted strict weight limits for their 1,600 flight attendants. Several of the grounded cabin crew members sued arguing that they’re weight doesn’t affect their ability to do their jobs, but the court ruled in favor of the airlines. In a summary of the court’s position, “Overweight crew present a safety and health hazard … In the highly competitive airline industry, an air hostess’s physical condition and appearance played an important role in her overall personality.” Air India, whose FAs wear traditional saris, has been facing increased competition from newer airlines staffed with scantily clad flying hostesses. According to a Scottish newspaper, one of these flashy carriers, Kingfisher Airlines (Bangalore), boasts “young, mini-skirted hostesses in scarlet stilettos.”

Comments

Continental and Expressjet reach new deal  

2008-06-06

Continental Airlines (Houston) and ExpressJet (Houston) have signed a seven-year capacity purchase agreement that will allow ExpressJet to continue to provide regional jet service for Continental. The deal, which begins July 1, calls for ExpressJet to continue flying the 205 regional jets it currently operates for Continental in the first year and allows Continental to scale back the fleet by 15 after that period. The deal will allow ExpressJet to continue to fly for other carriers and to continue the consideration of strategic alternatives, including the company’s possible sale. “We recognize the current challenging industry environment being faced by all airlines and we need to react quickly to this deteriorating situation,” ExpressJet’s President and Chief Executive Jim Ream said in a statement. “While this new agreement with Continental reduces uncertainty around the core aspect of our company, it certainly reflects the current operating environment and the evolution of the relationships between mainline and regional airlines.”

Comments

VLM celebrates the Netherlands with orange aircraft  

2008-06-05

To celebrate the impressive levels of passenger traffic on its routes between London City Airport and the Netherlands, VLM Airlines (Antwerp) has repainted one of its aircraft orange, the colour of the Netherlands. The Fokker 50, which was unveiled at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol this morning, will operate mainly on the London City-Amsterdam route. VLM Airlines, which focuses on providing regular and convenient services for business travellers, began flying between London City and Amsterdam three years ago. 21% of our passengers on the VLM network travel on this route. VLM Airlines is also enjoying high passenger levels on its services to from Rotterdam. In total, VLM Airlines’ routes from London City to the Netherlands, which are served by 21 flights every weekday, now represent more than 45% of the carrier’s total passenger traffic. Johan Vanneste, Managing Director of VLM Airlines, says: “We are marking the success of VLM Airlines’ services to and from Holland by repainting one of our aircraft orange - the country’s national colour. We wanted to take this opportunity to express our support to the Dutch team because unfortunately the Belgian team did not succeed in qualifying for the European football championship. VLM Airlines not only operates aircraft that were built in Holland, but many of our staff are also Dutch. The ‘orange madness’ has also struck our airline.” The airline is renowned for its high level of service on board, its punctuality, and swift check-in procedures. Thanks to these elements, corporate travellers can travel in very comfortable conditions from the heart of London to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Groningen (via Amsterdam). In addition, the airline also operates daily flights from Rotterdam to Manchester and Hamburg. During the summer months, VLM Airlines also flies from Rotterdam to Guernsey and Jersey. BCO Media, a Luxemburg-based company that specialises in on-board advertising and aircraft liveries, designed the orange aircraft concept. Photo: The special scheme painted VLM Airlines Fokker 50 (OO-VLP msn 20209) is seen here in Amsterdam. (Photo Copyright Jules Meulemans - Dutch Aviation Photography)

Comments

Continental announces employee and fleet cuts  

2008-06-05

Continental Airlines (Houston) said on Thursday that it would cut 3,000 jobs and retire 67 of its older aircraft as it scales down in the face of soaring fuel prices. “The airline industry is in a crisis,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Kellner and President Jeff Smisek said in a memo to the carrier’s employees. “The actions we are announcing today are necessary to secure our future.” Continental will seek volunteers to give up their jobs before dismissing any employees. In addition, the carrier will be pulling all Boeing 737-300s, its oldest and least fuel efficient aircraft, from its 372 plane fleet by the end of 2009. It is also speeding up the retirement of its 737-500s. Both aircraft types will be replaced with deliveries of new, more fuel-efficient 737NGs. At current prices, Continental’s fuel bill will rise $2.3 billion USD above 2007’s spending, or about $50,000 USD more per employee, the company said.

Comments

Blue Air places Boeing order for 737-900ER  

2008-06-05

Boeing (Chicago) and Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air (Bucharest) announce today an agreement on an order for three Next-Generation 737-900ER jetliners. Earlier this year, the Bucharest-based airline ordered two 737-800s. Today’s order is worth $238.5 million at current list prices. The airplanes will be equipped with performance-enhancing Blended Winglets, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4 percent. “Blue Air is offering affordable air travel to a fast-developing region. The 737 Classic has allowed us to grow our airline steadily and we are confident in the capabilities of the Next-Generation 737 for our airline’s future success,” said Gheorghe Racaru, general manager of Blue Air. Blue Air started operations in December 2004 as the first Romanian low-cost carrier. From its base at Bucharest’s Baneasa International Airport, Blue Air currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of five 737 Classics and will introduce two leased 737-800s later this year, followed by one more early next year. “We forecast a continued strong growth in the Eastern European market. Over the next 20 years, airlines in this region will require around 450 new airplanes,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales, Europe, Russia & Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the Next-Generation 737, Blue Air will be able to grow its business with the most reliable product available today.” The 737-900ER is the latest airplane to join the Next-Generation 737 family, which includes the 737-600, -700, -700ER and -800, and shares the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation series models. The 737-900ER has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat mile than its competitor – which is more than 9,550 pounds (4,340 kg) heavier. Ten customers around the world have ordered 232 Boeing 737-900ER airplanes. One hundred fourteen customers have ordered more than 4,700 Next-Generation 737s. Boeing has more than 2,200 unfilled orders for the Next-Generation 737 valued at more than $160 billion at current list prices. (Story and Picture Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

Virgin Blue in dire financial straits  

2008-06-05

Virgin Blue (Brisbane) will go bankrupt unless it can dramatically raise airfares, if fuel prices remain at current levels into the longer term, warns financial giant JPMorgan. Days after the broker UBS warned that the airline could need a cash injection from its shareholders in 2009-10, if jet fuel prices fail to retreat, JPMorgan said a capital raising drive would be “pointless” and would fail to keep the airline solvent. “A 5% rise in airfare is not enough to cover fuel costs. A $500 million USD equity injection would buy some time in hope that fuel costs fall but if fuel did not fall Virgin Blue on our analysis would eventually become insolvent despite the equity injection,” the broker said. If fares do not rise, JPMorgan predicted the airline’s negative cash flows would result in its net debt to spiral from $1 billion USD to $3.2 billion USD by 2015. The only way to “save the company'’ JPMorgan said would be for Virgin Blue to impose a 10% fare increase. “While we would expect Virgin Blue to survive under this scenario, its earnings profile hardly looks attractive,” the broker said, noting the airline’s profit would never reach its 2006-07 record net profit of $232 million USD. If Virgin Blue does raise its fares, it could be forced to cut some aircraft out of its fleet to deal with the likely fall in demand.

Comments

Emirates announces delivery date for A380  

2008-06-05

Emirates Airline (Dubai), the largest customer of the Airbus A380 Superjumbo, will receive its first delivery of the aircraft on July 28, 2008, after a two-year wait caused by production delays. The long-awaited unveiling of the Emirates A380 interior, rumoured to include lavish features such as onboard showers, will be revealed during a ceremony at Airbus’s Hamburg factory. “The A380, with its large capacity and excellent operating economics, will be one of the pillars of Emirates’s future growth,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, the chairman and chief executive of the Emirates Group. Emirates has 58 of the aircraft on order, worth an estimated $18.8 billion USD at list prices. Airbus has promised to deliver the first five A380s to Emirates in the airline’s fiscal year ending in March 2009. The aircraft will all be outfitted in a three-class configuration of 489 seats, with 14 seats in first class, 76 in business, and 399 in economy.

Comments

Korean Air to acquire new 777-300ER  

2008-06-05

Korean Air (Seoul) said on Thursday that it will be purchasing a new Boeing 777-300ER for $257 million USD for delivery by July 2010. The new aircraft is aimed at reinforcing the airline’s passenger fleet, Korean Air said in a regulatory filing.

Comments

Hawaiian to add four 717s to fleet  

2008-06-05

Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu) will be adding four Boeing 717-200 aircraft to its inter-island fleet to restore regional capacity reduced by the collapse of rival Aloha Airlines. Based on reports, the aircraft will be former Impulse Airlines and Jetstar Airways aircraft. Two of the aircraft are expected to enter service in September, while the remaining two will join the fleet in November and December, respectively. The additions, all being acquired on long-term leases from Boeing Capital Corporation, will increase Hawaiian’s interisland fleet of Boeing 717-200 aircraft to 15. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines currently operates eleven (11) 717-200s on interisland flights. (Photo Copyright Polar Bear)

Comments

Monarch launches FlyKandi to Ibiza  

2008-06-04

To coincide with Monarch Airlines’ 40th anniversary, the airline joined up with lifestyle and music brand Hed Kandi to create a new service, FlyKandi, which will operate flights to the party island of Ibiza. The first fully branded FlyKandi Boeing 757 aircraft took to the air on its inaugural flight last weekend. Jason Brooks, who previously produced all Hed Kandi artwork, created the retro design for the aircraft’s tail which features a girl in seductive cabin crew outfit. Dan Baxter, Hed Kandi general manager, said, “FlyKandi is the only choice for the truly stylish when it comes to jet-setting to the White Isle and beyond this summer. The aircraft is more beautiful than ever and, having extended our successful partnership, it’s now possible to reach your Hed Kandi destination all summer long when you FlyKandi with Monarch. Join us as we enter the new fabulous age of air travel.” New FlyKandi routes are being planned to Tenerife, Majorca, the Spanish city of Barcelona, and Puerto Banus in Marbella. Photo: (Photo Copyright John Powell - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Royal Jordanian reviews options in face of 787 delays  

2008-06-04

Royal Jordanian Airlines (Amman) is weighing its options following the announcement of further delays in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner program. The carrier is considering whether to refurbish its four Airbus A340-200s or introduce replacement aircraft, possibly Boeing 777s, to provide interim relief until their 787s arrive. The airline had intended to use the 787s initially to replace the A340s and then later its A310s. Royal Jordanian recently refurbished its A310 cabins in order to retain the type. The Amman-based carrier is awaiting proposals from Boeing ahead of deciding its best course of action.

Comments

Air India Express plans Boeing 737 acquisitions  

2008-06-04

Air India Express (Mumbai) announced that it will be adding seven (7) Boeing 737-800s to its fleet of eighteen (18) aircraft. While three (3) of these would be added this year, the remainder would join the fleet in 2009. Each aircraft would cost about $50 million USD and will be funded by U.S.-based Exim Bank.

Comments

Air One places large Airbus order  

2008-06-04

Air One (Rome), the fast-growing Italian airline, has signed a firm order with Airbus for 12 A350-800s, plus 12 options, and 12 A330-200s, plus eight options. The Rome based airline, the second largest in Italy, will use these aircraft to develop a comprehensive long-haul route network, which will complement Air One’s extensive domestic and European operations. With this contract, Air One now has a total of 24 widebody aircraft on order with Airbus (plus 20 options), as well a global agreement for 90 A320 aircraft of which 65 A320s are firm orders and the remaining 25 are to be gradually firmed up. Air One’s newly ordered A330s will offer a comfortable two-class cabin layout for 253 passengers. The A350-800, the most eco-efficient next generation aircraft, will equally have a two-class cabin for up to 287 passengers. Carlo Toto, President of Air One, said: “The purchase of 24 Airbus wide-body long range aircraft is a key element in our company’s growth strategy, with a view to achieving major developments in the intercontinental market over the next few years. The A330s will give us the best economics and passenger comfort in the medium term, with the A350 providing us with the most efficient and modern aircraft family at the next stage of our growth plans. In addition, the commonality of those long range aircraft with our growing A320 fleet in operation brings important savings and benefits.” “We are delighted that Air One is again confirming its confidence in Airbus by ordering our long haul products, which will complement their A320 fleet. We are sure that the best selling A330 and the all-new, A350 will contribute to Air One’s international growth plans with the right product at the right time,” stated Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is Airbus’ response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300 nm / 15,400 km, it is available in three basic passenger versions: the A350-800 accommodating 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 for 350 passengers. The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. Powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines delivering each up to 92,000 lbs of thrust, the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns. This latest contract brings the total firm orders for the A350 to 374 from 23 customers. With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-200 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit the diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 6,750 nm / 12,500 km with a full passenger load. It also has the excellent operational flexibility necessary to serve a wide range of route structures, providing operators with very low operating cost per seat. Its proven record of economy and superior passenger comfort provides operators with a significant competitive advantage in the market today. (Story and Picture Copyright Airbus Media Service)

Comments

Ryanair announces fare increase  

2008-06-04

Ryanair (Dublin), which warned yesterday that it would have to ground up to twenty (20) aircraft this winter, today said its may have to raise fares up to 5% this year as fuel costs increase. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said that his airline would never introduce fuel surcharges, even if oil reach $500 a barrel and continued to deny that the era of low-cost travel in Europe was over. O’Leary further said that fuel surcharges introduced by carriers such as British Airways were “completely unjustified” and were “just a scam” to take more money from the traveling public.

Comments

United expected to announce company-wide cuts  

2008-06-03

United Airlines is expected to announce plans to reduce its mainline fleet by another 70 aircraft by the end of 2009 and announce further job cuts on Wednesday. The carrier will drop 64 Boeing 737s by the end of next year, and also remove 6 Boeing 747s. United will also announce additional cuts of salaried and management workers, with cuts of unionized positions to follow later, beyond what was announced earlier in April. Also expected to be cut is the carrier’s domestic “low cost” service Ted. Ted’s 56 all-couch Airbus A320 aircraft will be re-introduced into the mainline fleet, some having first-class cabins restored.

Comments

Honduras looks for airport alternatives after crash  

2008-06-03

Following a TACA (San Salvador) A320 crash last Friday, Honduras has begun looking for alternatives to its Toncontin International Airport. The airfield in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is infamously recognized as one of the world’s most dangerous airports. Flight crews are forces to swoop around mountainous terrain before landing on the field’s short runway. It’s not uncommon for passengers landing in Tegucigalpa to clap and cheer once the plane comes to a halt. The airport was reopened yesterday to aircraft carrying 42 or fewer people. Larger aircraft are being diverted to San Pedro Sula. TACA said it supported a government decision to begin using Soto Cano Air Base about 80 kilometers away from Tegucigalpa for commercial flights. The facility reportedly will be qualified in approximately two months. Video: An American Airlines flight approaches Toncontin International Airport. (Video Copyright tx2384)

Comments

Schiphol runway closed after war relic unearthed  

2008-06-03

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport closed one of its five runways today after a World War II bomb was unearthed during excavations nearby. Military explosives experts say the 500-pound British bomb must remain still for 54 hours because it was moved during its discovery by workers building a road. Bert van Denham from the local municipality says the bomb is expected to be removed on Thursday. Schiphol spokeswoman Kathelijne Vermeulen said Tuesday that flights are being diverted to other runways at the airport and no delays are expected.

Comments

Flybaboo denied flight access to Russia  

2008-06-03

The Embassy of Switzerland in Moscow has been trying to reach an agreement with the Federal Agency for Air Transport of Russia over flights of the Swiss air carrier Flybaboo (Geneva) to St. Petersburg. Last week, Russian authorities would not allow the Swiss airline to carry out its first flight to St. Petersburg. According to Flybaboo, the airline’s administration had followed all the necessary formal procedures for carrying out the flight; however, at the last moment Moscow denied permission. “The Russian party found that the airline provided an incomplete suite of documents and the air carrier had to put off flights on May 27 and 29″, a Flybaboo message says. “The exact reason of the ban is unknown. We have been trying to find it out”, said a diplomatic mission representative.

Comments

Spirit to begin massive workforce cuts  

2008-06-03

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) may be laying off or displacing as many as 60% of its flight attendants and 45% of its pilots in two months, according to news reports. The low-cost airline, which is struggling to cope with rising jet-fuel prices, sent letters to union leaders last week, informing them of the decision. The carrier stated that it would furlough or displace up to 448 flight attendants and 242 pilots on August 1. The airline plans to close its New York LaGuardia, San Juan and Detroit bases and reduces its Fort Lauderdale base. Photo: A Spirit Airbus A319 taxies at the airport in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo Copyright Jean-Luc Poliquin)

Comments

Saudi Arabian to obtain new Boeing/Airbus aircraft  

2008-06-03

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Jeddah) has identified itself as a customer for twelve (12) Boeing 787 and eight (8) Airbus A330 aircraft. The acquisitions are part of a ten year fleet renewal plan that will cover some seventy (70) aircraft. The fleet renewal will involve replacing the carrier’s older Boeing 747 and MD-90 aircraft.

Comments

Frontier reaches deal with credit card company  

2008-06-02

Frontier Airlines (Denver) has reached a new agreement with data processing company First Data which will ensure the continued processing of Frontier’s Visa and MasterCard transactions. The agreement gives First Data appropriate protection for continuing its processing work for Frontier customers’ credit card purchases on a “business as usual” basis, an airline representative said. Frontier President and CEO, Sean Menke, said “Today’s announcement is another important step as we navigate the Chapter 11 process. The terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable to both parties, and we appreciate First Data’s ongoing cooperation.”

Comments

3,000 employees to take buyouts at Delta  

2008-06-02

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) announced that it was able to get 3,000 of its employees to participate in its voluntary severance program, 1,000 more than expected. In March, the carrier reported plans to eliminate up to 2,000 jobs, or 3% of its work force, through voluntary payouts. In April, Delta offered two buyout packages to non-pilot U.S. employees, a total of about 30,000 people. “It’s possible in future plans that some of those positions could be hired back,” Delta spokesman Kent Landers said, “but this gives us more flexibility to adapt to rising fuel prices without having to involuntarily reduce the number of front-line employees.”

Comments

Iberia posts big numbers for 2007  

2008-06-02

Iberia Airlines (Madrid) recently announced at a shareholder meeting that 2007 was one of the best years ever for the company financially. The carrier posted net earnings of €327.6 million. This is up from the €56.7 million earned in 2006. Operating earnings in 2007 were also 132% higher than from 2006. In addition to this excellent business performance, 2007 brought major improvements to the company’s financial situation. Net liquidity on December 31st came to more than €2,500 million, a 45% increase for the year, and the cash position stood at more than €3,000 million. Overall, seat occupancy levels rose by 1.8 points to 81.6%. This is another new record for Iberia, and the highest posted by a major European network airline in 2007. Photo: A lineup of the Iberia fleet at Terminal 4 in Madrid. (Photo Copyright Ariel Shocrón)

Comments

AirTran to defer Boeing deliveries  

2008-05-31

AirTran Airways (Atlanta), a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc., announced yesterday that it will defer 18 Boeing 737-700 aircraft originally scheduled for delivery between 2009 through 2011 to 2013 through 2014. “As we stated during our first quarter earnings call, as a result of continuing record high fuel costs, we are reducing planned growth for September, 2008, through at least 2009 from 10 percent to no more than flat. This transaction will accomplish a substantial portion of that plan,” said Bob Fornaro, AirTran Airways’ President and CEO. “We appreciate the support of Boeing in this action as a part of their commitment to our long-term success.” The airline currently operates 54 Boeing 737-700 series aircraft as well as 87 Boeing 717-200 aircraft, and has America’s youngest all-Boeing fleet.

Comments

Six killed as TACA A320 crashes in Honduras  

2008-05-30

A TACA (San Salvador) Airbus A320 crashed while landing at Tegucigalpa’s Toncontin Airport today. The aircraft, arriving from the airline’s San Salvador hub, overran runway 02, skidded across a busy highway, and came to rest against a convenience store. The runway was wet, and conditions were foggy at the time of the crash. 5 passengers aboard the aircraft, along with a taxi driver whose vehicle was hit by the plane, are reported to have died in the accident.

Comments

Boeing delivers 75th 777 to ILFC  

2008-05-30

The Boeing Company (Chicago) and International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) reached a historic milestone this week with the delivery of ILFC’s 75th Boeing 777. The Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) is leased to ILFC’s customer, Cathay Pacific Airways. ILFC has ordered 79 777s from Boeing since 1992, more than any other customer. Cathay Pacific now operates 25 777s, with 22 more 777-300ERs scheduled to be delivered including two more to be leased from ILFC. The airplane delivered Wednesday will join the airline’s fleet of seven 777-300ERs, 12 777-300s, five 777-200s and 24 747-400s in passenger service. The 777 family of airplanes is the market leader in the 300-to-400-seat segment. Since the first 777 went into service in June 1995, Boeing has continually grown the 777 family to include five passenger models and a freighter version. To date, 56 customers around the world have ordered 1,080 777s, making it the most successful twin-engine wide-body airplane on the market. Currently, Boeing has 360 unfilled orders for the 777. (Story and Picture Copyright Boeing Media Service)

Comments

Silverjet ceases operations  

2008-05-30

Business airline Silverjet (London) has suspended all flights as of this morning after the last flight left Dubai at 0730 BST. In a prepared release, Silverjet, which flew nonstop from Newark Liberty International (EWR) to outlying London Luton (LTN), says the immediate reason it has suspended flights was its failure “to receive the proceeds of the $5 million USD drawdown request made under its loan facility from Viceroy Holdings LLC.” The carrier says its working capital reserves were “limited,” and that getting the money was, “a matter of urgency". Lawrence Hunt, Silverjet CEO, said, “We are working actively with new investors who are prepared to inject funds so we can recommence operations.” If the airline can not be brought back to life, it shall follow rivals Eos and Maxjet, which went out of business earlier this year.

Comments

DHL/UPS partnership means job cuts at ABX  

2008-05-30

ABX Air’s (Wilmington) night sorting operation will be eliminated under a new contract that DHL Express and UPS are negotiating, with up to 6,100 jobs being cut in Wilmington. Deutsche Post World Net announced Wednesday that its DHL subsidiary planned to partner with UPS to handle its North American air shipments. ABX currently provides that service, along with ASTAR Air Cargo, which DHL partially owns. DHL contributes more than 70% of ABX’s revenue, according to its parent Air Transport Services Group Inc. John Graber, president of ABX, said that once DHL’s restructuring is complete, the company will have 900 or 1,000 employees in Wilmington, versus about 7,000 it now employs. The cargo airline has about 10,000 employees worldwide. ABX’s daytime sorting operation is likely to continue, “but that’s really the only piece that’s left as we understand it,” Graber said. Deutsche Post said in a news conference in Bonn, Germany, that DHL is restructuring because its U.S. operations have been losing money, with a projected $1.3 billion loss this year. At the news conference, DHL Express President John Mullen added that Wilmington will no longer operate as a domestic hub for DHL. DHL will also expand its existing relationship with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to provide “last-mile” delivery in certain locations. The USPS has provided this service for DHL since 2003 in more than 20,000 ZIP codes in the United States through its Parcel Select service. Photo: An ABX Boeing 767-200 taxis to the cargo ramp at LAX. (Photo Copyright Tom Alfano - NYCAviation.com)

Comments

United - US Airways merger talks stall  

2008-05-30

The CEOs of United Airlines (Chicago) and US Airways (Phoenix) have told their employees that a combination of the two carriers won’t happen “at this time.” In a letter to his employees, Doug Parker, CEO of US Airways, said, “It is simply unlikely that anything will happen in 2008 as our industry continues to struggle with how to function in a world with $130 a barrel oil prices.” After meeting yesterday, the two carriers ended two months of merger talks.

Comments

Southwest flight grounded in KC after bomb threats  

2008-05-30

A bomb threat grounded a Southwest Airlines (Dallas) Boeing 737 overnight at the Kansas City International Airport. Airline officials say they received two phoned-in bomb threats around 9 p.m. (local time) about Southwest flight 46, which departed from Dallas and was scheduled to land in Kansas City before continuing on to Chicago. The airplane was taken to a secure location on the airfield while it was searched by police and bomb-sniffing dogs. The 134 people onboard the aircraft were loaded onto a bus on the tarmac and transported away from the aircraft. No explosives were found, and the flight was cleared to continue on to Chicago just before midnight. Investigators are continuing to work on who made the threats.

Comments

Airbus scales back order forcasts for A380 in 2008  

2008-05-30

Demand for Airbus’ A380 superjumbo may take a downturn this year as higher fuel costs and an economic slowdown dent the global demand for travel. Airbus is revising the number of orders it expects to get for the aircraft, and says they may be a third lower than previously predicted. John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer and senior salesman, said the company may receive about 20 orders for the airliner in 2008, down from the 30 orders forecast as recently as three months ago. He said he expects rising jet fuel prices will force airlines to cancel and defer some new aircraft orders, but he added that the company is sticking with plans to ramp up production.

Comments

Ryanair announces 14 new routes  

2008-05-29

Ryanair (Dublin) announced today that it will begin fourteen (14) new routes that will include five new destinations starting in October. The new routes will operate out of bases in Bremen, Bournemouth, Glasgow, and Marseille. The expansion will bring the number of routes the low-cost carrier has to 660, with services starting to four new airports at Lille in France, and Agadir, Nadoe, and Tangier in Morocco. The carrier is offering 500,000 £10 one-way seats for travel in June and July to mark today’s announcement. Photo: A Ryanair 737-800 departs Leeds in the UK. (Photo Copyright Graham Perkin)

Comments

KD-Avia places Airbus order at Berlin airshow  

2008-05-29

Russian airline KD-Avia (Kaliningrad) announced today that they had signed an order for twenty-five (25) Airbus A319 aircraft. The order, which is valued at approximately $1.7 billion USD, is designed to renew their current fleet that is entirely comprimised of Boeing 737-300 aircraft. A deal was signed at the Berlin Air Show (ILA) by KD-Avia’s chief executive Sergei Grishchenko and John Leahy, commercial director of Airbus. “This aircraft meets all our requirements in terms of fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, and is the best solution for us,” said Grishchenko. No delivery dates have been disclosed, and the carrier has yet to indicate the extent to which the jets will replace its 16 leased 737s.

Comments

Gulf Air places order for 35 Airbus aircraft  

2008-05-28

Gulf Air (Bahrain) announced today that it has ordered thirty-five (35) Airbus medium- and long-haul aircraft in a deal worth approximately $5 billion USD. The agreement entails orders for fifteen (15) Airbus A320s and twenty (20) A330s. “The A320 will serve Gulf Air’s regional destinations while the A330 will operate on the airline’s European route and enhance its Far Eastern services,” said Gulf Air CEO Bjoern Naef. This order follows one in January for sixteen (16) Boeing 787 passenger jets worth around $6 billion USD, along with an option for eight (8) others. Naef said it remained open as to whether Gulf Air would buy the future Airbus A350 jet now under development, but did say that the carrier plans to increase its fleet to forty-five (45) planes by 2013 from the twenty-five (25) it has at present.

Comments

Jet Airways receives newest A330-200  

2008-05-28

Jet Airways (Mumbai) recently took delivery of its latest Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The aircraft is the seventh delivered in an order for fifteen (15) of the models that was placed between 2005 and 2007. The carrier will be deploying the aircraft on new Far Eastern routes to serve Hong Kong and to expand services to Europe and the Middle East. The aircraft will be configured in two classes with a total of 220 seats, and will see thirty (30) seats in Première class arranged in a ‘Herringbone configuration’ with fully lie flat electronic seats with lumbar support and massage systems. Photo: Jet Airway’s newest addition to their fleet (VT-JWM msn 923) touches down during a flight test in Toulouse. (Photo Copyright DN280)

Comments

jetBlue set to defer 21 Airbus A320 orders  

2008-05-28

jetBlue Airways (New York-JFK) announced Tuesday that it plans to defer twenty-one (21) Airbus A320s. The aircraft, which were originally scheduled for delivery between 2009 and 2011, will now be delivered between 2014 and 2015. “In the face of escalating fuel costs, we believe it is essential to take a more financially conservative approach to managing our business,” said Dave Barger, JetBlue’s CEO. “The aircraft deferrals we announced today will help us further moderate our growth rate in 2009 and beyond, which will enhance liquidity and defer future debt obligations. We would like to thank our partners at Airbus and International Aero Engines for their continued support and commitment to the long-term success of JetBlue,” said Barger.

Comments

United flight diverted after passenger dies en route  

2008-05-28

A United Airlines (Chicago) flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles made an unscheduled stop in Honolulu on Tuesday morning after a female passenger died aboard the aircraft en route. Cabin crew aboard flight 862 reported an unresponsive passenger and received permission to land at Honolulu International Airport. The woman was pronounced dead upon arrival. The Honolulu medical examiner’s office identified the woman as Hung Thi Thu Quach, 57, of Vietnam, but there was no immediate statement on the cause of death.

Comments

Flight crew reports near miss with rocket  

2008-05-27

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating a report by a Continental Airlines (Houston) pilot that he saw what appeared to be a rocket zoom by the cockpit window. The Boeing 737 was en route to Cleveland just eight miles north of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. FAA officials think it was most likely a rocket from a home rocketry kit, and are looking into that possibility. They do not yet know how close the rocket was to the plane or how high it was. So-called ‘do-it-yourself’ rocket kits use a variety of fuels to achieve liftoff, and some are capable of easily reaching 40,000 or more feet of altitude. The plane landed safely at its destination, and no one was injured. Several passengers reported seeing the rocket and a trail of smoke behind it. The FAA says this is not the first incident like this, although they have never received a report of a model rocket striking an aircraft.

Comments

Cathay Pacific receives first new 747-400ERF  

2008-05-27

Boeing (Chicago) and Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 747-400ERF (Extended Range Freighter) last Friday. The airplane, the first of six Boeing 747-400ERFs to be delivered to Cathay Pacific, was unveiled last week at a pre-flight ceremony at the Boeing Delivery Center in Everett, Wash. Among those present were Cathay Pacific’s Ron Mathison, director and general manager for Cargo; senior managers from Cathay’s North America and Hong Kong cargo team and invited senior cargo industry executives. Cathay Pacific currently operates 115 airplanes, 18 of which are freighters, including six 747-400BCFs (Boeing Converted Freighters), six 747-400 and six 747-200 Freighters. The airline has remaining orders for two 747-400BCFs to further expand its freighter fleet. Cathay Pacific also has an order for 10 747-8F freighters. The 747-400ER Freighter, which entered service in October 2002, has a maximum takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,770 kg). This takeoff weight increase over existing 747-400 Freighters allows the 747-400ER Freighter to fly an additional 525 nautical miles (972 km), or it can carry an additional 22,000 pounds (9,980 kg) of payload on long-range flights at maximum takeoff weight. The new aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4062A engines and will be deployed on trunk routes to North America to take full advantage of the airplane’s superior payload range capability. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Dana Air makes use of ex-Alaska aircraft  

2008-05-27

Nigerian carrier Dana Air (Lagos) took delivery of two (2) McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft (ex-Alaska) earlier this month. The aircraft will offer a two-class service with 12 seats in Premium Class and 128 seats in Traveller Class. The airline looks forward to expanding the fleet of four commercial aircraft in 2008 to ten aircraft in 2010 and also to building its own hangar space to accommodate the aircraft. The airline will focus on the triangular routes of Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, adding more routes with increase in fleet.

Comments

Cargo crash near Chelyabinsk kills nine  

2008-05-27

An Antonov An-12 cargo aircraft operated by Moskovia Airline (Moscow) crashed on Monday near the city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals region, killing all nine crewmembers aboard. Eight minutes after take-off, the crew reported to air traffic control that there was smoke in the aircraft cabin. Two minutes after that report, the aircraft’s radar identification signal had disappeared. The flight crashed at 8:12 Chelyabinsk local time, and the wreckage was located about 11 kilometers from the airport. Seven crew members plus two engineering personnel were on board, says Russia’s transport ministry, although it was not carrying any cargo. There were no survivors. Photo: The An-12 (RA-12957 msn 8345508) was operating for Moskovia Airline, although the aircraft was recently still wearing the colors of Kosmos Aviation Company. (Photo Copyright £ukasz Zakrzewski - [epwa_spotters])

Comments

CAA to investigate Bmi near miss  

2008-05-27

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is investigating a near miss between a Bmi (East Midlands and London) regional jet and a military aicraft that occured on April 10 of this year. The incident, which was just recently released, happened about 10 miles northwest of Norwich at 8:46am when the ERJ-135, which can carry around 40 passengers, was en route to Aberdeen. The Aircraft Proximity Report Board will consider the causes of the incident and will determine the level of risk it presented from a choice of four internationally agreed categories before publishing its report. It will then make recommendations where appropriate to reduce the risk that a similar incident will happen again.

Comments

British Airways places orders for Airbus A318  

2008-05-27

British Airways (London) has placed a firm order for two (2) A318 aircraft from Airbus for use between London City Airport and New York. The order could be worth over $100 million USD at current list prices. With this order, Airbus now has thirteen (13) customers for the A318, the smallest member of the A320 family.

Comments

Wataniya Airways to start flying in 2009  

2008-05-27

Kuwait’s new airline, Wataniya Airways, will start flying in January of 2009 and hopes to attract Kuwaiti business and leisure travellers on short-haul routes. This would be the second privately owned airline in Kuwait, and the fourth in the region. It will offer direct services from Kuwait to destinations south and west of the country in the Gulf and the wider region using A320 aircraft. The airline said its flight schedules and destinations would focus on “Kuwaiti needs", placing it in direct competition for local passengers with the country’s flag carrier Kuwait Airways and budget operator Jazeera Airways. Unveiling the company’s corporate identity and airline colors in Kuwait, chairman Abdul Salam Al Bahar said Wataniya will become a symbol of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti people. The airline has promised a series of innovations and developments in comfort and luxury that it said would make it unique in the region.

Comments

Delta flight makes emergency landing in New York  

2008-05-27

A Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) McDonnell Douglas MD-88 aircraft made an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York after the crew received an indicator light warning of possible problems with the airplane’s hydraulic system. The aircraft was en route to LaGuardia Airport in New York; however, a spokesman for the airline says the flight crew decided to land at JFK because it has a longer runway. The flight landed at 4:42pm local time. None of the 139 passengers aboard were injured in the incident.

Comments

Kalitta Air 747 crashes in Brussels on takeoff  

2008-05-25

A Kalitta Airways (Ypsilanti) B747-200F (N704CK msn 22299) slid off of the runway in Brussels after a rejected takeoff and spilt in two earlier today. The pilot told rescue crews that he had heard a ‘large noise’ while attempting to take off just after midday. It is not clear what caused the accident as of yet, but an investigation is underway. Four of the five crew members on board were injured during the crash. (Photo Copyright Olivier De Preter)

Comments

Embraer announces order from Star Aviation  

2008-05-22

Embraer has confirmed that Indian start-up carrier Star Aviation (Chennai) has placed an order for up to ten (10) of their E170 regional jets. The Brazilian aircraft maker said in a statement that it has signed a contract for the sale of the aircraft with Dubai-based ETA Star Group, which is working to set up the new airline in India. Embraer says the deal covers seven (7) firm orders and three (3) options. Deliveries are due to begin in 2009.

Comments

Singapore to increase A380 flights to London  

2008-05-22

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) announced that it will be adding four weekly Airbus A380 flights between Singapore and London Heathrow, in addition to its current daily schedule. The new flights will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. “Our A380 products have been very well received by our customers, and loads on the Singapore-London route have been exceptionally encouraging. The deployment of another A380 on this route will cater to continual strong demand from customers traveling between Singapore and London,” said Mr. Huang Cheng Eng, Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Marketing and Regions. The increase in A380 services to London will follow the scheduled delivery of Singapore Airlines’ fifth A380 aircraft from Airbus in late June 2008.

Comments

Mesa warns it may seek Chapter 11 protection  

2008-05-22

Mesa Air Group (Phoenix) said earlier today that it might be forced to file for bankruptcy protection if it loses a legal fight with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta). Should this occur, it would be the eighth airline to seek Chapter 11 protection or close down operations in the past five months, following Frontier Airlines (Denver), Skybus Airlines (Columbus), ATA Airlines (Indianapolis), and others, as they struggle with record fuel prices. Mesa, which operates regional flights for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines (Chicago) and US Airways (Phoenix), has been in dispute with Delta since March, when the carrier told Mesa that it planned to terminate their partnership, accusing Mesa of failing to complete a specified number of flights. Mesa denied the allegation, and in April filed suit against them, saying the airline had breached their agreement. Earlier this month, Mesa filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to prevent Delta from terminating the agreement. A court hearing is set for May 27, and Mesa said it expects a ruling when that is completed.

Comments

Another fare hike for Qantas Airways  

2008-05-22

While U.S. carriers continue to add surcharges to the cost of travel in attempts to combat the high cost of jet fuel, one global airline is simply increasing the cost to purchase its tickets. Qantas Airways (Sydney) is looking to raise domestic and international air fares for the second time in less than a month in an attempt to offset soaring fuel prices. The carrier’s international air fares will rise by about 4% with domestic fares rising by about 3% for tickets issued in Australia. The hike will increase the price of a ticket from Melbourne to London by $72.00 USD, while the price of a ticket from Melbourne to Sydney will rise by $3.00 USD. The increases are scheduled to start June 4.

Comments

CSA continues fleet modernisation through leases  

2008-05-22

CSA Czech Airlines (Prague) recently detailed plans for a continuing fleet renewal program. The carrier has been adding Airbus A320 aircraft to its fleet since 2005 through tenders for the replacement of older medium-haul aircraft. To this end, two new Airbus A319s will be acquired through operational leasing and will replace one older A320 and 737. As an additional step towards fleet rejuvenation and modernisation, Czech Airlines will be putting two of its Airbus A310s up for sale. Both aircraft should be withdrawn from their fleet by mid-2009. Photo: A CSA Airbus A310 arrives in Warsaw. The airline currently operates four of this type. (Photo Copyright Grzesiek Krupa)

Comments

Embraer delivers China's first E190  

2008-05-21

Hainan Airlines’ (Haikou) regional carrier Grand China Express has taken delivery of its first Embraer 190. The delivery represents the first of 50 that the airline has on order and the first E-190 destined for China. In August 2006 the airline’s parent ordered 50 E190s and 50 Embraer ERJ-145s on behalf of Grand China Express in a deal with a list value of $2.7 billion USD at the time.

Comments

American announces new baggage policy, capacity cuts  

2008-05-21

American Airlines (Fort Worth) announced today that it will start charging passengers to check all bags starting with tickets purchased after June 15. At its annual meeting in Fort Worth, Chairman, President and CEO Gerard Arpey said travelers would face a $15 charge for the first piece of luggage checked, the first time any major domestic airline has used this method to increase revenue. “These are difficult but necessary steps,” Arpey said, noting that rising oil prices have inflated the airline’s annual fuel costs by nearly $3 billiion since the start of the year. Also on Wednesday, Arpey said American planned to cut its domestic capacity by up to 12% by retiring 40-45 American Airlines aircraft and 30-35 American Eagle aircraft starting in the fourth quarter of 2008. Some of the planes will be retired; others will be parked at a desert storage facility. Arpey added that fewer flights will lead to job cuts at both American and American Eagle.

Comments

Bombardier delivers first Q400 to Croatia Airlines  

2008-05-21

Bombardier (Montreal) has delivered the first of four Q400 turboprop aircraft ordered to Croatia Airlines (Zagreb) in a transaction announced on June 4, 2007. Croatia Airlines holds options on two additional Q400 aircraft. The aircraft was accepted by Vanja Roller, Executive Vice-President Maintenance and Engineering of Croatia Airlines during a ceremony at the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft delivery center at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport. “This begins a new era in the evolution of Croatia Airlines,” said Mr. Roller. “Our 76-seat Q400 aircraft will allow us to match capacity with demand on routes not suited to our larger jet aircraft. Because of the speed of the Q400 aircraft, we can also deploy it on longer routes with little additional flying time. And, of course, the Q400 aircraft has superb environmental credentials.” (Photo Copyright Bombardier Media Services)

Comments

Binter Canarias flight cancelled after gun discharge  

2008-05-21

Binter Canarias (Las Palmas) was forced to ground an ATR 72 after an incident in Fuerteventura in which a firearm was accidentally discharged in the cockpit, holing the aircraft’s fuselage. While no official Binter spokesman could be reached for comment, a source at the Spanish regional airline confirms the incident occurred during the boarding process of flight 221 from Fuerteventura to Gran Canaria. A customs official flying on duty, following the established security procedures, handed over his firearm to the captain during the normal passenger boarding process. For reasons which are still under investigation, the weapon was apparently discharged by the captain while he was storing it, while it was loaded and unsecured.

Comments

Lufthansa forced to cancel flight amid walkouts  

2008-05-21

Lufthansa (Cologne) was forced to cancel 62 flights at 3 of its carriers after pilots went on strike demanding higher wages. The Lufthansa Cityline and Eurowings brands dropped 60 services in German cities including Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, a spokeswoman for Lufthansa said today. The Germanwings low-cost affiliate scrapped 2 flights, while 22 were delayed. The Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union staged the 2 1/2-hour strike starting at 5:30 a.m. to push demands for wage increases. The walkout affected 97 flights, the union said in a statement. Pilots at Lufthansa Cityline are seeking a double-digit increase in wages and have turned down an offer by the airline for a 3% increase spread over 30 months, Thorsten Gommert, one of the union’s negotiators, said today. Germanwings pilots are asking for a wage agreement at the main Lufthansa brand to be applied to them as well, Gommert added. Lufthansa and pilots at the namesake division agreed in January on a 2.5% pay raise retroactive to October 1 and another 3% increase retroactive to January 1. Pilots at Eurowings are seeking a “substantial increase” in wages, another negotiator at the union said today, but declined to disclose a figure.

Comments

Boeing begins work on BBJ 3  

2008-05-20

Boeing (Chicago) has begun work on the first Boeing Business Jet 3 (BBJ 3). The BBJ 3 is a new, larger business jet based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-900ER (extended range), which entered commercial service and was certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in April 2007. Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency occurred in April 2008. The BBJ 3 was launched in October 2006, and will enter service in 2009 with an unidentified customer. The jet is 138 feet, 2 inches long (42.1 meters) and has 1,120 square feet (104 square meters) of floor space. Boeing Commercial Airplanes provides airplanes to Boeing Business Jets. Boeing Business Jets delivers them to customers in “green” configuration (no paint or interior) and arranges for the installation of a long-range, auxiliary fuel system. The BBJ is then sent to a completion center of the customer’s choosing for interior completion. The same CFM56-7 engines used on Next-Generation 737 commercial airplanes power the BBJ. Owners benefit from the recent addition of CFM’s Tech Insertion program, which lowers fuel burn and reduces NOx emissions to meet 2008 CAEP 6 regulations. All BBJs are equipped with Aviation Partners Boeing Blended Winglets. The winglets reduce community noise by 0.5 to 2.1 EPNdb on takeoff with a slight improvement on approach; lower emissions through lower cruise thrust; lower operating costs by reducing block fuel burn 5.8 percent on a 5,800-nautical-mile trip (approximately 540 U.S. gallons); reduce engine maintenance costs and increase the airplane’s range up to 270 nautical miles with a typical eight-passenger payload. The BBJ program focuses on features that help owners fly safely, efficiently, reliably and comfortably. Boeing currently is delivering Lower Cabin Altitude and Future Air Navigation System. Lower Cabin Altitude allows the cabin pressurization control system to regulate the cabin environment to equal a maximum cabin altitude of 6,500 feet so that passengers travel in greater comfort. Future Air Navigation System streamlines communication between flight crews and air-traffic controllers. FANS adds another layer of safety and efficiency to the global air transportation system, and allows BBJ owners to take more direct routes, shortening flight times and saving fuel. Boeing recently announced that weight-saving, emissions-reducing carbon brakes soon will be available both in production and retrofit for all BBJ operators. Owners opting for carbon brakes will realize a 320 kg (700 lb.) weight savings versus the current-technology steel brakes. Also in work is the Enhanced Vision System, which presents an infrared image of the external environment on the head-up and head-down displays. The system enhances pilot situational awareness of terrain and airport environments in low visibility situations. EVS is a tool of particular value to BBJ owners who fly into airports that don’t support autoland operations. The BBJ, BBJ 2 and BBJ 3 provide unsurpassed levels of space, comfort and utility and are backed by a top-notch product-support program with dedicated field service representatives around the world. In addition to the eight BBJ 3 orders, Boeing Business Jets has secured a total of 177 orders for BBJs and wide-body VIP versions of the 747, 767, 777 and 787. One hundred four BBJ and VIP airplanes are currently in service around the world, in addition to approximately 30 wide-body Boeing jets that are in service to governments and heads of state, sold through other means. (Story courtesy of Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Arik Air signs purchase agreement for 747-8  

2008-05-20

Arik Air (Lagos) and Boeing have signed a tentative purchase agreement for three (3) 747-8 passenger planes and seven (7) 737s. Before this agreement, Boeing only had one commerical customer for the new version of its jumbo jet. In December 2006, Lufthansa ordered twenty (20) 747-8 passenger planes. The freighter version of the jet has continued to do well. (Image Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Singapore launches intra-Asia service with A380  

2008-05-20

A Singapore Airlines (Singapore) Airbus A380 took off from Tokyo’s Narita Airport on May 20, marking the first intra-Asia service of the world’s largest commercial aircraft. With 394 passengers and 28 crew on board, flight 637’s departure was scheduled to coincide with the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Narita Airport. Chew Choon Seng, Singapore Airlines’ chief executive officer, said, “We are honoured to be the first to operate the A380 to and from Japan as part of Narita airport’s 30th anniversary celebrations. We are also pleased to celebrate our own 40th anniversary of commencement of services between Singapore and Japan with the start of A380 services.” Photo: 9V-SKD (msn 008), the fourth A380 for Singapore, approaches Singapore Changi International Airport. (Photo Copyright Schubert Foo)

Comments

Asia Pacific 727 overruns runway, ends up all wet  

2008-05-20

An Asia Pacific Airlines (Guam) Boeing 727-200 freighter skidded off of the 6,000 foot runway in Pohnpei, Micronesia Friday afternoon, ending up with its nose gear in the water that surrounds the runway. There were no injuries to crew. The accident did force the temporary closure of Pohnpei’s only airport. Airport and airline officials were attempting to move the plane earlier this week. A spokesman from the airline said the front landing gear was damaged but could not determine the extent of any other damage until the plane is moved.

Comments

Atlant-Soyuz to begin phasing out Il-86  

2008-05-20

Atlant-Soyuz (Moscow) is making plans to begin withdrawing its fleet of Ilyushin Il-86s from service as early as next year. A spokesman for the airline says that operations of the type have become increasingly limited by noise restrictions. The Russian carrier disclosed agreements that will allow it to introduce several Boeing 737-800s to its fleet in the short term. While the airline says that it is considering the possibility of replacing the widebodies , its fleet renewal program is currently focused on bringing in the 737s.

Comments

First Boeing 777 Freighter leaves paint hangar  

2008-05-19

Adorned in the Boeing (Chicago) livery, the first 777 Freighter was moved from the Everett, Wash. paint facility to Everett field this morning, bringing the airplane one step closer to its world debut. The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner (Longer Range) passenger airplane and will fly farther and provide more capacity than any other twin-engine cargo airplane. On May 21, Boeing will debut the 777 Freighter at employee celebration events in the Everett factory where the airplane is built on the same production lines as all other 777 models. Boeing expects to deliver the first 777 Freighter to its launch customer Air France (Paris) in the fourth quarter of 2008. Eleven customers around the world have ordered 78 777 Freighters. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Delta flight evacuated after engine fire  

2008-05-19

An Atlantic Southeast Airlines (Atlanta) CRJ-200 was evacuated on Sunday after the starboard engine caught fire. Flight 4320, operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines, made a rejected takeoff at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport after the crew heard a loud “pop". All passengers and crew were evacuated on the runway and no injuries were reported. Emergency response teams were at the aircraft within 90 seconds.

Comments

Air India 777 has nose-gear collapse at gate  

2008-05-19

Air India (Mumbai) is investigating what caused the nose-gear collapse on one of their Boeing 777-200ERs while parked at the gate in Mumbai on May 16. The aircraft is said to have been undergoing its pre-flight check while parked at gate 48, prior to passenger boarding as flight 717 to Dubai. Uncomfirmed reports say that the nose-gear lock had not been properly applied. No injuries have been reported due to the incident. Photo: VT-AIK (msn 28714) is shown here with collapsed nose-gear. (Photo Copyright Vishal Jolapara)

Comments

Arik Air to take delivery of new 737s today  

2008-05-19

Arik Air (Lagos) will be in Seattle today to take delivery of two newly manufactured Boeing 737-700NG aircraft. The Chairman of airline, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson, will be leading a team of Arik Air management to the delivery ceremony which will be attended by the Minister of State for Air Transportation from Nigeria. Arik Air currently has four brand new Boeing 737-700NG aircraft in its fleet. Two of them were delivered in July 2007 and the other two in December 2007.

Comments

Sukhoi Superjet makes first flight  

2008-05-19

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 made its first flight earlier today (May 19). The event took place in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and lasted for 40 minutes. The flight was originally planned to occur before the end of 2007, but had been postponed. The aircraft is the first new airliner created in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, and is expected to start replacing some older Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 models. With orders for 73 already, it will be produced in two basic models, one with 78 seats and the other with 98 seats.

Comments

LOT suspends Beijing services after 787 delay  

2008-05-19

LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw) has moved to suspend its Warsaw-Beijing services, blaming delays in the delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. A spokesman for the airline said, “In the present situation, the profitability of the connection to Beijing could only be ensured by Boeing 787 aircraft. LOT, just like any other company operating in a competitive market, cannot sustain losses on account of activities it pursues. The profitability of the Far East - Warsaw connection is also adversely affected by the necessity of following the southern route and high fuel prices.” The airline says its first 787s will begin arriving in 2010 rather than this year, and says it will postpone the development of its Far East program until then. (Image Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

New Airport opens in Dong Hoi, Vietnam  

2008-05-19

The Ministry of Transport and the Quang Binh Province People’s Committee on Sunday inaugurated the new Dong Hoi Airport in Vietnam. The airfield required a total investment of over $13.3 million USD to complete from the Northern Airports Authority. It covers roughly 46,000 square feet, can handle aircraft the size of an Airbus A321, and can handle approximately 500,000 passengers per year. Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) will be starting out providing three flights per week from Hanoi for $47 USD each way.

Comments

British Airways to ground aircraft to save money  

2008-05-19

British Airways (London) is taking preventative measures to ensure the airline saves as much money as possible in the face of an ever-soaring fuel bill. The carrier will be grounding a portion of its fleet starting in October to this end. The first planes to be grounded will be older Boeing 747, 767, and 737 aircraft. After just releasing banner numbers for the year, British Airways is concerned about what the future has in store if oil remains above the $110 per barrel mark. A spokesman for the airline says this move might not save them from barely breaking even next year, or possibly even generating a loss.

Comments

Afghani terrorist arrested working at Heathrow  

2008-05-18

An Afghan man involved in a hijacking eight years ago has been arrested after he was found working at London Heathrow airport as a cleaner. Nazamuddin Mohammidy was among nine terrorists that took control of an Afghan flight in 2000. The hijackers forced the aircraft to land at London Stansted Airport and threatened to blow it up unless they were granted asylum. Mohammidy was recently arrested while driving a car around the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport. Police suspected he was an unlicensed cab driver but were stunned when checks revealed he was one of the hijackers. Additionally, Mohammidy even had a British Airways pass on him. British Airways spokesman said Mohammidy did not work inside the airport and was not issued an airside pass. Metropolitan police said the Afghan has been charged with bodily assault and was in breach of bail.

Comments

Delta and Northwest...one step closer  

2008-05-16

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis), as well as Northwest’s subsidiaries, today filed application to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for transferring all route authorities held by Northwest and subsidiaries to the Delta name. Docket: 2008-0162

Comments

Cayman Airways to add Saab 2000 to fleet  

2008-05-16

Cayman Airways (George Town) has agreed to purchase two 50-seat Saab 2000 aircraft to join the carrier’s fleet of three Boeing 737s. The aircraft will enable direct flights from South Florida to Cayman Brac. Minister of Tourism, Environment, Investment and Commerce, the Hon. Charles Clifford said that the Twin Otters, which now provide inter-island service on CAL Express, will continue to fly. However, flights on the Saab 2000s would be extended to Little Cayman once its airstrip infrastructure is upgraded, making it possible to sell the Twin Otters.

Comments

Flybaboo rebrands to become just Baboo  

2008-05-16

Flybaboo (Geneva) is changing its name to become Baboo. A new red and white vertical logo positions the brand more strongly, more visibly and in a more differentiated manner and now characterizes the airline. This change of image underpins the strong growth strategy implemented by the addition of four new destinations - three of which are in Eastern Europe - and by the arrival of three brand-new Embraer 190 aircraft. These developments will enable Baboo to triple the number of its passengers. Jacques Bankir, CEO, commented, “In this fast-changing environment, our aims are to keep control of rapid growth and to explore new opportunities for partnerships, while attaining the profitability threshold. We also wish to accomplish these developments without departing from the Flybaboo spirit.” Baboo is continuing its expansion dynamic by adding the new destinations of St. Petersburg, Kiev, Sofia and Vienna, accompanied by an increase in the frequencies of existing flights. The Geneva-Nice route is thus to be increased to three daily flights as of the end of May. In a bid to optimize sales, the airline is strengthening its sales team so as to respond to client’s demand even better. In addition, Baboo is announcing the launch of a range of “Flexi fare” products comprising three classes of differentiated tariffs: Baboo saver class for economical fares, Baboo semi-flexible - a system similar to the one currently in force -, and Baboo flexible to offer its customers a maximum of benefits. In a few days’ time Baboo’s customers will be able to fly aboard one of the three Embraer 190s that will be introduced between now and July 2008. Two further aircraft will be put into operation in spring 2009. This new aircraft, with a 100-seat capacity, offers a level of comfort never attained before on regional routes. With four abreast seating, a carry-on and hold baggage capacity previously unknown on regional aircraft, the E190 will be assigned to the longest routes in Eastern Europe and to some of the Geneva-Nice and Geneva-Rome flights. “I am proud to count the E-Jet among the aircraft in our fleet. It is sure to be very popular with our passengers for its qualities in terms of performance, ecology and comfort. Personally, I was lucky enough to have taken part in the delivery transfer of the aircraft from Brazil, which was an emotion-charged experience”, explained François Bouteiller, the airline’s COO. The desire to retain the Flybaboo spirit is illustrated by this blend of freshness, youth and “being different” that remains present in the new identity. This new image meets not only the need for consistency but also the desire to impose a stronger positioning, motivated by the considerable increase in the number of passengers and the extension of the offering. In this respect some specifically Swiss features, such as the Swiss flag, the animals and the edelweiss, are part of this new brand universe. According to many passengers, they are associated with Swiss reliability. Clearer identification should also make it possible to publicize Baboo better abroad. Photo: Baboo’s new Embraer 190 in the carrier’s new colors. (Photo Copyright Quentin Kozuchowski)

Comments

Singapore slowly phasing out passenger 747s  

2008-05-16

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) announced this week that it expects to phase out its remaining Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft within three years and is all but ruling out ordering the 747-8 freighter to replace its 747-400 freighter fleet. The carrier has been progressively retiring 747-400 passenger aircraft from its fleet which is less than half the size of what it was four years ago, with 18 remaining in service today. Some are being converted into freighters but most have been sold to other operators. Singapore has been replacing the large passenger aircraft with Airbus A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs. CEO Chew Choon Seng said, “We are not convinced about the additional expenditure that would be needed to renew the freighter fleet with 747-8 freighters, when the tradeoffs in terms of operating efficiency is rather marginal, in our view. So we do not need that. The mix of the 747-400 freighters that we have plus what we have in hand, in terms of conversions of our passenger aircraft into freighters that will be undertaken in the next couple of years or so, that would serve our needs adequately".

Comments

Compass FA charged with setting fire inflight  

2008-05-16

Eder Rojas, 19, a flight attendant for Compass Airlines (Minneapolis), was very upset about his assigned route, so he decided to take charge of the situation by setting a fire in the aircraft’s lavatory, causing the pilot of the Embraer 175 to make a forced landing. The flight, enroute from Minneapolis to Regina, was carrying 72 passengers and 4 crew members when it was forced to make an emergency landing in Fargo. There were no injuries as a result of the incident; however, Rojas faces up 20 years in prison being charged with setting fire aboard a civil aircraft. He appeared in court Thursday and was ordered to be held without bail. In addition to his charges, the flight attendant was also fired from his job.

Comments

British Airways' profits finally soaring  

2008-05-16

British Airways (London) announced a rise in its profits for the year to date. The airline’s pre-profits rose 44.5% to £833 million. This allowed the carrier to pay out its first dividend since 2001. Chief Executive Willie Walsh has been under pressure to turn around the fortunes of the airline, which has struggled over the last few years with a price-fixing scandal, plunging share prices, and March’s Terminal 5 debacle. Even with soaring profits, Mr. Walsh has announced that he will not be taking a bonus from the performance. In a radio interview, Mr. Walsh said, “I am not getting a bonus. I felt it would be inappropriate in the context of the very disappointing opening of Terminal 5 in March. So despite the fact it was a record year in terms of our financial performance, I advised the chairman that I thought it would be inappropriate. I have made it very clear I was very disappointed at the way we had performed.” The airline met its target of a 10% operating margin, and said it has paid its staff a £35 million bonus. Photo: A British Airways Boeing 747-400 departs from London Heathrow. (Photo Copyright Eileen Dover - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Fleet News for the week of May 11, 2008  

2008-05-15

Dragonair leased two new Airbus A320s from CIT Aerospace for delivery in 2009 and 2010. GA Telesis purchased Airbus A310-300 (msn 495; leased to Hi Fly, which wet-leases to Oman Air) from Airbus Financial Services. SAS purchased two Boeing 737-600s (msn 28304/28305) from Globespan Airways (Flyglobespan). Dana Airlines acquired second ex-Alaska Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83 (msn 53018). Atlas Air purchased ex-Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-400F (msn 28367). GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) leased new Airbus A320 (msn 3503) to Virgin America, new A320 (msn 3470) to Air France, and a new Boeing 737-900ER (msn 36539) to XL Airways UK. Jetstar Airways, Australia leased second ex-Spirit Airlines Airbus A321 (msn 1195) from a Sydney-based SPC. FEDEX Express purchased ex-Thomsonfly Boeing 757-200 (msn 26266). BBAM purchased a Boeing 737-500 (msn 27434) from ANA, and leased it to Hokkaido International Airlines. Travel Service leased a new Boeing 737-800W (msn 35275) from ILFC. Nouvelair leased a new Airbus A320 (msn 3480) from AerVenture. BBAM purchased an Airbus A319 (msn 2283; leased to easyJet) from RBS Aviation Capital. FEDEX Express purchased fifth ex-Qatar Airways Airbus A300-600 (msn 664) from AWAS. Air Italy wet-leased a Boeing 757-200 (msn 24924) from Astraeus for six months for its Poland-based charter unit.

Comments

Beirut airport set to resume operations  

2008-05-15

A Middle East Airlines (MEA)(Beirut) flight is set to arrive at Beirut’s international airport today, marking resumption of commercial flights suspended for a week. The MEA flight from Paris is scheduled to arrive at 1900 and depart to Larnaca, Cyprus at 2030 (all times local). Lebanon’s only international airport has effectively been shut down since last Thursday because of the worst unrest to grip the country since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

Comments

Boeing delivers 300th jetliner to GECAS  

2008-05-15

The Boeing Company (Chicago) and GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) on Tuesday celebrated the delivery of the leasing company’s 300th Boeing jetliner, a Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplane, that GECAS customer XL Airways (Crawley) will operate under lease. The airplane, shown here during a test flight, is equipped with performance-enhancing Blended Winglets, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4 percent, and will be the first 737-900ER to join the XL Airways fleet. GECAS, the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing businesses of GE, ordered its first Boeing airplane, a 767-300ER, in August 1995, and has ordered 433 Boeing airplanes to date including 737 Classics, Next-Generation 737s, 747s, 757s, 767s and 777s. Currently, it has a fleet of 1,475 owned aircraft it leases to more than 230 airlines in 70 countries. The 737-900ER has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat mile than its competitor – which is more than 9,550 pounds (4,340 kg) heavier. The 737-900ER is the latest airplane to join the Next-Generation 737 family, which includes the 737-600, -700, -700ER and -800, and shares the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation series models. XL Airways is a charter airline based in the UK and is part of the XL Leisure Group, the third largest travel group in the UK. The airline flies to more than 100 destinations across three continents with a fleet of 37 aircraft. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Air France's Régional orders two more E-jets  

2008-05-15

Embraer announced today that Air France (Paris) subsidiary Régional has placed orders for two (2) more of its E170 jets. The order is worth approximately $63 million USD at current prices. This brings Régional’s orders for the E-jets to fourteen (14) that will join the six (6) it already has in service. These recent orders are due for delivery in 2009.

Comments

Singapore launches all-business service to US  

2008-05-15

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) launched its new all-Business Class service to New York (Newark) from Singapore today. Flight 22 departed Singapore at approximately 1100 and is expected to arrive in New York at 1750. The return flight, SQ 21, will depart from New York at 2300 the same day and arrive back into Singapore at 0550 on May 17 (all times local). The newly reconfigured Airbus A340-500 is fitted with 100 of the Airline’s new award-winning Business Class seats. With this new configuration, Singapore Airlines is the first to operate an all-Business Class service on the transpacific. Photo: A Singapore A340-500 departs from Singapore Changi International Airport. (Photo Copyright Schubert Foo - Ninervictor Spotting Group)

Comments

Norwegian 737 makes emergency landing after fire  

2008-05-15

A Boeing 737 from low-cost operator Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo) landed safely at Prague’s Ruzyne airport Wednesday after reporting a fire. The flight to Oslo reported a fire onboard approximately 20 minutes after takeoff and elected to return to Prague. None of the 131 passengers or crew were injured during the event. After landing, firefighters inspected the aircraft’s interior, but found no sign of fire or smoke. The incident is under investigation.

Comments

DHL to axe ABX DC-9s from service?  

2008-05-15

At a recent ABX Holdings Inc. (Wilmington) stockholders meeting, President and CEO Joe Hete said that he expects DHL (Bonn) to announce a modified business model for the U.S. market during the last week of May. DHL has stated it will continue to operate in the United States, but that it must improve its bottom line in America, where it has yet to see a profit since deciding earlier this decade to try to become a third player in the U.S. express freight market along with the entrenched UPS (Louisville) and FedEx (Memphis). In Hete’s presentation at the meeting, he touched upon one possible aspect of DHL’s new U.S. business plan. DHL has said the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 is not its favored aircraft, and ABX has 47 of them. With this in mind, Hete believes that ABX will see a major reduction in its fleet size if cuts are made to the DC-9 fleet. Photo: ABX operates several DC-9 aircraft, hauling freight for DHL. (Photo Copyright William Appleton)

Comments

United modifies frequent flier mileage policy  

2008-05-14

United Airlines (Chicago) just announced a new policy with regards to how their frequent fliers gain mileage. Prior to this, travellers who were on flights of less than 500 miles would be awarded 500 miles to their account. The carrier released this statement this afternoon: To ensure that Mileage Plus miles earned toward elite status and award travel on United are aligned with actual miles flown, we are revising our base accrual policy. Beginning July 1, 2008, for flights of less than 500 miles, passengers will earn redeemable miles equal to the actual miles flown. Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) will also be awarded based on actual miles. Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) are not affected. This new mileage accrual structure will apply to travel on or after July 1, 2008, regardless of when the travel was ticketed. Flights of less than 500 miles flown on or before June 30, 2008, will accrue Mileage Plus miles under the previous policy of a minimum mileage accrual per individual segment flown. As other airlines have followed suit in the past with cost saving policies, it would not be surprising to see other airlines adopt this policy in the coming weeks.

Comments

Delta pilots approve merger with Northwest  

2008-05-14

In a major step forward towards a merger, Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) announced on Wednesday that its pilots had cleared merger plans with Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis). The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) had informed the carrier that their pilots had overwhelmingly voted to approve a change in their current contract that would promote revenue synergies in the new company. “We are pleased with the Delta pilots’ decision to ratify a modification to their current contract, marking an important step towards combining our two great airlines,” said Delta chief executive Richard Anderson. The future Delta and its regional partners would serve 390 destinations in 67 countries, have combined revenues of more than $35 billion USD, a fleet of nearly 800 aircraft (barring any cuts) and about 75,000 employees worldwide. Both parties expect the deal to be completed by the end of the year, after approval from regulators and shareholders.

Comments

Sun Country leases 737-700 for summer  

2008-05-14

Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) will be leading a Boeing 737-700 for increased passenger loads during the summer travel season. As a result, the carrier is recalling some of their pilots affected by last month’s staff reductions to accommodate the newly increased flight schedule. The aircraft will join Sun Country’s existing fleet of Boeing 737-800s and is configured for 12 first class and 112 coach seats.

Comments

Mesa Air Group shuts down Air Midwest operations  

2008-05-14

Mesa Air Group has been forced to shut down subsidiary carrier Air Midwest due to high fuel costs. The Phoenix-based airline operated Air Midwest under the federal government’s Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which subsidizes flights on routes that otherwise would be unprofitable. The carrier began filing notices with the Department of Transportation (DOT) of its intent to terminate EAS beginning over a year ago. “Although we are unable to continue to provide service, Air Midwest plans to cooperate with the DOT and any replacement carriers in the interest of lessening the impact on the communities affected,” said Greg Stephens, Air Midwest’s President. Photo: Air Midwest is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, and currently operates 20 Beech 1900D 19-seat airliners serving 27 cities throughout the United States. (Photo Copyright Oktawian Kosiorek)

Comments

ANA & JAL seek leases to fill 787 capacity gap   

2008-05-14

All Nippon Airways (ANA)(Tokyo) and Japan Airlines (JAL)(Tokyo) are currently in negotiations with Boeing to lease new-build 767-300ERs to compensate for capacity shortfalls caused by delays in the 787 Dreamliner program. ANA earlier this month put in a request to take 15 767-300ERs on lease, with tentative lease terms to be determined. ANA wants the right to give the aircraft back at any time. ANA has also asked if Boeing will supply 777s on the same arrangements, although no specific numbers were mentioned in its request. JAL is believed to have put in a request to Boeing for a similar number of 767s on lease. The two airlines expect to hear back from the airframer next month.

Comments

Boeing delivers ILFC's 400th 737 aircraft  

2008-05-13

The Boeing Company (Chicago) and International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) on Monday celebrated the delivery of the leasing company’s 400th Boeing 737 airplane, a Next-Generation 737-800 that ILFC customer Travel Service will operate under lease. The airplane, shown here during a test flight, is equipped with performance-enhancing Blended Winglets, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4 percent. ILFC, an international market leader in the leasing and remarketing of commercial jet aircraft to airlines around the world, received its first 737, a 737-200, in June 1978. With this delivery, ILFC has received a total of 660 jetliners from Boeing including MD-11s, MD-80s, 727s, 737 Classics, Next-Generation 737s, 747s, 757s, 767s and 777s. Currently, ILFC’s portfolio includes more than 900 jet airplanes valued at more than $50 billion. Travel Service, a Prague-based carrier together with its 100-percent-owned Hungarian subsidiary Travel Service Kft., operates an all-Boeing fleet of 12 737s, including 10 Next-Generation 737-800s. The company offers charter flights to more than 230 airports on four continents, as well as low-cost scheduled service to major European destinations through its Smart Wings brand. The airline also has one 787 Dreamliner and two Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplanes on order. The Next-Generation 737 family is the most technologically advanced airplane family in the single-aisle market. The Next-Generation 737’s market success is confirmed by air finance investors, who consistently rank it as the most preferred airplane due to its wide market base, superior efficiency and lowest operating costs in its class. More than 110 customers around the world have ordered more than 4,720 Next-Generation 737s. Boeing has unfilled orders for more than 2,200 Next-Generation 737s that are worth in excess of $155 billion at current list prices. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Northwest 757 makes emergency landing in Las Vegas  

2008-05-13

A Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis) 757-200 with 193 passengers and crew declared an emergency after departing Los Angeles yesterday morning when a 3 foot by 2 foot panel ripped from the rear upper section of the right wing, hit the window at passenger row 28 and then damaged the right side of the horizontal stabilizer. Flight 332, enroute to Detroit, made an emergency landing at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. No one was reported injured during the event, and no emergency evacuation was made. The incident is currently under investigation.

Comments

Airbus completes review of A380 delivery schedule  

2008-05-13

Airbus has recently completed their review of the A380 program, and has started informing customers to expect more delays. The manufacturer will deliver 12 A380s this year instead of the 13 planned, 21 in 2009 rather than 25, and between 30 and 40 aircraft two years from now instead of 42. Airbus says that the delays stem from the time needed to install the 300 miles of cabin wiring that goes into each airframe. The first 25 A380s are being outfitted by hand at Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse rather than in Hamburg as the original plan called for. Starting with the 26th plane, the manufacturer had aimed to use automated processes to install wiring and return the work to Hamburg. Just how airlines will take the news remains to be seen. Airbus currently has total orders of 192 for the A380, with just 4 delivered and operational with Singapore Airlines (Singapore). Among those eager to get their hands on the controls are Emirates Airline (Dubai)(58 orders), Qantas Airways (Sydney)(20), Lufthansa (Cologne)(15), British Airways (London)(12), and Virgin Atlantic (London)(6). A spokesman for Airbus said, “Details about the new plan and the further ramp-up and delivery slots in 2010 and the following years will be discussed with customers in the coming weeks. The results of this review do not, at this stage, cover the financial impact. The extent of the additional costs will be influenced by the actual production and delivery scenario. This will follow discussions with the customers and a more precise evaluation of the implications of the new delivery schedule for 2010 deliveries and beyond. This will therefore take some more time to determine.”

Comments

SAA shopping around for new aircraft  

2008-05-13

South African Airways (SAA)(Johannesburg) is planning to submit a request for proposals (RFP) to Airbus and Boeing for a new medium and long-range fleet plan. The RFP is to be submitted later this month, at which point the carrier will outline the number of aircraft sought, as well as purchase and funding scenarios, which is likely to involve a mix of out-right aircraft purchases and leasing arrangements. SAA could seek to initiate a competitive bidding process between Boeing and Airbus, probably built around the B787 and A350, later this year, both of which are viewed as considerably more fuel efficient than the current operational fleet. SAA might also consider the purchase of Airbus’ super jumbo, the A380.

Comments

BA crash landing likely caused by fuel freeze  

2008-05-12

The crash of British Airways (London) flight 38 at London Heathrow Airport in January of this year could have possibly been caused by abnormally cold weather conditions over Russia, air investigators have now said. Experts have homed in on fuel flow as the key issue which led to the crash landing of the Boeing 777. The Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) released a report saying that the drop in temperatures to -105°F (-76°C) may have caused the fuel in the aircraft to thicken during the flight. This translated in the aircraft being unable to get additional thrust required during the landing phase. Further tests are required to determine exactly what happened. In its report the AAIB has focused on the “region of particularly cold air” between the Urals and Eastern Scandinavia during the 10-hour flight from Beijing to Heathrow. It found that temperatures plummeted far lower than would have been expected for the region. While the average freezing temperature of aviation fuel is -53°F (-47°C), tests showed that the fuel used on the airliner does not turn to ice until -71°F (-57°C). Tests also found that the fuel temperature throughout the flight never dropped below -29°F (-34°C). Even if the fuel had not become frozen it could have thickened to an unusual extent, which could have restricted its flow. Further testing on fuel is being carried out both at Rolls-Royce’s engine plant in Derby and Boeing’s factory in Seattle. A number of other theories have been ruled out by the AAIB that include birds flying into the engine or possibly ice blocking the engine intake. Photo: G-YMMM (msn 30314) lost thrust in both engines at 600 feet coming in to land on January 17, 2008. (Photo Copyright Darren Varney - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Far Eastern Air Trasport (FAT) ceases operations  

2008-05-12

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) under the Ministry of Transportation of Communications last night ordered the debt-ridden Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT)(Taipei) to fly over 2,000 passengers that would otherwise be stranded overseas back to Taiwan before suspending all its operations. The CAA issued the order during a coordinated meeting with FAT and other airlines after FAT announced it would shut down its operations starting today. Debt-ridden FAT filed for bankruptcy protection with the Taipei District Court February 17, and has sought new investors or injections of capital from its major stock holders since then. On May 1, the labor union of the financially-troubled carrier claimed they would cease offering labor service if its management fails to clear overdue salaries payable to them before May 15.

Comments

El Al finalizes 777 order with Boeing  

2008-05-12

Boeing (Chicago) and El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) have finalized an order for four (4) 777-200ERs that has been in negotiation since March of this year. Additionally, the airline has secured options for two (2) more 777s and holds conversion rights for the 777-300ER, a larger version of the 777 with increased payload and range capability. The order could potentially be worth $850 million USD at current list prices.

Comments

Delta closing nine business lounges  

2008-05-12

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has announced that it will be closing nine of its VIP lounges (eight Crown Room Clubs and one BusinessElite Lounge) in the United States and England. Although the airline justified the closures with the need to manage costs due to hefty fuel prices, a spokeswoman for the carrier said the move also is designed to align Delta’s worldwide offering of clubs to its flight schedule. The locations Delta slated for closure are at airports serving Boston, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Seattle, San Juan, Phoenix, Denver, Honolulu, and London. Most of those airports have multiple Crown Room Clubs and will retain at least one location.

Comments

Virgin America looks toward Chicago  

2008-05-12

Virgin America (San Francisco) today announced that it will seek government approval to serve Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Chicago would be the eighth city in the airline’s ever-growing network of service to primary airports in major urban cities. If successful, the carrier plans to offer four daily round-trip flights to both San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Chicago is one of the nation’s top travel markets, a world-class city, and a perfect fit for our innovative, low-fare service,” said Virgin America President and Chief Executive Officer David Cush. “We want to bring Chicago travelers a better choice, with attractive fares and brand new planes that offer a unique, upscale flying experience – from leather seats to individual video touch-screens at every seatback. When more airlines compete, consumers win with lower fares and better service. We think that savvy Chicago travelers will find our high-value, low-fare service a breath of fresh air. The mayor, airport, and city have shown tremendous vision by investing in O’Hare’s future, with long-term investments, such as the new runway coming online this fall that will expand and modernize one of the world’s busiest travel hubs. We want to be part of O’Hare’s future.” Virgin’s request may have started something of a controversy at the already congested airport. Once new landing rights are made available at O’Hare, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said it plans to give priority to new entrants. However, United Airlines (Chicago) and American Airlines (Fort Worth), which cut flights several years ago at the federal government’s request, have long contended that they should be given precedence for landing rights. Mary Frances Fagan, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said, “We welcome all competition. We look forward to flying our customers to the hundreds of destinations that they don’t fly to.” Photo: Virgin America currently serves seven destinations with new Airbus aircraft. (Photo Copyright Maciek Flis - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Two injured evacuating China Eastern flight  

2008-05-12

Two passengers were injured during the evacuation of a China Eastern (Shanghai) flight bound for Wuhan after a fire alarm was raised during take off at the Beijing Capital International Airport. The crew aborted the take off and evacuated all 117 passengers on board the Boeing 737. One passenger broke bones in his right leg and left arm during the evacuation and the other sustained minor injuries to a leg. Both were transported to the hospital. The cause of the fire alarm is currently under investigation.

Comments

Bombardier's CRJ1000 to take flight in July  

2008-05-11

Bombardier’s (Montreal) NextGen regional jet the CRJ1000 is on course to take to the air this summer, with the first flight likely to be in July. Bombardier has 39 firm orders from four customers for the 100-seat aircraft, and says that it is actively planning the ramp-up of CRJ1000 activities for 2009 and 2010. At the recent RAA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, a spokesman for the manufacturer told JetPhotos.net News that deliveries are scheduled to start before the end of 2009, but would not reveal the identity of the first airline to receive the new aircraft. (Photo Copyright Bombardier Media Services)

Comments

Spring Airlines expected to order 30 A320s  

2008-05-09

A spokesman for Spring Airlines (Shanghai) says that the carrier is planning to order thirty (30) Airbus A320s as part of its plan to expand its fleet to 100 aircraft by 2015. The company is awaiting regulatory approval to place the order.

Comments

Finnair Airbus to go retro  

2008-05-09

Finnair (Vantaa), one of the oldest operating airlines in the world, is celebrating 85 years of operations by painting one of its Airbus A319s in the livery of a Convair aircraft which Finnair flew under its original name Aero in the 1950s. The retro aircraft will begin flights at the end of July and the aircraft’s crew is also dressed in the spirit of the times in 1950s uniforms. “With this special aircraft we want to pay respect to Finnair’s long experience in flying. Even though our sights are set on the future as we build Finnair into the airline of choice in air travel in the Northern Hemisphere, it is also a good idea to look back and remember our distinguished history,” says Finnair SVP Commercial Division Mika Perho. The surface of the aircraft will be shining metal colour, its sides will have blue stripes and the text Finnish Airlines. The retro theme is also visible inside the aircraft both in the in-flight service and entertainment. The A319 will retain its retro livery for several years to come as an unscheduled painting of the aircraft would unnecessarily burden the environment. The retro aircraft will operate normal scheduled domestic and European routes, but it will also fly some special flights. For instance, Finnair’s Helsinki-Amsterdam route celebrates 60 years of service this year. (Story and Photo Copyright Finnair Media Services)

Comments

EuroManx ceases operations today  

2008-05-09

Euromanx (Isle of Man) announced earlier this morning that it would be ceasing operations effective immediately. The airline, which launched five years ago, said in a statement, “Our employees have worked hard to develop and grow the business, but over the last six months a number of factors including rising fuel prices and reduced passenger numbers have proved to be insurmountable obstacles to the airline being able to continue to operate.” Photo: EuroManx operated a small fleet of aircraft on cheap flights to Liverpool, Belfast, Manchester, and London City. (Photo Copyright Kevin Murphy - 360° Spotter)

Comments

easyJet wants to convert A319 orders into A320  

2008-05-08

easyJet (London) is looking to Airbus to convert some of its existing firm orders for the A319 into orders for the larger A320. The carrier is making the changes to drive down its aircraft ownership costs and counter spiralling fuel prices. The airline has 115 A319s on firm order and options on a further 88. The 88 options, which are valid until 2015, may be taken as any A320 family aircraft.

Comments

Qatar Airways to seek compensation from Boeing  

2008-05-08

Qatar Airways (Doha) is moving to seek compensation from Boeing over delays in the delivery of their new 787 Dreamliner. In addition, the carrier will exercise the purchase options that they hold on additional 777 aircraft to take them through the delay. A spokesman for the airline estimated that they would need around five of the 777 aircraft to compensate for the reported delay. (Image courtesy of Boeing Media Services)

Comments

American jet sheds panel inflight; continues to Paris  

2008-05-08

Federal Officials are looking into an incident involving an American Airlines (Fort Worth) Boeing 767 that lost a panel from its belly section after taking off from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on its way to Paris. While flying over the Atlantic Ocean on April 20, the pilots heard a loud noise they thought was “cargo shifting". All of the people aboard the aircraft felt and heard noises as well. A flight attendant described it as “a loud shaking noise from the belly of the plane”. The noise was followed shortly by another one that “sounded like an explosion”. The jet continued its flight as if nothing had happened, but after the landing in Paris, the crew found out that a panel about two (2) feet by three (3) feet that was covering one of two air conditioners was missing. Upon the discovery, federal regulators initiated the investigation. American Airlines declined to comment on the matter. The airline’s flight department said the captain “did exactly what we want our captains to do. There was no way this crew could have known this panel had departed. If they had known, they obviously would have returned,” said Jim Kaiser, American’s manager of flight operations quality control, and Chuck Harman, the airline’s fleet captain for Boeing 757 and 767 planes.

Comments

Bahrain Air looks to purchase 6 new aircraft  

2008-05-07

Bahrain Air (Manama) is set to purchase six (6) new aircraft at a cost of $270 million USD as part of its plans to expand. The airline has registered a steady growth since its inaugural flight took off from Bahrain International Airport on February 3, this year to Dubai. “Bahrain Air is now negotiating with two aircraft manufacturers to purchase six new aircraft to be added to its existing fleet of modern aircraft,” said Mr. Al Hamer, Managing Director for the airline.

Comments

Qatar Airways interested in more A380s  

2008-05-07

Qatar Airways (Doha) announced on Wednesday that it is considering buying more of the Airbus A380. Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker did not indicate exactly how many new A380s the airline would order saying only, “We are doing capacity studies at the moment. Once we are ready. We will decide on additional orders for the A380.” The carrier currently has five (5) of the aircraft on order.

Comments

New Brazilian airline finally has a name  

2008-05-06

The new domestic Brazilian airline being planned by JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman has announced its name, and it is somewhat familiar. Azul, which is Portuguese for blue, was selected during a contest to name the new carrier. Mr. Neeleman and his team selected ten names (from a list of over 157,000 possibilities) submitted for a final vote, which narrowed the lead entries to two names, Azul and Samba. Samba actually received more votes but the company preferred Azul. The first people who entered Azul and Samba in the contest each will receive two lifetime passes for free travel on the airline. The carrier, which has attracted $150 million in startup capital, plans to take wing in January from its Sao Paulo base with Brazilian-built Embraer 195 jetliners outfitted with 118 leather seats and LiveTV.

Comments

Futura takes delivery of two 737-900ERs  

2008-05-06

The Boeing Company last week delivered Europe’s first two Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplanes to GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) and its leasing customer, Spanish carrier Futura International Airways, based in Palma de Mallorca. “We are very satisfied to take delivery of the first Next-Generation 737-900ER for Europe through our lessor GECAS,” said Román Pané, CEO of Futura. “Our experience in operating the 737 will be expanded with this new aircraft model, allowing us the longest range possible for our international fleet.” Boeing launched the 737-900ER program in July 2005. The 737-900ER, the newest member of the Next-Generation 737 airplane family, increases the capability of the 737 by carrying more passengers and flying farther. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the 737-900ER April 22. “Futura International Airways has established itself as a leader in the European aviation community by becoming the first carrier to operate the new 737-900ER,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales for Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Futura will be the first carrier in Europe to use the 737-900ER’s new range capabilities to take its passengers to new destinations. We are honored that Futura’s customers will experience the latest innovations the 737-900ER has to offer.” The twin-engine jet incorporates a new pair of exit doors and a flat rear-pressure bulkhead that allow a maximum capacity of 220 passengers in a single-class layout. Aerodynamic and structural design changes, including strengthened wings, a two-position tailskid, enhancements to the leading and trailing-edge flap systems, optional Blended Winglets and auxiliary fuel tanks, will allow the 737-900ER to accommodate higher takeoff weights and increase its range to 3,200 nautical miles (5,900 km). The 737-900ER has substantial economic advantages over heavier competing models including 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat mile. The 737-900ER joins the 737-600, -700, -700ER and -800 airplanes and will share the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation 737 series models. As of March 31, nine customers have placed orders for 229 Next-Generation 737-900ERs, and more than 7,900 orders have been placed for 737s. Boeing has more than 2,100 unfilled orders for the Next-Generation 737. Futura International Airways was created by Aer Lingus in 1989. It operates a fleet of 32 Boeing airplanes and transports more than 3 million passengers a year. Its long-haul services include Canada, Indonesia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Egypt and Gambia. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Ozjet to be sold to Heavylift Cargo Airlines  

2008-05-06

OzJet (Melbourne) has confirmed that it has been sold off to a Sydney-based cargo company in a new multi-million dollar deal. The deal, which was announced earlier this week, sees HeavyLift Cargo Airlines acquire OzJet’s entire fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. Nick Leach, HeavyLift Cargo Airlines Chairman, and newly appointed OzJet Chairman, said, “I am delighted with the acquisition of OzJet and look forward to the synergies that can be achieved with our existing fleet of Boeing 727 Cargo aircraft.” Current plans are for OzJet to maintain its progress into a successful schedule and specialist charter airline. Photo: An Ozjet 737 departs from Barcelona. (Photo Copyright Sebastian Fernandez - Iberian Spotters)

Comments

Boeing and Iraqi government announce airplane order  

2008-05-05

Boeing (Chicago) and the Government of Iraq today announced an order for 30 Boeing 737-800 commercial airplanes, the first step in re-establishing that country’s scheduled commercial aviation operations. Iraq has also contracted options for 10 additional 737s. Valued at $2.2 billion at current list prices, the order was previously accounted for on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer. In addition, Iraq and Boeing are finalizing an agreement for 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which will allow an Iraqi national airline to provide longer-range commercial service. The 787s will be added to Boeing’s order book when the contract is completed. “Today marks a new beginning for Iraq,” Minister of Finance Bager M. Jabor Al Zubaidy said during a signing ceremony that was also attended by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Carson. “We are very comfortable with our selection of Boeing airplanes as the basis of our fleet renewal and pleased to count Boeing as a trusted partner in supporting our reconstructive efforts.” In recent months Boeing and Iraqi officials have discussed how Boeing can assist with the reconstruction of Iraq’s aviation infrastructure and preparation for delivery and operation of new airplanes. Boeing will offer advice and expertise in areas such as the planning and development of airport infrastructure throughout Iraq; helping train aviation sector personnel; aiding in the selection and acquisition of airline support equipment; and arranging for cost-effective maintenance and service solutions for used aircraft obtained prior to new airplane deliveries. “Today is truly a milestone event for Boeing and for Iraq,” Carson said. “The operational characteristics of the Boeing Next-Generation 737 and 787 Dreamliner are unbeatable and, as we work together in support of Iraq’s plan to build a national carrier, we envision the day when a modern and efficient fleet of airplanes will directly support Iraq’s economic development and growth.”

Comments

Korean Air to launch LCC Air Korea  

2008-05-05

Korean Air (Seoul) is on target to begin scheduled operations of its new low-cost subsidiary Air Korea by July. “Korean Air can’t serve the low-cost demand alone,” said Vice President of International Affairs and Alliances Bang Sun. First flights with a single aircraft will operate between Seoul Gimpo and Jeju. The LCC’s fleet eventually will comprise of up to five (5) aircraft, a mix of A300-600s and 737-800s. Air Korea will fly only domestically.

Comments

Allegiant Air flight overruns runway in Colorado  

2008-05-05

An Allegiant Air (Las Vegas) flight from Las Vegas overran the runway while landing at the Loveland-Fort Collins Municipal Airport on Sunday afternoon. Flight 464 touched down around 1:45pm local time and ran about ten (10) feet past the end of the runway. “They landed a little bit long and overshot the runway,” said Tye Drage, public information officer for Loveland Fire and Rescue. None of the 156 passengers and crew aboard were injured in the incident. Airline officials reportedly were able to restart the aircraft’s engines and get it back on the runway after the passengers were removed from the aircraft. Photo: An Allegiant Air MD-83 departs from the Loveland-Fort Collins Airport. (Photo Copyright Eric Patrick)

Comments

United Airlines facing fines at O'Hare  

2008-05-05

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $215,500 USD in fines against United Airlines (Chicago) at O’Hare International Airport after alleging multiple serious and repeat violations of U.S. federal workplace safety standards. The agency selected the airline for inspection after reviewing occupational injury and illness data, which included ramp services, customer service areas, air freight, aircraft and ground equipment maintenance, building/facility maintenance, business operations, strategic procurement, medical facilities, and flight attendant operations. As a result of its inspection, OSHA issued forty-three (43) serious violations and four (4) repeat violations. “Falls, electrical hazards and machine guarding issues, as well as energy lockout/tagout procedures, which are intended to prevent accidental start-up of machinery during maintenance, are problems that should not exist at any worksite,” said Diane Turek, director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines, Ill. “They are problems that can be avoided if an employer is dedicated to protecting employees. Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful, or face close scrutiny by this agency.”

Comments

Indonesian airlines urged to merge  

2008-05-05

The Indonesian government has urged airlines to either merge or form an alliance as it plans to issue a new regulation that requires each carrier to operate at least five airplanes. Of the five planes, the airline must fully own at least three; it may lease the two others. While this will not impact larger carriers like Garuda (Jakarta), it will impact some of the country’s smaller carriers. Previously, local airlines can obtain the government license with just three airplanes. Even so, Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal urged carriers which operate less than ten (10) aircraft in their fleets to merge in order to strengthen capital base and make the business more feasible amid the surging global oil prices.

Comments

Air France takes delivery of 50th 777 from Boeing  

2008-05-02

Boeing and Air France (Paris) reached a historic milestone last week with the delivery of Air France’s 50th 777. The Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) is the carrier’s 25th of that model type and joins a fleet of another 25 777-200ERs that together comprise the core of the airline’s long-haul fleet. “This is truly a great day for Air France and Boeing,” Pierre Vellay, senior vice president of New Aircraft and Corporate Fleet Planning for Air France. “The 777 is the mainstay of our long-haul fleet and elemental to our success and future growth plans. We look forward to further integration of this exceptional airplane later this year, when Air France takes delivery of the world’s first 777 Freighter.” Air France is the launch customer for Boeing’s newest addition to its freighter family, the 777 Freighter – the first of which is scheduled to enter flight test in late May. With more than 50 percent of its twin-aisle fleet composed of Boeing 777s, Air France has drawn upon the 777’s renowned efficiency and reliability to help it achieve strong economic performance. With the delivery of its first 777 Freighter this year and through the operation of a single 777 platform, Air France will achieve significant synergies between its cargo and passenger business. “Air France’s robust utilization of the 777 speaks volumes about the airplane’s performance and capabilities,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales, Europe, Russia & Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We congratulate Air France on its 50th 777 delivery and it’s rewarding to see yet another 777-300ER join the airline’s fleet.” Air France’s new 777-300ER, the world’s largest long-range twin-engine jetliner, will be based at Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Boston-Maine officially loses operating certificate  

2008-05-02

Boston-Maine Airways (Portsmouth) has officially ceased operations after its operating certificate was stripped by regulators this week. The carrier had been given a warning in February that its certification would be pulled due to lack of adequate finances, managerial competence, and regard for the law. In an immediately effective order formally revoking Boston-Maine’s certificate, the DOT said, “Because Boston-Maine has failed to demonstrate its financial fitness to operate, the department maintains that the air carrier is not financially fit to continue to conduct any air transportation regardless of aircraft size. The department concludes that Boston-Maine is not fit to conduct operations as a US certificated air carrier and denies the carrier’s request to maintain its certificate authority to operate small aircraft to facilitate the sale of the company to Maine Aviation.” Photo: Boston-Maine Airways operated scheduled commuter services under the Pan Am Clipper Connection banner. (Photo Copyright Rich Barth)

Comments

Asiana makes deal with Boeing for two new 777s  

2008-05-02

Asiana Airlines (Seoul) announced on Friday that it would purchase two new 777-200ER aircraft from Boeing. Combined, the sale price could be around $438 million USD. The airline said the purchase was made as part of a plan to modernise its fleet. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2013.

Comments

Aloha Airlines restarts cargo operations  

2008-05-02

Aloha Airlines (Honolulu) restarted its air cargo operations last night with as many as ten (10) flights to and from the neighboring islands. The service, which shut down on Monday, resumed with three Boeing 737-200 jets taking off from Honolulu Airport just after 8 p.m. The move will preserve hundreds of jobs and bring much needed relief to businesses that were sent scrambling for alternative ways to ship their goods. Aloha terminated its cargo business earlier this week after its chief lender, GMAC Commercial Finance LLC, abruptly cut off funding. The move came about a month after the 62-year-old airline filed for bankruptcy, shut down its passenger service operations and laid off 1,900 workers. During a bankruptcy court hearing yesterday, attorneys for GMAC said they had reached an agreement with Saltchuk Resources Inc., Young Brothers’ parent company, to acquire Aloha Cargo for $10.5 million. GMAC said it will continue to fund the operations until May 14, when the sale to Saltchuk is completed.

Comments

Final assembly begins on fifth 787 Dreamliner  

2008-05-01

Final assembly began today on the third flight-test airplane for the all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This is the fifth Dreamliner to be loaded into the first position of the 787 production system. The static test airframe moved April 25 from the Final Assembly to its test rig in another bay of the Everett, Washington based factory. Both the fatigue test airframe and the second flight-test airplane have advanced to the next position in production, where assembly and systems installation work continues. “We are receiving assemblies that are much more complete,” said Jack Jones, vice president of 787 Final Assembly and Change Incorporation. Jones replaces Steve Westby, who retired from Boeing yesterday after a 31-year career. “The second flight-test airplane had a 50 percent reduction in the amount of incomplete work as compared to the first airplane. ‘Traveled work’ on this airplane is 65 percent less than on the first.” After assembly is complete, this airplane will be fitted with an interior as part of the comprehensive flight-test program and certification process. “When that happens this summer, it will be the first time we’ll see the 787 in what is close to a final delivery configuration,” Jones said. The first airplane to fly is on track for “power on” in June. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

BAE leases Avro RJ100s to Riau Airlines  

2008-05-01

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has signed lease agreements with Indonesian carrier Riau Airlines (Pekanbaru) for two Avro RJ100s. Due for delivery in August, the two aircraft (msn E3243 and E3265) are the airline’s first jetliners and will complement an existing fleet of five 50 seat Fokker 50 turboprops. The two Avro RJ100s, with 111 seats in a six-abreast layout, will be used to replace the Fokker 50s on some busier routes, but also to open up new international services to Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia from points in Riau Province. Photo: msn E3265 is seen here undergoing maintenance in the United Kingdom. (Photo Copyright Michael Brazier)

Comments

Man charged as gun "joke" delays flight  

2008-05-01

A flight from Edinburgh to Egypt yesterday was delayed by an hour after a passenger allegedly claimed that he had a gun onboard the plane. The man is said to have joked to a stewardess on flyglobespan’s (Edinburgh) flight to the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh that he had a firearm in his hand luggage. The Boeing 737 aircraft taxied out to the runway for takeoff, but was immediately halted and police were called to arrest the man. A spokesman for flyglobespan said, “We can only apologize to other passengers for the disruption to their flight, but emphasise the airline totally supports the actions of the cabin and flightdeck crew.”

Comments

Aeroflot passenger dies enroute to Toronto  

2008-05-01

A 41 year-old man, believed to be heavily intoxicated, died onboard Aeroflot (Moscow) flight 303 bound for Toronto from Moscow yesterday. Reports from witnesses suggest the man had been drinking heavily, became rowdy, and had to be moved to another location on the plane. Police have not named the dead man, but said that he was a 41 year-old Russian citizen. Passenger Vsevolod Timofeev said that he saw the man lie down in the aisle between economy and business class and just turn blue. An autopsy is scheduled Thursday in Toronto to determine the cause of death. Authorities are still investigating into whether there was an altercation on the aircraft.

Comments

First Boeing 777 Freighter leaves factory  

2008-04-30

Progress continues on the first Boeing 777 Freighter as the company’s newest cargo airplane was towed out of its factory in Everett, Wash. and onto the flight line Tuesday night. Work will continue on the 777 Freighter to prepare for flight test this summer and to paint the airplane in the Boeing livery. The 777 Freighter will fly farther and provide more capacity than any other twin-engine cargo airplane. Boeing will deliver the first 777 Freighter to its launch customer Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008. The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner passenger airplane and is built using the same production line as all other models of the 777. Eleven customers around the world have ordered 78 777 Freighters. (Story and Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Silverjet finds anonymous benefactor  

2008-04-30

Business class airline Silverjet (London) has secured a $25 million USD investment from an anonymous lender to keep the carrier afloat. Silverjet said the investor is “UAE based” but did not reveal any further details. The airline has signed a memorandum of understanding with the investor for an initial $25 million USD by means of debt and equity. The investor also intends to invest up to a further $75 million USD to expand the brand to the Middle East, the Far East and Africa. Silverjet, which operates business class-only flights between London and New York has been struggling with losses since it launched in 2006. Recently, two major competitors (MaxJet Airways and Eos Airlines) ceased operations as a result of soaring fuel costs and low load factors. Silverjet has yet to make an operating profit. In releasing its latest passenger statistics the company remained upbeat, however. Chief executive Lawrence Hunt said Silverjet passenger numbers were up in March and the company was making “solid progress” towards becoming profitable Photo: A Silverjet Boeing 767 basks in evening sun at the Dubai airshow. (Photo Copyright Sarmad Al-Khozaie - Sydney Spotters)

Comments

Airbus pays out damages to Emirates for A380 delay  

2008-04-30

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus paid out as much as $110 million USD to Emirates Airline (Dubai) during the last fiscal year in compensation for the late delivery of the A380. Emirates, which has ordered 58 of the world’s largest passenger planes, received the compensation as “liquidating damages", referring to compensation from parties who failed to meet contractual obligations with the airline. Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday that meeting a new schedule for delivering the A380 to customers was a “battle” and always of concern. The reputation of parent company EADS is seen at stake as it strives to deliver thirteen (13) of the aircraft this year. Photo: Delivery of the A380 to Emirates is at a near two-year delay. (Photo Copyright Eric Pajaud - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Labour Day to see several cancellations in Greece  

2008-04-30

Greek trades unions are calling for a nationwide strike for this Thursday that will see public transport and some international flights grind to a halt during labour day celebrations. “On May 1 we will strike to secure our labour rights, and change the current policy of inequality, belt-tightening and high prices,” Greece’s GSEE union, which represents about two million private sector workers, said in a statement. Olympic Airlines (Athens) will operate only one (1) flight per international and domestic destination on Thursday, leaving around sixty (60) flights to be cancelled. Greek rail company TrainOSE will operate only eight (8) emergency train services throughout the country, while Athens’s public transport will also be disrupted with busses, trolleys, trams and metro services shutting during the day. Months of protests have seen public transport disruption, government services shut down and nationwide power cuts as workers oppose the government’s tighter spending and labour policies and privatisations.

Comments

More delays possible for A380 program  

2008-04-30

The Airbus A380 superjumbo jet has been faced with its share of delays on its journey to coming into commercial operation. Now, despite Singapore Airlines (Singapore) having already put three of the aircraft into service, the company has stated that its initial delivery schedule may again be compromised. According to chief executive Thomas Enders, the company’s plans to deliver four A380s per month until the year 2010 may not be possible. He said a review at this point was in the original plans, but the review may lead to the announcement of yet more delays. One problem lies with the fact that each airline taking delivery of the jets requires different electrical systems and cabin design. According to Airbus, the workload of making one A380 is equivalent to eight of their single-aisle A320s. In another blow for keeping to schedule, production was slowed last week when workers at three of Airbus’ four French factories went on strike Tuesday for the second time in a week, demanding equal treatment for French and German employees. Thousands staged a demonstration in front of an administrative site near Toulouse.

Comments

Ryanair 737 skids off runway in Poland  

2008-04-29

A Ryanair (Dublin) flight bound for Britain has skidded off the runway at a Polish airport. Lodz Airport has been closed after the Ryanair plane with 170 passengers went off the runway while taxiing before takeoff; it is believed no one has been hurt. A spokesperson for the airport said that the Nottingham-bound Boeing 737’s wheel got stuck in soft ground after leaving the tarmac when apparently trying to turn around at the end of the runway. Strong winds had forced planes to use the full length of the runway. Officials closed the airport around noon while technicians prepared to pull the plane back onto the runway. The passengers were taken by bus 80 miles east to Warsaw for a new flight back to Nottingham. Other flights from the airport were being diverted to Warsaw, the spokesman said. Photo: Flight FR1625 ended on the grass instead off at East Midlands Airport. (Photo Copyright Konrad Bodzak)

Comments

Nationwide Airline ceases operations  

2008-04-29

Nationwide Airline (Johannesburg) announced on Tuesday that it will be ceasing operations until further notice. “Our cash-flow has become critical and as a result we have decided to voluntarily cease all flight operations until further notice,” said chief executive Vernon Bricknell, “We apologize to our loyal customers for any and all inconveniences experienced.” Nationwide’s troubles began in November of last year when an engine fell off a Boeing 737-200 on take-off from Cape Town International Airport. On November 30, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) grounded Nationwide when it suspended its approval of the airline’s aircraft maintenance organisation and the certificates of airworthiness of Nationwide’s fleet of aircraft. The airline resumed operations in December and January and started to gain a gradual recovery of business. However, in the months of March and April, the carrier faced a 30% increase in fuel costs and decreased passenger load factors. Photo: A Nationwide Boeing 737-200 approaches Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. (Photo Copyright Hannes Meyer - Flying Sprinboks)

Comments

Airbus receives new order from Tunisair  

2008-04-29

It has been confirmed that Tunisair (Tunis) has ordered sixteen (16) new aircraft from Toulouse based Airbus. The Tunisian airline’s order consists of three (3) A350-800s, three (3) A330-200s and ten (10) A320s. At current prices, the order could potentially be for $1.5 billion USD.

Comments

Aloha ceases cargo operations, moves to liquidate  

2008-04-29

Aloha Airlines (Honolulu) shut down cargo operations last night after losing both bidders interested in the unit. The airline informed the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that it will now immediately move to Chapter 7 liquidation. Aloha had already shut down passenger flights on April 1, and code share partner United, as well as other airlines, have been re-accommodating passengers. Photo: A classic 737 with classic Hawaiian background. (Photo Copyright Polar Bear)

Comments

American to charge for second checked bag  

2008-04-29

American Airlines (Fort Worth) said Monday that it will follow several other U.S. carriers in implementing a charge for additional checked baggage beginning May 12. Like others, the additional charge for a second bag will be $25. The policy will not apply to passengers who have elite mileage status or who buy premium or full-fare tickets. It also will not apply to international itineraries, with the exception of those to Canada and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. The charge will apply to American Eagle travelers as well.

Comments

SAS makes changes after 1st quarter loss  

2008-04-29

SAS Group (Stockholm) has decided to reduce fleet capacity by eleven (11) aircraft as well as discontinue plans to add another Airbus A340 after announcing a heavy first-quarter operating loss of around $145 million USD. The company’s plan is to reduce capacity by around 5% and make other changes that could result in a reduction of its workforce by 1,000 full time employees. SAS blames the dismal first-quarter results on increased competition and high fuel prices. The loss for the three-month period wiped out last year’s small first-quarter profit.

Comments

Qantas Airways "open to merger"  

2008-04-28

Qantas Airways (Sydney) says it is willing to entertain merger talks with another airline. The airline’s CFO, Peter Gregg, said the rest of the world’s airlines would keep consolidating because the industry needed to rationalise. “We keep saying we are interested and will keep looking,” Gregg said. “Whether this brings anybody else that might be interested, we will keep a lookout for that. Like in any relationship, both parties need to be interested.” Many have speculated that Singapore Airlines (Singapore) would be considered “the perfect partner", but that it had been rumoured to consider a marriage with American Airlines. Gregg’s comments were made in an interview after Qantas announced an increase in domestic fares of 3.5% and international fares of 3% for tickets purchased in Australia after May 9 as it tries to offset soaring world oil prices.

Comments

Boeing, Lion Air celebrate 10th 737-900ER delivery  

2008-04-28

The Boeing Company and Jakarta-based Lion Air today celebrated the delivery of the airline’s 10th Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplane. The airplane, shown here during a test flight, will be used by the airline to expand its service with new destinations throughout South and Southeast Asia. The airline’s 737-900ERs are equipped with performance-enhancing Blended Winglets, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4 percent. Boeing launched the 737-900ER program in July 2005 when Lion Air announced the initial order for 30 of the newest 737 model. The airline received the world’s first 737-900ER in April 2007 and has ordered a total of 178 737-900ERs. The 737-900ER has substantial economic advantages over competing models, including 6 percent lower operating costs per trip and 4 percent lower operating costs per seat than its competitor – which is more than 9,550 pounds (4,340 kg) heavier. The 737-900ER joins the 737-600, -700, -700ER and -800 airplanes and will share the same industry-leading reliability of the other Next-Generation 737 series models. (Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

Singapore flight diverts to India with engine troubles  

2008-04-28

A Singapore Airlines (Singapore) flight to Paris was diverted to India because one of its two engines appeared to be in trouble, a spokesman for the carrier said Monday. A failure warning prompted the pilot to shut down the left engine of the Boeing 777-300ER and redirect the flight to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Friday. The plane landed safely and none of the plane’s 235 passengers and 17 crew were injured. The aircraft is expected to return to service after the engine has been swapped out.

Comments

SkyWest makes bid for ExpressJet takeover  

2008-04-28

Completely catching ExpressJet (Houston) off guard, SkyWest Airlines (St. George) made an unsolicited bid to acquire the regional carrier and revealed that it had negotiated a capacity purchase agreement with Continental Airlines (Houston) contingent on the acquisition taking place. ExpressJet Holdings announced Friday that it had rejected SkyWest’s offer of $3.50 a share in cash, which represented a 67% premium over the April 24 closing price of $2.09 per share. It called the offer an “opportunistic attempt to acquire the company” below its true value. On April 7, Continental notified ExpressJet that “absent our entering into a new CPA with savings of the magnitude negotiated with SkyWest,” it planned to withdraw 51 of the 205 ERJs operated by ExpressJet under its existing CPA beginning in December 2009. Furthermore, CO indicated that it would not extend the term of its current contract with ExpressJet, letting it expire “in accordance with its terms beginning on Dec. 31, 2010, with the expectation that all aircraft would be removed from the current CPA by the end of 2012.” Photo: An ExpressJet Embraer ERJ-145LR departs from Monterey Peninsula Airport. (Photo Copyright John M.)

Comments

United and US Airways in advanced talks to merge  

2008-04-28

An outside source close to both United Airlines (Chicago) and US Airways (Phoenix) says that the carriers are in very advanced talks and expect to announce within a couple of weeks that they will be merging. The two carriers have been in preliminary talks for weeks about possibly teaming up, although United had focused more recently on joining with Continental Airlines (Houston). United and US Airways reportedly stepped up their own talks after Continental caught United off guard by deciding not to pursue a deal to merge. No real details have emerged regarding the merger including the name or headquarters location of the combined carrier. It is believed, however, that as a significanly larger carrier, United would take the lead in those decisions.

Comments

Eos Airlines files bankruptcy and will cease operations  

2008-04-26

Eos Airlines (New York), the premium class New York to London carrier, which has become known for its operational excellence and uncrowded guest experience, announced today that it has filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The petition was filed April 26, 2008 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. On April 26, 2008, Eos plans to operate flight 6 from New York JFK (JFK) to London Stansted (STN), and on April 27, 2008, the carrier plans to operate flights 3 and 7 from STN to JFK. Flight 5 from STN to JFK and all flights from JFK to STN on April 27, 2008 are canceled. Eos will immediately implement a reduction in its workforce, eliminating the positions of most of its employees, and will cease operations entirely after April 27, 2008. Photo: An Eos Boeing 757 approaches New York JFK as the moon rises. (Photo Copyright Jose Mendez - Puerto Rico PlaneSpotters)

Comments

Singapore takes delivery of fourth A380  

2008-04-26

Singapore Airlines (Singapore) took delivery on Saturday of its fourth Airbus A380. A spokeswoman from Airbus said that the double-decker plane, the fourth to leave the production line, had taken off from Toulouse and was due to enter service in mid-May between Singapore and Tokyo. Airbus has said it will deliver a total of thirteen (13) A380s this year, and its ability to stick to this schedule is a key factor driving the shares of parent EADS. Photo: Singapore’s newest A380 is seen here undergoing flight testing in Germany. (Photo Copyright Kai Block)

Comments

Air Canada follows US lead with extra baggage fees  

2008-04-26

It seems that the US trend of charging for extra baggage is spilling over internationally. Air Canada (Montreal) has announced plans to begin charging $25 to its Tango and Tango Plus passengers who check a second bag on flights within Canada and the United States, including Hawaii. Air Canada says only about 20% of Tango and Tango Plus passengers, its two lowest-fare brands, check a second bag. Canada’s top consumer advocates have started lashing out at the carrier over the decision. “It’s bloody ridiculous,” said Mel Fruitman, vice-president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada. “They are nickel-and-diming us to death.” Fruitman demanded to know why Air Canada isn’t raising its air fare prices instead of adding more so-called hidden costs. The second bag fee is the latest move by the airline to make money from services in its operations that were once offered for free, including charging for pillows, meals, and other services such as seat selection. A spokesman for Air Canada said the new baggage policy does not apply business class customers or those with Elite, Super Elite and Prestige member status in addition to Star Alliance Gold and Silver member status.

Comments

AirTran halts aircraft deliveries for 2009  

2008-04-25

Low-fare carrier AirTran Airways (Atlanta) has suspended fourteen (14) aircraft deliveries previously scheduled for 2009 in an attempt to keep growth flat to combat what it deems as volatile energy costs. In addition, the airline has already confirmed sales of four (4) Boeing 737-700 aircraft to improve planned cash flow. For 2009, AirTran expects its capacity to remain flat year-over-year, down from previous growth estimates of 10%. Photo: Two AirTran 737 taxi to the runway with a fellow Atlanta resident Delta 757. (Photo Copyright Agustin Anaya)

Comments

BAE sells stake in Airbus  

2008-04-25

BAE Systems has sold its stake in European airliner manufacturer Airbus back to EADS. A spokesman for BAE said that it will take years for the Toulouse based company to return to acceptable levels of profitability. Airbus, which has been complaining about the effects of the dollar’s fall on its bottomline made an operating loss of $1.4 billion USD last year on the back of a loss of nearly $900 million USD in 2006. Early on in the week, Airbus, which books most of its costs in euros but sells in dollars, raised the catalogue prices of its aircraft.

Comments

Airline fires pilots who overshot Hawaii runway  

2008-04-25

Two pilots suspected of falling asleep on a flight from Honolulu to Hilo in February were fired last week by the airline go! (Phoenix). After a thorough internal investigation into the incident on February 13 in which flight 1002 overflew the airport at Hilo, Mesa Airlines (go! parent company) has terminated the employment of both pilots involved. The pair also may face Federal Aviation Administration action.

Comments

Delta's new Cozy Suites upgrades conomy class  

2008-04-25

It may not offer all of the benefits of a First Class suite, but Delta’s new “Cozy Suite” seats promise to make economy class seating less of a hellish, crippling nightmare. The design features a staggered layout that increases privacy while simultaneously creating a space for weary travelers to rest their heads. Passengers will also enjoy 31 inches of leg room (32 inch seat pitch) and the ability to recline without disturbing the person behind them. Also upgraded is seat width. On a typical narrowbody aircraft, width can be increased by as much as 2 inches. Delta is planning on installing the Cozy Suite in its Boeing 777 and 767 economy class aircraft by 2010. For more information on the new “Cozy Suite” seats, please visit here. Photo 1: Overhead view of the staggered configuration. (Photo Copyright Thompson Solutions) Photo 2: Reverse view of a possible layout. (Photo Copyright Thompson Solutions)

Comments

Emirates reveals A380 seating layout details  

2008-04-24

Emirates Airline (Dubai) has released details regarding the cabin configuration for its first Airbus A380s. The announcement shows that the upper deck will be used exclusively for premium passengers, with 14 first-class and 76 business-class seats - the latter split between two cabins. The forward zones either side of the stairwell on the upper deck will be used for washrooms. The main deck will be entirely economy class, with 399 seats in four cabins. Initial A380s will be delivered to the airline in a 489-seat, three-class layout. Until now, Emirates has only revealed the planned seating densities (later aircraft will have three-class, 517-seat or two-class, 604-seat layouts), but not the specific cabin layouts.

Comments

Horizon to transition to all turboprop fleet  

2008-04-24

Horizon Air (Seattle) is planning to scrap its fleet of Bombardier CRJ aircraft and replace them with the Dash 8-Q400 turboprop within the next two years. The move is aimed at reducing fuel and maintenance costs at the airline by allowing it to operate a single aircraft fleet of the fuel-efficient planes. Horizon already has thirty-three (33) Q400s in its fleet and would be looking to the replace its existing twenty (20) CRJ-700s, in addition to the twelve (12) Dash 8-200s it has already said it is planning to retire by June 2009. When the transition is complete, Horizon’s fleet will consist of forty-eight (48) Q400s or more depending on how many of its twenty (20) purchase options with Bombardier the airline chooses to exercise.

Comments

Airbus raises the price to purchase new aircraft  

2008-04-23

Airbus (Toulouse) has raised prices on its aircraft beyond normal escalation by an additional $2 million USD per single-aisle aircraft and $4 million USD per widebody. While the European conglomerate still does most of their business in Euros, the problem is that their aircraft are priced in US dollars. This means that when the dollar falls against the euro it cuts into their bottom line. Additionally, the price of raw materials, especially metals, has increased raising the overall cost to produce the aircraft. Photo: An Airbus A380 for Emirates awaits painting in Toulouse. (Photo Copyright Eric Pajaud - 360° Spotter)

Comments

Frontier terminates service agreement with Republic  

2008-04-23

Frontier Airlines (Denver) terminated its Airline Services Agreement with Republic Airways (Indianapolis) for twelve (12) Embraer E170s, plus five (5) others that were due to join program in 2008. “We have enjoyed our partnership with Frontier and have a lot of respect for their people,” said Republic CEO Bryan Bedford. “It’s unfortunate that despite their many efforts to reorganize their business outside of Chapter 11, factors beyond their control conspired to force a deeper reorganization. We wish them success in their continuing efforts to combat persistently high oil prices.”

Comments

Boeing reports double-digit first-quarter earnings growth   

2008-04-23

The Boeing Company (Chicago) reported net income of $1.2 billion USD on $15.99 billion USD revenues for 1Q08 versus $877 million USD on $15.37 billion USD in 1Q07, and its backlog stands at record $346.2 billion USD, up from $327.2 billion at the end of 2007.

Comments

Northwest and Delta reports Q1 losses in the billions  

2008-04-23

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis) reported their 1st Quarter 2008 financials today. Delta reported a first-quarter net loss Wednesday of 6.4 billion dollars as it marked down the company’s value in advance of its takeover of Northwest Airlines and saw fuel costs surge. Northwest reported a net loss of $4.1 billion. Both carriers included special charges and writedowns related to their market values. Excluding special items, Delta lost $274 million in the first quarter, and Northwest lost $191 million.

Comments

Biman Bangladesh places Boeing order  

2008-04-22

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Dhaka) and Boeing(Chicago) today announced the airline’s order for four 777-300ER (Extended Range) and four 787-8 Dreamliner airplanes at a signing ceremony in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Biman Bangladesh Airlines, which began as a government-owned national carrier in 1972, became Bangladesh’s largest public limited company in 2007. The order for new Boeing airplanes represents a major step forward in the airline’s reorganization and growth plans. The airline also has purchase rights for four 777s and four 787s. “Clearly, Biman needs modern, fuel-efficient and reliable airplanes to move forward with our expansion and better serve our country’s growing travel needs,” said Dr. M. A. Momen, Biman’s managing director. “Our competitive assessment of both the 777-300ER and the 787-8 Dreamliner was extensive and has led to our making the very best decision based on our own defined operational parameters. We have selected the best airplanes to fulfill our mission requirements - and that mission is the continued growth and success of Biman Bangladesh Airlines.” Biman currently connects Bangladesh with 18 countries around the world, and has agreements in place that will allow it to serve a total of 42 countries as it implements its growth plan. “It’s always rewarding for us to work directly with an airline on a plan for success,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for the Middle East and Africa. “The 777-300ER and 787-8 provide seamless operational compatibility that will offer Biman greater flexibility and more opportunity to institute route planning and fleet operations that have a positive impact to its bottom line.” Photo: Artist’s rendering of a 777 and 787 in the Biman livery. (Picture and article provided and copyrighted by Boeing)

Comments

Delta CEO: Fares need to rise 15-20%  

2008-04-22

Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), said Tuesday that domestic airlines need to raise fares by 15 to 20 percent to keep up with rising costs. Anderson told reporters in Washington, D.C. the hike is needed for airlines just to break even because of the price of fuel. Anderson also was asked if a combined Delta-Northwest would be profitable in its first year, and he responded, “It will all be a product of fuel prices … and stay tuned for earnings tomorrow and you’ll see what a dramatic effect it’s had.” Photo: A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 jet rotates away from New York’s JFK Airport. (Photo Copyright Mario J. Craig)

Comments

United posts $542 million Q1 loss  

2008-04-22

United Airlines (Chicago) today announced that the airline posted a $542 million operating loss for the first quarter of 2008, or $4.45 per share. The loss was $305 million higher than the same period a year earlier, when the carrier lost $237 million. The loss, according to United, was driven primarily by a $618 million increase in consolidated fuel expense. Photo: Two United Airlines jets land side-by-side at the airline’s San Francisco hub. (Photo Copyright khor)

Comments

Southwest announces new routes from Denver.  

2008-04-22

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced two new routes from Denver today. The additional service includes new nonstop flights between Denver and Portland and Indianapolis, as well as increased frequencies between Denver and Las Vegas.

Comments

US Airways to charge for window or aisle  

2008-04-22

Aisle or window seats in the front rows of the coach class of US Airways flights will cost an additional $5USD, following the introduction of the Choice Seat program by the low-cost airline. The program, which will be effective from May 7, 2008, will see people who book their tickets online paying the extra fee to reserve a seat of their choice. The fee will reportedly vary according to the destination or the length of the flight. The fee will not apply to members of the Dividend Miles Preferred program.

Comments

Air France-KLM withdraws Alitalia bid  

2008-04-22

Air France-KLM officially withdrew its offer to purchase ailing Italian carrier Alitalia (Rome). Jean-Cyril Spinetta, the Air France-KLM chief executive, pulled out of the talks earlier this month after unions made what he said was an unacceptable counterproposal. The Italian government managed to coax Air France-KLM back to the negotiating table until Monday in what might have been the airline’s last chance. In a related story, the Italian government today approved emergency financing worth $478 million USD for the struggling airline. The short term loan is designed to give the government time to analyze its options.

Comments

Anadolu Jet to start operations in April  

2008-04-22

Anadolu Jet (Ankara), the new low cost airline operated by Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), will officially start flying on April 23, 2008. The carrier plans to connect more than twenty (20) domestic cities to Ankara.

Comments

Boeing secures 737 order from Av Capital  

2008-04-21

The Boeing Company (Chicago) and U.S. based commercial jet airplane leasing company Aviation Capital Group today announced an order for seventeen (17) Next-Generation 737 airplanes. This order, valued at more than $1 billion USD at current list prices, was previously accounted for on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer. The airplanes will be equipped with performance-enhancing Blended Winglets, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4%. Photo: Scott Hamilton, a Boeing spokesman, said this order is for 737-800s with options to convert to 737-700s or 737-900s (Picture and article provided and copyrighted by Boeing)

Comments

Ryanair to park 20 aircraft due to fuel costs  

2008-04-21

Ryanair (Dublin) is planning to ground around twenty (20) aircraft next winter to counter the impact of skyrocketing oil prices. The carrier is embarking on an intensive cost-cutting drive for its 2008-09 financial year as its fuel costs threaten to widen by €300 million, pushing its profits down by up to 50%.

Comments

El Al raising prices again  

2008-04-21

El Al (Tel Aviv) announced Monday that it would be raising ticket prices by an average of 6.5% and will also raise the supplementary gas charge beginning May 1 of this year. This will be the ninth price increase announced by the company since April 2007. The move stems from the continued rise of jet fuel prices. The company said the gas charge would rise by $15 for all short-range flights to destinations in the Mediterranean coastline region; $20 for medium-range flights to destinations including Europe; and $40 to long-distance destinations such as the United States, the Far East, and South America.

Comments

Xiamen Airlines purchases 20 new Boeing 737s  

2008-04-20

China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou) said on Sunday that its Subsidary Xiamen Airlines (Xiamen) has signed a deal with Boeing to purchase twenty (20) 737 aircraft. The new jetliners have a list price of around $1.5 billion USD, but it is rumored that China Southern has negotiated a lower price. Xiamen will pay for the planes utilizing their own funding. It is not currently clear whether or not the twenty aircraft represent a new order for Boeing or if they are part of a previous order placed by the Chinese government.

Comments

Airbus files patent for updated tri-jet design  

2008-04-20

Airbus (Toulouse) has filed a patent application for the design of a new commercial trijet, reviving interest in a powerplant configuration abandoned by airliner manufacturers for over two decades. The patent application, which can be found here, shows a new trijet design featuring a distinctive, noise-shielding tail structure with two-vertical stabilizers. Airbus’ North American division stresses that the patent may not be relevant to the company’s future plans. A statement was released saying, “Airbus is regularly filing patent applications and this is normal business for a company that is a leader in innovation and technology. That’s not to say this is ‘the’ design we’re looking at in the future - just one of a very many possibilities.” The tail structure and the third engine add weight and new structural complexity, but the manufacturer counters that a trijet design can still beat a twin-engined type on fuel efficiency through offsetting improvements. The added weight of the tail is largely compensated for the by the drop in the mass of the landing gear, the reason being that the landing gear is dimensionally smaller and less voluminous given the smaller engines. Illustration: A rough sketch of the new tri-jet design included within the manufacturer’s patent application. (Illustration Copyright Airbus)

Comments

Acquisition of Edelweiss Air by SWISS approved  

2008-04-20

WEKO, the Swiss Competition Commission, has given its green light for the merger of Edelweiss Air (Zurich) and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS)(Zurich). The authorities have not imposed any special conditions. Edelweiss Air will continue to operate as an independent member company of the Swiss Group. Kuoni remains Edelweiss Air’s biggest customer. The favourable decision taken by the Competition Commission now permits full implementation of cooperation between Edelweiss Air and SWISS. Allowing for the necessary organizational system adjustments, operational completion is scheduled for the end of October 2008. In February, Kuoni and SWISS announced a strategic partner-ship. In addition to the acquisition of Edelweiss Air by SWISS, this also includes a comprehensive hotel offering by Kuoni on SWISS.COM. With the consent of the authorities, Edelweiss Air will continue to operate as an independent airline with unchanged management, its own fleet and own crew. The three Airbus 320 short haul aircraft and the Airbus 330-200 for long haul flights will remain in service. Kuoni Switzerland is still Edelweiss Air’s biggest customer and will continue to offer high quality holiday flights to a wide range of destinations. All three parties look forward to the new Swiss partnership which can now be implemented.

Comments

Delta 767 has tail strike, returns to Zurich  

2008-04-19

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) Boeing 767-332(ER) N1602 (msn 29694) suffered a tail strike on takeoff from Zurich today. Operating as DL67 to Atlanta, the aircraft returned to Zurich and carried out an uneventful emergency landing some 25 minutes later. Photo: Florian Beck caught this photo of the incident. (Photo Copyright Florian Beck)

Comments

GECAS to lease 777-200 Freighters to China Cargo  

2008-04-17

China Cargo Airlines (Shanghai) has signed an agreement with GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease six (6) Boeing 777-200 Freighters, and would like to purchase an additional four (4) aircraft from Boeing directly. The first two aircraft are expected for delivery in December of 2009. The new 777s will eventually replace six (6) McDonnell Douglas MD-11s.

Comments

Midwest Airlines to cut employees, flights  

2008-04-17

Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) plans to cut 109 employees and 2.5 percent of flights in the next few months, company officials said Wednesday. The cuts affect about 3.5 percent of employees. Company spokesman Michael Brophy said the cuts will be made in the next few months and affect all types of positions. He said 35 pilots will be furloughed. The carrier blamed rising jet fuel costs for the move. Photo: A Midwest Airlines 717 is on approach to New York LaGuardia Airport. (Photo Copyright Matt Molnar)

Comments

U.S. lawmakers want to ban inflight cell use  

2008-04-17

U.S. lawmakers are proposing a bill that would ban the use of mobile phones inflight aboard airliners within the United States. A group led by Rep. Peter DeFazio has introduced a bill, called the HANG UP Act (Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace), in the House to ban cell phone use on U.S. domestic flights. They say cramped passengers shouldn’t be forced to listen to others’ one-sided calls. Bill co-sponsor Rep. Jerry Costello said, “Now is not the time to consider making the airline passenger experience any worse and using cell phones in-flight would do just that.”

Comments

JAL pleads guilty in U.S. price fixing case  

2008-04-16

Japan Airlines (JAL)(Tokyo) became the fourth foreign airline to admit to price fixing and agree to pay a multi-million dollar fine to the United States government on Wednesday. The carrier agreed to pay $110 million USD as a fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix rates for international cargo shipments. According to charges filed, JAL sought to eliminate competition by fixing the rates for international shipments of cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere from April 2000 to February 2006. Under a plea agreement that is subject to court approval, Japan Airlines also has agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department’s ongoing investigation, which already has yielded guilty pleas and fines from British Airways (London), Korean Air (Seoul), and Qantas Airways (Sydney).

Comments

Taiwan airport shuts down after jet has tire blow out  

2008-04-16

Taiwan’s second largest airport was temporarily closed Tuesday after a passenger aircraft burst its tires during an emergency landing in the southern city of Kaohsiung. The pilot of the EVA Airways (Taiwan) McDonnell Douglas MD-90 discovered a problem with the landing gear shortly after taking off from Taoyuan with forty-two (42) people on board. According to an airline spokesman, the pilot received a report from the Taoyuan airport that tire pieces were found on the runway after the plane took off. Additionally, the aircraft blew out two (2) more tires while making the emergency landing at Kaohsiung. No one was injured during the incident. The cause of the blow outs is currently being investigated.

Comments

ASA flight evacuated due to smoke  

2008-04-16

Passengers were evacuated from a Delta Connection flight operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA)(Atlanta) from Atlanta to Milwaukee wednesday when the flightcrew reported smoke in the cabin. Flight 4399, a Bombardier CRJ-700, was preparing for takeoff from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when the incident occurred. Passengers deplaned and were returned to Concourse E via shuttle busses. No injuries were reported, but the incident is still under investigation. Photo: A Bombardier CRJ-700 from ASA departs from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. (Photo Copyright Josh Rawlin)

Comments

United upping fares once again  

2008-04-16

United Airlines (Chicago) will be once again raising their fares in response to high fuel costs. The airline is increasing its domestic fuel surcharge by between $10 and $20 USD roundtrip. The fare hike, which went into effect late Tuesday, is on top of a separate jump in United fares last week which was also intended to offset fuel expenses. United expects to spend an additional $2 billion in fuel charges in 2008.

Comments

DOT To Raise Denied Boarding Compensation  

2008-04-16

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today said it will double the maximum amount airlines must compensate involuntarily bumped passengers. Though the ruling came amid fierce opposition from air carriers, DOT said it would go into effect in 30 days. Under the rule, passengers who are involuntarily bumped would receive compensation equal to their one-way fare up to $400 if they are rescheduled to reach their destination within two hours of their original arrival time for domestic and four hours for international flights, and $800 if they reach their destination after those times.

Comments

NTSB releases 2007 U.S. safety summary  

2008-04-16

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Wednesday released preliminary aviation accident statistics for 2007. The Safety Board’s aviation accident statistics show that in 2007, there were 24 nonfatal accidents involving Part 121 airlines (aircraft with 10 or more seats). One fatality occurred involving a nonscheduled Part 121 aircraft when a mechanic was fatally injured while working on a Boeing 737 in Tunica, Mississippi. While the overall number of general aviation accidents rose from 1,518 in 2006 to 1,631 in 2007, the number of fatalities in 2007 was down from 703 to 491 (a 30 percent decrease), making it the lowest annual total in more than 40 years.

Comments

AA parent posts $328 million Q1 loss on fuel  

2008-04-16

AMR Corp, parent of American Airlines (Dallas-Ft.Worth), reported a first-quarter loss on Wednesday as the company’s fuel bill rose 48 percent. The first-quarter loss amounted to $328 million, or $1.32 per share, compared with a profit of $81 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. AMR also said it planned to reduce its 2008 mainline capacity by 1.4 percent for the year. Revenue rose to $5.7 billion from $5.4 billion a year earlier.

Comments

MAXJet is back (charter only, though!)  

2008-04-15

MAXJet Airways (New York - JFK) has updated its website and announced that the company (with new CEO) is now in the luxury charter business. According to the website, the airline is licensed to operate charters into 89 countries, and is “now operating under the ownership of NCA Sports Group, a leading one-stop travel service for university and professional sports programs and their fans.” MAXJet was previously a scheduled, all-business class airline operating routes from the U.S. to London (Stansted). It stopped flying on December 24, 2007. Photo: A MaxJet 767-200 touches down in Las Vegas on Dec 23, 2007, the day before the airline stopped operating scheduled services. (Photo Copyright Brad Campbell)

Comments

Scores killed in Hewa Bora DC-9 crash  

2008-04-15

Hewa Bora Airways (Kinshasa) suffered a serious crash this morning involving its DC-9-51 S9-DBH (msn 47731). The aircraft was departing the Congolese town of Goma when it crashed into a crowded residential area shortly after takeoff. Initial reports put the estimated casualty toll at 78 or more, and say the aircraft may have been overloaded. Photo: Hewa Bora Airways DC-9-51 S9-DBH is seen after crashing on takeoff from the Congolese city of Goma. (Photo Copyright AFP)

Comments

Delta takeover of Northwest approved  

2008-04-14

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has reached an agreement with Northwest Airlines to take over Northwest and create the world’s largest airline. The boards of both companies gave the deal the go-ahead Monday. Delta said the combined airline will have an enterprise value of $17.7 billion, will be based in Atlanta, and Delta CEO Richard Anderson will head the combined company. Under the terms of the transaction, Northwest shareholders will receive 1.25 Delta shares for each Northwest share they own. The deal will be subject to government antitrust approval. Photo: Delta and Northwest tails are seen side-by-side at Phoenix (PHX) in 2004. Under a proposed takeover deal, both carriers would be rolled into the Delta brand. (Photo Copyright Yo Tanaka)

Comments

Jetstar 787 deliveries pushed back to late 2009  

2008-04-14

Jetstar Airways (Melbourne) is now anticipating first delivery of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner in November of 2009. The annoucement from the airline comes just days after Boeing announced further delays with the 787 program. A low-cost subsidiary of Qantas Airways (Sydney), Jetstar will receive and start operating the new Boeing aircraft before its parent will. A spokesman for the carrier says that the plan is to operate the 787 domestically at first, but declined to comment on which route the new aircraft will be placed on first. Photo: Jetstar was due to receive its first 787 in 2008, but delays at Boeing have pushed the estimate back to late 2009. (Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

El Al buys 737s from Spanish airline  

2008-04-14

El Al (Tel Aviv) recently announced that they had signed an agreement with Air Europa (Palma de Mallorca) for the purchase of three of the airline’s new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Under the deal, Air Europe will purchase the aircraft from the Boeing Company, and will hand them over to El Al immediately upon delivery from the factory. This additional purchase of aircraft is in answer to the growing El Al demand on routes to nearby destinations, and to provide a larger choice of seats and flights for the Company’s customers. El Al’s present fleet includes eight (8) 737s. The airline plans to grow the fleet to forty (40).

Comments

Kata Air AN-32 crashes; all presumed dead  

2008-04-12

A Kata Air Transport (Sudan) Antonov AN-32 crashed at 1915 GMT on approach to Chisinau International Airport in Moldova, presumably killing all eight (8) aboard. The aircraft departed the airfield for Khartoum, Sudan at approximately 1902 GMT, but the flightcrew elected to return to the airport citing faulty equipment onboard. The aircraft reportedly exploded during landing when its wing hit navigation objects located next to the runway. As of 0500 GMT today, seven of the eight bodies of those onboard had been recovered. According to the central controller’s office at the airport, the plane crew consisted of three Moldovan nationals and five citizens of Ukraine. Photo: The AN-32 (ST-AZL msn 3009) crashed on final approach to Chisinau international airport. (Photo Copyright Serge)

Comments

Southwest facing $3 billion fuel bill for 2008  

2008-04-12

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) says that they are facing an increase of $500 million USD more on fuel this year than it spent in 2007. Southwest spent nearly $2.54 billion USD on fuel last year, and the increase for 2008 is nearly equal to the airline’s profits from 2007. A spokesman for the carrier said that they would try to offset rising fuel costs by raising more revenue and by cutting other costs.

Comments

Garuda refused EU access for presidential visit  

2008-04-12

The European Union (EU) is still refusing to allow Garuda Indonesia (Jakarta) permission to land within its borders. Officials from the EU say that no improvements have been made in the company’s aircraft. Indonesia had asked the EU to remove the airline from its blacklist so that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono could conduct a state visit to the Netherlands in April. President Yudhoyono wants to fly with Garuda and will not make concessions for the EU. On Friday, the EU also banned the Congolese airline Hewav Bora and the Ukrainian freight shipper Ukraine Cargo Airways but removed Cuba’s Cubana de Aviacon and the Seychelles Islands Development Company from the blacklist. Photo: All Indonesian airlines were banned from flying into the EU as of June 2007. Here a Garuda 747-400 taxies into Tokyo. (Photo Copyright Jid Webb)

Comments

Delta makes progress with pilots toward merger  

2008-04-12

Sources close to negotiations have said that Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and its pilots have agreed in principle on a contract that would clear the way for a merger with Northwest Airlines (Minneapolis). The tentative deal would raise pilots’ pay and give them an equity stake in the combined airline, which would keep Delta’s name and Atlanta headquarters. Some of the terms are still being negotiated. The merger plan includes a small premium for Northwest investors while Delta CEO Richard Anderson would run the combined carrier. Northwest CEO Doug Steenland would get a seat on the board. Sources say that a merger between the two carriers could be announced next week.

Comments

Kingfisher flight lands after smoke detected  

2008-04-12

A Kingfisher Airlines (Bangalore) flight made an emergency landing in New Delhi on Friday morning after the crew detected smoke in the cargo hold shortly after takeoff. Flight 301 landed safely and without incident at the Indira Gandhi International Airport where all 90 passengers and 7 crewmembers deplaned safely. During the aircraft’s precautionary cargo unloading, an unidentified substance was located. This is being investigated by the airline as well as the airport operator. This is the second incident in less than 10 days where a Kingfisher Airlines flight detected smoke onboard. On April 3, the airlines’ Hyderabad-Delhi flight also made an emergency landing after the pilot detected smoke in the aircraft’s cargo hold.

Comments

Frontier Airlines files for bankruptcy  

2008-04-11

Frontier Airlines (Denver) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York City court late Thursday (April 10) night. The filing was in response to what the airline said was a threat to liquidity resulting from actions by its principal credit card-processor. On its Web site, Frontier said it will continue its full schedule of flights and will honor tickets and reservations and provide refunds and exchanges under its standard policies. The airline’s frequent flyer program and customer service programs will remain unaffected, as will wages and benefits, according to the company. Photo: Frontier is Denver’s “Hometown Airline” and maintains a significant presence at the Denver International Airport. (Photo Copyright Mark Abbott)

Comments

Airbus confirms Aer Lingus aircraft order  

2008-04-11

Airbus (Toulouse) confirmed on Friday that Irish carrier Aer Lingus had placed an order for six (6) A330-300s and six (6) A350-900s. The A350-900s will be deployed on the airline’s growing long haul network to the United States and on other new long-range routes that are being considered for the future. The new A330-300s will replace some of its older aircraft, and will provide further growth opportunities in the short term until the first of the A350-900s are delivered. Photo: Airbus now has orders for 362 A350s from 22 customers. (Photo Copyright Airbus Media Services)

Comments

VRG suspends flights to international destinations  

2008-04-11

VRG Linhas Aéreas S/A (Rio de Janeiro) is suspending flights to several international destinations, including Mexico City, Paris and Madrid, over the next two months in order to focus on better adapting to market conditions, while increasing its presence in the domestic and South American markets and concentrating efforts on routes where it maintains competitive advantages. The Company’s focus will be to expand its route network in Brazil and South America by maintaining a lean cost structure and increasing revenues.

Comments

First Boeing 777 Freighter Enters Final Assembly  

2008-04-10

Boeing (Seattle and Chicago) began final assembly work on the first 777 Freighter at the company’s Everett, Wash., facility this week. The new cargo airplane will roll out of the factory later this month, and work will begin to prepare the airplane for flight test this summer. Photo: The first view of Boeing’s new 777 Freighter as seen at the Everett assembly plant. (Photo Copyright Boeing Media Services)

Comments

American cancellations increase after fleet grounding  

2008-04-10

American Airlines (Fort Worth) released a statement saying that they were forced to cancel a total of 1,554 flights on Tuesday and Wednesday in order to complete inspections on its entire fleet of McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft. So far, 179 have been inspected and 60 have already been returned to service. American said they expect to cancel more than 900 flights again today (April 10). Photo: American Airlines maintains a fleet of approximately 336 MD-80 series aircraft. (Photo Copyright Daniel Piotrowski)

Comments

Aldus Aviation purchases 11 E-jets from GECAS  

2008-04-10

Aldus Aviation Limited (Shannon) has launched operations as an international aircraft leasing company after purchasing eleven (11) Embraer E-jets from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS). The deal is for five (5) E170s, two (2) E190s, and four (4) E195s. Albus, headed by experienced aircraft leasing professionals, is poised to become an important strategic partner to Embraer. It intends to specialize in the ownership and leasing of the entire E-Jet family.

Comments

Kuwait National Airways to launch in January 2009  

2008-04-09

Kuwait National Airways (Kuwait), the country’s newest airline, will commence operations in January 2009. The airline will provide a premium service with point to point connections from Kuwait to destinations across the Middle East, geared to the specific demands and needs of Kuwaiti nationals, an airline statement says. It will fly modern Airbus A320 aircraft with twenty-six (26) Business Class seats and ninety-six (96) Economy seats. Kuwait National Airlines, also known as Wataniya Airways, was established in 20