Entries by Jared Scott (240)

Monday
Aug042014

China Southern starts Guangzhou-New York route

This Wednesday the world's sixth largest airline by passengers carried, China Southern, will commence a four-times weekly round-trip service between Guangzhou and New York City.  The round-trip route will be flown between the China Southern operational hub at Baiyun International Airport (IATA: CAN; ICAO: ZGGG), and New York's Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, using the Boeing 777-300ER.

Information gathered from the online airfare aggregator site www.kayak.com shows that the New York-bound flights leave Baiyun International at 1:40 in the morning local time on all four days of the week, and are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy International at 5:15 in the morning New York time, the same day.  The return flights are scheduled to leave Kennedy International at 11:15 in the morning New York time on all four days of the week, and land in Guangzhou at 3:15 in the afternoon the next day.

Tuesday
May222012

Nine BMI routes get BA numbers as integration proceeds

British Midland International routes flown between London's Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) and nine European and African destinations will acquire British Airways flight numbers tomorrow, as part of the integration process first announced late last year.  The nine routes affected will be those flown between Heathrow, and the BMI destinations of Agadir, Morocco; Basel, Switzerland; Bergen, Norway; Casablanca, Morocco; Hanover, Germany; Marrakech, Morocco; Nice, France; Stavanger, Norway; and Vienna, Austria.  According to British Airways, all departure and arrival terminals at Heathrow will remain the same, as will estimated departure and arrival times.

On April 19 this year, International Consolidated Airlines Group, led by former British Airways CEO Willie Walsh, bought BMI from Lufthansa.  BMI withdrew its membership in the Star Alliance last month.  British Airways is part of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Also, Virgin Atlantic will launch a four times weekly non-stop round-trip route between Heathrow and Vancouver International Airport (IATA; YVR; ICAO: CYVR) Thursday.  The route will operate in both directions on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  According to results returned by the search engine on Virgin Atlantic's website, the route will be operated with the Airbus A340-300.  The flight is approximately ten hours long in both directions.

related story

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger (Nobember 29, 2010)

original stories

bmi flights changing to BA flight numbers (British Airways)

BMI to be 'integrated quickly' into British Airways (Airport Watch UK)

Virgin Atlantic Launch Flights to Vancouver (Virgin Atlantic)

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Thursday
Jun302011

Mass turtle crossing delays flights at New York's JFK Airport

A large group of diamondback terrapins stopped takeoffs at New York's Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) yesterday morning.  The turtles' annual summer migration route runs from Jamaica Bay (which borders Kennedy International to the south) to a nearby beach, where they lay their eggs.  They attempted to cross runway 4L/22R en route to the beach.

A post to http://nycaviation.com explains that Kennedy International is "almost entirely surrounded by bays, creeks, swamps, and undeveloped land."  150 turtles made up the slow-moving caravan, according to a video from the Associated Press (below).  Any air traffic backlog created by the terrapins' migration route worked itself out by the end of the day.

original stories

JFK Airport Runway Closed Due to Turtles (NYC Aviation)

Flight delays as JFK airport runway taken over by turtles! (New York Daily News)

Turtles halt flights at JFK airport (The Daily Telegraph)

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Wednesday
Jun292011

Vueling starts Madrid-Mykonos seasonal non-stop route

The Barcelona-based regional carrier Vueling Airlines will start a new seasonal route Friday.  It will run between Barajas Airport in Madrid (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD) and Mykonos Island National Airport (IATA: JMK; ICAO: LGMK) on the Greek Cycladic island of Mykonos.  The route will run in both directions on Monday, Friday, and Sunday until July 28, when it will begin to run on Thursday as well.  As of this posting, travelers can fly this route on these four days of the week, until September 11.  This may be when Vueling intends to discontinue the seasonal route, but that is unconfirmed.  Results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights show that Vueling has a codeshare agreement with the Spanish airline Iberia along this route.  The same source shows that the route will be operated with the Airbus A320-100 and A320-200.

Also, the Jakarta-based carrier Lion Air has commenced service between its hub at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (IATA: CGK; ICAO: WIII) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (IATA: KUL; ICAO: WMKK) near the Malaysian capital.

Lion Air will face a great deal of competition along this route, as no less than five other airlines fly it daily, according to Kayak.  Notwithstanding that, presumably each of Lion Air's flights is filled to capacity, as the company's English motto is "We make people fly."  Our editors are curious as to the ways in which this motto is implemented in the day-to-day activities of the airline.

In any case, Alitalia is indefinitely shelving its Turin-Berlin (Tegel) route, effective tomorrow.  Also, the British budget carrier EasyJet is discontinuing its Berlin (Schönefeld)-Gothenburg route tomorrow as well.

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Wednesday
Jun292011

US Airways and Aegean Airlines plan a codeshare agreement

US Airways and Aegean Airlines have announced they plan to codeshare on certain flights between the United States and Greece.  The proposed codeshare is focused on the American city of Philadelphia, where US Airways has a hub, and the Greek capital city of Athens, very near where Aegean Airways has its headquarters.  According to a recent press release from both airlines, US Airways travelers will be able to fly the seasonal route between Philadelphia International Airport (IATA: PHL; ICAO: KPHL) and Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (IATA: ATH; ICAO: LGAV) in Athens, and have access to much of the domestic network of Aegean Airlines.

US Airways travelers will also have the option to fly from Philadelphia to London's Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL), Munich's Franz Josef Strauss Airport (IATA: MUC; ICAO: EDDM), or Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport (IATA: FCO; ICAO: LIRF) on US Airways, then onward to Athens or Thessaloniki (IATA: SKG; ICAO: LGTS) on Aegean Airlines.

Aegean Airlines travelers will be able to fly the seasonal route to Philadelphia from Athens, and then have access to the entire American network of US Airways from Philadelphia.  (It was not indicated that US Airways' American network would be part of the codeshare.)

The proposed agreement is still subject to both United States Department of Transportation (DOT) approval, and approval by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, and Networks in the Hellenic Republic.  Both airlines are members of the Star Alliance.

original stories

US Airways and Aegean Airlines Announce New Codeshare (US Airways)

US Airways and Aegean Airlines Announce New Codeshare Agreement (Aegean Airlines)

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Tuesday
Jun282011

CityJet starts Manchester-Antwerp; cancels Manchester-London

CityJet, the Ireland-based subsidiary of Air France, has announced it will fly between Manchester Airport (IATA: MAN; ICAO: EGCC) in North West England, and Deurne Airport (IATA: ANR; ICAO: EBAW) in the Belgian city of Antwerp.  The route will be operated with the Fokker 50.  The precise timetable of the route is unpredictable, on some days flying two round trips, and on other days not flying at all.  The airline had planned to start service between Manchester and London City Airport (IATA: LCY; ICAO: EGLC), but recently set aside those plans.

Moreover, the Qatari national airline Qatar Airways has launched service between its base at Doha International Airport (IATA: DOH; ICAO: OTBD) and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (IATA: YUL; ICAO: CYUL) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  This service will operate in both directions, three times weekly, on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, according to search results returned by the airline's website.  Flight times are 13 hours 20 minutes westbound, and 12 hours 25 minutes eastbound, according to results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights.  The new Doha-Montreal route will be flown with the Boeing 777-200ER.

original stories

Discover Great-Britain with flights out of Antwerp Int'l Airport! (Air France)

Delivering 5-star Service to Montreal (Qatar Airways)

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Tuesday
Jun282011

Turkish Airlines inaugurates service to Basra and Naples

Turkish Airlines starts two new routes today, from its hub at Mustafa Kemal Atatürk International Airport (IATA: IST; ICAO: LTBA) in Istanbul.  The newest destinations in the Turkish national airline's network are the Iraqi city of Basra, and the Italian city of Naples.  The Istanbul-Basra route will operate through Basra International Airport (IATA: BSR; ICAO: ORMM) in southern Iraq.  The Istanbul-Naples route will operate through Ugo Niutta Airport (IATA: NAP; ICAO: LIRN) on the Gulf of Naples and the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The Istanbul-Basra non-stop will operate in both directions three times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  It is 3 hours 15 minutes long southeast-bound, and is 3 hours 25 minutes long northwest-bound.  It will be flown with the Boeing 737-800, according to search results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights.  The Istanbul-Naples non-stop will operate in both directions three times a week, on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.  It is 2 hours 25 minutes long westbound, and is 2 hours 15 minutes long eastbound.  It will be flown with the Airbus A319, according to www.kayak.com.

Georgian national airline Airzena Georgian Airways also started a new seasonal route.  The airline will fly non-stop between the Georgian town of Batumi (IATA: BUS; ICAO: UGSB) on the Black Sea, to Moscow, the Russian capital (IATA: DME; ICAO: UUDD).  According to Bloomberg, these will be "weekly charter flights," and will operate until October.

Two airlines based in Scandinavia also added new routes within the last day.  The largest airline based in the region, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), launched service between Oslo's Gardermoen Airport (IATA: OSL; ICAO: ENGM) and the Croatian seaside (Adriatic) town of Split (IATA: SPU; ICAO: LDSP).  This route will run three times a week, on Monday, Friday, and Saturday, according to Kayak.  Oslo, a city of 605,000 people, was found to be the world's most expensive city, by the Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.  Split, a city of 230,000 people, is the largest city in the Croatian region of Dalmatia, namesake of the Dalmatian canine breed.

Scandinavian Airlines also launched two services between Scandinavia and the Spanish capital city, Madrid.  One route will fly between Gardermoen Airport and Barajas Airport (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD) in central Spain.  This route will operate two times a week, on Tuesday and Saturday, according to Kayak.  The other will fly between Arlanda Airport in Stockholm (IATA: ARN; ICAO: ESSA) and the Spanish capital twice weekly, on Monday and Friday.

Also, budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle has commenced non-stop service between Gardermoen Airport and two destinations in the Balkans.  Those are Sarajevo (IATA: SJJ; ICAO: LQSA) and Pristina (IATA: PRN; ICAO: BKPR).  According to search results from Norwegian Air Shuttle's website, the Oslo-Sarajevo route will be flown twice weekly, on Monday and Thursday in both directions.  According to the same source, the Oslo-Pristina route will be flown twice weekly, on Monday and Friday in both directions.

Like many low-fare carriers, Norwegian Air Shuttle operates only one model of aircraft.  The route will be flown with some variant of the Boeing 737, either the -300 or the -800.

original stories

Turkish Airlines announces its first flights to Al Basrah (Iraq) and Naples (Italy) (Turkish Airlines)

New flight Batumi - Moscow - Batumi starting from 21 June, 11 (Airzena Georgian Airways)

Georgian Airline Begins First Direct Batumi Flights to Moscow (Bloomberg)

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Monday
Jun272011

Airbus A320neo dominates commerce during the Paris Air Show

The recently completed 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport (IATA: LBG; ICAO: LFPB) showed that the airline industry has much interest in a new model of aircraft being built by Airbus.  An environmentally friendlier version of the Toulouse-based aircraft maker's A320, the new variant shown off by Airbus at Le Bourget last week is identified by the Greek prefix meaning "new" tacked onto its name (albeit, the end of its name).

The London-based Guardian reported that Airbus did 57 billion USD (39.9 billion EUR; 35.4 billion GBP) in business during the biennial air show, at the general aviation field east of ParisAs reported here last week, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) placed an order for 30 of the A320neo.  But the Guardian reported that the Indian budget carrier IndiGo ordered a stunning 150 of the model (along with 30 ordinary A320s), and that the Malaysian budget carrier Air Asia topped even that, with an order for 200 of the A320neo.  A recap of the events at the world's largest air show, from Aviation International News, states that this latter transaction was "the largest single firm order in aviation history."

Other buyers of the A320neo in Paris last week were the American budget carrier JetBlue Airways, the Chilean airline LAN, the Indian budget carrier GoAir, and Republic Airways, an American holding company which owns six United States-based airlines.

The A320neo models will, according to Airbus, boast more efficient engines than what the ordinary A320 has.  The aircraft maker promises the A320neo will burn 15 percent less fuel than the A320 does.  If true, this means the A320neo will have an additional range (relative to the A320) of 950 kilometers (589 miles), all else equal.  Alternatively, it means the A320neo will be able to carry two metric tons (4,400 pounds) more payload, all else equal.

As it so happens, "neo" is an Airbus acronym for "new engine option."  The "neo" engines are being built by American engine maker Pratt & Whitney, and by CFM International.  The latter is a transnational joint venture between the American firm General Electric, and the French engine maker Snecma.  The A320neo is "due to enter operational use in October 2015," according to a video uploaded by Aviation Week, to YouTube.

related story

Scandinavian Airlines orders 30 of the Airbus A320neo (June 21, 2011)

original stories

Paris Air Show 2011 Report (Aviation International News)

Airbus 'overwhelmed' by sales success as A320neo proves a hit at Paris air show (The Guardian)

Airbus A320neo star of the Paris Air Show (Aerospace and Defence News)

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Sunday
Jun262011

Norwegian starts seasonal route between Stockholm and Tel Aviv

Norwegian Air Shuttle commenced a seasonal service between Stockholm's Arlanda Airport (IATA: ARN; ICAO: ESSA), and David Ben-Gurion Airport (IATA: TLV; ICAO: LLBG) in Tel Aviv this morning.  The first Stockholm-Tel Aviv flight of the season for the carrier was scheduled to leave Stockholm's main international airport at 7:00 this morning local time, but was delayed 25 minutes according to Arlanda's website.  The route will operate weekly in both directions on Sunday, until Norwegian Air Shuttle decides to retire it for the season.  It will be flown with the Boeing 737-800.

The route is scheduled to depart Stockholm at 7:00 in the morning each Sunday, local time, and arrive in Tel Aviv 12:50 in the afternoon local time.  It is scheduled to depart Tel Aviv for the return trip at 1:50 in the afternoon local time, and arrive back in Stockholm at 5:40 in the afternoon local time.  The flight is listed at 4 hours 50 minutes long, in both directions, on Norwegian Air Shuttle's official website.  Stockholm and Tel Aviv both observe daylight saving time during the middle months of the year, and Tel Aviv generally operates one hour ahead of Stockholm.

Norwegian Air Shuttle was founded in 1993 and is now Scandinavia's second-largest airline behind Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).  It is based in the municipality of Bærum, a western suburb of Oslo.  In true Scandinavian tradition, it operates seven roughly equivalent hubs in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Meanwhile, the Moscow-based airline RusLine started a non-stop route from Moscow to the Lithuanian Baltic seaside town of Palanga today, according to the official website of the town's airport (IATA: PLQ; ICAO: EYPA).  The route is operated with a Bombardier CRJ200.  It too will operate once a week on Sunday, in both directions.  It is scheduled to depart Moscow's Domodedovo International Airport (IATA: DME; ICAO: UUDD) at 5:50 in the morning local time, and arrive in Lithuania at 6:40 in the morning local time.  It is scheduled to depart the town of Palanga at 8:10 in the morning local time, and arrive back in Moscow at 11:05 local time.  Flight time is just under two hours long, in both directions.  Moscow operates one hour ahead of Palanga.

Additional information about this route, including pricing information, can be found on the airline's website, though it is in Russian, and does not offer an English translation.

original stories

Norwegian's Stockholm Arlanda network passes 30 routes; becomes second biggest base (www.anna.aero)

2011 04 12 (Palanga International Airport)

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Saturday
Jun252011

EasyJet starts route between London-Gatwick and Catania on Sicily

Starting today, the United Kingdom's popular budget airline EasyJet will fly three times a week between London's Gatwick Airport (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) and Vincenzo Bellini Airport (IATA: CTA; ICAO: LICC) on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.  The flights will operate in each direction on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, according to the route's timetable, available on the airline's official website.  The route will be flown with the Airbus A319-100, according to results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights.

EasyJet is the most popular airline for leisure travel, based in the United Kingdom.  Its largest hub is Luton Airport (IATA: LTN; ICAO: EGGW), 35 miles (57 kilometers) north of London.  It was established in 1995, and based its business model on the one used by the American carrier, Southwest Airlines.  One aspect of the budget airline business model is exclusive use (or at least very heavy use) of a single aircraft model.  Southwest, for example, is by far the world's largest operator of the Boeing 737, flying more than 550 of them, and having 130 more on order as of this posting.  EasyJet is the world's largest operator of the Airbus A319.  As of this posting, EasyJet operates more than 150 of the A319, in a fleet of fewer than 200 planes.

[To the right is a photograph of the 100th Airbus A319 delivered to EasyJet, landing at Bristol Airport (IATA: BRS; ICAO: EGGD) in special livery, in September 2008.]

related stories

Sunwing starts Toronto-Lisbon; EasyJet cuts London-Helsinki (June 22, 2011)

U.K.-based easyJet will debut a new ash detector (June 5, 2010)

original stories

EasyJet LGW-CTA timetable (EasyJet)

Easyjet Launches Catania - London Gatwick in June 2011 (http://airportsinitaly.blogspot.com)

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Friday
Jun242011

Qantas settles with Rolls-Royce for 95 million AUD out of court

Qantas Airways announced earlier this week that it reached an out-of-court settlement with engine maker Rolls-Royce regarding last November's engine failure on one of the Australian flag carrier airline's Airbus A380 models.  The settlement is in the amount of 95 million AUD (70.4 million EUR; 62.4 million GBP; 123.1 million NZD; 99.7 million USD).

The deal was reached Wednesday morning, but during a press conference, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce refused to go into specifics.  He characterized the settlement as "a very good result," considering the recent downturn in the commercial aviation industry in general.

The A380 that suffered the engine failure happened to be the first A380 inaugurated into service by Qantas in late 2008.  It was given the name Nancy Bird Walton, after the famous Australian aviatrix born in 1915.  She was the youngest Australian woman to have a pilot's license, and during the 1930s, operated an air ambulance service in the Australian state of New South Wales.  She died in 2009, at the age of 93.

The Qantas Airbus A380 was scheduled to fly from Changi International Airport (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore to Kingsford Smith Airport (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY) in Sydney.  The engine failed shortly after takeoff, requiring the plane to return to Singapore.  Qantas grounded its fleet of A380s (of which there were six at the time) for inspections.  This prompted Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa to do the same.  In the time since, all three airlines have expressed confidence in the long-term soundness of the A380, both mechanically and from a business point of view.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa are three of six carriers worldwide to fly the Airbus A380.  The others are Air France, Emirates, and Korean AirAir France and Emirates were unconcerned about the safety of the A380s in their respective fleets, because the engines in all of their A380s are the GP7200, made by the Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.  Last November, Korean Air did not yet fly the A380.  But for the record, it chose the Engine Alliance GP7200 to power its A380, of which it has ordered ten, and currently possesses one.

related stories

Qantas looks at legal action against Rolls-Royce for engine failure (December 2, 2010)

Qantas CEO aboard first company A380 to fly since engine failure (November 27, 2010)

Qantas and Airbus point finger at Rolls-Royce for compensation (November 22, 2010)

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure (November 16, 2010)

Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

Qantas Reaches Commercial Agreement with Rolls-Royce (Qantas Airways)

Rolls-Royce deal drives Qantas profit (Sydney Morning Herald)

Rolls-Royce, Qantas settle over engine explosion (Yahoo News)

Qantas settles with Rolls-Royce (CNN Online)

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Friday
Jun242011

Hellenic Imperial to start Gatwick, JFK today; Kuwait tomorrow

The Greek airline Hellenic Imperial Airways is flying four times a week between its hub at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (IATA: ATH; ICAO: LGAV) in Athens, and Kennedy International Airport in New York (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK), starting today.  The route will be operated with the Airbus A340-300.  It is scheduled to depart from Athens at 5:30 in the afternoon local time, and arrive in New York at 9:30 in the evening, local time.  It is scheduled to depart New York at 11:30 in the evening local time, and arrive back in Athens at 5:00 in the afternoon the following day, local time.  The creation of this route makes Hellenic Imperial the only airline based in Greece to currently operate its own aircraft, non-stop, to the United States.

The airline will operate from Terminal 1 at Kennedy International.

Hellenic Imperial also announced that, starting today, it will fly thrice weekly between Athens and Gatwick Airport (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) south of London.  This route will be also operated with the Airbus A340-300.  Initially, the round-trip service will be operated three times a week, but this will be increased to six over the next few months, according to the U.K.-based Online Regional Travel Group.

Additionally, starting tomorrow, Hellenic Imperial will fly between Athens and Kuwait (IATA: KWI; ICAO: OKBK), the capital of the eponymous Middle Eastern nation.  According to www.flight965.com, this round-trip service will operate two times a week.  It did not give any further details.  When these routes were first announced, the Athens-London round trip was first scheduled to commence on July 1.  But the start date of this route was changed to June 24, to match the start date for Hellenic Imperial's Athens-New York route.

The Dutch airline Arkefly starts non-stop twice-weekly service between Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS; ICAO: EHAM) in Amsterdam and Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA; ICAO: KMIA) in the American state of Florida today, according to a reader blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website.  The route will be flown with the Boeing 767-300ER.

The British budget airline EasyJet also restarts a seasonal service today between mainland Spain and the Canary Islands.  It operates four times a week, on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, according to a timetable printed on EasyJet's website.  It operates between Barajas Airport (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD) in Madrid, and Lanzarote, the furthest east of the Canary Islands (IATA: ACE; ICAO: GCRR).

original stories

Hellenic Imperial Gatwick-Athens (www.countryconnect.co.uk)

Hellenic Imperial to launch Athens - London Gatwick late-Jun 2011 (www.airlineroute.net)

New scheduled route between Athens - New York to start on June 24th, 2011 (Hellenic Imperial Airways)

Hellenic Imperial Airways plans Athens - New York JFK launch from late-June 2011 (www.airlineroute.net)

Hellenic Imperial Airways to start visiting Kuwait! (www.flight965.com)

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Thursday
Jun232011

Czech Airlines inaugurates flights from new Bratislava hub

Over the next three days, Czech Airlines will commence a series of six new routes from its brand new hub in Bratislava, Slovakia.  This will result in two dozen new round-trip routes being available from the Slovakian capital, once the full schedule is rolled out by this coming Saturday.  Today, the Czech national airline will start round-trip routes between Milan Rastislav Štefánik Airport (IATA: BTS; ICAO: LZIB) in Bratislava, and three destinations.  The route will operate through Amsterdam (IATA: AMS; ICAO: EHAM) four times a week, Rome (IATA: FCO; ICAO: LIRF) five times a week, and Paris (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG) seven times a week.

Tomorrow, Czech Airlines will start a round-trip route between the new Slovakian hub and the Belgian capital, Brussels (IATA: BRU; ICAO: EBBR).  Bratislava-Brussels will operate three times a week.  On Saturday, the airline will start new round-trip routes between Bratislava and two more destinations.  The routes inaugurated this Saturday will operate through Barcelona (IATA: BCN; ICAO: LEBL) twice a week, and the Cypriot resort town of Larnaca (IATA: LCA; ICAO: LCLK) thrice weekly.

Czech Airlines operates flights between its main hub at Ruzynĕ Airport (IATA: PRG; ICAO: LKPR) in Prague, and the Slovakian capital twice daily.

All six of these new routes will be flown with the Boeing 737-500, according to Czech Airlines.  A post to www.flightglobal.com from last month indicates that Czech Airlines "will not be facing any competition on any of the routes."  The Slovak Republic has been without a major airline since last year when Air Slovakia dissolved due to bankruptcy, becoming the third airline based in Slovakia to shut down in just a six month period.  Slovak Airlines, another former airline with a hub in Bratislava, went bankrupt and shut down in 2007.  Between last year and the recent announcement of the new Bratislava hub from Czech Airlines, the only airline to use Štefánik Airport as a hub has been the small regional airline Danube Wings.

The facility, opened in 1951, is located in the Bratislava suburb of Ivanka pri Dunaji, and was originally named for the suburb.  It is usually simply called Bratislava Airport by English speakers.  But it is still sometimes called Bratislava-Ivanka by local diehards, and online travel agencies and aggregators.

Additionally, TAP Portugal is starting a new seasonal route between its hub in Lisbon (IATA: LIS; ICAO: LPPT) and the Croatian seaside town of Dubrovnik (IATA: DVB; ICAO: LDDU).  Croatia Airlines codeshares on the route, according to search results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights, and it will operate once a week in both directions each Thursday.  It is flown with the Airbus A320-100 and -200, and will end on August 25.

original stories

Czech Airlines will offer 24 Direct Flights Weekly from Bratislava to Six European Metropolises (Czech Airlines)

Czech Airlines' Direct Flights Connect Bratislava to Transfer Hubs, and thus to the World (Czech Airlines)

Czech Airlines introduce flights from Bratislava to six new European destinations starting tomorrow (Czech Airlines)

Czech Airlines to Open Base at Bratislava (www.flightglobal.com)

CSA Czech Airlines Bratislava Base Operation Details (www.flightglobal.com)

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Thursday
Jun232011

Condor commences long-awaited Frankfurt-Seattle route

Today, the Germany-based airline Condor started a route between Frankfurt and the American city of Seattle, Washington.  The route will be operated with the Boeing 767-300ER.  The Seattle Times reported that the route will be flown twice weekly, on Monday and Thursday.

On Monday, the flight is scheduled to leave Frankfurt-Main Airport (IATA: FRA; ICAO: EDDF) at 3:30 in the afternoon, local time.  It is scheduled to arrive at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA; ICAO: KSEA) 10 hours 50 minutes later, at 5:20 in the afternoon, local time.  The Monday return flight is scheduled to depart Seattle at 7:20 in the evening, local time, and arrive back in Frankfurt at 2:50 in the afternoon the following day, local time.  On Thursday, the schedules for both directions of the route are simply shifted forward in time by a little more than an hour.

Condor's sales and marketing manager for North America, Janet Gorecki-Mackanin, pointed out Condor's partnership with Sea-Tac, Washington-based Alaska Airlines.  She explained that travelers on Condor will now have convenient access to points up and down the American west coast, through Alaska Airlines.  The Port of Seattle, which operates Seattle/Tacoma International, also expressed enthusiasm for the new route.

The business entity that became Condor was founded in 1955, and commenced operations the following year.  Condor's largest hub is at Frankfurt Airport.  Its main offices are in the Frankfurt suburb of Kelsterbach.

In other news, Asiana Airlines subsidiary Air Busan commenced service today, between its hub at Gimhae International Airport (IATA: PUS; ICAO: RKPK) in Busan, South Korea, and Narita International Airport (IATA: NRT; ICAO: RJAA) 35 miles (57 kilometers) east of Tokyo.  This route was originally scheduled to commence two months ago, but was delayed because of the earthquake and tsunami that recently struck Japan.

original stories

No-frills Condor Airlines to begin Seattle-Frankfurt flights (Seattle Times)

Port of Seattle Welcomes Condor Airlines non-stop Service to Frankfurt (Port of Seattle)

Germany's Condor to Launch Seattle-Frankfurt Service in June (www.airlinesanddestinations.com)

Air Busan Confirms Revised Tokyo Start Date (www.routesonline.com)

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Thursday
Jun232011

Australia, NZ airlines estimate ash costs; Fyfe, Joyce have it out

The Sydney Morning Herald estimated today that the June 4 eruption of the volcano in the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex in the Chilean Andes mountain range has cost "the local [airline] industry some $30 million" AUD (22.2 million EUR; 19.7 million GBP; 38.8 million NZD; 31.4 million USD).  Qantas Airways and its subsidiary QantasLink lost 21 million AUD according to estimates from the Herald this morning.

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan indicated to the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that Jetstar and Qantas erred on the side of caution when it came to the decision on when to restart a regular flying schedule.  To justify such conservative decision making, Buchanan pointed to the absence in Australia, of the kinds of technology that enabled European-based carriers "to measure the density of the ash," when faced with a similar problem during the spring of last year.  Today, Qantas and Jetstar have cancelled all flights into and out of New Zealand, according to The Age, a Melbourne-based broadsheet daily newspaper.

The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull began erupting in March of 2010, and grounded air traffic in Europe for several days.  In its wake, a novel on-board ash detection system was debuted by the British budget airline EasyJet, but British scientific models of future ash movement wound up being roundly criticized, mostly by U.K.-based and Ireland-based airlines, for themselves being too conservative.

Meanwhile, a trans-Tasman tiff has erupted over an e-mail from Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, to the millions of Qantas frequent fliers.  The e-mail explained the Australian national airline's decision to ground planes for as long as it did.  Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe got hold of this e-mail, and took it as implying that Air New Zealand (and other carriers such as Virgin Australia) acted recklessly by not grounding planes.  In a response, Fyfe pointed out Joyce's willingness to put ticketed Qantas customers onto substitute flights operated by Air New Zealand, "which seems like a strange thing to do for your customers if you have concerns about the safety of the airspace."  As of this posting, Joyce has not responded.

Fyfe is also hitting back against rumors out of Oz that Air New Zealand has grounded as many as six of its planes, supposedly damaged by ash, calling the rumors "malicious."  Air New Zealand instructed its pilots to detour around the ash (rather than ground its planes), after the ash swept down toward Antarctica, up across the South Pacific, and into Middle Earth airspace several days ago.

related stories

Volcanic ash wanders across Pacfic; snarls NZ, Australia air traffic (June 12, 2011)

U.K.-based easyJet will debut a new ash detector (June 5, 2010)

Airlines now criticizing British models of predicted ash movement (May 17, 2010)

Volcanoes in Iceland could affect aviation for decades (May 17, 2010)

The spread of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajökull over time (May 4, 2010)

original stories

Fyfe: Air NZ's ash-damaged planes 'malicious rumors' (New Zealand Herald)

Airlines count flight interruptions costs (Sydney Morning Herald)

Some Australia flights resume, others nixed by ash (Yahoo News)

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Wednesday
Jun222011

Sunwing starts Toronto-Lisbon; EasyJet cuts London-Helsinki

Canada's Sunwing Airlines inaugurated a non-stop weekly service between Toronto's Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ; ICAO: CYYZ) and Lisbon's Portela Airport (IATA: LIS; ICAO: LPPT) today.  The eastbound flight will operate weekly, on Wednesday.  The westbound flight will operate weekly on Thursday.  Toronto-Lisbon is scheduled to depart Pearson International at 9:20 in the evening, local time.  It is scheduled to arrive at Lisbon-Portela at 9:40 in the morning the following day, local time.  Lisbon-Toronto is scheduled to depart Portela at 12:10 in the afternoon, local time, and arrive back in Toronto at 3:20 in the afternoon, local time.  Sunwing flies a fleet of Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 767-300ER models.  It is unknown which of the two Boeing models will operate along this route.

According to Travel Week Canada, Sunwing will fly to other European destinations this summer as well, from both Toronto and Montreal's Trudeau International (IATA: YUL; ICAO: CYUL).  It will fly between Pearson, and Gatwick in London (IATA: LGW; ICAO: EGKK) four times a week; between Trudeau, and Charles de Gaulle Airport (IATA: CDG; ICAO: LFPG) in Paris twice weekly; between Pearson and de Gaulle twice weekly; and between Pearson and Ireland's Dublin Airport (IATA: DUB; ICAO: EIDW) once weekly.  It will also fly between Toronto and the coastal Portuguese town of Porto (IATA: OPO; ICAO: LPPR) once weekly, and between Toronto and Rome (IATA: FCO; ICAO: LIRF) once weekly.

Meanwhile, today the United Kingdom's popular no frills airline EasyJet flew its year-round London-Helsinki route for the last time (in the foreseeable future at least).  EasyJet flew the route through Gatwick Airport in London, and Vantaa Airport (IATA: HEL; ICAO: EFHK) in Finland.  EasyJet cited "lack of demand" as the reason for the contraction.  The no frills carrier based at London's Luton Airport (IATA: LTN; ICAO: EGGW) ended its Manchester-Helsinki route earlier this month, according to the U.K website Air & Business Travel News.  EasyJet plans to stop its Paris-Helsinki route early next month.

original stories

Sunwing to add six more cities to its European program this summer (Travel Week Canada)

Easyjet to stop serving Helsinki (Air & Business Travel News)

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Wednesday
Jun222011

Curaçao airline Insel Air adds Charlotte, North Carolina to network

Curaçao-based airline Insel Air today launches a non-stop service between Hato International Airport (IATA: CUR; ICAO: TNCC) on Curaçao, and Douglas International Airport (IATA: CLT; ICAO: KCLT) near Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States.  The service will operate twice-weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday according to Insel Air, and will be flown with the McDonell Douglas MD-83 according to results returned by the airline ticket booking engine at www.kayak.com/flights.  Insel Air noted in its press release that this will allow Insel Air travelers to make convenient connections with US Airways, which operates a hub at Charlotte-Douglas.  Insel Air and US Airways signed an interline agreement in 2009.

Willemstad, the largest town on Curaçao, has one of the most colorful and recognizable downtown areas in the Caribbean.  Dutch-style terraced houses are splashed with Caribbean-style color.  Downtown Willemstad and the nearby harbor have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A Bonaire-focused travel site operated from the American state of Texas, called www.bonairepros.com also noted the route this past April.  The site was offering the Charlotte-Curaçao-Bonaire round-trip at 497.3 USD (870.28 ANG) at the time they posted the route.

Bonaire, Curaçao, and Aruba make up what are sometimes called the ABC islands.  Bonaire is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Curaçao (at the closest point), in the southern Caribbean Sea.  Each of the islands uses a different official currency.  Curaçao uses the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG).  Aruba, 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of Curaçao, uses the Aruban florin (AWG).  Bonaire used the Netherlands Antillean guilder until the last day of 2010.  It now uses the American dollar (USD).

original stories

New InselAir destination, Charlotte US, creates many transfer possibilities with US Airways (Insel Air)

Insel Air to Offer Charlotte flight to Bonaire (www.bonairepros.com)

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Tuesday
Jun212011

Air Berlin starts Hamburg-Keflavík non-stop route

The German semi-low-cost airline Air Berlin has commenced twice-weekly non-stop service between the Hanseatic city on the River Elbe, Hamburg, and the Icelandic town whose name means "driftwood bay" in the local language.  The route between Hamburg's Fuhlsbüttel Airport (IATA: HAM; ICAO: EDDH) and Keflavík International Airport (IATA: KEF; ICAO: BIKF), on a southwestern promontory of the volcanic island nation in the north Atlantic, will operate two times a week, on Sunday and Thursday.  The flights are about 3 hours 20 minutes each, in both directions.  The route will be flown with the Airbus A319.

Keflavík International was built in 1942 by the American military, which called it the United States Naval Air Station Keflavík, or NASKEF.  Keflavík International is the only year-round  international gateway (by air) in Iceland.  It is about 31 miles (50 kilometers) west of Reykjavík, the capital.  A plain near the Icelandic national capital was the site of the A.D. 930 establishment of the world's oldest continuously functioning parliamentary body.  This is now an Icelandic national park, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

[There is no source because this exotic bit of news was hardly reported at all in the Anglophone press.  A bracketed date notation on the English language Wikipedia article for Keflavík International Airport, under Airlines and Destinations, tipped off the webmaster of this site, who decided to report on it.  All articles which inspired this in one way or another were translated from German or Icelandic using Google Translate.

Searches for the route on Air Berlin's website, and on www.kayak.com/flights, are successful, for Sunday and/or Thursday flights.]

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Tuesday
Jun212011

Scandinavian Airlines orders 30 of the Airbus A320neo

The Toulouse, France-based Airbus has sold 30 of its new A320neo model aircraft to Solna, Sweden-based Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).  These are scheduled for delivery to SAS during the second half of 2016.  SAS also has the option to order 11 more, for delivery during 2019.

Airbus explained in its press release on the SAS purchase, that "[the] A320neo incorporates more efficient engines...which will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings."  SAS also estimates that when the A320neo fully replaces the current fleet of A320s (of which SAS flies 12), its carbon emissions per available seat-kilometer will be reduced by 15 percent.

SAS noted that the value of this order is something in the neighborhood of 18 billion SEK (1.96 billion EUR, 2.83 billion USD, 2.67 billion AUD, 3.68 billion NZD, 226.96 billion JPY)

original stories

SAS orders 30 Airbus A320neo Family Aircraft (Airbus)

SAS places an order with Airbus for 30 aircraft (SAS)

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Tuesday
Jun212011

American Airlines, Air Berlin expand already-existing codeshare

Air Berlin's recently-added non-stop flights between Tegel Airport (IATA: TXL; ICAO: EDDT) in Berlin, and Kennedy International Airport (IATA: JFK; ICAO: KJFK) in New York, are now part of the codeshare agreement in force between Air Berlin and American Airlines since late last year.  The arrangement allows American Airlines customers in the United States to access the Berlin-New York and Düsseldorf-New York non-stops operated year-round by Air Berlin, on the American Airlines website.  The Berlin-New York round trip operates four times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.  The Düsseldorf-New York round trip operates daily between late June and late October.  Both routes are flown with the Airbus A330-200.

High-ranking representatives of both airlines expressed enthusiasm for the newly expanded codeshare.  Air Berlin's Chief Financial Officer Ulf Hüttmeyer, identified the United States as a "growing market" for Air Berlin, and expressed eagerness to "[sign] more codeshares [with American Airlines] in the future."   According to American Airlines, global distribution systems "will display the [codeshare] flights...for travel starting this Friday, June 24."

American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.  Air Berlin is expected to join the alliance in 2012.  Its sponsoring member is British Airways.

Also, this coming Saturday, Air Berlin, along with Berlin Airports and Boeing, will host a ceremony for the German premiere of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  Air Berlin boasts that it will be the first airline based in Germany to receive a shipment of the Boeing 787.  Air Berlin flies a fleet of 147 aircraft, comprised of 74 Airbus models, 63 Boeing models, and 10 Bombardier models.  It was founded in the American state of Oregon in 1978 as Air Berlin USA.  It relocated to Berlin in 1985.  Air Berlin operates a semi-low-cost business model.

related stories

Air Berlin will commence year-round JFK routes this coming fall (February 3, 2011)

American Airlines and Air Berlin codeshare is in effect (November 8, 2010)

Air Berlin makes codeshare agreements with Finnair and American (July 29, 2010)

original stories

airberlin and American Airlines expand codeshare agreement (Air Berlin)

American Airlines and airberlin Expand Codeshare Agreement (American Airlines)

airberlin: German premiere of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Air Berlin)

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