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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