Entries in Amsterdam (4)


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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Emirates launches service between Dubai and Madrid

The official airline of the emirate of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates just finished a series of inaugural flights between the airline's hub Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB; ICAO: OMDB) and a number of European cities, including Madrid, the capital of Spain.  The newly launched Dubai-Madrid route will be flown with the Airbus A330-200 in a 237-seat configuration.

Other routes launched by Emirates this year include flights between Dubai and the cities of Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Prague, Czech Republic.  The largest airline based in the Middle East launched its Dubai-Amsterdam route in May, and its Dubai-Prague route in July.  Moreover, earlier today, the inaugural flight of the airline's Dubai-Beijing route landed at Capital International Airport in the Chinese capital (IATA: PEK; ICAO: ZBAA).  The inaugural flight was flown with the new Airbus A380.

Emirates was founded in 1985, and operates four of the longest commercial flights currently being flown.  (Those are between Dubai International and the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Sao Paulo.)  It currently has 142 aircraft in its passenger fleet, with an astonishing 197 more planes on order, 90 of those on order being the Airbus A380.  Emirates is wholly owned by the Dubai-based Emirates Group, which itself is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai.

related stories

Emirates wants even more (than 90) Airbus A380s (June 22, 2010)

 Emirates orders 32 more Airbus A380 super jumbo aircraft (June 16, 2010)

original stories

Emirates completes flurry of European route launches (www.ameinfo.com)

Emirates marks its first A380 flight to Beijing (www.ameinfo.com)


World Cup Semifinals and Final sparked rivalry between airlines

Airlines based in countries whose national teams made the semifinals in this year’s World Cup have scheduled extra flights between their European hubs and South African cities hosting games the semifinalists and finalists have played in or will play in.  The flag carriers of the two countries remaining in the World Cup, the Netherlands and Spain, are each a member of one of the largest airline alliances in the world.  And over the course of this week, the Dutch airline KLM added four flights each way between Johannesburg, where the Final will be played, and its European hubs of Amsterdam and Paris.  The Spanish airline Iberia has not announced via its website, any intention to make additional flights to and from South Africa, as of the time of this post.

Several days ago, a Lufthansa spokesman said if the team from Germany won the World Cup, that they would fly back home on an Airbus A380.  In the days since, Germany lost to Spain in the second semifinal match, and will play the team from Uruguay for third place.  (It is unknown what airplane the team from Germany will use instead.)

Lufthansa was reconstituted in its present form in 1954.  It is the German flag carrier, and is the largest airline headquartered in Europe, by number of passengers carried.  Its headquarters is in Frankfurt.  The Netherlands’ flag carrier KLM was formed in 1919, and flew its first flights the following year.  It is headquartered in Amsterdam, and its main hub is that city’s Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS; ICAO: EHAM).  KLM merged with Air France in 2004, though both airlines retain their familiar logos and branding scheme.  Iberia is the Spanish flag carrier, and was founded in 1927.  It is based in the national capital of Madrid, and maintains its largest hub at Barajas Airport in Madrid (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD).  Iberia announced last year that it has reached a preliminary merger agreement with British Airways.  The agreement between British Airways and Iberia was confirmed again this past April.  The resulting business entity will be called International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A.  It is expected that the merger will be complete by the end of this year.  Both Iberia and British Airways will retain their current logos and branding scheme.

original story (www.airwise.com)


Dutch Safety Board released conclusions on fatal plane crash

On Thursday the Dutch Safety Board published its conclusions on the likely causes of the fatal crash landing of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 on February 25 last year.  It was a regularly scheduled flight from the airline’s hub near Istanbul to Amsterdam, and it crashed on final at Schiphol (IATA: AMS; ICAO: EHAM) killing nine, including the three pilots.  The airplane broke into three pieces on impact.

The report concluded that on final approach one of the plane’s two radio altimeter systems registered a much lower altitude than what the aircraft was actually flying.  (The altitude registered by the broken altimeter system, according to the report, was eight feet below sea level, basically the elevation of Schiphol.)  This in turn caused the autothrottle system, which took its readings only from the altimeter system that happened to be broken, to reduce throttle further and sooner than what protocol would dictate.

Moreover, air traffic control instructed the pilots of the Boeing 737-800 to fly a much shorter final approach than normal.  A consequence of this was that the plane was flying much higher and faster than one on an approach of a more normal length would be flying, that close to the end of the runway.  The autothrottle responded by automatically reducing throttle to near idle, as if the aircraft were at the touchdown stage of the final approach.

Only when the plane was about to stall did the pilots take corrective measures.  They pushed the throttle forward, presumably for a go-around and another try at the landing pattern.  But according to the report of the Dutch Safety Board, the pilots’ measures were in vain, because they neglected to disengage the autothrottle prior to attempting recovery from the stall.  The autothrottle responded to the pilots’ recovery attempt by pulling the throttle back to idle, where it had been when the stall (or near-stall) conditions were present.  At last the pilots disengaged the autothrottle, but their final efforts were too late.

The cause was determined to be a faulty radio altimeter compounded by pilot error.  Moreover, the Safety Board’s conclusions put some of the blame on the aircraft manufacturer’s documents for failing to mention the need to disconnect autothrottle during recovery from a loss of control.

original story (Turkish Airlines)