Tuesday, March 9, 2010

US has the dirtiest planes



















U.S. airlines largely stopped ordering new planes after Sept. 11, 2001, shrinking their fleets to adjust to a drop in demand. Travel has rebounded strongly, but airlines are, for the most part, years away from taking delivery on large numbers of new planes. A big reason is that Boeing and Airbus have committed most of their airliner production capacity in coming years to carriers in Europe and Asia.
The industry’s aging jets contribute to the general unpleasantness of air travel these days. They are often noisier and less comfortable than newer models. They are delayed by mechanical problems more frequently than new planes and often have built-up grime in passenger spaces. Add to that the fact that older planes are less fuel efficient and have worse emissions and you have supposedly one of the richest countries in the world producing some of the worst airplane pollution.
With the exception of Southwest Airlines, the major U.S. carriers have all either been through bankruptcy or narrowly avoided it in recent years. They returned to profit in 2006, but profit margins are still anemic – “amongst the worst industries in the country,” said Scott Kirby, president of US Airways. “The whole industry is hardly the poster child for strong credit.”

pia experience Air Hostess in Different Countries from World   Part 2

No doubt you'd like your children to have at least a short sleep on board a long haul flight, particularly if it's a red eye (overnight service). To help, always remember to pack your child or baby's favourite bed time cuddly toy and dummy (soother) as this really helps settle them into their new sleeping environment on board the plane. Some airlines provide bassinet cots (see right) for use in bulk head seat rows.
For babies and small infants who are too young to have their own seat on board a long haul flight, try to reserve a bulk head row seat with a Bassinet, by calling the airline in advance of your travel date to request one. Bassinet's allow you to move around the aircraft much easier, when your child is hopefully asleep!

A British Airways Concorde landing after one of its final flights in 2003.

A Dubai consortium is bidding to turn one of British Airways's seven remaining Concorde supersonic jets into a tourist attraction, a report said Wednesday, while BA said it was mulling its options.
The Times said that if the jet -- which reached supersonic speeds and halved the total flight time from London to New York -- were to be shipped to the Middle East, its wings would have to be clipped off to fit on a ship.
It cited a source close to the Dubai consortium as saying the group would spend millions of pounds (euros, dollars) to restore the interior of the plane, which is currently kept at London's Heathrow Airport.
"Sending it to Dubai would be a kick in the teeth for Britain's aviation heritage," Ben Lord, a spokesman for the Save Concorde Group, told The Times.
"Chopping off its wings and putting it on a ship would be the final insult."



















Dubai: Kingfisher Airlines, a leading Indian carrier run by flamboyant businessman Vijay Mallya, will start flying from Indian technology hub Bangalore to Dubai from June 25.
The airline had earlier planned to start services to the UAE in March, but the global economic slowdown delayed the launch.
"The conditions have improved now. It is a good time to connect Dubai and Bangalore with the summer travel season starting," said Vinay Nambiar, Kingfisher's area manager for the UAE, Qatar and Oman.
Kingfisher also plans to start flights to Abu Dhabi and a couple of other destinations in the Gulf region, he said.
The daily Dubai services will be operated using an A320 aircraft. Flights from Bangalore will depart at 6.30pm and land in Dubai at 8.55pm local time. The return flight will leave Dubai at 11.30pm and reach Bangalore at 4.45am.



PIA Engineering is an established Aircraft Maintenance and Repair organization that provides world-class solutions to the aviation industry. PIA's Engineering Base, head-quartered at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, is acclaimed as one of Asia's best. Strategically located for the convenience of airlines whose operations extend to Asia, it is equipped with the most advanced, modern aircraft maintenance and overhaul facilities and is manned by a team of highly trained personnel.PIA Engineering delivers maintenance and overhauling services for customers as well as PIA's fleet of aircraft in accordance with the maintenance schedule approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan and the European Aviation Safety Agency (under EASA PART-145 approval).




NEW DELHI, -- Kingfisher Airlines, India's second largest private airlines, will soon start daily flights from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur.

India's Civil Aviation Ministry is said to have granted permission for the airline to fly the Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore sector.

The Economic Times reported today that the Kingfisher, owned by the United Breweries Group, controlled by Indian industrialist, Vijay Mallya, would fly the new routes.

"We have granted permission to Kingfisher to operate daily services on three more international sectors, including Chennai-Kuala Lumpur, with immediate effect," a ministry official was quoted as saying.

The paper however did not name the official.

"The Aviation Ministry has asked the airlines to conduct proper study of air tr+affic on new routes before announcing the launch.




KUALA LUMPUR, -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has removed the fuel surcharge for its Singapore and Brunei flights effective Jan 30.

In addition, by Feb 1, the fuel surcharge on flights from China would be reduced by up to US$100.Flights from Australia and New Zealand will see a reduction of up to US$210 while those from the Middle East will have a drop of up to US$150, MAS said in a statement today.

Africa and North American flights will also see a reduction of up to US$160 and US$185 respectively, it announced.

The national carrier has slashed fuel surcharges on international flights by as much as 73 percent after taking into account the decline in fuel prices, competitive pressures and the need to boost air travel during this period of economic slowdown.




KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 -- Low-cost carrier, AirAsia, will be giving away 200 free seats to London from today onwards in conjunction with its global countdown campaign to commemorate its inaugural flight to London scheduled for March 11, 2009.

Its low-cost long-haul carrier, AirAsia X, would operate the sector.

In a statement here today, AirAsia said it would organise roadshow games and the participants needed to answer simple questions on the company to get a chance to win the tickets.

It said two return seats would be offered at every roadshow at strategic locations in the Klang Valley from today until March 11.

The roadshow will kick off at Jalan Raja Chulan in Kuala Lumpur, it said.



Engineering and Maintenance (MAS EM) is hoping Qantas Airways will send some of its aircraft to Malaysia for heavy maintenance checks.
MAS EM senior general manager Roslan Ismail said in an interview that he is hoping Qantas may have heavy maintenance checks on A380s as well as Airbus A330s and some of its 747s done in Malaysia rather than Australia.
He also says MAS EM and Qantas are proceeding with plans to establish a joint venture that will utilise MAS EM's heavy maintenance facilities in Kuala Lumpur.
He says the two sides were originally planning to start the venture in this year's third quarter but now it will start in next year's first or second quarter.
"They [Qantas' maintenance and engineering bosses] said give them a few months to sort things out," he says.
"They have a new CEO at Qantas and they have this union problem."

Anthony Gonzalez Pilots Claim US Airways Puts On Pressure To Cut Fuel

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: A US Airways jet is prepared for flight at Los Angles International Airport (LAX) July 17, 2008 in Los Angles, California. The US Airline Pilots Association, representing 5,200 US Airways pilots, and eight senior US Airline pilots have filed complaints with the Federal Aviation Administration, charging that the airline is pressuring pilots to use less fuel than they feel is safe. In a full-page ad that appeared in USA Today July 16, the union accused the airline of 'a program of intimidation to pressure your captain to reduce fuel loads'. Eight pilots who asked for 'an extra 10 to 15 minutes worth of fuel' were ordered to take extra training, which could jeopardize their licenses. US Airways denies that the action was punitive. Because of skyrocketing fuel prices, the airline is trying lighten their aircraft by removing movie players, using lighter meal carts, replacing glassware with plastic, and not carrying unnecessary extra fuel. The company is also cutting inefficient routes and buying more fuel-efficient jets. FAA regulations require airlines to carry enough fuel to fly at least 45 minutes beyond their intended destination. In addition, pilots are given final authority on whether their flight should have additional fuel.













Pity the poor Boeing test pilots, all suited up and nowhere to go. Sitting out on the tarmac at Everett, Washington, the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner looks sleek, every inch the airliner of the future it is supposed to be. So far, though, all it has been able to do is to roll up and down the runway under low engine power. At least we know the wheels turn. As for actually leaving the ground, don't hold your breath.
That was supposed to happen at the end of July. At the last minute the first test flight was canceled--and no new date set. The 787 was grounded because of structural faults found where the wings meet the fuselage. 
The problem in Italy involves a part of the structure called stringers--stringers are also involved in the wing weakness. This time wrong-sized stringers have been found to cause the outer skin of the fuselage to wrinkle under stress, such as when the airplane lands. Boeing is keen to play down this problem, saying that a solution is already designed and will be executed swiftly.



















Blue skies is a term in skydving referenceing when one of their own has perished in a tradgic accident- its their way of toasting those whom have passed.
13 years ago to this day, at 830 pm TWA flight 800 dissapeared off the radar and with it all 230 people on board (two pilots, two flight engineers, 14 flight attendants, 212 passengers dissapeared from our lives in what was one of the worst aviation disaters. It was also one of the longest investigations ever launched.
The NTSB concluded that the center wing fuel tank had over heated, and that a short circuit in a wiring cause a spark and lit vapors from the tank causing an explosion which caused the catostropic breakup of the aircraft. Though many people still debate thier findings, thats what they reported.
So Dairy Air takes a few moments out to remember the fallen, and our colleagues lost, and those families left behind heres a few toast to those lost. Inlcude your own if you wish!

Image

Air hostesses of Pakistan International Airlines leave Pearl Continental hotel after a bomb blast in Peshawar on June 10, 2009. According to Express News, two PIA air hostesses have been injured while a pilot of the airline is missing.

Crew of a privately-owned and a foreign airline also injured according to number of new channels. The Pilot has gone missing since the blast. The blast was so severe that even my home which is about 4 kms away from PC hotel shook violently. According to hotel authorities some people from 3rd and 4rth Floor who were in their rooms are not responding, and the PIA pilot is thought to be in one of those rooms.

Kulula flying 101 aircraft

Don't panic if Kulula staff announce that your flight has just landed in Harare - they love joking. Kulula Airlines is one of 4 low cost carriers operating in South Africa (Mango, 1time and Interlink are the others), and is known for its and advertisements. The Kulula brand is owned by Comair (who also operate British Airways flights in South Africa), a company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and its steadily-increasing offering includes travel, credit cards and cellphone connections.
The word kulula is Zulu for it is light or it is easy/simple.



For those aspiring for a career as an Airhostess or Flight Attendants, the Hyderabad-based Sristy's School of Airhostess is opening a new training centre in Coimbatore. Sristy Srivastava, a former airhostess, established the school in Hyderabad in June 2005. Within seven months, it opened its second branch in Secunderabad.
Stepping into Tamil Nadu for opening its third training facility, Sristy has chosen Coimbatore because of the potential available in terms of the candidates as well as job prospects. Given the growing potential available in Kerala, Sristy has plans to set up training centres in Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Chennai already hosts a number of such schools but the potential remained untapped in a place like Coimbatore, which has a large number of youth, Ms. Srivastava and correspondent V. Gourishankar told reporters. The Coimbatore airport had been witnessing a spurt in number of aircraft and passenger traffic, they said. The training will help candidates secure employment in foreign embassies as interpreters in the field of medical tourism, BPO industries, retail and service sectors besides the aviation industry.

singapore business class new Singapore Airlines to fly all business class widebodies across Pacific

For a few years now, there’s been abundant competition for business-class travelers on the trans-Atlantic route, with upstarts carving out all-business class niches to woo passengers away from the major airlines. But until now, there’s been no such movement on the trans-Pacific routes.
But it’s no upstart that’s offering this new service. It’s Singapore Airlines.
They’re their ultra-long-haul Airbus 340-500’s to all-business configurations, which means that “Executive Economy” customers are getting the boot. These widebody planes will go from 181 passengers to 100.
Others have already chimed in on the issue. The Cranky Flier is calling it a “no-win,” and throwing some barbs at the aircraft for good measure.
Is this a great business move? I don’t know. But my thoughts are this: The supply of business class seats on Singapore Airlines — a truly top-notch airline — just went up big-time. Maybe, just maybe, the frequent flyer seat inventory went up, too. This could be a great opportunity to cash in frequent flyer miles and really get some bang for your proverbial buck.




















Worried about the increasing incidents of bird hit accidents, the DGCA had, some time ago, made it mandatory for Airline companies to submit reports on all such incidents.
Apart from the problem of birds, the presence of wild and stray animals at runways has also been causing mishaps. It is not just the Civil Aviation Ministry, but the Indian Air Force has also been engrossed with such problems.
The problem of stray animals is rampant at several runways of the Indian Air Force and a “Blue Bull” team has been constituted by the services for express purposes of shooing off straying herds of the blue bulls(Nilgai) at air-strips.
Maximum incidents of bird hits have been registered at the Ahmedabad airport, while most number of stray animals at runways was reported at the Nagpur airport.

Air traffic controllers at their stripless workstations, UAC West, Geneva

How did you become a Air Traffic Controller (ATC)?
After a few psycho-technical and job related tests, (former swisscontrol) proposed me to join a 36 months lasting student course.
The first year, I had a lot of theory lessons about legislation, aerodynamics, aircraft recognition and other ATC subjects followed by a period of simulator training.
Then, all the students (around 40) of my class were transferred to the final location, either Bern or Lugano. We had also few students working for military airports.
After two more years of on the job training, under surveillance of a confirmed and trained coach, I got my license to work alone on the different sectors at the tower and approach-sector in Geneva.
What would your suggestion be for improving flight punctuality in general?
As a passenger you can contribute to more punctuality by being ready early enough at the gate. This measure helps the companies to leave the stand on time and meet the given departure slot.
If a flight is delayed due to a missing passenger, the company has to announce the delay to the flow management and the departure slot is lost. As it is a last-minute change, this flight will get the next available slot which can be hours later. The principal of the slot allocation is always “first come, first served”.
The second suggestion would be to be patient, as a flight is much safer, economically and ecologically while waiting on the ground than doing holding patterns close to the overloaded destination.


















I’m sure you agree with me that is always worth a visit!
The city offers something for everyone: From tasty Catalonian cuisine, cultural festivals, haute couture on to the alternative scene around Gracia. And how about good old “ with its equal amount of stalls, tourists and thieves. If you fancy an overpriced, flavourless margarita served in a gold fish bowl this is your heaven.
It is then not surprising that the gateway to this multi-coloured, metro sexual city leads through a rather large airport, second only to the massive. In fact, Barcelona (IATA) just expanded its airport by opening a brand new terminal on 16th June.This new structure houses all flights whereas Spain’s national airline remains in Terminal T2 … exactly where I base my review.

Göteborg City Airport

The word “City” usually refers to a thriving metropolis, a large or important town, so you would therefore think an airport with this noun attached is either very close to such a place or at least reflects a certain grand scale. Well, in Göteborg City Airports case it’s - wait for it - neither!
The airport isn’t particularly close to the centre of Göteborg, or Gothenburg in English, (alright being situated 14 km north-west of the town is not terribly far away, but definitely not right next to it), nor is it particularly sizable. In fact Göteborg City Airport (IATA) comprises of little more than a farm house and an extension; seriously, you will see horses next to the landing strip, it’s tiny!
This quaint little airport now mainly serves as a Ryanair destination anywhere. However, I have to admit, it’s actually closer to Sweden’s second largest city than its big brother Göteborg-Landvetter Airport (IATA). Given the size of the airport and my natural shyness of horses, there isn’t much to do there, so my first suggestion is to arrive as late as your nerves can afford :).

Take-off at London Luton airport

London Luton Airport (IATA) has excellent connections with key towns and cities across the country. Arrive at by bus and you have almost door to door service but be dropped off by a friend - walk an extra 30 seconds to the entrance - and hello - ! Mmmm. However, once inside Luton International Airport the flat wide floor plan is inviting and user friendly.
With the “must have” M&S and WH Smith to scoop up your bottle of water, the concourse also offers variety of food options including snacks and a full bar from the open style, spacious.
You’ll also find a beautiful Parisian style bar offering a selection of hot and cold snacks and a choice of wines from around the world.
Once checked in, take a simple flight of escalators to level 2, straight through security and voila, you have entered the international gateway!
Here you will find the typical homage to capitalism, but after wading through duty free shops & alike (some l might add have amazing bargains) you are greeted by the golden sun streaming through the massive windows.

Hello Kitty Lounge at Taipei International Airport

Have you ever seen an entire departure gate transformed to a popular children’s brand theme? No? Then you haven’t been to Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport airport - terminal 2.
When you get dropped off from the busy streets of Taipei at Taiwan’s largest, international airport (IATA) (traditional Chinese: 臺灣桃園國際機場; simplified Chinese: 台湾桃园国际机场), you expect a very crowded scene, but when I was there on a regular Thursday evening, the airport was surprisingly quiet. Who knows, maybe the large check-in hall and the usual Asian way of building airports for the future (read: big) might have deceived my senses as my flight was full to the last seat.
After the equally quick security check (luckily the stupid hasn’t arrived in Taiwan yet), you end up in an area between two main arms to the right and left containing all the departure gates.

Hong Kong International Airport - Departures in Terminal 1

Did you miss me? Well I’m back!
It has definitely been a while since my last post. Don’t worry, I didn’t run out of interesting airport stories, but l did run out of time.. As a little treat, you’ll get a whopper of an airport reviewed now: Hong Kong.
I personally experienced two landings there back in 1991 where my window seat proved to be the best allocation ever. It was simply spectacular!
So, the first time I flew into the then known, newly built airport, I was quite disappointed as l didn’t get any of that great view l remembered. However, on a recent trip to Hong Kong we flew over this magnificent city with a perfect view of the spectacular all of Kowloon! My tip is - try to sit on the right hand side of the aircraft and chances are good you’ll get the “wow factor” on your next approach (as it is known today).

The Green Wall at Changi Airport, Terminal 3


Where do I start?
Well, the question you first have to ask yourself before coming to Changi Airport, Terminal 3 (IATA) is: how much time do I have? This could be one of the few airports you actually wish to be delayed in. Of course many passengers transit through Singapore between flights so typically have between 2 - 6 hours to spend and, oh boy, can they be spent well!


The next question is, what mood are you in?
Tired from your previous flight? Go to one of the many quiet zones throughout the terminal or chill out while getting a foot massage in one of the countless, free foot massage chairs throughout the terminal. Or watch a Koi feeding at the Koi pond which you find on the runway side of the terminal.
Need to spend the remaining cash? Visit the only in an airport anywhere in the world and stock up on 2010 World Cup merchandise.
Interested in nature and the environment? Go to the butterfly garden and watch 1,000 butterflies of 47 species swirl around the outdoor exhibit. You’ll find it roughly in the middle of the Terminal on the runway side.


Sydney's Domestic Terminal - Up & Close

Usually the inner sections of airports are closed to non-travellers. I often think that modern airports with their great offers miss out on opportunities when they restrict access to people with tickets on that day only. Imagine: you could go inside Terminal 5 and dine a last meal at with your close friend who visited you from Far-Away-Land before their long flight back home. Or imagine the family from Singapore that could enjoy some last moments in the Butterfly garden of 3 with their son departing for an exchange year at a university in the United States.
Well, the good news is that there are airports that do allow non-travellers into their inner core – the post security zone; domestic airports that is. The slightly bad news is that they are often not the most aspiring of places. Nevertheless, they do allow you to drop off or pick up your loved ones directly at the gate.















Upgraded: Awareness of airlines’ crappy recycling efforts
I have always bristled at the toss-everything-in-the-bag trash collection aboard US-based airlines. (It’s a striking contrast from European carriers, for example.) So I’m glad to see some light shining on the recycling practices — or lack thereof — of American carriers. The best of the bunch: Delta and Virgin America. Failing grades: United and US Airways. See the FastCompany roundup.

Upgraded: Wifi on Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines using Aircell’s service, which is sold under the Gogo name.


Downgraded: Rental car deals
Blame Toyota. The carmaker’s huge recall took out about 8% of vehicles of the American rental car fleet. Yes, recall repairs are being done, but the rates aren’t pulling back too quickly. That is, unless you’re doing a one-way rental from Florida to … well, anywhere.

american eagle crj 700 Both Upgraded and Downgraded: Regional jets with American Airlines/American Eagle

It’s a good-news/bad-news scenario. American Airlines’ regional carrier American Eagle is its Canadair CRJ-700 regional jets, to include 9 first-class seats. 25 existing planes will be converted; 22 new planes are on order. All are expected to be online by July 2.
Putting a first-class cabin on regional jets puts them more in line with the “exPlus” product United has been offering on its larger regional jets for a few years now. (No Economy Plus, though.)
It’s a good thing for upgraders. And the economy seats on the newly-delivered planes will eke out an additional inch of legroom, due to slimline seats.
That means new upgrade opportunities, yes, but… American is removing mainline aircraft — the ones with real first-class cabins — and replacing them with CRJs.

baby headset atc Upgrades and Downgrades: air traffic control, full body scans, Amtrak wi fi, and more


Upgraded: Kids taking charge in aviation
When I was a kid, I loved — loved! — going up to the cockpit during the flight. I remember sitting in a Pan Am 747 cockpit somewhere over the northern Atlantic, and the captain pointed out some icebergs floating below us. But in today’s security environment, kids can’t get that experience…

Upgraded: Amtrak
If you’re traveling Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor, you’ll soon be able to snag a free wi-fi signal. A good start, but only available in first/business? Come on. At least offer in economy at a billable rate!

easyHotel Making economy hotels more like airlines

In a world of a-la-carte pricing and fees for … everything… it’s always been an irony of sorts that economy hotels have continued to be as all-inclusive as they are.
Free internet, free local calls, and free breakfast are commonplace at the lower end of the hotel spectrum, while at the luxury end, you’re paying for each of those. (The sweet spot may be the mid-range hotels and suites which improve the comfort level over the Motel 6’s but throw in the freebies.)
Given the success of Ryanair, EasyJet, and their ilk, it’s actually a surprise that the a-la-carte model hasn’t been more widely tested at the economy tier. But that’s changing.
from the folks who brought you EasyJet, EasyCar, EasyCruise, and their ilk, opened its 12th hotel yesterday. The most recent property, in Berlin, follows other properties in London, Luton, Basel, Budapest, Larnaka, Sofia, and Zurich.


















Today we saw an even more interesting development with Republic’s certainly a big boost for the type and the manufacturer. Republic plans to order 40 of the type with 40 options, with deliveries starting in the second quarter of 2015. The aircraft will seat 138, and there will be 5 rows of STRETCH seating for 25 passengers (the aircraft is in a 2-3 configuration). And that’s basically all we know for now. Which is where things get interesting.
The mood here at Food Republic HQ is decidedly less festive than usual today. Ace assistant editor and bundle of energy (unless she was at a “wine tasting” the night before) Jess Kapadia is on loan this week to Lufthansa, which whisked her off to three cities in Germany to check out the famed Christkindlmarkts.
Have you been to one of the traditional Christkindlmarkts or do you know your way around Germany? Help our sister out: tweet her your advice with the hashtag #LHmarkt. With any luck, and with your assistance, she’ll have a great time and bring us back a pretzel. Of course, she’ll also be going on and on about all the great sauerbraten and schnitzel she consumed, but we can live with that. 

Yes, three Republic-related posts in one week! Sorry to be repetitive, but some interesting route (and fleet) announcements have been coming from them of late. We’ve seen a bunch of routes from Milwaukee reinstated over the past few months, and now Kansas City is getting some love with new nonstops to New Orleans and Columbus, which are both routes the airline used to serve. Midwest launched flights to New Orleans in 2005 but left after Hurricane Katrina. Columbus has always had Milwaukee service, but Kansas City flights were cut a couple of years back.


New Orleans service will be daily and starts on May 20 – that’s interesting because Frontier is launching a daily Denver nonstop soon after in June. The Midwest flights are a few hours earlier, so that gives Frontier/Midwest customers a few more options two and from the city. The service will be provided by Republic E-170s.
As mentioned earlier, Columbus is an existing Midwest city, and it has a few ERJs to Milwaukee per day. So why add Kansas City? There’s certainly some local demand there, but I think this is to help generate some extra connections, which is something that Frontier has done recently by announcing Denver service from some other Midwest destinations.
But after looking through the schedule, it seems that this flight adds a new connecting option to cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco. In fact, the outbound flight (YX1989) in the morning is a one-stop to Seattle. The inbound, YX1974, flies SFO-MCI-CMH, but for some reason that itinerary isn’t bookable on Midwest’s website.

An interesting came this morning from AirTran, with the carrier announcing that American Express would be partnering with AirTran, or as they describe themselves, “America’s Most Business Friendly Airline.” The promotion is aimed at members of American Express’ OPEN Savings program. The OPEN card is meant for small businesses.
So what does the partnership mean? Members of the OPEN Savings Program can save 5% on all AirTran flights. Hertz and some hotel chains are already members of the program, so adding an airline the mix rounds out that program nicely. Of course, AirTran is hoping that 5% discount will send some more business travelers its way.


But you need not be an OPEN member to benefit from this promotion – from March 13th to the 27th, American Express will be sponsoring free Wi-Fi on all AirTran flights. (On a side note, I wonder how much of that revenue goes to Aircell…)
And while we’re on the topic of Wi-Fi, AirTran called itself “the only airline with Business Class and Wi-Fi on every flight.” AirTran’s done this before in press releases. Virgin America has Wi-Fi on every flight, too. Can we just accept it and move on?
Anyway, I think this is a smart move.


















On Sunday, Toronto-based Porter launched its new seasonal service to Myrtle Beach (KMYR/MYR) from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (CYTZ/YTZ). (The name was changed in November in honor the Canadian flying ace who served in World War I.) The flights will operate twice a week (Sundays and Thursdays) until May 30th. Myrtle Beach is Porter’s fourth US destination, though the other three (New York (Newark), Chicago (Midway), and Boston) are more business destinations.

Destinations like MYR do represent a slight change in strategy for Porter, which has traditionally focused on business markets. But it has found success in more. And one would assume those Porter business travelers might want to play golf in South Carolina every now and then.
Regardless, there are no other nonstops to Myrtle Beach from Toronto. Plus, with the Q400 and only two frequencies a week, Porter isn’t throwing much capacity into the market here. So I think there’s a good case for the service here. Let’s see if they find it worthwhile to come back next year.

















Yesterday, I caught up on some DOT filings, and there’s always some interesting stuff in there. Like US Airways’ February 17th application , followed by Monday last week. In its application for service, US Airways says it will launch flights from Charlotte to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo “on or about June 1, 2010.” (No official announcement of service has come from US Airways, however, and approval is needed from the Mexican government as well.)

Both of the cities already have mainline service to Phoenix, and on June 1st each will have four frequencies to US Airways’ western hub. Puerto Vallarta will see two A319s and A320s, while Cabo gets a 757-200, an A320, and two A319s. US Airways plans to operate the Charlotte flying with A319s, and will serve Puerto Vallarta four times a week, and Cabo five times a week. Service is slated to be year-round.
US Airways already serves Cancún, Cozumel, and Mexico City from Charlotte.
This move makes sense to me. Only a few cities on the East Coast have a direct flight to Phoenix, so a connection in Philadelphia, Charlotte, or Washington is necessary. These flights will eliminate a second connection, which certainly makes life easier for travelers. It also makes US Airways more competitive here, since one-connection itineraries are available from the East Coast on other airlines.

















As I mentioned in my past post, I was catching up on DOT filings, and I found. The airline has applied to the DOT for permission to launch service to San Jose and Chicago from Guadalajara. San Jose would complement the carrier’s existing Californian transborder service, and would boost its position in the Bay Area as it already serves Oakland. The service, if launched, would compete with Mexicana’s existing nonstop service. (Mexicana has a nonstop from OAK as well.)
What’s interesting about the application for Chicago flights is that Volaris never specified what airport it plans to serve. Aeroméxico and Mexicana have nonstops from O’Hare, but I think Volaris would fly into Midway. That makes the most sense to me as it would open up a bunch of connecting opportunities with Southwest once that codeshare begins (hopefully later this year).

Volaris began transborder service last year with service to Los Angeles and Oakland. The former has service to Toluca (an alternate to Mexico City), Guadalajara, Morelia, and Zacatecas, while the latter has flights to Guadalajara and Toluca. Oakland had service to Tijuana, but service appears to have been cut. For both cities, only flights to Guadalajara are daily.
The airline also has the authority , though Volaris has not announced any service to the city.

















Earlier this week, Alaska that the airline plans to cut service from Los Angeles to Cancún, a flight that Alaska. According to Alaska’s current timetable, the flight is operating six days a week with 737-800 aircraft. Service is slated to end on June 6.

Interestingly enough, on June 9 United’s usual Saturday-only flight for the summer. Mexicana is a player on the route as well, and Delta currently has Saturday-only service. So maybe this route just wasn’t working out with so many players. Alaska also mentions that it will continue to place its code on Delta’s flights on this route, so the airline probably thought it could pull its own metal out of the market but still get revenue through its partner. I do wonder if Delta might increase capacity in the market now.
Meanwhile, Alaska will continue serving Cancún on a seasonal basis from Seattle. The carrier also serves a few other Mexican destinations from LAX (Guadalajara, Ixtapa, Loreto, Manzanillo, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo).
















Bmi is one of the newest members of the big, happy Lufthansa family, and it’s been interesting to see where Mother Lufthansa play with the airline to make it fit into its larger route network. Yesterday we saw that happen a bit with the announcement between bmi and fellow Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss. That’s an extension of a partnership that started earlier this year with Swiss entering the

The codeshare is pretty simple to understand as it is quite wide -ranging: all UK to Switzerland routes. In a press release bmi says “will allow bmi to offer fares between Zurich, Geneva and Basel from London Heathrow, London City, Manchester, Birmingham International and Edinburgh and improve connections between Switzerland and the wider bmi network.”
But, in addition to this codeshare, we’ve seen some other interesting moves within the Lufthansa family. For example, bmi is launching flights, a market that is currently served by Austrian as well. And shows some interesting moves bmi has been making with its sister airlines in some other markets.


















American Airlines has announced the addition of 57 new flights into Chicago!

While this is good for Chicago, these flights were possible due to a severe reduction in flights for St. Louis! American reduced 46 flights from STL, leaving it with only about 20 flights to 9 destinations. This is a huge setback for STL, as now they basically have no carrier hubbed there! (if you want to call what AA had a "hub")

Anyways, it should be interesting to see how UA reacts to this--considering they have gotten rid of most of their narrowbody fleet, and most of their hubs are being attacked by other carriers. But UA is currently serving many of the destinations AA has added, so this could play out well, and we may see some routes return to mainline service to compete with AA.


The CW television network announced a partnership with Virgin America to produce a tv show called "Fly Girls", going over the lives of many Virgin America flight attendants. I wonder if this will be anything like any of the other shows following the lives of airline employees?

Does anybody remember "Airline" or "Flight Attendant Training School"? I was in love with those two shows! I don't really know how good this show will be, but I look forward to seeing it.

Since this show will air on the CW, instead of A&E or the Discovery Channel, I think this show will be targeted more towards women than aviation geeks. But I still wonder how exactly the day-to-day life of a Virgin America flight attendant goes, so I think this show can be successful.


Today, after us airline geeks have been speculating for so long, jetBlue came out with it's new livery....and, well.....not what all of us were expecting.

Sure, we have said that this change won't be huge, and we've speculated on items that they will change (such as their euro-white fuselage!)

They didn't do much, besides making billboard style titles, changing the color of the winglets, and taking out the "www." on their engines, so they could make "jetblue.com" in a larger font.

I'm happy with the increase of their font size for their fuselage though, but I am really disappointed that they decided to stick with the traditional "euro-white" that many airlines have been moving towards. I don't have much of an issue, because I still think that it does look really nice, but it would be cool if they could do something to set themselves apart! (and yes...I know, it would be additional money for them to paint in any other color besides white)

I think that this livery looks good, but I am really hoping that the tail design doesn't get applied to the entire fleet.....look at it! It doesn't even look finished!


Today United Airlines is retiring their Boeing 737 fleet.

This truly marks the end of an era, as they have been using 737s for the past 41 years! And I have fallen in love with their 737s, because I have practically grown up on them! Sure, I have said numerous bad things about the condition of their 737s (basically always dirty, and I usually find a way to hurt myself whenever flying on one!), but I grew up on them, and will miss them.

I wonder how UA's domestic fleet will be after today...they really don't have anything besides their A319/A320s, 757s and 767s for their domestic fleet....oh, I forgot, they will probably contract everything out to UAX. Won't it be a ton of fun riding a CRJ-700 (or -200!) for a 3 hour flight?

Anyways, I just wanted to mention today's event of UA's retirement of the 737!


















Twenty days after Mumtalakat (the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain) returned the ownership of Gulf Air to the government, citing that an airline is a strategic asset that will yield very little return. The government on 25 February 2010 announced its intention to privatize the airline within one year. Well, I don’t think it will happen. Although Bahrain Air is not a major threat, carriers in the region are. Gulf Air has a few advantages:
  1. It has a restructuring plan and a vision of where it is heading
  2. It has a fleet renewal plan which is in progress
  3. It has several code sharing agreements within the region and as far afield as North America.
On the other hand it has definite problems and disadvantages:
  1. Allegation of corruption within the airline
  2. No record of profitability
  3. A very disruptive labor union
  4. A potentially explosive geopolitical situation
















A recent points out some fascinating factoids about the world’s strangest airports. Osaka, Japan, for instance, had no room to build an airport in their already-crowded region and so they built an airport three miles out to sea!
Gibraltar’s airport cuts across the city’s busiest street, forcing cars to stop- a la railroad-style- when a plane is taking off or landing. Madeira, an island near Portugal, has an extremely short runway, at just 5,000 feet. A 4,000-foot extension had to be built to offset the safety risk that the runway poses.


Bangkok, Thailand has an 18-hole golf course in the middle their runway! This causes obvious limitations (not to mention distractions) to the game.
Among the other top 18 strangest runways mentioned are Antarctica (perhaps not surprisingly, their runway is made of ice), Courchevel, France (where the plane takes off downhill and lands uphill), St. Maarten (where arriving flights fly incredibly close to a strip of beach and a road- see above picture), Tibet (which boasts the world’s highest airport at 14,000 feet above sea level), among others.



















The Pilot had apparently been flying commercial planes for 13 years without a commercial pilot’s license (though he did have a private pilot license). His record as a pilot was completely spotless and he was deemed an excellent employee, perhaps why he wasn’t pursued sooner. Most surprisingly, though, is that he had been caught by Swedish cops a few years ago, but disappeared for a while and no one bothered to follow up until now. Unclear why authorities decided not to pursue him (surely flight records would have clearly indicated where exactly he was) or what the ramifications of his imaginative qualifications will be.

Stop by T5 at JFK this month to check out the groundbreaking ICON A5! This innovative aircraft is a clean sheet design based on the FAA’s new Light Sport Aircraft category and new Sport Pilot License, new rules that make recreational flying more accessible than ever before.. We are all very excited to bring the A5 to JFK and showcase it in the T5 Marketplace through March 28, as the first stop on the model’s multi-city tour.
You can find the A5 in the T5 Marketplace, near the low grandstand, next to the engine. We will announce the A5 and our display to Customers via LiveTV Plus Channel, T5 Digital Ring, T5 GIDS, postcards, press releases and other corporate communications, as well as through contact with the local aviation community.


The A5 will be displayed on a stand, with its wings folded most of the time (primarily for safety reasons). Video screens and an interactive kiosk will be available for customers to learn more about the aircraft and see it in flight.
The ICON A5 is amphibious, seats two, and has folding wings that allow it be trailered like a wakeboard boat. It was created by an unprecedented collaboration between expert automotive designers and some of the best aviation engineers in the world. The public response since its launch has been humbling; numerous tv appearances including The Today Show, Discovery Channel and CNBC; numerous magazines including the cover of Popular Science, a feature story in Wired, and the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book; and numerous design awards including the prestigious IDEA Gold Award. Most telling are the 371 orders, totaling over $55 million, and selling out the first two years of production.
ICON Aircraft is raising a large round of capital this spring for manufacturing setup on the A5.

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