Both Airbus and Boeing are celebrating after landing wide-body aircraft orders from two airlines.
First, Airbus announced that Delta Air Lines has placed a firm order for 50 new Airbus widebody aircraft, 25 A350-900 and 25 A330-900neo aircraft.
Delta Air Lines currently flies both Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft, including 57 A319ceo and 69 A320ceo aircraft, plus 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s. In addition to the order announced today, Delta has an order backlog of 10 A330-300s and 45 A321ceo aircraft, bringing its total Airbus backlog to 105 aircraft.
Secondly, although not yet a firm order, Kuwait Airways has announced its intention to purchase 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
“We appreciate the start of a new partnership with Kuwait Airways,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing looks forward to an enduring relationship with Kuwait Airways and we are excited to see that the 777-300ER airplane, which is the preferred long-haul carrier for so many airlines around the world, will now play an important role in the airline’s fleet strategy and expansion.”
FlySafair has announced it will open a new base at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport from 3rd December.
The base, the airline’s second (after Cape Town) will initially offer flights to George and Port Elizabeth using Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
“Our intention has always been to grow our schedule of operations and it makes most sense for us to open a second base and connect all of our current destinations, therefore offering flights from Johannesburg as well as from Cape Town. Further, we have had overwhelming feedback from our passengers to introduce these routes, we have listened to their suggestions and we have great pleasure in being able to now offer these routes,” explains Lorna Terblanche, Vice President of Passenger Services for FlySafair.
VLM Airlines is undergoing restructuring following a management buyout, and will be the first airline in Europe to introduce the Sukhoi Superjet.
The airline, based in Antwerp, currently operates a fleet of Fokker 50 aircraft on contract and charter work, and also flies on behalf of Cityjet on a number of business routes.
“We received an offer from the management of VLM Airlines that we felt we could not refuse.” said Peter Oncken, Managing Director at Intro Aviation. “We are happy to see VLM now to develop as a wholly independent airline in the ownership of a management which is dedicated to VLM”.
The airline has agreed a lease with Ilyushin Finance for two Sukhoi Superjet 100s, with options on a further two, and purchase rights on an additional ten examples.
The aircraft will be used to help VLM return to its independent scheduled service roots, beginning a network of short-haul services from Antwerp from April 2015. The Fokker 50 fleet will also be used on the scheduled services, and the Cityjet deal will continue.
“We looked at a number of aircraft types in the 100-seat range to see which would give the best passenger experience, flexibility in short-to-medium range destinations and low operating costs – the SSJ100 LR won hands down. It has been great working with IFC and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and I am looking forward to a mutually profitable long-term relationship.”
By Paul Spijkers [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
A new leisure carrier in Egypt, named (suitably) Air Leisure, is planning to lease a number of the retired Airbus A340-200s from EgyptAir (although one recently returned to flying for the national carrier).
The wide-body type is the original model of A340 and is now pretty rare, with Aerolineas Argentinas retiring theirs, and a sole example still flying sporadically in Venezuela.
Air Leisure plans to use the aircraft on flights from regional airports such as Aswan, Hurghada and Luxor to destinations in the Far East.
At present Air Leisure operates a single McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft. No date has been set for the launch of A340 flights yet.
Monarch will retire its Boeing 757 fleet in November according to the airline’s latest plans.
Unlike its Airbus A300 retirement earlier this year, which saw a specially laid-on enthusiast flight to celebrate the event, the 757 will go quietly after performing its final flights on 2nd November.
A couple of ad-hoc charter flights are planned for the type following that date, after which it will be disposed of as the airline focuses on its modern fleet of Airbus A320s, A321s and A330s
Monarch is currently undergoing a change of ownership as the Mantegazza family sells the longstanding airline to Greybull Capital. Already announced this week is the departure of strategy director Stuart Jackson, among hundreds of job layoffs planned for the restructuring of the airline, which will only focus on scheduled services in the future.
Whilst visiting Gatwick recently I took this time lapse sequence of a Monarch Boeing 757 during preparation for departure, which is a nice tribute to the type.
Monarch was one of the first airlines in the world to operate the Boeing 757 when it took delivery in 1983, alongside other UK operators Air Europe and British Airways. The fleet could be seen on charters across Europe, Africa and North America, but the natural life of the airframes is coming to an end and the airline must look forward to a brand new fleet. It recently ordered 30 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, and has taken a number of second hand A321s recently to bolster its capacity.
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Qatar Airways will introduce its new Airbus A350XWB aircraft on the Doha – Frankfurt route once delivered next year.
The A350-900 was certified recently, with one aircraft now wearing the full Qatar Airways livery. It is anticipated that delivery to the airline of the first of its 80 aircraft order will be in late 2015.
It will then operate on both of the airline’s daily flights to Frankfurt.
Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 aircraft in September this year and it is currently operated daily on the Doha – London Heathrow route.
Garuda Indonesia has placed a large order for Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The flag carrier of Indonesia will purchase 46 737 MAX 8s and will convert existing orders for four Next-Generation 737-800s to 737 MAX 8s.
Garuda recently announced it was halting progress on its international expansion in order to deal with the decline in its domestic and regional fleet, namely the classic and older NG Boeing 737s that it operates. This order is thought to be a response to this need to improve the quality and safety of its fleet.
Today’s order from Garuda Indonesia continues the momentum of the 737 MAX in the marketplace. The total number of 737 MAX orders to date is 2,295 airplanes from 47 customers worldwide.
British Airways is taking on ten second-hand Airbus A320 aircraft to be based at London Gatwick airport.
The aircraft are all due for delivery between October 2014 and June 2015. Here’s a lowdown on the aircraft details.
G-GATH, c/n 1482, ex TC-OBH (Onur Air) – due November 2014
G-GATJ, c/n 1509, ex TC-OBI (Onur Air) – due October 2014
G-GATK, c/n 1902, ex HA-LPD (Wizz Air) – due January 2015
G-GATL, c/n 1834, ex HA-LPF (Wizz Air) – due January 2015
G-GATM, c/n 1892, ex HA-LPE (Wizz Air) – due March 2015
G-GATN, c/n 1613, ex PT-MZX (TAM) – due February 2015
G-GATO, c/n 1663, ex PR-MAB (TAM) – due March 2015
G-GATP, c/n 1804, ex PR-MAE (TAM) – due April 2015
G-GATR, c/n 1771, ex PR-MAD (TAM) – due May 2015
G-GATS, c/n 1672, ex PR-MAC (TAM) – due June 2015
These aircraft will operate the European schedules from Gatwick, mostly replacing the Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A319s based there currently.
Now, only four days later, the airline’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has been rolled out at Boeing’s Everett Paine Field factory. It also features the new livery, which will be applied to the whole fleet over the coming year.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, will take delivery of its first 787-9 later this year. Etihad Airways is one of the world’s largest customers for the 787 with a total of 71 Dreamliners on order, including 41 787-9s and 30 787-10s. The 787 will be a key part of Etihad Airways’ fleet and network expansion plans. The airline has announced that the 787-9 will be introduced on six of the airline’s routes: Dusseldorf, Germany; Doha, Qatar; Washington, D.C.; Mumbai; Brisbane, Australia andMoscow.