New Georgian airline Flyvista set for August launch

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Georgia | Posted on 22-07-2014

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Flyvista 4L-AJC

Flyvista is a new airline based in Tbilisi, Georgia.

It is set to launch low-cost flights in August, flying to destinations in Europe and the Middle East (Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Turkey, Iran, Russia etc), although no definite schedules have been released.

The airline has taken delivery of its first aircraft, Boeing 737-300 4L-AJC,  and has also been operating two 737-500s from Khartoum on wet-leases to Badr Airlines.

 

US Airways farewell 737-400 flight

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, North America, USA | Posted on 16-07-2014

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737-400US_livery

US Airways will retire its Boeing 737-400 fleet on 19th August 2014.

To mark the occasion the airline is putting on a special flight that will call at three cities on the final day of operation.

US flight number 0737 will leave Charlotte on a flight to Dallas Fort Worth. It will then fly to Philadelphia before returning to Charlotte. The flight times are expected to be:

Charlotte 0830 – Dallas Ft Worth 1016
Dallas Ft Worth 1245 – Philadelphia 1703
Philadelphia 2000 – Charlotte 2140

At each destination there will be a special farewell for the aircraft with staff and press.

The public are able to book on this flight, but it is expected to have sold out very quickly.

If you witness the final day of operation, why not send us your pictures!

Monarch close to 737 MAX order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, Spotting News, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 14-07-2014

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Monarch 737 MAX

Monarch Airlines is close to finalising a deal with Boeing to order 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft as part of its fleet upgrade.

Although it operates a couple of 757-200s, and in the past operated 737-300s, Monarch has been primarily an Airbus operator over recent years. It has a fleet of A320s and A321s, and recently retired its A300-600s. So this move is an interesting development for the UK holiday carrier.

The order is valued at $3.1 billion at current list prices.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in an exhaustive three year evaluation process, and a key part of The Monarch Group’s transformation and renewal,” said Iain Rawlinson, Executive Chairman, The Monarch Group. “Boeing truly understood our business and put together a complete package that fits extremely well with our ambitions for the Group.”

“We are delighted that Monarch intends to structure its future fleet around the 737 MAX,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “We look forward to finalizing the order and can’t wait to see the Monarch livery on 737s once again. Today is a proud moment for everyone at Boeing, as we welcome back a prestigious U.K. operator. We are confident that the 737 MAX will play a significant role in Monarch’s continued success.”

Livingston closes down today

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Italy, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 14-07-2014

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Livingston

Livingston, the Italian leisure and scheduled airline, will cease flying today after its Air Operators Certificate was revoked.

The airline said in a statement:

New Livingston resolved to apply for the above mentioned instrument, in order to overcome a temporary financial crisis ascribable to, inter alia, the bankruptcy of Aeradria S.p.A., significant delays in collecting certain credits and the recent revocation of the PSO route Alghero – Roma Fiumicino and vice versa (in connection with such measure, a claim against Regione Autonoma della Sardegna is still in progress). The above, in compliance with the so-called “par condicio creditorum”.

New Livingston has already provided to ENAC the documentation needed in order to immediately obtain the revocation of the suspension measure of its carries license starting from 00:01 of  July 14, 2014 or the issuance of a provisional carrier license, on the basis of article 9, paragraph 1, of the Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008 and paragraph 4.6 of the Circular ENAC EAL-16 of 27 February 2008.

UTair backs Moscow Yermolino Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Miscellaneous Spotting, Russia | Posted on 09-07-2014

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Yermolino Airport

UTair has signed an agreement with the regional government to develop Yermolino Aerodrome into another international airport for Moscow and the surrounding area.

The facility is currently under utilised and lacking any significant infrastructure. However, given investment which would adapt it into a fully fledged airport, UTair says it will introduce up to 20 based Airbus A321 aircraft and a significant network of routes.

Yermolino Airport Map

Yermolino is around 90 miles to the south west of Moscow and has fairly good road links.

The regional government would provide support in attracting investors for the project, whilst additional funding would also be provided by the Ministry for Internal Affairs.

Construction is expected to start later in 2014, with the airport opening for airline flights in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is to be held in Russia. A throughput of 6.5 million passengers would be expected by 2020.

The airport would not be limited to UTair flights, with other airlines being invited to begin services to Yermolino.

 

Boeing 727 services return to Europe!

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Azerbaijan, Eastern Europe, Spotting News, Switzerland, Western Europe | Posted on 28-06-2014

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Photo (c) Babak T

Photo (c) Babak Taghvaee

A new Boeing 727 scheduled service is to begin in Europe, a number of years since the last was seen.

The route is to be flown by Azerbaijan Airlines, and will link Baku with Geneva, flying twice weekly (Friday and Sunday) using a specially configured aircraft with executive interior. It will seat 65 passengers in a First and Business Class layout.

The route will begin on 11th July, and it is expected that the aircraft used on the service will be 4K-8888, a 727-251 originally operated by Northwest Airlines, and now in a striking livery with immaculate interior.

Flights will be operated with the schedule as follows:

Baku – Geneva, departure 7:55am arrival 9:55am
Geneva – Baku, departure 11:15am arrival 6:55pm

But it will come at a cost. Premium fares will be charged to the mainly business clientèle using the service. Let’s hope it lasts a long time!

 

 

Virgin Atlantic reaches 30. Announces first 787 route

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, North America, Spotting News, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 24-06-2014

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The first Virgin Atlantic service to New York (c) Steve Fitzgerald

The first Virgin Atlantic service to New York (c) Steve Fitzgerald

Richard Branson’s revolutionary airline, Virgin Atlantic, which was first conceived after he chartered an aircraft in the Caribbean to rescue the travel plans of himself and fellow passengers following a flight cancellation, is now 30 years old.

Richard was caught up in the idea of setting up a new airline arm to his Virgin empire, and soon took delivery of a Boeing 747 to start low fare flights from London Gatwick to New York on 22 June 1984. Passengers would experience staff hired for their fresh outlook on service, and flights with better entertainment and food options.

Virgin Atlantic launch press conference

It would grow to become a major player in long haul travel, both from Gatwick and Heathrow airports. It also opened Virgin Atlantic Little Red, a low-cost domestic airline, in 2013.

Fleet Upgrades

Virgin Atlantic VAA 787-9 Artwork K64012-01

Virgin operates a fleet of Airbus A340 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft, but it has been looking to upgrade with more fuel efficient aircraft.

The airline has been considering what to do about its Airbus A380 order since it deferred delivery, and will make a decision soon.

However, Virgin is due to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft later this year and, to coincide with its 30th anniversary, has announced that the first route of the type will be from London Heathrow to Boston Logan, starting on 28th October.

It is likely the aircraft will be used on crew familiarisation sectors before then, possibly on the Little Red network. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

Skymark and Qatar Airways A380 delays

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Japan, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Qatar, USA | Posted on 23-06-2014

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A380_Skymark_take_off_maiden_flight

Japan’s Skymark Airlines has delayed delivery of its first Airbus A380 by six months. The first example will now arrive in February or March 2015, and begin flying between Tokyo Narita and New York JFK initially.

The delay is due to problems with fitting the aircraft’s interior.

This news comes after Qatar Airways announced it was also delaying its first A380 delivery due to problems with the interior installation. It will now take its first aircraft later this summer.

Greenland Express starts flying

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Denmark, North America, Western Europe | Posted on 16-06-2014

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Greenland Express

Greenland Express is a new airline hoping to revitalise air travel and tourism in the northern Danish outpost with low fares and a number of destinations.

The airline will launch services on 17 June using a Fokker 100 aircraft, flown by ACMI operator Denim Air. The aircraft is registered PH-MJP.

The airline is actually based in Aalborg, Denmark. It will offer flights on the following routes:

Aalborg – Kangerlussuaq
Aalborg – Keflavik
Aalborg – Narsarsuaq
Aalborg – Copenhagen
Keflavik – Narsarsuaq
Keflavik – Aalborg
Keflavik – Kangerlussuaq
Keflavik – Copenhagen
Copenhagen – Narsarsuaq
Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
Copenhagen – Aalborg
Copenhagen – Keflavik
Narsarssuaq – Aalborg*
Narsarssuaq – Keflavik*
Narsarssuaq – Copenhagen*

* Routing from Narsarssuaq is via Kangerlussuaq.

The airline says of its service: “We are looking forward to offering a new alternative for air transport between Denmark and Greenland with safety and personal service in focus, and at quite competitive prices.”

Theme Week: Brazil World Cup special airline liveries

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News | Posted on 16-06-2014

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This week on AirportSpotting we’re starting a new theme to coincide with the World Cup. We’ll be looking at all aspects of aviation in Brazil, from the airlines to the airports and all the great things to see.

In today’s post, we look at some of the special airline liveries and logos that have been applied for the 2014 World Cup.

Gol

PR-GUO (grafitti) now is the official airplane to carry Brazilian Team in World Cup It was painted by "Os Gemeos" (the twins) (c) Eduardo Teodoro

PR-GUO (grafitti) now is the official airplane to carry Brazilian Team
in World Cup It was painted by “Os Gemeos” (the twins) (c) Eduardo Teodoro

PR-GUM was used by Brazilian Team in the Cup of Confederation (c) Eduardo Teodoro

PR-GUM was used by Brazilian
Team in the Cup of Confederation (c) Eduardo Teodoro

Qantas

Qantas have painted Boeing 747-400 with a large football and goal, and football boots applied to the kangaroo logo on the tail. Photo (c) Lee Gatland

Qantas have painted Boeing 747-400 with a large football and goal, and football boots applied to the kangaroo logo on the tail. Photo (c) Lee Gatland

Danish Air Transport

This DAT MD-80, OY-RUE, carries Coca-Cola/FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour scheme (c) Eduardo Teodoro

This DAT MD-80, OY-RUE, carries Coca-Cola/FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour scheme (c) Eduardo Teodoro

JAL Japan Air Lines

JAL 777 World Cup

JAL have got into the spirit of things with these stickers on 777-200 JA8985 (c) Hajime Suzuki

 

Aerolineas Argentinas

Bringing the Argentinian team over the border is 737-700 LV-CSI

Bringing the Argentinian team over the border is 737-700 LV-CSI (c) Aerolineas Argentinas

Brussels Airlines

Belgium's Red Devils scheme has been painted on an A319, and this A330 OO-SFO

Belgium’s Red Devils scheme has been painted on an A319, and this A330 OO-SFO (c) Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa

Lufthansa becomes 'Fanhansa' for the World Cup. A number of its aircraft have had the titles applied.

Lufthansa becomes ‘Fanhansa’ for the World Cup. A number of its aircraft have had the titles applied. (c) Lufthansa