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.
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.
Iran Air is the last commercial operator of the stumpy Boeing 747SP (Special Performance) model. It has announced it will retire the type in November or December
The final day of operations will be in late November or early December, however on November 23rd and a special flight for enthusiasts is available aboard the aircraft (EP-IAC), departing from and returning to Tehran’s Mehrabad airport. The flight will include a fly past at Isfahan.
Booking can be done through Airevents.de at this link. In the meantime, the aircraft still flies between Tehran and Kuala Lumpur.
B-2768 was delivered from Everett Paine Field on 29th August. With this, Xiamen Airlines becomes the third Chinese airline to operate the 787. The airline will use the 787 on long-haul routes from its Fujian province base to Europe, North America and Australia.
As part of Xiamen Airlines’ 12th five-year plan ending 2015, the carrier plans to grow its fleet to 150 airplanes, including six 787s. The 787 is the most advanced airplane in commercial aviation and will help Xiamen Airlines develop more point-to-point routes globally, while also establishing the airline as an emerging force in the commercial aviation market.
From our Boeing 787 Routes page, Xiamen Airlines plans to initially operate their 787s on the following routes:
Xiamen – Amsterdam Schiphol
Xiamen – New York
Xiamen – Paris Charles de Gaulle
Xiamen – Sydney
Xiamen – Vancouver
Here’s a fantastic, atmospheric time lapse video of aircraft traffic at Singapore Changi Airport. It is mainly night time scenes, which really adds to the magic of the video as you see aircraft lights flickering past in time to the music and dancing around in the skies.
Cathay Pacific has signalled the end for its Boeing 747-400 passenger fleet by announcing the final flight of the type.
On 31st August, the airline will operate the final 747-400 passenger flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, ending 18 years of service with the type since its first -200B example began flying in July 1986.
Significantly, the first route operated by a Cathay Pacific 747 was from San Francisco to Hong Kong, so this is a fitting tribute.
The airline will continue to fly Boeing 747-400 and -8 models as part of its cargo operation.
As a side note, the airline has also announced that it will retire its Airbus A340-300 fleet in 2017.
Finnair has announced an initial batch of routes that it will fly with its Airbus A350 aircraft.
The airline has opted for the A350-900 model, and will take delivery of the first of 11 aircraft on order in the middle of 2015. It has eight options for additional aircraft.
The first routes to be operated by the A350 will be from Helsinki to Bangkok, Beijing, and Shanghai. They are likely to commence in the second half of 2015.
Additionally, Hong Kong and Singapore will be added in 2016.
For Finnair, the A350 will be its flagship long haul aircraft, and these are the airline’s flagship international routes, as it has a significant presence on the Europe – Asia network.
Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo said: “Since Finnair’s founding in 1923, we have had a long history of operations using the most advanced aircraft available,” he added “As the first European operator of the A350, we are proud to carry forward this tradition on behalf of our passengers, whose safety and comfort remain our first priority.”