Hot off the heels of its announcement about creating a hub at Brussels, Vueling has come up trumps again with the announcement that Rome Fiumicino Airport will also become a base from Summer 2014.
This time the airline is adding a massive 24 new routes from Rome.
This will no doubt capitalise on the struggling Alitalia and its own network from Rome, as Vueling are targeting both domestic and international routes.
The new routes are:
- Santiago de Compostela
The airline already operates from Rome to Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga, Mahon, Nantes, Palma de Mallorca, Paris Orly, and Valencia.
Boeing has officially launched its new 777X aircraft having now received numerous orders for the type at the Dubai Air Show.
Orders for the 777X now stands at 259 examples. New orders in Dubai have come from Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, and Qatar Airways.
Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.
“We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”
The 777X builds on the passenger-preferred and market-leading 777, which today commands 55 percent of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71 percent of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.
Etihad Airways has taken a 33.3% stake in Swiss carrier Darwin Airline, and will rebrand it as Etihad Regional in the hope of extending its brand coverage in Europe.
The move will come into effect in June 2014 and will see Darwin’s Saab 2000 fleet based in both Zurich and Berlin. Etihad will begin a new A330-200 link from its Abu Dhabi base to Zurich to coincide with the move, and provide onward connections through Darwin to a number of European cities.
This will naturally unlock worldwide onward connections through Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub for many new passengers in Europe.
Air China Cargo has announced plans to introduce both Boeing 757 and 777 freighters to its operation.
A total of five converted Air China 757s will join the fleet, with the first beginning domestic flights from Chengdu to Nanjing in mid-November.
Eight Boeing 777 freighters are on order, which will be used on international services to Frankfurt and Osaka amongst others. They will begin flying in January 2014.
The new Dubai World Central (also known as Dubai Al Maktoum) airport has had some positive news over the past few days as two airlines have announced their intention to fly routes to the airport.
First, Condor will introduce Boeing 757 charter flights to the airport from both Dusseldorf and Frankfurt starting 21st November.7
Second, Gulf Air has announced its intention to begin daily flights to the airport from Bahrain using Airbus A320 aircraft. It is hoped to attract business travellers to the new facility, in addition to its 51 weekly flights to Dubai International Airport.
The new airport is set to open its passenger terminal today, with Wizz Air already having announced it is to fly there from its Eastern European bases. Eventually it is anticipated that Emirates will relocate its operations to Dubai World Central.
Lufthansa has announced a large long-haul aircraft order, split between Airbus and Boeing, which will allow it to ultimately replace its A340 and 747-400 fleets.
The Airbus order comprises 55 A350-900 aircraft (25 firm and 30 options). Lufthansa also has the flexibility to convert some of the order to the larger A350-1000.
From Boeing, Lufthansa will purchase 34 777-9X aircraft, allowing the launch of the type.
“We are focused on developing and delivering a superior airplane that ensures the 777 remains the unequivocal long-haul leader,” said John Wojick, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With its new engines and an all-new composite wing design, the 777X will be the largest and most-efficient twin engine jet in the world with 20 percent lower fuel consumption and 15 percent lower operating costs than today’s 777. Boeing is delighted that Lufthansa is continuing its longstanding partnership with Boeing by selecting the 777X for its future fleet development.”
Meanwhile, John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers said “We are honoured that such a long-standing and prestigious customer as Lufthansa is coming back for more Airbus aircraft,” adding “The all-new A350 XWBs, will integrate very well into the Group’s existing Airbus fleet. From the A319 to the A380 size category, Lufthansa will benefit from latest technologies and efficiency levels, an unmatched wider cabin, operational flexibility and cost-savings – enhanced by the unique fleet commonality only Airbus offers.”
Scheduled for entry-into-service in 2014, the A350 XWB to date has already won 682 firm orders from 35 customers worldwide.
The retirement of the Vickers VC-10 from active service has been brought forward, and this month is probably your last chance to see one in the air.
The Royal Air Force is the last operator of the type, which was originally developed as a pioneering airliner in the 1960s.
On Wednesday 28th August, ZA148 will be making its final flight, which is significantly sooner than announced. It will arrive at Newquay Airport for addition to the Classic Air Force fleet as an ‘active’ (but non-flying) exhibit.
The two remaining VC-10s at RAF Brize Norton will be flown to RAF Museum Cosford, and an aircraft museum in Newfoundland, Canada, in the near future.
One of the VC-10s that was recently flown to Bruntingthorpe Airfield will be kept active (but again, non-flying) as part of the Cold War Jets fleet there.
It’s a sad moment for British aviation. I was lucky enough to see the VC-10 in flight again when I was in London recently, as it took part in the Queen’s Birthday flypast. Sadly I never got to fly on one.
There are a number of VC-10s in museum collections now, including at Duxford and Brooklands in the UK, and Hermeskeil in Germany.
The much-delayed Berlin Brandenburg Airport made a step towards its full opening this month as its new cargo facility handled its first flights.
Farnair Switzerland linked the airport using one of its ATR72 freighters, marking a milestone in the project.
The ATR 72 took off early in the morning from Cologne/Bonn Airport and landed at Schönefeld Airport at 04:58.
“The expected annual 100.000 tons of cargo at the capital’s BER airport can now be handled with this modern infrastructure at the Cargo Ceand are looking forward to receiving Farnair Switzerland.
New Lithuanian airline Air Lituanica has launched operations using a single Embraer 170 aircraft from its Vilnius base.
The airline has initially launched daily flights to Brussels, with the intention of attracting inbound tourism to Lithuania.
Flights to Amsterdam Schiphol are due to commence on 8th July, followed by Berlin on 5th August. Later, flights will be introduced to Moscow, Munich and Prague.
Air Lituanica flights are operated in cooperation with Estonian Air.
British Airways will receive its first two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on 26th and 27th June.
The airline’s first Airbus A380 will be delivered on 4th July.
Both types are expected to be delivered direct to London Heathrow airport, so if you’re around on those days make sure you keep a camera handy.
It is expected that 787 training will take place at Manston Airport, with crew training flights likely operating to Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stockholm Arlanda.
Crew familiarisation on the A380 will take place on flights to Frankfurt and possibly other European trunk routes. I’ll post any updates on here as soon as I find out more.