Czech Airlines bounces back with new routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Spain, Western Europe | Posted on 27-11-2014

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CSA A320

CSA Czech Airlines has announced a bunch of new routes starting next year, following a period of cutting back and introspection over recent years.

The new routes to be opened by the airline are:

  • Prague – Bilbao – A319 (Starts 1 June 2015)
  • Prague – Billund – ATR42 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Bologna – ATR72 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Cork – A319 (Starts 14 May 2015)
  • Prague – Kaliningrad – ATR72 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Kazan – A319 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Oslo – A319 (Starts 30 March 2015)

The airline said:

“After a year of cutbacks, we plan to expand the existing Czech Airlines’ network starting the 2015 summer season. We feel that there is a significant business potential in our new destinations which we would like to use fully. At the same time, we would like to capitalise on Czech Airlines great reputation in the Russian market and, effective April 2015, service a total of nine destinations in Russia,” said Jozef Sinčák, Chairman of Czech Airlines Board of Directors, and added: “We have set the new destinations timetables in a way to best use the market potential and at the same time appeal to both local and transfer passengers as the connections were designed with the customers’ priorities in mind. We will operate all new destinations using the existing free capacity of Czech Airlines and thus improve the fleet use.”

Ryanair pushes the 737MAX as 200 launch customer

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Spotting News, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 08-09-2014

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Ryanair 737-MAX 8 200

Boeing’s new 737 MAX family of aircraft launched an extra variant today with the announcement that Ryanair would become the launch customer for the 200 model.

This is essentially a 737 MAX 8 with 200 seats.

Ryanair has placed an initial order for 100 examples, which will replace its older 737-800s and allow further expansion of its widespread route network. In addition to the commitment, valued at $11 billion at current list prices, Ryanair has options to purchase another 100 737 MAX 200s.

“Ryanair is proud and honored to become the lead operator of Boeing’s ‘gamechanger’ 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

“These new “gamechanger” aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience with more leg room and the Boeing Sky Interior, as we roll out new offers, particularly for our Business Plus and Family Extra customers. As many of Europe’s flag carriers cut capacity on short haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these new Boeing 737 MAX 200s to grow at many more of Europe’s primary airports,” said O’Leary

Boeing developed the 737 MAX 200 in response to the needs of the fast growing low-cost sector, which is forecasted to account for 35 percent of single-aisle airline capacity by 2033. While the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats, the 737 MAX 200 will provide carriers like Ryanair with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8, driving economic growth and increasing access to air travel.

 

Flybe launching London City routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Ireland, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 23-04-2014

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Flybe Q400

Flybe has announced a number of new routes from London City Airport starting in October.

New routes include Belfast City, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness.

Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad said: “Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.”

 

Read about my behind the scenes tour of London City Airport here.

Ryanair granted Russia flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Russia, Western Europe | Posted on 25-11-2013

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RyanairRyanair has been granted access to fly to Russia from its Dublin base, following the likes of easyJet which started flying from the UK this year.

Flights are likely to start in March 2014, flying from Dublin to both Moscow and St. Petersburg using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The Moscow airport to be used has not yet been decided, although Vnukovo is a firm favourite amongst experts.

WestJet starting flights to Ireland

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Canada, Ireland, North America, Western Europe | Posted on 18-11-2013

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Westjet 737-MAX7 ArtworkWestJet will open its first transatlantic route from next summer, linking Toronto with Dublin in Ireland.

The route will operate daily between 15 June and 4 October, with a stop in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

A Boeing 737-700 will be used on the route.

FlightFest coming to central Dublin

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 21-08-2013

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Aer Lingus A320If you’re in Dublin on 15th September you’re in for a treat. Head down to the River Liffey in the centre of the city and you will enjoy FlightFest, “a once-in- a-lifetime, international fly past.”

More than 30 aircraft will take part in the show running along the river at low level for all below to enjoy.

A large section of the quays will be pedestrianised, with many family attractions and festivities available, contributing to a carnival atmosphere that will showcase Irish aviation. Large commercial aircraft from Ireland and abroad will fly past, including:
Airbus A320 (Aer Lingus ‘Retro’)
Airbus A321 (Aer Lingus)
Airbus A300 (Air Contractors)
Airbus A330 (Aer Lingus)
Airbus A340 (Etihad)
Airbus A380 (British Airways) aircraft.
ATR 42 (Aer Lingus Regional)
ATR 72 (Air Contractors)
Avro RJ85 (CityJet)
Boeing 737-800 (Ryanair)
dH Dragon Rapide (Aer Lingus)
L100 Hercules (Air Contractors and RAF)

The Irish Air Corps, and the Royal Air Force will also participate and spectators will enjoy a variety of helicopters and historic aircraft, including the B-17 Flying Fortress, Catalina, Hawker Hunter and Vulcan Bomber.

The show starts mid-afternoon. Exact times and more details can be found at http://flightfest.ie/

Thomson 787 entry into service details

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 24-05-2013

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With Thomson set to take delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner very soon (and become the first UK customer for the type), I thought I’d share some details on when they will be arriving, and where you can see them flying.

G-TUIA will be delivered to Manchester on 31st May at 1100
G-TUIB will be delivered to Manchester on 1st June at 0650
G-TUIC will be delivered to Manchester on 14th June at 0650

A staff proving flight will take place from Manchester to London Gatwick on 13th June

Line training will be undertaken at a variety of regional airports, including Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, Newquay, Prestwick, Shannon, and also Hanover in Germany.

The first revenue flight will take place on 21st June, from Gatwick to Mahon (Menorca) and back.

The first long haul services will begin from Gatwick and Manchester on 8th July (see our Boeing 787 Routes page)

All subject to change, naturally

 

This information is credit to John Dyer, via Mark Howard

Ryanair orders 175 new Boeing 737-800s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 19-03-2013

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Hot on the heels of yesterday’s massive Lion Air Airbus order, Ryanair has come up trumps with its own record order (for a European airline) for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Ryanair currently operates 305 Boeing 737-800s on routes from its bases across Europe, offering low fares.

The new aircraft will partially replace older examples in the fleet, but mainly allow the fleet and route network to grow.

Ryanair CEO, Michale O’Leary, said: “Ryanair is pleased to sign this agreement with Boeing to purchase 175 new 737-800 jets, which will expand our fleet to over 400 units, creating over 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers, while allowing us to grow our low-cost airline service by about 5 percent per annum over the next several years and take our traffic to 100 million passengers by March 2019.”

So spotters in Europe will have some more numbers to crunch as deliveries arrive until 2018. Ryanair continues to evaluate the benefits of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft which enters service in 2017.

Aer Arann plans growth

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 12-02-2013

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Aer Lingus Regional

Aer Arann, of the Republic of Ireland, has announced it intends to grow and become one of Europe’s top regional airlines.

It will extend its agreement to operate Aer Lingus Regional flights to 2022, following a growth in passenger numbers on the flights of 16% over the past two years.

For these flights, its aircraft wear Aer Lingus colours and operate links mainly from Dublin to the UK. Two new services will be added to the franchise, from Dublin to both Birmingham and Manchester. Frequencies will also increase on routes to Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Eight new ATR 72-600 aircraft are expected to be delivered between May and Summer 2014, replacing older ATR 72-200s operated by the airline.

Aer Arann has undergone significant restructuring since it got close to financial bankruptcy. It has closed a number of routes, and sees this expansion of services with Aer Lingus to signify a brighter future for the airline.

Interim CEO of Aer Arann, Steve Brogan, says: “Our extended franchise agreement with Aer Lingus to 2022 gives us a firm foundation for growth, and the fleet renewal programme allows us to enhance the passenger offering further.”

Virgin teams up with Aer Lingus for UK domestic flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 10-12-2012

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Aer Lingus A320Virgin Atlantic has announced it is to use Aer Lingus as a source of aircraft and crew for its upcoming UK domestic flight schedule.

The airline will use four Airbus A320s operated by the Irish airline to provide 24 daily flights in and out of London Heathrow airport. The slots for these flights were acquired following the takeover of bmi British Midland by IAG’s British Airways earlier this year.

Flights will operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 1 to Aberdeen (3x daily), Edinburgh (6x daily), and Manchester (3x daily), starting on 31 March, 2013.

The deal with Aer Lingus will initially last three years, and there has been no indication whether Virgin aims to eventually source its own aircraft, or add more destinations to its domestic network.