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.
Slovenian national carrier Adria Airways is looking to set up a number of hubs or focus cities at airports outside of its home country.
The airline has already based a CRJ900 aircraft at Pristina Airport in Kosovo, and is now looking to set up similar operations at Tirana in Albania, Verona in Italy, and Klagenfurt in Austria.
All of these airports are within close proximity of Slovenia.
The newly-announced Verona hub will allow Adria to take up routes dropped recently by Air Dolomiti, and it intends to connect the city to its fellow Star Alliance partner hubs at Brussels, Vienna and Zurich. Flights will start in 2014.
Klagenfurt is still being evaluated as a possible base for 2014.
Bombardier’s new CSeries regional airliner made its first flight in September so we thought we’d take a look at which airports the type will be a regular sight at once deliveries take place.
So far almost 180 examples have been ordered by airlines around the world (split over the CS100 and CS300 models), with a number of purchases by leasing companies.
The airports are:
Seoul, South Korea – Korean Air ordered 10 CS300s, becoming the first in Asia to order the type. Routes have not yet been announced, so it is not certain whether the type will fly from Gimpo or Incheon airports.
Riga, Latvia - airBaltic are due to take 10 CS300 examples for regional flights around Europe.
Bahrain - Gulf Air will take 10 CS100s for flights around the Middle East.
Geneva & Zurich, Switzerland – Lufthansa ordered 30 CS100s which will be used to revitalise the short- and medium-haul fleet of Swiss, replacing its older Avro Regional Jets. These will fly from the airline’s Geneva and Zurich bases across Europe. Additionally, Geneva-based PrivatAir has ordered five CS100s in an all-business class configuration.
London City, UK – The Docklands airport will be certified for CSeries operations. Swiss and PrivatAir are both possible carriers who will fly the type there. However, a new airline named Odyssey Airlines is currently being formed with a base at London City. It has ordered 10 CS100s.
The airline’s parent, Lufthansa, made the order on behalf of Swiss, who will use the aircraft to replace its Airbus A340-300 fleet.
Harry Hohmeister, Chief Executive Officer of Swiss commented: “The Boeing 777-300ER is the ideal size and range to meet our Swiss market needs. “We have made a landmark decision to further invest in an advanced aircraft fleet to retain our competitive edge over many of our competitors who are operating aircraft with more than 300 seats on similar routes.”
In addition to this order, Lufthansa has also ordered two additional Airbus A380s, and 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft (split between 30 original and 70 neo variants).
For those of you heading to Zurich in January over the World Economic Forum event, which is held at Davos, the details of the ramp tours available at the airport have now been announced.
2013′s World Economic Forum event at Davos will take place from Tuesday 23rd to Sunday 27th January. It usually sees a great number of private and bizjet aircraft descending on Zurich Airport (and to a lesser extent Geneva Airport) which are not usually seen in Europe.
BUCHairTours will again be providing two-hour airside ramp tours on each day of the event (with multiple daily tours on Wednesday-Saturday). Tours start at Observation Deck B at Zurich Airport, and numbers are limited so it’s wise to book in advance! The cost is 30CHF per person.
Here’s a nice little video I came across today which shows the first Boeing 747-8 landing at Basel/Muhouse/Freiburg Airport. It is operated by Cargolux and was delivering a large item, and is clearly a large aircraft for this medium sized airport.
Mark Williams has posted this helpful and informative post on the current spotting situation at Zurich Airport. I hope you find it useful:
Once through immigration on the arrivals floor, head out of the terminal and turn right. You will see signs for the observation hall and ramp tours – simply head towards the hangars and as the road/perimeter fence turns left you will see the cabin on your right. Purchase a ticket from the machine at the entrance on your left if you only want to go to the observation hall (cost 2CHF – the machine accepts notes also although having the correct change might be wise) and then head to the security point where you and your belongings will go through an x-ray machine. Don’t forget you are going airside so the appropriate security measures need to be completed. There was no problem taking bottles of liquid through, especially important as there is only limited vending facilities on the deck itself. Once through, you then wait in a small room for the next bus to take you to the viewing deck atop Terminal E, situated in the middle of theairfield at the heart of the action. Buses are every 30 minutes during the summer weekends, running at 15 and 45 past the hour (the first one being 07:45). Last buses back are at 19:00 and 19:30 with the final departure back to the terminal at 20:00. Please note these are summer weekend times. Check on the excellent Zurich Airport website for winter and weekday schedules. The airport tour, which includes the hangar area, biz jet parking and a stop at the runway intersection for photos is also still available at 8CHF, but I didn’t go on it this time. Make sure you time it well for the bus, as I arrived just a couple of minutes after one had departed and the half hour wait in a stuffy room with very little in the way of views was a touch frustrating.
Next year’s World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland will once again fill up Zurich (and to a lesser extent Geneva) Airport with exotic biz jets from around the world. The best action takes place from Thursday 25th to Sunday 30th January.
BUCHair are once again providing ramp tours at Zurich Airport for enthusiasts interested in getting up close to the aircraft.