Etihad A321 routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airline News, Asia, Eastern Europe, India, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Turkey | Posted on 19-09-2013

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Etihad Airways will take delivery of its first Airbus A321 in December.

This will be the first of 11 the airline has on order. They will initially fly on the following routes:

Abu Dhabi – Chennai
Abu Dhabi – Istanbul Ataturk
Abu Dhabi – Riyadh

More destinations will be introduced as more aircraft arrive.

Boeing 787-9 flies

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 18-09-2013

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787-9 First FlightThe first flight of the stretched Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner took place yesterday, 17 September 2013.

The newest member of the 787 family completed a 5-hour, 16-minute flight, taking off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 11:02 a.m. local time and landing at 4:18 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

During the flight, 787-9 Senior Project Pilot Mike Bryan and 787 Chief Pilot Randy Neville departed to the north, reaching an altitude of 20,400 feet (6,218 meters) and an airspeed of 250 knots, or about 288 miles (463 kilometers) per hour, customary for a first flight. While Capts. Bryan and Neville tested the aircraft’s systems and structures, onboard equipment transmitted real-time data to a flight-test team on the ground in Seattle.

Boeing is on track to deliver the 787-9 to launch customer Air New Zealand in mid-2014. Twenty-five customers from around the world have ordered 388 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Bombardier CSeries first flight

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Canada, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America | Posted on 17-09-2013

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CSeries First FlightBombardier‘s new CSeries regional jet has made its historic first flight.

The historic flight of CSeries flight test vehicle one (FTV1) – a CS100 jetliner bearing Canadian registration markings C-FBCS – was conducted under the command of Captain Charles (Chuck) Ellis, Chief Flight Test Pilot, Bombardier Flight Test Center. Capt. Ellis was assisted by his colleagues, Capt. Andris (Andy) Litavniks and Andreas Hartono in the roles of First Officer and Flight Test Engineer, respectively. The flight departed from Montréal–Mirabel International Airport at approximately 9:55 EDT and returned at approximately 12:25 EDT.

“The performance of the CSeries aircraft was very impressive! We couldn’t have wished for a better maiden flight,” said Capt. Ellis. “FTV1’s state-of-the-art flight deck was responsive and comfortable, and the aircraft handled exactly as expected. Overall, we had a very productive first flight and an excellent start to the flight test program.”

A total of five CS100 flight test vehicles, all of which are currently in various stages of assembly, will join the flight test program in the coming months.

As of today, Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 177CSeries airliners. Some 15 customers and lessees have joined the CSeries aircraft program.

Transavia to lease Air Transat 737s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Canada, France, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Western Europe | Posted on 14-09-2013

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Transavia.com France Boeing 737In July we reported that Air Transat are planning to lease Boeing 737-800 aircraft to help supplement the widebody Airbus A310/A330 fleet on Summer services.

It has now emerged that the carrier is planning to lease some aircraft from Transavia France on a seasonal basis, starting with four in 2015 and increasing to nine examples by 2019.

Seasonal aircraft leases are commonplace between North American and European carriers, allowing capacity (and costs) to be shifted during the lean Winter season in Europe.

American Eagle retiring Embraer 135

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 13-09-2013

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American Eagle ERJ135American Eagle is to retire its fleet of Embraer 135 aircraft on 20th November.

The fleet has been slowly reduced recently, with the remaining aircraft put up for sale.

The final route is not yet known.

United add Edinburgh – Chicago flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 12-09-2013

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United 757United Airlines will add a new seasonal route between Edinburgh and Chicago O’Hare from 23 May 2014.

The route will operate until 6 October, with Boeing 757-200 equipment. The service will operate 5x weekly until becoming daily between 13 June to 2 September. It will then revert to 4x weekly. It complements the airline’s existing flights from Edinburgh to New York Newark.

Bob Schumacher, United Airlines’ managing director sales for the UK and Ireland, said: “Having recently celebrated 15 years of operations in Scotland, we’re delighted to expand our schedule with seasonal non-stop service to Chicago, United’s home town.”

Norwegian set to enter Spanish domestic market

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Norway, Spain, Western Europe | Posted on 12-09-2013

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Norwegian 737-800Norwegian has applied to serve a number of domestic routes in Spain as it continues to grow its network and hubs in the country.

The routes initially applied for include Madrid to Tenerife South and Barcelona to Tenerife South.

Flights will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft, commencing on 1 January 2014.

Thai AirAsia to set up Chiang Mai base

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, China, Thailand | Posted on 11-09-2013

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Air Asia A320Thai AirAsia is set to re-establish a base at Chiang Mai in northern Thailand in order to establish itself further in the Chinese market.

It already serves a number of domestic destinations from Chiang Mai, and intends to add services into China when this new base opens – which could be as soon as November 2013.

Finnair’s new A321 is the first with Sharklets

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Finland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 10-09-2013

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 © Airbus S.A.S 2013Finnair has received a new Airbus A321 aircraft, registration OH-LZG, which is the first example in the world to be equipped with Sharklets.

The aircraft will eventually replace Finnair’s existing fleet of 757s, making it an all Airbus operator.

Finnair will take delivery of a total of five Sharklet equipped A321s. It currently operates an Airbus fleet of 40 aircraft (25 A320 family aircraft and 15 A330s/A340s).

Ville Iho, Finnair Chief Operating Officer, said “We are extremely proud to receive the world’s first A321 equipped with Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices. This new aircraft will fit perfectly into our fleet and will contribute to optimizing our operating costs, whilst also reducing our environmental footprint.”

Qatar Airways A380 flies

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, Middle East, Qatar, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 10-09-2013

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 © Airbus S.A.S 2013

Qatar Airways‘ first Airbus A380 has performed its maiden flight from Toulouse ahead of a planned delivery in 2014.

Between now and delivery it will fly to Hamburg for interior and cabin outfitting.

Qatar Airways plans to fly its A380s from Doha to London Heathrow and other principal destinations. It has 13 of the type on order.