Friday, June 2, 2023

Southeast Airlines MD-88 (49759/1606) N11FQ

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Arrives at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS/KLAS) on a gorgeous winter day in the desert, January 24, 2004.
First Flight: June 1, 1989.
Wardair Canada - Not Taken Up (NTU)
Delivered: December 21, 1989 to Midway Airlines N156PL later re-registered to N903ML.
To Southeast Airlines as N11FQ September 28, 2001.
She was later delivered to Allegiant Air as N412NV on February 27, 2009 with whom she finished out her flying career when she was retired and stored at (VCV/KVCV) on May 5, 2018.


Delta Air Lines MD-90-30 (53386/2099) N906DA

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Captured on short final to Rwy 25L at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS/KLAS) wearing the "Classic Widget" livery September 24, 2004.
First Flight: May 1, 1995.
Delivered: July 22, 1995.
WFU at (ATL/KATL) August 18, 2019. 
Ferried (ATL/KATL) - (SBD/KSBD) as "DAL9965" August 20, 2019 and Stored.
Scrapped at (SBD/KSBD) sometime in 2020.


Thursday, June 1, 2023

Midwest Airlines MD-81 (48031/969) N805ME

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Rolls for takeoff on Rwy 25R at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS/KLAS) December 15, 2007.
First Flight: January 29, 1981.
Delivered: April 17, 1981 to TAO Domestic Airlines as JA8460 later serving with Japan Air Systems (JAS) when the carrier made a name change.
The aircraft made her way back to the states and entered service with Midwest Express Airlines as N805ME on September 20, 1999. She served with the carrier until being retired and stored at (MHV/KMHV) February 6, 2009 and sadly scrapped at a later unknown date.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Cathay Pacific nears Boeing 777-8F freighter order

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd is close to placing an order worth around $2 billion for Boeing 777-8F freighters as the Hong Kong carrier embarks on the partial renewal of a fleet of dedicated 747 cargo jets, industry sources said on Monday.

The selection follows a hard-fought battle for the business of one of the world's top-five freight airlines, which had been comparing the all-freight version of the future Boeing 777X jet family with an upcoming cargo model of the existing Airbus A350.

Industry sources have said the competition involved an initial purchase of around half a dozen aircraft, worth some $2 billion at list prices before traditional airline discounts.

Cathay Pacific said it had no immediate announcement to make.

"We continue to invest in and grow our fleet with the addition of new, state-of-the-art and fuel-efficient aircraft," a Cathay spokesperson said by email.

"We have no specific updates or announcements to make at this time regarding the fleet."

Boeing and Airbus declined comment on commercial discussions.

Boeing launched the 777-8F freighter with an order from Qatar Airways in January 2022, six months after Airbus launched development of the A350 Freighter in a bid to weaken its U.S. rival's traditional grip on the market for freighters.

Cathay Pacific told analysts last November it was looking at more freighter capacity and working "actively" with plane-makers to acquire some of the new freighters coming up after 2025.

Situated at the heart of pre-pandemic trade lanes, Cathay's decision on where to place bets for the next phase of its cargo development is seen as a key test for the two freighters because the airline operates underlying 777 and A350 passenger models.

Cathay Pacific is the world's fifth-largest air freight carrier and the third-largest traditional freight airline behind Qatar Airways and Emirates when specialist express parcel carriers FedEx and UPS are excluded, according to latest available data from the International Air Transport Association.

(Tim Hepher and Valerie Insinna - Reuters)

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Delta Air Lines MD-88 (53379/1983) N902DE

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Rolls for takeoff on Rwy 28R at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL/KFLL) February 8, 2017.
First Flight: February 2, 1992 as "DACO1983."
Delivered: April 8, 1992.
WFU and Ferried (ATL/KATL) - (BYH/KBYH) as "DL9758" June 2, 2020 and STD.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Hawaiian Airlines just launched its new route to a destination previously hard to reach for American tourists

Hawaiian Airlines has opened the door to a hard-to-reach South Pacific nation.

On Saturday, the Honolulu-based carrier began once-weekly service to Rarotonga, which is the largest of the Cook Islands. This is the first time Hawaiian has served the country since 1993, but that route was relatively short-lived after only six years of operation.

The carrier will use an Airbus A321neo on the route, departing Honolulu at 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and arriving at 10:25 p.m. the same day. The nearly six and half hour return flight will depart Rarotonga on Sundays at 11:35 p.m. and arrive back in Hawaii at 5:50 a.m. the next day.

"This service greatly expands travel opportunities between the Cook Islands and the US, thanks to our well-timed connections and robust network, including service between Hawai'i and eight California cities," Hawaiian president and CEO Peter Ingram said in a December press release.

Hawaiian's new route is the only link between the Cook Islands and the US, allowing travelers to more easily reach the isolated nation. Passengers on the first flight were treated to local performers and gate festivities in Honolulu and Rarotonga.

"Our Honolulu-Rarotonga flight bridges Hawaiʻi with another South Pacific neighbor and connects two archipelagos that share Polynesian roots, rich culture, and endless tropical beauty," Hawaiian's vice president of airport operations Lokesh Amaranayak said at Saturday's launch event, reported local Honolulu news outlet khon2.

While the service will now give Americans easier transit to the Cook Islands, Air New Zealand used to connect Rarotonga to Los Angeles once a week using a Boeing 777 but ceased operating the route during the pandemic, per local New Zealand news outlet Stuff.

"As we grow from COVID we are focusing our attention on what we do best – getting customers to, from, and within New Zealand," a company spokesperson told the outlet in June.

In August, the nation's home airline, Air Rarotonga, launched direct flights between Papeete in Tahiti and Rarotonga, reported local publication Enjoy Cook Islands. The carrier also flies domestic routes around the islands.

The service comes after Air Tahiti ended its route between the two nations in 2020 after 13 years. Those traveling to the Cook Islands via Tahiti on Air Rarotonga can take advantage of Delta Air Lines' new nonstop route to Papeete from Los Angeles, which began service on December 17.


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4(WL) (32519/2139) N262WN

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)

On short final to Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as "WN1924" arriving from Sacramento International Airport(SMF/KSMF) May 21, 2023.


Friday, May 19, 2023

American Airlines pilots reach an agreement on new contract

Pilots at American Airlines have reached an agreement in principle on a new contract, their union said on Friday.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents over 13,000 pilots at the Texas-based carrier, said it will move forward with completing contractual language of the contract before presenting it to its board for an approval.

The union did not share the details of the new contract.

But two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said the deal is for a four-year contract that has pay rates comparable to the wages secured by pilots at Delta Air Lines.

It also includes improvements on scheduling, a critical issue for pilots who are seeking better work-life balance in a profession that often requires them to be away for days from their families, they said.

The deal comes over two months after Delta's pilots ratified their contract that includes over $7 billion in cumulative increases in pay and benefits over four years.

It underscores the bargaining power pilots are enjoying as airlines rush to boost staff numbers ahead of what is shaping up to be a busy summer travel season.

American, Delta, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines are estimated to hire about 8,000 pilots this year.

Analysts at Jefferies estimate the United States is short about 10,000 pilots. This supply-demand gap is projected to last until 2027.

(Rajesh Kumar Singh and Allison Lampert - Reuters)

WestJet initiates controlled shutdown as pilot strike looms

Canadian airline WestJet has begun grounding aircraft to minimize operational disruption and side effects ahead of Friday’s planned strike by pilots.

WestJet Group is carrying out a lockout so it can take down its network in an orderly way. Canceling flights gradually will avoid stranding aircraft in remote locations without support and allow communication with customers to change their plans before their scheduled flights.

 The labor action will negatively impact cargo customers, including companies utilizing the all-cargo network WestJet launched barely one month ago with three Boeing 737-800 converted freighters.

“The decision to cancel flights comes as the WestJet Group remains in a stalemate with the union regarding unreasonable wage expectations that if realized would permanently damage the financial viability of the group’s future,” the company said in a statement Wednesday night.

“We deeply regret the disruption this will have on the travel plans of our guests and the communities and businesses that rely on our critical air service,” said CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. “We remain at a critical impasse with the union and have been left with no choice but to begin taking the painful steps of preparing for the reality of a work stoppage.”

WestJet said it is parking the majority of its Boeing 737 narrow-body and 787 long-haul fleet in a phased approach. Bookings have started to decrease because of the uncertainty surrounding future operations.

More than 1,800 pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, want to be compensated similarly to their counterparts at other North American carriers. WestJet officials say giving Canadian pilots U.S.-type compensation is not feasible because of wide differences in the nations’ economies and that its proposal would make its narrow-body crews the highest paid in Canada.

Pilots in the U.S. typically make twice as much as those in Canada.

ALPA disputes WestJet’s characterization of industry wages.

Air Canada’s 5,000 pilots officially joined ALPA this week. Having more Canadian pilots represented by one union will allow them to more effectively influence the Canadian government and employers as they push for a North American standard wage.


Thursday, May 11, 2023

Southwest pilots vote to authorize strike

Southwest Airlines Co pilots' union said on Thursday its members had approved a strike mandate by an overwhelming majority ahead of the busy summer travel season.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), which represents 10,000 pilots of the Dallas-based carrier, said 98% of its members participated in the vote and 99% voted in favor of authorizing a strike.

Southwest said the vote result will not impact its operations: "We are staffed and prepared to welcome travelers for their summer travel plans."

Southwest has been under regulatory scrutiny since a staffing crisis due to bad weather during the Christmas holidays overwhelmed its crew scheduling software, disrupting travel plans for 2 million customers."Pilots (have) already made their voices heard about the operational disasters and the lack of progress after three-plus years of stagnant negotiations," SWAPA said.

Earlier this month, pilots of American Airlines Group also approved a strike mandate.

(Aishwarya Nair - Reuters)

Long-haul carrier Emirates sees highest-ever profit in 2022 of $2.9B after pandemic grounded flights

Long-haul carrier Emirates saw its most-profit year ever in 2022, earning $2.9 billion after bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic shutting down global aviation, the airline announced Thursday.

The carrier's revival comes as Dubai, which owns the airline, has seen property prices skyrocket and people flood into the city-state in the United Arab Emirates as it lifted pandemic restrictions quickly and welcomed Russians fleeing Moscow's war on Ukraine.

Emirates' annual report put revenue for the carrier at $29 billion in 2022, up 81% from 2021's figures of $16 billion. That drastic swing comes after the airline reported a $1.1 billion loss in 2021.

The city-state, one of seven hereditarily ruled, autocratic sheikhdoms that make up the UAE, provided Emirates some $4 billion in a bailout in the depths of the pandemic. Even today as travel has bounced back, the carrier still has some of its double-decker Airbus A380s still parked, awaiting mechanics to be able to fly again.

“We had anticipated the strong return of travel, and as the last travel restrictions lifted and triggered a tide of demand, we were ready to expand our operations quickly and safely to serve our customers," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates, said in a statement.

The report said Emirates has repaid just over $2 billion in other loans taken from financial institutions during the pandemic, putting the total loan amount from outside of the government at $4.7 billion.

The overall Emirates Group, which includes travel company dnata, as well as food, beverage and leisure holdings, reported profits of nearly $3 billion off revenues of $32.6 billion.

The overall group declared a dividend to its owner, the sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, of $1.2 billion.

Emirates acknowledged facing “a temporary setback” when it comes to receiving new airplane orders, particularly as manufacturers struggle to regroup and face supply issues following the height of the pandemic. The airline already has on order 115 Boeing 777Xs, 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 50 Airbus A350-900s, with the first planes likely not being delivered until the middle of next year.

That delay has seen Emirates embark on a $2 billion retrofit program for 120 of its Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s.

Emirates also has struck deals with United Airlines and Air Canada to share routes, apparently putting to bed years of bad blood between U.S. carriers and the Dubai airline.

As of now, Emirates has a fleet of 260 Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s flying to 150 passenger and cargo destinations. The airline carried 43.6 million passengers and 1.8 million tons of cargo during 2022.

Earlier Thursday, Emirates announced it would create a $200 million fund for research and development projects aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels in commercial aviation. The airline said the funding would be distributed over three years.

“It’s clear that with the current pathways available to airlines in terms of emissions reduction, our industry won’t be able to hit net zero targets in the prescribed timeline,” airline President Tim Clark said in a statement. “We believe our industry needs better solutions, and that’s why we’re looking to partner with leading organizations."

Emirates separately will aim to use so-called sustainable aviation fuel as well when possible — though it remains incredibly scarce in the market. In January, the airline successfully flew a Boeing 777 on a test flight with one of its two engines entirely powered by the fuel.

(John Gambrell - Associated Press)



Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Emirates SkyCargo adds two 747-400Fs and plans to double capacity

Emirates SkyCargo has added two Boeing 747-400Fs to its freighter fleet and expects to double its existing capacity over the next decade.

The cargo division of Emirates is expecting 15 more freighters to join its fleet from announced orders and its freighter conversion programme, plus a boost in bellyhold capacity from new passenger aircraft deliveries starting with Airbus A350s in late summer 2024, followed by 777-Xs the year after.

Over the next decade, Emirates SkyCargo expects to double its existing capacity, add over 20 new destinations to its freighter network, and offer more flexibility and services to its customers with a fleet mix of over 300 wide-body aircraft comprising: 777s, 777-Fs, 747-Fs, A350s, and A380s.

Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president, Emirates SkyCargo, said: “While the current market volatility may cause others to hesitate, Emirates SkyCargo is pushing full steam ahead with our plans. The medium to long term projections for global air cargo show an upward trajectory of between 3-5%.

“Combine that Dubai’s strategy to double its foreign trade where multi-modal logistics will play a big role, and the economic activity happening in markets around the Gulf, West Asia, and Africa, and the opportunity for Emirates SkyCargo is clear.

“The 2 new 747-Fs which we have leased will give us immediate capacity, while we wait for delivery of 5 new 777Fs in 2024 and 2025, and 10 777-300ERs to roll out of our conversion program over the next 5 years.

“We believe even these additional planes will not be sufficient. By then, we’ll have the MRO set-up to quickly and efficiently scale-up our freighter conversion program if we needed to.”

Secured on a long-term wet-lease basis, the two Boeing 747-Fs complement Emirates SkyCargo’s existing fleet of 11 Boeing 777 freighters, and are currently being deployed to Chicago three times weekly, and to Hong Kong nine times weekly. 

Sultan added: “The new aircraft mean we can expand our freighter network and amplify the connectivity with the main Emirates network. The new fleet mix also gives us more flexibility to serve our different customers even better.

“Emirates SkyCargo is also investing to develop new products, and to speed up digitization and technology innovation. It is our ambition to lead the market in delivering specialist solutions that are fast, reliable, flexible, and efficient. More exciting developments to come. Stay tuned.”

(Rebecca Jeffrey - Aircargo News)


Boeing Jumps on $40B 737 Max Order; Ryanair Bets Big on Postpandemic Travel

Boeing shares jumped on Tuesday after Europe's biggest discount airline, Ryanair, made a $40 billion order for the plane-maker's workhouse 737 Max aircraft amid a massive bet on the strength of the post-pandemic rebound in global travel. 

Ryanair said it would buy as many as 300 737 Max jets, which carry a list price of around $40 billion if the deal is filled to completion. The carrier noted that the deliveries would be phased over a period beginning in 2027 and ending in 2033. 

Ryanair said the deal would enable it to "deliver sustained traffic and tourism growth at lower fares (and lower emissions per flight) across all European countries" as it "continues to lead the post-covid traffic, tourism and jobs recovery."

The order also follows Boeing's recent plans to boost 737 Max production rates to 38 aircraft per month, from the current pace of 31, over the near term. The aerospace giant is looking to meet its goal of generating between $3 billion and $5 billion of free cash flow before the end of the year. 

"The Boeing-Ryanair partnership is one of the most productive in commercial aviation history, enabling both companies to succeed and expand affordable travel to hundreds of millions of people," said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun. "Nearly a quarter century after our companies signed our first direct airplane purchase, this landmark deal will further strengthen our partnership. "We are committed to delivering for Ryanair and helping Europe's largest airline group achieve its goals by offering its customers the lowest fares in Europe," he added. Boeing shares were marked 2.6% higher at last check following confirmation of the Ryanair orders, to change hands at $202.30 each.

Boeing Deliveries Top Airbus; Order Book Gains 

Last month, Boeing posted delivery figures that topped its main rival, Airbus, for the first time in nearly five years, thanks to a surge in demand for the 737 Max and its wide-body 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing's order book has also seen some impressive gains so far this year, including the first-ever sale of its workhorse 737 Max jets to Japan Airlines late last month.

JAL said it would buy 21 of the narrow-body 737 aircraft, at a list price of around $2.5 billion, with the aim of adding the planes to its expanding fleet by the year 2026.

The deal also represents a major win for Boeing over its European rival, Airbus, which had been courting JAL with its A320neo narrow-body jet.

Boeing has received commitments for the sale of more than 200 787 Dreamliners over the past two months. Those include a $37 billion deal with Saudi Arabia in March and a long-reported deal to sell nearly 300 jets to Air India, Asia's largest commercial carrier.

Boeing's commercial airplane backlog was pegged at 4,200 aircraft, with a value of around $291 billion, at the end of March, the company said on April 27. That day it posted a wider-than-expected-first quarter loss of $1.27 per share, as revenue rose 28% from a year earlier to $17.92 billion.

"Our customers are seeing record booking volumes and very strong forward yields for late spring and summer to the point of being able to offset sharply higher fuel prices, and they're also highlighting the return of business travel," Calhoun told investors late last month. 

(Martin Baccardax - TheStreet)




Mediterranean Shipping Co. designates air cargo agent

(Photo by MSC Air Cargo)

MSC Air Cargo, the airline unit of Mediterranean Shipping Co., has selected ECS Group as its general sales and service agent (GSSA) for Europe and North America, the company announced on Monday.

The largest container shipping line launched its cargo airline late last year with one Boeing 777-200 freighter and flying outsourced to Atlas Air. The freighter operates twice per week between Mexico City; Indianapolis; Liege, Belgium; Seoul, South Korea; Xiamen, China; Anchorage, Alaska; and Mexico City. MSC said the second of four 777s it plans to lease from Atlas Air is expected to enter service in the coming weeks, once it is delivered from the Boeing factory.

As the airline’s agent, France-based ECS will essentially be the face of the airline in the designated regions and provide freight forwarders with a range of cargo services. The GSSA’s primary roles are selling cargo space, supervising ground handling and delivery operations at local airports, and providing administrative support. Other services can include revenue management, cargo tracking, technology implementation and consulting.

Airlines select GSSAs when they want to move into a market without having to maintain their own sales force and premises.MSC Air Cargo, based in Geneva, determines which routes to fly and the frequency of services.Jannie Davel, who previously worked at Delta Cargo as a managing director, heads MSC’s air cargo unit.Other ocean carriers that have added or stepped up air cargo businesses during the past two years are Maersk and CMA CGM.


Monday, May 8, 2023

FedEx MD-11F (48401/447) N601FE "Jim Riedmeyer"

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Climbs from Rwy 25R at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) as "FDX3023" bound for Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR/KEWR) January 30, 2022.
This is the first MD-11 (N111MD) to be built performing her first flight on January 10, 1990 as "DACO447."
The aircraft operated her last revenue flight (lrf) on April 29, 2023 (GDL/MMGL) - (MEM/KMEM) as "FDX66" then WFU.
She was ferried (MEM/KMEM) - (VCV/KVCV) as "FDX9032" May 1, 2023 and STD and likely scheduled to be scrapped.


Friday, May 5, 2023

Delta Air Lines McDonnell Douglas MD-95 (Boeing 717-2BD) (55015/5033) N953AT

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)

Rolls for take off on Rwy 25R at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS/KLAS) December 14, 2016.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Qantas Boeing 747-438(ER) (32912/1321) VH-OEH "Hervey Bay"

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Captured undertow at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) November 13, 2018.
First Flight: January 16, 2003 as N5020K.
Delivered: February 9, 2003.
WFU and STD at (SYD/YSSY) March 27, 2020 - May 19, 2020.
Ferried (SYD/YSSY) - (LAX/KLAX) - (MHV/KMHV) as "QFA6001" May 20, 2020 and STD.


Monday, May 1, 2023

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 Max (42567/6188) N8710M "Imua One"

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Was introduced during ceremonies held at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) Friday April 28, 2023 following her arrival from Spokane International Airport (GEG/KGEG) as "WN8725" where she was painted in this Hawaiian inspired livery.
She is captured in the above photo rolling for take off on Rwy 30 as "WN8726" bound for Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL/PHNL) Honolulu, Hawaii.
**Unfortunately the lighting conditions (high sun) was awful during her visit.**


Saturday, April 15, 2023

FedEx 767-3S2F(ER) (63114/1201) N183FE "Alixes"

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)

On short final to Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) as "FDX1026" arriving from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR/KEWR) February 18, 2021.
First Flight: January 24, 2020.
Delivered: February 10, 2020.

Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650(ER) (c/n 6471) A7-CGM

(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Turns onto Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) as "QQE213" for a short flight up the 405 Fwy to Van Nuys Airport (VNY/KVNY) this morning April 15, 2023.
Ex Gulfstream Aerospace N671GD.