Monday, January 30, 2012

Lufthansa Cargo MD-11F fleet in danger of being replaced by Boeing 777Fs

Lufthansa Cargo (LHC) is considering replacing its fleet of 18 BoeingMD-11Fs and will decide by 2014 which aircraft to go with, LHC chairman and CEO Karl-Ulrich Garnadt told ATW in Seoul, South Korea.

“We know we have to order more [Boeing] 777Fs and there is no other option,” Garnadt said. LHC finalized an order for five 777 freighters valued at $1.35 billion last spring.

Garnadt said he expects no growth in 2012. “Currently we are 10% down compared to last year. The demand is much weaker,” he said.

LHC’s 2012 profitability outlook was strong until last fall when Frankfurt Airport (FRA) announced its decision to ban night flights from Oct. 30, 2011. The ban, which affected 10 LHC nighttime slots in its winter schedule, cost the carrier €20 million ($26.4 million) in 2011.

Garnadt said if the court does not lift the ban, the carrier stands to lose €40 million in 2012. He said LHC had planned to lease two more freighters for the coming summer schedule but has “axed” those plans. “If this scenario continues to go in the wrong direction, then we [will] start to replace some MD-11Fs with the first 777s instead expanding our fleet,” he said.

Garnadt said that if the court reverses the ban, the carrier will “switch some important night flights [back] to FRA from July.” He said that 50% of LHC’s business is high-value express cargo.

(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Omni Air International 777-222/ER at LAX

Omni Air International 777-222/ER (26935/88) N918AX is seen rolling out on Rwy 25L following its 13:37 pst arrival at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 28, 2012. It is not immediately known who the aircraft was operating for, but it is thought that it may have been operating for Air Pacific which has had one of its 747-400s parked at the United Airlines maintenance facilities at LAX the past week.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

China Airlines apparently is still celebrating its "50th" Anniversary

China Airlines 747-409 (29031/1186) B-18208 which still wears the carriers "50th" Anniversary logo operated into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) for the second time in three days on January 28, 2012. I was able to get better photos of the aircraft on this visit thankfully.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Photo of the Day / Faucet Peru L-1011 OB-1659

Faucet Peru L-1011-385-1 Tristar 1 (c/n 193A-1004) is captered on short final to Rwy 30 at Miami International Airport (MIA/KMIA) in January 1997. The aircraft was originally delivered to Eastern Airlines as N303EA on December 15, 1972. 

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Cargolux 747-8F passes through LAX

Cargolux 747-8R7F (35809/1436) LX-VCD "City of Luxembourg" is captured on short final to Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 28, 2012 as she arrives from Luxembourg International Airport (LUX/ELLX) as "CLX774" at 17:00 pst.  

(Photo by Steve Griffin)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Hong Kong Trader" visits LAX

Cathay Pacific Cargo 747-867F/SCD (39238/1427) B-LJA "Hong Kong Trader" departs Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) at 13:13 pst on January 28, 2012 bound for Anchorage, Alaska.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Southwest Airlines Ramp agent killed at Dulles International Airport

A Southwest Airlines employee has died from injuries in a crash between a baggage cart and a passenger shuttle on the airfield at Dulles International Airport.

Dallas-based Southwest said Friday that the employee was flown to a hospital after the Thursday morning crash and died overnight.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Robert Yingling says none of the people aboard the shuttle that carries passengers between the terminal and concourse was injured. He says such a collision on the airfield is unusual.

Airport police are investigating. The airline did not release the worker's name or any details about the crash.

(Associated Press)

USAF loses 6 fighter squadrons, 27 C-5As, and 65 C-130s in latest round of budget cuts

The US Air Force will eliminate six fighter squadrons, divest the L-3 Communications C-27J and retire 27 Lockheed Martin C-5As and 65 ageing C-130s under a new round of sweeping budget cuts announced on 26 January.

The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk procurement will also be truncated, while the Block 40 variant of the high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle will be increased.

The reductions in military airpower are a small part of a $259 billion package of cuts to planned budget increases over the next five years.

But the review also rededicated the Department of Defense to supporting new military aviation programmes, including the next-generation bomber and the Boeing KC-46A tanker.

The Lockheed F-35 Lightning II, meanwhile, escaped the budget reviews with all three variants intact, although procurement over the next five years will be further slowed, said Leon Panetta, secretary of defense.

"We want to make sure before we go into full-rate production that we are ready," Panetta said.

Despite the reduction of six tactical fighter squadrons and one fighter training squadron, the US military still remains committed to the F-35's full programme of record, Panetta said. That programme anticipates buying 2,443 operational fighters through 2035, including 1,763 for the air force.

The US military also plans to make new investments in enabling airpower capabilities, such as equipping existing aircraft with new missiles, sensors, communications and electronic warfare systems, Panetta said. The budget preserves the army's joint air-to-ground missile, but at a reduced funding level.

The budget review was launched after the Obama Administration committed to reduce military spending by $487 billion over the next decade. Pentagon officials unveiled a new strategic guidance document earlier this month.

(Stephen Trimble - Flight International News)

Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) awards provisional type certification for the Gulfstream Aerospace G280

***My apologies if this is old news to some of you but I just discovered this news today and thought it would be of interest........Michael 

Gulfstream Aerospace announced yesterday (January 18, 2012) that the super-midsize G280 obtained provisional type certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) on December 29.

“We are nearing provisional certification from the FAA,” a Gulfstream spokeswoman added. “Full CAAI and FAA type certificate will follow, clearing the way for customer deliveries later this year, as scheduled.”

At the NBAA Convention in October 2010, Gulfstream announced that the final performance specifications for the G280 will exceed the capabilities originally announced when the aircraft (neƩ G250) was launched in 2008. As such, the twinjet now has a 3,600-nm NBAA IFR range with four passengers at Mach 0.80, an increase of 200 nm, and a shorter balanced field length of 4,750 feet, down from the original 4,960 feet.

The Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer redesignated the aircraft as the G280 in July, a move “prompted by the company’s sensitivity to the varied cultures of its international customer base.”

(Chad Truatvetter - AINOnline News)

U.S. Airlines turn profitable year

Despite everything that has been working against them, from a dismal global economy to rising fuel prices, the nation’s top airlines — United Continental Holdings, Delta Air Lines, US Airways, and Southwest Airlines — all turned a profit last year.

The big airlines all turned a profit in 2011 as they reduced seats and combined higher ticket prices with more fees.

Their recipe for success has been straightforward: fewer airlines, fewer planes and fewer seats combined with higher ticket prices and more fees.

While the United States economy is showing signs of strength, the airlines have indicated in their latest earnings reports that they intend to stick to the formula. Oil prices last year averaged about $100 a barrel, about the same level as in 2008. But the airlines delivered higher-than-expected profits for 2011, while they lost 17 cents for every dollar of revenue they generated in 2008. In those three years, Delta completed its purchase of Northwest Airlines, United merged with Continental, and Southwest bought AirTran Airways.

Meanwhile, American Airlines, left out of the latest round of consolidation, filed for bankruptcy protection in November after losing billions of dollars in recent years. The carrier hopes to be able to pare its costs during the restructuring process and emerge as a leaner, profitable carrier. That prospect has also set off renewed talk about a possible bid for American Airlines by one of its competitors, perhaps Delta or US Airways.

“What the industry has done in three years is remarkable,” said William S. Swelbar, a research engineer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s International Center for Air Transportation. “Airlines seem to be much more stable than I can remember in decades. Consolidation is having a significant impact on pricing, no doubt. And the industry has rid itself of unprofitable routes.”

The airlines hope they can continue to raise revenue this year faster than fuel prices rise, while cutting capacity to offset weak demand.

Labor relations are likely to take center stage in 2012. As part of its restructuring process, American is seeking to renegotiate its work agreements with pilots and other labor groups in a bid to cut its costs, which are the highest among its peers. These talks may put pressure on Delta and United, also facing labor negotiations this year, to address costs that have been slowly rising in past years.

United, the nation’s top carrier since its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines, said Thursday that it cut its capacity, or the number of seats flown, by 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, it increased ticket prices by 9 percent over the same period a year earlier. As a result, United narrowed its fourth-quarter net loss to $138 million, an improvement from its loss of $325 million in the year-earlier period, the company said.

The loss was largely attributed to costs associated with the merger. Revenue was up 5.5 percent, to $8.9 billion, in the quarter. Excluding one-time items of $247 million, United reported a net income of $109 million in the fourth quarter. The company recorded a full-year profit of $840 million, down 12 percent from 2010.

United’s shares rose 6.3 percent to $21.70 on Thursday. Shares of Delta also rose for a second day after the company said Wednesday that fourth-quarter profit surged to $425 million, up from $19 million in the year-earlier period. In the quarter, which the company said was its most profitable ever for that period, Delta filled nearly 82 percent of its seats while it reduced capacity by 3.5 percent. As a result of higher ticket prices and higher fees, Delta increased its overall revenue by 11 percent in 2011, even as it operated 30 fewer planes than the previous year, according to Richard Anderson, the company’s chief executive.

Delta reduced its capacity to most of its destinations, especially Europe, which saw a 10 percent drop. Latin America was a rare exception: Delta increased capacity there by 5 percent. The company said it would continue to reduce its capacity in the first quarter by 3 to 5 percent.

At Southwest Airlines, net income grew 16 percent in the fourth quarter, to $152 million, with a 32 percent jump in revenue to $4.1 billion. US Airways said its net income declined by 35 percent to $18 million in the fourth quarter. Even though its revenue in that period rose 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion, fuel costs rose faster.

Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways also posted a profit in the last quarter. JetBlue is one of the industry’s few exceptions in raising its capacity in 2011 — the airline increased seats by 10 percent in the fourth quarter, with new flights to the Caribbean and to Boston. It expects to keep adding more flights to its schedule this year.

The airlines said they expected these gains to continue in the first quarter of 2012.
“If anything, the new year has seen a step-up in business demand,” the US Airways president, Scott Kirby, said on Wednesday. “The pricing environment remains strong and the industry is successfully recovering high fuel prices.”

Separately, US Airways confirmed this week that it was interested in exploring a deal with American Airlines. A combination between US Airways and American would create a carrier roughly the same size as United, Delta and Southwest.

(Jad Mouawad - The New York Times)

Long Beach Airport offers second lowest airfares in U.S.

Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) is pleased to announce the lowest airfares in the State of California and the second lowest airfares in the entire country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which tracks the data nationally.

“Long Beach Airport is known for exceeding expectations – very low fares, easy access, great destinations and excellent customer service all help make Long Beach Airport one of the very best in the country,” Mayor Bob Foster said.

According to a recent story published on, “Top 5 Cities with the Lowest Airfares,” Long Beach ranked No. 2 and passengers could, “expect to pay about $140 less in airfare to get there compared to the average domestic flight cost of $356.”

“In addition to the second lowest airfare in the nation, LGB’s seat capacity has risen by 4 percent and there is approximately 170 percent demand for each seat available in the marketplace,” Airport Director Mario Rodriguez said. “And, we continue to see approximately 85 percent of available seats sold. The airport has fared very well through a recessionary economy.”

Long Beach Airport is running slightly ahead of schedule with the Airport Modernization Plan and expects to open the new passenger concourse in 2013 with new concessions, many upgraded conveniences and LEED-certified standards with the green airport initiatives.

About Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB), located in Long Beach, CA, was founded in 1923, making it the oldest municipally owned airport in California. Throughout its 89-year history, LGB has been a source of substantial economic activity and business opportunities, as well as a leader in maintaining a sustainable environment. LGB, its tenants, and users are committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner by minimizing the impact of business on the environment and surrounding community with methods that are socially responsible, scientifically based and economically sound. LGB hosts four airlines offering non-stop service to 14 U.S. cities and serving nearly 3 million commercial airline passengers annually while supporting a healthy general aviation community with more than 300,000 annual operations. As a center for air cargo carriers, more than 41,000 tons of cargo is transported via LGB annually. For more information please visit

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spanair ceases operations

Spanair MD-83 (49938/1785) EC-FXA "Sunstar" is captured with her thrust reversers deployed as she arrives at an unknown location.
(APF Collection)

Spanair ceased operations late Friday after a regional government in Spain announced it could no longer fund the airline, officials said.

Spanair's financial woes were exacerbated by a 2008 crash that killed 154 people. Eighteen people survived what was Spain's worst aviation disaster in 25 years. In a statement, the airline said its "last commercial flight will land at" 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Jan. 27.

The regional government of northeastern Catalonia, which had been investing in the country's No. 4 airline since its 2008 purchase from SAS Scandinavian Airlines System International, said in a statement that it could no longer bankroll Spanair.

The Catalan government said the "current economic climate" and "European legislation concerning competition" made it impossible for it to continue financing the small carrier, whose hub was Barcelona airport.

Spain's Development Ministry also published a statement requiring Spanair to "fulfill its obligations with passengers."

The airline advised passengers who had booked flights with it to consult its website where it said "full information" would be displayed. However, from just before 9 p.m. (2000 GMT) the website read only "Website access not available."

Spanair said it had communicated its decision to Spain's air authorities and had been coordinating its demise with AENA, the country's airport authority, and with the Development Ministry, which is responsible for civil aviation.

Spanair has a fleet of 36 mainly aging aircraft and flew to 19 domestic and 24 international destinations, which included Algeria and Poland.

The airline, which also ran a commuter service between Madrid and Barcelona, was in trouble financially before Spanair Flight JK5022 an MD-82 jet crashed on takeoff on Aug. 20, 2008 as it tried to leave Madrid bound for the Canary Islands.

In December 2008, SAS sold the airline to tourism group Consorci de Turisme de Barcelona and Catalana d'Iniciatives, a private equity group.

(Associated Press)

Gulfstream Aerospace reports record 4th quarter

Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday that Gulfstream had a “banner” fourth quarter, with deliveries of 35 green aircraft–including 12 G650s–versus 20 jets in the same period in 2010. For 2011, Gulfstream shipped 107 jets, eight more than in the previous year. Last year the company also recorded the highest number of new aircraft orders since the G650 was introduced in 2008 and “the best year ever in service volume.”

Further good news came in the delivery backlog–the order book for the G650 currently exceeds 200 airplanes and G450 and G550 backlogs are each in a “healthy” 18- to 24-month range. In total, the company has a $17.9 billion backlog. Gulfstream expects to deliver more than 100 large-cabin jets this year, including 24 green G650s, along with 10 to 15 super-midsize G280s. Full FAA certification of both the G280 and G650 is expected by midyear. It is anticipated that G650 production will ramp up further, to between 35 and 50 aircraft annually starting next year.

Meanwhile, problems at Jet Aviation resulted in charges of $180 million, which eroded General Dynamics’ fourth-quarter earnings to $603 million, versus $729 million in 2010. These charges were the result of increased labor hours and late penalties associated with three bizliner cabin completion projects at Jet Aviation.

(Chad Trautvetter - AINOline News)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Air New Zealand 777-319/ER (40689/984) ZK-OKQ "All Blacks" is captured undertow at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 26, 2012, this is the aircrafts second visit to Southern California in the past week.

(Photo by Michael Carter)
China Airlines 747-409 (29031/1186) B-18208 arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 26, 2012 sporting a "50th Anniversary" sticker celebrating the carriers years in service.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

NCA "Green Freighter" visits LAX

NCA 747-481F/SCD (34283/1384) JA04KZ "Green Freighter" is captured on short final to Rwy 24R at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 26, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Photo of the Day / Skyservice USA DC-10-10

Skyservice USA DC-10-10 (46645/283) N571SC taxies for an early morning departure at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) in November 1998.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

C-17A delivers to USAF

C-17A (P-215) 10-0215 "Charleston" departed Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) today at 08:00 pst bound for Charleston AFB on her delivery flight.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5349) N949GA is captured undertow to the mid-field run-up area for engine runs on January 25, 2012.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

jetBlue A320-232 (c/n 4904) N794JB "Pretty Fly For A Blue Guy" is captured on short final to Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 19, 2012. The aircraft was delivered to the carrier on November 18, 2011.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Gulfstream G-159's at Long Beach Airport

Operated by the University of Indiana, G-159 (c/n 84) N184K was captured on the AirFlight ramp on December 19, 2000.

This lovely G-159 (c/n 129) N129AF arrives on a gorgeous afternoon in late November 2000.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Photo of the Day / Transaero DC-10-30 N140AA

Transaero DC-10-30 (46712/106) N140AA "Los Angeles" is captured on short final to Rwy 24L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) in November 1997.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Monday, January 23, 2012

New C-17A takes to the skies at Long Beach Airport

New C-17A (P-215) 10-0215 destined for Charleston AFB performed her first flight on January 19, 2012. In the photos above the aircraft is captured departing on an afternoon sortie at 15:42 pst.
(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bahrain Air explores Superjet order

Bahrain Air (2B) is in talks with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC) to acquire three to five Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft.

Speaking at the Bahrain International Airshow, 2B CEO Richard Nuttall said the carrier is considering adding the aircraft, which seats 100-130 passengers, for its short-haul routes. It expects to place a firm order by the end of the first quarter and is planning for a 2014-2015 delivery.

2B is also negotiating with Bombardier for aircraft of similar size.

The carrier has a fleet of Airbus A319s and A320s, which operate 112 flights per week. It will continue using A320s on its long-haul routes.

SCAC introduced the SSJ100 in the Middle East to launch customer Armenian Armavia at the end of 2010. The Russian manufacturer forecasts it will sell around 180 SSJ100s and MS-21s in the region through 2035. SCAC said it has 168 firm orders for the SSJ100.

(Polina Borodina - ATWOnline News)

Cathay Pacific to add A350-900 to fleet

Hong Kong's dominant carrier Cathay Pacific Airways said on Friday that it has signed a deal to buy six Airbus A350-900 aircraft with a total list price of USD$1.628 billion for delivery between 2016 and 2017.

The company said in a stock exchange filing that it would pay for the aircraft in cash in eight installments, to be funded by loans, other debt instruments and internal cash.

The Airbus aircraft would replenish and expand the company's fleet capacity and will principally serve long-haul destinations in Europe, the statement said.


Southwest Airlines to drop six AirTran destinations

Southwest Airlines said on Friday that its AirTran subsidiary would stop operating at six US airports this year because of higher fuel costs.

Airports that will lose AirTran service as of August 12 are in Allentown and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Sarasota, Florida; Huntsville, Alabama; and White Plains, New York.

Southwest said in a statement that AirTran workers at those airports would have a chance to move within the company once those operations ended.

AirTran operations will continue at 22 US and international airports in such places as Charlotte, North Carolina, Washington, DC, and Cancun, Mexico, and will eventually be converted to Southwest.

AirTran President Bob Jordan said in the statement the company was discontinuing service in markets it could not make work because of fuel costs.

Southwest acquired AirTran last year, gaining access to big East Coast markets such as Atlanta. The carrier expects to receive a single operating certificate in the first quarter, but until then must operate AirTran as a separate entity.


A few photos from SNA Monday January 16, 2012

This past Monday January 16, 2012 I had a few brief moments of sun but what few moments it was....enjoy the photos. 

United Airbus A320-232 (c/n 1495) N475UA which sports the "Stars & Bars" livery taxies to her gate following an early morning arrival.

Southwest Airlines 737-7H4 (27849/62) N715SW "Shamu" turns into gate 21.

Beech 58 (c/n TH-1068) N6661Y taxies towards an early morning departure.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Air New Zealand "All Blacks" 777-319ER at LAX

Air New Zealands "All Blacks" 777-319ER (40689/984) ZK-OKQ arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) from Auckland Airport (AKL/NZAA) New Zealand at 14:12 pst as "ANZ2." This was the aircrafts first visit to LAX and what a beauty she is. 

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fight over John Wayne Airport restaurant fees

The restaurants and snack shops at John Wayne Airport's newest terminal must pay more than $500,000 in development fees that they had challenged as unexpected and unfair, under a ruling issued Thursday.

The fight over those fees delayed the opening of most restaurants in the airport's new Terminal C until after the Thanksgiving travel rush. Those restaurants have since opened, paying the fees under protest to the Transportation Corridor Agencies and hoping for a refund.

TCA directors voted 11-3 on Thursday to deny those appeals. The airport vendors said they were considering their options. TCA directors went into closed session during the meeting, citing significant exposure to litigation.

The fees, along with tolls, are used to pay off bonds that financed the construction of the San Joaquin Hills (73) toll road. The airport has been found to benefit from the toll road, so new airport development has to pay into an account.

But the vendors who won spots in Terminal C said the airport did not fully disclose those fees before they signed their contracts. They also disputed how the fees were calculated: Each restaurant had to pay not only based on its own space, but also on a share of public space such as the concourse, waiting areas and baggage claim.

In all, the terminal's vendors had challenged more than $660,000 in fees. The biggest share of that came from Host International, charged more than $430,000 for restaurants that include Zov's, Jerry's Wood-Fired Dogs and an Anaheim Ducks-themed bar and grill. The smallest share came from Vino Volo, a wine shop in Terminal B but charged about $12,000 for a storage area it has in Terminal C.

The toll road's board of directors concluded that the vendors had been properly required to pay the full fees. Board members Bill Campbell, Pat Bates and Gary Monahan cast the only votes supporting the vendors' appeal; Campbell and Bates are also on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and Monahan is the mayor of Costa Mesa.

"It's an egregious fee. It's terrible," said Josie Rietkerk, who owns Caterina's Candies and was charged nearly $29,000 for her spot in the new terminal. "There was no transparency. ... It severely limits our cash flow. Severely."

(Doug Irving - The Orange County Register)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines increases inter-Island flights and service to West Coast

Hawaiian Airlines is adding flights at Kahului Airport for both interisland and Mainland destinations, creating a "Maui hub" to improve connections.

The airline recently acquired three more Boeing 717-200s for its interisland fleet.

Wednesday, it announced it also will add a direct daily flight to Los Angeles this summer, and adjust its Las Vegas-Maui arrival time to make connections through to the Big Island easier.

"This investment in our core business here in Hawaii will increase service between Maui and other Neighbor Islands by 25 percent and answer a need identified by our kamaaina travelers," Hawaiian President Mark Dunkerley said.

He did not say it would add much to the airline's bottom line. The business of interisland flights is "very, very difficult," he said, adding that over the years "it has not been a successful business for any of the carriers, including Hawaiian.

"At the same time, it is the core, the heart and we wouldn't be Hawaiian Airlines without it," he said.

At the same time, it is fortunate that Hawaiian has its long-haul business to generate profits, he said.

The daily direct link to Kauai is a novelty. Until now, Hawaiian has had one daily run from Kauai to Maui, but to get to Kauai, Maui travelers had to go through Honolulu. Soon, there will be two daily direct round trips.

In total, Hawaiian is upping the number of interisland flights by 23 per day (25 on some days), with more than half stopping or starting on Maui.

The new routes will be added over the next several weeks.

On June 21, Hawaiian will reintroduce a daily direct flight to Los Angeles, the fifth West Coast city to get a direct link. That flight will operate through Aug. 18.

It will depart LAX at 9:40 a.m., arriving at Kahului at 12:15 p.m. The return will depart at 1:45 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 10:05 p.m.

Details of the changes in the Las Vegas flight will be announced shortly, but the twice-weekly flight will switch from an evening to a morning arrival here. This should allow Big Island residents to make connections to the new Kahului-Kona or Kahului-Hilo schedules.

Hawaiian is in the process of increasing its Neighbor Island service to 180 flights daily from 157 flights on peak travel days, and to 168 flights from 143 flights on off-peak days.

Daily service to Maui will increase to 36 round-trip flights from 29 round-trip flights on peak travel days and to 34 round-trip flights from 27 round-trip flights on off-peak travel days.

The one daily round trip between Maui and Hilo will be boosted to two, and the two daily between Maui and Kona will go up to three.

Maui legislators welcome the increased service

"Hawaiian's expansion plan for Kahului Airport is good news for Neighbor Island residents and will make air travel between our islands easier while also increasing opportunities to showcase Maui as a visitor destination," said state Sen. J. Kalani English, chairman of the Committee on Transportation and International Affairs.

"It's nice to see a local company growing, hiring and adding services in our community," said state Sen. Roz Baker, chairwoman of the Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.

Wailuku Rep. Joe Souki, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said he supports Hawaiian's concept of a Maui hub.

"It will help satisfy the air transportation needs of our growing population and increased visitor arrivals on Maui, plus it adds more of a focus on the Neighbor Islands and the importance of their role in our state's economy," he said.

Hawaiian has been expanding rapidly and will continue to expand in 2012, Dunkerley said.

It ranks as a major airline, which the industry defines as having annual sales of $1 billion. Hawaiian's revenue is about 50 percent above that, but it is among the small majors.

"United is about 20 times our size," Dunkerley said.

The expansion is not intended to vault Hawaiian into the ranks of the biggest American air carriers, but it is needed to provide necessary services to travelers, he said, "That is really important." 

Hawaiian has 4,227 employees, with 3,820 based in Hawaii.

(Harry Eagar - The Maui News)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Photo of the Day / Northwest DC-9-14

Northwest Airlines Douglas DC-9-14 (45829/68) N8912E is captured January 2, 2012 at Marana-Pinal Airpark (MZJ) parked under the wing of 747-200 in a sad state, this is very hard for me the "Dacman" to look at!

(Photo by Rick Covington)

Nine African airlines join forces to jointly purchase aircraft fuel

Nine African airlines have come together to purchase aircraft fuel jointly, a move the carriers believe will increase their leverage and raise the value and quality of fuel being procured.

According to the African Airlines Assn. (AFRAA), the nine airlines participating in the program include Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Malawi, Air Namibia, Air Seychelles, LAM Mozambique Airlines, Precision Air, Rwandair and TAAG Angola Airlines.

AFRAA, which said more of its 32 members could join the program in the future, stated that the joint fuel buying project "is aimed at attaining better and stable unit price of fuel for the participating airlines, assuring quality of the product and supply reliability whilst the relevant fuel suppliers will benefit from higher fuel volumes purchased by airlines. Other areas of focus … include addressing the incidents of high taxes, charges and fees levied on fuel, especially in African airports, and lobbying stakeholders for the elimination of monopoly fuel suppliers at some airports."

The carriers will purchase about 700 million liters of fuel in aggregate annually valued at about $1.5 billion. Fuel purchasing contracts for this year have already been jointly negotiated by the nine carriers, AFRAA said. While negotiations are being conducted by the carriers on a joint basis, fuel contracting will still be done by individual airlines.

"The contracts implementation dates will vary, with some airlines starting to purchase fuel under the [jointly] negotiated terms in February 2012," AFRAA stated. "All contracts will, however, end in December 2012 and [be] replaced by new contracts for a full calendar year in 2013 and subsequent years following another bidding, evaluation, negotiation and awarding process to be carried out [jointly by the carriers] during the course of this year."

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

First Transatlantic "Biofuel" flight across the pond operated by Lufthansa 747-400

Lufthansa (LH) has concluded a long-term biofuel study by operating the world’s first biofuel-powered transatlantic commercial flight to the US.

Flight LH 418 landed at Washington Dulles Jan. 12 after an 8-hr. and 20 min. flight from Frankfurt (FRA). The Boeing 747-400 carried approximately 40 tons of biofuel mix. LH said carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were reduced by about 38 tons.

Captain Rudolf Seebass and flight officer Daniel Rieter commanded the flight and said it was a totally normal revenue flight. Passengers were informed once onboard that biofuel would be used and were given explanatory brochures. “They applauded when the announcement was made,” Seebass said.

Through its burnFAIR project, LH was the first airline to use biofuel on regularly scheduled commercial flights in an effort to study the long-term effect of biofuel on engine maintenance and engine life, as well as the environmental impact.

From July 15 to Dec. 27, 2011, a LH Airbus A321 operating on the Hamburg-FRA route had one engine powered by a 50-50 blend of regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene. In all, 1,187 biofuel flights were conducted and, according to initial calculations, total consumption of the biokerosene mix amounted to 1,556 tons and CO2 emissions were reduced by 1,471 tons.

“This is the best news we could give the industry because it shows that we really can do normal operations with biofuel,” said LH VP-Aviation Biofuel Joachim Buse.

He said the transatlantic flight was particularly important because if LH could use biofuels on all US flights, it estimates it could reduce CO2 emissions by about 15,000 tons per week. The airline operates around 400 weekly flights to17 US cities.

The biofuel mix used by LH is mostly based on Camelina oil from the US with some Jatropha-based oil from Brazil and some animal fat from Finland.

(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gulfstream ends G200 production

(Photo Gulfstream Aerospace)
Capping a 14-year production run, the last super mid-size Gulfstream G200 business jet – the 250th – has rolled off the production line in Dallas. It will be replaced in the Gulfstream fleet by the all-new large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G280, which is scheduled to enter service in the first part of 2012.
The G200 was the first super mid-size business jet to enter the marketplace. It rolled out in 1997 and was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1998. Seven years ago today, Gulfstream delivered the 100th G200.

With a cabin width of 7 feet, 2 inches (2.184 m) and a cabin height of 6 feet, 3 inches (1.905 m), the G200 has one of the largest cabins in its class. To date, the aircraft has been certified in 18 countries and has a dispatch reliability rate in excess of 99 percent. The fleet has flown more than 581,000 flight hours and completed more than 351,000 take-offs and landings.

Originally introduced as the “Galaxy” by Galaxy Aerospace (which was acquired by Gulfstream in 2001), the G200 was manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries in Tel Aviv and then flown to Gulfstream’s Mid-Cabin Completions Center in Dallas for interior outfitting and paint. The last G200 is scheduled for customer delivery later this month.

The G200 set the standard for the new super mid-size category and quickly established an important market niche. It became a mainstay aircraft for NetJets and many corporate operators. It also opened new markets for Gulfstream in China, Brazil and elsewhere.

“The G200 took the basic cabin dimensions of a large-cabin aircraft and made them available to a broader market by offering a shortened eight- to 10-place, two-seating-area layout with solid transcontinental U.S. range,” said Stan Dixon, vice president, Mid-Cabin Programs, Gulfstream. “It led the category for its time, as will the G280 going into the future.”

The G280 offers the largest cabin and the longest range at the fastest speed in its class. The business jet is capable of traveling 3,600 nm (6,667 km) at Mach 0.80 and has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.85. With an initial cruise altitude of 41,000 feet (12,497 m), the G280 can climb to a maximum altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 m). Its 3,600-nautical-mile range means the G280 can fly nonstop from New York to London or from London to Dubai.

The G280 features an all-new, advanced transonic wing design that has been optimized for high-speed cruise and improved takeoff performance. At maximum takeoff weight, the G280 has a balanced field length of 4,750 feet.

While G200 production has ended, the product support organization will ensure adequate parts, tooling, sustaining engineering and people are available to continue providing Gulfstream’s industry-leading product support for the worldwide G200 fleet.

(Gulfstream Aerospace Press Release)

Photo of the Day / Federal Express Cessna 310

Federal Express Cessna 310 (c/n 310Q0283) N7783Q which was utilized for executive transport is captured at Port Columbus International Airport (CMH/KCMH) just after delivery in October 1972.

(Photo by Bob Garrard)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A couple nice Dassault Falcon 7X photos from Biggin Hill (BQH/EGKB)

CS-TLY (c/n 15) ex- F-WWUL taxis on a lovely day.
OY-VIK (c/n 85) receives some TLC.

(Photos by Terry Wade)

Boeing marks milestone with production rate of 35 737NG's per month

Norwegian Air Shuttle 737-8JP (39419/3878) LN-NOY (callsign: "Norshuttle 1") taxies at Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI) just prior to departuring on it's delivery flight on 01/10/2012.
(Photo by Joe G. Walker) 
Boeing successfully achieved a production rate of 35 airplanes a month for the Next-Generation 737, with the delivery of the first airplane produced at the new rate to AWAS Aviation Services, Inc. Norwegian Air Shuttle will lease the airplane from AWAS. The 35th airplane to be built at the new rate is on schedule to roll out of the factory today which demonstrates that the production system has been operating successfully at a rate of 35 airplanes a month.

Employees will focus on stabilizing the production rate at 35 a month while investments are underway to go up in rate to 38 737s a month in second quarter 2013 and 42 a month in the first half of 2014.

Leaders of the 737 program acknowledged employees' contributions to achieving the record rate at an employee celebration at the Renton factory today. Employee teams implemented new lean improvements to create production capacity. "Working as a team, we have achieved production levels never previously reached," Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program, told employees. "It's because of the focus and dedication of 737 employees that we've reduced waste in our production system and identified opportunities to further increase our productivity.

"The first airplane at the 35-a-month production pace rolled out of the factory the smoothest ever. Only eight jobs were completed outside of our production sequence out of thousands and we only experienced three part shortages during production," Wyse said.

The program also celebrated securing production of the 737 MAX at the Renton factory. "The capability of this team played heavily into the decision to keep the 737 MAX here in Renton," Wyse said. "With the years of dedication and experience our employees have, there's no one better at designing and building the 737."

(Boeing Media Release)

Monday, January 9, 2012

American Airlines to pull out of Burbank Airport (BUR/KBUR) February 9, 2012

The first six weeks of American Airlines' (AA) Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization appear to have gone largely as planned, with the Dallas-based carrier and regional affiliate American Eagle operating normally and parent AMR Corp. giving no indication that the company won't be able to meet basic financial obligations.

AMR was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange last week as expected, but the company quickly moved to trading in over-the-counter markets. It is now trading under the symbol "AAMRQ" on the OTCQB marketplace operated by OTC Markets Group.

The airline continues to seek court permission to maintain normal payments on most aircraft and other obligations, and is moving forward with international partnerships. Last week AA and LAN Ecuador received approval from the US Dept. of Transportation and Ecuadorean authorities to begin codesharing on flights from Miami and New York JFK to Ecuador and on LAN Ecuador domestic services.

But the carrier did signal its first concrete job cuts since filing for Chapter 11 when it announced two route closures Monday. AA will stop flying between Chicago O'Hare and New Delhi March 1 and between Dallas/Ft. Worth and Burbank, Calif. Feb. 9. AA told employees this will mean closing its offices in New Delhi and Burbank, leading to about 150 positions cut.

AA last week released December traffic figures; in its first full month operating in Chapter 11, the carrier saw system RPMs dip 0.9% compared to December 2010 to 10.23 billion on a 1.2% drop in capacity to 12.66 billion ASMs. Load factor for the month was up 0.2 point to 80.8%.

AA's December domestic US capacity was down 4.2% year-over-year while international capacity was up 3.7% including a 4.8% lift on transatlantic flying and an 8.7% increase on transpacific ASMs.

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

Air New Zealand named airline of the year by Air Transport World

Air Transport World has selected Air New Zealand as the 2012 Airline of the Year in the ATW 38th Airline Industry Achievement Awards.

This year’s ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards winners also include AirAsia (Value Airline of the Year); QantasLink (Regional Airline of the Year); All Nippon Airways (Airline Technology Leadership); former IATA DG Giovanni Bisignani (Decade of Excellence); Etihad Airways (Passenger Service); Transaero Airlines (Airline Market Leadership); and Alaska Airlines (Joseph S. Murphy Industry Service).

Air New Zealand has risen to the top tier of the industry in a host of areas, including market position, product innovation, yield and social media to make the airline an industry trendsetter. ATW editors also cited Air New Zealand’s commitment to operating a very young and highly fuel-efficient fleet. The carrier becomes a twice winner of the Airline of the Year award.

Inaugural winner of a new category, Value Airline, is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based AirAsia, which paved the way for low-cost air travel in the region.

Australia’s QantasLink is Regional Airline of the Year for its perfect safety record and longstanding commitment to delivering excellent customer service to remote and hostile regions of Australia.

The Airline Technology Leadership award goes to ANA for its role in the development and design of the Boeing 787, for which it is the launch customer.

This year, the editors introduced a Decade of Excellence award to recognize an individual’s outstanding contribution to the airline industry. The inaugural winner is former IATA DG Giovanni Bisignani, who crafted some of the greatest changes seen in the industry, such as introducing the IATA Operational Safety Audit.

Etihad Airways received the Passenger Service award for excellent customer service product and offering of a premium service across all cabins.

The Airline Market Leadership award goes to Transaero Airlines and recognizes the carrier's sustained growth that has made it Russia’s second largest carrier.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines receives the Joseph S. Murphy Industry Service Award for its numerous environmental and corporate-giving initiatives through charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Angel Flight West, Special Olympics, and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

ATW editors will present the awards at a Gala Awards Presentation Dinner Feb.13 at the Pan Pacific in Singapore.

(Karen Walker - ATWOnline News)

Compass Airlines (Delta Connection) commenced service between John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) and Salt Lake City (SLC/KSLC) on January 4, 2011

Compass Airlines (Delta Connection) Embraer ERJ-170-200LR (c/n 17000222) N624CZ taxies towards a Rwy 1L on January 8, 2012.

Compass Airlines (Delta Connection) Embraer ERJ-170-200LR (c/n 17000252) N635CZ climbs from Rwy 1L during north traffic conditions due to a mild "Santa Ana" wind event on January 8, 2011.

(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Small cracks found on a few A380's

The discovery of tiny cracks in one of the wings of a Qantas A380 under extensive repair in Singapore has led to the detection of similar problems in four other Airbus superjumbos worldwide.

The cracks - less than a centimetre long - in the wing ribs of the A380s do not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the aircraft. The ribs are vertical fixtures that stabilise the wings.

But their detection is expected to prompt Airbus to issue a service bulletin to airlines later this month requiring them to check for the problem when their A380s are due for heavy maintenance every four years.

Engineers only discovered the cracks in the wing ribs of the Qantas A380 - named the Nancy Bird-Walton - while they were conducting $130 million in repair work on the aircraft at Changi Airport.

Their initial suspicion was that the cracks - with a width hardly visible to the naked eye - were caused by the A380's mid-air engine explosion shortly after take off from Singapore in November 2010.

But subsequent investigations have found this was not the case and engineers have discovered similar cracks on three Airbus test aircraft and one operated by Singapore Airlines.

The cause of the cracks in the Nancy Bird-Walton's wing is still to be determined but an initial assessment is believed to pin the blame more on the way the wing ribs were constructed rather than due to the loads and thrust at which the aircraft was operated by Qantas.

The Nancy Bird-Walton had only been in service for two years when the engine exploded.

Qantas confirmed yesterday that ''minuscule cracking'' was found in the wing ribs of the Nancy Bird-Walton but it was ''not unique to Qantas''.

''No immediate action is required by A380 operators because the cracking presents no risk whatsoever to flight safety,'' a spokesman said.

''Formal guidance is being developed by Airbus that is likely to require A380 operators to inspect wing ribs for this type of cracking every four years - in line with scheduled maintenance checks. Qantas will comply fully with this guidance when it is published.''

Singapore Airlines confirmed yesterday a ''small number of cracks'' had been found on the wing rib feet of one of its A380s during an investigation in the second half of last year.

The cracks in the Qantas A380 have since been fixed, but other repair work to get the aircraft back into service is not expected to be finished until March.

Qantas has a further 11 superjumbos in its fleet which fly long-haul international routes to London and Los Angeles.

It will take delivery of two A380s next year but has deferred orders for a further six superjumbos by up to six years. Airbus declined to comment yesterday.

(Matt O'Sullivan - The Sydney Morning Herald)

"Nancy Bird Walton" could return to service as early as March 2012

Qantas says the Airbus A380-842 that was badly damaged following an uncontained engine failure in November 2010, VH-OQA (c/n 14) "Nancy Bird Walton," is finally due to return to service in March.

Repair work on the A380 “is progressing well,” a Qantas spokesman tells Aviation Week. Repairs began in May 2011 and are expected to cost AU$135 million ($139.75 million). In early 2011, Qantas said the aircraft would fly again by the end of that year. However, for the past six months, the airline has signaled that a return to service early this year was more likely.

VH-OQA was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore due to an uncontained engine failure in one of its Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, with flying debris causing significant structural damage to the aircraft. This incident led Qantas to ground its A380 fleet while inspections were conducted. The engine failure was eventually traced to a Rolls-Royce manufacturing fault.

Despite early speculation that VH-OQA would be written off, the decision was made to repair it. The cost is covered by insurance. The repairs are being carried out at an SIA Engineering Co. (SIAEC) facility in Singapore. Most of the work is being done by a team of up to 40 Airbus employees, although staff from Qantas Engineering and SIAEC also are supporting the effort.

The aircraft required structural wing repairs and the full replacement of the other systems affected, including pneumatic, electrical and hydraulic systems. All of the original engines on VH-OQA have been removed and replaced with new engines supplied by Rolls-Royce.

According to Qantas, the repair work will be certified by Airbus, and the relevant airworthiness authorities are receiving regular briefings and are auditing the work. Airbus and Qantas will carry out flight testing.

While the repairs to VH-OQA are covered by insurance, Qantas last year negotiated an AU$95 million settlement from Rolls-Royce to compensate for the A380 fleet grounding.

(Adrian Schofield - Aviation Week)

Las Vegas Sands 747SP-31 (21961/415) VP-BLK departs Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) bound for Tokyo-Narita International (NRT/RJAA) at 13:32 pst on January 5, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)
Yangtze River Express 747-409F/SCD (30761/1254) B-2431 departs Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) from Rwy 25R at 08:09 pst as "YZR7464" bound for Shanghai Pudong (PVD/ZSPD), China on January 5, 2012.

KLM asia 747-406M (23982/735) PH-BFC "Calgary" climbs into the gorgeous afternoon skies over Los Angeles as she departs for Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS/EHAM) on January 5, 2012.
(Photos by Michael Carter)  

Singapore Airlines A380-841 (c/n 010) 9V-SKE departs Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) at 1447 pst as "SIA11 Super" bound for Tokyo-Narita International Airport (NRT/RJAA) on January 5, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

China Airlines 747-409 (29030/1145) B-18206 departs Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 4, 2012 sporting the carriers new "SkyTeam" livery.

(Photos by Michael Carter)