SriLankan Airlines has revised its planned Colombo - Zurich operation, due to begin from 23rd December. The airline will now no longer operate the Zurich - London - Zurich sector of the planned Colombo - Zurich - London - Zurich - Colombo flight and will instead terminate at Zurich.
The new schedule will provide three terminator flights to Zurich while London will be reduced by one, to 12 weekly flights.
The competition to this route will come from Edelweiss' two weekly flights on the route, including once a week flights operated via Male on each direction. Edelweiss will be operating Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the route.
Emirates Airline has announced that it will be launching flights to Dallas and Seattle from early 2012 onwards. Dallas flights will be launched from 2nd February and be flown daily on board a Boeing 777-200LR. Seattle flights will be launched from 1st March and be flown daily on board Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Dubai - Dallas
EK221 DXB DFW 0245 0905 77L D 16hrs 20mins
EK222 DFW DXB 1150 1220+1 77L D 14hrs 30mins
From 10th March onwards (beginning of DST), Dallas arrival and departure would be one hour later. Dubai arrival and departure remains the same.
Dubai - Seattle
EK229 DXB SEA 0950 1310 77W D 15hrs 20mins
EK230 SEA DXB 1710 1940+1 77W D 14hrs 30mins
From 10th March onwards (beginning of DST), Seattle arrival and departure would be one hour later. Dubai arrival and departure remains the same.
Back in September 2010, British Airways introduced a retro livery on one of its Boeing 757-200 aircraft to commemorate the retirement of the type from BA's fleet. The particular aircraft, G-CPET, wearing the so-called 'Negus scheme' operated its last scheduled service on 30th October 2010, as flight BA1463 from Edinburgh to London Heathrow. The final flight of the aircraft took place a week later, on 6th November, when it flew for a flight around London Heathrow with BA crew and families on board.
Ever since then, G-CPET has been in storage at London Heathrow due to be converted into a freighter for FedEx. The Networker learns from reliable sources that while the plan was for G-CPET to be stripped of her retro livery and be ferried for conversion, this has now changed. Instead, she will now be flown in the full retro livery, from London Heathrow to London Gatwick for the removal of the livery and to be sold.
So, if you missed her last flight last year, or want to see the very last Boeing 757 flight to be operated in British Airways' colours, here is your chance.
According to the present plans, G-CPET will take off from London Heathrow as BA9252P at 1540L, and arrive at London Gatwick at 1625L, tomorrow, on 28th.
G-CPET in the retro colour scheme having pushed back for a flight to Glasgow in her final day of service. Photo and flight info by MANfan.
Barring any unforeseen technical circumstances that will delay the flight, this will be the last time that a Boeing 757 will be flown in British Airways' colours - so be sure to stay there to catch the action and make sure that you share the photos with us!
CSA Czech Airlines, on 21st September, launched flights to Abu Dhabi, from Prague. The airline will be flying the new route four times a week on board Airbus A320 family aircraft with the following schedule.
OK352 PRG 1215 - 2010 AUH 32S 37 5:55h // Code-shared by Etihad as EY7851
OK350 PRG 2335 - 0730+1 AUH 32S 14 5:55h // Code-shared by Etihad as EY7849
OK353 AUH 0135 - 0600 PRG 32S 14 6:25h // Code-shared by Etihad as EY7852
OK351 AUH 0950 - 1415 PRG 32S 25 6:25h // Code-shared by Etihad as EY7850
The flight was met with a load of celebrations at Abu Dhabi. The following pictures are courtesy of the official ADAC Blog.
US based start-up, Baltia Airlines, has painted its second acquired aircraft - a Boeing 747-200. The airline acquired the ex- Northwest aircraft, N706BL, from Kalitta Air in December, 2010. With this recent purchase, Baltia's fleet now comprises of two Boeing 747-200s.
Who is Baltia?
Looking like one of the odd airline start-ups, Baltia has been in the start-up mode since 1989. It states that its primary goal "is to become the leading U.S. airline in the Trans-Atlantic market between the major U.S. cities and capital cities of Eastern Europe, including Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Belarus."
Baltia is headed by Igor Dmitrowsky, who acts as the Prseident and CEO of the company. A Latvian national born in 1956, Igor started his first US based company in 1979 - as American Kefir Distribution, a diary distribution company. He completed American Kefir's public offering in 1986, and retired from it in 1987. Since 1989, Igor has been building Baltia.
Trading in the stock market (NASDAQ) as Baltia Air Lines Inc. (BLTA), Baltia's stock data shows that today it employs 20 people with assets of 3.43m. The airline's ICAO code is BTL.
Based at New York JFK, Baltia has long maintained that its first route would be to St. Petersburg, Russia, from JFK. With two aircraft in its fleet now, Baltia believes that it is inching closer to the first flight on this un-served route.
Baltia acquired its first aircraft in 2009, when it took delivery of N705BL, an ex-PIA aircraft from Logistics Air. Baltia paid USD475,000 for the aircraft sans engines, and took the engines under a Power-by-the-Hour deal from Logistics Air.
Given below is a detailed set of data about the two aircraft in Baltia's fleet.
Status: Unknown. Not seen in Baltia colours. Last seen in Malaysia, for maintenance.
N705BL, after acquisition by Baltia with engines hung. March, 2010. By okimlost_again.
Interior of N705BL. By okimlost_again.
Cockpit of N705BL. By okimlost_again.
Aircraft Model: Boeing 747-251B
First flight: 11MAY1979
Date of acquisition: DEC2010
Current registration: N706BL
Previous registrations: N623US (Northwest, 1979 and Kalitta, 2010)
Status: Painted into Baltia colours and the first aircraft in fleet to do so. Is presently undergoing maintenance and testing.
The following images of N706BL are courtesy of the airline. Click through to see in full size.
After painting. September, 2011.
A classic in new clothes.
The Baltia logo, painted on the tail-fin.
Economy class interior of N706BL.
Upgraded cockpit with older style gauges being replaced with monitors.
The following video shows N706BL during its test flight following the paint job.
The Story So Far
Although Baltia has been set up in 1989, it actually began preparations to receive an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) only in 2008. It was on 8th February 2009 when Baltia formally began the FAA certification process. On 20th March, 2009, DoT awarded Baltia its initial frequencies for flights from JFK to St. Petersburg. On 4th June, 2010, Baltia applied from the DoT for JFK - Moscow Sheremetyevo service. In August of the same year, N705BL, went into Kuala Lumpur for maintenance with Malaysia Airlines. And on 10th September of 2011, N706BL finished receiving its fresh coat of paint and flew back to Oscoda, MI. As of now, Baltia is conducting FAA Air Carrier Certification process under Part 121.
Baltia has already made arrangements with Evergreen for the line maintenance of its fleet at JFK and has appointed SOVEX as its fuel supplier. It has also signed agreements for office space at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg and has already arranged the gate, check-in and customs clearance facilities.
The airline will be able to take into the skies once it has received the necessary approvals, made some proving flights, completed an evacuation test and finally received its Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA.
Will Baltia be able to finally take to the skies this time? Only the time will tell - but it surely would be an interesting airline take off to watch.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines has applied a revised new livery to its eagerly expected new Boeing 777-300ER. The new livery might not be one to win awards for, but it surely is much better than its previous one.
The new aircraft will bring a number of changes to Biman's long-haul network and will enable it to launch flights to Manchester ( via London ) and Milan ( via Rome ) and will finally enable Biman to fly nonstop to London Heathrow. Expect an analysis on this new aircraft's operation, next week.
British Airways, from 25th March 2012, is increasing capacity on its London Heathrow - Moscow service.
The 0855 London departure ( 1720 from DME ) switches from Airbus A320 to Boeing 747-400. Flight number changes from BA872/3 to BA233/4.
The other two daily flights will operate with Boeing 767 equipment.
SpiceJet is planning to bring another Dash 8 Q400 aircraft to its fleet operation by 6th October, and will be launching a range of new flights using the aircraft. Having placed an order with Bombardier for 15 Dash 8 - Q400s in November 2010, the airline has already taken delivery of five of the type. This particular aircraft is likely to be VT-SUF, cn 4381, and will be the sixth of the type to join the fleet.
Photo by Malcom Bezzina
The planned weekly rotation plan for this aircraft, per The Networker's estimate is as following.
1: SG1011 HYD 0635 - 0905 TRV D
2: SG1261 TRV 0925 - 1100 MAA D
3. SG3221 MAA 1120 - 1245 COK x26
3.b. SG1261 MAA 1120 - 1245 HYD 26
4. SG3222 COK 1310 - 1440 MAA x26
5. SG1261 MAA 1500 - 1625 HYD x26
6. SG1262 HYD 1655 - 1820 MAA D
7. SG1262 MAA 1845 - 2020 TRV D
8. SG1012 TRV 2045 - 2315 HYD D
(Please note that aircraft interchanges are possible)
On an average day, the aircraft will be operating up to eight sectors, while on Tuesdays and Saturdays it will be operating six sectors per day.
The new routes to be launched, effective 6th Oct, is as follow.
Mihin Lanka, effective 31st October, is adding an additional weekly flight to Dhaka. The new flight will initially operate on a different timing on Monday, and will switch to the route's regular schedule effective 25th December.
After the fall of Air Slovakia, Slovak Air and SkyEurope ( and the brief CSA stunt ), Slovakia has now got a new flag carrier in the form of newly founded Slovakian Airlines. The airline has already leased a Boeing 737-500 from Armenian flag carrier Armavia (pictured below).
(Click to vie in full size) Boeing 737-500, cn, in Slovakian Airlines colours. The aircraft presently bears the Armenian registration of EK-73771 but will soon bear the matching registration of OM-BTS. Photo copyright Keith Newsome/FlyingAnts.
The airline hopes to receive its AOC before the end of October and plans to launch services to UK, Italy, Spain and Russia. The airline expects to have three Boeing 737-500s in operation by the end of 2011.
Interestingly, this particular aircraft operated for Czech Airlines, prior to joining Armavia.
Emirates Airline from 1st February 2012, will be launching new service to Lusaka in Zambia and Harare in Zimbabwe. The new flight, which will operate on the routing Dubai - Lusaka - Harare - Lusaka - Dubai, will be flown five times a week on board Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Air France and KLM today announced that they will be adding both the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 to their fleet. Which aircraft would these replace, and where could they fly to? We're going to find out.
The order composition
While the exact order composition is yet to be announced, Air France has confirmed that out of the 60 A350s ordered, at least 25 will be A350-900s. The carriers further confirmed that through 2024, the two carriers will operate at least 43 A350-900s and 30 787-9s. This is an indication that at least a sizeable portion of this order will be split between the A350-900 and the 787-9.
With the A350-1000 presently in apparent limbo, it is unlikely that the two airlines will commit to the larger variant anytime soon. The fate of A350-1000 with KLM is further uncertain owing to the fact that the airline tends to utilize its Boeing 777-300ERs, a type which the A350-1000 is supposed to replace, largely as a people mover on low-yielding high density routes. To achieve a lower unit cost on these routes, KLM must use a 10 abreast seating configuration on the 777's Economy class - something that is impossible on the A350-1000 owing to its slightly smaller fuselage width. However, a Boeing 787-10 as the proposed A330-300 replacement will highly appeal to KLM which already operates the A330-300.
The airlines have stated that they will use the new types for replacing the 200-350 seater aircraft presently in its fleet. What could they replace?
The Air France's present fleet falling into this category is as follows.
Type - Number in fleet
Airbus A330-200 : 14
Airbus A340-300 : 16
Boeing 777-200ER: 25
Boeing 777-300ER ( Some versions only ) : 34 + 8 on order
The present KLM fleet that fall under this category are
All of these aircraft are candidates for replacement and by 2024, the likely fleet for the two airlines ( barring any future wide-body orders ) would be as below.
Airbus A320 family
Airbus A350 family
Boeing 787 family
Boeing 737 family
Boeing 787 family
Airbus A350 family
It is too early to predict on which kind of routes will the two aircraft models fly, but one thing for sure is that they'll fly worldwide, throughout the network for both carriers. So here's a map with the maximum range of both aircraft types taken into consideration with A350-900 and the Boeing 787-9 as the base models. ( Range figures quoted from official Airbus and Boeing specifications ) Shown in blue colour is the range out of Amsterdam for KLM and in red is the range out of Paris Charles De Gaulle for Air France. Major cities are marked for reference.
The Boeing 787-9
It must be however be noted that this map shows the maximum design range and that it is not guaranteed if any of the types will actually achieve this range. Even if they do, operating at this range would be impossible for any airline due to a number of practical reasons ranging from payload issues to hot and high runways. Hence the following map illustrates the actual coverage area which would be possible for both aircraft, taking 7250nm as the average maximum operational range.
In an interview with a local newspaper, Mr. Kapila Chandrasena, the [joint] CEO of Mihin Lanka [ and SriLankan Airlines] has stated that the Sri Lanka based low cost carrier expects to launch flights to Bangkok, Manila and Sharjah soon.
He has stated that the carrier will launch flights to Manila via Bangkok, a route for which it has fifth freedom rights. Mihin will likely operate three weekly flights on the route.
As SriLankan's new Moscow flights will operate via Dubai, Mihin is planning to cut three of its weekly flights to Dubai and transfer two of these frequencies to launch flights to Sharjah, he further stated.
He also said that the airline is also examining the possibility of launching flights to Calicut, as this will complement SriLankan's strategy into India. SriLankan was operating flights to Calicut until 2008, when it cut the route due to the global economic crisis. Mihin is now looking forward to acquiring a second Airbus A321 aircraft to its fleet, added the CEO.
Mihin Lanka and SriLankan Airlines both are now owned by the Government of Sri Lanka and have a common CEO and a common Chairman. There are at present no flights between Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Mihin's present fleet includes one Airbus A320 and one A321 while SriLankan operates a fleet of 19 aircraft including six Airbus A340s. Both airlines have been on an expansion drive since the beginning of 2011 in a bid to make Colombo a key hub in South Asia.
Google has recently launched Google Flights, the outcome of its acquisition of ITA.
( This post includes a number of images. Please click through to view the images in full size.)
Upon launching Google Flights, Gogle displays flight options out of a city ( presumably by your current location. I have received SFO probably because I am out of the presently supported region ) with average fares, on a map.
Presently Google Flights provides you with the ability to search U.S domestic flights only, however international flights can be expected soon.
Once you perform a search for a particular route, it provides you with a listing of flights sorted by the time of departure.
When you select one of the flights, you are then asked to select the return flight (given that you book a round-trip)
And then for booking the flight, Google automatically opens your itinerary on the selected airline's official website very conveniently.
Upon further inspection this appeared to be that Google will only open automatic booking for airlines that it partners with ( in this case American ). This is what I received for a flight with a carrier that is not partnering ( means - not advertising with Google Flights ). Or another possibility is that the selected airlines do not interline with each other. It however still lists links to the relevant airline websites.
I am not sure what is the reservation technology used by Google to cooperate with the selected airline's IBE ( please leave a comment if you do ) or about the exact revenue model Google has in mind ( is that via ads displayed for booking the flights ? ). But nevertheless, it surely will make travellers life more easier and should help airlines to lower their distribution costs too.
Hawaiian Airlines is continuing its expansion in Japan, with the addition of Fukuoka as its third Japanese destination. The new service will launch on 16th April 2012, and will operate daily on board Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. Hawaiian's 763 is configured for 262 seats.
Photo by Dylan Ashe
The schedule for the new route is below
HA453 HNL 1320 - 1840+1 FUK 763 D
HA454 FUK 2100 - 1000 HNL 763 D
Delta Airlines too announced plans for its own route from Honolulu to Fukuoka earlier this month. The new service will launch on 28th December and will operate on board 209 seater Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. Delta's service will however only operate during the Winter season. The operational days per week varies.
DL599 HNL 1030 - 1705+1 FUK 763
DL598 FUK 2030 - 0905+1 HNL 763
"Demand for our services in Japan from Tokyo and Osaka has been extremely strong, and we are responding to similar demand for Hawaii from the travel community in Fukuoka," Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley said.
Hawaiian already serves Tokyo and Osaka from Honolulu, with both services operating daily.
Cathay Pacific has been growing steadily and profitably for the past couple of years. However two regions that had seen minimal activity from the carrier were Africa and South America. And now it seems that the airline is ready to change that trend.
In an interview, Cathay's new CEO John Slosar has been quoted as saying the airline is "looking actively" at the opportunities in Africa and Latin America. Presently, Cathay's presence in Africa is limited to Johannesburg in South Africa while it presently has no online destinations in South America.
Two African destinations which could work well for Cathay are Lagos in Nigeria and Luanda in Angola. Both of these cities have growing ties with China and a healthy flow of employee traffic as well as a good amount of cargo. In terms of South America, the carrier could be interested in fast growing Brazil, but also tourism booming Mexico.
Cathay at present has over 90 wide-body aircraft on order, and the carrier's future expansion would surely be interesting to watch.
Where do you think Cathay will fly? Let The Networker know by commenting below.
SriLankan Airlines (IATA:UL) from 24th December is increasing Tokyo flights from 3 to 4 flights a week. The airline received rights for the fourth frequency recently. With this SriLankan becomes one of the handful of airlines to increase flights to Japan following last March's tsunami. The new flight operates on Saturday from Colombo.