Posts Tagged 'oneworld'

New Livery for American Airlines

American Airlines is undergoing changes. Not only due to Chapter 11 procedures and a possible (more and more likely) merger with US Airways, but also due to technical reasons. Like the new livery – which is driven by all of these three.

American Airlines New Livery Boeing 777 - courtesy of AA

American Airlines has been using the same logo and aircraft livery for more than 40 years. Quite a nice lifecycle for a brand, especially in our fast-paced, marketing driven world of the late 20th and early 21st century. But AA is going through so many changes, that it was about time. Even if the board may have had questions about it – the undebatable technical reasons made it a must.

AA has had the very well known, very well received and very well accepted, famous, landmark aircraft livery with the polished, silver aircraft bodies reflecting the sun so beautifully – having only the red and blue stripes across the planes on the sides below the windows. This now simply HAD to be changed, as it could no longer be maintained with the upcoming new aircraft types (mainly the 777-300ER in the short term), that have a (partial) composite frame: plastic can not be polished the same way as metal (it can’t be polished, period), thus it must be painted. (Even the old livery planes had composite parts which are very well visible on this image below on the left side, for example the hold door or the nose – they were painted in simple grey until now and made such planes look somewhat like they were pieced together from left-over aircraft parts with different paint on them…)

Boeing 737-800 American Airlines Old and New livery - images from airliners.net - by David Field and Christian Eggers

Direct links on airliners.net to the above images:
Old livery / New livery

AA took a step forward, and once it had to change the basic color of the fuselage of its planes, it introduced a new logo and an updated, more fresh look – which was the right movement in my opinion. I think personally that the new design is fresh indeed with its dark grey “American” word on the forward part of the plane together with the updated, stylistic Eagle logo and with the new tail design that looks like a flag. But most of all, I think the fact that they still use the silver as the main color of the planes, keeps the heritage alive as well – as much as technically possible. Their planes will now be painted in silver-mica paint.

The American Eagle aircraft will also receive the new livery, the first outfitted airplane slated to begin flying in February. Here is a rendering of an Embraer E175 (ordered for Republic Airways Holding):

American Eagle New Livery Embraer E-175 - courtesy of AA

by balint01

Advertisements

First Boeing 787 for LAN Airlines

LAN Airlines, member of the oneworld alliance and part of the LATAM Airline group (and one of my personal favorite airlines) took its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the end of August. It was a few months ago, but let’s take a closer look at this beautiful bird.

LAN Boeing 787 Dreamliner   - by Carlos P. Valle C. on airliners.net

The aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, was the first Dreamliner to be received by an airline in the Americas (and the fourth in the world after Japanese ANA and JAL, and Ethiopian Airlines). LAN has 32 787s on order, valued at USD 4.9 billion, to be delivered over the next decade. Two more are delivered this year.

The cabin features 247 seats altogether, with Business Class (30 fully-flat seats in a 2-2-2 layout) and Economy (217 total, in a 3-3-3 layout), making the 787 slightly less crowded than Ethiopian (24+245 = 269) and ANA (12+252 = 264) but more efficient than JAL (42+144 = 186). The numbers compared to the other operators of the type look like a fair compromise expecting a fairly good business audience, that offer specious comfort as well as economy of scale at the same time.

LAN said it expects to start Los Angeles-Lima 787 flights in January 2013. LAN CEO Ignacio Cueto said in a statement, “The Dreamliner will make it possible for us to cover greater distances in a more environmentally conscious and highly efficient aircraft.” As per the latest route announcements, it looks like LAN is planning to operate sort of a circle flight with Santiago-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Lima, Lima-Santiago – enabling three routes with the aircraft type on paper – while in reality each city-pair would only be services one-way by the 787.

Other cities expected to be served by LAN 787s over the next year besides the hub of Santiago are Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt, the carrier said.

LAN Boeing 787 - c by Russell Hill on airliners.net

I have flown LAN all around South-America and to the Easter Island (twice), but now I’m looking forward to my next LAN flight, which I will aim to make on one of their 787’s.

by balint01

Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Japan Airlines

Oneworld member Japan Airlines (JAL) took delivery of its first two Boeing 787 Dreamliners at the end of March, and have added the new plane type quickly into its operating fleet. JAL is the second Japanese operator of the type after ANA started flying their first Dreamliner late in October, 2011 – more than three years after the original delivery date – but the first to use General Electric GEnx-powered aircraft.

The two brand new Boeing 787s (registration numbers: JA825J and JA822J) were delivered to JAL on March 25 and touched down at Tokyo Narita and Haneda airports respectively on the 27th of March. Following one month of familiarization, training and marketing flights, the first revenue round-trip flight was completed to Boston Logan airport in the United States on April 22nd. This is the first ever non-stop flight to connect Boston with Asia, and marked the debut of the 787 in the USA. The second scheduled destination is Delhi, with flights starting on the 1st of May.

The 787 is scheduled to be deployed on routes between Tokyo and Beijing (May 7, Haneda), Moscow (May 7), Singapore (September) and Helsinki (March 2013) as soon as subsequent aircraft are delivered and all necessary preparations are completed. JAL will later this year (in December), also use this super-efficient aircraft to start yet another first nonstop service between a US city and Asia with the launch of direct flights between Tokyo (Narita) and San Diego.

JAL’s 787 Dreamliner is configured in two classes with 42 seats in business and 144 seats in economy (186 altogether). The Executive Class has a 2-2-2 configuration so that customers are either seated by the window or along the aisle. The 144 Economy Class seats have 2 cm (0.8 inches) wider space than current seats and is arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

Some highlights of the revolutionary aircraft include larger windows with electronically dimmable shades, as well as higher ceilings, lower cabin pressure and better humidity for a noticeably more comfortable in-flight experience. JAL’s hospitality is reflected in customer-contact points throughout the cabin and even in the work space for cabin attendants such as the kitchen equipment in the galley. Utilizing the LED lights in the Dreamliner, JAL created an original cabin lighting design to enhance the ambience onboard with a sense of the four seasons in Japan, such as pink hues of cherry blossoms in spring, or sky blue in the summer months of July and August. The lighting also adapts at various timings during the flight, to make the environment more conducive during meal service and for resting or waking up. A brand new type of in-flight entertainment is also introduced onboard JAL’s 787 Dreamliner, called SKY MANGA which reflects a distinctive part of the Japanese culture. There will be more than 30 titles of Japanese comics available in electronic versions on JAL’s in-flight entertainment system initially, with expansion to English versions planned for the near future.

JAL has firm orders for 25 787-8s, including the two delivered Monday, and 20 Boeing 787-9s plus 20 787 options, meaning if all are exercised, the Japanese carrier will be operating 65 Dreamliners (currently it has 209 aircraft altogether).

by balint01

R.I.P. Malév – by balint01

2012 is supposed to be the end of the world – according to the Mayas. I do not believe in that. But 2012 actually turns out to be the end, for at least a part of the world: for those of us who have ever worked at Malév Hungarian Airlines or somewhere in the Hungarian Aviation Industry.

3rd of February, 2012. The date when Malév – the 66 year old Hungarian Airlines – disappeared from the skies. At some point in its history it was part of the North-American skies, the Asian skies, the Middle-Eastern skies and the African skies. But most importantly, Malév was always part of the European skies. And it was proud of it. Malev was also proud to become a European Union flag carrier in 2004 – but ironically this status put the latest nail in its coffin. A coffin that was started to be built about 20 years ago, sometime in the early 1990’s, after the political change in this part of the world.

One thing you need to know though: while the politicians were working hard on building this coffin, most of the employees (I’m sorry, but I can’t say ‘all of the employees’, only ‘most’ at best) were working against it. So most of the employees believed in a Hungarian National Airline, and believed that it can be operated in a professional, profitable way. Maybe even an efficient way. So what went wrong then? you may ask. I believe that the 20 year old last chapter in its history – that ended with the complete disappearance of Malév yesterday – had one root problem: ever changing top management. 21 years – 17 CEO’s!! (But this will most likely be a different post in this blog in the near future.)

Anyway, while growing up, I built about 70 plastic planes, and watched airliners at Budapest Ferihegy Airport Terminal 1 observation deck a few times. I was really jealous of my father visiting his best friend in Stockholm with an SAS DC-9. Then at the age of 8, my parents couldn’t take me away from the observation deck of the Frankfurt Airport for more than two hours… I was amazed by seeing so many planes and identifying each flag carrier by their tail design. Then at 11, I flew for the first time in my life – and like most of the Hungarians older than 15 – I had my first flying experience aboard Malév. It was a Tupolev Tu-154. I was so excited about this flight, that I threw up – funnily after we landed in Rome… I can still remember that the flight attendants on that flight were extremely nice and helpful. Really.

Then I flew about 10 times with them before I joined Malév in 2003. On my first interview (with Szafi) I was told that we would try to save the airline with the new e-business solutions, but it may not be flying in one year. I convinced myself that it was a great opportunity to be a member of the team that may save the Hungarian National Flag Carrier – especially being fresh out of the university, without a family to support, just starting my carrier. And I’m glad I convinced myself of this risk, as I had enjoyed 3 great years there – plus I met so many wonderful people, including my wife!

I really had the privilege of getting to know so many people across the whole company while working with the BPR part of the team who introduced online booking – and later e-ticketing. I became friends with colleagues at the Pricing Department, Scheduling, Domestic and International Sales, the Ticketing offices, the Call Center, Finance, Marketing, Legal, Communications, Airport Operations in Budapest and at a number of stations we flew to – just to mention a few. As an aviation enthusiast employee, I had of course met and talked to a number of Malév pilots and flight attendants as well. Some of these people have moved on over the years and are now working at other companies, but some of them just lost their jobs – yesterday. I truly share their feelings as much as possible and wish them strength and all the best in the coming days, weeks!

On the other hand, we must also talk about realities. I hate to say this, but such an airline with so many CEO’s and ever changing strategy over decades, was destined to die. We all knew this. We just didn’t want to believe it. And we were all shocked when as an employee first heard the ‘rumours’ that we may not get our next salary. Then the ‘old folks’ told us ‘Don’t worry, this has been happening at least once a year for the last decade, there is always a solution!‘ And we tried to believe them, but then waited for the next salary with nervousness. And it was transferred. Then a few months later it happened again. It got transferred again. For the third time I already felt like the ‘old folks’ – no worries, this is just a small panic. And it would probably go on like this for the latest newcomers for years to come – only if the EU would not rule out financial help by the state. They say this is to protect competition. From the Budapest flight market one thing has disappeared yesterday: the main competitor. Meaning that there will be no real competition from now on, as the other flag carriers flying to Budapest will be the sole carriers on their respective routes. Who will stop Lufthansa to raise their fares to Hamburg or Frankfurt, or BA to London, or Air France to Paris – when there is no other airline flying there from Budapest? What will the EU say now? Also, if there is no state-aid for the Air Carriers, why can be state-aid for banks when they are in trouble? Or for car manufacturers when they are in trouble? Why not for Air Carriers when they are in trouble? Like Spanair a week ago and now Malév. Who will be next in a week’s time? CSA Czech Airlines? LOT? SAS? Is the EU protecting competition, or is it protecting the three large European Airline conglomerates (Lufthansa group, Air France-KLM group and BA-Iberia group) and low-cost carriers?

Malev is now gone. From the skies. Physically it only remains in the Airplane Museum at the Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport – unfortunately no Boeing 737 NG planes will ever be exhibited there, as they were all flown back to the lessor ILFC last night already. But it remains in the hearts of those who ever worked there. And for those who are just now joining the world outside of Malév, I can guarantee one thing: You will continue to talk about Malév as ‘us’ and ‘we’ for decades to come. Trust me, I know, because I do that all the time, too.

Rest In Peace, Blue-Nosed, Malév Hungarian Airlines!

by balint01

Finnair’s Last MD-11 Passenger Flight

Finnair completed its last scheduled passenger flight with the MD-11 aircraft type today (February 22, 2010) – a type that was first launched at the Finnish flag carrier in 1990.

Finnair Flight AY022 took off from Delhi at 10:41 local time (26 minutes late) to arrive in Helsinki today at 14:23 (8 minutes late). This 7:12 hour long flight was the airline’s final scheduled passenger flight aboard an MD-11. The type served Finnair for nearly 20 years during which time it flew some 400,000 hours, landed more than 50,000 times, transporting 14 million passengers (averaging 8 hour long flights with 280 passengers). It played a crucial role in Finnair becoming “the fast airline between Asia and Europe” – by being a great workhorse on the Nordic routes to Asian destinations.

Finnair was the launch customer of the Boeing MD-11 and as such became the first airline to operate the type on December 20, 1990 on a flight from Helsinki to Las Palmas in Spain. The aircraft, a modernized version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 got increased wingspan and winglets, a 7 m longer fuselage using more composite materials and new engines, but kept the original concept of having two engines below the wing with an additional one at the base of the vertical stabilizer. By an all-digital cockpit it reduced the required flight crew from 3 to 2 pilots compared to the base DC-10 aircraft.

The program to create a better DC-10 was launched and cancelled several times before finally being renamed to MD-11 and committed to by the board of McDonnell Douglas in 1986. First flight was scheduled for March, 1989 but due to manufacturing issues, delays with suppliers and labor industrial actions (strikes) (we heard the same reasons for the delay of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner just recently…) the rollout only happened in September of that year. The type actually took to the skies for the first time on January 10, 1990. After Finnair, Delta Air Lines was the second to start using the type. The first reports and experiences showed that the plane was not as fuel efficient as planned – therefore could not fly to such long-haul destinations as originally claimed. This resulted in Singapore Airlines – the launch customer for the Airbus A380 in 2007 – cancelling its original order of MD-11’s. When McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997, they said the MD-11 production would continue with the freighter variant only. In 1998, they delivered the last passenger version to the now defunct Belgian Sabena and the last freighter version to Lufthansa in 2001. A total of 200 MD-11s were built.

Finnair had up to seven MD-11s at one time. It now uses Airbus A330s and A340s on its long-haul routes that burn 20% less fuel. As of February 2010 the only remaining operator that had ordered the MD-11 from the manufacturer (and not received second-hand’ used versions) is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The MD-11 has already been removed from the Fleet section of the Finnair website.

by balint01

Helsinki-Vantaa Becomes Helsinki Airport

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the gateway to Finland, the connecting hub to Asia and the home to oneworld member Finnair is being rebranded as simply HELSINKI AIRPORT. This name change is targeted to identify the airport on the international market, as a modern, international hub.

Helsinki, the capital of Finland currently has two airports, Helsinki-Vantaa and Helsinki-Malmi. Opened in 1938, Malmi was the original airport and served as the only such facility of Helsinki until 1952, when the new airport was opened for the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics, near the small suburban city of Vantaa. Since 1952, Malmi has been operating as a small, local airport and is the home for most Finnish pilot schools and flying clubs.

Helsinki-Vantaa with 3 runways and approximately 20.000 employees on the other hand has grown to be an international hub of oneworld member Finnair and a main connecting hub for passengers flying to Asia from Europe or the East Coast of North-America. In 2009 more than 13 million passengers have visited the airport, with more than 80% of them flying on international routes and more than 1 million connecting to Asian destinations. The airport itself is only 17 kms away from Helsinki’s city center, and only 5 kms from the center of Vantaa, thus the now legacy name.

Finavia, the state-owned operator of 25 of Finland’s 27 commercial airports, has now rebranded Helsinki-Vantaa as Helsinki Airport in a EUR 30,000 (USD 43,200) marketing initiative. The rebranding is intended to reinforce the message that Helsinki is a modern hub with all the services of a large international airport, ideal for connections to Asia owing to its position directly over the shortest great-circle routes connecting the continents. This is fully in-line with the strategy and marketing mesage of Finnair, that advertises itself brilliantly as the airline providing the shortest and smoothest route from Europe to Asia. Helsinki Airport is also less congested as other major, larger European hubs and has been one of the most punctual airports in Europe for years.

The branding initiative actually went into effect on December 11, 2009 with the formal opening of the final phase of a EUR 143 million extension to the airport’s Terminal 2. It includes the 1,000-sq.m. Via Lounge, which is open to all passengers for a fee and to oneworld premium passengers for free. It also features the 600-sq.-m. Via Spa, featuring a range of saunas and treatments in true Finnish style. After all, they invented the sauna!!

The extension increases the number of widebody gates in Terminal 2 (T2) from five to eight and allows all long-haul flights to be handled in one terminal. Additionally, it has enabled Finnair to move all its flights to T2 along with oneworld partners British Airways and Malev Hungarian Airlines. Moving all domestic flights to T2 allows Finnair to maintain a 35-min. connecting time between any two flights, a very low time compared to minimum connection times at London Heathrow or Paris Charles de Gaulle – where I personally would never plan my connection to be less than 2.5 hours…

by balint01

Vote For Malev’s New Q400 Livery

After all the bad news we read earlier about Bombardier’s Q400 – also called Dash 8, now there’s some fun about them.

Malev, the Hungarian airline company initiated an aircraft livery design contest. The finalists were selected by a smaller jury that includes Mr Laszlo Zsoter, the designer of the present Malev livery. Malev’s planes are sometimes called Blue Nose among planespotters. If you take a look at this picture, you will understand why.

Malev Q400

Malev Q400

Now you can visit Malev’s site and vote for the design you like the most. Don’t miss it, it’s fun! Here are some examples:

By Nora Vera Csovari

By Nora Vera Csovari

By Szabolcs Kozicz

By Szabolcs Kozicz

By Gabor Tamas Nemeth

By Gabor Tamas Nemeth

By Szafi


Blog calendar

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Archives

Advertisements