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MIAMI – Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has updated its investors regarding the delays to deliveries of the high-density Boeing 737 MAX 200 that the carrier is expecting to receive once the worldwide grounding of the aircraft type is lifted.

The airline’s CEO, Michael O’Leary gave a lengthy comment, saying that Ryanair remains committed to the 737 MAX aircraft, and now expects that it will return to flying service before the end of 2019, however, the exact date of this return remains uncertain.”

Photo: Joe G Walker

“Boeing is hoping that a certification package will be submitted to regulators by September with a return to service shortly thereafter,” he said. “We believe it would be prudent to plan for that date to slip by some months, possibly as late as December.”

The airline’s CEO added that since Ryanair has ordered the Boeing 737 MAX 200s—a high-density variant of the 737 MAX aircraft—these need to be separately certified by the FAA and EASA.

“Ryanair expects that the 737 MAX 200 will be approved for flight services within two months of the MAX return to service,” he said.

O’Leary conceded that delivery delays will extend into 2020, with the months forecasted as January and February providing certification goes to plan.

The carrier can only take delivery of six to eight units every month, which means it is now planning its Summer 2020 scheduled based on the delivery of 30 737 MAX 200s by the end of May 2020—about 58 units less than expected before problems arose with the MAX.

O’Leary did say, however, that “this number could rise, or fall further, depending on when the 737 MAX returns to flight services”.

Photo: Chuyi Chuang

Ryanair’s growth rate will be slashed from seven percent to three, meaning that full-year traffic growth numbers will be reduced to 157 million passengers, compared to the forecasted 162 million.

“This shortfall in aircraft deliveries will necessitate some base cuts and closures for summer 2020, but also for the winter 2019 schedule,” explained the CEO.

“We are starting a series of discussions with our airports to determine which of Ryanair’s underperforming or loss-making bases should suffer these short term cuts and/or closures from November 2019”, he added.

O’Leary asserted that the carrier is determined to recover on delivery delays over the course of Winter 2020 so then normal growth is restored by Summer 2021.

The Gamechanger? More Like The Namechanger?

Even though Ryanair remains committed to Boeing and its troubled 737 MAX program, the ultra-low-cost-carrier seems to be following the route of IAG by referring to the aircraft as a “737-8” rather than the 737 MAX 8.

It is understood that this naming move was executed by IAG so then the stock value was not hit due to the two incidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

Looks like @Ryanair is dropping the MAX title from is new #737MAX200 aircraft. Instead of “737 MAX” on the nose the 5th aircraft rolled out of paint wearing “737-8200” in its place. pic.twitter.com/37HH5axgQx

— Woodys Aeroimages (@AeroimagesChris) July 14, 2019

Ryanair followed suit, with photos showing its fully painted 737 MAX 200 bearing the name 737-8200.

It remains clear that Ryanair is very willing to take the brunt of the disruptions caused by the grounding of the MAX. However, it could remain speculative that the carrier has no choice in the matter, due to how many it has committed for but also changing to another aircraft type would produce a higher cost.

The post Ryanair Slows Growth Due To Boeing 737 MAX 200 Delays appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI – Emirates has announced that following lengthy government evaluations, services to Mexico City via Barcelona will begin. The airline’s newest route will commence on a daily basis from December 9, with the airline opting to use the Boeing 777-200LR in its fleet.

Last year, the Dubai-based carrier had dropped its plans to operate flights between Dubai (DXB) and Mexico City (MEX) via a stop in Barcelona (BCN).

The Fifth Freedom flights had originally been approved by the Spanish government, which would grant the Emirati carrier a Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City link.

However, in September, Emirates asserted that the route was not commercially viable, as the agreement only managed to secure three weekly flights and not daily operations.

“Emirates regrets to confirm that we have withdrawn our application to operate flights from Dubai to Mexico via an intermediate stop in Spain,” said the airline in a statement.

The Dubai-based carrier added that even though they had been notified that slots were not an issue at the flight timings requested, “the Mexican authorities have informed us that we will not be able to operate daily services, but only three flights a week.”

The cancelation of Emirates proposed route unfolded after Aeromexico axed its MEX-BCN service plans, citing that the entry of Emirates into this particular market was unfair and predatory.

Back in Business

“We are excited to be able to introduce new air connectivity between Dubai and Mexico,” said Tim Clark, Emirates boss.

“The availability of high-quality, daily international air services is essential for the development of tourism, business and cultural ties. Trade, especially in high-value and time-sensitive products, will be facilitated by the ample cargo capacity on Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft.”

Clark explained that the airline will be sending its most powerful aircraft to Mexico because of its high altitude. “It is not possible to operate a non-stop flight from Dubai, and Barcelona was a natural choice for a stopover,” he said.

PHOTO: Emirates.

Clark also noted that he expects tourism to receive “a major boost from the daily flights on our newly-refurbished Boeing 777-200LR.”

The upgraded 777-200LR offers 302 seats in a two-class configuration. Business Class will see 38 seats comes in a 2-2-2 configuration, with there being 264 seats in Economy in a 3-4-3 layout.

PHOTO: Emirates.

Mexico’s Tourist Board played a big role in the. approval of this new route, especially with the strong opposition in the past from Aeromexico on the proposed MEX-BCN segment.

“Mexico supports the launch of the long-awaited flight Dubai-Barcelona-Mexico City, which responds to Mexico’s Government tourism policy towards opening new markets and strengthening connectivity between the Middle East and Mexico,” said the Minister of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marques.

“We are pleased to offer a direct connection on the route between the Spanish city and Mexico City that has long been neglected by other airlines and remains underserved despite the strong customer demand.”

This service has been established as citizens from Mexico, Spain and the UAE only need their passports to enjoy visa-free travel to each respective country, offering a boost in tourism links.

Hola Mexico! Emirates to launch daily services from Dubai to Mexico City via Barcelona, starting from 9 December 2019. https://t.co/7BtgHnAdRf

The new route will be operated with a two-class Emirates @BoeingAirplanes 777-200LR. @DXB @aena @AICM_mx #FlyEmiratesFlyBetter pic.twitter.com/BURad1THLt

— Emirates Airline (@emirates) July 16, 2019

Flight EK255 will depart Dubai at 0330L, before arriving into Barcelona at 0800L the following morning. The flight will then depart onwards to Mexico City at 0955L, featuring a late afternoon arrival time of 1615L.

The return, EK256, will depart Mexico City at 1940L, arriving into Barcelona at 1325L the next day. The onwards departure to Dubai will then take place at 1510L, with an early morning arrival of 0045L the next day.

The late arrival time into Dubai, according to Emirates, caters for onward connections to India, South East Asia, and the Middle East alike.

Cargo links through the airline’s SkyCargo subsidiary will benefit from this route, with up to 14 tonnes of cargo being handled per day, consisting of exports like avocados, berries, mangoes, automotive parts and medical supplies.

This will add on to the 22,500 tonnes of cargo Emirates SkyCargo carries from Mexico City since it started operations there in 2014.

The tourist links between the two cities in more recent times have become considerably stronger. In the first five months of this year, Mexican visitor numbers to Dubai have risen 32% compared to the same period last year.

The post Emirates Bounces Back: Opens Daily Flights To Mexico City Via Barcelona appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI — Two deadly crashes, a worldwide grounding, and engineers rallying to fix system glitches to satisfy aviation regulators in time to get the Boeing 737 MAX jets back into commercial airspace could take longer than initially expected. American Airlines is closing ranks with United Airlines to extend the plane’s grounding until November.

“Impending software updates to the Boeing 737 MAX, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing in coordination with our union partners, will lead to recertification of the aircraft this year,” said American Airlines in a statement released Sunday, following United’s decision the previous Friday.

The cancellations mean approximately 115 flights a day to be scrubbed by American with a loss of near $185 million since the grounding so far.

Further delays, including pilot re-training and over 100 hours of maintenance preparation before flying, could take weeks if not months and could result in a shaky bottom-line for airlines if problems with the jet seep into the busy, high-priced-ticket holiday season.

The decision to extend the grounding came as no surprise as Boeing announced in late June that a newly found software flaw by the FAA while testing a simulated flight-control computer malfunction which Boeing might not have patched up until fall.

Citing unidentified sources within the FAA and pilot-union leaders, the Wall Street Journal reported that “the plane is expected to start flying again in January 2020 ‘under the latest scenario,’ and that the situation is ‘fluid’ with no firm timeline established.”

“Our Reservations and Sales teams will continue to work closely with customers who are impacted by these cancellations,” noted American in their statement.

“A flight that was not scheduled as a MAX flight might be canceled to enable our team to cover a MAX route with a different aircraft. Our goal is to minimize the impact to the smallest number of customers.”

United’s Boeing 737 MAX groundings will result in about 2,100 cancellations in September and 2,900 in October.

The only other U.S. airline with 737 MAX planes in their fleet, Southwest Airlines, is expected to follow suit in the extension and so far has conceded to 150 daily flight cancellations through to October 1.

The post American Airlines Extends Boeing 737 MAX Grounding Until November appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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SAN FRANCISCO — There is something new between Gates A4 and A6 at San Francisco International (SFO). Entering through doors marked with small Speedmarque logos leading to a small room with a modest reception desk, guests are surprised with an airy, bright space filled elegant furnishings.  This is the new British Airways (BA) lounge at SFO.

A British Airways Boeing 747-400 lands at San Francisco International Airport while a United Airlines Boeing 747-400 taxies by.

After one year of remodeling, premium passengers flying on BA can once again enjoy their own lounge space at SFO.  It is only the second BA gateway in the U.S. and fifth lounge worldwide to feature the airline’s new “Futures” lounge design theme. 

Gone are darkened corridors leading to compartmentalized spaces dedicated to different service areas.  Now, the design is open space extenuated with floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide a fantastic view of aircraft movement on the Terminal A west ramp. 

Interior design is contemporary with black and white contrasts.  Granite stones are used throughout.  Succulent plants on tables reflecting California’s seemly perpetual water conservation efforts. 

Graven Images, a Glasgow, Scotland based agency, was responsible for the interior design.  Graven has worked with BA for 10 years and SFO was the agency’s first “Futures” lounge.  Ross Hunter at Graven described how they implemented BA’s vision. 

The first space is the bar and it is the centerpiece of the lounge.  Featuring a spacious black granite bar with stools alongside vast windows, the goal was “to create an atmosphere as soon as you come into the space.” 

Hunter continued, the space is “café brasserie like… busy should have a buzz about it”.  The bar is self-service and includes a hot and cold meal station.

The second space is the main seating area, consisting of tables, work desks, and couches.  As opposed to the bar, this space is warmer with white granite stone and neutral wood. 

Wood slats elegantly separate the work area and comfortable lounge chairs.   Couches along the wall lead to a quiet corner.  This space features a deli and cheese bar. 

Finally, for those flying First, an exclusive Boutique Dining Room offers sit-down table service and an exclusive menu.  This space is darker but feels more stately and rich with a burgundy colored sofa along the wall.

Just beyond the Dining Room is a rare perk found only in a few lounges worldwide – direct aircraft boarding to gate A6!

Covering an area of 7,158 square feet (665 square meters), the challenge for the designer is to strike a balance to fill the right amount of seats in the space available.  Hunter thinks he has achieved that, concluding, “I am pleased about this (lounge)… it has a generosity about it”.

Of course, having a beautiful interior is only half of the story.  British Airways did not disappoint with the food selection. 

Chef Errol Figueroa, Corporate Executive Chef at Flik Hospitality created and developed BA’s lounge menus.  The emphasis is local, seasonal, and in-line with current food trends.  Frequent flyers will be happy to learn that the menu rotates monthly. 

The Boutique Dining Room features an exclusive San Francisco specialty – Seafood Cioppino. 

Throughout the lounge, local products are used.  For example, the cheese station features three local kinds of cheese: Bellwether Carmody and Laura Chenel Goat Cheese, both from Sonoma County, and Shaft Blue Cheese from Roseville. 

Smoked meats used in sandwiches and the charcuterie board are all locally sourced. 

The “summer salad bar”, local produce, of course, was especially lush:  premium greens included baby spinach, cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, and edamame, highlighted with barley and quinoa, and topped off with sriracha salmon. 

In fact, Chef Figueroa, who is newly vegan, exclaimed that there will always be vegetarian and vegan options available.  He proudly said, “not just roasted vegetables…grains and superfoods too!”.  Spotted in the hot buffet line – gluten-free pasta. 

BA’s SFO lounge is now open.  The “Futures” theme can also be found at New York-JFK’s First and Club lounges, Rome, and Aberdeen.  Johannesburg and Geneva are to follow.

The post Photo Tour: British Airways Opens New Lounge In San Francisco appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI — Canadian Leisure carrier, Air Transat, has pushed forward its last Airbus A310 flight to April 27, 2020.

Only six A310s remain in operation at Air Transat. At its peak, the airline’s A310 fleet consisted of 14 planes.

The venerable Air Transat A310, which averages an age of 29 years old, has been a key part of the airline’s fleet since 1999. Most of these planes joined in after flying for Emirates, Lufthansa, and TAP Portugal.

Photo: RHL Images

But today, with the recent delivery of the first of 15 A321LRs, the era of the Airbus widebody is rapidly approaching its end.

Air Transat brought the Airbus A310 to replace its older L-1011 Tristars. Since then, the carrier has deployed the twin-aisle airliner on a myriad of medium- to long-haul routes, including transatlantic hops to Europe, and five-hour journeys to the Caribbean.

The Canadian leisure carrier, which is about to become part of Air Canada’s portfolio, has been taking delivery of some second-hand Airbus A330-200s, which have also helped the airline accelerate the A310’s retirement.

Air Transat currently has 16 A330-200s, and four A330-300s, with an average age of 17.6 Years.

The Last Flights On Schedule

Air Transat has filed an updated schedule for the remaining A310 flights during Summer 2020.

From the airline’s base in Montreal, the A310 will fly to Pointe-a-Pitre on March 29th, departing back to Montreal the following week on April 5th.

Varadero will be its second route, departing on March 31st. Cartagena, in Colombia, follows on April 4th, with Marseille and Santa Clara scheduled on April 24th.

Photo: Airwim

A nice transatlantic flight to Marseille is scheduled for April 25th, together with Samana on April 26th, and Roatan on April 27th.

According to the schedule, the Roatan flight will be Air Transat’s last A310 flight. However, this may be subject to change.

Changing hubs to Quebec City, the A310 will fly to Puerto Vallarta on April 9th, Punta Cana on April 18th, to Cancun on April 26th, and to Paris-CDG on April 26th.

The Paris-CDG rotation will return the following day back to Quebec City and will be the last Trans-Atlantic flight operated by an A310 carrying passengers. This, too, is subject to change.

From Toronto, the A310 will be deployed to Samana on March 29th, Porto on March 29th, and Manchester on March 30th. Likewise, the Manchester to Toronto flight will be the last Trans-Atlantic passenger flight to the UK on an A310.

Stay tuned for more developments on Air Transat’s last Airbus A310 flights.

The post Air Transat Pushes Final Airbus A310 Flights To April 2020 appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI – Delta Air Lines has taken delivery of its 50th Airbus A321 manufactured at the Airbus assembly line in Mobile, Alabama.

The delivery is not just a milestone for Airbus but it is also a new chapter for Delta, as both the airline and the manufacturer continue to work together on sustainability projects that produce aircraft capable of flying on a new blend of sustainable fuels.

According to Airbus, the newly-delivered A321 is the first of 20 planes Delta will receive with this new capability.

The first A321 equipped with the new environmentally friendly option flew from Mobile to the airline’s facility in Kansas City, where according to. Delta, final induction work will be performed before the aircraft moves into service.

“Today’s carbon-neutral delivery flight is a milestone on Delta’s sustainability journey as we work to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050,” said Alison Lathrop, Delta’s Managing Director – Global Environment, Sustainability, and Compliance.

“We are excited to partner with Air BP and Airbus to power these delivery flights with biofuels and carbon offsets, and will explore opportunities to bring this level of sustainability to all delivery flights going forward.”

Replacing The Aging MD-90 Fleet

Delta confirmed this week that the retirement of its MD-90 fleet will take place by the end of 2022.

Once the venerable Maddogs are retired, it should mark the end of the McDonnell-Douglas MD-80/90 operation in the United States.

The Boeing 717, however, will continue to soar the skies well past that timeframe.

Delta’s decision to replace its aging fleet of MD-88/90 aircraft with brand-new Airbus A220 and A321neo aircraft has been a considerable blow for Boeing.

In fact, last week Delta took delivery of its very last factory-fresh Boeing aircraft—the 130th 737-900(ER) to join its fleet. From now on, what used to be one of Boeing’s largest customers, has only scheduled for delivery brand-new Airbus planes.

While the exact retirement dates of Delta’s remaining fleet of Boeing 757 and 767 fleet is unknown, the airline has made it clear that new A321neo and A220s will progressively replace the MD-88/90 fleet.

The A330neo Joins The Line

This week, Delta launched nonstop flights between Seattle and Shanghai on its brand-new Airbus A330-900. The aircraft was delivered at the end of May, introducing a unique seating plan and cabin settings.

The first flight for @Delta's brand new A330-900neo is about to depart from Seattle for Shanghai, China on its inaugural revenue flight! The aircraft is the first of 35 A330-900s for the carrier. pic.twitter.com/rlG1CSLcX8

— 🅑🅔🅝 🅑🅔🅐🅡🅤🅟 (@TheAviationBeat) July 10, 2019

Ed Bastian, the airline’s CEO, said, “two decades of being in this industry and still… nothing compares to the engineering marvel of a brand new jet. Say hello to our newest fleet addition: the Airbus A330-900neo, now flying Seattle-Shanghai.

With its newest plane now flying daily between the US and China, Delta unveiled its second-quarter earnings.

The airline, according to Bastian, “had a record June for traffic and eight of Delta’s ten busiest days ever were in the last thirty days.”

“With record passenger loads, customer satisfaction and $1 billion in revenue growth for the June quarter, demand for Delta’s customer-focused product and service has never been stronger,” added Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands before @Delta’s newest widebody aircraft, the A330neo, in Atlanta. IG: edbastian pic.twitter.com/D9HZbOIMAX

— 🅑🅔🅝 🅑🅔🅐🅡🅤🅟 (@TheAviationBeat) July 11, 2019

“Our third quarter is off to a great start with a new highest revenue day on record on July 7th. We now expect revenue growth of six to seven percent for the year, a $3 billion increase over 2018, as we benefit from our multi-year pipeline of the fleet, product, and loyalty initiatives,” Hauenstein added.

During the first half of the year, Delta has delivered 148 days of zero mainline cancellations and 78 days of zero system cancellations —a 30% improvement over last year’s record performance.

The airline achieved record quarterly system and a domestic load factor of 88.0% and 89.0%—an increase of up to 1.3 points and 2.3 points, respectively, versus 2018.

Overall, Delta has managed to grasp a record completion factor of 99.86%.

The US Airline Industry now shows an impressive gap in terms of market cap amongst the four biggest carriers in the country:

  • Delta (DAL)- $38.95 billion
  • Southwest (LUV)- $28.17 billion
  • United (UAL)- $23.55 billion
  • American (AAL)- $14.7 billion

Interestingly, Delta’s current market cap value is higher than what United and American, together, add up.

The post Delta Welcomes 50th US-Made Airbus A321, Reports Record Quarter appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI – Faroe Island flag carrier Atlantic Airways has received its first A320neo family aircraft. The plane comes in on a leasing agreement with ALC. The new plane will be initially deployed on the airline’s European network.

This delivery comes as part of an announcement that the carrier made back during the Paris Air Show where it struck a deal with Airbus for a purchase agreement of two A320neo aircraft.

Delivery: The first Airbus A320neo (Reg. OY-RCK) for Atlantic Airways has just departed from Hamburg (XFW) https://t.co/s2czDRMTvk pic.twitter.com/W9NZXSYsHq

— International Flight Network (@FlightIntl) July 12, 2019

The airline currently operates an all-Airbus fleet, including three A320ceo-family aircraft, two of which are A319s and a single A320.

All the aircraft operated by the airline are powered with the CFM56 engines. The brand-new A320neo delivered today comes powered with the much newer CFM Leap-1A engines and will be used initially as a replacement for one of its aging A319 aircraft in an all Economy configuration of 174 seats.

Read More –> Airline Review: Atlantic Airways — an airline for the Faroe People

The carrier is expected to take delivery of its second A320neo in spring next year, with it looking to continue to expand not just its European market but also with the carrier looking into the transatlantic market with flights to New York in 2019.

#A320neo @FLIRBX OY-RCK #Atlantic Airways next testflight today pic.twitter.com/waiz5t65M3

— Tobi (@Tobias_Gudat) July 8, 2019

It is not yet clear what destination the carrier will settle on for its A320neo aircraft or whether they will look to change the seating configuration to offer more range and destination options in the transatlantic market.

The use of single-aisle aircraft for these services has begun to hit new heights with Airbus leading the way after they announced the A321XLR at the Paris Air Show last month.

Several U.S. and European carriers converted orders from the A321LR option to the extended range one, in an attempt to continue to stay in front in the demanding Atlantic market.

The post Atlantic Airways Takes Delivery Of First Airbus A320neo appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines (AS) and the Port of Seattle are raising the bar for airport lounges at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (“SeaTac”).  Watch out, Delta! 

The new Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge anchors SeaTac’s North Satellite— the airline’s third at SeaTac, which is in the process of a major revamping.

Along with the Flagship Lounge and as part of its $658.3 million massive update of the North Satellite, the Port and Alaska unveiled eight new gates and expanded dining and retail options tied – like Alaska – to its Northwest roots.

The new offerings will include such local darlings as family-owned Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, the delicious food-truck-gone brick & mortar Skillet restaurant, and Caffe D’Arte for your coffee cravings.  

As the heart of this Northwest loving festival is Alaska’s Flagship Lounge weighing in at three times the size of the average lounge and offering large views to go with its 15,800 square feet. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

In typical and inviting Northwest style, it has open spaces, natural light, and use of natural materials.  The wood is stained quite dark, and evokes a decidedly contemporary Northwest feel, framing incredible views of the airfield, Olympic Mountains and downtown Seattle. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

And, what could be more Northwest than a dozen microbrews on tap served around an enormous fireplace. (Grunge can be found at the Sub Pop store near C concourse!).  Seriously, this place makes you want to move here.

Photo: Brandon Farris

There are lots of ways to gain access and enjoy this great new lounge.  If you aren’t a member of the lounge, you can get in with an Alaska first class ticket or you can buy your way in by purchasing a day pass.

Alaska has invested $50 million in its lounge portfolio, and this new one follows the renovation of Alaska’s lounges in Los Angeles, Portland, Anchorage, and New York-JFK. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

While it may seem straightforward, creating an inviting and enduring airport lounge is not an easy task.  It is not uncommon for bright and shiny new airport lounges to look a little dog-eared after a couple of years because of the heavy passenger use. 

Residential and office spaces get a small fraction of the kind of abuse that is dished out in an airport lounge.  As the designers professed, the biggest challenge in designing an airport lounge is planning for the impact of wear and tear up front. 

Photo: Author

Alaska’s design team took on that challenge by taking residential design cues and materials but making them durable enough for the intense wear and tear that occurs in a lounge, complete with spilled drinks and roller bags crashing into things. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

The designers had to take into account not only durability issues but also flammability requirements in choosing their materials. 

Materials, like concrete and wood, were chosen to wear into a pleasant patina rather than look banged up and abused. The lifecycle of the materials is specifically chosen to soften into a lived-in look – with years of enjoyment anticipated.

Photo: Brandon Farris

When going through the lounge I noticed something familiar about the color palette, that airliner geeks may recognize: Alaska’s famous carpeted bulkheads. 

And, so I asked the assembled architects and designers from Graham Baba Architects if the color palette was a nod to the iconic bulkheads.  They were surprised that anyone had made the connection, but indeed that color scheme is a part of their looping the Alaska brand into space. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

What is old is new again, always.  And, that choice alone, helps this new Flagship Lounge to be an instant classic surpassing its predecessors.

When SeaTac was a much smaller airport, Alaska’s lounge (called the Boardroom) was always an elegant mystery when I was a much younger traveler.  

There seemed to be three main types of passengers that walked in and out of the frosted glass and dark wood doors: the beleaguered businessman, the composed well-heeled retired couple, and a pleasantly inebriated Alaska fishermen with shorts and flip-flops on his way to warmer climates. 

The first time I went into the updated lounge in the early 90s I felt that I had arrived! It seemed like a vast oasis.

Load factors for Alaska flights were a lot lower back in those days, and you always had plenty of elbow room to move around. The last 10 to 15 years have seen that space get quite a bit smaller and (frankly) tired. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

Rather than attracting business travelers, the Alaska Boardroom became a place that was mostly full of retirees doing their snowbird thing and pre-gaming at 7 am for their Mazatlan trip. I had taken to calling it God’s waiting room.

With Delta’s Sky Club becoming an instant success, it was time for Alaska to return fire. With its new Flagship Lounge in the North Satellite, Alaska has completely solved the space issue and has created a great environment to serve its corporate clients.

Delta’s bright and slightly clinical space has been well-countered by Alaska’s intersection of rich, warm and natural materials. 

Photo: Brandon Farris

With the North Satellite construction moving along, and the lounge now completed, there is little doubt that Delta is going to have to continue to coexist with Seattle’s hometown airline.

The potential for Alaska and its mileage partners in the North Satellite is exciting to contemplate and well-worth the visit.

The post Photo Review: The Brand New Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge In Seattle appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI — Lufthansa is set to increase the number of Airbus A380 aircraft based in Munich. The two additional planes will be deployed to Boston (BOS) and San Francisco (SFO), starting next summer.

The airline’s A380 fleet at Munich International Airport (MUC) is expected to increase from five to seven aircraft from the start if the summer 2020 season.

The A380 is currently deployed on flights from Munich to Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Beijing. With BOS and SFO, the airline’s flagship service from Munich will climb to five destinations.

Harry Hohmeister, member of the board at Lufthansa, explained that the A380 has been operating very successfully from Munich.

“A few weeks ago, we welcomed the millionth A380 passenger on board in Munich. Our customers and our crews love the A380 experience. We will continue growing where quality and costs go hand in hand,” Hohmeister said.

Frank Naeve, the airline’s Vice President of Sales in The Americas, noted that by adding year-round A380 service to San Francisco, “as well as placing our A380 on the Boston-Munich route, continues to demonstrate Lufthansa Group’s commitment to the United States.”

Munich On A Growing Rampage

Munich is the second-busiest airport in Germany and the seventh in Europe. Handling over 45 million passengers each year, as well as 413,000 aircraft movements in 2018, MUC has a well-deserved place on the world’s airport stage.

Just recently, the airport recorded a very positive first half of the year, setting an all-time record of 22.7 million passengers—about 5% more than the same period in 2019.

Satelliteneröffnung München, Satellitenterminal München

According to the airport’s management, “the number of take-offs and landings was also higher, increasing by almost 3% to around 205,000 aircraft movements in total.”

The airport claims that “the most powerful growth driver at Munich Airport remains the steadily increasing demand for international travel,” with an additional one million passengers traveling internationally, as compared to last year’s figures.

And now with Lufthansa’s intentions of adding two more Airbus A380s to the MUC base, these numbers will continue to climb.

“Disproportionate growth was seen especially in the intercontinental segment, where growth in total passengers, at 10.6%, was more than double the Europe-wide growth rate (4.5%),” says the airport.

Picture from Munich Airport.

A hub for Lufthansa, Condor and TUI Fly Germany, the Bavarian airport is well equipped to handle a wide variety of flights to 268 destinations across the globe.

Lufthansa reigns as one of the largest airlines in Europe, operating a fleet of nearly 300 aircraft to 220 worldwide destinations.

Lufthansa has long haul operating bases at Munich, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf; however, the regional European operation has been steadily handed over to Eurowings over the past few years.

Lufthansa operates a mixed long haul fleet of Boeing 747-400/-8, A330-200/-300, and A340-300/-600 aircraft, as well as a fleet of 14 A380s.

The four-engine behemoth is widely regarded as the flagship of the Lufthansa fleet.

The post Lufthansa Boosts Munich Base: Additional A380 For Boston, San Francisco Flights appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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MIAMI — Doha-based Qatar Airways signed two major deals with Boeing and General Electric in front of US President, Donald Trump.

The airline’s $5 billion agreement with General Electric Company (GE) is for the supply of engines to power the airline’s incoming Boeing 777-X and 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Trump and the Amir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, witnessed the event where Akbar Al Baker, the airline’s CEO, together with GE’s Vice Chairman, Aviation President, and Chief Executive Officer, David Joyce, inked the agreement.

H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar & US President Donald Trump witness another signing ceremony as Qatar Airways signed multiple agreements on GEnx & GE9X engines. The GEnx engine will power its 30 new B787-9 aircraft & multi-year maintenance deals. pic.twitter.com/VNzn4EOE9G

— Salam Al Shawa (@salam_shawa) July 9, 2019

The deal lays out the supply of brand-new powerplants, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul terms that will apply to the new GEnx engines destined to be utilized of the airline’s new fleet of Boeing 777-X and 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

“Qatar Airways has ambitious plans for the future and we are delighted to have GE beside us as we embark on this journey together,” said Al Baker.

The TrueChoiceTM Flight Hour Agreement is included within the deal.

With an order for 30 Boeing 787-9s and 60 777-Xs destined to replace the ten A380-800 operated by Qatar Airways, deliveries are expected to start in 2024.

“Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, and GE Aviation is proud to collaborate with Qatar Airways and play a significant role in their growth,” said David Joyce, GE Vice Chairman, and GE Aviation President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Yesterday’s signing will increase Qatar’s GEnx-powered 787 fleet to 60 aircraft and ensure the airlines’ GEnx and GE9X engines receive the highest level of maintenance and support,” Joyce said.

The GE9X engines are currently going through an extensive testing and certification process. The GEnx has been the fastest selling high-thrust GE engine in history with an order book for over 2,500 units. The current GEnx engines fitted to Boeing Dreamliner aircraft offer the best of fuel efficiency and range of any engine option.

The deal is expected to help secure up to 27,000 jobs across the supply network for General Electric and its associates as well as continuing to aid the good diplomatic relations between the USA and Qatar going forward.

Qatar Airways Orders Five Boeing 777 Freighters

The second order announcement involved the Doha-based carrier confirming a commitment for five Boeing 777 Freighters, worth $1.8 billion. This order was announced at the Paris Air Show in June.

The airline already operates a strong fleet of 16 Boeing 777 Freighters.

President Trump remarked that Qatar is “buying a tremendous amount of military equipment, including planes, and they are buying commercial planes, as you know, very large numbers of commercial planes from Boeing and we very much appreciate it.”

“We are going to be signing a document today – a very large transaction. It is a transaction that will be purchasing a lot of Boeing jets and a lot of money spent in our country and that means a lot of jobs,” Trump said.

Akbar Al Baker, who seemed happy to be in the same room as President Trump, said, “It is an honor to sign this landmark order for five Boeing 777 freighters in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar and US President Donald Trump.”

“This order will enable Qatar Airways Cargo to grow to become the number one global cargo carrier this year in both fleet and network and is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to US manufacturing,” Al Baker said.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO, Kevin McAllister, was also present during the ceremony. “Qatar Airways has been our long-haul partner for more than 20 years. As one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers, we are delighted that Qatar Airways continues to expand its freighter fleet with the 777 Freighter and we deeply appreciate their business and positive impact on Boeing, our employees, suppliers, and communities,” he said.

The post President Trump Attends Qatar Airways Agreements With Boeing, General Electric appeared first on Airways Magazine.

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