Airbus delivers American Airlines’ first US-built aircraft

American Airlines’ new A321 reg N894AN/ MSN 6621. Source: Airbus

The second US-built US A321 has been delivered to American Airlines. A ceremony was held at the company’s property located in Mobile, Alabama. Present during the occasion were executives from Airbus and American Airlines and representatives of the more than 350 employees at the facility.

The Mobile Final Assembly Line is commited to the production of Airbus narrowbodies for customers in North America. So far, only A321 with the Current Engine Option (CEO) but Enhance – so equipped with sharklets, will be assembled in the foreseeable future, five for American Airlines and one for Spirit, and it will begin transitioning to New Engine Option (NEO) descendants in late 2017.

Bob Lekites, Executive Vice President-Customers, Airbus Americas. The DFW-based (Dallas-Fort Worth) airline operates the world’s largest Airbus fleet at the moment and owns the largest A321 fleet as well.

The relationship between American Airlines and Airbus is a long and successful collaboration to provide the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft for both of our customers.

Airbus is planning on increasing the production rate to 52 aircraft per month by 2018, and to 60 aircraft before 2020, supported by its final production lines in Germany, France, China, and the Alabama assembly line in the United States.



Turkish Airlines Commences their Atlanta Service

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER TC-JJN with special Batman v Superman Livery (displayed from Batman side)

Turkish Airlines have launched their daily service to/from Atlanta on May 16, making it the ninth US route for the airline and its 15th destination in the Americas.
The other destinations in the Americas that are served by Turkish Airlines are: Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Panama, Bogota, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Boston, Montreal, San Francisco and Miami.
The carrier is expanding its services throughout the United States. They offer 70 flights per week and provides one-stop connections to 289 destinations and 115 countries through its Istanbul hub, it has said in a statement.
Ahmet Olmustur, Chief Marketing Officer of Turkish Airlines, commented:

The addition of the Atlanta gateway means that we will now connect business and leisure travellers through our Istanbul hub more efficiently and to more destinations than any other airline via one-stop connection through the world’s most travelled airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

The Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed said:

We are pleased to welcome Turkish Airlines as the newest carrier to Atlanta, solidifying the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport not only as the world’s busiest airport, but also the gateway to the world. The new route will open a wide range of business and tourism opportunities to a vast array of global destinations served by the leading carrier.

Turkish Airlines has said

Passengers between Istanbul and Georgia’s capital will be able to enjoy special round-trip fares.

Until the end of October, Miles&Smiles members will enjoy a 25% mileage discount when redeeming miles on the route or a 25% bonus on paid tickets as well as chances for upgrades.

The daily flight schedule is:

TK031 departing Istanbul at 2.05pm and arriving in Atlanta at 7.05pm.

TK032 departing Atlanta at 10.45pm and arriving in Istanbul at 4.40pm (next day).

To commemorate the launch, Turkish Airlines has exposed the Atlanta community to its destinations in through a number of different promotions/procedures. These include 3D art and Coca-Cola customised bottles for the launch flight. 3D art representing “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, the most recent Turkish Airlines-sponsored film was installed and showed off at Lenox Square from the 12th of May till the 18th of May. The public was encouraged to take a photo by the 3D art and to share it using #TurkishAirlines Atlanta for a chance to win a round-trip Turkish Airlines flight. The carrier also partnered with Coca-Cola to serve customised branded bottles during its first flight in this route.

Hawaiian Airlines Awarded Kona-Haneda Route

Source: Hawaiian Airlines

Last Friday, the US Department of Transportation approved Hawaiian Airlines’ request to serve Honolulu and Kona from Haneda Airport, Tokyo. The airline will launch this new route before the 29th of January, 2017. Hawaiian Airlines’ CEO Mark Dunkerley said:

This is tremendous news for Hawaiian Airlines, for our employees, our customers and for the economies of Kona and our entire state.

The announcement comes as a result of an agreement the U.S. and Japan reached earlier this year in February, made in order to increase the number of slots between Haneda International Airport and the U.S. from four to six routes.

Hawaiian Airlines has now officially obtained one of those routes and is looking for another. At the moment, Hawaiian has one of the four slots and flies to Honolulu daily. United has one slot and serves San Francisco with the slot. The remaining two slots are used by American and Delta, both to serve Los Angeles.

The Department of Transportation (DoT) must still decide which five of eight remaining applications by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airways, and United Airlines for daytime slots at Haneda International Airport it will accept. American Airlines asked for two daily flights from Los Angeles and Dallas/Ft. Worth; Delta said that they want to have three daily flights from Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Atlanta; United requested two daily flights from San Francisco and Newark while Hawaiian asked for a Honolulu service.

Applicant airlines were given until the Fifth Of May to submit arguments and evidence supporting their proposals, also known as answers to provide extra detail into the business cases for their route bids. They then are published to the public and in turn, the bidders have until the 12th of May to reply to the answers.

After these dates, the DOT will then run its own internal review of the applications and decide how it plans to distribute the slots. When the routes are chosen, the airlines are able to launch their flights after the 30th of October.

United Launches its first trans-pacific route – San Francisco (US)- Xi’an (China)

Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) – Source: United Hub.

On the 8th of May 2016, United Airlines launched a new route – San Francisco in the US to Xi’an in China. UA have launched this route because Chinese routes to the US have a very high demand. This route is operated by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The route has been given the number #853. The airline is famous all around the world, especially in China. This new route however is unique because this is the first ever trans-pacific flight to land in Xi’an Xianyang International Airport.

Allegiant Air to buy four Airbus A319 Aircraft

Allegiant Air A319. Source: Eric Salard – Wikipedia

Las Vegas based low-cost carrier Allegiant Air have ordered four A319’s from Filipino Cebu Pacific. They are expected to be delivered between 2017 and 2018. Allegiant have previously purchased six A319’s from the same airline. So far, three have been received and three more are to be delivered later in the year. By the end of the year, Allegiant expects to have 85 aircraft, consisting of 33 Airbus A320 family (17 A319’s and 16 A320’s). Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company Chief Operating Officer said:

This agreement to purchase additional aircraft from Cebu Pacific is an important step in our long-term transition to a single fleet type.

Ordering these aircraft is to improve operating efficiency. These are replacing the old McDonnel Douglas MD-80’s. The MD-80’s retirement date has been extended partially due to the lower fuel prices. Last November, Allegiant announced the retirement of their Boeing 757-200s, which totals five aircraft. This is expected to happen next August.