Thank-goodness it’s Flyday–err…Friday everyone. It’s been an exciting first week here at the helm of Airchive, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. But in the craziness that has been this week a few things didn’t quite make the cut. So we’re bringing them to you today in our first Thank-Goodness It’s Flyday Week-End Wrap Up.
Singapore Preparing to Roll Out Refreshed Business Class: Singapore Airlines, already recognized as having one of the world’s most impressive business class cabins, is preparing to roll out a refresher. The first aircraft with the new product—a Boeing 777-300ER—is due for delivery on or about September 19th. The airline confirms that the aircraft will be used on the lucrative Singapore-Heathrow market, though an entry into service date has not been announced.
The new seat will feature four degrees of extra recline and two new presets between full flat, and, well, chair: sundeck, and Lazy-Z. The twenty-eight inch wide seat, at full flat, will measure 78in long. It also adds a new amenity storage area on the side console. Side-bar, I thought—when I first saw it—that it was a refreshed first class suite. But no, it’s business.
Now that’s a sweet-looking ride.
United Plans LAX Terminal Refurb […finally]: Insidesocal.com is reporting that United Airlines is planning over $400 million in terminal upgrades to their Los Angeles hub. The plans will include upgraded security screening checkpoints, baggage sorting system upgrades, gate renovations, new jetways, and of course a sweet new United Club. The very welcome move to anyone who’s visited lately—the last update was in 1999—comes on the heels of several other terminal renovations at the increasingly aging LAX. Delta Air Lines is already in the midst of upgrading T5, while Alaska completed a wonderful renovation of their space in 2012. Southwest announced a renovation of T1, while the airport itself has nearly finished their new international terminal.
jetBlue CEO roundly says NO to talks of merger [again]: JetBlue Airways CEO Dave Barger flatly declared no interest in merging while speaking at the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington DC earlier this week, stating “mergers and acquisitions: [are] just not of interest to JetBlue. Independence into the future is our plan.” He did add that he would be interested in picking up gates and slots as the result of other mergers, however. Barger, at least publicly, hasn’t budged from his aversion to mergers for quite some time, telling Bloomberg back in 2010 that JetBlue has “no interest” in a merger with American.
Chicago Halts Midway Airport Lease Talks: City mayor Rahm Emanuel has today halted efforts to lease Chicago Midway to a private company after one of two remaining bidders dropped out. The airport is currently $1.4 billion in the hole, according to the Chicago Tribune, and part of the proceeds from the lease would’ve gone to paying down the debt. If and when the deal goes through, Midway would become the first major US hub to go private.
Malaysian Carrier Malindo Air Takes Delivery of 100th ATR-600: Sort of under-reported here, Malindo Air took delivery of Aerei da Transporto Regionale’s 100th ATR600 turboprop airplane. The carrier received their first ATR-600 in May of this year. The aircraft are expected to service near international routes throughout South Eastern Asia.
Environmentalists Condemn ICAO Emissions Agreement: Green groups have decried a loose commitment by the ICAO to put measures into place by 2016 that address greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. Meanwhile, EU stakeholders think progress has been made between the EU & ICAO on the functional carbon tax the EU wishes to impose on all flights operating in European Union airspace. For more, read here.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Soars to New Heights: The airplane/rocket/spaceship-thing completed its second rocket-powered flight this week, soaring to a new program record of 69,000ftASL. The flight took place somewhere in the California desert, with the lift flight having left from its testing grounds in Mojave, California. Virgin Galactic has sold about six-hundred tickets thus far for its crazy rides into sub-orbital space.
Icelandair Planning to Add Vancouver BC, Edmonton, and Geneva: Also, they plan to add three more Boeing 757 aircraft. The carrier has seen extensive traffic growth in the past several years, up 50% according to the carrier.
Delta Resumes West Coast Code Share with Korean: Enough said, really. But another notch in DL’s burgeoning code-share belt.
Lots of interesting routes this week, some of which we’d love to dig into, but there just isn’t time for them all. So here we go with a down & dirty list, with a big tip ‘o the hat to the always wonderful AirlineRoute for posting many of these for our team to find:
-United launces San Francisco – Indianapolis from 1/7/14 using Airbus A319
-Edelweiss Air (Swiss LCC arm) launches one weekly Zurich-Vegas, and one weekly Zurich-Havana – both in early May. Zurich-Tampa will be upped to 2x weekly in early March.
-Westjet Encore launched Calgary to Brandon, Manitoba. It marks the first regularly scheduled passenger service to YBR in over 20 years. Congrats are in order.
-Aeromexico to increase service to daily on Ontario, CA to Guadalajara from October 1.
-American to increase LAX-Maui (OGG) in late December, then again on January 15 to 12x weekly operating a mix of 757-200 and 767-300 aircraft.
-Silver Airways launches a ton of new stuff: we recommend this read.
-Ethiopian is adding the Boeing 787 on their Addis Ababa-Washington Dulles route in November four times per week.
Aeromexico applied for three new US routes: Guadalajara-NYC & SFO, and Morelia-SFO. All would be on daily 737 service from December 2013.
Cape Air keeps on going, winning an essential air service contract to serve a number of communities in Montana/Northern Plains.
Airchive Recommends These MUST READS:
And in case you missed it, we had a lot of exciting coverage right here on Airchive this week. Here’s what we have for you:
Airchive staff members Vinay Bhaskara and Chris Sloan contributed to this report