Japan Airlines To Start Flights From Tokyo To Moscow Sheremetyevo

Japan Airlines (JAL) is launching flights between Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO). The airline was supposed to launch these flights last March but the plans were modified amid the impact of the pandemic.

Strong connections

Four years ago, Japan Airlines and Aeroflot launched their expensive business partnership. JAL noted that the flag carrier of Russia’s gateway hub is located at Sheremetyevo and has the largest network in its country, allowing passengers to travel to and from various destinations. According to Routesonline, the Moscow Sheremetyevo service will operate once a week and Aeroflot will codeshare on the route. The service is set to be developed commercially on April 22nd and will be with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

JAL had previously been making trips from Tokyo to Moscow Domodedovo before the pandemic. The switch to Sheremetyevo was supposed to happen on March 29th, but international travel was disrupted.

Additional steps

Along with this decision, JAL resumed between Tokyo Narita (NRT) and San Diego (SAN) yesterday. This route was dropped last April, also due to the global health crisis. There are changes to the schedule this time as the operation will be conducted three times a week rather than the initial daily service.

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San Diego International Airport is notably glad that this route is back on. The airport’s CEO, Kimberly Becker, noted Tokyo’s close relationship with the Californian city.

“The resumption of service to Tokyo is an important step in our recovery process,” Becker said, as reported by Routesonline.

“With many economic and defense ties between our two cities, this route will foster continued business interactions.” 

Looking ahead

Altogether, these services are signs that recovery is on the cards following such a tough year for international travel. Even though most regions have been affected amid the restrictions, Asia-Pacific markets have significantly been rocked since the outbreak of the virus at the beginning of last year. There will undoubtedly be a slow rebuild, but flight resumptions are always a positive start.

Simple Flying reached out to Japan Airlines for comment on its flights from Tokyo Haneda to Moscow. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.

Source https://simpleflying.com/tokyo-moscow-flights-japan-airlines/

747 Operator Atlas Air Turns $360m Profit For 2020

In 2020, Atlas Air had a net income of US$360.3 million due to strong increases in volumes, revenue, and earnings by ongoing demand for the air cargo business worldwide, despite the COVID-19 crisis.

The crisis is the best opportunity for cargo airlines

The COVID-19 crisis has crippled the aviation industry. Passenger airlines are suffering from the worst demand debacle ever. But, while airlines like Lufthansa, Aeromexico, American Airlines, and many others are posting yearly net losses, cargo carriers seem to be thriving.

John Dietrich, president and CEO of Atlas Air said,

“We finished this unprecedented year on a strong note, with financial and operating results that exceeded our expectations. I’d like to thank everyone at Atlas for stepping up to deliver an extraordinary peak season and full-year for our business and our customers.”

Atlas Air reported a net income of US$360.3 million. In contrast, the carrier had a net loss of US293.1 million in 2019, so that’s a turnaround.

On December 31, 2020, Atlas Air had cash and cash equivalents worth US$856.3 million, compared with the US$114.3 million it had one year before.

Atlas Air faced the operational complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic by adding widebody capacity. It also increased aircraft utilization and grew block hours to carry volumes at a historic pace.

“We are leveraging our unrivaled portfolio of assets and the scale of our global network. We are also continuing to diversify our customer base and have entered into numerous long-term charter agreements with strategic customers,” added Dietrich.

The largest 747 operator worldwide continues strong

We know Atlas Air as an American airline that offers several cargoes, charter, and leasing operations worldwide. The airline is the largest Boeing B747 operator globally. It has 55 ‘Queens of the Skies’ in its fleet.

Last month, Atlas Air announced that it would buy the last four Boeing 747 aircraft ever to be built. These four 747-8 freighters will be delivered between May and October 2022. After that, Boeing will end the production of the iconic aircraft.

Atlas Air stated that the 747-8 provides 20% higher payload capacity and 16% lower fuel consumption than the 747-400. The 747-8 also provides a 25% higher capacity than the 777F and reduces noise by approximately 30%.

About the order for four new ‘Queens of the Skies,’ John Dietrich added,

“We like the aircraft very much; it’s performed exceptionally well for us. And we expect there will be continued demand for that aircraft. What we find in good times and in tougher times, the best, most efficient aircraft are the ones that remain flying, and the 747-8 will certainly be that.”

What can we expect for 2021

Despite Atlas Air not providing a full-year 2021 earnings outlook due to the pandemic, we can still see where the airline is going.

Atlas Air expects to fly approximately 85,000 block hours in the first quarter of 2021. It aims at having revenue of nearly US$820 million and an adjusted EBITDA of about US$150 million.

The net income should grow up to 65% compared to the one it had during the first quarter of last year, said the airline.

Nevertheless, Atlas Air anticipates continued impact by ongoing pandemic-related expenses, like pilot premium pay and operational costs. The committed expenditures to acquire aircraft, such as 747-400 used for replacing older planes, are expected to be US264.7 million in 2021.

Source https://simpleflying.com/atlas-air-2020-profit/

Airbus Reveals Stunning ‘Airspace’ Narrowbody Cabin

A few days ago, Airbus released some new images of its brand new, upgraded narrowbody cabin design. The manufacturer’s Airspace cabin is designed for the A320 family and will be featured first on JetBlue’s aircraft in a few months. We’ve looked at all the details of the stunning new cabin.

A stunning new cabin design

Airbus’s new cabin is still undergoing a few final tests, so it may be tweaked before any passengers enjoy the new comforts. Final testing is set to take place this month, focussing on the finer details and measuring the noise in the cabin.

However, even with a few tweaks and changes, the new design is undeniably stunning. The customizable LED lighting throughout the cabin lends a modern, state-of-the-art feel, which is reflected across the design. Even the lavatories have been given new technology with anti-microbial coatings and as many touchless features as possible.

There are also more practical changes such as new extra-large overhead bins and redesigned windows to let in more light. The window shades have also had some changes to make them sleeker. Changes to the side walls provide more shoulder space emulating cabins found on the larger A330neo and A350.  Even the entrance area has been redesigned to be more welcoming to passengers and user-friendly for the crew.

Four years of design

The images showcase a sleek, well-thought-out design that is intended to make flying as comfortable as possible. The Airspace by airbus program focuses on four key areas; comfort, ambiance, service, and design. The new interior images certainly seem to reflect these core values, which is not a surprise since it has taken almost four years of designing since the A320 program was announced in 2017.

The new design’s initial testing phase has already been completed, but more testing is required to check how it performs in flight. Michael Willmer, Airbus’ technical leader for the A320 Family Airspace Cabin program, said,

The initial in-flight testing subjected the cabin to conditions well beyond what it would normally be subjected to in a standard flight profile. Special cameras and sensors throughout the interior were connected to dedicated flight-test and recording equipment in the cabin so that the engineers could analyse the performance and characteristics of the cabin elements in real-time on board, as well as in the lab afterwards. . . Now this second flight-testing stage, together with the lessons-learnt from previous developments, will further help to ensure a robust product at entry into service in the coming months,”

JetBlue’s Airbus fleet

Assuming testing goes well, the new A320 cabin will be featured on JetBlue’s fleet first. The airline has 130 A320-200 in its fleet, one of the largest fleets of A320s in the world. JetBlue is set to take delivery of 15 new planes this year but no new A320s. The new cabin will therefore be retrofit on its existing fleet. The fleet has an average age of almost 16 years, so a cabin refresh will bring the older planes up to the standard of the new deliveries.

JetBlue operates an almost exclusively all-airbus fleet, except for 60 Embraer E190s. With new planes, refreshed cabins, and an expanding network, JetBlue looks set to welcome back leisure travelers as soon as restrictions allow.

Source https://simpleflying.com/airbus-airspace-narrowbody-cabin/

For Hawaiian Airlines The Airbus A321neo Is A “Swiss Army Knife”

Hawaiian Airlines has a fleet of 69 aircraft. The airline has an extensive interisland presence and a sizable network of routes to the mainland United States. The in-between aircraft in Hawaiian’s fleet, the A321neo, are the newest members of the carrier’s fleet, but they are also very versatile jets. CEO Peter Ingram even calls the plane the “Swiss Army Knife” of Hawaiian’s fleet.

The A321neos are a flexible aircraft for Hawaiian Airlines

Speaking at a CAPA Live event, Mr. Ingram was asked about the A321neo and Hawaiian’s posture as being “bullish” on the jets. Mr. Ingram spoke about the plane at length, saying the following:

“I think one thing that’s great about it is for the routes we are serving, it’s by far and away the most efficient aircraft out there in terms of the fuel economy and the good mix of density and comfort that you get on that airplane. So, for us, we look at the 321 as a little bit of a Swiss Army knife in our network.”

The comparison of an A321neo to a Swiss Army knife is pretty apt. Just like a Swiss Army knife has plenty of tools that can come in handy in many different situations, the A321neo can be deployed easily on plenty of missions.

Where Hawaiian has flown the Airbus A321neo

The Airbus A321neo’s versatility is a strength to Hawaiian, and, according to Mr. Ingram, the plane has flown a fair bit in Hawaiian’s network:

“For a while we’ve actually flown it on some interisland routes– very short haul– and we’re using it for some of those flights, while, at the same time, we can put it into a market on the mainland US that might have been an A330 market in prior times, but doesn’t have the volume of demand to support that right now. And, the cost per cycle of an A321 is considerably below that of a widebody aircraft. If you don’t have the cargo revenue to offset that and you can fill all those seats, then absolutely we’d like to go ahead and use the 321 as much as we can.”

Hawaiian tends to use the Boeing 717 on its interisland flights. As a short-haul narrowbody aircraft configured with room for 128 passengers, the carrier finds the 717 to be an attractive option for running a high-density schedule between Kahului Airport (OGG) and Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL).

One time when the Airbus A321neos flew more on the interisland services was when Hawaiian Airlines capped its load factors. According to Mr. Ingram, the aircraft entered into some inter-island service during peak demand days to cater to the greater demand for specific flights that the Boeing 717s could not offer due to load factor caps.

What about the mainland US?

The A321neo also flies extensively to the mainland United States. For example, Hawaiian’s newest California airport, Ontario International Airport (ONT), will see nonstop Airbus A321neo service to Honolulu.

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) will also receive nonstop A321neo service to Honolulu, as will Portland International Airport (PDX), this summer.

It is not just secondary destinations in the US that will receive A321neo service. Other routes, such as from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Lihue Airport (LIH) and Kona International Airport (KOA), will also see Airbus A321neo service this summer.

The Airbus A321neo is great for medium-haul services. Seating 189 passengers with room for 16 in recliner-style domestic first class, 44 in extra-legroom economy, and 129 in standard economy, the aircraft is not as dense as some of the A321neos flying domestically in the US, nor is it configured for a highly-premium configuration, where Hawaiian would run the risk of not offering enough capacity for the leisure customers who are doing nearly all of the flying now.

The most revealing comment an airline can make about their appreciation for an aircraft is how much they utilize it– especially in times of crisis. Mr. Ingram specifically noted the following:

“Most of the planning that we’ve done about how the network ramp backs up has us flying the 321s, more fully of historic utilization before the other aircraft in our fleet.”

This means that the 19 Boeing 717s and 24 Airbus A330s are not being used, or planned to be used, as often as the 18 Airbus A321neos. And, given how Hawaiian is looking to ramp up capacity heading into the summer, the Airbus A321neo will be key on lucrative California to Hawaii routes.

Source https://simpleflying.com/hawaiian-a321neo-swiss-army-knife/

First Rolls Royce Trent 7000 Engine Visits Delta TechOps For Maintenance

Delta Air Lines’ TechOps teams completed the first engine maintenance visit of a Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine from a Delta Airbus A330-900neo. The visit happened at the airline’s maintenance center in Atlanta and continues Delta’s quest to be a leading maintenance provider as well.

Delta TechOps completes first Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine maintenance

On Friday, Delta Air Lines announced that its TechOps teams completed the first engine maintenance visit of a Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine from a Delta Airbus A330-900neo. The maintenance visit occurred at the Technical Operations Center in Atlanta.

SVP of Maintenance Operations, Mike Moore, stated the following:

“This successful milestone furthers the progression of Delta TechOps’ next-generation engine programs. Our teams continue to perform world-class work despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic. We look ahead to expanded volumes of these next-generation engine types in 2021 and beyond, especially the service work to be done for our MRO customers.”

Delta expects to do many more Trent 7000 engine maintenance visits from other airlines as it seeks to grow its maintenance profile globally. The TechOps’ Assembly Shop, Repair & Support group, Engineering, and other teams spent months preparing to conduct engine maintenance. Before the crisis hit, aviation maintenance technicians and inspectors visited the Rolls-Royce shop in the UK for training on the jet engines.

Delta’s TechOps Atlanta facility

Delta has been working to build up its maintenance portfolio. In September of 2020, the airline completed its first Pratt & Whitney engine maintenance visit. It was a PW1100G-JM engine, which will power Delta’s future Airbus A321neo aircraft.

In early 2019, Delta Air Lines unveiled the world’s largest jet engine test cell in Atlanta. The plan was to get the test cell facility up and running to conduct maintenance on Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, Trent 7000, Trent XWB engines, and Pratt & Whitney PW1100 and PW1500 variants of the GTF engine (Geared Turbofan).

The facility can safely run a mounted, stationary engine at full power with 150,000 pounds of thrust, which means the airline can safely handle a large swath of engines, ranging from those powering smaller narrowbodies to large widebodies.

Handling maintenance in-house gives Delta some more control over its maintenance procedures. Many airlines do have their own maintenance arms and take care of as much as they can. These airlines also work with other airlines and air operators to maintain planes.

Another example of maintenance within providers under an airline branch is Lufthansa Technik. NASA’s Boeing 747 telescope, for example, was maintained at Lufthansa Technik.

The Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine

The Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine was created for the Airbus A330neo family of jets. The Trent 7000 is Delta’s choice to power its Airbus A330-900neos. Airlines generally tend not to split up their engines when choosing a fleet. Having a diverse array of engines on a fleet creates added inefficiencies, resulting in an increased cost.

This, however, is not an issue with the A330neos. Airbus does not currently offer another engine option aside from the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines to power the A330neos.

Source https://simpleflying.com/delta-techops-trent-7000-maintenance/