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    Volcano Spews More Ash Closing Airtravel

    For all the pilots, flight crew, and passengers trying to travel from Europe to U.S. it’s a nightmare. Closed airspace due to volcanic ash seems to have got worse since Friday night.

    Iceland’s volcanic eruption continues to hamper major areas of flight space. Since this morning all airspace in Europe for the most part is closed. Not even since September 2001 has there ever been so much disruption and cancelled flights. Friday night the volcano has become vigorously active creating a major hazard for all aircraft. For anyone flying from the U.S. to Europe is advised to call the airline first. Anyone within Europe can expect serious delay or find alternative transportation. Again you need to check with your airline first.

    With exception to wartime, Europe has never seen in peacetime so much disruption to air travel. In London, England British Airways is expected to cancel all short haul flights from all London airports on Sunday. As it stands we have heard that with the forecast of ash covering, England and northern France has cancelled flying. All British airspace is closed until at least 0600 GMT Sunday. All northern French airspace covering Paris and other surrounding airports has been closed until at least monday morning.

    Without a doubt this will create financial hardship on individuals missed meetings for many whether personal events or other. It has been said that basically air travel worldwide as far from San Francisco to Bangkok through Europe has been disrupted. Earlier in the week the Volcano in Iceland just started and continued to get worse as the week continued.

    Sunday will be the funeral for the Polish president killed in last Saturday’s plane crash. Despite the air space closed to the majority of travel, President Obama along with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will attend. Sundays funeral for President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria will be attended also by many other Presidents and European dignitaries. Despite airspace being closed French President Nicolas Sarkozy will fly to Poland. Finnish President Tarja Halonen will not be attend like others who wanted to attend due to air space being closed. On one note we have heard Czech President Vaclav Klaus will most probably attend by traveling by train and car to the Funeral.  

    Source Provided By Airline Adviser 04/17/10 

    Southwest Airlines Will Soon Offer Customers the Ability to Book Unaccompanied Minors (UMs) on Southwest.com

    DALLAS, April 16, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –On Friday, April 23, Southwest Airlines Customers will have the ability to book Unaccompanied Minors (UMs) on southwest.com! Currently, Customers booking UM travel must complete their transaction and fill out the necessary paperwork once they arrive at the airport. Southwest will soon offer this service via southwest.com – allowing passengers the added convenience of entering their information online and giving them more quality time to spend with their young travelers at the airport before they depart.

    “We continuously evaluate our UM process to ensure that we deliver the best possible service to our young Customers who are traveling alone,” said Teresa Laraba, Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Customer Services. “During a recent audit, we identified several opportunities, including the creation of an online booking tool for UMs and an enhancement in the Employee training that comes along with handling our young passengers who are flying solo.”

    Children ages five through 11 traveling without an accompanying Passenger age 12 or older must travel as Unaccompanied Minors (UMs) on Southwest Airlines. Unaccompanied Minors may only travel on nonstop or direct flights. The UM program does not permit direct or connecting flights.

    In addition to the new online booking feature, parents and guardians should know that the UM service charge will go from $25 to $50 each way, which is still among the lowest in the industry. Even with the increase in service charge, Southwest will continue to absorb some of the cost associated with the extra care necessary to safely transport Unaccompanied Minors. Last year, Southwest implemented a $25 each way service charge, in addition to the fare or Rapid Rewards Award ticket, for Customers who are traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor. The new Unaccompanied Minor service charge will apply to tickets purchased on April 23, 2010, and later. Children traveling on tickets booked before April 23 (even if traveling after that date) will still pay $25 each way at a Southwest ticket counter.

    “The increase in our UM service charge will help us cover the added costs that come along with safely transporting our youngest travelers, while still allowing us to maintain our competitive Low Fare advantage,” said Laraba.

    SOURCE Southwest Airlines

    Embraer Executive Jet Service Centers Earn 2nd Diamond Award

    FAA grants second consecutive Aviation Maintenance Technician Award

    São José dos Campos, April 14, 2010 – Embraer’s wholly owned executive jet service centers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Mesa, Arizona, has received the 2010 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Diamond Certificates. The award is the FAA’s highest
    recognition for excellence in aviation maintenance training.

    The Company had been granted the same prestigious certificate last year. This second consecutive award is an even greater achievement, since the prerequisites for qualifying are more stringent and the number of successful candidates is much smaller.

    “Embraer’s commitment to prioritizing the training of its maintenance staff, in order to provide best-in-class customer support and services to its Phenom and Legacy customers, is highlighted by this outstanding milestone,” said Jacques Blondeau, Director, Embraer Executive Jet Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Service Centers – North America.

    This specific recognition confirms that Embraer actively participates in the FAA Aviation Technician Training Program, and employs a fully trained service center workforce throughout its expanding and well-located network in the U.S.

    About the U.S.’s FAA Awards

    The Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Award was established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to encourage aviation companies and technicians to continuously pursue the highest standards of maintenance training.

    To that end, the FAA issues the annual awards to employees and their employers in recognition of outstanding achievement. Employees receive FAA AMT Awards based on the number of maintenance training hours taken during each calendar year. In turn, employers may be granted Certificates of Excellence based on the percentage of employees who earn AMT Awards. The Diamond Certificate is the FAA’s highest award for excellence in aircraft maintenance training, and to receive it the facility must have all of its technicians AMTqualified in the same year.

    Embraer and Austral Seal Contract for 20 Embraer 190 JETS

    Agreement announced in May 2009 is finalized and deliveries begin in July

    São José dos Campos – The contract for the sale of 20 EMBRAER 190 jets to Austral Líneas Aéreas, of Argentina, was finalized last week. The agreement was announced in May 2009, and was conditioned on fulfilling several requirements, which were finalized. From the 20 jets on order, three were already included in the firm order backlog of the first quarter of 2010, as “Undisclosed”.

    The Embraer 190 jets ordered by the Argentine airline are of the Advanced Range (AR) model, and can fly nonstop for 2,400 nautical miles (4,400 km). The passenger cabin configuration, with four seats per row, is very comfortable and will have a total of 96 seats divided into two classes: eight in the executive and 88 in the economy. Furthermore, all passengers will have a modern inflight entertainment system with individual monitors.

    Austral will use the aircraft mainly to substitute older jets on domestic routes, to increase current flight frequencies, and to serve new cities. The modern and comfortable E-Jets will allow the airline to fly any route within Argentina’s territory, nonstop.

    The Embraer 190 is one of four models of the Embraer 170/190 E-Jets family and entered operation in 2005. The broad customer base is comprised of 56 companies in 39 countries. With over 620 units in operation, these aircraft have transported 200 million passengers worldwide.

    Embraer Heads To Sun ’N Fun With Entry Level Jet Success Story

    Company will take the Phenom 100 to the annual Fly-In and Expo, in Lakeland, Florida

    São José dos Campos – Embraer will attend the 36th Annual International Sun ’n Fun Fly-in & Expo (www.sun-n-fun.org), April 13-18, at Linder Regional Airport, in Lakeland, Florida, U.S. The Company will exhibit the entry level Phenom 100 jet for the second consecutive year, at the static display area, and visitors will be welcomed at chalet SNF-034. On Wednesday, April 14, at 2:00 p.m., in the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in Media Center, Embraer will host a press conference to present an update on all of its Executive Jets products.

    “We look forward to returning to Sun ’n Fun and showcasing the Phenom 100 and its success story,” said Ernest Edwards, Embraer Vice President, Marketing and Sales, USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean – Executive Jets. “In one year, we have delivered 100 entry level jets and started delivery of the brand-new clean-sheet design light jet, the Phenom 300, both aircraft having met or exceeded all design specifications and performance targets, such as take-off runway length, range, speed, and landing distance.”

    The Phenom 100 is equipped with the latest cockpit and cabin design, offering an unparalleled level of comfort and a private rear lavatory. Its range of 1,178 nautical miles (2,182 km) allows the jet to fly nonstop between such city pairs as New York – Miami (U.S.), Melbourne – Brisbane (Australia), and London – Rome (Europe). The aircraft has accumulated over 9,500 flying hours in more than ten different countries.

     Together with the Phenom 300, the entry level jet is part of Embraer’s product line for the business aviation market, whose portfolio also includes the midlight Legacy 450, the midsize Legacy 500, the super midsize Legacy 600, the large Legacy 650, and the ultra-large Lineage 1000 jets. For more details, see www.EmbraerExecutiveJets.com.

    Embraer Delivers Two Embraer 170 Jets to Libya’s Petro Air

    Aircraft joins the Embraer 170 operated by Sirte Oil Company since 2007

    São José dos Campos, April 8, 2010 – Embraer delivered two brand-new Embraer 170 jets, at the end of March, to the new Libyan aviation service provider Petro Air. The deal also includes purchase rights to acquire two Embraer 190s, and was concluded during the first quarter of 2010. With a value of US$ 66.8 million, at list price, based on 2010 economic conditions, it could come to US$ 146.8 million, if all purchase rights are confirmed.

    “We are very pleased by Petro Air’s selection of the Embraer 170 to play an extremely important shuttle role that is vital to their business,” said Paulo César de Souza e Silva, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. “Given their special transportation needs, this expression of confidence in our aircraft, based on Sirte Oil’s in-service experience, is testimony to the airplane’s suitability and flexibility to adapt to different business environments.”

    The two Embraer 170s are configured in a spacious single-class 76-seat layout. They will join the Embraer 170 that was delivered to Sirte Oil Company in the first quarter of 2007, to be used to transport oil company personnel from Libya’s capital Tripoli to many station points in the country, as well as to provide ad hoc charter services. For passenger convenience, the aircraft is outfitted with an In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system that includes Internet access.

    “We are excited about this new fleet of Embraer 170s, which offers a generous cabin and a voluminous luggage compartment. These features are of paramount importance to our passengers,” said Basem Tantush, General Manager of Petro Air. “Because of the exceptional performance and reliability of the Embraer 170 already operated by Sirte Oil Company, we decided to acquire these two new aircraft. We expect 2010 to be an extremely dynamic year for us, and these aircraft will play a key role in achieving our success.”

    Southwest Airlines Announces Double Credit Days

    Fly Just Four Roundtrip Flights and Earn a Free* Roundtrip Ticket Anywhere Southwest Serves

    DALLAS, April 7, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –Southwest Airlines is introducing “Double Credit Days” rewarding frequent flyers with one bonus Rapid Rewards credit on every flight, anywhere Southwest flies. Therefore, Rapid Rewards Members can earn free travel on Southwest by taking just four roundtrip flights from any city that Southwest serves. Members who purchase a Business Select fare will receive 2.25 for short-haul flights and 3.0 credits for long-haul flights, making it even faster to earn an Award. To qualify, Members must register, book their flights, and travel beginning today through May 26, 2010. To register for the promotion and see complete details, visit: http://luv.southwest.com/servlet/formlink/f?kOHpjQSYDD

    To enroll in Rapid Rewards and become automatically registered for this promotion, visit www.southwest.com/rrenroll/rrdoublecredit.

    “It’s going to be hard to find a better deal out there anywhere – this is one you won’t want to miss,” said Southwest’s Director of Customer Loyalty Ryan Green. “We’re thanking our Members for their loyalty and inviting new Customers to fly Southwest with an even faster and easier way to earn free travel.”

    It is fast and easy to earn free travel through Rapid Rewards. Rapid Rewards Members earn credits by flying or using the program’s Preferred Partners. It takes just eight roundtrips, or 16 credits, to qualify for an Award. However, Members can accelerate their earnings by using the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase, doing business with any of the airline’s other Preferred Partners, or by purchasing Southwest’s Business Select fares when flying. Plus, once it’s earned, Southwest Airlines allows the Member to transfer the Award to anyone. The Award is free but subject to the U.S. government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $10 roundtrip.

    SOURCE Southwest Airlines

    Hong Kong Airlines confirms order for six A330-200s

    Carrier to start long range services to Europe

    Hong Kong Airlines has finalised a firm order with Airbus for six A330-200s. The contract firms up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announced during the Singapore Airshow earlier this year. The new aircraft will be powered by PW 4000 engines.

    Hong Kong Airlines now has a total of 23 A330s on order. The first of these will arrive in Hong Kong in the second quarter of this year and will initially be used on existing routes and later to launch the airline’s first services to Europe.

    “Low operating costs and high levels of cabin comfort make the A330-200 the perfect choice to expand into the long haul market,” said Yang Jian Hong, President, Hong Kong Airlines. “We are looking forward to offering passengers a premium service on these routes.”

    “The order from Hong Kong Airlines is another vote of confidence in the A330 as the most popular widebody in service today,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “With the A330-200 in its fleet the airline will be well placed to develop a profitable long haul operation.”

    Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines currently operates a full service network linking Hong Kong with destinations in mainland China and the Asian region. In addition to A330s, the carrier also has 30 single aisle A320 aircraft on firm order for future delivery.

    The A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has won more than 1,000 firm orders for the various versions of the aircraft. More than 650 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with over 80 operators worldwide.

    Boeing Completes First 787 Dreamliner Maintenance Training Class


    Photo Provided Courtesy of Boeing
     

    EVERETT, Wash, Boeing [NYSE: BA] Tuesday April 6, 2010 Boeing announced that it has completed the first maintenance training class for the 787 Dreamliner. The class consisted of 10 mechanics from 787 launch customer ANA (All Nippon Airways) and two regulators from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau. Completing component identification exercises are Tatsuo Yanagisawa (left), ANA instructor and Koichi Sato, ANA maintenance manager.

    Carry On Luggage Charges

    It has come to a point where as the editor of this site has to bring to attention some issues that just are outrageous in our view.

    Carry on luggage charges “Come on ENOUGH ALREADY” Spirit Airlines have just gone overboard with added charges. Even Jetblue pokes fun at Spirit Airlines where we are sure others will follow. Today April 6, 2010 Spirit has noted on their website that reservations made after April 6, 2010 with travel beginning August 1, 2010 will be subject to carry one charges. Those charges are in regards to bags exceeding 16 by 14 by 12 inches in size. If your one bag can not fit under the seat you will be charged for it.

    Charges are said to be at least $20 for members of Spirits $9 fare club and $30 for those regular fliers like you and me. In addition if you do not book your bag on line at the time of purchase it can cost you up to $45 per bag at the gate.

    Come on people you now have an airline wanting to charge you for carry on bags and to use the overhead storage bins. Well good luck with that as we stated at the beginning enough already.

    Post provided By Airline Adviser 04/06/10

    Southwest Airlines Celebrates 30 Years of 'LUV' in Albuquerque

    DALLAS, April 6, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today celebrates 30 years of service in Albuquerque. To commemorate the anniversary, Southwest will throw a “Red vs. Green”-themed celebration with its Employees and Customers at Albuquerque’s International Sunport Airport – to celebrate the official New Mexico question – with music, decorations, games, and prizes. To read more about the event and the relationship between The Duke City and Low Fare pioneer, Southwest.

    For  30 years, Southwest Airlines has been bringing low fares and Legendary Customer Service to Albuquerque,” said Debbie Robinson, Southwest’ Station Director. “I’m extremely proud and honored to work alongside the best Employees in the industry to give the good people of Albuquerque the Freedom to fly.”

    “We appreciate the 30-year partnership we’ve enjoyed with Southwest Airlines,” says Airport Director Jim Hinde. “Southwest has always been committed to providing excellent service along with being a great community partner. We look forward to another 30 years and continued growth in Albuquerque.”

    Southwest Employees are also celebrating the 30th Anniversary in Albuquerque by holding a canned food drive to benefit the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico has been serving New Mexico’s hungry since 1980 and is the leader in creating solutions to end hunger in New Mexico. Since its inception thirty years ago, Roadrunner Food Bank has distributed more than 200 million pounds of food. For more information, please visit: www.rrfb.org/ The airline’s Employees proudly Share the Spirit through volunteering in the communities where they work and live.

    Southwest began service from Albuquerque’s International Sunport on April 3, 1980, adding a 14th city in the Southwest System. Today, Southwest operates 52 daily nonstop departures to 20 destinations and additional direct or connecting service to 47 cities.

    SOURCE Southwest Airlines

    Boeing 787 Final Assembly and Delivery Charleston Facility Taking Shape


    Photo Provided Courtesy of Boeing

    NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.,  – Boeing [NYSE: BA] Monday April 5, 2010 took another visible step toward full 787 Dreamliner production by placing the first steel column for its Charleston 787 Final Assembly and Delivery facility.

    “This new facility will expand our production capability and strengthen the 787 program as we work toward rate,” said Marco Cavazzoni, vice president and general manager of 787 Final Assembly and Delivery, Charleston, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “And that reflects our commitment to our customers, our team and our South Carolina community.”

    Boeing Charleston fabricates, assembles and installs systems for 787 aft fuselage sections and joins and integrates midbody fuselage sections from other structural partners. With the new, 1.2-million-square-foot (92,903-square-meter) building, Boeing will perform final assembly and deliver 787s from North Charleston to customers around the world.

    Construction on the new facility is on schedule, with production due to begin in July 2011. Boeing will deliver the first 787 built in Charleston in first-quarter 2012. To date, 90 percent of the Boeing direct-contracted dollars for the project have been with South-Carolina-based companies.

    The 787 Dreamliner will be more efficient, quieter and have lower emissions than other airplanes while offering passengers greater comfort and the convenience of direct, nonstop flights between more cities around the world. Fifty-seven customers around the world have ordered 866 787s since the program was launched in April 2004, making the Dreamliner the fastest-selling new commercial jetliner in history

    Embraer Takes the Phenom 300 Jet to Germany for the first time

    Light jet will be exhibited at Aero Friedrichshafen, together with the Phenom 100

    São José dos Campos, April 6, 2010 – The fifth edition of the Aero Friedrichshafen Trade Exhibition for General Aviation (www.aero-friedrichshafen.de) will take place in Germany, April 8-11. This year, Embraer takes the Phenom 300 light jet for to the event for the first time. The aircraft was certified in Brazil by ANAC and in the U.S. by the FAA, in December 2009, and the European approval, issued by EASA, is expected during the current quarter.

    The Phenom jets were launched in 2005, establishing new standards in their respective categories. The roomy and pleasant interior was designed in partnership with BMW Group DesignworksUSA. The entry level Phenom 100 accommodates up to eight occupants, while the Phenom 300 serves up to ten people, including pilots.

    With a range of 1,178 nautical miles (2,182 km), including NBAA IFR fuel reserves, the Phenom 100 can fly nonstop from New York to Miami, in the U.S.; from London to Rome, in Europe; or from Brisbane to Melbourne, in Australia. The jet was certified in December 2008, and has proved to be the fastest and to have the largest baggage capacity in its category. There are currently more than 110 in operation around the globe.

    The Phenom 300 has swept wings, with winglets, single refueling port, and an externally serviced lavatory. It reaches a speed of 521 mph (839 km/h, or 453 knots – KTAS), and flies up to an altitude of 45,000 feet (13,716 meters). The 1,971-nautical-mile (3,650-km) range, including NBAA IFR fuel reserves, allows nonstop flights from New York to Dallas, in the U.S.; from London to Athens, in Europe; or from Delhi (India) to Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

    Embraer’s Executive Jets portfolio also includes the super midsize Legacy 600, in operation since 2002; and the ultra-large Lineage 1000 that entered operation in 2009. Newcomers include the midlight Legacy 450 and midsize Legacy 500, now under development; and the large Legacy 650, expected to be certified this year.

    Southwest Airlines Responds to WestJet Comments in the News Media

    DALLAS, /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –As of April 1, 2010 Southwest Airlines learned from media reports this week that WestJet apparently intends to enter into a codeshare agreement with Delta Air Lines. At about the same time, Southwest learned of a deal by which Delta would transfer slots at LaGuardia Airport in New York to WestJet. A codeshare between WestJet and Delta, as indicated in media reports, could be inconsistent with the agreement presently in place between Southwest and WestJet.

    “The Southwest/WestJet project was on target in accordance with a mutually agreed upon timetable,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest’s Executive Vice President of Strategy and Planning. “However, WestJet in recent weeks requested material and significant changes to our agreement that we could not accept. We are, and always have been, prepared to move forward to implement our agreement with WestJet. We have not yet been notified of WestJet’s intent to terminate that agreement. If we are so notified in order for WestJet to consummate its deal with Delta, Southwest remains very interested in offering our loyal Customers service to Canada via the most efficient means possible.”

    SOURCE Southwest Airlines

    Changes in Embraer's Management Structure

    São José dos Campos,– Effective, April 1, 2010 ,  Embraer implements important changes in its senior management structure, in order to enhance its ability to assure full customer satisfaction and expand its business dynamics, while reinforcing the strength and productivity of its internal operations.

    · Mauro Kern takes over the newly created position of Executive Vice President, New
    Programs, Airline Market, and is succeeded by Paulo César Silva in his former
    position of Executive Vice President, Airline Market;

    · Artur Coutinho takes over the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer, with
    direct responsibility for Embraer’s industrial operations, procurement, technology,
    organizational development and human resources;

    · Antonio Julio Franco takes over the newly created position of Executive Vice
    President, Personnel Planning and Development, and is succeeded by Hermann
    Ponte e Silva in his former position of Executive Vice President, Organization and
    Human Resources.