Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 360,327
2013: 330,818

The New Eastern Air Lines Takes Delivery of First 737 in Miami

Eastern Air Lines' first 737-800 flies over Miami - Photo: Airways News

Eastern Air Lines’ first 737-800 flies over Miami – Photo: Airways News

This story was originally published by Chris Sloan and Luis Linares on AirwaysNews.com

Nearly 24 years after the original Eastern shut down on January 18, 1991, the new Eastern Air Lines welcomed home its first new aircraft on December 19.  Ex-Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800 “The Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker,” N276EA, arrived from Shannon, Ireland (SNN) via Portsmouth, New Hampshire (PSN) into the airline’s base at Miami International Airport at 3:13 p.m. local time on Runway 8R to a water cannon salute.

The flight crew outside of EAL's first 737 in Miami - Photo: AirwaysNews

The flight crew outside of EAL’s first 737 in Miami – Photo: AirwaysNews

EXTRA: Flashback Friday; The History of Eastern Air Lines

The fanfare reached far beyond that of a traditional airline launch, particularly in Miami. Miami was the original Eastern’s headquarters, and the carrier was the city’s largest employer from the mid-1970s until its 1991 shutdown.  It was evident that the event and ceremony were an emotional, tear-felt occasion for the new team, and especially for the retirees and former employees of the original Eastern.  Their turnout was quite moving.

A water cannon salute at MIA greets Eastern's 737 - Photo: AirwaysNews

A water cannon salute at MIA greets Eastern’s 737 – Photo: AirwaysNews

The airline has 10 Boeing 737-800s on order, with purchase rights on 10 737 MAX 8s. Moreover, the company announced in July 2014 that it had placed an order for 20 Mitsubishi MRJ90s, with rights for an additional 20 of the regional jets. Eastern starts flying in March 2015 and will initially operate as a charter carrier, with scheduled operations due to begin in the next 12 to 18 months following FAA certification.

Continue reading The New Eastern Air Lines Takes Delivery of First 737 in Miami on AirwaysNews.com

HECK YES! Win a TAM Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER Model

One of two TAM Boeing 777-300ER models you could win - Photo: David Parker Brown

One of two TAM Boeing 777-300ER models you could win — we kind of want to keep them for myself, but we are givers – Photo: David Parker Brown

We have these two awesome, 1:200 scale (aka, about a foot long) 777-300ER models from TAM Airlines that we don’t know what to do with. Why not give them away? That is exactly what AirlineReporter is doing and one of these fine models can be all yours! This is all you need to do:

COMMENT: Leave a comment on this story. Only one comment. If you do it more than one — you are out. Make sure to put in a valid email so that we can reach you (no one else can see it and we will only use it to notify if you are a winner — promise). In your comment you need to give some information…

FAVORITE STORY: List what has been your favorite TAM Airlines’ story that we have done recently:

SOCIAL MEDIA: You need to be following us on at least one of our social media channels. Heck, do all to show your true AvGeek-ness (if you are just someone that does NOT do social media, then just promise us you will email two friends and tell them to read AirlineReporter):

The contest will be open for ten days — from now until December 29, 2014 at 5pm PST. At that time we will use a random number generator to choose two winners. We will verify that you listed your favorite TAM story and you are following one of our social media channels. Once you are verified, we will email you for your address and we will mail you one of the 777-300ER models.

GAME ON and good luck —  thanks for being part of the AirlineReporter family!

Arizona’s AvGeek Heaven, Part 2 – AMARG aka “The Boneyard”

Row after row of KC-135s at AMARG

In my previous piece we talked about how great the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson was, and how much of an AvGeek dream it is to walk around.  However Pima isn’t the only reason AvGeek’s want to come to Tucson; they also come for the Boneyard.

The Boneyard, or the 309th Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group (AMARG) as it is officially known, belongs to the United States Air Force and is part of Davis Monthan Air Force Base (although technically next door).  Most of the aircraft at AMARG have come from the armed forces of the United States.  The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard all send their equipment here once it has reached the end of its service life.  Some countries, such as Norway, send their military aircraft to AMARG for what this facility does best – storing military aircraft.  Before we talk about how you can visit AMARG, we need to talk first about what they do.

Continue reading Arizona’s AvGeek Heaven, Part 2 – AMARG aka “The Boneyard”

Photo Tour: China Airlines Maintenance Facility

Resting in the hangar a Boeing 747-400 undergoes a C-check.

Resting in the hangar, a Boeing 747-400 undergoes a C-check

We recently paid a visit to China Airlines’ (CI) primary maintenance facility, located at Taoyuan International Airport outside Taipei. The monster facility–which held three Boeing 747-400s and an Airbus A340-300 at the time–is able to perform all standard maintenance regimens from A to D checks, as well as landing gear replacement and painting.

In for a two-week C-check, a Boeing 747 shows signs of care in progress. Each cabin is inspected in detail.

In for a two-week C-check, a Boeing 747 shows signs of care in progress. Each cabin is inspected in detail.

Unfortunately for us (probably good for the airline) their new Boeing 777-300ER wasn’t in the hangar at the time. Being so new, CI is currently only able to complete A-checks on the airplane. It expects to be able to offer up to C-checks by mid-2015, and add service to Panasonic’s IFE system in 2016. Check out our photo gallery and learn more.

Continue reading Photo Tour: China Airlines Maintenance Facility

Virgin America — Still Got It?

After being at LA for less than 12 hours, it was time to board my Virgin America flight and head home.

Virgin America Airbus A320 – Photo: David Parker Brown

It has been a while since I’ve flown on Virgin America, and to be honest I’ve sort of missed it. The purplely-pink mood lighting, good food, and that awesome entertainment system; it was a light cutting through the otherwise dark and dank scene of American domestic economy flying.

Thus I was rather looking forward to getting back in the air with Virgin, spurred on by its new codeshare partnership with China Airlines (which I recently sampled and detailed here). Arriving at SeaTac on November 30th, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I expected mayhem but was instead met with relative calm.

Space means weight, which means money. Photo: David Parker Brown.

The economy seats in Virgin America’s Airbus A320 – Photo: David Parker Brown

Virgin provided me a ticket in its Main Cabin Express (MCE) block of seats. The benefits are slight, basically amounting to early boarding after first class, seating in the first few rows of economy as well as guaranteed overhead bin access. The service and product are otherwise identical to the rest of the economy cabin.

Boarding was a bit chaotic, mostly thanks to the gate agent never actually announcing that it was time for MCE to board. Suspecting that I’d missed something, I joined the boarding line which now included main cabin passengers, and was ushered on the plane and into seat 5A.

Continue reading Virgin America — Still Got It?