Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 243,450
2013: 330,818

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Southwest Unveils New Livery in Dallas

The first Boeing 737 in Southwest's new livery - Photo: Mal Muir

The first Boeing 737 (Heart One – N8642E) in Southwest’s new livery – Photo: Mal Muir

On a sunny Texas Monday morning, Southwest gathered hundreds of its employees, along with media from all over the country, to reveal a mystery that had been partially hinted at in previous days. Hints, rumors, and gossip pointed to a new livery and new branding, with huge feedback from not only passengers but Southwest staff wanting to make their feelings known.

But as everyone gathered in the hangar, it was almost a party-like atmosphere. CEO Gary Kelly got into the spirit and was among the staff, greeting folks and posing for photos.

More than just the planes are being updated - Photo: Mal Muir

More than just the planes are being updated – Photo: Mal Muir

When Kelly took the stage, he told the crowd how proud they should be. The airline employees have worked hard over the last 12 months for this special moment. “The one constant thing in the company is heart,” he said.

This gave a giant hint into what was to come. As the lights went down, a video played showing a transformation. The old livery shed its skin to a blank canvas. The new heart branding then slowly appeared onto the 737 on screen. Soon after, the doors opened, and there was the 737 in a new livery was waiting outside.

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New Recycling Programs in the Aviation Industry

Turning Leather Seat covers into Soccer balls.  Part of Southwest's new LUV Seat program - Photo: Southwest Airlines

Turning leather seat covers into soccer balls; part of Southwest’s new LUV Seat program – Photo: Southwest Airlines

When you think about recycling in the aviation industry, most folks think of the aircraft that are scrapped and recycled.  Some airlines will recycle the cans and cups onboard that get used, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.  However, what about something on a different scale?  Two programs have been launched this year that take different approaches to using up leftover materials and recycling them into something useful – something that will help people, not just the company’s bottom line.

In July of this year, Southwest Airlines launched their “LUV Seat” program, or as the motto puts it “Repurpose with a Purpose”.  Labeled more as “re-purposing” than “recycling”, the program is designed to take the leftover leather from Southwest seat refurbishments and turn them into usable goods.

The first of those materials is heading to Africa, where seat leather will be turned into soccer balls, shoes, and other items.  They don’t call it “recycling” – they call it “up-cycling”.  Turning unwanted items into higher value products.

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Freshly Painted Qatar Airways Airbus A350

Qatar Airways’ freshly painted Airbus A350 on the factory lines in Toulouse, France. Photo: Airbus

Qatar Airways’ freshly painted Airbus A350 on the factory floor in Toulouse, France – Photo: Airbus

Qatar Airways and Airbus have released photos of their newly-painted Airbus A350-900XWB.   The aircraft has just been released from the paint hangar in Toulouse and is the first to feature the full Qatar Airways livery.  Unlike other aircraft, which had a hybrid Airbus & Qatar livery, this one in the airline’s standard grey livery with signature Oryx on the tail – it certainly does look sleek.

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Cathay Pacific Grows in US – Adds New Destination

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 in the midst of a turnaround at YVR.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER in the midst of a turnaround at YVR

On the heels of Cathay Pacific retiring the Queen of the Skies from the North American services, they have announced a service expansion to add another US city.  As of May 1, 2015, Cathay Pacific will begin service to its sixth destination in the United States with the addition of Boston.

The Boston service also comes fairly quick on the heels of Cathay launching their service to Newark earlier this year and adds another connection to the Northeast.  With multiple daily services to New York’s JFK Airport, a daily flight to Newark, and now a four times per week service to Boston, things are picking up for the east coasters.

Why Boston though? Like Newark, it doesn’t seem the most likely of destinations.  According to Cathay Pacific, among its connecting passengers to Hong Kong, Boston is the largest market with over 53,000 passengers flying between Boston’s Logan Airport and Hong Kong.  All 53,000 of them having to connect somewhere along the way.  That sounds like a fairly decent reason to add a daily service to me!

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The Marines Visit Seattle

A MV-22B Osprey on Approach to Boeing Field

A MV-22B Osprey on approach to Boeing Field

Summer in Seattle means lots of things to locals in the Pacific Northwest.  Long days with the sun setting at 10pm, with Mt. Rainier standing out tall and proud in the skyline.  Blue skies, sun, and outdoor fun, but most of all it means one thing for AvGeeks:  Jet noise!

During the first weekend of August in Seattle is Seafair, and the main attraction has always been the Blue Angels (it also coincides with Fleet Week).  However, this year, things were a little bit different over the skies and on the ground in Seattle.  The United States Marine Corps (USMC) came to town.  They were not going to let the US Navy have all the fun, and this year, it was time to bring Marine Week to Seattle.

The United States Marine Corp takes over the Museum of Flight for Marine Week - Photo: Jennifer Nagle

The United States Marine Corps takes over the Museum of Flight for Marine Week – Photo: Jennifer Nagle

This year the USMC decided to bring Marine Week to Seattle to showcase and honor not only the Marine Corps as a whole, but also how much of a role the Corps has to the local area.  People in Seattle could meet the Marines themselves, learn about what they do, why they do it, and then get to see how they do it.  The biggest part of the weekend would be the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) demonstration over the skies of Lake Washington.

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