Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 269,302
2013: 330,818

KLM Pulling Out of Miami – When Will They Retire the MD-11?

Three KLM MD-11's at Schiphol.

Three KLM MD-11's at Schiphol.

In March of this year, KLM started service between Amsterdam (AMS) and Miami (MIA) using one of their MD-11 aircraft. Unfortunately, the route is not working out for the airline and in March 2012, the plug will be pulled.

“We will stop the route AMS-MIA per summer 2012 (as of March 25 2012),” KLM spokesperson explained to AirlineReporter.com. “With the start of a fourth daily frequency Atlanta-Amsterdam, we have a good indirect alternative within the Joint Venture with Delta.”

It is always sad to see a classic tri-holer pull out of a market. Sure, for an average passenger, I would imagine they would rather fly on one of KLM’s newer A330s, but for us aviation enthusiasts, the MD-11 is the classic bird of choice.

KLM is still operating 10 of the MD-11s in commercial service and seven in their cargo fleet (as of March 2011). They are the only airline in the world still running the MD-11 on scheduled passenger service.

When asked if there were any solid plans on replacing the MD-11, the airline stated, “KLM is continuously monitoring her fleet development, and at this moment KLM has no exact dates as yet to retire the MD-11.”

KLM still regularly flies the MD-11 to San Fransisco and Vancouver, so enjoy spotting them in North America while they are still around. With fuel prices continuing to rise, it is unclear how much longer we will be seeing the blue MD-11s.

Image: Chris 1971

Delta Air Lines Grows Like Crazy at LaGuardia

There are going to be a lot more Delta widgets seen at LGA soon.

There are going to be a lot more Delta widgets seen at LGA soon.

Recently, Delta Air Lines announced their game plan to expand at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) after their slot swap with US Airways. Delta, being the world’s second largest airline, has plenty that they can bring to the New York area and grow LGA into a major hub for business travelers.

If you scroll through the new Delta LGA flights, you will see a lot of smaller aircraft: the Embraer ERJ-145, E-170, E-175, Bombardier CRJ-700, CRJ-900 and the CRJ-200. With an airport that is already so crowded, it was a little surprising seeing so many small aircraft.

Just because a new route starts as a smaller aircraft, doesn’t mean that Delta can’t upgrade to a larger aircraft later. Still, it seems like some of the routes might be able to handle larger aircraft, why did Delta go this route?

“It’s purely a function of having the right aircraft for the right market,” Morgan Durrant, Delta Spokesperson explained to AirlineReporter.com. “LaGuardia is arguably the most restricted airfield in the world but that doesn’t preclude the market demand for both capacity and frequency. Utilizing regional aircraft in some markets allows us to achieve both in a way that’s good for customers and good for business.”

At least Delta is operating jets; US Airways Express (aka Piedmont) flew quite a few turbo-props in LGA. For the airline nerd (that many of us probably are), turbo-props are fun to fly in, but I know that most travelers do not share our passion for aviation and most prefer the comfort of a jet. And remember, that not all regional jets are created equally. Many of Delta’s jets that have more the 50  seats contain amenities found on larger aircraft.

“Delta Connection aircraft larger than 50 seats will have a two-cabin configuration and Gogo Wi-Fi,” Durrant stated.

Delta has more connections and are arguably using better aircraft, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they are able to become quite successful out of LGA. I also wouldn’t be surprised to start seeing larger planes operating in Delta colors in the future out of LaGuardia as well.

Two view points you have to read about this topic are: Brett Snyder looking at the winners and losers of this deal and Dan Webb looking at the new destinations.

Photo by: Jerome Vorus

ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Fly from Seattle and San Jose to Tokyo

ANA's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Paine Field. Soon we will see these at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

ANA's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Paine Field. Soon we will see these at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

It has been announced by All Nippon Airways (ANA) that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) will be one of the international destinations for their Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Starting in 2012, the airline will offer a non-stop flight from Seattle to Narita Airport in Tokyo.

Mr. Shinichiro Ito, ANA Group President and CEO said,”We are very pleased to announce the launch of long-haul international services from Tokyo to Seattle. This city is an important destination on the U.S. West Coast and is home to companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and, of course, Boeing itself. We are confident that passenger demand to fly to Seattle will be high, not only in Japan but other Asian cities.”

ANA also announced that they will start flights from Narita to San Jose, CA. Not that San Jose getting the 787 is any less exciting, it is just the fact that I am based in Seattle and have been really hoping that ANA would start 787 service here.

Not only will both airports receive service from ANA, but both will also get the Dreamliner for the first time. This is a great example on how the Dreamliner will change how airlines do business; offering point-to-point flights between destinations that might not have the demand for a larger aircraft like the Boeing 777 or 747.

“We are very pleased to announce the launch of further international Dreamliner services to these two new destinations on the west coast of the United States,” Shinichiro Ito, President and CEO of ANA Group stated in a press release.” We will make full use of the efficiencies of the 787 as well as capitalizing on our close relationship with United and Continental Airlines to enhance the competitiveness of our joint ventures with these two Star Alliance partners.”

Photo Gallery: Lufthansa’s Future Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental Visits Germany

From December 6th to the 9th, one of Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals, RC021,  was flown to Frankfurt Germany, so that Lufthansa could complete pre-delivery testing at the Frankfurt Airport. Three Lufthansa and two Boeing pilots made the nine hour journey from Seattle to Frankfurt. The aircraft will be the fifth 747-8I that Lufthansa will take delivery of and the first delivery is expected sometime in “early 2012.”

Luckily, Lufthansa took quite a few photos of the Intercontinental’s visit and it is time to share:

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, in front of their Technik Repair facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, in front of their Technik Repair facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, inside the Technik Maintenance facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's 5th Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, RC021, inside the Technik Maintenance facility in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8I rocks the GEnx-2B67 engine. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8I rocks the GEnx-2B67 engine. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has one sexy backside. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental has one sexy backside. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Nose shot of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.
HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Nose shot of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

 

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's Technik facility in Frankfurt is HUGE and has a way of making large aircraft look small. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). Lufthansa's Technik facility in Frankfurt is HUGE and has a way of making large aircraft look small. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the tarmac in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

HI-RES IMAGE (click for larger). The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental on the tarmac in Frankfurt. Photo by Lufthansa.

OTHER GOOD RELATED STUFF:
* Photos of Boeing 747-8I in full Lufthansa livery
* My tour of the Technik Maintenance facility and an Airbus A380
* Reveal, first flight and more of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental
* Photo of two Lufthansa Airbus A380s and one Boeing 747-400 Dreamlifter in the Technik facility 

How Many Boeing 737s Are Still Flying Contest Answer + Interesting 737 Facts

HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). On December 16th, Boeing delivered their 7000th 737 to flydubai. The airplane is flydubai’s 14th Next-Generation 737-800 with the new Boeing Sky Interior. Photo by Boeing.

HI-RES PHOTO (click for larger). On December 16th, Boeing delivered their 7000th 737 to flydubai. The airplane is flydubai’s 14th Next-Generation 737-800 with the new Boeing Sky Interior. Photo by Boeing.

On Friday I posed the question, “How many Boeing 737s are still flying today,” and I received a lot of responses. So what is the answer? (insert drum roll here)…

… did you click that drum roll link? It really adds to the suspense. If you did not do it before, it is not too late

According to Boeing, there are 5,424 737s still flying today with 358 airlines in 114 countries. Knowing that the first 737 flew on April 9, 1967, that is AMAZING! So, who were the three that got the closest and are winning a free internet session with GoGo In-Flight Internet?

* Thibaut: 5418
* Allen Cheng: 5419
* Will Pestle 5423 (only one away)

Some of you just guessed random numbers (which works out okay) and others went through some pretty impressive formulas. I was amazing how many people were pretty close to the final answers. A big thanks go GoGo for providing three prizes for this contest!

As promised, here are some other great facts about the 737 that come directly from Boeing:

* Today’s 737s are 5 percent more fuel efficient than the first models delivered. By late-2012, the airplanes will be a full 7 percent more efficient, with full incorporation of the latest performance improvement package. The additional 2 percent equates to $120,000 savings per airplane per year, and tons fewer carbon emissions.

* It was just shy of 15 years between the first Next-Generation 737 order and the 5,000th order. The Next-Generation 737 reached this order milestone more quickly than any other commercial jet in history.

* Airlines ordered 724 of the Next-Generation 737 models between the Next-Generation program launch Nov. 17, 1993, and the day the first airplane was delivered on Dec. 12, 1997.

* The Next-Generation 737 is as long as it is wide, earning it the nickname of the first “square” airplane.

* The Next-Generation 737 uses an advanced system called Head-up Display or HUD, which comprises a transparent glass display positioned between the pilot’s eye and flight deck window to show critical information such as airspeed, altitude and attitude, and flight path. The Next-Generation 737 is the leader of large commercial jetliners produced today with this capability. Boeing is proud to introduce HUD as part of its basic systems equipment for both pilots on our 787.

* The Next-Generation 737 airplane wing thermal anti-ice system has the capability of outputting hot air on the wing leading edge equivalent to about six full-sized (100,000 BTU) household furnaces.

* Within five years of entering service, the worldwide fleet of Next-Generation 737s surpassed 10 million flight hours, a feat equal to one airplane flying more than 1,141 years nonstop. The Next-Generation 737 is the first and only commercial jetliner to reach this milestone so quickly.

* On July 27, 2006, Boeing delivered the 2,000th Next-Generation 737 six years sooner than any other commercial jet airplane. The milestone delivery – a 737-700 to Southwest Airlines – occurred nine years after Southwest received the first Next-Generation 737.

* There are approximately 36.6 miles (59 kilometers) of wire on the Next-Generation 737-600/-700/-800/-900ER (extended range) models, four miles (6.4 kilometers) less than the 737-300/-400/-500 models.

* On average, there are approximately 367,000 parts on a Next-Generation 737 airplane.

* Overall, the entire 737 family is the best-selling commercial jet in history, with orders for more than 9,100 airplanes through the end of November 2011. More than 6,900 have been delivered.

* On Feb. 13, 2006, Boeing delivered the 5,000th 737 to Southwest Airlines. Guinness World Records acknowledged the 737 as the most-produced large commercial jet airplane in aviation history.

* Typically, about 50 gallons (189 liters) of paint are used to paint an average 737. Once the paint is dry, it will weigh approximately 250 pounds (113 kilograms) per airplane, depending on the paint scheme.