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

John Travolta Comes to Seattle to Celebrate Qantas’ Retro 737 Livery

The Qantas' retro livery on their new Boeing 737

The Qantas’ retro livery on their new Boeing 737

I always love being invited to celebrate a new delivery for an airline, but I wasn’t sure how Qantas might make a 737 delivery special. There have been over 8,000 of the aircraft type delivered and Qantas is already operating 74 737s.

Of course, the big deal about this 737-800 (VH-XZP) is that it is in a retro livery. A livery that flew on the airline from 1974-1981. That is a good start.

John Travolta showed up and celebrated with Qantas

John Travolta showed up and celebrated with Qantas

However, because of all the mindful AvGeeks out there, photos of the new livery have been on the internet for a week. How was Qantas going to make this celebration really stand out?

They were able to use this opportunity to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the kangaroo being used as their logo and this month is also their 94th birthday. All great things, but I think overall there were two things that really made this event work: a shiny disco ball and John Travolta.

Continue reading John Travolta Comes to Seattle to Celebrate Qantas’ Retro 737 Livery

Flying High at Ground Level – Checking out Alaska Airlines’ New Flight Simulator

The HUD on Alaska Airline's newest flight simulator

The HUD on Alaska Airlines’ newest flight simulator. Notice Mount Rainier off in the distance on the left.

When Alaska Airlines recently reached out to me, asking if I would like some time in their brand-spanking-new Boeing 737-800 flight simulator, I didn’t know if I should reply with just “yes,” or “hell yes.” (I actually think I went for the latter).

The simulator was so new that it hasn’t been added to Alaska’s training schedule (that will start next week). That was a huge benefit, because it allowed me to experience the simulator for over an hour. I have had the opportunity to be in six other simulators, but typically they are in high demand, so the max time in one is about 15-20 minutes. I was excited to give this one a full-on ride.

Taxiing at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. The attention to detail was amazing.

Taxiing at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. The attention to detail was amazing.

Captain Burton, our instructor Dave, PR guru Halley and I had a great time (I felt special that I was given the Captain’s seat). We flew by downtown Seattle, made a difficult approach into Juneau, completed a foggy aborted landing, and more. The only thing Captain Burton wouldn’t let us do is a barrel roll — that’s okay, but I had to ask.

To learn more and follow along with my simulator adventure, check out the full story (with more photos and video) on Alaska Airlines’ new blog. When you are done there, you can also check out more photos of the simulator and Alaska’s flight operations center on our Flickr.

Continue Reading Flying High at Ground Level – Checking out Alaska’s New Flight Simulator

SilkAir Welcomes the Boeing 737-800 into its Fleet

A side view of Silk Air's first 737-8SA. Photo - Bernie Leighton AirlineReporter.com

Side view of SilkAir’s first Boeing 737-8SA – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

February 21, 1989 was an important day for Singapore Airlines. On that day, their regional affiliate Tradewinds Airlines took off using MD-87s for previously unserved Southeast Asian destinations like Bandar Seri Begawan.

Tradewinds continued until 1992 when it was renamed SilkAir. If you have not noticed, it is almost February 21, 2014. In other words, we are quickly approaching the twenty-fifth anniversary of SilkAir. On top of that, this is also the Chinese Lunar New Year period. There is a lot to celebrate at SilkAir. Most of all, the delivery of their first Boeing 737-8SA.

A Chinese Lion Dance to bring in the new year and celebrate a new era of SilkAir.  - Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter.com

A Chinese Lion Dance to bring in the new year and celebrate a new era of SilkAir – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

SilkAir is celebrating a lot of firsts with delivery of 9V-MGA (internally referred to as “my great aircraft”). Their first 737 NextGen, their largest aircraft order (54 frames), and their fastest year-on-year fleet growth (they are accepting eight frames this year).

Continue reading SilkAir Welcomes the Boeing 737-800 into its Fleet

PHOTOS: Alaska Airlines to Debut Special Employee-Celebrating Livery

FlightAware Photo
Photo Courtesy of FlightAware.com

Behold this special Alaska Airlines livery seen on a Boeing 737-800 (N568AS) by Leland Schmit at Paine Field yesterday. No, this is not a new livery for Alaska, but is, “a new special scheme dedicated to our employees,” Alaska explained via Twitter.

It has sweeping lines (that look quite a bit like New Zealand’s old livery) that says, “Employee powered,” on the rear of the fuselage. Although simplistic, I have to say that I like it — especially the blue/green gradient on the engine nacelles.

Continue reading PHOTOS: Alaska Airlines to Debut Special Employee-Celebrating Livery