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2014: 258,704
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UPDATED: Boeing Announces Large 737 Order for Ryanair

Ryanair Boeing 737-800. Photo by Andrew W. Sieber.

Ryanair Boeing 737-800. Photo by Andrew W. Sieber.

A little after 5:00am EST this morning, Boeing let the cat out of the bag: Ryanair is set to order 175 Boeing 737-800’s, which is the largest Boeing airplane order in Europe to date. Although an impressive order, the news was surely not breaking, since rumors of the order have been circulating for a while. 

“This agreement is an amazing testament to the value that the Next-Generation 737 brings to Ryanair,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. “We are pleased that the Next-Generation 737, as the most efficient, most reliable large single-aisle airplane flying today, has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of the Ryanair fleet. Our partnership with this great European low-cost carrier is of the utmost importance to everyone at The Boeing Company and I could not be more proud to see it extended for years to come.”

BONUS: The five stages passengers go through when flying ultra low-cost carriers

Currently, Ryanair operates a fleet of over 300 737-800’s and it is expected that these new aircraft will help them expand their operations. When asked if Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, if there were plans for long haul operations, he stated, “I don’t see an opportunity for the next two to three years.” In proper O’Leary style (who is not known to act like your typical CEO), stated that he was, “drunk at the time,” when asked how much he spent on the price of the aircraft.

When O’Leary was asked why New York City was chosen as the location of the announcement, he jokingly replied it was to help divert attention from the 787 within the US. He then clarified that about 50% of the airline’s shareholders are located on the east coast of the US. O’Leary stated he was planning on attending a few shareholder meetings to assure folks that the airline is not planing to start growing like “gangbusters,” and that they plan to have a more controlled growth.

This order also means that the Boeing 737NG will continue to be produced next to the 737 MAX for quite sometime. “As today’s announcement demonstrates, there is still significant demand for the Next-Generation 737,” Linda Lee, 737 Program Communications explained to AirlineReporter.com. “This demand is the reason we decided to boost production rates to 42 per month starting the 2nd quarter of 2014.”

Yesterday, Boeing had sent out notification of the announcement today and there was quite a bit of speculation, but now we know. We were hoping for something a bit more glitzy. I mean even, seeing the Ryanair logo on the new MAX winglet would be more exciting. I guess overall this is good news for both Boeing and Airbus right? Where an order for 175 airplanes from one airline just isn’t as exciting as it used to be?

David Parker Brown and Jason Rabinowitz contributed to this story. Also catch additional background information on Airchive.com.

TWITTER PHOTOS FROM THE RYANAIR 737 PRESS CONFERENCE:

Airline Livery of the Week: Hey Mon, It’s Air Jamaica

Air Jamaica (Caribbean Airlines) - Boeing 737-800 - 9Y-JMB - John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) - September 18, 2011 1 361 RT CRP

Air Jamaica Boeing 737-800 – 9Y-JMB  at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on September 18, 2011. Photo by TVL1970.

Air Jamaica’s fleet over the years has consisted of so many different aircraft it’s hard to keep up. They’ve operated everything from a Douglas DC-8 to Boeing 727’s to Airbus A340s. Heck, they even leased a Boeing 747-100 from Aer Lingus at one point. Fortunately for their fleet operations they now only operate Boeing 737-800s.

Air Jamaica has quite the history of varied government ownerships and privatizations. The airline was founded in late 1968 with the Jamaican government owning the majority share but with Air Canada owning a minor share and providing maintenance services. Air Jamaica was partially privatized which lasted for about 10 years before financial trouble lead the Jamaican Government to take back full ownership.

Today Air Jamaica is a subsidiary of Caribbean Airlines Limited, with the Jamaican Government still having a 16% ownership share. Talk about an interesting ownership history for this airline.

Air Jamaica Airbus A340-300 in last generation livery. Photo by Ken Fielding.

Air Jamaica Airbus A340-300 in last generation livery. Photo by Ken Fielding.

Their website doesn’t seem to be up-to-date with their fleet. One page on their website makes reference to operating seven A320s, one A321, and one A319. Another shows that they are operating the A340, A320 and A321. But on their fleet page, they only reference operating 737s — which is all they currently operate.

Air Jamaica operates flights from their hub in Kingston, Jamaica to various destinations around the Caribbean, New York (JFK), Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Toronto.

Air Jamaica’s new livery is much more snazzy than their old ones. I particularly like the brightness and how the colors on the tail transition down the side of the plane in a swoosh like line. Given that this is a Caribbean based airline, it’s certainly fitting (and almost necessary) that they have a colorful livery!

Photos: TVL1970 & Ken Fielding

This story written by…Colin Cook, Correspondent.Colin is an avid AvGeek who works in finance and is based in the Seattle area. He has an immense passion for aviation and loves to travel as much as possible.

@CRoscoe2121

Airline Livery of the Week: Alaska Airlines Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II

The new Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery shown off in Anchroage. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The new Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery shown off in Anchorage. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

One of the best liveries out there was Alaska Airline’s original Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery on a Boeing 737-400. The airline re-painted the old salmon livery a while back and many have missed it (including me). Have no fear – a new salmon livery is here. This week, Alaska unveiled their Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II livery in Anchorage and it is even better than the first.

The new Salmon-30-Salmon has winglets. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The new Salmon-30-Salmon has winglets. Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

This time, a Boeing 737-800 was used as a larger canvas. The fish-plane comes in at 91,000 pounds and measures at almost 129 feet. Alaska calls this “the most intricately painted commercial aircraft in the world.”

There are not too many differences between the older salmon livery and the newer one. The concept remained the same; to paint a huge salmon on a plane. One of the biggest changes is the fact that the 737-800 has winglets with scales. Also the “Alaska” name is painted in a salmon color versus white of the previous design.

How could you not smile flying such a beautiful plane? Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

How could you not smile flying such a beautiful plane? Image from Alaska Airlines. CLICK FOR LARGER.

The design used four gallons of Mylar paint to create an iridescent sparkle over the nearly 3500 fish scales. Crews worked 27 days straight in Oklahoma City and used 21 unique colors to get this amazing livery completed.

“Today, we are proud to introduce the largest flying fish to all of Alaska and the world,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president of the state of Alaska. “Not only will this special plane spotlight the best, most sustainable seafood harvest in the world, it will also remind us of the important role the seafood industry has on the Alaska economy. On behalf of the 1,700 Alaska Airlines employees working in the state, we are also proud to safely fly the thousands of men and women who work in the seafood industry throughout the Last Frontier.”

Brandon Farris caught the S7S landing in Seattle.

Brandon Farris caught the S7S landing in Seattle.

A big thanks to Brandon for letting me share his photo of the Salmon-30-Salmon landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


The above video highlights the process of painting the Salmon-30-Salmon livery.

Alaska Airlines to Bring Back the Salmon-Thirty-Salmon Livery

Alaska Airlines New Salmon-Thirty-Salmon, which will be put in service in the fall 2012. Image from Alaska. CLICK FOR LARGER.

Alaska Airlines New Salmon-Thirty-Salmon, which will be put in service in the fall 2012. Image from Alaska. CLICK FOR LARGER.

Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute have announced plans to make the world’s longest, flying King Salmon on a Boeing 737-800.

In 2005, the airline unveiled the first Salmon-Thirty-Salmon on a Boeing 737-400. That livery was retired and painted over last year. Those who were fans of the fish-themed livery were disappointed and I know I have been hoping for a second version since.

The “Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II” will be nine feet longer and will feature salmon colored titles on the fuselage. Also, check out those scales on the winglets — not too shabby. Alaska plans to unveil the new salmon livery sometime this fall.

The first Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery on a Boeing 737-400. Photo by Andrew Cohen.

The first Salmon-Thirty-Salmon livery on a Boeing 737-400. Photo by Andrew Cohen.

“This airplane celebrates Alaska Airlines’ unique relationship with the people and communities of Alaska and underscores our air transport commitment to the state’s seafood industry,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president of the state of Alaska. “Because the new design will be featured on a larger 737-800, this 91,000-pound king will boldly promote the world’s finest seafood from the Hawaiian Islands to Boston and beyond.”

Speaking of Salmon, Alaska Airlines will be celebrating the first Copper River Salmon delivery with an early morning cook off this Friday. Once again, I will be getting up early to welcome the salmon and enjoy what the cooks are able to create.