Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 258,704
2013: 330,818

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The New Baggage Carts Are Here, The New Baggage Carts Are Here!!

YVR's New 2014 Baggage Carts, now rolling to an airport near you!  Image: YVR

YVR’s new 2014 baggage carts, now rolling in an airport near you…if you live in Vancouver! Image: YVR

Our friend in Vancouver, Chris, is usually running around YVR airport’s terminals, ramp, and grounds.  With his smartphone in hand, he tweets, blogs, posts, and helps to keep YVR’s social media presence timely and responsive. He’s often the “voice” behind the airport’s Twitter account, @yvrairport.

A couple of weeks ago, Chris did stay still for a while, long enough to put together a nifty video announcing the arrival of YVR’s 3,000 new baggage carts.  At most airports, I don’t think that new carts would warrant even a press release, much less a video. But at YVR, it’s a big deal in a very tongue-in-cheek kind of way. And remember, when you travel through Vancouver’s multi-award-winning airport, you can use the carts for free.

Continue reading The New Baggage Carts Are Here, The New Baggage Carts Are Here!!

Air Canada rouge Expands to Western Canada

Air Canada rouge's inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning.

Air Canada rouge’s inaugural YVR-LAS Airbus A319 flight at the gate on a rainy Vancouver morning

You may have read the recent commentary and analysis by AirlineReporter’s Bernie Leighton, “You Get What You Pay For Rant: Why Economy Class Is What It Is.”  I certainly did. It seemed fitting, then, that just a couple of days later, I was invited to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) for Air Canada rouge‘s first Western Canada flight.

Air Canada rouge is an “airline within an airline”, and is part of the Air Canada Leisure Group along with inclusive-tour operator, Air Canada Vacations.  The airline is positioned as Air Canada’s “Leisure” carrier, intended to get passengers to their vacation destinations.  Air Canada rouge launched last July 1st with flights from Toronto (YYZ) and Montreal (YUL) to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. In addition to specific vacation travel, Air Canada is hoping to make its unprofitable routes financially viable by a transfer to Air Canada rouge, which has lower operating costs. Bernie talked all about that, and CASMs and RASMs, in his rant.

By the end of 2014, Air Canada will have transferred 47 routes to rouge. Another seven routes new to the AC network will be operated exclusively by rouge. The just-announced Western Canada routes include YVR to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, and seasonal service to Anchorage.  From Calgary, flights will go to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The Air Canada rouge fleet is made up of Airbus A319s and Boeing 767-300ERs, transferred from Air Canada’s mainline fleet. As of the end of April, there were 15 A319s and four 767s flying for the leisure carrier. Ultimately, rouge may have up to 30 A319s and 20 767s, with the 767s coming into the fleet as Air Canada receives its new 787 Dreamliners. Continue reading Air Canada rouge Expands to Western Canada

Trains, Subways, and a Monorail – A Day Exploring Tokyo by Transit

Daunting, isn't it? 40 million passengers a day use the Tokyo transit system. Image: Tokyo Metro

Daunting, isn’t it? 40 million passengers a day use the Tokyo transit system. Image: Tokyo Metro

This is a bit of a different post for us, about something other than just airplanes, airports & airlines. Enjoy!  

It was early Thursday morning on my last day in Tokyo. It had been a whirlwind trip. Sunday and Monday had been taken up on the inaugural All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight from Vancouver (YVR) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND). I spent Tuesday at ANA’s New Employee Ceremony, and then explored HND’s observation decks. On Wednesday morning I was treated to a somewhat manic half-day bus tour of Tokyo. After that, I explored a bit, and went back to my hotel at HND’s Terminal 2 to get some work done, and to recover!

My start and end point - HND's International Terminal.

My start and end point – HND’s International Terminal

But now, I had the whole day to explore the city before returning to Haneda Airport’s International Terminal for my 9:55 pm flight. I had a long list of suggestions of things to see from friends and colleagues. Everyone had said that the best way to explore Tokyo is by transit, and I had my maps ready to go.

The statistics are phenomenal; 40 million passengers use Tokyo’s transit system, every day.  Most commuters travel on Tokyo’s extensive urban railway system, and eight million use the Tokyo Metro (subway) daily. There are over 130 lines and 1,000 stations on the fully-integrated rail system. No surprise, then, that the world’s busiest train station is in Tokyo, at Shinjuku Station, with over three million passengers per day.  The entire system is clean, efficient, inexpensive, and operates exactly on time, all the time.

However, there are a few things that an explorer needs to master before venturing out. Continue reading Trains, Subways, and a Monorail – A Day Exploring Tokyo by Transit

The Dream has Landed in Vancouver (YVR)!

JAL 18 touches down in YVR

JAL 18 touches down at YVR Airport – Photo: Brandon Farris | AirlineReporter

In what turned out to be a beautiful Monday morning in Vancouver, British Columbia, reporters and the Vancouver Airport Authority greeted the airport’s first scheduled 787 service with Japan Airlines.

Banner welcoming Passengers onboard - Brandon Farris - AirlineReporter

Banner welcoming passengers onboard – Photo: Brandon Farris | AirlineReporter

The conditions couldn’t have been any better for the carrier’s first arrival with the aircraft, as the skies were clear when the pilots flared the nose and gracefully put the aircraft (JA823J) on the ground 15 minutes ahead of schedule, to the delight of many who have been working hard on bringing the 787 to YVR.

Continue reading The Dream has Landed in Vancouver (YVR)!

Meet Dash, Goliath & Hercules – YVR’s Wildlife Control Experts

Emily Fleming, Raptor Biologist, Pacific Northwest Raptors, and Goliath, the Harris Hawk, in front of YVR's radar "golf ball".

Emily Fleming, Raptor Biologist with Pacific Northwest Raptors, and Goliath, the Harris’ Hawk, in front of YVR’s radar “golf ball”

Airplanes and birds don’t play well together.

Just ask Captain Sully and First Officer Jeff, whose encounter with a flock of Canada Geese turned their A320 into a glider. Or talk to the crews of the approximately 150 planes per year at Vancouver International Airport that report bird strikes. Flight safety can be seriously compromised, repair costs for the airlines are huge, passengers are often inconvenienced, and for the birds, well, it’s fatal.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located on the shores of the Strait of Georgia, on a large island in the Fraser River Delta. And just like the passengers who connect at YVR, the millions of birds that annually use the migratory Pacific Flyway like to stop in the Vancouver area to get something to eat and have a rest. Boundary Bay, south of YVR and the location of the general aviation Boundary Bay Airport (ZBB), is an internationally-recognized Important Bird Area. Even the main Vancouver air navigation aid, the YVR VOR, is on the same island as the renowned Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Continue reading Meet Dash, Goliath & Hercules – YVR’s Wildlife Control Experts