Browsing Tag: Flagship

A TWA, featuring the Boeing 707, ad seen in The Saturday Event Post in 1959

A TWA, featuring the Boeing 707, ad seen in The Saturday Event Post in 1959 – Image: Jeremy’s Collection

I love looking back at old airline advertisements that promote a new type of aircraft that will soon become the flagship of the fleet. We are talking about the iconic birds of yesteryear; like the Lockheed Constellation, Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and Lockheed L1011. However, there was one aircraft that let the world know that your airline has arrived (literally and figuratively): the 747 Jumbo Jet.

Before I continue, let’s make sure we are on the same page about the definition of “flagship.” I really hate it when people just say “well, Merriam-Webber defines <insert word here> as…” because it is just a super lazy way to get your point across. Whatever, it is really easy to do it that way…

flagship
noun
flag·​ship | \ ˈflag-ˌship  \
1: the ship that carries the commander of a fleet or subdivision of a fleet and flies the commander’s flag
2: the finest, largest, or most important one of a group of things (such as products, stores, etc.) —often used before another noun

In AvGeek terms, the flagship is often the coolest airplane that they have that will make passengers think “golly gee, that is a swell plane and I want to fly on it, I am going to take that airline” (I actually tried to make that sound sarcastic, but that is how I legit feel when I am looking for flights).

 

With so many airlines moving to smaller aircraft (B737, A320, E-Jet, and A220) and operating aging fleets (B767,B 757, A330ceo, etc), what aircraft do they see as their flagship today? I found some that were pretty obvious, and others that had me scratching my head. I am making my best guesses based on the information that airlines put out there to the public, so I might be wrong. With one or two, I am pretty sure that I am wrong. Let me break it down by airline, let you know what I found, and you tell me if you disagree.

The departure lounge for Gate 41 at LAX, for American's inaugural flight to SYD.

The departure lounge for Gate 41 at LAX, for American’s inaugural flight to SYD. #AvGeeks cringe at this banner…

Updated 12/22/2015 @ 4:38pm PT

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With critters, music, food, gifts, and didgeridoos on hand, American Airlines celebrated its inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Sydney last Thursday, marking the first time the airline has directly flown to Australia from the contiguous 48 states with its own aircraft, this route featuring its flagship Boeing 777-300ER.

But even hard-core AvGeeks would be hard pressed  to focus on the 777 on the other side of the windows when there was a baby kangaroo (WHAT?!)…

The entry foyer for Swiss's new 777-300ER. Image: Youtube | Swiss

The entry foyer on the new Swiss 777-300ER – Image: Youtube | Swiss

Swiss International Airlines, part of the Lufthansa Group, will take delivery of their first of nine new Boeing 777-300ERs (77W) on January 29, 2016. Miriam Oliviera, the airline’s Head of Marketing & Public Relations for the Americas, confirmed the date in a phone conversation on Thursday.

The 777 series is a new addition to Swiss’s previously all-Airbus fleet. Currently, the Zurich-based carrier relies on the Airbus A330/A340 series wide-bodies for long-haul service, as well as the Airbus A320 series for its narrow-body fleet.