Condor inaugural San Diego arrival – Photo: San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
Recently, I had the opportunity to take my first ever inaugural flight. Condor inaugurated twice-weekly service nonstopÂ from Frankfurt to San Diego and they were kind enough to allow me to tag along. This was a special trip for me, as I rarely get the opportunity to fly internationally in anything but economy class, as more opulent flying is typically not in my budget.
Condor inaugural San Diego arrival
Inaugural celebration – Photos: San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
Condor inaugural San Diego arrival
Not only was this a big deal for me, but this new connection to Europe is a big deal for the city of San Diego and the 3 million plus people in the metropolitan area. With the new flight, Condor becomes just the second nonstopÂ connection to Europe, and first by a leisure airline.Â
A Xiamen 787-8 glides in for a landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on the airline’s inaugural U.S. revenue flight
Xiamen Airlines launched its Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service on Sept. 26, creating both the firstÂ long-haulÂ route fromÂ Xiamen to theÂ United StatesÂ andÂ the first direct service to the States from the Chinese city of Shenzhen. We were there to welcome the inaugural flight.
You do not see this often in an airliner – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
What do cowboy boots, Frankfurt Germany, and Merle Haggard have in common?
C’mon, any guesses? Any?
Well if you read the title of this post, thereby inadvertently cheating, you’d probably wager something to do with Condor Airlines launching its brand-new service to Austin, Texasâ€”and you’d be right.Â The German leisure carrier began linking Frankfurt and the capital of the Lone Star State near the end of June, and you can bet AirlineReporter was on the scene.
Main business cabin on the Swiss 777-300ER
On June 10, SwissÂ International Air Lines officially inaugurated its new Boeing 777-300ER (77W) on its first regularly scheduled daily service to the United States. The debut flight took offÂ from ZÃ¼rich/Kloten Airport (ZRH) and arrived atÂ Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The 77W is the first Boeing product inÂ Swiss’s mainly-AirbusÂ fleet, and carries 55% more passengers than the Airbus A340-300 (343) it replaces on the ZRH-LAX route. Its first 77W, HB-JNA (delivered on January 29) with its special “Faces of SWISS” livery, made the flight.
A Swiss 777-300ER (HB-JNA) in special “Faces of SWISS” livery – Photo: Swiss
Swiss gave the public a CGI-based video previewÂ of the all-new aircraft and completely redesigned interior, and AirlineReporter was the first to confirm the delivery date of HB-JNA. We were also one of the few media to be invited to LAXÂ for the inaugural events to takeÂ a look with our own eyes. Were we disappointed?
Big network expansion out of LAX for American, with eight new destinations all starting June 2
On June 2, American commenced a major expansion of its route network, with 21 new nonstop routes this month. This includes 10 new destinationsÂ just from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), marking the largest expansion ever at LAX.
Thursday saw the largest number of inaugural flights, with eight ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Los Angeles that day, something the carrier had never done before in its history. I was invited to be part of the festivities and join the entourage, which included Jim Moses, the Managing Director (MD) for AmericanÂ atÂ LAX. What does a day full of ribbon cutting ceremonies look like, you ask…?