Russia’s Azur Air Plots First Class With Former Cathay Pacific Boeing 777s

Russian regional leisure airline Azur Air looks ready to up the stakes by introducing a first class service…

Russia’s Azur Air Plots First Class With Former Cathay Pacific Boeing 777s

Russian regional leisure airline Azur Air looks ready to up the stakes by introducing a first class service after acquiring three Boeing 777-300s from Miami-based commercial aircraft leaser Aviator Capital Aircraft Managers LLC. Founded as Katekavia in 1992, the airline was rebranded as Azur Air in 2014.

Azur Air hopes to offer first class on its new Boeing 777s. Photo: Getty Images

Mainly focused on Russian leisure destinations in sunny climates, Azur Air flies Russian tourists to places like Cuba, Dubai, Mexico, and Thailand. Closer to home, the airline serves summer sun destinations around the Mediterranean, emphasizing the Turkish Riviera.

Azur Air has a fleet of 32 aircraft

With its central hub at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport (VKO), Azur Air, according to aviation statistics and data website ch-aviation, operates a fleet of 32 aircraft that comprise the following planes:

  • 3 x Boeing 737-800s
  • 3 x Boeing 737-900ERs
  • 10 x Boeing 757-200s
  • 12 x Boeing 767-300ERs
  • 5 x Boeing 777-300ERs

As air travel starts to pick up following COVID-19 vaccinations, Azur Air is looking to expand its fleet by acquiring three used Boeing 777-300ERs. two of the aircraft used to fly for Hong Kong national flag carrier Cathay Pacific while ch-aviation has new registration VQ-BTK formally operated by Virgin Australia:

  • Registered as B-KPC and now VQ-BXK, Cathay Pacific took delivery of the aircraft in October 2007
  • Registered as B-KPH and now VQ-BXJ Cathay Pacific took delivery of the aircraft in May 2008
  • Registered as VH-VOZ and now VQ-BTK, Virgin Australia took delivery of the aircraft in January 2009

Cathay Pacific 777s only had 275 seats

When breaking the news earlier today, aviation enthusiast website One Mile At A Time pointed out that Cathay Pacific had its planes configured in a four-class layout:

  • Six open suites in first class
  • 53 flatbed seats in business class
  • 34 recliner seats in premium economy
  • 182 standard seats in economy class
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER
Cathay Pacific triple sevens featured six first class suites. Photo: Cathay Pacific

As for the former Virgin Australia Boeing 777-300ER, it features a four-class layout comprising:

  • 37 flatbed seats in business class
  • 24 recliner seats in premium economy
  • 75 standard seats in economy X
  • 203 standard seats in economy class

This means that the two former Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER will have a total of 275 seats while the former Virgin Australia triple seven will have 339 seats.

All of Azur Air’s other Boeing 777-300s have a high capacity layout of 531 seats, of which only seven are designated as business class. One Mile At A Time claims that Azur Air will not reconfigure the planes for more seats but instead introduce a first class service on the routes that the aircraft are deployed.

Azur Air is busy training cabin crew

According to One Mile At A Time, Azur Air intends to market its new first class service separately from its traditional business model and is busy training cabin crews for the new service. There is even the suggestion that one of the aircraft could enter service as early as tomorrow (July 25), flying passengers from Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) to Milas–Bodrum Airport (BJV) in Turkey. However, when looking at the VKO departure board for July 25, the only direct flight scheduled from VKO to BJV is a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800.

Azur Air puts Boeing 777 jet airliner into service
Azur Air’s other Boeing 777-300s have more than 500 seats. Photo: Getty Images

It will be interesting to see if a traditional high-density leisure airline can pull off a first class product on routes to holiday destinations.

What do you think about Azur Air first class? Will it work? Please tell us what you think in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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JetBlue Flight Landed In Newark With Small Fire

Earlier this month, a Jetblue Airbus A321-200 was seen partially on fire after landing at Newark Liberty International…

JetBlue Flight Landed In Newark With Small Fire

Earlier this month, a Jetblue Airbus A321-200 was seen partially on fire after landing at Newark Liberty International Airport. As a result, the situation is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The JetBlue A321 unit is still sitting at Newark after 13 days since the incident. Photo: Getty Images

A fiery landing

On July 10th, registration N981JT landed at Newark’s runway 22R after flying in from San Francisco International Airport. However, unusually, a small fire could be spotted on the plane’s right engine cover during its roll out.

According to The Aviation Herald, the A321 then taxied to its gate while maintaining routine communication. The NTSB has since confirmed that a small fire was visible on the engine and the event has been deemed as an official incident, which is presently under investigation. shows that the A231-231 left San Francisco at 22:56 PD to arrive at Newark at 07:23 EDT. The arrival taxi time took 19 minutes following a five hour and 27-minute flight, and the plane hasn’t been in the air since. The aircraft could be seen all over the country in previous days. It had landed at the likes of Los Angeles, Los Vegas, New York JFK, San Diego, West Palm Beach, and Boston the week before 

JetBlue A321
JetBlue’s A321 aircraft have been busy hopping across the United States amid a busy period following a year of significant downturn.

The Aviation Herald’s report comes on the same day we reported on another issue involving a transcontinental flight leaving SFO this month. A United Airlines service heading to Orlando had to be deplaned this week amid a passenger sharing photos with others that were deemed as a “threat”.

More about the aircraft

According to ch-aviation, N981JT, the aircraft involved in the SFO-Newark JetBlue flight arrived at the airline in May 2017. The A321 unit is currently stored at Newark following the fire. It joins one other A321-200 that’s currently on the ground. N957JB is undergoing maintenance. N4048J, an A321-200NX is also presently stored.

Altogether, JetBlue holds 63 A321-200s, 18s A321-200NXs, and two A321-200NXERs in its fleet. The New York-based carrier is a fan of the A320 family and has also been taking on A220 units, which have started to be deployed since April.

JetBlue has been bolstering its fleet ahead of ambitious expansion plans across the US and even the continents. Photo: Getty Images.

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Domestic progress

Most of the airline’s fleet is active following a strong rebound in domestic travel across the United States. Amid this progress, the operator has been heavily promoting travel to and from the New York area. Notably, this summer, it launched an initiative to ramp up summer tourism in New York City, offering special flight deals.

Simple Flying reached out to JetBlue for comment on this incident in Newark. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.

What are your thoughts about this JetBlue flight landing at Newark with a fire on its wing? What do you make of this situation? Let us know what you think of the overall incident in the comment section.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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