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October 17, 2017

Air Travel: Southwest Heads for Hawaii + Lufthansa to Buy Airberlin


Southwest Airlines' Hawaii plans, Lufthansa's purchase of airberlin and Air France - KLM's winter schedule are this week's top air travel news affecting the meetings and events industry. 

Southwest Airlines to Sell Tickets to Hawaii in 2018

Southwest Airlines has announced plans to begin selling tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii.

The carrier also announced its intention to launch an application process for Federal Aviation Administration authorization for Extended Operations (ETOPS). Service details are expected to be announced at a later date, according to a statement issued by the airline.

The carrier announced it will embark on a process to obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for Extended Operations (ETOPS), a regulatory requirement to operate between the mainland and the Hawaiian islands.

Lufthansa to Buy Airberlin

Lufthansa Group (LHG) is set to buy large portions of airberlin, which filed for bankruptcy protection back in August.

According to the Associated Press via ABC News, LHG will take over 81 planes from airberlin for both its main Lufthansa brand and its budget airline, Eurowings. LHG will pay 210 million euros to airberlin as part of the deal, enabling the airline to repay a 150 million euro credit from the government of Germany.

According to the latest statement from airberlin, the airline ceased long-haul flight operations October 15 as its aircraft leasing companies gradually withdraw their Airbus A330 jets. The Dusseldorf – Los Angeles route was discontinued on September 25, followed by the Hamburg – Munich and Cologne / Bonn – Munich routes September 29.

Air France - KLM to Increase Capacity 5.5% This Winter

Finally, in flight news, For the 2017-2018 winter season (from October 29, 2017 to March 24, 2018), Air France-KLM is continuing its growth strategy by offering 52 new services.

The group is increasing capacity by 5.5 percent compared to the previous winter season. Growth will be driven by the long-haul passenger network (+ 4.7 percent), the medium- and short-haul passenger network (+ 5.5 percent) and Transavia’s low-cost operations (+14.6 percent).

On its long-haul network, Air France-KLM will operate 10 new services this winter:

  • Two destinations from Paris-Charles de Gaulle operated by Air France: Chicago (United States) and Malé (Maldives);
  • One destination from Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe) operated by Air France: Atlanta (United States).
  • Seven destinations from Amsterdam-Schiphol operated by KLM: Cartagena (Colombia), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Mauritius (Republic of Mauritius), Minneapolis (United States), Monrovia (Liberia), Mumbai (India) and San José (Costa Rica)

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