Boarding Notes: Spanair Folds, Japan Airlines Confirms 787 Service to Boston, and More

In today’s Boarding Notes post, we explore the following stories from the past few days:

  • The collapse of Spanish airline Spanair
  • Japan Airlines’ confirmation of 787 service on Boston – Tokyo Narita in April
  • Boeing delivers first 747-8 freighter to AirBridge Cargo

Spanair folds

Barcelona-based Spanair today officially ceased operations after a lifesaver deal with Qatar Airways fell through. In a post on their website, Spanair apologized for the inconvenience and has confirmed deals with rival airlines Vueling, Iberia, and Air Europa to rebook passengers for a nominal fee, between EUR60 – EUR100.

The notice, available here in Spanish, says that Spanair is working with authorities to resolve current situations. The airline has been the Star Alliance’s only Spain-based carrier since 2003, when it joined the global airline alliance. We will update this post with new information if it becomes available.

Japan Airlines confirms 787 service to Boston

Japan Airlines today confirmed their intent to start Boeing 787 service from Boston – Tokyo Narita from April 22. The flight will be JAL’s first new Pacific route in 13 years, and also will be the only nonstop route from Boston to Tokyo. Between April 22 and May 31, the flight will operate 4x weekly. From June 1, the flight will operate daily.

JL008 Narita→Boston  Dep: 11:30 Arr.: 11:20
JL007 Boston→Narita  Dep: 13:20 Arr.: 16:00+1
*All times shown are local.

The full text of JAL’s press release can be found here.

AirBridge Cargo receives first Boeing 747-8 Freighter

Boeing and AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of Volga-Dnepr Group, celebrated today the delivery of the first of five new Boeing 747-8 Freighters to the airline.

“The introduction of the Boeing 747-8F represents a huge commitment to our customers since we are investing in state of the art equipment to further expand our network,” said Tatyana Arslanova, executive president of AirBridgeCargo Airlines. “We have a firm belief that our established and new customers will greatly benefit from the additional features the airplane will provide such as enhanced payload. With the introduction of the Boeing 747-8F, we’ll have the youngest freighter fleet in the industry while maintaining the highest standards of environmental compliance.”

“ABC is a valued customer of Boeing that has built a very successful cargo business with the help of 11 747 Freighters and we’re confident ABC will maintain its impressive rate of growth, supported by the new fleet of Boeing 747-8 Freighters,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Russia, Central Asia and Middle East, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The new 747-8 Freighter is 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long, which is 18 feet and 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than its predecessor, the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides customers with 16 percent more revenue cargo volume, which translates to four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. The 747-8 Freighters are powered with GE’s GEnx-2B engines.

The addition of the 747-8 to ABC’s fleet is an important step in its long-term business strategy. The second and third Boeing 747-8s will join the fleet in March and September 2012 and the last two aircraft on order are scheduled for delivery in 2013. In addition, ABC has options for five more 747-8s. By the end of 2012, after retiring old aircraft types, ABC’s fleet will consist of three Boeing 747-8 Freighters and eight 747-400 Freighters.