Posts Tagged ‘Delta Air Lines’

Hopkins Traffic Grew in 7.7% in 1st Half of 2018

July 23, 2018

Traffic continued to grow at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport during the first half of 2018.

The airport said it served 4.7 million travelers during the period, an increase of 7.7 percent over the same period of 2017.

If that trends holds for the rest of this year, Hopkins will have handled 9.6 million passengers this year, which would be the highest number since 2009, when the former Continental Airlines still had a hub in Cleveland.

That hub closed in 2014, four years after Continental merged with United Arlines.

Airport boarding statistics show that 96 percent of Hopkins’ passengers originate or terminate their trip in Cleveland rather than merely pass through as connecting passengers.

During the first half of this year Hopkins has seen new service by Wow Air and Icelandair to Reykjavik, Iceland, while Delta Airlines added a route to Salt Lake City.

United is increasing service from Hopkins by adding flights to the existing destinations of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Orlando.

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Delta to Serve Salt Lake City From Cleveland

March 9, 2018

Delta Air Lines plans to launch non-stop service on July 9 between Cleveland and Salt Lake City.

The flight will depart Hopkins Airport at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Salt Lake City at 10:25 a.m. The return flight will depart Salt Lake City at 5 p.m. and land in Cleveland at 10:50 p.m.

The airline will use Airbus 319 aircraft on the route, which Cleveland airport officials have long sought.

Salt Lake City is among the largest markets lacking non-stop service from Cleveland. Others include San Diego and Kansas City.

A poll of Cleveland travelers last year also listed West Palm Beach, Florida, as another desired destination that is not currently being served.

Delta has flown between Cleveland and Salt Lake City in the past, but ended that service in August 2009.

The airport agreed to waive Delta’s landing fees for one year for its Salt Lake City flights and pay the carrier $50,000 in marketing support to help establish the service.

Todd Payne, Hopkins’ chief of marketing and air service, said that is the same incentive that the airport offers all carriers to entice them to launch service to new markets.

Salt Lake City is one of eight U.S. hubs for Delta, and focuses on connecting flights to dozens of cities in the western United States, Mexico and Canada.

In an unrelated development, Hopkins has been named the “most improved” airport in North America in the 2017 Airport Service Quality Survey.

Airport officials said the airport “posted its best customer service scores last year since the airport began participation in the global service quality program in 2006.”

Amtrak Appoints Vice President for Safety

January 11, 2018

Amtrak has appointed a former airline safety officer to the post of executive vice president and chief safety officer.

Ken Hylander retired as a senior vice president for Delta Air Lines in 2014. In a news release, Amtrak said that Hylander oversaw the safety system implementation at Delta and managed the occupational, operating safety, security, quality, and environmental compliance programs.

He also worked at Northwest Airlines as chief safety officer and currently serves on the board of governors of the Flight Safety Foundation and is an independent member of the board of directors of Monroe Energy in Trainer, Pennsylvania.

Before joining Northwest in 1997 as the vice president of quality reliability and engineering, Hylander spent nearly 17 years at United Airlines where he held a variety of engineering, quality assurance, and operations management positions.

Hylander will report directly to Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson.

Amtrak described Hylander’s mandate at the rail passenger carrier as being responsible for implementing a proven safety management system.

“We are improving safety at Amtrak. Keeping our customers and employees safe is our most important responsibility and a high-quality safety management system is a requirement for Amtrak,” Anderson said in a statement. “Ken is a recognized leader in the implementation and operation of [safety management systems], and his experience will be instrumental in helping build our safety culture.”

In its news release, Amtrak described a safety management system as a proactive risk management system that builds on predictive safety management methods.

Amtrak noted that the National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that Amtrak create a safety management system.

Richard Anderson to become Co-CEO on July 12, Wick Moorman Plans to Retire December 31

June 26, 2017

Amtrak will be getting a co-president and CEO next month. Charles “Wick” Moorman will be joined by Richard Anderson, who has 25 years of experience in the airline industry.

This arrangement will continue until Dec. 31, when Moorman plans to step down from his position at Amtrak but continue as an adviser to the company.

The announcement was made in an internal memorandum sent to Amtrak employees and confirmed by a statement issued by Amtrak.

In the memo to employees, Moorman noted that he promised his wife that he time at Amtrak would be short.

Moorman said he said he would stay at Amtrak only as long it took to achieve three goals: Making the company more efficient, developing a stronger safety culture and working with the board of directors to find an executive to lead the railroad long term.

Anderson is a former chief executive at Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, the latter having been acquired by the former.

“Richard has a proven track record of driving growth while enhancing the customer experience,” Moorman said. “What I really admire about Richard is he faces difficult challenges head-on. He has helped companies navigate bankruptcy, a recession, mergers and acquisitions, and 9/11. In total, Richard is a leader with the strategic vision and tactical experience necessary to run a railroad that benefits our partners, our customers and our employees.”

The statement noted that Anderson’s father worked for the Santa Fe.

Anderson, 62, most recently was executive chairman of the Delta Air Lines board of directors after serving as the airline’s CEO from 2007 to 2016. He was executive vice president at United Healthcare from  2004 to 2007 and CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004.

He also served in the legal division at Continental Airlines and was a former county prosecutor.

“It is an honor to join Amtrak at a time when passenger rail service is growing in importance in America. I look forward to working  alongside Amtrak’s dedicated employees to continue the improvements  begun by Wick,” Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Houston at Clear Lake City and a Juris Doctorate at South Texas College of Law. He is a native of Galveston, Texas.

Cleveland Gains Flights at CAK’s Expense

January 7, 2017

As it turns out, Akron-Canton Airport’s loss will be Cleveland Hopkins Airport’s gain.

Cleveland HopkinsWhen Southwest operates to Akron-Canton for the final time on June 3, it will divert those flights to Hopkins the next day.

Southwest said on Thursday that it will launch on June 4 two Cleveland-Atlanta roundtrips and add an addition flight between Hopkins and St. Louis.

It will be Southwest’s first foray into the Cleveland-Atlanta market, which is also served by Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines. Southwest is the only carrier flying non-stop between Cleveland and St. Louis.

Southwest currently offers three roundtrips between Akron-Canton and Atlanta.

It is not the first time that Southwest has expanded in Ohio at the expense of Akron-Canton.

Flights that Southwest once operated between Akron-Canton and Boston were last year shifted to Columbus while a flight to Denver was shifted to Hopkins.

Also losing Southwest service will be Dayton, which will see its flights shifted to Cincinnati, which is currently not served by Southwest. Cincinnati will gain service to Baltimore and Chicago (Midway).

The route restructuring is part of a trend for Southwest to shift service away from small and mid-size airports in favor of hub markets in larger cities that analysts say offer more potential for profitability growth.

Dayton has seen Southwest play out the same script that has unfolded at Akron-Canton over the past year.

Southwest replaced AirTran at Dayton in August 2012 and once offered flights to Baltimore, Denver, Orlando, Tampa. But last year Southwest shifted its Dayton service to Chicago Midway Airport.

Dayton also lost Frontier Airlines in May 2013 and it later began service to Cincinnati. That mirrored what Frontier did in moving flights from Akron-Canton to Cleveland.

Some of the slack left by Frontier in Dayton was taken up by Allegiant Air in April 2016 when it began landing there.

Also providing service to Dayton are American, Delta, United Express and American Eagle.

The airport’s website notes that non-stop service is offered to 15 airports.

Trains, Planes and an Automobile

July 26, 2014
NS 412 is about to rumble past the Olmsted Falls depot with its consist of high top hopper cars.

NS 412 is about to rumble past the Olmsted Falls depot with its consist of high top hopper cars.

Olmsted Falls is one of those railfanning spots that is well known by many locals, but which tends to be overshadowed by the better known and “patronized”  Berea a few minutes away.

The advantage of going to Berea is that you get CSX traffic as well as the Norfolk Southern’s Chicago Line. But I like Olmsted Falls because there tends to be fewer people there and you can easily get on both sides of the tracks to take advantage of whatever lighting conditions may exist.

On a recent Sunday, I went to the Falls to catch a very late running Amtrak No. 49. While I got “bonus coverage” when NS 8100 (the Nickel Plate Road heritage locomotive) led the 20W past. I covered both of those trains in earlier coverage.

This post is devoted to a few other trains that I captured while waiting for Amtrak No. 49.

I begin with three images of an eastbound coal train. Although not as flashy or “glamorous” as a passenger train or a train led by an H unit, I thought this train reflects the heritage of the Norfolk & Western of hauling coal from the West Virginia mountains.

I converted these photos to black and white because the flat lighting conditions resulted in muted colors. But I also did it because, well, certain trains just seem to call for being in a black and white world. A coal train is one of them.

As I watched car after car roll past with the term “high top” on them, I kept thinking about high top sneakers, which were popular in my younger days. If I recall, those were black and white. If memory serves me correctly, this train carried symbol 412.

There always seems to be an outlier in every group and so it was with this train.There was one “low top” hopper car in the consist.

A while after the passage of the 412 came another coal train, this one carrying symbol 417. The Toledo East dispatcher told this train to pace itself going west because it would soon come to a halt behind a 15N that was stopped ahead.

NS was single tracking for 18 miles west of CP 218 and the 417 would spend several hours waiting for a route and be passed by at least one train, which was carrying a load of empty crude oil tankers.

Another feature of Olmsted Falls is that it lies beneath the final approach path of runways 6R and 6L at nearby Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

When air traffic is landing on those runways, as it was on Sunday, you get nice close-up views of the planes. Air traffic in and out of Cleveland isn’t what it used to be following the closing this year of the United Airlines hub that had been built by Continental Airlines. United still, though, operates the most daily flights from CLE.

I was standing by my car between trains and planes when I looked over and saw two small convertibles following each other northbound on Brookside Drive.

I wasn’t in a good position to photograph both of them with the zoom lens I had on my camera at the time. The best I could do was this going away shot of the second of the two. I don’t know what make or model this is, but I’m sure this guy enjoyed toolin’ around town in his toy.

Article and Photographs by Craig Sanders

There is always an outlier in every group. Here is the only "low top" hopper in the bunch.

There is always an outlier in every group. Here is the only “low top” hopper in the bunch.

One "low top" in the consist did not spoil the uniform appearance of this coal hoppers train.

One “low top” in the consist did not spoil the uniform appearance of this coal hoppers train.

NS 417 is taking it easy going west. Note the BNSF "Grinstein" as the trailing unit.

NS 417 is taking it easy going west. Note the BNSF “Grinstein” as the trailing unit.

The motive power lash up, er, I mean motive power CON-sist, of this eastbound stack train featured an array of colors and ownerships.

The motive power lash up, er, I mean motive power CON-sist, of this eastbound stack train featured an array of colors and ownerships.

I've always enjoyed photographing the uniform profile of unit trains. The 65R rolls westward although not for long. This train would later be routed around the 417.

I’ve always enjoyed photographing the uniform profile of unit trains. The 65R rolls westward although not for long. This train would later be routed around the 417.

Delta 1474 from Atlanta has MD88 equipment.

Delta 1474 from Atlanta has MD88 equipment.

United 1092 from Fort Myers, Fla., arrives with a 737-900.

United 1092 from Fort Myers, Fla., arrives with a 737-900.

I think you can figure out which airline this is. It is flight 520 from Denver and features an Airbus 319. Frontier has been picking up some of the markets abandoned by United earlier this year.

I think you can figure out which airline this is. It is flight 520 from Denver and features an Airbus 319. Frontier has been picking up some of the markets abandoned by United earlier this year.

Enjoying a Sunday drive.

Enjoying a Sunday drive.

DC-9 Makes Final Scheduled Flight

January 13, 2014
DC-9 jets of Ozark Air Lines cluster around the gates at Lambert St. Louis Airport in February 1977. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

DC-9 jets of Ozark Air Lines cluster around the gates at Lambert St. Louis Airport in February 1977. (Photograph by Craig Sanders)

If you came of age in the 1960s or early 1970s, chances are that your first airline flight was aboard a DC-9 jet.

Introduced in 1965, the DC-9 brought jet service to many small and medium sized cities.

My first airplane ride was aboard a DC-9 jet owned by Ozark Air Lines. That occurred on July 3, 1969, when I flew from St. Louis to Rochester, Minn.

Flight 910 departed St. Louis just after 3 p.m. and made en route stops at Peoria, Moline and Cedar Rapids.

Most DC-9 aircraft were retired nearly two decades ago, but Delta Airlines continued to fly six of the aircraft. These plans were periodically assigned to flights operating from Atlanta to the Cleveland and Akron-Canton airports.

But Delta made history recently when it flew its last DC-9 aircraft in scheduled service. The last flight took place on Monday, Jan. 6 when flight 2014 flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Atlanta. The same aircraft had flown to the Twin Cities from Detroit as flight 1965.

The flight numbers were chosen to represent the year that the DC-9 made its first commercial flight and the year that it made its last flight in scheduled service in the United States.

Flight 2014 departed at 4:33 p.m. (CST) and arrived in Atlanta at 7:32 p.m. (EST).

Delta was the last passenger operator of the DC-9 in the U.S. Delta has two DC-9 aircraft on standby for substitute service for the next few weeks.

The carrier was also the first airline to fly the twin-engine plane developed by Douglas Aircraft Company, which merged in 1967 with McDonnell Aircraft Corp.

Delta had retired its original DC-9s in 1993, but acquired others through merger with Northwest Airlines in 2008.

McDonnell-Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997, built the last of the T-tail aircraft in 1982.

Many derivative models of the DC-9, including the MD-80 and 90 series and the Boeing 717 are still in active service with several airlines.

The DC-9 was developed to be used on short- and medium-haul flights. Some regional carriers purchased the plane to replace or supplement turboprop aircraft.

It also outlived the DC-10, a tri-engine long-distance jet that ceased in commercial passenger service more than a month ago when Biman Bangladesh Airlines put its last  DC-10 widebody airliner into retirement.

The DC-10 was one of a trio of “jumbo” jets that debuted in the late 1960s and early 1970s along with the Lockheed L1011 and Boeing 747. Today, only newer versions of the 747 remain.

McDonnell Douglas built 976 of its DC-9 models. A noteworthy feature of the DC-9 when it was introduced is that it was often the first jet to fly to airports in smaller cities that had previously been served by propeller-driven planes. Its low-to-the-ground profile put its cargo door at about waist height, so ground crews at smaller airports could load it without special equipment.

The 120-seat plane that flew this past Monday for Delta began life in 1978 for North Central Airlines, which through a 1979 merger with Southern Airways became Republic Airlines. The latter merged with Northwest Airlines in the 1986. Delta bought Northwest in 2008.

Although most airlines had retired their DC-9s by the 1990s, Northwest refurbished the interiors of its DC-9 fleet and kept them airborne. At one time the planes made up almost one-third of Northwest’s fleet.

In an era when planes have digital instruments, the DC-9 cockpit still had dials and lacked a flight management computer to handle many of routine flying tasks.

Delta’s DC-9 chief line check pilot Scott Woolfrey asked to pilot the plane’s last flight. ‘‘It’s a pilot’s airplane,’’ he said before the flight on Monday.

The final DC-9 flight prompted dozens of aviation enthusiasts to buy tickets, and they lined up at the window to watch the plane come in from Detroit.

Delta is known for buying used airplanes and flying them longer than other airlines. It recently acquired Boeing 717s from AirTran to replace the retiring DC-9s.

Delta’s final DC-9s on its roster are will go to air museums or a retirement home in the Arizona desert to join such other retired passenger aircraft as the 707s and  727s.

Flight 2014 carried tail number N773NC and was the 888th DC-9 out of 976 jets built at the Douglas plant in Long Beach, Calif. It has Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines.

Although it’s unlikely that a DC-9 will fly in scheduled commercial service in the U.S. again, the plane hasn’t disappeared altogether. Some planes have a way of making their way to the fleets of charter, cargo and third-word airlines.

The U.S. Navy still flies a modified DC-9 model in hospital aircraft service. Fly540 airlines, which bills itself as “Kenya’s Low cost airline,” is still flying the fourth DC-9 ever built.

That plane entered service with Air Canada and was subsequently has been flown by Hawaiian, Southern, Finnair, British Midland, All Star, Midwest Express, Midwest and East African Express before arriving at Fly540.

According to the Aviation Safety Network, DC-9s have suffered 110 “hull loss” accidents with 3,462 fatalities.

Among them was the Nov. 14, 1970, crash of a Southern Airways DC-9 carrying the Marshall University football team while trying to land in adverse weather at Huntington, W.Va. All 75 aboard died.

Another notable crash occurred on May 11, 1996, when 110 passengers and crew on a ValuJet DC-9 died in a crash into the Florida Everglades after oxygen generators improperly stored in a cargo hold caused a fire.

Nonetheless, the DC-9 provided to be a mechanically durable and safe aircraft during its nearly 50 years of operation.

The consultancy firm ICF SH&E projects that the airline industry is on the verge of a huge wave of jet retirements with 6,000 to 8,000 jets being grounded this decade

This includes hundreds of 767s and 757s that are being replaced by the 787 Dreamliner, 737Max and the A320 NEO. These plans feature better entertainment and cabin systems, fly faster and are quieter and more environmentally friendly.

This article was written by Craig Sanders with information gathered from various online news sources.