While away for the last 2 weeks, Lufthansa released information concerning their Winter 2017/18 timetable. Their updates reflect the resumption of 2 routes to the USA as well as 1 to Asia.
Perhaps the most important announcement involved the resumption of service between Berlin (Tegel) and New York (JFK) as a result of Lufthansa’s takeover of certain Air Berlin routes. Beginning November 8, LH will fly between TXL and JFK 5 times per week (Daily except for Friday and Sunday). The last time that LH flew this route was back in 2001.
Flight LH406 will depart Berlin Tegel at 5:35p, arriving in JFK at 8:35p while flight LH407 will depart JFK at 10:20p, arriving in Berlin at 12:15p the next day.
In addition, LH has also announced the following resumptions of service between Dusseldorf and Miami. Beginning November 8, 2017 LH will fly the route 3x/week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Turning to Asia, Lufthansa announced that it will resume flights between Frankfurt and Shenyang, China effective March 26, 2018. The route will be flown 3x/week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays from Frankfurt.
The US State Department has issued a supplemental form for those who need a Visa to enter the USA. Though it is not breaking news since the State Department said previously that they were heading in this direction, it is now part of the process to gain entry to the states.
Not everyone applying for a Visa will be required to submit this supplement. According to the Federal Register, it is expected that this supplement may affect 65,000 Visa applicants.
The form itself is quite clear in terms of what information is needed:
- Personal history, including passport info and countries visited over the last 15 years.
- Information on siblings and spouses.
- All of your email addresses over the past 5 years, including personal, work, and educational addresses.
- All of your social media handles and aliases over the past 5 years.
- Employment history over the past 15 years.
In looking at the fine print, it appears that this form is set to expire in November 2017. The State Department offers no information as to whether or not this enhanced screening will continue beyond the expiry of this form. Normally forms like this are approved by the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are valid for 3 years.
With this form only being valid until November, I can’t help but think it’s a temporary measure put in place by the White House on heels of their strategy to temporarily increase scrutiny on those wishing to enter the country.
In news released by the US DOT, it appears that we have a list of cities that will be able to fly to Cuba from the USA beginning this fall.
According to the news, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale are the initial cities on the ‘approved’ list. According to the DOT, it paves the way for 10 roundtrips to operate daily between the US and Cuba.
Approved carriers thus far include American, JetBlue, Frontier, Silver Airways, Southwest, and Sun Country.
This announcement has no bearing on charter flights that already operate to Cuba.
Over the past few days, Lufthansa has released several announcements as it relates to their CityLine and Eurowings operations in the USA. Unfortunately most of the announcements dealt with delays in service.
To start things off, Lufthansa has delayed the launch of their CityLine service between Frankfurt and San Jose, California. Flights were to begin on April 29 but have now been delayed until July 1. Plans still call for 5 flights per week.
Eurowings service between Cologne and Las Vegas has also been delayed. Originally set to begin on May 4, service has now been postponed to June 1. Plans still call for 2 flights per week.
Lastly, LH has announced a change to plans concerning Frankfurt – Atlanta being transferred to CityLine. Originally LH was going to transfer the route from their mainline division to CityLine in April, and operate it until June. However the latest update now has CityLine operating the route from March 2 to October 29.
What has been expected for a while has become official.
The US Air Force has chosen the Boeing 747-8i to replace the existing 747 aircraft that serve as Air Force 1 when flying the President on his appointed rounds. This comes just in time as Boeing’s 747-8i backlog is diminishing as the final few aircraft are completed.
Know to the military as the VC-25, the current pair of Aircraft that serve as Air Force 1 have been in service for approximately 25 years. The new planes would enter service in 2017-18 and would start flying the President in 2023 after additional years of testing and retrofit to meet military standards and the installation of the secret systems that would be required.
This will most likely also mean the end of the line for the 747-8i and perhaps the 747 platform in general since Boeing is ramping up their facilities for the 777x and has no plans for a successor 747 model. There are only a handful of deliveries left for the 747 and no new orders are on the horizon.
At one point, Boeing was thought to have offered Lufthansa a bargain-basement price to purchase additional 747-8i aircraft to sustain the production line. However nothing came of those negotiations.
The story first broke via Reuters earlier this afternoon.