Closing up shop: Two big changes over the weekend

This morning is the first day of the Winter ’16 schedule worldwide and it brings two big changes – both things ending – with it.

United & JFK

United Airlines no longer flies to JFK airport. After decades of service the company has operated its final flight with the departure of the 6:30p JFK-LAX trip on Saturday.

Many years ago the carrier offered long-haul service out of JFK including flights to Asia and Europe. By the end JFK was only offering p.s. transcon service. Those flights are now consolidated into operations at the major hub on the other side of Manhattan. Bad news for some customers and good news for others. But the timing of the move is not too hard to understand. JetBlue‘s Mint product has upset the revenue/yield numbers for legacy carriers on the premium transcon routes and the lease at T7 was up for renewal. Even if the rates were not significantly increased as some have suggested there was minimal connecting traffic flow at JFK and the ability to “double down” on the Newark market is hard to fight, at least from the business perspective.

Transaero’s Demise

Transaero is done. The carrier has faced various stages of collapse under massive debt burdens for several months now but things are finally wrapping up. Aeroflot was previously tapped to take over the assets and debts of the company but Transaero’s owners could not assemble a sufficient equity pool for that transaction to complete. From there the demise was set for the end of the year but that date was accelerated two months after an audit by Russian authorities determined that the carrier was unable to meet its obligations for operations. The operating certificate is set to be terminated by Russian authorities as of 26 October 2015. And with that move a number of leased aircraft made their way out of Russia to a facility in Spain:

Lots of questions yet to be answered about the Transaero fleet, including the four pending A380 deliveries which were initially set for 2015 operation and the four pending 747-8i deliveries. Plus all the planes now off lease given the company’s collapse.


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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. The flightradar shot of the Transaero planes makes me think of a trail of ants headed back to their colony.

    1. S7 apparently made an offer for 51% (rather than 70%+ that Aeroflot wanted) but from what I’ve read the banks/creditors seem unconvinced that’s worthwhile.

      And getting the planes won’t be all that hard. Just talk to the lessor and pick up a deal.

  2. Why do the Transaero flights so obviously try to avoid the airspace of Eastern European countries and instead head over the Baltic and down through Germany?

      1. There was a small fleet of Transaero planes at the Melbourne FL airport for service the last time I drove by. I wonder if they flew off as well.

        1. I’m pretty sure they’re still in MLB. The lessor was keeping them there off-season when they weren’t in use. No reason to send them to Spain if they’re safe in Florida.

  3. My guess is they’re trying to minimize overflight fees by only going through German and French airspace en route to Spain.

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