“We’re thilled to reintroduce the 757 into our fleet,” Matt Calsada, MetroAir’s chief executive officer said. “We’re confident that with the uptick in the economy and increased passenger demands that this news couldn’t come at a better time. The 757 will nicely complement our existing fleet and expand our international presence across the globe.”
MetroAir will purchase 11 757-200Ws, primarily for use on European long-haul flights, and several high-density domestic routes, including routes from Ontario, Calif., to Las Vegas, San Francisco and Kansas City.
“In mid-2009, the airline withdrew its 757 operations because of increasing operating costs in what was a delicate financial marketplace,” William Hogarth, the airline’s chief operating officer said. “We feel that now the economy and the airline are in a stronger position for this narrow bodied aircraft to make its come back, and we are delighted to be able to offer our passengers these new routes on such a popular aircraft.”
“This is a very difficult time for many airlines but MetroAir is growing stronger and stronger,” Calsada said. “These major changes to our route network will help pave the way to an even brighter future for the airline and increase route options for our loyal customers.”
The 757 introduction will see the return of flights to Manchester and Edinburgh with new services to Frankfurt and Lisbon. The new aircraft type has enabled the operations team to fine tune the international markets currently served with A330 aircraft so that they can be re-scheduled to higher yield markets. The addition of the 757 will see four current A330 services switched to B757 aircraft.
“It is very important to get the right aircraft for the right route,” Hogarth said. “The 757 has given us the opportunity to assess the current international markets in more detail so that we can continue to offer our passengers with new and exciting destinations.”
With the long haul rearrangements, customers will see service to Geneva, Stockholm, Paris and Madrid from Fort Lauderdale switch from the Airbus A330 to the Boeing 757 during the second quarter of 2013.
The flights from Fort Lauderdale to Paris and Madrid will no longer be direct, due to range constraints and gaps in the market the planes will be routed via Boston to pick up more passengers before heading over the Atlantic.
This will also boost seat capacity on the domestic sector of this flight and offer a more comfortable and spacious business class cabin to business travelers.
The aircraft will be ferried in pairs to their new bases one week before they are due to enter service.
The aircraft will be configured in a two class layout with 14J class seats and 172Y class seats giving a total of 186 seats.
The four Airbus A330s will be added to other routes to better fill the market.
The first route will be new service from Ontario to Hong Kong while the final two A330s will be added to the Baltimore-Dakar-Johannesburg route so that the two B777s currently on that service can be moved to Ontario to launch the airlines next big destination.
From March 2013 there will be a direct service from Ontario to Bangkok with continuing service to Singapore.
“This will be MetroAir’s first major new destinations in Asia for two years,” Hogarth said. “It is a great pleasure that we can announce this exciting route for our passengers. Bangkok and Singapore are two of the largest markets in Asia and we felt that now was the time to seize the moment. We feel the B777 will serve these flights exceptionally well and provide the ultimate in luxury for all our passengers on this premier service.”