Monday, December 10, 2012

Meridiana fly to cut network, fleet and staff

One of the carriers MD-80 aircraft at Gate in Catania. This aircraft type is not  hidden by the current cost-saving programme.
The Italian airline Meridiana fly has announced massive cuts. The airline will retire both Airbus A330, and seven of the 13 Airbus A320 family aircraft. Furthermore it´s sister carrier Air Italy will retire one Boeing 767 but proceeding long-haul flights, while Meridiana fly will terminate all long-haul flights. The staff will be reduced by 650 employees from January 2013. The reason for the cut is the poor financial position of the carrier and the huge losses.

The remaining fleet consists of six Airbus A319/A320 (but it is unclear, if all A319 will be retired) and 10 aircraft of the MD-80 series.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CSA Czech Airlines to resume long-haul operations?

The Czech national carrier CSA Czech Airlines has announced plans to resume long-haul flights with an single leased Airbus A330 from summer 2013. CSA initially plans to operate just one single long-haul route from Prague to Seoul Incheon with two return trips per week. The route is currently served by Korean Air. Further routes are scheduled to follow. In the free time the A330 is planned to be used on the airlines short and medium-haul network.

CSA has operated long-haul flights in the recent years. Due to financial reasons the airline ceased it´s scheduled long-haul flights a few years ago. The remaining Airbus A310 were then used an short period for long-haul charter operations before the last A310 was withdrawn from use in 2010.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1time to be acquired by FastJet, could resume operations

The failed South-African low-cost carrier 1time, which has been forced to cease it´s operations last month due to financial difficulties could be revived. The new pan-African budget airline FastJet, that just have commenced domestic operations in Tanzania with an single Airbus A319, has announced, that it is in talks with the liquidator of 1time. FastJet plans to acquire the company and resume operations with the former fleet of MD-80 series aircraft. Later the fleet will be replaced by new Airbus A319 and beaing rebranded as FastJet.

FastJet has already shown interests in acquisition of some of the 1times assets and it´s AOC some days after the closure of 1time.

Former PLUNA employees announces successor for the failed carrier

The union of employees of the failed Urugayan flag-carrier PLUNA has announced a successor for the former national airline. PLUNA was forced to cease operations on July 5, 2012 and was soon put into liquidation. The airlines fleet of Bombardier CRJ900 ware sold in October. The most of the airlines routes have been overtaken by BQB Airlines.

The successor is scheduled to commence operations on April 1, 2013 with an fleet of several CRJ900, according to several sources nine of those jets are expected (old PLUNA had 13 CRJ900). The airline shall start with 490 employees, an huge number of the former staff of 750 PLUNA employees. The airline is managed and owned by the worker´s union. The company name until now is COOPLUNA, but the final name is not clear until new. Maybe the airline will pick up the former PLUNA branding (like Swiss) or adopt a brand new name (like Brussels Airlines did). The company is based on Montevideo Airport.

The government of Uruguay has announced to subsidize the new airline with USD 15 million. According to the business plan, the new PLUNA will make losses around USD 7 million in its first year of operation.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monarch considers to order 45 new narrow body jets.

The UK charter an low-cost carrier Monarch has announced, that it consider to order 45 new narrow body jets. It is to expect, that the airline will prefer the Airbus A320neo, but it stated, that it also is interested in the Boeing 737MAX. The decision will take place in the next months, because the airline want´s to order in late 2013. The first aircrafts are scheduled to be delivered in 2021.

Monarch is currently undergoing a transformations of it´s business model. The carrier has increased it´s scheduled network rapidly in the recent years while reducing capacity in the charter market. In 2005, the airline carried around 2.6 million passengers on scheduled routes and 2.8 million passengers on charter flights. In 2011 Monarch already transported more than 4.5 million passengers on scheduled routes but just 1.4 million passengers on charter flights. In total, Monarch carried nearly 6 million passengers in 2011. The scheduled low-cost are expected to be increased further.

Currently Monarch fleet consists of seven Airbus A320, 16 Airbus A321 and three Boeing 757. On long-haul flights the airline using their two Airbus A330-200 and four Airbus A300-600. The Airbus A300 and Boeing 757 is to be retired by 2014. Originally, the A300 was planned to been replaced by new Boeing 787, but Monarch has recently cancelled this orders. Further Airbus A320 and A321 will be set in service in 2013. Scheduled flights and as well charter operations of Monarch are currently focussed on routes between UK airports and holiday destinations. Domestic flights or business routes are not offered.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Air Sweden is planning scheduled flights

The Swedish airline Air Sweden is now planning scheduled flights. As destinations the airline has announced  London, Frankfurt, and Paris as international and Arvidsjaur, Gällivare and Hemavan as domestic destinations out of the airlines hub in Umeå. Transfer is made through Umeå.

Air Sweden was founded in 2009 as successor of the failed airline Nordic Airways and commenced charter operations with an single MD-81 in early 2010. In the same year the airline added two Airbus A320 and one MD-83 to it´s fleet. In April 2011 the Swedish authorities withdrawn the AOC of the airline due to financial problems. In May, the licence was regained and the airline commenced limited operations, but due to a lack of money, the airline suspended operations again in September 2011, in early 2012 the airline lost its AOC again due to financial difficulties. The airline has now not been operative for one year, the Airbus are reterned to their lessors and the MD-80 aicraft have been sold.
But with a new investor, the airline now want´s to resume flights. In August 2012 the airline surprisingly announced to resume operations and therefore to lease two Airbus A320 from early 2013. In the same month it announced, that it will base both Airbus A320 in Crete in summer 2013. Just some weeks later, the Air Sweden released, that it plans to lease or buy Embraer E-Jets and furthermore purposes building an office in Umeå  Northern Sweden. The airline, that officially now is named Nordic Air Sweden stated, that it now have returned to the place, Umeå, where the successor Nordic Airlink started operations in 2001.

Now Air Sweden has announced to commence operations on the six routes named in the upper part of this article. In London the airline wants to fly to Stansted, in Paris CDG has been chosen.  The flights are scheduled to start already from February 2013 with two Embraer 195 with 120 seats. But neither a schedule nor a booking system has been released or invented yet. Air Sweden want´s to operate as an full-service carrier with free meals and baggage. The planes will wear the same livery as the planes of the old Air Sweden.
Air Sweden still has plans for two Cretan-based Airbus A320 in summer 2013.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

flybe interested in Wideroe acquisition

Wideroe Dash 8 in Bodo, one of the most important airports in the Wideroe network.

The UK regional carrier flybe is interested in acquisition of the Norwegian commuter airline Wideroe´s Flyveselskab. Wideroe is currently fully owned by SAS Scandinavian Airlines, but SAS has announced to sell Wideroe, SAS Ground Handling, engines and further property. In total, SAS plans to raise around USD 440 million USD through this. How much they expect for Wideroe, is not been published. Wideroe is operating an fleet of various Dash 8 on regional air routes and as fell on PSO flights. A high percentage of Wideroe flights are operated in an PSO agreement. The airline has an important role in the domestic Norwegian hub-and-spoke system by SAS. The airline has fixed assets worth total USD 250 million and is profit-making.

Flybe has now announced plans to acquire Wideroe. Flybe also operates an huge number of Dash 8 an is already well seasoned with regional operations. It has recnetly acquired Finnish commuter airline Finncomm Airlines and has rebranded it as flybe nordic. If flybe should acquire Wideroe, it is to hope, that they will keep the popular Wideroe brand, which is in use since several dozen of Years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Manston Airports to get scheduled flights again

Manston Airport, also known as Kent International Airport in the UK is to get scheduled flights again. From April 2013 KLM will operate two daily services to Amsterdam with Fokker 70. The plane is to make an overnight stop in Manston.

Manston Airport is currently not served by any scheduled carrier. In the past the airport has been the base for the short-living EUjet and has to been served by flybe too with Dash 8. Furthermore there are a very few charter operations in Manston.

Friday, November 2, 2012

1time ceases operations and files for liquidation

The South-African low-cost carrier 1time has ceased all operations with immediate effect at 15 pm today, Friday 4th November and has filed for liquidation . The airline had an fleet of eleven McDonnell Douglas MD-80. The airline has debts about 320 million rand. In the last six months, the airline loosed 43.5 million rand, as it announced in late October. The airline has already been in an large restructuring process since August 2012.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Volotea announces two new bases from summer 2013

The European low-cost airline, established in 2011, has announced to open bases in Palermo and Bordeaux from summer 2013. Both destinations are already served today on a limited number and routes. Currently, the airline has bases in Venice and Nantes. Obviously, Volotea had an further base in Ibiza to, but it is now closed.

Volotea commenced operations in 2012 and offers routes across Southern Europe, featured on France, Italy and Spain. Furthermore, Munich and Prague are served. Volotea operates an fleet of Boeing 717.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Maastricht Airlines announced as new regional carrier based in Maastricht.

The new Dutch airline Maastricht Airlines has announced regional operations from Maastricht-Aachen Airport. The airline plans to operate with an fleet of Fokker 50s from early 2013 to Amsterdam, Berlin SXF, Munich and Paris CDG. Later flights are planned to Copenhagen and London SEN. By end of 2014, the airline expects to operate six Fokker 50.

The most of the routes, Maastricht Airlines plans to operate, are currently unserved. On the planned route to London, Ryanair flies in competition to Stansted. The route to Berlin SXF is currently served by Germanwings, but the no-frills airline will cease operations on this route in a few months and has plans to restart this route, when the new BER airport opens.

Maasticht Airlines have announced to be a full-service carrier.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

norwegian announces base in London Gatwick

One of the 737s of the airline in Oslo.

The Scandinavian cut-price carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, simply referred to norwegian, has announced an new base in London Gatwick. From spring 2013, the airline will base three Boeing 737-800 on the UK airport, an 4th aircraft is planned for late 2013. The airline will use the planes on new scheduled routes out of Gatwick to leisure destinations in Southern Europe. All in all the airline will operate up to 300 weekly flights to Alicante, Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Faro, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Malaga, Montpellier, Nice, Palma, Rome, Split and Tenerife. All flights are operated in competition to other budget airlines.

This will be the first flights fully outside of Scandinavia for the airline. Until now, the carrier has based planes in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and for operational reasons in Spain. The 64 Boeing 737 of the airline serves a high number of Scandinavian domestic flights and flights between the Scandinavian countries and as well flights from Scandinavia to a huge number of leisure and business destinations in Europe.

Norwegian is an very popular low-cost airline. It offers cheap fares, but in contrast to carriers like easyJet and Ryanair no dumping fares. There is no free baggage and now complimentary meals on board. A very famous brownie point of the airline is, that it offers free WLAN on several flights.

Iceland Express acquired by WOW air

The virtual low-cost carrier Iceland Express has been acquired by it´s young competitor WOW air, even a virtual cut-price carrier, but with an higher level of service. The operations will be merged into one airline. The WOW air brand will be used for the new carrier, while the name Iceland Express will be dropped. The booking engine of Iceland Express has already been withdrawn and replaced by the WOW air booking system.
The flights of Iceland Express will operate as scheduled, but now are WOW air flights. For the costumers, there will be no major changings.

Iceland Express was founded in 2003 and offered low-cost flights in the Icelandic inbound leisure market. The airline newer had an own AOC and always used wet-leased aircraft. Currently the fleet of two Airbus A320 is operated by Holidays Czech Airlines. In the past the airline used planes from Astraeus and Hello.
WOW air was founded in 2011 and commenced operations in 2012 with two A320, both leased from Avion Express. The merged fleet now consists of 4 Airbus A320.

Iceland Express and WOW air are and was active in the same market and often served the same destinations. Due to this, the two carriers offered killer prices. Following, Iceland Express run into major financial difficulties.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blue Panorama filed for bankruptcy protection.

Blu-express Boeing 737-400 in Catania
The Italian low-cost, leisure and charter airline Blue Panorama has filed for bankruptcy protection. This give the ailing carrier the possibility, to restructure it´s deficit-making business, similar to Chapter 11 in the US. The operations of the airline are unaffected by this step.

Blue Panorama was established in 1998. The airline offers leisure long-haul flights from Italy to destinations around the world with Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 757-200. Beside this, the airline has the low-cost brand Blu-express that operates with a fleet of 2 Boeing 737-300 and 4 Boeing 737-400 various domestic flights in Italy and as well international connections to Russia, Greece and France. The airline has ordered eight Sukhoi Superjet and has options for four additional aircraft of this type.

In the beginning of 2012, Alitalia announced, that it would acquire Blue Panorama, it´s subsidiary Blu-express and the now failed Wind Jet. A few months later the merger talks with Blue Panorama/Blu-express were dropped. The merger talks with Wind Jet come to nothing, the Sicilian LCC was forced to cease it´s operations in August this year.

It is to expect, that the airline will cut a lot of it´s domestic frequencies. The Italian domestic market is overcrowded with low-cost carriers.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hawaiian Airlines to commence turboprop operations

Hawaiian Airlines, the leading airline of Hawaii, will launch turboprop operations an the islands soon. Two ATR 42 are schedueled to be added to the fleet, which nowadays consists of Boeing 717, Boeing 767 and Airbus A330. The first ATR 42 is already on delivery. The aircraft previously operated for CSA Czech Airlines. The second ATR 42 is expected to be an former CSA-aircraft too, but until now, this not have been confirmed.

Hawaiian Airlines will operate new services between the airlines in competition with Island Air. Island Air operated three Q100 and one Saab 340. It is surprising, that Hawaiian did not acquire the competitive carrier instead of add new planes. This would have the advantage, that there would be no competition between the airlines. This is expected to result in lower fares for both airlines. Bot however Hawaiian Airlines decided to expand with new aircraft.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Strategic Airlines has ceased operations

Due to financial problems the European wet-lease and charter airline Strategic Airlines has stopped all operations on October 3 with it´s three Airbus A320-200 and entered administration. The company is based  and licensed in Luxembourg, but planes were based at Manchester and Gatwick airport in the UK.

Strategic Airlines was established as an subsidiary of the Australian airline Strategic Airlines in 2009 in France and flew charter tourists from France to holiday destinations with it´s A320. Due to safety problems, the French authorities had withdrawn the AOC in autumn 2010, so the airline was forced to cease it´s operations in September 2010. The owners of the airline reregistered the airline in Luxembourg, so Strategic commenced the operations as an new company in October 2010. Eftsoons the airline the airline signed a contract with Olympic Holidays to fly tourists from UK airports to Greece in summer. Beside this, the airline flew Ad-hoc charters and flights for other tour operators too, especially in the winter season. The carrier had a high number of delays and cancelled flights. After two summer seasons, the airline loosed it´s contract with Olympic holidays in 2012. The airline was not able to compensate the loss of this business so it now had to cease it´s operations.

The Australian Strategic Airlines, a scheduled carrier, rebranded itself as Air Australia in November 2011 and had to cease operations due major financial problems in February 2012.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

South African Airways rescued

The South-African government has announced major financial support for the struggling airline South African Airways with an loan guarantee for loans from September 2012 until August 2014 up to 5 billion Rand (around 500 million Euro). With this the deficit-making carrier is rescued. In the recent days reports have strengthen, whereby the airline is not able to survive without cash-injection. SAA is the biggest airline in the country and is owned by the state. Except 2010, when the football world cup took place in the country, the airline has made huge losses in the recent years. The low-cost subsidiary Mango is deficit-making too.

In return for the loan guarantee, SAA has to develop an restructuring plan. Beside an optimization process of the carrier the airline want´s to serve more international plans in Africa.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Estonian Air announced Embraer 190 flights

One of the airlines Embraer 170 in Trondheim

The Estonian flag-carrier Estonian Air has announced, that it will use the Embraer 190 on flights to Paris CDG, Stockholm Arlanda and London City. The routes to Paris CDG and Stockholm ARN are already served by Estonian Air, the Embraer 190 will replace other airplanes on several frequencies. London City is an new destination for the loss-making airline. Until now the government-owned carrier operates seasonal flights to Gatwick. Estonian Air will inaugurate the route on 1 March 2013 with three weekly services, which will be increased to six weekly frequencies from 1 June 2013. The first Embraer 190 is scheduled to be delivered in early 2013 and is expected to be in service from 1st February.

Estonian Air is currently undergoing an fast expansion and is renewing the aging fleet. In the recent years the airline used Boeing 737-300/500 aircraft on its international routes. In 2011 the airline took over new CRJ900, but only a few weeks the airline changed it´s fleet strategy and leased four Embraer 170 from Finnair and ordered three Embraer 175 and five Embraer 190s. The Embraer 190 and 175 will replace the Boeing and Bombardier aircraft soon. On regional routes the airline is operating leased Saab 340. The airline has been losing money since 2005, but they expect to made profit soon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Arik Air has cancelled all domestic flights until further

Only a week after Air Nigeria has suspended all flights, Arik Air have been forced to suspend it´s domestic flight network. On Thursday, the buildings of the airline has been raid. Just after this had taken place, the airline suspended it domestic operations in Nigeria. Who organized the raid is not clear, according to Arik Air, the government and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria raided the company, but according to the airport authority, unions are behind the razzia. Why Arik Air then suspended the flights, is not official to, but due to rumours, the company has huge financial problems, large debts and unpaid bills and salaries. Arik Air is the biggest airline in Western Africa and operated an big domestic and international. The future of the airline, that commenced operations in 2006, is vague. It is possible that the airline can´t survive the next weeks or months.

The Nigerian aviation industry is in huge problems. An bad financial position of the country, escalating corruption, political problems and an beginning civil war. Not only the airlines has problems, the whole country is standing on the edge of an abyss.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Myanma Airways orders two new Embraer 190

The state-owned Myanmar domestic carrier Myanma Airways has ordered two new Embraer 190. The first is scheduled to be delivered in November. The planes shall replace the three Fokker F-28 in the fleet. The Fokker air planes are around 30 years old. The airline also eyed the CRJ900, but decided to order the E-190 in the end.

The fleet of Myanma consists of some ATR-42/72, two Beechcraft 1900, Xian MA-60 and Fokker F-28. Additional to the Embraer Jets, the airline has two COMAC ARJ21-700 on order.

RayaJet takes delivery of first A320

The Jordan charter carrier is currently taking over an first Airbus A320. The former Spanair-A320 has been prepared in Shannon and is now on delivery. The plane made it´s first flight in May 2011 and was delivered to Spanair in June 2001. After the collapse of the carrier the plane was given back to ILFC, who stored it on Shannon Airport.

RayaJet is an Jordan charter airline. It was launched in 2005 and operated an business Challenger 601. However, the Amman-based carrier has not released, what it will use the new plane for. On the website, the plane is not named at all. It is to expect, that RayaJet will use it for charter flights.

Picture EI-EUS

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Air Nigeria ceases operations

The struggling airline Air Nigeria will suspend all operations on September 10, as the management announced on September 5. The airline has huge financial troubles and problems with disloyal staff. Due to the financial situation on aviation market, the investors will not invest longer in the ailing carrier. In the recent months Air Nigeria has been really troubled: In June the aviation authority decided to withdrawn the licence for national and regional flights. In July IATA suspended the carrier from it´s clearing system.

Air Nigeria will lay off around 950 of it´s 1000 staff. The 50 remaining staff keep in the company and shall help in the next year, when Air Nigeria plans to resume operations. The remaining tickets of the costumers will be refunded.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

easyJet introduces allocated seats on all flights as of November

The low-cost carrier easyJet will introduce allocated seats for passengers on all it´s flights from November 2012. The airline has tested allocated seats on a number of flights since April. Until now, easyJet passengers can chose one free seat, when they are boarding the aircraft. This has the plus, that the boarding process is going faster.

The reason for the decision is, that easyJet gives their passengers the possibility too chose on seat when booking. For a normal seat passengers pay just four euros extra, but for a seat in the front rows (row 2-5 in A319, respectively row 2-6 in A320) easyJet will charge 10 euros. For the seats in the rows, where the emergency exits is located and in the front row (row 1) with an larger legroom the airline bill 15 euros. This flush further money into easyJets coffers.

Another brownie point is, that easyJet gets more popular at it´s costumers: 70 percent of the passengers in the testing phase said, that they preferred allocated seats.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

germanwings moves Berlin flights from Schönefeld to Tegel as of winter

The German low-cost carrier and Lufthansa Subsidiary germanwings will move all Berlin flights from Schönefeld Airport SXF to Tegel Airport TXL as of October 28, when the winter schedule start. Germanwings has currently based two Airbus A319 in Berlin and is operating flights from here to Cologne, Heraklion, Maastrich-Aachen, Munich, Prishtina, Pula, Rijeka and Stuttgart. In the past, germanwings has offered more flights, but when Lufthansa started a lot of floghts from Berlin for lower fares, than usual, germanwings cutted down the network from Berlin. Lufthansa is going cheaper, while germanwings increase it´s service level, so the difference between the airlines gets smaller and smaller. In 2013 Lufthansa will decide, if it will drop the germanwings brand.

The reason for the change of airport was, that Lufthansa want´s to concentrate i´ts Berlin business on one airport, until the new Berlin Airport will open (It had should be opened in July, but due to several problems the opening were delayed just a few weeks, before it should open. It will not open before October 2013, but it is to expects, that it will last longer.) . Lufthansa and germanwings are interlining partners.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Italian broker ESAFLY plans to commence scheduled services from Taranto

The Italian broker ESAFLY has announced, that it plans to commence scheduled services from Taranto Airport, that currently is not served by passenger airlines. Until now, no information about routes and aircraft is given, but it is to espect, that ESAFLY will use wet-leased aircraft.

The Taranto Airport is currently not served by scheduled flights, but has been served by Alitalia in the past. Today the airport is used by Alenia and general aviation.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1Time has filed for bancruptcy protection

The low-carrier 1Time has filed for bancruptcy protection. The South-African airline has around 320 million rand (almost 30 million euro)  in debt. The carrier has been founded in 2003 and is currently operating ten MD-80-series aircraft on the domestic and international market. The management is currently creating an restructuring program for the struggling carrier. The airline plans, to cease operations on various routes and zero on the most lucrative routes. In Accordance with media reports, the route from Johannesburg to Mombasa will be terminated, further routes will probably follow within the next days.

The airline has recently announced to set up an subsidiary in the neighbor country Zimbabwe with an local partner. It is unknown, if this plans will be cancelled due the financial problems of 1Time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bolivia gets new scheduled carrier

The charter airline Amaszonas has commenced scheduled flights with Bombardier CRJ200. Until now, the carrier has operated charter flights with small airplanes. Due the collapse of the Bolivian carrier AeroSur earlier this year, Amaszonas decided to commence scheduled flights and invested 35 millions USD for buying 5 second-hand CRJ200. Three of them are already delivered to Amaszonas, while one is just went in operation. The first flight was performed on the key domestic route from La Paz to Santa Cruz . Two further CRJ200 are scheduled to arrive in the contry until September. Amaszonas has announced to operate about a dozen domstic routes and international flights to two destinations in Peru.

AeroSur was the biggest carrier of the country and had been grounded, after the government had forced the carrier to pay it´s tax debts, but Aerosur was not able to pay them. Since the break-down, the government-owned airline BoA is undergoing rapidly expansion. Some observes think, that the government has breded the collapse of AeroSur willful, whereby it´s own carrier BoA got the possibility to grow.

InterSky to open an new base on Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport

The German regional carrier InterSky has announced plans to open an new base on Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden  Airport. Until now, the airline has an single base on Friedrichshafen Airport. The airline plans to base one Bombardier Q300 on the airport, which would be used for only one scheduled route, Hamburg to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden. The route is currently served be Air Berlin/LGW several times a day with Bombardier Q400, but due financial reasons the airline will cease this service on October 31. InterSky plans to commence their Q300 flights from Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden  on January 7. InterSky and Air Berlin are codeshare partners.

InterSky is currently operating three Bombardier Q300. The airline has recently ordered two ATR 72-600, which are scheduled to be delivered in late 2012/early 2013.

Originally, the base should have been opened on Hamburg Airport.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Livingston becomes successor of failed Wind Jet

The new Italian charter airline Livingston has overtaken several routes from failed Wind Jet. The routes have been unserved, since Wind Jet had to cease operations due financial troubles about one week ago. The Italian Aviation Authority has arranged, that Wind Jet passengers can reebook for 80 euros (domestic) and for 150/190 euros (international) to other carriers. A lot of carriers has organized additional flights. Now Livingston has decided, to operate several former Wind Jet routes and offers all passengers this fare, also whom, who haven´t booked before with Wind Jet. The fare would defray the costs, as Livingston said.

Wind Jet now operates flights from the former Wind Jet base in Catania to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rimini, Paris (CDG) and St. Petersburg. From Palermo, the second base of Wind Jet, there is an route to Copenhagen. From Rimini, one of the most important airports of Wind Jet, Livingston now offers flights to Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Moscow (Domodedovo), Kiev, Prague, Paris (CDG), Rostov, St. Petersburg and, of course, Catania. Therefore Livingston has  based one of it´s Airbus A320 on Rimini Airport, which is used on the flights to Eastern Europe. On all other routes, Livingston uses two wet-leased MD-83 from Medallion Air.

Livinston currently sells tickets until October 27. The sale of the tickets is made through telephone hotline and through the booking machine on the webpages of Mistral Air. A booking machine one the Livingston webpage will be launched soon.

Until now, it is unclear, if Livingston, that now operates a large part of the former Wind Jet international network, plans to operate some of this flights beyond October.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No hopes for grounded Wind Jet

The hopes for an return of the grounded Italian low-cost carrier Wind Jet are now extremly slight, after Alitalia has declared, not to take over the grounded carrier. Alitalia wanted to acquaire the struggling low-cost airline, but cancelled the plans on 1st August. Wind Jet could not survive with new cash-injection and had to cease all operations on 11th August. There were much hope for, that Alitalia would change it´s decision back and would acquaire the Sicilian airline.

The Italian authorities tried to rescue Wind Jet and arranged an meeting with leaders of Alitalia and Wind Jet yesterday. But they could not prompt Alitalia to acquaire the grounded airline. Alitalia now has revealed the reasons for the failed takeover of Wind Jet before. As Alitalia explained, both airlines had been really interested to finish the deal, but Wind Jet was sloppy with the conditions and claims. Important financial facts were not passed on. Also aircraft and maintenance data was were not relayed. Subsequent Alitalia cancelled the plans. Following to speculations, also disunity about the price (20 to 30 million euros) have lead to the failure of the merger talks on 1st August.

With the Alitalia refusal, the hopes for an restart for the airline are next to zero. The Wind Jet boss still is hoping for an investor for the carrier. But it doesn´t seems like there would be no white knight for Wind Jet. Bad expectations for the 500 Wind Jet employees and the estimated 300 employees in the supplying industry, that would lose their jobs too.

Currently Alitalia and some other airliners are engaged with carry the stranded Wind Jet passengers. In the last night Alitalia has organized 20 extra flights for 900 passengers. Wind Jet passengers can rebook for 80 euros (domestic) and 250 euros (international) to other airlines. Originally, Alitalia wanted to takeover Wind Jet to improve it´s  position on the Italian aviation market. In 2011, Wind Jet carried 2.8 million passengers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wind Jet ceases operations

The Italian low-cost airline Wind Jet has ceased all operations on yesterday evening, August 11. It was planned, that Alitalia would acquaire the loss-making low-cost carrier, but the plans were dropped surprisingly on 1st  August.

The cash-stricken carrier Wind Jet had no chanche to survive without major new funding, so subsequent the airline got faced with it´s own end. On Friday the operations descended into chaos. Several flights were cancelled and were delayed. The Italian aviation authority ENAC organized replacement fligts. The near-bancrupt airline tried to continue operations anyway. On same date ENAC threatened the airline with the withdrawal of the AOC on Monday and suspended ticket sales. On Saturday evening the airline had to cease all remaining operations.

Wind Jet was founded in 2003 as successor of failed Air Sicila. The low-cost carrier had at last a fleet of five leased Airbus A319 and seven leased Airbus A320s. The main base was at Catania Airport, a second base was located at Palermo Airport. Wind Jet connected several Italian destionations with Palermo and Catania. Furthermore a huge number of flights from cities in northern Italy to international destinations in Russia, Germany, France, Denmark and other European countries were operated with flight connections to Palermo and Catania. Wind Jet had code-share agreements with Meridiana fly.

In 2011 Wind Jet carried 2.800.000 passengers on it´s flights. The airline was noted for a bad on-time performance, dirty planes and bad service in the recent years. In return, the airline was one of the cheapest in Italy. Wind Jet had about 500 employees.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Start Alliance has dropped plans for Air India joining once for all.

Air India will not join the Star Alliance. The airline has been an candidate for several years, but could newer comply. After several years Star Alliance has now leaved the talks and announced negotiations with competitor Jet Airways.

Air India is one of the most ailing major carriers in the world. Just three out of 300 routes are profitable. The airline could just survive the recent years with heavy cash injection from the government. The airline is still shed marked shares.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New low-cost airline for Zimbabwe

Fresh Air is the name of an new budget carrier in Zimbabwe, that plans to commence operations in September 2012 with an fleet of two McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series. The airline is founded by the Zimbabwean company Nucom (51 percent) and the parent of the low-cost carrier 1Time, 1Time Holdings (49 percent). The planes will be leased from 1Time, who is also responsible for maintenance of the airline The airline will be based in Harare. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Key people of failed Skyways and Cimber Sterling have founded a successor

Former key people of the the two failed carriers  Skyways (Sweden) and Cimber Sterling (Denmark) has founded an new airline, that shall commence former routes of Skyways. Cimber Sterling and Skyways have ceased the operations, after the same Ukrainian owner of both airlines did not put new capital into the loss-making carriers. Cimber Sterling has already an operative successor: Cimber, that was founded and owned by the son of the founder, an former manager of the airline and an third person and is currently operating four CRJ-200 in wetlease for SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

Now some former Skyways-VD Mikael Wångdahl managers try to establish an successor for Skyways. The company with the name Sky4u AB was registered 2nd July 2012. Mikael Wångdahl has the role of the Managing director, while former Cimber Sterling CEO Jan Palmér took over the role of the chairman. Jan Olof Brunstedt is along the team. He has not worked for either Skyways or Cimber Sterling before.
There is not much known about the airline, They want´s to operate some routes on the former Skyways regional network. They probably plans to use Fokker 50. The name Sky4u AB could maybe changed to Skyways4u AB.Skyways was the biggest regional airline in Sweden and operated various regional flights, both international and domestic.

OLT Express Germany has new owner

The regional airline OLT Express Germany is acquired by the Dutch investor Panta Holdings. Panta Holdings is already owner of an airline, the ACMI-carrier Denim Air. OLT Express Germany was formed, when Amber Gold, until then owner of Polish regional airline Jetair, overtook the cash-stricken German airline OLT in 2011. In the following time Amber Gold invested much money in the airlines. OLT was rebranded as OLT Express Germany and extended the network. The Polish airline was rebranded as OLT Jetair and commenced domestic routes in Poland early this year. Even in early 2012 OLT Jetair got the new name OLT Express Regional and a new airline was founded: OLT Express Poland, which commenced routes with A319/A320 aircraft from Poland to several international destinations. But in July OLT Express Poland and OLT Express Regional ceased operations due financial problems. OLT Express Germany survived, but had to find an new investor. With Panta Holdings now an new owner of OLT Express Germany could be found. 

OLT Express Germany and Panta Holdings have announced, that the extension of the network will continue as planned and Contact Air will be acquired by OLT Express as announced earlier.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

InterSky orders two ATR 72-600

The airline InterSky will overtake two brand-new ATR 72-600. The two aircraft has intially been oredered from Caribbean Airlines, who cancelled the order. The retraining of crews and engineering staff will start in the next days. The first aircraft will be delivered in December 2012, while the second will follow in March 2013.

InterSky currently operates three Bombardier Q300. The regional has been partly acquaired by Intro Aviation and is undergoing an restructuring.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Air Tanzania ends joint venture agreement with Aerovista and suspends all operations for another time

Air Tanzania, the flag-carrier of Tanzania has suspended all flights, after the airline cancelled the joint venture agreement with Aerovista. All passengers were rebooked.

Air Tanzania had and has huge problems within the recent years and have been grounded in 2008 due safety reasons. The airline commenced the operations again, but in early 2011 the airline suspended the remaining operations, after the last Q300 was withdrawn for extensive maintenance. In the same year, Air Tanzania was in discussions with Air Zimbabwe to cooperate, but finallly, the idea was dropped. By the end of 2011 the airline resumed operations with one Q300, while the other two Q300 in the fleet were phased out.

On 24th March 2012 Air Tanzania signed an joint venture agreement with the Dubai-based ACMI-carrier Aerovista. Air Tanzania leased one Aerovista Boeing 737-400 and in future, Aerovista would be in charge for pilot and cabin training. Aerovista also started to work closely with Air Tanzania to improve the commercial results of the airline and extend the network. Furthermore Aerovista began to advance the maintenance.

The Boeing 737-500 4J-AJB with 108 seats was delivered to Air Tanzania in May 2012.

Now Air Tanzania has returned the Boeing 737-500 to Aerovista and has cancelled the joint venture agreement with the airline. The Q300 5H-MWF  is currently stored, so the airline has no active aircraft. Therefore Air Tanzania has suspended all operations and reebooked all passengers to other airline. The state-owned airline want´s to resume operations with the Q300.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

CSA Czech Airlines resumes flights from Prague to Stuttgart and Berlin from September

CSA Czech Airines will resume flights on the routes from Prague to Berlin and Stuttgart. Both routes are left without flights since CSA-Partner CCA ceased operations due financial troubles.

CCA Central Connect Airlines took over various regional routes from CSA Czech Airlines in spring 2012 and served them at own risk with Saab 340. CSA had an codeshare agreement with CCA. But just a few months after CCA has taken over the routes, the small carrier had to cease all operations due financial troubles on June 19. Several routes out of Prague are left without services. With Berlin and Stuttgart CSA will resume two of them, but the others will probably not be resumed.

The routes to Berlin and Stuttagrt will be served twice daily with ATR 42, starting 3rd of September. The ATR 42s, the smallest aircraft in the fleet, were used on the flights before CCA overtook them.

New Argentinian Rio Hondo Airport gets scheduled traffic

The new Termas de Rio Hondo International Airport will be connected by Austral from 2nd of September twice weekly with Aeroparque Jorge Newberry in Buenos Aires. The route will be flown with Embraer 190 aircraft. It will be the first scheduled route for new international airport.

The new Termas de Rio Hondo International Airport is located a few kilometers western of the city Termas de Rio Hondo, Santiago del Estero in northern Argentinia. The airport was recently opened and has an terminal with 1900 square metres on two levels. There are six check-in counters on the ground floor and 100 parking positions for cars in front of the terminal. The runway is 4900 feet long.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shaheen Air adds Airbus A330-300 to fleet

The Parkistani airline Shaheen Air has recently taken over two Airbus A330-300 to commence long-haul flights. Both aircrafts was previously operated by Vladivostok Air. Vladivostok Air acquired them 2009 and 2010 from Aer Lingus. The two Airbus A330s, which were built in 1994, will be used for new routes to  Madinah, Riyadh, Bangkok and Dhaka.

Currently Shaheen Air operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-200 and three 737-400. Another Boeing 737-400 will be added to the fleet soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alitalia has cancelled Wind Jet acquisition

Wind Jet Airbus A320-200 on Rimini Airport. 
The Italian flag-carrier Alitalia has cancelled the plans to take over the low-cost carrier Wind Jet, after the Italian antitrust authority announced, that the airline has to give up slots on the key domestic routes Between Linate and Catania, Linate and Palermo and Rome and Catania in return for the approval to acquire Wind Jet, which was granted by the end of July. Alitalia has already cancelled their plans to acquire Blue Panorama earlier this year. Originally Alitalia announced it´´s plans to absorb both airlinesby beginning of this year to increase it´s importance on the Italian domestic market.

The loss-making Sicilan low-cost Wind Jet is operative since 2003 and has based an Fleet of five Airbus A319 and seven Airbus A320 in Palermo and Catania. Wind Jet provides and huge number of flights between Sicilia and Italian mainland. Beside this, the airline flies from several Destinations in Europe and Russia to some cities in northern Italy and offers connecting flights from there to Palermo and Catania. One of the main airports in northern Italy is Rimini.

The acquire of Wind Jet could have been an of the biggest mistakes for Alitalia in the recent years: the low-cost airline has an horrible image and terrible service: bad on-time performance, dirty planes, run-down cabins, old planes and no on-board service. The aircrafts are leased and are equipped with the seats from the former operator. In planes from Dragonair can the chinese exit-signs still be found. The seats are repaired with cellotape, and of course, dirty.
Since it´s reorganization Alitalia tries to  become and quality carrier with an good on-time performance and  a high level of service. The acquisition of Wind Jet could have derogates the image. Another problem is the schedule and business model of Wind Jet: Several aircraft start their flights in Catania and Palermo and meet in northern Italy. Then they continue to destinations in Europe and Russia with new passengers and transfer passengers from Palermo and Catania. After that they return to the airport and start their flights from there to Catania and Palermo, with new domestic passengers and some international connection passengers. Alitalia as a hub carrier couldn´t continue to operate those services. But they probably did not noticed that.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

OLT Express ceased scheduled operations in Poland

The Polish low-cost and regional airline OLT Express has ceased scheduled operations on Friday, 27th June 2012. Just a few days earlier, the owner Amber Gold had announced to backtrack from the company and cut the schedule.

OLT Express was formed, when Amber Gold, until then owner of Polish regional airline Jetair, overtook the cash-stricken German airline OLT. In the following time Amber Gold invested much money in the airlines. OLT was rebranded as OLT Express Germany, announced new bases, commenced a lot of new routes with Saab 2000/Fokker 100 and announced to take over the German airline Contact Air. The Polish airline was rebranded as OLT Jetair and commenced 17 domestic routes in Poland with ATR 42/72 and Airbus aircraft early this year. Even in early 2012 OLT Jetair got the new name OLT Express Regional and a new airline was founded: OLT Express Poland, which commenced routes with A319/A320 aircraft from Poland to several international destinations.

OLT Express Germany is still operating and is seaching for an new owner. OLT Express Regional has ceased all operations definitely. OLT Express Poland has ceased all scheduled operations and tries now to survive with charter flights.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

OLT Express looses it´s investor and cutting the network.

The Polish investor Amber Gold, owner of OLT Express, backtracks from the airline, as they announced yesterday. OLT Express operatesinternational and domestic flights from Poland and Germany. There are three different companies in Germany and Poland, but they are all using the same brand.

It´s only an short of year ago, when Amber Gold, until then owner of Polish regional airline Jetair, overtook the cash-stricken German airline OLT. In the following time Amber Gold invested much money in the airlines. OLT was rebranded as OLT Express Germany, announced new bases, commenced a lot of new routes with Saab 2000/Fokker 100 and announced to take over the German airline Contact Air. The Polish airline was rebranded as OLT Jetair and commenced 17 domestic routes in Poland with ATR 42/72 and Airbus aircraft early this year. Even in early 2012 OLT Jetair got the new name OLT Express Regional and a new airline was founded: OLT Express Poland, which commences routes with A319/A320 aircraft from Poland to several international destinations.

But the fast expansion was not successful at all: With the backtrack of Amber Gold it was announced too, that 11 of 17 domestic routes in Poland will be disconnected and all ATR 42/72 will be retired. The international schedule will proceed without major changes. And finally: it is to expect, that OLT Express Germany have now future in the Group. Therefore a new Investor for the German part of the OLT Express is sought.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New chance for the successor of Air Afrique, Air Cemac

Air Cemac, ten years old but far apart from taking of. Founded in 2002 by the CEMAC countries (Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, Equatorial-Guinea, Chad and the Centralafrican Republic and Gabon, the airline should replace the collapsed Air Afrique. The airlines first partner, Royal Air Maroc backed out of the deal, after they decided, that the project is to hazardous. The "airline" used several years to find an new partner airline, which would help them to commence operations and also would invest in the airline. In the begin of 2011 Air Cemac could win South African Airways for the project, they took over 40 percent of the shares. But by the begin of 2012 South African Airways backtracked from the buisiness.

Now a new partner could be found: Air France. The airline should after the last news take off in 2013. But probably it will don´t be that easy: For time, again a lot of troubles between the countries is proceeding: Where will the base be set up? All six countries want to get as much from the airline as possible. It seems like the end of Air Afrique, when the countries argued about, that some countries got for much flights. They now continue with the troubles, which meant the end of Air Afrique an dacade earlier.

Another interesting question is what will happen with the existing government-owned airlines in the countries like ECAir or Camair-co? Will they continue to operate or will they be integrated in the new company?

All in all it would be a big surprise, if the airline would be a success: Six countries with six different interests can´t be good for an airline. An second Arik Air is possible, but implausible, when counties as Chad and Centralafrican Republic are amoung the owners.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ryanair interested in fly to Copenhagen

The Irish budget-airline Ryanair has recently applied for several slots at Copenhagen Airport for 34 routes across Europe. According to media reports the slots should be valid to commence the routes on 28th October this year. Therefore speculation spreading, whereby Ryanair is planning to open an new base on the airport.

Copenhagen-Kastrup Airport is one of the most expensive airports in Europe and not served by Ryanair to date. But the plans to serve Copenhagen are not really surprising if you regard to the network policy in the recent years: Ryanair has begun to commence bases on various airports with higher fares like London Gatwick and Barcelona El-Prat. Obviously is the possibility to grow on the secondary airports limited and Ryanair tries to tap a marked, which is dominated by carriers like SAS, Lufthansa and easyJet.

An second reason could be the end of Cimber Sterling in May this year. Cimber Sterling operated several services through Scandinavia but also operated an huge network of tourists flights to Spain, Italy and other Mediterranean Countries. The marked is now partly compensated by Norwegian Air Shuttle but could also be interesting for Ryanair.

All in all it is to estimate that Ryanair would have succes with an Copenhagen-base. The higher airport taxed could easy be compensated with higher ticket fares, which easily could be reached in Denmark. Currently Ryanair already flies with big succes to Billund an Aalborg, to cities in western Denmark.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Start-up Cosmo Airlines has recently taken over it´s second aircraft

Cosmo Airlines, a new Spanish charter airline has taken over it´s second Airbus A320-200 last week. The aircraft is operated by the Lithuanian Avion Express, which already operates the first Airbus A320-200 of the start-up. The second aircraft is registered as LY-COM and wears an black livery. It have already performed several Ad-hoc flights like an flight from London to Kos on behalf with Strategic Airlines or an flight from Amsterdam to Kos operated for Arkefly. Until now the young airline has no AOC so the two planes are wet-leased.

Cosmo Airlines was launched earlier this year and started operations on the 1st of May with its first wet-leased Airbus A320 (LY-COS) with is leased from Avion Express too.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tunisair and Syphax Airlines: sabotage and news from Tunisair network

Tunisair Express, subsidiary of flag-carrier Tunisair is extending their flights on the domestic route from Syphax to Tunis while using larger aircraft. Beside a new route from Syphax to Banghazi will be commenced soon.

All in all it could be a normal event, but the history of the start-up Syphax Airlines could allow other reasons for the increased capacity. Syphax Airlines was formed in 2011 as an private company and wanted to commence flights from Syphax, Djerba and Tunis destinations in Tunisia to France, Turkey and Morocco. In Syphax and Djerba the airline had no problems to get traffic rights but in Tunis the flag-carrier blocked the plans of the airline to save it´s monopoly and calm unions of Tunisair, which saw an job killer in the new carrier. The government tried to smooth down differences and allowed Syphax Airlines to fly to Tunis. Afterwards Syphax Airlines commenced flights with it´s two Airbus A319, but Tunisair-owned handling agents sabotaged the airlines operations. Syphax Airlines ceased operations just a few days after they´ve commenced and the founder and investor, Mohamed Frikha, said that he would drop the project definitely. A few days later the airline started to fly again, after the government have compounded, that the airline only can fly restricted to Tunis but in return they get secured for not be sabotaged.

With this in mind the announcement of Tunisair to expand on the Syphax market could have other reasons: Tunisair tries to combat the start-up, which have it´s focus on Syphax routes, with an better quotation.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

IBERIA Express taking over Amsterdam route from IBERIA

IBERIA Express, one of the most expensive start-ups in the recent history, will commence operations to Amsterdam from September and replacing IBERIA on this route. The route will be served three times a day with Airbus A320.

IBERIA Express helps the company to save costs but on the other hand an flag-carrier is ongoing to garble. IBERIA is one of the major airlines in the world and, of course, is operating an big European network. But IBERIA is making losses on the European routes. That´s why the idea was born to cut the high personal costs of IBERIA with an new company: IBERIA Express. IBERIA Express is operating as an low-cost carrier under a own brand in the IBERIA network.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

airblue evaluating new aircraft

The carrier airblue from Pakistan is currently evaluating the introduction of new Airbus A340-300 and Bombardier Q400. Nowadays the airline is operating with an fleet of 5 Airbus A319/A320 and serves some domestic routes in  Pakistan and international services to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Furthermore airblue is flying from Islamabad to Manchester with an technical stop in Turkey. The airline plans to add two leased Airbus A340-300 for replacing the Airbus A319 on the Islamabad-Manchester and set up new routes from Pakistan to Europe and Asia. Beside, airblue plans to expand its fleet with Bombadier Q400, which would allow the airline to open new domestic routes.

airblue commenced operations in 2004. In 2010 there was fatal accident with one Airbus A321, which crashed in the near of Islamabad. In the accident, all 146 passengers and six crew members lost their life. The airline has recently changed their IATA-code from ED to PA. Currently the fleet is among of the youngest in the region with an average age of only about four years. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

75%-shareholder Leadgate pulls out of PLUNA

The consortium Leadgate has transferred their 75 percent stake in the Uruguayan flag carrier PLUNA to the government of the country, which now have full control over PLUNA. Reasons were the large debts of PLUNA, around US$ 300 million and the fact, that Leadgate could not raise the funds, which would have been used to continue the airlines operations while the government as owner of the remaining 25 percent could not find an agreement with Leadgate to rescue the undercapitalized airline while Leadgate would continue to hold it´s stake. Therefore Leadgate returned their stake and avoided the insolvency of the airline. The government hope to find an new investor for the ailing carrier.

Leadgate is an consortium of investors from Argentinia, Germany, Uruguay and the United States that was formed to overtake PLUNA in 2007. After the consortium had taken over 75 percent of the shares, the remaining 25 percent were still owned by the state, PLUNA started an modernization including the new CRJ900 fleet.

PLUNA, founded 75 years ago, is the flag carrier of the country. It primary operates with its fleet, which only consists of Bombardier CRJ900, scheduled services in neighboring counties.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wizzair announces first destination in Switzerland

Just a few days, after Wizzair announced to open a new base on Skopje Airport in Macedonia from October 2012 the airline announced a further route from Skopje: Skopje-Basel. The route, which will be launched when the new base will be opened in October, is the first Wizzair route to Switzerland. The airline will operate three services a week with Airbus A320.

Air France-KLM considering to sell CityJet

CityJet at London City Airport
Air France-KLM is considering to sell its Irish loss-making subsidiary CityJet. Air Frace-KLM acquired the airline in 2000. CityJet operating mainly services across France, Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain and the Netherlands and is one of the biggest operators on London City Airport. CityJet is making losses for years. Therefore Air France-KLM considers to sell CityJet. Air France-KLM has debts about 6.5 billions euro and is at present restructure its business. CityJet made losses about 25 millions euro in the first three months of 2012.

The airline currently operates a mixed fleet of Avro RJ85 and Fokker 50. The airline have a large number of slots at London City Airport, making it an interesting takeover candidate for other companies.

Start-up California Pacific Airlines to receive first Embraer 170

California Pacific Airlines will receive their first aircraft in these days. The Aircraft, a second-hand Embraer 170 was formally operated by the german airline Cirrus Airlines, which ceased operations early 2012. The aircraft will have 72 seats.

California Pacific Airlines is an start-up regional airline which plans to commence operations later this year. The project was launched in 2009. The airline will operate from the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, which is currently just served by an United flight operated by SkyWest to Los Angeles. California Pacific Airlines want´s to commence operations later this year from here to San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento. Las Vegas, Phoenix and Cabo San Lucas with Embraer 170. Originally, the operations should have commenced in 2011. The airline hopes to attract people in the region, which nowadays have to go to San Diego. The airline also want´s to get Passangers from San Diego. 

Blue Islands replaces damaged ATR 42

The Jersey-based regional airline Blue Islands has replaced it´s damaged ATR 42-300 by an Fokker 50. The ATR 42-300 was damaged while landing on Jersey Airport on 16th July 2012. The aircraft can´t be used in the near future. The Fokker 50 is wet-leased from Denim Air.

Blue Islands is an small airline from the Channel Islands, which offers scheduled flights from the Channel Islands to several destinations in Europe.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ryanair want´s Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Airbus A320-200
Ryanair want´s to acquire it´s competitor Aer Lingus. It would be it´s third trial to acquire Aer Lingus. In the past, Ryanairs attempts to adopt the company were blocked by the competition guardians. They feared the monopoly on the Irish market, if Ryanair and Aer Lingus had with the same owner. Nowadays Ryanair owns 30 percent of the Aer Lingus shares.

The reason for this announcement is, that the Irish government have to sell it´s stakes in various companies to pay it´s debts. It´s expected, that the government-owned 25-percent stake will be sold in early 2013. Ryanair said, that they would pay 1.30 Euro per share. 2007 the airline offered the double price. After the Ryanair offer, Aer Lingus would be nearly 700 million Euro worth.

But there could be some other inter interested parties: Etihad has recently acquired an 3 percent stake and is probably interested in an higher stake. In the past Etihad has bought stakes in several airlines. An other potential buyer could be the American  JetBlue. JetBlue and Aer Lingus have a very similar business model.

Ryanair hopes, that the competition guardians do not block it´s trial for this time, respecting the takeovers of bmi and Brussels Airlines.

An other interesting question is: What would Ryanair do if they buy Aer Lingus? Would they absorb the Aer Lingus brand or operate Aer Lingus as an independent carrier. The biggest problem with an integration of Aer Lingus in Ryanair would be the different fleet: Aer Lingus uses Airbus A320s and Ryanair Boeing 737s. The other point is, that Aer Lingus make much money on routes, Ryanair never would offer, for example routes to Heathrow, Amsterdam, CDG and similar. Would they be disconnected or would Ryanair begin to fly this routes? Also the fact, that Aer Lingus can attract business travellers is to mind. Therefore probably Ryanair would let the Aer Lingus brand alive. As an brand of quality. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CSA-Partner Central Connect Airlines ceased operations

The Czech regional airline Central Connect Airlines (3B/JBR), also known as Job Air, has ceased it´s operation yesterday evening, the 18th June 2012 due financial difficulties. The airline was founded 2005 and operated a small fleet of Saab 340 at time of closure. The airline, which formally served some routes on the Czech domestic market recently changed it´s business model and began in end of March 2012 in cooperation with CSA Czech Airlines from Prague to Berlin, Hanover, Stuttgart, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Krakow.

CSA Czech Airlines until now haven´t organized replacement on the routes operated by Central Connect Airlines and terminated selling tickets for the routes. Passengers who booked flights with Central Cennect Airlines have to search an other way of transportation. Central Connect Airlines plans to reorganize themselves and commence operations again. CSA Czech Airlines consider to overtake some of the Central Connect Airlines routes and serve them with own aircraft. Some of the routes, Central Connect Airlines overtook in March were before served by CSA Czech Airlines.

SAS cuts costs

Boeing 737 in Oslo, one of the three SAS Scandinavian Airlines hubs
The Scandinavian flag carrier SAS Scandinavian Airlines want´s to to get back in the black. But  cost-cutting measures later, the airline did not reach their goal. SAS is still losing money.

The current austerity program, launched September 2011, should cut cost at three to five percent. But this will probably not reach to be profitable. In the recent years the airline sold there participations in several airlines like Estonian Air, British Midland, Spanair and other companies. This generated saving about 23 percent compared with 2008. But to reduce costs further, the airline have to change it´s structure. Nowadays SAS is run three major Hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. This is very expensive, if you regard to the huge number of transfer passengers in the SAS network. New savings only can achieved, if SAS reorganize their network and business model. Beside some changes in the schedule SAS will renew it´s fleet. The last MD-80 will be retired in 2014 and also the Airbus A340-300 will probably be returned to the lessors next year, when the lease contract will end. Another measure is, that SAS will offer there passengers a better range of long-haul flights due code-sharing arrangements.

SAS is the biggest airline in Scandinavia and partly government-owned by Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In the past, the carrier always produced at high costs, but with the emerge of low-cost carriers the revenue decreased and the airline went in the red. Several trials to bring the airline back in the black failed. The airline has to feel gloomy about the future: Norwegian has just ordered several dozen of new planes and will commence their first long-haul flights shortly while several other airlines pushed into the market. A bleak future for SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

Monday, June 18, 2012

EX-YU aviation news: Skopje to become Wizz Air’s 17th base

EX-YU aviation news: Skopje to become Wizz Air’s 17th base: Wizz Air in Skopje expansion Skopje Airport will become Wizz Air’s 17th base as the airline plans to station an aircraft in the Macedonian ...

Virgin Atlantic unveils new upper class cabin

The British long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic has unveiled their new upper class cabin. It took four years to design the new cabin and raised expenses about 100 million US$.

The new cabin includes new seats and an refreshment of other parts in the cabin. The seats will be the world´s longest business class flat bet with an length of 220 cm and will offer the passengers an improved privacy. Furthermore the entertainment system is equipped with 12.1-inch touchscreen monitors and can be connected with tablets and headphones, the passengers carry along. A highlight is the new bar in the upper class cabin: it will longer than the competitors first class bars and allow several passengers to seat. The refreshment of the cabins will continue for several months.

Beside this, Virgin Atlantic had announced plans to fly to South America and add more China destinations. Nowadays the airline just serves Shanghai as it´s sole China destination and no destinations in South America at all.

Munich Airport: Citizens have voted against the third runway

The planned third runway at Munich Airport have been kicked into the long grass. Yesterday around one million eligible voters in the Munich region had the possibility to vote on the planned third runway. The runway is needed to allow further increasing of the traffic on the airport, but the citizens in the region, which feared noise pollution, get in full cry over the plans. That´s why there was prescribed an referendum about the third runway. Yesterday the referendum took place. Around a third of the eligible voters visited the polling stations. 54.3 Percent voted against the runway, while 45.7 Percent said yes to extension. Concomitant there will be no third runway in the near future. The proceedings could first continue, when a new mayor could win the next elections in 2014 and would arrange renegotiations.

Already to day the runway system is overloaded and there are long waiting times for the aircraft. In 2011 nearly 38 million passengers passed the airport. The airport is after Frankfurt Airport the second-biggest in Germany. Lufthansa is the biggest carrier at the airport and have located here their second Hub beside Frankfurt in Germany. The airline plans to relocate some of their capacity to other airports like Frankfurt. Other big carriers in Munich are Condor, Air Berlin and some Lufthansa partners like Air Dolomiti.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dortmund Airport faced with a rocky future

The airport in Dortmund has huge financial problems and may be closed. A huge problem is an lawsuit by the European Commission concerning illegal subventions by local government through the subsidy programme "Neres" and the fact, that the huge losses are absorbed by the municipal utilities. If the European Commission would pronounce the airport for guilty, it had to pay several millions of euro back. This could be  death sentence for the German airport.

Furthermore, the airport has a very short runway. At present it is allowed to fly here with standard jet aircraft, but faced with some accidents in the past, there will be a new judgement about the size of planes, which is allowed to fly here. If the new judgement would ban planes like Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 from the airport, this would be another death sentence for an airport, which lives from charter and low-cost airlines.

Besides this troubles an other big airport have hit the small airport: Air Berlin and easyJet have announced to disconnect their services to the airport by the beginning of the winter schedule. While Air Berlin will not serve Dortmund longer, easyJet just will keep the route to London Luton. A big passenger loss will be consequence.

 In the 2011 the airport handled about 1.8 million passengers and lost 19.5 million euro. That´s more than ten euro per passenger. Beside easyJet and Air Berlin the low-cost airlines Germanwings, Wizz Air and some Turkish charter airlines are operative at the airport.

EX-YU aviation news: Jat turns 85

EX-YU aviation news: Jat turns 85: 85 years in the air Jat Airways is today marking its 85th birthday as the airline is the successor to Aeroput and JAT Yugoslav Airlines. The...

AeroSvit and Dniproavia welcome first Embraer 190

The Ukrainian airline Dniproavia is taking over it´s first two (UR-DSA and UR-DSB) of ten ordered Embraer 190 in these days. The two jets both will be operated for the partner-airline AeroSvit. Dniproavia signed the agreemant for a total of ten Embraer 190 with options for another five jets in January 2011. The deal had an value of 400 million US$ and would increase to 600 million US$, if the options would be converted to orders. Originally, the delivery of the first jets was scheduled for the forth quarter of 2011.

AeroSvit fleet primary consists of Boeing 737 and Boeing 767, while Dniproavia operates a fleet with several Embraer 145 and some Boeing 737. Nowadays Dniproavia already operates some planes for AeroSvit. The Embraer 190 will be used on both international and domestic routes.

AeroSvit and Dniproavia are members of the Ukrainian Aviation Group. Beside this two carriers, Donbassaero is a member of the group. The Ukrainian aviation market is dominated by the three carriers and the competitor Ukraine International Airlines. The Ukrainian Aviation Group ie operating an big international and national network.

FastJet: New African low-cost carrier

FastJet is a new African low-cost carrier. Founded by the founder of the successful European cut-price carrier easyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The carrier should commence it´s operatioor starting it´s operations, Rubicon is acquiring the African airline Fly 540, which is based in Kenia and Angola. Fly 540 is currently operating a small mixed fleet of some turboprop an jet aircraft. Fly 540 will then be rebranded as FastJet and transformed in a Low-Cost-Carrier. The current fleet will be replaced by some new jet aircraft, probably Airbus A319. By contract, FastJet will be supported by easyJet in develop their business. In return, easyJet will receive 0.5 percent of the FastJet revenue.

FastJet, styled as an non-frills carrier, will offer much cheaper fares than it competitors and hope to take advantage of the increasing middle class population in Africa. The cheap fares would give them the opportunity to fly instead other kinds of transportation.

The interesting question is how different the business model we be different from the one of easyJet. Will FastJet reach the same level of safety or invest as little as other African carriers in maintenance? How will FastJet get along with Africa and it´s problems like corruption? And of course: Will they have success with the low-cost model in Africa? In the past several trials to establish an budget airline in Africa have failed.

FastJet was announced by the end of 2011, but in the beginning there was no information what this airline would do. Some speculations said, FastJet would offer transatlantic flights.