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Oman Air to order more B737s; mulls A330neo, B787 for widebodies

Oman Air (WY, Muscat) CEO Paul Gregorowitsch says his carrier is planning to add twenty more B737 Next Gen in addition to B737 MAX Gen aircraft to its fleet.

Articulating his airline's plans to grow its fleet to seventy aircraft by 2020, Gregorowitsch told Reuters that ten of the B737s would be ordered direct from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) while the other ten would be sourced from lessors.

Deliveries of the NextGen aircraft are scheduled for 2017 while the MAX are due from 2019 ...

Greece's Hermes Airlines confirms partnership with AeroVista

Hermes Airlines (H3, Athens Int'l) has announced a partnership with AeroVista in which the Emirati ACMI/charter specialist will base two A320-200s out of Greece. As recently reported by ch-aviation, the two aircraft - SX-BDT (cn 879) and SX-BDS (cn 1422) - are on dry-lease from AeroVista's Vista Georgia (AJD, Tbilisi) subsidiary.

"This partnership between Hermes Airlines and Aerovista offers a high level of service and reliability to the travel industry. With Greece being at the cross roads ...

VietJetAir begins A321-200 operations

VietJetAir (VJ, Hanoi) deployed its first A321-200 (sl) into service on Monday, March 30 the Vietnamese budget carrier has announced.

The first of seven on order from Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac), VN-A651 (cn 5295) is now active on 3x daily flights between Vietnam's largest cities - Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Yemenia suspends operations indefinitely; Sana airport damaged

Yemenia (IY, Sana) has suspended operations with immediate effect an announcement on its website has said. The move comes in the wake of continued Royal Saudi Air Force-led airstrikes against Iranian-backed Houthi forces entrenched near Sana International Airport.

The attacks are understood to have partially damaged parts of the airport's main terminal as well as part of its primary runway 18/36. No reliable information concerning the condition of Yemenia's fleet or that of ...

US DOT allows Delta to retain its Seattle-Haneda slot

Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has been allowed to retain its Seattle Tacoma Int'l-Tokyo Haneda slot pair by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) following an inquest precipitated by rivals American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu).

Late last year, American and Hawaiian petitioned the DOT to strip Delta of the route following its decision to operate only 17 return flights between Seattle and Tokyo Haneda from October 1, 2014, until ...

Solitaire Air to resume charter flights under FlyJordan brand

Solitaire Air (STR, Amman Queen Alia) is to resume charter operations under the 'FlyJordan' brand on June 1 ch-aviation can exclusively reveal.

Deputy General Manager, Raed Al Sukhun, says FlyJordan will use a pair of B737-300 jets to operate charter flights to/from Jordan in partnership with Amman-based tour operator, Dallas Travel & Tourism. The jets will also be proffered to the international ACMI/charter markets, he added.

Asian regulators take measures against Thailand over SSC finding

NokScoot (XW, Bangkok Don Mueang) could face additional delays in rolling out its planned network after both Japan and South Korea placed a moratorium on approving Thai-registered airlines' applications for new charter and scheduled flights.

The move comes amid reports in the Asian press claiming the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will institute a “Significant Safety Concern” (SSC) against Thailand after the country reportedly failed a recent Universal Safety Oversight ...

London Heathrow unveils measures to boost domestic connectivity

British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) hub owner, Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd (HAHL), has unveiled a series of measures aimed at increasing the use of London Heathrow as an international conduit for other cities and towns located throughout the United Kingdom.

Overall the airport plans to add nine new domestic air links while boosting frequencies on existing routes to Aberdeen Dyce, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow Int'l, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester Int'l, and Newcastle.

In addition to ...

New York's Altius Aviation looks to enter scheduled market

Altius Aviation (Syracuse) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for permission to venture into the scheduled passenger service sector.

The New York-based operator said in its application that it intends to deploy PC-12s on commuter flights throughout the US Upper East Coast with routes listed as: White Plains-Bedford, MA (year-round); White Plains-Martha's Vineyard (Summer/Autumn); White Plains-Rutland (Winter/Spring); Albany, NY-Buffalo (year-round); and ...

Camair-Co takes delivery of two MA-60s

Camair-Co (QC, Douala) has taken delivery of its maiden pair of MA-60s - TJX-SD and TJX-SE - following ferry flights from China this past weekend. The two turboprops will be deployed onto domestic Cameroonian flights replacing the B737-700 which has thus far proven to be excessive.

Acquired for XAF35 billion (USD58.1 million), the aircraft are part of a trio of aircraft ordered by the government of Cameroon in 2011 the first of which - TJ-XDE - is already in service with the ...

US DOT awards Crescent City EAS contract to PenAir

PenAir (KS, Anchorage Ted Stevens) has been awarded an Essential Air Services contract (EAS) to serve Crescent City in California following a tender process which also involved submissions from Alaska Seaplanes (J5, Juneau Int'l) and SeaPort Airlines (K5, Portland Int'l, OR).

In its ruling, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) said the contract would run from September 15, 2015, through to September 30, 2017 with Penair slated to operate two daily roundtrip flights to Portland Int'l, OR ...

Venezuelan start-up, Avior Regional, commences domestic flights

Avior Regional (RGR, Barcelona José Antonio Anzoategui) has secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Venezuelan civil aviation authority (Instituto Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil - INAC) in line with parent Avior Airlines' plans to increase its domestic footprint.

Using a fleet of six ex-Air Astana Fokker 50s, Avior Regional commenced scheduled operations from Caracas Simón Bolivar to Barinas and Valera on March 11 with plans to also offer service on other underdeveloped routes ...

Airbus to commence first A330-300 P2F conversion

Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) affiliate EFW Elbe Flugzeugwerke is to embark on its first P2F (Passenger-to-Freighter) conversion of an A330-300 with former Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) machine 9M-MKI (cn 116) currently in Dresden awaiting reconfiguration.

Once conversion is complete, the A330-300P2F will carry up to 60 metric tonnes over a distance of 2,200 nautical miles, or 61 tonnes to a range of 3,600 nautical miles for the higher MTOW (maximum takeoff weight) ...

Brazil's Modern Logistics to add first aircraft next month

Modern Logistics (MWM, São Paulo Guarulhos) has set a May date for the delivery of its maiden aircraft, PP-YBA (msn 24683), an ex-Orenair B737-400 currently being converted into a B737-400(F) by PEMCO World Air Services at the COOPESA facility at San José Juan Santamaría.

Secured on a long-term dry-lease agreement with an unidentified lessor, the jet will be joined by a further two later in the year. Thereafter, in 2016, Modern Logistics will take delivery of six more B737 freighters along ...

Sabetta, Russia opens its doors to commercial traffic

UTair (UT, Khanty-Mansiysk) has commenced scheduled flights to the remote Siberian town of Sabetta, located on the Yamal Peninsula, the carrier says. The twice-weekly flights, which operate direct to Moscow Vnukovo on-board B767-200(ER) aircraft, come almost a month after the airport first opened its doors to commercial traffic with Yamal Airlines (YC, Salekhard) flights from Novy Urengoy.

As part of the Yamal LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) project, a joint-venture between Russia's largest ...

Xiamen Airlines to serve Australia, North America; eyes more 787s

Xiamen Airlines (MF, Xiamen) is to make its Oceania debut in October this year with flights to Australia set to begin in October the carrier has announced via a press release. Among the cities being considered include Sydney Kingford Smith and Melbourne Tullamarine.

At present, the carrier is on track to make Amsterdam its first ever intercontinental route with a 3x-weekly service set to commence on July 26. With six B787-8s on order from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare), of which three have now ...

HNA Aviation boosts its investment in Chang An Airlines

Chang An Airlines (CGN, Xi'an Xianyang) shareholder, HNA Aviation Group, has increased its stake in the carrier to 16.69% following its acquisition of 238,095,238 newly issued shares valued at CNY400 million (USD64.41 million) in total. The airline's registered capital has also increased to CNY2.86 billion (USD460.55 million).

China's WCARN says the overall shareholding structure of the carrier stands at Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) with 61.43%, HNA Aviation with 16.69%, while the remaining ...

China Express Airlines ends CRJ-200 operations

China Express Airlines (G5, Chongqing) retired the CRJ-200 from active operations on Saturday, March 29 following the type's last revenue flight. The event also marked the end of CRJ-200 operations within China as a whole.

WCARN reports the last two jets in service for the carrier were B-3565 (cn 7690) and B-7700 (cn 7704) and as such, China Express is now an exclusive operator of the CRJ-900 employing twelve of the twinjets to serve 65 destinations located throughout China.

Real Tonga to start int'l flights as Royal Tonga eyes launch

Real Tonga Airlines (RT, Tongatapu) is planning to commence international operations with flights to neighbouring Pacific islands slated for June CEO Tevita Palu has told the Matangi Tonga newspaper.

Services will be undertaken once new larger aircraft are acquired, he said. Currently the carrier plies an exclusively domestic network serving Eua, Niuafo'ou, Ha'apai, Niuatoputapu, and Vava'u using a Y12 and a Jetstream 32 leased from Australia's FlyPelican (Newcastle Williamtown). An ...

Latvia's Air Baltic eyes Uzbekistan Airways JFK codeshare

Air Baltic (BT, Riga) has filed an application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit and for route exemption authority thereby allowing it to offer scheduled and charter passenger, cargo and mail flights between the United States and the European Union.

The Latvian carrier says it is planning to codeshare with Uzbekistan Airways (HY, Tashkent Yuzhny) on the latter's Tashkent Yuzhny to New York JFK via Riga service with plans to do so as soon as all ...

Stobart Air to resume Shannon-Birmingham flights this June

Stobart Air (RE, Dublin Int'l) is to resume flights out of Shannon just six months after it pulled the plug in early January of this year. The Limerick Leader reports Stobart Air will restart 6x weekly Aer Lingus Regional flights from Shannon to Birmingham Int'l on June 18 but has denied it has plans to redevelop the western Irish airport into a base once more.

“The original decision to cease operations at Shannon Airport was a difficult but necessary one,” Ronan Whitty, head of Stobart Air ...

ANA All Nippon finalizes order for three B787-10s

ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda) has finalized an order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for three B787-10s, valued at approximately USD900 million at list prices.

With this order, originally announced as a commitment in January 2015, ANA becomes the US manufacturer's newest B787-10 customer and the first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of B787s including thirty-six B787-8s and forty-four B787-9s once all existing deliveries have been completed.

With a capacity of ...

Slovenia's Adria Airways commences CRJ-700 operations

Adria Airways (JP, Ljubljana) will deploy its maiden CRJ-700 into service this week ch-aviation has learned. The aircraft already flew a first rotation from Ljubljana to Frankfurt on March 29.

According to schedule data, S5-AAZ (cn 10014), on lease from Lufthansa CityLine (CL, Munich), will be used on flights from Ljubljana to Brussels National, Frankfurt Int'l, Munich, Paris CDG, Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana, Vienna, Warsaw Chopin, and Zurich.

Alitalia adds new domestic links with Darwin ATR72s

Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) is wet-leasing all four ATR 72-500s from fellow Etihad Airways operator, Darwin Airline (F7, Lugano), ch-aviation has learned. The Swiss airline will hereby operate its entire fleet of four Avions de Transport Régional turboprops - HB-ACA (cn 660), HB-ACB (cn 662), HB-ACC (cn 664), and HB-ACD (cn 668) - for and on behalf of the Italian carrier.

So far, three aircraft have begun operating under Alitalia codes with two used interchangeably on the 3x-daily ...

Canada's First Air to lease a Dash 8-100 from Summit Air

First Air (7F, Carp) will wet-lease an additional aircraft from Canadian ACMI/charter specialist Summit Air Charters (Yellowknife) First Air vice president, Bert van der Stege, has informed ch-aviation.

The Canadian North specialist will use a Summit Air Dash 8-100, its first of the type, on a twice weekly Yellowknife-Fort Simpson service starting April 2. First Air will continue to operate another four weekly services on the route with own ATR42-300s.

In return, as part of the carriers' ...