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Hong Kong Airlines sets January date for Australia flights

Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok) has set a January 6, 2016 date for its resumption of longhaul operations with flights to Australia. Li Dianchun, Commercial Director of Hong Kong Airlines, said that subject to regulatory approval, his airline would operate a 3x weekly Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok-Coolangatta/Gold Coast-Cairns-Hong Kong service on-board A330-300 equipment.

"Leveraging our connectivity in Asia via the international hub Hong Kong, we believe the new service will be well ...

Southwest considering more takeovers?

Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field) may be considering an additional acquisition just eight months after it successfully completed its take over of AirTran Airways (FL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson). Industry sources who spoke to the Chicago Business Journal have indicated the move could occur in the not too distant future.

"Many of us are just sitting back waiting to see if it will be Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu), Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) or ...

Air Europa to configure ex-Skymark A330 with premium seats

Air Europa (UX, Palma de Mallorca Son Sant Joan) is configuring its most recent acquisition, an ex-Skymark Airlines (BC, Tokyo Haneda) A330-300, with an all-premium layout airline sources have told Spain's Ultima Hora Noticias.

Once reconfiguration is complete, EC-MHL (cn 1574) will then be proffered to the charter market targeting football teams, luxury travel and VIP groups, as well as Spanish Defence Force and United Nations troop movement contracts.

The twinjet is leased from US-based ...

LAN Airlines to begin Brazil-Italy flights from mid 4Q

LAN Airlines (LA, Santiago de Chile Int'l) will commence a daily Santiago de Chile Int'l-São Paulo Guarulhos-Milan Malpensa return service with effect from November 4 of this year.

According to Airline Route, the B787-8-operated service will replace sister carrier TAM Linhas Aéreas's existing Sao Paulo–Milan sector, currently operated with an A330-200.

Citing the country's weakening economy and sliding Real, LATAM last month announced it would be scaling back its Brazilian operations and ...

Romania's Blue Air to open Iasi base this winter

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Romania's Ten Airways renews CasaSky contract

Ten Airways (X5, Bucharest Baneasa) has again been contracted by online travel agency Casa Sky to operate flights between Cologne/Bonn and Nador, Morocco this summer.

One of the Romanian ACMI/charter specialist's MD-82s - YR-OTL (msn 48079) - was recently spotted at Bucharest Otopeni sporting the firm's titles on its fuselage.

Florida's ViaAir adds maiden ERJ-145 for collegiate charters

ViaAir (VC, Orlando Int'l) has taken delivery of its first of nine ERJ-145s with the arrival of ex-Trans States Airlines (AX, St. Louis Lambert Int'l) machine N802HK (cn 145066) on Thursday, July 30. Of the nine aircraft, five have been bought outright while the rest are on lease.

The Floridian scheduled operator plans to use the Embraer (São José dos Campos) Regional Jets to enhance an existing collegiate sports team travel contract with PASS Charters.

ViaAir also operates five EMB-120s ...

Air Canada adds maiden B787-9

Air Canada (AC, Montréal Trudeau) took delivery of its first of twenty-nine B787-9s on order from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) at a ceremony held at Toronto Pearson on Thursday, July 31.

C-FNOE (msn 35265) will be used on flights between Toronto and Vancouver Int'l this month before starting international operations to Munich and Milan Malpensa in September and October respectively. Services to Mumbai Int'l, India and Dubai Int'l, United Arab Emirates are slated to launch in November.

The ...

Russia's Pobeda set to commence int'l ops this winter

Pobeda (DP, Moscow Vnukovo) will indeed make its international debut this year after the CEO of Bratislava Airport, Ivan Trhlík, announced his airport would be among the first destinations the LCC may serve effective this winter.

Speaking to local media last week, Trhlík indicated that the LCC's entry into the Moscow Vnukovo-Bratislava market had been facilitated by the withdrawal of UTair (UT, Khanty-Mansiysk) earlier this year. Back then, full-service carrier UTAir pointed to a dramatic ...

Luftline Georgia commences operations following 4 year wait

Luftline Georgia (GX, Tbilisi) has commenced operations four years on after securing its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency. Russia's ATO news reports that the start-up's maiden commercial flight was on July 14 operating charter flights to Iceland on behalf of Azerbaijani football club, Inter Baku PIK.

Managing Director Vasily Dzhambazishvili said in an interview that for now, his airline would remain a charter operation pending the delivery of additional ...

Romanian airports come under EC state-aid scrutiny

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EC launches anti-trust inquest into FedEx/TNT tie-up

The European Commission (EC) says it is concerned that the proposed takeover of Dutch logistics firm TNT Express by FedEx Express (FX, Memphis Int'l) could negatively impact competition in the bloc's market.

Announcing an in-depth investigation to assess whether the proposed takeover is in line with EU Merger Regulations, the EC said its concerns focus on a number of European markets where the merged entity would face insufficient competitive constraints from the only two remaining players ...

IAG delays Aer Lingus offer acceptance to mid-month

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has deferred the deadline for Aer Lingus Group plc shareholders to accept its revised proposal, to Tuesday, August 18. The announcement comes after Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) delayed formally accepting the IAG's bid for its 29.8% shareholding in its local rival despite the expiry of the original July 31 deadline.

“We don’t expect to receive any proceeds from the sale of our stake in Aer Lingus until September and so we plan to formally submit our ...

Atlantic Star delays ticket sales for St. Helena route

Atlantic Star Airlines (London Luton) says the collapse with talks with Titan Airways (ZT, London Stansted) have forced it to defer the sale of tickets for its London Stansted-St. Helena charter flights due to launch in March 2016.

In a statement, the start-up said following the conclusion of negotiations, it had reached a draft agreement with Titan Airways to use its B757-200s to operate the route.

"However we received notification this week that Titan have unilaterally declared all ...

China's HNA Group acquires Swissport for $2.8bn

Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) parent, HNA Group, has agreed to acquire global ground-handling and cargo services firm Swissport from French private equity firm PAI Partners for CHF2.73 billion (USD2.82 billion). The transaction is expected to close by year-end subject to customary anti-trust approvals and approval by the Chinese authorities.

“HNA is excited to support Swissport's world class management team as they continue to provide the highest quality service to the airline industry and ...

Valletta in talks with Hainan Airlines over Air Malta sale

The Maltese government has held talks with Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) over the Chinese carrier's possible acquisition of a stake in the country's loss-making national carrier Air Malta (KM, Malta). Malta also held talks with Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul Atatürk) management in May to sound them out over their own possible purchase of a stake in the airline.

In its report, local paper Il-Mument claims Malta's Minister for Tourism, Edward Zammit Lewis, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, ...

Namibia flyafrica schedules new September launch date

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Germany's Express Airways leasing an ATR72 from NAC

Express Airways (EPR, Dusseldorf) has taken delivery of OY-YAN (cn 570), an ATR72-500 formerly in service with Uruguay's BQB Líneas Aéreas (5Q, Punta del Este). On lease from Nordic Aviation Capital, the turboprop will be used on leisure flights between Germany, Austria and Croatia.

Delta to offer exec jet service upgrade to elite FF members

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved plans that will allow Delta Private Jets (Cincinnati Int'l) to carry commercial mainline Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) passengers.

Under its patent-pending upgrade program launched this week, Delta will allow its “Medallion” frequent fliers (those who fly more than 25,000 miles annually on the airline) to upgrade to private jets at a cost of between USD300 and USD800, depending on the destination.

Bloomberg news ...

PIA Pakistan awards B777 tender to AerCap

PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l) will dry lease three B777-200(ER)s from Dutch firm AerCap following a tender floated in May of this year. According to evaluation results, the aircraft are Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi) airframes - msn 32717, 32716, and 28688 - all of which will be used to replace the Pakistani carrier's outgoing B747-300 fleet.

Other bidders for the tender included the California-based LLFC Corporation which had put forward three Kenya Airways machines ...

Singaporean LCC Scoot mulls Europe, Middle East flights

Scoot (TZ, Singapore Changi) is considering expanding its network reach into the Middle East and Europe airline Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Campbell Wilson has revealed.

In an interview with Singapore's Today newspaper, Wilson said that while several destinations are under scrutiny, their launch would not be rushed given what he termed 'abundant opportunities' within the Asia-Pacific market.

“The West is definitely on our cards," he said. "We are exploring some options at the moment. We ...

Financially ailing Syphax Airlines suspends operations

Syphax Airlines (FS, Sfax) has announced the grounding of its A319-100 fleet effective Thursday evening. According to an AFP report, a company lawyer said the airline was experiencing "financial difficulties" and that flights had been "temporarily" suspended "until solutions are found."

IATA instructed airlines and travel agencies to stop doing business with Syphax on Wednesday after the Tunisian carrier was unable to settle its dues with the industry association.

Following the terrorist ...