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Nigeria's Azman Air to make international debut later this year

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Azman Air (AKN, Kano) is looking to make its first foray abroad during the next quarter of this year airline president, Dr. Abdulmunaf Yinus, has said. Speaking in Sokoto during the inauguration of flights there, Yinus said growth would be backed up by a corresponding increase in the size of Azman's fleet, which currently consists of two B737-300s.

“We are planning to commence regional flights to some African countries in the next three months by the time the three new aircraft arrive in the ...

Russia's Red Wings seeks $25mn in state funding for growth

Red Wings (WZ, Moscow Vnukovo) CEO Evgeny Klyucharev says his airline is looking to secure RUB1.5billion (USD24.8 million) in guarantees from the Russian state to aid in its fleet expansion plans.

According to the Vedomosti news service, Klyucharev said the funds would be used to acquire additional SSJ 100-95s though the quantity of funds disbursed would depend on the number of aircraft being ordered from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Moscow Zhukovsky).

The carrier recently took delivery of its ...

KLM to make more labour cuts - union

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam) is to begin talks with its unions over another round of job cuts the chairman of the cabin personnel union VHKP, Bob van der Wal, has said.

In an interview with Dutch paper, De Telegraaf, van der Wal said KLM wants to boost productivity by 20% by 2020 while reducing its labour costs by 10%. Collectively, this would translate to between 500 to 1,000 jobs being cut by the middle of next year.

“We are still discussing. Forced redundancies are out of ...

Belgium's VLM announces first SuperJet now delayed until 3Q 2016

VLM (VG, Antwerp) says the arrival of its first, and western Europe's first, SSJ 100-95 has been delayed until the third quarter of next year as the type completes its certification.

"Delivery of the aircraft to VLM is being postponed from April 2015 to enable the completion of EASA certification of features on the long-range variant, including takeoff and landing flaps settings, which are modified from the EASA-certified base model Superjet and which bring significant performance ...

Panama's Copa Airlines begins B737-700 phase out

Copa Airlines (CM, Panamá City Tocumen Int'l) has begun the phasing out of its fleet of eighteen B737-700s with HP-1369CMP (msn 29047/235) the first to be withdrawn from service. A second of the type, HP-1370CMP, (msn 29048), will also be retired later this year with both aircraft set to be returned to their lessor, Volito Aviation Services.

Sister carrier AeroRepública (P5, Bogotá) will continue to operate four B737-700s on its own regional Latin American flights.

The Panamanian carrier ...

New Zealand's Kiwi Regional Airlines now eyeing Saab 340s

Kiwi Regional Airlines (Hamilton) says it has switched its initial fleet options from BAe Systems' Jetstream type to the Saab 340A. Initial services will require two aircraft with a third due thereafter.

With its certification now set to commence in May, the start-up is planning to offer scheduled passenger air services between New Zealand's North and South Islands beginning in late 2015/early 2016. Among its planned launch destinations include Auckland Whenuapai (subject to ...

Air Croatia delays launch for a fifth time

Air Croatia (Zagreb) has deferred its planned launch date until April - the fifth such deferment since the start-up was founded in 2013. The AeroCroatia blog reports flights, which were due to have launched on Sunday, March 1, have now been postponed until April 2. No official reason has been given though it is believed inadequate demand may be a major contributing factor in the decision.

Despite the delay, the virtual carrier is on track to charter an EMB-170 from ...

Cargolux to require $100mn in annual recapitalization

Cargolux (CV, Luxembourg) chairman Paul Helminger told staff representatives and union officials at a meeting last week that the airline will require USD100 million in annual capital injections in order to meet its future financial commitments in addition to remaining competitive.

The Luxemburger Wort says Helminger described the freight specialist's financial situation as "very serious" adding that contentious plans to grow Cargolux Italia (C8, Milan Malpensa) are among Cargolux's last ...

Hong Kong Airlines delays IPO; in talks with strategic partner

Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok) has deferred a planned dual currency IPO with reports in the Wall Street Journal claiming it is in talks to sell a stake in itself to an undisclosed strategic investor.

The newswire reports the carrier's application to the Hong Kong stock exchange, filed in September last year, has now lapsed after it failed to secure a hearing with the bourse's listing committee.

In the event a sale is agreed to with the other party, said to be another ...

United would consider converting B787s slots into B777s - Rainey

United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) Chief Financial Officer John Rainey says his airline would consider converting some of its B787-8 and/or B787-9 delivery slots with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) into those for the B777-300(ER) as the carrier moves to stem capacity shortfalls on its stronger-performing routes.

Speaking to Reuters newswire this week, Rainey said the B777-300(ER) would act as a "quick fix" solution while United awaits the delivery of its first A350-1000s, due from ...

Schenker AG settles with 3 carriers in US cargo cartel case

NCA - Nippon Cargo Airlines (KZ, Tokyo Narita) along with SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK, Copenhagen Kastrup) and Cargolux (CV, Luxembourg) have reached a settlement with German logistics firm, Schenker, in its antitrust lawsuit brought against them for their alleged involvement in air cargo cartel activities.

In a statement, the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary said it had dismissed its claims against the three carriers in its lawsuit brought in the Eastern District of New York. Though it did not ...

American to phase out McDonnell Douglas fleet by late 2017

American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) will have retired its entire McDonnell Douglas fleet by the end of 2017 an airline filing with the SEC has shown. The carrier began phasing out the fleet in 2010 reducing it from 220 jets to the current 135 (seventy-one MD-82s and sixty-four MD-83s).

By the end of this year, the MD-8X fleet will have been reduced to 96, then 60 next year, before reaching 34 in 2017. The MD-82s average 25.5 years of age while the MD-83s average nearly 20 with both ...

Vietnam Airlines to sell off ATR72s, B777s

Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi) is planning to sell off three ATR 72-500s and two B777-200(ER)s as the carrier looks to improve its international profile. In an investors prospectus availed to shareholders ahead of the first AGM later this month, Vietnam Airlines said that while the ATR 72 aircraft were fully depreciated, the B777-200ERs, having been in operation for 10 years, could no longer ensure the high standard of service required to keep the carrier competitive.

Overall, the Vietnam News ...

Sun Air Express to lease three Cessna Caravans

Sun Air Express (6G, Fort Lauderdale Int'l) will wet-lease three Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan 208Bs from Hawaii's Mokulele Airlines (MW, Kona) ch-aviation can exclusively reveal. The turboprops will be used on the Floridian carrier's Pittsburgh Int'l to Altoona, Bradford, and Jamestown, NY services. Until now, Sun Express's fleet had consisted exclusively of Piper (twin piston) Navajo aircraft.

EU partially lifts embargo on Libyan carriers transiting airspace

Libyan Airlines (LN, Tripoli Int'l) has been given the greenlight by the European Commission to transit European airspace on its flights to Istanbul Atatürk. The Libyan Civil Aviation Authority (LyCAA) said in a statement that talks between itself, EU representatives and Libyan airline officials had resulted in the partial lifting of an air embargo, imposed in November 2014.

According to a press release, on Sunday, Libyan Airlines resumed flights to Turkey from Tripoli Mitiga and Misurata, ...

Virgin Australia's A330s to start international flights in April

Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) says it will deploy its fleet of six A330-200s onto international flights beginning early next month. The 279-seater aircraft will be introduced on Saturdays during peak travel periods in response to increased demand, the carrier said in a statement.

The A330s, which until now have been restricted to domestic flights between Brisbane Int'l, Perth Int'l, Sydney Kingford Smith, and Melbourne Tullamarine, will be deployed on Virgin's Sydney Kingford Smith to ...

Identity of WestJet's first B767 revealed

WestJet (WS, Calgary) has put a first widebody jet on its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) ch-aviation has learned. The 23 year-old aircraft is a B767-300(ER), formerly VH-OGJ (msn 25274) with Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingford Smith), which is scheduled to become C-FOGJ on the Canadian registry in due course. It is currently at Lake Charles Chennault in Louisiana undergoing maintenance checks.

The Canadian LCC announced plans last year to operate four B767-300(ER)s on flights between Alberta and ...

Congo's BlueSky Airlines takes delivery of first MD-83

BlueSky Airlines (Congo Kinshasa) (Kinshasa N'Djili) has taken delivery of its first MD-83 ahead of its planned entry into the scheduled passenger services market.

Sources in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, inform ch-aviation that with an additional three jets of the type due to arrive later this year, the carrier will connect Kinshasa N'Djili with Kisangani, Goma (recently reopened to large aircraft), Lubumbashi, Mbuji Mayi, Kananga, and Mbandaka.

Until now, BlueSky had specialized in ...

Spain's CanaryFly retires last Metroliner from commercial service

CanaryFly (PM, Las Palmas) withdrew its last remaining Metroliner from revenue service on March 1. The Canary Islands-based carrier originally operated three of the type of which EC-IRS (cn BC-786B) was the last remaining in commercial operation.

CanaryFly used the turboprops on short-haul flights within the Canary Islands and as well on select international services to the African mainland.

Greenlandic start-up Aluu Airlines defers planned June launch

Aluu Airlines (Nuuk) has announced the deferment of its planned launch, originally due for the middle of the year. Though it had sought to commence scheduled operations on June 1, Aluu says the process of securing an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from the Danish Civil Aviation Administration is now taking longer than previously anticipated resulting in the delay. No tentative launch window has been offered.

The start-up is looking to offer flights between Copenhagen Kastrup and ...

Singh injects first tranche of $81mn into Indian LCC Spicejet

Spicejet (SG, Delhi Int'l) has secured its first tranche of fresh capital from new majority shareholder and promoter, Ajay Singh, a week after the Indian authorities gave their final approval to his acquisition of previous owner Kal Airways Pvt Ltd and Kalanithi Maran's 60.31% stake in the airline.

Of the original INR15 billion (USD243 million) promised by Singh in his original investment plan for Spicejet, INR5 billion (USD81 million) has now been received with outstanding employee salaries ...

Dublin could okay IAG's Aer Lingus bid with added LHR guarantees

Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) shareholder, the Irish government, could commit to a deal with the International Airlines Group (IAG) should the IAG commit to retaining Aer Lingus's London Heathrow slots for 'seven or eight years'.

Last week, the government said it would not commit to the sale of its 25.11% stake in the airline unless "market conditions were favourable, the terms of the sale were satisfactory to the Government and an acceptable price could be secured."

Among the additional ...

Biman Bangladesh to resume domestic operations next month

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) is planning to resume scheduled internal flights using its incoming Dash 8-400 fleet effective April 6. The Bangladeshi national carrier will begin service to Sylhet initially, followed thereafter by Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Jessore, Saidpur, Rajshahi, and Barisal. The Q400 will also be deployed on regional services to Yangon and Kolkata.

"These are considerable positive improvements to the schedule that we will offer to current and new customers flying ...

Canadian start-up, JetLines, in talks with new potential partners

Jetlines (Vancouver Int'l) is in talks with a Canadian carrier as well as another undisclosed international firm concerning possible partnership arrangements Canada's Financial Post has reported.

The start-up last month announced the termination of an amalgamation agreement with Vancouver-based capital-pool company, Inovent Capital, following its expiration in January. The move lead Inovent to threaten legal proceedings against Jetlines for breach of contract.

Despite the messy divorce, ...

Indonesia's Citilink defers international expansion plans

Citilink (QG, Surabaya) has again deferred maintaining a scheduled international presence amid reports it has now set reaching longterm profitability as this year's primary objective.

According to CAPA, though the Garuda Indonesia (GA, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) budget subsidiary did in fact begin international operations from Surabaya to Johor Bahru in Malaysia in March last year, it abandoned the route after only a month. Thereafter, plans to connect Surabaya with Kuala Lumpur Int'l and ...