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Helvetic mulls Fokker 100 replacement; EMB-195 a strong contender

Helvetic Airways (2L, Zurich) is currently evaluating its options for a replacement for its ageing fleet of six Fokker 100s, Chief Financial Officer Tobias Pogorevc has exclusively told ch-aviation.

In his interview, Pogorevc denied reports in the Swiss aviation community that five EMB-195s had already been selected, stating that no decision had yet been made. He did, however, note that Embraer (São José dos Campos) was among the carrier's preferred options.

According to the ch-aviation ...

Greenland Express to launch flights in June

Greenland Express (Aalborg) has wet-leased a Fokker 100 from Dutch lease specialists Denim Air ACMI (J7, Amsterdam) ahead of its planned launch on June 2. According to Denim Air ACMI, the aircraft to be used on the operation will likely be ex-OLT Express Germany (OL, Bremen Neuenland) Fokker 100 D-AFKE (msn 11505). The Danish start-up said in a press release that initial services will cover Aalborg and Copenhagen Kastrup to Kangerlussuaq and Narsarsuaq in Greenland, and Reykjavik Keflavik in ...

Air Cargo cartel to reach $35mn settlement in Australia

Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok) along with Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingford Smith), British Airways (BA, London Heathrow), Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) and Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) are set to reach a AUD38million (USD35.4million) settlement with petitioners in Australia involving a long-running air-cargo cartel class action lawsuit.

The price fixing class action began in 2007 and was taken up on behalf of purchasers of international airfreight services, including ...

Chinese start-up, Guilin Airlines, on track for May launch

Guilin Airlines (Guilin) is on track to launch operations next month should it secure approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). A joint venture between Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) parent, HNA Group, and the Guilin Municipal government, the start-up intends to commence flights using three aircraft which is set to grow to thirty by 2017.

The airline is intended to boost the regional profile of Guilin with particular emphasis on the tourism sector.

South Korea's Air Incheon to boost regional presence shortly

Air Incheon (KJ, Seoul Incheon) is looking to expand its operations with the start of new scheduled cargo services to China, Japan and Russia in the coming weeks.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the cargo specialist will, on April 30, begin a 6x weekly service from its Seoul Incheon hub to Tokyo Narita followed by a 3x weekly flight to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the largest city on Sakhalin Island, Russia. Thereafter, on May 8, a 3x weekly service to Yantai will also launch.

At present, Air ...

CEIBA Intercontinental deploys first B737 into service

CEIBA Intercontinental (C2, Malabo) has deployed its first B737-800, 3C-LLY (msn 41157), into revenue service one month after it was delivered from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare). The Equatoguinean press says the aircraft was deployed on the Malabo to Bata domestic route on April 16. It is also scheduled to make its regional début in the next few months.

CEIBA has an additional two B737s on order from the US manufacturer adding to its other fleet of ATR42s and 72s, a B767-300(ER), and a ...

CAAB threatens to revoke United's licence over outstanding fees

United Airways (4H, Dhaka) could have its operational licence suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) over BDT77million (USD0.99million) in outstanding service charges.

The Daily Star reports that the CAAB has now renewed United's Air Services Licence for only three months - up to June 29 - instead of a usual one-year term and has also imposed a one-year moratorium on the airline buying or selling aircraft until it clears all current and outstanding debts.

"If the ...

Italy's ENAC excludes Darwin from Sicilian PSO tender

Darwin Airline (F7, Lugano) is set to lose its Sicilian Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract after the Italian civil aviation authority (L'Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile - ENAC) forbade the Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) affiliate from bidding.

Though the airline currently operates flights between Sicily and the islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria, Austrian Aviation Net reports that as of the tender's closing last week, only one other "unknown" operator had applied for the ...

Austria's Air Alps in talks with mysterious new investor

Air Alps (A6, Innsbruck) could be rescued from the scrap heap with news that a new investor has expressed interest in reviving the carrier. In its report, Austrian Aviation Net said the carrier was still in early talks with the potential buyer whose identity is still unknown.

The Austrian carrier officially suspended its own scheduled operations late last year after talks with prospective investors, said to have included REFCA, a Russian investment group, and an undisclosed European ...

Air India to sell off last three B777-200(LR)s

Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) is to sell its last three remaining B777-200(LR)s - VT-ALF (msn 36305), VT-ALG (msn 36306) and VT-ALH (msn 36307) - to help raise cash needed to pay off maturing debts. Air India recently sold five of the type for USD335million to Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) which will shortly use them in opening up long-haul flights to Los Angeles Int'l.

The Indian national carrier is in the process of phasing in its fleet of B787-8s to make up for the operational ...

Hong Kong Airlines IPO likely due this year

Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok) is to go public in the coming months Chen Feng, the chairman of the airline's parent Hainan Group, has disclosed. In a bid to raise capital to fund the expansion of his Group, Chen told Bloomberg newswire that the listing may raise "about USD1billion" later this year.

In January, the airline appointed Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BOC International and Standard Chartered as its listing sponsors.

The Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) subsidiary was ...

Tianjin Airlines to snap up Jetstar Hong Kong A320s

Tianjin Airlines (GS, Tianjin) is set to acquire "at least" two A320-200 (sl)s originally destined for start-up, Jetstar Hong Kong (Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok). Skyliner Aviation has revealed that so far, cns 5835 and 5850 have been painted in a rudimentary Tianjin livery in Toulouse Blagnac ahead of their delivery to China.

Having encountered regulatory delays and extreme opposition from the likes of Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok) and Dragonair (KA, Hong Kong Chep Lap Kok), Jetstar ...

Pan American Airways to launch with B737s this summer

Pan American Airways (Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has signed a Letter of Intent with an undisclosed lessor for the delivery of B737-800s ahead of the carrier's planned summer launch.

In a press release, the start-up said a Purchase Agreement would be signed once the aircraft begin arriving. Pan American intends to deploy the twinjets on flights within southern tier US markets.

It will shortly embark on a crew-recruitment drive.

PanAm is the latest start-up to attempt to revive the glory ...

Nauru's Our Airline set for first B737 freighter

Our Airline (ON, Nauru) is due to take delivery of its first B737-300(F) freighter, VH-VLI (msn 27125), following a period of storage in Kuala Lumpur Subang. The Nauruan national carrier currently operates three B737-300s on flights to Brisbane Int'l, Majuro, Tarawa, and Nadi.

Burkina Faso's Colombe Airlines leases another LeaseFly ATR

Colombe Airlines (Ouagadougou) has wet-leased an ATR72-200, CS-DVF (cn 350), from Portuguese operator, Lease Fly (LZF, Cascais). The turboprop was ferried from Caen via Tamanrasset to Ouagadougou on April 12 where it will join another Lease Fly aircraft, an ATR42-300, CS-DTO (cn 95).

The Burkinabe carrier currently operates domestic flights between Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso with plans to go regional shortly.

Greece's Astra Airlines adds its first ATR72

Astra Airlines (A2, Thessaloniki) has added its first ATR72-200 to its fleet after it was ferried from Bucharest Otopeni to Athens Int'l on April 17. Skyliner Aviation reports that the aircraft, SX-DIP (cn 328), had previously seen service with Polish carrier, EuroLOT (K2, Warsaw Chopin).

Backed by Greek tour operator Interaviator, Astra Airlines also operates an A320-200 and two BAe 146-300s on scheduled flights throughout Greece to Chios, Kalamata, Kerkyra, Athens Int'l and Samos as well as ...

Comorian carrier, Inter Îles Air, wet-leasing a Kenyan EMB-110

Inter Îles Air (Anjouan) has taken delivery of an EMB-110 on wet-lease from a Kenyan operator. The turboprop is current in Moroni Int'l undergoing inspection by the Comorian civil aviation authority (Agence Nationale de l'Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie de l'Union des Comores - ANACM).

Having written off its only EMB-120 in an incident off Moroni last year, Inter Îles Air also operates Cessna (single turboprop) 208Bs on island-hopping flights. It has recently returned its wet-leased ...

ECAIR Equatorial Congo Airlines to lease two PrivatAir B737-700s

ECAIR - Equatorial Congo Airlines (LC, Brazzaville) is set to wet-lease two B737-700s from Swiss operator, PrivatAir (PTI, Geneva), ahead of its planned expansion into Central and West Africa.

The former AeroMéxico (AM, México City) machines will join the Congolese carrier's other four Privatair-operated aircraft - two B737-300s and two B757-200s - used to serve Oyo and Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo as well as Cotonou, Douala, Dubai Int'l and Paris CDG internationally.

A ...

Minister blames B&H Air's poor state of affairs on the Turks

B&H Airlines (JA, Sarajevo) and its current poor state of affairs is the result of a failed Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul Atatürk) experiment Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, has said. With the national carrier now a pale shadow of its former self, EX-YU Aviation News quotes the minister as telling local television that the Turks had used the airline as a proverbial guinea-pig.

“B&H was used as a guinea pig by Turkish to test the market. In ...

US start-up, Eastern Air Lines, to get first B737 this Summer

Eastern Air Lines (Miami Int'l) says it will take delivery of its first aircraft - a B737-800 - in late summer 2014. Previously, the start-up had alluded to plans to lease Airbus A320 aircraft for its initial services.

Eastern Air Lines filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation in January for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, and plans on commencing its Part 121 certification with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in due course.

AeroLap Paraguay Airlines eyes June launch date

AeroLap Paraguay Airlines (Asuncion) expects to secure its Air Operators Certificate from the Paraguayan civil aviation authority (Dirección Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil - DINAC) in early May ahead of a possible late June/early July launch.

Speaking to Paraguayan newspaper, ABC, AeroLap executive Juan Carlos Ruiz said the airline would shortly ferry its two B767-300(ER)s from the United States to Asuncion ahead of their inspection and eventual certification. The director-general of DINAC, ...

AeroMéxico to lease three EMB-190s from BOC Aviation

AeroMéxico Connect (5D, Monterrey General Mariano Escobedo) will lease three new EMB-190s from Singapore based lessor, BOC Aviation, with delivery due between April and June of this year. The AeroMéxico (AM, México City) subsidiary already operates twenty-one EMB-190s.

“The E190 has been, for several years, a growth driver for AeroMéxico. We now operate 21 E190 aircraft, which has allowed us to cover important domestic and international routes in the United States and Central America,” ...

Rostock Airways plans to establish Rostock hub evaporate

Rostock Airways (Rostock) plans to operate flights out of Rostock have officially fallen through the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has noted. During a recent debate among MPs, airliners.de notes that the Ministry of Transport for the north-German state said Rostock Airways was no longer active in seeking to operate flights to Copenhagen Kastrup, Munich and Zurich as previously planned. The virtual airline had intended to uplift over 100'000 pax/annum in its original business ...

Canada's Regional 1 now R1 Airlines; outlines new CRJ100 routes

Regional 1 Airlines (TSH, Calgary) has been rebranded as R1 Airlines (TSH, Calgary) having completed its joint venture with Air Georgian (ZX, Toronto Pearson) earlier in the year. The rebranding will allow the newly merged carrier to improve its market share in the specialized air charter sector, with particular attention paid to the transportation needs of Canada’s resource sector.

R1 will also continue to focus on its international operations, specializing in ACMI contracts in remote ...

SriLankan to introduce Sharjah flights during DXB runway works

SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo Int'l) will switch one of its seven weekly flights from Colombo Int'l to Dubai Int'l, to Sharjah for the duration of runway upgrades there. Airline Route reports that the exceptional service will operate on Wednesdays onboard an A320-200.

The runway upgrade project at Dubai International is set to launch on May 1, 2014 and will last for 80 days during which the tracks will be closed alternatively – the southern runway from May 1 to May 31 and the northern ...