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Missouri-based Air Choice One wins Ironwood EAS contract

Air Choice One (3E, Farmington, MO) has been awarded a USD3.5million Essential Air Services (EAS) contract for Ironwood, Michigan to Chicago O'Hare flights effective June 1, 2014, through to May 31, 2016.

In its adjudication, the US Department of Transportation said Air Choice One would operate the route using either a Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan or a Piper (twin turboprop) Navajo with a total of 18 weekly roundtrip services on offer.

Founded in 1979 as a family-owned and ...

Etihad Regional plan a challenge for Etihad as BAZL investigates

Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l) has not yet been able to get the desired benefits out of its most recent investment in Darwin Airline (F7, Lugano) (now doing business as Etihad Regional) because its proposed cooperation agreement is still subject to approval from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (BAZL).

The regulator has officially confirmed to ch-aviation that, in its view, the application to sell joint Etihad/Etihad Regional itineraries is directly related to an inquest into ...

China's Shandong Airlines orders fifty B737s

Shandong Airlines (SC, Jinan) has placed a firm order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for fifty B737s due for delivery between 2016 and 2020. In a statement, the Chinese carrier said the USD4.6billion order, consisting of sixteen Next-Generation B737s and thirty-four B737 MAXs, is subject to approval from the Chinese state.

Speaking at the event, Chairman Ma Chongxian said the airline aims to almost double its fleet from the current 73, to almost 140 by the end of 2020.

Currently, ...

Wizz Air Ukraine defers establishment of Lvov base

Wizz Air Ukraine (WU, Kiev Zhulyany) has announced further adjustments to its network and capacity, in response to continued low demand on domestic routes and a weaker Ukrainian Hryvnia.

In a statement, the Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) subsidiary said the planned opening of its Lvov base on April 30 has now been deferred until the market normalises. As a consequence, six new routes from Lviv to Barcelona El Prat, Naples Int'l, Kutaisi, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, Rome Fiumicino and Valencia Manises have ...

Georgia, Russia to discuss resumption of scheduled flights

Georgian Airways (A9, Tbilisi) and Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) could soon resume direct scheduled flights between Russia and Georgia should talks between the two countries later this month yield results. Scheduled flights were suspended in 2008 following the South Ossetia War which pitted Georgia against Russia as well as the separatist states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

In an interview with Georgian television, an aide in the Prime Minister's office told reporters that the talks ...

Brazil's Azul to lease A350s, A330s ahead of US flights next year

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Campinas Viracopos) has signed a lease agreement with the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) entailing five Airbus A350-900s and three A330-200s. According to the terms of the agreement, the A350-900s are scheduled to be delivered in 2017, while the A330-200s are expected later this year.

The Brazilian carrier says the aircraft will be used in launching its first international routes - Campinas Viracopos to the United States - in early ...

China's Yunnan Ying'An Airlines starts interregional flights

Yunnan Ying'An Airlines (YI, Guiyang) has launched its first domestic flights outside of its home Yunnan province. China's WCARN news portal says the carrier operated a Libo (Guizhou Province) to Chongqing via Guiyang service onboard its sole aircraft, an MA-60, B-3421 (cn 610), on Wednesday, April 23.

The Libo-Guiyang service will be operated 10x weekly while Guiyang-Chongqing will operate 3x a week.

With capital of USD12million, the carrier intends to operate ten MA-60s on flights ...

Chinese start-up, Fuzhou Airlines, sets October launch date

Fuzhou Airlines (Fuzhou) has set an October 1 launch date having recently begun the process of securing an Air Operators Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The new full-service carrier hopes to complete the process and launch in time for China’s "Golden Week" holidays in October. TravelDaily Asia says the start-up will initially operate a fleet of Boeing 737s on major domestic trunk routes.

The carrier is a joint venture between Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) ...

Myanma Airways in talks to buy ATR72-600s

Myanma Airways (UB, Yangon) is planning to buy six ATR72-600s Managing Director Than Tun has disclosed. The Myanma national carrier currently operates two ATR72-200s, an ATR72-500 and an ATR42-320.

“Myanma Airways is negotiating with Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac), France for the purchase of six more ATR 72-600 aircraft. Moreover, a plan to build spare parts factory for ATR aircraft is being negotiated,” Than told Myanmar's Eleven newspaper.

The airline recently signed a ...

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 ...