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Ryanair rejects reports of Copenhagen 'virtual' base

Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael O'Leary has denied reports his airline is planning to establish a 'virtual' base at Copenhagen Kastrup to cope with a surge in demand expected during the summer 2016 season.

The Irish LCC was forced to close both its Copenhagen and Billund bases during the previous quarter after it rejected a Danish labour court's ruling directing it to employ locally-based staff under Danish, and not Irish, work contracts.

While Ryanair has ...

Switzerland's Germania Flug to induct maiden A321 this fall

Germania Flug (GM, Zurich) has announced it will add a third aircraft - an A321-200 (sl) - to its fleet of two A319-100s with effect from October 25. The jet - D-ASTD (cn 5843) - will be used, inter alia, to operate flights to Pristina, Kosovo and Skopje, Macedonia for and on behalf of tour operator, Air Prishtina. This year, flights to Kosovo will operate not only from Zurich, but also from Geneva.

Though its A319 charter contract with Swiss virtual carrier HolidayJet (Zurich) has now fallen ...

Ryanair confirms Milan Malpensa base for December

Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) has confirmed reports it plans to open a base at Milan Malpensa during the upcoming Winter 2015/16 season.

Using a single based B737-800, the Irish LCC will begin operations on December 1 offering 2x daily flights to London Stansted, a daily service to Comiso, and a 3x weekly service to Seville. A 4x weekly operation to Bucharest Otopeni will commence on December 2.

Ryanair expects to uplift 450,000 passngers per year while creating 450 jobs at the Milanese hub. ...

Alaska Airlines' maiden B737 MAX due for early delivery

Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) is on track to take early delivery of its first B737 MAX aircraft. Alaska's VP - Capacity Planning, John Kirby, told FlightGlobal that unlike previous forecasts, the airline's maiden B737 MAX 8 aircraft is now likely to arrive in late 2017 as opposed to early 2018.

Alaska Airlines ordered twenty -8s and seventeen -9s from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) in October 2012. No comment concerning the proposed delivery of the airline's maiden -9 variant has ...

Dominica's Douglas-Charles airport closes after storm damage

Seaborne Airlines (BB, St. Thomas SPB) and other carriers serving the Caribbean island of Dominica have suspended their respective operations there until further notice. The move comes after the island's principal gateway - Dominica Douglas-Charles - sustained severe damage during Tropical Storm Erika's transit last week.

While the airfield has been temporarily closed to commercial traffic, aid flights have begun to arrive with government waiving import duties on relief aid to help foster the ...

PrivatAir unit acquires 30% stake in Saudia Private Aviation

PrivatAir Saudi Arabia, the Saudi subsidiary of PrivatAir (Switzerland) (PV, Geneva), has acquired a 30% stake in Saudia Private Aviation (SVA, Jeddah). The value of the transaction, which closed in July, was not disclosed.

Saudi Private Aviation is the the VIP charter subsidiary of Saudia (SV, Jeddah) offering a fleet of private jets for ad-hoc charter operations. As a shareholder, PrivatAir will renew the operator's fleet as part of a comprehensive restructuring programme.

SPA was ...

Singaporean LCC Scoot ends B777 commercial operations

Scoot (TZ, Singapore Changi) has transitioned into an all-B787 operation with the end of scheduled B777-200(ER) operations this week. The Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) longhaul LCC said the B777s last commercial flight was Singapore Changi-Taipei Taoyuan-Tokyo Narita.

Of its ten B787-8s and ten B787-9s on order from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare), Scoot has so far taken delivery of two and five respectively.

Three B777-200(ER) remain in the fleet of Thai joint venture ...

PAWA Dominicana eyes B767s

PAWA Dominicana (7N, Santo Domingo Las Américas) is planning to induct a fleet of seven B767 aircraft in the coming months the airline's Director of Corporate Affairs, Alexander Barrios, has said.

Speaking to the Arecoa news site, Barrios said the aircraft would be 247-seaters. A similar initiative was planned back in 2013 when PAWA's new owner, Simeón García Rodríguez, intended to co-opt one of his two Venezuelan carriers - SBA Airlines (S3, Maracaibo) - into operating a B767-300(ER) on ...

Libyan Wings readying for imminent launch

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Senegal Airlines leasing a French A330 for Hajj operations

Senegal Airlines (DN, Dakar) has wet-leased an A330-200 from XL Airways France (SE, Paris CDG) for Hajj charter operations. Skyliner Aviation indicates F-GSEU (cn 635) was recently positioned from Paris CDG to Dakar ahead of flights to Saudi Arabia.

The aircraft currently operates on a daily basis between Dakar and Madinah.

Air France mulls new longhaul LCC subsidiary

Air France (AF, Paris CDG) is considering setting up a low cost, longhaul subsidiary akin to Lufthansa's Eurowings (EW, Dusseldorf) and Air Caraïbes Atlantique's tentatively named SunLine project. The revelation comes after Air France's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Frederic Gagey, revealed in July that only 50% of his airline's long haul routes were currently profitable. Europe's legacy carriers have blamed their waning long haul fortunes on the rise of the Gulf carriers - ...

India's Jet Airways to absorb JetLite subsidiary

Following a meeting on Wednesday, September 2, the board of directors of Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l) resolved to merge the carrier's JetLite (S2, Delhi Int'l) subsidiary with its parent. While the two entities' financials will be merged, JetLite will continue to operate under its own Air Operators Permit (AOP).

A part of Jet Airways' restructuring plan aimed at returning to longterm profitability by 2017, the move will result in better use of available aircraft capacity while streamlining ...

Airest begins Estonian Air operations

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Canadian charter specialist CanJet ceases flight operations

Following weeks of speculation about its future, CanJet Airlines (C6, Halifax) president Steven Rowe has confirmed the airline is suspending flight operations effective immediately.

The move follows last week's announcement that CanJet's B737-800 wet-lease agreement with Air Transat (TS, Montréal Trudeau) had been downgraded to a dry-lease effectively putting the jobs of thirteen cockpit crew and thirty-five flight attendants in doubt.

“The reason that we suspended flight operations today ...

Saudia outlines tentative B787 operational plans

Saudia (SV, Jeddah) has outlined its tentative B787-9 operational schedule, set to launch on February 1, 2016. As with other operators, the Saudi Arabian national carrier will initially operate the B787 on shorthaul domestic and regional flights (from Jeddah to Riyadh, Dammam, and Dubai Int'l). Thereafter, from March 1, 2016 it will deploy its Dreamliners on longhaul flights to Guangzhou, Manchester Int'l, and Paris CDG.

Saudia has a total of eight B787-9s on order from ...

Canada's Pascan Aviation files for creditor protection

Pascan Aviation (P6, Québec) has filed for creditor protection under Canada's Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). Similar to a US Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the move will allow the distressed carrier to continue operating while restructuring its business.

A Superior Court of Quebec docket indicates Pascan's creditors - Business Development Bank of Canada and Investissement Quebec - are providing a total of USD1 million to support the Pascan Companies' recovery plan.

"The CCAA ...

FAA seeks to fine Empire, Mesa Airlines $540,000

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced plans to levy a total of USD534,600 in fines against Empire Airlines (EM, Coeur d'Alene) and Mesa Airlines (YV, Phoenix Sky Harbor) for alleged violations of federal aircraft airworthiness and federal drug and alcohol testing regulations respectively.

Concerning Empire Airlines, the FAA claims the carrier failed to remove and send for inspection at an authorized aircraft repair station, a Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan 208B ...

CAAC penalizes China United for safety violations

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has penalized China United Airlines (KN, Beijing Nanyuan) for a series of fifty safety violations this year including three incidents in June and July that were deemed to have "seriously violated regulations."

Among the incidents cited was an incident involving a physical altercation between two pilots during a flight in June. While details of the incident are sketchy, it is said the two had a disagreement which escalated into a tense ...

Jet2 orders twenty-seven B737-800s

Jet2 (LS, Leeds/Bradford) says it has finalized an order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for twenty-seven B737-800s. The aircraft will be delivered over a two-year period running to 2018.

“This is an exciting time in Jet2.com’s history as we invest in our next phase of growth and development with this order of new B737-800NG aircraft," Philip Meeson, Executive Chairman said. "A cost effective and exceptional aircraft, this new deal will allow us to build upon our already highly successful ...

Estonian to operate a CRJ-900 for Austrian

Estonian Air (OV, Tallinn Lennart Meri) will operate one of its three CRJ-900s for and on behalf of Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) beginning later this month and ending with the close of the current summer season.

The Estonian carrier says the twinjet will replace one of its two EMB-170s already in service for Austrian, which will be returned to its lessor.

PIA Pakistan to lease four AirAsia A320s

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South Africa's Fly Blue Crane leasing a Solenta ERJ145

Fly Blue Crane (7B, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) commenced operations on Tuesday, September 1 using an ERJ-145 - ZS-BBI (cn 145223) - on lease from South African ACMI/charter specialist, Solenta Aviation (SL, Lanseria).

As previously reported, the start-up plans to offer multiple daily flights from its Johannesburg O.R. Tambo hub to Bloemfontein, Kimberley, and Nelspruit.

Argentina's Andes Líneas Aéreas adds maiden MD-88

Andes Líneas Aéreas (OY, Salta) has added an ex-Aerolineas Argentinas (AR, Buenos Aires Ezeiza) MD-88, LV-VBX (cn 53047), to its fleet of three MD-83s.

The twinjet will be deployed on the Argentine domestic operator's network which includes Buenos Aires Aeroparque, Puerto Madryn, and Salta.

Air Botswana leasing a South African MD-83

Air Botswana (BP, Gaborone) has wet-leased an MD-83 from South African ACMI/charter operator, Africa Charter Airline (Lanseria), Skyliner Aviation has reported. The aircraft, ZS-TRI (cn 49707), is currently deployed on Gaborone-Johannesburg O.R. Tambo flights.

Air Botswana operates an ageing fleet of three ATR42-500s, one ATR72-500, and two ARJ-85s on flights to Francistown, Maun, and Kasane locally as well as Cape Town, Harare Int'l, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, and Lusaka regionally.