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HNA Aviation boosts its investment in Chang An Airlines

Chang An Airlines (CGN, Xi'an Xianyang) shareholder, HNA Aviation Group, has increased its stake in the carrier to 16.69% following its acquisition of 238,095,238 newly issued shares valued at CNY400 million (USD64.41 million) in total. The airline's registered capital has also increased to CNY2.86 billion (USD460.55 million).

China's WCARN says the overall shareholding structure of the carrier stands at Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) with 61.43%, HNA Aviation with 16.69%, while the remaining ...

China Express Airlines ends CRJ-200 operations

China Express Airlines (G5, Chongqing) retired the CRJ-200 from active operations on Saturday, March 29 following the type's last revenue flight. The event also marked the end of CRJ-200 operations within China as a whole.

WCARN reports the last two jets in service for the carrier were B-3565 (cn 7690) and B-7700 (cn 7704) and as such, China Express is now an exclusive operator of the CRJ-900 employing twelve of the twinjets to serve 65 destinations located throughout China.

Real Tonga to start int'l flights as Royal Tonga eyes launch

Real Tonga Airlines (RT, Tongatapu) is planning to commence international operations with flights to neighbouring Pacific islands slated for June CEO Tevita Palu has told the Matangi Tonga newspaper.

Services will be undertaken once new larger aircraft are acquired, he said. Currently the carrier plies an exclusively domestic network serving Eua, Niuafo'ou, Ha'apai, Niuatoputapu, and Vava'u using a Y12 and a Jetstream 32 leased from Australia's FlyPelican (Newcastle Williamtown). An ...

Latvia's Air Baltic eyes Uzbekistan Airways JFK codeshare

Air Baltic (BT, Riga) has filed an application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit and for route exemption authority thereby allowing it to offer scheduled and charter passenger, cargo and mail flights between the United States and the European Union.

The Latvian carrier says it is planning to codeshare with Uzbekistan Airways (HY, Tashkent Yuzhny) on the latter's Tashkent Yuzhny to New York JFK via Riga service with plans to do so as soon as all ...

Stobart Air to resume Shannon-Birmingham flights this June

Stobart Air (RE, Dublin Int'l) is to resume flights out of Shannon just six months after it pulled the plug in early January of this year. The Limerick Leader reports Stobart Air will restart 6x weekly Aer Lingus Regional flights from Shannon to Birmingham Int'l on June 18 but has denied it has plans to redevelop the western Irish airport into a base once more.

“The original decision to cease operations at Shannon Airport was a difficult but necessary one,” Ronan Whitty, head of Stobart Air ...

ANA All Nippon finalizes order for three B787-10s

ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda) has finalized an order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for three B787-10s, valued at approximately USD900 million at list prices.

With this order, originally announced as a commitment in January 2015, ANA becomes the US manufacturer's newest B787-10 customer and the first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of B787s including thirty-six B787-8s and forty-four B787-9s once all existing deliveries have been completed.

With a capacity of ...

Slovenia's Adria Airways commences CRJ-700 operations

Adria Airways (JP, Ljubljana) will deploy its maiden CRJ-700 into service this week ch-aviation has learned. The aircraft already flew a first rotation from Ljubljana to Frankfurt on March 29.

According to schedule data, S5-AAZ (cn 10014), on lease from Lufthansa CityLine (CL, Munich), will be used on flights from Ljubljana to Brussels National, Frankfurt Int'l, Munich, Paris CDG, Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana, Vienna, Warsaw Chopin, and Zurich.

Alitalia adds new domestic links with Darwin ATR72s

Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) is wet-leasing all four ATR 72-500s from fellow Etihad Airways operator, Darwin Airline (F7, Lugano), ch-aviation has learned. The Swiss airline will hereby operate its entire fleet of four Avions de Transport Régional turboprops - HB-ACA (cn 660), HB-ACB (cn 662), HB-ACC (cn 664), and HB-ACD (cn 668) - for and on behalf of the Italian carrier.

So far, three aircraft have begun operating under Alitalia codes with two used interchangeably on the 3x-daily ...

Canada's First Air to lease a Dash 8-100 from Summit Air

First Air (7F, Carp) will wet-lease an additional aircraft from Canadian ACMI/charter specialist Summit Air Charters (Yellowknife) First Air vice president, Bert van der Stege, has informed ch-aviation.

The Canadian North specialist will use a Summit Air Dash 8-100, its first of the type, on a twice weekly Yellowknife-Fort Simpson service starting April 2. First Air will continue to operate another four weekly services on the route with own ATR42-300s.

In return, as part of the carriers' ...

American Airlines Group on track for Single Operating Certificate

American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) parent, the American Airlines Group, says it expects to secure a consolidated Air Operator Certificate covering both American Airlines and US Airways (US, Phoenix Sky Harbor) early next month.

“Since the merger closed, we’ve been working steadily towards a Single Operating Certificate, or SOC," an internal staff memo seen by the Dallas Morning News said. "On April 8 we expect to receive our SOC from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)."

The ...

Croatia Airlines eyes leases for six 100-seater aircraft

Croatia Airlines (OU, Zagreb) will lease in six new aircraft as it pushes ahead with its fleet renewal plans. EX-YU Aviation News quotes CEO Krešimir Kučko as telling the Croatian news site Jutarnji that the renewal is part of management's medium-term strategy for the carrier.

"Our aim is to renew our fleet as soon as possible. We have given this serious consideration and could begin renewing our fleet this winter, with the addition of 100-seat jets," he said.

Last year, Kučko said the ...

Dakar to nationalize Senegal Airlines

Senegal Airlines (DN, Dakar) will be nationalized in a bid to stave off its imminent collapse the Senegalese government has announced. Amadou Hott, the CEO of the country's sovereign wealth fund, told Bloomberg news in an interview that a new holding company will be established with government converting the debt it holds to equity in the new entity. The airline, whose debt now stands at XOF45 billion (USD75 million), is owned by the Senegalese government (36%) and a consortium of local ...

Gol's shareholders vote to amend ownership restrictions

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (G3, São Paulo Congonhas) shareholders have voted in favour of a restructuring of the carrier's overall ownership in an effort to improve the carrier's appeal to potential foreign investors.

In the wake of Brasilia's decision to increase the limit on foreign shareholdings in local airlines from 20% to 49% in November last year, Gol shareholders have now voted in favour of allowing non-voting shareholders to hold board seats in addition to a clause which ...

Norwegian Long Haul to set up bases in Paris, Barcelona

Norwegian Long Haul (DU, Oslo Gardermoen) has selected Paris Orly as its next longhaul base Tore Østby, the director of investor relations for parent Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen), has disclosed.

According to Danish aviation portal check-in.dk, Østby told a conference in Oslo last week that the budget carrier wanted to serve the Parisian airport which, despite its proximity to the French metropolis, lacked adequate long haul connectivity.

"Orly has no long haul flights because of noise ...

China's Hainan Airlines to order thirty B787-9s

Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) is planning to place an order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for thirty B787-9s the carrier said in a disclosure to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The order, valued at USD7.7 billion at list prices, should see the jets delivered through to 2021.

The Chinese carrier says it would use the additional widebody jets to accelerate its international expansion with plans to increase existing connectivity to Europe and the United States while rolling out new ...

Wizz Air to replace Ukrainian subsidiary with new Kiev base

Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) says it will wind up its Wizz Air Ukraine (WU, Kiev Zhulyany) subsidiary operations on April 20 in line with the ongoing restructuring of the Group's operations in Ukraine.

"Following the removal of two aircraft from Ukraine last year, further capacity refinement and restructuring of Wizz Air’s operations in Ukraine were needed due to the ongoing instability in Eastern Ukraine, the devaluation and volatility of the local currency and the impact of foreign exchange ...

Egyptair suspends Sana'a flights following Saudi-led air raids

EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l) is the latest international carrier to indefinitely suspend its services to the Yemeni capital of Sana. As with Gulf Air (GF, Bahrain), which suspended its services yesterday, the Egyptians cite the country's deteriorating geopolitical landscape for the suspension.

On Thursday, March 26 Egypt joined Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Morocco in launching airstrikes against the ...

Congo Airways set to take delivery of first two aircraft shortly

Congo Airways (Kinshasa N'Djili) is slated to take delivery of its first two aircraft - reportedly an A320-200 and a Dash 8-400 - as it pushes ahead with certification and ultimately, launch plans.

Quoting local radio sources, the DR Congo Airline blog reports the Congolese government has appointed Claude Kirongozi as the carrier's managing director while his deputy will be appointed by Air France Consulting which is providing guidance in the project.

The airline's inaugural flight has ...

Air Moldova ends Embraer 120 operations

Tandem-Aero (TQ, Chisinau) has withdrawn its single EMB-120, ER-EMA already in February after its wet-lease contract with Air Moldova (9U, Chisinau) ended. Air Moldova so far had used the aircraft on flights from Chisinau to Adler/Sochi, Bucharest Otopeni and Kiev Borispol. The 24-year-old turboprop aircraft was stored after performing its last flight on behalf of Air Moldova on February 28.

Air Moldova itself has removed the three destinations from its network following the EMB-120 ...

Air Botswana wet-leasing a CemAir CRJ-100

Air Botswana (BP, Gaborone) is wet-leasing a CRJ-100 from South African ACMI/charter specialists CemAir (5Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) ch-aviation has learned. ZS-CMD (cn 7141) is currently providing the Batswana national carrier with short-term additional capacity while its aircraft undergo mandatory maintenance.

Air Botswana operates three ATR42-500s, one ATR72-500, and two ARJ-85s on flights throughout the country as well as to neighbouring South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

Zambia's Proflight to begin longterm CRJ-100 operations

Proflight Air Services (P0, Lusaka) will begin long-term CRJ-100 operations next month following a successful trial period with ZS-CMB (cn 7215), leased from South Africa's CemAir (5Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo), during the last quarter of last year.

The carrier said in a statement that the type would primarily be deployed on its Lusaka to Ndola and Solwezi routes. It will also be used to satisfy peak demand on flights to Livingstone and Mfuwe.

“Proflight Zambia has grown steadily but ...

Fastjet's Zimbabwean operation secures its Air Services Permit

Fastjet (FN, Dar-es-Salaam) interim chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Winter says the carrier's newest affiliate, Fastjet Zimbabwe, has secured its Air Services Permit (ASP) following approval from both the Zimbabwean Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) for its proposed business plan, structuring, and choice of aircraft.

"We recognized the real potential in Zimbabwe some time ago and have been working with the authorities to build fastjet Zimbabwe, ...

germanwings leasing in metal as crews grieve for 4U9525

germanwings (4U, Cologne/Bonn) has been forced to ground some aircraft in its fleet as employees struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of the crash of A320-200 D-AIPX (cn 147) in the French Alps on Tuesday this week. Operating as flight 4U9525 from Barcelona El Prat to Dusseldorf, the accident killed all 144 passengers and 6 crew on-board.

Austrian Aviation Net says numerous airline crew are too grief stricken to operate their aircraft resulting in the chartering of additional ...

Denmark's Es-air to cease operations after just 4 weeks

ES-air (Esbjerg) has announced it will cease operations from March 29 onwards citing weak demand. The last flight to be operated will be JTG8 from Esbjerg to Copenhagen Kastrup that evening. The company says it will fully refund all outstanding bookings.

The virtual carrier, which started operations on March 2 with an ATR 72-500 chartered from Jet Time (JO, Copenhagen Kastrup), aimed to revive flights between the small city of Esbjerg, in Western Denmark, and the capital Copenhagen.

Though ...

Irish lessors drag Spicejet to court over $16mn in unpaid dues

Spicejet (SG, Delhi Int'l) is to head to court where it will take on five Irish lessors claiming over INR1 billion (USD16 million) in unpaid aircraft leases India's Economic Times has reported.

The firms - B&B Air Acquisition, Steddell Ltd, Torodell Ltd, Xavierdell Ltd and Virgodell Ltd - have petitioned the Madras High Court to have the carrier declared bankrupt before being liquidated in a bid to secure their monies.

All five state that while they last received basic leasing and MRO fees ...