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Maine's Elite Airways takes ownership of first CRJ-100ER

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Elite Airways (MNU, Portland, ME) has added a maiden CRJ-100ER, N97EA (cn 7027), to its Bombardier (BBA, Montréal Trudeau) fleet of four CRJ-200s and one CRJ-700. In a statement, the Maine based carrier said that prior to its acquisition, it had dry-leased the ex-Comair (USA) (OH, Cincinnati Int'l) machine from Avmax Aircraft Leasing for two years.

In addition to charter flights, Elite Airways also operates scheduled flights from Houston Hobby and Denver Int'l to Branson for virtual carrier ...

Durgapur, India sees first commercial flights

Durgapur Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in India's eastern state of West Bengal has officially commenced commercial operations with the launch of dedicated Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) flights to Kolkata this week.

The 6x weekly return flights operate on-board an Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l) ATR42-320 and are the airfield's only scheduled services at present. IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) and GoAir (G8, Mumbai Int'l) are also in the process of developing their own routes there ...

Wizz Air to open Debrecen, Hungary base this winter

Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) has announced it will develop Debrecen into its second Hungarian base during the winter 2015/16 season.

With effect from December 16, the LCC will use one based A320-200 to develop new 2x weekly routes to Brussels Charleroi, Malmö, and Paris Beauvais. Frequencies on Debrecen's existing destinations of London Luton and Eindhoven will also be increased.

Brazil's Azul firms up order for 30+20 EMB-195-E2s

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Campinas Viracopos) has converted a Letter of Intent (LOI), signed with Embraer (São José dos Campos) in July last year, into a firm order for thirty EMB-195-E2 jets. The contract also includes an additional twenty purchase rights for the same model, bringing the total potential order up to fifty E195-E2 jets.

Should all purchase rights be exercised, the contract has an estimated value of USD3.2 billion at Embraer’s current list prices.

Delivery of the ...

US DOC sanctions Al-Naser Airlines, Sky Blue Bird Aviation

The US Department of Commerce (DOC), through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has announced sanctions against five entities for attempting to aide Iranian carrier Mahan Air (W5, Tehran Mehrabad) to acquire at least two US-based Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) aircraft.

In a statement, the BIS said it had added Bahar Safwa General Trading, Iraq's Al-Naser Airlines (6N, Baghdad) and its shareholder Ali Abdullah Alhay to an existing Temporary Denial Order (TDO) thereby ...

Germany's Express Airways begins Croatia flights

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Air Lituanica ceases operations

Air Lituanica (LT, Vilnius) has ceased its operations as of today. All passengers holding tickets until May 29 will be rebooked on Air Baltic (BT, Riga) while remaining passengers will either get a refund or be rebooked on Air Baltic as well if agreed.

The carrier commenced flights in July 2013 with an wet-leased EMB-170 from Estonian Air (OV, Tallinn Lennart Meri) before adding an EMB-175LR, LY-LTF (c/n 17000017) to its fleet a few weeks later. In late 2013, Estonian Air terminated the ...

Plans afoot to resurrect Northeast Airlines brand

Chicago-based Volare Air Group says it is looking to resurrect the Northeast Airlines (USA) (NE, Boston) brand as part of plans to launch its own scheduled airline. Following Northeast's merger into Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) in 1972, Volare acquired the rights to the Northeast Airlines name, logo and trademark. As such, the firm says its carrier will more or less mimic its predecessor serving destinations throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, the Carolinas, Georgia, ...

Austria's Intersky to develop Memmingen, Germany base

InterSky (3L, Friedrichshafen) has announced it will establish a base in the Bavarian town of Memmingen with effect from October 5. Using a Dash 8-300, the Austrian carrier will operate daily flights to Cologne/Bonn complimenting existing services to Berlin Tegel and Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel.

Memmingen is Instersky's second German base after Friedrichshafen.

Virgin Atlantic sets date for final Heathrow B747 service

Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) has set a provisional April 18, 2016 date for its last commercial B747-400 flight from its Heathrow base Airline Route has reported. According to the blog, the type's last flight is slated to be VS006 from Miami Int'l to London Heathrow.

The UK-based carrier has twelve B747s in revenue service of which seven are based at London Gatwick that will see their lease agreements expire around 2019.

Last year, Chief Executive Officer Craig Kreeger said Virgin ...

Nevadan start-up Avatar Airlines turns to crowdfunding

Avatar Airlines (Las Vegas McCarran) has launched a crowdfunding initiative to help raise the USD5 million it requires to get operations off the ground. The Nevadan start-up is offering various incentives to investors who contribute between USD5 and USD9,750 in capital.

Descended from the failed Family Airlines (Las Vegas McCarran), Avatar last year said it would require up to USD300 million in funding to acquire a fleet of thirty B747-400s which it intends to configure with 539 seats in ...

South Korean carriers pledge to replace older jets

South Korean carriers Air Busan, Air Incheon, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Korean Air, and T'way Air have voluntarily signed an agreement with the country's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, & Transport (MLIT) in which they have pledged to replace any aircraft in their fleets that are older than twenty years of age.

The convention aims to improve the country's overall safety standard as well as enhance fuel efficiency.

The MLIT said that of the 264 jets owned and ...

Air Zimbabwe seeks Regional Jets, B737-500s, B787s

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LC Perú confirmed for two Czech B737 Classics

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Filipino CAA grounds SEAir Int'l, Skyjet Air

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has suspended the Air Operators Certificates (AOC) of both Skyjet Air (M8, Manila) and SEAir International (XO, Clark) citing safety concerns.

Filipino media state the suspension, which took effect on Monday, May 18, centred on a report submitted by a European Union Assessment Team following an audit of the country's airlines held late last month.

In its report, the EU said neither of the carriers met safety and procedural minima as ...

Craiova, Romania to close for runway works this summer

Consiliul Judeţean Dolj, the operator of Craiova airport in south-western Romania, says the facility will temporarily close with effect from June 1 to allow for resurfacing works to its main runway 09/27.

The closure is expected to last the whole of the summer season following which Craiova will reopen to traffic.

Among the operators affected are Wizz Air (W6, Budapest), as well as Blue Air (Romania) (0B, Bucharest Otopeni) and Aegean Airlines (A3, Athens Int'l) which had planned to ...

Brussels Airlines returns Austrian Q400 following lease-end

Brussels Airlines (SN, Brussels National) has returned a Dash 8-400 it had been wet-leasing from fellow Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) subsidiary Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) for the past four years Austrian Aviation Net reports. OE-LGC (cn 4026) was recently seen back in service for its parent last week.

The Belgian carriers continues to operate a pair of Q400 wet-leased from Flybe. (BE, Exeter) for use on flights from Brussels National to Basle/Mulhouse/Freiburg, Billund, ...

China Airlines outlines A350 network plans

China Airlines (CI, Taipei Taoyuan) chairman HsiangSun Huang has outlined his airline's planned A350-900 network strategy ahead of their arrival later next year. The Talkairlines blog says HsiangSun told a press conference in Taipei last week that China Airlines would deploy the type on its Taipei Taoyuan-Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Amsterdam service initially with service to Vienna, Rome Fiumicino via Delhi Int'l, and Vancouver Int'l to follow thereafter.

In its second phase, Auckland Int'l via ...

Flemish gvt fines Saudia €1.4mn for emissions violations

Saudia (SV, Jeddah) has been fined roughly EUR1.4 million (USD1.6 million) by the Flemish regional government in Belgium for breaching European Union regulations governing carbon emissions.

According to Reuters newswire, the Flemish Environment Minister said in a written parliamentary answer that the carrier had been fined EUR100 (USD110) for every EU Emissions Trading System it had failed to submit. The fine applies to all of Saudia's intra-EU flights.

Introduced in 2012 to combat climate ...

AGD Systems to return six RAF L1011s to civilian service

US defence contractor AGD Systems is planning to return six L-1011-500s, formerly in service with the Royal Air Force (RR, Brize Norton), to commercial service.

“The six Tristars were released from service with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) in March 2014," AGD's CEO, Mark Daniels, said. "Following the MoD release, the aircraft are currently undergoing inspections to return them to civilian operation for military contract services, with the first one ready in June ...

Malaysia Airlines & Co to dispose of Abacus shareholding

Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) has announced it will dispose of its indirect 8.84% shareholding in Asian Global Distribution System (GDS) provider, Abacus International, in a sale that is expected to be completed by later this year. As part of the streamlining of its businesses, Malaysia Airlines is divesting itself of non-core assets.

Malaysia Airlines and ten other major Asian airlines including ANA - All Nippon Airways (NH, Tokyo Haneda), ...

Western Air Bahamas acquires two ex-Malian Saab 340As

Western Air Bahamas (WST, Nassau Int'l) has added two more Saab 340As to its existing fleet of four with the acquisition of two ex-Mali Air Express (VXP, Bamako) machines, cns 51 and 136.

Deal facilitator Skyworld Aviation says the aircraft were previously in long term storage in Örebro, Sweden following their time in West Africa.

As Bahamas' largest privately-owned carrier, Western Air operates daily scheduled flights between Nassau Int'l, San Andros, Congo Town, Bimini Int'l, and ...

fastjet signs LOI with Ireland's ICBC for one A319

Fastjet (FN, Dar-es-Salaam) says it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Ireland's ICBC International Leasing Co. to lease one A319-100. Should the deal go ahead, the LCC expects to put 5H-FJR (cn 2281) into commercial service during the third quarter of this year.

New aircraft are to be sourced after fastjet plc successfully raised GBP50 million (USD75 million) through the issuance of new shares last month. Once delivered, the twinjets will be used to bolster its existing Tanzanian ...