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Grenada mulls cutting LIAT funding

The Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, says his government is prepared to offer subsidies to LIAT (LI, Antigua) to serve the island but has ruled out funding the airline’s operations.

Mitchell's comments come after he was able to persuade the pan-Caribbean carrier to cut only one weekly flight to Grenada despite previous plans to cut more. LIAT has blamed a lack of adequate capacity needed to service its extensive Caribbean network for persistent delays.

However, regional ...

PIA suspends northern Pakistan flights over Kashmir tensions

PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l) has suspended some flights to Pakistan's northern provinces amid escalating tensions with India over the nearby disputed Jammu & Kashmir region.

Local media reports state the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PkCAA) closed off airspace in the area on Monday for the third time in five days thus affecting PIA's flights from Islamabad to Gilgit and Skardu.

No official reason for the airspace closure has been given although several ...

Bulgaria Air ends BAe 146-200 operations

Bulgaria Air (FB, Sofia) has ended BAe 146-200 operations after LZ-HBZ (cn E2103) was acquired by Neptune Aviation Services (Missoula), Skyliner Aviation reports.

The twenty-eight year-old jet, now re-registered N477NA, will shortly undergo conversion into a water bomber prior to its redelivery to Neptune.

The Bulgarian carrier has a further twelve active aircraft in its fleet including two A319-100s, three A320-200s, one ARJ-70, two B737-300s and four EMB-190s.
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Real Tonga resumes commercial MA-60 operations

Real Tonga Airlines (RT, Tongatapu) has resumed commercial MA-60 operations after it deployed A3-RTL (cn 904) onto its Tongatapu-Vava'u route on Tuesday, September 20.

The Chinese-manufactured turboprop was withdrawn from service in February 2015 after the Tongan government cancelled a lease agreement. At the time, the Pacific island-state came under intense pressure from New Zealand for operating the aircraft which, it said, had not been properly type-certified in line with international ...

Thailand unveils tougher start-up requirements

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has unveiled a series of proposed measures aimed at restricting the number of start-up carriers looking to commence operations in the country.

The CAAT's acting director, Chula Sukmanop, told The Bangkok Post that applicants would now have to undergo tougher financial and ownership scrutiny before being granted an Air Operator's License (AOL) from the Thai Ministry of Transportation.

Chula said the CAAT would set up a screening committee, ...

Biman Bangladesh leasing a Mongolian B767

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) has wet-leased a B767-300(ER) from MIAT - Mongolian Airlines (OM, Ulaanbaatar) ch-aviation research has shown.

EI-FGN (msn 30564) is currently used on select flights from Dhaka and Chittagong, to Dubai Int'l, Abu Dhabi Int'l, Doha Hamad Int'l, and Kuala Lumpur Int'l.

The contract runs until next month and covers the spillover in demand generated by the current Hajj season with Biman using some of its own aircraft on Hajj charter flights.

Biman also ...

Switzerland's Edelweiss Air adds maiden A340

Edelweiss Air (WK, Zurich) has taken delivery of the first of three A340-300s it will lease from parent Swiss (LX, Zurich). HB-JMG (cn 562) was ferried from Manchester Int'l to Zurich on Friday, September 23 ahead of its planned commercial debut for Edelweiss early next month.

As previously reported, the leisure specialist will deploy the quadjet on shorthaul flights to Palma Son Sant Joan, Heraklion, Larnaca and Antalya ahead of a December 1 longhaul debut with flights to Cape Town (2x ...

Russia's AeroGeo adds maiden PC-12

AeroGeo (Krasnoyarsk) has added a maiden PC-12/47 to its fleet in the form of N588RS (cn 1062). The aircraft will make its commercial debut on VIP charter flights from November onwards, the business charter specialist said in a statement.

Aside from the Pilatus Aircraft (PCH, Buochs) turboprop, AeroGeo also operates one Eurocopter AS350B3, one Eurocopter EC130, one Eurocopter EC-120B, several Bell Helicopters and Mil Helicopters, three Cessna (single piston) 206Hs, two ...

Malta's AirX Charter adds maiden VIP-configured A340

AirX Charter (AXY, Malta) has taken delivery of its first widebody aircraft, A340-300 9H-BIG (cn 374), formerly 4R-ADF with SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo Int'l).

The quadjet recently underwent reconfiguration into a VIP layout featuring 100 lie-flat seats and inflight Wi-fi.

The Maltese charter specialist also operates three B737-500s, four Challenger 850s, and three Embraer Legacy 600s. As previously reported, it will shortly add a maiden B737-300(F).

New Zealand's Originair resumes operations

Originair (Nelson) resumed operations last Friday using an Air2There (Paraparaumu) Piper PA31-350 Chieftain between Nelson and Palmerston North. Flights restarted following a five-month suspension.

Services will initially run four times per week, however, the airline anticipates boosting operations during the high season. The virtual carrier was forced to suspend flights earlier this year following problems with its first two operators Air Freight NZ (OG, Auckland Int'l) and ...

China's Spring Airlines seeks partners for new LCC hub

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UK's Monarch Airlines denies claims of financial distress

Monarch Airlines (ZB, London Luton) has denied rumours circulating via social media that it is in financial distress and in imminent danger of suspending all operations.

Earlier this weekend, Twitter users questioned the positioning of several B747-400s to various leisure destinations around Spain, all of which bore a remarkable resemblance to Monarch's own network.

The UK leisure specialist has since refuted any claims about its alleged ill health claiming it is on track to register an ...

Mega Maldives leases B737-800 from Travel Service Airlines

Mega Maldives Air (LV, Malé) has wet-leased a B737-800 from Travel Service Airlines (QS, Prague) as part of its plans to modernise its fleet and expand its route network, the airline said in a statement.

The aircraft, OK-TVT (msn 39394), will be wet-leased during the winter months and used to bolster the carrier’s short-haul connectivity to India and Sri Lanka, as well as free up its three B767-300(ER)s to resume services to Kuala Lumpur Int'l and Jeddah during the fourth quarter. The ...

Libya's Buraq Air wet-leasing an A320-200

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ACCC extends Virgin Australia – Singapore Airlines alliance

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given authorisation for the extension of the Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) – Singapore Airlines (SQ, Singapore Changi) alliance for another five years.

First announced and authorised back in 2011, the alliance allows either carrier mutual access to the other's network by virtue of codeshare agreements. In addition, members of Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme are able to earn and redeem miles on ...

Nepal Airlines board okays A330 plan; issues RFP

Nepal Airlines (RA, Kathmandu) has been given the green light by its board to acquire two A330-200s to replace its outgoing B757-200s and expand its international network.

The airline will take out a loan to purchase the jets, with the Finance Ministry acting as guarantor. According to a Request For Proposals issued to all interested parties this weekend, the aircraft should be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772Bs and should be no older than two years of age. Proposals are due by November 10, ...

Ukraine's Dniproavia to lease an A320 this winter

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Norwegian to lease a pair of A320s in early 4Q2016

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Spain's Vueling eyes France-Algeria market

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Russia considering sale of Aeroflot subsidiary Rossiya

The Russian Transport Ministry has been instructed to submit proposals for the potential sale of Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) subsidiary Rossiya (FV, St. Petersburg), the Vedomosti business daily reports. Although no official reason has been given for the move, it is believed that concerns have been raised over the Aeroflot Group’s dominance on the Russian market and Rossiya’s financial performance.

Aeroflot assumed full control of Rossiya on March 30, 2014 having acquired the carrier ...

Indian LCC IndiGo converts twenty A320neo to A321neo

IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) has converted twenty of its 430 A320neo order with Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) to the larger A321neo as it looks to boost capacity and operate longer flights, the airline confirmed in a statement. It did not provide further details.

IndiGo has taken delivery of eight of the A320neos it has on order and maintains operations with a further 107 A320-200s. The conversion will see the low cost carrier’s first shift towards larger aircraft as part of ...

Cebu Pacific adds maiden high-density ATR72-600

Cebu Pacific Air (5J, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l) has taken delivery of the first high-density ATR72-600 aircraft from Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac), to be operated by its subsidiary Cebgo (DG, Manila Ninoy Aquino Int'l). As the launch customer, the carrier will utilise the aircraft to bolster its inter-island network and replace its existing ATR72-500 fleet.

The high-density option of the ATR72-600 is configured with 78 seats compared to the 68 seat standard version of the ...

DOT retenders several EAS contracts after SeaPort bankruptcy

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking emergency replacement proposals for a number of Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts previously held by SeaPort Airlines (K5, Portland Int'l, OR) which ceased all operations this week.

Replacement EAS contracts are being sought for operations from El Dorado, Harrison and Hot Springs. On the other hand, the DOT had requested proposals for operations from Pendleton prior to SeaPort’s demise as the contract was due to expire by the end of ...

Nepal's Yeti Airlines to add ATR aircraft to fleet

Yeti Airlines (YT, Kathmandu) plans to add two ATR72-500s by mid-2017 and additional ATR42-500s to its fleet by mid-2018, which will support its short-haul network of domestic routes.

The Nepalese carrier is in the final stages of acquiring the ATRs and is studying the aircraft’s performance, according to Aviation Nepal. The airline intends to deploy the ATR72-500s on flights from its base in Kathmandu to Bhadrapur, Bhairahawa, Biratnagar, Dhangarhi, and Nepalganj. The ATR42s will be used on ...