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Interjet firms up Sukhoi options, mulls Havana hub in longterm

Interjet (4O, Toluca) has approved the firming up of options for an additional ten SSJ 100-95s Russia's RU Aviation News reports. The move follows talks between the airline's board and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Moscow Zhukovsky) executives late last year and, according to Interjet CEO Jose Luis Garza, will culminate in an agreement being signed in Venice, Italy later this year.

The Mexican LCC operates eleven of the type on flights throughout Mexico as well as to Houston Intc'l and ...

Finnair Cargo signs up for the IAG's Partner Plus Program

Finnair (AY, Helsinki Vantaa) says its freight subsidiary, Finnair Cargo, has signed an agreement with the International Airlines Group (IAG) to participate in its IAG Cargo Partner Plus Program. Six airlines currently make up the program including Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l), JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda), the Avianca group, and American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth).

“This closer cooperation with IAG Cargo will provide our customers better access to many markets beyond ...

Austria's Niki reintroduces the A319 into its fleet

Niki (HG, Vienna) has received a pair of A319-100 formerly in service with parent Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel). The two six-year-old aircraft, OE-LNA (cn 3661) and OE-LNB (cn 3447), have already been re-registered in Austria and are configured with 150 seats each. Niki operated the type up until 2013.

As it currently stands, the twinjets will also be used on Niki's existing route network as well as on its new Slovakian flights from Bratislava to Brussels National and Vienna starting October ...

Allegiant Air to acquire two A320s from Philippine Airlines

Allegiant Air (G4, Las Vegas McCarran) has announced the acquisition of additional A320 Family aircraft with two A320-200s, currently in service with Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila), set to arrive in the United States towards the end of the year.

“These A320s will have 177 seats in the same configuration as our current A320s. As with our other aircraft transactions, we are able to purchase these aircraft for cash," Jude Bricker, senior vice president of planning, said.

The Nevada-based ...

Pakistan International receives two Ukrainian ATR72s

PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l) has reportedly leased two ATR 72-500 aircraft from ABRIC Leasing. The two aircraft, cn 994 and cn 1029, are currently registered as UR-UTH and UR-UTJ and were formerly in service with UTair-Ukraine (QU, Lugansk). The ch-aviation aircraft database shows both turboprops are currently undergoing pre-delivery maintenance checks at Toulouse Francazal.

PIA already operates six ATR42-500s on domestic services throughout Pakistan and ...

American selects Mesa for CRJ-900 operations; mulls 100-seat jets

American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) has selected Mesa Airlines (YV, Phoenix Sky Harbor) to operate seven new CRJ-900 NextGen aircraft for a 10-year term under the American Eagle brand.

Earlier this month, the Texan-based operator announced it had reached an agreement in principle with Bombardier (BBA, Montréal Trudeau) to acquire the jets with options for an undisclosed number of additional airframes of the same type.

The 76-seat jets feature a two-class configuration with 12 First ...

Air Tahiti Nui selects the B787 for its fleet renewal needs

Air Tahiti Nui (TN, Papeete) has selected Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) over Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) for its fleet renewal requirements following intense boardroom deliberations the Tahitian press has reported. Despite a last-minute push by the Europeans with their A350-900 and A330 products, the carrier's board reportedly stuck with their initial decision to go with the Americans.

A key factor in the airline's decision is Paris's continued dalliance on whether or not it will ...

China Eastern's Jiangsu branch applies for international rights

China Eastern Airlines (MU, Shanghai Hongqiao) says its Jiangsu operation has applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to expand the parameters of its Air Operators Certificate (AOC).

According to WCARN news, the carrier wants to include the operation of domestic cargo and passenger services - including Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok, Macau Int'l and Taiwan - as well as international cargo and passenger services into its licence.

Currently, the carrier's AOC is restricted to ...

Australia's REX to start Bamaga, QLD services next month

REX - Regional Express (ZL, Wagga Wagga) says it has reached an agreement with the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC) paving the way for the launch of flights from Cairns to Bamaga, a town near the northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland.

"Rex announced on January 14 this year that it was prepared to fill the void left by the collapse of Skytrans (Q6, Cairns) and invited interested Cape communities to express their interests," Cairns-based Rex Queensland State ...

Strong demand for Wizz Air shares during London IPO

Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) raised GBP257 million (USD397 million) on its debut on the London Stock Exchange on February 25, roughly GBP150 million (USD231 million) more than its original projections of GBP109 million (USD168 million).

The budget carrier floated 52,263,615 ordinary shares, including 23,360,008 offered shares. The latter comprised 9,578,820 newly issued shares and 13,781,188 shares offered by existing shareholders.

With roughly 71% of all available equity sold, US investment ...

DAT reactivates sole MD-87 for Karup flights

DAT - Danish Air Transport (DX, Kolding) has put its sole MD-87 back in service after it was stored for several months in Billund. The aircraft (msn 49403) is registered as OY-JRU, was built in 1987 and has often been near to final retirement recently.

The twinjet will be mainly used on DAT´s new route from Karup to Copenhagen Kastrup which is going to be launched on March 29. Currently, the route is operated by DAT on behalf of Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen).

Based in Karup, the ...

Fiji Link phases out last ATR42-500

Fiji Link (PI, Nadi) has completed the renewal of its ATR fleet with the phaseout of its last ATR42-500. Prior to the renewal that started in mid-2014 the airline operated two ATR 42-500s, DQ-PSA (cn 554) and DQ-PSB (cn 534), alongside with three DHC-6s.

The second and last ATR42-500 to leave the fleet was DQ-PSB. The 1997-built aircraft has been returned to lessor Nordic Aviation Capital and has already been ferried to Billund and received its new registration OY-YAL.

Fiji Link now ...

Myanmar's FMI Air secures AOC, to start scheduled flights shortly

FMI Air (FMI, Yangon) will begin scheduled operations later this quarter after it secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Myanma Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) earlier this week.

The carrier recently took delivery of its first CRJ-200 - XY-ALA (cn 7486) - with a further two of the type - cn 7439 and cn 7449 - due in March and April respectively.

Since its inception last year, the start-up has been operating charter flights between Yangon and Naypyitaw using an ATR72 ...

Aeropostal and Laser put DC-9 back in service

Aeropostal - Alas de Venezuela (VH, Caracas Simón Bolivar) is reportedly returning a single DC-9-50, namely 36-year-old YV137T (cn 883), to scheduled service. It will be the only active DC-9 in the carriers fleet after it recently retired the aircraft type.

Aeropostal hereby follows competing Venezuelan carrier Laser Airlines (QL, Caracas Simón Bolivar). Laser itself returned the DC-9 back to its active fleet when a 1982-built DC-9-30 (YV331T, cn 1054) was reactivated a few weeks ago.

Mexico's MCS Aerocarga awaiting delivery of first freighter

MCS AeroCarga (México City) is awaiting delivery of its first aircraft - a CRJ(F) C-FWSC (cn 7120) formerly in service with Jazz Air (QK, Halifax) prior to its conversion into a freighter. The aircraft is on a long term dry lease from Avmax Aircraft Leasing.

A part of Mexican logistics group, MCS Delivery Express, MCS Aerocarga will specialize in ad-hoc charter flights to compliment the other members of the group.

Sweden's Höga Kusten Flyg to charter an Estonian E170

Höga Kusten Flyg (Örnsköldsvik) will charter an EMB-170 from Estonian Air (OV, Tallinn Lennart Meri) covering the period April 1 to May 1 ch-aviation has learned.

The twinjet, to be used on the Swedish virtual carrier's Stockholm Arlanda to Örnsköldsvik service, will replace an ATR72-200 currently chartered from Cimber (QA, Sønderborg).

AirAsia X eyes Hawaiian, New Zealand markets

AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) is applying for US traffic rights in order to serve Hawaii the founder and CEO of the AirAsia Group, Tony Fernandes, has said. Commenting on social media about the Group's longhaul plans, Fernandes added that a resumption of flights to Europe is also on the cards.

"AirAsia X is closing in on European routes including London and also application process starting (sic) to Hawaii," he said via Twitter.

Other longhaul destinations being studied include New ...

Southwest grounds B737-700s over inspection lapse

Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field) has been given a dispensation by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowing 128 B737-700s, voluntarily grounded by the carrier earlier this week, to remain in service so long as they undergo mandatory inspections of a backup rudder hydraulic system within the next five days.

Upon discovering the jets had flown beyond their required inspection hours, the Texan LCC, on Tuesday, grounded the affected aircraft before informing the FAA of the ...

Boeing to sell Terrible Teen B787s to Ethiopian

Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) is reportedly in talks with 10 separate buyers concerning the sale of early-model B787-8s, commonly referred to as "Terrible Teens" in the parlance of our times.

Informed sources told Bloomberg news that among the buyers are Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) which is reportedly in advanced discussions regarding eight jets. The Ethiopians were among the first operators of the Dreamliners on its commercial début in 2012.

As previously reported, ...

Aer Lingus considering the A321neo LR for Transatlantic flights

Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) is considering the A321neo Long Range for transatlantic operations the Irish carrier revealed in a presentation for its 2014 financial results.

The Irish carrier says the type represents "an opportunity" for the airline both in terms of augmenting as well as ultimately replacing, its fleet of three leased Air Contractors B757-200s currently used on transatlantic flights to the United States.

On its launch in January this year, ...

Havana Air chartering an Aruban MD-82

Havana Air (Miami Int'l) has chartered an MD-82 from Insel Air Aruba (8I, Aruba) for use on its Miami Int'l to Camagüey and Santa Clara de Cuba services. P4-MDD (msn 49972) was recently spotted in Curacao sporting the Floridian virtual carrier's titles and logo.

Havana Air operates 4x weekly charter flights between Miami and Havana as well as to twice weekly flights to Camagüey and Santa Clara de Cuba.

Australia's Walker Corp. orders one Twin Otter from Viking Air

Viking Air (VKN, Victoria Int'l) says it has signed a firm order agreement with Australian property development firm, Walker Corporation, for one DHC-6-400. Once delivered during the second quarter of this year, the turboprop will be equipped with floats before being deployed to Fiji where it will act as a luxury transport for resort guests.

“We are opening a luxury six star resort later this year on Yaukuve Island in Fiji, and want guests to enjoy every aspect of their stay from start to ...

India's Vistara eyes longhaul flights on 5/20 rule abolition

Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l) would venture into the intercontinental market should the Indian government move ahead with plans to withdraw existing "5/20" legislation. The rule currently limits start-up airlines from operating international flights until they have a been in service for at least 5 years and operate at least 20 aircraft.

"Almost 70% of India's outbound traffic is west-bound. US will be interesting for us, especially routes like New York JFK and Washington Dulles," Giam Ming Toh, ...

Mihin Lanka switches ALC lease deal from B737s to A320neo

Mihin Lanka (MJ, Colombo Int'l) has revised a lease agreement, signed with the Air Lease Corporation (ALC) early last year, concerning two B737-800s which were to have been delivered in June and July of this year.

Sri Lanka's Sunday Times quotes the airline's former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nishantha Ranatunga, as saying that after protracted negotiations, the US lessor agreed to switch out the B737s in favour of two A320neo and one A319-100. According to Ranatunga, Mihin management ...

VLM introduces flights from Liège

VLM (VG, Antwerp) has announced a new base in Liège. From May 1, the carrier will introduce new flights from there to Avignon (4 times a week), Bologna (4 times a week), Nice (5 times a week) and Venice Marco Polo (5 times a week). In total, the carrier intends to operate 18 weekly departures from the airport in Eastern Belgium. All services will be operated with own Fokker 50 aircraft.

The announcement just comes days after the airline said it would launch new routes from Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel ...