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Uruguay's BQB in talks to sell airline to Bolivia's Amaszonas

BQB Líneas Aéreas (5Q, Montevideo) owner and founder Juan Carlos Lopez Mena is in talks to sell the troubled carrier to Bolivian operator, Amaszonas (Z8, La Paz El Alto), Montevideo's El Observador newspaper has reported.

The Uruguayan government is said to have given its tacit approval to the negotiations though their current status is unknown at this time.

BQB has been in the doldrums since the middle of last year when a botched attempt at starting A319-100-operated flights to ...

Ethiopian to lease not acquire Terrible Teen B787s - Tewolde

Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) CEO Tewolde Gebremariam says his airline would lease, rather than acquire, between six and eight early model B787-8s from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare). In February, the Ethiopian national carrier was linked, along with Réunionaise operator Air Austral (UU, St. Denis de la Réunion), to separate deals for so-called "Terrible Teen" B787s.

“We want to lease them but we will not purchase them. The issue is still under discussion,” Tewolde told The Reporter ...

Australia's Skytrans to resume flights on April 1

Skytrans (Q6, Cairns) is to resume operations on April 1 following a deal between the airline's administrators Bentleys Chartered Accountants and Collings Aircraft Holdings, the owners of West Wing Aviation (WW, Mount Isa).

According to Australian Aviation, following its acquisition of Skytrans' Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), West Wing has now leased two Dash 8-100s - VH-QQA (cn 5) and VH-QQG (cn 36) - with options for an additional six aircraft. In contrast to their previous operations, ...

Florida's Choice Aire to start public charter flights in May

Swift Air (USA) (Q7, Phoenix Sky Harbor) has announced it will commence scheduled public charter flights for and on behalf of Floridian start-up, Choice Aire, effective May 21.

Service will include 5x weekly direct flights between Atlantic City, Nashville Int'l, and Miami Int'l using a combination of B737-300 and B737-400 aircraft.

Choice Aire also offers public charters linking Miami with Havana Int'l.

Ryanair to lease in two Latvian A320s this summer

Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) is to wet-lease two A320-200s from Latvian operator SmartLynx Airlines (6Y, Riga) for use during the current summer season Skyliner Aviation has reported. Currently in an all-white livery, YL-LCM (cn 244) and YL-LCN (cn 662) are based out of Madrid Barajas it said.

As reported in February, the Irish LCC also wet-leases in four B737s from Slovak ACMI specialist Air Explore (ED, Bratislava) this summer including two B737-800s - OM-FEX (msn 28213) and OM-HEX (msn ...

Canada's WestJet to begin B767 operations this August

WestJet (WS, Calgary) will deploy its incoming fleet of B767-300(ER)s into service on domestic Canadian flights beginning this August. AirlineRoute reports the widebody aircraft, Westjet's first, will begin flights on the Toronto Pearson-Calgary rotation effective August 2.

Thereafter, the four ex-Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingford Smith) jets will begin flights from Calgary and Edmonton Int'l in Canada to Honolulu and Kahului in Hawaii this December with additional longhaul routes expected to be ...

Jet2 abandons A330 lease plans

Jet2 (LS, Leeds/Bradford) has abandoned plans to wet-lease its first widebody aircraft - an A330-300 - from Malaysian budget longhaul operator AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur Int'l).

The UK-based budget carrier had planned to base the aircraft - believed to have been 9M-XXM (cn 741) - out of Manchester Int'l over the period May 20 to September 28 for use on flights to Palma de Mallorca Son Sant Joan, Dalaman, Tenerife Sur, Bodrum, Lanzarote, and Paphos.

The LCC's fleet currently consists of ...

Vilnius municipality in storm over $6mn grant to Air Lituanica

Air Lituanica (LT, Vilnius) is set to receive a further cash injection through its majority shareholder, the City of Vilnius. According to The Baltic Course newspaper, the municipality voted in mid-March to allocate the loss-making carrier another EUR5.6 million (USD5.99 million) to help shore up its capital reserves.

While the outgoing Mayor of Vilnius, Arturas Zuokas, supported the carrier during his term, successor Remigijus Šimašius has not, calling instead for the carrier to be ...

Spanish startup, Air Horizont, set for delivery of first aircraft

Air Horizont (Zaragoza) is on track to take delivery of its maiden aircraft, a B737-400, ahead of its planned launch in May. Skyliner Aviation reports 9H-ZAZ (msn 25349) was recently spotted at St. Athan airport in the United Kingdom following its repaint into the start-up's colours.

The jet is chartered from an unknown Maltese firm as Air Horizont has yet to secure its own Air Operators Certificate (AOC).

Once operational, the Zaragoza-based carrier will serve Seville and Alicante in ...

Kenya Airways secures 5th freedom rights for Ghana-Liberia sector

Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) says it has secured 5th Freedom traffic rights between Accra, Ghana and Monrovia Roberts, Liberia by virtue of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) Kenya signed with the governments of Ghana and Liberia.

According to the carrier, it will only be able to resume its Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta-Accra-Monrovia Roberts route, suspended last year on occasion of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, once it has secured clearance from the ...

Ukraine's Kharkiv Airlines temporarily suspends operations

Kharkiv Airlines (KW, Kharkov) has temporarily suspended operations following the end of the 2014/15 winter season. The carrier's press service told Ukraine's Liga news agency that it is seeking to resume operations this summer season with charter flights to "popular tourist destinations" for and on behalf of its parent, tour operator Pegas Touristik.

According to the report, Kharkiv's only aircraft - B737-800 UR-CLS (msn 32841) - is now in Turkey undergoing maintenance effectively leaving ...

KLM cityhopper to replace Fokkers with more Embraers

KLM cityhopper (WA, Amsterdam) will transition to an all-Embraer fleet following the complete withdrawal of its Fokker Aircraft fleet in 2018. Parent KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam) announced on Monday, March 30 that it has ordered fifteen EMB-175s and two EMB-190s for its subsidiary with the two EMB-190s due in December this year. The contract also includes an option for seventeen additional E-Jets destined for either KLM cityhopper or Air France regional subsidiary, ...

St. Helena awards flight contract to South Africa's Comair

Comair (South Africa) (MN, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) will next year commence scheduled services to St Helena after the island's government awarded the carrier a contract to operate weekly services to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo on-board B737-800 equipment.

"The agreement with Comair is for an initial term of three years from the date of the first flight, with the potential for up to two extensions of two years each – a maximum term of seven years," the St. Helena government said in a ...

Equatorial Guinea's Punto Azul to end scheduled operations

Punto Azul (ZR, Malabo) will exit the scheduled services market on April 19 airline sources have informed ch-aviation. Despite the development, the carrier will continue to operate charter flights for the oil and petroleum industry through West and Central Africa.

The Equatoguinean operator currently serves Bata locally and Accra, Douala, and Yaoundé Nsimalen regionally using a pair of ERJ-145s one of which will be returned to South Africa's NAC Charter (SLE, Lanseria) on April 19.

Oman Air to order more B737s; mulls A330neo, B787 for widebodies

Oman Air (WY, Muscat) CEO Paul Gregorowitsch says his carrier is planning to add twenty more B737 Next Gen in addition to B737 MAX Gen aircraft to its fleet.

Articulating his airline's plans to grow its fleet to seventy aircraft by 2020, Gregorowitsch told Reuters that ten of the B737s would be ordered direct from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) while the other ten would be sourced from lessors.

Deliveries of the NextGen aircraft are scheduled for 2017 while the MAX are due from 2019 ...

Greece's Hermes Airlines confirms partnership with Aerovista

Hermes Airlines (H3, Athens Int'l) has announced a partnership with Aerovista in which the UAE-based ACMI/charter specialist will base two A320-200s out of Greece. As recently reported by ch-aviation, the two aircraft - SX-BDT (cn 879) and SX-BDS (cn 1422) - are on dry-lease from Aerovista's Vista Georgia (AJD, Tbilisi) subsidiary.

"This partnership between Hermes Airlines and Aerovista offers a high level of service and reliability to the travel industry. With Greece being at the cross ...

VietJetAir begins A321-200 operations

VietJetAir (VJ, Hanoi) deployed its first A321-200 (sl) into service on Monday, March 30 the Vietnamese budget carrier has announced.

The first of seven on order from Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac), VN-A651 (cn 5295) is now active on 3x daily flights between Vietnam's largest cities - Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Yemenia suspends operations indefinitely; Sana airport damaged

Yemenia (IY, Sana) has suspended operations with immediate effect an announcement on its website has said. The move comes in the wake of continued Royal Saudi Air Force-led airstrikes against Iranian-backed Houthi forces entrenched near Sana International Airport.

The attacks are understood to have partially damaged parts of the airport's main terminal as well as part of its primary runway 18/36. No reliable information concerning the condition of Yemenia's fleet or that of ...

US DOT allows Delta to retain its Seattle-Haneda slot

Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has been allowed to retain its Seattle Tacoma Int'l-Tokyo Haneda slot pair by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) following an inquest precipitated by rivals American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu).

Late last year, American and Hawaiian petitioned the DOT to strip Delta of the route following its decision to operate only 17 return flights between Seattle and Tokyo Haneda from October 1, 2014, until ...

Solitaire Air to resume charter flights under FlyJordan brand

Solitaire Air (STR, Amman Queen Alia) is to resume charter operations under the 'FlyJordan' brand on June 1 ch-aviation can exclusively reveal.

Deputy General Manager, Raed Al Sukhun, says FlyJordan will use a pair of B737-300 jets to operate charter flights to/from Jordan in partnership with Amman-based tour operator, Dallas Travel & Tourism. The jets will also be proffered to the international ACMI/charter markets, he added.

Asian regulators take measures against Thailand over SSC finding

NokScoot (XW, Bangkok Don Mueang) could face additional delays in rolling out its planned network after both Japan and South Korea placed a moratorium on approving Thai-registered airlines' applications for new charter and scheduled flights.

The move comes amid reports in the Asian press claiming the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will institute a “Significant Safety Concern” (SSC) against Thailand after the country reportedly failed a recent Universal Safety Oversight ...

London Heathrow unveils measures to boost domestic connectivity

British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) hub owner, Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd (HAHL), has unveiled a series of measures aimed at increasing the use of London Heathrow as an international conduit for other cities and towns located throughout the United Kingdom.

Overall the airport plans to add nine new domestic air links while boosting frequencies on existing routes to Aberdeen Dyce, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow Int'l, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester Int'l, and Newcastle.

In addition to ...

New York's Altius Aviation looks to enter scheduled market

Altius Aviation (Syracuse) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for permission to venture into the scheduled passenger service sector.

The New York-based operator said in its application that it intends to deploy PC-12s on commuter flights throughout the US Upper East Coast with routes listed as: White Plains-Bedford, MA (year-round); White Plains-Martha's Vineyard (Summer/Autumn); White Plains-Rutland (Winter/Spring); Albany, NY-Buffalo (year-round); and ...

Camair-Co takes delivery of two MA-60s

Camair-Co (QC, Douala) has taken delivery of its maiden pair of MA-60s - TJX-SD and TJX-SE - following ferry flights from China this past weekend. The two turboprops will be deployed onto domestic Cameroonian flights replacing the B737-700 which has thus far proven to be excessive.

Acquired for XAF35 billion (USD58.1 million), the aircraft are part of a trio of aircraft ordered by the government of Cameroon in 2011 the first of which - TJ-XDE - is already in service with the ...

US DOT awards Crescent City EAS contract to PenAir

PenAir (KS, Anchorage Ted Stevens) has been awarded an Essential Air Services contract (EAS) to serve Crescent City in California following a tender process which also involved submissions from Alaska Seaplanes (J5, Juneau Int'l) and SeaPort Airlines (K5, Portland Int'l, OR).

In its ruling, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) said the contract would run from September 15, 2015, through to September 30, 2017 with Penair slated to operate two daily roundtrip flights to Portland Int'l, OR ...