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Brazil's Azul confirms talks with Star Alliance

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Campinas Viracopos) CEO David Neeleman has confirmed Star Alliance has approached his airline over its possible accession to the alliance. Neeleman made the remarks to Brazil's Panrotas newswire during Avianca Brasil's joining ceremony last week.

Star Alliance's CEO Mark Schwab last month confirmed talks were ongoing but noted that Neeleman's recent acquisition of a stake in TAP Portugal (TP, Lisbon), coupled with the introduction of Azul's maiden longhaul ...

Brazilian regulator okays Delta's plans to boost Gol stake

Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (G3, São Paulo Congonhas) Brazil's antitrust regulator (Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica - CADE) has greenlighted Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes' plans to sell newly issued shares to Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson).

In a statement, the Cade said it saw no competition issues in the international routes operated by both companies.

Delta plans to acquire USD56 million in newly issued preferred GOL shares bringing its stake in the ...

United announces $3bn share buyback scheme

Following a record USD1.2 billion profit for the second quarter of the year, United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) has announced an additional USD3 billion share buyback program which it expects to complete by 2017.

"The USD3 billion share repurchase program we announced today demonstrates the confidence we have in our future," John Rainey, UAL's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said. "We will continue to invest in our customers, assets and our people, and remain ...

Dominican Republic's Air Century adds first Saab 340

Air Century (Santo Domingo La Isabela) has taken delivery of its maiden Saab 340B - cn 344 - following an overhaul at Bangor airport in the United States. The Dominican operator plans to deploy the twinprop on charter flights throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the US.

Currently, Air Century operates two Jetstream 31s, two Jetstream 32s, one Gulfstream IIB, and one Cessna Citation.

Qatar Airways, flydubai named as possible Spicejet suitors

Spicejet (SG, Delhi Int'l) has held negotiations with Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) and flydubai (FZ, Dubai Int'l) over a possible commercial agreement that could lead to either of the Gulf carriers acquiring a shareholding in the budget airline India's Economic Times has reported.

But while Spicejet has now officially confirmed it is in talks with 'a few parties', it has yet to specify whom they are.

"A few parties have approached us and evinced interest in making investments into ...

Botswana's Blue Sky Airways hunting for B737 Classics

Blue Sky Airways (Gaborone) is looking to replace the 28 year-old B737-200(Adv) it leases from Flying Mission Services (Gaborone) with either a B737-300 or a B737-500 Managing Director Mark Spicer has told African Aerospace in an interview.

According to Spicer, the need for relatively 'newer' aircraft comes as the airline pursues its own Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Botswana's 2013 decision to recertify all locally-based carriers to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ...

Mexico's TAR Aerolíneas beefs up fleet; eyes int'l ops

TAR Aerolíneas (LCT, Querétaro) could commence long touted international operations early next year with flights to the United States and the Caribbean airline public relations manager Gil Calzadías Carbajal has told Mexico's El Financiero newspaper.

Launched in 2011, TAR has acquired five more ERJ-145s to add to its current fleet of three Carbajal said, and now plans to expand its domestic network to twenty destinations throughout Mexico.

Taking advantage of steady demand, he said the ...

Allegiant to open Cincinnati base in 1Q2016

Allegiant Air (G4, Las Vegas McCarran) has announced plans to develop Cincinnati Int'l into a base of operations with effect from January 6, 2016. Local media reports indicate the LCC plans to base three A319-100s and ninety staff at the midwestern hub.

“The Greater Cincinnati area has quickly become one of our strongest markets with a demonstrated demand for low-cost vacation travel,” said Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company senior vice president of planning. “The establishment of an ...

Moldova's Nobil Air rebrands as Classica Air

Moldovan business charter specialist Nobil Air (NBL, Chisinau) has rebranded itself as Classica Air (NBL, Chisinau) effective immediately.

Classica Air operates one Learjet 60 and one ERJ Legacy 650 (ERJ-135)BJ on VIP charter flights both regionally and internationally.

Eurowings outlines tentative Vienna base network ops

Eurowings (EW, Dusseldorf) has begun to outline its preliminary Vienna base network which is set to come on-line during Summer 2016. The Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) budget subsidiary is currently in the process of securing of its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT).

According to research carried out by Austrian Aviation Net, Eurowings is planning to serve Hanover as well as Rome Fiumicino, London Stansted, ...

Mozambique flyafrica set to add maiden aircraft

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Biman Bangladesh to lease in Maldivian widebodies

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Reunion's Air Austral to begin B787 flights in late 2Q2016

Air Austral (UU, St. Denis de la Réunion) has outlined its proposed B787-8 operational schedule due to come online in Summer of next year.

According to Airline Route, the Reunionaise carrier plans to begin Dreamliner operations on June 10 with flights between St. Denis de la Réunion and Dzaoudzi, a commune in the French overseas department of Mayotte. Additional 2x weekly longhaul sectors from Dzaoudzi to Paris CDG are also planned.

The ch-aviation aircraft database shows Air Austral is ...

Turkish LCC AnadoluJet mulls international expansion in 2016

AnadoluJet (AJA, Ankara Esenboga) could begin international operations next year the Chief Executive Officer of parent Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul Atatürk), Temil Kotil, has said. Speaking to German financial newspaper, Handelsblatt, Kotil said Turkish is considering deploying its LCC subsidiary on flights to Germany, France, and the United Kingdom though no decision has yet been taken.

"Tickets are on average 30 to 40% cheaper than scheduled flights with Turkish Airlines," Kotil said ...

ECair to partner Sabena Aerospace in new Congo MRO venture

ECAIR - Equatorial Congo Airlines (LC, Brazzaville) has signed a joint-venture agreement with Belgian MRO specialist, Sabena Aerospace, in which the two have pledged to establish a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-compliant aircraft maintenance and overhaul facility in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo (ROC).

The venture, sa@ec (a contraction of sabenaaerospace@ecair), will be majority owned by Sabena Aerospace.

Under the terms of the agreement, an MRO hangar capable ...

US FAA seeks to fine Colorado's MayaAir Charter $55,000

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it is planning to fine Colorado's MayaAir Charter USD55,000 for allegedly using its Hawker 400XP to conduct commercial operations despite lacking the necessary certification to do so.

The FAA alleges that between July 28, 2014 and August 3, 2014, MayaAir used N432MA (cn RK-370) to ferry paying customers on five flights in Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

MayaAir has been in communication with the FAA about the ...

Singaporean LCC Scoot begins commercial B787-8 operations

Scoot (TZ, Singapore Changi) began commercial B787-8 operations with 9V-OFA (msn 37117) operating a return Singapore Changi-Sydney Kingford Smith service on Thursday, July 23. The aircraft arrived in Asia on Friday, July 17 following a ferry flight from Charleston, SC to Singapore Changi via Seattle Boeing Field .

Scoot is using its B787s, which includes ten B787-8s and ten B787-9s, to replace its older fleet of outgoing B777-200(ER)s, the last of which is slated to leave for ...

Djibouti's Daallo Airlines eyes ATR72s for Somali flights

Daallo Airlines (D3, Djibouti) Chief Executive Officer Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin says his airline is planning to lease a pair of ATR72-500s - its first Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac) machinery - for use on its Somali network.

Speaking to African Aerospace, Yassin said that should all details be resolved and the turboprops arrive, the Djibouti-based carrier's sole BAe 146-200 - leased from Bulgaria's Aviostart (VSR, Sofia) - would then be reserved for charter flights.

Daallo ...

Italy's Blue Panorama augments summer B737 fleet

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Crystal Cruises to establish own VIP carrier in 2017

Just two months after Genting Hong Kong completed a USD550 million takeover of the firm, Crystal Cruises has outlined an ambitious multi-billion dollar expansion plan which will see it establish its own dedicated luxury airline subsidiary among other developments.

According to a press communique, Crystal Luxury Air (Los Angeles Int'l) will begin operations in 2017 offering around-the-world flights on-board a B787-8 configured with sixty all-premium seats.

"Each approximately 28-day ...

VistaJet partners Apex Air for domestic Chinese flights

VistaJet has announced that Apex Air (Nantong) will manage and operate a China-based fleet of aircraft for its Flight Solution Program. Under the partnership, VistaJet will offer domestic Chinese point-to-point flights this Septmber using its first China-registered aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger 850 - B-3376 (cn 8107) - owned by its VistaJet (China) (Nantong) subsidiary.

Chinese customers will also have access to VistaJet's fleet of over fifty large-cabin, long-range Bombardier ...

AirAsia Japan commences certification drive

AirAsia Japan (JW, Nagoya Chu-bu) has commenced certification with the Japan Civil Aeronautics Board (JCAB) ahead of a planned launch in Spring 2016. Quoting local media sources, the ZipanguFlyer blog reports that despite delays brought on by a revision of its business plan, the LCC could secure its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) as early as October of this year.

A joint venture between AirAsia Group (49%), Octave Japan Infrastructure Fund (19%), Rakuten (18%), Noevir Holdings (9%), and Alpen ...

RwandAir secures $160mn loan to finance A330 acquisition

RwandAir (WB, Kigali) has secured a USD160 million loan facility from the Preferential Trade Area Bank (PTA) needed for the purchase of its first two widebody aircraft.

The Rwandan national carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) in March for the acquisition of two A300s - one A330-200 and one A330-300 - due for delivery during the second half of next year.

"The acquisition of the two wide body aircraft will significantly increase ...