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Priester Aviation secures VistaJet Challenger 350 contract

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Priester Aviation (PWA, Chicago Executive) has secured a contract from global business aviation firm VistaJet to operate its US-based fleet of Bombardier Challenger 350 jets. Service began in June 2015 and there are currently three VistaJet (Austria) (VJS, Salzburg) Challenger 350 jets in operation with Priester Aviation.

“We’re proud to be selected as VistaJet’s operator of choice for their U.S.-based Challenger 350 aircraft,” said Andy Priester, president and CEO for Priester Aviation. ...

China's Spring Airlines sets up Hebei branch

Spring Airlines (9C, Shanghai Hongqiao) has set up a branch in Hebei using Shijiazhuang as a base. China's WCARN reports the budget carrier is the third airline to use the facility as a base after Hebei Airlines (NS, Shijiazhuang) and China United Airlines (KN, Beijing Nanyuan).

Using four A320-200s based at the airport, Spring Airlines currently serves nineteen destinations throughout China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, and Japan.

China's Jiangxi Airlines looks to early 1Q2016 launch

Jiangxi Airlines (RY, Nanchang) has set its sights on securing its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) before year-end in time for an early 2016 launch.

Using an initial fleet of five B737-800s acquired from co-owner Xiamen Airlines (MF, Xiamen), the start-up plans to serve Xi'an Xianyang, Urumqi, Chongqing, Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen from its Nanchang hub. In terms of its expansion plans, Jiangxi ...

Indonesia's Dimonim Air leasing two Twin Otter-300s

Dimonim Air (Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) has leased a pair of DHC-6-300s from US-based firm, CAAMS Leasing. PK-HVM (cn 620) and PK-HVN (cn 389) arrived in Indonesia in September just prior to the implementation of a new Ageing Aircraft Law which requires aircraft going onto the Indonesian register to be 10 years old or less.

Dimonim Air specializes in flights throughout Papua connecting Manokwari with Nabire, Wamena, Tanahmerah, Tembagapura and Balikpapan. Its fleet also includes six ...

Papua New Guinea's Helifix adds maiden Twin Otter

Helifix (Port Moresby) has taken delivery of its maiden DHC-6-400 following the arrival of HB-LPY (cn 851) in Port Moresby last week.

On delivery from Switzerland's Zimex Aviation (C4, Zurich), the twinprop will compliment the Papua New Guinean operator's existing fleet of Bell Helicopters and a single Cessna (single turboprop) Grand Caravan 208B used to support local oil and gas exploration.

Indonesia's Citilink studying A321 for future expansion

Citilink (QG, Surabaya) is considering the possibility of upgauging its fleet of A320s and B737s to include larger aircraft CEO Albert Burhan has said.

Speaking at the CAPA Asia Aviation Summit, Burhan said given its reliance on the A320-200, the Garuda Indonesia (GA, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) subsidiary is studying the larger A321 as a means of boosting its overall capacity.

“Because of the slot constraints we need to be able to increase capacity, one of the options is by way of bigger ...

PublicCharters looking to start own scheduled operations

PublicCharters (P1, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to operate scheduled passenger flights as a commuter air carrier.

In the application, the Pennsylvanian virtual carrier said it would use an in-house 6-seater Piper (twin piston) PA-31P-350 Navajo to operate a daily (weekday only) roundtrip between its Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hub and Baltimore Thurgood Marshall.

"The company will conduct flights exclusively from Fixed Base ...

Egypt's Aviator leasing a Latvian A320

Aviator (AVV, Cairo Int'l) has wet-leased an A320-200 from Latvian ACMI/charter specialist SmartLynx Airlines (6Y, Riga) Skyliner Aviation has reported. YL-LCP (cn 1823) was ferried from Woensdrecht to Cairo Int'l via Brussels National last week in an all-white livery.

Currently, the Egyptian charter operator plies flights between Europe and Egypt using an ex-EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l) B737-500, SU-GBJ (msn 25352).

Tigerair Australia gets maiden Boeing metal

Tigerair Australia (TT, Melbourne Tullamarine) has added its maiden Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) equipment to its fleet following the delivery of B737-800 VH-VUB (msn 34013) late last week.

The twinjet is part of a trio of B737s the budget operator has sourced from parent Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) to operate its maiden international flights from Perth Int'l, Melbourne Tullamarine, and Adelaide to Denpasar, Indonesia beginning in late-March of next year.

Prior to the aircraft's ...

Saudia Arabia's flynas leasing Bulgarian A320s

flynas (XY, Riyadh) has wet-leased a pair of A320-200s from Air Via (VL, Sofia) Skyliner Aviation has revealed.

The aircraft - LZ-PMY (cn 3802) and LZ-PMX (cn 4061) - have begun to arrive in Saudi Arabia where they will join the rest of flynas's fleet of twenty-five in-house A320-200s.

Both aircraft have previously been with Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah).

China's HNA Group acquires 23.7% stake in Brazil's Azul

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Campinas Viracopos) and HNA Group have announced a strategic partnership wherein the Chinese conglomerate will acquire a 23.7% stake in the Brazilian carrier for USD450 million. As Azul's single largest shareholder, HNA will be able to appoint new members to the board of directors.

“HNA Group sees in Azul a solid investment with high growth potential. The USD450 million investment, considering Brazil’s current macroeconomic situation, demonstrates that we ...

South African LCC SkyWise to appear before ASLC next month

SkyWise (C9, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) has been subpoenaed by the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC) of South Africa for a hearing on December 9 to explain a series of delays and cancellations that occurred last month and have continued until now.

A statement says the ASLC will hold the budget carrier to account for its alleged "non-compliance with the conditions of the Air Service Licence." The body has the power to suspend and/or revoke an operator's licence should it be found ...

India fines three carriers $38mn for cartel-like activities

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found three local carriers guilty of colluding to artificially manipulate Fuel Surcharge (FSC) fees relating to cargo and freight. The motion was brought on by a complaint filed by the Express Industry Council of India.

The CCI said in a statement that Jet Airways (India) Ltd. had been fined INR1.5 billion (USD22.69 million), IndiGo Airlines parent InterGlobe Aviation Limited INR637 million (USD9.64 million), and SpiceJet Ltd INR425 million ...

Taiwan's EVA Air orders up to 24 B787-10s, two B777s

EVA Air (BR, Taipei Taoyuan) has finalized an order with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for up to twenty-four B787-10s and two B777-300(ER)s. The order, valued at more than USD8 billion at current list prices, marks the largest single commercial aircraft purchase in Taiwanese aviation history.

"EVA participated in development of the Boeing 777-300ER and became a launch customer in 2005," EVA President Austin Cheng said. "From that first delivery through today, we operate twenty-two of these ...

Harare court upholds suspension of Zimbabwe flyafrica's AOC

Zimbabwe flyafrica (Z7, Harare Int'l) is to remain grounded until it has resolved all outstanding regulatory issues a Harare high court judge has said. The airline's Zimbabwean partner and former accountable manager/CEO, Chakanyuka Karase, surrendered its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) after foreign partner flyafrica Ltd filed fraud charges against an undisclosed member of the Karase family. Pending the outcome of the court case, the airline had ...

SriLankan to axe Euro, Australian plans

As part of its new "Red-To-Black" restructuring programme, SriLankan Airlines (UL, Colombo Int'l) will dramatically curtail its European operations while dropping plans to start flights to Melbourne Tullamarine next year.

An airline official who spoke to Sri Lanka's Sunday Leader newspaper on condition of anonymity said that of the carrier's European routes, Frankfurt Int'l, Paris CDG, and Rome Fiumicino would be dropped owing to their unprofitability while London Heathrow would be retained ...

India's Jet Airways to axe Brussels scissors hub in 1Q2016

Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l) will close its Brussels National scissors hub in late March of next year citing its unprofitability Belgium's Standaard newspaper has said. The report says the airline has already informed its thirty-three Brussels based staff (twenty-five Belgians and eight Indians) of the decision.

Established in 2007, Jet Airways uses Brussels to connect Delhi Int'l and Mumbai Int'l with Newark and Toronto Pearson. Sectors to Brussels from Bangalore Int'l and Chennai ...

Russia's Red Wings eyes ex-Transaero Tu-214s

Red Wings (Russia) (WZ, Moscow Vnukovo) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Evgeny Klyucharev has confirmed his airline is in talks with lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. to take over three Tu-214s formerly in service with Transaero Airlines (UN, Moscow Vnukovo).

The three aircraft - RA-64509 (msn 42305009), RA-64518 (msn 42305018), and RA-64549 (msn 42305013) - have been parked at Moscow Domodedovo following Transaero's collapse last month.

Klyucharev told journalists in Moscow last week that the ...

EgyptAir bans freight from US, UK-bound pax flights

EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l) has stopped ferrying mail and freight on its US and UK-bound flights with effect from Saturday, November 21. From now on, only passenger luggage will be allowed on-board the carrier's flights to New York JFK and London Heathrow with all other freight to be shipped by cargo aircraft.

The Cairo Post says US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials carried out an inspection of Cairo Int'l airport in the wake of the Islamic State-sponsored bombing of ...

India's Air One defers scheduled debut over funding woes

Air One Aviation (Delhi Int'l) Director General Alok Sharma says the airline has deferred plans to enter the scheduled passenger market citing funding problems.

Speaking to The Hindu newspaper, Sharma said that while foreign investors have expressed an interest in partnering his airline, uncertainty over the future of India's 5/20 rule has scarred them off.

“No one has come to us with an investment proposal though we received NOC 16 months back," he said. "An opportunity exists for a full ...

Blue Islands secures Rolf Meier Reisen charter contract

Blue Islands (SI, Jersey) has secured a charter contract with travel agency Rolf Meier Reisen to operate flights between Zurich and Jersey, with onward connections to Guernsey during the summer 2016 season.

Under the contract, which in the past was carried out by defunct InterSky (3L, Friedrichshafen), Blue Islands will operate a total of eighteen charter flights beginning May 7, 2016 and running through to September 3, 2016. The weekly flights are on-board an ATR42-300.

"Inbound summer ...

Comoros' Int'Air Îles begins Let 410 operations

Int'Air Îles (IIA, Anjouan) has begun scheduled Let 410 operations following the arrival of its maiden aircraft of the type - D6-NOA (cn 2719) - last month.

Formerly in service in Brazil as PR-NOA with NOAR Linhas Aéreas (Joao Pessoa), the twinprop was acquired by the Comorian state before being disposed of to the airline.

Since its inaugural flight late last month, the twinprop has begun regular rotations around the Comorian archipelago as well as to Majunga in Madagascar and ...

Philippine Airlines set to order A350s

Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila) has chosen the A350-900 as a replacement for its outgoing fleet of A340-300s CAPA has said. According to the report, the Filipino carrier is "close" to committing to at least six A350-900s for delivery from 2017.

Of the order, an undisclosed number will be High Gross Weight variants which will enable PAL to start non-stop flights to the eastern part of the United States - New York JFK and Chicago O'Hare in particular. Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) ...

Hong Kong Airlines eyes US flights in 2Q2016

Hong Kong Airlines (HX, Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok) has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Foreign Air Carrier Permit as well as route exemption for its planned launch of scheduled and chartered passenger flights to the United States next year.

In its application, the Hong Kong-based carrier said it plans to serve Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands as early as the second quarter of next year. The 4x weekly flights will operate on-board A330-200 aircraft, it ...