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Start-up Giævair eyes Norwegian seaplane market

Giaevair (Tromsø) is a Norwegian start-up founded and backed by former Wideroe (WF, Bodø) pilot, Ola Giæver. Not much is known about the airline except that Giæver reportedly plans to equip it with DHC-6-400 seaplanes with Tromsø its primary hub.

South African Airways in talks with Chinese over partnership

South African Airways (SA, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) executives have held preliminary talks with Air China (CA, Beijing Capital) and Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) over a possible partnership airline sources who spoke to Bloomberg news on condition of anonymity have said.

The news wire says a possible tie up with the Chinese could pave the way for the establishment of new African bases and even a possible stake acquisition. The move would bode well for the two Star Alliance carriers given that ...

AtlasGlobal's Ukrainian subsidiary set for May launch

Atlasjet UA (UH, Lvov) is planning to commence commercial operations later in May following months of legal wrangling with the Ukrainian authorities over the allocation of international traffic rights.

"At present we're submitting documents to receive permits to service charter flights and plan to start flying in May this year," Atlasjet Ukraine General Manager Sergei Podgorodetski told Interfax-Ukraine. "We're also waiting for proposals to change the procedure, under which the airline will ...

Paris court orders seized Gabonese Presidential B777 be released

Force Aérienne Gabonaise (Libreville) is set to take repossession of the Gabonese presidential jet that was impounded at Paris Orly in late February following a Paris court ruling which stated the aircraft could not be seized as it is diplomatically immune.

Swiss firm Travcon AG seized the aircraft, ex-Varig B777-200(ER) TR-KPR (msn 27108), at Paris Orly on February 25 claiming it was still owed USD8 million by the Gabonese state for VIP-outfitting work done.

The move soon triggered a ...

LCCs, cargo carriers may be forced to exit Shanghai airports

Spring Airlines (9C, Shanghai Hongqiao) and other budget and cargo carriers serving the economic hub of Shanghai could soon be forced to relocate their operations away from the city's two main airports - Shanghai Hongqiao and Shanghai Pudong - as they struggle to cope with rapidly increasing traffic demand.

With the two airports' combined annual passenger traffic expected to grow by 50% over the next five years to 120 million, Jiang Huaiyu, a director of the East China Civil Aviation ...

Cebu Pacific mulls partnerships with Middle Eastern LCCs

Cebu Pacific Air (5J, Manila) is considering partnerships with Emirati and Saudi budget carriers to act as feeders for its longhaul services into the Middle East.

CAPA says the Filipino longhaul LCC is planning to add Sharjah as a permanent fixture to its intercontinental network in a bid to leverage the Emirati city's Air Arabia (G9, Sharjah) connections. Cebu commenced temporary services to Sharjah during Dubai Int'l's runway works last year and during operations there, saw a number of ...

AirAsia India to establish Delhi base

AirAsia India (I5, Chennai) CEO Mittu Chandilya has announced that Delhi Int'l will be the carrier's next base following its Bangalore Int'l primary hub. Currently, the Indian capital is a base to two other LCCs - IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) and Spicejet (SG, Delhi Int'l).

"Excited to announce 1st of our newest destinations - New Delhi. Will also be our Northern Hub. Opening for sales soon!" he said via his official Twitter account.

The Hindu newspaper reports the budget carrier will ...

Austrian start-up S-Air Salzburg to acquire two Blue Islands J32s

S-Air Salzburg (Salzburg) will indeed acquire two BAe Systems Jetstream 32s Gunther Pitterka, the Managing Director of shareholder Salzburger Eisenbahn-Transport-Logistik GmbH, has told Austrian Aviation Net.

In an interview, Pitterka said that the start-up would focus on scenic flights as well as taxi and charter services using a Piper (single piston) PA-32 Saratoga initially though it does intend to acquire two ex-Blue Islands (SI, Jersey) Jetstream 32s - G-ISLC (cn 873) and G-ISLD (cn 915) ...

Start-up Air Costa Rica expects to secure AOC in July

Air Costa Rica (San José Juan Santamaría) is readying itself for a possible launch during the second half of this year managing director, Carlos Víquez, has said.

Speaking to the CRhoy website, Viquez said he now expects to complete certification with the Costa Rican civil aviation authority (Dirección General de Aviación Civil - DGAC) by the middle of July following which it will open negotiations with potential destinations concerning possible charter flights.

Original plans had called ...

Jet2 to lease an A320 from Titan Airways this summer

Jet2 (LS, Leeds/Bradford) will damp-lease an A320-200 from UK ACMI/charter specialist Titan Airways (ZT, London Stansted) covering a five-month period this summer.

From the beginning of May to the end of September, G-POWM (cn 2564) will be based out of Glasgow Int'l where it will be used to provide additional capacity on Jet2's flights to Spain and Portugal. For the duration of the contract, the aircraft will be configured with 180 standard leather seats.

The new agreement follows a ...

Sun Express Deutschland to start Austrian flights this autumn

Sun Express Deutschland (XG, Frankfurt Int'l) is set to make its Austrian début later this autumn ch-aviation schedule data has revealed. The Sun Express (XQ, Antalya) subsidiary, which specializes in leisure flights, will operate a weekly B737-800 service from Vienna to Marrakech in Morocco beginning October 15.

The move is part of a wave of nine new services - the other originating from various German cities - to Marrakech.

Kurdistan's ZagrosJet secures Iraqi domestic traffic rights

ZagrosJet (Z4, Erbil) has secured domestic Iraqi traffic rights from the country's Ministry of Transportation. Until now, the carrier had been restricted to operating international services with domestic flights the exclusive domain of state-backed airline Iraqi Airways (IA, Baghdad).

Kurdistan's Rudaw news agency reports ZagrosJet has now been given the greenlight to serve Baghdad, Sulaymaniyah, Basrah, and Najaf with the first flight from Erbil to the Iraqi capital scheduled for April ...

AeroMéxico to lease a B787-9 from ALC

AeroMéxico (AM, México City) has signed a longterm lease agreement with the Air Lease Corporation (ALC) involving one B787-9. The aircraft, sourced from ALC’s Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) order book, is scheduled for delivery during autumn of next year.

The Mexican carrier has six additional -9s on order from the US manufacturer with seven out of nine B787-8s having already been delivered. AeroMéxico is using the twinjets to replace its outgoing fleet of B767-200(ER)s and B767-300(ER)s.

Greece's Ellinair to wet-lease a Russian A319

Ellinair (EL, Thessaloniki) is to wet-lease an A319-100 from Russia's VIM Airlines (NN, Moscow Domodedovo) on a month-long contract ch-aviation can exclusively reveal. The twinjet, the Greek carrier's first Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) machinery, will be used on Athens Int'l-Moscow Domodedovo flights over the period April 26 to May 24.

Backed by one of Greece's largest travel firms, Mouzenidis Travel, Ellinair uses a pair of ARJ-85s on leisure flights from Greece to Russia, ...

Congolese businessman seizes ECAIR B757 in Paris

ECAIR - Equatorial Congo Airlines (LC, Brazzaville) says the seizure of one of its two B757-200s, HB-JJE (msn 27219), at Paris CDG on Saturday, April 11, is an 'illegal' act adding that it intends to seek damages.

According to the La Lettre du Continent magazine, Congolese businessman François Odzali successfully obtained a Paris court ruling claiming the Congolese government, as owners of the airline, still owed him EUR70 million (USD76.3 million) for the destruction of an industrial complex ...

Portuguese government tenders for new North-South PSO route

TAP Portugal (TP, Lisbon) backer, the Portuguese government, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its newest Public Services Obligation route starting in the country's northern interior and ending down in the south.

According to a Lisbon government gazette, the Ministry of Economics is offering to subsidize the Braganca-Vila Real-Viseu-Cascais-Portimão route to the tune of EUR7.15 million (USD7.79 million) over a three-year contractual period beginning next year. In terms of funding, ...

Ethiopian to switch transatlantic fuel stop from Rome to Dublin

Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) will switch the European intermediate stopover on its flights to North America from Rome Fiumicino to Dublin Int'l with effect from May 10 Irish media reports have stated.

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) reportedly struck a favourable deal with the Star Alliance carrier resulting in the switch, Ireland's Sunday Business Post said.

Owing to Addis Ababa's altitude (7,546 feet or 2,300 metres), Ethiopian's services to Toronto Pearson in Canada and ...

Delta extends Republic ERJ-145 contracts through to 2021

Republic Airlines (YX, Indianapolis Int'l) plans to retire the ERJ-145 from operational service have been thrown in disarray after Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) announced it would be extending Delta Connection contracts for as many as forty-one of the Embraer Regional Jets through to 2021.

Aviation Week reports the move came as a near surprise as Republic executives had not expected Delta to exercise their unilateral option to extend contracts for thirty-eight ERJ-145s for ...

Italian start-up studying Bolzano-Rome flights

Darwin Airline (F7, Lugano) flights between Bolzano and Rome Fiumicino could soon be taken over by a fledgling start-up backed by a group of South Tyrolean businessmen.

Quoting the Südtiroler Wirtschaftszeitung, Austrian Aviation Net says the start-up is in the process of developing a business plan which would allow it to operate a double-daily Bolzano-Rome service as well as charter flights on a fully commercial basis.

No flights to Germany are planned as Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l) ...

TAP Portugal's bad numbers scare Avianca's Efromovich away

Avianca (AV, Bogotá) Holdings board chairman Germán Efromovich has pulled out of the race for a controlling majority stake in TAP Portugal (TP, Lisbon), currently set to undergo privatization. The Reportur news site says his decision reportedly came after the Portuguese national carrier's announcement last month of a EUR46 million (USD50.4 million) net loss for 2014, its first such posting after five consecutive years of profit.

With Lisbon now unable to provide it with funds and with ...

Austria's Niki abandons Bratislava base plans

Niki (HG, Vienna) has confirmed to ch-aviation that it has abandoned plans to establish a base out of Bratislava. The Air Berlin (AB, Berlin Tegel) subsidiary had originally intended to offer flights from the Slovakian capital to Brussels National, Palma de Mallorca Son Sant Joan, and Vienna starting this month before deferring that date to October.

While it did not offer any further explanation, it is believed Ryanair's decision to develop the airport into a base with two B737-800s, in ...

AirAsia X to order HGW A330s for European flights

AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) is planning to acquire an unspecified number of HGW (High Gross Weight) A330-300s to be used in resuming services to Europe next year. The A330-300 HGW is seven tonnes heavier than the standard version, which weighs in at 233 tonnes, and features a strengthened wing and additional fuel capacity giving the aircraft a range of 11,300 kilometres.

Acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the AirAsia (AK, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) longhaul subsidiary, Benyamin Ismail, ...

Wizzair to retain Ukrainian subsidiary, albeit in a dormant state

Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) has reportedly decided not to completely close its Wizz Air Ukraine (WU, Kiev Zhulyany) subsidiary following talks with officials from the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport in Switzerland last week.

Late last month, the Hungarian LCC announced it would wind up Wizz Air Ukraine's operations later this month citing "ongoing instability in Eastern Ukraine, the devaluation and volatility of the local currency, the Hryvnia, and the impact of foreign exchange ...

Libya's Afriqiyah Airways starts int'l flights out of Kufrah

Afriqiyah Airways (8U, Tripoli Int'l) has commenced international flights out of Kufrah, linking the south-eastern Saharan town with Tunis via Brack. Additional flights to Egypt are also expected to commence in the coming months.

Though Tunisia has closed it airspace to all Libyan traffic originating in the west of the country, currently under Islamist control, flights from the east are still permitted provided they undergo Libyan government security checks in either Brack or Tobruk.

Falcon Air Express registers 'VOLO' trade name

Falcon Air Express (6F, Miami Int'l) has been granted its request to register "VOLO" as a trade name by the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

In the same instance, the DOT also agreed to deregister the trade names “Ufly” and “Ufly Airways". ufly Airways (Miami Int'l) was a failed Caribbean charter start-up affiliated with Nelson Ramiz, who bought the then bankrupt Falcon Air Express for USD3 million in 2007.

The ch-aviation aircraft database shows Falcon Air Express currently ...