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

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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 ...

Venezuelan start-up, Avior Regional, commences domestic flights

Avior Regional (RGR, Barcelona José Antonio Anzoategui) has secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Venezuelan civil aviation authority (Instituto Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil - INAC) in line with parent Avior Airlines' plans to increase its domestic footprint.

Using a fleet of six ex-Air Astana Fokker 50s, Avior Regional commenced scheduled operations from Caracas Simón Bolivar to Barinas and Valera on March 11 with plans to also offer service on other underdeveloped routes ...

Airbus to commence first A330-300 P2F conversion

Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) affiliate EFW Elbe Flugzeugwerke is to embark on its first P2F (Passenger-to-Freighter) conversion of an A330-300 with former Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) machine 9M-MKI (cn 116) currently in Dresden awaiting reconfiguration.

Once conversion is complete, the A330-300P2F will carry up to 60 metric tonnes over a distance of 2,200 nautical miles, or 61 tonnes to a range of 3,600 nautical miles for the higher MTOW (maximum takeoff weight) ...

Brazil's Modern Logistics to add first aircraft next month

Modern Logistics (MWM, São Paulo Guarulhos) has set a May date for the delivery of its maiden aircraft, PP-YBA (msn 24683), an ex-Orenair B737-400 currently being converted into a B737-400(F) by PEMCO World Air Services at the COOPESA facility at San José Juan Santamaría.

Secured on a long-term dry-lease agreement with an unidentified lessor, the jet will be joined by a further two later in the year. Thereafter, in 2016, Modern Logistics will take delivery of six more B737 freighters along ...

Sabetta, Russia opens its doors to commercial traffic

UTair (UT, Khanty-Mansiysk) has commenced scheduled flights to the remote Siberian town of Sabetta, located on the Yamal Peninsula, the carrier says. The twice-weekly flights, which operate direct to Moscow Vnukovo on-board B767-200(ER) aircraft, come almost a month after the airport first opened its doors to commercial traffic with Yamal Airlines (YC, Salekhard) flights from Novy Urengoy.

As part of the Yamal LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) project, a joint-venture between Russia's largest ...

Xiamen Airlines to serve Australia, North America; eyes more 787s

Xiamen Airlines (MF, Xiamen) is to make its Oceania debut in October this year with flights to Australia set to begin in October the carrier has announced via a press release. Among the cities being considered include Sydney Kingford Smith and Melbourne Tullamarine.

At present, the carrier is on track to make Amsterdam its first ever intercontinental route with a 3x-weekly service set to commence on July 26. With six B787-8s on order from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare), of which three have now ...

HNA Aviation boosts its investment in Chang An Airlines

Chang An Airlines (CGN, Xi'an Xianyang) shareholder, HNA Aviation Group, has increased its stake in the carrier to 16.69% following its acquisition of 238,095,238 newly issued shares valued at CNY400 million (USD64.41 million) in total. The airline's registered capital has also increased to CNY2.86 billion (USD460.55 million).

China's WCARN says the overall shareholding structure of the carrier stands at Hainan Airlines (HU, Haikou) with 61.43%, HNA Aviation with 16.69%, while the remaining ...

China Express Airlines ends CRJ-200 operations

China Express Airlines (G5, Chongqing) retired the CRJ-200 from active operations on Saturday, March 29 following the type's last revenue flight. The event also marked the end of CRJ-200 operations within China as a whole.

WCARN reports the last two jets in service for the carrier were B-3565 (cn 7690) and B-7700 (cn 7704) and as such, China Express is now an exclusive operator of the CRJ-900 employing twelve of the twinjets to serve 65 destinations located throughout China.