SkyAlps (BQ, Bolzano/Bozen) plans to expand its fleet to fourteen DHC-8-Q400s by March 2024, with at least three aircraft due to be based at undisclosed locations in southern Italy, General Director Alex Spinato told Air Transport World.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that the Italian carrier currently operates four DHC-8-Q400s, with two still placed on the AOC of its technical partner, Luxwing (BN, Malta International). Besides the planned transfer of this pair to Sky Alps' own certificate, the airline is also scheduled to take delivery of a fifth De Havilland Aircraft of Canada turboprop within the coming days. This will be followed by three more aircraft within the next three months. All four are ex-flybe. stock on lease from Nordic Aviation Capital.

Spinato said that subsequent deliveries will take place in the first quarter of 2024 to increase the total fleet size to 14. The aircraft being acquired are still under negotiations.

Sky Alps continues to operate predominantly out of its base at Bolzano/Bozen in South Tyrol. The airport is managed by ABD Holdings, a green energy company which also owns the airline. Sky Alps is the only scheduled operator at Bolzano. However, the airline also operates a secondary base at Verona for its charter/ACMI flights. Mirroring what he told ch-aviation earlier this year, Spinato revealed plans to base at least three aircraft at "a couple" of bases in southern Italy, without naming any of the airports.

Once its fleet of Dash 8-400s reaches 14, the Italian regional specialist will become Europe's largest operator of the type on par with Widerøe (WF, Bodø).

Sky Alps also signed a letter of intent with US company Tamarack Aerospace to develop winglets for the Q400. The Italian airline will provide one of its turboprops as a testbed for the project, with the deployment of the modification into revenue service tentatively planned for 2025.