Volotea (V7, Barcelona El Prat) has announced plans to open its eighth Italian base at Bari airport, starting at the beginning of July 2024. The Spanish low-cost carrier will base a single A320-200 out of the airport, although the base will initially be open seasonally.

The airline plans to augment its capacity from the Italian airport by more than a third next year, adding eight new routes. It has so far announced five:

Volotea said it would announce the three additional destinations in the coming weeks.

The ch-aviation capacities module shows the airline currently has a marginal 0.6% market share by weekly scheduled capacity at Bari. It operates just two weekly departures to Florence Peretola, although its presence increases significantly during the summer season. Malta Air, a subsidiary of Ryanair, is the only other scheduled carrier with a base at Bari airport.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated case, Volotea has been found guilty at the Bordeaux Court of Appeal in France of violating labour law insofar as it did not notify the French authorities about seconding 18 pilots to the Bordeaux Mérignac base between 2013-2018. By avoiding the declaration, the carrier did not have to pay the mandatory social security contributions for the pilots in France.

The court fined the airline EUR150,000 euros (USD165,000) and ordered it to pay another EUR416,926 (USD458,000) in overdue fees to the Aviation Flight Personnel Retirement Fund.

"Volotea does not subscribe to the legal analysis which led to this conviction, and is examining possible avenues of appeal against this decision," the airline told ch-aviation. "As part of the opening of its base in Bordeaux in 2013, Volotea seconded 18 pilots from Spain to France. It was demonstrated that Volotea made all the declarations of secondment of these 18 pilots, in compliance with the applicable European legislative provisions. These took place for a very limited period. Since June 2015, all Bordeaux employees have been hired locally."

However, the court explicitly said that the past violation was not a valid ground to prohibit Volotea from taking part in public tenders in France, given there was no indication that a breach from six years ago would be repeated. The airline is bidding for a large PSO contract in Corsica against legacy operator Air Corsica.