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Virgin America becomes A321neo launch operator

Virgin America (VX, San Francisco, CA) has become the launch operator of the A321neo following the delivery of N921VA (msn 7589) on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

The Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) unit is leasing ten of the CFM International LEAP-1A-powered twinjets from GECAS. Assuming no alterations are made to the agreement, the entire compliment of ten is to be delivered by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

“After Virgin America having been the first customer signing for ...

Russia's VIM Airlines acquires Bratsk airport firm


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Royal Jordanian's second share capital increase due in 2H17


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WestJet plans to establish own ULCC; eyes 4Q17 launch

WestJet (WS, Calgary) has announced its intention to launch a new, ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) in Canada subject to agreement with its pilots and any required regulatory approvals.

The carrier said in a statement that the yet-to-be-named ULCC is expected to start in late 2017 with an initial fleet of ten high-density B737-800s.

"We have built WestJet from its low-cost, regional roots into a renowned, international airline with service to 21 countries and today it's all about disrupting ...

Norfolk Island Airlines schedules late 2Q17 launch

Norfolk Island Airlines (Norfolk Island) has delayed the launch of regular commercial flights to each of Australia and New Zealand until the end of the current quarter.

The start-up said in a posting that weekly Saturday flights from Norfolk Island Airport to each of Brisbane Int'l (Australia) and Auckland Int'l (New Zealand) would now only commence from June 17 onwards as opposed to the previously stated May 27. Operations are onboard a B737-300 chartered from ...

Nigeria's First Nation Airways resumes ops in late 1Q17


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Mexican lower house okays foreign ownership cap revision


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Jordan's Royal Wings expands into scheduled services niche

Royal Wings (JO, Amman Marka) has ventured into the scheduled services sector with the launch of regular passenger flights out of the Jordanian Red Sea resort town of Aqaba.

Having already commenced flights to Beirut earlier this year, the charter specialist has now announced the launch of a 2x weekly return service to Cairo Int'l beginning April 21.

"Along with serving the tourists and merchants of the two countries, this flight will serve thousands of Egyptian workers in Aqaba," it said. ...

Afghanistan's Safi Airways leasing an MD-87


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Ukraine's Windrose Airlines to lease A321s this summer


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Kenya's Jetways Airlines chartering in Fokker equipment


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Romania's Blue Air to develop Tel Aviv focus city in 2Q17


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Biman Bangladesh probed re lame B777s leased from EgyptAir

Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG, Dhaka) is being investigated by a parliamentary sub-committee over problems with aircraft leased from EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l), reports The Financial Express.

The parliamentary inquiry is to look into why two aircraft dry-leased from EgyptAir in 2014 have spent so much time on the ground. Biman Bangladesh leased two B777-200(ER)s from EgyptAir in 2014 – S2-AHK (msn 32629) and S2-AHL (msn 32630) – for a five-year contract worth USD35.1 million. According to ...

Madagascar suspends Int'Air Iles, citing safety violations


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Indonesia AirAsia X outlines more int'l expansion plans

Indonesia AirAsia X (XT, Denpasar) has unveiled further regional expansion plans following the recent announcement that it will begin 4x weekly Denpasar-Tokyo Narita, Japan flights on May 24.

The carrier's CEO Dendy Kurniawan told the Jakarta Post in an interview this week that a 7x weekly Denpasar-Mumbai Int'l, India, via Kuala Lumpur Int'l, Malaysia, service would commence from May 19 onwards. Thereafter, a direct Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta-Macau Int'l route will launch on August 17 followed by ...

AirAsia establishes executive jet charter unit

AirAsia Group has announced it has incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary company to acquire and manage a Bombardier Global Express executive jet.

In a statement to the Bursa Malaysia, the conglomerate said AirAsia Corporate Charter (Kuala Lumpur Subang) had acquired 9M-CJG (msn 9013) from Caterham Jet (Kuala Lumpur Subang) with the aim of becoming a full-fledged charter and private unscheduled business jet operator.

AACC's directors are listed as Ms. Aireen Omar and Mr. Tharumalingam A/L ...

TAME Ecuador further trims domestic network


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Dynamic to temporarily suspend Venezuela ops

Dynamic International Airways (2D, Greensboro) has announced it will suspend its New York JFK-Caracas Simón Bolivar service on April 27 owing to what it termed, the "deteriorating situation in Venezuela".

In a statement issued this week, the US carrier said it was suspending the service given concerns for its customers' safety as well as that of its crew and aircraft.

"Dynamic International Airways will continue to monitor the developing information and update schedules as necessary," it ...

Alliance Airlines to end OZ Minerals' ops in mid-3Q17

Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane Int'l) has confirmed a charter contract with OZ Minerals, a copper-focused international company based in South Australia, will end during the third quarter of the year.

An airline filing with the ASX Exchange on Tuesday, April 18, states the last flight to the mining firm's copper/gold Prominent Hill site will operate on August 11.

Alliance Airlines said revenue arising from the OZ Minerals’ contract during the last 12 months had accounted for 5.8% of its ...

Bulgaria's BH Air provisionally ends A319 operations

BH Air - Balkan Holidays Air (8H, Sofia) has ended commercial A319-100 operations for the meantime following the disposal of LZ-AOA (msn 3139) last month. ch-aviation analysis of Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows the aircraft's last flight for the Bulgarians was in early March. According to Skyliner Aviation, the jet has now become D-ASTQ with Germania (ST, Berlin Schönefeld).

BH Air operates a fleet of five A320-200s and one A321-200. In terms of scheduled passenger flights, it offers regular ...

MIAT Mongolian Airlines to lease two more B737 MAX 8s

MIAT - Mongolian Airlines (OM, Ulaanbaatar) will lease two B737 MAX 8s from Air Lease Corporation. The US-based lessor said in a statement the aircraft are sourced from its Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) order book with deliveries due in late 2019 and early 2020.

The two jets will add to two other B737 MAX 8s which the Mongolian carrier will lease from Avolon. Their deliveries are scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2019 respectively.

MIAT currently operates three B737-800s and ...

TAP Portugal to begin EMB-195 ops in mid-2Q17

TAP Portugal (TP, Lisbon) is set to commence commercial EMB-195 operations later this quarter. The Portuguese carrier is expected to take delivery of four aircraft of the type during the current half of year for onward placement with its Portugália Airlines (NI, Lisbon) unit.

Operating under its TAP Express brand, the Embraer Regional Jets will be deployed on flights from Lyon St. Exupéry and Marseilles from May 18 onwards. Thereafter, according to Airline Route, services will include ...

Air Malta set to make scheduled Middle Eastern debut

Air Malta (KM, Malta) has confirmed it will begin its maiden scheduled services to the Middle East later this week. According to an airline press release, the Maltese carrier will begin 3x weekly Malta-Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, Israel, flights from April 21 onwards. The flight will operate for the duration of the summer season.

“We are thrilled that we can announce Tel Aviv as our new destination for this season. We have been operating regularly on this route offering Malta as a charter ...

Romania's Star East Airlines to add maiden aircraft

Star East Airlines (Bucharest Baneasa) is set to take delivery of its maiden aircraft Skyliner Aviation has reported.

A320-200 YR-SEA (msn 357) was recently seen at Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen sporting the start-up's full livery ahead of its delivery to Romania. No further details concerning the carrier's operational plans are currently known.

Abuja, Nigeria reopens to all traffic

Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport has reopened to all traffic following the completion of runway resurfacing works. Local media reports indicate the first carrier to use the facility was Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) on Tuesday, April 18.

Other foreign operators set to resume flights to the Nigerian capital include Lufthansa (LH, Frankfurt Int'l), due from April 20. Local operators Dana Air, Med-View Airline, and Air Peace are due to start flights from April 19 onwards.