Monday, June 25, 2012

IBERIA Express taking over Amsterdam route from IBERIA

IBERIA Express, one of the most expensive start-ups in the recent history, will commence operations to Amsterdam from September and replacing IBERIA on this route. The route will be served three times a day with Airbus A320.

IBERIA Express helps the company to save costs but on the other hand an flag-carrier is ongoing to garble. IBERIA is one of the major airlines in the world and, of course, is operating an big European network. But IBERIA is making losses on the European routes. That´s why the idea was born to cut the high personal costs of IBERIA with an new company: IBERIA Express. IBERIA Express is operating as an low-cost carrier under a own brand in the IBERIA network.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

airblue evaluating new aircraft

The carrier airblue from Pakistan is currently evaluating the introduction of new Airbus A340-300 and Bombardier Q400. Nowadays the airline is operating with an fleet of 5 Airbus A319/A320 and serves some domestic routes in  Pakistan and international services to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Furthermore airblue is flying from Islamabad to Manchester with an technical stop in Turkey. The airline plans to add two leased Airbus A340-300 for replacing the Airbus A319 on the Islamabad-Manchester and set up new routes from Pakistan to Europe and Asia. Beside, airblue plans to expand its fleet with Bombadier Q400, which would allow the airline to open new domestic routes.

airblue commenced operations in 2004. In 2010 there was fatal accident with one Airbus A321, which crashed in the near of Islamabad. In the accident, all 146 passengers and six crew members lost their life. The airline has recently changed their IATA-code from ED to PA. Currently the fleet is among of the youngest in the region with an average age of only about four years. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

75%-shareholder Leadgate pulls out of PLUNA

The consortium Leadgate has transferred their 75 percent stake in the Uruguayan flag carrier PLUNA to the government of the country, which now have full control over PLUNA. Reasons were the large debts of PLUNA, around US$ 300 million and the fact, that Leadgate could not raise the funds, which would have been used to continue the airlines operations while the government as owner of the remaining 25 percent could not find an agreement with Leadgate to rescue the undercapitalized airline while Leadgate would continue to hold it´s stake. Therefore Leadgate returned their stake and avoided the insolvency of the airline. The government hope to find an new investor for the ailing carrier.

Leadgate is an consortium of investors from Argentinia, Germany, Uruguay and the United States that was formed to overtake PLUNA in 2007. After the consortium had taken over 75 percent of the shares, the remaining 25 percent were still owned by the state, PLUNA started an modernization including the new CRJ900 fleet.

PLUNA, founded 75 years ago, is the flag carrier of the country. It primary operates with its fleet, which only consists of Bombardier CRJ900, scheduled services in neighboring counties.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wizzair announces first destination in Switzerland

Just a few days, after Wizzair announced to open a new base on Skopje Airport in Macedonia from October 2012 the airline announced a further route from Skopje: Skopje-Basel. The route, which will be launched when the new base will be opened in October, is the first Wizzair route to Switzerland. The airline will operate three services a week with Airbus A320.

Air France-KLM considering to sell CityJet

CityJet at London City Airport
Air France-KLM is considering to sell its Irish loss-making subsidiary CityJet. Air Frace-KLM acquired the airline in 2000. CityJet operating mainly services across France, Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain and the Netherlands and is one of the biggest operators on London City Airport. CityJet is making losses for years. Therefore Air France-KLM considers to sell CityJet. Air France-KLM has debts about 6.5 billions euro and is at present restructure its business. CityJet made losses about 25 millions euro in the first three months of 2012.

The airline currently operates a mixed fleet of Avro RJ85 and Fokker 50. The airline have a large number of slots at London City Airport, making it an interesting takeover candidate for other companies.

Start-up California Pacific Airlines to receive first Embraer 170

California Pacific Airlines will receive their first aircraft in these days. The Aircraft, a second-hand Embraer 170 was formally operated by the german airline Cirrus Airlines, which ceased operations early 2012. The aircraft will have 72 seats.

California Pacific Airlines is an start-up regional airline which plans to commence operations later this year. The project was launched in 2009. The airline will operate from the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, which is currently just served by an United flight operated by SkyWest to Los Angeles. California Pacific Airlines want´s to commence operations later this year from here to San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento. Las Vegas, Phoenix and Cabo San Lucas with Embraer 170. Originally, the operations should have commenced in 2011. The airline hopes to attract people in the region, which nowadays have to go to San Diego. The airline also want´s to get Passangers from San Diego. 

Blue Islands replaces damaged ATR 42

The Jersey-based regional airline Blue Islands has replaced it´s damaged ATR 42-300 by an Fokker 50. The ATR 42-300 was damaged while landing on Jersey Airport on 16th July 2012. The aircraft can´t be used in the near future. The Fokker 50 is wet-leased from Denim Air.

Blue Islands is an small airline from the Channel Islands, which offers scheduled flights from the Channel Islands to several destinations in Europe.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ryanair want´s Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Airbus A320-200
Ryanair want´s to acquire it´s competitor Aer Lingus. It would be it´s third trial to acquire Aer Lingus. In the past, Ryanairs attempts to adopt the company were blocked by the competition guardians. They feared the monopoly on the Irish market, if Ryanair and Aer Lingus had with the same owner. Nowadays Ryanair owns 30 percent of the Aer Lingus shares.

The reason for this announcement is, that the Irish government have to sell it´s stakes in various companies to pay it´s debts. It´s expected, that the government-owned 25-percent stake will be sold in early 2013. Ryanair said, that they would pay 1.30 Euro per share. 2007 the airline offered the double price. After the Ryanair offer, Aer Lingus would be nearly 700 million Euro worth.

But there could be some other inter interested parties: Etihad has recently acquired an 3 percent stake and is probably interested in an higher stake. In the past Etihad has bought stakes in several airlines. An other potential buyer could be the American  JetBlue. JetBlue and Aer Lingus have a very similar business model.

Ryanair hopes, that the competition guardians do not block it´s trial for this time, respecting the takeovers of bmi and Brussels Airlines.

An other interesting question is: What would Ryanair do if they buy Aer Lingus? Would they absorb the Aer Lingus brand or operate Aer Lingus as an independent carrier. The biggest problem with an integration of Aer Lingus in Ryanair would be the different fleet: Aer Lingus uses Airbus A320s and Ryanair Boeing 737s. The other point is, that Aer Lingus make much money on routes, Ryanair never would offer, for example routes to Heathrow, Amsterdam, CDG and similar. Would they be disconnected or would Ryanair begin to fly this routes? Also the fact, that Aer Lingus can attract business travellers is to mind. Therefore probably Ryanair would let the Aer Lingus brand alive. As an brand of quality. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CSA-Partner Central Connect Airlines ceased operations

The Czech regional airline Central Connect Airlines (3B/JBR), also known as Job Air, has ceased it´s operation yesterday evening, the 18th June 2012 due financial difficulties. The airline was founded 2005 and operated a small fleet of Saab 340 at time of closure. The airline, which formally served some routes on the Czech domestic market recently changed it´s business model and began in end of March 2012 in cooperation with CSA Czech Airlines from Prague to Berlin, Hanover, Stuttgart, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Krakow.

CSA Czech Airlines until now haven´t organized replacement on the routes operated by Central Connect Airlines and terminated selling tickets for the routes. Passengers who booked flights with Central Cennect Airlines have to search an other way of transportation. Central Connect Airlines plans to reorganize themselves and commence operations again. CSA Czech Airlines consider to overtake some of the Central Connect Airlines routes and serve them with own aircraft. Some of the routes, Central Connect Airlines overtook in March were before served by CSA Czech Airlines.

SAS cuts costs

Boeing 737 in Oslo, one of the three SAS Scandinavian Airlines hubs
The Scandinavian flag carrier SAS Scandinavian Airlines want´s to to get back in the black. But  cost-cutting measures later, the airline did not reach their goal. SAS is still losing money.

The current austerity program, launched September 2011, should cut cost at three to five percent. But this will probably not reach to be profitable. In the recent years the airline sold there participations in several airlines like Estonian Air, British Midland, Spanair and other companies. This generated saving about 23 percent compared with 2008. But to reduce costs further, the airline have to change it´s structure. Nowadays SAS is run three major Hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. This is very expensive, if you regard to the huge number of transfer passengers in the SAS network. New savings only can achieved, if SAS reorganize their network and business model. Beside some changes in the schedule SAS will renew it´s fleet. The last MD-80 will be retired in 2014 and also the Airbus A340-300 will probably be returned to the lessors next year, when the lease contract will end. Another measure is, that SAS will offer there passengers a better range of long-haul flights due code-sharing arrangements.

SAS is the biggest airline in Scandinavia and partly government-owned by Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In the past, the carrier always produced at high costs, but with the emerge of low-cost carriers the revenue decreased and the airline went in the red. Several trials to bring the airline back in the black failed. The airline has to feel gloomy about the future: Norwegian has just ordered several dozen of new planes and will commence their first long-haul flights shortly while several other airlines pushed into the market. A bleak future for SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

Monday, June 18, 2012

EX-YU aviation news: Skopje to become Wizz Air’s 17th base

EX-YU aviation news: Skopje to become Wizz Air’s 17th base: Wizz Air in Skopje expansion Skopje Airport will become Wizz Air’s 17th base as the airline plans to station an aircraft in the Macedonian ...

Virgin Atlantic unveils new upper class cabin

The British long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic has unveiled their new upper class cabin. It took four years to design the new cabin and raised expenses about 100 million US$.

The new cabin includes new seats and an refreshment of other parts in the cabin. The seats will be the world´s longest business class flat bet with an length of 220 cm and will offer the passengers an improved privacy. Furthermore the entertainment system is equipped with 12.1-inch touchscreen monitors and can be connected with tablets and headphones, the passengers carry along. A highlight is the new bar in the upper class cabin: it will longer than the competitors first class bars and allow several passengers to seat. The refreshment of the cabins will continue for several months.

Beside this, Virgin Atlantic had announced plans to fly to South America and add more China destinations. Nowadays the airline just serves Shanghai as it´s sole China destination and no destinations in South America at all.

Munich Airport: Citizens have voted against the third runway

The planned third runway at Munich Airport have been kicked into the long grass. Yesterday around one million eligible voters in the Munich region had the possibility to vote on the planned third runway. The runway is needed to allow further increasing of the traffic on the airport, but the citizens in the region, which feared noise pollution, get in full cry over the plans. That´s why there was prescribed an referendum about the third runway. Yesterday the referendum took place. Around a third of the eligible voters visited the polling stations. 54.3 Percent voted against the runway, while 45.7 Percent said yes to extension. Concomitant there will be no third runway in the near future. The proceedings could first continue, when a new mayor could win the next elections in 2014 and would arrange renegotiations.

Already to day the runway system is overloaded and there are long waiting times for the aircraft. In 2011 nearly 38 million passengers passed the airport. The airport is after Frankfurt Airport the second-biggest in Germany. Lufthansa is the biggest carrier at the airport and have located here their second Hub beside Frankfurt in Germany. The airline plans to relocate some of their capacity to other airports like Frankfurt. Other big carriers in Munich are Condor, Air Berlin and some Lufthansa partners like Air Dolomiti.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dortmund Airport faced with a rocky future

The airport in Dortmund has huge financial problems and may be closed. A huge problem is an lawsuit by the European Commission concerning illegal subventions by local government through the subsidy programme "Neres" and the fact, that the huge losses are absorbed by the municipal utilities. If the European Commission would pronounce the airport for guilty, it had to pay several millions of euro back. This could be  death sentence for the German airport.

Furthermore, the airport has a very short runway. At present it is allowed to fly here with standard jet aircraft, but faced with some accidents in the past, there will be a new judgement about the size of planes, which is allowed to fly here. If the new judgement would ban planes like Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 from the airport, this would be another death sentence for an airport, which lives from charter and low-cost airlines.

Besides this troubles an other big airport have hit the small airport: Air Berlin and easyJet have announced to disconnect their services to the airport by the beginning of the winter schedule. While Air Berlin will not serve Dortmund longer, easyJet just will keep the route to London Luton. A big passenger loss will be consequence.

 In the 2011 the airport handled about 1.8 million passengers and lost 19.5 million euro. That´s more than ten euro per passenger. Beside easyJet and Air Berlin the low-cost airlines Germanwings, Wizz Air and some Turkish charter airlines are operative at the airport.

EX-YU aviation news: Jat turns 85

EX-YU aviation news: Jat turns 85: 85 years in the air Jat Airways is today marking its 85th birthday as the airline is the successor to Aeroput and JAT Yugoslav Airlines. The...

AeroSvit and Dniproavia welcome first Embraer 190

The Ukrainian airline Dniproavia is taking over it´s first two (UR-DSA and UR-DSB) of ten ordered Embraer 190 in these days. The two jets both will be operated for the partner-airline AeroSvit. Dniproavia signed the agreemant for a total of ten Embraer 190 with options for another five jets in January 2011. The deal had an value of 400 million US$ and would increase to 600 million US$, if the options would be converted to orders. Originally, the delivery of the first jets was scheduled for the forth quarter of 2011.

AeroSvit fleet primary consists of Boeing 737 and Boeing 767, while Dniproavia operates a fleet with several Embraer 145 and some Boeing 737. Nowadays Dniproavia already operates some planes for AeroSvit. The Embraer 190 will be used on both international and domestic routes.

AeroSvit and Dniproavia are members of the Ukrainian Aviation Group. Beside this two carriers, Donbassaero is a member of the group. The Ukrainian aviation market is dominated by the three carriers and the competitor Ukraine International Airlines. The Ukrainian Aviation Group ie operating an big international and national network.

FastJet: New African low-cost carrier

FastJet is a new African low-cost carrier. Founded by the founder of the successful European cut-price carrier easyJet, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. The carrier should commence it´s operatioor starting it´s operations, Rubicon is acquiring the African airline Fly 540, which is based in Kenia and Angola. Fly 540 is currently operating a small mixed fleet of some turboprop an jet aircraft. Fly 540 will then be rebranded as FastJet and transformed in a Low-Cost-Carrier. The current fleet will be replaced by some new jet aircraft, probably Airbus A319. By contract, FastJet will be supported by easyJet in develop their business. In return, easyJet will receive 0.5 percent of the FastJet revenue.

FastJet, styled as an non-frills carrier, will offer much cheaper fares than it competitors and hope to take advantage of the increasing middle class population in Africa. The cheap fares would give them the opportunity to fly instead other kinds of transportation.

The interesting question is how different the business model we be different from the one of easyJet. Will FastJet reach the same level of safety or invest as little as other African carriers in maintenance? How will FastJet get along with Africa and it´s problems like corruption? And of course: Will they have success with the low-cost model in Africa? In the past several trials to establish an budget airline in Africa have failed.

FastJet was announced by the end of 2011, but in the beginning there was no information what this airline would do. Some speculations said, FastJet would offer transatlantic flights.