Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1Time has filed for bancruptcy protection

The low-carrier 1Time has filed for bancruptcy protection. The South-African airline has around 320 million rand (almost 30 million euro)  in debt. The carrier has been founded in 2003 and is currently operating ten MD-80-series aircraft on the domestic and international market. The management is currently creating an restructuring program for the struggling carrier. The airline plans, to cease operations on various routes and zero on the most lucrative routes. In Accordance with media reports, the route from Johannesburg to Mombasa will be terminated, further routes will probably follow within the next days.

The airline has recently announced to set up an subsidiary in the neighbor country Zimbabwe with an local partner. It is unknown, if this plans will be cancelled due the financial problems of 1Time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bolivia gets new scheduled carrier

The charter airline Amaszonas has commenced scheduled flights with Bombardier CRJ200. Until now, the carrier has operated charter flights with small airplanes. Due the collapse of the Bolivian carrier AeroSur earlier this year, Amaszonas decided to commence scheduled flights and invested 35 millions USD for buying 5 second-hand CRJ200. Three of them are already delivered to Amaszonas, while one is just went in operation. The first flight was performed on the key domestic route from La Paz to Santa Cruz . Two further CRJ200 are scheduled to arrive in the contry until September. Amaszonas has announced to operate about a dozen domstic routes and international flights to two destinations in Peru.

AeroSur was the biggest carrier of the country and had been grounded, after the government had forced the carrier to pay it´s tax debts, but Aerosur was not able to pay them. Since the break-down, the government-owned airline BoA is undergoing rapidly expansion. Some observes think, that the government has breded the collapse of AeroSur willful, whereby it´s own carrier BoA got the possibility to grow.

InterSky to open an new base on Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport

The German regional carrier InterSky has announced plans to open an new base on Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden  Airport. Until now, the airline has an single base on Friedrichshafen Airport. The airline plans to base one Bombardier Q300 on the airport, which would be used for only one scheduled route, Hamburg to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden. The route is currently served be Air Berlin/LGW several times a day with Bombardier Q400, but due financial reasons the airline will cease this service on October 31. InterSky plans to commence their Q300 flights from Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden  on January 7. InterSky and Air Berlin are codeshare partners.

InterSky is currently operating three Bombardier Q300. The airline has recently ordered two ATR 72-600, which are scheduled to be delivered in late 2012/early 2013.

Originally, the base should have been opened on Hamburg Airport.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Livingston becomes successor of failed Wind Jet

The new Italian charter airline Livingston has overtaken several routes from failed Wind Jet. The routes have been unserved, since Wind Jet had to cease operations due financial troubles about one week ago. The Italian Aviation Authority has arranged, that Wind Jet passengers can reebook for 80 euros (domestic) and for 150/190 euros (international) to other carriers. A lot of carriers has organized additional flights. Now Livingston has decided, to operate several former Wind Jet routes and offers all passengers this fare, also whom, who haven´t booked before with Wind Jet. The fare would defray the costs, as Livingston said.

Wind Jet now operates flights from the former Wind Jet base in Catania to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rimini, Paris (CDG) and St. Petersburg. From Palermo, the second base of Wind Jet, there is an route to Copenhagen. From Rimini, one of the most important airports of Wind Jet, Livingston now offers flights to Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Moscow (Domodedovo), Kiev, Prague, Paris (CDG), Rostov, St. Petersburg and, of course, Catania. Therefore Livingston has  based one of it´s Airbus A320 on Rimini Airport, which is used on the flights to Eastern Europe. On all other routes, Livingston uses two wet-leased MD-83 from Medallion Air.

Livinston currently sells tickets until October 27. The sale of the tickets is made through telephone hotline and through the booking machine on the webpages of Mistral Air. A booking machine one the Livingston webpage will be launched soon.

Until now, it is unclear, if Livingston, that now operates a large part of the former Wind Jet international network, plans to operate some of this flights beyond October.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No hopes for grounded Wind Jet

The hopes for an return of the grounded Italian low-cost carrier Wind Jet are now extremly slight, after Alitalia has declared, not to take over the grounded carrier. Alitalia wanted to acquaire the struggling low-cost airline, but cancelled the plans on 1st August. Wind Jet could not survive with new cash-injection and had to cease all operations on 11th August. There were much hope for, that Alitalia would change it´s decision back and would acquaire the Sicilian airline.

The Italian authorities tried to rescue Wind Jet and arranged an meeting with leaders of Alitalia and Wind Jet yesterday. But they could not prompt Alitalia to acquaire the grounded airline. Alitalia now has revealed the reasons for the failed takeover of Wind Jet before. As Alitalia explained, both airlines had been really interested to finish the deal, but Wind Jet was sloppy with the conditions and claims. Important financial facts were not passed on. Also aircraft and maintenance data was were not relayed. Subsequent Alitalia cancelled the plans. Following to speculations, also disunity about the price (20 to 30 million euros) have lead to the failure of the merger talks on 1st August.

With the Alitalia refusal, the hopes for an restart for the airline are next to zero. The Wind Jet boss still is hoping for an investor for the carrier. But it doesn´t seems like there would be no white knight for Wind Jet. Bad expectations for the 500 Wind Jet employees and the estimated 300 employees in the supplying industry, that would lose their jobs too.

Currently Alitalia and some other airliners are engaged with carry the stranded Wind Jet passengers. In the last night Alitalia has organized 20 extra flights for 900 passengers. Wind Jet passengers can rebook for 80 euros (domestic) and 250 euros (international) to other airlines. Originally, Alitalia wanted to takeover Wind Jet to improve it´s  position on the Italian aviation market. In 2011, Wind Jet carried 2.8 million passengers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wind Jet ceases operations

The Italian low-cost airline Wind Jet has ceased all operations on yesterday evening, August 11. It was planned, that Alitalia would acquaire the loss-making low-cost carrier, but the plans were dropped surprisingly on 1st  August.

The cash-stricken carrier Wind Jet had no chanche to survive without major new funding, so subsequent the airline got faced with it´s own end. On Friday the operations descended into chaos. Several flights were cancelled and were delayed. The Italian aviation authority ENAC organized replacement fligts. The near-bancrupt airline tried to continue operations anyway. On same date ENAC threatened the airline with the withdrawal of the AOC on Monday and suspended ticket sales. On Saturday evening the airline had to cease all remaining operations.

Wind Jet was founded in 2003 as successor of failed Air Sicila. The low-cost carrier had at last a fleet of five leased Airbus A319 and seven leased Airbus A320s. The main base was at Catania Airport, a second base was located at Palermo Airport. Wind Jet connected several Italian destionations with Palermo and Catania. Furthermore a huge number of flights from cities in northern Italy to international destinations in Russia, Germany, France, Denmark and other European countries were operated with flight connections to Palermo and Catania. Wind Jet had code-share agreements with Meridiana fly.

In 2011 Wind Jet carried 2.800.000 passengers on it´s flights. The airline was noted for a bad on-time performance, dirty planes and bad service in the recent years. In return, the airline was one of the cheapest in Italy. Wind Jet had about 500 employees.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Start Alliance has dropped plans for Air India joining once for all.

Air India will not join the Star Alliance. The airline has been an candidate for several years, but could newer comply. After several years Star Alliance has now leaved the talks and announced negotiations with competitor Jet Airways.

Air India is one of the most ailing major carriers in the world. Just three out of 300 routes are profitable. The airline could just survive the recent years with heavy cash injection from the government. The airline is still shed marked shares.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New low-cost airline for Zimbabwe

Fresh Air is the name of an new budget carrier in Zimbabwe, that plans to commence operations in September 2012 with an fleet of two McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series. The airline is founded by the Zimbabwean company Nucom (51 percent) and the parent of the low-cost carrier 1Time, 1Time Holdings (49 percent). The planes will be leased from 1Time, who is also responsible for maintenance of the airline The airline will be based in Harare. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Key people of failed Skyways and Cimber Sterling have founded a successor

Former key people of the the two failed carriers  Skyways (Sweden) and Cimber Sterling (Denmark) has founded an new airline, that shall commence former routes of Skyways. Cimber Sterling and Skyways have ceased the operations, after the same Ukrainian owner of both airlines did not put new capital into the loss-making carriers. Cimber Sterling has already an operative successor: Cimber, that was founded and owned by the son of the founder, an former manager of the airline and an third person and is currently operating four CRJ-200 in wetlease for SAS Scandinavian Airlines.

Now some former Skyways-VD Mikael Wångdahl managers try to establish an successor for Skyways. The company with the name Sky4u AB was registered 2nd July 2012. Mikael Wångdahl has the role of the Managing director, while former Cimber Sterling CEO Jan Palmér took over the role of the chairman. Jan Olof Brunstedt is along the team. He has not worked for either Skyways or Cimber Sterling before.
There is not much known about the airline, They want´s to operate some routes on the former Skyways regional network. They probably plans to use Fokker 50. The name Sky4u AB could maybe changed to Skyways4u AB.Skyways was the biggest regional airline in Sweden and operated various regional flights, both international and domestic.

OLT Express Germany has new owner

The regional airline OLT Express Germany is acquired by the Dutch investor Panta Holdings. Panta Holdings is already owner of an airline, the ACMI-carrier Denim Air. OLT Express Germany was formed, when Amber Gold, until then owner of Polish regional airline Jetair, overtook the cash-stricken German airline OLT in 2011. In the following time Amber Gold invested much money in the airlines. OLT was rebranded as OLT Express Germany and extended the network. The Polish airline was rebranded as OLT Jetair and commenced domestic routes in Poland early this year. Even in early 2012 OLT Jetair got the new name OLT Express Regional and a new airline was founded: OLT Express Poland, which commenced routes with A319/A320 aircraft from Poland to several international destinations. But in July OLT Express Poland and OLT Express Regional ceased operations due financial problems. OLT Express Germany survived, but had to find an new investor. With Panta Holdings now an new owner of OLT Express Germany could be found. 

OLT Express Germany and Panta Holdings have announced, that the extension of the network will continue as planned and Contact Air will be acquired by OLT Express as announced earlier.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

InterSky orders two ATR 72-600

The airline InterSky will overtake two brand-new ATR 72-600. The two aircraft has intially been oredered from Caribbean Airlines, who cancelled the order. The retraining of crews and engineering staff will start in the next days. The first aircraft will be delivered in December 2012, while the second will follow in March 2013.

InterSky currently operates three Bombardier Q300. The regional has been partly acquaired by Intro Aviation and is undergoing an restructuring.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Air Tanzania ends joint venture agreement with Aerovista and suspends all operations for another time

Air Tanzania, the flag-carrier of Tanzania has suspended all flights, after the airline cancelled the joint venture agreement with Aerovista. All passengers were rebooked.

Air Tanzania had and has huge problems within the recent years and have been grounded in 2008 due safety reasons. The airline commenced the operations again, but in early 2011 the airline suspended the remaining operations, after the last Q300 was withdrawn for extensive maintenance. In the same year, Air Tanzania was in discussions with Air Zimbabwe to cooperate, but finallly, the idea was dropped. By the end of 2011 the airline resumed operations with one Q300, while the other two Q300 in the fleet were phased out.

On 24th March 2012 Air Tanzania signed an joint venture agreement with the Dubai-based ACMI-carrier Aerovista. Air Tanzania leased one Aerovista Boeing 737-400 and in future, Aerovista would be in charge for pilot and cabin training. Aerovista also started to work closely with Air Tanzania to improve the commercial results of the airline and extend the network. Furthermore Aerovista began to advance the maintenance.

The Boeing 737-500 4J-AJB with 108 seats was delivered to Air Tanzania in May 2012.

Now Air Tanzania has returned the Boeing 737-500 to Aerovista and has cancelled the joint venture agreement with the airline. The Q300 5H-MWF  is currently stored, so the airline has no active aircraft. Therefore Air Tanzania has suspended all operations and reebooked all passengers to other airline. The state-owned airline want´s to resume operations with the Q300.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

CSA Czech Airlines resumes flights from Prague to Stuttgart and Berlin from September

CSA Czech Airines will resume flights on the routes from Prague to Berlin and Stuttgart. Both routes are left without flights since CSA-Partner CCA ceased operations due financial troubles.

CCA Central Connect Airlines took over various regional routes from CSA Czech Airlines in spring 2012 and served them at own risk with Saab 340. CSA had an codeshare agreement with CCA. But just a few months after CCA has taken over the routes, the small carrier had to cease all operations due financial troubles on June 19. Several routes out of Prague are left without services. With Berlin and Stuttgart CSA will resume two of them, but the others will probably not be resumed.

The routes to Berlin and Stuttagrt will be served twice daily with ATR 42, starting 3rd of September. The ATR 42s, the smallest aircraft in the fleet, were used on the flights before CCA overtook them.

New Argentinian Rio Hondo Airport gets scheduled traffic

The new Termas de Rio Hondo International Airport will be connected by Austral from 2nd of September twice weekly with Aeroparque Jorge Newberry in Buenos Aires. The route will be flown with Embraer 190 aircraft. It will be the first scheduled route for new international airport.

The new Termas de Rio Hondo International Airport is located a few kilometers western of the city Termas de Rio Hondo, Santiago del Estero in northern Argentinia. The airport was recently opened and has an terminal with 1900 square metres on two levels. There are six check-in counters on the ground floor and 100 parking positions for cars in front of the terminal. The runway is 4900 feet long.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shaheen Air adds Airbus A330-300 to fleet

The Parkistani airline Shaheen Air has recently taken over two Airbus A330-300 to commence long-haul flights. Both aircrafts was previously operated by Vladivostok Air. Vladivostok Air acquired them 2009 and 2010 from Aer Lingus. The two Airbus A330s, which were built in 1994, will be used for new routes to  Madinah, Riyadh, Bangkok and Dhaka.

Currently Shaheen Air operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-200 and three 737-400. Another Boeing 737-400 will be added to the fleet soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alitalia has cancelled Wind Jet acquisition

Wind Jet Airbus A320-200 on Rimini Airport. 
The Italian flag-carrier Alitalia has cancelled the plans to take over the low-cost carrier Wind Jet, after the Italian antitrust authority announced, that the airline has to give up slots on the key domestic routes Between Linate and Catania, Linate and Palermo and Rome and Catania in return for the approval to acquire Wind Jet, which was granted by the end of July. Alitalia has already cancelled their plans to acquire Blue Panorama earlier this year. Originally Alitalia announced it´´s plans to absorb both airlinesby beginning of this year to increase it´s importance on the Italian domestic market.

The loss-making Sicilan low-cost Wind Jet is operative since 2003 and has based an Fleet of five Airbus A319 and seven Airbus A320 in Palermo and Catania. Wind Jet provides and huge number of flights between Sicilia and Italian mainland. Beside this, the airline flies from several Destinations in Europe and Russia to some cities in northern Italy and offers connecting flights from there to Palermo and Catania. One of the main airports in northern Italy is Rimini.

The acquire of Wind Jet could have been an of the biggest mistakes for Alitalia in the recent years: the low-cost airline has an horrible image and terrible service: bad on-time performance, dirty planes, run-down cabins, old planes and no on-board service. The aircrafts are leased and are equipped with the seats from the former operator. In planes from Dragonair can the chinese exit-signs still be found. The seats are repaired with cellotape, and of course, dirty.
Since it´s reorganization Alitalia tries to  become and quality carrier with an good on-time performance and  a high level of service. The acquisition of Wind Jet could have derogates the image. Another problem is the schedule and business model of Wind Jet: Several aircraft start their flights in Catania and Palermo and meet in northern Italy. Then they continue to destinations in Europe and Russia with new passengers and transfer passengers from Palermo and Catania. After that they return to the airport and start their flights from there to Catania and Palermo, with new domestic passengers and some international connection passengers. Alitalia as a hub carrier couldn´t continue to operate those services. But they probably did not noticed that.