DAE-Dutch Antilles Express (Curacao) has been barred from flying to Venezuela due to safety concerns cited by the INAC. Venezuela is its main market. DAE will take legal action against INAC and will continue operations to other destinations including Miami and Orlando. The airline will also ask the government of Curacao to take similar actions against Venezuelan carriers according to this report by El Universal.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
In other news, DAE is considering upgrading its McDonnell DC-9-83 (MD-83) fleet (operated by Falcon Air) with newer Airbus A319s or A320s. Falcon Air would acquire and operate the new aircraft for DAE.
Top Copyright Photo: Greg Drawbaugh/DRAW Decal. The Fokker 100s will also have to be replaced at some point. Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 (Fokker 100) PJ-DAA (msn 11310) prepares to depart from St. Maarten. All other images below by DAE.
Skywest Airlines (Australia) (Perth) today (May 7) became Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.
The company issued this statement:
Virgin Australia today (May 7) unveiled its new regional airline operation with Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti in Perth.
Following the acquisition of Skywest Airlines last month, today marked the launch of the newly branded airline. The first two aircraft to be rebranded as ‘Virgin Australia’ were officially unveiled (Fokker 100 VH-FSQ and Fokker 50 VH-FNA), representing the airline’s commitment to continued investment and new growth opportunities for regional and charter travel in Australia.
The entity known as Virgin Australia Regional Airlines will be based in Perth, Western Australia and the operation will now have 32 aircraft operating over 800 services per week to 41 different destinations.
The old Skywest Airlines route map (above).
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti described it as a momentous day for the airline, tourism and the travel industry.
“This country has one of the most geographically dispersed populations in the world and reliable, affordable air services are vital to the growth of regional Australia.
“In 2010, we articulated a strategy to become the airline of choice for all travellers in Australia. Since then, we have changed the competitive landscape in many ways and today marks our next major leap forward.
“By integrating Skywest Airlines into the Virgin Australia Group, we unlock new opportunities to grow our services to regional Australia and significantly increase our charter presence in the high growth fly-in-fly-out markets.
“Western Australia is one of the fastest growing aviation markets and a very important part of our strategy. We have made significant investment over the past two years with the introduction of our internationally configured Airbus A330 aircraft on services between the East and West Coast, increased frequencies to the resource-rich Pilbara region and established a large crew base in Perth.
“By building a Perth-based operation and workforce, we will continue to invest in local resources, expertise and infrastructure”, Mr Borghetti said.
Sir Richard Branson said: “It is fantastic what John and the team have done over the last couple of years, completely repositioning the airline with the introduction of the Virgin Australia brand and its brilliant product and service. Now I am thrilled to see him focusing on other market segments including regional and charter services where I know they will deliver.
“This is the start of the next ground-breaking chapter for the Virgin Australia Group and an exciting time for the airline”, Sir Richard said.
Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan. All other images and photos from Skywest. The Skywest Airlines brand is now being retired. All of the aircraft are gradually being repainted into the Virgin Australia brand.
The faces of Skywest Airlines.
Video: Skywest Airlines of Australia fades into the sunset:
New combined Virgin Australia domestic route map:
Air Bagan‘s (Yangon) flight W9 011 from Mandalay to Heho, Myanmar (formerly Burma) was being operated yesterday (December 25) with the pictured Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 (Fokker 100) XY-AGC (msn 11420). The jetliner was operating with 65 passengers and six crew members. According to local reports, the flight was on approach to Heho in fog, when the Fokker 100 made an emergency landing on a road near the airport and came to a stop in a rice field in pieces and caught on fire.
One passenger and one motorcyclist was killed in the accident and eight were injured.
The airline issued the following statement:
Read the full account from The Independent: CLICK HERE
According to the airline, “Heho is the gateway to beautiful Inle Lake with its unique lifestyle, and the ancient pagoda complexes of Kekku, Indain and Taungto. There is also the Shwe Umin Cave Pagoda of Pindaya, a lovely little town with a lake in its centre ad a flourishing craft industry of hand made paper and paper umbrellas
Gateway to the Inle Lake which is known as the Venice of the East, picturesque Inle Lake is definitely one of the magical sights in South East Asia. The lake is not only a beautiful sight to enjoy, but also the practical home of the native Intha (sons of the lake), who live on the lake in stilt houses with neatly cultivated floating farms and nurseries. The presence of many ethnic groups in the area, still wearing their national dress, especially on market day makes it a captivating place of much cultural interest.”
Copyright Photo: K.C. Sim. Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 (Fokker 100) XY-AGC (msn 11327) is pictured departing from Singapore before the accident.
Domestic Route Map:
OLT Express (Germany) (Bremen) is transforming itself from a regional feeder airline into a new point-to-point low-cost carrier according to Airline Route.
Starting on October 15, 2012, the redesigned airline will open new bases at Dresden, Muenster and Saarbruecken. In addition, the airline will open 14 new routes including new service to Budapest, Southend (near London), Milan (Malpensa), Paris (CDG) and Vienna.
Read the full report: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner. All of the new routes will be operated with Fokker 100s. Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 (Fokker 100) D-AOLH (msn 11265) taxies at Zurich in the attractive 2011 livery.
OLT Express (Germany) (Bremen) has been sold by Amber Gold to Dutch financial investor Panta Holdings BV.
Under the leadership of Panta Holdings, OLT Express (Germany) will continue its expansion plans by integrating Contact Air (Stuttgart) in early September.
Panta Holdings has been active in the aviation industry with Dutch company Denim Airways and leasing company Mass lease. In addition, Panta is involved in the Canadian supplier Avcorp Industries. Panta Holdings also owned VLM Airlines in the past before it was sold to the Air France-KLM Group.
After Amber Gold announced it was getting out of the aviation industry after the recent failure of OLT Express (Poland) there was a period of uncertainty for the employees of the OLT Express (Germany) and Contact Air. Now they have a more secure future.
Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl. The Fokker 100 will now be the main aircraft for the new OLT Express. Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 D-AOLG approaches for landing in the bright 2011 livery at Zurich. Unfortunately this color scheme is now also associated with the failure of OLT Express (Poland) which made headlines when it stranded passengers. A new branding effort by the new owners could become a new reality.
OLT Express Germany (Bremen) took over the operations of Contact Air Service GmbH & Co. KG (Stuttgart) on July 4. Both companies will continue to operate under the OLT Express brand. Anti-trust clearance of the acquisition is expected to be completed in early September 2012.
With the acquisition, OLT Express Germany now employs about 500 additional employees. Of these, there are approximately 200 employees in Bremen, about 200 in Stuttgart and about 100 in Saarbruecken.
Top Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Rolf Wallner.
DAE (Dutch Antilles Express) (Curacao) on October 16 launched a new twice-weekly route from Curacao to Panama City.
Copyright Photo: Greg Drawbaugh.
Sol del Paraguay (Asuncion) is a new airline in Paraguay. The carrier is getting ready to take delivery of its first aircraft, this ex-Mexicana Click Fokker F.28 Mk. 0100 XA-TCP (msn 11341). A second Fokker will be added in order to start regional operations in 2011.
Copyright Photo: Andre Du-Pont/Mexico Air Spotters. XA-TCP is pictured at Mexico City after repainting.