Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has announce that Swiftair S.A. (Madrid) has selected AEI to provide eight (8) Boeing 37-400SF passenger to freighter conversions. The contract calls for four firm orders plus an additional four options. The first aircraft, built in 1991 (msn 24438) (ex Samair) is a high gross weight Boeing 737-400 and is currently being modified at Commercial Jet Inc. in Miami, Florida, which is an authorized AEI Conversion Center. The second aircraft (msn 24445) is on location in Miami and will commence modification in mid-September. All eight aircraft will be modified at Commercial Jet Inc. in Miami, Florida.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. Swiftair is a current Boeing 737-400 operator. 737-4Q8 (F) N156GA (msn 26298) arrives at Palma de Mallorca before it became EC-MCI.
Swiftair (Madrid) McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) registered EC-LTV (msn 53190) operating for Air Algerie (Algiers) as flight AH 5017 from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers and 6 crew members is missing. Contact with the airliner has been lost over Mali near Gao about 50 minutes after the takeoff. Both airlines have announced they have lost contact with the crew.
According to Reuters, the country of Burkino Faso stated the flight had asked ATC to alter its course due to a storm. There was a known sandstorm in the area according to local reports.
Swiftair said on its website the flight took off from Burkina Faso at 0117 GMT and was supposed to land in Algiers at 0510 GMT but never reached its destination.
Two French Air Force Mirage 2000 jets based in west Africa have been dispatched to try to locate the missing airliner according to Reuters.
Reuters is now reporting the plane has crashed:
“An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.”
Update: The wreckage has been found near the city of Gao, Mali (see the map below). There are no survivors of the 116 passengers and crew members on board.
Read the full report from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE
Update: From CNN:
“France has declared a three-day mourning period to commemorate the victims of the Air Algerie flight 5017 crash, French President Francois Hollande declared on Saturday (July 26).
Following a meeting with families of the victims, Hollande said flags will fly at half-staff on government buildings from Monday through Wednesday.
Fifty-four of the 118 victims were French nationals.
The second flight data recorder from has been found in Mali, a U.N. official said Saturday (July 26).”
Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) M814NK became EC-KCX on delivery (msn 49619).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez/AirlinersGallery.com. The ill-fated DC-9-83 (MD-83) EC-LTV at Palma de Mallorca before the tragic crash.
Air Ghana (Accra) commenced cargo operations on May 1 for DHL after securing its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) in April. The cargo airline started operations with a single Boeing 737-400 freighter (above) leased from Swiftair (Madrid) on the Abidjan-Accra-Lagos route. Boeing 737-4Q8 9G-AGL (msn 25163) is fully painted in DHL’s colors.
The new airline issued this statement:
Air Ghana has taken delivery of a Boeing 737-400F aircraft with the registration of 9G-AGL. This first aircraft (total 5 aircraft over the next 3 years) is in DHL livery and will be exclusively dedicated to DHL scheduled services in West Africa. The first flight on May 1, 2014, operated an ABJ-ACC-LOS-ACC-ABJ rotation. Air Ghana now has an AOC issued by Ghana Civil Aviation making Air Ghana a fully operational cargo airline.
This new development represents a very important part and a major step forward in making Accra the number one hub in West Africa. The aircraft will be used to provide a feeder service to West, Central and Southern African countries and once fully operational will significantly increase cargo throughput at Kotoka International Airport. A fully operational integrated feeder service, a strong interline GSSA network, together with a new state of art handling facilities at GACC Ltd.
Caribbean Airlines (Port of Spain) has leased two ATR 72s from Swiftair.
Caribbean Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Nigel Steele. Please click on the photo for the full details.
LAMIA-Linea Aerea Meridena Internacional de Aviacion (Merida) is a new airline in Venezuela. The new carrier commenced operations on August 16 with an ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) registered EC-KKQ (msn 763) “El Merideno” (The Merida) which was wet leased from Swiftair (Madrid).
Santiago de los Caballeros de Merida is the capital of the municipality of Liberator and the state of Merida and is one of the principal cities of the Venezuelan Andes. The city was founded in 1558.
Read the full story (in Spanish) from El Universal:
IMD Airways (formerly Aerofan Lineas Aereas) (Madrid) has leased its lone McDonnell Douglas DC-9-87 (MD-87) EC-KSF (msn 53207) to Swiftair for United Nations’ operations in northern Africa (Sudan, Chad, etc).
Maya Island Air (Belize City) is planning to lease three ATR 72-200s from Swiftair. ATR 72-212 EC-JRP (msn 446) has already been repainted in Maya Island’s colors pending delivery.