Wind Jet (Catania) ceased operations at midnight last night (August 11) after its merger talks with Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) collapsed. Previously Alitalia had received permission to take over the struggling carrier. The airline, based in Sicily, commenced operations on June 18, 2003.
Up to 500,000 passengers could be impacted by the grounding and the five Airbus aircraft are reported by the media to be grounded in Malta for overdue payments.
Read the full story from The Malta Independent: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Guillaume Besnard. Airbus A320-211 EI-DOE (msn 215) completes its final approach into Toulouse.
Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) has received approval from the anti-trust regulators to acquire Wind Jet (Catania). However due competitive issues, Alitalia must give five slot pairs of Wind Jet for other carriers. This will be the end of Wind Jet which started operations on June 18, 2003.
Read the full report from Reuters Italia (in Italian): CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord. Airbus A319-113 EI-DVU (msn 660) lines up to land at London (Gatwick).
Alitalia’s (2nd) board of directors has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Blue Panorama Airlines for a future integration. Alitalia is moving ahead with a merger with both Wind Jet (Catania) and Blue Panorama Airlines (Rome and Milan-Malpensa).
Blue Panorama operates long-haul charter flights with its regular Blue Panorama operation and short and medium-haul scheduled low-fare operations with subsidiary Blu-Express. It mainly operates Boeing aircraft.
Blu-Express’ routes in Europe:
Blue Panorama’s long-haul routes:
Wind Jet has hubs in Catania, Palermo and Rimini and operates with Airbus aircraft.
Wind Jet’s (Catania) former Spirit Airlines Airbus A319-132 EI-EDM (msn 2424, ex N501NK) was operating flight LV 243 between Rome (Fiumicino) and Palermo with 123 passengers and six crew members. The airliner was approaching Palermo on its final approach with reported thunderstorms and windshear in the area. On landing the airliner veered off the runway. Both main landing gear collapsed after leaving the runway. The aircraft was extensively damaged. Reports varied on the number of minor injuries, ranging from three to 20 people.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Ex-Spirit A319-132 N501NK (msn 2424) prepares to leave Miami after repainting for its delivery flight to Wind Jet as EI-EDM.