Danube Wings (VIP Wings dab) (Bratislava) was forced to suspended all flight operations from both Bratislava and Kosice on November 20. Since then the airline has now ceased all business operations and laid off all of its employees.
Operations commenced in August 2008.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Danube Wings ATR 727-202 OM-VRA (msn 373) is pictured in operation at Palma de Mallorca.
Aer Arann‘s (Aer Lingus Regional) (Dublin) pilots are threatening to strike four days next week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) over a disagreement concerning pay issues.
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The strike is disrupting the plans of the company for a “new beginning”.
Earlier this year the company announced a “new beginning”:
Aer Arann plans to join Europe’s top tier of regional airlines by 2015 and to double its passenger numbers to over two million in five years, the company said today.
The airline also confirmed a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in 2012, with total passenger growth of 16% in the past two years.
Announcing a “new beginning” at the airline, Sean Brogan, Interim Chief Executive, Aer Arann outlined a package of measures to grow its customer base and route network, including:
Successful restructuring: a successful restructuring of the company has been completed, putting the airline on a strong financial footing;
Fleet renewal program: the airline will be taking delivery of eight new aircraft. The new aircraft, ATR 72-600s, will replace the older existing fleet of ATR 72-200s and ATR 42s. The first new plane will commence service this May, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery over the next 11 months. The new fleet will be fully operational in time for the Summer 2014 program;
Extension of Aer Lingus agreement: the airline has extended its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, which will see Aer Arann operate under the Aer Lingus Regional brand until the end of 2022;
Addition of two new routes: commencing this Summer, Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann will add two new routes to its network, Dublin-Birmingham and Dublin-Manchester. The addition of these routes, two of the busiest on the Ireland to UK network, will increase passenger numbers by 300,000 and bring the airline’s route network to 24.
Combined with existing Aer Lingus mainline services to Manchester and Birmingham, these new services will result in a significant ramping up of frequencies to two of the busiest routes on the Ireland to UK network. Specifically, services on the Dublin Birmingham route will go from three to six services per day while services on the Dublin Manchester routes will go from three to five per day.
It also means that the airline will be operating routes to the main UK cities. The Stobart Group is also advancing plans to add routes at London Southend airport.
Expansion of services: the airline is to increase frequencies on its Dublin Edinburgh and Dublin Glasgow routes.Specifically, services on the Dublin Edinburgh route will go from four up to six services per day while services on the Dublin Glasgow route will go from four up to six per day.
Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) EI-REL (msn 748) departs from Manchester in the Aer Lingus Regional brand.
B&H Airlines (Sarajevo) was forced to suspend operations due to maintenance issues involving its two ATR 72-202 aircraft. The flag carrier has been forced to cancel flights to Istanbul, Zurich, Banja Luka and Copenhagen according to this report by Balkans.com. The airline was hoping to resume operations late yesterday. Additionally, according to the report, the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank froze all B&H Airlines accounts on March 4.
DanubeWings (DanubeWings.com) (Bratislava) will start a new route connecting Ostrava (Czech Republic) with Vienna commencing on January 14, 2013. The new route will be flown with ATR 72s per Airline Route.
Copyright Photo: Wingnut. ATR 72-202 OM-VRA (msn 373) arrives at the Greek holiday isle of Corfu.
Czech Airlines-CSA (Prague) went into the red in 2011 with a pre-tax loss of $11.8 million. The airline blamed the loss on aircraft commitments and higher fuel costs.
The airline issued the following statement:
“The second year of Czech Airline’s three-year restructuring plan was marked primarily by the continued reorganisation of the company, transformations in its transport network model, and cost optimisation. Last year the airline was impacted by financial leasing obligations for aircraft ordered in the past, and a significant increase in fuel costs. Last year Czech Airlines transferred its subsidiaries Czech Airlines Handling, CSA Services, and HOLIDAYS Czech Airlines to Czech Aeroholding. The money that the airline obtained through these transactions was used to pay instalments on aircraft. This means that Czech Airlines invested nearly a billion crowns into its future assets last year. The airline finished the 2011 financial year with an aggregate loss of CZK 241 million.
Phase two of Czech Airline’s on-going restructuring influenced the airline’s financial results for last year. Czech Airlines continued its human resources optimisation and the optimisation of its sales and transport networks, with corresponding gradual changes in its fleet structure. “Last year Czech Airlines managed to reduce its personnel costs by nearly one third, year on year, and in terms of its fleet size, it is returning to a state that corresponds to the transport network and market potential of a small local market. The structural changes in the transport network unfortunately did not have enough time to fully manifest themselves in last year’s financial results, whether in terms of revenue or costs,” explains Philippe Moreels, Chairman of the Management Board and President of Czech Airlines, adding: “Financial obligations for aircraft ordered in the past had an adverse impact on our financial results. Last year alone Czech Airlines had to invest nearly a billion crowns that it obtained from the sale of assets into new aircraft.”
A significant increase in the price of aircraft fuel also had an adverse impact on the airline’s finances last year. In spite of the planned decrease in aircraft movements by nearly one fifth last year, Czech Airlines noted a nearly 40% year-on-year increase in fuel costs. “The same trend was manifest in the first four months of this year. Although on the revenue side, certain other positive effects of the gradual transformation of the transport and sales network are beginning to show, the increase in fuel costs has nearly eliminated them, at least in the first four months of the year. In its last, third year of restructuring, Czech Airlines will therefore focus even more on reducing its costs, primarily fixed costs, and will also enhance some of its modern pro-revenue projects,” concludes Philippe Moreels.”