BQB Lineas Aereas (Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay) has been quietly filling the void left by the demise of Pluna Lineas Aereas Uruguayas in Montevideo since the failure on July 5, 2012. The airline, sensing an opportunity, leased in Airbus A320-214 EC-LLJ (msn 4661) from Vueling Airlines (in Vueling colors, with BQB titles) on November 28, 2013. The carrier now serves eight routes from the capital, probably dashing the hopes of reviving a new employee-lead version of Pluna. Seasonal service from Montevideo was started on December 14 to Florianapolis, Brazil. On the following day, service to Santiago, Chile was started according Anna Aero.
Copyright Photo: Robbie Shaw/AirlinersGallery.com. BQB assigns the ATR 72 on regional routes from Montevideo including Curitiba, Rivera and Salto. ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) CX-JCL (msn 805) taxies at Buenos Aires (Aeroparque Jorge Newbery).
BQB Lineas Aereas:
Video: The leased Vueling Airlines Airbus A320 arrives in Montevideo:
Air Dolomiti (Verona) today (October 26) will operate the last ATR 72 flight from the Munich hub to Trieste, Italy. Flight LH 1940 will also end an era. This is also the last turboprop flight in the Lufthansa Group per Austrian Wings.
Lufthansa ended Viscount 800 service in 1971 but in recent years has contracted with feeder airlines to operate turboprop aircraft. The turboprop aircraft have been gradually replaced with pure jet aircraft. Tonight’s last ATR 72-500 flight will be the last turboprop flight with any airline using the LH code.
Read the full story from Austrian Wings (in German): CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) I-ADLT (msn 638) prepares to land at Bologna.
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.
Read the full story from The Irish Times: CLICK HERE
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.
Virgin Australia Airlines (Brisbane) has received the approval of the High Court in Singapore to acquire Skywest Airlines (Perth). Previously the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board cleared the merger and Virgin Australia on March 13 received approval from Skywest Airlines Ltd shareholders of the proposed acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Skywest, pursuant to a scheme of arrangement under the laws of Singapore. The acquisition process is now complete.
Copyright Photo: Peter Gates. Skywest Airlines already operates a fleet of ATR 72-500s on regional routes for Virgin Australia. ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) VH-FVI (msn 955) is pictured on the ramp at Brisbane.
Skywest Airlines operates an extensive route network under its own brand in Western Australia.
TransAsia Airways (Taipei) is promoting a duty free shop area on Kinmen Island featuring the famous wind lion god figure as the mascot. Three ATR 72-212s will featured this unusual logo.
According to Wikipedia, Kinmen or Quemoy is a small archipelago of several islands administered by Republic of China (Taiwan): Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen and some islets. The islands are located off the coast of mainland China.
Kinmen is known for its shisa (wind lion god) figures.
Top and Bottom Copyright Photos: Manuel Negrerie. A close-up and ramp view of ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) B-22805 (msn 558) with the wind lion god logo.
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited welcomed the ACCC’s clearance of the proposed acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital in Skywest Airlines Ltd (Perth) pursuant to a scheme of arrangement which is subject to the laws of Singapore.
Under the agreement, Skywest would become part of the Virgin Australia brand but would continue to operate under its current Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) with its own management team, based in Western Australia. This would enable Virgin Australia to fast-track its growth in regional Australia and develop a more integrated network, service and frequent flyer program for the benefit of its customers.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said: “The ACCC’s clearance represents an important step for Virgin Australia in completing the proposed acquisition of Skywest.
“This acquisition will enable us to accelerate our expansion in the high growth fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and regional markets, increasing competition in these important segments and bringing new benefits to customers.
“It will also be very positive for business and tourism, particularly in Western Australia and regional Australia, as we will invest to support the growth of Skywest”, Mr Borghetti said.
The proposed transaction still remains subject to certain conditions and regulatory approvals, including Foreign Investment Review Board approval, Skywest shareholder approval and the approval of the Singapore High Court.
Top Copyright Photo: Peter Gates. Skywest Airlines currently operates 10 ATR 72-212As (ATR 72-500s) on feeder routes for Virgin Australia Airlines in their colors. VH-FVH (msn 954) prepares for the next flight at Brisbane.
Skywest Airlines (Australia):
Virgin Australia Airlines:
Virgin Australia Airlines-Skywest Airlines:
Skywest’s routes in western Australia:
Please click on the map for the full-size view.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Micheil Keegan. The in-house livery of Skywest Airlines and the Airbus A320 is now likely to be retired. Airbus A320-231 VH-FNP (msn 429) arrives back at the Perth, Western Australia base painted in the 2003 livery.
Kingfisher Airlines‘ (Mumbai) Scheduled Operator’s Permit (SOP) is due to expire today (December 31) according to this report to The Economic Times. The carrier had proposed to restart scheduled operations with five Airbus aircraft and two ATRs but the Indian government was concerned about its financing and funding and asked for additional details. The airline suspended operations on October 4, 2012.
Air Dolomiti (Verona and Munich) intends to phase out its 10 remaining ATR 72-500s by November 2013 per Le Journal de l’Aviation. The carrier will be adding more Embraer ERJ 195s to replace the turboprops. Parent Lufthansa wants to phase out the use of turboprops.