Charter operator Gainjet (Stand 2306) recently expanded its fleet with the addition of a 68-seat VIP-configured Boeing 737-400. The Greece-based group has made a specialty of operating former Boeing airliners, with two other 737s already in service (one with 48 seats and the other with 60 seats). The fleet also includes a very spacious 62-seat 757-200.
When representatives from Europe’s regional airlines met in Salzburg last month at the annual general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), they did so against a backdrop of red tape, high fuel prices, inefficient ATC and the ever growing threat from low-cost carriers and airports biased toward large aircraft. Nevertheless, the ERA was able to report that its members had managed capacity well to remain profitable, reacting to demand and becoming more efficient as signs of a return to growth become more evident.
Facing high costs and increased competition, Air France-KLM’s management must pick its battles. Having announced plans for up to 2,800 job cuts on September 18, the European airline this week deferred a decision on whether or not it will provide further investment to plug holes in the sieve-like balance sheet of Alitalia. It holds a 25-percent stake in the Italian carrier, and Italy’s government has indicated it would be willing to see the Franco-Dutch group increase that share to 50 percent.
Concorde continues to expand its STC coverage, with several new international validations for popular battery STCs. The company’s batteries recently received EASA STC approval for the AgustaWestland AW109 and AW139; Dornier Do-328-100; multiple King Air models; and the MD Helicopters MD900. Transport Canada recently approved Concorde batteries for the Challenger 600-2B16, 2B19, 2C10 and 2D24; and Brazil’s ANAC OK’d them for the Sikorsky S-76A, B and C.
Online air charter broker PrivateFly is expanding its French operation. It hired two operations assistants–Julien Molinet, who previously worked in communications at Air France, and Davide Paladino, who has a private banking and aviation background–to help PrivateFly operations controller Mehdi Dialmy, who heads the company’s French division. The company also appointed Astrid Arminjon as digital marketing executive, a role that includes reaching out to new customers in France and boosting content development for PrivateFly’s French website.
Embraer Executive Jets named Brenda Paauwe-Navori as the Western region regional sales director for its large and ultra-large business jet division. She previously managed sales for a business aircraft manufacturer and a fractional ownership firm. Paauwe-Navori has experience in market strategy and prospecting, financial analysis and customer loyalty, Embraer said. She has also been employed in airline charter work, including a stint as senior director of large-cabin sales and operator relations for Virgin Charter and VIP Inflight Liaison at Northwest Airlines.
Finding an indoor parking spot for your business jet at the notoriously congested general aviation section of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport just got easier. Aviation technical services provider JetSupport (Booth 1937, with KLM Jet Center) announced here at EBACE that it has gained access to 8,000 sq m (86,000 sq ft) of hangar space it plans to use exclusively for indoor aircraft parking.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, in partnership with the Schiphol Group, Delta Air Lines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey christened the first in a series of biofuel-powered flights between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on March 8.
Air France unveiled the name of a new regional airline in late January that it plans to form through the merger of its Brit Air, Régional and Airlinair affiliates. Plans call for the airline–dubbed HOP!–to launch operations this summer, operating point-to-point flights within Air France’s domestic network from Paris Orly and connecting service to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The Regional Aircraft Division of BAE Systems has won a contract with Eastern Airways of the UK for its rate-per-flying-hour aircraft spares support service. The three-year support deal covers 16 Prestwick-built Jetstream 41 turboprop airliners. BAE Systems has provided support for Eastern Airways’ Jetstream 41 operation for the past 11 years.
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