Italian start-up Sky Alps has signed a long term lease-agreement with Chorus Aviation for two DHC-8-400s. The aircraft are G-ECOK (4230), currently stored at Halifax and G-ECOO (4237), currently stored at Sandefjord-Torp. Both were previously used by flybe and are expected to be delivered in April and May.
Initially the new airline will use the aircraft on charter-flights out of its base at Bolzano to Calabria and Sicily. Later on, Sky Alps wants to launch scheduled flights between Bolzano and Milan, Munich, Rome and Vienna.
American charter and cargo start-up Global Crossing Airlines Group, operating as GLOBALX (Miami Int'l), has taken delivery of its first A321-200, N277GX (msn 2480), leased from Lithuania-based Magnetic Leasing.
It was ferried in the Floridian start-up’s livery from Tallinn Lennart Meri to Miami Int'l via Reykjavik Keflavik and Bangor on April 14-15, ch-aviation analysis of Flightradar24 and AirNav RadarBox ADS-B data shows. GLOBALX has said it intends the A321 to provide services to Cuba, subject to governmental approvals.
The 16-year-old aircraft was previously operated as VN-A349 by Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi) between May 2005 and August 2019, with a spell as XU-349 at Cambodia Angkor Air (K6, Siem Reap) from April 2012 to March 2017, according to the ch-aviation fleets history module. It is configured with seating for 183, including 171 in economy and 12 in business.
It joins A320-200 N276GX (msn 2695), a 15.2-year-old twinjet owned by DAE Capital, which the start-up took delivery of on January 1, 2021.
As previously reported, last month GLOBALX said it had expanded its “strategic partnership” with Latvia’s SmartLynx Airlines beyond a damp lease agreement forged between the two in May 2020. This included cooperation in several areas during the US carrier’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, which it had hoped to complete by the end of March.
Operating from two bases, Miami and Atlantic City, GLOBALX ultimately aims to provide charter capacity for major airlines, tour operators, professional and collegiate sports teams, casinos, and corporate groups, as well as direct-to-consumer charters under its Part 380 regulations.
Eastern Airlines has announced its first transatlantic route, which will fly from Chicago to Sarajevo in Bostnia and Herzegovina. The bold move comes as the U.S carrier continues to chase profitable business opportunities outside of core markets that are well-served by traditional legacy carriers.
Starting on May 28, Eastern will between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Butmir International Airport in the city of Sajarevo. Flights will run once a week and will take place throughout the summer season until September 5, 2021.
The outbound flight leaves Chicago past 7 p.m on Fridays, arriving at Sajarevo just past 11 a.m the next morning. The plane then spends a night at Butmir International Airport, departing back for U.S on Sundays at 8 a.m and arriving at the windy city at 12:00 noon. Flights will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 767s. This marks both Eastern’s first flight out of Chicago and its first venture across the Atlantic.
According to the airline’s website, flights start at $898 one-way, which sure seems steep for a transatlantic flight, considering there are more cost-convenient flight alternatives from the U.S to Bostnia and Herzegovina via a one-stop itinerary with a short connection at a larger European hub. On the plus side, Eastern tickets include up to 70lbs (31KGs) checked luggage for free.
The Pennsylvania-headquartered carrier has 9 active 767s in its fleet, including two Boeing 767-200s and 7 Boeing 767-300s. The carrier offers two classes: a Premium cabin offering lie-flat seats and a standard economy class offering “roomy seats,” as the airline likes to describe its product. There are now in-flight entertainment screens in both cabins, but the carrier does offer content via streaming on passengers’ personal devices. Hungry to Find its Niche
It’s no secret that Eastern has been working hard to find healthy business opportunities over the last few years. Last year, the airline started regular flights from Miami and New York JFK to Guayaquil in Ecuador. The airline has additional expansion plans to said South American country, as it plans to fly from the same U.S cities to Ecuador’s capital, Quito, starting May of this year. Additionally, there are plans to fly from Los Angeles to Guayaquil, but that route no starting date on the horizon yet.
The airline will also venture further south later in the year as it is set to begin flights from Miami to Montevideo in June. American recently suspended its four-weekly service from Miami to Montevideo, citing low demand. The Fort Worth-based carrier commented that it instead plans to operate flights seasonally during the busier Southern Hemisphere summer season running from November to March. Airline Geeks
How busy and profitable will all these new flights be still remains a question. So will it be how Eastern will land its strategic plans in a way that it is economically sustainable over time. For now one thing is certain, though: Eastern is trying hard to find its place in the map.