Es­to­nia: Re­gional jet has leased 2 jets to serve sas routes

The Baltic Times - - BALTICS NEWS - BNS/TBT Staff

Re­gional Jet OU, joint ven­ture of the Es­to­nian state owned air­line Nordica and Poland's LOT, has signed a lease for two ATR air­craft to op­er­ate routes of the Scan­di­na­vian car­rier SAS out of Copen­hagen un­der a six-year agree­ment that will start in Au­gust.

In ad­di­tion, it has con­cluded pre­lim­i­nary agree­ments con­cern­ing three more air­craft, one of which will serve Nordica's own routes.

"Re­gional Jet OU has con­cluded agree­ments con­cern­ing two ATR air­craft and the air­craft have ar­rived in Tallinn al­ready. Both units have been reg­is­tered to the air op­er­a­tor cer­tifi­cate of Re­gional Jet. The air­craft have been leased from the leas­ing com­pa­nies Elix Avi­a­tion Cap­i­tal and Castle­lake," Toomas Uibo, Chief of Cor­po­rate Sales at Nordica, said on Tues­day, June 27.

"As re­gards the other three air­craft, we have con­cluded pre­lim­i­nary agree­ments by now, but any com­ments con­cern­ing the part­ners can be made only af­ter the main agree­ments have been signed and the trans­ac­tions have taken place," he said.

Four of the tur­bo­props will serve short-dis­tance flights of SAS out of Copen­hagen and the fifth will serve Nordica's own routes, mainly to Stock­holm and St. Peters­burg.

"This is a very cost-ef­fec­tive, new and com­fort­able air­craft that is ide­ally suited to op­er­ate shorter routes. Un­der con­di­tions of in­tense com­pe­ti­tion, this is a suitable ad­di­tion to Nordica's fleet of air­craft. The ser­vice agree­ment with SAS of­fered us a good op­por­tu­nity to take into use this type of air­craft," Uibo said.

The crews of the air­craft serv­ing the SAS routes will be based in Copen­hagen and at least for the be­gin­ning, will con­sist of Danes. The length of the agree­ment with SAS is six years, and the price and the con­di­tions are sub­ject to a re­view af­ter three years.

SAS an­nounced in De­cem­ber 2016 that it had dis­con­tin­ued co­op­er­a­tion with the car­rier Jet Time that used to op­er­ate eight ATR72-600S for SAS.

Com­ment­ing on the deal with Re­gional Jet, SAS said in March that it had been work­ing to find a new wet lease op­er­a­tor which can op­er­ate SAS' re­gional ser­vices with ATR72S since Novem­ber 2016, when the agree­ments with Jet Time were wound up. A num­ber of air­lines had been in­volved in ne­go­ti­a­tions for the con­tract, but the choice had fallen on Re­gional Jet OU on the ba­sis of a num­ber of pa­ram­e­ters. Among other things, au­dits of SAS' qual­ity and com­pli­ance mon­i­tor­ing have yielded ex­cel­lent re­sults, SAS said.

"We have now found the right col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner to take over Jet Time's flights. We look for­ward to work­ing with Re­gional Jet OU, which is a com­pe­tent and re­li­able part­ner and a key con­tri­bu­tion to our wet lease strat­egy," Mikael Wang­dahl, Vice Pres­i­dent for Ex­ter­nal Pro­duc­tion at SAS, said in a press re­lease.

The agree­ment with Re­gional Jet spans six years, but can be ter­mi­nated af­ter three. The four ATR72-600S that will be fly­ing for SAS, in SAS' col­ors, will be staffed mainly by Copen­hagen-based crews on lo­cal agree­ments.

Re­gional Jet OU was founded in 2015 as an in­de­pen­dent com­pany, sup­ply­ing wet lease ser­vices to other com­pa­nies. The com­pany is 51 per cent owned by Nordic Avi­a­tion Group (Nordica) and 49 per cent by LOT Pol­ish Air­lines (LOT). Nordic Jet op­er­ates three air­craft for LOT and five for Nordica.

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