Another significant milestone has been reached by Avion Express with the successful completion of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). The IOSA programme is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. Aleksei Lupitski, President and CEO of Avion Express stated that "he was delighted that Avion Express has achieved the IOSA Registration". Roman Zakys, Vice-President Technical said that "a lot of efforts and resources were required to successfully pass the audit, a tribute to the hard work of all departments within the organisation".
A remarkable event has happened in March 2013 when Avion Express has discontinued operations with its last Saab 340 aircraft of the fleet. These reliable and effective aircraft were flying with us since day one when our airline was established back in 2005 and helped us to built an excellent reputation among blue-chip customers within integrator and mail operator industry. We will keep a good memory about these days while focusing on and expanding our jet operation.
Farewell Saab 340!
The expansion at Avion Express continued throughout 2012. The year started with a 3 x Airbus 320 operation, having added two units in late December 2011, all operating on routes in the Caribbean. An ACMI contract was signed with WOW Air of Iceland for the provision of a further two A320 aircraft, starting in June 2012. WOW Air is an Icelandic startup that was able to secure an immediate market share on the rapidly expanding Icelandic market. This share was then further increased in October when established company Iceland Express was taken over by WOW. In 2012 Avion Express operated with a reliability of just under 99% and an on time performance of over 90%. WOW Air operated by Avion Express was nominated on several occasions as the most punctual airline flying out of Iceland during the year. The WOW product has received some swimmingly good feedback and reviews from consumers and we congratulate them on their notable entry into the market. The summer saw further additions of aircraft, one more A320 aircraft, as well as the introduction of our first A319. We shall be sharing with you our plans about the A319 in the very near future. All in all, Avion Express operated a total of 13161 Block Hours during 2012 which is a 345% percentage increase from 2011.
We, at Avion Express, were fortunate to see the expansion grow succesfully during the year and are looking forward to seeing further growth during 2013. With that we thank all of our customers and suppliers for 2012 and wish all the best for 2013.
The summer of 2012 saw Avion Express continuing its expansion on the A320 fleet. Two aircraft were succesfully operated on behalf of startup WOW Air in Iceland. WOW Air made a dramatic entry on the lucrative Iceland market in June 2012, generating a lot of positive feedback on their fantastic product and services. WOW Air has firmly planted their feet as a major player on the Icelandic market, especially after their takeover of Iceland Express. Avion Express will continue to provide lift for WOW throughout the winter with own and leased in capacity. Early August, Avion Express also introduced its first A319 aircraft which became quite busy on the adhoc ACMI market. The introduction of the A319 is part of a new product roll out which will be launched later this year. More information on that subject will be made available within the next few weeks. Board Member and responsible for Commercial, Gardar Forberg stated that "he was very pleased with the smooth operation during the summer. The airline has continued its gradual expansion, becoming a significant entity on the european ACMI and Charter market". Managing Director, Aleksei Lupitski said that "Our strategy to focus on a reliable and flexible operation, combining it with providing a quality cabin experience by refurbishing the interiors of its aircraft seems to have paid of in light of the positive feedback we are receiving from our customers".
WOW Air operated its inaugural flight on May 31st. The Airbus 320 Aircraft LY-VEY, operated by Avion Express, flew from Keflavik Iceland to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. Over 130 passengers, amongst other members of the Press, representatives from the Icelandic business community and other guests enjoyed a superb flight filled with entertainment of various nature such as a performance by Icelandic stand up comedian Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon. Avion Express provides two Airbus 320 aircraft to WOW on a long term contract. Managing Director, Aleksei Lupitski, congratulated WOW on their launch and wished them all the success in the future. The WOW Air product will certainly not go unnoticed in Europe with their retro theme. Cabin crew wear 60s style uniforms and the cockpit crew are fitted with World War II style bomber jackets. Initially WOW Air serve 13 destinations from Keflavik, Iceland to the mainland such as Alicante, Basel, Berlin, Cologne, Copenhagen, Krakow, London, Lyon, Paris, Stuttgart, Warsaw and Zurich. WOW Air will also serve Kaunas with bi-weekly flights starting June 11th.