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.
Start-up Cosmo Airlines of Spain and Avion Express have entered into a cooperation agreement in the operation of Cosmo´s first Airbus 320 aircraft. The aircraft, MSN 415, was registered last Friday as LY-COS and will be operating on behalf of Cosmo Airlines out of Madrid, Spain. Mr. Antonio Alvarez, majority shareholder of Cosmo Airlines, said that the first revenue flight, an incentive flight from Madrid to Brussels, was succesfully operated only one day after the registraton of the aircraft. Mr. Alvarez furthermore stated that he was very pleased with this important milestone for Cosmo Airlines. Mr. Gardar Forberg, Board Member of Avion Express, was present during the delivery of the aircraft and stated that Avion Express is looking forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Cosmo Airlines in many different areas that will benefit both companies in the future.
Avion Express has completed its first full year of Airbus 320 operation. The first aircraft with registration marks LY-VEX was introduced on April 1st, 2011 followed by two more units LY-VEY and LY-VEZ in December 2011. During these first 12 months, the aircraft operated more than 4000 flight hours with a maintenance dispatch reliability of 99%. Mr Aleksei Lupitski, Managing Director of Avion Express, stated that he was extremely pleased with the introduction of the Airbus 320 and that the first 12 months of operation can only be described as a success story. He went on to say that he was especially pleased with the outstanding reliability of the aircraft. Avion Express is in the process of adding further Airbus 320´s this summer and will operate a total of 5 Airbus 320 and 1 A319 by July this year.
After the successful introduction of its first Airbus Aircraft in April 2011, Avion Express has now introduced two more Airbus 320 aircraft into its fleet. The Aircraft, with registration marks LY-VEZ and LY-VEY, entered into service on December 22nd and 13th of January 2012 respectively, following a complete cabin interior refurbishment at Mirabel Aero Services in Montreal, Canada.
Mr. Aleksei Lupitski, Managing Director of Avion Express said that"after a very successful summer we have gained strong confidence in our A320 product. Both product and dispatch reliability proved to be outstanding, generating a very positive feedback from our customers. In order to meet existing and future demands we decided to increase our A320 fleet. After the decision was made, the introduction into our Air Operators Certificate proved to be quite smooth. The expansion continues at Avion Express and we fully expect to add more units for the 2012 Summer Season".
After the successful completion of extensive operational audits at Avion Express headquarters and their operational bases, Transport Canada has granted a Foreign Air Operator Certificate (FAOC) to Avion Express on 20th of December 2011. Following this approval Avion Express has operated its first commercial flight to Canada on 22nd of December.
Mr. Aleksei Lupitski, Managing Director of Avion Express said "it was a challenging task to achieve the Transport Canada approval in this somewhat short time frame and indeed would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of our staff and the professional interaction with our counterparts at Transport Canada. The Canadian FAOC was granted just in time to meet the commitments made towards our clients. This demonstrates the total commitment of Avion Express to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. Having obtained the Canadian approval is just another step in the ongoing expansion and development process of Avion Express and provides another platform to increase our business in this area of the world.
After a successful summer introducing the first Airbus 320 aircraft and with further aircraft additions on the horizon, Avion Express has thoroughly exhausted its office space at Vilnius Airport. The offices were moved to a new office space on the 12th floor of the Vilnius Verslo Uostas building at Lvovo 25, right in heart of the financial district of the City. The occasion was celebrated with a housewarming party attended by 40 distinguished guests from industry. Mr. Aleksei Lupitski, Managing Director of Avion Express said that ´he was very pleased with how easy and efficient the move proved to be. Everything was concluded in less than a day.´ Furthermore, Mr Lupitski said: "The new offices do not only look very nice but also gives us much more flexibility to expand when needed".
Avion Express has reached a long term agreement to provide lift to a new entrant on the Icelandic Travel Market. WOW Air was officially launched today during a press conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. According to the agreement, Avion Express will provide two Airbus 320 aircraft with start of operation in summer 2012. Based in Reykjavik, Iceland WOW Air plans to operate to 12 different european destinations. The news was extremely well received leading to a temporary shutdown of the internet site www.wowair.com due to a Tsunami of visits by eager travellers.