Wet lease specialist Carpatair is getting ready to enter is first Airbus A319 into service. In comparison to the Romanian operator’s current fleet consisting of two Fokker F100s and one Boeing 737-300, the 15-year old jet is a step towards modernization. The A319 reportedly beat Embraer regional jets in the bid for the airline’s custom.
Romania’s Carpatair is over 20 years old. However, potentially profiting from the good aircraft deals to be had due to the crisis, the carrier is just now set to introduce its first Airbus aircraft. The airline has leased the nearly 15-year old jet, recently painted in Capatair livery, from DAE Capital.
Currently registered as YR-ABA, the jet first rolled out of the factory in 2007 as G-EZBK in budget carrier easyJet’s livery. It was withdrawn from use in March 2020 and remained stored until October this year, when it was readied for the Romanian airline. The A319-100 is configured to carry up to 156 passengers.
#Carpatair's first @Airbus A319 painted and ready for flight https://t.co/YvN0df7wAn pic.twitter.com/Nw70y8iWhh
— Andre Orban ✈ (@sn26567) December 13, 2021
The Airbus A319 will join Carpatair’s existing fleet of one Boeing 737-300 and two Fokker F100s. The former is just over 25 years old, whereas the two latter are fast approaching three decades of service. The 737 has flown for Virgin Express, Romanian flag-carrier TAROM, Garuda Indonesia, and folded low-cost UK airline bmibaby. It has been on lease from Carpatair to Belarusian national airline Belavia but is presently listed as inactive.
The two Fokkers also have a rich and global history. They entered into service with American Airlines in 1992 and have since flown passengers for Canadian Jetsgo and Moldavian Airlines, before arriving with Carpatair in 2005 and 2015, respectively.
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As previously mentioned, ACMI and wet lease specialist Carpatair has been around for two decades. The airline is owned to to 51% by Romanian shareholders, and to 49% by Swiss and Swedish investors. It once operated regular scheduled services in Romania and Moldova. However, it ended its route network in May 2014, a few months after filing for insolvency.
The carrier has operated on behalf of several European airlines. These include Slovenia’s folded national carrier Adria Airways, Spanish low-cost carrier Volotea, as well as LOT Polish Airlines, and now-defunct Air Berlin. For the summer of 2018, KLM leased a Carpatair plane to operate from Amsterdam to destinations in the UK such as Birmingham and Edinburgh, but also Brussels and Hannover.
According to data from ch-aviation, there are only four other active Fokker F100s in Europe at the moment. One is operating for the French Department of Defense, two for the Slovak Government Flying Service, and one for Croatian Trade Air. Meanwhile, there are 11 Boeing 737-300s active on the continent – three with Belavia, two with Bulgarian ALK Airlines, two with British Broadsworth Aviation. Another still is with Bul Air, one each with Greece’s Blue Bird Airways and Lumiwings, and one with Russian Nordstar.
Lead Sustainability Journalist – With a Masters in International Relations, Linnea has combined her love for current affairs with her passion for travel to become a key member of the Simple Flying team. With eight years’ experience in publishing and citations in publications such as CNN, Linnea brings a deep understanding of politics and future aviation tech to her stories. Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.