22-May-2013 3:02 PM

Islas Afortunadas Air, new Spanish start-up LCC, to launch operations form 4Q2013

Islas Afortunadas Air, a new Spanish start-up LCC, plans to launch operations from 4Q2013 from its base at Gran Canaria Las Palmas Airport with Gran Canaria-Tenerife services, utilising an all-leased fleet of 10 BAe 146s and two A320s. According to a report by Preferente, the carrier plans to operate services to European capitals in the medium-term. Manager Jose Antonio Godoy said the carrier will operate as an LCC and claimed it could offer fares which are 50% lower those of Air Europa, BinterCanarias, Canaryfly, Iberia Express or Ryanair. Mr Godoy said, "Prices will be cheaper than any national Canarian company." Ticket sales will begin in Aug-2013 through the carrier's website, though it is also negotiating with travel agencies, with plans to transport 3.4 millon passengers in its first year. Islas Afortunadas' unspecified capital base is provided by unspecified construction firms and tourism operators, and it is in the process of hiring 450 pilots, cabin crew and staff. Mr Godoy said the carrier opted for a primarily-BAe fleet due to lower maintenance costs, though plans to replace five of the 146s with CRJ900s in Nov-2013 and to eventually own rather than lease its aircraft. On operating permission, Mr Godoy said the carrier is already licensed by the Ministry of Development and is waiting on approval from the Canary Islands Regional Government

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