What Happened To Air Slovakia?

Air Slovakia was a small scheduled and charter airline based in Bratislava, the capital city of the country…

What Happened To Air Slovakia?

Air Slovakia was a small scheduled and charter airline based in Bratislava, the capital city of the country after which the carrier was named. The carrier flew various narrowbodies to an interesting range of European and Asian destinations. With Air Slovakia now no longer being a fixture in European aviation, let’s take a look at what happened to it.

Air Slovakia’s largest Boeing narrowbody was the 757. Photo: Alan Lebeda via Wikimedia Commons

In the beginning

Air Slovakia began life under the name Air Terrex. This carrier was founded in June 1993, and it operated its first flight (Bratislava-Tel Aviv) the following January. 1995 saw it take on the name of Air Slovakia. This came about as a result of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Otherwise known as the ‘Velvet Divorce,’ this split saw the former Czechoslovak Federal Republic become two separate nation-states. These were, of course, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In the airline’s earlier years, Air Terrex/Air Slovakia operated Boeing 727 and Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft. Data from ATDB.aero shows that it flew two 727s and one Tu-154.

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Air Slovakia Boeing 727
Trijets like the Boeing 727 made up Air Slovakia’s early fleet. Photo: JetPix via Wikimedia Commons

What aircraft did Air Slovakia fly?

Having spent its early years operating rear-engined trijets, Air Slovakia opted for a change of emphasis when it came to fleet strategy at the end of the 1990s. Indeed, 1999 saw the first of five Boeing 737-200 twinjets (plus one cargo example) come onboard. One of these, registered as OM-BWJ, joined Air Slovakia from Croatia Airlines.

After the turn of the century, Air Slovakia started taking on bigger aircraft. For example, ATDB.aero notes that it briefly leased its only widebody, a Boeing 767-300ER, from Air Holland in the early 2000s. ATDB also lists six 757-200s as having flown for Air Slovakia.

These were particularly important after a change of ownership saw the airline begin to concentrate more on Indian and Bangladeshi destinations after 2006. Additionally, these larger aircraft flew charters to the likes of the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Air Holland Boeing 767
Air Holland briefly leased a Boeing 767-300ER to Air Slovakia in the early 2000s. Photo: Paul Spijkers via Wikimedia Commons

In terms of newer narrowbodies, five Boeing 737-300s also graced the Air Slovakia fleet. The first of these came onboard in 2007. The final three were all ex-KLM aircraft, and joined in 2008. Additionally, 2007 also saw Lotus Air lease a single Airbus A320 to the carrier.

The end of the line

Despite the excitement of larger aircraft and exotic destinations in the Air Slovakia portfolio, the airline soon ran out of steam. March 2010 saw the Slovakian authorities elect to revoke the carrier’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). At this time, the airline was said to be experiencing financial difficulties, and its aircraft were 22.9 years old on average.

The revoked AOC prompted Air Slovakia to cease its operations. However, it wasn’t officially dissolved until three months later, in June 2010. Several of its aircraft were scrapped, although ch-aviation.com reports that a 757 registered as OM-ASG did join Mint Airways. Meanwhile, a 737 (OM-ASE) has been preserved as a crew trainer in Ostrava.

What are your memories of Air Slovakia? Did you ever fly with the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Allegiant Air To End Cleveland Hopkins Airport Services

American ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air will be ceasing services to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) by early next…

Allegiant Air To End Cleveland Hopkins Airport Services

American ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air will be ceasing services to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) by early next year. The airline has cited an unfavorable cost structure at the airport as unsustainable to offering low fares to customers. While Allegiant is pulling out of this airport, there could be another option for them to continue serving the Cleveland area.

Allegiant has announced it is pulling out of Cleveland. Photo: Allegiant

Allegiant is pulling out of Cleveland

A local outlet, Cleveland.com, reports that Allegiant Air is pulling out of Cleveland’s main international airport. The carrier has served CLE since 2017 and mainly operates a highly seasonal leisure-oriented model out of the airport. Currently, with various frequencies per week during various months based on demand, Allegiant services the following destinations from Cleveland:

  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Orlando-Sanford, Florida
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Punta Gorda, Florida
  • Tampa-St. Pete, Florida
  • Sarasota, Florida
  • Savannah/Hilton Head, Georgia

The final Allegiant flight at CLE will operate on January 3rd. Passengers with bookings after that date will be offered re-accommodation to another Allegiant flight or else a full refund. Allegiant states it will reach out to customers.

In a statement to Simple Flying, an Allegiant spokesperson offered the following:

“Our flights were very successful in the market, but unfortunately with the airport’s construction projects and planned expansion, the cost structure has become prohibitive to our operation – our business model hinges upon our ability to keep fares low for our customers.”

Allegiant Air To End Cleveland Hopkins Airport Services
Allegiant cited higher costs at the airport in its withdrawal of services. Photo: Getty Images

An alternative area airport

While Allegiant does serve some major cities in the United States, it does not always serve the major airport in that city. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, the airline services Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) over the larger John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) that every other airline servicing the city flies to.

Though not a perfect alternative, there is a nearby airport to the Cleveland area: Akron-Canton Airport (CAK). Located to the south of Cleveland, the airport does receive service from major US airlines. American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines are the major US airlines servicing the airport. These airlines also service CLE.

There is another airline at CAK, which also operates a model based on Allegiant’s. That airline is Breeze Airways. Both Breeze and Allegiant serve destinations with only a few flights a week and offer customers an unbundled, low-cost product.

Allegiant Air To End Cleveland Hopkins Airport Services
CAK already sees service from some major airlines. Photo: CAK Airport

Construction at Cleveland

Like many major airports, Cleveland is looking at a significant modernization. The airport has served the community since 1925 when it was the first musical airport in the country. Obviously, things have changed a lot since then. CLE is now Ohio’s busiest airport.

Cleveland has seen a lot of highs and lows. It was formerly a hub for Continental Airlines. Post-merger with United Airlines, the fate of the Cleveland hub came under intense scrutiny. United decided to shutter the hub in 2014, which led the airport’s Concourse D to become vacant. However, United still has a significant presence at the airport and even plans to launch a new Cleveland to Nassau link.

There is some revitalization of air service going on at the airport. The airport has revealed a new master plan earlier this year intending to enhance the passenger experience, operate a more environmentally friendly airport, and preparing to handle the expected growth in passenger volumes over the next 15 years and beyond.

This has not been without concerns. Airlines have raised some questions about the cost of the airport’s development. This is what led Allegiant to announce it was pulling out of the airport. Nevertheless, CLE appears to be ready to move forward with its construction plans.

Are you sad that Allegiant is pulling out of Cleveland? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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