After being founded in 2009 to operate a helicopter shuttle service across the Straits of Gibraltar from Andalusia to Tangier in Morocco, the Helitt Aeronautical Group's start-up airline, Helitt Líneas Aéreas, finally operated its inaugural passenger flight from Malaga to the Spanish North African enclave city of Melilla on 21 November 2011. Services linking Melilla with Barcelona and Madrid have also been launched and a fourth route to San Sebastian is scheduled for launch in early January 2012. Helitt has acquired a fleet of three 66-seat ATR72-200s to operate all routes. Helitt will be competing on services to Melilla with Iberia Regional (Air Nostrum) and RYJet. The latter is a small Malaga-based rival, which also launched services on the Malaga-Melilla route on the same day, using a wet-leased BAe Jetstream 31. Another planned Spanish start-up carrier, Airmel, announced plans to launch services between Melilla and the Spanish mainland in the summer of 2011, using ATR72-200 aircraft operated by Danish Air Transport (DAT), but these plans were thwarted by the withdrawal of a key investor, shortly before services were expected to begin.
Thu, Dec 8 2011 3:55 PM
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