The island of Mallorca looks set to renew its long acquaintance with the Boeing 717 as start-up charter airline Volotea Airlines took delivery of its first aircraft, a former Mexicana Click example (current reg N923ME, serial 55185) at Palma on 20 December 2012. The carrier seems very likely to target the same charter and ACMI leasing market that Palma-based Quantum Air briefly sought to exploit in 2009/10. Presumably the new carrier will be starting without the accumulated debt that was cited as dragging Quantum down within just a few months. Quantum's history dates back to the creation of Aerolineas Baleares Blue Star, better known as AeBal in 1999, as a joint venture between Spanair and SAS Group. Aebal leased its Boeing 717s to Spanair which operated them on domestic and international scheduled as well as charter flights between June 2000 and September 2008. The company was relauched as Quantum Air was in 25 May 2009, but had suspended operations before the end of January 2010. Little is known, as yet, about Volotea, although it is reported to have been established by Barcelona based Alaeo SL, an airline company founded in 2010 by a former Vueling co-founder, Carlos Muñoz, and staffed with a number of former Quantum Air/ AeBal employees.
Thu, Dec 22 2011 4:10 PM
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