Spanish start-up Volotea eyes 2012 launch

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A planned new Spanish carrier called Volotea Airlines has leased a former Mexicana Click Boeing 717 and is aiming to launch operations in the first half of 2012.

The airline is being launched by the co-founder and former chief executive of Barcelona-based Vueling, Carlos Muñoz, through a holding company called Alaeo, a source familiar with the plans told Flightglobal.

The trade name Volotea was registered by Alaeo in late November.

According to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database, Volotea has agreed to lease one 717 from Boeing Capital. The 2005-vintage aircraft, MSN 55185, is due to be delivered in January 2012. It was previously operated by Mexicana's Click unit.

Muñoz co-founded Vueling in 2004 but resigned from his executive role in late 2007 as part of a shake-up aimed at restoring peace among the carrier's shareholders.

Details about Volotea's planned network remain sketchy and Muñoz could not immediately be reached for comment.