Start-up AirExplore aims to fill void in Slovak air transport

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Slovakia's embattled air transport industry is set to receive a new entrant, with start-up carrier AirExplore.

AirExplore was due to receive its first aircraft, a 170-seat Boeing 737-400, on 21 May in Bratislava.

The company identifies the jet as serial number 25178, an ex-Futura International Airways aircraft.

It says it will be deployed on non-scheduled routes in Western Europe. AirExplore is pitching itself as a wet-lease operator.

The company says that practically no carrier in Slovakia is able to offer chartered medium-range air transport, and that the economic recovery presents "ideal" conditions for development of a new airline.

AirExplore has links with the Bulgarian logistics company Titan, based in Sofia, and travel agency SlovExplore.

Slovakia's air transport industry has suffered the loss of budget carrier SkyEurope Airlines and the operator Seagle Air in the past eight months, as well as the collapse of Air Slovakia which had used Bratislava as its base.