Swiss expands Fokker 100 charter deal with Helvetic

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Swiss International Air Lines is wet-leasing an additional Fokker 100 from its Zurich-based regional partner Helvetic Airways.

The Lufthansa subsidiary has been using half of Helvetic’s six Fokker 100s through an ACMI agreement that started in 2006. But this contract has now been expanded to include a fourth aircraft, which will be deployed from the winter 2013/14 schedule.

The new agreement has been arranged until spring 2017, says Helvetic.

Through increasing Fokker 100 utilisation, Swiss pursues an opposite strategy to parent Lufthansa. The German airline terminated its regional partnership with defunct Fokker 100 operator Contact Air a year ago.

Contact Air had operated Lufthansa routes from its base in Stuttgart, before the flights were transferred to the mainline carrier’s budget subsidiary Germanwings in November 2012.

The main reason behind the transfer was Lufthansa’s decision to move its European non-hub traffic to the low-cost arm. However, Lufthansa also said at the time that it wanted to reduce the number of aircraft types used within its network.

Apart from its Fokker 100s, Helvetic Airways has a single Airbus A319. Aircraft not used for the Swiss contract, are deployed for own scheduled flights and charter services, the airline says.