Air Sicilia is working to standardise its fleet on the Boeing MD-80 as it looks to expand. The move comes as the airline's Boeing 737 fleet is grounded by Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC following the discovery of maintenance and support discrepancies.

The Sicilian carrier operates scheduled services from its Catania base to other points on the island and the Italian mainland. Its fleet includes two leased 737-200s, two ATR 42s and a Fokker 100.

Two of the aircraft are wet-leased - one ATR and the Fokker 100 - and these will be replaced by two ex-Scandinavian Airlines MD-83s. Two more MD-83s will be acquired later to replace the 737s, which are being returned to Air France.

Meanwhile Air Sicilia has offered to replace the management of its technical support department and to install a new management structure, following the grounding order regarding its 737s.

Italy's ENAC will lift the grounding order as soon as the new structure is in place and meets requirements.

Source: Flight International