Herman De Wulf/BRUSSELS

CONSTELLATION, THE Brussels-based charter airline, has selected the Boeing 737-300 to replace its aging 727 fleet, while additional investors have been secured to boost capital.

The airline, which had been evaluating the CFM-powered Boeing 737 family and Airbus A320, will acquire up to three 737-300s from "European and Belgian sources" (Flight International 31 July-6 August, P11). Its two 727-200 Advs have been sold to FedEx, but one will be retained for at least another five months.

New, private, shareholders from the "travel and aviation business" have been secured, to boost the airline's equity to BFr 100 million ($3 million). The capital increase is needed to head off losses which the airline has incurred in the past year.

The losses stemmed mainly from the enforced grounding of a Boeing 737-300, which Constellation had wet-leased from JAT, for most of its 1996 summer season. The Belgian civil-aviation authority refused permission for the aircraft to be operated on wet-lease, claiming it infringed JAR 145 rules on aircraft maintenance.

Source: Flight International