Go, the London Stansted- based low-fare arm of British Airways, has launched services from its Bristol hub as negotiations for an institution-funded management buy-out (MBO)are finalised.

Go has initially based two of its 14 Boeing 737-300s at Bristol, and has launched services to five destinations - Alicante, Faro, Malaga, Nice and Palma de Mallorca. Barcelona, Ibiza and Rome will be added in mid-summer when a third 737 will be based at Bristol. A fourth aircraft is set to join the Bristol fleet next summer.

The airline recently created a mini-hub at Belfast International, which it serves from Stansted. Go offers two daily services each from Belfast to Edinburgh and Glasgow, operated by a Titan Airways BAe 146 on short term lease.

Go is expanding its leased 737-300 fleet, with five more due to join this year. Go's study into the acquisition of new Next Generation 737s or Airbus A320s has been delayed by the long-running sale of the airline. Go is understood to be planning to increase its fleet to around 40 aircraft within five years.

BA has been in protracted negotiations to sell the airline to investment group 3i which is funding the MBO headed by Go chief executive Barbara Cassani. She hopes an announcement will be made "in the near future".

Source: Flight International