Oceanair, a small Brazilian regional airline established in 1998 to mainly serve local oil industry destinations, is gearing-up for a massive expansion with up to 29 ex-American Airlines Fokker 100s, writes Guy Norris.

Jose Efromovich, director superintendent of the carrier, says the operator aims to begin services soon in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and possibly Peru with several aircraft based in each country.

Oceanair, which also runs a maintenance facility in São Paulo, operates three Fokker 50s and seven Embraer Brasilia turboprops to around 30 destinations within Brazil. The operator is owned by German Efromovich, owner of Brazil's Sinergy group, who has signalled his intent to form a group of South American airlines.

The Sinergy group also holds a 75% stake in Colombia's recently revived Avianca and has interests in VIP, an Ecuadorian air taxi operator, and recently invested $3.5 million for a 49% stake in a Peruvian start-up. Efromovich ultimately hopes to launch services with this carrier under the name Wayra Peru. Jose Efromovich says talks are under way with several potential investors, such as Rolls-Royce, as well as with other airlines in the target countries. These carriers, he says, could provide feeder services to the Oceanair network. R-R is preparing to help inspect the Tay engines of the Fokker fleet which is in storage in Mojave, California.

Source: Flight International