Andrew Doyle/LONDON

PORTUGUESE CARRIER Portugalia is considering placing orders for up to seven new-generation Boeing 737s or Airbus A320s, to replace its fleet of six Fokker 100s on lease from GPA.

The privately owned airline, which made its first-ever profit in 1995, is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. Portugalia is evaluating the 737-600/-700 and A320, but also has not ruled out building on its Fokker 100s, according to commercial director Francisco Bordalo.

"We are looking at the possibilities and have not yet decided to change from Fokker," says Bordalo, although "...we will develop our network with one type", the director adds.

Further ahead, Bordalo confirms that Portugalia may acquire regional jets or turboprops. "It is possible that eventually we will introduce other, smaller jet aircraft or turboprops," he says.

The airline posted a profit of $400,000 in 1995, on revenues of $90 million, following a steady expansion of its network. Bordalo says that 1996 will be a "consolidation year", with the emphasis on building up frequencies on existing routes.

Portugalia serves Basle-Mulhouse, Brussels, Cologne, Faro, Hanover, Stuttgart and Turin from its principal hubs at Lisbon, Madrid and Oporto. The airline plans to introduce additional routes in 1997 as part of its "niche-markets policy".

Source: Flight International