Renewed efforts to step up cooperation between Caribbean carriers could start with the joint handling, purchasing and wet leasing of cargo aircraft. The aim is to improve efficiency in one of the most fragmented air transport markets. US regional carrier Aspen Mountain Air is to restructure its route system following its decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It will concentrate on a selection of core routes from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and Denver, Colorado. Inter-Canadian will take over Canadian Partner Atlantic Canada franchise from Air Atlantic on 25 October. The airline will add six used ATR 42s, three Fokker F28s and at least one Saab 340 to serve its increased network operations. Air Atlantic has since ceased operations. Royal Aviation subsidiary Royal Express began scheduled services out of Montreal's Dorval Airport on 24 August on intra-Canadian routes. The carrier was formed because a local rule prohibits scheduled operation by a charter airline. Midwest Express is scheduled to begin a twice-daily Milwaukee-Phoenix service, to expand on its winter seasonal services. It plans to operate one of its eight recently acquired McDonnell Douglas MD-80s on the new services. Two other MD-80s are expected eventually to replace DC-9s. American Airlines and Grupo Taca have begun code-sharing on flights to and from Houston, San Francisco, Washington DC and Roatan and San Salvador. The two airlines also share codes on flights between Central America, Dallas and Los Angeles. Air Canada and its regional subsidiary, AirBC, are re-aligning their operations in western Canada to cut costs by more than C$50 million ($33 million). Dominican Republic-based carrier APA International has restarted operations with a daily service between Miami and Santo Domingo. The airline, which code-shared with Pan Am, was forced to stop when the low-cost partner went bankrupt. Northwest Airlines is suspending its loss-making services between Nagoya, Guam, and Honolulu, and between Osaka and Hong Kong for an indefinite period from 1 November. The service between Osaka and Minneapolis/ St Paul will be discontinued until next June. New services will be added in January between Kuala Lumpur and Osaka and from Osaka to Kaohsiung. Delta Air Lines and Korean Air were to begin a major code-share expansion between the USA, Japan and South Korea on 15 September. The near collapse of the Russian economy has forced Alaska Airlines to suspend its winter service to the Russian Far East. As part of a strategic alliance, Air New Zealand, Ansett Australia and Singapore Airlines started code-sharing in September. All Nippon Airways (ANA) is reported to be negotiating a tie-up with Star Alliance member Varig of Brazil. ANA will launch flights from Tokyo and Honolulu on 4 October. It has also applied for a twice-weekly Fukuoka-Qingdao service, planned to start on 7 November. Air Tahiti Nui is expected to launch operations on 20 September with a three-times-weekly service between Papeete and Los Angeles. The new airline will use an Airbus A340-200 on lease from Airbus Industrie Financial Services. South Korea and the Czech Republic have signed an agreement which allows for scheduled air services for the first time, effective from April 1999. Japan has temporarily suspended air links with neighbouring North Korea, following a military incident in the sea off the north of Japan. Dubai's airline, Emirates, will open two new destinations in Pakistan at the beginning of January, adding Islamabad and Lahore to its Karachi and Peshawar schedules. Qantas will expand is European connections on 25 October, adding a new service from Sydney to Paris, and increasing the weekly frequency on the London-Adelaide route to five flights. Both operate via Singapore. British Mediterranean will begin a service from London Heathrow to Ashgabat via Yerevan on 25 October. GB Airways will fly daily from London Gatwick to Alicante in Spain in March 1999. Bristol and Manchester will be linked five times a week from 26 October by Brymon Airways. Lufthansa Cargo, Japan Airlines and SAS Cargo are launching a joint freighter service between Frankfurt and Osaka via Gothenburg, starting 21 September. SAir regional subsidiary Crossair is adding a service from Basle to London City on 25 October, and Stockholm Arlanda and Valencia, both from Basle, as well as Gothenburg from its secondary Zurich hub. Air Europa will restart services between Madrid Barajas and London Stansted this winter. KLM exel and Northwest Airlines have begun code-sharing on flights between Amsterdam and Enschede, Maastricht and Groningen, and between Eindhoven and Paris. British Midland and Continental began code-sharing on 17 August between Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, while Air France and Korean Air have been code-sharing on most flights between Paris and Seoul since 1 September. Belgian national carrier Sabena began code-sharing with Delta Air Lines on flights between Brussels and Lome on 6 September, and between Atlanta and Guatemala City on 24 August.

Source: Airline Business