Cargo airline start-up Ocean Airlines plans to launch flight operations in the third quarter of 2004 using a fleet of Boeing 747s, writes Pino Modola. The company, set up in September 2003 by Italian and Austrian investors, is based at Brescia-Montichiari airport near Milan.

The airline's chief executive Michael Meagher is a former vice president of the cargo division of Aer Lingus and of Futura Airlines, while commercial director Michele Useli is a former senior executive of Sabena.

Ocean Airlines aims to fly five General Electric CF6-50E2-powered Boeing 747-200Fs by 2006, with the first due to start flying to eight long-range destinations, mainly in Africa and North and South America. The carrier is forecasting sales of €100 million ($123 million) during the first year of operations.

Source: Flight International