Cobalt Air is boosting its European network with a new twice-weekly service from London Gatwick Airport to Athens.
The airline, based in Cyprus, is adding the new service on Tuesdays and Saturdays, effective 31 March 2018.
The new Athens service will be the second London Gatwick route for the carrier, alongside its existing six times a week Gatwick to Larnaca service.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to widen our footprint in European aviation and commence direct London to Athens services at the end of this month,” said Andrew Madar, CEO, Cobalt Air.
Madar added: “The travelling public has taken the relatively young Cobalt brand and its ethos to its heart. Our presence in Athens is already strong due to our existing services to Larnaca and Pafos from the Greek capital. We are very excited to bring additional competition and attractive fares to the London to Athens route.”
Both routes will be operated with Airbus A320 aircraft, in a business and economy class format.
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BOC Aviation Limited has reported record net profit after tax of US$587 million for full year 2017, an increase of 40% over 2016.
Total revenues and other income rose 17% year-on-year to US$1,401 million, while total assets increased 19% year-on-year to US$16 billion at 31 December 2017.
“We are delighted to report net profit after tax of US$587 million, which translates to a return on equity of 16.3%, as we grew the business in 2017,” said Robert Martin, managing director and chief executive officer.
He added: “The Board has recommended a final dividend of US$0.192 per share representing a total dividend of US$0.2958 per share for 2017, a 64% increase on the total dividend for 2016. After a record 74 deliveries in 2017, BOC Aviation started its 25th year in its best condition ever, with liquidity, balance sheet and earnings outlook deliberately structured for expansion.”
At 31 December 2017, BOC Aviation had a portfolio comprising 318 owned and managed aircraft with an average aircraft age of 3.0 years, and an average remaining lease term of 8.2 years for the owned aircraft fleet, weighted by net book value.
In 2017, the company leased aircraft to 80 airlines in 33 countries and regions and signed 103 leases during the year.
The lessor also reported aircraft utilisation of 99.8% for the fourth quarter and year ended 31 December 2017, and ended the year with all owned aircraft on lease.
BOC Aviation took delivery of 74 aircraft in 2017, including three acquired by airline customers on delivery, with 28 aircraft delivered in the fourth quarter of the year alone.
The company also had an orderbook of 173 aircraft and committed for lease 50 of the 53 new aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2018. BOC Aviation had committed future revenues of US$15.3 billion from owned and scheduled deliveries of aircraft.
WestJet has launched its inaugural flight from Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Mexico City International Airport, marking the airline’s newest flight to Mexico.
Flights between Vancouver International Airport and Mexico City start 15 March.
“WestJet is proud to be at the forefront of expanding on vital trade and tourism linkages between Mexico and Canada,” said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO. “Non-stop, year-round flights from Calgary and Vancouver to Mexico City connect the country to one of the most important major markets in the Americas and expand on growing opportunities for Canada/Mexico tourism. We welcome our first MEX and YYC-bound guests today knowing these flights are a win for business and leisure travellers on both sides.”
The new services will feature four weekly flights between Calgary and Mexico City, and three-time weekly service between Vancouver and Mexico City. Effective 29 April, both routes move to daily service.
“WestJet’s non-stop service from Calgary to Mexico City is great news for Alberta and Mexico,” said Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s minister of culture and tourism. “The new service will support the growth of tourism, trade and investment, while strengthening the cultural ties and relationships between our two jurisdictions. The service further establishes Alberta as a world-class tourism destination and an important business centre, by enabling visitors from Mexico to travel directly to Calgary and our province, and providing Albertans with a gateway into the central and South American markets.”
“Congratulations to WestJet on its inaugural flights to Mexico City,” said the Canadian Ambassador to Mexico, Pierre Alarie. “Mexico is a key partner and ally for Canada and people-to-people ties are the foundation of our deep friendship. In the first year following the elimination of the visa requirement for Mexican travellers, we witnessed an increase of 45% in Mexican visitors to Canada. We hope to see this positive trend continue.”
The airline first landed in Mexico in 2007 and now serves 11 cities in Mexico from 15 Canadian cities. WestJet’s growth in Mexico makes up nearly 10% of the airline’s available seat miles and at peak winter schedule, WestJet will operate up to 37 daily flights.