Saturday, 9 June 2018

SPAIN: Volotea Starts 10 New Routes

Volotea launched 10 new routes across its network over the last week.

Zaragoza welcomed the launch of Volotea services from Munich and Venice Marco Polo on 4 June. Both routes will be flown twice weekly by the airline’s 717s and neither faces any direct competition.

Munich has celebrated two new route launches with Volotea recently with a Montpellier service launching last week and being swiftly followed by the introduction of flights to Zaragoza on 4 June.

All of the new links are low frequency services, with six of them operating once per week and the other four being twice-weekly rotations.

Route lengths vary from the 554-kilometre Catania (CTA) to Pescara (PSR) service to the 1,822-kilometre Marseille (MRS) to Mykonos (JMK) connection.

The average sector length of the new airport pairs is 1,143 kilometres.

None of the new routes face any direct competition.

Volotea is a Spanish low-cost airline registered in Asturias, Spain with bases in Spain, Italy, France and Greece.

The focus of Volotea's route network is on destinations around the European side of the Mediterranean coast as well as Western and Southern Europe.

Volotea serves metropolitan and leisure destinations mainly in Spain, France, Italy and Greece which fewer destinations in Portugal, Croatia, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Ireland.

Volotea fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Airbus A319-100 - 13

Boeing 717-200 - 17

Total - 30

Volotea is the only current European operator of the Boeing 717.

Volotea was established by Alaeo S.L. from Barcelona, a company created by former Vueling founders, Carlos Munoz and Lazaro Ros.

The name Volotea originates from the Spanish verb revolotear, meaning to fly around. It commenced operations on 5 April 2012, from Venice Marco Polo Airport.

The company is backed by three private-equity funds, two of them from Europe - Axis Participaciones Empresariales and Corpfin Capital and a third from the United States CCMP Capital, whose chairman, Greg Brenneman, was one-time President and COO of America's Continental Airlines, and also chairs Volotea's board.

The company raised over €50m before operations began. US CCMP Capital Partners holds 49% of voting rights; Axis and Corpfin Capital 25%; and Munoz and Ros 26% along with relatives.

This ownership has existed since foundation, but it could change before an initial public offering before 2021-2022.

After studying the Bombardier CRJ1000 and the Embraer E-195 in 2011, Volotea selected the 717 after Southwest acquired AirTran and replaced its 717 fleet by 737s.

Boeing announced on 15 February 2012 that it had signed a long-term lease deal with Volotea for an undisclosed number of Boeing 717 aircraft.

In March 2015, it was announced that Volotea will receive a further four 717s from Blue1.

However, in November 2015, Volotea announced plans to phase out their 717 fleet over the next few years and replace it with Airbus A320 family aircraft.]

Volotea opened 90 routes in its first year, of which 40 were closed within 2 years and operates almost 300 routes in summer 2018 including 220 openings, and this could double to at least 500-600 across Europe.

Volotea has been profitable since 2014, a turnover of €360 million ($431 million) is expected in 2018 after $347M in 2017, carrying 5.7 to 6 million passengers: 50% are travelling for leisure, 35% to visit friends and relatives, and 15% for business.

Tourism Observer

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