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FORMED IN 1992 AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1993. FLAG CARRIER. A K A LATAVIO, ALSO LATVIAS LINNEAS. LATER NAMED LATCHARTER AIRLINES AND NOW SMARTLYNX AIRLINES. SCHEDULED & CHARTER, PASSENGERS & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
LV-1053 RIGA, LATVIA
LATVIA WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1990. IT COVERS AN AREA OF 64,589 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 2.8 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS RIGA, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS LATVIAN.
OCTOBER 1995: BACKED BY MANKA BALTIJA, THE LARGEST BANK IN THE BALTIC STATES (THE BANK TOOK OVER THE AIRLINE'S $10 MILLION+ DEBTS).
THE GOVERNMENT WITHDREW SCHEDULED SERVICE LICENSE WITH START OF OPERATIONS OF AIR BALTIC (BAU). NOW ONLY HAS CHARTER OPERATIONS WITH MIX OF TU-134A & TU-154B AIRPLANES.
THE GOVERNMENT OWNS 75%, BIUSA 25%.
STAFF REDUCED FROM 550 TO 100.
SEPTEMBER 1996: DECLARES BANKRUPTCY. CEASED OPERATIONS.
APRIL 2000: 38 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 4 FLIGHT CREW (FC), 12 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA), & 7 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
SITA: RIXATGV. (email@example.com).
OPERATES AD HOC PASSENGER JET AIRPLANE CHARTERS TO POINTS IN EUROPE, INCLUDING ATHENS, BOLOGNA, AND NAPLES, AS WELL AS TO AFRICA AND ASIA.
November 2003: A320-211 (142, YL-BCC), leased.
November 2004: 24 employees. SITA: RIXLAXH.
March 2005: Yak-42D (4520423403018) to Lviv Airlines, Ukraine West.
April 2005: 67 employees (including 16 Flight Crew (FC), 5 Cabin Attendants (CA), & 17 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).
October 2005: A320-211 (726, YL-BCB), Armavia (ARZ) leased.
December 2005: The European Commission (EC) took Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden to the European Court of Justice and sent a "reasoned opinion" to Slovakia for failure to comply with legislation on air passenger rights. "We are determined to ensure that the rights of European passengers are dealt with effectively in all the member states," stated (EC) VP for Transport Jacques Barrot.
The European Union (EU) regulation, which entered into force on February 17, 2004, stipulates that member states must establish an effective system of penalties vis-a-vis airlines that infringe on the provisions regarding additional protection of air passengers. To date, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden have not established rules on the penalties applicable to infringements despite "several" reminders from the (EC). Slovakia has not yet provided the (EC) with the requisite information on the setting of sanctions.
Separately, the (EC) said it sent a reasoned opinion, the last step before a formal complaint is lodged to the Court of Justice, to Greece for failure to respect (EU) legislation on the establishment of a national supervisory authority in the context of the "Single European Sky" (SES). The European regulation, which entered into force in April 2004, sets up the institutional framework for the (SES). It requires separation between the provision of air navigation services on the one hand and the supervision and regulation of these services on the other. Greece has failed to establish an independent national supervisory authority to assume the tasks identified by the legislation including certification of air navigation service providers and ongoing compliance oversight.
Also, the (EC) confirmed it will take Latvia to the Court of Justice for failing to introduce European legislation on the introduction of noise-related operating restrictions at (EU) airports.
June 2006: 1 A320 (YL-BCB), Hellas Jet (HEJ) wet-leased (see photo).
July 2006: Loftleidir Icelandic, the charter and (ACMI)-marketing subsidiary of Icelandair (ICE) Group, acquired a 55% holding in Latvian charter operator LatCharter Airlines (LAJ) and committed to acquire the remaining shares in the future. The move comes as a result of continuing cooperation between the companies and is part of Loftleidir's strategy to strengthen its position in the Baltic and (CIS) region as well as adding Airbus (EDS) airplanes into its worldwide (ACMI) product line. (LAJ) was established in 1992. In 2005, it carried 100,000 passengers and its turnover reached €17 million/$21.8 million, up from €13 million in 2004. It also offers wet-lease services outside the country. It employs 87 people.
October 2006: Groundforce announced five new ground handling contracts. Its deal with Clickair (CLK) covers the provision of all ramp handling services to March 2009 at Lisbon and Porto. It signed a deal with Emirates (EAD) for ramp handling at Barcelona until November 2009, while LatCharter (LAJ) signed a three-year contract with Groundforce Morocco for full handling services at Fez, Casablanca, Marrakech and Agadir. It also will provide full handling service on an ad-hoc basis for AtlasJet (ABE) for two years at the same four airports. Finally, Groundforce Mexico was contracted by Copa Airlines (COP) to provide ramp handling services at Mexico City.
January 2007: 2 A320-211s (333, YL-; 384, YL-LCB), delivery, wet-leased 3 years to IsrAir (ISA).
March 2007: A320-211 (142, YL-BCC), leased to Hellas Jet (HEJ).
April 2007: 767-3YOER (24952), ex-Air Canada (ACN), GECAS (GEF) leased.
May 2007: A320-211 (311), ex-Air Canada (ACN).
September 2008: "SmartLynx Airlines" is the new name of LatCharter Airlines (LAJ), which announced the change in conjunction with its 15th anniversary. President & CEO, Gardar Forberg said the Riga-based carrier's "business has changed direction over the past couple of years and it was important that we developed a new branding that better identified with our business model and company spirit." The name, accompanied by a new orange and black logo, reflects that of another Icelandair (ICE) Group subsidiary, Prague's SmartWings (TVS). (LAJ) currently owns or operates eight A320-200s and two 767-300s, up from two airplanes just two years ago.
August 2010: SmartLynx Airlines (LAJ) provides ad-hoc passenger and charter, jet airplane flights to points within Europe, as well as countries in Africa and Asia. The airline also operates business and VIP charters.
(IATA) Code: 6Y. (ICAO) Code: LTC (Callsign - LATCHARTER).
Parent organization/shareholders: Privately held (100%).
Main Base: Riga International airport (RIX).
International, schedule destinations: Tenerife.
2 A320-200s wet-leased to Wind Rose Air (WRC) for charter service.
January 2011: A320-212 (426, YL-LCH), ex-(4X-ABH).
March 2011: FL Technics has begun servicing its first A320 airplane at its hangars in Vilnius. The airplane is owned by Latvian charter SmartLynx (LAJ). The A320 family was added to FL Technics' (EASA) Part 145 certificate last month.
January 2012: Belle Air (BEL) has resumed three times weekly A320-200 service from Tirana to Turin on December 17. (BEL) has been forced to ground its single MD-82 because of a ban on Albanian registered airplanes by the European Union (EU). It has temporarily wet-leased two SmartLynx (LAJ) A320-200s to replace its MD-82 and to increase frequencies following the grounding of Albanian Airlines.
Smartlynx Airlines (LAJ) has added a first ex-Armavia (ARZ) A319-100 to its fleet. It had wet-leased two A320-200s to nasair (NAZ) for the Hajj charter season.
May 2012: A320-211 (724, YL-LCI), Smartlynx (LAJ) wet-leased to Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) for the summer season. The airplane will mainly be based at Newcastle airport (NCL).
July 2012: A320-211 (0142, YL-BBC), wet-leased to Astra Airlines (SZZ).
January 2013: SmartLynx Airlines Estonia ((ICAO) Code: MYX, based at Tallinn Ülemiste (TLL)) has taken delivery of a first own airplane registered in Estonia, ex-OLT Express Poland ((IATA) Code: O2, based at Warsaw Fryderyk Chopin (WAW)) A320-200 (566, ES-SAL), on January 23. It already wet-leases two A320-200s from its parent, SmartLynx Airlines ((IATA) Code: 6Y, based at Riga International (RIX)) (LAJ) for holiday charters from Tallinn.
August 2013: A320-211 (244, YL-LCM), in special "Turkiestressor" colors.
April 2014: (AJW) Aviation has signed a 5-year power-by-hour contract for parts with SmartLynx (LAJ).
May 2014: SmartLynx Airlines ((IATA) Code: 6Y, based at Riga) (LAJ) will operate an A320-200 (142, YL-BBC), on behalf of Turkey's Tailwind Airlines ((IATA) Code: TI, based at Istanbul Atatürk) (TWI) for the duration of the summer. "Skyliner Aviation" recently tracked the airplane at Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel wearing Tailwind (TWI)'s title and logo in addition to sporting a logo for German aviation broker firm, "Involatus."
The A320 is Tailwind (TWI)'s only Airbus Industrie airplane at this time, joining five 737-400s used on passenger charter flights to Europe and Asia.
November 2014: Magnetic (MRO) was selected by SmartLynx Airlines (LAJ) for base maintenance during the winter of 2014 - 2015. Magnetic will execute a number of "C" checks for (LAJ)’s Airbus A320-200s in Tallinn, Estonia.
December 2014: SmartLynx Airlines (LAJ) has gained approval to operate in a paperless cockpit environment, using Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro on iPad as its Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution. (LAJ) gained the clearance from the Latvian Civil Aviation Authority to eliminate paper-based flight materials and transition to the (EFB) solution, which will likely increase operational efficiency. The solution will include aeronautical charts, documents and operation manuals to be viewed and accessed by the pilots (FC) through the iPad.
“As a full service charter airline, we need to be able to access complete European flight information, and Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro on iPad allows us to access critical data quickly in digital form,” said Igors Bezsmertnijs, Director Flight Operations at (LAJ). “Eliminating paper flight materials greatly increases efficiency, using current digital flight data that is available with the tap of a finger, instead of using paper that is filed by hand. This allows our pilots (FC) to focus on other essential activities both on the ground and in the air.”
February 2015: Aigle Azur ((IATA) Code: ZI, based at Paris Orly) (AZU) will wet-lease an A320-200 from Latvian wet-lease (ACMI) specialist, SmartLynx Airlines ((IATA) Code: 6Y, based at Riga) (LAJ), for the upcoming summer season.
Beginning July 1, the twinjet will be based out of Paris Orly and used on flights to Annaba, Algier, Tlemcen, Constantine, Oran, and Setif until October 4.
November 2015: A320-214 (0566, ES-SAL), returned to SmartLynx (LAJ) after lease to Corendon Airlines (CDN).
May 2016: FL Technics has installed (USB) sockets on SmartLynx Airlines Estonia’s A320s.
January 2017: 2 A320-214 (888, ES-SAK; 1896, ES-SAM), SmartLynx Airlines Estonia leased to VietJet Air (VJE).
May 2017: A320-214 (936, ES-SAO) ex-(YL-LCK), SmartLynx Airlines Estonia leased to Norwegian Air International (NAI).
Click below for photos:
2 767-3YOER (24952, YL-LCY; 386-25000, YL-LCZ), EX-(ACN), (GEF) LSD 2007-04. LST (VNA) & RTND 2009-01. WET-LST SBA AIRLINES (BBR) 2012-03.
1 A319-100, EX-(ARZ).
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (142, /91 YL-BBC - - SEE PHOTO - - "LAJ-A320-211-2009-07"), (PEB) LSD 2003-11. WET-LST HELLAS JET (HEJ) 2007-03. RF (HEJ). WET-LST (SZZ) 2012-07. 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (244, YL-LCM), SEEN 2013-08 IN "TURKIESTRESSOR" COLORS. 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-A1) (310, YL-LCC), 2007-05.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (311, YL-LCE), EX-(ACN), LSD 2007-05. LST XL AIRWAYS FRANCE (STU). 180Y.
2 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (333, /92 YL-LCA; 384, /92 YL-LCB), EX-(ACN), KJ AVIATION SVCS LSD 2007-01, WET-LST (ISA) 3 YRS. 333; RF (TFS). 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (350, /92 YL-), EX-(ACN), LST (MLT) FOR 2 YRS
2007-02. 20C, 120Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (359, /92 YL-LCD). 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (426, YL-LCH, 2011-01), EX-(4X-ABH), RF (ARK) 2011-10. 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (446, YL-LCF), 2008-05. WET-LST (TSF). RF (TSF). WET-LST (STC) 2010-04. 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (724, YL-LCI), WET-LST (JMA)/(GUE) 2012-05 FOR SUMMER SEASON. 180Y.
1 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (726, /97 YL-BCB - SEE PHOTO), (ARZ) LSD 2005-10. WET-LST (HEJ) 2006-06. 180Y.
2 A320-214 (CFM56-5A1) (533, YL-LCL; 244, YL-LCM), EX-(F-GJVF), (ALS) AIRCRAFT LSG 2013-06. 533 LST WINDAVIA 2013-10. 244; LST (ENT) 2014-05. 180Y.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5A1) (566, ES-SAL), EX-(OLT) EXPRESS POLAND 2013-01, FOR SMARTLYNX AIRLINES ESTONIA OPS. RTND TO SMARTLYNX 2015-11 AFTER LEASE TO CORENDON AIRLINES (CDN).
2 A320-214 (CFM56-5A1) (888, ES-SAK; 1896, ES-SAM), LEASED TO VIETJET AIR (VJE) 2017-01.
1 A320-214 (CFM56-5A1) (936, ES-SAO), LEASED TO NORWEGIAN AIR INTERNATIONAL (2017-05).
1 A320-232 (1823, YL-LCP), EX-(EI-EZS) LST AVIATOR AIRLINES, CAIRO, EGYPT 2015-11.
0 TU-134B-3, 2 RETIRED.
2 YAK-42D (D-36) (4520424404018, /95 YL-LBT; 452042343018, /94 YL-LBU), 452042340301 TO LVIV AIRLINES 2005-02. 452042343018, TO LVIV AIRLINES UKRAINE WEST. 8C, 96Y; OR 120Y.
Click below for photos:
LAJ-GARDAR FORBERG CEO-2008-11
GARDAR FORBERG, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
VALERIJS LITANSKIS, GENERAL DIRECTOR (SPEAKS RUSSIAN & ENGLISH).
IGORS BEZMERTNIJS, DIRECTOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS.
HORDUR HERMANNSSON, DIRECTOR NETWORK OPERATIONS.