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Airlines

Name: XL AIRWAYS UK
7JetSet7 Code: SBE
Status: Currently Not Operational
Region: EUROPE
City: CRAWLEY
Country: ENGLAND
Employees 1600
Web: xl.com
Email: fly@excelairways.com
Telephone: +44 (1293) 497 700
Fax: +44 (1293) 410 737
Sita: LGWOOTJ
Background
(definitions)

Click below for data links:
SBE-1
SBE-2
SBE-3
SBE-4
SBE-5
SBE-AVION-FEB06-A
SBE-AVION-FEB06-B
SBE-AVION-FEB06-C
SBE-DEC04
SBE-LEIPAX-03
SBE-RANKINGS

FORMED AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1994. FORMERLY SABRE AIRWAYS. INTERNATIONAL, & REGIONAL, SCHEDULED & CHARTER, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.

ADDRESS:
MITRE COURT, FLEMING WAY
CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX RH10 9NJ, GREAT BRITAIN

DECEMBER 1995: TAKEN OVER BY AIR FOYLE (FOY), LUTON. IN 1995, FLEW UNDER AIR FOYLE (FOY) AIR OPERATOR'S CERTIFICATE (AOC).

TO EUROPEAN POINTS INCLUDING BULGARIA, CANARY ISLANDS, FRANCE, GREECE, ITALY, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, AND TURKEY.

APRIL 1996: 727 (QD005) HUSHKITTED BY ATC LASHAM.

MAY 1997: 135 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 112 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 2 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).

JUNE 1997: 2 ORDERS (1998-04) 737-8Q8'S, (ILF) LEASED, 189 PASSENGERS (PAX). EXPECT TO RETIRE 2 727'S IN 1999, & 2000, & TAKE ON MORE 737-800'S. 2 737-200'S OPERATE UNDER THE IDENTITY OF "PEACH AIR" (PCH) FOR GOLDCREST, SEAT-BROKING ARM OF UK, INCLUDING TOUR OPERATOR "INSPIRATIONS."

SEPTEMBER 1997: 2 ORDERS (1998-05) 737-800'S (CFM56-7) (28218; 28226), (ILF) 7 YEAR LEASED, FOR UK TO THE MEDITERRANEAN.

FEBRUARY 1998: 1 727-2D3 (21021) RETURNED TO LESSOR (PLI).

APRIL 1998: 236 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 70 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 16 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).

1ST QUATER = 114 MILLION PASSENGER TRAFFIC (RPK), 17,000 FREIGHT TRAFFIC (FTK), 29,000 PASSENGERS (PAX).

MAY 1998: SABRE AIRWAYS (SBE) POSSIBLY TO BE ACQUIRED BY VIRGIN EXPRESS AIRLINES (EBA).

A320-211 (371), LOTUS AIR (LOS) LEASED UNTIL 1998-07.

JUNE 1998: ACQUISITION BY VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA) NEGOTIATIONS BROKEN DOWN.

JULY 1998: TERRY BREWER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR REPLACES COLIN LOGAN.

1ST 737-8Q8 (77-28226), (ILF) LEASED. 727-200 (N887MA), MIAMI AIR (MIB) LEASED, REPLACES A320-200 (SU-LBA), RETURNED TO LOTUS AIR (LOS).

AUGUST 1998: 737-8Q8 FULL TECHNICAL SUPPORT CONTRACT TO HEAVYLIFT (HVL). 727 & 2 737-200 MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TO (HVL).

DECEMBER 1998: 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B26) (160-28218), (ILF) LEASED.

JANUARY 1999: GOVERNMENT OK FOR ANY POINT IN UK TO ANY POINT IN EGYPT.

GOLDCREST OPERATIONS TO INCREASE TO 2/WEEK. TO BANJUL, GAMBIA (737-8Q8). CURRENTLY OPERATES FROM LONDON GATWICK (LGW) & MANCHESTER, TO FOCUS MORE ON STANSTED, WHERE IT WILL BASE A 727-200, FROM 1999-04.

737-8Q8 OPERATES FOR 3 TOUR OPERATORS.

APRIL 1999: 240 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 64 FLIGHT CREW (FC), 140 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA), & 10 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).

SITA: LGWOOTJ.

JULY 1999: 1 ORDER (2000-02) 737-81Q (29051, G-LFJB), TOMBO (TOM) LEASED.

SEPTEMBER 1999: 1 737-8Q8 (28226) TO BE LEASED TO AIR BERLIN (BER) NEXT MONTH FOR 6 MONTHS.

DECEMBER 1999: 727-276 (20950) LEASED TO SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES (SCA), UNTIL 2000-05.

JANUARY 2000: CONVERTS 2 727-225'S TO SUPER 27 CONFIGURATION.

MARCH 2000: 737-800 MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TO FLS AEROSPACE (ATD).
RE-ENGINED TO (JT8D-200)'S (21453, G-OKJN; 21578, G-OPMN).

FEBRUARY 2000: 1 737-81Q (29051, G-LFJB), TOMBO (TOM) LEASED.

APRIL 2000: 240 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 64 FC, 140 CA, & 10 MT).

MAY 2000: 2 L-1011-100'S (1221, 31), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) WET-LEASED UNTIL 2000-11. 1 727-225 (QA655, G-OPMN). 1 737-81Q (557-29052, G-ODMW), (TOM) LEASED.

JULY 2000: 1999 = 1.02 BILLION (RPK) (-5.7%); 114,000 (FTK) (-19.1%); 445,000 (PAX) (+23.5%); 240 EMPLOYEES.

2 737-800 (29051; 29052), WET-LEASED TO MIAMI AIR INTERNATIONAL (MIB) 2000-11 TO 2001-04. 1 737-800, (TCI) LEASED TO BE WET-LEASED BY (MIB) TO EXCEL AIRWAYS (SBE) FOR SUMMER 2001.

SEPTEMBER 2000: 2 767-204ER'S, EX-BRITANNIA AIRWAYS (BRI), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) WET-LEASED (24013, 239) FOR EXCEL AIRWAYS OPERATIONS (NEW (SBE) NAME). 1 ORDER (2001-05) 767-204ER (24457), EX- (BRI), (GEF) LEASED FOR SABRE AIRWAYS (SBE) OPERATIONS.

OCTOBER 2000: 727-225 (21453, G-OKJN) STILL AT MIAMI AIRPORT AND MAY NOT BE TAKEN DUE TO EUROPEAN UNION (EU) RESTRICTIONS. 737-81Q (29052), RETURNED TO TOMBO (TOM).

NOVEMBER 2000: LIBRA HOLIDAYS GROUP, UK, ACQUIRES 67% OF "SABRE AIRWAYS" AND PLANS TO CHANGE NAME TO "EXCEL AIRWAYS," IN 2001-05.

EAMONN MULLANEY, CHAIRMAN & (CEO); JONATHON BOUSFIELD & STEVE
TOMLINSON, JOINT MANAGING DIRECTORS FROM 2001-01 REPLACE FOUNDER, KEITH NEWNHAM (WHO RETAINS 33%).

1 727-225 (21578) LEASED TO SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES (SCA). 2 737-81Q'S (29051; 29052) DELIVERED, AND LEASED TO MIAMI AIR (MIB), UNTIL 2001-04.

DECEMBER 2000: 1 737-8K2 (30390, PH-HZK), TRANSAVIA (TAV) WET-LEASED. 737-8Q8 (28218, G-OJSW), LEASED TO MIAMI AIR (MIB).

JANUARY 2001: 1 727-276 (20950, G-BNNI), EX-ARKIA (ARK) LEASED TO SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES (SCA).

FEBRUARY 2001: (http://www.excelairways.com).

MARCH 2001: MICK HILLS, ASSISTANT TECHNICAL DIRECTOR WILL REPLACE TERRY BREWER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, WHEN HE RETIRES AT THE END OF 2001.

5 737-800'S CONTRACT FOR LINE MAINTENANCE TO FLS AEROSPACE (ATD), AT (LGW), AND MANCHESTER.

APRIL 2001: 250 EMPLOYEES. MAIN BASE: LONDON GATWICK.

737-8Q8 (30637), EXCEL AIRWAYS (SBE) WET-LEASED TO AIR BERLIN (BER).

MAY 2001: LONDON GATWICK (LGW) TO MANCHESTER, GLASGOW, BIRMINGHAM, NEWCASTLE, AND BELFAST.

737-800 (30618), MIAMI AIR (MIB) LEASED TIL 2001-11. 737-8Q8 (28218, G-XLAA) RETURNED FROM (MIB). 1 747-267B (21966, TF-ATD), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) WET-LEASED. 2 767-204ER'S (24013, TF-ATO; 24239), (AID) WET-LEASED (HAS WHITE FUSELAGE WITH "excelairways.com" AND A BLUE TAIL WITH "EXCEL"). WILL WET-LEASE 4 767-200'S, EX-AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ). 2 TO BE BASED AT LONDON GATWICK, AND THE 3RD AT MANCHESTER. THE 4TH WILL OPERATE FROM KEFLAVICK ON WEEKDAYS, FOR AN ICELANDIC TRAVEL AGENCY, SAMVINN TRAVEL, & FOR EXCEL AIRWAYS (SBE) FROM GLASGOW, AT WEEKENDS.

JUNE 2001: MICK HILLS, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING; REPLACES TERRY BREWER, WHO WILL WORK PART-TIME ON AIRPLANE LEASE PROGRAM.

1 MD-83 (49402, /86 39 18), EX-AIR LIBERTE (ALB), TRANSJET AIRWAYS WET-LEASED, "C" CHECK, BY SOGERMA, BORDEAUX.

AUGUST 2001: IN 2001-10, CHARTER FLIGHTS, LONDON - BOSTON (2/WEEK), AND LONDON - ARUBA (TECHNICAL STOP AT BANGOR).

JANUARY 2002: 4 ORDERS (2002-05) 767-204ER, (AID) WET-LEASED.

April 2002: (http://www.excelairways.com). SITA: LGWOOTJ.

Main Base: London Gatwick airport (LGW).

Hub: Manchester airport (MAN); & Glasgow airport (GLA) (summer only).

Owners/Shareholders: Libra Holidays Group (67%); Keith Newnham (33%).

October 2002: 1 737-800, Tombo (TOM) leased. 2 757-225's, Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) wet-leased.

November 2002: Owner, Libra Holidays (Cyprus) is to float Excel Airways (SBE) on the London Alternative Investment Market with an estimated value of 85 Million Pounds/$127 Millionj. Libra intends to gradually sell off its 80% stake through the market, with management retaining around a fifth of the company.

2001 = +5.4 Million Pounds (+58%).

1 737-8Q8, wet-leased to Air Berlin (BER) for northern winter season. 737-86N (29883) wet-leased to Air Europa (ARE) til 2003-04.

December 2002: 737-81Q (29051) wet-leased to Miami Air (MIB).

February 2003: 1 order (2003-05) 737-800, South African Airways (SAA) 6 month wet-leased. Plans to acquire 1 757-200 (TF-ARD; or TF-ARE), Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) for 2003-04. Also, 3 757-200's (TF-ARD; TF-ARE; TF-ARI), (AID) wet-leased 2003-05 to 2003-10, to be based at London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester, and painted in Excel Airways (SBE) livery. Will also acquire 1 A320, Azzurra Air (AZR), to be based at Bristol.

March 2003: 1 737-4Q8 (24796), Islandsflug (ISF), 1 month wet-leased.

April 2003: 343 employees. SITA: LGWOOJN.

(fly@excelairways.com).

Parent organization/shareholders: Libra Holidays Group (82%); & management (18%).

May 2003: 737-8BG (32358), South African Airways (SAA) wet-leased 6 months. 1 A320-214 (1727, EI-DBC), Azzurra Air wet-leased until 10/03.

June 2003: 750 employees.

In 2003-11, London Gatwick - Granada, Tobago, St Kitts (charters, 2/week).

August 2003: +1 order (2004-04) 737-800 (ILF) 8 year leased, to be based at Birmingham for the summer.

September 2003: 2002 = 3.77 Billion (RPK) (+34.1%); +33% (ASK); 88.6% LF (+,7); 1.5 Million (PAX) (+34.8%).

2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC (RPK) (Billion):
121 (XIJ) 3.88; 122 (STG) 3.87; 123 (MCR) 3.87; 124 (TAC) 3.85; 125 (SBE) 3.77; 126 (RBA) 3.72; 127 (DLH) CITYLINE) 3.66; 128 (HGA) 3.55; 129 (BRT) 3.52.

2 737-86N's (29883; 33003), wet-leased to Ryanair (RYR). 767-300ER, Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) wet-leased.

October 2003: Next month, London Gatwick (LGW) - St Kitts - Tobago, Grenada, and Tobago (all 767-300ER, (AID) wet-leased, weekly charter for Golden Caribbean), replaces Monarch Airlines (MON) A330-200.

December 2003: London Gatwick (LGW) - Barbados (weekly) for Golden Caribbean.

737-81Q (29051) leased to Miami Air (MIB).

February 2004: 737-8BG (32358, ZS-SJP) to be leased from South African Airways (SAA) for 6 months from 2004-04. Extends wet-leases of 2 757-200's from Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) until end of 2004-10, plus will wet-lease +2 more for the same period.

March 2004: Shareholder Libra Holidays sells 40.5% of its 79.5% holdings in Excel Airways (SBE) to Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID).

In summer, will operate Paris (CDG) - Santorini charters, its first non-UK-originating regular service.

737-8Q8 (1471-29351, G-XLAH), (ILF) leased. In winter, will add a 2nd 767-300ER to operate to the Indian sub-continent for Somak and Travelpack.

April 2004: 737-8S3 (CFM56-7B26) (711-32353, ZS-SJG), South African Airways (SAA) wet-leased. 737-81Q (29051) returned from Miami Air (MIB). 737-8Q8 (30637) returned from Kelowna Flightcraft (KEL).

May 2004: 2 737-81Q's (29052; 30619 WET-LEASED), EX-(MIB).

June 2004: In 7/04, London Gatwick (LGW) - Santiago de Cuba, Varadero (weekly charter).

July 2004: 2003 = 4.77 Billion (RPK) (+26.5%); 86.9% LF; 1.88 Million PAX (+23.1%); 6,000 (FTK) (-72.7%).

September 2004: 767-3Z9ER (PW4056) (165-23765, /88 G-VKNG), ex-Livingston (LDI), FIT Aero Iceland leased, Air Atlanta Europe (EUK) wet-leased.

October 2004: Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) Flugfelagid Atlanta finalized its unconditional bid for UK-based Excel Aviation Group (EAG). (EAG), part of Cyprus-based package holiday company Libra Holidays Group, comprises leisure carrier Excel Airways (SBE), which launched operations from London Gatwick & Manchester in 2001-05, as well as sales channels Excel Aviation and Freedom Flights. (AID) made a # 29.9M pound/$53.8 Million offer to Libra for the purchase of 38.9 Million shares - - 40.5% of the issued share capital - - in (EAG). The share sale agreement accompanied by a 5 year commercial agreement for the supply of summer-only airplanes to Excel Airways (SBE), prompted a cash offer for the outstanding share capital, excluding the roughly 18% held by management. Managers agreed to hold onto their shares and stay with the company.

Effective 2005-01, Excel Airways (SBE) and Air Atlanta Europe (EUK) will come under a holding company called the Avion Group, along with Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID), who are merging with Islandsflug (ISF). Air Atlanta is considering an (IPO) on the Icelandic Stock Exchange. The domestic scheduled operation of Islandsflug (ISF) was sold to FlugTaxi in 2004-08.

London Gatwick - Mombasa charters for Somak Holidays.

November 2004: 1,050 employees.

3 737-8Q8's returned to (ILF) leased in 2004-12 to new Canadian airline, Sunwing (SWG).

December 2004: 2 737-81Q's (29051; 29052) leased to Miami Air (MIB).

January 2005: 737-46B (24573), Islandsflug (ISF) leased.

May 2005: 737-81Q (30619, G-OXLA), from Miami Air (MIB).

October 2005: (CTT) Systems reached an agreement with Excel Airways (SBE), a UK charter airline to install its Zonal Drying System on two new 737-800s

December 2005: Casino Express (CIN) has been acquired on a management buy out in partnership with the Avion Group of Iceland (who owns Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) and Excel Airways (SBE)). Changes name from "Casino Express Airlines" to "Xtra Airways."

Acquires 4 737-400's including 737-429 (25729, N44XA) & 737-46B (24573, N41XA), both Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) leased and 1 737-86N (33003, G-XLAG), Excel Airways (SBE) wet-leased for winter.

February 2006: Avion Group, parent of wet-lease specialist Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) announced that it has acquired the entire issued share capital of French charter carrier, Star Airlines (STU). Purchase price was not disclosed, but the Icelandic transportation solutions group said it is financing the acquisition through equity and debt. Star (STU) was owned by Franco-Egyptian businessman Raymond Lakah.

"Star Airlines (STU) represents a fantastic opportunity for Avion to grow in continental Europe," Chairman, Magnus Thorsteinsson said. "Star Airlines (STU) gives Avion an access to a big market with a lot of potential"

Star (STU) is France's second-largest charter carrier, transporting approximately 0.9 million passengers in 2005 aboard a fleet of four A320s and two A330-200s. It employs 460 and operates services mainly to Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern destinations. In 2003, it launched scheduled flights to Lebanon, Mali and Mexico. It reported revenues of 173 million/$207 million and (EBITDA) of 1.9 million in 2005, but according to Le Figaro was on the brink of insolvency and no longer could pay its mounting fuel bills. Avion said it is "projecting a substantial growth" in Star's 2006 (EBITDA) thanks to cost savings implemented through synergies with other Avion entities.

The Avion Group is best known for its wet-lease (ACMI) provider Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) but also is building interests in charter and leisure segments. Its Charter & Leisure Division includes Excel Airways Group (SBE) and TravelCity Direct. Last month, it was negotiating to acquire insolvent German airline Aero Flight (ACH)/(AEF).

Upon completion of the Star (STU) acquisition, Avion (AID)/(SBE) is expected to carry approximately 7 million passengers on an annual basis. It currently operates a fleet of around 60 Boeing and Airbus airplanes. In December, it signed a contract for an additional four 777Fs, having bought the same number in September.

Excel Airways (SBE), part of Avion Group's Charter & Leisure Division, agreed to lease two 737-900ERs and two 737-800s from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GEF), plus two 737-800s from ILFC (ILF) and a pair from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The 737-900ERs will be delivered in May 2008 and replace 757-200s. The 737-900ERs will have "XL.com" logo on its tail - see photo. Excel (SBE) already operates 10 737-800s. The two 737-800s from GECAS (GEF) will be delivered in the second quarter of 2007 and the airplanes from ILFC (ILF) and (RBS) during the first half of 2007. All are leased for eight years. Excel (SBE) said the airplanes will be operated on routes from its UK bases to southern Europe and the Middle East.

Excel Airways (SBE) is a leading UK charter airline providing services to 47 charter destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America from 12 airports in the UK. Excel Airways Group has approximately 1,600 employees in its operations. Excel Airways (SBE) has been chosen the best charter airline in the world for 2004 and 2005.

March 2006: Excel Airways (SBE), a UK-based charter carrier, will purchase 10 Aviation Partners Boeing (APB), Blended Winglet shipsets for its fleet of 737-800s, four of which are leased from ILFC (ILF) and six owned jointly by GE Commercial Aviation Services (GEF) and Royal Bank of Scotland. (APB) said Excel (SBE) will save more than 115,000 gallons of fuel per airplane per year using the winglets.

April 2006: The Avion Group said its subsidiary company, Excel Airways Group (SBE), reached agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of tour operator Kosmar Villa Holidays, dba Kosmar Holidays effective May 2. Price was not disclosed. Avion said the purchase "will strengthen the Tour Operating Division of Excel Airways Group plc (SBE), which includes Excel Holidays, Freedom Flights, Travel City Direct, Aspire Holidays and the online portal XL.com." For the fiscal year ended October 31, 2005, Kosmar Holidays had turnover of £80.7 million/$140.6 million. Founder and Chairman Kostas Markou will stay with the company following the sale.

The Avion Group has purchased 7 747-400s (6 passenger and 1 cargo); 4 of the passenger airplanes will be converted to freighters by Boeing, at which point all 5 cargo airplanes will be operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID), replacing older 747-200F Freighters. The 2 passenger airplanes are to be operated in the Excel Airways Group (SBE) in the Travel City fleet. The 6 passenger airplanes are coming from All Nippon Airways (ANA), and the cargo airplane is coming from Cargolux (CLX).

May 2006: Excel Airways (SBE) operates charter services from London Gatwick (LGW), Manchester, and Glasgow, to the Mediterranean holiday resorts and to the Canary Islands.

600 employees.

(IATA) Code: JN - 812. (ICAO) Code: XLA - EXPO.

Parent organization/shareholders: Avion Group (100%).

Main Base: London Gatwick (LGW).

Hubs: Manchester (MAN); & Glasgow International (GLA).

Domestic, scheduled destinations: London, & Manchester.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Alghero; Alicante; Athens; Bodrum; Cagliari; Chania; Copenhagen; Dalaman; Faro; Fuerteventura; Grenada; Heraklion; Holguin; Hurghada; Ibiza; Kalamata; Kangerlussuaq; Kefallonia; Kerkyra; Kos; Lanzarote; Larnaca; Las Palmas; Luxor; Madeira; Madrid; Malaga; Malta; Marsa Alam; Menorca; Naples; Orlando; Ovda; Palermo; Palma de Mallorca; Paphos; Paris; Puerto Plata; Pula; Punta Cana; Rhodes; Saint Kitts; Santa Clara; Sharm el Sheikh; Skiathos; Split; Taba; Tel Aviv Yafo; Tenerife; Tobago; Tunis; Vancouver; Verona; & Zakynthos.

Avion Group said its new Germany-based carrier, "Star Europe (SGU)," will start flying this summer from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne and Stuttgart to unspecified destinations in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Middle East. It initially will operate three A320s with plans for additional airplanes in the future. Martin Greiffenhagen was appointed CEO. "There are significant opportunities to develop a strong market presence and we look forward to an exciting future for this operation," Avion Executive Chairman, Magnus Thorsteinsson said. "We look forward to operating in the German market with 80 million people, whose travel patterns are similar to those in the UK. We will use our knowhow within Excel Airways (SBE) Group to establish a similar operation in Germany."

Avion Group projects to invest approximately 10 million in establishing and growing the operation and expects "Star Europe (SGU)'s" revenues to be nearly 30 million this year. It said Star (SGU)'s initial flights will be operated through Germanwings (RFG) and domestic tour operators.

Avion is best known for its (ACMI) provider, Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID), but also is building interests in charter and leisure segments. Its Charter & Leisure Division includes Excel Airways (SBE) Group and Star Airlines (STU), the French charter carrier it acquired in February. It now holds Air Operator Certificates (AOC)s in the UK, France and Germany and has more than 37 airplanes in operation. In a recent presentation accompanying the purchase of Star Airlines (STU), Avion Group stated it "aims to be the leading charter airline in Europe."

737-8Q8 (29351), Sunwing (SWG) wet-leased. 737-8Q8 (30702, G-XLAI), (ILF) leased.

June 2006: Excel Airways (SBE) announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary in Ireland with immediate effect. The subsidiary, which will represent the airline under the "Excel" brand, will base its headquarters in Dublin. The company will provide short, medium and long haul charter services for Irish tour operators and travel retailers commencing in the May - October 2007 holiday season. Target routes from Ireland will include Florida, Mainland Spain, the Baleares, Canary Islands, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt.

August 2006: Avion will lease three or four airplanes operated by Excel Airways (SBE) of the UK to Xtra Airways (CIN) of Nevada during the winter schedule.

September 2006: Excel Airways (SBE) is having to delay startup of service from Manchester to Cape Town, which was planned for November, because the airline has been unable to secure charter rights for the operation. Excel Airways (SBE) will not be operating its 10 routes from Humberside from next summer. The airline operates services to Corfu, Dalaman, Malaga, Paphos, Sharm El Sheik and other destinations.

737-8Q8 (30703, G-XLAJ), wet-leased to TravelSpan, USA for charter flights - see photo.

November 2006: Excel Airways (SBE) announced it will base a 737 in Ireland starting with the next summer season, and will fly from Cork and Dublin to a number of vacations destinations, including in Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

"Star Airlines" (STU) of France officially became "XL Airways France" (STU). The company joins "XL Airways UK" (SBE), along with "Star German Airlines" (SGU), which becomes "XL Airways Germany" (SGU).

737-8FH (35092, G-XLAK), RBS Aerospace leased. 737-8Q8 (29351, C-FTAH) operation for Sunwing (SWG) ended. 737-81Q (29051, G-XLAC) has new "XL.com" livery - see photo.

December 2006: Excel Leisure Group rebrands "Excel Airways" as "XL Airways UK."

February 2007: Jettainer signed a five-year deal with XL Airways (SBE) of the UK to provide outsourced ULD management services. As part of the agreement, Jettainer purchased XL (SBE)'s fleet of ULDs, which previously was owned and managed by Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID).

737-8FH (35093, G-XLAL), RBS Aerospace leased and 737-86N (32685, G-XLAN), GECAS (GEF) leased. 757-2YOER (25240, G-VKNA), in new livery - see photo.

April 2007: 737-8Q8 (30702, G-XLAI), 737-86N (33003, G-XLAG), returned from Xtra Airways (CIN), and 737-81Q (29052, G-XLAD), returned from Miami Air (MIB).

May 2007: 2 737-8Q8s (29351, 30637), Sunwing (SWG) wet-leased. 737-86N (29883, G-XLAF), returned from Sunwing (SWG). 737-86N (32690, G-XLAO), (GEF) leased. 737-81Q (30619, G-OXLA), Miami Air (MIB) leased.

September 2007: 757-2YOER (25240) leased to Aladia (ALD), Mexico, as (XA-MTY).

November 2007: XL Airways (SBE) will launch flights from London Luton to Cyprus and Egypt from May 23 "in response to huge customer demand from the North London area," according to the carrier. It will introduce five weekly flights to Larnaca, three to Paphos, and two to Sharm El Sheikh.

December 2007: 737-81Q (29051, N904MA), leased to Miami Air (MIB) (again). 737-86N (33003, C-FEAG), leased to SunWing (SWG).

April 2008: 737-8Q8 (28218, G-XLAB), returned from Xtra Airways (CIN).

May 2008: 2 737-96NERs (35227, G-XLAR; 36539, G-XLAP), (GEF) leased.

June 2008: XL Airways (SBE) put its first 737-900 into service on routes from Manchester. The airplane seats 215. The airline serves more than >750,000 passengers at the airport annually.

September 2008: XL Airways (SBE) ceased flying on September 12th 2008.

XL Airways (SBE) will suspend flights from London Gatwick (LGW) to the Caribbean (it serves Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, St Lucia, Barbados, and Grenada) on November 3, citing fuel costs, the economic downturn, and the routes' falling popularity, as reasons for the decision. XL Leisure Group's UK scheduled and charter airline (SBE) said it will focus instead on more profitable long-haul services to Florida, and its short- and medium-haul network. XL (SBE) currently uses 767-300s on its Caribbean routes, which were due to be replaced in autumn with two new A330s. It also is cutting its daily (LGW) - Knock on September 2.

Later, XL Airways UK (SBE) grounded all flights after its parent company, XL Leisure Group, the UK's third-largest tour operator, was put into administration, leaving an estimated 85,000 passengers stranded abroad. The shutdown was caused by "volatile fuel prices, the economic downturn and [an inability] to obtain further funding," a statement of the joint administrators said on the http://www.xl.com website. The administrators added they were not able "to continue trading the business and therefore all flights . . . have been immediately cancelled and the airplanes grounded."

The group's two non-UK-based airlines, XL Airways France (STU) and XL Airways Germany (SGU), are not affected. XL Airways UK (SBE) carried 2.3 million passengers last year and operated 17 airplanes (11 737-800s, one 757-200, and five 767s) at year end, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

XL Leisure Group's tour operators flew principally from London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, and Glasgow to destinations in the Mediterranean. The airline also operated long-haul holiday flights in Florida and the Caribbean.

The (CAA) estimated that 85,000 XL (SBE) passengers are stranded abroad and that customers have made 200,000 forward bookings. "The (CAA) is working with the group's administrator, major tour operators, including Thomson (TFY), First Choice (ATW), Thomas Cook (JMA), and Virgin Holidays, and airlines to ensure that UK customers currently abroad are taken care of," it said. "Since XL Airways (SBE) is no longer operating, flights to bring people home will be made with other airlines."

Ryanair (RYR) said it offered the (CAA) the use of a spare 737-800 for the next two weeks and "strongly" advised passengers to be more discerning, when booking their holidays with financially struggling carriers. Bmi (BMA) confirmed that all airlines within the group - - bmi (BMA), bmi regional and bmibaby (BMI) - - are working closely with the (CAA) to offer airplanes and crews where available, to assist in the repatriation.

Fleet:
(definitions)

Click below for photos:
SBE-757-225
SBE-767
SBE
SBE-737-800
SBE-737-800 TRAVELSPAN
SBE-737-81Q G-XLAC
SBE-737-900ER
SBE-757-2YOER FEB07
SBE-MLT

September 2008:

1 727-2D3 (JT8D) (1082-21081, /74 G-BPND), EX-(RJA)/(PLI), (GRB) LSD, (MIB) WET-LSD 1998-07, (HVL) MAINT.

2 727-225 (JT8D-SUPER 27) (1314-21453, G-OKJN; 1409-21578, G-OPMN) 21578 RF (SCA) 2001-05. LST (CLL) 2000-09.

0 727-276 (JT8D-200) (1081-20950, /74 G-BNNI), EX-(TAA), MAINT BY (HVL), LST (SCA) TIL 2000-05. SOLD TO BECOME A RESTAURANT IN DENMARK. 187 PAX.

0 737-204 (JT8D) (341-20807, /74; 545-21694, /78), EX-(BRI), RTND (TIA), LST (WJI).

0 737-4Q8 (CFM56-3) (24796), (ISF) 1 MTH WET-LSD 2003-03. RTND.

0 737-46B (CFM56-3) (1844-24573, N41XA), (ISF) LSD 2005-01. WET-LST (CIN) 2005-12. ST (KEL).

0 737-8BG (CFM56-7B26) (955-32358, /01 ZS-SJP), (SAA) WET-LSD 6 MTHS. WITH WINGLETS. RTND 2003-11. LSD (AGAIN) 2004-04 6 MTHS. RTND. 189Y.

2 737-8FH (CFM56-7B26) (2160-35092, G-XLAC, 2007-01; 2176-35093, G-XLAL, 2007-02), RBS AEROSPACE LSD. 189Y.

0 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B26) (555-30390, 5/00 PH-HZK), (TAV) WET-LSD 2000-12. RTND. 189Y.

2 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B26) (160-28218, /98 G-XLAB; 77-28226, /98 G-XLAA; 1471-29351, G-XLAH, 2004-03), (ILF) 7 YR LSD, MAINT BY (HVL). 28226 RF (BER). 28218 RF (MIB). 28218; & 29351; RTND (ILF), LST (SWG) 2005-12. 29351; RF (SWG) 2006-11. 29351; (SWG) LSD 2007-05. 28218; RF (CIN) 2008-04. 189Y.

0 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B26) (800-30637, /01 G-XLAE), (ILF) LSD, WET-LST (BER) TIL 2001-11. WET-LST (BER) TIL 2003-03. RF (KEL) 2004-04. RTND (ILF), LST (KEL) 2004-12. 30637; (SWG) WET-LSD 2006-05. 30637; RTT (SWG) 2006-12. (SWG) LSD AGAIN (2007-05). 189Y.

2 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B26) (1953-30702, G-XLAI, 2006-05; 1964-30703, G-XLAJ, 2006-06), (ILF) LSD. 30703; WET-LST TRAVELSPAN, USA, FOR WINTER 2006-10 - SEE PHOTO. 30702; 30703; LST (CIN) 2006-11. 30702; RF(CIN) 2007-04. 189Y.

0 737-8S3 (CFM56-7B26) (711-32353, ZS-SJG), (SAA) WET-LSD 2004-04. RTND 2004-11. 189Y.

2 ORDERS 737-800 (CFM56-7B26), (GEF) LSD:

2 ORDERS 737-800, (RBC) LSD:

2 737-81Q (CFM56-7B26) (479-29051, /00 G-XLAC - SEE PHOTO; 557-29052, /00 G-XLAD), (TOM) LSD 2000-05, RF (MIB) 2001-04, 29052 RTND (TOM) 2000-10. 30618 LSD TIL 2001-11. 30619 RTND TO (MIB) 2001-11. 29052 LST (MIB) 2001-11. 29052; 30619, G-OXLA; RF (MIB) 2002-10. 29051 LST (MIB) 2002-12 & 2003-12. 29052 RF (MIB) 2004-05. 30619 (MIB) WET-LSD 2004-05, RTND 2004-11. 29051 RF (MIB) 2004-04, LST (MIB), + 29052; (AGAIN) 2004-12. 30619 RF (MIB) 2005-05. 29051; 29052; RF (MIB) 2005-06. 30619 TO (MIB) 2005-11. 29051 RF (MIB) 2006-03. 29052; RF (MIB) 2006-04. 29052; LST (CIN) (AGAIN) 2006-12. 29052; RF ((MIB) 2007-04. 29051; LST (MIB) (AGAIN) 2007-12. 189Y.

1 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (1083-29883, /02 G-XLAF), (TOM) LSD 2002-12, WET-LST (ARE) TIL 2003-04. WET-LST (RYR) 2003-09. LST (SWG) 2006-12. RF (SWG) 2007-05. 189Y.

1 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (2186-32685, G-XLAN, 2007-02; 2250-32690, G-XLAO, 2007-05), (GEF) LSD. 189Y.

1 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (1121-33003, G-XLAG), WET-LST (RYR) 2003-09. WET-LST (CIN) 2005-12. RF (CIN) 2007-04. LST (SWG) 2007-12. 189Y.

2 737-96NER (CFM56-7B26) (2621-35227, G-XLAR; 2596-36539, G-XLAP), (GEF) 9 YR LSD 2008-05. HAS "XL.com" AS LOGO ON TAIL - SEE PHOTO. 215 PAX.

0 747-267B (446-21966, TF-ATD), (AID) WET-LSD 2001-05. RTND.

2 ORDERS 747-400, EX-(ANA), FOR TRAVELCITY OPS.

1 757-2YOER (RB211-535E4) (388-25240, /91 G-VKNA), (AID) WET-LSD TIL 2003-11; & 5 - 2004-11. IN NEW LIVERY - SEE PHOTO 2007-02. LST ALADIA (ALD) 2007-09. 233Y.

3 757-225 (RB211-535E4) (74-22211, /85 TF-ARD; 75-22611, /85 G-VKNC; 114-22612, G-VKND), (AID) WET-LSD 2002-10 TIL 2003-11; & 5 - 2004-11. 22612; LST ALADIA (ALD) 2008-03. 233Y.

2 767-204ER (CF6-80A2) (210-24013, /88 G-BNYS; 243-24239, /88 G-BOPB), EX-(BRI), (AID) 5 YR WET-LSD, 24239 RTND 2001-11, LST (ALG). 2 WET-LSD 5 - 2002-11. (AGAIN) 2004-05. 24013; LST (ASY). 290Y.

1 767-204ER (CF6-80A2) (256-24457, /89 G-SATR), EX-(BRI), (GEF) LSD 2001-05, (AID) WET-LSD. 290Y.

1 767-204ER (113-23250), EX-(ANZ), (AID) 5 YR WET-LSD.

1 767-3Y0ER (464-26204, /92 G-VKNH), (AID) WET-LSD 2003-09. +1 ORDER. 24F, 28C, 229Y.

1 767-383ER (263-24358, TF-ATT), (AID) WET-LSD 2005-06.

1 767-3Z9ER (PW4056) (165-23765, /88 G-VKNG), EX-(LDI), FIT AERO ICELAND LSD 2004-09. (EUK) WET-LST 2004-09. RTND & LST (RYN) 2009-02. 24C, 234Y.

1 MD-83 (JT8D-219) (1261-49402, /86 F-GKZL), EX-(ACH)/(ALB), (TJL) LSD, (TSX) WET-LSD 2001-06.

0 L-1011-100 (1221; 1231), (AID) WET-LSD TIL 2000-11, 2 RTND 2001-05.

0 A320-214 (1727, EI-DBC), (AZR) WET-LSD TIL 2003-10.

Management:
(definitions)

EAMONN MULLANEY, CHAIRMAN (2001-01), EX-(CAW)/(GUE).

PHIL WYATT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).

JOHN HUTCHENCE, FLIGHT OPERATIONS DIRECTOR.

MICK HILLS, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, EX-(ATD),
(mick.hills@sbe-airways.co.uk) (2001-06).

LINDA FINDLAY, CABIN SERVICES DIRECTOR.

DAVE MILLS, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR.

PAUL ROBERTS, FINANCE DIRECTOR.

ALYNA TROTMAN, IN-FLIGHT DIRECTOR.

SIMON LEIGHTON, GROUND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR.

NEIL MORRIS, SALES DIRECTOR.

CHRISTOPHER JONES, LINE MAINTENANCE MANAGER.

 
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