TransAer wins $15m Kosovan airline deal
IRISH charter airline TransAer has been awarded a $15m contract to assist in the establishment of a new airline, Air Kosiva.
The new airline will eventually become a major airline for Kosovo and will be based in Switzerland.
Under the agreement which has been initially signed for an 18-month period, TransAer will provide aircraft, staff, engineers and cabin crew for the new airline. It will also provide training and management consultancy to Air Kosiva.
The investors in the project are part of the Foundation for the Reconstruction of Kosovo, a trust fund based in the US which is also investing in the redevelopment of Pristina Airport.
There will initially be one Airbus A320 with options to grow to six aircraft in the first 12 months. All the airplanes will fly under the livery of Air Kosiva, but will all be under TransAer licences.
Thirty TransAer staff will be working on the project initially, and the aircraft will serve destinations from Pristina airport to Geneva, Zurich, Vienna and Rome.
Chief executive of TransAer Willie O'Byrne said that it was the first time that an Irish airline had won such a contract.
``This is indeed a very prestigious contract for TransAer. Not only will we be deploying aircraft and staff, but we will play a crucial role in the development of the region.''
TransAer, which has is headquarters in Dublin, is the largest independent charter airline in Europe and employs over 700 people. It has a fleet of 17 airbus aircraft, and has recently announced major deals with Libyan Airlines and Cubana.