Airlines

Published on May 13th, 2015 | by Jim Lee

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Romania’s Blue Air expands fleet but Dublin operation unchanged

Photo by Joe Heeney

Romania’s Blue Air based in Bucharest Otopeni airport look set to add a Boeing 737-85R to its fleet, having previously operated five of this type before a retrenchment, forced them to dispose of them from mid 2010. The five aircraft, YR-BIA/B/C/D and F went to SpiceJet, Travel Service and Midwest Airlines of Egypt. These included two Boeing 737-8AS models, which were ex Ryanair, YR-BIA (ex EI-CSJ) and YR-BIB (ex EI-CSM), which is now with Poland’s Enter Air, as SP-ENT. Blue Air’s fleet is currently made up of two Boeing 737-300s, nine 737-400s, and one 737-500 which are used on domestic Romanian and Italian flights, as well as on services to Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus, Spain, Germany, and Greece.

The ‘new’ 737-800, c/n 29037, is almost 16½ years old having been delivered to Jet Airways of India as VT-JND, on 14th January 1999. It was acquired by Aircastle as N637AC on 14th July 2009. It was subsequently leased to Orenair, (Orenburg Airlines), on 22nd July 2009. It was withdrawn from use on 30th December 2014 and after an initial period of storage at Budapest from 5th January 2015, it positioned to Southend on 6th March. Still in Orenair c/s, it was ferried Southend – Manchester, still with its VQ-reg, for painting prior to delivery on 12th May. It is due to become YR-BMA.

Turning to its Dublin operations, Blue Air operates on the Bucharest-Dublin route at a three times per week frequency. The 0B155, which operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, departs Bucharest at 07:15 and arrives in Dublin at 09:15. The return service, the 0B156, departs Dublin at 10:00 and arrives back in Bucharest at 15:40. The service is scheduled to be operated by a Boeing 737-400. Blue Air also operates a Bacau-Dublin route twice weekly. This is an overnight service that departs Bacau as the 0B255 at 20:50 on Thursdays and Saturdays and arrives in Dublin in the early hours of the following morning at 00:45. The return service, the 0B256, departs Dublin at 01:30 and arrives back in Bacau at 07:05.

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About the Author

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Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.



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