Airlines

Published on October 13th, 2015 | by Jim Lee

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Blue Air to expand and grow by summer 2016 and add new Irish route

In a press release on 7th October, low cost Romanian carrier, Blue Air outlined its plans for this year’s winter’s schedule, as well as for the 2016 Summer Schedule and in particular its plans for expansion in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

For the UK passengers, the airline will inaugurate a new service from London to Iasi, offering four weekly flights, commencing on 25th October. It will launch a second route, from Glasgow to Bucharest, on 17th December.

For the 2016 Summer Schedule, Blue Air will add 23 new routes, both for its operational bases in Romania and its external bases in Italy and Cyprus. In addition, the 2016 Summer Schedule will see the emergence of Blue Air’s operations in Italy and a new route from London to Turin (Caselle). This will be inaugurated on 27th March 2016, at a schedule of four flights per week. It will also add a Birmingham to Bucharest service, with two weekly frequencies.

Bucharest (Henri Coanda, formerly Otopeni International Airport)

Bucharest – Henri Coanda Airport (formerly Otopeni International Airport)

In addition, and starting on 1st June 2016, Blue Air will commence operations from Cluj-Napoca International Airport, serving Dublin and Liverpool, at a frequency of twice weekly flights. The airport, named after a Romanian revolutionary, serves the city of Cluj-Napoca, in the Someșeni area. This is in the northern part of the country, around 200 miles North West of Bucharest. In terms of passenger traffic, Cluj Airport is the second largest airport in Romania, after Bucharest Henri Coandă, handling 1.18 million passengers in 2014 and its size and location makes it an important airport in the historical region of Transylvania.

Blue Air currently serves Bucharest (Henri Coandă, formerly Otopeni International Airport) and Bacău in the north east of the country. Currently Bacău is served on Fridays and Sundays, with an early morning flight, the OB255/6 arriving in Dublin at 00:45 and departing at 01:30. The Bucharest service also operates twice weekly, on Thursday and Sunday as the OB155/6, arriving in Dublin at 09:15 and departing at 10:00.

Expansion in personnel and aircraft

Gheorghe Racaru Blue Air

Gheorghe Racaru of Blue Air

Commenting on these developments, Gheorghe Racaru, General Manager at Blue Air, said: “We are happy to bring the UK and Ireland closer to the most important and beautiful cities of Europe by introducing new routes starting with the 2015 Winter Schedule and continuing with the 2016 Summer Schedule. The visible increase in the number of Blue Air routes triggers an increase in its fleet and number of employees”.

Blue Air’s fleet currently includes 15 Boeing 737 aircraft, a mixture of models including, two 300’s, ten 400’s, a 500, a 700 and an 800. By the end of March next year it will reach a total of 20 Boeing 737 aircraft. The company has 750 employees, an increase of over 50%, as compared to 2014, with the customer service and flight departments, being the main sections showing an increase. Blue Air has also invested in professional training programs for its front line employees, as well as its flight attendants, to ensure a pleasant experience to its passengers. Turnover will reach €200 million in 2015 and the number of passengers will exceed 2 million. At present, Blue Air has three operational bases in Romania and two overseas bases in Italy and Cyprus, and by next summer, it will fly to 65 routes within Europe.

Blue Air’s established operational routes are also expected to witness an increase in flight frequencies, which the airline says is “proof that our passengers are satisfied with the services provided, which can only motivate us to become better”.

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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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