Airlines

Published on January 26th, 2016 | by Jim Lee

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Titan Airways upgrades its fleet ahead of the summer season

London Stansted based ACMI charter airline Titan Airways (ZT/AWC), a familiar sight at Dublin Airport, as it provides back up services, most notably for Aer Lingus, is in the process of modernising its fleet. The airline also offers the more conventional type of charter services for other airlines and tour operators, as well as individuals and corporations. However, it is the versatility of its fleet, primed and ready to go to the aid of other airlines anytime an unexpected problem arises that is its core business. It is its ACMI operations, where it provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance and its ‘Go Now flight solutions’, that has made its name for ultimate efficiency. On standby 24-7, Titan is capable of launching an aircraft within just 60 minutes, whenever and wherever a rapid response is required.

Titan's has three A320s, G-POWM shown landing

Titan now has three Airbus A320s, G-POWM is pictured here

As part of this modernisation programme, it has added three Airbus A320s to its fleet over the last three years. Acquired second hand, the three aircraft, (G-POWM/I/K), have an average age of 8.3 years Titan is now bolstering its 10-strong fleet with the introduction of a first Airbus A321 airliner. The six year young Airbus A321-211 will join Titan in March and begin revenue service in April. The aircraft, to be registered G-POWN, was delivered new to Austrian carrier, Niki in March 2009, as OE-LET. Titan Airways is also looking to acquire an Airbus A319-100 in 144 seat economy configuration for ad hoc charter summer 2016, to complement its Boeing 737, 757 and 767 aircraft.

Commenting on the new aircraft, Alastair Kiernan, Commercial Director, said: “The latest acquisitions are part of a long term strategy of fleet modernisation. All of the aircraft in the Airbus A320 product line are economical to operate, with lower fuel burn and lower carbon emissions. Plus the aircraft cabins are spacious and modern for a more comfortable passenger in-flight experience.”

Titan's first Airbus A321

An artist impression of Titan’s first Airbus A321 painted in the new refined livery

He added: “Going forward, we intend to add other Airbus variants, both narrow and wide bodied, in order to offer our clients a choice of aircraft with a diversity of capacity and range.”

“We anticipate strong demand for the new A321 aircraft – which will be configured 212Y – for wet/damp lease and airline sub charter and contracts are already in place with a third party carrier for summers 16 and 17. Outside of these advance commitments, the aircraft will be available for rapid response airline sub-charter, ad-hoc charter and tour operator charter roles”.

Titan reveals new look Boeing 757

On 16th November, Boeing 757-256, G-POWH, returned from the paint shop at Air Livery, Norwich having become the latest aircraft to be given an exterior makeover. The former Iberia aircraft, (formerly EC-HIR and TC-OGT), which had previously operated in an all-white livery, is the first of the two Boeing 757s in the fleet to have Titan’s refined scheme applied. The new scheme was initially rolled out on the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 fleets and is a pared down version of the previous livery design, which included the Titan Moon, emblazoned large on the side of the aircraft.

This winter, the two Boeing 757 aircraft, which offer a selection of seat configurations ranging from 76 to 202 seats, will operate in a variety of roles including, rapid response airline sub-charter, tour operator flights to ski destinations and Santa’s Lapland, football charters for UK teams’ overseas fixtures and high end around-the-world tours. They have an age of 15.5 Years.

Titan completes first new Airbus A320 interior

Titan's G-POWK with new Acro seats[1]

G-POWK with new Acro seats

Titan Airways has also completed the refurbishment of a first Airbus A320 in collaboration with Acro Aircraft Seating Ltd. The smart new interior has been rolled out on G-POWK, the latest A320 to be added to the fleet. The completion of work on the aircraft was timed to coincide with the launch of a new charter flight series from London Gatwick to Banjul, on behalf of niche tour operator The Gambia Experience.

Three year old G-POWK is now configured with 168 brand new slim line Acro seats for the duration of the Banjul contract, which commenced during November and will run until the end of February when the aircraft will be returned to a 180 seat economy configuration. It initially operated weekly rising to three times per week from Christmas.

The new seating includes nine rows of seats at the front of the cabin – which convert from six abreast to four abreast with a detachable central table – making it possible to offer a split premium/economy class product.

Titan's Commercial Director Alastair Kiernan

Titan’s Commercial Director Alastair Kiernan

“We searched the market and selected the lightweight Acro seats for their simple, ergonomic design, which affords passengers significantly more legroom and comfort than bulkier traditional seats” said Mr Kiernan.

The refurbishment of G-POWK followed the installation of a new state-of-the-art wireless in-flight entertainment platform on the aircraft. The system, which enables passengers to stream digital content to their Personal Electronic Devices, was installed across Titan’s entire A320 and B757 fleets by the end of December.

Mr. Kiernan added: “The refurbishment is a major investment for the Company but it, together with our new in-flight entertainment platform, will ensure we continue to provide an enhanced charter flight experience.”

Operations and customers

In addition to the Banjul route, G-POWK will be operating several lines of ski flying from its winter Gatwick base. Outside of these commitments, the aircraft is available for airline sub-charter and ad hoc charter operations. The initial operator for the new A321 is Jet2 and the aircraft will be based in Manchester. As noted above Titan’s aircraft are reasonably familiar sights in Dublin operating on behalf of Aer Lingus and their most recent use of a Titan aircraft was on 13th December when Boeing 757-256, G-POWH, mounted a Munich rescue mission. This followed an earlier A320 technical issue with Aer Lingus Airbus A320-214, EI-DVL, which had operated the inbound flight (EI352). G-POWH positioned London Stansted – Munich as EI991 that afternoon in order to operate the delayed EI353 Munich – Dublin. The aircraft then positioned Dublin – London Stansted as EI992.

Previously on 11th October, Boeing 737-33A G-ZAPZ positioned London Stansted – Dublin using callsign EI291P in order to operate the following Aer Lingus Regional services to cater for match traffic.

EI3290/EI3291 Dublin – Cardiff-Wales

EI3254/EI3255 Dublin – Edinburgh

EI3394/EI3395 Dublin – Leeds Bradford

EI3296/EI3297 Dublin – Cardiff-Wales.

The aircraft then positioned Dublin – London Stansted using the callsign EI298P.

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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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