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Air Alps (Air Alps Aviation, Alpenländisches Flugunternehmen Ges.m.b.H.) was an airline with its head office at Innsbruck Airport in Innsbruck, Austria. It was an independent regional airline serving 10 cities in Italy from Milan and Bolzano, international services from Milan, as well as charter services. Its main base was Innsbruck Airport, with hub at Malpensa Airport, Milan. Formerly its head office was elsewhere in Innsbruck.
The airline was established in 1998 and started operations on 28 March 1999 with two Dornier 328 aircraft, acquiring three more in 2000 and one more in each year of operation. It was founded by Air Engiadina who owned 49% of the airline, the other 51% being owned by Dietmar Leitgeb, president and chief executive of Air Engiadina. Until 2001, all operations were offered in close cooperation with KLM under the brand name KLM Alps and the Air Alps aircraft were painted in the well-known blue KLM livery. In 2001, a group of investors from the Italian province of South Tyrol acquired the majority stake. In October 2005 a codeshare agreement with Alitalia on the entire Air Alps network was established. The airline is owned by Alpen-Air consortium (89.82%), Sudtiroler Transportstrukturen (7%), and Beteiligungs-und Finanzierungs (3.18%).
In 2004, a new CEO and Operations Director was appointed. The Manager Network Development Koen Hertoge was responsible for the integration into the Alitalia Network for both national and international routes, which eventually helped Air Alps Aviation to be back in profit.
As of November 2007 the company employed 160 people, 60 in Innsbruck and 100 in Italy.
In January 2014 it was announced that Air Alps will resume operations and start flying on behalf of the German virtual airline Rostock Airways. The first of several planned routes is Bremen-Zürich which started on 3 February. On 22 February it was announced that this service will cease on 28 February due to conflicts between Air Alps and Rostock Airways. Air Alps never resumed any operations since then.
Air Alps doesn't operate any routes as of March 2014.
Air Alps operated the following services according to their homepage (April 2012).
They also operated charterflights from Bolzano to the following destinations, Cagliari, Catania, Crotone, Lamezia Terme and Zadar (Croatia). Alitalia used to codeshare on all Air Alps services until they stopped operations in 2012.
The Air Alps fleet consisted of the following aircraft (as of 1 January 2014):
- 1 Dornier 328-110 (OE-LKA)
- "just get in contact with us!." Air Alps. Retrieved on 21 October 2012. "Füstenweg 180 A-6026 Innsbruck-Airport"
- "just get in contact with us!." Air Alps. Retrieved on 23 June 2010. "AAA-Air Alps Aviation Alpenländisches Flugunternehmen Ges.m.b.H. Eduard Bodem Gasse 1/III A-6020 Innsbruck/Austria companyseat Innsbruck"
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 52.
- austrianaviation.net (in German)
- Air Alps Fleet
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