Blue Air

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Not to be confused with Airblue.
Blue Air
BlueAir logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
0B BMS BLUE MESSENGER
Founded 2004
Commenced operations 2004
Operating bases
Hubs Henri Coandă International Airport
Secondary hubs Turin Airport
Frequent-flyer program My Blue
Fleet size 25
Destinations 48
Headquarters Bucharest, Romania
Key people Gheorghe Răcaru, CEO
Website blueairweb.com

Blue Air is a Romanian low-cost airline headquartered in Bucharest,[1] with its main hubs at Henri Coandă International Airport and Turin Airport.[2] As of May 2016, Blue Air flies to 48 destinations in 12 European countries, and in 2015, the airline carried over two million passengers.

History[edit]

Blue Air started its operations in December 2004. In its early years, although largely focusing on international flights, Blue Air also operated domestic Bucharest-Timișoara and Bucharest-Cluj flights, though these were soon discontinued due to low demand and competition from TAROM as well as Căile Ferate Române, the Romanian rail company. Due to the growing economy and increase in air travel, Blue Air resumed its domestic operations in 2015 starting with Bucharest-Iasi flights, and from June 2016, it will operate again Bucharest-Cluj flights.

The company had a turnover of 150 Million Euros in 2012 and a load factor of 92%.[3]

On 12 April 2013, the Blue Air's management announced that the airline was for sale.[4] On the 17 May 2013, the company was purchased by four Romanian shareholders and BlueAir Transport Aerian SA's flight operations was transferred to Blue Air - Airline Management Solution SRL, a company that bailed out the business with a EUR 30 million deal.

The airline transported 1.5 million passengers in 2014, an increase compared to the 1.35 million passengers in 2013.[5] In 2015, the airline transported for the first time more than 2 million passengers.[6]

Blue Air become a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on 19 January 2016.[7] Blue Air received an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification in December 2015,[8] and is a member of ICH (IATA Clearing House).[9] With a total of 25 new routes announced for 2016, the airline forecasts carrying close to three million passengers in 2016.[10]

Operations[edit]

Bases[edit]

Blue Air Boeing 737-400 wearing the former livery

Blue Air has always used Bucharest as its primary hub. At first, its hub was located Aurel Vlaicu International Airport until the airport became overcrowded and was increasingly surrounded by urban development, thus leading to the airport's closure for commercial airlines in 2012. Officially the airport was not closed, but the operating taxes for the airlines had suddenly grown until no airline could support them.[11] At this point all airlines moved their operations to Bucharest largest airport, Henri Coandă International Airport. Blue Air now uses this airport as its primary hub.

The secondary hub is Turin Airport in Italy from November 2014. The total number of destinations to and from Turin are 15.

The third operating base for Blue Air is located at Bacău International Airport. BlueAir Transport Aerian SA (the original owner) managed to get a concession contract for 50 years of private administration of the airport. BlueAero was the secondary company that held the contract. The airport needed urgent investments which the company promised to complete, but not even 10% of those promised investments were realised in the following two years. In Blue Air is now the only airline operating from the airport. TAROM and Carpatair had domestic and international flights from here, but were discontinued.

Blue Air's bases also include Larnaca International Airport (2 aircraft based) in Cyprus and Iasi International Airport (2 aircraft based), the primary international gateway for the north-eastern part of Romania, serving a catchment area of over 3.7 million people

Destinations[edit]

Main article: Blue Air destinations

Blue Air has been operating for 11 years and now offers flights to over 70 scheduled destinations in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, under its own brand and with the slogan “Follow your dreams and fly”, Blue Air operates charter flights on behalf of leading tour operators and holiday destinations throughout Europe and West Asia, mainly the Mediterranean region

Starting on 25 October 2015 the company has two daily scheduled domestic flights between Bucharest and Iași.[12]

On 29 March 2016, Blue Air has switched back to the summer schedule and started offering the following destinations within Europe:

  • From Bucharest: Birmingham (29 March), Hamburg (29 March), Rome-Fiumicino, Castellon (1 June), Lisbon (2 June), Cluj-Napoca (3 June), Lyon (4 June), Stockholm Arlanda (4 June)
  • From Torino: Madrid (28 March), London Luton (29 March), Berlin Tegel (2 March), Alghero (16 May), Ibiza (2 June), Menorca (2 June), Athens (4 June), Palma de Mallorca (4 June), Pescara (1 October)
  • From Iasi: Barcelona (27 March), Brussels (30 March), Cologne Bonn (3 June), Cluj-Napoca (1 October), Timisoara (2 October)
  • From Bacau: Madrid (30 March), Stuttgart (2 June)
  • From Cluj-Napoca: Liverpool (3 June), Dublin (4 June), Iasi (1 October), Timisoara (1 October)
  • From Constanta: Athens (4 June)
  • From Larnaca: London Luton (25 April)
  • From Sibiu: Cologne Bonn (28 March)

Fleet[edit]

Blue Air Boeing 737-800

As of August 2016, the Blue Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[13][14]

Blue Air Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Boeing 737-300 3 var 136 - 148
Boeing 737-400 9 var 150 - 170
Boeing 737-500 6 var 120 - 126
Boeing 737-700 1 144
Boeing 737-800 6 189
Total 25

In the past, Blue Air also operated Saab 2000 and Saab 340 aircraft, the latter one leased from Direct Aero Services.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On January 7, 2016, a Blue Air Boeing 737-400, registration YR-BAS performing charter flight 0B-9301 from Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (Romania) to Barcelona (Spain) was supposed to land at Cluj International Airport (Romania) to pick up several passengers. While landing, with 110 passengers and 6 crew, on Cluj's runway 25 at 08:02L (06:02Z), the plane overran the end of the runway by about 10 meters (32 feet) and came to a stop with all gears on the paved surface of the runway end safety area. No injuries occurred, the aircraft sustained no damage. The passengers disembarked normally via mobile stairs and were bused to the terminal.[15][16] Cluj-Napoca International Airport was closed for cca. 3 hours due to the incident.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Blue Air at Wikimedia Commons