Orbest Orizonia Airlines
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (March 2013)|
|Founded||1998 (as Iberworld)|
|Commenced operations||11 April 1998|
|Ceased operations||5 May 2013|
|Destinations||89 (as of 4 November 2009)|
|Parent company||Orizonia Group|
|Headquarters||Palma de Mallorca, Spain|
|Key people||Gabriel Subias Cano (CEO)|
It operated regular and charter flights to destinations in Europe and the Caribbean, scheduled domestic services, and scheduled international services to Havana. In its 14-year history, Orbest Orizonia flew to four continents and operated routes to over 30 countries. Its main base was Palma de Mallorca Airport. Orbest Orizonia was the air division of the Orizonia Group, Spain's third largest tour operator.
Following the failure of BCM Airlines, Iberworld was founded by Iberostar, a Spanish tourist company, who wholly owned the new airline. Grupo Iberostar already owned a tour operator, Holiday resorts and hotels, and saw that buying BCM would be a quick way to acquire an airline.
The airline was established in 1998 and started operations on 11 April 1998 with a single Lockheed L-1011 Tristar leased from Classic Airways of the United Kingdom. The L-1011 was used on routes from Palma de Mallorca and Malaga to London. The next day, on 12 April 1998, the first Airbus A320-200 was delivered and it started services to complement the Tristar. By 5 May, a second A320-200 had been delivered and as the end of spring approached, they returned the L-1011 to Classic Airways. By the end of the year, however, Iberworld received two new A320 aircraft from Airbus, allowing them to make a 23.6 million Euro profit in eight months from carrying over 263,000 passengers.
In February 1999, the airline took delivery of their first wide-body aircraft – an Airbus A310 – 300 from Transavia. Later that year, it received its fifth A320 and placed an order for two more of the type. 1999 was Iberworld's first full year of flying and passenger figures rose to over one million, the growth being so considerable due to the gap in the market left by Viva Air (which stopped operations in March 1999). This airline closure allowed Iberworld to open new routes to Caribbean.
In 2000, Iberworld's growth was more modest, with passenger figures rising to 1.1 million with no new aircraft arriving. Iberworld then placed their first order for a new wide-body in July 2001, an Airbus A330-200 to serve its long-haul destinations. Later that same year, the two A320s on order arrived; however, due to the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, passenger numbers remained around the same as the previous year.
In mid-April 2002, the Airbus A330-200 (registered EC-IDB) arrived with seating capacity for 51 Premium passengers and 287 Economy passengers. This acquisition allowed Iberworld to retire the ageing A310-300 in October 2002.
In 2006, Grupo Iberostar decided to sell the airline and other parts of Iberostar for 800 million Euros while keeping the hotels and resorts. Iberworld, together with former Iberostar's tour operators, and Viajes Iberia became the new Orizonia Group owned by the UK's Carlyle Group (55%), Spain's Vista Capital (36%), the ICG Equity Fund (5%) and ten of the company's managers (4%). Later that same year, Iberworld carried over two million passengers, a major milestone in the airline's history.
Iberworld took delivery of three A330-300 series aircraft, the larger A330 variant, another A320-200 (from Iberia) and leased the A330-200 to their Portuguese subsidiary Orbest. The modernized Airbus fleet of seven A320-200s, one A330-200 (leased to Orbest) and three A330-300s allowed Iberworld to report a profit every year since inception in 1998.
In 2008, the Iberworld fleet paint scheme was changed to a new design deemed more appealing and eye-catching.
On 1 May 2011, the airline was rebranded and changed its name to Orbest Orizonia.
On February 28, 2013, it was announced publicly that the Spanish travel agency group Viajes Barceló would buy the airline Orbest along with another travel agent chain called Vibo. Orbest previously employed over 800 employees but with this new deal by the Barceló group, the intention is to now employ even more people, just over 900 employees. The airline declared bankruptcy on 5 May 2013. However, its parent Orbest continues to operate.
By the time of ceasing operations, the Orbest Orizonia fleet consisted of the following aircraft:
|Airbus A320neo||0||1||180||To be delivered in 2017
Cancelled due to the Orizonia Group collapse
|Airbus A350-900||0||2||368||To be delivered in 2015
Orders cancelled due to Orizonia Group collapse.
- Airline Codes (November 2006)
- "Iberworld's Route Network". iberworld.com. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Contact us." Orbest Orizonia Airlines. Retrieved on 24 January 2013. "Orbest Calle Rita Levi S/N Edificio ORIZONIA CORPORACION. Parc Bit E-07121 Palma de Mallorca Spain"
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 92.
- "Iberworld – The First Eleven Years" – Airliner World, March 2009
- Orbest fleet
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