OLT Express

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This article is about the Polish airline. For the German sister carrier of that name, see OLT Express Germany.
OLT Express
OLT Express Germany logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
YAP/JEA WHITEKEKO/JETAIR
Founded 2009 (as Yes Airways)
Ceased operations 31 July 2012
AOC # PL-004/11[1]
Hubs
Focus cities Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport
Fleet size 13
Company slogan "Polska górą!"
Parent company Amber Gold
Headquarters Gdańsk/Warsaw, Poland
Key people Jarosław Frankowski (CEO)
Website www.oltexpress.com

OLT Express Poland (ICOA: YAP) was a Polish charter airline, formally known as Yes Airways. On 31 July 2012 it suspended all charter services, less than a week after the scheduled sister airline OLT Express Regional cancelled all its services. Stranded customers were returned home on LOT services.[2] All leased aircraft were repossessed by lessors, and even some wet lease pilots were released back to their employer airlines.[3] It is a sister airline of OLT Express Regional (ICOA: JEA), which filed for bankruptcy on 27 July 2012 after its licence was suspended by the Polish Aviation Authority.[4][5]

Yes Airways was founded in 2009 and was based in Warsaw. It began operations in late April 2011.[6] It flew from regional airports in Poland on behalf of tour operators, and was the first Polish airline to have Airbus aircraft in its fleet. In early 2012, YES Airlines was rebranded as OLT Express Poland by its new owners, Amber Gold, who also controlled OLT Express Germany and OLT Express Regional.[7] The airline's main hub was located at Warsaw Chopin Airport.[8]

On 31 July 2012 OLT Express Poland followed its sister airline OLT Express Regional in suspending all services. All leased aircraft were returned to their owners. The third sister company, OLT Express Germany, announced they are seeking an external investor to support operations, and fund the earlier announced takeover of Contact Air.[9]

OLT Express Airbus A320 at Warsaw Chopin Airport
An OLT Express ATR 42
OLT Express bus line from Gdansk airport to the city center

OLT Express Regional - Scheduled services[edit]

OLT Express Regional began life in 2001 as Jet Air, an airline operating in the business aviation sector, providing broker rendering services (small aircraft and helicopters) to local operators and companies. Jet Air started scheduled domestic operation for LOT Polish Airlines in winter 2005/06 with three BAe Jetstream 32, flying on routes with less demand (like Zielona Góra, Bydgoszcz, and Rzeszów).

On 11 October 2007, LOT Polish Airlines announced it would cut the amount of routes Jet Air would fly, citing the lesser desirability of Jetstream aircraft as well as limited demand for the destinations served by Jet Air. In the end, this enabled Jet Air to begin its own operation as a stand-alone airline. Jet Air-branded flights began in late 2007 and since then the airline rapidly expanded the number of destinations it flew to. Starting from October 2010, Jet Air operated flights on behalf of Ostfriesische Lufttransport (OLT) from their hub at Bremen Airport to both Nuremberg Airport and Brussels Airport.[10] These flights ceased in May 2011.

Amber Gold ownership[edit]

In February 2012, Jet Air, now called OLT Jetair, after being bought by the Amber Gold Group, restarted operations as OLT Express Regional. It began to utilise the larger jet aircraft of its new sister operator OLT Express Poland (previously known as Yes Airways, a Polish charter airline, whom Amber Gold bought 85% of shares) under the common brand OLT Express. Whilst both carriers technically retain their own operating certificates, they, along with OLT Express Germany, use a common marketing strategy, reservations system and sales structure.[11] Despite this, OLT Express' operations are not integrated with those of OLT Express Germany and both airlines operate their own individual route networks. OLT Express Regional's inaugural flight from Warsaw Chopin Airport to Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport took place on 1 April 2012.[12]

The airline's scheduled international and domestic flights were operated under the IATA/ICAO airline codes O2/JEA, using aircraft drawn from the fleets of both OLT Express Regional and OLT Express Poland, whilst charter flights were operated solely by OLT Express Poland, under the ICAO code YAP, using their Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft.

Application for bankruptcy in July 2012[edit]

On 25 July 2012, OLT announced it was undergoing a dramatic re-organisation. Amber Gold was not in a position to provide the funding needed to continue normal operation.

Under the re-organisation, all its ATR aircraft would be grounded. It says it intends to raise 8,000,000 pln from their sale; however, other sources state some of the aircraft are leased from Swift Air. The load factor on these flights was 11% according to the airline; however, they claim an overall load factor of 75% in June 2012, including its Airbus aircraft. It will cancel 14 routes served by these aircraft and move some crews across to the new Airbus craft due in September. However, some will have to be laid off as they would need to be fully retrained to operate these new aircraft.

The CEO of OLT admitted the airline was running at a substantial loss, approximately 600,000 euros per month. Ticket prices are due to rise from an average of 155 pln to 180 pln, and the number of the cheapest fare tickets on each flight will be reduced. Unlike other low-fares airlines, OLT had provided free drinks and snacks on its flights. They will stop this practice after the re-organisation and only provide free water, still unheard of for low-fares airlines. They intend to start their own catering company and re-introduce free catering and drinks on flights at a later date.[13]

Amber Gold claims to have invested roughly 52 million euro in the airline to date. The airline's credit card service providers, BZ WBK and Volkswagen Bank, have decided to terminate their relationship with the airline after they failed to provide guarantees the banks requested in July 2012.[14][15]

There was also a dispute with the Polish Aviation Authority as they have failed to submit financial reports for 2011. OLT Express claim they have submitted the reports but the PAA claim they have not. The PAA set a deadline of the end of July 2012 for the reports to be submitted, or their licence to fly might be suspended or revoked.[16][17]

On 26 July, 24 hours after announcing that ATR services would continue until 10 August, OLT announced all services using ATR aircraft would cease immediately.[18] Some domestic services using Airbus aircraft were also cancelled, casting major doubts over the airline's future. The Managing Director had said OLT would pay for passengers to fly with other airlines, and then reneged on this promise.[19][20]

On 27 July, all flights were suspended without notice and ticket sales were stopped. The website featured a banner which translates as "Ladies and Gentlemen, please be advised that from 27 July, all regular flights are suspended until further notice. At the same time the sale of airline tickets will be halted."[21] The airline had been flying for less than four months at that point. The airline head, Jarosław Frankowski, claimed to be in advanced talks with another airline to sell the company entirely.[22][23] After failing to find a buyer and with credit card companies demanding far bigger deposits, the airline had insufficient cash-flow to continue. On 27 July 2012, they filed for bankruptcy, less than four months after starting operations.[15]

Amber Gold financial questions[edit]

The Chairman[24] of Amber Gold, Marcin Plichta, is a former bankrupt and was also convicted of embezzling 174,000 PLN (approx. US$80,000) from ca. 400 customers of his previous business, Multikasa, in 2008.[25] He was given a 10-month sentence, suspended for 2 years. After the conviction he changed his name from Stefanski to Plichta. He was only 24 years of age at the time.[26] His wife, Katarzyna Plichta is Chairperson of the Supervisory Board. Amber Gold is not approved by the Financial Supervision Authority to operate as a financial institution, and the FSA has gone to court in relation to this.[27] The FSA have also issued a public alert to make that clear to potential customers, many of whom have had to wait months to recover money in the past.[28] Amber Gold has since claimed it is a business that trades in precious metals and simply enters into storage contracts with its customers.[29] The company claims to have about 100 kg of gold in reserve to cover deposits.[30] It transacts its business through brokers. Their claim to offer up to 13.9% guaranteed annual returns[31][32] has come in for scrutiny. In late July 2012 clients again stated they had difficulty recovering their money from Amber Gold.[33] It had taken the Polish FSA to court for issuing a public alert which Amber Gold says is affecting its reputation. Amber Gold announced their intention to exit the airline industry entirely after both OLT Express Regional and Poland cancelled all operations.[34]

On 13 August 2012, Amber Gold was liquidated.[35]

Destinations[edit]

List of all served, planned and terminated flight destinations of OLT Express (until 31 July 2012 when it ceased all operations) and its airline predecessors: Jet Air (until 31 July 2011), OLT Jetair (until 23 March 2012) and Yes Airways.

Charter flights destinations[edit]

Planned destinations (never commenced due to airline's bankruptcy)
Terminated destinations

Destinations served by charter flights designated with the ICAO code YAP in the 2012 summer season.

City Country IATA code ICAO code Airport
Aqaba Jordan AQJ OJAQ King Hussein International Airport[36]
Antalya Turkey AYT LTAI Antalya Airport[36]
Batumi Georgia BUS UGSB Batumi International Airport[37]
Bodrum Turkey BJV LTFE Milas-Bodrum Airport[36]
Bydgoszcz Poland BZG EPBY Bydgoszcz Ignacy Jan Paderewski Airport
Chania Greece CHQ LGSA Chania International Airport[37]
Corfu Greece CFU LGKR Corfu International Airport[38]
Dalaman Turkey DLM LTBS Dalaman Airport[38]
Dubrovnik Croatia DBV LDDU Dubrovnik Airport
Gdańsk Poland GDN EPGD Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport[36]
Gothenburg Sweden GOT ESGG Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport[36]
Heraklion Greece HER LGIR Heraklion International Airport[36]
Hurghada Egypt HRG HEGN Hurghada International Airport[36]
Izmir Turkey ADB LTBJ Adnan Menderes Airport[37]
Katowice Poland KTW EPKT Katowice International Airport[36]
Kraków Poland KRK EPKK John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice
Lanzarote Spain ACE GCRR Lanzarote Airport[36]
Luleå Sweden LLA ESPA Luleå Airport[36]
Marsa Alam Egypt RMF HEMA Marsa Alam International Airport[36]
Mombasa Kenya MBA HKMO Moi International Airport[36]
Monastir Tunisia MIR DTMB Habib Bourguiba International Airport
Örebro Sweden ORB ESOE Örebro Airport[39]
Palma de Mallorca Spain PMI LEPA Palma de Mallorca Airport[36]
Poznań Poland POZ EPPO Poznań-Ławica Airport[36]
Rhodes Greece RHO LGRP Rhodes International Airport[36]
Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt SSH HESH Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport[36]
Stockholm Sweden ARN ESSA Stockholm-Arlanda Airport[39]
Sundsvall Sweden SDL ESNN Sundsvall-Härnösand Airport[36]
Taba Egypt TCP HETB Taba International Airport[36]
Umeå Sweden UME ESNU Umeå Airport[36]
Varna Bulgaria VAR LBWN Varna Airport
Warszawa Poland WAW EPWA Warsaw Chopin Airport[36]
Wrocław Poland WRO EPWR Copernicus Airport Wrocław[36]
Zadar Croatia ZAD LDZD Zadar Airport[36]
Zakynthos Greece ZTH LGZA Zakynthos International Airport[36]

Destinations served by Yes Airways[edit]

Destinations served only prior to name change from Yes Airways to OLT Express.

City Country IATA code ICAO code Airport
Faro Portugal FAO LPFR Faro Airport[40]
Fuerteventura Spain FUE GCFV Fuerteventura Airport
Gran Canaria Spain LPA GCLP Gran Canaria Airport
Oujda Morocco OUD GMFO Angads Airport[41]
Szczecin Poland SZZ EPSC "Solidarity" Szczecin-Goleniów Airport[40]

Scheduled flights destinations[edit]

Destinations served by scheduled passenger flights designated with airline codes O2/JEA.[42]

City Country IATA code ICAO code Airport
Amsterdam Netherlands AMS EHAM Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Barcelona Spain BCN LEBL Barcelona El Prat Airport
Bristol United Kingdom BRS EGGD Bristol Airport
Brussels Belgium BRU EBBR Brussels Airport
Bydgoszcz Poland BZG EPBY Bydgoszcz Ignacy Jan Paderewski Airport
Cologne Germany CGN EDDK Cologne Bonn Airport
Cork Ireland ORK EICK Cork Airport
Dortmund Germany DTM EDLW Dortmund Airport
Edinburgh United Kingdom EDI EGPH Edinburgh Airport
Frankfurt Germany HHN EDFH Frankfurt-Hahn Airport
London United Kingdom LGW EGKK Gatwick Airport
Gdańsk Poland GDN EPGD Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport
Gothenburg Sweden GOT ESGG Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport
Hamburg Germany HAM EDDH Hamburg Airport
Katowice Poland KTW EPKT Katowice International Airport
Kraków Poland KRK EPKK John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice
Liverpool United Kingdom LPL EGPP Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Lyon France LYS LFLL Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport
Łódź Poland LCJ EPLL Łódź Władysław Reymont Airport
Marseille France MRS LFML Marseille Provence Airport
Memmingen Germany FMM EDJA Memmingen Airport
Milan Italy BGY LIME Orio al Serio Airport
Münster Germany FMO EDDG Münster Osnabrück International Airport
Newcastle upon Tyne United Kingdom NCL EGNT Newcastle Airport
Oslo Norway OSL ENGM Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
Paris France ORY LFPO Paris-Orly Airport
Poznań Poland POZ EPPO Poznań-Ławica Airport
Reykjavík Iceland KEF BIKF Keflavík International Airport
Rome Italy FCO LIRF Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport
Rzeszów Poland RZE EPRZ Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport
Saarbrücken Germany SCN EDDR Saarbrücken Airport
Stuttgart Germany STR EDDS Stuttgart Airport
Szczecin Poland SZZ EPSC "Solidarity" Szczecin-Goleniów Airport
Venice Italy VCE LIPZ Venice Marco Polo Airport
Verona Italy VRN LIPX Verona Airport
Warsaw Poland WAW EPWA Warsaw Chopin Airport
Wrocław Poland WRO EPWR Copernicus Airport Wrocław
Zadar Croatia ZAD LDZD Zadar Airport

Destinations served by Jet Air and OLT Jetair[edit]

Destinations served by Jet Air (until 31 July 2011) and OLT Jetair (until 23 March 2012) but not offered by OLT Express. This list does not include destinations served solely by codeshare flights.

City Country IATA code ICAO code Airport
Berlin Germany TXL EDDT Berlin Tegel Airport[43]
Berlin Germany THF EDDI Berlin Tempelhof Airport[44]
Bremen Germany BRE EDDW Bremen Airport[45]
Copenhagen Denmark CPH EKCH Copenhagen Airport[43]
Dresden Germany DRS EDDC Dresden Airport[46]
Helsinki Finland HEL EFHK Helsinki Airport[47][A]
Heringsdorf Germany HDF EDAH Heringsdorf Airport[45]
Lappeenranta Finland LPP EFLP Lappeenranta Airport[47][A]
Munich Germany MUC EDDM Munich Airport[45]
Nuremberg Germany NUE EDDN Nuremberg Airport[45]
Oulu Finland OUL EFOU Oulu Airport[47][A]
Prague Czech Republic PRG LKPR Prague Ruzyně Airport[48]
Rotterdam Netherlands RTM EHRD Rotterdam The Hague Airport[49]
Stockholm Sweden BMA ESSB Stockholm-Bromma Airport[47][A]
Tampere Finland TMP EFTP Tampere-Pirkkala Airport[47][A]
Turku Finland TKU EFTU Turku Airport[47]
Vienna Austria VIE LOWW Vienna International Airport[43]
Zielona Góra Poland IEG EPZG Zielona Góra Airport[46]
Note

Fleet[edit]

The day OLT Express ceased operations, its fleet consisted of the following aircraft (as of 26 July 2012):[50][51][52]

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Operator Note
Airbus A319-100 2 156 OLT Express Poland (YAP)
Airbus A320-200 9 180 OLT Express Poland (YAP)
ATR 72-200 2 68 OLT Express Regional (JEA)
ATR 42-300 2 48 OLT Express Regional (JEA)
Total 15

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wykaz posiadaczy Certyfikatu Przewoźnika Lotniczego (AOC)" (in Polish). Civil Aviation Office. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Holidaymakers stranded as OLT Express suspends charters - Thenews.pl :: News from Poland". Thenews.pl. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  3. ^ "Updated: Air Malta suffers lease setback". timesofmalta.com. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  4. ^ http://wyborcza.pl/1,91446,12206556,OLT_Express_Regional_zlozy_wniosek_o_upadlosc_ugodowa.html
  5. ^ "OLT Express bez koncesji. Spółka złoży wniosek o upadłość? - WPROST". Wprost24.pl. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  6. ^ "Start Yes Airways" (in Polish). Business Traveller Poland. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Anna Żuchlińska (29 December 2011). "Yes Airways to już OLT Express Poland" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Lotnisko w Gdańsku atrakcyjne jako baza. Teraz dla OLT Express" (in Polish). Rynek Infrastruktury. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "OLT Express to take over Contact Air operations | CAPA". Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  10. ^ "Neues Fluggerät nach Brüssel und Nürnberg" (in German). OLT. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Kazimierz Netka (22 September 2011). "Gdańsk: Jet Air uruchamia loty z Rębiechowa do Pragi i Hamburga". Dziennik Bałtycki (in Polish). Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Pierwszy lot nowych polskich linni. Tańsze niż pociąg". Gazeta.pl (in Polish). 1 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Autor Jakub Malczewski (2012-07-25). "OLT Express podnosi ceny biletów i kasuje trasy. Ucieka przed bankructwem? - Transport - Gazeta Prawna - wiadomości, podatki, prawo, biznes i finanse". Serwisy.gazetaprawna.pl. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  14. ^ http://biznes.onet.pl/olt-express-podnosi-ceny-i-idzie-na-sprzedaz,51502,5199344,news-detal
  15. ^ a b "OLT Express złożył wniosek o upadłość - Finanse - WP.PL". Finanse. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  16. ^ pap (2012-07-24). "Koncesja OLT Express na włosku". rp.pl. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  17. ^ Autor Cezary Pytlos (2012-07-24). "OLT Express pod lupą Urzędu Lotnictwa Cywilnego - Transport - Gazeta Prawna - wiadomości, podatki, prawo, biznes i finanse". Serwisy.gazetaprawna.pl. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  18. ^ "OLT Express od jutra odwołuje wszystkie loty samolotami ATR" (in Polish). Wiadomosci.gazeta.pl. 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  19. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/biznes/1,100896,12200153,OLT_Express_odwoluje_wszystkie_loty_samolotami_ATR_.html
  20. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/biznes/1,100896,12196790,Kto_kupil_bilet_OLT_Express_na_likwidowane_polaczenie_.html
  21. ^ "oltexpress.com". oltexpress.com. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  22. ^ "Low cost OLT Express airline suspends flights - Thenews.pl :: News from Poland". Thenews.pl. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  23. ^ "Airline OLT Express grounds all flights - Warsaw Business Journal - Online Portal". wbj.pl. 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  24. ^ http://www.ambergold.com.pl/pl/dokumenty/kadra_zarzadzajaca
  25. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/biznes/1,101562,7776719,Z_wyrokiem_za_przywlaszczenie_prowadzi_firme_posrednictwa.html
  26. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/biznes/1,100969,11795532,_PB___Sukces_skazony_przeszloscia.html
  27. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/finanse/1,105684,8053252,Ministerstwo_Gospodarki__Natychmiastowy_zakaz_dzialalnosci.html
  28. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/biznes/1,101562,7539476,Klienci_Amber_Gold_czekaja_na_przelewy__a_firma_nadal.html
  29. ^ http://wyborcza.biz/biznes/1,101562,8160325,Amber_Gold__Mimo_zakazu_ministra_przyjmuje_lokaty.html
  30. ^ http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=pl&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=pl&tl=en&u=http://trojmiasto.gazeta.pl/trojmiasto/1,35636,12167716,Amber_Gold_sia_otwiera_i_atakuje_Komisje_Nadzoru_Bankowego.html&usg=ALkJrhi6bpmy0rcyM9gyWZ14855IdWSneA
  31. ^ http://insidetraveller.co.uk/fools-gold/
  32. ^ http://www.ambergold.com.pl/pl/katalog/lokaty_i_inwestycje/lokata_w_zloto_medalowa
  33. ^ http://biznes.gazetaprawna.pl/artykuly/633766,olt_express_nie_boi_sie_o_wlasciciela_ma_plan_b.html
  34. ^ http://wyborcza.pl/1,91446,12228042,Niemcy__OLT_Express_Germany_szuka_nowego_inwestora.html
  35. ^ Amber Gold Liquidated
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Airplanes flying for OLT Express Poland → Latest flights". flight24.com. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  37. ^ a b c "Przeloty czarterowe" (in Polish). Biuro Podróży Itaka. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  38. ^ a b "Rozkład lotów TUI Polska" (in Polish). TUI Polska. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  39. ^ a b "Tidtabell för Scandjets charterflyg till Kroatien" (in Swedish). Scandjet. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  40. ^ a b "Yes Airways: Loty do Portugalii" (in Polish). MojePrzeloty.pl. 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  41. ^ "YES AIRWAYS: Loty dla Itaki" (in Polish). Latajznami.pl. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  42. ^ "Flight schedule". oltexpress.com. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  43. ^ a b c Paweł Cybulak (2008-02-29). "Łódź - Wiedeń, Kopenhaga i Berlin" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  44. ^ Paweł Cybulak (2007-11-30). "Jet Air: Kopenhaga, Berlin, Katowice" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  45. ^ a b c d Anna Żuchlińska (2011-07-12). "Jet Air poleci ponownie dla OLT" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  46. ^ a b Marcin Jędrzejczak (2009-06-16). "Jet Air poleci do Drezna" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  47. ^ a b c d e f Anna Żuchlińska (2010-02-21). "Jet Air rozszerza współpracę z Wingo" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  48. ^ Paweł Cybulak (2011-09-22). "OLT Jetair uruchamia nowe trasy" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  49. ^ Anna Żuchlińska (2011-01-20). "Jet Air: Z Gdańska do Rotterdamu" (in Polish). Pasazer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  50. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/OLT-Express-Poland#AirlineFleetList
  51. ^ http://www.airfleets.net/flottecie/OLT%20Express.htm
  52. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/OLT-Express-Regional#AirlineFleetList

External links[edit]