|Ceased operations||11 August 2012|
|Key people||Antonino Pulvirenti (Founder, Chairman & CEO)|
Wind Jet S.p.A., was an Italian low-cost airline based in Catania, Italy. It was founded in 2003, following the disbandment of "Air Sicilia", by current CEO Antonino Pulvirenti, also owner of football team Calcio Catania. On 11 August 2012 the airline ceased operations until further notice due to financial troubles. At that time it was the third-largest Italian airline by passenger numbers, and operated national and European flights primarily from its hub in Catania.
Windjet was established in 2003 and started operations on 17 June 2003. It is 100% owned by the Finaria Group.
On 25 January 2012, Alitalia declared they would start a merger with Wind Jet, as well as with Blue Panorama, another Italian airline. On 12 April 2012, Alitalia chose to pursue the acquisition of the sole Wind Jet with a cash payment between 20 and 30 million €, abandoning the project of merger with Blue Panorama Airlines.
By the end of July 2012, the Italian antitrust authority granted Alitalia to acquire Wind Jet, but in return Alitalia would have to give up slots on domestic key routes. Faced with this, Alitalia cancelled the plans a few days later in August 2012. As a result, the cash-strapped airline suspended all flights on 11 August 2012, faced with losing their air operators certificate, leaving 300,000 passengers stranded. The Italian authorities tried to prompt Alitalia for an acquisition of Wind Jet, but they could not prompt Alitalia to acquire the grounded airline.
Wind Jet aircraft are currently parked in Dublin Airport, Ireland pending a decision on their future.
The charter airline Livingston announced to took over several flights of Wind Jet, but it is unclear, if they will continue to operate the routes in the future.
The Wind Jet fleet consisted of the following aircraft (as of 23 May 2012):
Incidents and accidents
- On 24 September 2010,Wind Jet Flight 243, operated by an Airbus A319-132, registration EI-EDM, landed short of the runway at Punta Raisi Airport, Palermo, Italy after encountering a thunderstorm and windshear on approach. The aircraft was substantially damaged when it impacted the localiser—both main undercarriage sets collapsed and the aircraft was evacuated by the emergency slides. Around twenty passengers were injured, mostly sustaining minor cuts and bruises, whiplash, and shock. One passenger was reported to have dislocated his shoulder. The Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo opened an investigation into the accident. Wind Jet stated that they believe windshear was the cause of the incident. The trial opening in 2013 takes its bases on the accusation that it was not caused by windshear but to errors of the two pilots. Both of them have asked to be processed via short-trial procedure.
- "Contact." Wind Jet. 2 April 2009. Retrieved on 12 August 2012. "Windjet Spa Baglio della Sementa SP 69/II 95121 Passo Martino (CT)"
- Alitalia plans merger with Blue Panorama and Wind Jet Flightglobal; retrieved on 26 January 2012.
- "Alitalia: si rafforza in low cost e aggancia Wind Jet (Mess)" (in Italian). Borsa Italiana. April 12, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
- Alitalia cancelled Wind Jet acquisition
- Chaos as Italian budget airline Wind Jet halts flights, BBC News Europe, 12 August 2012
- volaspheric: No hopes for grounded Wind Jet
- volaspheric: Livingston becomes successor of failed Wind Jet
- "EI-EDM Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Hradecky, Simon (24 September 2010). "Accident: Windjet A319 at Palermo on Sep 24th 2010, touched down short of runway". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Fuori pista Airbus della Wind Jet Feriti in modo lieve 20 passeggeri" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Incidente aereo all’aeroporto Falcone e Borsellino di Palermo: Airbus Wind Jet va fuori pista, feriti" (in Italian). Cronaca. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Palermo, aereo da Roma fuori pista: venti feriti lievi, forse si è rotto il carrello" (in Italian). Il Messagero. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "A 319 fuori pista a Palermo. Indagine ANSV" (in Italian). Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "L'incidente aereo di Punta Raisi: le voci in cabina prima dell'urto" by La Repubblica, Apr 04 2013
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