Flybe has agreed with Olympic Air to provide 4 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 in the form of wet lease (aircrafts with pilots, cabin crew and engineering support) for the start up period of August 2009 until September 2010. The aircraft will be based in Athens and will operate under the Flybe's AOC. They are expected to return to Flybe at the end of the lease period.
The Flybe press release is as follows:
Press Information: June 17th 2009
FLYBE TIE-UP WITH OLYMPIC AIR ON REGIONAL FLIGHTS
Flybe, Europe’s largest and most successful regional airline, is delighted and proud to announce its support for the summer start-up of Greek airline, Olympic Air.
By providing Olympic Air with four Bombardier Q400 aircraft, with pilots, cabin crew and engineering support, the deal is yet more evidence of Flybe’s growing reputation as a quality provider of professional ‘turn-key’ solutions in the global aviation market.
The ‘wet lease’ arrangement is from August 2009 until September 2010, at which point, the aircraft will return to Flybe. Based in Athens, the aircraft will become part of the New Olympic business and, operating under the Flybe Airline Operating Certificate (AOC), will be fully crewed by Flybe pilots and cabin crew and maintained by Flybe engineers.
The deal, which was officially announced at the prestigious Paris Air Show is the latest in a line of innovations which have highlighted Flybe’s ability to not only ride out the recession but place it in a position where it will emerge stronger and more competitive when the upturn arrives.
In what is a major extension of the Flybe brand, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jim French says: “The partnership with Olympic Air is an exciting development for Flybe. Following on from our Air Transport World Regional Airline of the Year award, this is a major extension of the Flybe brand and is a very important milestone in Flybe’s development.”
He adds: “The Flybe business model has been a great success over the last eight years and as a result I am proud that we will be one of the very few airlines likely to
announce a profit for the 2008-09 financial year.
“Over the past 18 months or so, Flybe has been offered literally dozens of opportunities to start up or support start-ups globally all of which, until this one, we have declined. Flybe’s senior management team is 100% convinced that this partnership with Olympic Air is a tremendous opportunity and dovetails perfectly with our brand. We look forward to it being a great success.”
It is yet unknown exactly which Flybe Dash 8 Q400s will be ferried to ATH but it is confirmed that all four of them will be re-branded with the Olympic Air logos etc.