Leisure airline

Azur Air is down to one plane

The high-flying plans of start-up leisure airline Azur Air Germany are disappearing into thin air and the Turkish-owned carrier is now operating just one jet.

August 02, 2018
Azur Air has returned its final B767-300ER long-haul plane.
Photo: AZUR air

Azur Air took off as a new charter airline on the German market last year with two long-haul B767 planes flying mostly for its German parent company Anex Tour, a new tour operator that launched in 2017. But it has now downsized to one B737-900 flying short- and medium-haul routes.

An airline spokeswoman confirmed that the final B767 had been returned to the parent group and the Berlin base will be closed with the loss of 90 jobs.

Anex Tour, part of the Turkish-based Anex Tourism Group, launched Azur Air flights from Düsseldorf to the Dominican Republic last July but immediately faced technical problems with the first B767-300 plane that forced it to cancel flights and re-book passengers at very short notice.

It then expanded to two 332-seat B767s, flying to the Dominican Republic as well as on European routes, and even had plans to expand the fleet to seven planes.

But Azur already scaled back to just one B767 last winter, which operated twice-weekly flights from Düsseldorf to Punta Cana and Varadero, as well as Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Gran Canaria. This summer the airline is flying to Palma, Hurghada, Antalya and Einfidha.

Apart from technical problems, the new charter airline faced intense competition following the insolvencies of Air Berlin and Niki. Eurowings, Condor and Easyjet have all invested in more planes, additional staff and new routes, leaving little room for it to grow.

This winter Azur Air plans to operate flights from Düsseldorf to Majorca, Tunisia and Turkey with the B737-900 plane. It then hopes to add a second plane for next summer.

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