PIA747
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Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:40 pm

A new entrant in the European charter scene.


Jordan's Air Universal plans Cyprus hub

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Jordan's Air Universal plans Cyprus hub

NICOSIA: Jordan-based Air Universal wants to use Cyprus's Larnaca airport as its hub to forge a link connecting the Americas with the Far East, its president said. "We want to connect the West and the East using Larnaca airport as a hub," Air Universal president Talal Abu Reyal said. Abu Reyal said he registered his airline in Cyprus last year and Cypriot authorities are about to wrap up certification of his fleet of two Boeing 747-230Bs that could pave the way for charter flights as early as next month.

"Certification should be finalized in the second half of July," he said, but with the start of scheduled flights not materializing until early next spring.

Once everything is in place, Abu Reyal said he plans scheduled flights out of Larnaca to such far-flung destinations as Sao Paolo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Lahore, Pakistan and Jakarta.

For that, he would need to rely on his Cyprus-based jumbo fleet that will be augmented to six jets by the end of 2005, at an overall cost of $130 million.

Abu Reyal said he selected Larnaca as his base because it straddles three continents, with the fact that Cyprus is a fully fledged EU member also a strong selling point.

The Air Universal chief said his long-haul scheduled flight plans will not clash with domestic carriers, which fly short-to-medium routes to Europe and the Middle East.

He said a lot rides on the planned upgrade of Larnaca and its sister airport in Paphos as the viability of the venture would hinge on top-notch facilities being in place.

Pending the all-clear from Brussels, Nicosia is close to formalizing a deal with French-led consortium Hermes to revamp both airports for a reported 500 million euros ($598 million).

Although the island's market is minuscule relative to other countries, Abu Reyal said his plans include an alliance with national carrier Cyprus Airways and private carrier Helios to share passengers. Air Universal also wants to tap into the lucrative European market with its 350 million-strong consumer base. - AFP


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Beaucaire
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:59 pm

You have already Emirates,Gulf Air,Etihad,Qatar all going for the same west-east connecting passengers to the indian-subcontinent ,Australia and south -east Asia.
Why on earth would someone base such an operation at Larnaca airport,which has been designed to handle 2.5 Million passengers ( and now shuffles more than 5 Million ) and is among the worst connection airports in the Middle East ( Just Damascus is probabely worse...)
Not a good business plan and creating additional over-capacity....
Please respect animals - don't eat them...
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:36 am

Larnaca Hub is just to get a Cyprus AOC. Cyprus as you know is an EU member and opens up the big european market for Air Universal which the Sierra Leone AOC could not.
 
clipperno1
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 11, 2005 2:02 am

Wasn't the wet-lease Air Universal's shabby L1011 one of the reasons Onur Air got their landing rights revoked in the EU?

Quoting PIA747 (Thread starter):
are about to wrap up certification of his fleet of two Boeing 747-230Bs that could pave the way for charter flights as early as next month.

-230 means ex-Lufthansa and those birds have been sitting in desert for quite some time now or have been used by Air Pullmantur to the max.

Quoting PIA747 (Thread starter):
For that, he would need to rely on his Cyprus-based jumbo fleet that will be augmented to six jets by the end of 2005, at an overall cost of $130 million.

747 @ ~$22Mio. a piece. I wonder if those are fresh form C- or D-Checks.
EU Authorities will have a very close eye on them.
"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:09 am

Quoting ClipperNo1 (Reply 3):
747 @ ~$22Mio. a piece. I wonder if those are fresh form C- or D-Checks.
EU Authorities will have a very close eye on them.

Air Universal is not like anyother jordanian outfit. Their B747s are maintained by KLM. You can check on their website.
http://www.klm-engineering-maintenance.com/

Air Universal never leased a L1011 to Onur, it was Star Air & Sky Gate. Currently the UVS tristar is flying for Libyan Arab Airline.
 
AMSSFO
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:08 am

Isn't one of their 747s standing at AMS for months doing nothing? Couldn't they pay the bill or what?
 
clipperno1
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:27 am

Quoting PIA747 (Reply 4):
Air Universal is not like anyother jordanian outfit.



Quoting PIA747 (Reply 4):
Air Universal never leased a L1011 to Onur, it was Star Air & Sky Gate.

thanks for the correction. Hard to keep them apart.
Nevertheless, coming into Europe with an AOC issued in Sierra Leone, even if they get a new AOC issued in Cyprus, raises eyebrows at the aviation authorities. Look how fast they took Phuket Air & Onur Air out after a few irregularities. Air universal will have to show absolute "clean" operations.
"I really don't know one plane from the other. To me they are just marginal costs with wings."� Alfred Kahn, 1977
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:35 am

411A is a L1011 Captain with Air Universal, maybe he can give us an insight.
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sun Jul 17, 2005 3:30 am

The 747s are doing proving flights in cyprus right now.

How big of a threat is AIr Universal to other European B747 charter outfits such as Air Pullmantur, Air Plus Comet, European and AAI?
 
SBE727
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:08 am

Hi Guys,

Well in regards to a threat to the other european 747 operators, if Air Universal can do the routes on the cheap, then the tour ops will prob go with them so long as the operation is managed well.

Im not sure what Air Universal's on time performance is like but the likes of Excel Aviation who use every tom dick and harry to get the work will prob use them if the price is right.

No offence, i think Excel Aviation do a great job, but if they need an aircraft, they will use whatever they can get their hands on.

Most pax wont even realise who they are flying with, it amazes me how some people dont even know what country or resort they are meant to be going to.

eg: i asked a pax the other day where he was flying to, he replied spain, i said ok, where abouts, and he said dont know,so he asked the wife who replied, magaluf. Now its only because i know where it is that i was able to help him. i asked which airline, he didnt have a clue or which tour operator he had booked through. yet all the details where on his ticket.

I know that not all pax are like that but alot of them just havent got a clue what they have booked.

Anyway, less of me moaning

Lets all wait and see what happens with Air Universal
 
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LN-MOW
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:31 am

- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
 
brightcedars
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:36 am

Sounds like what they hope is to tap the Near East market (mainly Jordan, Lebanon & Syria) and establish connections to Brazil & Australia where these countries have ethnic links, via Cyprus.

Also sounds like a very shaky operation that will probably never even materialize; or not last very long if it takes off at all.
I want the European Union flag on airliners.net!
 
mainMAN
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:37 am

Quoting SBE727 (Reply 9):
eg: i asked a pax the other day where he was flying to, he replied spain, i said ok, where abouts, and he said dont know,so he asked the wife who replied, magaluf. Now its only because i know where it is that i was able to help him. i asked which airline, he didnt have a clue or which tour operator he had booked through. yet all the details where on his ticket.

One of my mates told me yesterday that he'd been to Magaluf, but hadn't realised that it was in Majorca......!

Re Air Universal......it's strange how you can tell which proposals have potential, and which sound a bit far-fetched. This reminds me of last year's crazy plan to start Backpacker services between MAN and MEL via BKK with a 743 (i think), karaoke bar and quizzes included.

There must be demand for connections to Melbourne, for example, from Greece and Malta, but isn't this why Emirates exists?
 
411A
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:04 am

Both of Air Universal's B747's are now fulled booked by Iran Air, and recently, a signed contract with PIA, with ops beginning in mid-July.

Both of Air Universal's TriStars are fully engaged on contract to Libyan Arab, with a full schedule of summer flying.

Two more B747's are planned for dedicated European (and later) North American charter flights, and several European contracts are in negotiation now.
Wet-lease and/or charter operations can be hugely profitable, if managed well, and so far-so good, from my perspective, on the big three motored Lockheed.

Time will indeed tell, for the future.
 
LJ
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:45 am

Quoting AMSSFO (Reply 5):
Isn't one of their 747s standing at AMS for months doing nothing? Couldn't they pay the bill or what?

To my suprise I read somewhere it will actually leave AMS in the near future after spending a couple of months doing nothing after a check
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:51 am

Quoting LJ (Reply 14):
To my suprise I read somewhere it will actually leave AMS in the near future after spending a couple of months doing nothing after a check

JY-AUA will probably head to Karachi.

411A: What routes is Libyan using the UVS tristar on?
 
411A
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:50 am

TIP and BEN to...
AMM
JED
DAM
CAI
DXB
TUN
CMN
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:54 am

From what i have heard, Universal has 2 more ex-Lufthansa machines on order for this year. They are undergoing their checks at Evergreen. Can somebody confirm their registerations?
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:47 am

This has to be the dumbest idea ever. Besides the fact that LCA is probably one of the worst airports ever and significantly overcapacity, I think being part of the EU would be a disadvantage. I mean, your target countries (Islamic nations from Pakistan to Lebanon) are all ones who even require Transit Schenegan visas ... so as Cyprus goes into the Schenegan system, these nationals would still be requiring a transit visa. Hmmm ... not the best hub in the world eh?
Live, and let live.
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:53 am

You seem to forget that Larnaca hub is just for the purpose of acquireing a Cyprus AOC. Once the AOC is in place, the aircaft will only be seen at Larnaca when out of work. Cyprus AOC opens the massive European charter market for Air Universal.

Yearlier this year a Spanish tour operator contracted air universal for flights from Madrid to Varadero, Cuba. The Spanish authorities did not allow this beacuse of the Sierra Leone AOC. This is lost revenue which Air Universal can tap whena Cyprus AOC is in place.
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:45 pm

ordan's Air Universal plans European sister carrier
Victoria Moores, London (22Jul05, 16:24 GMT, 410 words)

Jordanian-based charter and wet-lease operator Air Universal is planning to set-up a new long-haul Cypriot carrier under the same name.

Privately-owned Air Universal was established in January 2002. It owns two Lockheed L-1011s and a pair of ex-Lufthansa Boeing 747-200s, which its deploys on ad hoc wet-lease to airlines including Saudi Arabian Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Libyan Arab Airlines and Sudan Airways.

Chairman and CEO Talal Abu Reyal is planning to start a Cypriot Air Universal sister carrier, which will use a fleet of two-class Boeing 747s. �Cyprus is at the crossroads between east and west, north and south so it is strategically located. It is feasible to connect east with west,� he says.

The Cypriot arm of Air Universal is slated to begin charter and wet-lease operations from September, ahead of its scheduled debut next summer. It expects to carry 500,000-750,000 passengers in 2006 and requires around $120-150 million in funding, which Abu Reyal says he has secured from internal investors and loans.

Initially Abu Reyal plans to offer scheduled links between West Africa and the Gulf, via Larnaca, but he lists Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia, Latin America, Pakistan, India, southeast Asia, northern Europe and Australia as other potential destinations. Finalisation of the routes will depend on Cyprus� bilateral deals.

�In those markets we don�t believe that there is a current operator serving the market. We believe that there is a need for newcomers,� he says.

To support his plans Abu Reyal claims to have secured a further four Boeing 747-200s. Two ex-Lufthansa examples will join the Air Universal fleet in August and September, while the remaining two will arrive from Japan�s All Nippon Airways (ANA) in October and early December.

While the L-1011s will remain in Jordan and will ultimately be replaced with Boeing 767s or Airbus A300-600s, a number of the 747s will be moved to the Cypriot register to support the airline�s new, main focus of operation. Air Universal�s Boeing fleet is maintained by KLM.

Abu Reyal says that the carrier is also planning to operate freight aircraft from next year. �If we don�t buy freighters we will convert some of our fleet,� he says.

While the sister carriers will co-operate closely, he says they are �completely independent� of one another. The new operation will have its headquarters in Larnaca and will employ mainly Cypriot and European staff. Abu Reyal says that the carrier will seek partnerships with local operators such as Cyprus Airways.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news
 
melpax
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:36 pm

Quoting MainMAN (Reply 12):
There must be demand for connections to Melbourne, for example, from Greece and Malta, but isn't this why Emirates exists?

Melbourne has the biggest Greek population outside of Greece, as well a big Turkish & Lebanese population. If the price is right, they could do quite well with the VFR sector, as well as another option on the Kangaroo Route.
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:00 pm

I cant see this airline flying into India. CY wanted to fly to India in 2003 and AI wanted to be compensated and wanted code-share and some seats. CY was not willing to pay the price. I doubt things have changed since then.
Live, and let live.
 
PIA747
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RE: Jordan's Air Universal Plans Cyprus Hub

Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:04 am

I dobt this airline will ever get into scheduled airline business. It would offer adhoc and holiday charters like Air plus Comet and Air Pullmantur.

They are recieveing 2 more ex-Lufthansa B742s in the coming weeks.