Jmc777
Topic Author
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2000 3:07 am

New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 3:04 am

Does anyone know anything about this new airline?

I went to the website and got background info, but the site hasn't been updated since June 2000. I e-mailed the CEO with some questions but got a rather abrupt response saying that all the info was on the site and well...it isn't.

If anyone has any further insights as to when they will be starting up could they let me know!! I know they anticipated taking all of Delta's L1011's and some from Kitty Hawk but I've no idea if they actually have an AOC yet.

Cabin crew positions seem okay, with some opportunity to be based overseas for a while, but again no hard info. I have scoured every airline magazine I can get my hands on to no avail....HELP!!!!!!!


Thanks everyone

jmc777  
 
g-beak
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2000 6:09 am

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 3:23 am

I only know what I've seen on the webpage. I like the idea of TriStars but they should be at Glasgow not Prestwick. Also I can't actually believe that someone is considering basing an airline in the West of Scotland with the word 'Celtic' in the title. It might be 'keltic' as opposed to 'seltic' but I doubt that will make much difference to approx. 50 % of the population who will probably refuse to travel on it! Its a recipe for disaster. Being of the Bluenose persuasion myself, I can't say I'm happy at the prospect of my beautiful TriStars having that plastered all over them!
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 4:07 am

Don't worry too much. The whole thing looks like a very haphazard operation anyway. Getiing 44 thirty year old Tristars and wet leasing them to airlines that don't exist anymore?? I'm not to optomistic.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:06 am

I wonder how many of the 264 odd tristars built are still around. Get prepared for long delays, pax !
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:09 am

Don't see any reasons for the operation to fail, the airline appears to be intending to operate in a similar vein to Air Atlanta, operating large aircraft on ACMI leases to various airlines around the world on short and long term contracts. This type of work is profitable, because the aircraft are used to assist airlines that have short-falls in capacity, and the lessor is able to charge a higher price, as the airline requiring the aircraft doesn't have much choice if they are to avoid disruption to their schedules.

As for the aircraft being old, It doesn't really matter. Utilisation will not be as high as regular airline operations, so there will be plenty of time to keep the aircraft well maintained to ensure reliability.

Main bases will be Glasgow/Prestwick and Shannon.

I have also heard a rumour the airline plans low-fare scheduled Trans-Atlantic operations from Prestwick and Shannon to Portsmouth and Sanford in the USA. Portsmouth is the "low-fare" airport for Boston and Sanford is served by UK Charter airlines as an alternative to Orlando. The routes would be conditional on Ryanair providing feed at PIK/SNN and Pan Am providing feed at SFB/PSM.

Regards
JET SETTER
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: G-BEAK

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:30 am

You tell 'em, G-BEAK. It would cause a bit of a Sturm over here. They'd better not use any Il-62s! But I'd have thought you would have been more of the Bluebeak persuasion.
 
EyeSky
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 4:52 am

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 5:31 am

JMC777,

Check out this website for more info:

http://www.celticairways.com

Lots of good stuff here.
 
g-beak
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2000 6:09 am

RE: New Airline

Thu Sep 14, 2000 6:58 am

David L - I can just imagine it. Glasgow Fair Weekend, long flight delays, an untypically boiling hot Scottish summers day, Rab C Nesbitt style clones in their new strips (both teams), alcohol being consumed, a bit of the usual banter, tempers beginning to fray and then suddenly ... a green and white TriStar emblazoned with the word 'Celtic' appears. 50% start gloating and start shouting about IL62s (or something similar) to the other 50% who start shouting they won't go on that plane even if they are paid to. Before you know it you have riots, air rage and total mayhem. Anyone in a position of authority in the vicinity whether referee or airline captain may find themselves requiring pound coins extracted from their heads! Not my idea of a 'profitable operation'.

To anyone not following this, let me explain briefly. In Glasgow there are two football teams Rangers (simply the best one) and Celtic (the other one). They aren't exactly keen on each other and the majority of Rangers fans (approx 50% of the population) would refuse to go anywhere near a plane with the name 'Celtic' (same works vice versa). Therefore its maybe not the best idea anyone has ever come up with.

Anyway I thought Celtic already had an airline - Aer Lingus!
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Thu Sep 14, 2000 7:07 am

Guys, what you really should do is go to http://www.pprune.org and do a search on Celtic. You need a post from around 4/5/00

It turns out the guy who is forming this *airline* (Neil Robertson - The Guvnor) answers quite a few questions, and not really to the satisfaction of some people there.

The founder of Celtic has also been involved in failed ventures in the past, most recently, City Connexion Airlines and Africargo (both based in Burundi).

Wouldn't hold my breath on seeing this one taking off, especially when employees are required to invest in the company, and if training is needed, they have to pay for that as well.

I give Celtic Airways two thumbs down.

Cheers

Scotty

 
Guest

RE: Brissie

Thu Sep 14, 2000 7:17 am

Hey Brissie, this new airline that is destined to fail could use some "US alliances".

I was thinking of three, maybe four. How about Eastern, Pan Am, Valujet, or Air Florida?  
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: New Airline

Thu Sep 14, 2000 7:18 am

And I can just see the tower surrounded by hordes dressed in red, white and blue shouting "Hey, ATC, are you blind? That plane passed the holding point ages before you cleared it!" I wonder if they'll be allowed to fly their scarves from the windows.

Still, should generate a bit more business for the red, white and blue of BA and British Midland.

If any of the "other half" are out there, it's just a bit of fun otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned the Il-62s, obviously!  
 
Samurai 777
Posts: 2000
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 2:56 pm

RE: New Airline

Thu Sep 14, 2000 2:58 pm

I honestly don't know everything about starting and running such risky airline ventures like Celtic, but what about the so-called fuel crisis affecting the UK and the EU?

If fuel prices stay at present levels, wouldn't an airline with even a used L-1011 or two become really unprofitable due to higher fuel burn rates than newer a/c with similar capacity such as the A330-300(?) or the 767-300 and higher fares resulting in lower pax yields? I do unsterstand that it's common for many charters to take on older a/c because they're often cheaper to buy and they don't use such planes as much, so there is more time to maintain them, as Jet Setter said.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sat Sep 16, 2000 7:34 am

Actually, we are very confident it will be successful. Allow me to clear up a few misconceptions posted here:

1) Celtic Aviation was a codename we (ie management) selected for the project. We felt that 'Newco' was a bit passe. We have selected operational names which will be announced in the near future.

2)JMC777 - I do apologise for the abrupt response, but I get around 150 emails a day. If you have any specific questions, please email me again.

3) G-BEAK - little problem with GLA which you as a former L1011 crew member should remember .... GLA's runway is a lot shorter than PIKs. With PIK, we can get out at MTOW with all of the aircraft, even the -22B powered ones. PIK is also more accessible to the rest of Scotland (and northern England) than GLA is; they offer FREE rail and coach travel throughout Scotland to pax on new scheduled services for the first year of operation; and a 50% rebate thereafter. Parking is also a lot cheaper than GLA! Finally, there's a free coach link to Glasgow Central. With all that, who wants to use GLA?? 

4) Trip17 - there were 250 L1011s built, not 264.

5) Brissie_Lions - dunno where you get your info mate, both CCA and Africargo are alive and well. We will have training bonds, so no, you don't have to pay for training. Two thumbs down for you, matey!!  

6) The L1011's RB211-524B4s burns 10 - 15% LESS fuel than the DC10-30's CF6-50C2s. The higher the price of fuel, the cheaper the aircraft gets for our clients.
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Ceilidh

Sat Sep 16, 2000 7:53 am

All joking aside, I have reasons to be glad to see more heavy traffic at Prestwick so good luck to you.

 
Guest

RE: New Airline

Sat Sep 16, 2000 8:46 am

I think this is a first, an airline CEO responding to critisism and chat about his airline! Thank you Mr. Robertson for coming here and talking to us, it cetainly is an honor as you have made something materialize many on here have only dreampt about for years.

Could you perhaps, give us a more in-depth report on progress? I see the Tropical Airlines deal, have you locked up any others? Who is Tropical? How many "10"s have you acquired?

Many thanks in advance,

Russell


PS: I'm sure your busy putting your venture together, but if you could, would you tell a little about AfriCargo and the other Burudi airline under your administration?
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sat Sep 16, 2000 9:12 am

We're concentrating on the acquisition of our first aircraft at the moment - more on that hopefully next week - and will then progress from there through the KHI aircraft to the Delta fleet.

Unfortunately, Tropical were unable to fulfil their side of the contract and did not pay the required deposits. This caused us to breathe a sigh of relief, as the aircraft we were going to acquire for that were grossly overpriced and were in poor condition - and would consequently have had to have had substantial investment made in them.

Africargo operates the last two airworthy CL44D4s and a 707 as required. At present, the CL44s are on lease to an airline in the DRC. Its website is at http://www.africargo.com/

City Connexion Airlines (ICAO = CIX/IATA = G3) operates LET410UVPs; and has a website at http://www.cca-airlines.com/
 
Guest

RE: New Airline

Sat Sep 16, 2000 9:17 am


Ceilidh wrote:
5) Brissie_Lions - dunno where you get your info mate, both CCA and Africargo are alive and well. We will have training bonds, so no, you don't have to pay for training. Two thumbs down for you, matey!!
-------------------------------


HAHAHAHAHA! This Brissie lions guy just got shot down by the CEO of the company!!!!! That is awesome. We should get Jim Goodwin or Don Carty in here.... or Leo Mullin so we can tell him how crappy the new Delta colors look and hear what he has to say.

GO BEARS!
Pat
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sat Sep 16, 2000 9:54 am

Neil

I am merely going upon information which I have had relayed to me by people in the UK who have dealt with you. I took it as fact, but if I am wrong I am wrong. However I was told that you were run out of Burundi by the Government. Can you please tell us what the deal with CCA was? I did hear the Burundi Government nationalised. Is that correct? And why would they do it? Do you still have a connection with CCA and Africargo? If not, why not?

You seem to know a lot about the business, and have a business plan, but can you please explain to me where you plan on obtaining the money to purchase these L-1011's. Do you really expect to fund this purchase by employees putting up their own money? (as I have heard, please correct me if I am wrong). And as someone else has asked. Who exactly are Tropical Airlines? I can say I have never heard of them.

Any information and corrections you can provide is appreciated.

Cheers
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sat Sep 16, 2000 10:31 am

Brissie - Obviously the people in the UK who 'dealt' with me didn't!!   No, I was not run out of Burundi by the government - they did try and nationalise the various operations of TGZ Group - an Antwerp based precious metals trader which owns City Connexion as well as a bank (African Bank of Commerce) and a gold trading company (Affimet). A quick review of the CCA website will confirm all this.

In May last year, having done a deal with them to put Africargo's CL44s on their AOC and register one there (s/n 25, 9U-BHI), I was invited by the Group Chairman, Tony Goetz and his son Alain - who headed up the Burundi operations - to come in as CEO and make CCA into a 'real' airline, which I proceeded to to. I organised membership of the Multilaterial Interline Traffic Agreement with IATA; IATA designator and accounting codes, SITA and GDS memberships, and teh various print and other documentation requirements.

In February of this year, I left Burundi as planned to set up the European L1011 project, which I'm currently working on. A couple of days after I left, the government made a move to nationalise the various TGZ companies; but I understand from Alain Goetz that things have been resolved with the government. I remain the nominal CEO of CCA, although day to day operations are run by Claude Piquard.

I also continue to own Africargo, which is my personal operation; and I own the two CL44s operated by it in partnership with a Briton resident in South Africa and a New Zealander. These aircraft are on wet lease to a DRC airline.

The funding for the L1011 purchase and refurbishment will be coming from a number of sources; primarily investment firms and high net worth individuals who enjoy a 'punt'.

Again, your information that we expect employees to fund the company is completely wrong - we will be operating an ESOP to which all employees will belong (including myself and the rest of the management team) but obviously by that time we'll be up and running, with the primary funding fully in place.

Tropical International Airways is a St Kitts domiciled carrier which wishes to operate from STN to BGI and on to Brazil.

Your apologies are accepted! Now, who were these people in the UK? Feel free to email me with their details.
 
g-beak
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2000 6:09 am

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:36 am

Mr Robertson,

I do ever recall claiming to a former crew member. I don't know if you are confusing me with someone else.

Who exactly pays for the free rail travel? Am I correct in thinking it is not actually the airlines concerned but Prestwick Airport or the local council offering it as an incentive? Whoever it is, I suggest they buy themselves their own trains. I do not have a problem with free rail travel as long as it does not involve the current rail service from Ayr - Glasgow. I travel on this service and I am fed up of having to pay full fare and not only be unable to have a seat but also be unable to find enough floorspace to stand up because the train is full of Ryanair's "free" passengers and their luggage. Some of these people seem to have more excess baggage than passengers of Aeroflot or Nigeria Airways. Presumably the majority of your passengers will be using this train as they will need to go via Glasgow regardless of where they are travelling on to. The trains cannot cope now without up to another 400 passengers.

 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 5:24 am

Ms G-BEAK - sorry, I assumed you were probably cabin crew, probably ex Caledonian.

Actually, Stagecoach owns Prestwick Airport - they also, as you well know, own numerous coach companies as well as interests in rail operations. They therefore already own the trains that these passengers are travelling on!  If you're travelling from Ayr, I can't see what the problem is as you're joining the train long before PIK.

You'll also recall that I said that the free travel only applieds to the first 12 months - thereafter they have to pay 50%. So, Ryanair's "free" passengers are still paying!

I used to run a cargo operation in Nigeria and we made lots of money carrying WT's excess baggage, so I know what you mean!

We intend to operate a daily service from PIK to SFB and 3 times weekly to each of PSM and YHM. During the peak season, we'll probably at least double the SFB services; as well as operating charter services from PIK to Spain, the Med, North Africa and Caribbean. Target is to have 6 L1011s based ex PIK next summer if possible; which would equal probably 20 or so departures a day from there.

However, we'll tell Stagecoach they need to add more carriages to cope with all of those pax!  
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 7:24 am

Quite a few misleading statements in the postings of ´Ceilidh´. For interest do an historical search of pprune.org on the Rumours&News and Africa forums for postings from ´The Guvnor´.
Just a quick precise: Africargo is a virtual airline, existing only on its website which has not been updated in over 1 year. It has never operated any aircraft. The CL44´s are owned by Trans Lloyd Cargo/Skymaster Freight and have never had any connection with Africargo.
Yes ´Ceilidh´ did work for CCA, and yes he was instrumental in acquiring their international memberships. However his performance there was less than satisfactory. In personal communications Mr.Goetz has advised that NDR ¨cost us a lot of money¨.
It is very difficult trying to compose this in a non-flame manner, however ´Ceilidh´ has made claims that must be interogated.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 7:34 am

Gosh, it's a while since we've had some high-profile gossip around here! 
 
teahan
Posts: 4987
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: New Airline

Sun Sep 17, 2000 7:35 am

I back Ceilidh (The Guvnor) on this one. I have seen him poast on several local boards and I trust him 100%. He is a trusted person. Africargo is realIts weird that its often these people on there first post that attack good trusted users!

Jeremiah Teahan
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 8:29 am

Real? Sorry this virtual airline has never operated. It claims to have operated B707, C130, CL44, L1011 but never backed this up. Mr Robertson claims degrees for himself, and again fails to provide coroboration. I don´t deny that he can talk-the-talk, but try to find some substance behind it.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline

Sun Sep 17, 2000 9:19 am

I hope when you say "punt" you mean people who like to make an Irish pound, coz "punt" here in Aussie means the same thing, I am sure, as in Scotland, and the way that you write about *Celtic* on your website, it is a sure thing. I have a sure thing for Race 2, Flemington if you are interested  

Also, looks like you have some competition in the race for the purchase of Kitty Hawk's 6 L-1011-200s from R&R Aviation (they apparently also want to purchase DLs and BWs models as well). It has also been reported that the purchase by Celtic of BW's L-1011s is unlikely due to the lack of funding which is being experienced by Celtic.

I am not surprised in Tropical not paying any deposits. Airlines being formed in the Caribbean have a horrendous track record in actually making it past the drawing board, and I would also add, why would they pay any deposits to an airline which still does not have any aircraft.

One would also have to question any plans to fly 3 services a week PIK-PSM(Portsmouth) and PIK-YHM(Hamilton). One can understand PIK-SFB(Sanford, Orlando). Is the market out of PIK really that great to justify nearly 1000 seats per week to PSM and YHM. You aren't entering into an alliance with Pan Am and Westjet are you?

Are you looking at flying regional services as well? If so, I have the perfect aircraft for you. How about the Alliance StarLiner? Global Airlines has ordered a couple of hundred of them (not bad for an order from a virtual airline for a virtual aircraft) and I am sure Alliance would appreciate another order from another V.A. as well.

Also, as *nominal* CEO of City Connexion, may I make a suggestion. The website http://www.cca-airlines.com is way out of date, and doesn't look like it has been updated since December of last year (or are the Seasons Greetings for this coming Xmas period?). I would also remove all reference to the Ayres aircraft, as I heard that the order by CCA was cancelled by the airline. I would also update the site with the new email addys and fax numbers, as none of those on the site work (the fax number in Bujumbura just rang out when tried to dial it).

Also seeing as Africargo is also your airline, just going from your website, at africargo.com you mention that scheduled services to the following cities are on the boards: Vitoria, CPH, Hahn, LUX, MRU, SIN, SEL, TPE, HKG, Recife, SAO, BUE, SCL. Don't tell me these services are going to be operated with the CL-44, or are they going to be operated by, let me guess, a L-1011F? No wait...I just looked at the site in a bit more detail. Wow! You are getting 747Fs as well!

Does it sound like I am sceptical still? You bet I am. How about posting some photos of the Africargo aircraft on the Africargo website, instead of using stock photos of ex-Burlington (??) 707s, Transvalair CL-44s, etc. Seeing the Africargo aircraft in *black and white*, or colour, will at least end speculation that the airline actually exists.

Also it is noted that Africargo's headquarters moved to Bujumbura in March, yet contact details for the company are still in South Africa. Surprise, surprise, when I rang the South African number, I couldn't get thru (on either phone or fax).

Whatever happened to CCA Africargo as well? The website mentions this joint venture which will operate 707s or DC-8s. Nothing heard on that.

Any comments are welcome from Growler101...sorry...The Guvnor.....oops....Ceilidh.

Cheers
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 11:01 am

all I can say is wow!
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 1:01 pm

All that I can say is that unlike certain people here - eh, Freeboot/Freenum (to name but two of this character's PPRUNE identities) I'm up front with my identity and don't hide behind anonymity.   As has been clearly stated on several occasions, Africargo is a trading name; and the aircraft are operated on the AOCs of either the airlines they are leased to; City Connexion Airlines, Trans Lloyd Cargo or Skymaster Freight Services. The CL44s belong to myself, Mike Snow and Andrew Lawlor - Mike continues to run the CL44s and the JNB contact numbers on the Africargo website are his - and I have on occasion leased in B707s (operated as CCA Africargo) from various operators on an ad-hoc basis. Africargo's Air Waybills, for example, state quite clearly that although the Africargo name and logo is on them; they are in fact issued by City Connexion Airlines, Bujumbura and bear CCA's IATA accounting code - 323.

Very strange that Freeboot claims that "In personal communications Mr.Goetz has advised that NDR ¨cost us a lot of money¨ " as Alain and myself jointly own a leasing company and I certainly haven't heard any complaints from him!!  

Scott, dear boy - or Brissie_lions, if you prefer! - if you can guarantee that an airline - or any other business, for that matter - is going to be successful, then you are doing better than any other businessman in history. Even people like George Soros have losses - and curiously he also frequently refers to his investments as 'punts'. Life's a gamble, and anyone who claim's otherwise is dangerously naive!!  

R&R Aviation are even further behind than we are, and I certainly don't see them as any serious competition. Background checks on them show that aircraft they claim to have contracted for are still on offer from IAL; and one aircraft that has been described as 'in maintenance' in Amman has in fact been acquired for counter terrorist training.

Your lack of local knowledge is unfortunately showing as well, Scott - YHM is an excellent very low cost alternative to YYZ; and PSM is a mere 50 miles north of BOS. As you are doubtless well aware, BOS is an absolute nightmare to go through; and PSM will make a very viable alternative for us - all the more so with a stop in SNN (also applicable to SFB services) to pick up pax and also allow PIK originating pax to clear US Immigration.

And yes, we would be looking to establish an alliance with Pan Am (PSM and SFB); Westjet (YHM) and Ryanair (PIK and SNN). This is a win/win situation for all involved.

Finally, onto the websites - with the focus currently on the Celtic project, I simply haven't had the time - or inclination - to spend the effort on updating the Africargo or CCA websites. When it's critical that we do so, I will - but until then, who gives a monkeys anyway? With Africargo, we had plenty of plans and ideas - as one does - and I spent a great deal of time, effort and money on it but at the end of the day the ultra-low yields and requirements for high cost, high capacity aircraft to even begin to compete with the incumbents led to the abandoning of all but the CL44s and the odd 707 charter. Incidentally, the CL44 pictured on the site is indeed one of ours - currently in Kinshasa and registered 9Q-CTT (formerly 9U-BHI), leased to ATO.

So, Scott, do tell - how many airlines have you run, eh ... since you reckon you know it all? You know the old saying - Those that can, do; those that can't, criticise!  
 
Guest

Unsubstanciated Rumours

Sun Sep 17, 2000 3:58 pm

Those that can, do; those that can't, just tell tall tales.
Beware of the stories you tell about yourself Ceilidh.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 10:35 pm

You appear to have been banned, Vauxhall Cross!   
 
Craig
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu May 20, 1999 6:31 am

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Sun Sep 17, 2000 11:43 pm

Hi Ceilidh,

I just want to say Good Luck to your new airline and I'm sure it will be a success. I am quite looking forward to a new airline based at PIK and I'm sure that the rest of the Scottish population will be only too pleased to see a new airline operating direct to the USA. I'm sure the route to Florida will prove popular because at the moment there are no direct flights from Scotland to Florida (unless you fly a charter airline and there are never any seats left with them). Prestwick is also one of the most easily accessed airports in Scotland (I don't think there are any other airports in Scotland with their own station). I stay in Helensbugrh so it would certainly would be easy to take the train, via Glasgow Central to Prestwick instead of Car or coach to Glasgow International. Anyway, Hopefully I'll be able to fly on one of your flights sometime in the future.

Regards

Craig
 
Gunpowder
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 8:38 am

RE: New Airline

Sun Sep 17, 2000 11:59 pm

Teahan
Dont be fooled by the profiles of any of the posters on this thead, the whole subject has been laboriously disected on PPRuNe and all the same players are at it again. Yawn!
So far nothing new has surfaced, but we can always hope.
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: New Airline

Mon Sep 18, 2000 12:03 am

If Ceilidh wasn't such a difficult word for "foreigners" to pronounce (it's pronounced "Cailey", not "Seelidhuh"!), it would be a great name for the airline!
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Mon Sep 18, 2000 12:12 am

David L - just for the benefit of the non Celts here, a Ceileidh is what's colloquially known as a 'really good p*ss up"   

Gunpowder - I know; it's that loser Freeboot trying to stir things again. Serial stalker or what! Perhaps he should take up Zen Buddhism and get another life...   

Craig - many thanks for your good wishes. You're absolutely right - PIK is so much easier to get to than GLA!!
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Mon Sep 18, 2000 12:32 am

Neil

Do not think for one moment that I do not hope your airline is successful, coz I hope it is.

However, as you say, nothing is guaranteed in this business, and this is why I would think that buying (and refurbishing/upgrading) over 70 TriStars at start-up is really not the way to guarantee success. Most start-ups these days will begin services with a few aircraft, and then expand from there. Whereas, you seem to be going the whole hog, and have mentioned in another thread that $35 million would be spent on each aircraft upgrading and re-engining them (over a period of time). You are right, but I do not and have not run an airline in my time, however, when one talks of spending $35 million on refurbishing and re-engining an aircraft which is over 20 years old, one begins to wonder. Did you realise that for $35 million one can buy a brand spanking new Ilyushin Il-96 (having a Russian aircraft would fit in well with your operations out of Shannon, seeing as those guys are use to Russkii jet), and you don't have to outlay anything else for them. Hell, if you are buying 70 TriStars for whatever price (plus $35 million for upgrading), I am sure that if you were to commit to 70 Il-96's, Ilyushin would set up a spares base in Shannon just for Celtic. If you don't like my idea for the Russian jets, for roughly the same price, one could pick up used 757-200s which seem to be more suited to the Scotland-Canada/US market (judging by those airlines currently operating on the route. In other words, the TriStar IMHO has too much capacity to operate at a profit on routes out of Scotland (even if they do have modern engines and interior).

BTW, I was and am aware where Hamilton and Pease are situated. The reason I questioned services to these cities from Glasgow (and now Shannon) is because of the following:

Between Glasgow and Toronto you have the choice of these airlines:

Air Canada, Royal Airlines, Air Transat and Canada 3000 Airlines. The last three airlines are charter flights which are operated on a seasonal basis.

Between Shannon and Toronto you have:

Air Transat and Canada 3000 Airlines (both charter flights)

Between Boston and Glasgow you have

Icelandair (via KEF) and Aer Lingus (via DUB....direct connections). Aer Lingus also fly Shannon-Boston.

All of these airlines are long established and offer great service, or in the case of the charter airlines they are flying with reasonably newer aircraft.

This is why I questioned the need for an extra 1000 seats per week into Hamilton and Pease (more during the tourist season, as stated on the Celtic Airways website), when Toronto and Boston seem to be well serviced by airlines out of Glasgow as it is.

Just on the *other websites*, I suppose that when a customer tries to contact City Connexion via the details on the website, and they are unable to because the details are out of date, I would say that that more than warrants enough reason to update at least the contact details.

Just one other question I have for you. There was an airline called TransOceanic Airways which had registered www.transoceanic.net, and as the registrar was yourself, albeit with a South African address. Who exactly was TransOceanic and whatever became of them?

Let me close with another saying shall I? *The only way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start off as a billionaire.*

Good luck to ya.

Scotty

 
teahan
Posts: 4987
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Mon Sep 18, 2000 12:41 am

IL96's cost 76 million with European avionics and engines not 35 million!

Jeremiah Teahan
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Mon Sep 18, 2000 12:47 am

"a 'really good p*ss up'".

Hmm, you're right, I was thinking of its formal meaning, rather than what it actually is!

Another advantage of Prestwick, or at least it was when I used to visit it regularly, is the reduced congestion at the check-in.
 
Guest

Teahan

Mon Sep 18, 2000 1:08 am

Jeremiah.

I didn't say Il-96s with European avionics did I?

An Ilyushin Il-96-300 with PS-90A engines cost $33 million. This is based on an order for 3 from Xinjiang Airlines which cost $100 million (thanks for that Ilyushin96M).

The Il-96M which are powered with PW-2337s and have Rockwell/Collins avionics are not yet available, as the first three which are currently sitting on the production floor, in various stages of production, have only just received funding from Eximbank which will allow their finishing, from where they will go to Aeroflot. The prices that have been quoted for this model are between US$35-40 million. Where do you get a figure of $76 million from? Because all the Russian media I can find quote $35-40 million (including avia.ru, conciseb2b.com, aviamarket.ru).

Cheers
 
teahan
Posts: 4987
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: New Airline

Mon Sep 18, 2000 1:14 am

It is actually 76-78 million from the latest airliner world!
It is more than double of the cost of a IL96 300. It is still half the cost of an A340 or B777!

Anyway I do not want to start a fight with you Brissie_lions over this stupid issue!

Jeremiah Teahan
Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Mon Sep 18, 2000 2:38 am

Scott - first, to answer your question of "why L1011s" - the answer is simple. They were - and remain, probably the the best built widebodied aircraft in existence. I saw direct proof of that at Gamco earlier this year, when I was shown some ex Air Lanka L1011s that had been sold to Air Transat. Despite being in cosmetically a terrible condition, structurally there were no problems - no cracks, and only light corrosion. I was told of an A330 that had come in for its first heavy check at the end of 1999 - and over 50 cracks were found on it.

The L1011 has what is effectively an unlimited life in terms of its airframe; and by retrofitting engines etc we are doing the same as FedEx and Boeing are with their MD10 programme. Considering that the airframes cost zip in the first place, we have little or no risk entailed - and most importantly we end up with a trijet (and therefore non-ETOPs affected) version of the B767-200/300. And those aircraft are going for close on US$100 million at the moment.

As you'll have seen from the website, the primary thrust of the business is not the scheduled operations but is rather the provision of aircraft on an ACMI basis to carriers and tour operators worldwide. As you'll appreciate, we are acquiring the aircraft fully run out - especially the ex DL ones - and will therefore keep them parked until required. We can afford to do this at the price we're paying for them; the costs start to mount up with overhauls. The SuperStar project is a long term one - it's not going to happen for three to five years, as I said on another thread.

By working as an ACMI operator, we obviously give up the ability to make huge profits (if indeed huge profits are there to be made); in exchange for a guaranteed profit. This is the highly successful formula used by carriers such as Air Atlanta and Atlas Air.

Now onto the proposed scheduled services - as you've correctly identified, only one scheduled carrier serves YYZ direct from Scotland - AC - and there are no direct services to BOS. I went through BOS 10 days ago, and I can assure you it's a nightmare compared to PSM. The disadvantage of using PSM rather than BOS is of course the highly limited number of connections we can offer.

You've also correctly identified that there is substantial seasonal charter flights out of GLA to the various points we intend to serve. Given the nature of the product, we believe that tour operators - especially the independents - will prefer to use us rather than charter carriers.

I agree as well that the B757 is an excellent aircraft, and has the lowest seat mile costs of all the aircraft in service today. However, one of the keys to a successful operation is, I believe, the operation of a single type of aircraft, as has been proven by the likes of Southwest.

As for the other websites, CCA's market base is primarily Burundi based NGOs that are in contact with us on a daily basis, and the website was put together mainly to cover the proposed regional expansion that ended up not happening due in large part to the civil war, political situation and the regional war in the DRC.

With Africargo, the CL44s are on long term lease - and if anyone wants to contact me they can (and do) email me.

Transoceanic was my first airline, a highly successful company registered in Nigeria but based in OST. We started off with a single leased 707 (traded for 4 DC3s!) and finished following the government's radical devaluation which wiped out several other carriers with 2 707s and a DC8. Originally, Africargo was going to be called Transoceanic but the decision was taken to go for Africargo; and to get its own domain name.

Agree with you re starting off a billionaire!!    Still, it's worth a punt, as I say!

On the IL96M, Teahan is right - that's the figure being provided by Eximbank in its filings. Surely you don't think that the PW and Rockwell engines and avionics are just US$2 - 7 million more than the Russian equivalents?
 
Guest

Lionair - Off Topic

Tue Sep 19, 2000 1:05 am

G'day Neil

The following information has been published by Flight International in their world airline census'

The 1995 Airline census (published 5-11 April 1995) quotes Lionair as the following:

"PO Box 50695, Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa
tel: +27 (21) 683 1922 fax: +27 (21) 684 2278
Date established: 1994
Fleet: 2 x Boeing 727"

The 1996 airline census, published in Flight Int'l 3-9 April 1996 cites the following:

"Lionair (LNP)
PO Box 50695, Waterfront, Cape Town, 8002, South Africa
tel: +27 (21) 419 3669, fax: +27 (21) 419 3816
Services: Regional and domestic charter passenger and cargo
Date established: October 1993
Date operations started: 1 May 1995
Employees total: 120
Aircrew staff: 85
Engineering staff: 3
Executives:
President: ND Robertson
CFO: JD Krueger
VP Commercial: JD Wandall
VP Marketing: PD Roman
VP Operations: LR Thompson
VP Technical: WA Otteson
Chief Pilot: CM Briza

Fleet: 2 x Boeing 727
Plans: To acquire 6 x Boeing 727 and 2 x McDonnell Douglas
DC-10-30
Main base/hub: Cape Town
Services: Throughout Africa providing "instant airline" services for local and regional carriers.
Plans to begin scheduled domestic service in 1997.
Maintenance services: Safair"

The 1997 airline census reduced its coverage to one line:
"Lionair - ceased operating in 1995"

Firstly, I have been informed by reliable sources in South Africa (and no, I am not going to provide their details to you), that Lionair was non-existent, par se.

The figures from the 1996 census seem out-of-whack to me. 85 aircrew for only 2, yes 2, 727s?

Can you please expand for me on whether Lionair ever did actually begin operations. And why this information was provided to Flight International for their 1996 census, when as I mentioned previously, a couple of reliable sources in South Africa have stated that it is false, and I quote from one of them; "Lionair was never a serious project. The closest it ever got to reality was responding to a Flight International survey and spinning them a load of bull about how it owned a bunch of DC-10s and 727s and employed several hundred people based here in Cape Town. In fact, the only thing that the guy owned was a postal box at the V&A Waterfront (our version of Sydney's big shopping centre on the harbour edge the name of which escapes me this morning)."

I also found some information on why the Burundi Government most probably tried to nationalise City Connexion (and AFFIMET). The two links below seem to suggest that there were shady goings on's (my impression from the articles....NOT fact) in paradise.

http://www.cbinf.com/netpress.bi/Nouv/netpress/d1998/Janvier/2jan98.htm This site is in French

http://www2.minorisa.es/inshuti/sucursal.htm This site is in Spanish

(For those of you who can't understand either language go to http://translator.go.com and enter the URL, and it will translate the page for you).

I do have to congratulate you Neil on getting charges laid against Capt. Joe Kirama (the CEO of African Star, who has been described as another dreamer), for VAT fraud.

Whatever did happen to charges you made against Richard Gain and Russel Loubser of Phoenix Airways (whom I am led to believe stole your business plan....even though Phoenix only did last for a year).

Again, I am posting this information in response to my first posting on this thread before you arrived, and now that you are here, I would appreciate some answers to the questions I have posed here.

Cheers
 
Jmc777
Topic Author
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2000 3:07 am

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Tue Sep 19, 2000 1:11 am

Well what can I say, thanks to all who ansered my questions, especially the CEO Mr Robertson, and I most definitely will e-mail you again with my CV.

Cheers
jmc777
     
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Tue Sep 19, 2000 5:44 am

Scott - Lionair Limited was indeed a properly incorporated company (registered in 1992 in fact) and as you seem to be well aware, I spent a great deal of time and money on that project - taking a punt, as it were!  

We had financing lined up twice. The first time was an American group, which pulled out when Amy Biehl was murdered in Cape Town (she was a Fulbright scholar; whole thing was very messy with loads of publicity); and the second group was Irish. They sent down their Finance Director who arrived at Jan Smuts just as the AWB bomb went off. His words on the matter were "feck this, if we want to put our money somewhere like this we can invest in feckin' Belfast!".

As a result of negotiations which commenced in October 1993, I had put together a deal with Safren (which owned Safair and a large minority stake in Trek Airways - which traded as Flitestar) whereby they would acquire the other shareholdings in Trek and return the A320s, replacing them with B727-200s configured in an all-C class layout; we as Lionair would operate high density configured 727-200s and Safair, the freight operation, would operate 727 freighters. Crewing, maintenance etc would have been common across all three carriers. Things looked positive all the way through to April 1994 - I was being assured by Safren's Chairman and COO that things were all online and that they would be taking over the Trek shares "imminently" - when I was informed by a "Deep Throat" within Safren that they were playing games. In fact, Safren and the other Trek shareholders had done a deal with SAA whereby they agreed not to compete with SAA for a period of 5 years in exchange for a payment of over R90 million. The plug was pulled at Flitestar on the 11th April, and I released the details of the deal to the press. These were vehemently denied by attorneys representing Trek and their principal shareholder, Rentmeester Beleggings; however a couple of days later the Chairman of Safren, Buddy Hawton, admitted the whole thing on the SABC 8pm news.

I was in negotiations with another group in the USA when the Richard and Russell Gain and Colin Loubser popped up with Phoenix Airways. I spent the following few weeks telling people who were phoning to congratulate me for getting the operation in the air that no, this was not Lionair and that I didn't think it would be a long lived operation at all. The reason for this was that the Lionair business plan was predicated on having a shuttle service (every hour, on the hour between CPT and JNB; and JNB and DBN); and a very high degree of automation.

Sure enough, they didn't even last a year - being out of operation within 9 months. The principal players were the subject of an investigation by the Office of Serious Economic Offences, not least because they had leased in the operating rights of Sudan Airways to operate a route JNB-KRT-LGW using an L1011 leased from Air Ops; which also operated to the Maldives on behalf of their main company, Logans Tours.

Turning now to the two articles you provided - Netpress was a mouthpiece of the Hutu opposition FRODEBU, which had been responsible for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Tutsi civilians in 1994 and afterwards; and has been responsible for the ongoing civil war in the country. www.burundi.org is their German based propaganda website. Yes, there was indeed a "gold war" (largely between Indian groups and Affimet - the Indians told Alain that he had a 50% partner "or else"; Alain opted for the "or else" and ended up effectively winning the 'war' some three years later).

The VAT fraud charges against Joe/Ben Kirama/Kilama were not laid by me, obviously, but rather by the SA Receiver of Revenue. Kirama/Kilama's latest operation, African Star, was supposed to have commenced operations earlier this summer but has not done so. There's a thread here which gives further information.

Kirama/Kilama owes Trans Lloyd Cargo a substantial amount of money for work that was done on his behalf, which we have effectively had to write off despite getting a court order in our favour.

Very surprised you aren't prepared to provide details of those giing you duff information - as I've said previously, there's a world of difference between those who are 'up front' and don't hide behind the cover of anonymity - and those that do; as it tends to devalue the veracity of any claims made.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Tue Sep 19, 2000 7:00 am

Neil

Before I take in all of this what you have just written, I do have a couple of things to say.

As I said first-up, your name is well known around the traps in lacking some credibility. Now whether this is unfounded or completely warranted, I don't know. But this is why I am asking these questions of you. Everyone else on this forum says how great it is to have a CEO on here, but it seems no-one as yet has asked any REAL questions. They seem to be like well ok, he is getting 70 TriStars and starting up an airline in Scotland. He is completely trustworthy. Yet, no-one seems to know what your business background is. Yes I know you worked for Laker, I know you worked for Virgin. What we don't know is in what capacity you were employed and why you left. Some of the people in South Africa who I know really have mixed reviews (all of them say on a personal level you are a great bloke, but on a business level, with some, it is a different thing). What I am trying to do is to get the rumours and innuendo out in the open, and maybe put my mind at ease. At the very least people on this forum will know what the business is like on the continent (even if it is off-topic from the original post). You do understand what I mean don't you. Do not think that I am attacking you personally.

I have been told different things about you which may or may not be true, but which I am keeping to myself, because they do not belong in a public arena like here. Some of it may be spite, but if I am truly interested in knowing about this stuff I will ask you privately.

All the information I have given on this thread thus far is in the public domain and is available to anyone who wants it, and more importantly, knows where to look for it.

Example, I have been told (although my contact is not yet able to confirm it), that the CL-44 which is owned by Mike Snow (and yourself), was blown up in Kinshasa earlier this year when ammo being offloaded lit up. Now if only I could find an independent source on this I would be set, but you know how *dark* the continent can be in business, and trying to find information can sometimes be impossible.

I will say however Neil that my main motivation in looking at your background, and questioning certain parts of it, is the fact that you are starting up an airline with 70 TriStars, and then when you mentioned the $35 million, I had to delve deeper. Celtic would have to be the biggest start-up in history wouldn't it?

Anyway, for the time being I must be off, but don't worry, I am sure I will find something in what you have just written to question, and yes, be prepared for a grilling if I do find something to question.

Cheers

Scotty

P.S. Off-topic....yet again.....do you know of Dirk van der Westhuyzen of Romoco Cargo fame. Based in Jo'burg (?) and operated Ilyushin Il-76s and DC-3/4's. Any idea of where he is these days and what he is doing?

 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Tue Sep 19, 2000 7:36 am

Neil,

I'm, for one, quite impressed with your forthrightness regarding you past business dealings. You know of course, you have every right not to be forced to defend your past actions, but your choice to do so is commendable.

Thank you again for contributing to this forum in a knowledgable, profesional way. If others here took you as a model in regards to their posts, we might have a serious, responcible forum.

Russell Shattan

PS Your inside knowledge of African politics is an intriguing one. Could you tell us more about the Burundian and Soth African governments, what it means to do business down there, and if you see a future in profitable, well-run African pssenger air travel.

Thank you again.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Tue Sep 19, 2000 11:59 am

Scott - you're asking some awfully personal questions here! 

Some clarification - and reiteration. We're looking at acquiring several packages of aircraft. Also included in the Delta deal, for example, is everything L1011 - that includes a huge amount of spares (including many spare engines), simulators, tooling, overhaul facilities (ie the equipment not the buildings) etc etc. The way we're looking at it is that we're paying for the ancilliary items and getting the aircraft - all of which will be delivered run out - for free.

At that point we have either the makings of (a) a major ACMI airline; (b) a major chain of theme restaurants; or (c) a major pile of scrap metal.

The base acquisition cost is negligible - the real expenditure starts when we put each aircraft through a D check a a cost of around US$8 - 10m (which is one of the things that makes the SuperStar programme so viable - the incremental cost of the full upgrade isn't that much more and can be amortised over a considerably longer period). Obviously, we would only return aircraft to operational status as and when we have clients for them.

I hope that clarifies things a bit more for you. As for the other questions, I've sent you an email.

Russell Burundi is run as a military dictatorship by a junta fronted by Major Pierre Buyoya. A long running civil war between the two main tribes - the Hutus and Tutsis - is being mediated at present by Nelson Mandela who's growing increasingly frustrated at the intransigence of both sides. The country is completely bankrupt; and has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world - around US$125 per annum.

I'll pass on commenting on the current South African government, as I haven't had much in the way of direct interaction with the personalities involved.

There are a number of profitable, well run airlines in Africa - unfortunately they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Off hand, I can think of two outstanding ones - Comair in South Africa and Skypower Express in Nigeria together with its Gambian offshoot. Ethiopian used to be one of the best carriers around; unfortunately their most skilled engineers and pilots were Eritreans and they were kicked out during the war there.

Do I see a future in it? Absolutely. 98% of Africa can only effectively be reached by air - surface infrastructure ranges from the non existent to poor. Unfortunately, for the people of Africa, the overwhelming majority of them will never be able to afford to travel by air.
 
Guest

Skypower Express?

Tue Sep 19, 2000 2:49 pm

Neil

You mentioned Skypower Express as being one of the best airlines on the continent.

A quick background check on this airline brings up nothing but *bad* news for this airline. From what I can ascertain their fleet contains EMB-110 Banderaintes. I say this because the only information I can find on them is the 3 hull losses they have experienced since 1997, with 2 of these losses occurring this year.

A report from a Nigerian newsite said that back in March, Skypower was grounded by the Nigerian CAA over concerns of safety, and had its AOC revoked and was forced to reapply.

Now what I cannot find out is whether Skypower has had it's AOC returned to it.

So I suppose what I am asking is on what grounds do you include Skypower amongst the best run airlines in Africa?

Cheers
 
Granite
Posts: 5026
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:55 pm

Here We Go Again!

Tue Sep 19, 2000 5:46 pm

Hi all

Well this might offend the guys that have started the airline but any airline that starts up using old aircraft is on to a looser, especially in Scotland.

I am proud to be Scottish and it's great to hear of a new start up but then I think........here we go again!

Remember Highland Express, Air Ecosse, Peregrine, Scottish European, Chieftain Airways, Aberdeen Airways to name but a few.

Highland Express with the really old 747, and the rest with HS748's, J31's and Shorts 330 & 360.

If I am proved wrong I will eat my dog..........but in a few years along the road remember this posting.

Regards
Gary Watt
Forum Admin
gary@airliners.net


 
Gunpowder
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 8:38 am

RE: Frugality, Scottish Style.

Tue Sep 19, 2000 8:19 pm

Granite
Then again, maybe it's just a Scottish problem, Virgin started off with a well used 747 and made good, so perhaps it's the legendary Scottish "frugality" that's the problem.   
The thing is, there are great risks in starting up any new venture in a highly competitive scenario. You either have to have a new slant, or really know the business, or be lucky, to jump in and survive.
It seems that Neil may have a new slant. Good luck to him, it will mean jobs and business for PIK if he is right. If he is wrong, he and his investors will lose money. That's how business works. It goes on every day.
Those who see the opportunity and take the risk in the early stages are the ones who make the big money in new ventures, and it is in convincing the "risk takers" that it is worth the punt that Neil has his challenge.
There will always be two views as to the viability of the project, time will tell who is right.
 
Guest

RE: New Airline "Celtic Caledonian Airways"

Tue Sep 19, 2000 9:06 pm

Scott - You asked about management - they have the most experienced management team, with their CEO being a former BA regional manager. On the safety side I agree with you - however that's a function larely attributable (in their case) to ATC, exchange rates and operational infrastructure in the country.

Gary - Can you name a successful Scots startup that commenced operations with new aircraft? It's probably something to do with our masochistic Calvanist psyche, but we Celts seem to denigrate success. We're also notoriously canny with the cash, so the tendency is for us to go for the bargains!! Sure, you've given a few companies that went bang ... but at the same time how many went bust south of the border??  

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