r2rho
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OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:21 am

The news is from earlier this month but I haven't seen any thread on it:

The German OLT (which was running as a separate business to the bankrupt Polish OLT Express, and which intended to continue operations) has been saved (for now?) by a new investor, the Dutch Panta Holdings BV. The previous expansion plans, including the takeover of Contact Air, will be continued.

With the acquisition of Contact Air, OLT will gain 8 additional F100's, to add to its own fleet of 2 F100's, 4 Saab 2000 and 1 Saab 340.

OLT will station 3 a/c at FMO and start routes to STR, VIE and SXF.

Routes from VIE to BRE, DRS and FKB are also being considered.

A new website has been launched, www.oltexpress.de, showing also HAM, SCN, SEN (interesting!), CDG, MUC and MXP as destinations.

press release in German:
http://gds.oltexpress.de/nc/unterneh...ro-am-21042012-in-friedrichshafen/

article on VIE routes in German:
http://www.airliners.de/verkehr/netz...press-mit-mehr-wien-strecken/27883

For additional info, the two preceding threads on OLT Poland's downfall are here:

Which Part Of OLT Express Has Gone Bankrupt? (by HullCitySpotter Jul 29 2012 in Civil Aviation)

OLT Express Poland Service Cuts (by Akiestar Jul 25 2012 in Civil Aviation)
 
kl911
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:21 pm

Yes, in Hungarian news I read that OLT will start 3 weekly DRS - BUD . Good news and a nice welcome addition.
 
WROORD
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:11 am

Their aircraft seems to be really old. Didn't Swiss dump Contact Air for that reason?
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:45 am

The Swiss contract for two Fokker 100s will continue, but Lufthansa cancelled its contract for the other six that are gradually being retired from Lufthansa Regional routes until October when OLT Express wants to launch its new routes.
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lollomz
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:10 am

Interesting new destination from MXP, I hope the flight will have success!
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countvis
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:06 pm

A base at Saarbrucken has been announced, with 1 Fokker 100 operating Vienna, Munich, Hamburg and London Southend. The latter is not surprising to me at all, the route should be served well from Southend, with a virtually identical albeit cheaper train into London, and a smaller, and far easier airport experience through the brand new terminal there.

From a leaked web page on their website which has no disappeared, it looks like a Dresden base is also planned, which should also include daily flights to London Southend, amongst other destinations. I would anticipate further route announcements soon, as they have a lot of new aircraft to keep busy with the acquisition of Contact Air.

Hopefully this venture will be successful. Panta Holdings are no strangers to the industry as they also own Denim Air, and were the previous owners of VLM before they sold it to Cityjet.
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:56 pm

Quoting WROORD (Reply 2):
Their aircraft seems to be really old. Didn't Swiss dump Contact Air for that reason?

No, the contract with Lufthansa was ended due the take-over of Contact Air by OLT. The contract with Swiss will be running a little while longer.

Cheers!   
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Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:28 pm

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 6):
No, the contract with Lufthansa was ended due the take-over of Contact Air by OLT. The contract with Swiss will be running a little while longer.

It was the other way around, Contact Air was looking for buyers or alternatives after Lufthansa cancelled the contract.
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r2rho
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:20 am

Quoting countvis (Reply 5):
the route should be served well from Southend, with a virtually identical albeit cheaper train into London, and a smaller, and far easier airport experience through the brand new terminal there.

I agree. But many don't know yet. Choosing SEN over other London airports requires some out-of-the-box thinking, which is a good sign.

Quoting countvis (Reply 5):
Hopefully this venture will be successful. Panta Holdings are no strangers to the industry as they also own Denim Air, and were the previous owners of VLM before they sold it to Cityjet.

Their strategy seems to make sense - setting themselves up as a niche regional carrier, connecting some regional destinations that currently have poor air service with capital cities. I don't think there is any direct competition on their routes. The aircraft size and type is right. Now, I hope they can fill their planes, as some of those regional destinations are rather small.
 
r2rho
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:07 pm

Some additional info on FMO in German:

http://www.airliners.de/verkehr/netz...it-mehr-strecken-ab-muenster/27938

6 new routes after 15-oct:
11x weekly TXL and MUC
6x weekly STR
daily VIE
3x weekly MXP
4x weekly CDG

The article also confirms the rumor of additional routes from DRS.

Interesting developments. I wonder though, with all this growth in FMO, SCN and DRS... what will happen to OLT's original operating base, BRE? Both airports are quite close, just 150km, a 1.5h drive.
 
futurestar68
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:03 pm

I wish them good luck and I hope they survive this expansion, but I have my doubts. At least from VIE, I can't see them filling a F100 almost daily to 4 secondary airports in Germany. But like I said, good luck to them!
 
countvis
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:39 pm

The Dresden base as anticipated has also been announced with flights being put on sale today.

The routes and frequencies are:

Hamburg: 10 weekly
London Southend: Daily
Vienna: Daily
Budapest 3 weekly

The press release (in German only) is here.

http://oltexpress.partners.de/de/akt...ut_Angebot_ab_Dresden_deutlich_aus

Once again excellent news for Dresden Airport. The direct London link should hopefully be a major boost to the airport. It should be a big boost to London Southend Airport too.
 
r2rho
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:21 pm

This is confusing... there seem to be 2 websites up, one with the old/current routes out of BRE/DRS, still bookable after 15.Oct :
http://gds.oltexpress.de/

Another with the bookable new routes, but the current BRE/DRS routes not bookable:
http://oltexpress.partners.de/

I have put together a route map for a better overview:
OLT Express Germany routes from 15 Oct 2012

The expansion plan is risky and ambitious, as I said before, but working to their advantage is:

- p2p flights bypassing hubs, with direct no competitors on them
- serving destinations with currently poor air service
- daily flights to most destinations, therefore business-friendly
- likely cheaply acquired aircraft
- aircraft with low operating costs and right size for the regional market

The main risk is filling the a/c to the those small regional destinations. But the plan is interesting, I wish them luck!
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:24 pm

The reason for the two websites is that they will be operating two completely separated business models, operations and distribution strategies.

The BRE routes and DRS-ZRH (as well as the EADS corporate shuttle services operated by other carriers under OL code) essentially are run like a traditional regional airline, full service, interlining with other carriers, agency distribution through GDSs through check-in, codeshare with Swiss/SAS etc.

The other new routes (plus DRS-HAM) will be run as a point to point low-cost carrier style operation with primarily direct distribution online.

For the old business model, they have their inventory hosted by Lufthansa Systems and use Amadeus for reservations, so a typical legacy carrier type distribution environment. For the new business model they use Airkiosk, which is a passenger services system mainly targeted at simple low-cost or regional carriers.
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Semaex
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:44 am

So when looking at the route map r2rho has put up, it seems like there are essentially 4 bases for the aircraft - BRE, DRS, SCN, FMO. I'm not exactly an expert on the topic, but doesn't this produce a lot of costs compared to fewer hubs?
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
Flying-Tiger
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:00 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 14):
So when looking at the route map r2rho has put up, it seems like there are essentially 4 bases for the aircraft - BRE, DRS, SCN, FMO. I'm not exactly an expert on the topic, but doesn't this produce a lot of costs compared to fewer hubs?

Correct - four bases = four times fixed costs. Same actually goes for the destinations, these are pretty spread out and with comparably low volume each. Hard to achieve a good volume to purchase at better rates.

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 13):
The reason for the two websites is that they will be operating two completely separated business models, operations and distribution strategies.

Great idea. Just twice the necessary infrastructure costs...

I give them six months max from today´s impression. Can´t imagine how this whole setup shall work in the longer term.
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r2rho
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:06 pm

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 13):
The reason for the two websites is that they will be operating two completely separated business models, operations and distribution strategies.

The BRE routes and DRS-ZRH (as well as the EADS corporate shuttle services operated by other carriers under OL code) essentially are run like a traditional regional airline, full service, interlining with other carriers, agency distribution through GDSs through check-in, codeshare with Swiss/SAS etc.

The other new routes (plus DRS-HAM) will be run as a point to point low-cost carrier style operation with primarily direct distribution online.

For the old business model, they have their inventory hosted by Lufthansa Systems and use Amadeus for reservations, so a typical legacy carrier type distribution environment. For the new business model they use Airkiosk, which is a passenger services system mainly targeted at simple low-cost or regional carriers.

Oh dear... separate business models, service levels and IT infrastructures under the same brand, depending on where you fly out from; this sounds like trouble....

P.S. OLT no longer runs the EADS shuttle, they lost that out to Germania (which is the reason they went under and were picked up by the Polish investors). High-yielding TLS-BRE is still full of EADS employees, but AFAIK OLT operates there as any airline would, no longer as corporate shuttle.

Quoting Flying-Tiger (Reply 15):
Correct - four bases = four times fixed costs.

FR U2 and the likes can pull it off succesfully, so it is not necessarily a negative thing; it depends on how they set it up. None of their bases are large enough for themselves to sustain high traffic levels, and they are going for p2p, no hubs or connecting flights, so distributed bases is really the only choice.
 
Semaex
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:47 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 16):
P.S. OLT no longer runs the EADS shuttle, they lost that out to Germania (which is the reason they went under and were picked up by the Polish investors). High-yielding TLS-BRE is still full of EADS employees, but AFAIK OLT operates there as any airline would, no longer as corporate shuttle.

I guess the Germania shuttle isn't enough to support all the traffic between TLS and BRE. After all, EADS has its own suppliers which need to travel back and forth but do not have the Germania contract, hence OLT is in the place to be with the right sized aircraft (another 737/A319 would be overkill I guess).

Maybe sooner than later OLT will get the contract back again, who knows.
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:23 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 17):
I guess the Germania shuttle isn't enough to support all the traffic between TLS and BRE. After all, EADS has its own suppliers which need to travel back and forth but do not have the Germania contract, hence OLT is in the place to be with the right sized aircraft (another 737/A319 would be overkill I guess).

Maybe sooner than later OLT will get the contract back again, who knows.

This is a bit more complicated. Because OLT used to run the shuttle services between XFW and TLS for years (BRE-TLS is a totally separate story and Germania is not flying on this route), EADS has built their internal system processes for booking these shuttle flights around the OLT IT (Amadeus Res, LH Systems Inventory) and therefore you will see flights on these routes with OL flight numbers that have nothing to do with OLT other than the fact that the OLT res system is used:
Albacete-Marseilles with Eastern Airways Jetstream 41 for Eurocopter
Augsburg-Marseilles with Sun-Air Do328-300 for Eurocopter
Chester-Filton-Toulouse with bmi regional ERJ-145 for Airbus
Hamburg Finkenwerder-Toulouse with Germania A319-100s for Airbus
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vfw614
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:02 pm

Given the fact that OLT plans to start services to places like Budapest, Milan, Paris and London, maybe it would be a good idea to have an English (and French) website up and running to accommodate passengers originating from France, the UK, Italy and Hungary? At the moment, only German-speaking passengers have a website on which they can book flights, and the start of, for example, SEN-SCN is less than three weeks away. If OLT can fill their planes with German passengers only - great for them, but a bit unrealistic, me thinks....
 
r2rho
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:11 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 17):
I guess the Germania shuttle isn't enough to support all the traffic between TLS and BRE. After all, EADS has its own suppliers which need to travel back and forth but do not have the Germania contract, hence OLT is in the place to be with the right sized aircraft (another 737/A319 would be overkill I guess).

You got it mixed up - Germania runs the TLS-HAM shuttle (formerly done by OLT). There is no TLS-BRE corporate shuttle, but a normal commercial flight run by OLT (bookable by everyone, though mainly existing for the purpose of EADS employees and suppliers).

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 18):
This is a bit more complicated. Because OLT used to run the shuttle services between XFW and TLS for years (BRE-TLS is a totally separate story and Germania is not flying on this route), EADS has built their internal system processes for booking these shuttle flights around the OLT IT (Amadeus Res, LH Systems Inventory) and therefore you will see flights on these routes with OL flight numbers that have nothing to do with OLT other than the fact that the OLT res system is used:
Albacete-Marseilles with Eastern Airways Jetstream 41 for Eurocopter
Augsburg-Marseilles with Sun-Air Do328-300 for Eurocopter
Chester-Filton-Toulouse with bmi regional ERJ-145 for Airbus
Hamburg Finkenwerder-Toulouse with Germania A319-100s for Airbus

Thanks for this new and interesting info - I was not aware how complicated this is! So perhaps OLT is maintaining the different reservation system out of BRE because it is mainly used by EADS employees? It seems that they are a bit tied up there. I still think that in the longer run they should move to a single reservation system, however, for product consistency and reduced IT infrastructure costs.
 
Thomas_Jaeger
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:04 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 20):
Thanks for this new and interesting info - I was not aware how complicated this is! So perhaps OLT is maintaining the different reservation system out of BRE because it is mainly used by EADS employees? It seems that they are a bit tied up there. I still think that in the longer run they should move to a single reservation system, however, for product consistency and reduced IT infrastructure costs.

I do not think Airkiosk will be able to fully replace the legacy functionality OLT gets out of Amadeus/Lufthansa Systems when it comes down to bilateral interline (OLT selling other carriers, other carriers selling OLT) from a reservations and ticketing perspective and the SAS and Swiss codeshares. They will most probably now or with some efforts be able to support unilateral interline and codeshare, but still essentially Airkiosk was not built for that mission. So I doubt they will be able to get it on one platform quickly and the BRE-CPH/ZRH flights are heavily dependent on the SAS/Swiss codeshares and traditional GDS/interline distribution.
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r2rho
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RE: OLT Germany Saved By New Investor & Expanding

Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:33 pm

According to this article in German, it seems the new DRS routes are to start in a reduced frequency (not really clear how much) due to low advance bookings received for the winter months. The originally announced frequency would not begin until the summer season. The current HAM & ZRH routes are unaffected.

http://www.airliners.de/verkehr/netz...ess-reduziert-dresden-fluege/28202