UK charter and airline sub-charter specialist, Titan Airways has successfully placed its first Airbus A321 on a six month summer damp lease with UK low-fare carrier Jet2.com, but is attending Routes Europe to explore further airline sub-charter requirements, ad hoc charter and tour operator charter roles for the aircraft and a possible second A321 that could follow in 2017.
The London Stansted-based carrier is icontinuing a strategic fleet renewal process as it aims to introduce more modern, economical and environmentally friendly aircraft to the operation. The aim over the next five years is to gradually phase out older aircraft and modernise the operation by introducing further Airbus types, which may include the A318, A319, further A321s and even perhaps the A330.
"We took on our first A320 in 2013 with the aim of gradually modernising our fleet to an all Airbus operation. The thought being we could operate a variety of sizes of aircraft with all different capabilities, range, performance etc including the A318, A319, A320, A321 and even the A330, “ Alex Harrington, business development manager, Titan Airways told Routesonline on the sidelines of the Route Europe, air service development forum in Kraków, Poland.
The airline now operates three A320s and the arrival of the larger A321, a six-year-old airframe previously flown in Europe by Austrian carrier Niki, will enable it to fulfil additional operational roles while maintaining commonality with the smaller variant. The aircraft is configured in a 212-seat Economy layout.
“The latest acquisitions are part of a long term strategy of fleet modernisation. All of the aircraft in the Airbus A320 product line are economical to operate, with lower fuel burn and lower carbon emissions. Plus the aircraft cabins are spacious and modern for a more comfortable passenger in-flight experience,” said Harrington.
The jet was delivered in late March 2016 and was repositioned earlier this month to Manchester Airport to operate flights for leisure carrier Jet2.com and its tour operator business Jet2holidays to popular sun destinations in Spain, the Canary Islands and Greece until the end of September. A contract is also held for the aircraft to fly for a third part operator in summer 2017.
This is one of two aircraft Titan has placed with Jet2.com for summer 2016 – a Boeing 757-200 has been operating from the leisure carrier’s Leeds Bradford Airport base since March 20, 2016. The two aircraft deal follows a series of successful lease partnerships between the two carriers over recent years.
“Going forward, we intend to add other Airbus variants, both narrow and wide bodied, in order to offer our clients a choice of aircraft with a diversity of capacity and range.” added Harrington. It is understood that this includes a potential second A321 arrival in 2017, while talks continue over the introduction of smaller equipment in the form of the A319.
Last year at World Routes in Durban, South Africa, Titan had suggested that it could even smaller in the A320 Family and acquire the A318 saying that although it was not committed to this growth, it was something under real consideration if any aircraft come onto the second-hand market.
“This continues to run in our background thinking. We could be one of only a few airlines to fly the aircraft, but it certainly deos suit our business needs,” said Harrington.
Founded in 1988, Titan is an established player in the European charter market, providing bespoke charter flight services. Besides the ski tour operator flight programmes, the airline operates a summer flight series on behalf of a variety of travel and cruise companies as well as private charter flights for a diverse customer base, including personalities and companies from the music and film industries, international sports stars and teams, royalty and heads of state, government delegations, senior business executives and corporate events groups.
It also supports the scheduled airline sector and many leading airlines – legacy carriers and regional airlines - call on it to provide instant operational solutions. The airline’s reputation is built on its unique ‘Go Now’ policy, which guarantees that an aircraft can be airborne within 60 minutes of flight confirmation, while its fleet is also available to other airlines for short, medium and long term lease requirements.