- Air Atlanta Icelandic
airline=Air Atlanta Icelandic
logo=Air Atlanta Icelandic logo.svg
Keflavík International Airport
Air Atlanta Icelandic is an
airlinebased in Kópavogur, Iceland. It specialises in leasing aircraft on an ACMI (Aircraft, Crews, Maintenance, Insurance)/ wet leasebasis to airlines worldwide needing extra passenger and cargo capacity. It also operates charter services for Icelandic tour operators. In mid 2007 the airline decided to shift its focus to Air Cargooperations. Its main base is Keflavík International Airport.cite news | title= Directory: World Airlines | work= Flight International| page= 52 | date= 2007-03-27]
The airline was established on
10 February 1986by Captain Arngrimur Johannsson and his wife, Thora Gudmundsdottir. It started operations in 1986. Their first contract came when Caribbean Airwayswet-leased a Boeing 707-320from them for their Londonto Barbadosflights. In 1988, the airline leased planes for Air Afriqueto be used during the hajjpilmigrage trips. This would become an important part of the structure of Air Atlanta later on. Sudan Airwaysand Lufthansawere among the other airlines that benefited from leasing passenger airplanes from Air Atlanta Icelandic during the late 1980s, as well as Finnair, which leased a Boeing 737from the Icelandic company
It was in 1992 that Air Atlanta Icelandic was able to take passengers to the sky with their own airline operation. Their first flight was with a
Lockheed L-1011plane. Later in 1992, Air Atlanta Icelandic participated in the United Nationspeacekeepers airlifting, flying the UN representants from former Yugoslavia to Nigeriaand France.
In 1993, the
Boeing 747arrived, and Saudi Arabian Airlinesbecame one of the first airlines to lease that plane from Air Atlanta Icelandic, also for hajj flights. And, after signing a contract with Samvinn Travel, Air Atlanta Icelandic began operating domestic charter flights too. Later, in 1993, a flight from Phnom Penhto Bangkokwas launched, using a Boeing 737.By 1994, Air Atlanta Icelandic had obtained rights to operate service from many other international countries, including the United States, from where they had a flight to Colombia, and the Philippines, where they were allowed to operate domestic charter flights. About that time, they began to offer flights within Europe for free and began service to Portugal.
In 1996 a couple rented an Air Atlanta Icelandic
L-1011to have a sky-wedding. The couple and their wedding guests were treated to a flight over the Arctic Circle, while the wedding was performed inside the jet.
1997 saw the arrival of contracts with such airlines as
Britannia Airwaysand Iberia, which would use an Air Atlanta Icelandic plane for its routes from Barajas International Airportin Madridto José Martí International Airportin Havanaand to other points in the Caribbean. That year also saw the arrival of the airline's first Boeing 747SP plane, which would later be utilized by government officials, sports teams and The Rolling Stones, among others.
In 1998, Air Atlanta Icelandic leased planes for
British Airways, and in 1999 Magnus G. Thorstennwas named the company's new CEO. In 1999 also, the airline became a fully wide bodied airplane airline, when they sold the last of their Boeing 737's. In year 2000, Air Indiajoined the growing list of other airlines that have leased airplanes from Air Atlanta Icelandic airlines.
Air Atlanta Icelandic still leases their jets to a number of airlines, while providing their own airline flights, taking passengers to such places as
Puerto Rico, Kenya, Cuba, Barcelonaand the rest of Europe on charter flights.
In 2003 Air Atlanta Icelandic expanded into the
United Kingdomwith their subsidiary, Air Atlanta Europewho operated Boeing 747's ad-hoc, charter and for the Florida tour operator, Travel City Direct [ [http://www.airliners.net/open.file/0949693/ Travel City Direct] ] .
In March 2004 the company acquired a 40.5% stake in the UK charter airline
Excel Airways, later increased to 76.9%. In January 2005 the Avion Group was formed and Air Atlanta Icelandic and Islandflug merged under the Air Atlanta Icelandic brand name.
In 2005 The Avion Group acquired
Eimskip, a leading Icelandic sea transportation company and a UK holiday company, Travel City Direct. In 2006 The Avion Group announced the purchase of the entire issued share capital of French charter airline Star Airlines, the second largest charter airline in the French market. Star Airlines operates charter flights mainly to destinations in Africa, The Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Star Airlines operates scheduled flights, in addition to charter services to the Lebanon, Mali and Mexico.
In June 2006, Air Atlanta Icelandic wet-leased one B747-200 to
Yangtz River Express Airlineto operate cargo freight between Shanghai - Anchorage - Los Angeles.
In October 2006 the Avion Group changed its name to HF Eimskipafélag Íslands and at the same time sold UK Leisure Group, Excel, as well as 51% of Avion Aircraft Trading. A decision was also made to merge both Excel Airways and Air Atlanta Europe into one airline. This was completed by October 2006.
In mid 2007 the airline decided to shift its focus to
Air Cargooperations. The airline is planning to move to freighteraircraft and has laid out most of their passenger aircraft crew.
On 25th March 2008, an Air Atlanta Icelandic B747-300 was destroyed after engine number 3 caught fire soon after landing cite news | title= Bad fuel line coupling suspected after fire wrecks Air Atlanta 747-300 | work= [http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/09/18/316176/picture-bad-fuel-line-coupling-suspected-after-fire-wrecks-air-atlanta-747-300.html Flight International] | date= 2008-09-19] .
Air Atlanta Icelandic operates services to the following international scheduled destinations (at March 2007):
The Air Atlanta Icelandic fleet consists of the following aircraft (at February 2008):
*5 Airbus A300-600F (2 operated for
Etihad Airways Crystal Cargo
*1 Boeing 747-200F (operated for
Saudi Arabian Airlines)
*6 Boeing 747-200SF
*7 Boeing 747-300 (3 operated for
Saudi Arabian Airlines)
*1 Boeing 747-400F
*1 Boeing 747-400SF
In Popular Culture
An Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747 featured in the film,
Pandemic (TV miniseries)as well as the 4th Angel starring Jeremy Irons.
* [http://www.atlanta.is/ Air Atlanta Icelandic]
* [http://www.ch-aviation.ch/aircraft.php?search=set&airline=CC&al_op=1 Air Atlanta Icelandic Fleet]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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