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GetJet Airlines

Finnair to lease “emergency” plane from Lithuania

The Finnish flag carrier needs an extra plane to fly some of its European routes from early June until January.

Finnair says it will lease an A320 aircraft and pilots from GetJet Airlines, a Lithuanian leasing and charter company, to operate some of its European routes between June 2018 and January 2019.

Vilnius-based GetJet, which only launched two years ago, says its main “principle is to operate like an emergency service” whenever airlines’ fleets are lacking planes.

It has so far signed wet lease contracts with companies such as Latvia’s airBaltic and Germania as well as Ellinair (Greece), Blue Panorama (Italy), EnterAir (Poland) and Lithuania’s own Small Planet Airlines, among others.

The fast-growing Finnish flag carrier says it “will lease an Airbus A320 aircraft and flight deck crew from GetJet to support Finnair’s growing traffic from summer 2018 to early 2019”.

It is being open and transparent about the routes and dates it will fly. The plane will operate some of Finnair’s flights between Helsinki and Budapest, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Krakow and Pafos between June 8 this year and January 7 next year.

The pilots will be from GetJet while the cabin crew and service concept will be from Finnair.

“We have a record number of flights next summer to both Asia and Europe. The leased aircraft will for its part ensure that we are able to operate all the flights in our traffic plan,” says Juha Järvinen, Finnair’s chief commercial officer.

Change your flight if you wish
Customers will be able to see the operating carrier when they make their bookings on the Finnair website. Anyone who already have a reservation on one of the flights operated with the leased aircraft will be told about the change in operating carrier via text message or email.

Finnair adds that customers can change their travel date due to the alteration in operating carrier “if they so wish”.

Fleet of 737s
GetJet was launched by its enterprising founders because they could see a growing demand for ACMI leasing and that existing supply would fail to meet this demand in the near future.

Lithuania’s Civil Aviation Administration gave it an air operator’s certificate in March 2016 and two months later the airline obtained an EU commercial license.

The first ever GetJet Airlines flight took place on 25 May 2016. It now has a fleet of five Boeing 737s (four 737-400s and one 737-300) and three more B737s will join the fleet next month.

It aims to have ten 737s by the end of 2018, including two ‘next generation’ 737-800s.

Safety certificate
It is “in the final stage” of obtaining IATA Operational Safety Audit certification, which “will be finalised by the end of this year”.

“GetJet Airlines stands out in the market thanks to our exceptional quality of service and painstaking attention to detail,” the airline claims on its website.

“Above all, we pride ourselves on our rapid reaction to aircraft on the ground (AOG) situations – we know that when a client reaches out to us it is usually an emergency, so our working principle is to operate like an emergency service.”

More airlines are turning to Lithuania for spare planes. In January, SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, signed a wet-lease deal with Vilnius-based Avion Express for five Airbus A320s.

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