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NextJet SAAB 340. Air Leap now owns three of these (photo: Bene Riobo)

New Swedish airline given license to fly

Norway’s Air Leap has taken over ageing turboprops from bankrupt Swedish carrier NextJet and is launching flights.

Air Leap partially took over the assets of the bankrupt Swedish carrier NextJet. Now it has received its own Swedish AOC operating license and has started flying with its own aircraft, reports.

The Norwegian-owned Air Leap initially entered the route between Stockholm Arlanda and Mariehamn on the Åland Islands, but later also added routes between Arlanda and both Jönköping and Karlstad as well as Mariehamn to Turku, Finland.

Air Leap has already operated an aircraft between Oslo and Ørland on Norway’s coast near Trondheim under the name NextMove, but the company lacked an AOC to fly on Swedish routes.

It therefore had to exit the market for the time being and hire other companies to operate the routes.

It worked with the Danish DAT, among others, which inserted an ATR-42 on the route between Stockholm Arlanda and Mariehamn, while other routes were served by Estonia’s NyxAir, which only secured an AOC in March, and the Netherlands’ AIS Airlines.

Leap forwards
Now, however, the Swedish Transport Agency has awarded Air Leap an AOC and registered the company as the official owner of three Saab 340B aircraft Air Leap took on from NextJet, all of which are over 25 years old.

The airline made its first flight on the Stockholm-Mariehamn route on October 21. The Saab turboprops have space for up to 33 passengers, taking over from an AIS British Aerospace Jetstream 32 seating 19 passengers.

Saab 340B aircraft have also been deployed to the Mariehamn-Turku and Stockholm-Jönköping routes.

Behind Air Leap is the Norwegian fishing firm Olsen Group, headquartered south of Bergen, which owns five fishing vessels combing the Barents Sea in the far north.

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