Airbus has selected Spanish carrier Volotea to provide its essential shuttle service between production sites in Hamburg and Toulouse. Volotea will commence the service from November 4th, 2019, using two dedicated Airbus A319s. The route has been without a permanent carrier since the demise of Germania earlier this year.
Carlos Muñoz, Founder and CEO of Volotea, told Traveling News,
“We are very proud to have been selected by Airbus for their charter service connecting the Toulouse and Hamburg Finkenwerder sites. This is evidence of the trust, reliability and excellent cooperation between Airbus and Volotea.”
The airline will operate the route using Airbus A319 aircraft. Since 2015, Volotea has been reliant on this model for its future fleet growth plans, having received its first in 2016. Now, it operates 19 A319s in its fleet, with six having arrived this year.
Airbus CCO Christian Scherer further commented,
“Our versatile A319 is perfectly suited to this high-demand-short-haul route. With up to 160 seats alongside an optimised cabin cross-section and an extra-wide aisle for fast turnarounds, the productivity gains go hand in hand with comfort. We thank Volotea for their continued trust in Airbus solutions.”
The Airbus shuttle route
Volotea will take care of the route between Airbus’ Hamburg and Toulouse sites from November 4th. The route is used to shuttle Airbus employees between these two key sites. Both Hamburg and Toulouse are main production facilities for the planemaker’s single aisle aircraft.
The route is currently operated by Hi Fly Malta, but this was only ever a temporary solution. Prior to this, Germania used to serve the route, but after the carrier went bankrupt in February this year, transitional carriers have been filling in. In order to secure a better value ongoing contract, Airbus has retendered and selected Spanish Volotea to provide the service.
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Volotea was almost a natural fit for the Airbus contract. Although it still has a number of older Boeing 717s in its fleet, it is building up a sizeable flotilla of Airbus A319s, and has plans to become an all-Airbus airline by 2022. It already has a base in Toulouse and a close working relationship with Airbus, collaborating on pilot training, the Skywise technical platform, fuel saving initiatives and others.
According to information on Traveling News, Volotea will dedicate two key A319 aircraft to this route. They will be reconfigured to a unique layout for Airbus employees, and will feature a customized catering service for its charter passengers.
The aircraft will operate the route four times daily, providing an essential service for Airbus employees. According to Aero Telegraph, around 400 employees fly back and forth between the sites every day.
In order to support the route, Volotea will be opening a new base in Hamburg, creating an estimated 10 new local jobs. Cabin crew selection is already underway in Germany for thus specific mission.
The contract runs for five years, so Volotea has won a nice, guaranteed charter service for a good chunk of the future.
Elsewhere in the world, similar shuttle services exist between the UK sites of Felton and Broughton and the European sites of Toulouse and Hamburg. These services are operated by Loganair, Sun-Air and Air Corsica.