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SmartLynx Airlines will operate to almost 200 destinations during summer 2024

For the upcoming 2024 northern summer season, SmartLynx Airlines, one of Europe’s leading European-based ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) operators, is planning to serve a total of 191 destinations located across 45 countries for its airline clients. The company’s customer base includes airline companies based in Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and further afield.

Thanks to a continuing global rise in usage of ACMI passenger services, in 2023, SmartLynx Airlines conducted 48% more flights carrying 53% more passengers than in 2022. However, with global demand for air travel continuing to soar, in 2024 the airline anticipates operating approximately 30% more flights than it did in 2023, marking a major upscaling in the carrier’s wet-lease operations.

The airline has increased its fleet from 49 to 67 aircraft for the summer 2024 season and will operate aircraft for carriers such as IndiGo, Ajet, TUI, Air Transat, Air Peace, and others. Additionally, the company reports that demand from customers booking ahead for 2025 is already well underway, and plans to continue its expansion program in the coming years reaching a fleet of 100 aircraft by 2027.  

 

Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

“We’re observing a significant and consistent rise in travel demand, particularly in Europe,” said Edvinas Demenius, CEO of SmartLynx Airlines. “Forecasts suggest that 2024 will signal the return to pre-pandemic travel levels globally. As we have strategically focused on counter-seasonality, we can say that this year, the busy season isn’t just starting – for us, it’s continuing.”

“The perception and significance of ACMI in the industry are evolving. Our passenger fleet is well-booked for the remainder of the year and beyond—a rarity in the ACMI sector. This development underscores the growing recognition of ACMI services as a strategic, long-term solution, not just an ad-hoc measure, thereby strengthening our market position,” Demenius added.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted that annual air travel passenger numbers will reach 4.7 billion in 2024, a significant increase from the 4.5 billion passengers recorded in 2019 in the pre-pandemic era. But with new aircraft order books stretching years into the future, plus a general shortage of quality used aircraft appearing on the second-hand market as airlines retain older aircraft to meet rising demand, there is limited availability in the global commercial aircraft market.

This issue has been compounded by several technical issues that have affected airline fleets (such as Boeing 737 MAX delivery delays and Airbus Pratt & Whitney GTF engine inspections) which have led to the grounding of numerous flights and schedule cutbacks, just at a time when airlines seek to earn the bulk of their annual revenue in the summer peak. All these factors combine to make ACMI operators such as SmartLynx well-placed to offer short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to airlines facing capacity shortfalls.  

SmartLynx

SmartLynx Airlines was founded in 1992 and was originally named Lat Charter. The company offers passenger, cargo, and aircraft leasing services to many of the world’s major carriers when they require additional capacity. According to ch-aviation, the company’s current fleet comprises 33 A320-200s, nine A321-200s, nine A321Fs, three A330-300s, and 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. Some of these aircraft are operated by SmartLynx subsidiaries located in Malta and Estonia, as well as in the airline’s native Latvia

The company is part of the Avia Solutions Group family, which is the world’s largest ACMI provider with a total fleet of 199 aircraft. The Group provides a range of aviation services, including MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul), pilot and crew training, ground handling, and various related services. Overall, Avia Solutions Group employs 11,700 aviation professionals from 85 countries.

The post SmartLynx Airlines will operate to almost 200 destinations during summer 2024 appeared first on AeroTime.

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