Avia Solutions taps into the air cargo business

Lithuanian group acquires Iceland’s Bluebird Nordic freight airline

Bluebird Nordic Bluebird Nordic operates a fleet of six Boeing 737CL freighters with an average age of 27 years (ASG)

After establishing itself in MRO, leasing, passenger ACMI, charters, corporate aviation services and other air transport sectors, the Lithuania-originated aviation Avia Solutions group has now turned its attention to the air cargo business, with an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shareholding of Bluebird Nordic, a 20-year-old cargo airline headquartered in Iceland.

Established in 1999 and originally known as Bluebird Cargo until it was re-branded in 2017, Bluebird Nordic currently operates a fleet of six mature aircraft consisting of one Boeing 737-300SF and five Boeing 737-400SFs, providing services to other airlines, including express companies and parcel delivery services. Among them are Swiftair (Spain), ASL Airlines Belgium, Poste Air Cargo (Italy), and European Air Transport Leipzig (Germany). It operates scheduled as well as charter flights under its own brand and also offers cargo export and import services from and to Iceland, serving more than 100 locations worldwide.

Avia Solutions has three carriers within the group – narrow-body passenger aircraft charter and ACMI providers Avion Express and SmartLynx Airlines and KlasJet (business aviation), and currently also owns seven Air Operator’s Certificates (AOCs) in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Malta and now Iceland.

With the Bluebird Nordic acquisition, the Lithuanian company has stepped into the narrow-body ACMI cargo business, although Avia Solutions is not concerned that the volume of the global air transportation market has declined in the last year.

“Differently from the long-haul wide-body cargo business, demand for narrow-body lift is growing fast, driven by electronic trade [e-commerce] shipments and others,” notes Gediminas Ziemelis, founder and chairman of the board of directors of Avia Solutions Group.

Already in the commercial wide-body chartering business is the UK-headquartered Magma Aviation, parent of the global Chapman Freeborn charter brokerage group that was acquired by Avia Solutions Group last year. It has a long history of marketing and managing dedicated wide-body cargo aircraft capacity.

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