Club Air continues to change its schedule

Italian Avro RJ operator Club Air ended their ‘hub’ operation at Ancona Airport, which it had launched with much fanfare last August. The airline struggled to achieve more than minimal load factors, and found the subsidies provided by the airport’s management company, Aerdorica, insufficient to justify remaining. Club Air was to have operated flights to four domestic and eight international destinations, but only ever operated a fraction of this schedule. Frequent schedule changes, with flights being offered for sale only a short time before beginning to operate, were probably not unrelated to the low load factors experienced on many flights. Meanwhile, the last remnants of Club Air’s once lucrative eastern Europe network are rapidly vanishing. Since the year started, the airline has cancelled its flights to Tirana (Albania), Prishtina (Kosovo), and Skopje (Macedonia). In its first incarnation, Club Air had specialized in flights to eastern Europe — particularly Romania — taking advantage of the large numbers of workers from these areas in Italy. Since it rebirth in mid-2007, however, Club Air have focused primarily on domestic flights within Italy. Their few flights to destinations in Balkans regularly had very high load factors, but the airline was apparently forced to cancel them after local authorities denied further landing rights until overdue landing fees were paid. The airline now has a single remaining service to eastern Europe — to Lviv, in Ukraine. Club Air currently operate one Avro RJ85 and one RJ70, and are leasing two MD-80s from Bulgarian Air Charter.

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