In a previous article, we talked about the state of Romania’s transportation system and why the aviation industry is so vital to the country. We mentioned a few start-up airlines, including new Romanian airline AirConnect. Good news for our east-European readers: after getting its wings (AOC, Air Operator Certificate), you can fly on those brand new ATR 72-60s as a passenger from October 15th!
After getting the coveted AOC, on August 20th and 21st, AirConnect operated a triangle between Bucharest Baneasa (BBU), Bucharest Otopeni (OTP), and Tulcea (TCE) and back to BBU. The first leg was operated as KS1001, according to BoardingPass.ro. These flights were operated with the intention to train and test the crewmembers and flight crew capability and skill before the launch of the airline.
The time has come!
For AirConnect, the time to prove its worth has come, since August 25th, their website is operative and flights are available to be booked, and not only that. As said in the previous article, AirConnect also engages in chartering operations and group flights, putting itself in competition not only with TAROM’s ATR domestic operations but also with Carpatair’s east European charter operations.
For the moment, their main hub is Bucharest Otopeni. Many were expecting it to be Bucharest Baneasa, due to lower airport fees and a project from the Romanian government to give a new charm to the oldest Bucharest Airport. Flights will be to domestic destinations, plus Budapest. From Summer 2023, the ATR operator is going to operate from Constanta (CND) as the operative base for their flights to the same domestic destination. From an observer’s perspective, Constanta airport is in a phase of decay, with the majority of taxiways closed and many gates not operative, and low traffic volume, despite being the country’s hotspot for the summer holidays. Air Connect may be a saving grace for the airport.