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Romanian Carpatair on short-term lease at Zagreb

Written by Jan Kotek.

Romanian air carrier Carpatair (V3/KRP) is flying on short-term lease for Croatia Airlines (OU/CTN), the member of Star Alliance. Their Fokker F-100 with registration YR-FKA, arrived from Maribor to Zagreb on early Saturday morning. It has already operated on two routes; Zagreb-Prag-Zagreb, and Zagreb-Split-Zagreb. This aircraft was built for American Airlines (AA/AAL) in 1991, with registation N1400H. After American Airlines withdrew all of their Fokker F-100s, this aircraft was transferred to Canada in 2004. It remained there for only one year, flying for the Canadian low-cost air carrier Jetsgo (SG/JGO), with registation C-GKZC. In 2006 it arrived to Romania.

Carpatair was founded in 1998 under the name Veg Air (V3/VEG), with the first operational base in Cluj, Romania. Later in 1999, they changed their name and moved their main operational base to Timisoara. They started their operations with a single Yakovlev YAK-40. After that, their fleet consisted of 6 Saab SF-340s and 13 Saab S-2000s. Their Saabs were also operated for defunct Hungarian national air carrier MALEV (MA/MAH), flying on route Budapest - Zagreb as well.

Until 2014, they operated regular flights mainly out of their base in Timisoara, flying mostly to destinations in Italy and Germany. They also flew on the domestic routes from Timisoara to other smaller airports in Romania. After 2014, the company cancelled all regular routes and changed their business to charter and ACMI leasing for other air carriers. All Saab aircraft left their fleet and were replaced by 3 Fokker F-100s, 3 Fokker F-70s, two Boeing 737-300s, and ATR-72s. Currently, their fleet consists of only 3 Fokker F-100s, which should be soon replaced by three newer Embraer ERJ-190s


Some of the air carriers that have hired Carpatair's planes on lease are: Adria Airways (JP/ADR), Alitalia (AZ/AZA), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL/KLM), LOT Polish Airlines (LO/LOT), Meridinana - Air Italy (IG/ISS) and Montenegro Airlines (YM/MGX). This is not the first time that Carpatair is on short-term lease for Croatia Airlines. They have also operated several flights for Croatian Trade Air (C3/TDR)

Carpatair's subsidiary Moldavian Airlines (2M/MDV) operated regular flights from Chisinau with three Saab SF-340s, two Saab S-2000s and a single Fokker F-100. They cancelled all operation in 2014, at the same time when Carpatair cancelled their regular operations. 

Photo © Avioradar (ZAG/24.8.2019.)