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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Small Planet Airlines Exchanges Boeing 737s for Airbus A320s

By Woodrow Bellamy III

Lithuanian charter carrier Small Planet Airlines is replacing its fleet of older generation Boeing 737s for an all-Airbus fleet of A320s. 
By the end of 2013 the company plans on having an all-Airbus fleet across its two Air Operator Certificates (AOC) in Lithuania and Poland, a decision based mainly on leasing opportunities. The company recently returned its two leased Boeing 737-300s and leased five new A320s. 
"The decision to change from Boeing to Airbus was made more than two years ago," Vytautas Kaikaris, CEO of Small Planet Airlines, said in an email to Aviation Today. "At the time when we decided to upgrade our fleet from 737 Classics, the first option was 737-800s. However, these planes were scarce (and continue to be scarce) in the leasing market and therefore we opted for A320s which we found more available and of very similar qualities as Boeing NG."
Kaikaris recently took over a 70 percent stake in Small Planet Airlines from the Avia Solutions Group, which sold its 95 percent ownership share to Kaikaris and Chief Quality Officer Andrius Staniulis. 
Small Planet currently operates four A320s and will add three more by June.  

Related: Avia Solutions Sells Small Planet Airlines

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