LONDON – Latvia-based ACMI, charter and cargo operator SmartLynx Airlines has received its Australian Foreign Air Transport Operator Certificate (FATAOC). The certification granted by the Australian Civil Aviation safety Authority (CASA) permits the airline to begin operations to, from, and within Australia.
Operating flights to Australia has been integral to SmartLynx’s strategic plans to expand its global network by entering new markets.
The recently granted certificate authorizes the Latvian carrier to operate in Australia with Airbus A330-type aircraft. The airline now plans to receive further certification for other aircraft types including the Airbus A320, A321, and Boeing 737.
Zygimantas Surintas, CEO of SmartLynx Airlines said: “We are proud to start operations on the Australian continent. This step is proof of our commitment to becoming the world’s leading and trustworthy ACMI airline.”
“The foreign air operator certification in Australia strengthens our competitive advantage to offer wet-lease services to international airlines and tour operators which already operate or plan cross-continental flights to and from this destination.”
To receive FATAOC, SmartLynx has fulfilled all operational requirements and submitted the necessary certificates of airworthiness and maintenance schedules for Airbus A330-type to be operated in Australia.
Current fleet program
Latvian-based SmartLynx Airlines is the largest ACMI service provider in Europe, owning one-third of the market.
Today the airline also operates in the USA, North America, Asia, and Africa. The company holds Air Operator Certificates (AOC) in Latvia, Estonia, and Malta.
Last year the carrier added four A321Fs to its growing cargo fleet to support freight operations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.
The additional freighters will take SmartLynx’s fleet to a total of 15 active aircraft of this type by H1, 2023. The plan is all to expand up to 20 freighter aircraft by the end of the year.
The expansion is one of the key components of SmartLynx’s strategic plans to become the largest operator of A321F freighters in the near future.
The A321F offers many advantages, having the highest payload and the most versatile, customer-friendly features in the cargo market today.
Moreover, A321F is the most fuel-efficient narrowbody cargo aircraft available, and choosing this type of aircraft underlines the carrier’scommitment to more sustainable air transportation.
The passenger-to-freighter conversions are being undertaken by Precision Aircraft Solutions (Precision) and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW).
The current fleet size consists of 55 aircraft and by end of 2023 is set to increase to 65 aircraft, including Airbus A320 (29), A330-300 (6), A321 (8), Airbus A321F (13), and Boeing 737 MAX (9) aircraft.