|IATA code :||KT|
|ICAO code :||BHY|
|Call sign :||BIRGENAIR|
|Seat:||Istanbul , Turkey|
|Home airport :||Istanbul Ataturk Airport|
|Birgenair ceased operations in 1996. The information in italics refer to the last status before the end of operation.|
Birgenair was a Turkish charter airline based in Istanbul that ceased operations in 1996.
Birgenair was founded in 1988 and began flight operations in August 1989 with a Douglas DC-8-61 that had space for 252 passengers. The machine was initially used on IT charter flights and on special flights for Turkish guest workers . With the increase in mass tourism in Turkey, a close cooperation developed with the German tour operator Öger Tours , which enabled the company to expand in the early 1990s. In April 1992 the fleet was expanded with a Boeing 757-200 and in March 1993 with a Boeing 737-300 . In order to improve the utilization of the machines, the Boeing 757 was temporarily operated in wet leases for other airlines during the winter months with low demand , including Caribbean Airways based in Barbados . The company sold its Douglas DC-8 in 1994 to the US company ABX Air and leased two Boeing 727-200s from Yemenia and a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 from the Belgian Skyjet as a short-term replacement .
In 1994, the tour operator Öger Tours planned to expand its offer in the 1994/95 winter season to include trips to the Dominican Republic and favored the use of Birgenair machines , which were significantly cheaper than their German competitors. Because Birgenair had no right to fly between Germany and the Dominican Republic, the rights were officially about the time in Neu-Isenburg -based Ratio flight requested. The Federal Ministry of Transport issued a six-month approval for the transatlantic flights, which were then carried out with the Birgenair Boeing 757 in wet lease for Ratioflug . As an additional aircraft, Birgenair took over a long-term leased Boeing 767-200ER in April 1995 , which had the necessary range for non-stop flights between Germany and the Dominican Republic.
In order to be able to continue the transatlantic flights in the winter season 1995/96, Öger Tours and Birgenair started a cooperation with the newly founded Dominican company Alas Nacionales . This Puerto Plata- based company held an Air Operator Certificate , but no aircraft. Alas Nacionales applied for route rights for flights to Germany, which should be operated by Birgenair . In return, the shareholders of the Dominican company were offered the prospect of a bonus of 10 DM per passenger carried. After receiving the flight rights, Birgenair transferred its Boeing 767 to the Dominican Republic, where the aircraft was registered with the partner company on October 25, 1995 with the registration number HI-660CA. The aircraft officially leased to Alas Nacionales continued to wear the colors of Turkish society, except for a changed lettering. IT charter flights between the Dominican Republic and Germany began a week later. In addition, Birgenair rented its Boeing 757-200 to the Argentine Staf Airlines in November 1995 and used it on five flight pairs between the Dominican Republic and Buenos Aires . The Boeing 757 was parked in Puerto Plata after the end of the rental in January 1996 and used on February 6, 1996 as a replacement aircraft for the defective Boeing 767 for the Alas Nacionales flight 301 to Frankfurt , on which the machine crashed.
As a result of the accident, Birgenair suspended all flights on March 8, 1996. It was originally planned to resume flight operations in the following year. However, the company filed for bankruptcy shortly after it ceased operations.
On February 6, 1996 , a Birgenair Boeing 757 crashed into the sea on Alas Nacionales flight 301 a few minutes after taking off from Puerto Plata Airport in the Dominican Republic . 189 people were killed, including 164 German vacationers. The cause of the crash was presumably a clogged dynamic pressure probe , which led to an incorrect display of the airspeed, which led the pilots to react incorrectly.
During its existence, Birgenair used the following types of aircraft:
- Boeing 727-200 (leased from Yemenia for the 1994 summer season )
- Boeing 737-300 (operated from 1993 to 1996)
- Boeing 757-200 (operated from 1992 to 1996)
- Boeing 767-200 (operated from 1995 to 1996)
- Douglas DC-8-61 (operated from 1989 to 1994)
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 (leased from Skyjet for the 1994 summer season )
At the time of the cessation of operations, the fleet consisted of a Boeing 737-300 and a Boeing 767-200ER.
- ↑ JP airline-fleets international, Edition 90/91
- ^ A b Leisure Airlines of Europe, K. Vomhof, 2001
- ↑ JP airline-fleets international, Edition 93/94
- ↑ JP airline-fleets international, Edition 94/95
- ↑ a b c d Die Zeit, online archive, volume 1996, issue 8 of February 16, 1996, page 5 , accessed on July 30, 2017
- ↑ JP airline-fleets international, Edition 95/96
- ↑ a b JP airline-fleets international, Edition 1996/97
- ↑ Berliner Zeitung - Birgenair: Wasn't it a design fault that caused the crash? September 30, 1999
- ↑ airfleets.net - Birgenair fleet (in English), accessed on March 5, 2011
- ↑ Rzjets.com, Birgenair fleet overview (in English), accessed on August 1, 2017
- ↑ JP airline-fleets international, born 1989 to 1996