A new scheduled-services brand and accompanying online booking engine has been launched by Astraeus, the Gatwick-based airline established in 2002 and now majority owned by Icelandic interests. "Flystar" will be the name applied to the carrier”s new and growing scheduled services operation.
In the short term all aircraft will remain Astraeus branded but the Flystar name will become progressively more prominent across the fleet as scheduled services and online booking are rolled out.
"Astraeus has established a strong reputation in the charter sector, and our growing expertise and experience is proving to be invaluable, as we seek out, set up and develop niche scheduled service routes," said general manager ” scheduled services, Richard Cann.
"An online booking facility is a crucial aspect of scheduled air travel, so we have ensured that the design and technology was of the most recent and highest order, with built in capacity for future growth ” something we expect to deliver.
"We have already quietly but successfully established a number of scheduled services in what might be described as niche markets to fast-growing leisure, business and holiday destinations.
"Our initial destinations were to points in West Africa and the Middle East, which have proved tremendously successful ” but more recently we pioneered the first direct UK services from London-Gatwick and Manchester to the Cape Verde Islands, and such was the take-up, that we introduced a second weekly flight, with plans to introduce services to a second island, Boa Vista, on July 10.
"In May we launch a scheduled service to St John's, Newfoundland, and we have our eyes on several more potentially lucrative niche scheduled routes."
Flystar Astraeus has a fleet of four Boeing 757-200s and two Boeing 737-700s. Chairman is Brad Burgess formerly of City Flyer Express and managing director is Hugh Parry who, in his time, was chief executive of British World Airlines.
The majority shareholder of Flystar ” Astraeus is Northern Travel Holding ("Northern Travel"), created by the Icelandic investment groups, Fons (44%), FL Group (34%) and Sund (22%). Northern Travel also are the sole owners of Sterling Airlines, Iceland Express and Hekla Travel, the largest travel agent in Denmark, and own 29.3% of Ticket, the Swedish stock-market quoted travel agent.