Flying a fleet of seven Boeing 717 aircraft, sourced second-hand from the manufacturer, Volotea is positioning itself to serve small- and mid-sized cities across Europe initially from bases in Venice Marco Polo (Italy), Nantes (France), and Ibiza (Spain).
The airline is run by former founding members of Vueling Airlines, and has its corporate headquarters in Barcelona.
Volotea’s first flight took off on 5th April from Venice, bound for Palermo – one of the 76 routes announced by the airline, and one of a number of domestic routes within Italy – set to challenge the dominance of Alitalia and Ryanair in this much sought-after market.
In fact, Venice Marco Polo will clearly be the bigger base initially, with 24 routes planned.
The airline will not initially venture as far north as the UK, Ireland or Scandinavia, choosing to focus on Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Poland.
The choice of Boeing 717 is interesting for a low-cost airline, but is likely due to the cheap prices of sourcing them, and the regard with which they’ve been held in Spain over the past ten years. Nevertheless, for the enthusiast, this offers another chance to fly on the relatively rare type in Boeing’s stable (Blue1 is currently the only other European operator of the type).
All going well, the airline is likely to expand into other territories fairly soon, but I also suspect some routes will be non-starters, and others will see frequency changes. For a full list of planned routes, see Volotea’s homepage http://www.volotea.com/en/destinations/