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    • MSE Callum
    • By MSE Callum 16th Mar 17, 6:56 AM
    • 249Posts
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    MSE Callum
    0 WOW
    MSE News: Easyjet passengers told they'll have to fly on Latvian airline's planes
    • #1
    • 16th Mar 17, 6:56 AM
    0 WOW
    MSE News: Easyjet passengers told they'll have to fly on Latvian airline's planes 16th Mar 17 at 6:56 AM
    Passengers due to fly with Easyjet this summer may end up flying on aircraft operated by Latvian-based carrier SmartLynx...
    Read the full story:
    'Easyjet passengers with summer bookings told they'll have to fly on Latvian airline's planes - your rights'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
Page 2
    • leylandsunaddict
    • By leylandsunaddict 16th Mar 17, 6:42 PM
    • 1,036 Posts
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    leylandsunaddict
    So, ticket "substantially not as described" - money back please would be my first thought.
    Ticket was a flight from A - B at the quoted price, and that is all. That won't change.

    The radio call sign for their aircraft appears to be Tallinn Cat (a play upon the 'Lynx' part of their current brand name I guess, and upon their greater links - forgive pun - with Estonia than with Latvia? Who knows?)
    Smart Lynx Latvia callsign is Smart Lynx. Smart Lynx Estonia is Tallin Cat.
    • Sleazy
    • By Sleazy 16th Mar 17, 6:48 PM
    • 3,799 Posts
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    Sleazy
    Trajedy .
    Signed Sleazy
    Otherwise known as the Lounge Lizard
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th Mar 17, 8:18 PM
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    agarnett
    Given that you are so interested, you may find their website has an absolute wealth of information. Their fleet page http://www.smartlynx.aero/corporate/fleet has clickable links for each aircraft which offer 8 PDF docments about the aircraft including Airworthiness Review Certificate, Certificate of Airworthiness, Certificate of registration etc etc

    They also have a Company Documents page http://www.smartlynx.aero/corporate/company-documents which has their Air Operators Certificate, Operating License, Insurances etc

    It's fair to say easyJet will have done their homework in far more depth also.
    Originally posted by bagand96
    Ha amazing! I wasn't that interested but I must say I was curious enough to have a look since you found the page

    Isn't it somewhat desperate or naive to publish documents like that and questionable too as to why, I'd have thought - do Ryanair and BA and Easyjet and Jet2 do the same on their websites?

    Yes I am very sure indeed that Easyjet will have ensured that their interests are well protected - which means that a set of documents as sparse and incomplete as those on the website wouldn't satisfy them for even a blink of an eye!

    Question is, do you know why that is? To almost every reader of this thread, those documents are gobbledegook. So here's the starter question for 10, to those to whom the documents are not gobbledegook i.e. to those that know exactly what the documents purport to be, then what sort of further questions might be asked about them by a wise observer?

    Let me re-emphasise that I am sure that Easyjet have ensured that all the documentation necessary to protect their interests is in order.

    Documentation is one thing. It is not the be all and end all of any business or operation.

    There are other considerations (if you choose to consider them).

    Alternatively, if you choose to buy your ticket, close your mind and eyes at that point, get on a plane, and wait for your journey from A to B to end so you can exit the life support system that you voluntarily entered in order to travel in a impossible environment up to 10-12.5km above the earth, and to breath easy again on your own, in the open air with feet on the ground, then that's fine too. There are millions like you doing the same. You are indeed 'normal'.

    I'm not.
    • bagand96
    • By bagand96 16th Mar 17, 8:37 PM
    • 2,649 Posts
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    bagand96
    Question is, do you know why that is? To almost every reader of this thread, those documents are gobbledegook. So here's the starter question for 10, to those to whom the documents are not gobbledegook i.e. to those that know exactly what the documents purport to be, then what sort of further questions might be asked about them by a wise observer?
    SmartLynx's business is sub-chartering to other airlines, be it one off, or longer sub-charters like easyJet, Monarch and Thomas Cook are using. They don't fly any scheduled routes of their own.

    Its not uncommon for such companies to list to some degree their certifications on their websites. Obviously an airline looking to lease or subcharter won't just Google, have a quick browse of a website and think "looks ok from here, hire them". But as the forward face of their business its not unusual.

    easyJet will have done a lot more in depth review of SmartLynx and their operations, and in all likelihood will be performing ongoing monitoring through the period of their lease.

    I wonder where you draw the line between an acceptable and non acceptable operator
    • CKhalvashi
    • By CKhalvashi 16th Mar 17, 8:38 PM
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    CKhalvashi
    Ticket was a flight from A - B at the quoted price, and that is all. That won't change.



    Smart Lynx Latvia callsign is Smart Lynx. Smart Lynx Estonia is Tallin Cat.
    Originally posted by leylandsunaddict
    Callsign will be 'Easy' though, so completely irrelevant.

    Isn't it somewhat desperate or naive to publish documents like that and questionable too as to why, I'd have thought - do Ryanair and BA and Easyjet and Jet2 do the same on their websites?
    Originally posted by agarnett
    Nope, plus if an airline needs a frame quickly, all the paperwork is there already, Smartlynx isn't a scheduled airline, and specialises in ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintainence and Insurance) to other airlines.

    Let me re-emphasise that I am sure that Easyjet have ensured that all the documentation necessary to protect their interests is in order.

    Documentation is one thing. It is not the be all and end all of any business or operation.

    There are other considerations (if you choose to consider them).
    Show me evidence of crew training or aircraft maintainence not being in order. Don't have any? Don't call the airline unsafe then.

    I'm sure that the crews are as well trained as Latvian pilots flying for Ryanair, Wizz or any other European airline, and I'm sure that the fleet is well maintained. I believe that their Maintainence Director is ex-Monarch and has British qualifications, but don't quote me on that.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    Call me Remainer or Romaniac, but not Remoaner. It's insulting and I have the right to have my voice heard too.

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 16th Mar 17, 8:57 PM
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    coffeehound
    Latvia and Estonia are Members of the European Aviation Safety Agency the same as is the UK. The company docs show that SmartLynx has satisfied its respective National Aviation Authorities in those counties that it is capable of managing the continuing airworthiness of its fleet rather than farming this function out to a third party as some small operators do. In theory, these accreditations should be acceptable at face value since the auditing will have already been done through those lines of regulatory oversight. In reality though as others have said, the lessee will have no doubt done their own due diligence as well.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th Mar 17, 9:24 PM
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    agarnett
    Callsign will be 'Easy' though, so completely irrelevant.
    Originally posted by CKhalvashi
    You may think it irrelevant, but choosing to brand a business perhaps as some 'smarter than the average cat' displays something that is not lost on me.

    Nope, plus if an airline needs a frame quickly, all the paperwork is there already, Smartlynx isn't a scheduled airline, and specialises in ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintainence and Insurance) to other airlines.
    Indeed, does it? Does it maintain Easy?

    Show me evidence of crew training or aircraft maintainence not being in order. Don't have any? Don't call the airline unsafe then.
    I was careful not to say anything of the sort except that I would prefer not to fly with them if I had booked Easyjet. I only quickly scanned them, but some of the dates on documents suggest further documents must exist.

    I'm sure that the crews are as well trained as Latvian pilots flying for Ryanair, Wizz or any other European airline, and I'm sure that the fleet is well maintained.
    Good for you. That means you can do the normal thing, and sit back, relax and enjoy your flight then .
    I believe that their Maintainence Director is ex-XXXXXX and has British qualifications, but don't quote me on that.
    Indeed. Then I won't quote you! As an aside, have you noticed how many City firms and FTSE 100 firms have honours titled British directors - it's been a trend for a couple of hundred years. Some say it makes the company look good.

    Said director's business card wouldn't look good though if it spelled maintenance the way you do, Sir!
    Last edited by agarnett; 16-03-2017 at 10:14 PM.
    • budgetflyer
    • By budgetflyer 17th Mar 17, 5:56 AM
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    budgetflyer
    I think Stelios once said " If you think health and safety is expensive, try having a plane crash ! "
    IMO there is nothing to be concerned about.
    Most aviation disasters are "black Swan" events. From what I remember,Air France have been unluckier than most European airlines
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 9:17 AM
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    • 374 Thanks
    agarnett
    Most aviation disasters are "black Swan" events. From what I remember,Air France have been unluckier than most European airlines
    Originally posted by budgetflyer
    If you don't understand what can be learned from "unluck" in aviation, just say so, bf.

    A common European Sky and a common European safety regulatory body does not guarantee consistent safety - it does hopefully signpost the way.

    I would be interested if someone could tell us (and this is not rhetorical - I would genuinely be interested) why the last Aircraft Review Certificate (ARC) shown on the website for YL-LCN (the aircraft I read about in press releases relating to the Easyjet contract) expired in 2015. What does it mean? Website publication error? Presumably there will be a current Airworthiness Review Certificate? I note that the aircraft's actual Airworthiness Certificate was signed by a Latvia CAA inspector whose name appears on other Smartlynx certificates for other aircraft, alongwith a first Latvian ARC in 2014 - that was a few months before the current VP Technical was appointed with a role as Smartlynx Engineering Manager for a year, of "Control of Continuing Airworthiness". I note he signed the current MA901 ARC extensions for the Estonian registered aircraft including ES-SAK which paper trail includes this German issued/Irish and then Estonian amended ARC. I find it quite fascinating in practice, how many inspectors from different CAMOs and NAAs can get involved in certifying a single aircraft inside a couple of years.

    So ... not sure whether YL-LCN is currently on an MA901 extension. As I said earlier - these website documents look so much gobbledegook to most readers, but to others, they tend to raise further questions (which I have no doubt Easyjet have asked - and more!).

    As a further aside, and from the documents on their website, I note that as at earlier this year at least, Smartlynx themselves seemed to be leasing YL-LCN from an owner registered as a Delaware company. A number of the others appear to have Irish owners. As regards the aircraft operator, Wikipedia says that as of 2016, a Netherlands-based investment fund became the owner of the company.


    Smartlynx About page says they own 14 aircraft in 2017 and their website does host documents for A320s which are not directly referenced within their main webpages.
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-03-2017 at 9:23 AM.
    • jpsartre
    • By jpsartre 17th Mar 17, 9:33 AM
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    jpsartre
    SmartLynx also operates flights for Norwegian. It's a complete non-issue.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 17th Mar 17, 10:08 AM
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    PeacefulWaters
    How many SmartLynx planes have crashed?
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 10:36 AM
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    • 374 Thanks
    agarnett
    Dunno and it's relative, isn't it? How many aircraft have they had/got? How many Smartlynx flights have there been - lately/ever?

    Easyjet appear to have some 270-odd aircraft, Norwegian 120-odd, Ryanair 380-odd same type (more than BA who operate numerous types and sub-types).

    Once upon a time I might have said I prefer to fly BA in Europe. Thesedays I prefer to fly Ryanair when I can. I like the size, the consistency and the familiarity. I know what to expect and after years of maturing as a once very edgy offer, I am now pleased to buy into their current MO every time I can. I even have a couple of potential delay claims I could submit but I have resisted so far because in my two cases it was a bit unfortunate for the airline and I could see they swung into action to minimise the delays in quite impressive ways (wasn't always so, but I think it is so now). When I needed their special help a few months ago they again swung into action in magnificent ways - and no charge.

    I would be very surprised indeed to find a wet-leased aircraft on my Ryanair flight and would presume that if it happened it was a last resort decision on their part and not part of their low-cost strategy.

    Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice. All airlines are definitely not the same.
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-03-2017 at 10:41 AM.
    • CKhalvashi
    • By CKhalvashi 17th Mar 17, 11:10 AM
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    CKhalvashi
    I would be very surprised indeed to find a wet-leased aircraft on my Ryanair flight and would presume that if it happened it was a last resort decision on their part and not part of their low-cost strategy.
    Originally posted by agarnett
    2x STN-based OM- reg'd 734s a few years ago. 180 and 188 seats I believe, so not exactly my idea of fun
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    Call me Remainer or Romaniac, but not Remoaner. It's insulting and I have the right to have my voice heard too.

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
    • richardw
    • By richardw 17th Mar 17, 11:13 AM
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    richardw
    ..All airlines are definitely not the same.
    Originally posted by agarnett
    There are major similarities though between most of them

    1 Maintaining aircraft is a win-win

    2 Having high safety standards is also a win-win

    Smart Lynx included.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • leylandsunaddict
    • By leylandsunaddict 17th Mar 17, 11:55 AM
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    leylandsunaddict
    2x STN-based OM- reg'd 734s a few years ago. 180 and 188 seats I believe, so not exactly my idea of fun
    Originally posted by CKhalvashi
    and a Smartlynx in Summer 2015
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 1:45 PM
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    agarnett
    2x STN-based OM- reg'd 734s a few years ago. 180 and 188 seats I believe, so not exactly my idea of fun
    Originally posted by CKhalvashi
    Yes and that would indeed have been a few years ago whilst you were close to the action, Sir!
    There are major similarities though between most of them

    1 Maintaining aircraft is a win-win

    2 Having high safety standards is also a win-win

    Smart Lynx included.
    by richardw
    Sure, if you've the cashflow to handle it and a sustainable business model. I refer everyone to the comment I made right at some posts back - investing a fortune in an airline is so often a route to smaller fortune.

    Repeated MA901(b) certification of airworthiness doesn't indicate to me that investment in the cost of full annual re-certification is seen as win-win, plus if you are dabbling with aircraft owned in the US and Ireland and your aircraft are aimed at Irish and British and Norwegian airlines, why register on a tiny national register in the ex.USSR Baltics? Where's the win in that? Is skilled EASA licensed labour so much cheaper to find there?

    If YL-LCN needs some line maintenance in Luton whilst with Easy, is an engineer from CAMO 1 in Riga going to come over to do it in order to maintain a controlled environment for the next annual MA901 airworthiness renewal certificate or will they accept an Easyjet engineer working on their airframe (CAMO 2) and take the hit on the cost having had a discontinuous control environment and thus of full annual re-certification later? Or can it be deemed a controlled environment satisfying MA901(b) at the end of the day?

    I have no idea how it works in practice - only what I have Googled and shared.

    Seriously, consistency is not achieved by regulation. In practice it can only be achieved by practical management control. Anyone know how it would work?

    I mean, think of the cowling doors that got left open on the BA Airbus that took off at Heathrow three years back. Pretend the doors got opened at Luton on a Smartlynx. Who would open them? Smartlynx? Easy? A third party engineer? Why would they open them? What work might they be doing when they were in there between Easy flights? In a year's time is that entire year certified as a controlled environment under the auspices of a single CAMO i.e. Smartlynx who sign off their own airframes?

    And what about the power units themselves - how might the arrangement with the engine manufacturer differ between a Smartlynx (of which there are a scarce few airframes and engines cf. Easyjet's own) and an Easyjet engine?

    I am genuinely interested in how these things might truly be the same as/similar to, or alternatively not the same as/different to the regimes in place with an Easy registered airframe and power units.
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-03-2017 at 1:53 PM.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 17th Mar 17, 2:07 PM
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    coffeehound
    I would be interested if someone could tell us (and this is not rhetorical - I would genuinely be interested) why the last Aircraft Review Certificate (ARC) shown on the website for YL-LCN (the aircraft I read about in press releases relating to the Easyjet contract) expired in 2015. What does it mean? Website publication error? Presumably there will be a current Airworthiness Review Certificate?

    <snip>

    So ... not sure whether YL-LCN is currently on an MA901 extension. As I said earlier - these website documents look so much gobbledegook to most readers, but to others, they tend to raise further questions (which I have no doubt Easyjet have asked - and more!).
    Originally posted by agarnett
    Yes ARCs are reissued every three years with extensions issued by the CAMO in the intervening years.

    As a further aside, and from the documents on their website, I note that as at earlier this year at least, Smartlynx themselves seemed to be leasing YL-LCN from an owner registered as a Delaware company. A number of the others appear to have Irish owners. As regards the aircraft operator, Wikipedia says that as of 2016, a Netherlands-based investment fund became the owner of the company.
    Originally posted by agarnett
    It is very common, if not the norm, for operators to lease aircraft through finance houses, especially during times of expansion.
    • fifeken
    • By fifeken 17th Mar 17, 2:17 PM
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    fifeken
    . . . . I think I know enough about aviation, its risks and trends to argue the toss with most on here . . . . .
    Originally posted by agarnett
    It doesn't come across like that.

    I have no idea how it works in practice - only what I have Googled . . . . . .
    Originally posted by agarnett
    It comes across like this.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
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    agarnett
    Well fifeken, I don't have to be any kind of expert to come here to MSE and question areas in which I have a long-standing interest, and I don't have to give you my unique CV so you can see where I come from!

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am not employed as a licensed engineer, nor as licensed commercial pilot, nor have I ever been either, nor am I a journalist, nor do I have any agenda other than improvement in the industry for the benefit of theconsumer. However, I am used to reading documents including aviation documents and understanding broadly what is going on with the aircraft at every stage of every flight I take. That's a lot more than most MSE'ers and the general public, unless they are airline managers, aviation engineers or pilots.

    Personally, as a regular passenger at 11 and 12km up who has in the past been involved in two or three separate branches of aviation as a day job, I am disappointed to find airworthiness certification apparently reduced to self-certification year after year by MA901 given that we know that some aircraft like those in question are operated specifically for mixed short term use for different airline principals. How is the maintenance control achieved if the aircraft is away? Perhaps the control is via the pilots, because at least they work for the CAMO?

    I think in such an operation I'd much prefer to see full renewal certification every year, especially if many parties get involved with maintaining the aircraft on the line in the course of the 365 working days of each intervening 12 month period - or does the blessed thing return to Riga to roost every night?

    By my reading between the lines, the (up to) three year cycle of re-certification by extension does not appear to me to have been intended to be used as a norm other than for the major consistent operators. It appears to be an allowable exception if compliance can be certified with MA901 - an exception allowed for aircraft which are operated under a consistent continuous maintenance regime involving only one CAMO (sorry that's in German but Google Chrome will translate) for the entire 12 months prior to any period of extension - is that correct?

    Even large airlines like Ryanair cannot justify their own line engineers at every destination - far from it, but at least they have a closer interest in the day to day operation of the aircraft via their own SOPs and flight profile monitoring, and they have multiple bases. But how does an ACMI outfit deal with the problem of likely discontinuity of maintenance control whilst aircraft are away for weeks? Is there some kind of mandatory continuous operational review that demands a second signing by the main CAMO of every piece of maintenance done away at the earliest opportunity after the aircraft returns to CAMO base? Do they perhaps rely on their own pilots to maintain better than average control of fault reports and to obtain better than average fault rectification documentation from third party line engineers?

    If this was BA I wouldn't be asking in quite the same way, would I? With them, we kind of assume that their own maintenance arrangements at Heathrow and elsewhere are fully integrated with the day to day operations of their own aircraft, and that they are not anywhere near so much reliant on other maintenance organisations - but I appreciate that there are many flavours of outsourcing in any international airline business in 2017.
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-03-2017 at 4:38 PM.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th Mar 17, 5:14 PM
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    agarnett
    I think MSE were spot on by starting this discussion.

    If you buy Easyjet you don't expect a tiny Latvian outfit to be given your business. Same as when I flew Virgin just the once in the early 90s and we expected their Jumbos, my missus did not expect parts of the cabin trim inside a World Airways DC10 troop carrier to fall on her head on rotation.

    So - that one was Business Class on the way back and a letter from the other Richard himself!

    What's changed in customer big brand expectation terms since then? And what has changed in terms of the laws regarding fairness to consumers? These are the bigger questions for this forum, but my point is to demonstrate that not all airlines are the same so the services bought ought not to be switched at will to a lesser product operated by other airlines.
    Last edited by agarnett; 18-03-2017 at 3:30 PM. Reason: clearing up a misinderstanding with richardw
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