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SAAB 91 Safir
SAAB JAS-39C Gripen
SwedAF 39246  
Swearingen SA226-T Merlin 3A
D-AOLA SAAB 2000 c/n 2000-008 - OLT (OL) - Emden airfield in Germany - 5 May 2006 SAAB 2000 G-CDKA

The SAAB 2000 is a twin-engine transport aircraft with a max payload of 5900 kg or up to 2 crew and 58 passengers. Development studies on a 47 to 58-seat commuter airliner based on the SAAB 340 design started in 1985. Development of the SAAB 2000, a high-speed regional turboprop based on the SAAB 340 design, started in 1988 when Crossair ordered 25 SAAB 2000 airliners, with an option on a further 25. Development of the SAAB 2000 was done in cooperation with the launching customer Crossair from Switzerland. Production of the first prototype began in 1990. Several European aerospace firms participated in the Saab 2000 manufacturing program including CASA, Westland and Valmet of Finland. The Saab 2000's first flight took place on 26 March 1992, and certification in Europe was granted in March 1994. Certification by the FAA followed in April 1994. The SAAB 2000 entered airliner services in 1994 with Crossair. The Saab 2000 is a fast turboprop airliner with a cruise speed of over 665km/h. Lack of sales and profitability forced Saab to cease the 2000 production with just 63 aircraft built. The last SAAB 2000 was delivered to Crossair in April 1999.

OLT was original founded in November 1958 in Emden as "Ostfriesische Lufttaxi Dekker und Janssen oHG" with the intention to operate the whole range of aviation services out of Emden including flights tot the Frisian Islands. The entry into the commercial takes place on 22 January 1959. The company started its operations with a single SAI KZ-VII Laerke and on 17 June 1959, its first official flight started from the Emden airfield. Several aircraft types and company names are operated since. With the introduction of the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander in 1967 the company was known as O.L.T. or Ostfriesische Lufttaxi. In 1970 the Ostfriesische Lufttaxi GmbH added its first DHC-6 Twin Otter to the fleet and next to the regular services to the Frisian Isles, O.L.T. started regional airliner services in Germany. The expansion of the operations in Germany led in 1974 to the split-up of the company in O.L.T. and D.L.T. D.L.T.-Deutsche Luftverkehrsgesellschaft mbH is today known as the Lufthansa CityLine. After the split-up of the company the OLT remained operating a fleet of Islanders and Cessna's out Emden on the services to the Frisian Isles. Today, OLT Ostfriesische Lufttransport GmbH operates regular airline services out of Bremen with a fleet of SAAB 340, SAAB 2000 and Fairchild Metroliner and regular services to the Isles out of Emden with a fleet of Gippsland GA-8 Airvan, Cessna 172, Cessna 208 Caravan and Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander aircraft.

On 5 May 2006, SAAB 2000 D-AOLT was operating a charter flight out of Emden when it was photographed at the airfield were OLT has its roots. The SAAB 2000 c/n 2000-008 flew first as SE-008 on 30 September 1993. The airframe was delivered to Crossair as HB-IZE. After the defunct of Swissair and the founding of the new Swiss airliner, the HB-IZE was transfered to Swiss International Air Lines. On 5 November 2003, the aircraft entered the OLT fleet as D-AOLA, leased from Uppsala Aircraft. SAAB 2000 D-AOLA was in service with OLT based at Bremen Airport and operated until October 2007 when the airframe was replaced by SAAB 2000 D-AOLC. On 21 September 2007, after the registration D-AOLA was cancelled, the airliner was registered G-CERY with Air Kilroe LTD. t/a Eastern Airways in the UK.

page last updated: 11-11-2007
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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