Companies that have been established or have been rumored to be connected with Viktor Bout seem to change their name often, change homebase, disappear for a while to reappear elsewhere or have their aircraft operate without any markings apparently to complicate immediate identification. Purpose of this page is to publish tracking issues or questions regarding identification of certain aircraft and/or companies.
Note 1: companies mentioned need not be involved with Viktor Bout, merely that they are mentioned in official (e.g. UN) documents as supected of being so (or have done so in the past).
Note 2: companies mentioned need not be involved in any illegal activities, merely that they are mentioned in official (e.g. UN) documents as supected of being so (by their own activities or having performed assignments for companies allegedly involved in suspect activities).
Note 3: rebranding a company or operating unmarked aircraft is in itself not a suspect activity.
This page is merely about identifying and/or locating aircraft in "certain parts of the world" (Africa, Middle East, Central Asia) and may aid in seperating fact from rumor, even clear reputations from internet rumors.
While browsing on Phoenix Aviation I stumbled on the following photo on Airliners.net; it has the following comment added: "Phoenix Aviation changed its name to AVE as of December 2005."
Skyliner magazine (Sep.2006) issue stated: "MaxAvia is the new name of Phoenix Aviation and its Dubai-based associate has been renamed AVE.com".
Someone wrote me in Feb.2006:
Cordial Tours (allegedly a VB Front in Sharjah) shared offices with Chapman Freeborn until very recently; they seem to have closed shop last week since that office is now closed.
A clean up operation or merely the end of a business ?
Russi Batliwala wrote me in April 2006 with following comment on above remark: |
"It is suggested that Chapman Freeborn shares or shared office space with Cordial Tours this is absolute rubbish! Our offices are at the Sharjah Airport Free Zone and we do not share space or have have shared with any other company."
Group Cargo Director
Air Bas went on to become Irbis Air and anno 2008 was operating as Mega Airlines. IL-18 UN-75005 was reregistered as UP-I1801, IL-18 UN-75002 became UP-I1802, IL-18 UN-75003 became UP-I1803 and IL-18 UN-75004 became UP-I1804. Mega Airlines also includes 5 Boeing 727 aircraft. [www.aerotransport.org Feb.2009]
Aviation Letter (Aug08) reported that Mega Aircompany has been renamed to Omega Aircompany...
An as yet unidentified Ilyushin IL-18, tailnumber UP-I1804, of Omega Aircompany has been seen at Tbilisi, Georgia 11Jul08.
I think Mega Aircompany mentioned here is the same as Mega Airlines, now renamed Omega Aircompany...
Galaxy Air was reported to be a 'Bout airline'; it leased aircraft in and a remaining Ilyushin IL-18 went on to Osh Avia (by Mar08 seems to have been reduced to one aircraft, a Yak 40, but may also have ceased operations) and IL-18 EX-786 went on to become EX-505 for Anikay (Anikai) Airlines. Another Bout airline?
As of 5 March 2007 the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) was withdrawn or revoked by national authorities (as reported by the EU). Quote: "The authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic have provided the Commission with evidence of the withdrawal of the Air Operator's Certificates of the following air carriers: Anikai Air, Country International Airlines, FAB Air, Kyrgyz Airways, Kyrgyz Trans Avia, Reem Air, Sun Light. These carriers certified in the Kyrgyz Republic have consequently ceased their activities" Unquote. [Source: www.sipri.org/contents/armstrad/Air_Cargo_Operators/Anikay_Airlines.html]
Samar Airlines (Alias: Samar Air) ICAO: SMQ Country: Tajikistan Base: Khujand Date: 2007- ???
Named by US DEA as a cover company set up by Victor Bout and alleged associate Richard A Chichakli, expecting one Boeing 727-200 & one 737-200 to be delivered from Florida.
Not to be confused with Samara Airlines (1993-2008, operated various Russian types of aircraft)
Source - ATDB.aero
www.aerotransport.org/ (march 2012)