[attachment=25111:BO8.jpg]Bolt | United Kingdom | Category B
IATA: XB | ICAO: XBT | Home airport: London Stansted
Bolt is a British low cost airline based and headquartered at London Stansted Airport. It also has bases at London Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow, Belfast International and Dublin. Bolt was founded on June 17, 1987 and has started flying about two years later, on August 09, 1989.
Bolt was launched in 1987 by a group of British investors who wanted to make air travel cheaper and more accessible. The airline, at the time called Budget Fly, signed an order for up to 35 Airbus A320-200 (20 firm and 15 options) three months after its stablishment. This order was to be delivered from the 1989 second quarter and was the first A320 order from an European low cost carrier.
On May 29, 1989 the first A320 was delivered and the first flight departed from London Gatwick to Lisbon on August 09. By the time of the launch of operations, the airline main hub was Gatwick, wich was changed later to Stansted.
In 1995 Bolt’s fleet was comprised of 28 Airbus A320 with 22 more on order. That same year the airline just had placed a new order for 25 Airbus A319 to be delivered from 1997.
In 1998 the airline announced that would enter in long haul market by 2001 or 2002 operating the all-new Airbus A330-200. Months later, the airline signed na order for 10 A330-200 with options for 5 A330-300, to be delivered from the first quarter of 2002. It also ordered 12 more A320. By the end of that year the fleet was 36 A320 and 7 A319.
Bolt announced on June, 2001 their first intercontinental destinations: Miami, Newark, Baltimore, Cape Town, Cancun and Rio de Janeiro, with daily flights to US destinations and 3 weekly for the other. The flights would start in March, 2002 after the A330 got delivered in January. In September, 2001, days after the 9/11 attacks, Bolt announced that would not receive their order for 10 A330, wich was supposed to be delivered in about four months and that the long haul flights were cancelled.
By 2004 the fleet started to get bigger again as the airline received 17 leased A320, wich arrived from April to September. In December, the airline’s fleet was of 67 A320 and 25 A319. The next year started with a new order of 28 Airbus A320 and 4 A319 to be delivered from 2006.
By 2010, Bolt’s fleet was comprised by 81 A320, with 12 more on order, and 29 A319. In May, 2010 the airline announced that the A319 would be replaced by used A320 by January, 2012.
On June 16, 2012 the airline announced an order for 125 Airbus A320neo and 50 A321neo to be delivered from 2016. This order would replace the airline’s fleet of 112 Airbus A320-200 by 2023.
In February, 2016 the airline received its first Airbus A320neo aircraft. By the end of that year, the airline operated 21 A320neo and 93 A320-200. In September, 2016 Bolt announced na order for 20 Airbus A321LR and 25 Airbus A330-900neo to start long haul flights from 2019.
In order to receive their first A321LR on January, 2019 and their first A330neo on April, 2019, Bolt announced on September 21, 2018 their first long haul routes: London Stansted to Newark (daily, A321LR from January, 2019, later changing to A330 on May, 2019), Boston (daily A321LR from January, 2019), Baltimore (5 weekly, A321LR from February 2019), Fort Lauderdale (daily, A330 from June, 2019), Oakland (5 weekly, A330 from July, 2019), Johannesburg (5 weekly, from September 2019) and São Paulo Guarulhos (3 weekly, A330 from November, 2019), as well as Manchester to Newark and Boston (both daily A321LR, from July, 2019) and Dublin to Newark (daily A321LR, from May, 2019). The airline also presented their all new Thunder Class, a business class concept similar to JetBlue Mint, wich will be fitted on the new A321LR and A330-900. By the end of 2018, the Bolt’s fleet was 46 A320neo, 65 A320-200 and 6 A321neo.
On January, 2019 Bolt received their first A321LR and started flying to the US, followed by the delivery of the first A330neo by April. On June, at the Paris Air Show a new Airbus order was announced: 60 A321neo and 25 A321XLR, the first with deliveries from 2021 and the latter from 2024. On December 31, 2019 the fleet was 56 A320neo, 43 A320-200, 19 A321neo, 8 A321LR and 6 A330-900. The airline also started daily flights from Stansted to Toronto with the A321LR.
On April, 2020, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Bolt retired their remaining 41 A320-200 immediatly and deferred the deliveries of the remaining A330neo ordered to 2022. Bolt’s 6 A330-900 was converted to Preighter to operate cargo flights to Beijing, Singapore, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Toronto, São Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Dubai, Tel Aviv and Mumbai. About 85% of the remaining fleet of 58 A320neo, 20 A321neo and 8 A321LR was parked across Europe and the entire A330 fleet was flying cargo routes.
On October, 2021 about 20% of the fleet is still parked. The airline received 12 more A320neo and 3 A321neo in 2020 and from January to October, 2021 Bolt received 5 A320neo, 8 A321neo and 3 A321LR. The A330neo are still flying cargo routes, daily passenger flights from London and Manchester to Dubai started on June, 2021 operated by A321LR. Flights to the US resumed on July, 2021, operating daily A321LR flights from London Stansted to Newark and Boston and from Manchester to Newark. Flights to Brazil and other North American destination will resume from December, 2021.
63 Airbus A320neo (62 more on order) - 180 seats (Y+24 / Y156)
23 Airbus A321neo (87 more on order) - 226 seats (Y+30 / Y196)
11 Airbus A321LR (9 more on order) - 186 seats (C12 / Y+ 30 / Y144)
25 Airbus A321XLR on order
6 Airbus A330-900 (19 more on order) 319 seats (C24 / Y+45 / Y250)