MIAMI – Today in Aviation, Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI)-based LTE International Airways (XO) ceased operations in 2008.

LTE International was set up in 1987 by a group of Spanish businessmen and German charter carrier LTU International (LT).

Flights commenced on November 1, 1987 after three Boeing 757-200s were transferred over from LTU. The 757 would go on to form the backbone of the fleet with 15 operated in total. It would be replaced by the Airbus A320 from March 2002, with 12 A320 and three A321s flown.

In 1993 LTU became XO’s sole owner in 1993 and the airline expanded steadily.  Further bases were opened in Barcelona (BCN), Las Palmas (LPA), Fuerteventura (FUE), Tenerife (TFS) and Lanzarote (ACE).

On May 24, 2001 LTU sold the carrier to a group of Spanish and Italian businessmen. The takeover led LTE to be rebranded as Volar Airlines between 2003 and 2004. In 2005 the LTE name was resurrected.

LTE’s initial Boeing 757s were transferred over from LTU subsidiary LTU Süd which wore a blue livery instead of the iconic red the airline was known for. (Photo: Kambui, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Volar Rebranding


The carrier was sold to a group of Spanish and Italian businessmen on May 24, 2001. This led to the rebranding as Volar Airlines between 2003 and 2004. However, in 2005 the LTE name was resurrected.

On October 17, 2008 the airline announced it was temporarily suspending its scheduled and charter flights due to financial difficulties.

Speaking at the time LTE’s Managing Director Michael Harrington said “Because of an unexpected financial situation, we have had to temporarily suspend our charter operations. Our AOC is continuing and we have to re-present a restructuring plan within the next week to ten days.” 

The Volar branding lasted just two years before the LTE name returned. Airbus A320 (EC-JIB) is seen here in the Volar livery with LTU titles. (Photo: Pedro Aragão, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons)

Three of the airlines seven A320s were then used to continue its ACMI operations. This part of the business generated around a third of the airlines revenues. Sadly it wasn’t enough to save the airline and operations ceased a month later.


Featured image: Airbus A320 (EC-KFM) wearing the carrier’s final livery before its closure. (Photo: Ken Fielding/https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)