Banned airlines come to the West Country
From the Viktorfeed: Phoenix Aviation/AVE, a company banned from the EU and which has a long history of dubious activities, sent off a flight (number 2E501 – note this as it’s important later) from Dubai at 1539 with destination Bristol (Lulsgate). DXB’s Web site lists it as “passenger charter” (click “more”). AVE is the UAE-based subsidiary of Phoenix set up to operate its Boeing 737s around the worse parts of South-West Asia; we can see that it is indeed part of Phoenix because it tends to use either their ICAO codes (PHW and PHG) or else 2E, which is assigned to a Sri Lankan operator that ceased to exist in 2000.
The aircraft is a B737 Classic; therefore its cruising speed is 485 mph. The ever-handy Great Circle Mapper lets us make a handy map. It’s 3,516 nm from Dubai to Bristol; so that’s a planned flight time of 7 hours 15 minutes. The B737 doesn’t have the range to do it in one jump, however, having a maximum ferry range of 2,240 nm. I’ve plotted that distance from both airports on the map; there will have to be a stop somewhere in the intersection of the two areas.
This gives quite a lot of scope – Istanbul or Bucharest would be the most direct. (Checking, the great circle route goes directly over Bucharest.) Allowing 45 minutes for the tech stop, that’s an eight hour flight, which gives an ETA of 2339 in Bristol. Bucharest, and the EU, would come up after four and a half hours, just after eight o’clock.