CityJet is an Irish regional airline with headquarters in Swords, Dublin. Since 2017, CityJet has moved away from scheduled flights and has instead focused on wet leasing and charter flights. The airline operates wet-lease services on behalf of Air France, Brussels Airlines, and Scandinavian Airlines. It also operates a scheduled service from London City Airport to Dublin Airport under its own brand name. Air France sold CityJet to Intro Aviation in May 2014. In March 2016 the airline was bought by founder Pat Byrne and other investors.
The airline was established on 28 September 1992 and started scheduled operations on 12 January 1994. It was founded by Pat Byrne and began operations between London City Airport and Dublin under a franchise agreement with Virgin Atlantic Airways. On 4 July 1997, the airline began operations on the route using its own identity, with Saab 2000 aircraft.
Initially, CityJet operated the Paris to London City service on behalf of Air France. In May 1999, in partnership with Air Foyle Ireland, Air France took a 25% equity stake in the airline. In February 2002, Air France assumed complete control. The airline from this time was marketed as CityJet for Air France.
Geoffrey O'Byrne White replaced Jacques Bankir as CEO of CityJet in 2000, and held this position until 2010.
On 24 December 2007, Air France-KLM announced that it had signed an agreement for a full takeover of VLM Airlines NV from Panta Holdings and announced on 28 May 2009 that VLM Airlines would gradually start to operate under the brand name CityJet. As of 1 June 2010, the whole VLM Airlines Fokker 50 fleet wore full CityJet livery, although VLM remained the owner of its own Airline Operators Certificate, and the Fokker 50 fleet is listed on the Belgian registry.
CityJet filed a pretax loss of €51.5 million for the year to the end of March 2010. This compared to a €53.9 million loss in the year to end March 2009. Revenues fell by 8 percent from €282.4 million to €258.9 million over the same period. Passenger numbers grew, climbing by 6.5 percent to 2.1 million, while average fares dropped by 16 percent. Christine Ourmières joined as new chief executive on 1 October 2010. She has previously held a number of senior posts within the Air France-KLM group. In the IATA year ending 31 March 2010, CityJet carried just over 1 million passengers on its London City network.
In June 2012 it was announced that Air France-KLM was considering selling CityJet to support its own ailing business, with a further statement in April 2013 that the winning bidder would be announced in the summer of 2013.
As of October 2013 the operational agreement with Air France has been replaced by codesharing. CityJet since then operates most routes under its own WX code instead of Air France's. In December 2013 Air France announced it would sell CityJet including VLM Airlines to German investor Intro Aviation. The transfer was completed in May 2014. CityJet subsidiary VLM Airlines was bought by its own management and cut itself loose from CityJet. However, they were to remain flying routes as ACMI operator for CityJet until at least Summer 2015.
In 2014, CityJet started a new codeshare with Guernsey based airline Blue Islands, after Blue Islands pulled out of selected European routes. Blue Islands would operate flights from Jersey to London City, and then passengers would get onto a CityJet operated flight to a European destination. This ended in March 2016.
It was announced in November 2014, that CityJet routes from Cardiff to Edinburgh and Paris-Orly were to be operated by Stobart Air from 1 December 2014. However, both routes will cease by June 2015 since Flybe introduced flights the same routes from Cardiff, supported by the airports operator.
In June 2015, CityJet announced the termination of Dresden, the last of four German destinations, due to low demand. In October 2015, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced it would sell its Finnish subsidiary Blue1 to CityJet which however was planned continue to operate the company on behalf of SAS as part of a larger co-operation. However, during 2016 Blue1 has been dissolved and merged into its new parent CityJet.
On 28 June 2016, CityJet inaugurated its Sukhoi Superjet 100 revenue services with its first scheduled flight from Cork to Nantes. Early December 2016, CityJet started recruiting Flight & Cabin Crew for a new Sukhoi Superjet 100 base in Brussels, Belgium.
In March 2017, CityJet stated that it planned to focus more on its wetlease business while reducing its own scheduled flights. This will lead to the closure of routes from London-City to Nantes and Paris as well as a downgrade of frequencies on other routes. CityJet plans to operate 80 percent of all flights on a wetlease basis in the near future.
On 5 April 2017, it was announced that KLM Cityhopper would wet lease two Avro RJ85s from CityJet to operate four additional Amsterdam–London City services per weekday over the Summer 2017 season, starting 15 May 2017. This has since ceased.
In late October 2017, CityJet cancelled most of its remaining routes from London City Airport leaving Dublin and Florence as its only scheduled destinations from there after operating a much larger network in previous years.
CityJet operates under its own name with a codeshare-agreement with Air France and additionally also operates several routes for Air France, Scandinavian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines on a wetlease contract.
As of March 2018, the CityJet fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Avro RJ85||15||—||95||To be replaced by Sukhoi Superjet 100 by 2019–2020|
|Bombardier CRJ900||22||—||90||Operated for Scandinavian Airlines|
|Sukhoi Superjet 100||6||9||98||Five operated for Brussels Airlines.
To replace the Avro RJ85 fleet
The existing entire Bombardier CRJ900 fleet is on wetlease to SAS – operate exclusively on behalf of SAS with crew from CityJet, in SAS livery. CRJ900 on order will replace Cimber aircraft in 2017 and 2018.
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