Belfast Telegraph

CityJet start-up set to link London City with Antwerp

By John Mulligan

Air Antwerp, a small start-up venture between Dublin-based carrier CityJet and KLM, has secured its air operator's certificate from Belgian authorities.

It will begin flights between Antwerp and London City Airport next month.

CityJet owns 75% of the venture, with KLM owning the remainder. It's using a Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft to operate a four day-a-week service between the two cities. KLM is a codeshare partner for the route.

CityJet, which is majority-owned by leasing specialist Falko, no longer operates flights under its own livery. The flights ceased last year after it signed an agreement with Aer Lingus to operate its Dublin-London City route under the latter's livery.

The service is operated on an ACMI basis, where CityJet provides the aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance.

It is the first time an Aer Lingus-branded aircraft has operated on the route in more than a decade. The CityJet brand had been used around Europe since 1993, when the airline was founded by executive chairman Pat Byrne. CityJet's business is now entirely focused on providing ACMI and wet lease services. It has a fleet of 25 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft and 13 Avro RJ86 jets.

The Avros are used by CityJet on its wet lease contracts with Air France, operating from Paris Charles de Gaulle and on the Aer Lingus route between Dublin and London City.

The CRJ900 fleet is operated on behalf of Scandinavian airline SAS. CityJet operates regional services for SAS out of cities including Stockholm, Copenhagen and Helsinki.

Last year CityJet and Spain's Air Nostrum signed an agreement to jointly operate under a new holding company.

Last month the European Commission approved the merger between the two companies, in a deal that will see the Spanish airline be the majority shareholder.

Belfast Telegraph

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