CityJet‘s board has rejected an offer a IEP4.4 million (US$3.7 million) offer from National Jet Systems (NJS) for 60 percent of the airline, even though NJS had already paid part of the purchase price to CityJet. NJS had planned to drop several of the routes operated by CityJet, including the Dublin-London City and Dublin-East Midlands routes, leading to the layoff of at least 100 of the airline’s 350 staff. Rumors suggest that NJS’s planned acquisition of CityJet was part of a plan to create an Italy-based carrier to operate on behalf of British Airways, much as NJS already operates on behalf of QANTAS Airlink in Australia. Had the deal proceeded, it would have been hampered by European Union (EU) regulations prohibiting non-EU nationals from holding a majority stake in an EU airline. Reports in the Irish press suggest that efforts were being made to sidestep this regulation by placing an 11 percent share with an EU national, who would have later sold it to NJS once the necessary approvals had been received.