Avro RJ retirements looming in Europe 1

Swiss Avro RJ100 HB-IYY

Swiss Avro RJ100 HB-IYY taxies past most of the airline’s remaining RJ100s at Zürich on 26 December; from left: unknown, HB-IXO, HB-IYR, HB-IYU, and HB-IYZ (Stefano Pagiola)

2017 is going to see a substantial reduction in Avro RJ operations in Europe, with two major operators planning to withdraw their fleets entirely, and two others likely to reduce theirs. Brussels Airlines started the year with eight remaining Avro RJ100s, but has already taken one of those out of service. OO-DWA (msn E3308) operated her last service, SN2811/2812 to Praha and back, on 6 January. OO-DWJ (msn E3355) is scheduled to be withdrawn next, and the others will follow as their leases end, with the last being withdrawn in October. They are being replaced by Airbus A319s and A320s on most routes, but Brussels Airlines has just contracted CityJet to operate three Sukhoi SSJ100s on its behalf on thinner routes. Swiss is also planning to withdraw its eight remaining RJ100s in the course of the year, as it takes delivery of additional Bombardier CS100s and CS300s. The airline has received five CS100s to date—fewer than expected, due to delayed deliveries of the type’s Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines. The pace of RJ100 withdrawals may be affected if PW1500G availability remains tight. In addition, the CS100 has not yet been certified to operate at London City, with proving flights planned for late 2016 being pushed into 2017. Any delay in London City certification may also force Swiss to retain some RJ100s longer than planned. CityJet has gradually reduced its once large fleet of RJ85s, and now has fifteen left, with another in storage. The airline is planning to replace them with SSJ100s, of which it has already received three from an order for fifteen. Five more are scheduled to arrive in 2017. Presumably the RJ100s will be gradually withdrawn as additional SSJ100s arrive, but no firm schedule has been announced. As the SSJ100 is also not yet certified at London City, the RJ85 will continue to play an important role in CityJet’s fleet for some time. Braathens Regional Airlines is also planning to replace its ten RJ100s and two RJ85s with CS100s and CS300s. The airline was initially scheduled to the type’s first operator, but it decided to wait. No date has been announced for its first delivery.

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One thought on “Avro RJ retirements looming in Europe

  • The Jetset Boyz

    So many European airlines have flown the Avro over the years – designed specifically for short takeoff & landing operations, we’ve got a soft spot for the plane. British Airways, Braathens, cityJet, Crossair then Swiss, Eurowings, Lufthansa Cityline, klm UK, Meridiana & Brussels Airlines are just a few of the ones we’ve spotted across Europe. Sadly Avro RJ100s were banned from operating from London City Airport after 31st March.

    Last week Bombardier’s new C Series was granted Steep Approval Certification which means the CS100 is now cleared to use London City Airport. Swiss are happy about this as they will soon be operating a fleet of 30 which are intended to replace all of their RJ100s.