CityJet joins forces with Air Nostrum

Ireland’s CityJet announced plans to join forces with Spain’s Air Nostrum. The two airlines would become part of a new holding company, but would continue operating under their own brands. A heads of agreement has been signed, but many details remain to be sorted out before the deal is finalized. The two airlines hope that the new joint company will better position them to respond to demand from large airlines for regional feed operations. CityJet already has such agreements with Air France, SAS, and Brussels Airlines, while Air Nostrum flies on behalf of Iberia. Both CityJet and Air Nostrum have large fleets of Bombardier CRJs (CityJet has CRJ900s, which it operates for SAS, and Air Nostrum has CRJ1000s, which it operates for Iberia). CityJet currently operates Avro RJ85s on behalf of Air France, as well as on its own routes from London City, but has been gradually drawing down its fleet. It had intended to replace the RJ85s with Sukhoi SSJ100s, of which it has ordered fifteen and received seven to date. However, CityJet’s operation of SSJ100s on behalf of Brussels Airlines has proven troublesome, with frequent cancellations, and press reports suggest that the SSJ100s may be phased out from Brussels Airlines service prior to the contract’s scheduled end.

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