New Zealand start-up KiwiJet chooses Avro RJ100s

New Zealand start-up Kiwijet has announced that it intends to lease four Avro RJ100s from BAE Systems for low-fare operations. Formed in May, Kiwijet initially planned to operate 140-seat Boeing 737-300s, closely following the Southwest Airlines model. When this proved too ambitious, the airline switched its plans to the much smaller 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145. However, the ERJ 145 proved too small for the planned services. Moreover, the airline were unable to secure examples of the LR model, which they would need to operate into regional airports in New Zealand. They have thus now turned their attention to the RJ100, which would give them both the size and the capability they are looking for. Current plans call for an initial fleet of four aircraft to be based in Christchurch, linking Auckland, Hamilton, Invercargill, Nelson, and Palmerston North from November. No agreement has yet been reached with BAE Systems, however.

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