CityJet parent won't make decision on unit's future until 2013
Cityjet parent Air France-KLM is seeking a "strong proposal" for its Dublin-based subsidiary as it considers the unit's future, CityJet chief executive Christine Ourmieres told the Irish Independent.
She said there was "no preference" at the moment to secure either a trade buyer or a private equity investment for the carrier and confirmed a decision on CityJet's future would not be made until the first quarter of 2013 at the earliest.
Speaking at the airline's headquarters near Dublin Airport, Ms Ourmieres said that it was too early to say what the outcome of the review process might be.
"There is no preference as far as the process is concerned," she said. "The only thing is to have a very serious proposal and that people believe in CityJet and see a bright future for it."
Air France-KLM launched a review of its options for CityJet earlier this year as it undertakes a radical reorganisation of the group – a process that is expected to last until 2015. Air France fully acquired CityJet in 2000.
While CityJet has been loss-making and will remain so in the current financial year, Ms Ourmieres said many of the cost-saving measures would not filter through until next year.
Those measures have included a voluntary redundancy programme that recently saw 100 staff leave, bringing its workforce to about 850.
CityJet expects to save about €10m a year through the various cost-management exercises. The airline made a €55m loss in the year to the end of March 2011.
Ms Ourmieres, who was appointed CityJet chief executive in 2010, said the airline continued to have a valuable niche offering and its forward bookings remained strong. She said there had been little pressure on its yields into London City.
"When you are flying to London City you need to keep a very strong yield. London City is not a low-cost airport. It's not a low-yield airport either, but that doesn't mean we can't have competitive fares," she said.