Sunday 23 July 2017

CityJet revenue expected to jump by a third to €280m this year

 

Pat Byrne, CityJet chairman and founder
Pat Byrne, CityJet chairman and founder
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dublin-based carrier CityJet expects its revenue to leap by a third to €280m this year as it begins to see the impact of new business wins, according to executive chairman and founder Pat Byrne. He also hopes to complete another acquisition this year.

He told the Sunday Independent that last year CityJet's revenue from scheduled activities - flying regular routes under its own brand - touched €141m. Revenue from its wet-leasing activities, where it provides aircraft and crew to third-party airlines, was €69.2m.

This year, scheduled revenue is expected to decline to €85.2m. Wet-lease revenue will jump to €194.5m, however.

Byrne declined to reveal CityJet's bottom line figure for 2016, as the accounts have not yet been formally approved by the board. In 2015, the company cut its losses from €30m to €10m. Turnover was €165.1m that year.

Byrne has also revealed that CityJet will pursue the contract to operate the Aer Lingus Regional service when it comes up for tender within the next couple of years. The franchise is currently operated by Dublin-based Stobart Air. Stobart Air pulled out of a plan last year that would have seen it acquired by CityJet.

Byrne said that CityJet has also just extended a deal to operate routes on behalf of Air France to next year, and is in talks to extend the agreement even further.

CityJet, formerly owned by Air France-KLM, was acquired from Germany's Intro Aviation last year by Byrne and other backers. It has also been supported by UK aircraft leasing firm Falko.

Since he took over again at CityJet, Byrne set about expanding its wet-leasing business. In January, it acquired Danish carrier Cimber from SAS, and placed an additional order for hundreds of millions of euro worth of Bombardier jets.

CityJet, which also has a wet-lease agreement with Lufthansa-owned Brussels Airlines, is also continuing to take delivery of Sukhoi Superjets. Three of those jets are used for the Brussels Airlines services.

Byrne also said that the airline is extending the use of its ageing Avro jets.

"We originally thought we wouldn't be using them by 2018 or 2019, but we see more opportunity for them," said Mr Byrne, adding that the airline is upgrading the remaining Avro jets in its fleet to lengthen their life. However, he said that the airline will probably stop using them by 2021.

Across the group, CityJet currently has 15 Avro jets, 23 Bombardier CRJs, and six Superjets.

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