Saturday 17 March 2018

Aircraft in tragic Colombia plane crash was once part of CityJet fleet

Brazil's Chapecoense football team among those on board

Route taken by plane before crash at Cerro el Gordo
Route taken by plane before crash at Cerro el Gordo
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The aircraft that has crashed in Colombia killing at least 76 people was once part of the fleet of Dublin-based airline CityJet.

The Avro jet, which was manufactured in 1999 by British Aerospace, joined the CityJet fleet in 2007, when the Irish carrier was owned by Air France-KLM.

The aircraft was painted in Air France livery and operated on the carrier’s behalf by CityJet.

According to flight records, the jet was placed in storage in 2011, before going into service again in 2013 with Lamia Airlines in South America.

CityJet, which was sold in 2014 by Air France-KLM to Germany’s Intro Aviation, was sold this year to CityJet founder Pat Byrne and backers.

It has embarked on a major fleet expansion and renewal programme. It still has some Avro jets in service, but had already decided to retire the remainder of the Avro jets in its fleet beginning from next year as it takes delivery of newer aircraft.

The Avro jets that are in service with CityJet have had a good safety record, with stringent maintenance checks necessary to adhere to Irish and European safety and operational requirements.

However, there have been a handful of incidents involving the aircraft type.

In October, an Avro jet operated by CityJet on behalf of Air France suffered a cracked windscreen soon after takeoff from Dublin en route to Paris. 

The aircraft safely returned to Dublin for repairs.

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