Dublin based City Jet merges with Spain’s Air Nostrum
Dublin based CityJet has agreed a deal with Spain’s Air Nostrum that the companies say will create Europe’s largest regional airline group.
The merged businesses will have a combined fleet of close to 100 aircraft, and annual revenues of close to €700m.
The tie-up is aimed in particular at winning a greater share of the so called wet lease market – where the airlines operate regional routes on behalf of bigger operators. The deal was announced today at the Farnborough Airshow in Britain.
Air Nostrum and CityJet said they have signed a Heads of Terms with the aim to bring about closer co-operation between the two airlines under the umbrella of a new holding company. The breakdown of ownership and other details in relation to the corporate structure were not announced, and the deal will require regulatory approval at EU level.
Air Nostrum employs 1,450 people, and is best known as the Regional Operator for Iberia - flying to more than 60 destinations within Europe and Africa, with a fleet of 50 aircraft, including 30 Bombardier CRJ1000 regional jets. It is also active on wet lease services for customers across Europe, including Lufthansa, SAS, Binter or Croatian Airlines.
CityJet employs 1,250 people across 9 European countries and operates an extensive regional network of services under wet lease contracts with Air France, Brussels Airlines and SAS with a fleet of over 40 aircraft including 22 new Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets acquired specifically for wet lease services.
Pat Byrne, CEO of CityJet said: “By coming together, we believe we will be in a position to respond to the specific needs of customer airlines through our flexibility in the provision of safe, dependable and quality assured operations. Our respective proven capacity and asset management expertise in acquiring aircraft for new wet lease contracts is also a significant added benefit we can provide to our airline customers.”