Irish-based CityJet inks convention centre deal in London
Dublin-based airline CityJet has inked a partnership deal with ExCel, London's biggest conference and exhibitions centre.
The two-year deal will see CityJet become the official airline of ExCel, which is home to London's International Convention Centre, and which is situated close to London City Airport. CityJet will offer competitive fares to delegates attending events at the London venue, and will also arrange charter flights for groups travelling to ExCel from cities not currently on the airline's network.
Pat Byrne, the executive chairman of CityJet, described the partnership as a "perfect marriage".
The airline will also paint the ExCel London logo on its aircraft.
David Pegler, chief executive of ExCel London, said that with its base at London City Airport, CityJet is a "natural ally" for the convention and exhibitions centre.
CityJet, owned since last year by Germany's Intro Aviation, recently placed an order to buy 15 Russian-made Sukhoi Superjets. The airline has has an option to acquire an additional 10. CityJet will receive the first of those aircraft next year, but they won't be deployed on its London City routes until 2017.
The airline has also signed a so-called wet lease agreement with Scandinavian airline SAS to operate a network of regional routes from Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm.
CityJet ordered eight Bombardier aircraft to operate those services. The aircraft will be operated by CityJet exclusively for SAS and will be painted in SAS livery.
CityJet narrowed its losses last year from €37m to €22.7m, and Mr Byrne has said it has experienced a "significantly improved trading performance" this year.