CityJet has requested protection from the Irish High Court from its creditors in an attempt to survive. Its fleet has been grounded by the COVID-19 crisis. The High Court has now appointed an interim examiner to oversee the finances of the company.
The action came after Brussels Airlines cancelled its wet lease contract with CityJet for five aircraft in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
CityJet’s fleet includes 25 CRJ900 aircraft and 9 RJ85 operating from bases in Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Tallinn and Vilnius.
CityJet was established by entrepreneur Pat Byrne in 1993, CityJet pioneered services between Dublin and London City Airport in January 1994 under a franchise agreement with Virgin Atlantic Airways.
CityJet formed a partnership with Air France in 1996, which eventually transferred into Air France ownership in 2000. Much of CityJet services were then operated under the Air France brand.
CityJet continued to develop its role as a key airline in the London City market in addition to growing its network connecting European cities to the Air France hub in Paris. During this time, CityJet also acquired VLM, a Belgian airline, which also specialized in London City services.
Air France sold CityJet to a German company, Intro Aviation, in 2014.
The airline was subsequently purchased by a business consortium led by its original founder, Pat Byrne, and has embarked on a major programme of expansion and strategic development since.
Under its new ownership, CityJet rebranded in 2015 with a refined livery, reflecting its newly-independent spirit and dedication to passenger service and quality.
CityJet has continued to undergo significant advancement since. In recent years CityJet secured a new wet lease contract (where it provides crew, aircraft, maintenance and operational services) to SAS. It operates a modern fleet of Bombardier CRJ900 passenger aircraft in the Nordic region and Scandanavia. As part of this project, CityJet purchased Finnish airline Blue1. CityJet also purchased another regional carrier, Cimber, operating mainly from Denmark.
Additionally, CityJet provides similar wet lease services for Air France, Brussels Airlines and KLM.
In recent years, CityJet has refocused its activities to becoming a provider of “wet lease” services to major airlines, whereby it provides service on an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) basis to fly on behalf of its customer airlines. CityJet now has over 30 aircraft on wet lease to airlines across Europe, including Aer Lingus, Air France, Brussels Airlines, Hop! and SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), flying over 1,500 flights with 100,000 passengers per week for our customer airlines.
All photos by CityJet.
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