Air Nostrum to phase out more 50-seat jets

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Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum will continue retiring 50-seat jets this year as part of its ongoing restructuring plan.

The Valencia-based carrier, which operates as a franchise for Iberia, is looking to withdraw six Bombardier CRJ200ERs in 2014, says a source at the airline.

Currently, its 50-seat CRJ fleet stands at 23 units, though seven aircraft are in storage or in transition, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.

Air Nostrum plans to operate 10 CRJ200ERs this year, says the source, adding that some routes in its network still justify the 50-seat jet.

The carrier also uses its CRJ200ER fleet for charter flights in addition to its Iberia Regional franchise operation. Over the past 18 months, it has placed aircraft under dry- and wet-lease contracts with Binter Canarias, Cimber Air and DAC.

In 2013, Air Nostrum retired seven CRJ200s from its operations as it halted growth plans as a result of the economic crisis in Spain.

The regional carrier also operates 11 CRJ900ERs and 10 CRJ1000ERs, along with five ATR 72-600s.

It has 25 more CRJ1000ERs and five ATR 72-600s on backlog, but no new deliveries are planned for 2014.