BA partner NJI takes delivery of first 737-300

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Italian British Airways franchise partner National Jet Italia (NJI) has taken delivery of the first of two Boeing 737-300 aircraft from British World Airlines (BWA).

Rome-based NJI only began operating on domestic Italian routes in July this year - primarily as a feeder for British Airways - but is already seeking to acquire aircraft larger than the British Aerospace BAe 146s presently in its fleet.

NJI has put the 737-300 into service on its Rome-Palermo route. The 124-seat aircraft is painted in British Airways colours and has a two-class configuration comprising 12 first-class and 112 economy-class seats.

BWA is supplying the cockpit and cabin crew for the aircraft as well as engineering support. The second 737 will be delivered early in 2001; NJI will also be taking delivery of a fourth and fifth BAe 146 at around the same time.

In addition to expanding its fleet, NJI has announced plans to commence international services next month by launching flights to Athens. The 737s are likely to be used on the Athens route during the peak season.

NJI, which currently also serves Catania, is also intending to extend its domestic network to other destinations. It will begin serving Verona from February next year.