British Airways (BA) is to brand its London City Airport-based regional services as ‘BA CityFlyer’, following the proposed sale of its remaining regional operations to UK carrier Flybe.
BA revealed its plan to sell its BA Connect regional operation to Flybe in November last year, but excluded its London City operations and ten BAE Systems Avro RJs from the deal.
The London City operation, which BA launched in April 2003, will be re-branded as BA CityFlyer and operated under a new air operator’s certificate (AOC).
CityFlyer Express was formerly the name of BA’s London Gatwick-based franchise partner. It was taken over by the flag-carrier in 1999 and was subsequently absorbed into BA’s mainline short-haul operation from Gatwick.
BA Connect emerged a year ago from the former BA CitiExpress operation – created in 2001 by the combination of Brymon Airways, British Regional Air Lines Group and, ultimately, British Airways Regional.
A BA Connect spokeswoman confirms the new BA CityFlyer branding for the London City operation. She adds that BA Connect managing director David Evans will take the same role on an interim basis at BA CityFlyer.
The UK CAA confirms that it is processing an AOC application for the new operation, a spokesman adding that this is “well under way”, but declines to comment on possible timelines for the process.
BA serves UK and European destinations from London City Airport, which is located in downtown London. At the time of the acquisition announcement in November, BA chief executive Willie Walsh said that BA was planning to develop its frequencies and destinations from London City.
The BA Connect spokeswoman declines to give details about BA CityFlyer’s future route network.
Flybe provisionally aimed to acquire BA Connect by the end of December, but this timeframe has since been pushed back to late January or early February.