Blue1 to cut routes and start axing RJs from August

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Finnish carrier Blue1 is to axe its fleet of BAE Systems Avro RJ85s from August, shedding 85 staff as it reshapes its fleet around the Boeing 717.

It is also to cut several European routes in order to concentrate more on the Finnish market.

The decision is in line with parent SAS Group's efforts to simplify its fleet structure under the 'Core SAS' restructuring programme.

Blue1 had previously indicated its intention to move to a single-type fleet a year ago, when it disclosed it would switch to using 717s.

The airline had been operating Boeing MD-90s and Avro RJs.

Blue1 said it intends to "phase out" the remaining five RJ85s and "streamline" to the 717 in order to improve its profitability.

"The refocus on the Finnish market will also result in closure of a number of European destinations," said the airline, although it added that it would open a Tampere-Copenhagen route.