Cimber accelerates withdrawal of 737s

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Cimber Sterling has quickened the phasing-out its Boeing 737 fleet, and expects to complete the withdrawal in about six months.

The struggling Danish carrier is simplifying its fleet to ATR turboprops and Bombardier CRJ regional jets, but had originally indicated that it would remove its 737s over the space of a couple of years.

But the airline is accelerating its fleet restructuring and says it will withdraw the 737s "over the next six months or so". It recently tentatively agreed to outsource their operation to local operator Jet Time.

Cimber will shed around 200 personnel from its staff of 890 by the end of October this year.

"We will have only two regional aircraft types, both of which are more cost-efficient and can be used for both feed traffic to hubs and point-to-point scheduled business and leisure traffic to and from our home market," says the carrier's chairman.

"We believe that this should give us the best platform for operating a competitive and focused regional airline."

He adds: "It is always very regrettable to have to lay off personnel but we do believe that it will be for the better in the long term to narrow our focus to the regional aircraft and focus on the regional routes."