Maastricht Airlines seeks financing for all jet-operation

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Maastricht Airlines says it has changed strategy to an all-jet operation and is in advanced negotiations with several investors to secure the remainder of the funding needed to commence operations.

The Dutch start-up was forced to file for bankruptcy in May after a major shareholder withdrew support.

Commercial director Paul Sies tells Flightglobal Pro that the airline now plans to fly regional jets rather Fokker 50 turboprops. He argues that this "will bring more destinations and reach, while appealing to a different kind of public".

Sies says he is unable to confirm which regional jets the airline will fly, but that the airline has a "firm commitment" from a manufacturer to supply the jets in time to begin operations, the target start date for which has been revised from September to 27 October.

This is reliant on the successful outcome of negotiations with investors. "We want to have a decision by the end of August; we think that's very possible," says Sies.

Since the bankruptcy, he adds, the airline has analysed its route network with a jet fleet, while a "crowd funding" initiative dubbed "We believe we can fly" has raised €25,000 ($33,000).

Sies says that Maastricht Airlines has chosen not to take two Fokker 50s it had intended to lease from Italy's Miniliner, after deliveries of the aircraft were delayed.