Andrew Doyle/MUNICH

Air Dolomiti is evaluating several regional jet types to supplement its fleet of ATR 42s and expects to make a selection "in the near future". The move follows the announcement that Lufthansa is to take a 26% stake in the Italian regional.

The Trieste-based airline, which operates 10 ATR42s, three ATR 72s and a pair of Fokker 100s, says one option under consideration is to standardise on the Fairchild 728JET family which has already been ordered by Lufthansa CityLine. "There is an evaluation on that, but it is not decided yet," says the airline.

The carrier declined to specify the number of jet aircraft it requires, but confirmed that it plans to retain some or all of the ATRs for certain routes.

Air Dolomiti operates an extensive network throughout Italy and, in terms of flight numbers operated, is the third largest airline at Munich, Germany - Lufthansa's second hub.

Lufthansa says it is investing in Air Dolomiti because of its development potential. "We have never excluded the possibility that we might buy into a partner for strategic reasons," says the German flag-carrier. The two airlines have been codesharing since 1993.

Source: Flight International