Air France has made an Ir£2 million ($2.7 million) loan to Ireland's CityJet, redeemable in shares, effectively giving it a 25% stake in the Dublin-based independent.

UK cargo and passenger charter carrier Air Foyle has taken a controlling 50.01% holding through the injection of a further Ir£4 million as part of a strategy first revealed in Flight International (14-20 April), while minority shareholders are adding another Ir£2 million in a recapitalisation totalling Ir£8 million.

The French flag carrier's investment cements a relationship with CityJet which has been developed since 1996. The Irish airline operates wet lease and franchise services for Air France.

CityJet founder Pat Byrne retains his position as chief executive, with Air Foyle chief Chris Foyle becoming chairman. Foyle describes his investment as "strategic", marking "a natural progression" into scheduled passenger operations. Air France will take two seats on the CityJet board as a result of its investment.

Source: Flight International