Lufthansa unit CityLine has become Bombardier's maintenance partner for CRJ regional jets – even though the airline is phasing out some of those aircraft.

The Canadian manufacturer has designated CityLine's MRO department as an approved service facility for line and base maintenance services on CRJ700s and CRJ900s.

Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database shows that the carrier has nine CRJ700s, 35 CRJ900s and 33 Embraer 190/195s.

But the CRJ700s will be retired by the end of 2015, and the CRJ900 fleet will be reduced too.

Some 23 CRJ900s have been wet-leased to sister group carrier Eurowings, which operates the aircraft on behalf of Lufthansa low-cost arm Germanwings. Eurowings is to be revamped as an Airbus A320 operator by 2016, with most of the regional jets set to return to CityLine. But eight to 10 CRJ900s are to be sold.

Lufthansa Group chief Carsten Spohr said on 30 October that the collective CRJ900 fleet could be cut further if capacity needs to be reduced.

Nevertheless, CityLine's MRO division will continue to service the family. The airline – which has moved its headquarters to Munich as part of Lufthansa's Score efficiency programme – has line maintenance teams in that city and Frankfurt, as well as an MRO base in its former home city of Cologne.

The technical division employs around 170 staff members and supports more than 20 third-party customers, says CityLine.

The carrier has been servicing CRJ series aircraft since 1992, when it became the first commercial airline to introduce the CRJ200.

CRJ operators in the region "will have greater access to quality workmanship and first-class customer service right in the heart of the European continent", says Bombardier customer services vice-president Todd Young.

Source: Cirium Dashboard