British Airways is to combine its regional subsidiaries British Regional Airlines Group (BRAL) and Brymon Airways to form British Airways CitiExpress. The move will be completed within 12 months, and follows BA's recent take-over of BRAL.

The CitiExpress name will not be used for branding. Aircraft will still carry the BA livery, while Manx Airlines, part of BRAL, will keep its name for Isle of Man services.

The subsidiary merger will further BA's aim of consolidating its short-haul businesses and reducing fragmentation among subsidiaries and franchise partners. Chief executive Rod Eddington says the move is "a significant step forward in building a strong and highly competitive business in the UK regions".

The task of merging BRAL, based in Manchester, with Bristol-based Brymon (bought by BA in 1993) has been given to Louise Fowler, now managing director of Brymon. CitiExpress will be headed by Rob Hearn, BRAL's chief operating officer, with BRAL CEO Terry Liddiard stepping down.

Based on current route networks and fleet totals, CitiExpress will serve 59 destinations, carrying around 3.5 million passengers on 76 aircraft, comprising 30 Embraer ERJ-145s, five BAe 146s, 13 BAe ATPs, 13 Jetstream 41s and 15 Bombardier Dash 8-300s.

Source: Flight International