British Airways' regional subsidiary CitiExpress will complete its fleet- rationalisation programme in March with the transfer of its remaining BAe ATP turboprops.

Steve Cassidy, BA CitiExpress general manager, says the "major surgery" of reducing the inherited fleet and variants from 90 aircraft of 10 different types has been completed and the fleet is "stable". CitiExpress was downsized as part of BA's Future Size and Shape review launched over two years ago.

CitiExpress will now operate 60 aircraft: 16 BAE Systems Avro RJ100s, five BAe 146s, 28 Embraer ERJ-145s and 10 Bombardier Dash 8-300 turboprops, reducing the turboprop component of its fleet from 60% to less than 20%. Over the two-year programme, the carrier has phased out 13 ATPs and 11 BAe J41s, while its Airbus A319s and Boeing 737s have been transferred to other BA divisions, says Cassidy. "A lot of effort was made to find replacement carriers for routes no longer profitable for us," he says.

Eastern Airways took over the leases of the J41s as part of its expansion into former CitiExpress services, while the ATPs are being taken by Scottish carrier Loganair. The latter will take over seven CitiExpress routes on 1 March. Start-up Air Southwest is operating two ex-CitiExpress Dash 8s on the ex-BA London-Plymouth route.

Source: Flight International