Air France-KLM's Irish subsidiary CityJet has acquired 23 BAE Systems Avro RJ85s formerly operated for Northwest Airlines by regional carrier Mesaba to enable it to replace its ageing BAe 146 fleet.

The first of the aircraft, which can seat over 100 passengers, will enter the fleet in November and all 23 will be in service by the middle of next year.

The ex-Mesaba aircraft have been acquired from BAE Systems and US-based financial underwriters and securitisation specialist MBIA in an investment that the airline values at $221 million.

"The phased introduction of the new aircraft from November represents significant investment not only in fleet replacement, but also in the company's future," the airline says.

Source: Flight International