Netherlands-based regional airline and wet-lease specialist Denim Air Group is looking to grow its German domestic services and third party work.

The company operates an all-turboprop fleet of five Bombardier Dash 8-300s and 12 Fokker 50s, but is eyeing fast turboprops and large regional jets for expansion. The company's main wet-lease operation is for Air Nostrum/Iberia in Spain. Last year it introduced scheduled domestic services under the Denim Airways name from Augsburg, near Munich, to Berlin Templehof and Dsseldorf. A seasonal weekly Augsburg-Naples service will begin in April.

"We are looking at possible new routes to enable us to grow this side of the business," says chief executive Matthijs Boertien, adding that the airline arm is also considering rebranding as part of the expansion.

The fleet expansion plan is to be finalised soon, with four 70-seaters expected to be added this year, says Boertien. "We are evaluating the Dash 8 Q400 as well as the Fokker 70/100, and have also looked at the Airbus A318. The Q400 could be useful in markets where we already operate the Dash 8, as it would give us pilot commonality."

He says that his favoured choice for the jet acquisition would be secondhand 70-seat Fokker 70s, but there is a lack of availability. "There are plenty of larger Fokker 100s cheaply available, which we could 'misuse' as 70-seaters," he says.

Source: Flight International