Gill Airways has agreed with Air France to a major expansion of its franchise programme next year, following its deal to acquire its first jet fleet with the lease of three Fokker 100s.

The independent UK regional airline, based in Newcastle, has signed a deal with debis AirFinance, arranged by Cabot Aviation, for the lease of three eight-year-old ex-Midway Fokker 100s. The aircraft are due to be delivered from February on three-year leases, with extension options.

The 100-seaters will be used to upgrade the existing twice-daily Air France franchise service operated by an ATR 42 between Newcastle and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airports, along with an additional daily rotation. Gill will also use the Fokkers on new twice-daily flights on behalf of Air France between Paris CDG and Helsinki and Gothenburg, beginning next March.

Gill says that it has also agreed terms with Air France to launch new routes to Paris CDG from two undisclosed UK airports, which are not served by the French carrier.

Source: Flight International