Gill Air is finalising a deal to acquire three Fokker 100s to enable it to launch jet operations on its Air France franchise routes early next year.

The UK regional airline, based in Newcastle, has selected the 100-seat Fokker for its jet requirement over the similarly sized British Aerospace 146. Remarketing specialist Cabot Aviation has been appointed to locate three suitable aircraft. Cabot says it is in final negotiations with various sources to acquire three Rolls-Royce Tay 650-powered examples on leases of three to five years.

A deal should be in place by October, says Cabot, to enable the first two aircraft to be delivered to Gill in mid-February, with the third following in May.

Gill operates eight ATR 42/72s and six Shorts 360s on European regional services in its own right and under franchise for Air France. The French airline is planning to expand its UK regional operations next year with UK partners Gill and Jersey European Airways, as the new feeder runways at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport become operational.

Source: Flight International