Lufthansa's supervisory board has approved a new business-jet charter company, to be formed as a joint venture between Lufthansa City Line and Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier.

The board gave its go-ahead to the plan at a meeting in early December, after the signing of a joint-venture agreement between the two companies at the National Business Aircraft Association show in Orlando, Florida, on 20 November. The new joint company is expected to start operations from Berlin-Schonefeld Airport in the second quarter of 1997.

According to City Line, the company will offer its customers charter services on a fleet of about 20 Learjet and Challenger business jets, and possibly "two or three" turboprops, providing travelers with tailor-made connections to less-frequented destinations.

While no further details of the fleet structure have been finalised, City Line says that it will offer capacities of five to 20 seats.

Customers will be able to book aircraft via the Lufthansa computer-reservation system Amadeus.

The new company will create its aircraft pool by agreements with current executive aircraft operators. Bombardier will take technical responsibility for the aircraft pool, while City Line will deal with marketing and service standards.

City Line managing director Karl-Friedrich Rausch says that the venture is a response to "the increasing demands of business travelers who are forced on to less-frequented routes to conclude their business on time".

City Line has been a subsidiary of the German national carrier since 1993, operating aircraft with fewer than 100 seats on internal German and European routes.

Source: Flight International