Luxair is preparing to undertake a reorganisation of its fleet that will involve the removal of its Fokker 50 turboprops and the acquisition of a large regional jet type.

According to Luxair president and chief executive Christian Heinzmann, the Luxembourg-based carrier will phase out its three remaining Fokker 50s by the end of next year. The airline is also looking for a 70-120-seat regional jet to replace the Fokkers, and to rationalise its fleet to reduce costs.

"We had been looking at the Fairchild Dornier 728 which fits our needs," says Heinzmann, but the evaluation has now been put on hold as Luxair waits to see what happens to the German/US manufacturer which is in receivership.

With the future of the 728 far from certain, Heinzmann concedes that he may have to switch to another aircraft type. Luxair's jet fleet currently consists of five Boeing 737-400/500s and eight Embraer ERJ-145s, and the only direct competitor to the 728 is the Brazilian manufacturer's 170/190 family.

Luxair's fleet deliberations come as the airline reports a €20.3 million ($18.5 million) net profit for 2001 on turnover of €282.6 million, or a 6.7 % increase, over 2000.

Source: Flight International