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Brussels Airlines retires last Avro

Brussels Airlines has retired its last BAE Systems Avro RJ100 regional jet.

The Lufthansa Group carrier says it operated a final scheduled service with the type on 28 October: a flight from Geneva to the Belgian capital.

"From today onwards, Brussels Airlines' operator license only consists of Airbus aircraft," notes the airline.

Its own fleet comprises A319s, A320s and A330s, but it has wet-leased Sukhoi Superjets from Irish carrier CityJet. These operate in Brussels Airlines livery on routes to which Avros were previously assigned.

Brussels Airlines launched its operations in 2001 with Avros. At one point its fleet included 32 of the four-engined regional jets.

The aircraft have been sold for further operation elsewhere or to be parted out. Brussels Airlines says some have been converted to fly as firefighting aircraft in North America, while another has been parked at Brussels airport to serve as a training device for the fire brigade there.

"It is with a lot of gratitude and nostalgia that we look back on the Avro era," states chief executive Bernard Gustin. "It was the aircraft with which Brussels Airlines was born and took its very first steps. The Avro was an important and successful chapter in Brussels Airlines' history; it has brought millions of passengers safe and sound to their destination; and for hundreds of our crews it was a springboard for their career."

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