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CityJet 'actively pursuing' two airline acquisitions: chief

Irish regional carrier CityJet is seeking to acquire two more European airlines, its chief executive Pat Byrne has indicated.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at the Future Travel Experience conference in Dublin on 27 June, Byrne said CityJet was "actively pursuing a couple [of airlines] at the moment that are of interest to us", but "can't talk about it because we are subject to NDAs [non-disclosure agreements]".

CityJet, which has already purchased Scandinavian carriers Cimber and Blue1 through deals struck earlier this year and in 2015 respectively, remains "very active on the acquisition front", Byrne stresses.

He did not disclose the identities of the two new targets, but did confirm that they were not based in Scandinavia and were in a "completely different market, but in Europe".

Byrne describes the integration of Cimber and Blue1 as a "fantastic challenge" that is "very interesting" and "tough", but says: "We are getting there."

He adds: "It's working out. It's as challenging as advertised, merging cultures, systems, engineering, IT, crew management systems..."

Talks on a proposed acquisition of Stobart Air by CityJet broke down in December 2016. Byrne describes this as "unfortunate".

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