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CityJet to end scheduled flying this winter

CityJet will cease to be a scheduled operator later this year when it ends its own Dublin-London City flights in favour of operating the route on a wet-lease basis for Aer Lingus.

The Irish regional carrier says it will stop its own service on 28 October and simultaneously begin one on behalf of IAG-owned Aer Lingus. There will be six flights per day on weekdays and a less-frequent service at weekends.

A pair of BAE Systems Avro RJ85s will be used to conduct the Aer Lingus service on an ACMI basis, says CityJet.

Chief executive Pat Byrne tells FlightGlobal that the carrier is completing a transformation it began in 2015, moving from 70% charter services and 30% "own-risk scheduled flying" to become a 100% wet-lease operator.

"Looking ahead, we are very interested in continuing to grow our wet-lease business in Europe, and Aer Lingus is the newest partner among our portfolio of partners that includes Air France, Hop, SAS [and] Brussels Airlines," he states. "We would be interested in exploring potential extended opportunities with all of our partners, including Aer Lingus."

Byrne would not comment on whether Air Nostrum – with which CityJet is planning to combine – would also become involved in the Aer Lingus wet-lease arrangement through planned Irish charter subsidiary Hibernian Airlines.

Aer Lingus already operates from Dublin to London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports and, with the addition of the City service, will offer 50 daily flights between the Irish and UK capitals.

The Irish flag carrier's chief executive Stephen Kavanagh states that the new route will "facilitate further business flows" between the cities and provide passengers seeking to fly on to North America with a "very attractive connecting proposition, including US customs and immigration pre-clearance" at Dublin.

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