Swiss regional carrier Sky Work Airlines has identified the Bombardier CSeries as the ideal type for a planned expansion, although it is seeking interim capacity before the new twinjet becomes available.

Sky Work is a small scheduled and charter airline, based in Berne, which operates a Bombardier Q400 and a Dornier 328 on scheduled services to Barcelona and Rotterdam. It also manages four business jets.

On 21 October Sky Work will unveil a new corporate identity and its future fleet plan as it prepares to more than double its network with the ultimate goal of becoming Switzerland's second airline.

"The name will stay, everything else will change," says Sky Work Airlines chief operating officer Tomislav Lang.

Bombardier CSeries
 © Bombardier
Could Sky Work Airlines place an order for the CSeries in the near future?

Lang says Sky Work, which only began scheduled services last year, is looking to lease a second Q400 in the short term. This will support its network expansion to 10 scheduled routes by the end of next summer. New destinations for this winter include Angers, Berlin, Brussels and Hamburg.

By next year Sky Work wants to branch into longer-range operations, serving destinations such as the Canary Islands with a 70- to 100-seat type, although it is constrained by Berne's 1,350m (4,430ft) runway.

"If we could, we would immediately take the CSeries. This aircraft - if the performance tables are accurate - is the perfect type for short runway operations," says Lang. "We are finding solutions with Bombardier, but our long-range option needs to come earlier than is possible with the CSeries."

To bridge the gap until the CSeries enters service in 2014, Sky Work is looking to lease two Airbus A319s or Boeing 737-700s. "The Embraer 190 is a great aircraft, but unfortunately to get the range we would need to cut down on seats," says Lang.

Sky Work has tested jet operations using a BAe 146 with "very positive" results, says Lang, although the type does not have sufficient range to meet the airline's expansion plans.

Source: Flight International