CityJet exercises options to buy four Bombardier aircraft
Deal valued at $467m brings number of CRJ900 aircraft in Irish airlines’s fleet to 22
This deal makes CityJet Bombardier’s largest European CRJ900 aircraft customer. Photograph: Getty Images
Irish airline CityJet has exercised options to purchase four CRJ900 aircraft from Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
When delivered, the aircraft will operate under wet lease (which covers the hire of an aircraft including flight crew) for Scandinavian airline SAS. The order would be valued at about $467 million (€434 million) based on the list price of the CRJ900.
This deal makes CityJet Bombardier’s largest European CRJ900 aircraft customer. To round out the Irish connection, the aircraft’s centre fuselage and wing components are made at Bombardier’s facility in Belfast.
“We are delighted that the airline continues to put its confidence in Bombardier and its products,” said Ryan DeBrusk, vice president of sales in Europe, Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
This latest order brings the number of CRJ900s in CityJet’s fleet to 22. The airline’s executive chairman Pat Byrne said they had proved to be “extremely reliable and popular aircraft in our Nordic operations” on behalf of SAS.
Mr Byrne said it “further demonstrates” CityJet’s belief in the aircraft as a “key part” of our wet lease growth strategy.
Since early 2016, CityJet has taken delivery of 12 new CRJ900 aircraft – all of which it operates for SAS. In January 2017, CityJet acquired Cimber, a regional airline in Denmark and a former wholly-owned subsidiary of SAS, which operates a fleet of 11 CRJ900s. Most of these will be replaced by the new order.
CityJet was set up in 1993 by Mr Byrne. Based in Swords, it currently operates 10 routes from across Europe to London City, including from Dublin.
It also has a significant wet lease business, including on behalf of Air France and SAS, and operates a wide range of ad hoc charters on behalf of sports groups, the entertainment industry, tour operators and corporate customers.