Irish regional airline CityJet has completed a 10-year sale and leaseback deal with Netherlands-based lessor TrueNoord for two Bombardier CRJ900ER regional jets.

“These are the first CRJ900s for TrueNoord – and the aircraft type is in line with our ultimate vision and long-term plan to build up a strong portfolio of young regional aircraft types with a good global spread and leased to first-class operators,” TrueNoord CEO Anne-Bart Tieleman said. 

“The merger announcement made at Farnborough 2018 by Air Nostrum and CityJet is indicative of how the regional aviation landscape in Europe will change over the coming years. If approved, this combination will create Europe’s largest airline with a specific focus on ACMI capacity provision. With a merged fleet of almost 100 aircraft, the fusion of CityJet and Air Nostrum will create the first European supplier that starts to approach the scale of its North American counterparts.”

Cityjet CEO Pat Byrne said he saw the sub-100 seat sector as continuing to be the combined fleet’s mainstay.

“In recent years, operators like CityJet and Air Nostrum have separately taken strategic decisions to expand their respective ACMI offerings. CityJet has hitherto been a scheduled airline with a substantial presence at London City, but we adopted a new business model to focus on ACMI operations. We now only operate one remaining scheduled route between Dublin and London City, while all other flights are operated for major European carriers, including SAS, Air France, HOP! and Brussels Airlines. Our fleet has now grown to 46 aircraft, providing greater scale and serving a more diversified customer base,” he said.

“Europe is catching up with the US in terms of operating the ACMI model in regional aircraft support—the next few years will see larger contracts coming onto the market and we intend to have the right fleet, in terms of aircraft type and size, to meet expanding demand. These two CRJ900s from TrueNoord are part of that strategy.”

Alan Dron