French 1900 operator expands routes

 - March 22, 2007, 7:46 AM

Twin Jet, the largest French operator of Beechcraft 1900 turboprops since the demise last year of R-lines, continues its growth following the addition in March of two new regional routes. By year-end it expects to add at least two more links.

Founded in the southern city of Marseille, Twin Jet specializes in business-oriented cross-country routes. It started operations in March 2002 with regular flights between Paris Orly and the western port city of Cherbourg, which for a year had been without air services. Three months later it opened a route between Paris and the British island of Jersey, just off the French coast.

Twin Jet started the new service in March between the southern cities of Angoulême and Lyons, and between Marseille and Bâle/Mulhouse, which serves Basel, Switzerland and Mulhouse, just over the border in eastern France. Round-trip flights on the new routes are operated twice daily by one of its four Beech 1900s.

In addition to the new routes, the company operates regular services covering the airports of Paris Orly, Cherbourg, Jersey, Marseille and Toulouse, in the southwest, and the eastern French gateway cities of Metz and Nancy. Twin Jet expects a fifth Beech 1900 this summer, and two more Beech 1900s by the end of the year if it succeeds in opening further routes, which could include Paris to Carcassonne and Epinal.

A spokesman confirmed that the company has stayed in the black since it started operations. This year it expects to fly 40,000 passengers and increase its revenue to E11 million ($13.2 million), up 50 percent from last year.