Irish carrier CityJet has acquired a Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) subsidiary and concluded a wet lease contract to operate regional flights from the Danish capital Copenhagen. At the same time, CityJet placed a conditional order with Canadian manufacturer Bombardier for up to 10 new CRJ900 90-seat jets.
On January 24, CityJet announced the acquisition of SAS subsidiary Cimber, based in Copenhagen, for an undisclosed price. In conjunction with the acquisition, CityJet’s existing wet lease contract with SAS under which it operates eight CRJ900s based in Stockholm and Helsinki was increased from three years to six years.
The new contract takes effect on January 31; on that date CityJet will take control of Cimber’s network and fleet of 11 CRJ900s. With the addition of the Cimber aircraft and new deliveries, CityJet’s fleet of CRJ900s will increase to 23 jets this summer, all of them operated on hehalf of SAS.
“With the sale of Cimber we expand our cooperation with CityJet—one of our key strategic partners on regional traffic,” said Rickard Gustafson, SAS president and CEO. “The agreement allows us to fly more routes and maintain a large network with frequent departures. Thanks to the synergies between CityJet and Cimber, we expect to lower the costs of production, which is a prerequisite for us to maintain and develop regional routes for the benefit of our customers.”
Bombardier announced on January 24 that CityJet has signed a conditional purchase agreement for six CRJ900s and taken options on four additional jets. The conditional order is valued at $280 million at list price, increasing to $467 million if CityJet exercises all options. The Dublin-based carrier already operates the Russian-made Superjet 100 aircraft.
CityJet has become one of the largest European CRJ900 operators “in a short period of time,” Bombardier said. The manufacturer builds major components of the jet at its facility in Belfast, Ireland.
Cimber operates services on behalf of SAS to 30 European destinations. CityJet this summer will operate 30 total aircraft on behalf of wet lease customers, and it expects to carry nearly three million passengers on scheduled, charter and wet-lease flights.