Published on July 3rd, 2016 | by Jim Lee


CityJet Superjet services take off from Cork Airport as Second aircraft delivered

On 28th June, CityJet introduced the first of its new Sukhoi Superjet 100s, EI-FWA, on its seasonal twice weekly service to La Rochelle, the WX326/5, which was announced last October. The aircraft departed Cork at 12:49 and arrived in La Rochelle at 14:56. Earlier on 25th June, CityJet had inaugurated the route, which operates on Tuesdays and Saturdays, using Jota Aviation’s Avro RJ85, G-JOTR. La Rochelle is one of two seasonal routes being launched by CityJet, the other being Nantes, which is being operated weekly on Sundays, as the WX330/1. This service was launched on 19th June, using another Jota Aviation aircraft, BAe 146-200, G-SMLA.

Cork to Nantes & La-Rochelle

The launch of the Nantes & La-Rochelle routes from Cork

The historic city of La Rochelle is the gateway to key camping and tourist destinations along the west coast of France, not least the town itself and the nearby Île de Ré. Nantes provides easy access to the Loire Atlantique coast and the Pays de la Loire, with its chateaux and historical towns, including some of the best vineyards in France. Both destinations are popular with Irish tourists seeking to experience the delights of France. The flight distance to La Rochelle is 512 miles (823 km), while the flight distance to Nantes is 447 miles (719 km) and as such, is well suited to the Superjet SSJ100, which has a 98-seat configuration laid out five abreast in a generous 32” seat pitch. The interior has been exclusively designed by Italian car designers Pininfarina, who are responsible for some Ferrari and Alfa Romeo designs. By combining a wider seat and cabin height of over two metres for greater passenger comfort, the aircraft should have wide passenger appeal. This is a view echoed by Pat Byrne, Executive Chairman of CityJet, who described the Superjet as a “fantastic aircraft” adding that CityJet looks “forward to introducing our customers to its high levels of comfort and efficiency in the coming years”.

Cork Airport Managing Director, Niall MacCarthy added: “The new CityJet Superjet SSJ100 is a stunning, modern aircraft that offers outstanding levels performance. There are 78 Superjets in operation around the world since its first commercial flight in 2011 with many more to come on-line in the coming year. We’re delighted that CityJet has scheduled one of its first Superjets from Cork Airport and I’ve no doubt our passengers will fully appreciate the comfort of the aircraft”.

Second CityJet Sukhoi Superjet 100, EI-FWB delivered

CityJet SuperJet EI-FWB on arrival (IMG1077 JL)

CityJet’s second Sukhoi Superjet 100, EI-FWB (c/n 95108) ex I-PDVW, which was delivered from Venice to Dublin on Friday 1st July. Jim Lee.

On Friday 1st July, CityJet’s second Sukhoi Superjet 100, EI-FWB (c/n 95108), ex I-PDVW, was delivered from Venice to Dublin, as the BCY002, landing at 18:45. CityJet wasted no time in putting the aircraft into service and the next day it operated the AF5368/9, to and from Rotterdam, departing Dublin at 09:13 and returning at 13:01. It then positioned to Cork at 14:19, arriving there at 14:54. It then operated the La Rochelle service, the WX326/5, departing Cork at 15:45 and returning at 19:24. On 3rd July, EI-FWB paid its first visit to Nantes, departing Cork as the WX330 at 08:19, and arriving in Nantes at 10:28 (local). After a brief turnaround, it departed Nantes at 11:37, as the WX331, returning back to Cork at 11:46.

Meanwhile, EI-FWA operated a Dublin – Belfast – Lourdes (Tarbes) rotation on 1st July, as the WX561/2, landing in Belfast at 06:09 and departing again at 08:20. It then operated Lourdes – Shannon – Lourdes as the WX562/4, arriving in Shannon at 13:49 and departing again at 15:56. It positioned back to Dublin on 2nd July, landing at 18:55.

Iberia Express launches new Cork-Madrid service

Iberia Express Airbus A320On 22nd June, Iberia Express launched its new twice-weekly Madrid – Cork service, the IB3638/9, offering Cork holiday makers even more choice when it comes to choosing their summer holiday destination. Passengers can also choose to fly on via Madrid to many Iberia Group destinations in Spain including Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife; Lisbon and Porto in Portugal; Marrakech in Morocco; and Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Montevideo, Sao Paulo and Santiago de Chile in Latin America.

The Deputy Head of Mission to Ireland from the Spanish Embassy in Dublin, Rafael Soriano, attended the launch event at Cork Airport to mark the commencement of the new route. He was joined by Gonzalo Ceballos Watling, Director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Ireland.

Cork launch of Madrid service

Joe Carroll, Deputy County Cork Mayor; Cllr. Chris O’Leary, Lord Mayor of Cork; Gonzalo Ceballos, MD, Tourist office of Spain, Dublin; Rafael Soriiano, Deputy Head of Mission, Spanish Embassy; Catalina Goode Lopez, Viceconsul of Spain in Cork and Kevin Cullinane, Head of Communications, Cork Airport..

Welcoming the new service, Kevin Cullinane, Head of Communications at Cork Airport said: “Securing this new Madrid route has been testament to the hard work of the teams at Cork Airport, Iberia Express and Madrid Airport and I would like to thank everyone for their support in this and expanding our route network to open up new destinations for our passengers is at the heart of our growth plans for Cork Airport. Madrid is an absolutely key Spanish destination. The added advantage of this route is that other destinations in Spain are readily accessible from Madrid, being that it is right in the heart of Spain.”

Flights between Cork and Madrid are operated by an Airbus 320 aircraft, equipped with 180 seats, distributed in both Business and Economy cabins. The inaugural flight, the IB3638, was operated by Airbus A320-216(WL), EC-LYE, which departed Madrid at 13:10 and arrived in Cork at 14:10. The return flight, the IB3639, departed Cork at 16:50 landing back in Madrid at 18:04. The new service will operate every Saturday and Wednesday until 17th September.

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About the Author

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.

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