Published on June 5th, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer


Cityjet sees Revenue Leap as two new Sukhois are Delivered

On 31st May CityJet celebrated flying its 500,000th passenger from Antwerp International Airport to London City Airport. The CityJet Antwerp service commenced in 2008 and is one of a number of routes the airline operates to the iconic London City Airport.

CityJet operates up to four daily departures from Antwerp to London, offering a schedule tailored to suit both business and leisure travellers. Docklands Light Rail serves the airport and is just 25 minutes from the centre of London and tourist hotspots, and only 15 minutes from Canary Wharf and the financial district.

The airline, in partnership with Antwerp Airport, hosted a joint reception at the rooftop bar of Restaurant Belair, adjoining the Airport to mark the significant milestone. In attendance were members of the Antwerp travel trade and members of the local business community.

Peter O’Mara, CityJet’s Head of Revenue Generation, stressed the convenience of flying from Antwerp to London City Airport. “Check in 20 minutes prior to departure at Antwerp Airport and 15 minutes at London City. Both airports allow both corporate and leisure passengers alike to avoid the hustle and bustle of major airports.”

Mr O’Mara said “We at CityJet are very proud of our Antwerp route and the connectivity it provides to the local business community. Direct air access to London is vital to Antwerp. We offer the fastest route to London and are delighted to provide a gateway for investment and tourism. We will continue to work closely with Antwerp Airport, local chambers of commerce, travel trade and businesses to further develop passenger numbers.”

Revenues Soar

Cityjet currently has three aircraft on wet lease to Brussels airlines. Photo via Superjet International

Cityjet remains one of the major operators at London City Airport however we’ve seen their business model change in the last two years to focus more on Wet Lease operations. Revenue from its wet-leasing activities, where it provides aircraft and crew to third-party airlines, was €69.2m last year. However wet-lease revenue is expected to jump to €194.5m this year. On the other hand, scheduled revenue is expected to decline to €85.2m from €141m. Wet lease contracts are currently in place with Air France, SAS and Brussels Airlines.

CityJet expects its revenue to increase by a third to €280m this year as it begins to see the impact of new business wins, according to executive chairman and founder Pat Byrne. He also hopes to complete another acquisition this year. The airline had been in talks to acquire Stobart Air last year but the deal fell through. There have been rumours in the industry that Cityjet will bid to acquire the Aer Lingus Regional contract, currently operated by Stobart Air.

Byrne also said that the airline is extending the use of its fleet of Avro RJ85s. “We originally thought we wouldn’t be using them by 2018 or 2019, but we see more opportunity for them,” said Mr Byrne, adding that the airline is upgrading the remaining Avro RJ85s in its fleet to lengthen their life. However, he said that the airline will probably stop using them by 2021.

Sukhoi’s EI-FWE and EI-FWF have now both been delivered to Cityjet. EI-FWE was delivered on 8th May and was flown directly to Brussels to enter service with Brussels Airlines. EI-FWF followed on 1st June. Both aircraft are painted in full Brussels Airlines colours with “Operated by Cityjet” titles just behind the main cabin door. These aircraft replace EI-FWB and EI-FWC who were operating the wet lease but were painted in Cityjet colours. All three aircraft (EI-FWD/E/F) operating on the wet lease are now in Brussels Airlines colours. CityJet currently operate 16 RJ85s, 12 Bombardier CRJs, and six Sukhoi Superjets.

Sukhoi EI-FWD was the first Cityjet aircraft to be painted in Brussels Airlines colours. Via Superjet International.

City Cadet Pilot Programme Announced

To support the growth in its fleet, Cityjet have opened the application process for an additional 10 trainee pilot positions.  CityJet and CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, which manages the pilot training programme, are seeking highly motivated candidate pilots for entry into its “Climb High” mentored pilot training programme aspiring to rise as professional pilots within one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines. This programme was launched in error a few weeks ago (see here) so it was widely expected to be announced but the number of places available was unclear. Successful candidates can expect world class training to the highest standard from CAE, the world’s leading pilot training organisation, and the opportunity to fly as a First Officer with CityJet. Selected cadets will complete an Integrated ATPL Training Course at CAE Oxford Aviation academies in Oxford, UK and Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

The cadet programme is designed at ensuring CityJet has sufficient, qualified pilots for its existing and new routes and its mix of aircraft. The airline operates crew bases in Dublin, Brussels, London, Paris, Stockholm, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and a new base to open shortly in Tallinn (Estonia).

CityJet’s General Manager of Flight Operations, Robert Campbell Smith, said “Our pilot mentored cadet programme provides the starting point for an exciting career path for the successful applicants with us. CityJet continues to see significant expansion with further Bombardier CRJ-900 passenger aircraft arriving both this year and into next and additional Superjet SSJ100 to our existing fleet.  Our fleet of Avro RJ85 aircraft continues to serve us well and with all three aircraft types providing opportunities throughout our nine European pilot bases, this is an exciting time to be joining our growing airline. We look forward to welcoming our new recruits to our Cadet programme later this year.

Successful cadets could find themselves flying the Avro RJ85, Bombardier CRJ-900 or the Superjet SSJ100 (pictured).

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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