Air Nostrum and CityJet have signed a Heads of Terms with the aim to bring about closer co-operation between the two airlines under the umbrella of a new holding company. Such a development will be subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals and the preparation of the relevant filings has begun.
The coming together of these two regional airlines would see the creation of the largest pan-European regional airline group. Air Nostrum, who employs 1,450 people, is especially well known as the Regional Operator for Iberia under a longstanding franchise agreement flying to more than 60 destinations within Europe and Africa, with a fleet of 50 aircraft, including 30 Bombardier CRJ1000 regional jets. Air Nostrum is also active on wet lease services for customers across Europe, including Lufthansa, SAS, Binter or Croatian Airlines.
CityJet employs 1,250 people across 9 European countries and operates an extensive regional network of services under wet lease contracts with Air France, Brussels Airlines and SAS with a fleet of over 40 aircraft based in nine locations across Europe. This fleet includes 22 new Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets acquired specifically for wet lease services. The two airlines are coincidentally of very similar age, having been founded in 1993 (CityJet) and 1994 (Air Nostrum), both now being close to their 25th year of operation.
It is this combined span of experience that gives Air Nostrum and CityJet the enthusiasm and energy to move forward to consolidate their respective reservoirs of specialist knowledge and skilled resources into a single group pool of considerable depth.
The consolidated annual gross revenue of Air Nostrum and CityJet would be circa €700 million, derived from a balanced and well spread portfolio of wet lease and franchise contracts throughout Europe. This makes for a very solid financial base in which prospective contracting airlines can have confidence in terms of the proposed new regional airline group’s capacity to deliver exceptional service on optimal economic terms.