London City Airport (LCY) is undergoing a major jet service expansion this year thanks to the BAE Systems BAe 146/Avro RJ jetliner. In August Oslo will become the latest city to be connected to the high-yield city centre airport when Swedish airline Transwede starts operating a twice- daily rotation on behalf of SAS, using one of its Avro RJ70s. Transwede already operates the RJ70 on the Stockholm Arlanda –LCY service on behalf of SAS. A total of seven airlines now operate the 80-112 seat BAe 146/Avro RJ from London City and the aircraft accounts for 44 % of daily scheduled departures and 62% of daily scheduled seats.
Of these seven airlines, five have expanded service or introduced new routes to LCY during the past eight months using the BAe 146/Avro RJ, which was cleared to operate commercially from the extended 1199 metre runway, steep-approach airport in February 1992.
Paul Stirling, Senior Vice President Asset Management for Regional Aircraft said today: “BAE Systems first test flew and proved the operational integrity of the BAe 146 from London City in the late 1980s. Since then the fortunes of the airport have been transformed as more operators have used our product to develop LCY services. We continue to experience a high level of interest from existing operators at LCY, as well as potential new entrants, in acquiring lease portfolio aircraft for new services into the airport.”
Late last year, Transwede leased three RJ70s from Regional Aircraft to commence services on behalf of Italian carrier Air One from LCY to Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino Airports. Transwede concentrates on providing wet lease operations from London City and the new long-term contract from Air One has consolidated its position as a supplier of jet flight capacity from LCY.
Jet service expansion at LCY using the BAe 146/Avro RJ has continued and accelerated into 2007.
Another new jet operator from the airport is Belgian carrier VLM Airlines which started using a BAe 146-300 on the Rotterdam-LCY service in April. Over the past 14 years VLM Airlines has grown to be the largest operator flying to and from LCY offering over 100 flights each weekday using 50-seat Fokker 50s. VLM states that the BAe 146 performance will be evaluated over the course of 2007 and if it integrates into the carrier’s operation as expected, it will consider introducing additional BAe 146 jets on to other high-density routes in its network.
Well-established jet operators at London City are also undertaking major expansion plans this year using the BAe 146/Avro RJ
CityJet, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Air France, which is in the process of upgrading its entire fleet with the addition of 23 Avro RJ85s, has announced a dramatic expansion of service from LCY. In addition to providing six-daily flights from Paris Orly and five-daily flights from Dublin under the Air France banner, the airline has launched its’ CityJet for Air France’ services.
This latest offering, which started in late March, will see the progressive introduction of RJ85 services from LCY to destinations such as Geneva, Madrid, Milan Linate, Nice and Zurich, as well as services in association with Scot Airways to Belfast Harbour, Dundee and Edinburgh.
Similarly, British Airways CityFlyer, which is now totally focussed on LCY operations, is expanding services by more than 70% this year, to run a total of 250 flights a week. In March new services commenced to Glasgow and Zurich, each served four times a day, and frequencies were increased on the Edinburgh route to eight daily. Frankfurt, Madrid and Milan Malpensa also continue to be served.
Both Lufthansa and SWISS are long-standing BAe 146/Avro RJ operators from London City with jet schedules that include Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart for the German carrier and Geneva and Zurich for SWISS.
Source: BAE Systems
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