CityJet targets return to profitability under new owner

CityJet targets return to profitability under new owner

CityJet is under new ownership following completion of its sale to German-based Intro Aviation by Air France-KLM.

Regional carrier CityJet and subsidiary VLM began operating independently yesterday, with Christine Ourmieres remaining as chief executive.

Intro Group president Hans Rudolf Woehrl said: “We don’t want to change anything except to make better.”

CityJet will continue to operate chiefly from London City and maintain a commercial relationship with Air France, operating services from London City to Paris Charles de Gaulle on behalf of the French carrier.

Intro Aviation chief executive and new CityJet chairman Peter Oncken said: “We will remain dedicated to London City.”

The Intro Group specialises in the restructure and turnaround of airlines, having previously acquired former British Airways subsidiary Deutsche BA and German long-haul carrier LTU. It subsequently sold both on to Air Berlin. The group currently owns Austrian regional airline InterSky.

Woehrl described the previous restructurings as “extremely successful”.

He said: “CityJet was not too successful in the last two years, I guess because it was tied to a huge carrier and could not make its own decisions.

“It’s likely we will make some losses this year and break even next year. I’m optimistic we can reach breakeven next year if things continue as they are.”

Woehrl insisted: “The idea is not to unite CityJet and InterSky. Regional airlines should be based where they fly.”

Oncken added: “CityJet was profitable before the financial crisis. The problem was it was deeply integrated with Air France and Air France’s strategies and London City was not part of those strategies.

“But as an independent regional carrier, CityJet will be able to partner other airlines.”

Ourmieres said: “We start debt free and will re-brand the company in June to reflect the change of spirit.

“We are already running a restructuring plan. We have a new pricing policy. From May 1, we are distributed through the Travelport GDSs under our own code. Sabre should arrive by mid-May and we’ve been distributed through Amadeus since February.”

CityJet launched services from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Dublin this week, operating both routes twice a day.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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