28 MARCH 2016
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Founder Pat Byrne and private equity backers have repurchased the Irish regional airline CityJet from German owner Intro Aviation for an undisclosed sum.
The regional airline, which carried around 2m passengers last year, was bought from Air France-KLM in January 2014 by Intro, something of an airline turnaround specialist headed by German businessman Hans Rudolf Wöhrl. His previous deals have involved German charter carrier LTU and former British Airways’ subsidiary Deutsche BA. In November 2014, Intro sold off the VLM subsidiary of Cityjet.
CityJet operates 12 routes from London City Airport and a service linking to Air France's hub at Paris Orly airport. It is also the official airline partner for London's ExCeL exhibition centre.
Byrne told The Irish Independent newspaper the airline saw an initial public offering within two to three years.
The airline expects to make a modest profit this year and revenue will increase to €300m within two years from the €177m earned in 2014 when it posted an operating loss of €22.7m, he told the newspaper.
CityJet is expecting delivery of the first of eight new CRJ900s from Bombardier this week, with subsequent deliveries to continue until June, it said in the statement. It was the first European carrier to order the new generation SSJ 100 Superjet from Russia's Sukhoi and will take delivery of three aircraft this year, to be used initially for its major charter operation. www.cityjet.com
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