14 DECEMBER 2015
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Belgium's Brussels Airlines is phasing out its fleet of Avro RJ100 regional jets by the end of 2017 in favour of a mix of Airbus models.
The airline has 12 leased British-built Avros, which will start to leave the fleet next April. Four are scheduled to have left by the end of the summer.
The airline says it is replacing them with Airbus A319s and A320s, though not on a one-for-one basis as the Airbus aircraft have greater capacity. The first A320 arrived earlier this year, while two more plus an A319 will arrive in April.
The announcement further diminishes the fleet of Avros in Europe, which will shrink sharply in the next few years as both Swiss and CityJet transition from the four-engined type.
The aircraft has been popular with airlines and at city-centre airports, notably London City, for its rugged undercarriage and quiet operation, but maintenance costs are increasing as the fleet ages.
Many are finding new homes in Africa and Australasia, especially for 'fly-in, fly-out' services to airstrips by operators with contracts to ferry personnel to remote oilfields or mines. www.brusselsairlines.com
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