CityJet to cut jobs as routes are axed

CityJet to cut jobs as routes are axed

CityJet is to cut jobs as part of plans to reduce the size of its base at London City airport.

Consultation with affected staff is to take place as the airline axes two routes and reduces frequency on a third from the Docklands airport.

CityJet has about 60 staff and crew at London City flying to a range of European destinations.

But services to Paris Orly and Nantes will be dropped from the end of March and the airline is adjusting its operation between London City and Amsterdam route to four services a day after KLM starting flying the route.

Frequency on the London City-Dublin route will be raised at the same time.

Executive chairman Pat Byrne said the airline continues to review its scheduled services in the context of route performance and operational efficiency.

“With the ongoing changes to our network, it is important that we continually assess the efficiency of our infrastructure to support these services,” he said.

“In this context, we have reviewed the business justification for the retention of our crew base in its current size at London City airport.

“Consequently, we are announcing that we will be reducing the size of our London City crew base and we are entering into a consultation process with the staff affected.

“We will be able to offer some opportunities for employment elsewhere within CityJet but regrettably we expect that there will be redundancies among some of our workforce in London.”

Byrne added: “CityJet remains fully committed to London City airport and will continue to offer unrivalled service to our customers on our routes.”

The cuts at London City come as the Irish airline repositions towards a stronger mix of scheduled services to London City and developing flying for other airlines on a wet lease basis.

CityJet’s strategy of developing its wet lease business where it operates aircraft on behalf of its customer airlines, in addition to its scheduled services, has resulted in the fleet growing from 17 aircraft in 2015 to 44 this year and more than doubling its employees to more than 1,100.

The airline takes delivery of seven new aircraft in the first half of this year – four Bombardier CRJ900 and three Superjet SSJ100 – and will commence deliveries of up to 10 new CRJ900s from June.

All of the new aircraft will operate on behalf of wet lease customers, crewed by CityJet staff.

CityJet acquired a new crew base in Copenhagen in January when it took over Cimber Airways from SAS and will also open a new Brussels crew base at the end of the month. Both support wet lease contracts on behalf of customer airlines at the two airports.

The airline also has crew bases in Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Helsinki, Paris and Stockholm.

Byrne said: “Since mid-2015, we have been actively repositioning ourselves as an aviation business with a mix of wet lease operations on behalf of other airlines, own-brand scheduled flying and ad hoc charter services.

“We are on course to achieve our strategic aim of having at least 80% of our aircraft operating on wet lease and charter services this year whilst also retaining a robust and high quality scheduled operation into London City airport.”

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