SAS will wet lease eight new Bombardier CRJ900s from the Dublin-based carrier, with an option on a further six aircraft. SAS already operates twelve regional jet aircraft of this type through its subsidiary, Cimber.
SAS states the aim of these new transactions are to adjust its traffic flows towards hired capacity, with smaller regional jet and turboprop aircraft.
“We are looking forward to working with Cityjet to further expand our regional route network and thereby strengthen SAS’s offering to frequent travelers. The eight brand new CRJ900s from Cityjet will provide us with efficient and flexible production of regional flights that will complement SAS’s production on the larger traffic flows,” says Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO at SAS.
The new aircraft operated by Cityjet will have 90 seats and will be painted with SAS livery. They will enter service from March 2016, “on routes and at times when there is a need for smaller aircraft,” the airline sates.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Cityjet to work with a leading airline such as SAS. We are looking forward to a long-term cooperation, where we will deliver a high level of quality in terms of efficiency and customer service for SAS passengers. We are also keen to benefit from the experience and knowledge of the Nordic airline industry that the acquisition of Blue1 will give us,” says Patrick Byrne, Chairman of the Board at Cityjet.
As part of the new collaboration between the two carriers, Cityjet will acquire 100% of the shares in SAS subsidiary Blue1.
Blue1, Finland, has been a part of the SAS Group since 1998, and primarily provides wet lease and charter services to airlines and tour operators, or other on-demand requirements, on both long and short term agreements. It operates five Boeing 717-200 jet aircraft across Europe, the Nordic countries, the Baltic states and Russia, with around 200 staff.
SAS expects the sale Blue1 and the new wet lease agreement for regional service with Cityjet to increase its cost efficiency and flexibility.