Stobart Air will provide ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) services for BA CityFlyer out of London City Airport as of mid-November, investing €36 million in two Embraer E190 regional jets for the regional routes.
The regional BA brand becomes the third airline partner for Stobart, which currently flies services for both Aer Lingus and Flybe. It operates under the Aer Lingus Regional brand as part of a franchise agreement with the Irish carrier and operates Flybe routes from London Southend Airport and the Isle of Man.
Graeme Buchanan, Stobart Air’s managing director, said: “The addition of services on behalf of BA CityFlyer is a significant recognition of our increased capabilities as an airline.”
The carrier will lease the pair of E190 regional jets in a three-year deal with Ireland-based lessor Nordic Aviation Capital. It says it also intends to add 40 new staff, comprised of 10 captains and first officers as well as 30 cabin crew. Services are scheduled to start on 16 November.
Last year Stobart confirmed investment of up to €25 million investment in the airline, including adding three E195 aircraft to its fleet.
Buchanan said in a statement: “Due to the continued and consistent growth of our airline, we are investing in our fleet and our people to deliver on our current growth strategy. As a regional partner to leading airlines, we constantly review our business operations and our network to position us for opportunities with key partners from the most popular cities and routes across Ireland, the UK and beyond. We continuously seek to provide the optimum connectivity on key routes for customers, working with our partners. We have ambitious plans to grow and develop this partnership in 2018,” he said.
The airline is forecast to carry two million passengers this year, a rise of 17% over 2017.
British Airways’ general manager for commercial and customers, Luke Hayhoe, added: “We are looking forward to working with Stobart Air within this new significant lease agreement. The relationship will ensure we continue to provide punctual and reliable services for our customers from the London City Airport hub.”
Stobart Air is part of the Stobart Group.