Following months of speculation, the Scandinavian airline SAS has decided to sell its subsidiary Cimber to the Irish airline CityJet.
As of January 31, CityJet will operate 22 regional Bombardier CRJ900 flights on behalf of SAS in a wet-lease deal that has been extended by a further three years to six years.
“The divestment of Cimber is in line with our strategy to simplify and focus on SAS’s own production platform,” said Rickard Gustafson, the airline’s CEO.
“Thanks to synergies between CityJet and Cimber, the production costs of Cimber will be further reduced, creating conditions to maintain and develop regional routes for the benefit of SAS customers.”
SAS purchased Cimber back in February 2015, but the airline failed to optimise the regional flight specialists. A sale has been under discussion for several months now.
SAS’s connection with CityJet goes back to October 2015 when it sold its Finnish subsidiary Blue1 to the Dublin-based airline and inked the first wet-lease agreement with the Irish regional airline.
“This new SAS contract and growth delivered by the acquisition of Cimber Airways advances CityJet’s stated strategy of building its role as a provider of regional jet capacity to airlines across Europe,” said Pat Byrne, CityJet’s executive chairman.
“We welcome the new staff members of Cimber Airways into the CityJet family. They join 870 current employees of whom almost 200 are based in the Nordic region.”