BA CityFlyer scraps E170 fleet in favour of larger E190s

Mar 10, 2021

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CityFlyer, a subsidiary of British Airways, appears to have nixed its smallest aircraft from its fleet, according to Simple Flying.

Pre-pandemic, the short-haul and regional carrier operated a fleet of 22 ERJ-190 and six ERJ-170 aircraft from its hub at London City Airport (LCY). However, it appears that as of January this year, all six of the smaller Embraer aircraft — the E170s — have been taken out of service.

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But the aircraft aren’t going to their desert retirement just yet. According to data from Planespotters.net, the six aircraft will be delivered to Envoy Air and will flying under American Airlines’ American Eagle brand. Envoy will likely reconfigure the aircraft before they’re entered into service.

“As announced earlier today, Envoy will soon take delivery of at least six Embraer 170 (E170) aircraft in a 65-seat configuration,” Envoy VP of Flight Ric Wilson said in a statement to Simple Flying. “We anticipate deliveries will begin in late May of this year, with our first in service date scheduled for early July. The Flight Operations Technical team has already begun work on the required Operating Manual revisions to support the addition of these aircraft.”

CityFlyer’s decision for reducing its fleet and flying only larger aircraft is likely to be two-fold. The first being the drastic reduction in demand for travel since the start of the pandemic, which meant the need for fewer aircraft. Secondly, operating only the larger E190 Embraers will likely yield more revenue per flight thanks to the capacity for more passengers than the E170 aircraft.

Related: Where is British Airways parking its planes during the coronavirus pandemic?

Currently, CityFlyer only has three of its 22 E190 aircraft in operation, according to Planespotters.net, while it continues to operate a skeleton route network. Flights with CityFlyer are currently limited to infrequent services to cities like Belfast (BHD) and Frankfurt (FRA).

The outlook for CityFlyer finished 2020 on a high, when the carrier announced it would be launching 11 new routes from Southampton and the subsequent opening of a new base at the south coast airport. As it stands, tickets for the 11 new routes are not currently available to book.

The pandemic has been a troubling time for the CityFlyer base of London City, which completely suspended all flights in March 2020. It since reopened when travel resumed last summer.

Featured image by Mike Kemp/Getty Images.

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