Irish ACMI carrier CityJet said farewell on Monday 2nd November to the last of its Avro RJ85/Bae 146 aircraft which has served the airline for almost 27 years. 

The airline announced it’s Avro fleet flew 475,000 flights and 580,000 hours since 1993 equivalent to 67 years in the air and a distance approximating to around 1,000 times to the moon.

In 2006 the carrier acquired 23 of the ex-Mesaba Airlines RJ85’s were acquired from BAE Systems and US-based financial underwriters and securitisation specialist MBIA in an investment that the airline valued at the time at $221 million (approx €198.2 million). 

The RJ85’s replaced its fleet of 20 BAe 146s citing shared characteristics and enhanced performance, better economics and reduced maintenance costs with four-abreast seating in business class and six-abreast in economy.

Cityjet Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said “Today is a momentous day as we bid farewell to an aircraft which has always been part of the fabric of CityJet.  For almost 30 years, the Avro BAe146 and RJ85 fleet has served us well, and for some there were a few tears shed today when RJF departed for the last time.  We are now looking to the future as we grow our services on more modern aircraft, but there will always be a place in our hearts for the venerable Avro’s.”

EI-RJF RJ85 MSN 2337 named “Great Blasket Island” was delivered Dublin-Keflavik-Gander-Gary/Chicago International-Mojave on 2-6 November to its new owners Aero-Flite joining another nine former Cityjet aircraft in a new role as fire fighting following conversion.  

The carrier donated EI-RJN MSN 2351 to The City of Norwich Aviation Museum on the 7th November. The aircraft had been in storage at Norwich Airport since 16th February 2019 when it arrived from Dublin for maintenance. 

The carrier donated EI-RJZ RJ85 MSN 2326 to the Irish Air Corps and made a short ferry flight across the city from Dublin to Baldonnel in basic colours on 17th April to be used as a ground trainer

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 7 November 2020 All Rights Reserved.