Air Nostrum and CityJet create regional aviation platform in Europe

Spanish and Irish companies announced the formation of the Strategic Alliance of Regional Airlines (SARA), a holding that has 74 aircraft and aims to reach 100 units in the future

The airlines Air Nostrum (Spain) and CityJet (Ireland) announced on Tuesday the creation of the Strategic Alliance of Regional Airlines (SARA), a holding company that will control the operation of nine companies, including the two carriers.

According to the group, which will now be commanded by Carlos Bertomeu, CEO of Air Nostrum, SARA will have 80% of the shares with Air Investment Valencia (AIV), which controls the carrier, and the remainder with CityJet shareholders.

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The union of the companies was announced in 2018, but ended up being postponed amid Covid-19 and the change in the financial situation of both.

Because of this, a merger was ruled out, but the two airlines believe they will be able to establish several operational synergies.

CityJet and Air Nostrum executives (CJ)

The group now has a fleet of 74 aircraft, mostly made up of CRJ1000 jets, with 45 jets from Air Nostrum, 26 from CityJet and three from Hibernian.

In addition to Air Nostrum, CityJet and Hibernian, SARA is also formed by the Danish subsidiary CityJet A/S and also maintenance companies, crew training and support centers, corporate services and commercial broker.

CityJet CRJ1000 (CityJet)

Air Nostrum mainly acts as a regional operator for Iberia while CityJet provides services for SAS, Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines. The group’s goal is to reach 100 aircraft in the coming years.

“We expect SARA to expand throughout Europe, reinforcing our collaboration with major European airlines, leading us to grow up to one hundred regional aircraft in the next three years,” said Miguel Ángel Falcón, General Manager of SARA, and Vice President of Air Nostrum.