CityJet, the European regional airline, is commencing a major recruitment drive at its new base in Vilnius as the carrier increases significantly its presence in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the Baltics.
The airline has recently expanded its network of supplying aircraft for other carriers – known as ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance or wet lease) – and is offering new posts for pilots and crew. In total, CityJet initially has vacancies at Vilnius for over 40 people, including 10 captains, 10 first officers, 10 cabin supervisors and 10 cabin juniors.
The carrier has based two Bombardier CRJ passenger jets at Vilnius and its initial investment in Lithuania exceeds €2 million. The aircraft will fly under agreement with SAS. Its recruitment drive is being handled in Vilnius by its partner, Nobox.
CityJet Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said: “We are significantly growing our operations in Europe which reflects on our transition from being a primary scheduled airline to providing wet lease services for some of Europe’s main carriers. We now have over 40 aircraft with 1,250 staff operating out of 10 bases across Europe.”
“Our Vilnius operation has recently come on stream and we are basing pilots and crew in the Lithuanian capital to service routes along the Baltic and northern Europe. We have significant opportunities for aircrew operating out of Vilnius on short haul routes.”
CityJet, which has its headquarters in Dublin, is the second largest independently owned regional airline in Europe. It was established by Mr Byrne in 1993. For over 15 years the airline was owned by Air France but Mr Byrne and international investors acquired ownership of the airline in March 2016 and the carrier is operated and led by an independent management team.
Since becoming independently owned, CityJet still operates scheduled services, mainly on its Dublin to London City Airport route but increasingly provides ACMI facilities for a range of carriers including SAS, Brussels Airlines, Air France and KLM. Wet lease services now account for 90% of its operations.
The airline has grown considerably since re-emerging as an independent carrier. It acquired the regional Finnish airline Blue1 from SAS in October, 2017, and Cimber A/S, another regional carrier operating in Denmark in January last.
The airline’s fleet includes 25 CRJ900 aircraft, 14 RJ85 and six SSJ100 superjets. It acquired an additional 14 aircraft this year alone. In 2015 the airline had four bases but this has now been expanded to 10: Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vilnius.
Last year, CityJet saw its turnover increase from €161.5 million to €198.2 million. Indications for 2017 point to a further increase in turnover – expected to be more than 20% on 2016 and come in at year end at €276m.
CityJet employed an average of 812 people in 2016 compared with 506 in the previous year and approximately 1,250 currently.
Mr Byrne said: “As an airline we operate very much as a family. We believe in team spirit and we offer competitive terms and conditions for our employees. We have ambitions to grow our base at Vilnius as we continue to expand our operations in a part of Europe that has enjoyed growing economic prosperity. Pilots and aircrew will be able to join an airline which continues to expand and will provide it with opportunities both in Lithuania and our other bases across Europe.”
Anthony Brennan, CityJet’s Director of Human Resources said: “This has been an exciting 18 months for the airline as we have expanded our crew bases. In addition to Vilnius, there are some career opportunities in other locations and interested candidates should check our website for job adverts.”