CityJet Adds to German Network

As Irish regional carrier CityJet prepares for the launch of its first route to Germany this month, the airline has revealed plans to introduce a second route from early next year. The wholly-owned Air France subsidiary will launch a weekday service from London City to Münster-Osnabrück from October 29, 2012 but has now confirmed it will offer a twice-daily weekday and daily weekend service from London City to Nuremberg from January 27, 2013 using an Avro RJ85.

“Nuremberg is a key business hub in Europe given its position as the capital of Germany’s industrial heartland. It is the head office location for many of Germany’s multi-nationals such as Siemens, Puma and Adidas and it plays host to several international trade fairs,” said Christine Ourmières, Chief Executive Officer, CityJet. “Taking its business and leisure credentials together, it was a clear cut decision for CityJet to launch a new year-round service to Nuremberg, further extending our network into Germany, following the launch of Münster-Osnabrück.”

The new route increases CityJet’s network to 20 European destinations across Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK. It is currently the largest carrier operating out of London City Airport with a 38.9 per cent share of flight departures this month, but it is ranked second to BA Cityflyer by seat capacity with a 32.5 per cent share.

CityJet’s decision to serve Nuremberg represents the resumption of a former link from London City, albeit one that only lasted two schedule seasons. German national carrier Lufthansa served the route between November 2006 and October 2007 using an ATR 42-500, having previously flown from the German city to London Heathrow up until April 2000.

The airline will compete on the city pair with airberlin. The oneworld alliance member started flights between Nuremberg and London Stansted in February 1998 before switching flights to London Gatwick in February 2011. It currently offers an up to twice daily offering using a mix of Airbus A320 Family and Next-Generation 737 variants.

In the table below we highlight the estimated O&D demand between London and Nuremberg during the past five years. There have been some clear fluctuations in annual demand but traffic did increase last year by 6.9 per cent. There are currently around 1,000 passengers a year flying between London City and Nuremberg via other European airports, but when Lufthansa served the route the estimated annual demand was around 10,000 O&D passengers.

The 147,000 point-to-point passengers on the city pair in 2011 was dominated by the airberlin route to London Gatwick (82.7 per cent of demand), but a notable 16,000 people flew between Nuremberg and London Heathrow, a demand that CityJet will try to tap into with its new schedule. These passengers are currently mainly flying with Lufthansa via its German hubs and Swiss International Air Lines via Zurich.

Since CityJet's announcement it has subsequently become apparent that airberlin will be ending its own service between Nuremberg and London Gatwick. According to our blog AirlineRoute the German carrier will end its operations on this route from January 7, 2013.



Estimated O&D Passengers

% Change (versus previous year)



(-13.5) %



6.9 %



(-18.2) %



(-0.9) %



6.9 %

Meanwhile, CityJet’s new daily link from the Docklands airport to Münster-Osnabruck will commence on October 29, 2012 and is part of the airline’s network strategy to make better use of its aircraft during quieter periods of the day. The airline’s aircraft are well utilised during the morning and afternoon/evening peak so it is trying to create a schedule which additionally allows aircraft operation during the middle of the day in order to increase aircraft productivity. It is already achieving this by serving a number of leisure destinations and smaller leisure/business destination which don't require a high number of frequencies.

The city of Münster is the sustainable energy and green capital of Germany and is a popular location for both science and technology conferences. In addition, Münster is at the heart of one of Germany’s strongest performing economic areas, with a large number of expanding SMEs based locally. As well as this, Osnabruck and Dortmund are both key university cities within easy reach of the airport, with strong science and IT based economies.

“By starting services to Münster, CityJet is expanding its appeal to the UK MiCE industry as well as facilitating a new trade corridor for the rapidly expanding British green technologies and renewable energies market,” said Christine Ourmières, Chief Executive Officer, CityJet. “There is also strong inbound demand for a direct route to the heart of London from Münster given the large number of SMEs based in the airport’s catchment area.”

The route launch will mark the return of Münster-Osnabruck to the London City Airport network map. The route was previously flown from the airport by Augsburg Airways on behalf of Lufthansa between April 2000 and March 2003. The German city has also been previously served from London Gatwick by Eurowings and more recently by airberlin from London Stansted, a route that was closed in October 2011. During 2011 an estimated 38,000 O&D passengers flew between London and Münster-Osnabruck.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…