MIAMI— Irish carrier Cityjet has confirmed that will become a Bombardier CRJ-900 operator, in the network of Sweden’s Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

The carrier will acquire the aircraft from a long-standing Bombardier customer that signed a firm purchase agreement for eight CRJ900 aircraft and took options on an additional six. The customer has requested to remain unidentified at this time. The value of the agreement is approximately $369 million USD at list prices, and if all options are exercised, it could increase to $651 million USD.

“As a long-time regional operator for some of Europe’s finest airlines, we are pleased to add SAS to our list of distinguished customers” said Pat Byrne, Executive Chairman, CityJet. The carrier currently has a fleet of 18 RJ85 aircraft operating under its own WX code as well as an historic ACMI contract for Air France, and serves more than 680 weekly flights all over Europe throughout its entire network, and employs almost 500 staff, with over 300 based at its headquarters in Swords, County Dublin, and additional crew bases in London and Paris.

“The SAS contract has immense strategic significance for CityJet’s growth and development, strengthening its market position across Europe and facilitating ongoing investment and growth.  Securing this contract with SAS is a major vote of confidence in our team and in our expertise, and will help support future business expansion” Byrne stated.

The CRjs will not be able to replace the RJ-85, as the type cannot operate into the short runway at London City Airport, a major Cityjet hub. However, Byrne announced that an announcement on the Avro replacement was “very imminent” leaving the doors open to aircraft such as the Embraer E170 and E190 jets (already operating with British Airways CityFlyer at London City), and the Bombardier CSeries, to be operated to London City by Swiss International Air Lines.