FRANKFURT Jan 4 German aviation investor Hans
Rudolf Woehrl said he wants to merge Air France-KLM's
CityJet, which he offered to buy last month, with his carrier
InterSky to tap into demand for regional business flights beyond
Europe's big airline hubs.
"The aim is to create a new regional airline active across
Europe that is big enough not to be pushed out by big carriers
like Lufthansa," Woehrl told German weekly magazine Wirtschafts
Woche in an interview to be published on Monday.
Air France announced last month that Intro Aviation GmbH, of
which Woehrl is a co-founder, made a firm offer to buy CityJet
as well as its subsidiary VLM, without disclosing financial
terms. It said it expected the transaction to close in the first
quarter of 2014.
Dublin-based CityJet, the No.1 carrier at London City
Airport, has a fleet of 38 aircraft and offers more than 480
weekly flights across Europe, according to its website.
InterSky, of which Intro Aviation owns 74.9 percent, has a
fleet of five aircraft and primarily connects destinations in
Germany, Austria and Switzerland, according to its website.
"In Europe, there are not just low-cost flights and business
for big monopolists like Lufthansa, but there is also a market
for regional connections for business travellers who are not in
the big economic centres of Europe," Woehrl told Wirtschafts
"There will be a revival there, and more and more regions
are suffering a lack of flight connections," he said.
Woehrl made a name for himself in Germany's aviation world
by when he bought German airline Deutsche BA from British
Airways - now part of IAG - for 1 euro ($1.36) in 2003,
via his firm Intro Aviation.
He renamed the airline DBA and then sold it to Air Berlin
, Germany's No.2 airline, in 2006. The same year, he
took a majority stake in Germany's LTU group before selling the
rehabilitated carrier to Air Berlin in 2007.