CityJet is a subsidiary airline of Air France, which is part of the AIR FRANCE KLM group (with whom you can fly to over 106 countries).
Flying to over 14 major destinations in Europe with 600 flights a week from London City Airport, CityJet, as far as I can confirm, provides the best service to Europe out of all the major airlines that operate from London’s airports’. As one of the major carriers that operate from this small, yet convenient and beautiful airport right in the heart of London, it is unofficially the airline of City Airport. Even when I used to live in Switzerland, I can say that around 90 percent of the time I used to fly with CityJet from Geneva to London.
Don’t get me wrong, CityJet is not a no-frills airline like Easyjet or Ryanair. Unlike no-frills airlines, with CityJet you get to choose your seat, get complimentary high quality in-flight meals and are guaranteed to have all taxes and luggage items included in the cost of your flight ticket. Unlike no-frills airlines there are no hidden costs whatsoever. CityJet flies to major International Airports like Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Orly, Geneva, Milan, Dublin and others- and from these airports passengers can transfer to connecting international flights. In actual fact, CityJet and London City Airport are such a great combination that one can easily take a flight with CityJet to, say for example, Paris Orly, and then from there take Air France or Delta Airlines (part of the same Air France, Delta, KLM group) to a long haul destination anywhere on the group’s vast network.
CityJet is one of the few select airlines operating out of London City Airport that has a wide affinity with the sport of Rugby as well as with other key sponsorships, including "Temple Street Childrens' hospital" in Dublin, as well as "Fighting Blindness" funds world-leading research into cures and treatments for blindness. In regards to sport, CityJet are the proud sponsors of London Irish, and have their logo proudly displayed on the stands at the Madejski Stadium in Reading.
The buzz word is “CityJet is THE airline to fly with to Europe” and “London City Airport is the best airport in the Greater London Area”. This may be my personal opinion, but I am sure this is also the reason why most flights are full.
Route: London City Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol International
Departure date and time of flight: 16th March at 07:50
Flight Number: VG210 (Has a VLM Code but was operated by CityJet)
Flight duration: 1h 25m (excludes the 15 minute delay to the plane)
Aircraft type: Avro Intl Aerospace Avroliner RJ85 (AKA BAe 146
Punctuality of the flight: The flight departed around 30 minutes late because there was a delay in the in-coming flight, and so this had a domino effect for flights going back to Schiphol. Nevertheless, the actual flight only took around 30 minutes, and the overall delay was reduced to 15 minutes. If you live in London then I would highly recommend flying from London City Airport with CityJet. Its fast, it’s easy, it’s comfortable, and there is no hustle and bustle that you get at big airports like Heathrow or Gatwick (where you can fly with CityJet’s parent companies such as KLM and Air France). This is not just a personal viewpoint, but also a wider one too- one that is shared by many passengers, both corporate and leisure travellers. However, usually from past experience, I can confirm that 90 percent of the time there are no delays. The airport is compact; so there are no queues to get to the runway, so all the flights are usually on time.
Any baggage issues: There were no baggage delays on this flight.
Comments on the check-in staff and any issues:
No issues. London City Airport is an airport which predominantly caters for the business community- with the close proximity to Canary Wharf, and the Square Mile. The beauty of departing from London City Airport is that no matter what the time of the day it is and irrespective of how busy the airport terminal is, the process of catching a flight seems to be a very smooth one. There is no rush and no long queues for check-in or security. Indeed, most of the time you can easily complete the whole process, right from checking-in to the waiting lounge, in around 10-15 minutes.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service: choice of drinks (standard- tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice, lemonade or coca cola)
Comments regarding the first meal: The passengers were treated to a cold cheese and coleslaw sandwich. One could not really ask for more on such a short flight. The quality of the food was good; the sandwich was fresh and scrumptious.
Comments regarding the drinks service: A second round of drinks were offered after the sandwiches.
Comments regarding the in-flight snacks (if any): Fox’s boiled sweets were offered by the cabin crew- sometimes prior to take off, and sometimes prior to landing. In our flight, dark chocolates were offered as a treat as well as the boiled sweets.
Comments regarding the second meal (if any): None
Comments on the in-flight system (if any): None
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew: Very professional and polite.
Improvements that could be made: This was a great flight, and on such a short flight, it is difficult to find any faults. Everything was just fine.
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
The BAe 146 is one of the main types of aircraft which is able to operate from the short runway at London City Airport. It’s quiet, compact, beautiful, safe, and flies you from A to B in the same amount of time as any other jet plane. The seat layout is in a 3-3 formation with each seat being smaller than the standard “19 inch wide and 31 inch reclining pitch” provided on the large wide bodied aircraft. There is very little leg room. Even the Business Class cabin is small enough to be classed as part of the Economy Class seats- the only difference being that the seat formation is 2-2 (with a seat in between the Economy Class seats). Nevertheless, since the aircraft is only built for short haul flights lasting of no more than, say, 2 hours at the most, then there is no real reason to complain. Although saying this, it can be a shock for someone to step into the small frame of the BAe 146, especially if they have had been on a connecting flight from Amsterdam, and if their previous aircraft was a large wide body such as a Boeing 747-400 or Airbus A330 (as CityJet is part of the “Skyteam Group”, and the same partnership airline of AIR FRANCE KLM.
If you love looking outside the window, and if happen to be in Economy Class, then be sure to choose a seat that is right at the back- otherwise your view will be somewhat obstructed by the engines (which are placed over the fuselage on the BAe 146). On all of the planes’, seat rows 4 to 8 have a restricted view- because the engines are in the way!
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best): 10
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
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