Airlines Remembered

CityBird

Photos © R.Leeuw

Homebase: Brussels, Belgium
Founded: 1996
ICAO callsign: Dream Flight
Flightnbr prefix: H2 / CTB
Operations: passenger and cargo

Citybird's OO-CTA in approach into Brussels


The year 2001 must go down as a terrible year for Belgium's commercial aviation: both CityBird and Sabena had to file for bankruptcy
CityBird was founded in 1996 and flew passengers to holiday destinations in Florida and the Caribbean, initially aiming for longhaul destinations with 767s and MD-11s. The call sign was "Dream Flight".
Later on 2 A300s were added as an expansion to cargo operations. Alas, these Airbusses eluded me and I never got them for my lens. In fact, in 1999 2 747s (freighters) were expected to be operated to North - & South America, but this never happened.

Boeing 737-400s were added to the 767s and MD-11s

Boeing 737s were added to expand to European destinations as well. It was the intention to take over charter traffic from Virgin Express, too.
When fuelprices skyrocketed in 2000, the company's policy changed and operations were to be restricted to European destinations. Things were going downhill for CityBird. MD-11s, operated for some time on behalf of Sabena, were first to go. Boeing 737-800s were added to the fleet.
On July 02nd 2001, CityBird had to file for the Belgian version of "Chapter 11", out of reach for those waving the bills. Trying to buy some time.
Thomas Cook, large touroperator in England (owned by the German touroperator C&N) and owner of JMC Airline, stepped in with an interest to buy CityBird. But Boeing had an unsettled account for the returned 2 MD-11s and an agreement failed.
Time ran out and by October 04th 2001 it was over for CityBird.

Citybird operated from Amsterdam for ALM to Curacao

The pride of the fleet: 3 MD-11s were operated. The livery of CityBird was a very attractive one. OO-CTB is seen here in Amsterdam in February 2001, arriving for a flight to Curacao on behalf of ALM.

John Breski wrote me in Jan.2006- "I read your info on Citybird. When they were flying I was planning to take a flight to Amsterdam and saw an ad in the NY times. It was Citybird, offering an unbelievable offer of a round trip from NYC to Brussels! I took the flight and it was a brand new MD-11 and nearly empty. Maybe back in those days people were afraid of taking a long haul flight for $99 on a new carrier. So instead of just going to Amsterdam I stayed in Brussels for a few days and then Antwerp for a few days because the city centers are all on the same rail line. It was a great trip and I still feel bad that Citybird didn't survive."
Thanks John!

OO-CTR on finals into BRU
Boeing 767-33A OO-CTR (cn28495/643) fails the attractive livery. Flightnumbers of CityBird had the prefix H2 or CTB. It is seen here arriving at homebase Brussels's Zaventem Int'l Airport.

 

 The fleet as in Airline Fleets JP2000/01, except for the registrations of the 737-800s)

OO-CTG

Boeing 737-43Q

msn28491 / 2832

 

OO-CTV

Boeing 737-46Q?

msn29000 / 3033

 

OO-CTW

Boeing 737-46Q?

msn29001 / 3040

 

OO-CTA

Boeing 767-33A (ER)

msn27477 / 780

 

OO-CTR

Boeing 767-33A (ER)

msn28495 / 643

 

OO-CTB

Boeing (Douglas) MD-11

msn48766 / 600

 

OO-CTC

Boeing (Douglas) MD-11

msn48780 / 624

operated in Sabena-colors

OO-CTS

Boeing (Douglas) MD-11

msn48756 / 623

operated in Sabena-colors

OO-CTT

Airbus A300C4-605R

msn755

Freighter

OO-CTU

Airbus A300C4-605R

msn758

Freighter

 

And this is how it looked a year later:

JP Airline Fleets 2001/2002:

OO-CTX

Boeing? 737-3L9

23718 / 1402?

 

OO-CTG

Boeing 737-43Q

28491 / 2832?

 

OO-CTV

Boeing 737-46Q

29000 / 3033?

 

OO-CTW

Boeing 737-46Q

29001 / 3040?

 

OO-VEK

Boeing 737-405

24270 / 1726?

 

OO-CYH

Boeing 737-86Q

30278

 

OO-CYI

Boeing 737-86Q

30274

to be leased 0501

OO-CYN

Boeing 737-86Q?

30272

to be leased 0501

OO-CYS

Boeing 737-86N

28644

to be leased 0501

OO-CTT

Airbus A300C4-605R

755

freighter

OO-CTU

Airbus A300C4-605R

758

freighter

OO-CTA

Boeing 767-33A (ER)

27477 / 780

 

OO-CTR

Boeing 767-33A (ER)

28495 / 643

 

 


Photo taken in September 2001, OO-CYI  has not long left with CityBird
The Boeing 737-800s should have brought a new future for CityBird, alas there was no future.


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Last updated 23.2.2006