Air France aims to shortlist two preferred bidders for its Irish airline subsidiary CityJet by the end of next month.

These groups would then go head to head to acquire the regional airline.

CityJet employee representatives were told yesterday that 10 groups had shown an interest in the airline after Air France appointed Key Capital last year to advise on potential investors for its subsidiary, the Irish Times reported.

It said six of these were subsequently given access to CityJet’s future business plan, including its aircraft fleet, its network out of London City airport, its wet-lease operations for Air France and its charter business.

This list is now to be whittled down to two bidders by the end of next month and they will then be asked to submit final bids. Details of the potential investors were not provided.

CityJet’s main operation is based at London City, where it runs 22 routes to European destinations, including Dublin.

The airline bought Belgian rival VLM in 2007 and has a fleet of 38 aircraft operating more than 480 flights a week.

Air France took control CityJet in 2000 and the sale is part of a major restructuring of group operations by the French carrier.