Lufthansa CityLine has begun operating the first of 12 new 84-seat Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets that by year-end will replace its ten 50-seat CRJ200s. With no prospect of oil prices falling, the German carrier is looking for the sort of fuel economics normally available only from long-haul widebody operations.
Aviation International News » September 2006
Irish regional airline CityJet in a little more than a month expects to place into service the first of 23 Avro RJ85s acquired in a $221 million deal to replace its present fleet of 20 BAe 146s. According to CityJet CEO Geoffrey O’Byrne White, the choice boiled down to the airplanes’ shared characteristics with the BAe 146, enhanced performance, better economics and, of course, the Avros’ comparative youth.
Larger aircraft and lower costs have produced a winning formula for Swiss International Airlines’ regional operations–despite high fuel prices not entirely offset by surtaxes on tickets. Swiss announced an overall profit of SFr76 million ($61 million) for the first half of the year and stresses that regional, European and intercontinental flights have all contributed to the positive result.
Free trade, reorientation toward the West and tourism have all contributed to the fast development of air traffic in the Baltics. The three Baltic States– Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia–rank among the smallest European nations, but each boasts unique historic sites and landscapes appreciated by tourists, a long tradition in trade and crafts and a skilled workforce.
A revolution in Binter Canarias’s approach to business and the Spanish carrier’s distinguished on-time performance record led to its selection, for the third time, as the ERA’s Airline of the Year last October. Binter relinquishes its title at the ERA general assembly in, appropriately enough, the Spanish city of Barcelona at the end of this month.
Superjet 100–Plans for the airplane known until July as the Russian Regional Jet appeared to have crystallized early this year, when Sukhoi published a schedule that calls for final assembly of the first prototype in November, completion of the static-test aircraft in December, first flight in September of next year and Russian certification in October 2008.
C Series/900X/Q400X–Officially still alive as a program but downgraded in status from an imminent launch candidate to a loosely defined study, the proposed 110- to 135-seat C Series has taken the proverbial back seat to research aimed squarely at the uppermost reaches of the regional airline market, namely a 12-seat stretch of the 86-seat CRJ900 and a proposed 90-seat variant of the Q Series line of turboprops.
ARJ21–China’s AVIC I Commercial Aircraft (ACAC) continues its deliberate march toward a 2009 introduction of the 90-seat ARJ21-700,
An-148–Due for imminent certification by Russian and Ukrainian civil aviation authorities, the An-148 stands nearly ready for delivery this year to Russian launch operator Pulkovo Aviation of St. Petersburg and Skat Airlines of Kazakhstan. Siberia’s KrasAir, holder of a firm lease order with Ilyushin Finance Company for ten examples, expects the first of its airplanes to arrive early next year.
Officials from small carriers meeting in Barcelona this month for the European Regions Airline Association general assembly very likely will bump into Carlos Bertomeu, chief executive of local Spanish operator Air Nostrum. In so doing, they also might hope that some of his success will brush off.