Turboprop-engine manufacturers continue to develop technologies in anticipation of future demand for new or derivative regional airliners designed to carry approximately 90 passengers, a step up from contemporary aircraft offering around 70 seats. By January 1, Pratt & Whitney Canada hoped to have completed the first phase of a next-generation regional turboprop (NGRT) demonstration program intended to validate characteristics for a main centrifugal compressor. Meanwhile, U.S.
News and issues relating specifically to regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training; and coverage of annual conventions of the U.S. Regional Airline Association (RAA) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
Embraer appears ever more bullish on the prospects for its products in China, judging by its most recent market forecast for the country. Released during November’s Airshow China international aerospace exhibition held in Shanghai, the forecast predicts that the number of aircraft holding between 30 and 120 passenger seats will grow more than eight-fold, from 125 today to 1,005 in 2031.
A new pilot contract ratified by the pilots of United Airlines on December 15 will open more opportunities for “large” regional airplane flying by United Express affiliates but likely result in another large-scale grounding of 50-seat regional jets. It also appears to signal a desire for United to add 90- to 120-seat narrowbodies in the category of the Embraer E190/195 and Bombardier CSeries CS100 some time after January 2016.
A flurry of commercial announcements in the regional- and small-narrowbody aircraft sectors came across the wires last week, led by a firm order on Thursday for 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300s from Latvian carrier airBaltic. The deal, potentially worth $1.57 billion at list prices, included so-called purchase rights on 10 more of the airplanes and represented a conversion of a letter of intent signed at this year’s Farnborough International airshow.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has officially broken the Bombardier-Embraer duopoly for regional jets in the U.S. with its confirmation on Thursday of a firm order from SkyWest Airlines for 100 MRJ90s worth $4.2 billion at list prices.
While the realignment of Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ management structure last week might have marked something less than a revolution in its approach to program development, it certainly signaled a recognition that something fundamental needed to change. Over the next 18 months Boeing expects to increase output across its commercial product lines by 25 percent while it manages no fewer than five development programs.
Bombardier Aerospace received a major boost for its sagging CRJ regional jet program on Thursday, when Delta Air Lines placed a firm order for 40 dual-class CRJ900s and reserved options on another 30.
Regional airlines serve a vital purpose all over the world even where they mix with low-cost carriers. The regionals can serve areas the low-costers cannot reach–or so goes a well known European beer advertisement. Thin routes mean smaller aircraft and services more akin to business aviation flights than those for holiday-makers.
Austria’s Farnair Training began operating a new Axis full-flight simulator for the ATR 42-300 and ATR 72-500 last month at its facility in Neusiedl am See, near the Hungarian border. Situated 25 nm from Vienna and 16 nm from Bratislava, the facility offers easy access to both those cities’ airports.
Bankrupt AMR moved a step closer to its goal of saving $1.25 billion a year in employee-related costs as the pilots of American Eagle voted last Monday to ratify a tentative agreement reached between their Air Line Pilots Association bargaining committee and airline management. Of the regional airline’s some 3,000 pilots, 85 percent cast ballots. Seventy percent of participating pilots voted in favor of the agreement.