Britain’s skies are filled not so much with aircraft noise as with the sound of grinding axes, as regional airports vie for audibility during the latest UK government reconsideration of aviation strategy. Forever perceiving themselves as poor relations to major London-area facilities, some of Britain’s local airports (especially in central and southwestern regions) have taken to denigrating competitors, all the while proclaiming their respective “connectivity” to airline networks.
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).
Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines on Wednesday officially emerged from bankruptcy as a wholly owned regional subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.
An RAA-sponsored study into the fatigue effects of multi-segment flight operations has reached the end of its third and final stage, involving the development of so-called fatigue risk management systems (FRMS).
Some of the very communities on which the regional airline industry built its legacy face “devastating cuts to air service” if the various stakeholders don’t act quickly, officials from the Regional Airline Association warn. The reasons vary, and each presents its own set of challenges.
Regional Airline Association president Roger Cohen knows better than to predict what direction the industry he has watched evolve over his seven-year tenure at the RAA might take next. So when asked to talk about further structural changes his group’s 30 or so airline members might see in the coming months and years, he offered a direct retort.
For reasons ranging from high fuel costs to regulatory complexity, European regional airlines still face “a very difficult time,” according to European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director general Simon McNamara. Meanwhile, persistently weak economic data continue to “depress people’s willingness to travel,” he said, leading to contraction of the European airline industry as a whole.
United Airlines has moved to exploit newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network with a tentative deal to add 30 new Embraer E175s to the United Express fleet.
The state of Kerala in Southwest India has invested $2.2 million in a seaplane operation to promote major destinations located near its 24 lakes and water bodies known for backwater tourism and houseboats. Kerala Tourism Infrastructure (KTIL), the nodal agency for the project, awaits a Directorate General of Civil Aviation no-objection certificate (NOC), and plans a launch in mid-May.
The success enjoyed by outside players in providing capacity to Africa has meant regional and domestic business has assumed ever-increasing importance not just for Africa’s indigenous airlines but for the continent’s economic growth as well. The tremendous distances between population centers and the lack of convenient and reliable roads also make Africa a bumper opportunity for suppliers of regional jets with seating capacities of around 100.
Hawaii’s Island Air closed the sale of the airline in late February to a newly formed holding company owned by the billionaire co-founder and CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison. Island Air said it plans no staff changes and will continue its operations as usual while it maps out routes, airplane acquisitions and services.