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.
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).
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.
As the first Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100 destined for Western launch customer Interjet of Mexico rolled out of its paint hangar in Venice, Italy, on February 11, industry observers digested a seemingly unprompted statement from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s Moscow headquarters summarizing design problems uncovered during the airplane’s 23 months of service history.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been demonstrating its latest upgrades for the Dornier 228 twin turboprop at this week’s Aero India show in Bangalore. On display for the first time is a new glass cockpit developed by the Swiss-based Ruag group.
Mitsubishi Aircraft’s firm order in December for 100 MRJ90s from St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines has not only confirmed the company’s ability to sell the new regional jet in large quantities, it might well have validated the wisdom of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ industrial ambitions.
A Bombardier CRJ200 operated by Kazakh regional airline SCAT crashed on Tuesday near the village of Kyzyl Tu in southeast Kazakhstan, killing all 15 passengers and six crewmembers. Although reports from Kazakhstan indicate the existence of low clouds and fog, a Bombardier spokesman couldn’t confirm the weather conditions at the time of the accident.
Embraer’s waning E-Jet backlog received a welcome boost this week with a firm order for 47 seventy-six-seat E175s from Indianapolis-based Republic Airways. The deal, announced Thursday morning, includes options on another 47 of the airplanes, potentially raising its list-price value to $4 billion.