Salvage teams attempting to recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from a Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 that crashed into the Mekong River in southern Laos on October 16 have narrowed the search area from some 650 feet to about 80 feet, but zero visibility, limited mechanical means, a five-knot river current and a lack of ma
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).
A Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 crashed in southern Laos near the Champasak provincial capital of Pakse on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by ATR, the airplane took off from the capital city Vientiane and crashed into the Mekong river. Reports from the official Laos news agency indicate the airplane hit the water some five miles short of its destination, Pakse International Airport.
The long and ugly contract dispute between the pilots of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and company management turned still uglier this week, as the Teamsters-represented group voted “no confidence” in COO Wayne Heller and his senior leadership team.
The General Assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) took place in Salzburg last week with a mixed picture of how airlines are managing, particularly with continued pressure from low-cost-carrier growth and regulatory burdens. In the ERA’s view, Europe has a major problem with central politicians who seem unable to understand the value of regional aviation that local politicians in its many outer regions have little problem appreciating.
ATR has reached an agreement to place as many as 35 ATR 72-600s with Garuda Indonesia, the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer announced Tuesday. The deal involves firm orders for 25 airplanes, some of which will come via lease through Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital. The parties expect deliveries to start in November and extend over a period of three years.
As fuel price increases have encouraged airlines to fly larger aircraft on short-haul routes, Austria’s Salzburg Airport has found itself handling far fewer flights even as passenger traffic has shown a slight increase. Over the past two years, traveler numbers have increased by about 2.5 percent, while movements at the airport–named for Salzburg-born composer W. A. Mozart–have fallen by 15 percent.
Increasing competition and pressure on costs has led to some deep restructuring of European airlines, with an attendant move to higher-capacity aircraft and absorption of many regional carriers into national carriers.
The bid by Malaysia’s AirAsia to launch a low-fare airline in India with the Tata Group has hit some unexpected turbulence as Singapore Airlines prepares to launch a joint venture with the very same investors.
Two Sukhoi Superjet 100s operated by the Mexican airline Interjet performed their inaugural revenue flights on Wednesday, marking the first appearance of the Russian regional jets in commercial service in the Americas. Using SSJ100 MSN 95023, Interjet Flight 3153 took off at 7:37 a.m. local time from Mexico City (MEX) and landed at 8:54 a.m. in Torreon (TRC).
The European Regions Airline Association is preparing for a winter of intense lobbying as politicians in Brussels return to their desks this month. The ERA’s new director general, Simon McNamara, has identified new passenger rights rules, airport capacity shortages and constraints on state aid for airlines and airports as the main battleground issues the association hopes to resolve before the European Parliament elections in May next year and the subsequent appointment of new leadership at the European Commission (EC).