A new regional airline based in Xi’an, China called Joy Air plans to launch revenue operations this month with three Xi’an Aircraft (XAC) MA-60 turboprops.
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).
Pinnacle Airlines CEO Phil Trenary last month reported “very good progress” in management’s negotiations with the airline’s ALPA-represented pilots for a new contract, several sections of which he said the company managed to close recently during four days of meetings. “We’re actually down to single digits as far as what’s left,” said Trenary.
Republic Airlines injected another $2.5 million into its partnership with Hawaii’s Mokulele Airlines on May 1 and this month plans to send a fourth Embraer E170 to the islands as it stages a more serious effort to raise its profile in the market. This past March Republic demoted former Mokulele CEO Bill Boyer to head of sales and marketing and installed its own vice president for strategic alliances, Scott Durgin, as interim CEO.
EADS, mas to create regional MRO MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysian Airline System (MAS), and EADS SECA, a Pratt & Whitney-designated aircraft engine repair and overhaul unit of the EADS Group, plan to establish a joint venture company just outside Kuala Lumpur to support and maintain regional airplanes powered by PW100-series turboprops, the companies announced last month.
Romanian flag carrier Tarom took delivery of its first ATR 72-500 last month under the terms of a $37 million contract it signed last year for two of the twin turboprops. The airline currently operates a fleet of seven ATR 42-500s and will take delivery of its second new ATR 72 later this year.
Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Company (HEAI) has reached an agreement with Hainan Airlines parent HNA Group to cut in half a firm order for 50 ERJ 145s assigned to Hainan subsidiary Grand China Express. As of April 30, the Chinese factory had delivered 12 ERJ 145s to Grand China under the terms of the original contract, signed in August 2006.
Although heartened by the turnout at last month’s Regional Airline Association Convention, held May 18 to 21 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, the RAA could do nothing to lift the pall that the NTSB hearings on the February 12 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 and the generally gloomy economic environment would cast over the annual event.
The FAA has proposed levying a $1.3 million fine on Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Gulfstream International Airlines for improper scheduling of flight-crew duty time and the installation of unapproved air-conditioner compressors and improperly maintained vent blowers on the airline’s fleet of 27 Beech 1900Ds.
The pilots of the Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 that crashed on February 12 outside Buffalo, killing 50 people, did not observe the so-called sterile cockpit rule and appeared unprepared to react properly to the aerodynamic stall that led to the accident, according to testimony read last month during the NTSB’s three-day public hearing on the crash.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner hosted Embraer executive vice president Mauro Kern yesterday at the Argentine Presidential Palace during a ceremony marking the planned sale of 20 Embraer 190ARs to Buenos Aires-based Austral Airlines.