As Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver Airways became the third U.S. regional airline this month to announce significant service cuts due to what it called a nationwide pilot shortage, the Regional Airline Association amplified its message of opposition to a new rule requiring 1,500 hours of flying experience for new-hire first officers.
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).
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (Booth M93) is exhibiting new radial tires for regional aircraft including the Embraer E-Jets and ATR 42/72. “This product innovation, combined with our new tire distribution and retreading facility in China, gives aircraft operators increased choice…in this expanding market,” said Ian Edmonson, the company’s chairman. Dunlop’s Asia Pacific customers include China Eastern Airways, Lion Air, SpiceJet and Qantas link.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI, Indonesian Aerospace) expects to fly its N219 twin-turboprop transport next year. The aircraft has been under development for some time to answer a need for a rugged STOL airliner able to operate in and out of remote, semi-prepared airstrips. At the same time, the N219 is intended to provide cost-efficient and reliable operations through the use of modern avionics and engines.
For Brazil’s Embraer, a lot has changed in the 13 years since it first laid brick and mortar in Asia. The world’s major airframe makers now consider the Asia Pacific region the biggest market for airliners in the world, and Embraer’s establishment first of an office in Beijing and later a joint-venture to build ERJ 145 regional jets in Harbin has proved prescient.
As series production of Antonov’s new-generation An-148 and An-158 regional jets gains momentum, the manufacturer and its close ally lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) are trying to raise the type’s temporary operational limitations.
For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.
“Our ultimate goal is to make Russian aerospace and financial products competitive in the global market,” Alexander Ivanov, deputy chairman at Vnesheconombank (VEB), told AIN. Ivanov called Sukhoi a “long-standing partner” for his Kremlin-controlled bank, with whom the latter “has spent two years structuring the workable aircraft sales system support.”
For more than a year now the Sukhoi Superjet 100 has been carrying passengers with Indonesia’s PT Sky Aviation and Laos’ Lao Central Airlines. In December the Indonesians accepted their third aircraft and seem happy with the Russian 100-seat twinjet. The second airplane for Lao was ready by mid-summer and even made a public appearance at the MAKS 2013 air show in Moscow, but the aircraft has not yet been delivered to the customer.
With its diverse geography and increasingly prosperous and mobile populations, Southeast Asia has become a target of opportunity the world’s regional aircraft OEMs can no longer afford to overlook.
Wholly owned American Airlines regional subsidiary American Eagle Airlines will change its name to Envoy this spring, the company announced last month. It said the move stems from the need to eliminate confusion between the company’s current name and American Eagle, the regional flying brand under which all of American’s 10 regional affiliates will eventually operate.