Delta Air Lines plans to base a new subsidiary in Minneapolis that would take over all customer service duties for Delta Connection unit Comair and Northwest Airlink carriers Mesaba and Compass Airlines by this year’s third quarter, according to an internal memo sent to employees.
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).
ATR took in record revenues of $1.3 billion in 2008 and says that despite the financial crisis it will top that figure this year. John Moore, the company’s senior vice president commercial, told AIN that when Toulouse, France-based ATR made predictions at the beginning of last year, the 2009 market conditions were “not expected by anybody.”
Avions de Transport Regional has scheduled the first flight of a prototype ATR 72-600 regional turboprop for early this summer, following completion of the first “power-on” test in December in Toulouse, France. The ATR 42/72 variant that will supersede the -500 features a new flight deck supplied by Thales.
Embraer will remove an entire layer of if its management structure as part of a plan to lay off 20 percent of its 21,362-strong workforce, the company announced today. In a prepared statement, the company said it would concentrate the cuts in production and administration areas, while it keeps the “significant majority” of the engineering workforce to continue new product development and technology.
Superjet International today announced the official opening of its new North American sales and customer support office in Washington, D.C. Former ATR North America executive John Buckley has joined Superjet International to run the new office. Buckley assumes the title of vice president for business development, while Patrick Sullivan takes the role of head of customer service for the Americas.
NTSB investigators have turned their attention to “human action” and pilot training in their probe of the crash of a Colgan Air Q400 outside Buffalo on February 12, according to a Safety Board spokesman. At issue appears to be the reaction of the captain to a stick-shaker activation, which, if improperly executed, could explain the sudden pitch up that began the upset.
Growing distrust between elements within various pilot groups and airline management over the use of confidential safety information is threatening the integrity and effectiveness of the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), according to the Regional Airline Association. In fact, the issue dominated the discourse during a December meeting of some 20 regional airline safety directors at RAA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air signed a firm order last month to acquire 15 more Q400 NextGen turboprops worth some $432 million. The transaction involves the conversion of a conditional order for 10 airplanes to firm status and the exercise of options Pinnacle placed on five in 2007. Scheduled for delivery between August 2010 and April 2011, the latest tranche of turboprops would increase the size of the fleet to 30.
China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industry Company (XAC) has started preliminary work on the Modern Ark 700 (MA700), a 70-seat turboprop regional aircraft that it expects to fly by 2013 or 2014.
The MA700 would be more energy-efficient than the Chinese turboprop now under development–the 60-seat MA600– and designed for high-altitude operations, said Geng Ruoguang, vice general manager of China Aviation Industry Corp. (AVIC), parent of XAC.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines sent furlough notices to 80 pilots last month as partner Delta Air Lines pares back Bombardier CRJ flying. The furloughs take effect February 9. Delta plans to cut its domestic capacity by 8 percent to 10 percent this year in response to falling travel demand.