Embraer delivered a record 204 airplanes last year, including 162 jets in the regional/commercial sector, leaving the company on what it hopes proves firm enough financial footing to readily absorb the economic “challenges” that lie ahead for this year.
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 labor arbitrator rejected a grievance filed by the ALPA-represented pilots of Midwest Airlines challenging the Milwaukee-based carrier’s decision to replace mainline Boeing 717 service with 12 Embraer E170s operated by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways. The first of the 76-seat Embraer jets, at one time used to serve Republic’s now dissolved Frontier Express network, began flying as Midwest Connect on October 1.
British Airways has ordered six Embraer E170s and five E190SRs for its wholly owned CityFlyer regional affiliate in a deal valued at some $376 million. The contract includes options on another three E190SRs, which, if converted, would raise the total value of the transaction to $489 million
ATR inked a contract last Friday with Vietnam Airlines for the sale of six new ATR 72-500s, valued at more than $112 million. Now flying seven vintage ATR 72-200s and three present-generation ATR 72-500s, Vietnam’s flag carrier plans to expand its ATR 72-500 fleet to 14 aircraft with this latest order.
Future fuel prices will determine the markets for regional turboprop and jet aircraft, according to Saab Aircraft Leasing president and chief executive Michael Magnusson. The Swedish manufacturer maintains a sizeable fleet of its Saab 340 and 2000 regional turboprop designs for lease and expects to benefit from industry moves to reduce costs by making greater use of such equipment rather than regional jets.
The first flying prototype of the Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) 100 regional jet, the second airframe built, was handed over to Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee Register for certification flying in late October. Four aircraft will participate in the program, and six in general flight testing.
What will the regional airline industry look like when the economic dust settles? That’s the question the Regional Airline Association challenged its panelists to answer at the RAA fall meeting, held October 28 and 29 in Washington, D.C.
Irish-American aircraft lessor GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) is to acquire as many as 25 General Electric CF34-powered ARJ21-700ER regional jets from China Aviation Industry I (AVIC I) Commercial Aircraft Company (ACAC) for delivery from 2013 in a deal signed last month at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai.
Grand China Express (GCE), the country’s largest regional carrier, wants to be Asia’s biggest regional carrier. A subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, GCE has 38 aircraft serving 55 Chinese cities with more than 80 scheduled daily routes. “We aim to be the top player in Asia by 2012, grabbing 90 percent of the regional airline market,” said Chen Feng, chairman of Hainan Airlines, which ordered 50 E190s and 50 ERJ 145s for GCE in August 2006.
China’s Joy Air has ordered three Modern Ark 60 (MA-60) jets and is negotiating to buy 10 advanced MA-600s. Manufacturer Xi’an Aircraft International said the Civil Aviation Flight University of China has also ordered two MA-600s. Established in March this year, Joy Air is a joint venture of China Aviation Industry Corp. I and China Eastern Airlines.