Virgin Australia completed its acquisition of Perth-based regional Skywest Airlines last month through a so-called scheme of arrangement governed by the laws of Singapore.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has officially broken the Bombardier-Embraer duopoly for regional jets in the U.S. with its confirmation on Thursday of a firm order from SkyWest Airlines for 100 MRJ90s worth $4.2 billion at list prices.
Virgin Australia said it has reached an agreement in principle to buy a 100-percent stake in Perth, Australia-based Skywest Airlines. Announced on October 30 and still subject to approvals from regulatory authorities and Skywest shareholders, the deal would see the Western Australian regional assume the Virgin Australia brand and, according to Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, benefit from further investment by the would-be parent company.
CAE inaugurated pilot and maintenance technician training programs today at its Ansett Aviation Training facility in Melbourne, Australia, for the Beechcraft King Air 350 with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. The program features a new full-motion simulator, which is qualified to level D standards by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Besides business aircraft operators, the King Air 350 simulator will be used to train military pilots, according to CAE.
Former All Nippon Airways executive Jason Bitter succeeded Mark Shelton as CEO of Perth, Australia-based Skywest Airlines last month. Shelton abruptly resigned from the post “for personal reasons,” according to Skywest Group executive chairman Jeff Chatfield.
Bitter has held a number of high-level executive positions during his 15 years in the airline industry, including COO of SpiceJet, CEO of Skyeurope and chief executive of Air Arabia Maroc. Most recently, he helped launch ANA’s new low-fare subsidiary, Peach Aviation.
Australia’s Skywest Airlines plans to introduce five more ATR 72-600s leased from Singapore’s Avation PLC, which placed a firm order for the airplanes with ATR last month. Scheduled for delivery from early 2013 through early 2014, the five new aircraft will fly as Virgin Australia under a wet-lease contract with Skywest.
Virgin Australia will introduce its first ATR turboprops under a new regional alliance with Perth-based Skywest starting in October, the company announced in late July. By the end of the year it expects to field four out of 18 of the 68-seat turboprops acquired under a 10-year lease from Australia’s Aviation.
Western Australia’s Skywest Airlines last month signed a 10-year strategic alliance with Virgin Blue to fly as many as 18 new turboprops to several new destinations around Australia. The agreement will see Virgin Blue and Skywest establish a code-share relationship on a number of sectors of each other’s domestic networks and allows Virgin Blue and Skywest customers to earn and redeem reward points on each other’s networks.
The financial records at French air charter operator Blue Line are being scrutinized following the company’s compulsory liquidation on October 6 with debts of €37 million ($52 million). The suddenness of the 200-employee company’s demise prompted the judge in charge of the liquidation to tap a certified public accountant to investigate Blue Line’s financial affairs. A preliminary report is to be released by year-end.
Vietnam’s Air Mekong, 30-percent owned by U.S. regional airline SkyWest, plans to launch domestic services on October 9 using four 86-seat Bombardier CRJ900s subleased from the St. George, Utah-based regional.
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