Calgary-based WestJet announced on May 1 that it has signed a letter of intent to buy 20 Bombardier Q400s and take options on another 25. Expected to launch a new regional airline in the second half of 2013, WestJet continues to work on a six-year plan for regional service from various hubs in Canada. Its route network consisting of more than 70 destinations now includes hubs in Calgary and Toronto, as well as so-called focus cities of Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Bombardier Dash 8
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways has agreed with United Airlines to fly the 28 Bombardier Q400s that bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines plans to return to its lessors, Republic announced Monday.
The FAA is adopting an Airworthiness Directive (AD 2012-08-11) for certain Bombardier Dash 8-400 turboprop aircraft, to alleviate potential landing gear issues. The problems were identified during testing, which showed that failure of a retract-port, flexible hose on the main-landing-gear actuator could result in excessive leakage of hydraulic fluid.
Bombardier’s first-quarter financial results, released this morning, show a decline of company-wide revenue from $4.7 billion to $3.5 billion year over year for the Canadian manufacturer, while revenues for its aerospace division decreased from $2.2 billion to $1.5 billion. “As anticipated, we had lower revenues in the first quarter,” said president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin.
Bombardier Aerospace has strengthened its alliance with Fokker Services to increase the availability and reduce the cost of spare parts for operators of its out-of-production Dash 8/Q-Series 100/200/300. Under the agreement Fokker Services has secured more than 2,600 part numbers from Bombardier for worldwide distribution. Bombardier will also continue to market and sell Dash 8/Q-Series 100/200/300 parts to operators worldwide.
Bombardier Aerospace has opened a new engineering service office in Bengaluru, India. Its current staff of approximately 20 is slated to increase to about 50 aerospace engineers by the end of next year.
Current Pinnacle Airlines COO John Spanjers will replace Sean Menke as chief executive of the Memphis, Tennessee-based regional airline group on June 1, Pinnacle said in a statement issued Thursday. Menke, who, according to Pinnacle, has chosen to resign from the company, has agreed to help with the leadership transition over the next five weeks.
Bombardier Aerospace’s efforts to cultivate closer ties with the Chinese commercial aircraft industry continued last week with the official opening of a new office in Shanghai, now the home base of the Canadian company’s partnership with China’s Comac.
Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 1, marking the start of a process in which it plans to “wind down” all its United Airlines turboprop flying, including its Colgan Air Bombardier Q400 operation.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft saw its backlog for Q400s grow last month by more than 25 percent with a single firm order from Poland’s Eurolot for eight of the high-speed turboprops, along with options on another 12. The deal not only helps rejuvenate the Q400’s recently growing, but still weak, backlog, but it also signals a shift in Eurolot’s loyalties from ATR, 14 of whose airplanes the Polish airline now operates.