At EBACE this week, Tailwind Capital unveiled the first of five Bombardier CRJ conversions it plans to sell to business aviation customers. Called the Hemisphere 200XR, the airplane will go to Dutch concern Solidair outfitted with a 15-passenger cabin and an FAA-certified fuel system that extends range out to 3,000 nm.
Boone County, Kentucky
When UAL Corp., the parent company of United Airlines, announced in May that it would enter the business aviation market with creation of a new subsidiary to be known as United BizJet Holdings for the time being, it was big news. And it was assumed by some that this was the first venture into business aviation by a major airline. Wrong!
Delta Connection regional carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair have exercised options for a total of two CRJ200s and one CRJ700 regional jet from Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier. The transaction is valued at about $73.24 million and brings to six the number of option conversions that Delta Connection carriers have executed this year.
The world’s most commercially successful line of regional jets added a pair of new blemishes to its technical record late this spring, when both wholly owned Delta Connection subsidiaries confronted some unsettling moments during scheduled CRJ operations.
Indianapolis-based Chautauqua Airlines added its fourth code-share contract last month when it inked a 10-year deal with Delta Air Lines to fly at least 22 Embraer regional jets from Orlando, Fla., as Delta Connection.
A U.S. District Court’s ruling requiring Comair to release confidential employee filings into evidence in the dozens of civil lawsuits stemming from the Aug. 27, 2006 crash of a Bombardier CRJ in Lexington, Ky., threatens the integrity of one of the FAA’s most important safety mandates, according to the Regional Airline Association.
The Canadian government’s export financing arm, the Export Development Corporation (EDC), has advanced another $100 million loan to Delta Connection subsidiary Comair for its current deliveries of twenty 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700s, the first of which the manufacturer delivered last September.
Comair president Randy Rademacher has left the company “to pursue other opportunities,” just weeks after DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead launched an investigation into the Christmas weekend computer failures that stranded hundreds of travelers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Fred Buttrell, president of Delta Connection, will move to Comair’s offices in Cincinnati to assume Rademacher’s duties.
The NTSB blamed the crew of the Comair Bombardier regional jet that crashed at Lexington (Ky.) Blue Grass Airport on August 27 last year for failing to realize that they were taking off from the wrong runway. The crash killed 49 people; the first officer, the sole survivor, sustained serious injuries. Runway 26, the runway the crew mistakenly used, is only 3,500 feet long; Runway 22, the runway they were cleared to use, is 7,003 feet long.
The sole survivor of the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Ky., on August 27 last year has sued the FAA, Lexington Blue Grass Airport, chart maker Jeppesen and the supplier of the airport’s runway and taxiway lights, Avcon.