Despite CEO Frederico Curado’s recent expression of reticence over the possibility of re-engining of Embraer’s E-Jet line of airliners, the Brazilian company apparently has decided to spend $2 billion on a project to do just that by 2018.
While much of the completion and refurbishment industry was battling to remain afloat during the recession, Flying Colours in the quiet Canadian city of Peterborough, Ontario, discovered a niche market in converting retired Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) to executive use, and more recently, abundant work outfitting green Challenger 850s from Bombardier.
Bombardier Aerospace continues to suffer from what executives characterized as a soft market for regional aircraft. However, the company stopped short of announcing further cuts to production rates as widely expected.
While Airbus and Boeing padded their already bulging backlogs with billions of dollars worth of deals during June’s Paris Air Show, manufacturers traditionally involved in the regional airliner market walked away from Le Bourget with some rather impressive order and commitment tallies of their own.
For the first time in the 36-year history of the RAA a sitting DOT Secretary visited the association’s annual convention, as Ray LaHood made the trip to Nashville last month to deliver one of the most upbeat keynote addresses heard by delegates to the spring get-together in several years.
Two of the new breed of big regional jets from the Eastern Hemisphere reached some long-awaited milestones recently, namely the Russian certification of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 and the signing of the first firm order for the Mitsubishi MRJ by an airline based outside Japan.
BAE Systems’s asset management division has reported an uptick in demand for its portfolio of pre-owned Avro RJ and 146 regional jets. The UK-based group is also taking on more contracts to remarket other manufacturers’ aircraft and is seeing growth in its product support and engineering activities.
Canada's Flying Colours is talking to potential partners outside North America to support operators for which it has completed Bombardier Challengers. About 90 percent of its clients to date have been on other continents and it has already had preliminary discussions with prospective joint venture partners.
As airline traffic continues to recover from the global recession, airframe and engine manufacturers continue to develop new models and consider follow-on products. Several companies provided updates at the European Regions Airline Association assembly in Barcelona in late September.
Although deliveries of smaller regional jets have dropped dramatically in the past few years, Forecast International expects growing numbers of jets to be delivered from 2010 through 2019. In its recent study, “The Market for Regional Transport Aircraft,” Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects production of 4,016 regional turboprops and jets valued at $123 billion during the coming decade.