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.
Parked proudly outside the Tailwind Capital Chalet (No. 19) here on the MEBA static display is a newly converted 2003 Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ), dubbed the Hemisphere 200XR. It is one of five CRJ200s that Tailwind acquired for the purpose of changing the former regional airliners into business jets that are nearly identical to new Challenger 850s.
The Egyptian actor and martial arts professional Yousef Mansour is expected at MEBA today to sign a contract at the Action Aviation Outdoor Stand 5 for a Project Phoenix CRJ aircraft. The 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional airliner has been extensively converted to a long-range executive jet role. It seats up to 12 passengers in VIP configuration and will be based in Cairo.
Project Phoenix, which is offering Bombardier CRJs reconfigured as business jets, has concluded an agreement with MedAire that will see aircraft owners being offered a complimentary medical package, including a one-year subscription to the 24/7 MedLink global response center.
In a welcome development for operators who are flying VIP-converted Jetstream J31/J32s, UK-based Saywell International (Booth No. 1805) became the sole spares distribution center for the BAE Systems-built airplanes this year and is rapidly increasing its support capabilities.
When Bombardier and Embraer ended mass production of their respective 50-seat jets by 2006, it appeared that the regional airline industry’s love affair with the little RJs had run its course. With most major airline scope clauses relaxed to allow 70- and even 76-seat jets in their regional partners’ fleets, demand for the less cost-effective 50-seaters had essentially evaporated.
When Bombardier and Embraer ended mass production of their respective 50-seat jets by 2006, it appeared that the regional airline industry’s love affair with the little RJs had run its course. With most major airline scope clauses relaxed to allow 70-and even 76-seat jets in their regional partners’ fleets, demand for the less cost-effective 50-seaters had essentially evaporated.
In some respects Russia’s development has followed a pattern familiar to Westerners, but that is not true for its business aviation industry. While Russian billionaires show off their huge yachts in the most expensive and trendy places in the world, buy A380s for personal use, haunt French ski resorts and buy islands off Dubai, some of the nation’s laws prevent wealthy individuals from reaping the benefits of business aircraft.
Along with the commercial and networking benefits the Regional Airline Association Convention offers, the annual event gives showgoers a chance to discuss the state of the industry and its prospects for the future.
For years major airline executives have recognized their regional affiliates’ potential to take a more active role in serving markets that until recently occupied the exclusive domain of mainline operations. But limited labor resources and influential pilot unions curbed efforts to penetrate the artificial barrier between mainline and regional flying.