While regional airlines in the U.S. enjoy something of a renaissance as a result of post-9/11 capacity restructuring, Europe’s regionals continue to register unspectacular traffic growth and progressively deteriorating yield performances. The reasons vary, but delegates at last month’s ERA spring conference in Barcelona more often than not pinned the blame on the rise of the discount fare segment.
Following approval several months ago of RVSM equipment in the JetStar II, Duncan Aviation reported that it has received group approval for RVSM operations for the four-engine business jet. Last February, the Lincoln, Neb.-based company completed the installation and certification of dual IS&S altimeter/air data units in a JetStar 731, the first step in adding these aircraft to group RVSM approval.
Avolar, a stand-alone subsidiary of UAL Corp. created in March to launch a new business aviation venture, has already acquired three business jets as part of the fractional- ownership core fleet and expects to begin flying this month.
Air Canada has converted to firm status a former tentative commitment for 15 new Bombardier CRJ700 Series 705s and 15 CRJ200s. The airline plans to start taking deliveries of CRJ200s this year, followed by the CRJ705s next year, the exact dates depending on the timing of its emergence from bankruptcy. The airline also holds a conditional order for 15 CRJ200s and options on another 45 airplanes.
Flush with a $200 million cash infusion from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and a $170 million order book, turboprop and VLJ maker Epic Aircraft announced that it is in initial talks with Airbus on a technology- and knowledge-sharing agreement. However, Epic CEO Rick Schrameck backed away from a statement he made on Tuesday that the value of the Airbus alliance would equal or exceed Mallya’s investment in the company.
The long-running dispute between JetStar operators and Lockheed Martin continues, as the two dozen or so owners of the remaining 36 U.S.-registered Lockheed L-329 JetStars say they are just about out of patience with the defense contractor. Lockheed Martin inherited JetStar support under the same agreement through which it supports the L-1011 TriStar airliner. It has not produced either aircraft in decades.
Embraer gained FAA certification for the E195 last month, more than a year after it won certification for the 110-seat airliner from European and Brazilian authorities and delivered the first production example to launch customer Flybe of the UK.
Bombardier continued its deliberate penetration of South and Central America last month with an order from Mexico’s AeroLineas MesoAmericanas (ALMA) for a pair of CRJ900s. Based in Guadalajara, ALMA began operations in June last year and already flies 15 fifty-seat CRJ200s to 25 Mexican destinations. The order came on the heels of a separate deal to deliver four Q400 turboprops to Arik Air of Nigeria.
The leadership of Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) is collapsing under the pressure of international criticism.
Ask any copilot of a HUD-equipped airplane what a low-visibility approach looks like, and the answer will be the same–no different from any other airplane. But that’s not because the HUD doesn’t help. It’s because traditionally HUDs have been installed only on the captain’s side, and their optics require the user to be sitting in front of the screen.