Bombardier Aerospace unveiled a series of updates to its CRJ900 regional jet during a June 5 event at the Signature Flight Support FBO at Washington Dulles International Airport. The 76-seat CRJ900 NextGen on display there became the first to enter revenue service on June 7, when Northwest Airlines subsidiary Mesaba Airlines flew it to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from Minneapolis.
Bombardier Aerospace is showing its CRJ900 NextGen regional-jet here in 76-seat guise and the uniform of Northwest Airlines subsidiary Mesaba Airlines less than two weeks after a sister machine was unveiled in Washington, D.C. For regionals like Mesaba, the NextGen CRJ “will have substantially lower seat-mile costs than [competing] Embraer regional jets,” according to commercial-operations vice president Rod Williams.
Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary has signed an agreement with Northwest Airlines (NWA) to provide flight training on seven aircraft types at the carrier’s Eagan, Minnesota headquarters. The agreement includes the introduction of a 787 full-flight simulator at the NWA training center by April 2008 and exclusive rights allowing Alteon to market excess simulator training time to all 787 customers.
Mesaba Airlines expected to exit bankruptcy during the last week of April, following the approval of its reorganization plan by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gregory Kishel. The Minneapolis-based Northwest Airlines affiliate filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2005, a month after the major airline itself filed for Chapter 11 and defaulted on its service contract payments to Mesaba.
Northwest Airlines’ newest regional subsidiary, Compass Airlines, planned to launch twice-daily service on May 2 between Minneapolis and Washington Dulles International Airport.
This year’s RAA Convention couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time and place for Memphis, Tenn.’s hometown airline. The proud new owner of a second operating subsidiary and revamped service contract with Northwest Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines has officially shed the manacles of a highly restrictive code-share deal and joined the open market for regional services.
Airline travelers on Delta, Northwest and other airlines operating under bankruptcy protection might face longer lines, delays and fuller and less frequent flights, but it’s “business as usual” at Delta’s business jet charter arm, Delta AirElite, according to a spokesman. “There will be no affect on our ability to serve our charter, membership or aircraft management customers,” he said.
The Air Line Pilots Association finally appears ready to play ball with Northwest Airlines as the Minneapolis-based company pushes for a new deal to allow 70-seat jets to fly within the Northwest Airlink regional network. But, as usual, ALPA has its own ideas about where those airplanes fit within the system and has proposed a separate division that would look conspicuously like US Airways’ MidAtlantic unit.
Riley Investment Management principal John Ahn has won a seat on the board of Mesaba Airlines parent MAIR Holdings in exchange for abandoning his plans to call a special shareholders meeting to increase the size of the company’s board to 10 members and change the company’s bylaws.
Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air will fly fifteen 74-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprops under a 10-year capacity purchase agreement that Colgan’s new owner, Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines, signed with Continental Airlines last month. The deal will see Colgan fly the new airplanes, scheduled for delivery from this December through June of next year, from Continental’s Newark, N.J. hub starting next January.