Sellers and lessors placed 23 Fokker aircraft with 12 existing and three new Fokker operators last year, Fokker Services announced in late January. The total comprises 12 Fokker 50s and 11 Fokker 100s. The company said that because various Fokker operators have chosen to retain their fleets longer than anticipated, the number of available aircraft did not grow as expected during the year, leading to fewer placements than in the previous two years.
Regional Aviation Association of Australia
In response to what it called urgent community and state members’ appeals, Southeast Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) announced in late December that it had begun preparations to place several of the routes once flown by the now defunct Brindabella Airlines onto its air operator certificate (AOC). Rex general manager of network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said that routes not already on Rex’s AOC required approval from the country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before Rex could mount regular public transport air services to them.
Virgin Australia completed its acquisition of Perth-based regional Skywest Airlines last month through a so-called scheme of arrangement governed by the laws of Singapore.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has officially broken the Bombardier-Embraer duopoly for regional jets in the U.S. with its confirmation on Thursday of a firm order from SkyWest Airlines for 100 MRJ90s worth $4.2 billion at list prices.
Virgin Australia said it has reached an agreement in principle to buy a 100-percent stake in Perth, Australia-based Skywest Airlines. Announced on October 30 and still subject to approvals from regulatory authorities and Skywest shareholders, the deal would see the Western Australian regional assume the Virgin Australia brand and, according to Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti, benefit from further investment by the would-be parent company.
Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has dismissed a pilot who failed a drug test after reportedly passing out for 13 minutes while in command of a Beechcraft King Air 200 carrying a patient and nurse to Brisbane. The nurse eventually woke the pilot, who subsequently tested positive for methamphetamine. The pilot is believed to be the first RFDS pilot ever dismissed over a drug-related issue.
Former All Nippon Airways executive Jason Bitter succeeded Mark Shelton as CEO of Perth, Australia-based Skywest Airlines last month. Shelton abruptly resigned from the post “for personal reasons,” according to Skywest Group executive chairman Jeff Chatfield.
Bitter has held a number of high-level executive positions during his 15 years in the airline industry, including COO of SpiceJet, CEO of Skyeurope and chief executive of Air Arabia Maroc. Most recently, he helped launch ANA’s new low-fare subsidiary, Peach Aviation.
Australia’s Skywest Airlines plans to introduce five more ATR 72-600s leased from Singapore’s Avation PLC, which placed a firm order for the airplanes with ATR last month. Scheduled for delivery from early 2013 through early 2014, the five new aircraft will fly as Virgin Australia under a wet-lease contract with Skywest.
Virgin Australia will introduce its first ATR turboprops under a new regional alliance with Perth-based Skywest starting in October, the company announced in late July. By the end of the year it expects to field four out of 18 of the 68-seat turboprops acquired under a 10-year lease from Australia’s Aviation.
Western Australia’s Skywest Airlines last month signed a 10-year strategic alliance with Virgin Blue to fly as many as 18 new turboprops to several new destinations around Australia. The agreement will see Virgin Blue and Skywest establish a code-share relationship on a number of sectors of each other’s domestic networks and allows Virgin Blue and Skywest customers to earn and redeem reward points on each other’s networks.
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