London Executive Aviation (LEA) has become the latest European business aircraft operator to join a group after predictions in recent years that consolidation would be necessary for survival in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The company has signed a deal with Luxaviation, of Luxembourg, “cementing Luxaviation’s position as one of Europe’s largest business aviation groups,” according to LEA. The deal was completed on 7 May having been signed on 7 April.
Republic Airways Holdings
The impending service entry of Embraer’s Legacy 450s and 500s is set to complete the Brazilian manufacturer’s product portfolio–a sort of bridge of options connecting the Phenom 100 and 300 light jets with the larger Legacy 650 and Lineage 1000 models. During a pre-EBACE press visit to its São José dos Campos headquarters last month AIN found Embraer’s management in a confident mood, despite the fact that the overall fortunes of the business aviation market still seem somewhat mixed.
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
Mesa Air Group closed its Hawaii-based go! operation on April 1 following some eight years of financial struggles. According to Mesa, the decision stemmed from a desire to concentrate its resources on its now growing mainland operations and minimize its exposure to “at risk” flying. Before the cessation of Hawaiian operations, capacity purchase code-share agreements accounted for 98 percent of the group’s business.
The U.S. regional airline industry will shrink over the next three years as new regulations governing pilot employment and structural changes precipitated by new, less profitable code-share contracts and pilot-union scope clauses take hold, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford predicted during a February 27 conference call to brief analysts on his company’s fourth-quarter earnings.
Embraer has achieved a 6.4-percent average fuel efficiency improvement with its updated E175, significantly more than the 5-percent gain originally targeted, the company said Wednesday as it rolled out the first of the updated models featuring what it calls a range of aerodynamic improvements. Modifications include the introduction of a new wingtip, systems improvements and aerodynamic streamlining. Embraer plans to deliver the first E175 with the complete package of modifications to Indianapolis-based Republic Airways “in the coming weeks.”
At the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Industrials Conference yesterday, leaders from Bombardier, Cessna and Embraer provided summaries of their companies’ standing. Following are some “takeaways” from the event. “Bombardier: The switch to the Learjet 70/75 and Challenger 350 should help Bombardier shore up business jet pricing. Bombardier completed high-speed taxi testing on the Learjet 85, so first flight is very close. The advantage of composites here is primarily lower costs with fewer parts.
Embraer’s three-quarter share of the U.S. regional jet market last year might have looked impressive to investors and analysts, but judging by some of the commentary during the company’s quarterly earnings briefing on Wednesday, it apparently didn’t satisfy CEO Frederico Curado.
As Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver Airways became the third U.S. regional airline this month to announce significant service cuts due to what it called a nationwide pilot shortage, the Regional Airline Association amplified its message of opposition to a new rule requiring 1,500 hours of flying experience for new-hire first officers.
Bombardier released its third quarter 2013 financial results this morning with most of its numbers showing a slight decline in comparison with the same period last year. Revenues for the corporation as a whole totaled $4.1 billion at the end of the quarter on September 30, compared to $4.2 billion for the same fiscal quarter last year. Bombardier Aerospace accounted for $2 billion in the quarter, compared to $2.3 billion last year.
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