Saab Aircraft Leasing (Chalet C24-26) here on Monday announced that Australian regional airline Regional Express (Rex) has taken an additional Saab 340B on a four-year lease. Rex is also extending its existing lease contracts–two dozen Saab A340s–for another four years. The Sterling, Virginia-based company has inked 15 transactions since the beginning of the year.
The NTSB yesterday asked the FAA to attend immediately to what it deemed deficiencies in the cold-weather procedures of Saab 340 pilots and the airplanes’ performance in icing conditions. The recommendations came after a review of several icing episodes in Australia and the January 2 incident in which icing forced an American Eagle Saab 340BPlus into an uncontrolled descent for 5,000 feet over Southern California.
Apparently done pouring 50-seat jet capacity into a system overflowing with Embraer 145s, Continental Airlines continues to explore the possibility of adding more turboprops to its network, according to Continental managing director of scheduling and planning Karen Zachary.
Mesaba Aviation won a motion it filed last month against its fellow Chapter 11 petitioner and mainline partner Northwest Airlines for withholding more service contract payments. Mesaba, which subleases its Avro RJs and part of its Saab 340 fleet from Northwest, claimed that Northwest withheld $5.2 million in retaliation for the regional airline’s suspension of lease payments–a practice allowed under U.S.
Mesaba Airlines became the latest casualty of Northwest Airlines’ financial meltdown last month, when it followed its sole mainline code-share partner into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The move followed weeks of speculation about the effects of Northwest’s failure to pay its Airlink partners millions of dollars in flying fees and subsequent plans to remove as much as half of the seating capacity from Mesaba’s fleet.
SkyWest Airlines parted ways with Continental Airlines earlier this year in large part because the Houston-based major airline wanted its regional partner to fly 50-seat Saab 2000s, SkyWest CEO Jerry Atkin told AIN during last month’s RAA convention in Cincinnati.
Colgan Air will take Shuttle America’s place at Washington Dulles Airport as the Saab 340 turboprop provider for United Airlines (UAL) under an agreement-in-principle reached between Colgan and UAL last month. Already flying 10 Saab 340Bs for Continental Airlines from Houston, Colgan will add six more of the 34-seat propjets for United starting October 4.
Free trade, reorientation toward the West and tourism have all contributed to the fast development of air traffic in the Baltics. The three Baltic States– Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia–rank among the smallest European nations, but each boasts unique historic sites and landscapes appreciated by tourists, a long tradition in trade and crafts and a skilled workforce.
The NTSB wants the FAA to attend immediately to “deficiencies” in the cold-weather operating procedures for Saab 340s, as well as the aircraft’s performance in icing conditions. Specifically, the Board recommends that Saab 340 pilots maintain a minimum operating airspeed of 1.45 Vs before known or forecast icing conditions and during icing encounters.
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