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.
The Gripen team occupies the high ground at the Farnborough show this year in a new prime-site chalet and with the Swedish fighter flying a daily solo routine. Meanwhile, seven Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters flew to Alaska this past weekend to participate in their first “Red Flag” exercise. In practical terms, that deployment will demonstrate more about the Gripen’s capability and prospects than the marketing effort going on here.
This year’s ERA Airline of the Year gold award went to two-time runner-up Eastern Airways. While noting the carrier’s “dynamic approach to industry lobbying,” judges lauded the UK regional’s ability to survive powerful competition through “courage, creativity and persistence,” as well as marketing and operational and technical commitment.
Regional airlines in Europe last month lodged a formal protest alleging that civil servants had misrepresented legislation about passenger compensation for canceled or delayed flights. The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman in an attempt to prevent administrators from encouraging ungrounded expectations through misinformation released to the public and media.
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.
As the industry gathers in Gothenburg for this year’s general assembly, the ERA will certainly lament the absence of one of its stalwart airline members from Scandinavia–even if its passengers have taken little notice.
Antonov: An-148–The only aircraft program ever launched in the former Soviet Union without direct public funding continues its march toward CIS AP-25 certification, scheduled for next April.
The company that launched the Saab 340 into prominence in Europe will soon bow out of the turboprop flying business altogether, when Swiss International Airlines bids adieu to the last of its 50-seat Saab 2000s this month and embarks on a restructuring of its regional jet fleet that will also banish all nine of the carrier’s Embraer 145s by March.
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.
It seems hard to reconcile the rather dark and anxious tone of this year’s Regional Airline Association convention with double-digit margins and record revenues. Listening to airline delegates speak at this year’s get-together, one got the distinct impression they knew something the rest of us didn’t. In fact, regional airlines have been waiting for the day the gravy train of guaranteed RJ profits derailed.