While regional airlines in the U.S. enjoy something of a renaissance as a result of post-9/11 capacity restructuring, Europe’s regionals continue to register unspectacular traffic growth and progressively deteriorating yield performances. The reasons vary, but delegates at last month’s ERA spring conference in Barcelona more often than not pinned the blame on the rise of the discount fare segment.
It was a hectic and somber time for delegates to the 22nd World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) Annual Conference and Exhibition, which was held in mid-September in Brisbane, Australia. Some 840 delegates registered for the event, where 170 companies promoted their capabilities and displayed equipment. Airlines sent 164 delegates and vendor companies 676 delegates.
Name a business jet that has standup headroom, seating for a crowd or luxurious expanses for a dozen, range of up to 3,200 nm and costs about $12 million fully completed.
Answer: Fokker F100EJ.
Operator attendance at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) annual assembly in Athens last month was down about a third, as carriers reassessed fleet strategies under their “worst-ever trading conditions” following the U.S. terrorism attacks and an earlier economic downturn.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein has announced that his airline will begin training its pilots to carry taser weapons in the cockpit. A Mesa spokesperson said the airline expected to complete training and FAA coordination for the plan within three months. Mesa on October 17 began placing private security personnel on its airplanes based in Albuquerque, N.M.
Hesitant to “look a gift horse in the mouth,” Regional Airline Association president Debby McElroy applauded the Office of Management and Budget’s decision to allow bankrupt carriers, including RAA members Midway Airlines and Shuttle America, access to part of the $10 billion in loan guarantees signed into law as part of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act.
By any measure of market share and financial performance, the convalescence of the U.S. regional airline industry looks nearly complete. Since last year’s RAA convention in Phoenix, the nation’s regionals have posted double-digit traffic gains while margins marched toward pre-9/11 levels and RJ fleets grabbed another 5 percent of the air transport network’s market share. Far from issuing a clean bill
The General Aviation Industry Reparations Act (H.R.3347) encountered rough air when the Bush Administration asked lawmakers to put off a vote on the measure because its estimated cost had ballooned from the original $450 million to more than $5.5 billion.
The Lufthansa Technik-led Platinet support program for business aircraft operators is up and running. The German aircraft maintenance and completions firm has assembled an initial group of partners for the service and is now looking to expand the geographical scope of the support network.
Air charter operators have the opportunity to apply for federal relief as a result of September 11. In discussions with the DOT, the National Air Transportation Association learned that Part 135 companies will be allowed to apply for relief by calculating their available seat miles (ASMs) or revenue ton miles (RTMs) for the time that their operations were grounded after September 11.