Vietnam’s Air Mekong, 30 percent owned by U.S. regional airline SkyWest, on October 9 launched domestic services with four 86-seat Bombardier CRJ900s subleased from the St. George, Utah-based regional.
From a distance, the reason regional airlines would oppose a new law passed by Congress that sets a 1,500 flight-hour minimum for Part 121 first officers might seem obvious: The pool of pilots from which airlines can choose prospective employees will inevitably shrink. The rules of supply and demand dictate that the cost of hiring first officers will therefore rise.
Although deliveries of smaller regional jets have dropped dramatically in the past few years, Forecast International expects growing numbers of jets to be delivered from 2010 through 2019. In its recent study, “The Market for Regional Transport Aircraft,” Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects production of 4,016 regional turboprops and jets valued at $123 billion during the coming decade.
Mitsubishi has tried not to let lackluster sales tarnish an efficiently run development campaign for the MRJ regional jet, the first metal for which workers cut during a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan, last week. As promised, the program passed its detailed design reviews by the end of the summer.
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to a September 1 memo to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
Following the recent worldwide financial crisis and recession, regional airline services in Europe are set to change as operators move to introduce bigger equipment. Air Nostrum chief executive Carlos Bertomeu, for one, predicts that his carrier’s recent strategy to increase average capacity–and thereby reduce unit costs–will be copied elsewhere in the industry.
One of the primary responsibilities of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is to do “everything possible to ensure that things do not get worse [for members] before they become better.” So said ERA policy and regulatory-affairs deputy director-general Simon McNamara at the group’s April 2010 conference in Edinburgh after two years of “most challenging trading conditions” had left European regionals flying through metaphorical clouds
The consolidation of the regional airline industry continued unabated last month, as St. George, Utah-based SkyWest revealed plans to acquire Houston-based ExpressJet. The $133 million transaction will involve a direct purchase by SkyWest's Atlanta-based subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), of all of ExpressJet's common shares for $6.75 each in cash.
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to an internal memo sent today to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s, and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
After investigating four accident flights operated under code-sharing arrangements in the past three years, the NTSB will hold a two-day symposium on October 26 to 27 on such agreements between regional airlines and major carriers.