Regional airline

August 1, 2012 - 12:25am
CRJ900

Bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines suspended negotiations over pay concessions with its unions while it “reformulates” its business plan in an effort to issue a more competitive contract offer to mainline partner Delta Air Lines, according to a June 22 letter sent by CEO John Spanjers to all employees.

Made public in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the letter said that Delta told Pinnacle management that its competitors had submitted bids for Bombardier CRJ900 flying that undercut Pinnacle’s current rates by a “significant” margin.

July 27, 2012 - 10:00am
Comair CRJ

The first airline in the Western Hemisphere to fly the current generation of 50-seat regional jets will cease all operations by the end of September. Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair, a Bombardier CRJ operator since 1993, will fly its last passenger on September 29, marking the end of a 35-year run as one of the most recognizable names in the U.S. regional airline business.

July 11, 2012 - 5:50pm
Mitsubishi MRJ

Mitsubishi Aircraft received a huge dose of credibility at the Farnborough International airshow yesterday by announcing a 100-aircraft commitment for MRJ90s from the largest regional airline holding company in the world–SkyWest Airlines. The agreement in principle, signed just this week, potentially raises the MRJ regional jet family backlog to 170 airplanes and gives Mitsubishi its second major U.S. customer.

July 9, 2012 - 4:01am

China’s first private regional airline, China Express, based in Guiyang, has finalized a $264 million deal for six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. The value could rise to $491 million if the carrier, which will become the first to operate NextGen models in the country, exercises options for five more of the jets. Its current fleet consists of five Bombardier 50-seat CRJ200s.

July 1, 2012 - 2:50am
American Eagle president and RAA chairman Dan Garton noted that only 46 percent of all pilots hired by regional airlines during last year’s first three quarters had accumulated 1,500 hours, or enough for an ATP certificate. (Photo: Gregory Polek)

Few doubt that the new rules governing pilot duty time and first officer qualifications will challenge human resource departments at regional airlines throughout the U.S. But to a nation that depends on regional airlines for some 50 percent of its flights, the extent to which the new regulations will affect the supply of pilots and service to small communities remains largely underappreciated, much to the frustration of the Regional Airline Association and its members.

June 14, 2012 - 3:28pm

After asking for a show of hands from air charter operators who are experiencing difficulties filling pilot vacancies, FAA deputy director of flight standards John Duncan told attendees at this week’s NATA Air Charter Summit that he gets involved in discussions about pilot shortages in a lot of different venues. “From an academic standpoint, it’s going to be interesting,” he said. “But from a community standpoint, it’s probably going to be a little painful. This is an interesting dilemma for the aviation community.”

June 8, 2012 - 3:23pm
Delta Connection CRJ200

The scope clause language in the tentative settlement reached between the Air Line Pilots Association and Delta Air Lines in May at first looked like a positive development for all involved.

May 28, 2012 - 10:40am
The 2012 RAA convention brought news of new plans for turboprop-powered airliners.

A looming pilot shortage, stubbornly high fuel prices, industry consolidation and new regulations that will require, among other items, first officers to carry an Air Transport Pilots certificate by August 2013 all made their mark on the 37th annual Regional Airline Association convention, held May 21 to 24 in Minneapolis.

May 4, 2012 - 1:25am
Henrik Hololei, assistant to EC vice president and commissioner for transport Siim Kallas.

Europe’s regional airlines continue to struggle against European Commission (EC) bureaucrats who do not appreciate their value or the problems poor legislation and punitive taxation cause, or that they enable European economic prosperity. This was the central message from the “Regions at Risk” conference held by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in Porto, Portugal on April 18 and 19.

May 1, 2012 - 2:55am
Roger Cohen

Notwithstanding consistent losses through which the regional airline industry’s publicly traded carriers have suffered lately, the last three years have proved a period of considerable progress on several fronts. Perhaps most notably, the industry has not registered a fatal accident since the Feb. 12, 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, in which 50 people died primarily due to pilot error.

 
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