Creditors expect to start reviewing a status report due on November 2 from a court-appointed insolvency administrator for Fairchild Dornier’s 728 program division, just as the most recent target date for first flight of the 70-seat regional jet once again passes uneventfully. Scheduled for this year’s fourth quarter, the 728’s first flight now couldn’t happen until late next year–if ever.
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Both Bombardier and Embraer announced cuts in regional jet production that will see next year’s CRJ200 output fall by 25 percent and total Embraer RJ deliveries by some 9 percent this year and 15 percent next year.
Boeing Commercial Airplane’s Long Beach, Calif. site vice president and general manager, Pat McKenna, told ERA attendees that two prospective customers could sign deals for 10 to 15 Boeing 717s, and another pair of airlines could commit to “two or three” each before the end of the year.
ATR landed its biggest sale in recent memory last month when Indian budget airline Air Deccan agreed to take delivery of 30 new 72-seat ATR 72-500s over the next five years. The contract, disclosed during a joint press conference held January 6 in Bangalore, calls for Air Deccan to buy 15 airplanes and lease the other 15. It also calls for delivery of six used airplanes–three ATR 42-500s and three ATR 72-500s.
Perhaps the most vital component in Bombardier’s C Series of single-aisle commercial jets will consist not of metal, pneumatics or electrical circuits, but money. By the end of last month the company expected to know the stakes governments would risk, as its February deadline for all to ante up approached. Unwilling to tip his hand, C Series program head Gary Scott wouldn’t reveal the number of U.S.
Cases of complete failure of the Honeywell Primus Epic avionics display triggered an emergency AD from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for all Embraer 170s in late December. The AD raised the airplane’s minimum approach decision height to 500 feet above runway threshold elevation and increased the minimum runway visual range for takeoff to 1,969 feet (600 meters).
No one said it would be easy, but Embraer seems to have hit its stride after struggling early on to meet development and certification targets for its new four-airplane series of commercial jets.
Bombardier last month delivered the first production example of its newest regional jet, the CRJ900, to Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group. Scheduled to fly for the first time under the America West Express livery on April 27 between Phoenix and Los Angeles, the 80-seat jet gives Mesa the largest-capacity aircraft in the U.S. regional airline business.
Leesburg, Va.-based AvCraft last month signed a contract to buy the Fairchild Dornier 328 program and its associated support businesses. The deal, at press time still subject to government approvals, would include the rights to the Fairchild name, the plant and equipment for the manufacture of 328s and 18 fully built 328JETs in storage at the bankrupt company’s Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany manufacturing complex.
Bombardier has selected Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine for its proposed 110- to 149-seat C Series airliners in a deal the Canadian manufacturer claims “secures the best technology available.”