Last month US Airways became the first airline to receive FAA certification approval of the SafeRoute suite of NextGen avionics applications in the Airbus A330. The airline claims SafeRoute will “enhance operational safety and efficiency during various phases of flight.”
Air Transport and Cargo
News and issues relating to international air transport and cargo carriers, national airlines and regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
As the Regional Airline Association gathered its membership in Montreal from May 6 to 9 for its first-ever annual convention held outside the U.S., few among the RAA braintrust could set aside thoughts of events back home in Washington, D.C. In fact, what many consider the FAA’s bungled effort to advance the Next Generation Air Traffic Control system, or NextGen, took top billing among the various panel discussions held at the Palais des Congres de Montreal, where the RAA saw some 1,400 visitors pass through the turnstiles.
Bombardier is expanding maintenance capacity at its Tucson, Ariz., service center for its Q400 and Q400 NextGen twin turboprops. The airframer has added three additional lines of maintenance staff in southwestern U.S. facility, supplementing capacity already available to regional airline customers in Bridgeport, W.Va., and Macon, Ga.
Battery system modifications to the world’s Boeing 787s continued at a steady pace while details of plans for service resumptions gradually began to emerge by the time Qatar Airways flew one of its five airplanes on a route between Doha and Dubai last Wednesday.
Another sign of what Embraer CEO Frederico Curado has characterized as a resurgent regional jet market appeared last week, when United Airlines inked a firm order for 30 of the Brazilian manufacturer’s E175s. The deal, which includes options on another 40 of the 76-seat airplanes, marks the first move by United to exploit its newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network since its pilots agreed to relax the scope clause in their labor contract last December.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has launched a campaign to convince new airlines to launch flights to six international airports in the country.
Despite the difficulty ATR has encountered in penetrating the U.S. turboprop market, company CEO Filippo Bagnato continues to express optimism that the Franco-Italian partnership will experience a resurgence in what perhaps represents its final frontier of a sort. Now controlling some 60 percent of the market for 50- to 90-seat airplanes based on unit sales backlogs, the last Western maker of 50-seat-category turboprops sees itself as a potential lifeline for small U.S. cities and communities that can no longer support the services of regional jets of any size.
Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines on Wednesday officially emerged from bankruptcy as a wholly owned regional subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.
Qatar Airways became the second Boeing 787 customer to return a Dreamliner to service after a worldwide grounding of the fleet in January as Flight QR116 took off from Doha for Dubai Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. local time.
Some of the very communities on which the regional airline industry built its legacy face “devastating cuts to air service” if the various stakeholders don’t act quickly, officials from the Regional Airline Association warn. The reasons vary, and each presents its own set of challenges.