Long a concern for regional airlines and the world’s two largest regional jet makers, a growing pessimism about the future of not only US Airways but also Delta and United Airlines carries implications for virtually the entire industry. Last month’s bankruptcy filing by US Airways only intensified the anxiety gnawing at all of the airline’s regional code-share partners. Meanwhile, the Western world’s two remaining regional jet makers face the prospect of delivery disruptions, financing cancellations and, finally, long-term production cuts.
Of course, the most immediate concern involves US Airways, which accounts for more than half of the Embraer 170 order base. In the case of Bombardier, although the company said delivery deferments for regional subsidiary PSA Airlines would not affect this year’s output, the airplanes scheduled for delivery into 2006 to US Airways and Delta–another airline that has warned of imminent bankruptcy– amount to nearly 40 percent of the total CRJ backlog. AIN’s special supplement distributed at the European Regions Airline Association general assembly, and included with this issue, presents an overview of the situation on page R16.