CRJ900 gains FAA nod

 - May 8, 2008, 7:15 AM

The FAA awarded Bombardier’s 86-seat CRJ900 regional jet its U.S. type certificate on November 14, ostensibly paving the way for first delivery to Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group in April. Launch airline Mesa plans to fly the airplanes as America West Express under the auspices of Freedom Airlines, a new non-union subsidiary that launched CRJ700 services from Phoenix to Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., on October 26. Still under siege by union leaders who claim the division violates sections of the Railway Labor Act, Freedom Airlines remains the CRJ900’s only airline customer. Bombardier’s launch order for 10 of the airplanes came from GE Capital Aviation Services during the 2000 Farnborough Air Show. In a reaction to competitive pressures, Bombardier has assigned more range to the CRJ900 with a so-called paperwork mod that increased its maximum reach to 1,914 nm. Dubbed the CRJ900LR, the new variant shows an mtow of 84,500 lb–4,000 lb more than the standard CRJ900 and 2,000 lb higher than the mid-range CRJ900ER.