Regionals Update: ACA retires last of J32s

 - May 29, 2008, 7:51 AM

0Atlantic Coast Airlines ended 13 years of 19-seat aircraft operations when it retired the last of its Jetstream 32 turboprops on December 3. The Sterling, Va.-based airline began shedding the British-built turboprops from its fleet in mid-2000, when it flew 28 of the generally efficient but outdated airplanes to points throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Today, ACA serves its United Express network exclusively with 50-seat Bombardier CRJs and 29-seat Jetstream 41 turboprops.

ACA plans to replace roughly 10 of its J41s with 32-seat 328JETs this year. It plans to retire the last of its 31 Jetstream 41s by the end of next year, by which time it hopes to fly at least 96 CRJs and 62 Fairchild Dornier 328JETs.

Now flying 114 airplanes to 64 destinations in the eastern half of the U.S. and southeastern Canada, ACA in November registered a 60-percent increase in traffic over the same month in 2000. While much of the industry showed only modest signs of recovery from the events of September 11, ACA raised its load factor from 58.8 percent to 60.7 percent, while it increased seating capacity by 54.8 percent.