Republic Airways stands to become the 11th largest airline in the U.S. if its plans to acquire Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines and sponsor Frontier Airlines’ emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy meet with regulators’ approval. Republic, which now consists of Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America, already ranks as one of the regional airline industry’s largest groups, flying 212 regional jets for six mainline partners.
Aviation International News » August 2009
Rich Lucibella, the buyer and builder of an Epic Aircraft LT single-engine turboprop under the corporate name Blue Sky Avgroup, filed a lawsuit against Epic Aircraft, alleging that the kit manufacturer took his money and never delivered the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engine needed to complete the airplane.
Britain’s Royal Household and Ministry of Defence are evaluating options for providing flights for Queen Elizabeth II and her family beginning April 1 next year, when existing military and private charter arrangements expire. The revival of an earlier plan to purchase a new head-of-state aircraft appears unlikely due to concerns about the continuing recession.
While economic considerations forced NBAA to cancel its first annual Light Business Aircraft (LBA) show originally scheduled for March this year, the organization is not ignoring the owners and operators of smaller aircraft and will include many of the educational offerings it had originally planned for LBA at the NBAA 62nd Annual Meeting and Convention, October 20 to 22, in Orlando.
Charter broker Mercury Jet Charter is offering one-way charter rates under its new Mercury Express program. Mercury will sell the entire aircraft or empty legs for rates starting at $4,500. Typical one-way rates include a coast-to-coast Citation X for $21,000, and a light jet from New York to South Florida starting at $7,000.
Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne in June made it clear that all design choices for the manufacturer’s next Falcon business jet, a super-midsize aircraft codenamed SMS, have been reopened–including the engine. This gives engine makers–notably Snecma, which has been trying to find an application for its first business jet turbofan–a new opportunity to compete for the project.
In hard times past, when an economic crisis resulted in reduced demand for business aircraft and business aviation services, layoffs were common, often with little notice and minimal compensation. In this recession, which has hit business aviation like the downhill run on a roller coaster with no bottom in sight, companies have sought to ease the trauma of job loss.
Dassault Aviation could launch an all-electric Falcon business jet program in 2014 or 2015, said company engineers at a conference held by the ASTech Paris Region aerospace cluster at the Paris Air Show in June.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last month opened a European branch office in Brussels and hired Brian Davey as director of European affairs. The new office will represent the general aviation manufacturing industry before European institutions in Brussels, as well as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne.
The French government launched a study to add several helipads in the Paris area before the summer of 2011. Meetings of civil aviation authorities, a helicopter lobby and other parties next month will start defining where helipads are needed. Dominique Bussereau, secretary of state in charge of transports, has announced that economic factors will determine the additional public sites for helicopter takeoff and landing.