In an unexpected turn of events, Midwest Express and Fairchild Dornier have resolved their dispute over the cancellation of the 428JET program, leading to a follow-on order for four 32-seat 328JETs and options for 10 of the high-wing regional jets for the Milwaukee-based carrier’s regional subsidiary, Skyway Airlines.
Aviation International News » December 2001
Air Littoral, one of the three French regional airlines sold by SAirlines this summer, has filed a lawsuit in Switzerland to recover funds owed to it by the bankrupt Swiss group. Meanwhile, the French airline continues its own restructuring process and seeks to increase capital to offset an estimated 10- to 15-percent loss in traffic by the end of this year.
Embraer president and CEO Mauricio Botelho reflected on the events of September 11 and their subsequent effect on the world’s aerospace industry with a quote from Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. “We must be tough without losing tenderness,” said Botelho during a lavish dinner affair the evening before the October 29 rollout of the newly branded 70-seat Embraer 170 regional jet.
The profound damage inflicted by the September 11 terrorist attacks brought changes to the U.S. airline industry the most prescient observer could not have envisioned three months ago. Twenty-percent industrywide capacity cuts, furloughs and layoffs, large-scale route transfers from mainline carriers to regional affiliates and aircraft delivery deferrals have all marked one of the most volatile periods in the industry’s history.
French regional airline Air Bretagne has gone into financial observation after filing for bankruptcy. The company’s operations are being overseen by a court-appointed administrator until liquidation has been finalized. The administrator must report back by the end of this month.
A task force headed by Peter Siegenthaler, director of the Swiss federal finance administration, has proposed a dozen seasoned executives for Crossair’s new board of directors, only one of whom–Claudio Generali–serves on the current board. Crossair founder and current chairman Moritz Suter is not on the list, neither as chairman nor member. The task force proposes Dutchman Peter Bouw, former CEO of KLM, as the new chairman.
Sierra Industries is turning from base to final for approval of its Williams FJ44-engine modification program for the Cessna Citation 501SP, which it calls the FJ44 Eagle II. “We’ve been flying the aircraft very hard for the last three months and, barring any big problems, hope to be finished shortly after Thanksgiving,” said Chip King, Sierra program engineer.
The GE T58-powered Maverick TwinJet is available only as a kit, but now McCotter Aviation, which purchased 90 percent of Penrose, Colo.-based Maverick Air in March, plans to develop a certified production airplane based on the Maverick dubbed the MC 2400. James McCotter, a Beaver Creek, Colo. businessman with interests in media and real estate, is president and principal owner of McCotter Aviation.
With all 173 Eclipse Aviation employees now figuratively under one roof at Sunport International Airport in Albuquerque, N.M., the company expects to begin assembly this month of its first flight-test airplane in preparation for the model’s initial flight next July.
Flight testing of the Falcon 2000EX, a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C-powered version of the Falcon 2000, began on October 25. During its 1 hr 45 min first flight from Dassault’s facility in Merignac, France, the 2000EX reached 35,000 ft and Mach 0.82. In addition to its 3,800-nm range (a 25-percent improvement– nearly 900 nm–over the CFE738-powered Falcon 2000), the 2000EX is expected to climb to 41,000 ft in 21 min.