The $63 million appropriated for the Essential Air Service program in this year’s transportation bill appeared likely to increase to a level closer to the full $120 million authorized by the Transportation Safety and Stabilization Act, as conferees last month weighed a Senate defense appropriations bill that would add another $57 million in EAS funding.
Aviation International News » January 2002
Since it began flying a pair of 32-seat Fairchild Dornier 328JETs from its base in Tulsa, Okla., last April, Great Plains Airlines has been promoting plans to establish a new kind of regional airline, dedicated to providing nonstop service from the nation’s heartland to points throughout the U.S.
Northwest Airlink subsidiary Express Airlines I will move to an all-regional-jet fleet and Minneapolis-based Mesaba Airlines will provide all Northwest Airlines’ Saab 340 service in Memphis, Tenn., under a new agreement that saw Mesaba reduce its service fees to Northwest by 10 percent during last year’s fourth quarter.
All four of Delta Air Lines’ regional affiliates benefited from the company’s continuing network realignment last month, as Delta concentrates ever more intently on “rationalizing” capacity and cutting costs with regional jets.
American Eagle last month announced plans to launch regional jet service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning next month, with service to Albuquerque, N.M., Phoenix and Oakland, Calif. A long-time turboprop operator at LAX, American Eagle plans to provide the service with new 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140s.
Mesa Air Group’s recently signed code-share agreement with Frontier Airlines calls for the Phoenix-based regional airline to begin flights from Denver International Airport to San Jose, Calif., and Houston as Frontier JetExpress, starting February 17. The 8:45 a.m.
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began shedding the British-built turboprops from its fleet in mid-2000, when it flew 28 of the generally efficient but outdated airplanes to points throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Last year, VisionAire of Chesterfield, Mo., signed a contract with Israel Aircraft Industries for the Tel Aviv OEM to conduct a nine-month technical assessment of the single-engine Vantage VA-10. Although not yet completed, the assessment has confirmed that the redesigned VA-10 (with some minor modifications) will meet its performance numbers, according to Jim Rice, chairman and CEO.
The future of this Williams-Rolls FJ44-1A-powered evolution of the former Promavia Jet Squalus is murkier following the closure of Alberta Aerospace, the Canadian company that was attempting to certify the single-engine, two-seat SigmaJet and four-set MagnaJet.
The uncertainty of the near future has reached the big airframers, too. Boeing quietly shelved its plans for the proposed 7,000-nm BBJ3 bizliner based on the 757-200 fuselage and 757-300 wing. When Borge Boeskov, soon-to-retire BBJ president, discussed the BBJ3 last March, he said the big airplane, with a projected price tag of $95 million (complete), could serve customers looking to replace aging VIP 707s, 727s, 747s and DC-8s.