A newly formed regional airline division of Hong Kong commuter helicopter operator Helicopters Hong Kong has signed a deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease four new 76-seat Embraer 170s. The first delivery–scheduled for the second half of the year–will mark the climax of nearly two years of preparation for the start-up airline called Hong Kong Express Airways (HKE), as well as the 170’s introduction to Asia.
Aviation International News » January 2005
US Airways may resume taking deliveries of Embraer and Bombardier regional jets if the airline’s employee unions accept more cost-cutting measures, thanks to a tentative agreement by GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease another thirty-one 70- and 90-seat jets over the next three years. Last fall US Airways had to stop deliveries of Embraer 170s at 22 after it fell into bankruptcy for the second time.
Regional traffic throughout China has increased significantly since 2000, the year the country saw the introduction of the first Western regional jet into its domestic network. Since that time passenger numbers have increased by nearly 17 percent a year. The number of flights, meanwhile, has risen 15.5 percent. In 2000 the regional fleet made 60,705 flights. Three years later it flew 93,420.
China’s AVIC I Commercial Aircraft (ACAC) continues its march toward a 2008 introduction of the 85-seat ARJ21-700, finishing more or less on schedule some 90 percent of the aircraft’s structural design and 50 percent of its systems design by the end of last year.
Although the political crisis in Ukraine kept Antonov engineers guessing about the timing of the first flight of the 52-seat An-148, the airplane took to the air on December 17 from Kiev’s Svyatoshin Aerodrome.
The largest member of Embraer’s 170/190 family of single-aisle commercial jets–the 108-seat Embraer 195–took to the air for the first time on December 7 from the company’s production center in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The first prototype–a two-seat-row stretch of the 100-seat Embraer 190–validated systems operation and flight characteristics during its one-hour-and-56-minute mission.
Bombardier announced plans to cut this year’s CRJ200 production by another 20 percent just days after Standard & Poor’s lowered the company’s credit rating to junk status and issued a “negative” outlook for Bombardier’s regional jet prospects.
Northwest Airlines will have to add a third regional partner if it wants more 50-seat jets for its Northwest Airlink division, according to an agreement with its pilots to limit the number of regional jets it leases to Pinnacle and Mesaba Airlines.
Aircraft passengers should be able to use their own cellphones in flight safely and conveniently before the end of this year through a new service developed jointly by satellite operator Inmarsat, aircraft communication systems specialist Arinc and mobile telephone service provider Telenor.
CMC Electronics and L-3 Communications have completed a $172 million deal to sell CMC’s Cincinnati Electronics division, an Ohio manufacturer of infrared sensors, imaging detectors, missile warning systems, space launch vehicle products and spacecraft electronics to L-3.