Mesaba Airlines has served notice that it no longer wants to play second fiddle to Express Airlines I when Northwest Airlines orchestrates the distribution of its next tranche of regional jets.
Aviation International News » March 2002
For years major airline executives have recognized their regional affiliates’ potential to take a more active role in serving markets that until recently occupied the exclusive domain of mainline operations. But limited labor resources and influential pilot unions curbed efforts to penetrate the artificial barrier between mainline and regional flying.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines accepted its first Bombardier CRJ700 during ceremonies that marked not only the Atlanta-based airline’s baptism as a 70-seat jet operator but the delivery of the Canadian manufacturer’s 600th CRJ–a 40-seat version that entered revenue service with ASA on January 31.
While the traffic slump that beset the U.S. airline industry as a result of September 11 certainly manifested itself in fourth-quarter financial results across sector lines, an ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions mitigated the damage to the regional airline business, which showed remarkable resilience in the face of potentially devastating losses.
The NTSB has recommended that the FAA require inspections of Hamilton Sundstrand 568F propellers in service for more than six years or 11,700 hr, after a propeller blade separated from its hub on an ACES Colombia ATR 42-500 on January 12. The recommendation covers serial numbers 1 through 1698 and calls for an immediate determination of a new inspection and repair threshold.
Continental Airlines last month said it would end all pilot furloughs this year to stem excessive pilot-training costs at its Continental Express subsidiary. A “flow-through” agreement negotiated in ConEx’s pilot contract in 1998 allows furloughed mainline pilots to bid for positions at the regional airline.
Heartened by a recent WTO ruling against Canada for its support of Bombardier CRJ sales, Brazil’s Embraer has now turned its attention to its European competition, accusing the German government of illegally subsidizing the development of Fairchild Dornier’s 728 and 928 programs.
Under an agreement reached in late January, BAE Systems will not have to build the 12 Avro RJX quad-jets ordered by Exeter, UK-based British European. BAE Systems canceled the ill-fated Avro RJX program on November 27 due to weak market demand and strong pricing pressures. But the company faced the prospect of fulfilling its obligation to build the dozen airplanes over a five-year period if British European insisted.
George Bagley, president and CEO of Horizon Air since 1995, has accepted the position of executive vice president of operations at Alaska Airlines, leaving the top post at Horizon to the airline’s former v-p of customer services, Jeff Pinneo. Bagley, 56, will report directly to Alaska Airlines president William Ayer, who recently became CEO as part of Alaska Air Group’s recent “comprehensive executive succession plan.”
American Eagle has begun cutting capacity among its Saab 340 and ATR turboprop fleets to comply with a clause in the American Airlines pilot contract that requires the company to freeze its regional subsidiary’s ASMs. The reductions in turboprop capacity come as the airline introduces its new fleet of 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700s, the first of which entered service January 31 on routes between Dallas and Oklahoma City and Houston.