Mesa Air Group’s designs for a new non-union subsidiary to fly its planned fleet of 64- and 84-seat jets continues to face stiff resistance from the powers that be within the Air Line Pilots Association, starting with none other than ALPA president Duane Woerth.
Aviation International News » November 2002
“If you can’t beat them, join them” might well have been the theme for a debate on the challenge posed by the so-called no-frills carriers during last month’s general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in Salzburg, Austria.
Lufthansa CityLine is looking at the Bombardier and Embraer regional jet families as alternatives to the firm order for sixty 728JETs that it had placed with airframer Fairchild Dornier. During the ERA assembly, the German regional’s managing director, Karl-Heinz Kopfle, said Bombardier’s CRJ700 and -900s are under consideration, as is the Embraer 170.
Embraer had to scrap plans to bring one of its new 70-seat regional jets to display at the ERA assembly in a bid to catch up on slight technical delays in its certification program. This process is now expected to be complete about three months later than planned, with launch customer Swiss due to receive its first Embraer 170 next August.
Attending its first ERA assembly since abandoning development of the Avro RJX regional jet series late last year, BAE Systems was able to announce a wave of new lease deals. Turkish Airlines extended its lease for 12 Avro RJs–nine RJ100s and three RJ70s–for the third time since taking the aircraft in 1993.
ERA members elected four new board members at the end of their general assembly in Salzburg, Austria. Elfrieke van Galen, managing director of KLM Cityhopper and CEO of KLM uk, has been chosen to replace former Augsburg Airways president Olaf Dlugi. Chris Beaton, Bombardier Regional Aircraft v-p of international sales, was appointed to replace his recently retired predecessor, John Howarth, as a manufacturer representative.
Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum has won the ERA’s Airline of the Year Gold Award for the second time, having previously claimed top honors in 1999. This year’s silver and bronze awards were won, respectively, by Norwegian operator Wideroe and Italy’s Air Dolomiti–a result that was itself a precise repeat of last year’s award.
There was no disguising the subdued, even solemn, mood of Europe’s regional airlines as they gathered for their annual general assembly in Salzburg, Austria, from October 1 to 3. At 6.3 percent, passenger growth for the first half of this year is markedly down from the double-digit growth enjoyed in recent years and, more seriously, yields are down right across the industry.
Turboprop manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) believes that European regional airlines’ ardor for the 50-seat regional jet may be cooling and wants to take advantage of the situation. “Some European operators are thinking again about turboprops,” the French-Italian airframer’s general secretary, Jean-Pierre Cousserans, told AIN.
Boeing signaled its new resolve to target regional airline applications for its 100-seat 717-200 by putting an aircraft on static display at Salzburg Airport during the ERA assembly. This followed the U.S. airframer’s debut appearance at the annual ERA gathering in Athens, Greece, last year.