Trinidad and Tobago’s Caribbean Airlines signed a firm order in late September covering nine ATR 72-600s worth some $200 million at list prices. To come configured in a 68-seat layout starting late next year, the airplanes will replace five de Havilland Dash 8-300s and allow Caribbean Airlines to add frequencies between Trinidad and Tobago and surrounding destinations.
Aviation International News » November 2010
Vietnam’s Air Mekong, 30 percent owned by U.S. regional airline SkyWest, on October 9 launched domestic services with four 86-seat Bombardier CRJ900s subleased from the St. George, Utah-based regional.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) project officially entered its manufacturing phase on September 30, when Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsubishi Aircraft held a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan, to mark the start of production of the first MRJ. During the event, MHI technicians began cutting aluminum for a frame component associated with the airplane’s horizontal stabilizer.
Greenwich AeroGroup’s Western Aircraft and Universal Avionics announced a partnership to develop an avionics retrofit package for the Dassault Falcon 900B. The upgrade will replace 25 older instruments, aimed at improving reliability and situational awareness while reducing downtime. The suite will have five high-resolution Universal EFI-890R LED backlit LCD displays, including an engine indication unit that replaces analog instruments.
Two partial gear-up landings by Bombardier regional jets in three days in late September prompted the NTSB to investigate a possible connection between the incidents and other CRJ landing-gear failures over the past two years.
Textron, parent company of Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter, reported a third-quarter loss. Revenues were $2.5 billion, down 2.7 percent year-over-year, primarily due to lower business jet deliveries at Cessna, where revenues decreased $290 million in the quarter from a year ago, reflecting lower new aircraft sales. The Wichita aircraft maker delivered 26 jets, down from the 68 shipped in the same period last year.
In a surprise announcement at the NBAA convention, Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft revealed that it reached an agreement “in principle” to make a substantial minority investment in Eclipse Aerospace. Executives from both companies provided few specifics about the deal, including its value.
NetJets Europe has been summoned to appear at the Court of Bobigny, near Paris, on December 2, after three entities–French charter operator lobbying group Scara, French crew retirement fund CRPN and one pilot union–sued the fractional ownership company over alleged noncompliance with French labor laws. They charge that the flight crews of foreign countries working under foreign contracts are not contributing to France’s labor coffers.
From a distance, the reason regional airlines would oppose a new law passed by Congress that sets a 1,500 flight-hour minimum for Part 121 first officers might seem obvious: The pool of pilots from which airlines can choose prospective employees will inevitably shrink. The rules of supply and demand dictate that the cost of hiring first officers will therefore rise.
San Antonio-based Emivest Aerospace, manufacturer of the SJ30 light jet, announced on October 20 that it petitioned for restructuring under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. Under the plan, Emivest Aerospace will continue to operate normally with debtor-in-possession financing. The company said it will continue to support the four customer aircraft that are being operated in the U.S. and internationally.