To the European Regions Airline Association, the last 36 months have proved the most challenging period the industry at large has ever faced, leaving ERA general director Mike Ambrose and his team laser focused on sending a clear message that the association’s members can no longer accept the status quo in Brussels.
News and issues relating specifically to regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training; and coverage of annual conventions of the U.S. Regional Airline Association (RAA) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
Steven Udvar Hazy’s Air Lease has delivered its first new Embraer aircraft from the direct order placed at the 2010 Farnborough Air Show, the company announced last month. The delivery involved the first of six E190s scheduled to go to Brazil’s Trip Airlines.
American Eagle pilots reached an agreement with management in late July that guarantees an opportunity to work for American Airlines as AMR prepares to divest itself of its regional airline holdings. Under the settlement, Eagle pilots will occupy at least 35 percent of every American Airlines new-hire class, and that percentage will increase to offset any potential periods of retraction.
Virgin Australia will introduce its first ATR turboprops under a new regional alliance with Perth-based Skywest starting in October, the company announced in late July. By the end of the year it expects to field four out of 18 of the 68-seat turboprops acquired under a 10-year lease from Australia’s Aviation.
Korean Air has converted a letter of intent covering 10 CS300 airliners to a firm order, Bombardier Aerospace announced in late July. The transaction also includes options on 10 CS300s and purchase rights on another 10. The larger of the two C Series models, the CS300 can hold as many as 145 passengers, assuming a seat pitch of 30 inches.
St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines signed a letter of intent last month to fly 14 Bombardier CRJ200s as US Airways Express under a capacity purchase agreement. The three-year deal would call for the SkyWest jets to replace CRJ200s and Bombardier Dash 8 turboprops now supplied by Mesa Air Group out of Phoenix starting in the middle of next year.
Bombardier delivered a pair of CRJ900s into Iraqi Airways service in July following an Iraqi payment of security equal to the value of the aircraft to Kuwait Airways. The Canadian manufacturer has now delivered six of the 10 CRJ900s originally ordered by Iraq and, according to a Bombardier spokesman, continues to work toward delivering the remaining four.
A measure in the latest temporary FAA funding extension to completely cut the Essential Air Service (EAS) program in the lower 48 states by October 2013 will no doubt face some stiff opposition from the likes of Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and well it should.
Mitsubishi Aircraft’s official launch of the proposed 100-seat MRJ100X will likely have to wait at least another year, or until after the first flight of the 88-seat MRJ90 in mid-2012, as the company waits for the European airline market to show more tangible signs of recovery.
Falko, the company formed with the backing of New York-based Fortress Investment Group to acquire BAE Systems’ regional aircraft portfolio, plans to pursue a strategy whereby it will purchase regional aircraft for leasing to its customers–a complete about-face to BAE’s approach, which centered on managed disposal of a once-vast fleet numbering more than 500 aircraft.