Russian leasing group Ilyushin Finance Corp. (IFC) has signed an agreement for 15 aircraft from the Antonov An-148/158 family of regional airliners, valued at around $420 million based on list prices. IFC will in turn resell the aircraft to its new partner in Panama. South American Aircraft Leasing will place the twinjets with local carriers, with an initial three An-158s due to be delivered from December 2012.
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).
Chinese carrier Hebei Airlines has ordered five more Embraer 190s with the 100-seaters due to join Hebei’s two in-service E-190s by the end of 2013. The Brazilian airframer values the deal, at list prices, at $226 million.
A new market forecast released this week by Embraer suggests a projected need for 6,795 new aircraft in the 30- to 120-seat capacity segment over the next 20 years. Valued at $315 billion, the market would reflect a 5-percent annual increase in world demand for air transport in terms of revenue passenger-miles.
Few doubt that the new rules governing pilot duty time and first officer qualifications will challenge human resource departments at regional airlines throughout the U.S. But to a nation that depends on regional airlines for some 50 percent of its flights, the extent to which the new regulations will affect the supply of pilots and service to small communities remains largely underappreciated, much to the frustration of the Regional Airline Association and its members.
Scope clause revisions at Delta Air Lines and elsewhere in the U.S. could spell relief for regional jet manufacturers such as Bombardier and Embraer, both of whose commercial aircraft businesses have suffered through a long period of sluggish sales in North America and now face the likely prospect of an extended slump in recession-plagued Europe.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways has agreed with United Airlines to fly the 28 Bombardier Q400s that bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines plans to return to its lessors, Republic announced Monday.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft plans to extend its contract engineering work this year, raising the proportion of such revenues coming from third parties outside the BAE group to 92 percent. “The proportion has grown from 35 percent in 2010,” according to managing director Alan Fraser. “We have reshaped our engineering business and geared it for growth. [Our] skills, expertise and aircraft-design capability are [generating] a steady flow of new business.”
RAA vice president Scott Foose knows the “granularities” of the various issues with which the association grapples every day as well as anyone in the industry. A 9,100-hour, ATP-rated pilot and a former senior manager in Allegheny Airlines’ flight operations and safety department, the RAA veteran also brings as balanced a perspective as one could find on the merits and shortcomings of some of the rulemaking stemming from H.R. 5900, the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.
Jonathan Ornstein began his career in 1987, working at Los Angeles-based Air LA, a small commuter carrier where he did everything from finance to aircraft cleaning. He moved over to Mesa Air in 1989, where he served as assistant to founder, president and CEO Larry Risley. He worked his way up to executive vice president, and then became president and CEO of Continental Express and senior vice president of airport operations for Continental. He then moved to Brussels, Belgium, to work with Sir Richard Branson to create Virgin Express.
By the time American Eagle president Dan Garton spoke with AIN in late March, he had just presented his labor groups with a restructuring plan that called for a 5-percent reduction in the number of employees to achieve the cost savings the company would need to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.