Sukhoi Civil Aircraft flight crew in late November conducted the first two automatic Category IIIa landings in the Superjet 100. Flying Superjet prototype MSN95004 from the Zhukovsky airfield near Moscow, chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev and test pilot Vadim Shirokikh tested the airplane’s ability to land under Cat IIIa using differing wing configurations, said Sukhoi.
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).
Singapore-based aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation has placed a firm order for 15 Embraer E190s, the Brazilian manufacturer announced in late November. Embraer’s newest aircraft leasing customer expects deliveries to start in the fourth quarter of this year and run through 2014.
Lao Airlines, the national airline of Laos, expects to take delivery of its first Avic “Modern Ark” MA600 turboprop “sometime after February,” marking the 56-seat turboprop’s entry into revenue service outside China. The only other two existing MA600s, delivered in December 2010 and September 2011, respectively, operate in China with the Civil Aviation Flight University of China (Cafuc) for training purposes.
On Wednesday the FAA announced a final rule on pilot flight duty and rest requirements, a stricter regulation stemming from the Feb. 12, 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo. The rule amends existing work conditions for flight crew operating under Part 121, but exempts cargo carriers.
A total of 119 more American Eagle ATR 72 pilots flying out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport face possible furloughs in connection with American Airlines’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
AMR Corporation’s bankruptcy filing in late November will at least delay the planned divestiture of its American Eagle subsidiary, as well as throw into disarray any agreements forged between leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and airline management.
Pinnacle Airlines said in late October that it would close the headquarters of its Eagan, Minn.-based Mesaba Airlines subsidiary toward the end of next year’s first quarter as it moves to reduce the number of its operating certificates from three to two. Pinnacle also owns Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air.
Embraer won an order for 11 more 118-seat E195s from Brazilian airline Azul in late October, not long after New York-based JetBlue canceled an order for 12 E190s. The contract with Azul, owned by JetBlue co-founder David Neeleman, calls for deliveries to start early in 2013. Embraer places the value of the contract at $497 million.
Bombardier’s continuing efforts to cultivate ties with Chinese industry appeared to pay some dividends last month, when the company signed a conditional purchase agreement for six CRJ900s from an unidentified Chinese airline.
Gulfstream International Airlines has reached an agreement with Saab Aircraft Leasing to buy six 34-seat Saab 340Bplus turboprops, the Fort Lauderdale-based airline announced in late October. It plans to deploy all the airplanes on its Florida/Bahamas routes, where they will replace 19-seat Beech 1900Ds.