The sixth and final Boeing 787 to join the flight test fleet flew for the first time earlier this month from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. The airplane, ZA006, landed at Seattle’s Boeing Field as planned, but two hours earlier than expected.
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).
Although deliveries of smaller regional jets have dropped dramatically in the past few years, Forecast International expects growing numbers of jets to be delivered from 2010 through 2019. In its recent study, “The Market for Regional Transport Aircraft,” Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects production of 4,016 regional turboprops and jets valued at $123 billion during the coming decade.
Vietnam’s Air Mekong, 30-percent owned by U.S. regional airline SkyWest, plans to launch domestic services on October 9 using four 86-seat Bombardier CRJ900s subleased from the St. George, Utah-based regional.
Rolls-Royce in late August filed a complaint alleging infringement by United Technologies (UTC) of the patent for the Rolls-Royce swept fan blade–the same design, claims Rolls, that UTC subsidiary Pratt & Whitney used in its PW1000G PurePower geared turbofan for the Bombardier C Series and Mitsubishi MRJ.
No one would ever accuse Embraer CEO Frederico Curado of letting ego or impatience influence his decision-making. So when he insisted Embraer’s advantageous competitive position affords him the luxury of time as he deliberates over a new product strategy for the single-aisle airliner market, the company’s stakeholders could rest assured that Curado soberly considered the implications of waiting.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet project officially entered its manufacturing phase today, as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsubishi Aircraft held a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan, to mark the start of production of the first MRJ part. During the event, MHI technicians began cutting aluminum for a frame component associated with the airplane’s horizontal stabilizer.
Qantas removed from service five of the 21 Bombardier Q400s operated by regional affiliate QantasLink in late August after the airline found a defect in what it described as a main landing-gear component. Qantas said it decided to inspect the airplanes and ultimately remove them from service after consultation with fellow Q400 operator Flybe and Bombardier.
Seattle-based Horizon Air will end all its so-called “branded” flying under a plan to move to a 100-percent capacity purchase agreement (CPA) model starting January 1. As a result, Alaska Air Group’s other subsidiary, Alaska Airlines, will assume complete responsibility for managing Horizon’s route network, along with all the risk associated with marketing and selling seats on the airline’s fleet of Bombardier Q400 turboprops and CRJ700s.
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to a September 1 memo to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
Yet another Bombardier CRJ landed with one side of its main landing gear retracted yesterday. The SkyWest CRJ200, operating in partnership with AirTran as Flight 3074 from Omaha, Neb., made an emergency landing at Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport at about 5:10 p.m. local time with only its right main and nose gear extended. All 36 passengers and three crewmembers deplaned safely through the main cabin door.