Faced with the tragedy of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo, N.Y., the Regional Airline Association (RAA) found itself in the unenviable position of serving as a strong advocate for its members during the FAA reauthorization process while not appearing unsympathetic to those who lost family or friends in the February 2009 accident.
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).
The passage of time might not have dimmed the painful memory of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, but it has at least given delegates to this year’s RAA Convention some perspective on the legacy the disaster seems sure to leave on the industry’s regulatory environment. The accident has led to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt’s “Call to Action,” under which U.S.
Not one to shrink from any challenge, SkyWest president and COO Chip Childs accepted the position of RAA chairman in November knowing full well what likely confronted him.
Given all the scrutiny the regional airline industry has absorbed over the past year, one might forgive RAA president Roger Cohen for succumbing to some cynicism.
Bombardier secured a long-anticipated North American launch customer for its new C Series airliners in late February, when Indianapolis-based Republic Airways placed a firm order for 40 CS300s. The purchase contract, which also includes options for another 40 CS300s, calls for deliveries to start in the second quarter of 2015. Republic has chosen a single-class, 138-passenger cabin configuration, featuring 25 so-called stretch seats.
Lufthansa pilots continued negotiations with airline management at press time over what they claim amount to scope-clause violations by the German flag carrier. The pilots, organized in a trade union called Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), started a four-day strike on February 22 for higher pay, better work time arrangements and–above all–job security.
The first phase of a two-stage terminal expansion at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport opened to Porter Airlines passengers on March 7. Porter Aviation Holdings subsidiary City Centre Terminal operates the new $50 million passenger terminal and seeks retail, food services, duty-free and other tenants for the 150,000-sq-ft project. Phase one includes lounge facilities, a new check-in hall and office space.
American Eagle Airlines plans to place nine first-class seats on each of its 25 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets and ready them for use by July 2, the company announced last month. As part of the service, Eagle will offer complimentary first-class dining service.
Embraer delivered two E170 regional jets to Bahrain’s Gulf Air during a ceremony at the manufacturer’s headquarters in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, last month. The OEM handed over the aircraft in a two-class, 67-seat cabin configuration, as prescribed in a three-year lease agreement it signed with Gulf Air just after January’s Bahrain International Airshow. The deal includes a provision to extend the leases by another five years.
An Embraer Brasilia operated by Darwin, Australia-based regional airline Airnorth crashed during a training flight this morning at around 10 a.m. local time, killing the two pilots at the controls. The 30-seat turboprop, used in both scheduled and charter passenger service, reportedly crashed soon after takeoff from the RAAF base Darwin, which shares its runway with Darwin International Airport.