Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation announced it would launch EAS routes to four Montana destinations from Billings on February 1, marking an end to nearly a year’s wait for service since the now defunct Big Sky Airlines stopped flying to Glasgow, Glendive, Havre and Wolf Point.
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 second of four planned Sukhoi SSJ100 prototypes–S/N 95003–took to the skies on December 24, joining the flight-test program started in May with the first flight of S/N 95001. The aircraft took off from the factory runway and safely landed after a two-hour, 30-minute flight that reached an altitude of 20,000 feet. Piloted by Sukhoi test pilot Capt.
Horizon Air has negotiated a deferral of Q400 deliveries with Bombardier to re-time the shipments to coincide with the removal of the Seattle-based regional’s CRJ700 fleet. Horizon announced last year that it planned to sell its 70-seat jets, but as of last month it continued to fly 18 of them and had managed to sell just two to an operator outside the U.S.
Embraer delivered a record 204 airplanes last year, including 162 jets in the regional/commercial sector, leaving the company on what it hopes proves firm enough financial footing to readily absorb the economic “challenges” that lie ahead for this year.
A labor arbitrator rejected a grievance filed by the ALPA-represented pilots of Midwest Airlines challenging the Milwaukee-based carrier’s decision to replace mainline Boeing 717 service with 12 Embraer E170s operated by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways. The first of the 76-seat Embraer jets, at one time used to serve Republic’s now dissolved Frontier Express network, began flying as Midwest Connect on October 1.
British Airways has ordered six Embraer E170s and five E190SRs for its wholly owned CityFlyer regional affiliate in a deal valued at some $376 million. The contract includes options on another three E190SRs, which, if converted, would raise the total value of the transaction to $489 million
ATR inked a contract last Friday with Vietnam Airlines for the sale of six new ATR 72-500s, valued at more than $112 million. Now flying seven vintage ATR 72-200s and three present-generation ATR 72-500s, Vietnam’s flag carrier plans to expand its ATR 72-500 fleet to 14 aircraft with this latest order.
Future fuel prices will determine the markets for regional turboprop and jet aircraft, according to Saab Aircraft Leasing president and chief executive Michael Magnusson. The Swedish manufacturer maintains a sizeable fleet of its Saab 340 and 2000 regional turboprop designs for lease and expects to benefit from industry moves to reduce costs by making greater use of such equipment rather than regional jets.
The first flying prototype of the Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) 100 regional jet, the second airframe built, was handed over to Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee Register for certification flying in late October. Four aircraft will participate in the program, and six in general flight testing.
What will the regional airline industry look like when the economic dust settles? That’s the question the Regional Airline Association challenged its panelists to answer at the RAA fall meeting, held October 28 and 29 in Washington, D.C.