Mitsubishi Aircraft is considering a stretched variant of its regional jet and is analyzing market demand. Senior executive v-p Junichi Miyakawa believes the basic MRJ model has potential to accommodate as many as 112 passengers. “We are looking to our customers to see the market requirement,” he said.
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).
Embraer confirms that “at the present time” it has no large-airplane project. The Brazilian manufacturer concedes, however, that initiatives for joint ventures
or new products could arise later.
Embraer released its first market outlook dedicated to the Chinese market at Airshow China 2008 in the People’s Republic of China. In it,
Midwest Airlines will replace all but nine of its Boeing 717s with 12 Embraer E170s flown by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways as part of an effort to restructure its fleet and fend off bankruptcy. As part of the deal, Midwest announced that Republic flight crew would fly the 12 E170s as Midwest Connect, temporarily replacing Midwest Airlines Boeing 717 crew until they receive training on the Brazilian equipment.
Virgin Nigeria took delivery of its first Embraer E190 in late September during a ceremony held at Embraer’s manufacturing plant in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil. The Lagos-based airline announced during last November’s Dubai Air Show that it had placed firm orders for three E190ARs and seven E170ARs, along with options on six more E190s and purchase rights for another eight E-Jets.
Pinnacle Airlines has agreed to fly–at least temporarily–the seven Bombardier CRJ900s Delta Air Lines had told Mesa Air Group it would pull from their service contract starting October 6. All told, Pinnacle now flies 12 CRJ900s as Delta Connection–three of which it took from Mesa last month–and by the end of this month it expects to have deployed 18 airplanes, nine on a short-term lease.
Piedmont Airlines and SkyWest Airlines will each receive $600,000 from the FAA as part of a $5 million program to fund in-cockpit runway safety systems, in this case electronic flight bags (EFBs), in exchange for the operational data those systems would generate. Under the plan, each airline will install the technology by May 15 next year. Each agreement remains in effect through September 2011.
Embraer in late August celebrated the first delivery of E190s to two new customers–China’s Kunpeng Airlines and TACA Airlines of El Salvador.
Embraer and Flybe Aviation Services have signed a five-year contract that names the UK regional aircraft maintenance company an authorized service center for the ERJ 145 and E-Jet series. Flybe serves as an Embraer parts pool program customer, and now joins the company’s aviation services network.
Regional operators in Europe are seeing slightly higher loads as they fly marginally longer sectors, according to the latest figures from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). Comparing the first six months of this year with the same period last year, ERA noted that regionals traffic (passenger-miles) grew by 6 percent and capacity (available seat-miles) increased by 5.6 percent, for a small gain in passenger load factor (PLF).