Aeromar, the second largest regional carrier in Mexico, has taken delivery of its first of two ATR 72-600s, making it the first operator of the 70-seat turboprop in Mexico and Central America. The airline is a long-standing ATR customer, with 15 of the manufacturer’s ATR regional aircraft in its fleet: the new ATR 72-600, as well as 10 ATR 42-500s and four ATR 42-320s.
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).
Five Bombardier Dash 8-100 regional turboprops at Norway’s Widerøe’s Flyveselskap had undergone 80,000-flight cycle (FC) inspections by last month as part of an extended-service program (ESP) approved by Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2009. Of the 299 Dash 8-100s built, some 100 constitute the near-term market for the life-extension modifications, according to the manufacturer. Bombardier expects a further 128 will reach the 80,000-cycle threshold during the coming nine years.
The civil aviation authorities of Indonesia and Myanmar have ordered the grounding of Merpati Nusantara Airlines’ and Myanmar Airways’ Xi’an Aircraft Industries MA-60 fleets for airworthiness checks following a series of accidents.
A Merpati MA-60 crashed at El Tari Airport in Kupang, in east Indonesia, on June 10. On the same day a Myanmar MA-60 skidded and overshot the runway after landing at the Kawthaung Airport.
This year is a crucial one for the modernization of Europe’s complex air traffic management (ATM) system, as it transitions from years of definition and development to initial deployment of Single European Sky (SES) systems designed to improve efficiency, save fuel and cut costs.
Despite some vacillation by ATR and Bombardier, who are still studying the form their respective 90-seat regional airliners might take, development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new turboprop engine continues on a “critical path” to an expected launch next year, according to Richard Dussault, company vice president of marketing.
A recent Boeing study predicted a demand for up to 23,000 single-aisle airliners over the next 20 years. For the three engine manufacturers involved in the seven single-aisle aircraft currently in development, the business case for developing all-new engines to power them has been more than justified.
Brazilian OEM Embraer received a firm order from U.S. operator SkyWest for 40 E175 regional twinjets. SkyWest plans to operate the 76-seat aircraft under a capacity purchase agreement (CPA) with United Airlines. Another firm order for 60 of the E-Jets hinges on SkyWest’s being awarded additional CPAs with major airline partners. In addition, the acquisition agreement includes options for another 100 E175s, bringing the potential total order to 200 airplanes. If all 100 firm orders are exercised, the deal has an estimated value of $4.1 billion.
A new survey by the University of North Dakota Aviation Department suggests that young people are being turned off by the prospect of a career as an airline pilot. Just under one third of the 205 student respondents (32 percent) said they are now reconsidering their plans to become an airline pilot. A further 8 percent said that they have already abandoned this career path.
New England regional Cape Air has resigned itself to shedding all 70 of its Cessna 402s once it finally reaches terms on an agreement for a new fleet type, the company’s new president Linda Markham told AIN at the RAA Convention in Montreal on Wednesday.
Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva said he sees requests for proposals coming from U.S. airlines for between 200 and 400 regional jets in the 70- to 76-seat market segment as relaxed scope clauses continue to drive demand on this side of the Atlantic while a “pause” in Europe takes hold.