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.
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).
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.
The FAA is going to have to up its game and remove bureaucratic obstacles to progress if the airline industry is to enjoy the long-promised benefits of the NextGen air traffic management (ATM) program.
Regional Airline Association chairman Dan Garton today expressed relief that a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Congress was able to reverse the furloughs of air traffic controllers triggered by federal budget cuts. But he complained that America’s regional carriers had faced a disproportionate burden from the effects of sequestration on the country’s air traffic management system.
GE Aviation began running its third and final eCore demonstrator last month in preparation for application on the Passport business jet engine and the new CFM Leap family, as well as a potential basis for the still orphaned NG34 turbofan development.
Bombardier has reaffirmed its intention to achieve the first flight of its new CSeries airliner next month, with complete airframe static tests (CAST) on track to establish that flight testing can commence safely.