Anchorage-based regional airline group Era Alaska officially renamed itself Ravn Alaska last month as part of a wider rebranding exercise accomplished over the past half-year. The three airlines that operate under the Era Alaska banner have also undergone a rebranding: ERA Aviation becomes Corvus Airlines, while Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service now fly under the name Ravn Connect.
Airlines of North America
Bombardier’s prospects in China brightened considerably last month as the Canadian manufacturer signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation covering 30 Q400 turboprops and collected a firm order for three CRJ900s from China Express Airlines.
The LOI with Nantong outlines terms for delivery of the turboprops to a new carrier called Sutong Airlines. Based in Nantong in Jiangsu province, the new airline would start service in 2015. Bombardier places the value of the deal at nearly $1 billion based on list prices.
American Airlines has signed a pair of firm orders covering a total of 90 new Embraer and Bombardier regional jets for placement with its American Eagle regional affiliates, the airline announced Thursday. The deals involve 30 seventy-six-seat Bombardier CRJ900s and 60 Embraer E175s.
American Airlines CEO Tom Horton issued an online video apology following a failure of the company’s computer systems last Tuesday, forcing the virtual seizure of its network. The outage affected both mainline American and its American Eagle regional affiliates, which together canceled some 1,000 flights–amounting to nearly two-thirds of the company’s daily operations–and delayed roughly 1,100 by early Tuesday evening.
Bombardier Aerospace received a major boost for its sagging CRJ regional jet program on Thursday, when Delta Air Lines placed a firm order for 40 dual-class CRJ900s and reserved options on another 30.
Low-fare carrier Spirit Airlines continued its public criticism of new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) passenger-protection rules, drawing a rebuke from a U.S. senator. The airline also faced a new fine from the DOT over its handling of complaints lodged by passengers with disabilities.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Gulfstream International Airlines continues its transformation with a name change–to Silver Airways Corp.
The airline emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, when its new owner, Chicago-based asset management firm Victory Park Capital, provided $5 million in debtor-in-possession funding.
Alleged maintenance-related gaffes at Trans States Airlines, GoJet Airlines and Executive Airlines prompted the FAA to propose more than $3.1 million in civil penalties against the carriers in late June. The proposed fines against St. Louis-based Trans States Holdings subsidiaries TSA and GoJet totaled $2,476,075, while American Eagle unit Executive Airlines faces a $700,000 penalty.
Houston-based Continental Express regional affiliate ExpressJet congratulated Continental Airlines and United Airlines on their agreement to merge, pending required regulatory approvals. ExpressJet currently operates 244 aircraft, including 206 for Continental as Continental Express and 32 for United as United Express. Based on May flight estimates, ExpressJet’s market share in the combined entity would represent approximately 30 percent.
The regional airline partners of United and Continental Airlines will no doubt face a period of some uncertainty as the major airlines prepare to merge their operations into the world’s largest international airline.
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