Regional airlines serve a vital purpose all over the world even where they mix with low-cost carriers. The regionals can serve areas the low-costers cannot reach–or so goes a well known European beer advertisement. Thin routes mean smaller aircraft and services more akin to business aviation flights than those for holiday-makers.
ECC Leasing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Embraer, has leased four used ERJ135s to South African Airlink to replace some of the airline’s oldest Jetstream 41 turboprops in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.
Northwest Airlines pilots last month voted to allow Northwest Airlink partner Pinnacle Airlines to add more 50-seat regional jets to its fleet and open talks over a new pay scale for 70-seat regional jets at the mainline. Part of a concessionary contract that calls for a 15-percent pay cut among pilots and management, the new deal will allow Pinnacle to convert its remaining orders and options on 44-seat Bombardier CRJs to 50-seat CRJ200s.
Northwest Airlines will have to add a third regional partner if it wants more 50-seat jets for its Northwest Airlink division, according to an agreement with its pilots to limit the number of regional jets it leases to Pinnacle and Mesaba Airlines.
BAE’s Jetstream regional airliner family enjoyed a successful year in 2004, delivering 25 turboprops to lease customers, and expecting to achieve its 2005 target of 30 more.