A French regional authority has taken over the ailing family-owned Air Atlantique regional airline, boosted its operations and brought new life back to the city of Le Havre’s airport as the center of a new network of regional and European routes served by ATR 42-300s.
Polish flag carrier LOT confirmed last month that it will place a firm order for ten 70-seat Embraer 170s. LOT’s supervisory board approved the estimated $200 million deal on January 10, finally settling a hard-fought competition between the Brazilian manufacturer and its Canadian counterpart, Bombardier. Scheduled for delivery early next year, the first of the 70-seat jets will augment a fleet of fourteen 50-seat Embraer
Bombardier continues to consider at least two potential developments of its Q Series regional turboprop series under the epithet “Q400X.” Market studies cover a 90-passenger stretched variant with longer, 1,000-nm range and a reduced-length, 56- to 60-seat version.
Franco-Italian aircraft maker ATR and engine supplier Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) have begun studies on higher-weight applications of the 48-seat ATR 42-500 and 68-seat ATR 72-500 turboprops.
Piedmont Aviation Component Services recently added ATR 42 landing gear to its list of capabilities. Jennifer Giordano, Piedmont landing gear marketing manager, said, “Adding the ATR 42 to our landing-gear menu allows us to service additional equipment for our current customers as well as expand our customer base to include those flying the Dash 8-300.” The company also offers Dash 8-300 landing gear equipment for loan/exchange purposes.
ATR landed its biggest sale in recent memory last month when Indian budget airline Air Deccan agreed to take delivery of 30 new 72-seat ATR 72-500s over the next five years. The contract, disclosed during a joint press conference held January 6 in Bangalore, calls for Air Deccan to buy 15 airplanes and lease the other 15. It also calls for delivery of six used airplanes–three ATR 42-500s and three ATR 72-500s.
Avions de Transport Régional (ATR), the Franco-Italian turboprop aircraft manufacturer, last year just managed to keep its head above water despite the troubles affecting world aviation, due largely to a leap in its sales of second-hand aircraft. But it expects both to deliver and sell more new ATRs this year while maintaining its level of used airplane placements.
French avionics maker Thales is in Toulouse developing an all-new flight deck for the ATR -600 series–the newly launched pair of upgrades to the now Honeywell-equipped ATR 42-500 and 72-500 regional turboprops. The new avionics suite features five 6- by 8-inch LCD displays and overall lighter hardware.
The FAA released on November 8 a new fact sheet, “Safer Flying in Icing Conditions,” to warn operators that aircraft icing is a “continuing concern in all parts of aviation, from small airplanes to jumbo jets.” To combat icing-related accidents, the FAA is employing a multi-pronged approach to icing issues, using immediate safety actions and longer-term rule changes.
A ninth candidate has entered the race to take over ailing French regional Air Littoral following the withdrawal of Wexford Capital, the U.S.-based investment fund manager.
The latest party to eye Air Littoral, which was under bankruptcy observation until the end of last month, will officially reveal its identity in the next few days. It is understood to involve several European investment funds and a French management company.