Donald Lowe, 82, a former vice chairman and director of Bombardier Aerospace, died on June 26 in Toronto, following a series of illnesses. His aerospace career began in 1975 when he was brought in to run United Aircraft (later Pratt & Whitney Canada) following a long labor strike. During his tenure, P&WC launched the long-running PW100 series of turboprop engines. In 1986 he joined a financially troubled Canadair as president and CEO, as it was sold by the Canadian government to Bombardier, and oversaw the launch of the CRJ series of regional airliners.
Denmark’s Nordic Aviation Capital has signed a firm purchase agreement for 12 Bombardier CRJ1000s, all of which it plans to lease to Garuda Indonesia–Bombardier’s previously announced Asian launch customer for the 100-seat jet.
Bombardier’s Q400 became the largest Western-manufactured turboprop aircraft to gain approval to operate in Russia and the CIS last month, when the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC)–commonly known by its Russian acronym, MAK–awarded the airplane AP-25 type certification.
Bombardier Aerospace’s efforts to cultivate closer ties with the Chinese commercial aircraft industry continued last week with the official opening of a new office in Shanghai, now the home base of the Canadian company’s partnership with China’s Comac.
Garuda Indonesia has become the Asian launch customer for 18 Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft valued at a list price of $1.32 billion. The deal is a major boost for the Canadian airframer, which had been struggling to keep production of the 100-seater viable.
The carrier will receive five aircraft this year, a mix of direct buys and leased, with all 18 to be delivered by 2015, CEO Emirsyah Satar said. The aircraft will be in a two-class configuration.
Following the deal, Bombardier has designated GMF Aero Asia as its authorized service center for CRJ 1000s in Asia.
Canada’s Bombardier identified China Express Airlines as a customer for its CRJ900 regional jet last week during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Beijing for the Canada China Business Forum. The conditional order for six dual-class-configured CRJ900s plus options on another five, signed late last year, will give Bombardier its first sale of a new commercial airplane in China in “eight or nine years.”
Bombardier Aerospace received a firm order for five Challenger 850s worth $156 million, based on list prices, from an undisclosed customer on December 29. The Challenger 850 is an executive version of the Canadian aircraft manufacturer’s 50-seat CRJ200 regional jet, with a range of up to 2,811 nm.
Professional Aircraft Accessories has begun construction of a 20,000-sq-ft expansion. The $2 million project is expected to be completed by next summer and will bring the company’s overall facility to 60,000 sq ft “We are bucking the economic trend,” Robert Bial, president of the Titusville, Fla.-based company, told AIN. “We were one of six companies Greenwich AeroGroup bought two years ago from Fairchild. We put together a good business plan that includes operations in business aviation, commercial aerospace and the military.
Mesa Air Group signed a deal in late September with Goodrich for landing-gear maintenance services on its fleet of Bombardier CRJ700s and CRJ900s. The multi-year agreement covers all scheduled repair and overhaul services, including the use of Goodrich-owned rotable landing-gear assets.
While much of the completion and refurbishment industry was battling to remain afloat during the recession, Flying Colours in the quiet Canadian city of Peterborough, Ontario, discovered a niche market in converting retired Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) to executive use, and more recently, abundant work outfitting green Challenger 850s from Bombardier.
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