St. George, Utah-based SkyWest expects to ground 66 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJs and add 34 more dual-class Bombardier jets ranging in seating capacity from 65 to 76 seats under a memorandum of understanding signed with code-share partner Delta Air Lines, the world’s largest regional airline announced today.
Russia was a priority for Bombardier long before it dispatched Q400 C-GLKU on a worldwide tour. Now, with issuance of Russian certification of the high-speed turboprop on June 6, Bombardier redoubled its marketing efforts in the promising market, sending the Q400 demonstrator to Moscow, Saratov, Kazan, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Magadan and Anadyr from May 21 to June 9. Over the next 20 years, the Canadian manufacturer expects Russia to need some 200 large turboprops and, as of now, Bombardier builds the biggest and fastest, albeit also the most expensive.
The first airline in the Western Hemisphere to fly the current generation of 50-seat regional jets will cease all operations by the end of September. Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair, a Bombardier CRJ operator since 1993, will fly its last passenger on September 29, marking the end of a 35-year run as one of the most recognizable names in the U.S. regional airline business.
A Skywest pilot on administrative leave took his own life after stealing a company Bombardier CRJ200 at Saint George Municipal Airport (SGU), Utah, on July 17. He was wanted by police in connection with the death of his girlfriend in Colorado Springs
China’s first private regional airline, China Express, based in Guiyang, has finalized a $264 million deal for six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. The value could rise to $491 million if the carrier, which will become the first to operate NextGen models in the country, exercises options for five more of the jets. Its current fleet consists of five Bombardier 50-seat CRJ200s.
Last week’s vote by Delta Air Lines pilots to accept a contract proposal forged between their Air Line Pilots Association unit and airline management could carry implications for a vital subset of the industry.
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.
Germany-based Flight Ambulance International (FAI, Stand 749) has ordered six Spectrum Aeromed 2800 series stretchers for its newly acquired Bombardier CRJ200. One of the stretchers will be fitted with “advanced life support systems.” To its fleet of “special-purpose” aircraft, FAI plans to add two BAE Systems Avro jets, also able to carry six stretchers or more each, by year-end.
Private aircraft makeover specialist Flying Colours is embarking on what may well be the company’s most ambitious project. Known for its Execliner renovations, which turn Bombardier’s CRJ family of regional airliners into well-appointed business jets (also known as Challenger 850s), the Canadian cabin completions specialist has begun work on what it describes as its first “fully loaded” CRJ200 conversion.
Encouraged by last year’s successful effort to secure three European lessors for 10 Air Nostrum CRJ1000s, Bombardier expects the trend toward more lease acquisitions of regional airliners to continue. For the Canadian airframer, attracting lessors will prove vital to the success of the new C Series as well, and perhaps most notably in China, where aircraft leasing remains a relatively new option.