New airline industry statistics released last month by the office of DOT inspector general Kenneth Mead revealed that regional jets now account for one-quarter of all departures in the U.S. In absolute terms, RJ frequencies increased 140 percent (from 88,474 to 212,126 departures) since December 2000, when the small jets accounted for just 10 percent of all departures.
As the emirate of Dubai helds its biennial international airshow last month, travelers from anywhere but a major city were feeling first hand the pressures against a robust regional-airline industry in the Arab world.
Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair took delivery of the 1,000th production regional jet built by Bombardier Aerospace during a December 9 ceremony at the company’s plant in Dorval, Quebec.
Dornier 328JET certificate holder AvCraft Aerospace has recruited BAE Systems Regional Aircraft to take responsibility for spares storage, distribution and logistics support for the 32-seat regional jet and its turboprop sibling. The six-year contract covers 328s and 328JETs registered in North, Central and South America.
Hamilton Aerospace Technology, a maintenance, engineering and modification firm that started 57 years ago as Hamilton Aviation, is expanding its narrowbody airliner services to include regional jets. To that end, the company recently refurbished a 120-by 250-foot hangar at Tucson International Airport dedicated to core maintenance and overhaul of regional jets.
Airlines around the world in the market for equipment to serve the emerging 100-seat sector have no fewer than five choices to evaluate here at the Paris Air Show this week. Bombardier with its new C Series and Embraer with the 190/195 family enjoy a high profile, but alternative programs conceived farther east won’t easily let the Western airframers steal the show.
The so-called regional jet revolution has in the minds of many rendered turboprops a quaint throwback to the days of “commuter” airlines. But this year’s spate of big orders for new turboprops has turned conventional wisdom on its ear, giving the last two Western builders of prop-driven airliners a renewed sense of vitality.
A recent slew of new announcements from BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has reminded the industry that the BAE146/ Avro RJ jetliner family has not gone away. New lease packages to regional airlines, the possibility of a new production line and some innovative conversion packages all suggest that the four-engine jets still have some life left in them.
Dutch operator Denim Air, which claims to be Europe’s leading regional airline aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) service provider, is expanding its twin-turboprop fleet and considering adding small jetliners to meet increased demand for wet-lease capacity, including requirements outside the region. The company has also secured a number of new or renewed contracts.
Bombardier Aerospace’s decision to suspend its long beleaguered C Series has naturally raised questions about what direction the company will take now that it has spent more than a year and $100 million on a still undefined program.