While ATR and Bombardier’s de Havilland division enjoy a renaissance of sorts in the new turboprop airliner business, companies no longer involved in airplane manufacturing have moved to stake their own claims on the used market. For BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, however, managing and eliminating its “idle portfolio” has proven harder than one might imagine.
Last month’s order for five ERJ 145s placed by China Eastern Airlines no doubt came as welcome news to the management of the Brazilian-Chinese joint manufacturing venture known as Harbin-Embraer Aircraft, but it certainly didn’t overwhelm anyone hoping to fully engage an assembly line capable of building 24 airplanes a year.
For the first time, Bombardier Aerospace has revealed its expectations of the 100- to 149-seat commercial-aircraft market segment at which the proposed C Series jetliner would be aimed. The statistics appear in a 20-year forecast published here yesterday.
An increase in business jet sales and deliveries continued to bolster the aerospace arm of Bombardier, according to the Canadian manufacturer’s financial results for its first quarter that ended April 30. In the February to April period, Bombardier delivered 53 business jets, compared with 43 in the same period last year, a 23-percent increase.
Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace (Hall 3 Stand D8) enters this Farnborough show with some critical questions to answer about the future of its regional airliner business. Operating under a cloud of speculation and conjecture since it announced its decision to shelve the once-heralded C Series project in January, the company continues to contemplate its next course of action.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) annual general assembly and related industry trade display has become established as a forum for doing “real business,” according to group officials. This year was no exception.
Regional jet manufacturer AvCraft Aerospace GmbH could end up in the hands of a new owner next month following the second bankruptcy involving the Dornier 328Jet. Dr. Martin Prager, the preliminary administrator charged with finding a solution to the German company’s financial problems, characterized opening discussions with potential investors as “very encouraging.”
Industry developments have conspired to depress the 50-seat jet market to its weakest position since the late 1990s. Backlogs have shrunk to their lowest levels in years, and the latest deal struck by Independence Air to return another 24 CRJs to their lessors hasn’t helped matters.
Riding the wave created by the success of its 50-seat regional jet program (now on the wane as the regional airlines evolve toward larger aircraft), Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has set its sights on becoming a major player in the business aviation market to bolster its move into building larger regional airliners (the 170 and 190 lines).
Having dropped regional operations rather than continue losing money into the winter season, Netherlands-based Denim Air group plans to offer enhanced wet-lease services and may add regional jets, according to airline CEO Matthijs Boertien. Poor profitability and increased competition in key German, Italian and Swiss markets saw subsidiary Denim Airways cease scheduled flights in September.