American Eagle last month announced plans to launch regional jet service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning next month, with service to Albuquerque, N.M., Phoenix and Oakland, Calif. A long-time turboprop operator at LAX, American Eagle plans to provide the service with new 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140s.
In an unexpected turn of events, Midwest Express and Fairchild Dornier have resolved their dispute over the cancellation of the 428JET program, leading to a follow-on order for four 32-seat 328JETs and options for 10 of the high-wing regional jets for the Milwaukee-based carrier’s regional subsidiary, Skyway Airlines.
Having been frustrated by the cancellation of the Fairchild Dornier 428JET, ScotAirways (the UK regional carrier that previously operated as Suckling Airways) is “looking actively” for an alternative small regional jet as it seeks to add capacity on its mainly British routes. Director Merlyn Suckling said that if the airline had ordered the Fairchild Dornier 328JET it could have upgraded to the larger 428JET.
Starting in the first quarter of next year Bombardier will begin installing Amsafe’s aviation inflatable restraint (AAIR) systems in the bulkhead row of passenger seats on new CRJ-700 and -900 regional jets. The system is installed as an integral part of each passenger’s lap belt and inflates within milliseconds of a crash to protect against head and upper-body injuries at impact forces up to 16 gs. A self-contained under-seat
Time is ticking, and Fairchild Dornier has only two months to find a strategic investor. In the hands of a court-appointed administrator since filing for insolvency on April 2, the company’s prospects may have grown even bleaker when one of its biggest customers–GE Capital Aviation Services–withdrew an order for fifty 728 regional jets last month.
Jet Aviation’s facilities at Biggin Hill in the UK and Dusseldorf, Germany, were named by Embraer as authorized service centers for the Legacy, the new corporate jet from the Brazilian manufacturer based on the ERJ-135 regional airliner. Embraer started deliveries of the Legacy in the second quarter of last year and the first deliveries to Europe were scheduled for last month.
A virtually stagnant market for new commercial airplanes and a rapidly eroding capital base have convinced German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier to pursue a new “strategic” partnership with another large aerospace concern. “We are cash negative,” said company chairman Charles Pieper during a press briefing on the morning of Fairchild’s March 21 rollout of the 70- to 85-seat 728.
Even though regional airline traffic is up 13 percent from the second quarter of last year, and regional airliners account for 34 percent of the overall domestic fleet, the industry cannot continue to pay for security expenses.
Over the years American Eagle COO Bob Reding has come to appreciate the virtues of order, simplicity and balance–whether they apply to flying the line or in directing flight operations and maintenance for the world’s largest regional airline.
Jonathan Ornstein has learned something over the years about mending fences–and breaking down barriers. Although the outspoken and sometimes brash chairman and CEO of Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has fought his share of battles during his 13 years in the airline business, Ornstein has found ways to overcome conflicts with those he needs to survive and prosper.