At EBACE this week, Tailwind Capital unveiled the first of five Bombardier CRJ conversions it plans to sell to business aviation customers. Called the Hemisphere 200XR, the airplane will go to Dutch concern Solidair outfitted with a 15-passenger cabin and an FAA-certified fuel system that extends range out to 3,000 nm.
Delta Air Lines
Airline executives whose predictions of regional divestitures raised eyebrows just two years ago watched their prophesies turn to hard reality in late February, as Northwest Airlines announced its intention to spin off its Memphis-based Express Airlines I subsidiary and Continental Airlines revisited its plans to divest itself from Continental Express.
Shortly after announcing plans to accept delivery of another 10 ex-Comair Canadair Regional Jets, St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines negotiated a revision to its code-share contract with Delta Air Lines that will allow it to fly exclusively under a fee-per-departure arrangement.
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.
Big Sky Airlines will operate as a subsidiary of Mesaba Holdings by year-end if the Billings, Mont.-based Fairchild Metro III operator meets “certain labor conditions” set by its would-be parent company from Minneapolis. The proposed merger would create a new division within Mesaba Holdings, flying under an operating certificate and labor contracts separate from Mesaba Aviation.
When UAL Corp., the parent company of United Airlines, announced in May that it would enter the business aviation market with creation of a new subsidiary to be known as United BizJet Holdings for the time being, it was big news. And it was assumed by some that this was the first venture into business aviation by a major airline. Wrong!
Bombardier is trying to sell Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland. Less than two miles from the center of Belfast, the downtown airport has attracted growing volumes of regional airline and corporate traffic in recent years. Bombardier acquired the airport when it bought Short Brothers in 1989 along with its airplane factory, which is located on the same site.
A festering animosity between regional airline pilot groups and the Air Line Pilots Association showed no sign of subsiding last month, as nearly 300 Comair pilots asked to join a pending lawsuit against the union while pilots from US Airways subsidiary Allegheny Airlines picketed outside ALPA’s Washington headquarters.
The insidious and far-reaching effects of the WorldCom debacle hit home for Mesaba Airlines, as the Minneapolis-based Northwest Airlink partner watched its devalued bond holdings in the beleaguered communications company shrink its first quarter 2003 income by $2.7 million. As a result, the company’s net income for the quarter ending June 30 totaled $1.6 million, compared with $4.7 million during the same period last year.
American Airlines’ decision last month to retire 74 more Fokker 100s and nine Boeing 767-300s will mean continued capacity stagnation at its wholly owned American Eagle subsidiary, as long as the Allied Pilots Association has its way.