The Regional Aircraft Division of BAE Systems has won a contract with Eastern Airways of the UK for its rate-per-flying-hour aircraft spares support service. The three-year support deal covers 16 Prestwick-built Jetstream 41 turboprop airliners. BAE Systems has provided support for Eastern Airways’ Jetstream 41 operation for the past 11 years.
UK regional airline Eastern Airways is “exactly on track, or slightly ahead” of projections for this year, according to COO Chris Holliday. Although he attributes continued profitability to tight financial controls, Eastern has “always been extremely focused on costs,” he said.
In a move that drew groans from local politicians and airport authorities of small- and medium-sized cities across the British isles, British Airways has decided to cut 21 routes from its UK regional network and announced a complete withdrawal from its bases in Leeds- Bradford, in West Yorkshire, and Cardiff, Wales.
Following recent restructuring, British Airways wholly owned regional subsidiary BA CitiExpress (BACE) “is on track to stop the bleeding,” but will need at least another year to meet profitability targets, company officials predict. The airline has made
This year’s ERA Airline of the Year gold award went to two-time runner-up Eastern Airways. While noting the carrier’s “dynamic approach to industry lobbying,” judges lauded the UK regional’s ability to survive powerful competition through “courage, creativity and persistence,” as well as marketing and operational and technical commitment.
Throughout the world established airlines struggle to compete against start-up operators employing bare-bones business models or serving niche business markets. Trends in the UK illustrate the problems–and the opportunities–the situation presents British Airways and the likes of lean, young regionals such as Air Southwest and Eastern Airways.