Rekkof Aircraft, the Dutch company trying to bring Fokker F70 and F100 twinjets back into production, has said the uncertain status of the Fairchild Dornier regional jets and the demise of BAE Systems’ Avro RJX program have boosted its prospects. The firm has now joined Embraer and Bombardier in the race to win an order for up to 60 regional jets from German regional operator Lufthansa CityLine.
European Regions Airline Association
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.
A Luxair Fokker 50 twin turboprop crashed on approach to Luxembourg Findel Airport on November 6, killing 20 of the 22 people on board. The accident happened just after 10 a.m. in thick fog, with the aircraft crashing into wooded, hilly terrain three miles short of the runway and on the edge of the village of Roodt-Syr.
During the ERA assembly held last month in Salzburg, Austria, Rockwell Collins announced FAA certification of its HGS 4200 head-up guidance system (HGS) for use on Bombardier’s CRJ700 and of the HGS 4100 for the Canadian airframer’s Dash 8Q-400. U.S. West Coast operator Horizon Air supported both certification programs. German CRJ700 operator Lufthansa CityLine and French regional Brit Air also chose the HGS 4200.
Lufthansa CityLine is looking at the Bombardier and Embraer regional jet families as alternatives to the firm order for sixty 728JETs that it had placed with airframer Fairchild Dornier. During the ERA assembly, the German regional’s managing director, Karl-Heinz Kopfle, said Bombardier’s CRJ700 and -900s are under consideration, as is the Embraer 170.
Embraer had to scrap plans to bring one of its new 70-seat regional jets to display at the ERA assembly in a bid to catch up on slight technical delays in its certification program. This process is now expected to be complete about three months later than planned, with launch customer Swiss due to receive its first Embraer 170 next August.
Attending its first ERA assembly since abandoning development of the Avro RJX regional jet series late last year, BAE Systems was able to announce a wave of new lease deals. Turkish Airlines extended its lease for 12 Avro RJs–nine RJ100s and three RJ70s–for the third time since taking the aircraft in 1993.
ERA members elected four new board members at the end of their general assembly in Salzburg, Austria. Elfrieke van Galen, managing director of KLM Cityhopper and CEO of KLM uk, has been chosen to replace former Augsburg Airways president Olaf Dlugi. Chris Beaton, Bombardier Regional Aircraft v-p of international sales, was appointed to replace his recently retired predecessor, John Howarth, as a manufacturer representative.
Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum has won the ERA’s Airline of the Year Gold Award for the second time, having previously claimed top honors in 1999. This year’s silver and bronze awards were won, respectively, by Norwegian operator Wideroe and Italy’s Air Dolomiti–a result that was itself a precise repeat of last year’s award.
There was no disguising the subdued, even solemn, mood of Europe’s regional airlines as they gathered for their annual general assembly in Salzburg, Austria, from October 1 to 3. At 6.3 percent, passenger growth for the first half of this year is markedly down from the double-digit growth enjoyed in recent years and, more seriously, yields are down right across the industry.