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.
European Regions Airline Association
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.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has settled with Bombardier and Goodrich Aerospace the terms of a compensation agreement stemming from the airline’s grounding of its entire fleet of 27 Q400s last year. Although it would not disclose the precise conditions, SAS said the value of the compensation it will receive slightly exceeds 1 billion Swedish crowns ($163.5 million) in cash and credits for future firm and optional aircraft orders.
A firm order for three 100-seat Embraer E190s from Finnair capped a brisk run of sales activity in the second half of February for the Brazilian airframe builder. The deal raises to 23 the number of E-Jets ordered by the Finnish flag carrier, which took delivery of its seventh E190 last month. It also flies ten 72-seat Embraer E170s.
Brazil’s Embraer announced an order here yesterday from U.S. aircraft leasing company Jetscape for 10 E190 jets, along with options for another 10 aircraft and “purchase rights” for 10 more.
The value of the transaction totals $375 million at list prices, and could reach $1.125 billion if all options and purchase rights are exercised. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2009.
ATR announced regional turboprop orders from two South Pacific operators here yesterday. Air Tahiti has bought an ATR 72-500, valued at about $18 million. The 66-seater will operate under ETOPS-120 rules. Air Tahiti CEO Mate Galenon said the airline is now able to serve more islands, such as Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, which the airline could until now reach only with its smaller ATR 42s.
Polish flag carrier LOT confirmed last month that it will place a firm order for ten 70-seat Embraer 170s. LOT’s supervisory board approved the estimated $200 million deal on January 10, finally settling a hard-fought competition between the Brazilian manufacturer and its Canadian counterpart, Bombardier. Scheduled for delivery early next year, the first of the 70-seat jets will augment a fleet of fourteen 50-seat Embraer
Despite the encroachment of ever lighter new jet aircraft on the traditional marketplace for piston- and turboprop-powered models, there are always going to be requirements that can be cost effectively met only by rugged and versatile workhorses such as the Britten-Norman Islander.
Last year Embraer delivered 121 regional jets and 10 Legacy business jets (including two for military service). These figures were slightly lower than projected, the Brazilian manufacturer reported, because of the postponement of the deliveries of three business jets and delayed delivery of two regional jets. Despite the slow economy, Embraer forecasts it will deliver 148 aircraft this year and 155 next year.