Events have moved fast since the establishment last November of Regional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne, the new integrated Air France subsidiary that merges the former Regional Airlines, Flandre Air and Proteus Airlines into a single entity.
European Regions Airline Association
The economic doldrums have begun to markedly slow the phenomenal growth European regional carriers have enjoyed in recent years.
Aegean Airlines chief operating officer Antonis Simigdalas has to rummage among framed certificates stacked by his desk to find the Greek regional’s independent air-carrier licence (ACL), the first issued in Greece. A man in a hurry, the airline executive has had no time to mount the document on his Athens office wall.
As the tragic events of September 11 unfolded in New York City and Washington, D.C., the potential effect on the regional airline industry’s bottom line paled in significance to the loss of life and the implications to global peace. But as the days wore on and the initial shock of the tragedy subsided, the recognition of the profound changes in store for the entire air transport business became painfully apparent.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft suggests there might be a large increase in the Persian Gulf-based fleet of British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ regional jets in the next six months. The current four airplanes operating in the area could have grown to as many as 15 by the second quarter of 2008, according to BAE Systems salesman Andy Whelan at an aviation-finance conference here last week.
Royal Jordanian Airlines has opted to take two 72-seat E-175 jetliners in lieu of two of seven 100-seat E-195s it ordered last year. The first of the E-175s is to be delivered in May 2008 and will feature a cabin with 60 economy-class seats and a 12-seat first-class section. The airline will deploy the new aircraft on a mix of domestic and regional routes.
SAS said last month that Bombardier would owe it at least SKr500 million ($77 million) in compensation for the grounding of its Q400 turboprop fleet. Two separate incidents of collapsed landing gear on SAS Q400s prompted Bombardier and Transport Canada on September 12 to call for the grounding of some 85 airplanes worldwide.
The ERA has named Spanish operator Air Nostrum its Airline of the Year for the fourth time in nine years. Factors influencing the selection included innovative finance arrangements covering Air Nostrum’s acquisition of Bombardier CRJ900s and participation in satellite navigation trials.
Third-quarter delivery figures reported by Embraer indicate the Brazilian manufacturer’s presence in the business jet market is gradually but steadily increasing. The company said it delivered three Legacys in the third quarter of this year, bringing the nine-month total to seven. In the first nine months of last year, Embraer delivered just four Legacys, and in the same time frame of 2001 only two Legacys were shipped to customers.
SAS has again grounded all 27 of its Bombardier Q400s after the right main landing gear on one of its airplanes failed to fully extend upon landing in Copenhagen on Saturday. Flight SK2867 from Bergen, Norway, carried 40 passengers and four crewmembers, none of whom suffered injuries from the incident.