Higher numbers of regional airline travelers in Europe have not meant greater environmental impact, according to European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director-general Mike Ambrose. Rather, the industry is flying bigger aircraft at record passenger load factors (PLFs)–the highest in 20 years of ERA data collection.
European Regions Airline Association
The board of Deutsche Lufthansa, Europe’s second-largest airline, has approved a $1.5 billion expenditure for 30 Embraer E190s and 15 Bombardier CRJ900s.
Finland’s Blue1 last month became the first regional airline ever to join the Star Alliance. A subsidiary of fellow alliance member SAS, Blue1 expects to complete its integration into the group by the end of this year. Formerly known as Air Botnia, Blue1 flies a fleet of nine Avro RJs and five Saab 2000 turboprops from Helsinki to 14 destinations in Scandinavia and continental Europe.
Brazil’s Embraer delivered its first batch of newly certified Embraer 170s to three customers last month, just as the company prepared to score a major U.S. sale for the 70- to 78-seat twinjet. Indianapolis-based Republic Airlines–the sister company of Embraer devotee Chautauqua Airlines–will become the second U.S.
Swiss will replace its four daily flights between Zurich and Lugano with the same number of flights subcontracted to Cirrus Airlines as of April 1. Under the wet-lease agreement, the German carrier will use 50-seat de Havilland Dash 8-300s in a mixed configuration.
Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) recently delivered the first Saab 2000 to Omni Aviação e Tecnologia of Portugal. The 50-seat aircraft entered service February 29 on an aircraft crew and maintenance insurance (ACMI) contract between Omni and PGA Portugalia Airlines, connecting the Spanish city of Bilbao with Lisbon and Oporto in Portugal.
Japan Airlines said it will order 10 Embraer E170s and place an option on another five airplanes this spring. The airline plans to place the airplanes with its J-Air regional subsidiary next year in a bid to “help JAL meet the business chances in and after FY2009 resulting from increased slots due to the expansion of Tokyo’s Haneida airport.” The sale would mark Embraer’s entrée into Japan and come as a serious blow to Bombardier, whose 50-se
ATR’s sales momentum didn’t pause for the turn of the calendar as the Franco-Italian turboprop maker landed two more contracts for a total of eight turboprops before the ink had dried on last year’s financial reports. Canarian Navigation and Aerial Services, a company operating from Spain’s Canary Islands, announced a $36 million contract for two new ATR 72-500s for delivery this year following an agreement for four made last September.
In response to oil leaks, Dutch civil aviation authorities have instructed operators of Fokker 50 twin turboprops to check the propellers after each flight. The order was issued early last month and Fokker Services is now developing a Service Bulletin that is expected to be issued before year-end.
Denmark’s Cimber Aviation Group has won a contract with Avions de Transport Regional to perform E Class cargo conversions for the ATR 72. Already an ATR 42 cargo converter, Cimber (Hall 3 Stand F1) will convert its first ATR 72 for Ireland’s Air Contractors. The Irish air freight company has added seven ATRs to its now nine-strong fleet over the past year.