Europe’s regional airlines achieved 7.1 percent passenger growth during the first six months of 2011, according to figures published by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) at its annual general assembly held in Rome last week.
European Regions Airline Association
To the European Regions Airline Association, the last 36 months have proved the most challenging period the industry at large has ever faced, leaving ERA general director Mike Ambrose and his team laser focused on sending a clear message that the association’s members can no longer accept the status quo in Brussels.
Cordner Aviation Group, a newly launched Berlin-based firm, has, along with four alliance partners, launched a service for the conversion of BAE 146 and Avro RJ regional jets to turnkey executive use.
Paris Air Show organizers promised a feel-good factor from this year’s event, staged at Le Bourget Airport from June 20 to 26, and clearly they were in the know as to the deluge of new business coming their way. Airline bosses pitched up in the French capital with seemingly open checkbooks to order well over $100 billion worth of new aircraft and engines.
ATR revealed yesterday that Brazilian carrier Azul Lanhas Aéreas had signed up for another 10 ATR 72-600s, and that the European turboprop manufacturer, in a gradual “strip tease” of show orders, will have announced customers for a total of 78 additional aircraft–worth $2.4 billion at list prices–by the time the trade days are over. ATR chief executive Fillipo Bagnato indicated that he liked the strip-tease approach.
Embraer yesterday bypassed an opportunity to firm up its intentions in the widening campaign to challenge the dominance of Boeing and Airbus in the single-aisle airliner sector. But the Brazilian airframer also passed a major milestone here in Paris with announcements of 37 orders and options that will take total orders for the E-Jet family over the 1,000-aircraft mark.
Bombardier’s largest regional airliner–the CRJ1000 NextGen (until the CSeries enters service in 2013)–has made a nearly flawless since entry into service last December. With 13 CRJ1000s flying for Brit Air and Air Nostrum, the fleet has achieved a 99.4-percent dispatch reliability rate and 99.9 schedule completion rate.
Regional carriers in Europe say that consultation and communication between the industry and regulators and lawmakers has improved, but they await better balance of consumer-rights legislation among all transport modes.
Embraer announced the signature of a new contract with Brazil’s Trip Airlines last month for the sale of four E190s. The firm order, valued at $172 million based on list prices, brings to 24 the number of E-Jets ordered by Trip, either from Embraer directly or through leasing companies. Embraer noted that it had included one of the four E190s sold to Trip in its fourth-quarter 2010 sales totals as an order from an undisclosed customer.
ATR announced a pair of big commercial deals involving its regional turboprops in late February, building on an exceptional showing in 2010 that saw its management lay plans to raise production from just over 50 airplanes to 70 by 2012.