Franco-Italian regional turboprop maker ATR continued to defy predictions for a tepid sales showing at Le Bourget yesterday when it inked a purchase contract for 10 of its new ATR 72-600s with Spain’s Air Nostrum and another firm order with Royal Air Maroc for four ATR 72-600s and a pair of smaller 42-600s.
European Regions Airline Association
Regional turboprop manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional intends to deliver 50 aircraft this year, a number that is only slightly below that produced in 2008. At a press conference here yesterday, CEO Stéphane Mayer also said the company has received 28 firm orders but has suffered nine cancellations since the beginning of this year.
Embraer yesterday announced the conversion of options and purchase rights for several E-Jets into firm orders. The approximate value of the new business is $360 million.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (Hall 2B Stand H110) is displaying the tires it will be supplying for Bombardier’s new CRJ1000 Next Gen regional jet for the first time, after a recent contract award by the Canadian manufacturer. The 100-seat aircraft–45 of which have been ordered by airlines such as Adria Airways, Brit Air and My Air–is set to enter service in late 2009.
Bombardier Aerospace yesterday announced a new firm order for 15 CRJ1000s from Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum. The Valencia-based Iberia Regional partner has now placed firm orders for a total of 35 CRJ1000s and has revealed itself as the previously unidentified launch customer for the 100-seat-class jet.
Embraer continues to consider its product strategy. The Brazilian airframer’s market intelligence vice president Luiz Sergio Chiessi told AIN that any design for 100-plus passengers “almost certainly” would require a new, wider cross section than its current E170/ E190 large regional jets: “Up to 150 passengers in four-abreast [layout] is probably not workable,” he said.
Short-haul operators in Europe have been seeing almost no growth in passenger numbers and have struggled to reduce capacity to offset lower traffic as the global economic downturn has turned to recession. After a disappointing 2008 that saw load factors fall, European Regions Airline Association (ERA) members now suffer “a considerable worsening” in demand.
Guernsey, UK-based regional carrier Aurigny Air Services last month took delivery of its first new ATR 72-500 in accordance with a firm contract it signed for a pair of the Franco-Italian turboprops in the summer of 2007. Configured with 72 seats and equipped with ATR’s “Elegance” cabin, the pair of new ATRs will replace two of Aurigny’s three aging ATR 72-200s.
The ATR 72-500 was approved to start operations at London City Airport in early February and has entered service with Irish regional airline Aer Arann on its route to the Isle of Man. The UK approval process requires a series of test flights to establish that the aircraft and operator can cope with the downtown airport’s 5.5-deg approach and its 3,900-foot runway, while also meeting strict noise limits.
A regional labor court in Brazil has forced Embraer to suspend its plan to cut 20 percent of its 21,000-strong workforce after it agreed to hear a collective lawsuit filed by the company’s unions. Any further layoffs will now have to wait at least until the unions and management enter a process of court-administered mediation, scheduled for next Thursday.