0Atlantic Coast Airlines ended 13 years of 19-seat aircraft operations when it retired the last of its Jetstream 32 turboprops on December 3. The Sterling, Va.-based airline began shedding the British-built turboprops from its fleet in mid-2000, when it flew 28 of the generally efficient but outdated airplanes to points throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Fairchild Dornier at last month’s NBAA Convention in New Orleans chalked orders for three more Envoy 3s, bringing the order book for the executive-configured high-wing twinjet to 10, according to Dean Rush, president of the company’s corporate aircraft division. To date, eight Envoy 3s have been delivered to customers.
In an unexpected turn of events, Midwest Express and Fairchild Dornier have resolved their dispute over the cancellation of the 428JET program, leading to a follow-on order for four 32-seat 328JETs and options for 10 of the high-wing regional jets for the Milwaukee-based carrier’s regional subsidiary, Skyway Airlines.
Having been frustrated by the cancellation of the Fairchild Dornier 428JET, ScotAirways (the UK regional carrier that previously operated as Suckling Airways) is “looking actively” for an alternative small regional jet as it seeks to add capacity on its mainly British routes. Director Merlyn Suckling said that if the airline had ordered the Fairchild Dornier 328JET it could have upgraded to the larger 428JET.
Phil Garfinkle has nothing to fear but the lack of fear itself. Garfinkle founded Executive Private Aircraft Corporation (EPAC) to fan airline customers’ fears of traveling with unknown passengers, and their impatience and growing aversion to airport security checks. The EPAC mission is to provide “members with safe, convenient and value-oriented private air travel in a country-club environment.”
Time is ticking, and Fairchild Dornier has only two months to find a strategic investor. In the hands of a court-appointed administrator since filing for insolvency on April 2, the company’s prospects may have grown even bleaker when one of its biggest customers–GE Capital Aviation Services–withdrew an order for fifty 728 regional jets last month.
A virtually stagnant market for new commercial airplanes and a rapidly eroding capital base have convinced German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier to pursue a new “strategic” partnership with another large aerospace concern. “We are cash negative,” said company chairman Charles Pieper during a press briefing on the morning of Fairchild’s March 21 rollout of the 70- to 85-seat 728.
As receivers of bankrupt regional jet manufacturer Fairchild Dornier awaited a takeover bid from a partnership led by Russian conglomerate Basic Element last month, another group of investors that hopes to prove more palatable to aircraft program stakeholders and the German government suddenly surfaced.
DORNIER 328, WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 17, 2002–Failure to follow operational procedures resulted in a serious injury to a U.S. Airways Express flight attendant during a scheduled Part 121 flight from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Tulsa, Okla.-based Great Plains Airlines became the second regional airline to seek federal loan guarantees under the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act. The struggling Fairchild Dornier 328JET operator joined Aloha Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Peachtree City, Ga.-based charter company World Airways in applying for the guarantees just ahead of the government’s July 1 deadline.