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.
Fairchild Dornier 328JET
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.
The Corporate Angel Network recognized Corning for having flown a record number of flights carrying cancer patients to treatment centers aboard its Fairchild Dornier 328JET corporate shuttles. Corning, of Horseheads, N.Y., has flown more than 1,500 CAN missions since joining the organization in 1983. “Corning’s people go the extra mile for our patients,” said CAN executive director Thomas Robertazzi.
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.
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.
On June 6, AvCraft Aviation of Tyler, Texas, received the first STC cabin interior approval for the Fairchild Dornier 328JET, and the aircraft–known as the Envoy 3 in its business aircraft guise–is now in service with an Akron, Ohio advertising and public relations firm, and doing business as Ultimate Air Charters.
As a district court in Weilheim, Germany, opened insolvency proceedings against Fairchild Dornier on July 1, the fate of the Bavarian regional jet builder hung on the fading hope that a large established aerospace company might come to its rescue.
Milwaukee-based Midwest Express regional subsidiary Skyway Airlines will adopt the name Midwest Connect on January 1 as part of a company-wide identity campaign that will also see the parent airline change its name to Midwest Airlines. Midwest Express CEO Tim Hoeksema said the decision to remove the “Express” designation from the mainline came about because customers associate the name with a commuter operation.