Air France subsidiary Régional last month took delivery and placed into service the first of nine 76-seat Embraer E170s on firm order. Also flying six Embraer E190s, 28 ERJ 145s, nine ERJ 135s and five Brasilia turboprops, the French airline stands as Europe’s largest Embraer operator. It also flies nine Fokker 100s and five Fokker 70s and serves 20 domestic and 26 intra-European destinations.
French regional airlines AOM and Air Liberté have escaped the jaws of bankruptcy through their purchase by an Air France pilot. The airlines–formerly owned by SAirGroup and French investment firm Taitbout Antibes–expect to shed 1,800 jobs, restructure and adopt a new name as part of a plan to form a viable rival to Air France.
Some 30 operators are now evaluating executive and corporate shuttle versions of the Fokker 100 twinjet (the F100EJ and F100CS, respectively), according to Fokker Services–a subsidiary of the Stork group that bought the assets of the bankrupt Dutch airframer and is marketing the converted airliners at prices ranging from $11 million to $12.5 million. The airplanes are also available for lease through UK-based Aravco.
In an industry faced with escalating prices and increasingly long lead times for aircraft deliveries, Project Phoenix has joined a growing number of companies offering a program to convert Canadair CRJ200 regional jets into executive aircraft.
Despite the large-cabin Gulfstream’s aura of being the all-American business jet, it
has significant European content. On the G350/450 that content includes the pair of Rolls-Royce Tay engines, and on the G500/550 it includes not only the Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710 turbofans but also the tail, which is made by Stork Fokker in Holland.
While industry groups in the U.S. warn about the effects of rising regulatory costs on service levels at small regional airports, similar pressures have thrown Australia into an even more serious crisis, judging by the frantic warning calls emanating from the Regional Aviation Association of Australia.
A Fokker 100 flown by Air France subsidiary Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne crashed immediately after takeoff on January 25 in Pau, southwest France. All four crewmembers and 50 passengers in the 100-seat jet evacuated safely, but one person on the ground was killed. The accident occurred at 11:28 a.m. local time, as the aircraft was departing for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
Taipei’s Mandarin Airlines is to lease three Embraer Model 190 and five Model 195 regional jets from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS). The aircraft will be configured in 104- and 116-seat single-class layouts, respectively.
Following earlier unsuccessful efforts, revival of the 79- and 107-seat Fokker 70 and 100 regional jets could now depend on the development of a “new, more modern engine,” according to Rekkof chairman Jaap Rosen Jacobson. Rekkof acquired F70/F100 tooling and design rights after the Dutch manufacturer’s 1996 failure.
In the little more than five years since its formation, Air France domestic partner Régional has evolved from three distinct, ailing French domestic carriers into a single, profitable regional operation and the second biggest French airline after the country’s flag carrier. Last September Régional announced plans to acquire six Embraer E190LR jets and place options on six more, making it the aircraft’s first operator in Europe.
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