“If you can’t beat them, join them” might well have been the theme for a debate on the challenge posed by the so-called no-frills carriers during last month’s general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in Salzburg, Austria.
Orlando, Fla.-based low-fare carrier AirTran Airways took a page from the book of North America’s full-service airlines last month when it enlisted Air Wisconsin to replace some of its Boeing 717 capacity from Atlanta with 50-seat Bombardier CRJs.
Indigo, which originally launched a “regular and frequent” business aircraft service with a Falcon 20 in February 2000, was scheduled to receive its first “upscale shuttle” version of the Embraer ERJ-135 late last month.
CAE last month inaugurated its aviation training center near Denver International Airport. The new facility, which specializes in the training of regional airline crews, is starting with three simulators: an Airbus A320 and two Bombardier CRJ200/700 devices. Frontier Airlines and Air Wisconsin are the launch customers. A third Bombardier CRJ200/700 simulator will be added next year.
Aviation Development Holdings (ADH) of Phoenix intends to launch a “clean-sheet, breakthrough regional airline jet service, independent and decoupled from the major airlines.” The idea, according to ADH chairman and CEO Matt Andersson, is to “design an airline of the future for business travelers.” Initial service, to begin next spring, will tie together the cities of Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Salt Lake City.
The FAA has been under intense pressure from the U.S. Congress of late, and some believe that the reaction to Congressional pressure to tighten up FAA oversight of the aviation industry is a direct cause of the thousands of airline groundings last month.
A group of former JetBlue executives has launched a new charter operation designed around the Phenom 100. The company, JetSuite, has placed an order for 100 aircraft–50 firm and 50 options–and plans to lease the aircraft to customers. First deliveries are expected next April. The company has also applied for a Part 135 certificate and plans to launch charter services from bases in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, pending final government approval.
A group of former JetBlue executives this week launched an operation designed around the Embraer Phenom 100. The company, JetSuite, placed a firm order for 50 of the very light jets with options for 50 more, and it plans to lease the aircraft to customers. First deliveries are expected in April next year.
New York City-based ShAirForce LLC continues to move forward with its plan to become the world’s first fractional operator to offer its clients premium-class-only aircraft with daily nonstop service between high-demand domestic and international city pairs. The company recently released its Web site address (www.ShAirForce.com) and toll-free number, (866) Go-ShAir.
Boeing will delay first flight of the 787, this time by as much as six more months, as it continues to grapple with slower-than-expected completion of work originally meant for suppliers, the company said today. It now expects to fly the first airplane some time during this year’s fourth quarter–at least 14 months later than originally planned.