Brazil’s Embraer passes another critical milestone in its meteoric development this month with EASA certification of the largest of its four-member family of E-Jets, the 108- to 118-seat Embraer 195. Although it marks the formal market introduction of the last airliner project on Embraer’s research and development ledger, the approval by no means signals the end of the company’s work in the commercial realm, or even on this series.
More than five years after the 9/11 attacks, not only has the worldwide aerospace industry rebounded, in many cases it has soared far beyond pre-2001 levels, according to the latest industry figures. But like jealous siblings, not everyone is completely happy that the balance of prosperity across the segments within aerospace is skewed in the favor of business aviation.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) annual general assembly and related industry trade display has become established as a forum for doing “real business,” according to group officials. This year was no exception.
As a percentage of a $200 airline ticket, taxes and fees more than tripled between 1972 and 2004 thanks to inflation, a decline in the real cost of airline travel and, more recently, increased security charges, as the government struggles to keep pace with the cost of providing the infrastructure necessary to support airline flights.
Independence Air, a Washington Dulles-based low-fare carrier, last month became the first scheduled airline to join the Corporate Angel Network and provide complimentary seats to cancer patients needing to travel to and from treatment centers. Founded in 1981 and based in White Plains, N.Y., the Corporate Angel Network arranges free flights for cancer patients using empty seats on corporate aircraft.
Throughout the world established airlines struggle to compete against start-up operators employing bare-bones business models or serving niche business markets. Trends in the UK illustrate the problems–and the opportunities–the situation presents British Airways and the likes of lean, young regionals such as Air Southwest and Eastern Airways.
With fuel prices in a steep ascent, do airlines need further inducements from regulators to burn less jet-A? No, says the European Regions Airline Association in response to proposals to extend emissions trading to the air transport industry.
A chill in the air and an unseasonably hard rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm last month in São José dos Campos, Brazil, as U.S. carrier JetBlue accepted delivery of Embraer’s first 190 twinjet.
The ceremonies in the Embraer hangar opened with an amateur musical video performance by members of the Embraer team responsible for designing and building the 100-passenger airliner.
A complete change of approach to its business and, not least, punctual performance have helped Binter Canarias become the European Regions Airline Association airline of the year for the third time.
Now that US Airways and America West Airlines have officially announced their intention to merge, the question of what will happen with the various regional airlines that fly under those airlines’ codes seems a logical one. But to answer it requires insight into any changes in store for the two majors’ own route structures, details of which remain sketchy.