Bombardier Aerospace delivered the first “enhanced” CRJ900 to American Airlines regional subsidiary PSA Airlines on June 5. Based in Dayton, Ohio, PSA plans to start operating the jet under the American Eagle brand “later this summer.” Formerly a US Airways Express subsidiary, it now flies 35 CRJ200s and 14 CRJ700s primarily out of Charlotte, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Mesa Air Group
Seemingly bucking the trend suffered by most of the rest of the regional airline industry, Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has managed to attract a fair share of qualified pilots to accommodate its seemingly unlikely growth. But while speaking Wednesday at this year’s Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, CEO Jonathan Ornstein made certain to ensure no one came away from the briefing with any doubt about his position on the new legislation that requires new hire first officers to carry an air transport pilot certificate.
Mesa Air Group closed its Hawaii-based go! operation on April 1 following some eight years of financial struggles. According to Mesa, the decision stemmed from a desire to concentrate its resources on its now growing mainland operations and minimize its exposure to “at risk” flying. Before the cessation of Hawaiian operations, capacity purchase code-share agreements accounted for 98 percent of the group’s business.
Mesa Airlines moved to position itself to add 30 new Embraer E175s over the next year into United Express service with some key management changes announced in late January.
Bombardier’s prospects in China brightened considerably last month as the Canadian manufacturer signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation covering 30 Q400 turboprops and collected a firm order for three CRJ900s from China Express Airlines.
The LOI with Nantong outlines terms for delivery of the turboprops to a new carrier called Sutong Airlines. Based in Nantong in Jiangsu province, the new airline would start service in 2015. Bombardier places the value of the deal at nearly $1 billion based on list prices.
Iraqi national carrier Iraqi Airways has signed a firm order for five Bombardier CSeries CS300s and reserved options on another 11, Bombardier announced last month. The firm order came only two weeks after the parties announced a letter of intent at the Dubai Airshow. Bombardier places the value of the order at some $387 million based on list prices. If Iraqi Airways exercises all its options, the value would rise to $1.26 billion.
American Airlines has signed a pair of firm orders covering a total of 90 new Embraer and Bombardier regional jets for placement with its American Eagle regional affiliates, the airline announced Thursday. The deals involve 30 seventy-six-seat Bombardier CRJ900s and 60 Embraer E175s.
Bradley Pacific has become the leading FBO chain in Hawaii, uplifting an astounding one million gallons of jet-A daily to a mix of business jets and airliners. It also has the only Corporate Aircraft Association-preferred FBOs in the state, which puts it in the top echelon of business aviation service facilities.
St. George, Utah-based SkyWest plans to return to Delta Air Lines another 24 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJ200s by the end of this December as part of the transition to 34 larger, dual-class jets specified by a new Delta Connection agreement signed in August last year. Under the terms of the deal, it added five 66-seat Bombardier CRJ700s and 29 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s to its Delta Connection network by the end of this past May and transferred 22 CRJ200s to its American Eagle network by June 30.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has rejoined the Regional Airline Association (RAA) after a 12-year absence. Mesa’s admission increases the RAA’s airline membership rolls to 27 carriers operating half of all U.S. commercial flights.
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