As Hawaii’s Island Air enters a whole new phase of life this summer with the roll-out of a complete image and brand overhaul, half a world away Franco-Italian airframe maker ATR can add another regional carrier to its growing list of turboprop operators. By around the start of next month the long-time de Havilland Dash 8 operator officially begins the process of trading equipment allegiances with delivery of its first ex-American Eagle ATR 72-212, now undergoing a C-Check at Premier Aviation in Trois Rivieres, Quebec.
Mesa Air Group
China’s first private regional airline, China Express, based in Guiyang, has finalized a $264 million deal for six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. The value could rise to $491 million if the carrier, which will become the first to operate NextGen models in the country, exercises options for five more of the jets. Its current fleet consists of five Bombardier 50-seat CRJ200s.
Jonathan Ornstein began his career in 1987, working at Los Angeles-based Air LA, a small commuter carrier where he did everything from finance to aircraft cleaning. He moved over to Mesa Air in 1989, where he served as assistant to founder, president and CEO Larry Risley. He worked his way up to executive vice president, and then became president and CEO of Continental Express and senior vice president of airport operations for Continental. He then moved to Brussels, Belgium, to work with Sir Richard Branson to create Virgin Express.
For years Bombardier Commercial Aircraft claimed a modest level of sales success in Asia, selling more than 300 airplanes over the years to nearly 40 operators. But its performance there had proved uneven, and the company traditionally has depended on strongholds in North America and Europe for the majority of its revenues.
Component repair services provider Able Aerospace Services of Phoenix, Arizona (Booth No. 2106) is here at Heli-Expo 2012 celebrating the recent groundbreaking of its new headquarters at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. With a 191,000-square-foot complex including offices and a purpose-built hangar, Able will become the airport’s largest tenant among a roster that includes Boeing, Cessna, Embraer and Hawker Beechcraft.
US Airways announced last month that it finished installing first-class sections on 110 US Airways Express Embraer E170/175s and Bombardier CRJ700/900s. With the addition of first-class sections on regional partners PSA, Mesa Air Group and Republic Airways, US Airways now offers same-class service to more than 85 destinations. The company began installing the two-by-one seating configurations on its Express aircraft in September and completed all aircraft in mid-December.
St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines began flying as a US Airways Express partner on December 16, when it launched six daily flights from US Airways’ hub in Phoenix. The new three-year contact calls for SkyWest Airlines to operate some 49 flights to 19 destinations by the spring and includes an option for US Airways to switch equipment to CRJ700s.
Mesa Air Group signed a deal in late September with Goodrich for landing-gear maintenance services on its fleet of Bombardier CRJ700s and CRJ900s. The multi-year agreement covers all scheduled repair and overhaul services, including the use of Goodrich-owned rotable landing-gear assets.
St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines signed a letter of intent last month to fly 14 Bombardier CRJ200s as US Airways Express under a capacity purchase agreement. The three-year deal would call for the SkyWest jets to replace CRJ200s and Bombardier Dash 8 turboprops now supplied by Mesa Air Group out of Phoenix starting in the middle of next year.
US Airways announced last month it would add first-class seating and service on 110 US Airways Express regional jets operated by Republic Airways, Mesa Air Group and PSA. Plans call for the airline to install first-class seating on Embraer E170s and E175s, along with Bombardier CRJ700s and CRJ900s, beginning in October with the E175 fleet. It expects to finish outfitting the three remaining types by the end of January.