Donald Lowe, 82, a former vice chairman and director of Bombardier Aerospace, died on June 26 in Toronto, following a series of illnesses. His aerospace career began in 1975 when he was brought in to run United Aircraft (later Pratt & Whitney Canada) following a long labor strike. During his tenure, P&WC launched the long-running PW100 series of turboprop engines. In 1986 he joined a financially troubled Canadair as president and CEO, as it was sold by the Canadian government to Bombardier, and oversaw the launch of the CRJ series of regional airliners.
With its diverse geography and increasingly prosperous and mobile populations, Southeast Asia has become a target of opportunity the world’s regional aircraft OEMs can no longer afford to overlook.
With its diverse geography and increasingly prosperous and mobile populations, Southeast Asia has become a target of opportunity the world’s regional aircraft OEMs can no longer afford to overlook. One of the earliest to tap the region’s potential, Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR, has for the past 15 years developed a visibility in the region unmatched by its competitors. While others concentrated on the U.S. and Europe, ATR, perhaps out of necessity, took to exploiting less obvious opportunities in developing markets within Vietnam and Thailand, for example.
The General Assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) took place in Salzburg last week with a mixed picture of how airlines are managing, particularly with continued pressure from low-cost-carrier growth and regulatory burdens. In the ERA’s view, Europe has a major problem with central politicians who seem unable to understand the value of regional aviation that local politicians in its many outer regions have little problem appreciating.
Bombardier has appointed Canada’s Flying Colours to handle an extensive interior modification of seven Bombardier CRJ700 NextGen aircraft for an undisclosed Chinese customer. The work will be conducted over a two-year period and part of the new-look cabins will be fitted out for VIP use.
A flurry of commercial announcements in the regional- and small-narrowbody aircraft sectors came across the wires last week, led by a firm order on Thursday for 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300s from Latvian carrier airBaltic. The deal, potentially worth $1.57 billion at list prices, included so-called purchase rights on 10 more of the airplanes and represented a conversion of a letter of intent signed at this year’s Farnborough International airshow.
Just two weeks after beginning the flight-test campaign for its Legacy 500 midsize business jet, Embraer’s executive jets division arrived at MEBA 2012 with a string of other important milestones behind it.
Russia was a priority for Bombardier long before it dispatched Q400 C-GLKU on a worldwide tour. Now, with issuance of Russian certification of the high-speed turboprop on June 6, Bombardier redoubled its marketing efforts in the promising market, sending the Q400 demonstrator to Moscow, Saratov, Kazan, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Kemerovo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Yakutsk, Magadan and Anadyr from May 21 to June 9. Over the next 20 years, the Canadian manufacturer expects Russia to need some 200 large turboprops and, as of now, Bombardier builds the biggest and fastest, albeit also the most expensive.
ATR announced more than $600 million worth of firm orders at the show yesterday, led by an eight-unit deal with Taiwan’s TransAsia for ATR 72-600s. Meanwhile, the Franco-Italian manufacturer logged a separate pair of orders, each for two ATR 72-600s, from Air Lease Corporation and Lao Airlines.
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