It took a while for the message to register, but Bombardier finally heeded the airline market’s counsel in late January and shelved its languishing C Series program. Although it will retain a staff of about 50 for studies on a small mainline jet, the company has begun shifting most of the financial and human resources once dedicated to the C Series to other programs, most notably studies on a new 90- to 100-seat regional jet.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft suggests there might be a large increase in the Persian Gulf-based fleet of British Aerospace 146/Avro RJ regional jets in the next six months. The current four airplanes operating in the area could have grown to as many as 15 by the second quarter of 2008, according to BAE Systems salesman Andy Whelan at an aviation-finance conference here last week.
Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) announced early last month that it is launching -600 series versions of its ATR 42 and 72 twin turboprop regional airliners. The aircraft are to be “progressively introduced” during the second half of 2010.
On the heels of posting a net loss of $418.6 million in the last fiscal year, due primarily to the stalled market for business jets and regional airliners, Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based Bombardier announced a major recapitalization program last month.
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has demanded a “balanced approach” to environmental controls in the European Union transport industry following the publication of its new study on the noise performance of the continent’s regional airline fleet. The “Growing Quieter” report concluded that the noise generated by the average regional aircraft is about half what it was in the early 1970s.
Following production of the final Avro RJ, effectively the last new-build British airliner ever, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has been restructured as a support company within its Aviation Services Group. Last November the company canceled the planned Avro RJX variant of the BAe 146 regional jet. “The removal of manufacturing means that we can concentrate on building a service business,” said new managing director Alan Fraser.
Faced with widespread uncertainty about an industry threatened by growing regulatory burdens, the specter of increased security fees and scope-clause restrictions, the Regional Airline Association did its best to lend some perspective and a sense of harmony during its annual convention, held May 12 to 15 in Nashville, Tenn.
ILA has doubled in size since it moved to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport from Hanover 10 years ago. Opening on May 6, this year’s event attracted 1,067 exhibitors from 40 countries (up from 941 at ILA 2000) and 340 aircraft. During the first three days 90,000 trade visitors attended the event, 6,000 more than expected.
Bombardier Aerospace has begun staffing its freshly established new commercial aircraft division outside Montreal as it looks toward the launch of a new 115- to 135-seat jet by next spring. Still without an official designation, the proposed three-member family would propel the Canadian aerospace power outside its traditional realm of business aircraft and regional airliner assembly and into the company of Boeing and Airbus.
Last month the Indian Government signed for five Embraer Legacy Executives for head-of-state use. Four of the twinjets, which are business-jet versions of the ERJ-135 regional airliner, will replace the BAE Systems Avro quad-jets operated by the Palam-based Air HQ Communication Squadron of the Indian Air Force, which transports the country’s president, vice president and prime minister, among other dignitaries.