Starting in the first quarter of next year Bombardier will begin installing Amsafe’s aviation inflatable restraint (AAIR) systems in the bulkhead row of passenger seats on new CRJ-700 and -900 regional jets. The system is installed as an integral part of each passenger’s lap belt and inflates within milliseconds of a crash to protect against head and upper-body injuries at impact forces up to 16 gs. A self-contained under-seat
Reliance Aerotech, a business jet and regional airliner maintenance facility in Myrtle Beach, S.C., recently acquired the 180,000-sq-ft Flight International Services operation from Flight International Group, a charter, management and service firm in Newport News, Va. Flight International Services at Myrtle Beach will be renamed Reliance Aerotech Atlantic.
Time is ticking, and Fairchild Dornier has only two months to find a strategic investor. In the hands of a court-appointed administrator since filing for insolvency on April 2, the company’s prospects may have grown even bleaker when one of its biggest customers–GE Capital Aviation Services–withdrew an order for fifty 728 regional jets last month.
Malev Hungary Airlines last month placed a firm order for two 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets and options for another six. The Budapest-based flag carrier expects delivery of the airplanes in June and July, when it inaugurates its first Western-style feed services under a new regional subsidiary called Malev Express.
Milwaukee-based Midwest Express has informed Brazil’s Embraer that it wants to delay delivery of its Skyway subsidiary’s first ERJ-140 regional jets until January 2004, roughly a year later than originally planned. Midwest Express attributed its decision to the generally weak condition of the airline industry and its desire to concentrate on the introduction of new Boeing 717s into its mainline fleet.
A virtually stagnant market for new commercial airplanes and a rapidly eroding capital base have convinced German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier to pursue a new “strategic” partnership with another large aerospace concern. “We are cash negative,” said company chairman Charles Pieper during a press briefing on the morning of Fairchild’s March 21 rollout of the 70- to 85-seat 728.
Low demand for corporate aircraft and small airliners has led New York-based financial advisor Moody’s Investors Service to review, and possibly downgrade in
the next two months, certain Bombardier debt ratings. Bombardier Aerospace’s intermediate-term earnings and cash flow could be constrained by any adverse market effects, according to Moody’s corporate finance group senior vice president Tassos Philippakos.
Even though regional airline traffic is up 13 percent from the second quarter of last year, and regional airliners account for 34 percent of the overall domestic fleet, the industry cannot continue to pay for security expenses.
Over the years American Eagle COO Bob Reding has come to appreciate the virtues of order, simplicity and balance–whether they apply to flying the line or in directing flight operations and maintenance for the world’s largest regional airline.
Embraer’s new 44-seat ERJ-140 regional jet gained FAA certification on July 26, two weeks after launch customer American Eagle took the keys to the first production model at the manufacturer’s main plant in São José dos Campos, Brazil.