There was no disguising the subdued, even solemn, mood of Europe’s regional airlines as they gathered for their annual general assembly in Salzburg, Austria, from October 1 to 3. At 6.3 percent, passenger growth for the first half of this year is markedly down from the double-digit growth enjoyed in recent years and, more seriously, yields are down right across the industry.
Turboprop manufacturer Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) believes that European regional airlines’ ardor for the 50-seat regional jet may be cooling and wants to take advantage of the situation. “Some European operators are thinking again about turboprops,” the French-Italian airframer’s general secretary, Jean-Pierre Cousserans, told AIN.
Bombardier is trying to sell Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland. Less than two miles from the center of Belfast, the downtown airport has attracted growing volumes of regional airline and corporate traffic in recent years. Bombardier acquired the airport when it bought Short Brothers in 1989 along with its airplane factory, which is located on the same site.
The Regional Airline Association has urged the FAA to expand its consultations with airlines on domestic reduced vertical separation minimums (DRVSM) to include regional jet operators “to enable an accurate assessment of the costs, benefits and impact on regional airlines.” In a comment to the FAA’s rule proposal, submitted August 8, RAA recommended that the agency amend the rule’s implementation date to ensure that RJs in the U.S.
Insolvent German airframe builder Fairchild Dornier has turned to one of Russia’s most powerful oligarchs in an attempt to save the foundering 728 and 928 regional jet programs.
National Jet Systems opened a regional aircraft maintenance facility in Brisbane, Australia. The 62,000-sq-ft complex includes a 46,000-sq-ft hangar that will hold three airliners simultaneously. The company operates a fleet of BAE Systems 146s and Avro RJs on wet leases for flag carrier Qantas and as corporate shuttles for the Australian mining industry.
Delta Connection regional carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair have exercised options for a total of two CRJ200s and one CRJ700 regional jet from Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier. The transaction is valued at about $73.24 million and brings to six the number of option conversions that Delta Connection carriers have executed this year.
The Russian government is considering softening the import tax requirements for business jets and certain types of on-board and airport equipment not produced domestically, according to Valery Voskoboinikov, deputy head of the Russian state agency Rosaviacosmos.
As a district court in Weilheim, Germany, opened insolvency proceedings against Fairchild Dornier on July 1, the fate of the Bavarian regional jet builder hung on the fading hope that a large established aerospace company might come to its rescue.
The world’s most commercially successful line of regional jets added a pair of new blemishes to its technical record late this spring, when both wholly owned Delta Connection subsidiaries confronted some unsettling moments during scheduled CRJ operations.