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.
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.