St. Louis-based Trans States Airlines announced last month that it will retire its last six BAe Jetstream 41s by the fall and end its American Connection service to Columbia, Springfield and Joplin, Mo.; and Decatur and Springfield, Ill. American Connection partner RegionsAir has offered to negotiate with the affected communities to fly its 19-seat Jetstream 31s to St. Louis.
Bombardier added another name to its list of customers for its new 100-seat CRJ1000 last month, when Slovenia’s Adria Airways signed for one of the big regional jets as part of a firm order that also included a pair of 86-seat CRJ900s. A long-time Bombardier customer, Adria placed its first order for CRJ200s in March 1997. It now operates seven of the 50-seat airplanes and, since this past May, a pair of CRJ900s.
In an industry faced with escalating prices and increasingly long lead times for aircraft deliveries, Project Phoenix has joined a growing number of companies offering a program to convert Canadair CRJ200 regional jets into executive aircraft.
In the lexicon of regional airline training, European carriers confront a classic story line. As regional jets reached the market in the early 1990s, training facilities couldn’t meet the needs of launch customers. As demand increased, training centers began adding equipment, alleviating the problem to a large degree.
As the global economy slows and sales of current-generation regional jets reach a plateau, new designs conceived during the height of the regional-jet spending spree stand ready to vie for market acceptance at a time when ambivalence prevails throughout the industry.
Consumer organizations in Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, have lobbied for some time to get larger and “more modern” aircraft for flights operated by Binter Mediterraneo between the territory and the Spanish mainland. Several recent accidents of military CN-235s in Turkey have fueled the aversion to the 44-seat turboprops among users dependent on Binter’s link with their homeland.
As the tragic events of September 11 unfolded in New York City and Washington, D.C., the potential effect on the regional airline industry’s bottom line paled in significance to the loss of life and the implications to global peace. But as the days wore on and the initial shock of the tragedy subsided, the recognition of the profound changes in store for the entire air transport business became painfully apparent.
The first four years of the 2000s have been a trial for aviation. While the decade got off to a heady start in 2000 with the high times of the late-1990s boom still going strong, by the spring of 2001 the industry’s fortunes were taking a southerly course.
Montreal-based Project Phoenix has joined a growing number of companies offering a program to convert used Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets into executive aircraft that each sell for about $18 million complete. Project Phoenix is a partner in the program with Aerospace Concepts of Montreal and Action Aviation of the UK.
Virgin Nigeria has signed for up to 24 Embraer E-Jets worth $811 million at current list prices and is trying to persuade the manufacturer to establish a regional maintenance center for the type in Lagos.