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.
Embraer ERJ 135LR, Newark, N.J., July 24, 2006–The NTSB determined that the captain of the American Eagle ERJ 135 failed to follow company procedures, which resulted in pushback with the parking brake set. An additional factor was the use of a larger tug than preferred for the regional jet. The airplane skidded about 14 inches.
SkyWest Airlines last month said it plans to acquire 22 more regional jets as part of a strategy to retire 23 Embraer Brasilia turboprops and add 66-seat jet capacity to its United Express network. SkyWest also intends to swap four 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200s for four RJs configured with 76 seats under its Delta Connection banner.
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.
Bombardier landed the first regional jet sale to a U.S. carrier this year when Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines converted options to firm orders on three 50-seat CRJ200s last month. The order, valued at some $68.7 million, brings to 237 the number of 50-seat CRJs ordered by ASA and fellow Delta subsidiary Comair, of which 191 have been delivered and another 46 remain on backlog.
The severe financial problems at Fairchild Dornier have left the Envoy 3 and 7 programs in doubt. Ironically (or perhaps intentionally), the 728 regional jet platform for the Envoy 7 was rolled out on March 21, just before the company filed for insolvency on April 2.
While the Russian regional airline system struggles to realize some semblance of Western-style development, the former Soviet satellite state of Ukraine has assumed a leading position in the fleet renovation efforts under way throughout the former Soviet Union.
Ask someone in the Russian aviation community about the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) program and you’ll likely receive a variety of reactions. Except for those enterprises that have a vested interest in the project, responses range from the skeptical to the derisive.
China’s AVIC I announced a trio of orders for 35 ARJ21 regional jets during the Beijing Air Show last month. The largest of the three contracts–for 20 of the 70- to 90-passenger jets–came from Shenzhen Financial Leasing. The others involved a five-aircraft launch order from Shanghai Aviation Group and a 10-unit commitment from Shandong Airlines. AVIC I expects to fly the first prototype in 2006 and start deliveries by the end of 2007.
As more signs of air transport recovery rise out of a global economy still hampered by geopolitical unrest, regional airlines continue to parlay their cost and flexibility advantages into steady gains in traffic and profits, even while their mainline counterparts struggle to reverse the near disastrous effects of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the outbreak of SARS in the Far East.