New airline industry statistics released last month by the office of DOT inspector general Kenneth Mead revealed that regional jets now account for one-quarter of all departures in the U.S. In absolute terms, RJ frequencies increased 140 percent (from 88,474 to 212,126 departures) since December 2000, when the small jets accounted for just 10 percent of all departures.
Still eagerly awaiting signs of lasting recovery from its three-year slump, the world’s aerospace industry will be looking to Singapore’s biennial airshow to deliver more of the sort of upbeat activity levels reported at the Dubai show staged in December. Asian Aerospace 2004 (February 24 to 29) will be viewed as a particularly important indicator of the health of the air-transport industry in the Asia/Pacific region.
A Canadair Regional Jet made history on February 17 when it landed at Nagoya Airport on the outskirts of Tokyo. The flight marked a first in Japan–a flight to an airport dedicated to business and commuter aircraft. Just hours before the CRJ’s historic landing, international airline passenger operations finished moving to the new Central Japan International Airport.
The first Embraer ERJ-145 built in the People’s Republic of China rolled out of its assembly hangar on December 16 in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, and flew for the first time in front of industry and government dignitaries from the host country and Brazil.
As the emirate of Dubai helds its biennial international airshow last month, travelers from anywhere but a major city were feeling first hand the pressures against a robust regional-airline industry in the Arab world.
Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair took delivery of the 1,000th production regional jet built by Bombardier Aerospace during a December 9 ceremony at the company’s plant in Dorval, Quebec.
Dornier 328JET certificate holder AvCraft Aerospace has recruited BAE Systems Regional Aircraft to take responsibility for spares storage, distribution and logistics support for the 32-seat regional jet and its turboprop sibling. The six-year contract covers 328s and 328JETs registered in North, Central and South America.
Hamilton Aerospace Technology, a maintenance, engineering and modification firm that started 57 years ago as Hamilton Aviation, is expanding its narrowbody airliner services to include regional jets. To that end, the company recently refurbished a 120-by 250-foot hangar at Tucson International Airport dedicated to core maintenance and overhaul of regional jets.
Airlines around the world in the market for equipment to serve the emerging 100-seat sector have no fewer than five choices to evaluate here at the Paris Air Show this week. Bombardier with its new C Series and Embraer with the 190/195 family enjoy a high profile, but alternative programs conceived farther east won’t easily let the Western airframers steal the show.
The so-called regional jet revolution has in the minds of many rendered turboprops a quaint throwback to the days of “commuter” airlines. But this year’s spate of big orders for new turboprops has turned conventional wisdom on its ear, giving the last two Western builders of prop-driven airliners a renewed sense of vitality.