The fortunes of Bombardier Aerospace’s regional jet business received a considerable boost last month when American Airlines announced the signing of a letter of intent covering the conversion of an option for 22 CRJ700s.
The global recession didn’t seem to suppress the appetite for new equipment among customers of Russia and the former Soviet Union at this month’s MAKS’2009 airshow in Moscow, where a number of programs, new and established, drew a surprising level of interest from buyers from around the globe.
The first Project Phoenix CRJ is about to enter service, having made its first flight on June 12 from the Flying Colours facility in Canada, where the former Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet was converted into a 15-passenger business jet. The customer for the CRJ is Hong Kong-based aircraft sales group Ritz Pacific.
Embraer ERJ 145, Kemi, Finland, Dec. 11, 2008–The regional jetliner, operated
by Finnish Commuter Airlines, sustained minor damage to its tailcone after the auxiliary power unit caught fire while taxiing after landing at Kemi-Tornio Airport. The two pilots, one crewmember and 22 passengers were uninjured. The incident is being investigated by the accident investigation board of Finland.
Esterline CMC Electronics unveiled the newest version of its PilotView electronic flight bag last month at the Paris Air Show. The CMA-1410 features a 10.4-inch-diagonal display, Intel Centrino mobile processor running Windows XP, USB ports and built-in Wi-Fi capability. The new system will allow pilots to view electronic charts, graphical weather downloads, checklists, operator manuals and other electronic data in the cockpit.
Embraer has signed a variety of agreements for regional jet support with customers across the world. A five-year flight-hour pool program with Dniproavia Airlines of the Ukraine, Athens Airways and Spain’s Andalus Lineas Aereas covers the support of 17 ERJ 145 twinjets (11, four and two, respectively), while a similar agreement with NIKI Luftfahrt of Austria provides for the present E-190, which will be joined by another four aircraft.
U.S. aerospace consultancy Teal Group has forecast demand for 2,909 regional aircraft worth $65.9 billion over the next 10 years. The projection includes 1,732 regional jets worth $46.9 billion and 1,177 turboprops worth $19 billion (2009 dollars).
Russian aircraft lessor Avialeasing yesterday converted a letter of intent for 24 Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliners signed at last July’s Farnborough airshow into a firm order valued at $715 million. Scheduled for delivery between 2011 and 2013, the airplanes are destined for Avialeasing customer airlines.
Embraer continues to consider its product strategy. The Brazilian airframer’s market intelligence vice president Luiz Sergio Chiessi told AIN that any design for 100-plus passengers “almost certainly” would require a new, wider cross section than its current E170/ E190 large regional jets: “Up to 150 passengers in four-abreast [layout] is probably not workable,” he said.
Bombardier Aerospace is continuing to define a further stretch of its 78-passenger Dash 8 Q-400 regional turboprop to create a possible 90-seat variant that could enter service before the middle of the next decade.