A bankruptcy court judge has approved a deal between Air Wisconsin and US Airways that will see the Appleton, Wis.-based regional take an equity stake in the bankrupt major airline and fly up to 70 regional jets as US Airways Express. The arrangement centers on a $125 million loan from Air Wisconsin’s investment arm, Eastshore Aviation, that will convert to equity after US Airways’ planned emergence from bankruptcy this summer.
Brazilian jet manufacturer Embraer has secured a so-called provisional certification from the FAA for the Embraer 170, allowing launch customer US Airways to begin proving runs with the airplane before it wins full FAA certification, now scheduled for next month. The announcement came just weeks after Brazil’s CTA granted similar certification for the 70-seat jet.
US Airways may resume taking deliveries of Embraer and Bombardier regional jets if the airline’s employee unions accept more cost-cutting measures, thanks to a tentative agreement by GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease another thirty-one 70- and 90-seat jets over the next three years. Last fall US Airways had to stop deliveries of Embraer 170s at 22 after it fell into bankruptcy for the second time.
Northwest Airlines will have to add a third regional partner if it wants more 50-seat jets for its Northwest Airlink division, according to an agreement with its pilots to limit the number of regional jets it leases to Pinnacle and Mesaba Airlines.
Pinnacle Airlines bought Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air for $20 million last month. The deal gives Memphis-based Pinnacle, which has flown exclusively for Northwest Airlines during its entire existence, immediate access to code-share revenue from Colgan partners Continental Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
US Airways expects to launch Embraer E190 service from Philadelphia this month, marking the first application of the Brazilian narrowbody in mainline service in the U.S. Plans call for the dual-class, 99-seat jets to link Philadelphia with Hartford, Conn.; Boston; Dallas; Providence, R.I.; and Manchester, N.H.
Big Sky Airlines will fly eight 19-seat Beech 1900Ds from Boston starting early in the year’s second quarter under a new code-share contract the Billings, Mont.-based regional signed with Delta Air Lines in late December.
The labor crisis at Comair appeared headed for a climax late last month as the Cincinnati-based airline’s management and pilot representatives prepared to meet for a last-ditch effort to reach a deal.
A huge commitment for Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s by Qatar Airways took top billing yesterday here in Paris. The Qatar announcement involved a total of 60 A350-800s and -900s along with a mix of 20 Boeing 777-300ERs, -200LRs and -200F freighters.
For many of the world’s airlines, the long and tiresome road to recovery has taken them through dips and valleys, hairpin bends and in some cases complete U-turns. Today, after seemingly negotiating much of the most difficult terrain, European airlines have caught a glimpse of the promised land over the horizon. So why, you ask, have the biggest airlines in the U.S.