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.
UK regional carrier British European Airlines hopes to marshal more active support ofairframe manufacturers as it considers a larger, longer-range replacement for its BAe 146s.
Local politics–not economic necessity or distance from commercial centers–might influence the administration of Europe’s public-service obligation (PSO) air service contracts more than any single factor, according to an academic report for Scotland’s Highlands and Islands (H&I) regional authority.
Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport is to introduce a new E160 ($176) “slot allocation charge” for each takeoff and landing, which operators have to pay even if they cannot use the slot in question. ERA is protesting the move on the grounds that such a charge contravenes existing EC legislation and ICAO recommendations.
Two years on from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Europe’s regional airlines are still struggling to recover from some of the toughest business conditions they’ve ever seen. But the European Commission (EC) keeps kicking them while they’re down, according to Mike Ambrose, director general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
Regional airlines, long dependent on the efficiencies their comparatively low cost structures bring, have watched increased security burdens since September 11 erode the very advantages on which they’ve thrived for the past two decades. But in today’s risk-averse environment, the industry has found itself performing a balancing act of sorts.
The chaos that erupted on the morning of September 11 brought a flood of questions. Where were these airplanes coming from? Who was flying them? Why were they crashing into skyscrapers? In short, what on earth was happening?
In Europe, reaction to September 11 included shock, outrage, empathy and resolve. Terrorism and the threat of violence have been staples of the European consciousness for decades. Whether it’s the Irish Republican Army in the UK or radical Islamic militants in Germany, Europeans have had to be far more conscious than Americans of the terror threat.
To associate the jet-set image of a corporate flight department with S-38 flying boats and Ford Trimotors might seem a bit of a stretch to those who fly in the plush expanses of a gold-trimmed, leather-upholstered Global Express or GIV. But for UTFlight, the East Granby, Conn.-based flight department of United Technologies, the connection to aviation’s past runs deeper than most.
Some charter companies are reporting new interest and bookings as a result of last month’s terrorist attacks. Demand is reportedly up in response to more time-consuming airline check-in security requirements, as well as the perception that charter will provide better security. One wire story said a charter service in Southern California reported a 110-percent increase in customer calls.