The consolidation of the regional airline industry continued unabated last month, as St. George, Utah-based SkyWest revealed plans to acquire Houston-based ExpressJet. The $133 million transaction will involve a direct purchase by SkyWest's Atlanta-based subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), of all of ExpressJet's common shares for $6.75 each in cash.
Embraer ERJ 145 family
Rolls-Royce received type certification from Brazil's ANAC and EASA for the AE3007A2, the latest model in the AE3007 series. The 9,440-pound-thrust engine, which powers Embraer's new super-midsize Legacy 650, received FAA approval in April. All engine development testing has been successfully completed and as of August 11 four engines had achieved more than 300 flying hours and cycles on two flight-test aircraft.
São Paulo, Brazil-based Embraer today said it delivered 69 regional and executive jets in the second quarter, up 15 aircraft from the same period last year. Shipments of Embraer’s executive jets more than doubled from 19 in the second period last year to 40 this year, while regional jet deliveries fell from 35 to 29.
Some 30 U.S. airports risk losing their last regional airline flights unless they take “critical steps” to better balance revenue, cost and compensation rates, according to a report published earlier this year by San Diego-based aviation consultancy Innovation Analysis Group (IAG).
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $348,000 civil penalty against Republic Airways subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines for its alleged failure to perform inspections required by five different FAA airworthiness directives (ADs).
“The economy is getting better this year,” said Claudio Camelier, Embraer vice president of market intelligence executive jets, but it will take some time for the business jet market to climb back to the peak of $22 billion worth of deliveries it reached in 2008. A significant factor affecting new business jet sales is the number of used aircraft on the market, which peaked last year and remains high.
Embraer cut the first metal for the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 on April 20 at its São Jose dos Campos, Brazil headquarters. The first component to be manufactured for the fly-by-wire pair of business jets is part of the forward fuselage, to which the radome, radar and glideslope antenna are attached. The Legacy 500 is scheduled for certification in 2012 and the Legacy 450 in 2013.
With accumulated flight time approaching 10,000 hours, some 350 pilots have been trained to fly Embraer’s new Phenom 100 very light jet, more than 100 of which have been delivered, including around 30 to Europe. The Brazilian airframer’s backlog includes 600-plus Phenom 100s and the larger Phenom 300 light jets.
Brazil’s Embraer will decide on the platform for a new aircraft program by the end of this year, company executive vice president Mauro Kern told AIN today. Kern’s revelation came just days after the company announced the establishment of a new division called New Programs–Airline Market to explore potential markets and options for a successor to its line of 70- to 110-seat airliners.
Although revenues from commercial aircraft sales fell at Embraer, the fortunes of the executive aviation division actually improved. Embraer’s executive aviation segment net sales reached $896.3 million, up nearly $20 million over 2008. The manufacturer delivered 115 business jets last year–93 Phenom 100s, one Phenom 300, 18 Legacy 600s and three Lineage 1000s–just short of tripling the 36 it shipped in 2008.