Luxair, Luxembourg’s one-third government-owned private carrier, is rationalizing its regional-airline fleet and route system to improve productivity and profitability. “We’re restructuring everything, including the network,” Luxair executive vice president Martin Isler told AIN.
Exeter, UK-based Flybe has agreed to buy most of British Airways’ BA Connect subsidiary. In return, BA will take a 15-percent stake in Flybe, which plans to retire all the BA Connect airplanes now in the British Airways stable and replace them with Bombardier Q400s and Embraer E195s. British Airways CEO Willie Walsh told reporters he expected to conclude the deal by year-end.
Brisbane, Australia-based Virgin Blue placed a firm order last month for three Embraer E170s and 11 E190s, along with options on another six airplanes, giving the Brazilian airframe maker its largest-ever sale on the continent.
On Sunday night a Brazilian air force Embraer EMB-145 ANEW&C landed at the Dubai airshow to make the type’s first appearance outside South America, at the start of Operação Guardião–a demonstration tour that will also take the aircraft to December’s LIMA show in Malaysia. The aircraft flew from Brazil with six stops along the way.
This past year has seen Embraer’s influence traverse industry sectors and spread to every corner of the globe. No longer simply a regional airline supplier, the Brazilian company has seen its products find homes with the likes of Air Canada, Finnair, Hong Kong Express, Panama’s Copa and India’s Paramount Airlines.
The 70-seat Embraer 170 regional jet has received certification from Brazilian aviation authority Centro Tecnico Aeroespacial and from the European Aviation Safety Agency to perform Category IIIa (CAT IIIa autolanding) operations. CAT IIIa autolanding requires an autopilot system to safely land the airplane at low visibility (600 ft or 200 meters runway visual range) and in adverse weather conditions.
The new Eclipse 500 very light jet isn’t physically here in Singapore but its U.S. manufacturer is convinced that it has a bright future in the Asia/Pacific region. “If the show had been even two or three months later we would have brought an Eclipse 500 for the static display but the big issue right now is time available for flight testing.
Much in evidence here at the Asian Aerospace show this week are the four competitors for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s basic/primary trainer competition: the Aermacchi M-311, Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, Pilatus PC-21 and the Raytheon T-6B. The presence of these aircraft in Singapore coincides with the latest evaluation by the RSAF following earlier flights at the manufacturers’ test sites.
Embraer has a Legacy 600 on display at Asian Aerospace for the first time. Yesterday the company capitalized on the occasion by announcing two more Legacy 600 business aircraft have been sold in the Asian market. Both aircraft will be delivered to customers in Indonesia this year–one to Jakarta-based PT Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua (Premiair) and the second to an undisclosed company.
Embraer has lowered its 20-year projection for deliveries of small commercial airplanes to reflect a less optimistic outlook for both China and the rest of the Asia/Pacific region.