Speakers at this week’s European Regions Airline Association general assembly in Barcelona once again sent a clear message to legislators and regulators that the continent’s regional airlines cannot continue to absorb the costs of what they consider ill conceived and misguided rules. Highlighting his association’s close ties and mostly aligned positions on issues such as passenger rights legislation, International Air Transport Association director general Tony Tyler perhaps best reflected the collective sentiment when he told attendees that he has grown tired of even trying to fight for reform of foreign ownership rules, for example.
Europe’s regional airlines need to achieve further consolidation and move to a U.S.-style business model of cooperating directly with mainline carriers if they are ever to expect to return consistent profits. That was the assessment delivered to this week’s European Regions Airline Association general assembly in Barcelona by Braathens Aviation Group chairman Per Braathen. But he didn’t seem too confident that this change will come.
Indian domestic airlines have voiced opposition to a Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) draft policy on regional and remote connectivity that permits nonscheduled (charter) companies to fly regular service to remote destinations under code-share arrangements with scheduled carriers. Under India’s Route Dispersal Guidelines, domestic airlines must to fly 10 percent of their capacity to identified underserved areas.
Change is afoot in the European regional airline sector, it would seem. Gone are the days of the “us and them,” with the regionals on one side, the major airlines on another and the low-cost carriers playing the role of bad-boy upstarts.
Trans States Holdings subsidiary Compass Airlines has won the right to fly 20 new 76-seat Embraer E175s owned by American Airlines, the first of which the regional airline expects to add to its fleet in the first quarter of next year. Under the terms of a new code-share deal with American, Trans States will fly the airplanes as American Eagle from a hub yet to be announced.
“We are currently evaluating where the new E175s that will be operated by Compass will be deployed and will share that information at a later date,” said American Airlines in a written statement.
Bombardier’s just-released market forecast shows a significant drop in anticipated deliveries of business and commercial aircraft during the coming 20 years compared to last year’s forecast. The current forecast is for deliveries from 2014 to 2033.
Last year, Bombardier forecast deliveries of 24,000 business jets worth $650 billion from 2013 to 2032. The current forecast is for 22,000 business jets worth $617 billion. These numbers are for aircraft segments in which it Bombardier competes with its Learjet, Challenger and Global models.
China’s first privately owned regional airline has awarded Birmingham, England’s Dunlop Aircraft Tyres (Hall 4 Stand D10) a three-year deal to supply tires for its expanding fleet of regional airliners. Under the agreement, Dunlop will support China Express Airlines’ Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.
The Guiyang-based airline operates nine of the 75-seat jets and expects to expand the fleet to 12 by the end of this year and to 30 by 2016. The aircraft operate services to cities including Chongqing, Ganzhou and Guiyang,
With India’s airlines still mired in losses, the country’s new budget, announced on July 11, did little to address some of the aviation industry’s most pressing concerns. It offered nothing on reforms in taxation on aviation fuel and maintenance, repair and overhaul—long issues of contention the aviation industry hoped India’s new government would address.
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive.
- Page 1