Regional airliner rivals ATR and Bombardier may still be no closer to announcing their long-anticipated new 90-seat twin turboprops, but Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is determined to be ready with the necessary powerplant for program launches that it views as inevitable. Next month, the engine maker will resume testing of the compressor unit for its proposed New Generation Regional Turboprop engine and it expects to have all testing complete by mid-year.
For Brazil’s Embraer, a lot has changed in the 13 years since it first laid brick and mortar in Asia. The world’s major airframe makers now consider the Asia Pacific region the biggest market for airliners in the world, and Embraer’s establishment first of an office in Beijing and later a joint-venture to build ERJ 145 regional jets in Harbin has proved prescient.
Anchorage-based regional airline group Era Alaska officially renamed itself Ravn Alaska last month as part of a wider rebranding exercise accomplished over the past half-year. The three airlines that operate under the Era Alaska banner have also undergone a rebranding: ERA Aviation becomes Corvus Airlines, while Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service now fly under the name Ravn Connect.
For Brazil’s Embraer, a lot has changed in the 13 years since it first laid brick and mortar in Asia. The world’s major airframe makers now consider China, for example, the second biggest market for airliners in the world, and Embraer’s establishment, first, of an office in Beijing, and later, of a joint venture to build ERJ 145 regional jets in Harbin has proved prescient.
The U.S. Supreme Court last Monday overturned a lower court decision to award $1.2 million to former Air Wisconsin pilot William Hoeper for defamation, ruling that the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) ensures that airlines enjoy immunity from liability in reporting security concerns about an individual to the Transportation Security Administration as long as they do not knowingly disclose false, inaccurate or misleading information.
The Regional Airline Association elected new board officers for the 2014-15 term during its fall board meeting at Embraer’s Fort Lauderdale facility on November 20 and 21. Officers include chairman Brad Holt of ExpressJet, vice chairman Bryan Bedford of Republic Airways, treasurer Linda Markham of Cape Air and secretary Rick Leach of Trans States Holdings. The RAA also named Piedmont Airlines president Steve Farrow a member of the executive committee.
Toronto-based Porter Airlines has joined the Regional Airline Association (RAA), the Washington, D.C. lobbying and industry advocacy group announced last month. With Porter’s enrollment, the RAA now counts 29 airline members.
When representatives from Europe’s regional airlines met in Salzburg last month at the annual general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), they did so against a backdrop of red tape, high fuel prices, inefficient ATC and the ever growing threat from low-cost carriers and airports biased toward large aircraft. Nevertheless, the ERA was able to report that its members had managed capacity well to remain profitable, reacting to demand and becoming more efficient as signs of a return to growth become more evident.
A new study released last month by Newtown, Conn.-based Forecast International projects “restrained growth” in the regional airliner market over the next 10 years, stemming from such factors as major-airline consolidation. The study projects gradual and steady growth between 2013 and 2020, followed by a cyclical downturn in 2021 and 2022 that will negatively affect delivery numbers.
Increasing competition and pressure on costs has led to some deep restructuring of European airlines, with an attendant move to higher-capacity aircraft and absorption of many regional carriers into national carriers.