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China’s Civil Aviation Administration re;eased its latest (13th) five year plan on February 3.   In this plan there are five areas of focus:

  • sustained safety of civil aviation,
  • building a national integrated airport system,
  • comprehensively improving aviation service capability,
  • strengthening support and service quality of air traffic management and
  • speeding up transition through reform and innovation.

Of these items some caught our eye.  For example, “The second target is to enhance the strategic role of civil aviation to continuously raise its contribution to the national economy and further increase the proportion of air transport in the integrated transport system”.  Then there was this: “The third target is to comprehensively enhance the support capability of civil aviation. A well-planned and efficient airport network consisting of about 260 transport airports will be built.”

These issues are of special interest in light of something CAAC announced last year called Rule 96.  Details are… Continue reading

Widerøe confirmed it will be the E190-E2 launch operator. Delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for the first half of 2018.  Embraer is confident of its schedule.   Currently Widerøe operates a Bombardier turboprop fleet of 41 aircraft.  The selection of the Embraer was something of a surprise to many.  But the CS100 is too large for the airline’s requirements.  This decision is interesting as it may be a guide for other airlines that are also considering aircraft of this size.  The Widerøe E190-E2’s will have a single class with 114 seats.

Widerøe is based in Norway and is a  regional operator.  The airline’s deal with Embraer for up to 15 E2 aircraft;  three firm E190-E2 orders and purchase rights for a dozen more.  Widerøe CEO Stein Nilsen said in a statement that the three firm order aircraft would be deployed on regular flights from its Bergen and Oslo hubs. … Continue reading

The influence of the US scope clause on the regional jet OEMs is significant.  The following chart illustrates how the sheer size of the US regional market dominates.   Any regional jet OEM seeking high production volumes must ensure the aircraft offered can operate within the US market.

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SkyWest, Inc.  announced its fourth quarter and full year results Thursday, showing a loss for both periods.  The company is parent of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet.  The company reported a $270.2m net loss for the fourth quarter ending December 2016, compared to a $40.4m profit previously. This loss was due to a one-off $465.6m aircraft “asset impairment charge” during the 4Q16. The stock market reacted well to the news.

SkyWest reached an agreement with Bombardier over residual value guarantees for CRJ200 as it starts to remove the aircraft from its fleet.  SkyWest was among the original CRJ customers. The focus, going forward, is on two class aircraft.  Bombardier agreed to end residual value guarantees (RVG) on 76 CRJ200s owned by SkyWest and ExpressJet. Bombardier is paying SkyWest $90m.  “Streamlining our fleet and taking early settlement of Bombardier’s RVG obligations reduce both our overall risk profile and the future investment that… Continue reading

This week saw two announcements that seem confusing.  First came Bombardier’s news about the Cityjet CRJ900 order being firmed up. The came Falko’s announcement about its CRJ900 deal with SAS.

The first announcement was that Bombardier firmed its purchase agreement, based on a conditional agreement announced January 24, 2017, with CityJet. The firm agreement included six CRJ900 aircraft and options for four more. The aircraft will operate under wet lease in the Scandinavian Airlines network.

Then came the second, Falko Regional Aircraft Limited (Falko), a aircraft leasing and asset management company focused on the regional aircraft sector, announced that it will add 11 CRJ900 aircraft to its portfolio. The aircraft are being acquired from Scandinavian Airlines and are currently on lease to Cimber.  Falko has been doing business with SAS since 2011.

Falko explained that 11 aircraft being acquired, 8 of which are now being re-marketed. All 11 aircraft are… Continue reading

We addressed a series of questions to Mitsubishi after the recent delay news.  Here is the verbatim Q&A.

Responses from Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation: Yugo Fukuhara, Vice President and General Manager of Sales and Marketing Continue reading

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