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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

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


The news was expected.  But even so, it is frustrating to read the following from MITAC: “Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) announced today that MHI and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation will adjust the first delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) from mid-2018 to mid-2020.  The change is due to revisions of certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest requirements for certification.”

The aircraft was meant to enter service in 2014.  These delays are troubling to say the least.  Reports suggest that technical issues with the positioning of the aircraft’s electronics forced a design review. The MRJ90’s type certification is delayed to the fall 2019.

Program delays are not unusual – they happen at the biggest and best OEMs.  But for MITAC the news must be a big undermining of customer confidence.  For example launch customer ANA will retain its 737-500s… Continue reading

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