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Monday, January 8, 2007

Quick Takes

ATR

French regional Airlinair is acquiring a new ATR 72-500 in a contract valued at over $17 million. The company is the largest European ATR operator and supplies regional operations to Air France. Its fleet currently includes seven ATR 42-300s, 11 ATR 42-500s, four ATR 72-200s, one ATR 72-210 and one ATR 72-500. Its latest acquisition will be delivered in 2009.

Eclipse

A few months late, Eclipse delivered its first of its 2,500-aircraft backlog, customer aircraft on New Year's Eve. The first aircraft was delivered to Co-owners David Crowe, a private owner, and Jet-Alliance, a shared jet ownership company based in California, which plans to use it for its clients. The company has yet to get a production certificate from the FAA, which, until it is granted, must inspect each aircraft to ensure conformity. Eclipse expects to deliver 525 aircraft this year and already has 37 on its production line with seven having already completed final assembly and are now being processed for delivery.

Embraer

Air Caraibes is acquiring an Embraer (ERJ) 190, scheduled for delivery in late 2007. The deal, cast in December, includes an option for purchasing another 190. The airline already operates two ERJ 135s and received its first ERJ 175 in early December. The airline's 190 will be configured in a single-class layout for 100 passengers and will service the French Antilles, Caribbean and South America. Air Caraibes is based in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, and operates nearly 100 daily flights in the Caribbean; from Bel魬 Brazil, in the south, to Havana, Cuba, in the north. The airline also has three daily flights to Paris from Martinique and Guadeloupe and should carry 900,000 passengers in 2006.

Embraer cut a deal with the Brazilian 'Air Force to develop the LINK-BR2 netowrk data link system enabling data communications between such complex applications as command and control, intelligence, and monitoring. The project will allow implementation of other platforms in the future.

Embraer named Mauro Kern, currently vice president for airline market programs, senior vice president, airline market, responsible for the entire business unit. He succeeds Frederico Fleury Curado, who becomes president and CEO in April, succeeding Mauricio Botelho. The company also named Satoshi Yokota, executive vice president, technology development and advanced design, concentrating on technology and new product conception. In addition, Emilio Matsuo was named to the newly created position of senior vice president, engineering.

ERA

Aeroflot-Nord has become a member of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). The airline operates both scheduled and charter services. It flies Tupolev Tu-134s, 154s Antonov AN-24s, AN-26 and Boeing 737-500s. The airline is 51 percent owned by Aeroflot.

Evergreen

Evergreen International created a new business unit reflecting the growth and expansion of its aircraft maintenance capabilities. Evergreen, a portfolio of five companies, changed the name of its Evergreen Air Center to Evergreen Maitnenance Center, one of the largest commercial aircraft maitnenance, paint and storage facilites in the world. The MRO facility in Arizona has significantly expanded its capabilities over the last three years. In addition to its new business unit, Evergreen includes an international cargo airline, a full-service helicopter company, an aircraft ground handling company and an aircraft sales and leasing company. It also owns and operates Evergreen Agricultural Enterprises, headquartered near its Aviation Museum, home of the Spruce Goose.

Mesa

Jorn Bates, a 15-year veteran of Delta Airlines (DALRQ), becomes the vice president of east coast operations for Mesa Air Group (MESA) on January 13. Bates was most recently served as general manager of operations and performance for Delta Connection, overseeing six regional airlines operating 480 aircraft and carrying over 33 million passengers annually. Jorn also held numerous positions within the technical operations department including the Operational Control Center, Reliability and Engineering, and was the Fleet Reliability Coordinator for the B-727 and B-737 fleet of aircraft.

Midwest Airlines Continues Expansion

Midwest Airlines (MEH), in rolling out is 2007 growth plans, said Midwest Connect will launch service between Milwaukee (MKE) and Duluth as well as increased service between MKE and St. Louis (STL). The new service, provided by wholly owned subisidiary Skyways, begins March 4 with two roundtrips between Duluth, the airline's 48th destination, and MKE using the 32-seat Fairchild 328s aircraft. The STL route will upgrade to the 328 aircraft as the airline takes on its 12th 328.

NTSB

Steven R. Chealander was sworn in as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board on January 3. Chealander brings a wealth of both civilian and military aviation experience to the NTSB having been with American Airlines (AMR) where he served as a captain and as chief pilot in Los Angeles. He was also a flight safety manager, performing safety and compliance audits and participating in investigations. He was most recently manager of flight operations efficiency. During his career in the Air Force, he served as a military aide to President Reagan as well as a member of the Thunderbirds, flying with the team between 1981 and 1985.

USAirways

LCC began taking delivery of the first of 25 firm order Embraer (ERJ) 190s. It also has options for 32 additional jets. The jets are configured with 11 seats in first class and 88 seats in the main cabin. The first ERJ 190 will begin scheduled flying in February from the airline's Philadelphia hub to Hartford, Conn.; Boston; Dallas/Fort Worth; Providence, R.I. and Manchester, N.H. In an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants, the aircraft will be flown as US Airways mainline aircraft by US Airways pilots and flight attendant crews. This agreement enables the airline to recall 30 pilots so far and anticipates recalling another 60 pilots for the ERJ 190 flying through 2007. USAirways was the first to order the Embraer 170 in North America.

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