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Monday, January 7, 2008

Quick Takes –Republic/Embraer, ATR/Cebu, Embraer, Jazz Board, Midwest/NW Code Share,

Republic Converts 11 E-Jets Options
Republic Airways Holdings converted 11 options for the Embraer ERJ 175 jet. The aircraft will be operated by subsidiary Shuttle America and will fly as for Delta Connection. First delivery is scheduled for July 2008. The value of the deal, at list price, is $341 million, based on January 2007 economic conditions.
Republic Airways is the largest E-Jets operator in the world, with 76 170s and 25 175s currently in its fleet. The company's remaining E-Jets order book now totals 29 firm orders and 74 options. Shuttle America currently operates 44 170 jets, 16 of which in Delta Connection livery. The company's ERJ 175 will be configured with 76 seats – 12 first-class and 64 coach.
At the end of the third quarter of 2007, the ERJ170/190 family of E-Jets logged 712 firm orders and 756 options, totaling 1,468 aircraft. Currently, the E-Jets client base is 43 companies in over 30 countries on five continents, accumulating more than one million flight hours.

Cebu Converts ATR Options
Philippines-based Cebu Pacific purchased four ATR 72-500s, converting half of its eight optioned aircraft in a deal signed in mid-2007. The deal, which includes new options for four additional aircraft, brings to 10 the total firm orders of ATR 72-500s. Cebu Pacific will take delivery of the 10 aircraft during 2008 and 2009. All the aircraft will be configured with 72 seats.
Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific, said the additional aircraft will allow Cebu Pacific to serve more cities with runways too short for its Airbus fleet. “The Philippines has 75 airports, of which only about 25 can accommodate our fleet of Airbus aircraft,” he said. “Areas with smaller airports, like Caticlan, will likely experience a business boom as the 72-seat ATRs bring in more tourists and businessmen. We have hubs in Manila, Cebu and Davao and hopefully Clark. All of these can be staging points for travel to what up to now are largely inaccessible destinations.”
Since the beginning of last year, ATR received orders for 92 new aircraft, some not yet announced. Since the beginning of the program, ATR has sold 929 aircraft (416 ATR 42s and 513 ATR 72s) and has delivered 749 (396 ATR 42s and 353 ATR 72s), thus posting a current backlog of 180 aircraft.
Now in its twelfth year, Cebu Pacific is the leading domestic carrier in the Philippines and operates the most domestic destinations, flights and routes and has the youngest fleet in the Philippines. The airline operates 15 new Airbus aircraft to its 12 international and 21 domestic destinations.

Horizon in First Mexico Service
Horizon launches Los Angeles-Mexico service on January 19, when it begins serving Loreto, its first point south of the border. The new service supplements Alaska’s four weekly LAX-Loreto flights. Horizon will use a 70-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet on the route.
Founded in 1697 by Jesuit missionaries, Loreto is located on the eastern shore of Baja on the Sea of Cortez. A town of 10,000, the popular tourist destination is known for its sport fishing, beaches and historical sites. Alaska Airlines introduced service to Mexico in 1988 and now transports more than one million passengers annually between the U.S. West Coast and Mexico. The airline operates up to 44 flights daily serving 10 Mexican destinations.

ASA Moves to Eastern Hangar at ATL
More than 500 Atlantic Southeast Airlines employees will be housed in the 204,000-square-foot hangar that was once a pivot point of Eastern Airlines operations, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Since Eastern’s demise in 1991, it has been used by Delta. The North Hangar at 990 Toffie Terrace increases ASA’s space by four times and is the airline’s first hangar space at the airport and will centralize ASA’s activities at a place that is already used for overnight maintenance. Approximately 100 maintenance personal will begin the move this month with headquarters employees following shortly thereafter with the completion set for April. ASA is currently located in 61,000 square feet at 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway. The new facility will also house some 100 administrative workers currently working at ASA’s Macon, Ga., maintenance operation. Its Hartsfield Centre lease is expiring and the 25-year lease for its new facility will be $2.4 million annually.

Midwest Airlines Extends NW Code-Share Agreement
Midwest Airlines extended its code-share agreement with Northwest Airlines to include nonstop Northwest routes from Indianapolis to Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma and Tampa. Under the code-share agreement, passengers can book their entire flight on a single ticket, with all segments earning mileage credit in either the Midwest Miles or Northwest WorldPerks frequent flyer programs.
The code-share agreement between Midwest and Northwest is expected to greatly expand the networks of both carriers by adding 250 city pairs and more than 1,000 new flight options. The first phase of the code-share agreement went into effect November 17 with service between Milwaukee and Kansas City to major West Coast cities, where passengers can connect to Northwest flights to several points in Hawaii.
This is the largest code share Midwest has entered into in its 23-year history and is an expansion of a successful reciprocal frequent flyer relationship between Midwest and Northwest that began in May 2006.

Embraer Bids on ELEB
Embraer has made an offer to purchase the remaining 40 percent of ELEB - Embraer Liebherr Equipamentos do Brasil S.A., a company in which Embraer already holds 60 percent of the total capital. ELEB develops and manufactures landing gear systems, as well as aircraft hydraulic and precision equipment. Its plant has 18,710 square meters of constructed area and the company has around 600 employees. ELEB was established in 1999 as a joint venture between Embraer and the Swiss-based Liebherr Group. The two companies are still in negotiations.
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