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Friday, June 1, 2007

Quick Takes

Mesa, Bombardier, NTSB/Comair, Embraer, JetBlue, CAE

Mesa Abandons Its Roots

Twenty seven years after its founding in Farmington, N.M., Mesa (MESA) will end its single daily flight, which carried an average of nine passengers daily, from Four Corners Regional Airport to Albuquerque on August 19. The move is part of a wholesale effort to eliminate all essential air service from its Air Midwest route network. In its DOT filing, the airline said service would continue with Great Lakes Aviation (GLUX) to Denver. There is also service to Phoenix. Mesa has also filed to leave Cedar City, Utah. Based on rumors, the Farmington officials began negotiating with both Great Lakes and USAirways (LCC).

Bombardier Invests in Mexico
Bombardier (BBD) broke ground recently for a Monterrey, Mexico plant to produce wiring harnesses, center fuselages for the Challenger 850 and flight controls for the Q400. With 450 employees already hired, the site produces wiring harnesses for CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 regional jets, and for Challenger 300 and Global Express executive jets. Already at full capacity, the company expects to have 1,200 employees by the end of the year.
The new plant, in Querétaro, an industrial and research center, is the culmination of plans launched a year ago when it first set up temporary quarters in the central Mexican city in 2006 to produce sub-assemblies such as tail rudders and stabilizers. The city opened a new airport in 2004. Plans call for it to assemble entire planes within five years although critics charge these plans are a response to union activity in Canada.
Bombardier’s move joins Mexico’s 125 aerospace companies, which employ 16,500, includes General Electric (GE) and McDonnell Douglas, also in Monterrey. Bombardier plans to invest $200 million in Mexico by 2016. Total aerospace exports topped $500 million in 2006, according to Mexico's Economy Secretariat. However, U.S. government figures show that developing countries produced less than 10 percent of aerospace parts imported by the United States last year.

NTSB Schedules Comair Hearing
The National Transportation Safety Board has tentatively set July 26 for its public hearing on the probably cause of last August’s Comair CRJ in Lexington, Ky, which killed 49. The board indicated it wanted to complete its work into the Comair accident before the first anniversary of the August 27 accident, eliminating a public hearing which would have stalled the process.

Embraer Delivers First ERJ 145 Jet to Nigeria's Bauchi State Government
Embraer (ERJ) delivered the first ERJ 145 to the government of Bauchi State, Nigeria, the debut of Embraer regional jets in Nigeria's airline market. The agreement signed in September 2006 includes a purchase option for another aircraft of the same model.
The Bauchi State government will operate the ERJ 145 jet on domestic routes. In 2005, Embraer delivered a Legacy 600 executive jet, configured to transport government officials, to the Rivers State government, also in Nigeria. As of March 31, 2007, Embraer delivered nearly 1,000 ERJ 145 family jets, 861 of which were to airlines. The company currently operates an ERJ 145 assembly facility in Harbin, China, through a joint venture with China's AVIC II Group.

JetBlue Wings Its Way to Nantucket
JetBlue (JBLU) today launches daily non-stop service to Nantucket, Mass. from its home base at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The service continues through September 24, with additional weekend flights operating throughout the summer. Regular fares will range from the $79 introductory fare to $279 each way and will complement its code-sharing flights with Cape Air out of Boston. Passengers can also fly to Boston to connect to Cape Air flights.

CAE wins contracts Q400, Phenom Simulators
In a series of orders worth C$70 million, CAE (CAE) won orders for a Bombardier (BBD) Q400 full flight simulator (FFS) from Lufthansa in addition to a 747 freighter FFS from Nippon Cargo Airlines and an A320 simulator for Ansett Flight Simulator Center. It also announced a joint venture with Embraer for two Phenom full flight simulators through which it will develop a prototype simulator for the Phenom LJs and VLJs.
Lufthansa Flight Training has ordered a Bombardier Q400 CAE 5000 Series simulator. The Q400 5000 Series FFS will feature the CAE True(TM) electric motion system, LCoS projectors, and the CAE Tropos-6000 visual system. LFT has now ordered a total of 28 CAE simulators since 1980.
The CAE-Embraer planned training joint venture committed to two CAE 5000 Series Phenom full-flight simulators. The global joint venture announced in October 2006 will provide entitlement training and post-entitlement training for pilots and ground crew personnel of the Phenom 100 Very Light Jet (VLJ) and Phenom 300 a Light Jet (LJ) aircraft. One simulator will be delivered to CAE's training centre in Dallas in 2008 and the other to CAE's training centre in the U.K. in 2009.
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