Monday, August 14, 2006
Tanzanian carrier Precision Air Services ordered six new ATR aircraft, in a deal that includes three ATR 42-500s and three ATR 72-500s. The deal, valued at $97 million, includes aircraft scheduled for delivery between 2008 and 2010. The airline now operates four 42-500s and two 72-210s, with the new aircraft scheduled to open routes across Africa. ATR will also set up a training program in certified aeronautical maintenance engineering and piloting for selected Tanzanian students.
In the wake of Bombardier's (BBD) launch of the CRJ200 PF (Package Freighter) program, the manufacturer said West Air Europe ordered two used CRJ200 to be converted to an all- cargo configuration. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, West Air operates scheduled and charter small package and airmail services within Sweden and surrounding countries. The RJs join a fleet of 17 turboprops. The PF will have a cargo volume of about 1,700 cubic feet and 14,000 pounds. Max takeoff weight will be 53,000 pounds, the same as the high-gross-weight version of the CRJ200.
Algerian carrier Tassili signed for four Bombardier (BBD) Q400s, becoming the first Q400 customer in Algeria and the second on the continent. The deal is valued at $103 million for the 74-seat aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2007. Tassili, a subsidiary of Sonartech State Energy Group, will initially transport oil workers throughout Algeria, but plans to add domestic and international service in the next few years.
Danish regional Cimber Air added two additional Bombardier CRJ200s to its fleet of seven CRJs.
Luxair ordered three Bombardier Q400s, optioning three more, in an order worth $75.5 million. The national airline of Luxembourg serves Luxembourg and neighboring regions in Germany, France and Belgium. It carried about 1.1 million passengers in 2005 and had revenues of 325.6 million Euros (Euro).
Mandarin Airlines chose the Embraer (ERJ) 190 and 195 E-Jets as the core aircraft for its fleet, ordering eight aircraft under operating leases with GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS). The Tapei-based airline is leasing three ERJ 190s and five ERJ 195s, all of which come from the GECAS backlog. They will be single class with 104 seats and 116 seats, respectively. Deliveries are scheduled for second quarter 2007. The aircraft will replace the existing fleet of Fokker 50s and 100s and be deployed for domestic routes, as well as for short-haul, intra-regional route development throughout Asia.
HondaJet is opening a subsidiary in Greensboro, NC, to begin taking orders for its Very Light Jet (VLJ) this fall. The Piedmont Triad International Airport facilities have been the site of prototype development, assembly and test flights since 2003. The VLJ is expected to deliver its first production aircraft in 2010. The site will also house the new alliance it struck with Piper Aricraft, which is collaborating on sales and service. (RAN, August 7, p.4)
Island Air launched a new web-based booking engine, affording more efficient, online bookings. Travelers can view all available flights, choose and book a flight, and get email itineraries. Passengers can also enter their Island Air Cloud 9 rewards or other code-sharing frequent flyer numbers while booking.