Monday, May 23, 2005
Four enhancements of Bombardier's [BBD] CRJ program were recently approved by both Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Regulatory approvals were given to: the CRJ 900's enhanced performance package, which improves takeoff and landing distances; the CRJ 900LR, which extends the maximum range to 2,270 miles; a CRJ 700 engine upgrade with a variant of General Electric's [GE] CF34-8C5, which is now used on the CRJ 900; and the CRJ 705, which is based on the CRJ 900 with seating for 75. The CF-34-8C5B1 will be installed on new CRJ 700s during the third quarter. An upgrade kit will be available in September to be installed at first engine checks. Air Canada Jazz will take delivery of the first CRJ 705 on May 27.
GE anticipates delivering 450 jet engines to Bombardier and Embraer [ERJ] in 2005 and 2006. GE expects to start delivery of the CF34-10 this year, which will be installed on the Embraer 190s. As it begins to build the CF34-10, GE anticipates selling fewer of the CF34-8 variant, which powers the 50-seat RJ. By 2010, GE anticipates having an installed base of 5,000 engines, or double the number installed in 2004.
Panama's Copa Airlines has exercised options on two Embraer 190s. It is now ordering 12 Embraer 190s, with the latest planes scheduled to be delivered in October and November 2006. Poland's LOT Airlines has converted four Embraer 170 options into four firm orders for the Embraer 175 model. The four planes will be configured to seat 82 passengers, with deliveries to begin next spring.
Embraer recently honored seven of its suppliers with awards. They include: Corus Aluminum, raw materials; Allfast Fastening Systems, hardware; PPG Industries, mechanical equipment; Vibro-Meter, electro-electric equipment; Empresa Nacional de Aeronautica, structure and interior; C&D Aerospace, technical support; and Honeywell Aerospace, materials support.
The Latvia cargo carrier, RAF-Avia, is purchasing a Saab 340A, which will be converted into a freighter. The plane is to be delivered in August. The deal was handled by Saab Leasing.
Czech Airlines earlier this month took delivery of two new ATR 42-500s configured to seat 46. The pair are part of a seven-plane order placed in December 2003. The new planes will provide feed to the carrier's hub in Prague.
GKN Aerospace has opened a radome test facility in Forth Worth, Texas. The FAA has certified the facility to test radar equipment on an array of regional aircraft. GKN has equipped the facility to made repairs to radome instruments.
ExelTech Aerospace, an established North American heavy maintenance, repair and overhaul shop in Montreal, is expanding its business to service Bombardier's CRJ line. It has lined up a contract with its first airline for CRJ 200 maintenance, but said it cannot disclose the carrier at this point. ExelTech recently won three contracts from European carriers for ATR aircraft. The contracts include heavy maintenance to be performed on ATR-42s before delivery to Russia's UTAir, modifications to 13 ATRs owned by Olympic Airlines, and work for Cimber Airlines in Denmark. Bahamas Air has again hired ExelTech to perform the heavy maintenance checks on its Dash 8 fleet.
South African Airlink has signed a three-year agreement with BAe Regional Aircraft to enroll its 15 Jetstream 41s in the Material, Component Repair and Overhaul program. The program includes comprehensive spares support for a single fixed-rate fee.