6 OCTOBER 2014
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These days the European regional airline industry is all about bigger aircraft; Embraer’s E class; Bombardier CSeries; Mitsubishi MRJ, Sukhoi/Alenia’s SuperJet and for the future, a likely 90-seat turboprop. Montreal or Toulouse?
It was refreshing to see two operators of the veteran BAE Jetstream 41 collect the top airline awards at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) annual awards last week in Barcelona. Eastern Airways, now in its 17th year, flying J41 and Saab 2000 aircraft, took the Gold Award for the second time. It previously won Gold in 2006/7. Sky Express collected the Silver and Air Nostrum of Spain, took the bronze award.
Addressing ATR’s new CEO Patrick de Castelbajac, Richard Lake, Eastern Group’s Chief Executive quipped “ATR continues to sponsor this award so maybe next year we will buy one.” The fact is ATR may be the only option to Eastern if it wants a ‘new’ turboprop. There are no other new, sub 50-seaters anymore other than the ATR42.
Sky Express, based in Crete, favours more J41s, but with none immediately available it is getting ready to add the junior ATR. Alison Chambers has a full report next week. www.eraa.org
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