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Regional Airlines

This category contains 65 posts

Two of Europe’s biggest regional airlines, Air Nostrum and CityJet aim for closer cooperation , with a combined fleet of 88 aircraft and up to Euro 700 million in revenue from wet lease and franchise contracts they are out to conquer the regional market in Europe? Yet they are both over dependent on 1 major customer each for their survival, CityJet on SAS and Air Nostrum on Iberia Regional, they both have a large fleet of what I call “loser” aircraft programs as CityJet has 7 (+8 on order) of the 95 passenger Russian Sukhoi SSJ100’s, the ONLY operator in Western Europe, and only the 2nd western airline to operate it commercially (after Mexico’s Interjet), its cheap and it is about to get the boot from LH’s Brussels Airlines for poor dispatch reliability! Air Nostrum has 27 of the 60 delivered (just 68 ordered in 8 years of production) 100 passenger CRJ1000’s (a 18.2 meter stretch of the 1970’s CL-600 Challenger business jet), that airlines just don’t want or need, it is a very long tube from the back, and noone is buying it, airlines know best as to what is good and bad, it is why aircraft orders say novels about any aircraft no matter what an OEM says or thinks!

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     July 17, 2018   100 passenger CRJ1000 of Air Nostrum (Spain)   95 passenger Sukhoi SSJ100-95 of CityJet (Ireland)       Tomas’ Comment:   Interesting development, but no surprise, CityJet has been looking to buy other other operators as it looks for M&A … Continue reading

The Caribbean wide aviation reform (aka “Bang On” to some) which targets air service liberalization for better connectivity, high air ticket taxes and high airport charges, which are all holding back the development of a profitable Caribbean air transport system today. The Bahamas alone can have a $415 million gross domestic product (GDP) expansion and the creation of over 16,000 jobs. It estimated that air arrivals to this nation would increase by 1.058 million or 42 percent above baseline, with the majority – 901,035 – coming from abroad and representing the high-spending stopover tourists the Bahamas is targeting. None of this is new, it is old hat for decades, we need new young politicians to step forward and push for REAL changes, instead of talking about them over and over again! Time for big political change like in Barbados 2 months ago! out with old inept ‘dinosaurs’ politicians and in with the new young visionaries that want to make real changes for the betterment of the good people of the Caribbean, no more excuses. Money losing state owned inefficient airlines need to kick the addiction of using public money to stay afloat, swim or sink and make room for private capital to takeover from where the state has failed for 50+ years in the region!

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/       ‘Bang On’ Over $415m Aviation Boost For GDP As of Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – Tribune 242 – By NEIL HARTNELL           #Research showing The Bahamas will enjoy a $415m economic boost if it participates in Caribbean-wide aviation reform … Continue reading

The national flag carrier of Fiji is Fiji Airways, whose history goes back to 1951, and which was until May 2012 known as Air Pacific, and from 2012 it has become a very profitable airline national airline under 2 excellent previous airline executives, American CEO’s Dave Pflieger (Ex-CEO Hawaiian Airlines and after Fiji Airways he went on to Silver Air, Island Air and now RAVN Alaska), German Stefan Pichler (Ex-CEO Thomas Cook AG, Ex-COO Virgin Australia, Ex-CEO Jazerra Airways, Ex-CEO airBerlin and now CEO Royal Jordanian) and now highly regarded and talented South African CEO Andre Viljoen (Ex-Comair, SAA, Ex-CEO Air Mauritius). Fiji Airways has grown its fleet to 12 jets (6 x A330-200, 1 x A330-300, 1 x B737-700, 4 x B737-800 and 6 on order, 1 x A330-300 and 5 x B737-8’s). The airline is part of the Air Pacific Group, which also owns 100% of Fiji Link (1 x ATR-42-600, 2 x ATR-72-600, 3 x DHC-6-300’s to be replaced by 4 x Viking Air’s Series 400 Twin Otters), with the Government of Fiji owning 51% of Air Pacific Group, 46.32% owned by QANTAS and 2.68% ownership spread out between Air New Zealand and the Governments of the Pacific island states of Kiribati, Tonga, Nauru and Samoa.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     FIJI AIRWAYS, THE LITTLE AIRLINE WITH A BIG HEART   Written by Tom Ballantyne July 14, 2018 – June 2018 edition of Australian Aviation.       It’s the little airline with a big heart. In the South Pacific, where history suggests financial success … Continue reading

The Chairman of Estonia’s Nordica resigns. Remember this was the airline that took over Estonian Air routes the very day Eastonian Air shut down (November 8, 2015) as per European Commission orders to give back to the Estonian people the Euro 85 million in illegal aid that was used to keep the struggling national airline alive as it distorted competition. With no money to give back, Estonian Air had to shut down, just like Hungary’s Malev (February 3, 2012) and Cyprus Airways (January 9, 2015) for using illegal state aid. The Estonians learned from the Malev and Cyprus Airways EC ruling on how to circumvent EC rulings, and Nordica (Nordic Aviation Group) was readied and waiting in the wings for 2 months before the EC Ruling with Euro 72.7 million in new Estonian state aid for a “new” state airline. Now it has 18 aircraft (6 x ATR-72-600, 2 x CRJ700 and 10 x CRJ900) and is 49% owned by LOT. Has Nordica and Estonia circumvented EC rules? did they find a way to beat the EC and just let the old national airline collapse and start a new one with no repercussion? You know, all EU states should get out of the airline ownership business, airlines today need to swim or sink and state aid distorts competition, especially with private airlines who need make a return for their shareholders. Time for the EU states to get out of the airline business finally! No more public money for EU airlines, that is what the EC should be aiming for now.

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian airline Nordica submitted his resignation   July 14, 2018 –  The Nordic Times       Jaan Tamm, Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian airline Nordica, submitted his resignation to the Supervisory Board of Nordic Aviation Group … Continue reading

Smart way for Estonia to avoid illegal state airline support? On November 8, 2015 state owned Estonian Air was forced to shut down after the European Commission declared it cheated with state aid to stay afloat and that it return Euro 84.9 million. Estonia knew this decision was coming and had already decided that the country must have a Estonian airline at all cost and two months before the closure it set up two new public aviation companies, Nordica and OU Transpordi Varahaldus, with Euro 72 million allocated by the state, and screw the EC, they were going to use state aid for another state owned airline to distort and compete with other EU based airlines? Ho wcan the EC allow this, should the Hungarian and Cypriot Governments have put up new money again for a new state airline when Malev and Cyprus Airways was forced into bankruptcy for illegal state aid? The EC needs to get its act together, the Estonians laughed in their face, and started flying their new state owned airline Nordic Aviation Group, the same day estonian Air stopped flying! What was the point? and what is the lesson for other EU state airlines, and where it the protections for privately owned airlines against state owned airlines like SAS, LOT, airBaltic, Croatian Airlines when the EC rulings are circumvented?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     This article was written and first published on gediminas.ziemelis.com on 13th February 2018   Smart way for Estonia to avoid illegal state airline support?         Tomas’s Comment: A sad story on how the European Commission failed privately owned airlines in the … Continue reading

Possibly the ‘WORST AIRLINE’ in the world today financially, South African based Fastjet Group (once a LCC with 3 x A319’s, ex-Fly540), now just a point to point regional 2 x E190’s, 3 x ERJ145’s. Just received $10 million from shareholders to stay alive, after losing $48 million in 2016 on revenues of $68.5 million (-70% loss margin), and in 2017 it lost $24.5 million on revenues of $46.2 million (-53% loss margin) while it received $72.8 million in new investment in the same year along on top of its $35.2 million in debt. With cash balance down to $3.3 million on June 18, 2018 it was on the verge of collapse, having “burned” $16.7 million in 6 months and the investors have saved its ass again, but WHY? This fastjet has lost $303.4 million since 2012 on revenues of $308.1 million (-98% loss margin), and retained earnings at the end of 2017 were at a negative $338.5 million? its yield ($/RPK) is lower than its CASK, for a 108% breakeven load factor? Yet more money is forthcoming? as are 3 new ATR-72-600s’ to add more capacity and it wants to buy South Africa’s regional airline, Federal Air (aka FedAir, runs 18 x CE-208’s to Beech 1900D’s)? WHERE is the light at the end of the tunnel for this LOSER?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   July 9, 2018     Tomas’ Comment:   So Fastjet gets another $10 million? this is the troubled airline that lost a ridiculous $48 million in 2016 on revenues of $68.5 million (-70% loss margin), then came in a new team in August 2016 and … Continue reading

Fastjet hits back at media for being to harsh on it, yet while no one can be as bad as Fastjet was in 2016, with an operating loss of $US 63.9m (yes, -48% operating loss margin) operating 3 x A319’s, things have not changed much since August 1, 2017. The airline received $US 72.8m in new investment in 2017 and had an operating loss of $25.3 million and in that 18 months it has burned it all away with a smaller fleet (3 x ERJ-145, 2 x E190)? yes it reduced expenses, off course with smaller aircraft, but burning cash at $4.0m a month one has to really ask is this ‘new’ business model any better? as load factor is 71% and revenue per seat of just $60.90 means its yield is way too low, again another carrier offering LOW FARES, but NOT a LOW COST CARRIER! and PRASK is well below CASK, and they want more money? seriously?

Read my regular Articles and Posts on LinkednIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/       Tomas’ Comment: They can paint a rosy picture, but it has been under a turnaround since August, 2016, so 22 months of restructuring they should be further along in their recovery, but they are not and yes they have down-gauged to much smaller … Continue reading

SUMMARY: NO surprise! Fastjet of South Africa is on the brink of failure, without a cash immediate injection, as cash on hand is down to $US 3.3m, this airline’s LCC business model with A319’s was broken for years, then they abandoned the model for regional jet flying with 3 x ERJ-145’s and 2 x E190’s. With operations in Mozambique (under Solenta Aviation Mozambique), South Africa (“branding licence”? with Federal Airlines), Tanzania (Fastjet Tanzania 49% owned) and in Zimbabwe (FastJet Zimbabwe 49% owned) and still cannot make money, share price fell 70% today, and yet still the airline is valued at $US 29m seriously?

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Fastjet warns it cannot continue without equity raising Airline Economics Daily – June 27, 2018 Tomas’s Comment: This is a sad story, the LCC model was a disaster, in 2016 it lost $US 48m on $US 68.5m in revenue? a -70% loss margin? what kind of business is that? They found a … Continue reading

SUMMARY: The Chairman of the Republic of China (ROC) (aka Taiwan) based Daily Air, has been detained over fraud. It is alleged the airline created fake invoices to get more state subsidies, and at this point no word if there was any ‘irregularities’ with the recent acquisition of 4 x DHC-6 Series 400’s from Viking Air which has a value of $US 30 million. The airline flies into the highly volatile and politicized islands of Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, which are claimed by the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) which considers the islands and Taiwan, its territory, and makes no bones about the fact the ‘renegade’ province will one day be part of the PRC again, ideally peacefully but by military force if need be. The ROC is now, sadly down to just 17 UN member states that recognize it over the PRC out of 193 UN member states, the tide is turning against Taiwan and its once big aspirations of full independence.

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/   Head of Taiwan’s Daily Air detained over fraud June 21, 2018 Daily Air’s new Viking Air DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter     The Chairman of Daily Air Corporation (4 x DHC-6 Series 400 from Viking Air and 2 x Do228-212), a state-subsidized domestic airline, serving several of the offshore islands of … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Canada’s PAL Aerospace, owned by Winnipeg based Exchange Income Corporation (EIC), is waiting for Guyana’s government approval to work with local operator Roraima Airways to provide aerial surveillance/patrol flights to the emerging oil and gas industry off shore.

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/     PAL Aerospace not yet in operation in Guyana-will not be working without gov’t approval, Gouveia says Guyana New – June 20, 2018     PAL Aerospace King Air 200 MPA (maritime patrol aircraft), the aircraft that put Provincial/PAL on the map for MPA ————————————————————————————————————————     Tomas’s Comment:   PAL Aerospace … Continue reading

After 8+ years, the Sukhoi SSJ100 program still struggles with just 125 in service, now launching their new 75 seat SSJ75 to take on the E175-E2, MRJ90 and CRJ900, while a SSJ130 is in the works with 115 seats to take on the E190-E2 and the CS100? just can’t compete as latest orders from small & weak, sanctioned or Russian airlines shows (Aero Mongolia, S7, Iran Air Tours and Aseman Airlines)

SEE:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-chlumecky-3200a021/ READ: Several previous articles on this site on the Sukhoi SuperJet Sukhoi SuperJet from Russia, with hope CAPA- June 19, 2018   Tomas’s Comment: Since now 86 months since the 1st SSJ100 was delivered to launch customer Armavia (Armenia) which took 1 of 2 on order on April 21, 2011 and went bust … Continue reading

Exchange Income Corporation (EIC) of Canada owns several regional airlines in Canada and its stock and financial performance seems to be going up and up. Take a look at the attached PDF Report “Mayday-EIF-Dividend”, a critical overview of the company and its actions, its very interesting. I have included latest EIC financial report in PDF for your preview. Nothing is black and white in this world, most things are in the “grey” zone, always good to get two sides of any story. I look forward to any feedback or comments by those with any info on this matter.

The critical article is written by an unknown author, who obviously knows EIC, now how truthful it is I do not know, but raises questions for sure, though we will never know the real truth.   Mayday-EIF-Dividend (1) (1) EIC_Package_-_v6_FINAL_20171108181204

SUMMARY: The Caribbean is a “graveyard” for airlines over 40 in the past 30 years, with 6 government owned airlines still flying and still burning taxpayers money, destined to never make money because they never change, till now. Cayman Airways, owned by the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands has been changing quietly for years, reducing its debt, modernizing its fleet with 4 x B737-8 (Max8’s), but still dependent on $20+M per year from the government. A new modern fleet will help reduce operating costs but lease rates will be 6 times more than the B737-300’s, and new routes like the latest to Roatan, Hondurans are a good sign of expansion. It is at least a change, the other 5 government owned airlines are ‘business as usual’, politicians sticking their noses into everything they don’t understand, no new initiatives, no new strategy, no new leadership, just sitting around their desks “doing the same things over and over again expecting different results” (Einstein’s definition of insanity) and it applies so well to these 5 perpetual money losers. Only radical change will bring about a brighter future for Government owned Caribbean airlines, its time for surgery to revive them or its time for euthanasia, and cut off their life support (aka taxpayers money) ? one or the other, but things cannot keep going on usual, at some point creditors will have had enough, and then its THE END.

I have written about the Caribbean airline fiasco for years, you can read previous Blog articles on LIAT, Surinam Airways, InselAir, etc.by clicking on State Owned Airlines (under Categories) For many years I have written about the plight of Caribbean airlines, and the infamous region I call a “graveyard” for airlines. Yes, the list of … Continue reading

UPDATE: Bombardier Inc. ex-President & CEO, and as of today also ex-Executive Chairman, Pierre Beaudoin is out at least ! and so are 1st Quarter, 2017 financials. In the first 3 months of 2017, Bombardier’s revenue is down to $3.6B (-7.7% on 1Q/2016) continues its revenue slide (down $3.77B or -18.7% since 2014). Aircraft deliveries for 1Q/17 are down to just 44 aircraft (15 Commercial and 29 Business) , Q400 deliveries were 6 with just 26 orders in backlog (13 months), CRJ deliveries were 8 with just 54 orders in backlog (20 months), and only 1 CS300 delivered. Bombardier delivered 29 business jets, more skewed to light jets as the top end market is struggling these days, not good news for the new Global G7000. Meanwhile, only 2 x CS300’s orders in the past 11 months ? the program has a serious problem selling the aircraft, and two, selling above cost at some point is important, no ? Now, Boeing wants US Commerce Dept. to place a $13.4M “price dumping” tariff on the CSeries deal with Delta Air Lines and ban the aircraft from further US sales, meanwhile ATR and Embraer are complaining to the WTO of Canadian “illegal state aid” to Bombardier, criminal bribery investigation under way in Sweden and yet the top 5 executives wanted a 50% increase for an “Exceptional 2016” seriously ? One wonders what “planet” these executives live on ? and where is this “magical” 7,000 deliveries in 20 years in the 100 to 150 passenger market ? This CSeries program is still with just 320 orders (no 40 for Republic, just PR deferral till the end of time) after 9 years ? maybe they got the market positioning all wrong ? What happened to the “game changer” ? and the “dream team” ? that was suppose to sell lots of CSeries ? Those Top 5 executives need to go, 1 down 4 to go ? Lastly, Porter Airlines (Canada) placed a conditional order for 12 x CS100’s and 18 options in April, 2013, show the price offered to Porter and we will all know if they are “price dumping” in the US market or not, easy no ? Behind all the denials they know they are “price dumping” its sadly the only way they know how to sell the CSeries, yup all 340 orders below cost !

READ more on Bombardier on this Blog, just click Bombardier under Categories on the right side of menu.   The 1st Quarter results are out for Bombardier, but the most important news is that Executive Chairman, Pierre Beaudoin is stepping down after numerous problems and Revenue declines. The man I refer to as the “Destroyer” … Continue reading

SUMMARY: A small airline in Thunder Bay, Ontario, North Star Air Ltd. has been bought for $C 31M ($US 23M) by Winnipeg based North West Company (NWC), a large Canadian grocery and retail company with +218 stores, many in remote and isolated communities across Canada’s North. The driver of this deal was to control its distribution by having its own cargo airline, and not being dependent on what is basically a air cargo monopoly by Calm Air in the Manitoba, Nunavut and Kivalliq regions, where NWC has many stores, and where the First Nations communities are totally dependent on aircraft for all their local needs for most of the year. The acquisition raises the problem of a lack of competition in many parts of the North, where communities and suppliers have all but one choice of airline in and out of many communities, which in many cases allows for high margin “monopoly” pricing. Canada has no Essential Air Service (EAS) like the USA, which subsidizes scheduled air services to 150 markets of which 44 are in remote parts of Alaska with single engine turboprops like the CE-208B to SF340’s and CRJ-200’s at a cost of $250M a year (President Trump looking to cut that). Canadian passengers and suppliers in the North have no choice but to pay the very high fares and freight rates demanded by air operators. Time for a new fresh look at affordable air access in the North ? if we are to develop the North as Ottawa says, then we cannot burden and punish the people there with high fares and freight rates, that make life their very expensive as everything in most communities goes by air, from groceries, lumber to even fuel for electric generators.

It has been pretty quite on the Canadian airline mergers and acquisition front since the late June, 2016 acquisition of Transwest Airlines (Prince Albert, Saskatchewan) by local rival West Wind Aviation (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). That deal created another Provincial regional airline monopoly, just as EIC (Exchange Income Corporation) has in neighboring Manitoba, where it now owns … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Bombardier is looking into upgrading its CRJ line, which after +1,864 deliveries is now down to around +/-58 orders at best in backlog or 14 months of current production (April, 2018). The sad reality is that the CRJ is no longer very competitive against the current Embraer E175 and the new E175/190-E2’s will make the CRJ obsolete, in fact since 2003 it has been in decline and losing market share to Embraer for 14 years and the order backlog is now “critically” low. After having upgraded the CRJ cabins in 2016, now the focus is on possible new engine (unknown at this time), but that is an expensive upgrade versus the current GE CF34 engines, and adds weight, which for a long fuselage aircraft like the 119 foot long CRJ-900, with rear mounted engines is not good for C of G issues. With only 19 CRJ orders in 2016, Bombardier has been milking and living off its backlog, but is there any life for the CRJ really ? even after +/-30% discounts off list price, sales are not impressive anymore. The CRJ is a 1970’s Canadair CL-600 Challenger (the Type Certificate for all CRJ’s), stretched 4 times with a tight cabin width of just 8 feet and 5 inches (2.69 meters) that has been become a 50 then 70 then 85 and finally 104 passenger airliner, while Embraer designed and built the EJets from scratch, and that is now paying off got Embraer and blowing up in Bombardier’s face. At a time when the CSeries is still struggling for orders, Bombardier Aerospace needs all of its products to sell and sell, yet the Learjets, Challenger 650, Global G5000/6000, Q400 and CRJ are sadly in the final decline phase of their product life cycle as new competing products are coming online across all segments..

Follow up to the January 4, 2017 Blog “Lots of Talk about Bombardier’s turnaround”   Bombardier is now looking for solutions to keep its CRJ line open for a couple of years as the backlog now dwindles to 14 months at current production rate of 4.2 per month and current order book. Now paying for … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Lots of talk about Bombardier’s Turnaround, 14,500 layoff announcements this year, or 21,450 in the past 3 years. The Global G7000 flew for the first time and Bombardier expects big things from it to boost Bombardier’s bottom line along with the struggling CSeries, which today still has only 320 orders (NO 40 x CS300’s for Republic Airways, just PR not wanting to reduce the meager order book) and still +/- 86 “questionable” orders (representing 26% of the current 320 orders). Lots of effort in reducing labor costs, yet no one is noticing that the top line (revenue) at Aerospace is a coming disaster, and unsustainable with an old product line (1970’s Learjets and Canadair CL-600/Challenger 650, plus the Global G5000/6000) that is facing new and better competition. The CRJ line has no more than 48 orders in backlog, only 18 orders this year (50% from Canada) good for 12 months of production (February, 2018) with no new orders. The Q400 is down to around 34 orders in backlog and only 25 orders this year (50% also from Canada), good for 14 months (March, 2018) with no new orders. The 2020 Turnaround Plan calls for Aerospace to generate $15 billion in revenue (60% of total revenue planned of $25 billion), with just 2 products ? The Plan requires $5 billion from Commercial aircraft, which by 2020 means only the CSeries (CS100/CS300) is left, and that will require at least 140 deliveries at the current highly competitive low prices to hit the “target”, really ? (2020 production is planned at 90-120 aircraft today). Meanwhile, Business jets are to generate $10 billion by 2020, and that will fall on the $75 million Global G7000 (NO Learjets, Challenger 650 and Global G5000/6000’s by 2020) and that means 133+ G7000 deliveries to hit their “target” ? seriously ? has anyone looked at single aisle ACJ and BBJ sales for the past 15 years ? (+/- 15 a year at best). Canada is providing “state aid” (aka taxpayers money) to Bombardier again ($2.5 billion in 2016 from Quebec), in fact of the $3.39 billion of cash on hand as of Sept 30, 2016, $2.5 billion (71% of cash on hand) came from the Government of Quebec, soon another $1.0 billion will most likely come from Ottawa (PM is from Quebec, and they always “help” Bombardier), and then Quebec and Ottawa will be 66.7% owners of the CSeries program (CSALP – CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership, a separate company, spun off from Bombardier ??). How did we the Canadian taxpayers become “owners” again of a commercial aircraft program that NO commercial aircraft OEM wanted in 2015 when it was for sale for “a song” ? Especially after we the Canadian taxpayers “SOLD” Bombardier, our government owned Canadair in 1986 (for $120 million) and government owned de Havilland in 1992 (for $100 million) with the rights to the Challenger business jet, later stretched into the CRJ line, and the DHC-8 turboprop airliner later stretched into the DHC-8-Q400 line. Meanwhile, Embraer is going to the WTO again to complain about Bombardier’s “illegal state aid”, while Boeing may go to President-elect Donald Trump and get import tariffs applied on the CSeries and then ? Oh, it is going to be an interesting 2017 for sure, stay tuned to the never ending Bombardier/Quebec/Ottawa “gong show”, as they find new ways to screw Canadian taxpayers to keep Bombardier alive at any cost.

Bombardier has now delivered its first CS100 to Swiss and CS300 to airBaltic and talks confidently of a turnaround next year and a bright future in 2020 as per its 5 year Transformation Plan, that should see company become a $US 25 billion a year company by the end of 2020, with Aerospace to provide … Continue reading

UPDATE: Transwest Air is now a fully owned subsidiary of WestWind Aviation, now there is only 1 large regional airline in Saskatchewan, and 80% owned by 2 First Nations economic development corporations (EDC’s). These First Nations EDC’s now pretty much own ALL airlines in Canada’s north, usually through Aboriginal economic development corporations (EDC’s), with a few family and corporate hold outs in the Northwest Territories, especially at Yellowknife (Summit Air, Discovery Air-Air Tindi/Great Slave Helicopters, Buffalo Airways) and in Fort Smith Northwestern Air Lease Ltd. Is this a good thing or a bad thing where First Nations own all air services in Canada’s north ? Is this the only viable exit strategy available in the north or are there “pressures” to sell to local First Nations ? and Can the EDC’s create long term financially sustainable airlines ? First Air (Makivik Corp.) and Canadian North (IDA), have tried to merge several times but each time it has failed, even though it makes lots of economic sense to do it, or is more cooperation among the EDC’s needed, like the recent cooperation between Air North and First Air ?

As to my blog of August 21, 2016, the Transwest Air deal is done and it is now a fully owned subsidiary of WestWind Aviation, which itself is owned 55% by the Athabasca Basin Development (ABD) and 25% owned Prince Albert Development Corporation (PADC), in short 80% First Nation owned with 20% owned by the … Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadian regional airline consolidation continues as the once fragmented industry starts to consolidate around a single provincial operator. After 11 months under Canada’s CCAA (+/- Chapter 11 bankruptcy/reorganization), Quebec based regional airline, Pascan Aviation is acquired by 2 senior executives in a management buyout (MBO). Meanwhile Saskatchewan based WestWind Aviation, fresh from its acquisition of Osprey Wings last November, looks to takeover its main local competitor, Saab 340 operator Transwest Air, itself the product of two old local airlines and their pioneers (Athabasca Airways of Floyd Glass and La Ronge Aviation of Pat Campling) coming together in 2000, leaving WestWind Aviation a monopoly in Saskatchewan, much like Manitoba with Perimeter Airlines, Calm Air, Keewatin Air and Bearskin Airlines, all under one ownership. Times are changing for regional airlines in Canada, as the second generation of airline owners retire or sell of the businesses that their fathers and mothers built from scratch, usually with nothing more than a single Cessna 180 aircraft. Sad to see the old names disappear, it is the “circle of life”, but the legacies of our Canadian aviation pioneers will always remain with us.

UPDATE: As I wrote this, I found out that WestWind Aviation (80% First Nation owned) has bought Transwest Air for an undisclosed amount, now only 1 airline exists in Saskatchewan, like it or not.   This is my follow up to the January 5, 2016 article “Consolidation in the Canadian Regional Airline Industry”, as the … Continue reading

SUMMARY: Once infamous Wasaya Airways is out of bankruptcy proceedings after owing $35 million, and now looking to become the 1st commercial operator of the $US +/- 28 million Airbus C295W aircraft to serve the 12 First Nations of Northern Ontario that own 100% of the airline. Under new President and CEO Michael Rodyniuk, the once poorly run airline finally has potentially a ” bright” future ahead. But what does a Northern Ontario First Nations airline need 5 x C295W’s costing $US +/- 140 million ? there are much cheaper options, especially when cargo does not care what aircraft it flies in. Recent addition to Wasaya Airways Board is Stephen Smith, the once high flying airline executive at Air Toronto, WestJet and Air Canada, a much needed boost to the Board that oversaw lots of mismanagement and chaos over the past 10+ years. Why would any regional airline become the first and only commercial buyer of any aircraft ? What about support for a high utilization operation ? what about resale value one day ? what about certification ? the price ? military maintenance program ? especially when you can get good used ATR-72 freighters ? and when will Canada stop operating 40+ year old B737-200’s and HS 748’s ? as for a modern country we operate older aircraft fleets than many third world nations. Lastly, with only 9 x HS 748’s left in Canada and 15 at best in the world, it will be sad to see the old workhorse fade away after 55 years after production began.

In June, Airbus demonstrated its C295W transport plane to Northern Ontario based First Nation owned Wasaya Airways (“it is bright” in oji-cree), which comes just as the airline gets creditors approval for its $C 35 million debt restructuring plan, giving just 10% of unsecured debt value to its long list of creditors. The airline has … Continue reading