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Lori Ranson

Lori Ranson
Copa Stresses International Growth At AeroRepublica 

Copa Airlines management has no concerns about the slide in domestic market share of its Columbian subsidiary AeroRepublica, opting instead to build the airline's international presence.

During a call with analysts yesterday COPA CEO Pedro Helibron acknowledged a reduction in AeroRepublica's domestic market share. He said the carrier's main competitor had been increasing capacity.

Helibron explained that AeroRepublica fits well into Copa's network and the Columbian airline was "never intended to dominate the domestic market."

Virgin America Trims Schedule To Mitigate Delays In Aircraft Mods 

Virgin America is making minor adjustments to its schedule to support its aircraft modification lines.

Previously, the airline was aiming to have 12 aircraft operating by the end of this month (DAILY, Sept. 28). The carrier currently has 10 aircraft in service. "Because we undertake extensive, multi-million dollar modifications of all our new Airbus aircraft, we've run into some unanticipated supply chain disruptions that have slightly delayed the delivery of new aircraft," a carrier spokeswoman explained.

VRG And Delta Strike An Interline Accord 

GOL subsidiary VRG -- previously Varig -- signed an interlining deal with Delta.

The agreement becomes effective this month and allows passengers to buy tickets all destinations served by both carriers. GOL Airlines has entered interline agreements this year with Delta, Continental and Aerolineas Argentinas. VRG participates in IATA's Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreement, which allows members to develop interline agreements with other members. -lori_ranson@avitionweek.com

Emirates Opens Engineering Center 

Emirates Airline opened a US$353 million engineering center on the north side of Dubai Airport that includes eight hangars, one of which accommodates aircraft painting. The hangars, each measuring 361 by 345 feet, are big enough for the Airbus A380, of which Emirates has 58 on firm order. Emirates will perform light and heavy maintenance for its fleet, as well as third-party customers, at the new engineering center, which sits on 136 acres. Emirates said its engineering center is about the same size as Airbus' A380 assembly facilities in Toulouse.

Skybus Firms Up Airbus Financing For Deliveries Through Mid-2009 

Skybus had finalized financing deals for all aircraft scheduled for delivery through the first half of 2010 after reaching a deal with Bank of China subsidiary BOC Aviation for 13 Airbus A319s.

Lufthansa Technik Logs New Business In Dubai 

Lufthansa Technik secured new business at this week's Dubai Air Show, inking a five-year deal with Maximus Air Cargo based in Abu Dhabi to support components on the carrier's two Airbus A300-600s.

The carrier has preselected part numbers for more than 500 line replaceable units, and has access to LHT's parts pool. Engine and auxiliary power units are included in the agreement.

Embraer Boosts Phenom Orders From Nigerian, Indian Operators 

Nigerian carrier Dana Airlines plans to buy aircraft from both members of Embraer's light jet family, ordering two Phenom 100s and a single Phenom 300.

The four-seat Phenom 100s are set for delivery during the third quarter of 2011, followed by the delivery of the seven-seat Phenom in 2012. Dana Airlines, which is branding itself as a low-cost carrier, plans to start flying during the first quarter next year. Earlier this week at the Dubai Air Show, Dana ordered a Bombardier Learjet 45 XR and a Challenger 605.

ExpressJet's Branded Loads Drop In September 

ExpressJet's load factors in its branded flying fell from 63.8% in August to 51.4% in September.

The decreases corresponded with drops in the carrier's contract flying for Continental and Delta from 80.6% to 75.6% and a systemwide drop from 76.7% to 69.4%. Branded flying block hours fell from 8,790 to 8,527. ExpressJet starts flights for Frontier this month to backfill flying for Frontier's new Lynx subsidiary until it is awarded certification. Frontier is aiming to start Lynx flights with Bombardier Q400s by yearend. -lori_ranson@avitionweek.com

Flybe Cuts Inefficient Routes In BA Connect's Network 

U.K. low-cost carrier Flybe has cut 14% of combined seat capacity in its own operations and that of BA Connect, which it acquired from British Airways earlier this year.

Part of that includes cutting BA Connect's unprofitable routes from Bristol, closing a maintenance base on Isle of Man and the closure of an office in Manchester and an operations center in Birmingham.

Vueling Chairman Cassani And CEO Munoz Give Up Their Posts 

Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling initiated a huge board shake-up that includes newly appointed Chairman Barbara Cassani relinquishing that title and the exit of JetBlue CEO Dave Barger.

Co-founders Carlos Munoz and Lazaro Ros are resigning from their positions of chief executive and chief operating officer, effective Nov. 25. The carrier's board expects to name a new CEO shortly. Both Munoz and Ros plan to continue to serve on Vueling's board.

Embraer Plans Slow Phaseout Of Overtime In Aircraft Production 

Brazilian airframer Embraer is not planning a drastic reduction in its use of overtime even as the company approaches its target of building 14 of its E-170/190 aircraft per month by yearend.

The company reached a monthly build rate of 13 aircraft during the third quarter as it initiated a formal internal program to improve efficiency.

ASA Fails To Win Third-Quarter Incentive Payments 

SkyWest Inc.'s Atlantic Southeast Airlines subsidiary did not collect incentive payments for contract flying in the third quarter, its first time since SkyWest bought the carrier in 2005.

ASA's controllable completion factor was 97.9%, and 71.7% of its flights arrived within 14 minutes of schedule. In the same categories, SkyWest Airlines' posted 99.2% and 78%, respectively.

Vought Tells Boeing It Needs Help With 787 Ramp-Up 

Vought Aircraft Industries' CEO says the company has alerted Boeing to the challenges it faces in getting materials to build certain sections of the Boeing 787 fuselage, telling the airframer, "We need help."

Jazz Makes Progress In Overseas Opportunities 

Jazz's push to grow its business outside North America is close to yielding results, as talks with several potential partners continue.

The carrier previously said it was examining a list of eight to nine entities (DAILY, Aug. 13). Last week, CEO Joseph Randall told analysts that developing opportunities in other parts of the world was "an area of serious focus. We are making serious progress."

New Cockpit Shows Potential of ATR Upgrade to Woo Back North American Market 

French turboprop manufacturer ATR hopes a brand-new Thales avionics suite and other improvements will further boost turboprop sales, and help turn around the weak North American market.

The new features will be the hallmarks of the company’s upgraded model line ATR 42/72-600, which will begin replacing current 500 models around 2010. Executives say ATR has been in discussions with a potential customer for the new model since early last October (AW&ST Oct. 8, p. 24).

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