Home' Asian Aviation : AAV November 2010 Contents ERA report
accident in 1986. Some seven years ago, ERA had
told the European Commission (EC) and European
Parliament (EP) that Regulation 261/2004 was
completely inappropriate for dealing with a system-wide
interruption to ser vices.
Ambrose said that in dealing with this year's volcanic
eruption there had been "no consistency of action,
policy, or decision-making". Furthermore, airlines facing
unlimited liability for passenger care were not o ered
In an ERA round-table forum, UK Meteorological
O ce transport programme head Douglas Johnson
did his best to dispel airline misconceptions about the
activity of Britain's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre,
one of nine such facilities worldwide. He reports that
previously it had been "very hard to get the airlines
involved" in half-yearly simulation exercises set up as
part of the European/North Atlantic airspace-region
contingency plan, which had been stimulated by the
2004 eruption of Icelandic volcano Grimvotn.
According to Johnson, in the days following the
Eyja allajoekull eruption, the standard volcanic-ash
dispersion model had generated maps and forecasts
"very similar" to others produced in Canada and
France. Since the event, the European/North Atlantic
contingency plan has been modi ed to introduce zoned
Brian Flynn, deputy head of Eurocontrol's network-
operations division, said the circumstances in April
were a lot worse than anything that had been simulated:
"Knowledge of volcanic ash is still not very well advanced
and there is not a harmonized [European] approach
to how [another ash cloud] would be handled." It is
important to consider other types of crises, such as
chemical-, nuclear-, or security-related events. Flynn said
the EC is proposing to introduce network management,
a job that is expected to go to Eurocontrol and that
should include "authority to take decisions at the start
of a crisis".
A joint statement from the ERA's Simigdalas and
Ambrose accused European politicians of having sat on
their hands for too long : "Airlines have lost patience and
been forced to seek alternative legal solutions to recover
the additional costs they incurred. [These] events
showed that air transport is an essential element of our
society: it is now time for governments to recognise
the value [the industry] brings to the economy and the
European communities it serves."
As member airlines discussed the gradual traffic
recovery from global recession, aircra and engine
manufacturers and service providers at the ERA
assembly provided updates on new models under
current development and possible follow-on products.
According to Embraer, a decision on whether to re-
engine its E-Jet family of regional jets (RJs) or launch
an all-new aircra programme could be made by the
middle of 2011. Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer's
executive vice-president for the airline market said the
manufacturer is considering its options "and what the
competition might do. We could decide in the next six
to nine months".
e Brazilian company remains unsure about airline
demand for an all-new design: the question is whether
the investment could be balanced satisfactorily by the
possible 4-6 percent reduction in fuel consumption.
e company acknowledged that it might be forced to
decide if -- as was widely being suggested in September
-- Airbus goes ahead to o er a fourth engine option for
the A320 series.
" e most evident option, if [Airbus or Boeing]
re-engine, is to re-engine the E-Jet[s] to remain
competitive," said Cesar. "We know our market well,
and there is a lot of activity in our segment. We cannot
a ord to make a mistake."
Regarding any potential return by the manufacturer
to the regional-turboprop market, Cesar said one should
"never say never'," but con rmed Embraer 's continuing
focus on RJs. "We did look at the turboprop opportunity
[in light of ] oil-price and economy [trends, but] the
market is not big ; it is narrow and there are two good,
well-established manufacturers," he said.
Embraer sees potential demand emerging for 100-seat
regional jets from low-cost carriers (LCCs) and aircra
leasing companies. Cesar pointed out that many airlines
are not lling their single-aisle jetliner cabins. "More
than half the aircra on narrowbody routes could be
100-seaters," he said.
Should LCCs start to look at thinner routes, it is
possible that their strategies could require smaller
aircra . " ere could be a new business model: LCCs
operating at 100 seats," said Cesar. Aircra leasing
businesses "We see new players in the market," he added,
with lessors accounting for 40 percent of demand.
LCC and lessor sales are also seen as o ering potential
opportunities for SuperJet International, the marketing
arm set up to offer the Russian Sukhoi SuperJet
SSJ100 design in many regions of the world. At the
ERA assembly, SuperJet International Chief Executive
Alessandro Franzoni said he was looking forward to
the aircra receiving Russian type certi cation perhaps
as early as November, ahead of entry into ser vice with
Aero ot by January.
Superjet International holds orders for 30 SSJ100s
from Aero ot, which has also taken options on a further
15. Armenian national airline Armavia has placed orders
for two, with options on two more examples. According
to Franzoni, Aero ot speci ed that it wanted the aircra
to provide "[Airbus] A320-standard" technical despatch
Engine maker PowerJet is ramping up production
of the SaM 146 engine for the SuperJet and said it
expects to have shipped at least 12 units by the end of
the year. Chief Executive Jean-Paul Ebanga said at the
ERA assembly that between 30 and 50 engines will be
delivered in 2011.
Early manufacturing plans provide for several spare
units to be shipped, allowing for any attrition in the
initial period of commercial ser vice. A number of
Sam 146s are needed to set up a pool for engine-lease
requirements, with others being earmarked to serve as
spare units (or parts sources) for operators, according to
Having obtained initial engine certi cation and set up
manufacture, PowerJet is now completing preparation
for customer-support, which has comprised three
Aeroflot has ordered 30 SSJ100s, with another 15 options, from Superjet International.
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