Mixed news on Avro RJX competition


As the first flight of the Avro RJX nears, the competition is also moving forward. Bombardier has cancelled plans to develop an all-new 100-115-seat regional jet, the BRJ-X. The 86-seat CRJ-900 is on a fast track, however, with the construction of the prototype underway. The 70-seat CRJ-700 was certificated on 22 December 2000, and delivery of the first example is imminent. Embraer continues to work on its new ERJ-170/190. First deliveries of the 70-seat ERJ-170 are scheduled for 2002. Fairchild Dornier‘s 728JET has experienced a series of delays, and first deliveries are now not expected before 2003. At the high end of the scale, Airbus‘s A318 has attracted considerable attention from airlines already operating other members of the A320 family, but its weight and price make it unattractive to regional airlines. Initial deliveries are scheduled for late 2002. Boeing has put on hold plans for an 80-seat shrink of its 717 (née McDonnell Douglas MD-95). Moreover, American Airlines’ proposed acquisition of TWA has put TWA’s order for 50 717-200s in doubt, as American is reported not to be interested in the aircraft. Cancellation of the TWA order would be a severe blow for the 717 program, from which it might not recover.

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