No more BAe 146/Avro RJ operations in North America


The withdrawal of Mesaba‘s last Avro RJ85 brings to an end all BAe 146 and Avro RJ airline operations in the USA, with the single 146 remaining in service being Moncrief Oil’s executive-configured BAe 146-100 N114M (msn E1068). North America had been the scene of some of the earliest BAe 146 sales. Air Wisconsin placed the launch order the series 200, and took delivery of its first aircraft in June 1983. Later that year, PSA‘s large order for twenty 146s was instrumental in giving the type credibility. Other US airlines to order new-build 146s included AirCal, AirPac, Aspen, Discovery, and Presidential. Several others acquired second-hand examples, or took over 146 fleets through mergers. The Avro RJ also saw early successes in the USA, with Business Express ordering twenty RJ70s in 1991, although in the event only three were ever delivered. Then came Northwest‘s massive order for RJ85s, which eventually covered 36 examples — over 20% of the entire RJ production run. Over the years, BAe 146s and Avro RJs have flown in the colors of all major US airlines: American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, and United. The end of BAe 146/Avro RJ airline operations in the USA also means the end of the type’s airline operations in North America, as the last Canadian 146s were withdrawn from service by Air Canada’s Jazz subsidiary in 2005. In Mexico (which is also in North America), only one airline ever operated 146s — AVIACSA, which operated three 146s from 1990 to 1992. Indeed, at present there isn’t a single BAe 146 or Avro RJ in airline operation anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, a dismal situation which will hopefully soon be rectified when Bolivia’s TAM take delivery of two former Air China BAe 146-100s.

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