BAE Systems hints of forthcoming RJX orders

In an interview with Reuters, BAE Systems vice president for marketing Nick Godwin hinted that about 20 orders for Avro RJs and RJXs will be announced in the next few weeks. A conditional order for the RJX has apparently been received from a European airline, although a formal launch is still awaiting some additional orders. With deliveries having been completed on SABENA‘s and Crossair‘s large orders, and almost completed on Northwest‘s order, the backlog of Avro RJ orders is down to eight aircraft — less than half a year’s worth of production at the current production rate of 22 aircraft a year. Godwin expects the backlog to be back up to “12 or 18 months” within a few months. Although Godwin did not name any airlines, past rumors have pointed to Eurowings, Aer Lingus Commuter, and CityFlyer as likely customers. The first RJX is scheduled to roll off the production line later this year. Honeywell carried out the first test flight of its new AS900 engine in late January.

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