Air Transport World

The year of the small jets.

Orders rolled in and manufacturers were comfortable as the focus intensified on RJs and single-aisle aircraft

The last major air show of the century was the year of the small, single-aisle aircraft, with the vast majority of orders and discussions involving regional jets, 717s, 737s and A320s. This Paris air show also was the year RJ manufacturers stopped threatening to bump into the bottom of the Boeing and Airbus lines and actually did so when Embraer officially launched its ERJ-170/190 family with a $4.9 billion order from Crossair.

That launch not only propelled Embraer into the 70/100-seat jet market but also highlighted the rapidly expanding warfare over the growing regional jet order book. Three other manufacturers--Bombardier, British Aerospace and Fairchild Aerospace--all made announcements regarding their entries into the upper regions of the RJ market, where the 717 sits and the A318 is targeted.

Crossair placed firm orders for 30 ERJ-170s and 30 ERJ-190s along with 15 ERJ-145s. Options were placed on a mix of 100 ERJ-170/190s plus 25 ERJ-145s and smaller ERJ-135s. …

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