MaRKeT report - Saab Aircraft Leasing

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MaRKeT report - Saab Aircraft Leasing

Issue 22 APRIL/MAY 2009

MARKET REPORT

A PUBLICATION OF SAAB AIRCRAFT LEASING

Delta livery replaces

northwest colors

on SAAB 340Bplus fleet

carpAtair marks 10

years of saab service

murray air expands

saab 340 service under

national airlines

saab 2000s fly joe gibbs’

race teams in corporate

shuttle style


message from

Michael Magnusson

Contents

SAL posts successful 2008 with entire portfolio allocated............ 3

I often get asked these days how the

recession is affecting us, and so far, I

am happy to respond “not that much”.

Saab 340s, Saab 2000s and Saab

Aircraft Leasing’s services are still in

strong demand. Activity associated

with the small percentage of Saab

340s and Saab 2000s available is incredible!

We have at least three to four

prospects with our available portfolio

aircraft and of the eight Saab 340s

returned to headlessors over the past

year, all have been placed within 30-60

days. One customer that recently had

to park a few aircraft is now putting

them back into service to cover routes

once flown by a major airline.

Now that we are well into the year 2009, it is apparent that the effects of the

economic down-turn is wreaking havoc on our industry. Traffic is typically falling

about 10 percent for North American and European regions. Thus airlines are

cutting back, especially in international markets. One advantage with being a bit

more “mature” is that I have seen similar scenarios play out before. This downturn

is especially severe, and as usual has an immediate impact on the travel

industry. Air travel is something everyone, whether it’s business or leisure, will

scale back on quickly. It is an easy decision to make. But the advantages of this

sector has already been proven; once people feel a bit more optimistic about the

future, they tend to return to air travel quickly. Airline travel has many examples

of this. Obviously the severity of this global recession makes it more difficult to

predict the pace of the recovery. After September 11, travel did recover quickly.

The real question is “How long will it take this time”.

The advantage with a smaller aircraft like the Saab 340 is that it gives an airline

much flexibility to cut capacity while still maintaining a decent service and

frequency. If you are flying larger aircraft, there is less flexibility, unless you are

serving a very large market. Another advantage is that the Saab 340 does not

require a large number of passengers to justify adding frequencies or service. As

a matter of fact, we have recently been contacted by two regional air carriers that

specifically want to add Saab 340s because of the major airline service reductions.

It will be interesting to see how many more such cases we will see in 2009.

At the upcoming RAA convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, I am sure this will be a

hot subject; legacy carrier cut-backs and the possible effect on regional carriers.

Within Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) we continue with our daily work of supplying

our customers with cost-effective aircraft. We had a busy 2008 year end with

deliveries to the Argentine Air Force (see related story on page 12) and aircraft we

remarketed to Air Panama, both new operators of the Saab 340. We also continue

to deliver Saab 340Bplus-WTs to Rex in Australia. In Europe, we were obviously

sad to see FlyLAL go out of business but at least all four Saab 2000s have been

placed with other existing customers. We have worked with FlyLAL for more than

10 years and watched that airline grow, but the new economic climate became

too much for them to overcome. In Australia, we have seen an established Saab

340 operator, Macair, go out of business as the economic climate took its toll.

But on the flip side of the coin, the Saab 340 fleet in the Bahamas keeps growing,

eight Saab 340s in service and more on the way. The same holds true in Poland.

With two more acquired from Australia’s Rex, the Polish regional carrier Sprint-

Air will now operate a total of 11 Saab 340s. It certainly appears that when one

operator falls on hard times, another carrier is there to grow!

2009 will be an interesting year, and probably one of those years that will be

analyzed for years to come. At SAL, not only will we work harder to avoid becoming

another statistic, but we will also continue to be a leading provider of Saab

aircraft worldwide. I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming RAA in

Salt Lake City to discuss this further!

Delta livery replaces Northwest colors

on Saab 340Bplus fleet............................................................................. 4

Carpatair marks 10-year anniversary.................................................... 6

Saab 340 operates in National Airlines Air Cargo

forwarding business................................................................................... 9

Saab 2000s fly Joe Gibbs’ Race teams in

corporate shuttle style............................................................................. 10

Argentine Air Force to accept two more

Saab 340Bs this summer.........................................................12

Western Air grows Saab 340 fleet for Bahamian services........... 13

Loganair uses two of its Saab 340s for freight flights.................... 13

Saab website redesigned www.saabaircraftleasing.com............. 14

Mark your calendar................................................................................... 14

Saab destination: Lynden Pindling

International Airport (NAS/MYNN)........................................................ 15

Saab operators map................................................................................ 16

Cover photo by Mesaba Airlines

Market Report is published by

Saab Aircraft Leasing

Editor: Kelly Murphy

Emerald Media

kelly@emeraldmediaus.com

Europe: Alison Chambers

Emerald Media

alison@emeraldmedia.co.uk

Design and Layout:

Aeris Graphic Design

jennifer@aerisgraphicdesign.com

Michael Magnusson

President and CEO, Saab Aircraft Leasing

Printed in USA May 2009

©2009 Saab Aircraft


MARKET REPORT

SAAB AIRCRAFT LEASING POSTS

SUCCESSFUL 2008 WITH ENTIRE

PORTFOLIO ALLOCATED

Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL)

closed a successful 2008 with

all of its portfolio allocated to

customers.

“Demand for good Saab aircraft

continues to be strong and

steady,” said SAL President and

CEO Michael Magnusson. “As

always, we are pleased to see existing

customers extend leases on

our aircraft, while others chose to

add more. During 2008, SAL was

also able to secure new customers,”

he noted, adding “we foresee

a small turnover of our aircraft

during 2009.”

In total, SAL completed 17 aircraft

transactions last year and was limited

by the number of aircraft available.

All six available Saab 2000s were

either allocated or extended. OLT

extended one and Air Express two.

Eastern Airways added two, and

Golden Air took delivery of one

Saab 2000. In addition, SAL sold

one Saab 2000 to Joe Gibbs Racing.

The only two available Saab 340Bs

were extended by Loganair. The

only four available Saab 340As

were either leased, extended

or sold (Loganair purchased

two, Murray extended one, and

Western Air leased one.) SAL also

refinanced one Saab 340A for an

undisclosed customer.

During 2008, SAL successfully

placed two Saab 340Bs on behalf

of a third party on long-term lease

with Air Panama which is both a

new customer and a new country

for Saab. SAL also placed one Saab

340A on behalf of Rex with SOL in

Argentina.

SAL’s portfolio at the end of the

year consisted of 125 aircraft

leased to 17 clients in 11 countries.

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

3


MARKET REPORT

Delta livery replaceS

northwest colors

on SAAB 340Bplus fleet

PIR

DVL

JMS

ABR

ATY

FSD

GFK

SUX

TVF

MESABA AIRLINES

SAAB 340Bplus ROUTES

NWA

DL

BJI

BRD

INL

STC

MCW

FOD

FSM

MSP

DSM

HIB

DLH

ALO

CID

COU

AEX

EAU

MLU

LFT

YQT

CMX

RHI

CWA

MQT

IMT PLN

ESC

ATW

PIA BMI

CMI

GLH

MEM

PIB

PAH

MKG

AZO

SBN

TUP MSL

CIU

FWA

APN

DTW

TOL

LEX

ATL

TLH

Delta’s red, white and blue signage

appeared at former Northwest

Airlines hubs in Detroit, Memphis

and Minneapolis -St. Paul on April

1, 2009 as part of its $500-million

integration effort. All domestic

airports will be re-branded by

yearend and the two merged

major airlines will operate under

a single operating certificate by

the end of 2009, as well. Some 33

NWA aircraft have already been

repainted with 250 left to complete

before the end of 2010.

CAK

YXU

CRW

TRI

YKF

ERI

LBE

HHH

TPA MCO

CHO

ITH

The largest Saab 340Bplus operator

in the world, Mesaba too has been

undergoing a revitalization of its

fleet with all of its 49 Saab 340Bplus

aircraft eventually to be repainted

with the Delta livery over the next

two years.

A long history with Northwest,

Mesaba was purchased by the

major airline out of bankruptcy

to ensure its continued ability to

serve the smaller, but important,

cities in Minnesota, North Dakota,

South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan and

other heartland markets.

Now serving as a Delta Connection

carrier, Mesaba’s 49 Saab 340Bplus

aircraft fly from Dallas, Memphis,

Atlanta and intra-Florida as part of

the new network and fleet plan that

the merged airlines have launched.

In March the Saab 340Bplus’ role

expanded the network by offering

seven daily departures from Delta’s

Atlanta hub and in April six daily

departures for intra-Florida service

including Tallahasee, Tampa

Bay and Ft. Lauderdale (see route

map at left).

The new Saab 340plus hub in

Atlanta will replace the 12 ATR

72s that are currently leaving

Delta’s regional fleet. The move has

allowed Delta to restart its lucrative

Hilton Head Island, South

Carolina service which ended in

December. Other short-haul routes

from Atlanta now served by Saab

340Bplus aircraft include Tri-City.

Don Bornhorst, Senior Vice President-Delta

Connection, in charge

of the nine affiliated regional

partners, tells Saab Market Report

“a mainline-like” service remains

the priority at the Connection

level as well as “selling the Delta

experience.”

Mesaba President John Spanjers

echoes Bornhorst’s comments noting

that Mesaba’s 4,000 employees

are integrating into “the Delta

world” and remain focused on

“providing a seamless product” to

its passengers by flying reliably and

cost-effectively.

“We have more than doubled our

fleet size in a two-year period

increasing from 49 Saab 340Bplus’

to 109 aircraft. Over the last two

years, Mesaba has had an incredible

growth cycle and is now

moving into a Delta environment,”

Spanjers notes. Emerging

from bankruptcy in mid-2007,

Mesaba called on its then 3,200

employees to remain dedicated

to a high level of operational

performance for its mainline

FLL

4 MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009


MARKET REPORT

“If Delta seems tougher on its

regional partners...guilty as

charged...we have to maintain

flexibility to meet customer

demands and have a laser-like

focus on reliability and customer

service.”

Don Bornhorst

partner, Northwest. “It is a credit

to our employees...their focus has

allowed us to take on growth and

stay true to our core objective to

be cost competitive.”

Northwest started deliveries

of 36 CRJ900 regional jets in

June 2007 which was completed

in December 2008. Then in

February 2009, Delta moved

five CRJs to Mesaba’s operation

challenging the carrier again to

operate out of a new location –

Salt Lake City and this summer

New York’s JFK airport. Some

19 CRJ200s are also operated by

Mesaba from its Minneapolis

and Detroit hubs.

By the third quarter 2010, the

entire Saab 340Bplus fleet will

be repainted in Delta livery and

by this fall all of the 30-seaters

will have undergone an extensive

interior refurbishment program including

new leather seat cushions

and carpeting. “This fits our overall

objective to provide a seamless

service product to our passengers.

We are stepping up our Saab cabins

to make sure the experience on

the aircraft is one that they want to

come back to,” says Spanjers.

In addition, new PDAs, developed

by AeroData, have been installed

on each Saab aircraft allowing crews

to retrieve real-time, computerized

weight and balance information.

Growing up near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

in Erlanger, Kentucky, Don Bornhorst caught the aviation bug back then

and immediately became interested in his start-up hometown airline

Comair. As a high-school senior, Bornhorst bought 100 shares in Comair

and followed the airline’s growth in his college years while studying

business at Eastern Kentucky University. A certified public accountant,

Bornhorst joined Comair in 1991 as Manager-Internal Audit and Special

Projects. At age 42, Bornhorst was promoted to President of Comair in

May 2006, after working in every major operating group at the regional

airline. During his 16 years at Comair, he served as CFO, Vice President-

Information Systems and Senior Vice President of Customers with

oversight of Customer Services and In-Flight.

In October 2007, he departed Comair to head Delta Connection program

responsible for the day-to-day operations of its nine affiliated regional

partners.

Photo: Mesaba Airlines

“If Delta seems tougher on its regional partners...guilty as charged...we

have to maintain flexibility to meet customer demands and have a laserlike

focus on reliability and customer service.” he underlines.

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

5


MARKET REPORT

Carpatair marks 10-year

aNniversary

story and photos BY eryl crump

Carpatair, one of Europe’s

leading regional airlines celebrates

its 10th anniversary this

year. The Romanian carrier is

looking forward to its second

decade with confidence on the

back of a strong performance

last year.

Despite the economic downturn

and the steep rise in fuel prices

Carpatair recorded a turnover of

€90.5 million representing a 10

percent growth compared to 2007.

The number of passengers carried

rose by 10 percent, and Carpatair

managed to register a “positive

operating result” of more than €3

million.

Carpatair Founder and Chief

Executive Officer Nicolae Petrov

tells Saab Market Report:

“Undoubtedly, 2009 will be a very

serious test for everyone. The highs

and lows in the aviation industry

are not unusual phenomena, they

occur suddenly as the turbulence

we often meet in the air.”

In the past, Carpatair had followed

a cautious growth strategy avoiding

excesses. The flexibility and

adaptability are the most valuable

qualities an organization needs

to meet the unforeseeable, Petrov

notes.

“Therefore, this year we speak less

about growth or expansion plans

and more about offering sustainable

and reliable flight services. Following

this policy, Carpatair will focus

on adjusting the network to actual

demand and concentrate on the

quality of the product.”

Carpatair operates services from

its hub at Timisoara to nine Romanian

cities which then connect

to destinations in Italy, Germany

and Greece. Last year, flights were

launched to link the hub with Vienna

and to the Ukrainian cities

of Kiev and Odessa.

“This is our growth strategy: to

unite, through our Timisoarabased

hub, Greece, Germany

and Italy, with the former USSR

countries,” explains Petrov.

Carpatair was formed as Veg Air

in early 1999 by Petrov, who had

earlier founded sister carrier

Moldavian Airlines and initially

operated a single leased Yakovlev

Yak-40 from Moldavian Airlines.

Flights started from Cluj-Napoca

to Venice and Budapest.

Ties to Moritz Suter’s Crossair

One of those investors is Crossair

Founder Moritz Suter. He recalls:

“One day, Nicolae walked into my

office and asked whether he could

lease a Saab 340 aircraft. At the

time, Moldavian Airlines operated

the Yak-40 that, despite its three

jet engines, was much slower,

used about three times more fuel

and had five seats less than the

turboprop.

“Nicolae wanted to change to a

modern and fuel-efficient western

aircraft. As a young, dynamic,

western-oriented entrepreneur

he convinced me very quickly;

we speak the same language, and

moreover he is a most likeable

person. So I agreed to lease the

Saab. At that time Moldavian

Airlines’ capital was very thin,

6 MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009


MARKET REPORT

“…we had to choose

a new aircraft type

to replace the 340s.

The solution, I believe,

was innate: the Saab

2000, the Saab 340’s

bigger sister.”

Carpatair Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Nicolae Petrov

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

7


MARKET REPORT

Carpatair’s growth

strategy is to

connect Greece,

Germany and Italy

with the former USSR

countries through

its Timisoara hub

sometimes they had troubles in

paying the lease rates, which is why

I suggested to Nicolae that I would

assemble a group of loyal investors,

among my good old friends to

generate the necessary increase in

share capital and put the company

on a sound financial basis.”

Petrov agreed. While the Yak was

“reliable and robust,“ the time for

such airplanes was long gone.

“As an airplane, the Saab 340 was

our natural choice. The fleet of

Carpatair reached a maximum

of eight such airplanes. By 2003,

when the number of destinations

increased and diversified,

the necessity of an airplane with

more seats and a greater range,

greater cruising speed and better

equipped technically became

apparent.

“Then again, we had to choose a

new aircraft type to replace the

340s. The solution, I believe, was

innate: the Saab 2000, the Saab

340’s bigger sister. The Saab 2000

with its 50 seats, superior flight

performance, advanced technical

equipment, enhanced safety

systems, comfort and economics

proved fully compatible with our

enlarged regional routes network

and fit in perfectly.

“Thus, we went on replacing

the Saab 340 with the Saab 2000

aircraft, which was completed in

December 2007,” Petrov underlines.

In December 1999, after the Swiss

and Swedish investors took a 49%

stake in the company, the airline

adopted its present title.

Suter explains, “Carpatair follows

the niche market concept just as

Crossair did. It links all important

Romanian cities with its hub

in Timisoara, and from there all

of Romania with the destinations

in western Europe that are

relevant for the country and

its economy. At one of our last

shareholders meetings, Georg

Wiederkehr made the true comment

that Carpatair is all that is

left over from good old Crossair.”

8 MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009


MARKET REPORT

Saab 340 operates in

national airlines air cargo

forwarding business

BY kelly murphy

Murray Air, a DC-8 freight operator, and its sister company, Murray

Aviation, a Part 135 passenger and freight carrier, merged operations in

April 2005 under Murray Air’s newly acquired Part 121 certificate. The

Ypsilanti, Michigan-based companies, run by Murray brothers Preston

and Mark since 1985, successfully steered the two operations through

the post-September 11 aviation downturn and decided the merger would

provide the company with long-term growth and viability in the industry.

Becoming a private pilot in the late

1960s, Preston Murray had always

envisaged himself working in commercial

aviation. At age 36, he left

a government job in Washington,

DC, and started living that dream

by obtaining a Part 135 certificate

and then expanding to a Part 121

certificate. “I ended up selling to

National Airlines as part of a strategic

positioning. I saw comparable-sized

airlines struggling to keep their doors

open. National Airlines needed a 121

National Airlines CEO Preston Murray

certificate and more lift, and we saw

the opportunity to share a similar business culture and a productive

agreement for both companies.”

Murray underlines the measure of success is apparent in the complimentary

relationship that has strategically placed both companies in a

strong position. All key employees were also maintained post-merger.

Murray continued to work on his ratings and actually received his ATP

captain rating and flew the line until 1993. He also owned a Beech

King Air and flew it himself until 1994.

Asked for his future airline industry predictions, Preston offers “…

you’re trying to forecast what the levels of aviation activity will be

related to the equation “will there be more people or goods flown” or

“will there be more goods flown than people” either way the sum of

this is “more goods and people will be moved by air transport, so it’s a

good business to be in and has a strong future.”

In November 2006, the right opportunity did appear and Orchard Park,

New York-based National Airlines purchased Murray. A freight forwarder

with offices throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia, National

is a major supplier of transportation services to the US military. Murray

Air, with its three DC-8 cargo aircraft, one Saab 340 and one Jetstream

31, offers both air cargo transport and convenient corporate shuttle and

charter services primarily for the automotive industry. Murray Air is also

a member of the US Military’s Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program.

“The buyout took us from a domestic carrier to an international operation

with presence in some 60 countries around the world from Orchard

Park, New York to Frankfurt in Europe, Dubai in the Middle East and

Kuala Lumpur in Asia,” Preston tells Saab Market Report, adding the

corporate identity also shifted with Mark departing the company and

Preston agreeing to remain as CEO of National Airlines. In 2008, Preston

took over as CEO of the parent company, National Air Cargo.

With a corporate philosophy of “we provide solutions”, National Airlines

President Tom Quehl is Murray’s former director of operations. Some

500 employees are based in various offices worldwide with about 100

dedicated to the airline scheduled passenger service operation and the

remaining in the air cargo forwarder company.

The comfort and convenience of the corporate shuttle service have

provided an essential part of the auto manufacturer’s corporate plan to

remain cost-effective while withstanding the downsizing of this industry.

Operating from Ypsilanti’s Willow Run Airport, just south of Detroit,

the Saab 340 has provided employees the ability to efficiently move from

plant sites to executive offices.

Forecasting a strong year in 2009, Preston acknowledges that the company

is also seeking additional government work to offset the downsizing

auto industry.

A participant of the Saab customer support program, Parts Exchange

Program (PEP), Murray notes that “PEP has been very helpful and

cost-effective and saves us a lot of money.” The Saab 340 is on long-term

lease and “has been a great airplane for us. I would look to add more,

but the key is the return of the economy and the related increase in

commercial business.”

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

9


MARKET REPORT

SAAB 2000s FLY

JOE GIBBS’ RACE TEAMS IN

CORPORATE SHUTTLE STYLE

BY kelly murphy

NASCAR racing has become

the second largest sport in the

United States, after professional

football, with an average

75 million TV spectators for

each race. The racing season

runs from mid-February until

mid-November during which

there are 36 races held around

the continental United States.

While the majority of actual

races take place on Sundays,

teams need to be positioned by

Thursday to prepare. The fuel

efficient and fast Saab 2000 is

the workhorse for Joe Gibbs

Racing which includes three

Sprint Cup race teams and two

Nationwide teams.

The Joe Gibbs Racing Flight

Department is now operating its

two Saab 2000s and eight-seat

Lear 31As much like an airline

would, Director-Aviation Ivan

Beach tells Saab Market Report.

Along with his Chief Pilot, Mark

Thorpe, and his Flight Standards

Captain, Doug Runyon, he has

implemented a standardization

program including standardized

cockpit procedures, system

checks and cockpit flows on both

aircraft types. The JGR flight department

is currently working on

a Safety Management System.

Moving nearly 100 race team

members and executives 36

weekends out of the year, the

Concord, North Carolina-based

Flight Department has relied

heavily on the Saab 2000’s “great

speed and tremendous fuel efficiency”

to run a reliable corporate

shuttle service, says Beach.

Each Saab 2000, configured with

43 and 44 seats, logs about 360

flight hours annually, with the

Lear accumulating 400 hours.

Flights from Concord are as

far west as Ontario, CA, as well

as other key cities: Las Vegas,

NV, Phoenix, AZ and Montreal,

Canada.

10 MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009


MARKET REPORT

Flight department run as

a team

“We are one team,” Beach says,

explaining how every person in

the flight department is incorporated

into the overall structure

with delegated responsibility

and authority to do their job. “As

a team, we value the efforts of

every member of the department

from aircraft cleaners to managers,”

he explains.

Drawing on his 30+ years of

flying for four airlines, Beach is

also a retired Army helicopter

pilot who commanded an Apache

helicopter battalion as well as an

Aviation Brigade. He retired as

a full Colonel. Beach is rated in

the A330, A320, B727, B737, G-1,

YS-11, Saab 2000 and six different

military helicopters that include

the Apache and Cobra attack helicopters.

He has over 21,000 flight

hours in his logbook.

Similarly, Chief Pilot Mark Thorpe

and Flight Standards Captain

Doug Runyon are high-time former

airline pilots. Thorpe is a rated

Saab captain, and Runyon is dual

qualified as a Saab captain and

Lear 31 captain. Runyon has the

additional distinction of being the

only Saab 2000 simulator check

airman in the US outside of Flight

Safety International. Working very

closely with his Director-Maintenance

Steve Cole, Beach is also

assisted by Jan Eads, a long-time

aviation coordinator and scheduler

for owner Joe Gibbs.

Beach attributes much of the

Department’s success to the

highly motivated and professional

Aircraft Maintenance Technicians

who are on staff. “I haven’t seen a

group of aircraft maintainers with

this level of commitment since my

Army days,” he notes.

Beach adds the Saab 2000’s surplus

power will allow expanded seating

as needed if the race team

expands. “We could go up to 45

seats, even 58, if a fourth team

comes up,” he underlines. “The

Saab 2000 is simply the best

airframe available for our mission

profile in every respect. Its

combination of speed, short field

capability, payload, fuel efficiency

and low hourly operating cost are

at the top of its class. As our Chief

Pilot says, “the next best airplane

for our mission doesn’t exist.”

“The next

best

airplane

for our

mission

doesn’t

exist.”

Chief Pilot Mark Thorpe

JGR Flight Department

(Left to right) JGR

Flight Department

members: Chief

Pilot Mark Thorpe,

Director-Aviation Ivan

Beach and Director-

Maintenance Steve

Cole

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

11


MARKET REPORT

Argentine Air Force to

accept two more

Saab 340Bs this summer

Saab 340B parked in

Comodoro Rivadavia

hangar

Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) in cooperation

with Saab Aerotech will

deliver the third and fourth Saab

340B in June and July 2009. The

first two aircraft were delivered

in the fourth quarter of 2008. The

deliveries are a culmination of a

four-year process to select a new

middle-size transport aircraft for

the Argentine Air Force.

The total budget for the aircraft

and logistics support package is

approximately $34 million spread

over five years.

The Saab 340Bs will be used to

serve remote areas in the Patagonia

region in southern Argentina,

replacing aging Fokker F27s. The

Argentine Air Force ran an international

RFP process in order to

select the best package of aircraft

and support services. SAL was declared

the winner in late 2007 and

a final agreement was formalized

for four completely overhauled

Saab 340B aircraft together with

a complete logistic package of

spares, manuals, tools, ground support

equipment, training of pilots

and mechanics, Saab on-location

technical support as well as a Parts

Exchange Program (PEP) on the

rotables including propeller and

landing gear.

All four aircraft will be based and

maintained in Comodoro Rivadavia.

The Saab 340Bs will be operated

by the Air Force-managed airline

Lineas Aéreas del Estado (LADE)

serving the Patagonia region. For

this reason all aircraft will have

gravel modification as well as

expanded communication equipment.

They will also meet the latest

civilian requirements on TCAS-2,

TAWS, expanded DFDR and reinforced

cockpit doors.

Saab Aircraft Leasing and Saab

Aerotech have also secured Saab

340B contracts from the Swedish

Air Force as well as the Japanese

Coast Guard.

Project teams from

the Argentine Air

Force and Saab

Aircraft Leasing pose

in front of the Saab

340B during a delivery

in Nashville

12 MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009


MARKET REPORT

WESTERN AIR GROWS SAAB 340 FLEET

FOR BAHAMIAN SERVICES

by Kelly Murphy

At press time, Western Air of the Bahamas was anticipating delivery of

its fifth Saab 340A for its growing intra-island route network throughout

Nassau, Freeport and the Exumas.

One of its more popular Saab 340 routes, Nassau-Freeport offered three

times daily, is boasting a 75-85 percent load factor, President Rex Rolle

tells Saab Market Report. Other services include twice daily service to

Congo Town and Andros Town from Nassau.

Western Air Saab 340s at Andros Airport

Having launched Saab 340 service last year with its first two 33-seaters,

Western Air also operates eight 19-seat Fairchild Metros for scheduled

passenger service, and one 12-seat Fairchild Merlin IV and one 7-seat

Piper Chieftain for corporate or executive charter flights.

Nearly two years ago, Western Air established an on-demand executive

charter division called Vision Air with three 19-seat Beech 1900Cs.

Plans to build a Freeport facility

The 100% Bahamian owned company is based at the San Andros Airport

(MYAN) featuring a new hangar and passenger waiting facility. Rolle has

plans to build a similar facility on three leased acres in Freeport including

a 16,800 square foot hangar and 9,000 square feet of FBO area. Future

destinations include Cap-Haitien, Santo Domingo and Turks and Caicos.

“We have a very good relationship with Saab,” Rolle says, adding “the

fuel burn between the Saab 340 and the smaller 19-seat Beech 1900C is

almost the same.”

(See related story in Saab Market Report, December 2007, page 3)

LOGANAIR uses two of its SAAB 340s

for freight flights

story and photos BY eryl crump

Two of Loganair’s hard-working

Saab 340s are carrying out new

tasks for the airline.

Since last December, the Glasgowbased

airline has stationed its two

Saab 340As at Aberdeen Airport

after winning a contract to carry

letters and parcels on behalf of

the Royal Mail. Both aircraft have

been adapted to the freight only

role and carry out nightly return

flights from Aberdeen to Edinburgh

and East Midlands Airport.

Loganair, which last year signed a

franchise agreement with leading

UK regional airline Flybe, are operating

the aircraft in their own right

and both carry their logo only.

In early March, a third freight

carrying Saab 340 was drafted in

by Loganair after the airline was

awarded another mail contract.

This aircraft is based at Inverness

and operates a triangular flight

each night from the Highland city

to Benbecula and Stornoway in the

Western Isles.

Skyways Aviation has arranged

the ACMI lease of the Saab 340A

freighter from Avion Express of

Lithuania. Skyways Aviation has

worked with Loganair for many

years, having previously placed

three aircraft and a GE CT7 engine

with the Scottish airline. Loganair

has also called upon the company

several times since to source

ACMI cover for its short-term

aircraft requirements.

Loganair operates a total of 14

Saab 340Bs on scheduled passenger

services.

Loganair’s Saab 340A at Glasgow airport (above)

and at Inverness airport (below)

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

13


MARKET REPORT

SAAB website redesigned

www.saabaircraftleasing.com

Visit the redesigned

Saab Aircraft

Leasing website

featuring the new

Saab Group

corporate identity.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR…

Saab Booth at RAA

Annual Convention in

Indianapolis May 2008

MAY

May 5-8

May 18-21

SEPTEMBER

September 14-16

OCTOBER

October 1-2

October 7-9

October 20-22

October 26-27

NOVEMBER

November 2-4

November 15-17

RACCA

Scottsdale, AZ

RAA Annual Convention

Salt Lake City, UT

Saab 2000 Operators Conference

Linköping, Sweden

RAAA Coolum

QLD, Australia

ERA General Assembly

Interlaken, Switzerland

NBAA Convention

Orlando, FL

US Valuation Conference

Washington, DC

SpeedNews Regional & Corporate Aviation

Conference

Rancho Mirage, CA

ATAC 2009 Annual General Meeting

Quebec City, QC

14 MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009


MARKET REPORT

saab destinations

BY paul bryson

Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS/MYNN)

A famous quotation reads

‘Desperate times call for

drastic measures’ and in this

desperate day of increasing

financial turmoil that has

touched almost every part of

the globe, our drastic measure

will require a journey into

the beautiful, sun-drenched

islands of the Bahamas. This

SMR Destination will find us at

the Lynden Pindling International

Airport (NAS).

The airport was founded in 1957

and opened its doors at once for

the tourist trade. It wasn’t until

almost 50 years after the airport

was developed, that it was officially

renamed from the Nassau International

Airport to the Lynden

Pindling International Airport.

This move commemorated Sir

Lynden Oscar Pindling, who

served as the first black Premier of

the Colony of the Bahama Islands

(1967-1969). “Sir Lynden”, the first

Prime Minister of the Bahamas

(1969-1992), was instrumental

in attaining The Bahamas their

independence.

NAS is home to numerous

Saab operators

The airport is located on the western

side of New Providence Island

and offers flights to many of the 31

districts in the Bahamas. NAS is

home to two Saab 340 operators,

Western Air and SkyBahamas, and

it also serves as a cargo destination

for Saab 340A cargo operator,

IBC Airways out of Ft. Lauderdale,

FL. Western Air currently operates

two Saab 340As with plans to

bring three more on line shortly.

They have scheduled service into

San Andros, Bimini, Exuma, and

Freeport, and they also run charter

flights down to Haiti several times

weekly. SkyBahamas operates

three Saab 340As and serves

Exuma, Freeport, Abaco, and

Bimini.

There are two modern, paved runways

available with the longest one

at 11,353 ft. This generous distance

will accommodate large aircraft

including the French carrier, XL

Airways’ 364-seat Airbus 330.

Even though most aircraft services

are available at NAS, don’t expect

to find a large variety of boutiques,

restaurants, duty free shops or

even business/conference facilities

within the terminal walls. These

services, which are found outside

the airport grounds, are a major

contributor to the local economy.

In 2008, an airport expansion

top to bottom:

IBC Airways loading cargo at NAS

SkyBahamas readies for take-off at NAS

Western Air Saab 340 parked at Andros

Photo: Kelly Murphy Photo: Paul Aranha

Photo: Kelly Murphy

project was approved and for the

next few years NAS will undergo

changes including 10 jet-bridge

capable gates, four of which will

accept a Boeing 747 sized aircraft

and one that will greet the world’s

largest commercial airliner, the

Airbus 380. Expect to see much of

the new design to incorporate the

local colors and textures of native

Bahamian art.

The Bahamas always has something

new to discover, and in 1492

when Christopher Columbus

journeyed to the New World,

he set foot on the island of San

Salvador in the Bahamas and

remarked “baja mar”. The translation

“shallow water” or “shallow

sea” is another of Columbus’ great

discoveries

MARKET REPORT | April/May 2009

15


MARKET REPORT

OPERATIONAL STATUS

SAAB 340

414 aircraft in service

58 operators in 31 countries

13.4 million flight hours

14.9 million flights

SAAB 2000

58 aircraft in service

14 operators in 10 countries

1.2 million flight hours

1.2 million flights

SAAB 340

SAAB 2000

SAAB 340 & 2000

(as of March 2009)

Operator Country 340 2000

Americas

Operator Country 340 2000 Operator Country 340 2000

Americas

Europe & Africa

AeroMexico Connect Mexico 2

Air Panama Panama 2

Bimini Island Air USA 2

Calm Air Canada 6

Caribair Dominican Rep. 2

Colgan Airways USA 34

Corporate Express Canada 1

Ginn Development USA 2

Hendrick Motorsports USA 3

IBC Airways USA 9

JMJ Flight Services USA 1

Joe Gibbs Racing USA 2

Líneas Aéreas del Estado Argentina 2

Mesaba Airlines USA 49

Murray Aviation USA 1

Napleton Aviation Group USA 1

Pacific Coastal Airlines Canada 8

Pegasus Air Cayman Islands 1

Peninsula Airways USA 10

Prince Edward Air Canada 1

Provincial Airlines Canada 2

Saint-Ex Mexico 3

SkyBahamas Bahamas 3

TAG Guatemala 1

Transwest Air Canada 3

Vigo Jet Mexico 1

Western Air Bahamas 4

Europe & Africa

Air Express Sweden 2

Airfast Congo 1

Avion Express Lithuania 3

Avitrans Nordic Sweden 13

Carpatair Romania 12

Central Connect Airlines Czech Republic 7

CTK Network Aviation Ghana 2

Darwin Airline Switzerland 4

DOT Lithuania 2

Eastern Airways Great Britain 8

Estonian Air Regional Estonia 2

Fleet Air Hungary 2

Golden Air Sweden 4 6

Kenya Airways Kenya 2

Loganair Great Britain 16

Mali Air Express Mali 2

MRK Ukraine 2

NextJet Sweden 4

Norse Air South Africa 3

NRT Gabon 2

OLT Germany 2 3

Overland Airways Nigeria 1

Polet Airlines Russia 6

RAF-AVIA Latvia 2

Robin Hood Aviation Austria 2

Ryjet Spain 1

SkyTaxi Poland 2

Solinair Slovenia 3

South Airlines Ukraine 2

Sprint Air Poland 11

Swedish Air Force Sweden 9

Asia-Pacific

Air Rarotonga Cook Islands 1

Eznis Airways Mongolia 3

Hokkaido Air System Japan 3

Japan Air Commuter Japan 11

Japan Civil Aviation Bureau Japan 2

Japan Coast Guard Japan 4

Pakistan Air Force Pakistan 1

Pel-Air Australia 3

SOL Argentina 4

WWW.SAABGROUP.COM

WWW.SAABAIRCRAFTLEASING.COM

Saab Aircraft Leasing, Inc.

21300 Ridgetop Circle

Sterling, Virginia 20166

USA

Tel: +1 703 406 7200

Fax: +1 703 406 7224

Moldavian Airlines Moldavian Rep 2

Saab Aircraft Leasing

Postal address:

Box 7774,

103 96 Stockholm, Sweden

Street address:

Sveavägen 17, 11th Floor

111 57 Stockholm, Sweden

Tel: +46 8 463 1400

Fax: +46 8 463 1409

Saab Aircraft Leasing

4-7-13-205 Meguro

Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Japan 153-0063

Tel: +81 3 3792 4300

Fax: +81 3 3792 4315

Regional Express Australia 38

Saab Aerotech of

America, LLC

21300 Ridgetop Circle

Sterling, Virginia 20166

USA

Tel: +1 703 406 7200

Fax: +1 703 406 7222

Saab Aerotech

SE-581 88 Linköping

Sweden

Tel: +46 13 18 00 00

Fax: +46 13 18 51 15

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