Calgary-based WestJet has signed a conditional order for 20 Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprops, upping its commitment from the letter of intent to purchase the aircraft that it signed on May 1. The transaction also includes options on an additional 25.

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Ultimate Air Shuttle is launching four-times-weekly jet service from Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Field Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina on June 18, in an expansion of its ‘scheduled-charter’ network.

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Silver Airways is expanding its Essential Air Service network with the addition of six new scheduled passenger routes from Washington Dulles International Airport and five routes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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Starting in October, Flybe will operate the 12 Embraer 190s on Finnair routes, for Finnair. According to the two carriers, the move forms part of Finnair’s efforts to improve the profitability of its European network, and it offers a platform for growth for Flybe Nordic, a joint venture between the companies.

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At the delivery ceremony for the first of four ATR 72-600s leased from Air Lease Corporation, Passaredo revealed it had ordered 10 more ATR 72-600s directly from ATR and had taken options on 10 more. In addition to its ATR 72-600s, Passaredo will also take two leased ATR 72-500s this year.

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The delivery of the 1,000th aircraft, which is configured for 72 passengers and is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M turboprop engines, took place at ATR’s assembly line in Toulouse in an event attended by many aerospace-industry leaders.

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WestJet has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 Q400 NextGen turboprops, with the option to purchase a further 25. The airline expects to announce its initial regional schedule using the Q400 NextGens later in 2012.

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On April 1, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. and its subsidiaries Colgan Air and Pinnacle Airlines filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code for protection from creditors and existing contracts.

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The new flights will operate twice each day from Mondays to Fridays between Billings and Helena, beginning on May 1. Silver Airways will initially operate the service with 19-seat Beech 1900D turboprops.

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Based on the list price for the Bombardier Q400 NextGen, the manufacturer values the firm order at approximately US$246 million. Bombardier says the contract value would increase to US$625 million should all 12 options be converted to firm orders.

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Silver Airways Corp. has reached an agreement with Saab Aircraft Leasing to buy six additional Saab 340Bplus regional turboprop airliners, for an undisclosed amount. This latest acquisition brings the total number of Saab 340s bought by Silver Airways to 12.

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Horizon Air is the largest operator of Bombardier Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft in the Americas, with 48 aircraft in service today. Based on the list price for the Q400 NextGen airliner, Bombardier Aerospace values the new order at approximately US$60 million.

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From December 31 the combined airline will operate solely as ExpressJet Airlines and will be the largest regional airline in the world, with more than 400 aircraft operating 2,350 flights each day.

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Airlink, which is the regional-airline subsidiary of South African Airways, operates the twice-weekly round-trips between Johannesburg and Pemba with 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135LR regional jets.

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The first Delta Connection regional jet equipped with Wi-Fi departed on September 7 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with scheduled stops in Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and White Plains, New York throughout the day.

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AMR Corporation subsidiary AMR Eagle Holding Corporation has filed a Form 10 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Form 10 filing marks the next step in a potential spin-off of Eagle as an independent, publicly traded company.

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Australian carrier Skywest Airlines has taken delivery of the first of at least eight new ATR 72s, the aircraft becoming the first ATR 72 to operate in Australia. Skywest will operate its new ATR fleet on behalf of Virgin Australia to create a regional-airline network for the larger carrier.

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Gulfstream International Airlines has inaugurated Continental Connection service between Parkersburg, West Virginia and Continental Airlines’ hub at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Ohio.

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Eagle is flying the route with Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets featuring the carrier’s new First Class service in addition to economy-class seating.

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