A.42 -

airlines - (more details)


DD 06/09/89


Time: 17:42 (Eastern Time)

Contact: From: Canadair Ref: Catherine Chase (514) 744-1511 or: Canadair Chalet or: (local 504) Canadair Stand

Origin: PARIS

Category: FINANCE


TX PARIS - Alisarda S.p.A., the Sardinian-based company founded by * His Highness the Aga Khan in 1963, Italy's largest private sector domestic airline, has confirmed an order for 20 Regional Jets, worth up to US $300 million, making Alisarda the largest launch customer for the Regional Jet, developed by the Canadair Division of Bombardier Inc., a leading Canadian aerospace and transportation manufacturer. Alisarda believes the new 50-seat Regional Jet will play a significant role in the company's expansion in the future deregulated airline industry of Europe after 1992. ``Schedule and timetable convenience are two of the most important aspects of passenger satisfaction and the Regional Jet will enable us to achieve a high level of efficiency in capacity management, while increasing operational versatility,'' said Mr. Franco Trivi, Alisarda's managing director. Originally founded to provide a service between the Italian mainland and the island of Sardinia, Alisarda's fleet and route network have expanded continuously over the years: today the airline has five MD-82s and five DC9-51s and is in advanced negotiations for purchases of additional similar aircraft. The company serves 17 cities throughout Italy with scheduled flights, in a network that includes Milan, Turin, Rome, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and Catania, in addition to Paris, Nice, Geneva, Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich. In 1988 Alisarda carried almost 1.2 million passengers. ``Alisarda is pleased to be the largest launch customer for Canadair's Regional Jet,'' said Mr. Trivi. ``This new jet is complementary to our larger-jet fleet, and we see these secured early delivery positions enabling us to play an even more competitive role in the expanding European market of the 1990s. For a number of years in the future, the Regional Jet is likely to be the only jet airliner which, with its 50 seats, qualifies for already deregulated third level European operation (i.e. commuter). We will thus be one of the first European companies to operate an all-jet fleet covering the rapidly expanding and new segments of the European market.'' Alisarda underlined the benefits of an existing and tested airframe, and a powerplant with many millions of hours of use in both civilian and military configurations. Based on the design of the highly successful Challenger 601 business jet, Canadair's Regional Jet received approval to proceed with certification and production on March 31 after a 14-month advanced design phase. Final certification is scheduled for March 1992, and Alisarda is expected to take its first delivery in the second quarter of the same year. The new aircraft is particularly well suited to the regional airline environment. Its range of up to 1,700 miles at a speed of 529 mph (460 knots) places the Regional Jet in the market between that of existing turboprop regionals and jet aircraft currently available. Robert Wohl, president of Canadair's Regional Jet Division, said ``This order is particularly gratifying. Europe is an important market for us, and with the upcoming deregulation, compagnies with foresight, such as Alisarda, are finding that the Regional Jet is the right aircraft for their expansion in the 1990s. Backgrounder ALISARDA AIRLINES Alisarda, the largest Italian privately owned airline, is based in Olbia on the island of Sardinia. It was originally formed in 1963 to transport tourists to ``Costa Smeralda'' in the north-east area of Sardinia. Seventeen Italian cities are served by the Italian-based airline including Milan, Turin, Catania, Pisa, Rome, Genoa, and Venice. In addition, the airline offers seasonal service to Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich, Nice, Paris and Zurich. The airline transported 186 passengers in its first year of operation in 1964 operating a Beechcraft C45 aircraft. More than one million passengers were transported in 1987, and last year the airline carried 1,147,406 passengers on a fleet of DC-9s and MD-82s. It has recently signed commitments for 20 Regional Jets from the Canadair Division of Bombardier Inc. This makes it the largest European launch customer. Delivery of the 50-passenger Regional Jet begins in 1992. Alisarda employs more than 1,000 people and is an associated company of Consorzio Costa Smeralda, the integrated resort development in north-eastern Sardinia, which was promoted in the * early 1960s by teh Aga Khan in his private capacity together with other individuals.

From: Canadair Ref: Catherine Chase (514) 744-1511 or: Canadair Chalet or: (local 504) Canadair Stand

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