Andrew Doyle/MUNICH


Rheintalflug is preparing to confirm options on six more Embraer regional jets in a move likely to see it join the list of customers for the 70-seat ERJ-170.

"We are quite sure that we are going to convert all these options into firm orders," says Rheintalflug marketing manager Renate Moser, who says a decision will be made in March. The purchase is likely to include "at least two" ERJ-170s, with the balance to be taken as smaller ERJ-135/145s, she says.

Bregenz, Austria-based Rheintalflug announced an order for two 50-seat ERJ-145s - its first jets - at last year's Paris air show. The first of these entered service on the Altenrhein-Vienna route on 10 January. The second is due to be handed over in December, although the airline is trying to bring this forward to October.

The Team Lufthansa franchisee also operates four Bombardier Dash 8s - a -100, one -300 and two Q300s - on services from Friedrichshafen to Cologne, Berlin and Hamburg and from Stuttgart to Münster/Osnabrück.

An order for one 70-seat Dash 8 Q400 has been dropped after Lufthansa withdrew its requirement for the aircraft to be operated on the Team network, says Moser.

The carrier's leased Dash 8-100 will be returned in March to Bombardier. Its Dash 8-300 will be handed back to owner General Electric Capital Aviation Services upon delivery of the second ERJ-145. Rheintalflug aims to become an all-jet airline within the next few years, says Moser.

Source: Flight International