BUSINESS EXPRESS IS TO cancel nine remaining firm orders for Avro International Aerospace RJ70s, following its decision to return the three aircraft, which it already operates and to withdraw from jet-powered operations (Flight International, 10-16 January). The orders are being converted into options.

Avro says that it and Business Express "...recognise that regional-jet operations at the airline are not sustainable on a year-round basis at this time". The manufacturer adds that restrictions placed by the network carriers on their feeder carriers add a further complication to US regional-jet sales.

The first aircraft was withdrawn from service on 7 January, and the remaining two will follow at the end of April. All three aircraft will be delivered to Air Baltic by Trident Jet Leasing.

In a separate move, the first of 18 British Aerospace 146-200 regional jets (the forerunner of the RJ family), stored in the Mojave Desert in California, will be back in service on at the end of the month with Southend, UK-based company Flightline. The aircraft was inherited by USAir, in 1988, when it took over Californian regional Pacific Southwest Airlines.

USAir Leasing has placed a further two 146-200s with US airline Jet Aspen and two with World Airlines. USAir partner British Airways was a contender for up to nine aircraft to replace Boeing 737-200s on European routes, but appears to have abandoned this solution.

Source: Flight International