Crossair is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire six Saab 2000 turboprops from Saab Aircraft. The Swiss airline is the biggest operator of the 50-seat high-speed turboprop, with 25 in service, and is also looking at options for a further two aircraft.

Saab Aircraft president Gert Schybourg revealed recently that the company would close down its 340 and 2000 turboprop production lines if the aircraft failed to attract substantially higher orders and earn a better return .

Saab has been talking to customers and vendors about the future of the aircraft in the wake of losses, which have been running at about $130 million a year. Other leading customers are also in talks with Saab for top-up orders to their fleets, including Northwest Airlink operator Mesaba Airlines, which is close to announcing a deal for 19 Saab 340s, bringing its orders and deliveries for variants of the aircraft to 72, including used aircraft (Flight International, 29 October- 4 November).

Whatever the fate of the production line, Saab says that it is strengthening its product-support operation and is in talks to become a risk-sharing partner on several new development programmes.

Source: Flight International