MILWAUKEE, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Astral Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Skyway
Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Midwest Express Airlines, has placed an
order with Fairchild Dornier for four additional 328JETs and 10 options. The
order is valued at $177 million.
Skyway Airlines, which currently operates eight 328JETs, will take
delivery of the first of these new aircraft in January 2002, and the remaining
three aircraft by December 2002. Skyway was Fairchild Dornier's launch
customer for the aircraft in North America, taking delivery of its first
328JET in August 1999. With the new orders, the Skyway 328JET fleet will grow
to 12 aircraft by December 2002, and with the exercise of the options, to
Timothy E. Hoeksema, chairman and chief executive officer of Midwest
Express, said, "America is going through a very difficult period, and the
airline industry has been particularly adversely affected. However, we know
that we will survive and need to make smart long-term decisions for our
company. Together we will pull through this difficult challenge and will
emerge the stronger for it."
Charles P. Pieper, chairman of Fairchild Dornier, said, "Having an airline
such as Midwest Express, which has won numerous awards and has consistently
outperformed the industry, is a tremendous vote of confidence for Fairchild
Dornier, the 328JET and the airline industry in general. In difficult times,
it takes vision and leadership to build for the future. We are proud to have
our aircraft flying the Midwest Express colors, and even prouder to have
partners such as Tim and his Midwest Express team."
James P. Rankin, president of Astral Aviation, commented, "The 328JET is
the perfect solution for our 32-seat requirements and we are excited about
taking delivery of additional aircraft. Our customers are delighted with the
comfort of the aircraft and the 'big jet' feel. The 328JET's state-of-the-art
technology and passenger-friendliness make them the ideal aircraft for the
replacement of turboprops. They give us an edge against the competition, and
provide outstanding fleet flexibility. Even in an era of declining load
factors across the industry, we can continue to offer the level of service and
frequency expected by our passengers."
The Fairchild Dornier family of regional airliners includes the
state-of-the-art 728JET and 928JET. The 728JET comes in 70-85 seat airline
configurations, while the 928JET comes in 90-110 seat airline configurations.
Both are available in corporate shuttle configurations.
Midwest Express Airlines (NYSE: MEH) features primarily nonstop service to
major destinations throughout the United States. Astral Aviation, Inc. -- its
wholly owned subsidiary -- operates Skyway Airlines, The Midwest Express
Connection, which offers connections to Midwest Express as well as
point-to-point service between select markets. Together, the airlines fly to
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