BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has today delivered the final Avro RJ to Blue 1 (formerly Air Botnia) of Finland, bringing to a close 22 years of BAe 146/ Avro RJ production.
The aircraft was the last of a recent contract for four aircraft, (two Avro RJ100s and two RJ85s), all of which have been delivered on schedule to the airline.
A total of 390 Avro RJs and BAe 146s have been delivered ensuring that the program has been Britain’s most successful jet airliner.
The final aircraft – an Avro RJ85 (E2394) – was flown from FlyBE Aviation Services at Exeter where it had been customized, to Helsinki via four Regional Aircraft facilities in the UK. It overflew Weybridge, Surrey (European Spares Logistics Centre) and Hatfield (Asset Management), where previously many of the BAe 146s had been built.
It then landed at Woodford, near Manchester (Customer Training and Engineering and the former assembly line), followed by Prestwick, Scotland (headquarters of Regional Aircraft and center for Customer Support and Engineering).
Blue 1 is a member of the SAS Group, operating more than 80 daily flights to/from five cities in Finland to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, Copenhagen, Brussels and Dusseldorf, and the new aircraft have been deployed on to these routes, augmenting the airline’s existing five Avro RJ85s that have been operated since November 2001.
This final aircraft will bring the total of BAe 146 and Avro RJs delivered to 390, in service with over 50 operators world-wide. In Europe the BAe 146/Avro RJ is the most numerous jetliner in service with airlines belonging to the European Regions Airline Association and some 200 aircraft fly with 30 operators. Its low noise characteristics, excellent economics, passenger appeal and strong service and support from Regional Aircraft mean that it will remain in front-line airline service for several decades.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is responsible for Customer Support, Engineering and Asset Management activities, covering a world-wide base of 160 customers, operating over 1,100 aircraft in addition to managing a trading and leasing portfolio of some 350 aircraft.
BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company has more than 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately £12 billion through its wholly-owned and joint venture operations.