Archive for '340'

Saab History Reviews SAAB 340 Aircraft Maine To Boston

Posted on 20. Apr, 2009 by .


The SAAB 340, the second commercial aircraft from SAAB since the Scandia 90, had its maiden voyage in January of 1983.

4.jpgThis 34-passenger turboprop plane jointly developed with Swedish SAAB aerospace company and United States based Fairchild industries, has had an excellent track record since it’s debut and continues to be well regarded as safe and reliable air transportation all over the world.

In the North East region of the United States, where Saab-Scania began their North American offices, the Saab-Fairchild (SF340) has had numerous flights between regional and international airports over the years.

The first of many included flights out of Maine a few years after the debut of the aircraft. Today, the SF340 continues flights between major and municipal airports such as Augusta, Maine. In Augusta, the capital city of the state of Maine, there are now three routes a day to and from Boston, Massachusetts. There are also flights to Bar Harbor as well as Preque Isle.

According to Colgan Air’s Nancy Witham, “There have been over 400 inbound and outbound flights carrying over 1,200 passengers since March”. As summer arrives, this figure is hoped to grow significantly as tourism season is in session.

2.jpgI had the great opportunity recently to enjoy one of these flights thanks to the folks at Colgan Air out of Washington, D.C.

My takeoff experience with the SAAB 340 from Augusta, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts was comforting knowing that this small Swedish-built aircraft from a company that focuses on safety first, took off without any drama and extra weight and engine noise commonly found in larger jet-engine based aircraft.

Once we made it to 10,000 feet a far cry from traditional flying altitudes found in just about every other aircraft today, I got probably one of the most enjoyable sightseeing experiences as we hugged the Northern New England coastline all the way to Logan Airport. As a passenger sitting comfortably in the leather business-class like seats, I received first class attention from courteous staff at all times.

3.jpgAs we began to descend, the ringing in the ears normally experienced, was non-existent and the touch down was a smooth transition from air to ground. One of my favorite aspects of this experience was the fact that passengers don’t have to wait long to get off of the plane. With only 34 passengers it doesn’t take long to get off the plane, but what makes the process even faster besides passenger count, the ability to simply walk down a small flight of stairs directly onto the tarmac and enter the airport terminal. Now that’s efficient!

The SAAB 340 has a long history of reliable air transportation and today it continues to serve as a beacon to safer, more energy-efficient transportation in the airline industry for professionals or tourists alike.

Currently round trip airfare between Augusta and Boston is $269.00, although prices can vary. This competitively priced airfare usually finds itself around $60 less than similiar flights at nearby Portland Airport.

11.jpgAs the summer travel season gets close, I highly suggest choosing Colgan Air’s SAAB 340 whether you are in the North East of the United States or any of their 20-routes throughout the United States.

I want to thank all of the folks at Colgan Air that managed to take time out of their day to organize the necessary logistics and schedules in order for me to have this experience to share with others here on Saab History.

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The History Of The Trollhattan-Vänersborg Airport

Posted on 01. Apr, 2009 by .


Photo Credit: Google Earth/ Karin Snowstar

The Trollhattan-Vänersborg Airport (THN) , located right behind the Saab Factory in Trollhättan, Sweden began when the land was purchased for the use of an airplane factory and airfield in 1937. This was the same year that Svenska Aeroplan AktieBolaget or SAAB, began making aircraft for the Swedish Military.

During the Second World War (1939-1944), the facility was in full swing for the Swedish Air Force and produced the B3, B5, B17, J21 and J21R.

Following the War, the airfield continued but instead of military purposes, it operated commercial civilian flights, flight school, air freight and private flights.

In 1973, the airport was modernized and became a regional airport serving Trollhättan, Uddevalla and Vänersborg municipalities with approximately 10,000 passengers that year.

Ten Years later the airport expanded the runway, new terminal and tower, and the annual passengers rose to nearly 22,000.

In 1985, the Trollhattan-Vänersborg Airport began flying the second historical SAAB civilian commercial passenger turboprop, the SAAB 340. Three years after this launch the SAAB 340 began serving Finland as well.

In 1990, a new route to Arlanda airport in Stockholm began, bringing the passengers that year to nearly 150,000 per year.

In 1992, Swede Air took over operation of the flights at the airport, then a year later SAS closed Swede Air and a new service provided by Golden Air continued service while limiting the existing routes to save on costs, which is when the SAAB 2000 aircraft was introduced.

2000 came and the annual passeners were reduced to 85,000 through Golden Air’s service.

Today, the annual passengers served at the airport is somewhere around 65,000 and continues to operate the SAAB 340 and SAAB 2000 aircrafts.

For more information on the Trollhattan-Vänersborg Airport please visit


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SAAB 340 Aircraft Coming to Augusta, Maine This January

Posted on 21. Oct, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History / May 13th, 2001 (Worcester, MA Airport) – Stock photo

Saab 340 Aircraft are coming to Augusta, Maine this winter season to provide 3-4 daily flights from the capital city, Augusta, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts and back again from Colgan Air.

I have confirmed this with the folks at Colgan Air who manage this fleet of Saab 340s, and they are looking forward to this new transportation opportunity here on the coast of New England.

Let’s keep watching for more updates as the details of this program begin to solidify.

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American Airlines Divests Eagle Operations With Saab 340s

Posted on 27. May, 2008 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History / Worcester, MA Airport taken on May 13th, 2001

According to Flight Global, American Airlines has plans to divest it’s American Eagle operations which includes 34 SAAB 340b Turboprop airplanes.

Here is the writeup on this decision by American Airlines:

American Airlines to divest of Eagle division as part of capacity cuts

By Mary Kirby

AMR is pressing forward with plans to divest its wholly owned regional American Eagle Airlines even as it prepares to slash the carrier’s fleet and reduce feeder services to sister American Airlines in response to record-high fuel costs and growing economic concerns.

The company in November 2007 said it would consider a spin-off to shareholders or a sale to a third party this year, among other options. A separation is still in the works despite AMR’s announcement that as many as 40 regional jets, plus an unidentified number of turboprops, will be culled at Eagle to facilitate a 10-11% reduction in regional affiliate capacity in the fourth quarter.

This is in addition to the retirement of up to 45 aircraft operated by American – mostly Boeing MD-80s, but some Airbus A300s – which is in line with a reduction in fourth quarter domestic mainline domestic capacity of 11-12%. Service cuts and thousands of job losses are expected as a result, as well as the potential closure of some facilities.

“We are moving aggressively to stabilise the economics of our core airline business, while moving forward with initiatives – including the divestiture of American Eagle and [investment advisory] American Beacon – that we believe will unlock value for you and your fellow owners of the company,” says AMR chief executive Gerard Arpey.

It remains to be seen if the sale of Eagle will pose a challenge to AMR. The carrier owns a large fleet of small regional jets – aircraft that face increasing pressure in today’s tough operating environment. Flight’s ACAS database lists Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered American Eagle as operating 25 Bombardier CRJ700s, 38 Embraer ERJ-135s, 59 ERJ-140s, and 29 Saab 340B turboprops. Executive Airlines – which flies as American Eagle from San Juan – operates 39 ATR 72 turboprops.

Divestiture of Eagle is less about making money “and more about a return to sane strategy” where costs can be better controlled, says Richard Aboulafia, vice-president analysis at Teal Group. “I never understood why any mainline carrier would want to own its own feeder. That’s like outsourcing to your own factory. How do you pressure them for costs?”

AMR has stayed mum about what regional types will be affected by the fleet cuts. Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Linenberg in his latest report says aircraft most likely to be removed are the 37-seat ERJ-135 jets, which “probably aren’t even close to hitting break-even at current fuel prices”. Among Eagle’s turboprops, he says, “it would seem that some or all of the 34 Saab 340Bs are the best candidates for removal”.

Should Saab 340Bs be cut from the fleet, Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) chief executive Michael Magnusson believes the market can soak them up, but notes: “Obviously it depends on how many come out how quickly.” Also in question is whether the turboprops would even be put up for sale. A large batch of Eagle Saab 340Bs have been parked since 9/11. “Eagle has refused to sell them in case they need them. Now it will be interesting to see if they will change that policy,” says Magnusson.

Source: Mary Kirby / Flight Global

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Washington, D.C. Airport Expands SAAB 340 Service

Posted on 18. Dec, 2007 by .


Film Credit: Colgan Air

According to the Buffalo Business Journal, the Washington, D.C. area just got another incredible boost to the continued utilization of the trusty SAAB 340 passenger turboprop airplane as of late.

This recent addition of new flights in and out of Washington, D.C.’s Dulles airport is very good news to the family owned and operated Colgan Air, Saab Aircraft Leasing company based in the Washington, D.C. area.

United Airlines has announced it has struck a deal, through Colgan Air Inc., to begin connections via the two cities to Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport.

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Argentine Air Force to Acquire Four SAAB 340B Aircraft

Posted on 20. Nov, 2007 by .



Photo Credit: SAAB Group

There has been a lot of news on the topic of Argentina in the Washington, D.C. area lately. This news begins with the recent Saab sighting at the Embassy of Argentin last week, and now this week, the Argentina Air Force will be buying count them, four, SAAB 340B aircraft through SAAB Aircraft leasing here in the Washington, D.C. area.

This is incredible news for the local Saab Aircraft Leasing company.

Here is the official press release from SAAB Aircraft Leasing:

Argentine Air Force to buy four Saab 340B aircraft
[2007-11-19 15:29]

Saab Aircraft Leasing in cooperation with Saab Aerotech is pleased to announce the formal decision of the Argentine Air Force to buy four Saab 340B aircraft during 2008 and 2009. This is a culmination of a four year process to select a new middle-size transport aircraft for the Argentine Air Force.

The total budget for the aircraft and logistic support package is approximately 34 million USD spread over five years.

These aircraft will be used to serve remote areas in the Patagonia region in southern Argentina, replacing old Fokker F27s. The Argentine Air Force ran an international RFP process in order to select the best package of aircraft and support services. Saab Aircraft Leasing was declared as winner of this process and the two parties are now formalizing a final agreement that includes four completely overhauled Saab 340B aircraft together with a complete logistic package of spares, manuals, tools, ground support equipment, training of pilots and mechanics, Saab on-location technical support as well as a “Parts Exchange Program” on the rotables including propeller and landing gear.

Two aircraft will be delivered during the second half of 2008 and the other two during 2009. All four aircraft will be based and maintained in Commodoro Rivadavia. They will be operated by the Air Force-managed airline LADE serving the Patagonia region. For this purpose all aircraft will have gravel modification as well as expanded communication equipment. They will also meet the latest civilian requirements on TCAS-2, TAWS, expanded DFDR, secured cockpit doors, etcetera.

“This shows the capabilities of the Leasing organization to bid and win an international bidding process for a government contract by using the resources within Saab Aircraft Leasing and the support of Saab´s logistic provider Saab Aerotech,” says Michael Magnusson, President of Saab Aircraft Leasing. “Previously Saab Aircraft Leasing and Saab Aerotech have secured contracts for Saab 340B aircraft from the Swedish Air Force as well as the Japanese Coast Guard.”

“This is an exciting project for my team in Sterling as it will involve delivery of a complete logistics package for the operation in Patagonia. This will utilize all the support expertise currently available in the Sterling, backed up by Sweden,” says Robert Kline, Head of Operations at Saab Aerotech of America.

Saab Aircraft Leasing manages a portfolio of about 200 Saab 340 and Saab 2000 aircraft leased to 25 airlines around the world. With 35 employees, its head-office is in Washington, DC and regional offices in Stockholm Sweden and Tokyo Japan.

Saab Aerotech is Sweden´s leading supplier of integrated support solutions. With capabilities and competence spanning the defence, civil security and commercial sectors, Saab Aerotech provides a broad range of services and products for cost effective life-cycle support of customer systems and platforms. Saab Aerotech is a business unit of the Saab Group.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers´ changing needs.

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Regional Airport Secures Saab 340 in West Virginia

Posted on 12. Nov, 2007 by .


Photo Credit: SAAB Aircraft Leasing

Beckley Raleigh County Memorial Airport in nearby West Virginia recently secured the Saab 340 to their fleet. Evidently, the general manager, Tom Cochran, welcomes this arrival!

Please read the full story on this arrangement with Colgan Air and the airport.

Here is a notable quote from Tom Cochran:

“It’s a very dependable aircraft (the Saab) & This is a turbo aircraft!”

This recent acquisition for another lease of a SAAB aircraft indicates that these aircraft, brand new in 1983, continue to be in high demand due to build quality and other factors.

According to the official SAAB leasing website, their are currently no more SAAB 340’s available to lease. The only SAAB’s currently available include 1 remaining 2000 model! It appears that demand definitely seems to be outpacing supply. Doesn’t this situation indicate that it is time for SAAB’s aircraft division to design, build and introduce a new commercial airliner since they introduced the 2000 back in 1988?


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SAAB 70th Anniversary Celebration – Linköping, Sweden

Posted on 25. Sep, 2007 by .


SAAB Aircraft celebrated their 70th anniversary at their home of Linköping, Sweden at the end of August and I have just received their press release and photographs that describe this celebration.

It is important to note that while all SAAB aircraft were present during the celebration, there was one exception which was the SAAB Scandia 90 commercial airliner. The last remaining SAAB Scandia 90 resides at a museum in Bebedouro, Brazil, South America. SAAB tried to buy this for their 50th anniversary in 1987, their 60th in 1997 as well as their recent 70th anniversary this year, but the owners continue to ask for a figure that is deemed unreasonably high time and time again.

Aside from the airplanes, the Saab Performance Team as well as legendary rally champion, Erik “On The Roof” Carlsson were also present amongst other notables for this very special event as you will see in the photographs above.

Here is a press release that describes a segment of this 70th anniversary celebration.

Guests celebrated Saab’s 70th anniversary

A flyby of Saab’s aircraft started the customer day that is part of Saab’s 70th anniversary. Around 700 customers, partners, suppliers, analysts and media came to join the celebrations.

The VIP day took place at the Saab compound in Linköping, Sweden, on Friday August 31. Åke Svensson, President and CEO of Saab wished everyone a warm welcome.

“It is fantastic to have you here today. I am so proud of this company” he said by way of introduction. A short film about the history of Saab was shown and Åke Svensson spoke about Saab’s development from 1937 to the present day.

”Focus has changed. Previously the emphasis was on one large Swedish customer, today we have broadened our horizons and the internationalisation has increased.”

Saab in the future

The emphasis of the seminar that followed was on the future and what Saab might be working on at the time of the 100th anniversary in 2037. The seminar discussed what the future might hold within civil security and air (unmanned aircraft), sea (naval command and control systems) and land areas (multistatic radar).

Lennart Sindahl, business unit manager for Saab Aerosystems, and Michael Franzén, project manager for UAV operations in the business unit, spoke about the possibilities of unmanned aircraft. In their vision of the future we will be flying with unmanned passenger aircraft several years before Saab celebrates 100 years.

Lars Tossman, business unit manager for Saab Underwater Systems, and Richard Colling, point of contact Sea, spoke about the importance of flexible, autonomous underwater vehicles in the future.

Air show with all still flying Saab planes

The day was rounded off with a flying display featuring nearly all Saab’s aircraft that are still flying: Saab B17, Saab 32 Lansen, Saab 91 Safir, SK60, Saab 35 Draken, Saab 37 Viggen, Saab 39 Gripen and Saab 2000.

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