While the Air Line Pilots Association has taken an unequivocal stance against the U.S. Justice Department’s attempt to block the merger of bankrupt American Airlines parent AMR and US Airways, at least one segment of the union–namely the unit representing the pilots of American’s wholly owned regional subsidiary–sees things a bit differently.
Air Transport and Cargo
News and issues relating to international air transport and cargo carriers, national airlines and regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) last Thursday gained Russian certification of a long-range version of the Superjet 100 known as the SSJ100-95LR, following 115 hours of testing during 60 flights since February 15. Five percent more thrust generated by the airplane’s Powerjet SaM146 turbofans and strengthened wings increase the airplane’s range to 2,472 nm from 1,590 and maximum takeoff weight to 109,109 pounds from 101,150.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) reinstated low-far carrier Zest Air’s operating certificate last Tuesday following a four-day suspension triggered by a series of alleged safety oversights. Zest Air, whose ownership structure includes a 49-percent stake held by Malaysia’s Air Asia, returned to service four of its 11 Airbus A320-series narrowbodies as of August 22 and hoped to resume a full schedule by the end of the week, following clearance by CAAP inspectors.
The financial performance of U.S. airlines improved from “razor thin margins to paper thin margins” during the first half of the year, as passenger airlines collected 2.1 cents in profit for every dollar of revenue, according to trade organization Airlines for America (A4A). In a quarterly media briefing on August 22, A4A said airlines benefited from a small decrease in fuel prices, their largest cost.
Mitsubishi Aircraft suffered another credibility hit on Wednesday, as the company announced the third major delay to the MRJ regional jet program.
The world’s three leading airline alliances have signaled their unwillingness to relocate from London Heathrow Airport in the event that a government-appointed commission proposes the development of a second hub airport for the UK capital.
The U.S. Justice Department pointed to what most in the airline industry would consider fairly innocuous comments by US Airways executives as evidence of how consolidation has harmed the flying public by resulting in higher airfares and reduced service.
It specifically cited US Airways president Scott Kirby’s remarks that consolidation has allowed for “three successful fare increases.”
FedEx Express awaits the result of Supreme Court proceedings in the Philippines that could determine its ability to fly freight within the archipelago.
Rockwell Collins’s planned acquisition of airborne communications provider Arinc positions it to benefit both on the ground and in the air from the increasing “digitization” of airline communications. The future paradigm for ATC calls for replacing voice communications between pilots and controllers with digital data messaging, and Arinc’s ground infrastructure provides one of two major pipes for routing those messages.
International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, has secured firm orders and options for up to 220 Airbus A320 family narrowbodies, of which it plans to assign 120 to its Barcelona-based low-fare subsidiary, Vueling. IAG said the new aircraft will allow Vueling to replace some of its existing A320s and expand its business.