Boeing’s machinists voted last Friday to accept some steep contract concessions in return for management’s promise to build the 777X in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, finally succumbing to corporate pressure to relinquish their defined benefits pension plan for a 401k-style arrangement. The vote hardly reflected any sort of consensus, however, and highlighted a rift between workers willing to stand on a principle and those who claim a responsible sense of pragmatism.
AIN Air Transport Perspective » January 6, 2014
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last month opened the first of 300 planned application centers for its “Pre-Check” expedited screening program, which allows members to pass through airport security checkpoints without removing their shoes, laptop computers and other personal items. The agency expects the centers to boost enrollment in Pre-Check; previously the program covered mainly airline frequent fliers and travelers enrolled in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency’s Global Entry program.
Resolved on tapping the booming Central Asian market, global alliances SkyTeam, OneWorld and Star Alliance have approached Kazakhstan national carrier Air Astana with offers to join their ranks. In response, the airline recently commissioned U.S.-based Seabury Group to prepare a report on whether it should enter an alliance “and which one, because all alliances want us to join them,” Air Astana president Peter Foster told AIN in Astana recently.
Commercial aviation has entered its second century, New Year’s Day having marked the 100th anniversary of the first flight with a fare-paying passenger. To celebrate, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has established 2014 as a year to reflect on the “contribution of aviation to modern life.” St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew the 23-minute first service across Florida’s Tampa Bay, using a Benoist Model XIV airboat with St. Petersburg mayor Abram Pheil in the only passenger seat. To mark the centennial, a Hoffman X-4 Mullet Skiff airboat retraced the route on January 1.
Three new air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have agreed to invest in the future Aireon satellite-based air traffic surveillance system, joining anchor investors Nav Canada and Iridium Communications. Italy’s ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority and Denmark’s Naviair will together invest $120 million in the system, Aireon announced in December.
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