A “comprehensive” plan unveiled Friday by International Airlines Group (IAG) to save its Iberia subsidiary from financial ruin calls for the company to cut 4,500 jobs, cut network capacity next year by 15 percent and eliminate 25 airplanes from the fleet.
The European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee has cleared the way for airlines to start trading slots at European Union airports by endorsing new rules aimed at forcing carriers to use or lose slots. But the European Commission (EC) has expressed concern that both the legislators and EU transport ministers have diluted its reform plan by rejecting its proposal that airlines should lose a slot if they fail to use it at least 85 percent of the time (an increase from the existing 80 percent requirement).
The association representing major U.S. airlines expects that carriers will scale back capacity early next year, aligning it more closely with passenger demand to offset record high jet fuel prices. Airlines for America (A4A) projects a 2.4-percent reduction in scheduled domestic flights, a 1.3-percent decrease in domestic seats and a 0.1-percent cut in domestic available seat miles (ASMs) in the new year. This year, domestic ASMs rose a modest 0.1 percent over last year’s total seat capacity.
The business jet delivery landscape remains virtually flat, according to third-quarter industry numbers released yesterday by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. In the first nine months of the year, OEMs delivered 428 business jets, just one more than they did during the same period last year. In the third quarter alone, airframers handed over 134 jets, a decrease from the 171 delivered in the previous quarter.
Bombardier Aerospace’s third-quarter revenues were flat at $2.3 billion year-over-year, but pre-tax profits at the Canadian aircraft manufacturer slipped by $6 million, to $123 million. Meanwhile, net deliveries of both regional airliners and business jets stood at 57 aircraft in the quarter, down from 68 a year ago. However, it added net orders for 83 aircraft and built a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5:1, compared with net orders for 34 aircraft during the same period last year.
Citing its intention to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the standalone Beechcraft Corp., Hawker Beechcraft notified employees yesterday that it will begin the process of closing Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio. The Wichita-based OEM also affirmed that approximately 240 employees will be affected at these locations.
NetJets opened a new exclusive-use facility for its customers at Atlanta DeKalb-Peachtree Airport yesterday. The fractional aircraft provider has signed a long-term lease with Atlantic Aviation for the 2,800-sq-ft facility, which includes customer and crew lounges, a conference and business center and flight-planning facilities. According to NetJets, DeKalb-Peachtree is one of its most popular domestic destinations, with approximately 4,000 NetJets flights coming in and out of the airport annually.
Bell Helicopter has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SAIT Polytechnic to make its classrooms and labs at SAIT’s Art Smith Aero Centre in Calgary, Alberta, available for Bell Helicopter to use in the delivery of approved maintenance, repair training and certification programs.
Professional Aircraft Accessories had a formal reopening of its facility to mark completion of its 20,000-sq-ft expansion. The addition brings the total facility size to approximately 60,000 sq ft. A spokeswoman for the company told AIN, “The demand for work, particularly landing gear work, necessitated the expansion.”
The addition also provides room for growth of the company’s service area, accessory shop, instrument and avionics lab, expanded machine shop and paint shop.
Tennessee-based Inventory Locator Service has released a mobile-friendly version of its website to enhance its services and create more value for its clients. “Mobile devices play an ever-increasing role in business as we know it today,” said ILS president Eric Anderson. “The new mobile version of ILSmart provides something no one else offers: the ability to perform several types of aviation marketplace transactions quickly from a smartphone.” The mobile site offers parts search, RFQ and quotes sending and receiving and it helps operators quickly locate parts and vendors.