Delta AirElite, which has operated an aircraft management and charter service since 1991 when it was still Comair Jet Express, took a step toward further expansion last month with the announcement of its Delta AirElite Fleet Membership block-charter program.
Bombardier landed the first regional jet sale to a U.S. carrier this year when Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines converted options to firm orders on three 50-seat CRJ200s last month. The order, valued at some $68.7 million, brings to 237 the number of 50-seat CRJs ordered by ASA and fellow Delta subsidiary Comair, of which 191 have been delivered and another 46 remain on backlog.
Delta Airlines’ Comair Jet Express, hoping to expand its global presence as an on-demand charter and aircraft management provider, has changed its name to Delta AirElite Business Jets.
The NTSB blamed the crew of the Comair Bombardier regional jet that crashed at Lexington (Ky.) Blue Grass Airport on August 27 last year for failing to realize that they were taking off from the wrong runway. The crash killed 49 people; the first officer, the sole survivor, sustained serious injuries. Runway 26, the runway the crew mistakenly used, is only 3,500 feet long; Runway 22, the runway they were cleared to use, is 7,003 feet long.
The sole survivor of the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Ky., on August 27 last year has sued the FAA, Lexington Blue Grass Airport, chart maker Jeppesen and the supplier of the airport’s runway and taxiway lights, Avcon.
James Polehinke, copilot and sole survivor of last year’s crash of Comair Flight 5191 on takeoff from the wrong runway at Blue Grass Airport, Lexington, Ky., filed a lawsuit last Friday against the U.S. government, the airport board, construction firm Tetra Tech, Jeppesen and airport employees.
A Fayette County (Kentucky) Circuit Court judge ruled last month that Comair may not sue Lexington Blue Grass Airport for the crash of a Bombardier CRJ200 that killed 49 people on August 27 last year. Judge James Ishmael ruled that, as part of the county government, the airport enjoys sovereign immunity and therefore doesn’t carry legal responsibility in the case.
Former Comair employee Zabdiel Santiago Balaguer pleaded guilty in Orlando federal court last month to gun and drug smuggling. The FBI arrested Balaguer in March along with five other co-conspirators, including fellow Comair employee Thomas Anthony Munoz, who allegedly tried to carry a duffel bag containing 14 guns and eight pounds of marijuana off a Delta Air Lines flight in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Department of Transportation has fined Comair $75,000 for misleading passengers about the cause of the rash of Christmas Day 2004 flight cancellations that left thousands stranded. A flood of schedule changes resulting from an ice storm caused the computer failure that ultimately resulted in the cancellation of 1,100 flights that day.
An April 10 safety recommendation issued by the NTSB calls for the FAA to revise its policies related to air traffic controller work schedules to account for disruptive sleep patterns and the accumulation of so-called sleep debt. It also recommends the institution of a training program to educate controllers and schedulers about the incidence and effect of fatigue on performance.