Delta AirElite Business Jets is celebrating its 20th year of business aircraft charter and management, and remains the only business jet provider owned by a major airline. The Cincinnati-based company has been in business since 1984, originally as part of regional airline carrier Comair and then as a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines following its acquisition of Comair in January 2000.
When flying into Cincinnati, pilots have a choice of two main airports: Lunken Municipal Airport (LUK), located on the north shore of the Ohio River and within the
The Transportation Security Administration began random security checks of airline and airport employees in Florida and Puerto Rico last month after authorities arrested two Comair employees for smuggling weapons and drugs aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Orlando to San Juan.
The Canadian Cabinet has approved a $250 million loan from the so-called Canada Account for a past transaction involving 10 Bombardier CRJs to Cincinnati-based Comair. The move marked the first application of a new $1.2 billion credit facility established by the Canadian government specifically to fund regional jet sales. It also relieved Bombardier of its exposure to an interim private loan issued at the point of sale.
Embraer appears to hold a surprisingly strong position in a contest with Bombardier to supply more 70-seat jets to Comair after new president Fred Buttrell issued an apparent endorsement of the Brazilian 70-seater in a letter to employees. Now flying 137 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJ200s and 27 CRJ700s, Comair would take another 10 CRJ200s and as many as 25 seventy-seaters if pilots agree to wage freezes and a one-year contract extension.
Comair pilots have agreed to forego salary increases for the next 2.5 years in return for a promise by the airline to add 20 fifty-seat and 15 seventy-seat regional jets, contingent on similar concessions from mechanics and flight attendants. Sixty-one percent of the pilots voted to accept the agreement, which amends the rest of the current contract with the Air Line Pilots Association and extends it by a year into 2007.
SkyWest COO Brad Rich said last month that Delta Air Lines has “expressed its desire specifically to us” to sell one or both of its regional subsidiaries–Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair–to the St. George, Utah-based regional carrier. “I think it’s more than just an interest,” said Rich. “They need to generate some capital somewhere, and this is one way to do it.”
Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair took delivery of the 1,000th production regional jet built by Bombardier Aerospace during a December 9 ceremony at the company’s plant in Dorval, Quebec.
Notwithstanding recent complaints of poor operational performance by the nation’s biggest regional airlines, passenger boardings, revenue passenger miles (RPMs), load factors and average trip distance all broke records during last year’s third quarter, according to statistics compiled by Washington, D.C.-based The Velocity Group for the Regional Airline Association.
A private mediator joined contract negotiations between Comair and its 1,500 pilots last month as part of a tentative settlement that saw the airline move the date on which it threatened to unilaterally impose pay cuts from December 30 to February 2. A new schedule of negotiations called for meetings on January 8, January 15 to 19 and January 29 to February 1 in Washington, D.C., and January 25 to 26 in Los Angeles.