Textron Aviation issued layoff notices yesterday for 750 full-time and contract employees at Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft as it integrates these businesses following Textron’s acquisition of Beechcraft last month. “As a part of bringing together these businesses, we have identified redundancies in our global workforce that have ultimately led to some very difficult decisions that affect the sizing of our business,” the company said in a statement.
Flight Dept Advantage (FDA), a provider of start-up and operational services for flight departments, launched a program that “relieves an aircraft owner of all direct obligations related to payroll taxes, benefits and workers compensation while addressing IRS, FAA and other regulatory pitfalls.” Called FDA HR Advantage, it works with clients’ professional advisors to create a customized solution specific to each aircraft owner’s operation, business structure and goals.
The U.S. regional airline industry will shrink over the next three years as new regulations governing pilot employment and structural changes precipitated by new, less profitable code-share contracts and pilot-union scope clauses take hold, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford predicted during a February 27 conference call to brief analysts on his company’s fourth-quarter earnings.
JSfirm.com, an online aviation-specific employment board operator, recently released the results of its fifth annual hiring trends survey. The survey not only looked back at the results from the past year, but noted some positive indications for the coming year as well. “This annual survey has proved to be accurate in past years at forecasting the hiring trends and is eagerly anticipated by the aviation industry,” said Jeff Richards, the company’s operations manager. Four hundred companies across various sectors of the industry provided the data for the survey.
A meeting between company officials and the Flight Options pilot union planned for today and tomorrow is intended to address issues arising from the consolidation of fractional-share operations Flexjet and Flight Options. Flight Options parent Directional Aviation Capital purchased Flexjet from Bombardier last December for about $195 million.
While the Regional Airline Association and regional airline management point to new rules governing flight time experience for first officers as the primary reason for a pilot shortage that has resulted in a loss of service to several U.S. communities, pilots contend the airlines have made their own mess by creating a business model predicated on breadline wages for cockpit crew. The Air Line Pilots Association, for one, argues that there’s no shortage of pilots, only a shortage of pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on March 26 released a comprehensive review of the November 2013 shooting incident at Los Angeles International airport in which a TSA employee was killed. Immediately following the November attack, the TSA stepped up local and state law enforcement patrols at major airports. The TSA report said new agency protocols should enhance the safety and security of its employees, as well as airline passengers.
The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 284 executive boards launched the NetJets Unions Coalition last week, citing “minimal progress and unjustifiable demands” during ongoing contract talks. NJASAP represents the more than 3,000 NetJets pilots, while Local 284 represents some 500 NetJets dispatchers, flight attendants, maintenance controllers, mechanics and stock clerks.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is preparing to reduce its staff by 20 percent in the face of government budget cuts. Safety inspectors, mostly based in Canberra, make up just over half of the 110 personnel who might be let go. The union representing the safety inspectors is fighting the planned cuts.