Mesa Air Group has cut salaries among its senior management by 23 percent; the company will credit the proceeds to US Airways in support of the major airline’s restructuring efforts. Mesa has also asked its US Airways Express employees to voluntarily agree to defer up to 23 percent of their salaries. US Airways has agreed to repay all the deferrals upon its emergence from bankruptcy protection.
When President Bush last month signed a tax law that extends the “placed-in-service” deadline to the end of next year for new aircraft buyers to qualify for the 50-percent bonus-depreciation allowance, he also enacted a provision of the new law that isn’t such good news. NBAA noted that the new tax law sets more stringent limits on expenses a company can deduct when there is personal use of an employer-provided aircraft.
Bankrupt Mesaba Airlines has asked a bankruptcy court judge to void contracts with its three labor unions after employees refused to agree to a 19.4-percent cut in payroll costs. In response, the airline’s pilots, flight attendants and mechanics staged protests at Minneapolis-St.
Air Canada last month suggested the potential sale of Air Canada Jazz, just as executives prepared to meet with key unions to discuss cost cuts at its money-losing regional subsidiary. Air Canada seeks to trim a total of C$650 million ($425 million) in labor costs, an amount equal to roughly 23 percent of its annual payroll and related expenditures. Air Canada Jazz aims to shed C$90 million–the exact amount it lost last year.
CAE has signed a five-year agreement with Hawker Pacific to provide maintenance training for the company and its clients within the Southeast Asia region. Hawker Pacific Asia operates a growing network from its main headquarters in Sydney,
Australia. The company has five locations around Australia and also operates in New Zealand, the Middle East and Asia.
Hawker Beechcraft opened its new sheet metal assembly facility in Chihuahua, Mexico. According to the Wichita-based airframer, the new light metal shop will support the company’s current and projected workforce needs and alleviate space constraints at its U.S. manufacturing facilities. Current plans for the operation call for an initial staff of 250 workers with a growth potential of up to 650 over the next five years.
A Cessna spokeswoman confirmed that the company plans to add 1,500 jobs next year, mostly in Wichita, largely due to growing sales of its Citation business jets. The Wichita-based manufacturer estimates that it will deliver 380 business jets, including 44 entry-level Mustangs, this year and expects to ship 470 twinjets, including nearly 100 Mustangs, next year.
The NetJets Aviation (NJA) pilots, represented by IBT Local 1108, are currently voting on an “interest-based bargaining” proposal that was struck between management and pilot representatives last month.
The current standard-industry fare level (SIFL) rates (per mile) in effect through December 31 are: 0 to 500 mi–$0.2017; 501 to 1,500 mi–$0.1538; and more than 1,500 mi–$0.1479. The SIFL terminal charge is $36.88. SIFL fees are used to satisfy IRS requirements for operators to compute the value of non-business transportation aboard employer-supplied aircraft.
The pilot hiring rate this year by fractional ownership operators is slightly lower than last year’s rates, according to figures compiled by AIR Inc. The Atlanta-based employment services company reported that six fractional operators had hired 607 pilots this year through July, compared with 844 hired by five operators in the same period last year. Nearly 1,400 frax pilots were hired during all of last year, compared with just 581 in 1999.