Notwithstanding consistent losses through which the regional airline industry’s publicly traded carriers have suffered lately, the last three years have proved a period of considerable progress on several fronts. Perhaps most notably, the industry has not registered a fatal accident since the Feb. 12, 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, in which 50 people died primarily due to pilot error.
By the time American Eagle president Dan Garton spoke with AIN in late March, he had just presented his labor groups with a restructuring plan that called for a 5-percent reduction in the number of employees to achieve the cost savings the company would need to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
AMR management has proposed loosening the scope clause language in its Allied Pilots Association (APA) contract as part of its plan to return to profitability following its eventual exit from bankruptcy.
The regional airline business lost more of its luster last week, when Delta Air Lines announced it would retire its entire Saab 340 turboprop fleet and “adjust” flying in 24 small markets, 16 of which benefit from Essential Air Service subsidies.
Embraer will wait as late as year-end for Boeing to decide on a plan for a 737 replacement before the Brazilian company commits to a successor for its own E-Jet family of aircraft, Embraer executive vice president for the airline market Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva told AIN in an interview ahead of this week’s Paris Air Show.
Ever the optimist, Roger Cohen stayed true to form as he talked about his most pressing concerns for the Regional Airline Association and its membership for the next year during a pre-convention interview with AIN. The RAA president seems always to see opportunity in the challenges confronting the association and its 30 member airlines, perhaps most notably in the evolving regulatory environment they face.
The October 1 merger of United and Continental Airlines has exhumed an old bone of contention between mainline pilots and their management that stands to profoundly affect regional airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association-represented brethren employed by them.
Delta Air Lines plans this month to start installing onboard Wi-Fi on 223 regional jets flown by Delta Connection carriers, making Delta the first U.S. carrier to deploy the service across its entire mainline and dual-class regional fleets.
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to a September 1 memo to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
Major airline pilots have long complained about the practice of “outsourcing” flying to lower-cost regional carriers, despite the existence of clauses written into union contracts meant to limit the size and number of regional airplanes those affiliates may fly.