Pilots from two different regional airlines lost their jobs for alcohol-related offenses over the span of two weeks, further adding to an undercurrent of public suspicion produced by the July 1 arrest of two America West pilots for the same reason. On July 28 airport officials removed an ASA first officer from a scheduled flight from Wilmington, N.C., to Atlanta after a TSA security screener claimed to smell alcohol on his breath.
Mesa Air Group
US Airways informed Mesa Air Group that it will end its code-share relationship with Mesa subsidiary CCAir on November 4, and re-assign the last remaining routes flown by the Charlotte, N.C.-based regional to wholly owned US Airways subsidiary Piedmont Airlines. The decision will effectively close CCAir in its entirety, unless Mesa can negotiate a new “cost plus” contract to replace CCAir’s pro-rate agreement.
The decision by US Airways and United Airlines to test the scope-clause language in their pilot contracts after September 11 appeared fully vindicated last month, as both airlines’ Air Line Pilots Association chapters agreed to withdraw their force majeure grievances during negotiations aimed at resuscitating the ailing major carriers.
A union leader has accused American Eagle of declaring war on its pilots after the company announced it was transferring 14 regional jets to another airline.
Milwaukee-based Midwest Express regional subsidiary Skyway Airlines will adopt the name Midwest Connect on January 1 as part of a company-wide identity campaign that will also see the parent airline change its name to Midwest Airlines. Midwest Express CEO Tim Hoeksema said the decision to remove the “Express” designation from the mainline came about because customers associate the name with a commuter operation.
The U.S. air transportation system lost one more source of “essential” service last month when Big Sky Airlines officially went out of business. Billings, Mont.-based Big Sky flew its last Beech 1900 service on March 8, leaving another seven communities isolated from the nation’s scheduled airline network.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Pan Am International Flight Academy has installed a Bombardier CRJ flight training device at the school’s Deer Valley, Ariz. facility. Equipped with a wrap-around visual system similar to those used in level-C flight simulators, the FTD uses a navigation database encompassing the entire continental U.S.
It didn’t take long for Mesa Air Group’s seemingly innocuous new code-share deal with United Airlines to raise far wider implications, as Mesa chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein last month launched a bid to spread his company’s influence beyond its already substantial breadth with an overture to buy Atlantic Coast Airlines.
A new 11-year code-share contract between Air Wisconsin and United Airlines went into full effect last month, after a U.S. bankruptcy court approved the terms of an MOU giving the Appleton, Wis.-based regional airline the authority to fly up to 17 more fifty-seat Bombardier CRJs as United Express. The deal also allows Air Wisconsin to continue United Express operations with its 17 BAe 146s through 2005.
A concerted effort to develop a modern regional air transportation industry in China has finally begun, just in time for the Beijing Summer Olympic Games and as the country’s aerospace industry readies the indigenously developed ARJ21 regional jet for service.