A Frontier Airlines Boeing 737 was struck by lightning on New Year’s Eve en route to Tampa, Fla., setting off a chain of events that culminated in the arrest of a mechanic in Denver the following day. Conforming to company policy governing post-lightning strike checks, the maintenance team in Tampa inspected the aircraft (number 313) and made an appropriate entry in the logbook. However, that didn’t satisfy the Frontier mechanic in Denver.
The so-called “Jets for Jobs” program agreed upon by US Airways as part of the labor contract ratified by its ALPA-represented pilots over the summer has produced neither jobs nor jets for anyone so far.
Greek regional airline Aegean Airways has surfaced as one of six bidders for the country’s ailing flag carrier, Olympic Airways. Aegean will compete for the rights to the airline with Olympic Investors; New Wings, led by Greek businessman Pavlos Vardinoyiannis; Golden Aviation, led by Greek shipping tycoon Spiros Restis; Chrysler Aviation; and Wexford Group, owner of U.S.-based Chautauqua Airlines.
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) elected Republic Airways chairman, president and CEO Bryan Bedford to assume the chairmanship of its 2007-2008 Board of Directors at its November 27-28 fall meeting in Washington, D.C. Bedford succeeds MAIR Holdings CEO Paul Foley. The RAA also elected Trans States Holdings’ Rick Leach vice chairman of the board, SkyWest’s Chip Childs treasurer and Cape Air’s Dan Wolf secretary.
Bombardier’s repair facilities at Indianapolis International Airport are now the Indianapolis Jet Center. The Canadian company moved out on October 31, and Keeker Aviation reopened the doors the next day under the new name.
At face value, the big orders from Air Canada in late September for Bombardier and Embraer jets augur well for the Western hemisphere’s last two regional jet builders. The orders added significantly to the companies’ delivery backlogs. Embraer received a firm order for 45 of its 98-seat 190s and Bombardier logged a contract for 15 CRJ200s and 15 CRJ700 Series 705s.
The corporate shuttle. It starts “here,” goes “there” and comes back again on a regular schedule. Not unlike a weaver’s “shuttle,” efficiently pulling the thread back and forth to create a work worthy of the weaver’s craft. And that, in essence, is what the corporate shuttle aircraft does.
US Airways plans to start taking deliveries of Embraer jets again this November under a new agreement to convert its remaining positions on 57 Embraer 170s to 99-seat Embraer 190s, 23 of which remain subject to reconfirmation by the airline. Still subject to bankruptcy court approval, the deal includes options on another 50 airplanes from the Embraer 170/190 line.
America West’s decision to close its hub in Columbus, Ohio, has forced it to sever its relationship with code-share partner Chautauqua Airlines. Between early April and mid-June, America West will gradually downsize the hub to a planned four mainline flights per day, a development that freed Chautauqua’s 12 Columbus-based Embraer ERJ-145s to fly as Delta Connection, starting April 1.
The U.S. airline industry last month felt the opening tremors of what could become the biggest shakeup in the business since the introduction of the regional jet. On August 15, US Airways announced a plan to fly 50- to 69-seat RJs within its mainline system, using mainline flight crews as part of a far-reaching reorganization effort.