Atlantic Coast Airlines last month petitioned a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to force United Airlines to reveal its plans for the continuation of the ACA’s United Express contract by February 28. Operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy since December 9, United could reject or maintain the terms of the current agreement.
Last month’s rush to speculation over the effects of United Airlines’ decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection had just spread to include conjecture about its regional affiliates when Atlantic Coast Airlines released an illuminating statement on the status of its code-share relationship with the world’s second-largest carrier.
Bombardier employees in Montreal and Belfast might thank, among others, SkyWest Airlines for the Canadian manufacturer’s decision to boost regional
jet production this year. A firm order from the St. George-based carrier for 18 CRJ700s and four CRJ900s announced on November 30 raised last year’s CRJ sales totals to 136 and the production backlog for the ubiquitous regional jet series to 168.
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 CRJ100, Lexington, Ky., Aug.
Five years of on-and-off negotiations between SkyWest Airlines subsidiary Atlantic Southeast and its 1,700 pilots ended on September 28, when the sides reached a tentative deal on a five-year contract.
SkyWest Airlines last month said it plans to acquire 22 more regional jets as part of a strategy to retire 23 Embraer Brasilia turboprops and add 66-seat jet capacity to its United Express network. SkyWest also intends to swap four 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200s for four RJs configured with 76 seats under its Delta Connection banner.
The DOT’s office of inspector general is auditing the FAA’s parts certification and surveillance procedures to determine the effect of the increasing U.S. market share of foreign-built airplanes. Of particular interest is the FAA’s oversight of foreign parts from the growing segment of U.S. airlines flying regional jets from Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier.
Delta Air Lines last month sold its equity position in SkyWest Airlines in a block trade of 6.2 million shares worth $125 million. Although the deal returns SkyWest to its former status as a fully independent entity, its code-share agreement with Delta will remain untouched, according to Delta CFO Michele Burns. “Delta has an excellent relationship with our partner SkyWest,” she said.
Both sides claimed victory last month in the latest ALPA organizing effort at SkyWest Airlines after a U.S. district court judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction forcing management to allow the union to distribute pamphlets in non-work areas while refusing ALPA’s request to ban SkyWest from funding its in-house pilot association. Judge Charles Breyer also denied ALPA access to company e-mail, mailboxes and training classes.