Forty-eight hours before the Regional Airline Association staged its annual convention at the Phoenix Civic Center from May 18 to 21, the season’s first 100-degree day marked the start of another long, oppressive summer in the Sonoran desert of the American Southwest.
According to the NTSB, faulty maintenance contributed to the crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900D seconds after taking off from Charlotte, N.C., on January 8, killing all 21 people aboard. At a hearing last month, the Safety Board said that during routine maintenance two days and several flights before the accident, a contract mechanic improperly retensioned control cables, possibly preventing full deflection of the elevator.
Still unable to comprehend the monstrous scale of the September 11 terrorist assault on the U.S., the international air transport industry got a swift taste of the disruption and chronic uncertainty that undoubtedly lie ahead. Business aviation–which some are now saying will become increasingly important as companies look for a safe and convenient alternative to airline travel–faced serious restrictions in the week following the attack.
Given one last chance to agree to pay cuts or risk the death of their airline, the pilots of CCAir finally blinked on April 29, when 72 percent of the Charlotte, N.C.-based airline’s remaining 108 active pilots voted in favor of a new five-year labor deal fashioned by parent company Mesa Air Group.
As the air transport industry slowly recovers from a sagging global economy and persistent geopolitical unrest, regional airlines have recast themselves as agents
for change in a business often criticized for its inflexibility and lack of fiscal discipline.
US Airways has placed a firm order for 92 Airbus airliners, including the first ever for the A350XWB by a U.S. airline.
Under pressure to help their employer meet financing conditions set by regional jet lessor GECAS, the pilots of US Airways voted to ratify a new agreement that will allow the troubled airline to transfer delivery positions for Embraer 170s and Bombardier CRJs from wholly owned subsidiaries to independent US Airways Express carriers. Only 74.1 percent of the eligible active pilots cast ballots.
Political and commercial agendas, both individual and collective, rarely allow for a wholly accurate assessment of the regional airline industry’s condition. With an array
of conflicting and ambiguous signals from within executive circles, trying to gauge industry prospects at this year’s Regional Airline Association convention in St. Louis would prove as frustrating as ever.
US Airways has named Keith Houk as the president and CEO of the combined Allegheny/Piedmont airlines following the retirement of Piedmont president and CEO John Leonard on March 31. The appointment brings Houk to Piedmont’s Salisbury, Md.
PSA Airlines took delivery last month of the first of 25 seventy-seat Bombardier CRJ700s ordered from Bombardier Aerospace, marking the start of the second phase of a fleet restructuring that will see the retirement of the Dayton, Ohio-based airline’s Dornier 328 turboprops.