US Airways insisted the decision to place a new Embraer 170 flight simulator at its Charlotte, N.C., base didn’t necessarily signal an intention to move MidAtlantic Airways out of Pittsburgh International Airport. But employees and airport officials remained unconvinced–yet another reflection of a persistent distrust new US Airways CEO Bruce Lakefield hopes to assuage as he attempts to save the company from financial ruin.
What started as an annoyance three years ago appears to have turned into a legitimate threat to the essence of the Air Line Pilots Association’s long-held strategy for protecting mainline pilot interests.
The regional airlines became an economic safety net of sorts after September 11, when the majors quickly realized they could not survive flying large airplanes nearly empty. The options–cut flights and market presence entirely or replace mainline jets with smaller aircraft–presented airlines with a clear course of action. Code-sharing regional airliners quickly delivered cost-effective solutions.
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon set the stage for an upheaval in the U.S. airline industry unseen since the dawn of deregulation. But while virtually no one besides the enemies of America welcomed the negative economic effects, some airlines may very well emerge from the crisis in a stronger competitive position.
Less than six months after Shuttle America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Windsor Locks, Conn.-based de Havilland Dash 8 operator signed a new code-share agreement with US Airways covering new service from Boston Hanscom Field to Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J.
Potomac Air, the wholly owned US Airways Express carrier established in January as part of an asset divestiture plan for the failed merger agreement with United Airlines, ceased operations on October 6. The demise of the Washington-based subsidiary came as US Airways’ reduced capacity throughout its wholly owned Express system since September 11, a move that resulted in the furlough of 770 employees, including 170 at Potomac Air.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted 180-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval to Airbus for its A321, A320 and A319, including the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. The approval permits operators of these twinjets to operate as far as 180 minutes (at single-engine speeds) from a diversion airport. There are currently no U.S. ETOPS rules–only guidelines intended for Part 121 operators.
In the fallout from September 11, the FAA has placed tight travel restrictions on Part 91 operators flying from the U.S. to overseas destinations, while simultaneously prohibiting most foreign-registered private airplanes from landing at U.S. airports without first gaining clearance from the White House.
The NTSB last month issued a probable cause for the crash of
a Colgan Air Beech 1900 that killed two pilots during a ferry
Benjamin Murray has a vision for the future of Executive Jet Management (Booth No. 1023). As the newly appointed president and CEO, he would like to see the fleet size double to more than 200 airplanes over the next two years and expand the company to include a high-end boutique Part 91 aircraft management business.