The Air Transport Association (ATA), which called the House’s bill “business as usual,” and its various airline members are still pushing hard for user fees. In an e-mail last week to frequent fliers, United Airlines chairman, president and CEO Glenn Tilton requested the airline’s most loyal customers support user fees, claiming that the fees will support air traffic modernization.
Desperately keen to present a positive image here at Le Bourget following the past two years’ industrial troubles, Airbus is working to ensure the support of production-line workers for its proposals to rationalize the business. Airbus plans to improve earnings before interest and tax by a cumulative $6.6 billion during by 2010 and to generate an additional $2.8 billion annual revenue from 2010.
Airbus looked intent on making up for two years of persistent hits to its credibility virtually all at once yesterday with a nearly uninterrupted string of sales, order “commitments” and MoU announcements, led by firm orders for 80 A350 XWBs from Qatar Airways and 60 A320s from GE Commercial Aviation Service.
Rolls-Royce is celebrating its biggest ever civil engines order, a $5.6 billion deal for Trent XWBs to power Qatar Airways’ 80 Airbus A350 XWBs, and it is set to announce even more orders for the engine during the show.
US Airways has also committed to the engine for its 22 A350s in a $1.8 million deal. Both contracts include Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare long-term services agreement.
Aftermarket parts manufacturer Heico has jump-started sales of FAA-approved PMA replacement parts to airlines with a new agreement it signed with British Airways in early May. Heico, with its subsidiary Seal Dynamics (Hall 2B Stand L14D), will not only sell PMA parts to British Airways but will manage the airline’s PMA parts buying activities.
Airbus has made virtue of a necessity with its new A350XWB (extra widebody) airliner. The company admits it was outmaneuvered by Boeing with the rapid success of the rival 787 program and Airbus very much needs to prove to the market that it is offering something more than just a catch-up product.
Three pilots for US Airways have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to force the FAA to immediately grant them exemptions from the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Club Airways, the Geneva-based members-only executive airline, has resumed operations under new ownership and management; it had filed for bankruptcy in late April. The company has resumed service with Citation IIs, Vs and Bravos between Geneva and Paris with three weekly flights, and plans to step up to two daily flights in late August. As in the past, Club Airways does not operate aircraft, but wet-leases them from the charter market.
Keenly aware that code-share partner US Airways might not survive the growing threat of another bankruptcy, Mesa Air Group has expanded its contingencies to include starting a discount airline, à la Atlantic Coast Airlines.
Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Shuttle America will sever all ties with US Airways effective October 2, leaving four more destinations without scheduled service from Pittsburgh International Airport. Last month Shuttle America ended all service between Fort Wayne and Pittsburgh, and between Bedford, Mass., and Trenton, N.J.