India’s defense minister AK Antony has confirmed that military spending will be cut in the budget for the next fiscal year (April 2013 through March 2014). “The [Indian] government is passing through a difficult phase; the recession is affecting us,” said Antony in response to a question from AIN during a packed press conference at Aero India today.
Economy of the United States
XOJet announced today that it is promoting Bradley Stewart to company CEO, effective February 7. Stewart, who has been president of the fixed-price aircraft charter firm since 2010, was previously an executive with Parthenon Capital Partners and McKinsey. Current CEO Blair LaCorte will remain active with the charter company as a member of the board of directors. LaCorte will also retain his role as senior advisor to XOJet’s owner, TPG Portfolio, with which he has been affiliated since 2005.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is evaluating a request from Boeing to fly a 787 to test potential fixes to allow the airplane to re-enter service, the agency confirmed on Tuesday. The FAA gave no word on when it might respond to Boeing, however, nor would it confirm reports that the airplane could fly as early as this week.
Many, but not all, former Silver State Helicopter students have had their student loans forgiven in the wake of the 2008 bankruptcy and liquidation of what was then the largest civil helicopter school in the U.S. However, Cleveland-based KeyBank did not offer loan forgiveness, prompting 100 former students to sue, charging that the bank knew of Silver State’s precarious financial condition when it offered them high-interest-rate loans of up to $70,000 to attend the school. Arguments in the case were heard late last year by the Ninth Circuit U.S.
The pilots of Horizon Air voted last month to extend their current labor contract for three years, creating a new six-year pact. The new contract, negotiated on behalf of the 610 pilots by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, includes wage increases, so-called quality-of-life and productivity improvements, and better job security, said the Teamsters in a statement. Among pilots who returned ballots, 77 percent voted in favor of ratification.
Boeing has begun assembling 737NGs at a rate of 38 airplanes per month, the company announced Tuesday. Over the past two years, monthly production of the 737 has risen more than 20 percent, from 31.5 to 38 airplanes. Plans call for the rate to increase again to 42 airplanes a month next year.
The Boeing bargaining unit of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) has set a date of February 4 for sending strike ballots to its members, union director Ray Goforth told AIN last Wednesday. Members of the Bargaining Unit Council (BUC), consisting of all the company’s “relevant” shop stewards, reached the decision on Tuesday night, during a meeting in which the council agreed to support the negotiating team’s rejection of the company’s “best and final offer.”
Hawker Beechcraft key creditors voted “overwhelmingly” today to approve the Wichita-based OEM’s proposed Joint Plan of Reorganization as part of its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron yesterday reported a $1 billion increase in revenues, to $12.237 billion, last year, but it was the performance at Bell that contributed most to this gain. Manufacturing profits also rose by more than $140 million, to $1.07 billion, again mostly due to the helicopter manufacturer.
Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) is now the top House Democrat on aviation issues after colleagues voted him to sit on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He will also serve as the ranking member on the aviation subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over all aspects of civil aviation, including safety, infrastructure, labor, commerce and international issues. The subcommittee also oversees the FAA.