While the Regional Airline Association and regional airline management point to new rules governing flight time experience for first officers as the primary reason for a pilot shortage that has resulted in a loss of service to several U.S. communities, pilots contend the airlines have made their own mess by creating a business model predicated on breadline wages for cockpit crew. The Air Line Pilots Association, for one, argues that there’s no shortage of pilots, only a shortage of pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits.
During a recent conference in London the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Flight Operations Group (FOG) solicited the views of a select group of speakers representing pilots, airlines, manufacturers and regulators about the various scenarios that might have led to the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. At least one contradictory statement accompanied each of the plausible explanations, however, suggesting more than one causal event occurred simultaneously, according to one expert. “If it was hypoxia, then who turned the aircraft?” he asked. “If it was a fire, then how did it continue flying? If it was the flight crew, then why did the cabin crew not intervene?”
Emteq has signed an agreement with Air Works that will make its products more easily available to operators in India. Air Works, a provider of aviation services across 15 maintenance locations in India, will integrate Emteq’s cabin electronics into upgrades for executive and airline operators throughout India. “Until recently, Indian aircraft buyers had little option but to look overseas for aircraft completion and refurbishment facilities.
Five-month-old Indian regional airline Air Costa plans to start international operations once India lifts its rule that limits new carriers to domestic services during their first five years of operation. Ahead of that revision, the carrier, which ordered a mix of 50 Embraer E190-E2s and E195-E2s at the Singapore Air Show in February, has applied for a national permit to fly pan-India, Vivek Choudhary, chief commercial officer and vice president of corporate finance of parent company LEPL Projects, told AIN.
Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
Demand for air travel in the U.S. grew slowly in 2013, a year that started “with a good deal of uncertainty that never really let up,” the Federal Aviation Administration states in its latest 20-year aerospace forecast. Nevertheless, the U.S. airline industry posted a fourth straight year of profits, thanks to changes it implemented after the 2008 global recession. The biggest change is that airlines have shifted from efforts to increase their market share to improving shareholder returns, the FAA said.
India’s next government needs to press ahead with the development of domestic air routes, according to a new report published by consultants KPMG last week. India’s Five-Year Plan for the period 2012 to 2017 included a policy to improve flight connections between second- and third-tier cities, but progress all but stalled due to the political inertia that has gripped government ahead of elections to be held in April and May. At the same time, the recent downgrading of the country’s aviation authorities to Category 2 by the U.S. FAA has compromised India’s ability to develop further international air service.
Honeywell Aerospace signed agreements with two Indian airlines on the second day of the India Aviation show in Hyderabad. The first memorandum of understanding involves Air India agreeing to evaluate its SmartRunway/SmartLanding avionics system. The second was signed with GoAir, which has agreed to help with the development of the EGTS electric taxiing system jointly designed by Honeywell and Safran.
U.S. airlines and airports fell into opposing camps over the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the Federal Aviation Administration, which would raise the cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC) airports are entitled to collect for every boarded passenger from $4.50 to $8.
The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, which serves to repeal part of the Qantas Act and effectively removes restrictions on foreign ownership and stipulations affecting Qantas’ business operations, passed Australia’s Lower House of Federal Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 83 to 53.