Air Dolomiti president and majority shareholder Alcide Leali last month announced his intention to exercise an option to sell 31.2 percent of the regional airline’s shares to German flag carrier Lufthansa. The estimated E40 million ($42.5 million) transaction, scheduled to take effect on April 16, would give Lufthansa a controlling stake in the Italian regional airline.
New European Union (EU) requirements have been introduced requiring most aircraft weighing more than 22,045 pounds or having more than 19 passenger seats to be subject to existing airline security standards. Only corporate or private aircraft that are not operating for hire are exempt from the rules, as are internal company training flights.
February 17 will see the launch of scheduled business aircraft services linking Geneva, London and Paris. Club Airways is a private membership service that will market seats in Learjet 45s operated through Bombardier’s Flexjet Europe program at fares that will be roughly 50-percent higher than equivalent fully flexible business-class tickets.
Statistics compiled by Aviation Information Resources (AIR) of Atlanta show a decrease in pilots hired by fractional providers from a peak of 1,363 in 2000 to 1,038 in 2001 to 997 last year, a drop in hiring of 27 percent over the three-year period. But the fractionals didn’t fare as poorly as other airline segments tracked by AIR. For example, the major airlines hired 4,779 pilots in 2000, 3,318 in 2001 and only 549 last year.
Great Lakes Aviation appears to have escaped a brush with certain bankruptcy thanks to a recently signed agreement with Raytheon Aircraft that gives the Wichita-based manufacturer a 36-percent stake in the long-foundering airline.
Flight schools must innovate to survive, since airlines are no longer able to sponsor tuition and a pilot career has lost its appeal amid headlines announcing furloughs, according to Oxford Aviation Training (OAT). The company said a UK pilot shortage within five years is a foregone conclusion, while elsewhere in Europe pilot demand “is expected to outstrip [training] capacity significantly starting in 2004.”
“When you’re on ATA, you’re on vacation,” used to be the airline’s marketing slogan. But the 10th largest airline in the U.S., American Trans Air (ATA), has shed its vacation-only image to attract more business passengers by cutting Part 121 charter service, expanding its scheduled service and upgrading to the newest fleet in the industry.
He might have shared the name of a great singer-songwriter, but in business aviation circles there was ever only one James Taylor–James B. Taylor III, business jet marketer for 40 years, who died on January 17 at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut at the age of 81.
Richard Ramsden joined Minneapolis-based Wells Fargo Equipment Finance as a
v-p specializing in corporate aircraft loans and leases. Ramsden came to the company from Bombardier Capital, where he was manager of aircraft finance.
The number of passengers carried by members of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) increased by 7.2 percent in the first three quarters of 2002, compared with the January through September period in 2001. The number of revenue passenger miles grew by 7.7 percent over the same period, according to figures released by ERA in early December.