The U.S. airline industry is in “survival mode” against competition from foreign carriers, some of which are using “extreme new measures” to gain access to Americans flying internationally, said the president of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). Lee Moak sounded the alarm during a May 29 press briefing that touched on the union’s hot-button issues, chief among them Norwegian Air’s application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit.
Low cost carrier Wizz Air is aiming to raise €200 million ($273 million) through an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next month. The 10-year-old company is seeking to expand its network, which currently consists of around 315 routes between 96 destinations in 35 countries, in order to challenge the continent’s leading budget carriers Ryanair and EasyJet. U.S. private equity group Indigo Partners, which is currently Wizz Air’s leading shareholder, is expected to reduce its equity holding through the share offering.
Executive charter operator DC Aviation (Booth 4859) has again passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) with a very positive assessment, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company announced this week. In February, five auditorsreviewed more than 1,000 standardsand processesat DC Aviation. The areas covered aviation lawand regulations, technology and safety and quality management and flight operations. Many new questions had to be answered as part of the audit, according to DC Aviation.
Stating that he believes the worst years of the global economic downturn are behind us, EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba welcomed the audience to the opening session kicking off EBACE 2014 yesterday morning with “confidence that 2014 is going to be, if not a defining moment, certainly a positive and exciting one.” He cited this year’s total of 499 exhibitors, an amount which is up 8 percent over last year’s tally, along with a 4 percent rise in occupied exhibit space.
The International Civil Aviation Organization on May 14 agreed to work toward tracking airline flights, no matter their global location or destination. The specially convened ICAO meeting in Montreal on May 13 and 14 also established a framework for medium- and long-term future tracking efforts.
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
UK carrier EasyJet said it will apply new technologies, including operating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), to maintain its Airbus fleet. The airline is also developing 3D virtual reality and augmented reality technology, customized engineering applications and early fault prognosis. It is installing Panasonic Toughpad tablets in cockpits fleetwide.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has a new president and CEO, Jon Beatty, who until recently held the same positions with International Aero Engines. He comes to the aviation safety advocate with solid manufacturing industry experience, having begun his career as a quality engineer with Sikorsky. He was confirmed in his post in April and is now heading up FSF’s efforts to promote further advances in flight safety.
Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive.
Seemingly bucking the trend suffered by most of the rest of the regional airline industry, Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has managed to attract a fair share of qualified pilots to accommodate its seemingly unlikely growth. But while speaking Wednesday at this year’s Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, CEO Jonathan Ornstein made certain to ensure no one came away from the briefing with any doubt about his position on the new legislation that requires new hire first officers to carry an air transport pilot certificate.