A steady rise in traffic and load factors might seem like good news for the airline delegates gathered at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) general assembly in Vienna from September 29 to October 1. But as airlines turn to “fierce cost cutting” to attract passengers, reality muted any calls for celebration during the three-day event.
Charter broker Air Partner has seen a 40-percent increase in executive aircraft bookings over the past year. In an October 6 statement, which reported significantly improved financial results for the year ending July 31, the UK-based group said that business aircraft charters had increased most markedly during May, June and July and that many of these bookings were from financial institutions.
The corporate shuttle. It starts “here,” goes “there” and comes back again on a regular schedule. Not unlike a weaver’s “shuttle,” efficiently pulling the thread back and forth to create a work worthy of the weaver’s craft. And that, in essence, is what the corporate shuttle aircraft does.
Six months ago, when 10 new states joined the European Union (EU), the lifting of trade and political barriers enlarged the world’s largest borderless marketplace to 450 million people. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta joined the existing 15 member states on May 1. In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania are likely to join the EU, with Croatia and Turkey to follow eventually.
During the heyday of small-airplane manufacturing in the mid- to late 1970s, factories in Wichita, Lock Haven and Vero Beach built tens of thousands of airplanes, and every one of them somehow had to find its way from the conclusion of the production flight-test process into the hands of an owner or dealer.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has ruled out introducing taxes on jet fuel for commercial operators for at least three years. In a hard-fought deal struck at the close of the organization’s assembly on October 8, ICAO delegates agreed that no fuel taxes or charges can take effect before its next triennial assembly in the fall of 2007.
As professionals engaged in business aviation, each of us probably has questions about what lies ahead for our community. Will there be sufficient airspace and runway capacity to accommodate an increasing number of operations without a subsequent increase in delays? Will the ATC infrastructure be improved, and if so, whose voices will dominate the debate for designing a new system?
During a discussion with a friend recently he touched on a problem he and most others in his industry are having. It seems that the labor market has been getting tighter for certain kinds of employee. He was not talking about the MBA types or the attorneys as we seem to produce more than enough of them to satisfy demand.
Air Canada last month suggested the potential sale of Air Canada Jazz, just as executives prepared to meet with key unions to discuss cost cuts at its money-losing regional subsidiary. Air Canada seeks to trim a total of C$650 million ($425 million) in labor costs, an amount equal to roughly 23 percent of its annual payroll and related expenditures. Air Canada Jazz aims to shed C$90 million–the exact amount it lost last year.
Early next year the only non-living member of the former rock group The Beatles will have the airport in Liverpool, England, named after him. Next spring, coinciding with the opening of a new airline terminal, the airport will become Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The logo for the airport will include a Lennon self-portrait and the printed line “Above us only sky” from one of his most endearing and enduring hits, Imagine.