In seeking to consummate its proposed strategic alliance with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways aims to head off the challenge posed by the formidable pairing of British Airways and American Airlines. So who did Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson recruit to succeed retiring CEO Steve Ridgway? Why, naturally, a senior American Airlines executive in the shape of senior vice president for customers Craig Kreeger, who assumes his new role from February 1.
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The line has sharpened between airlines and labor groups over the FAA’s decision to exclude all-cargo operations from its new, stricter pilot flight duty rule, scheduled to take effect in January next year. Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization representing major U.S. airlines, issued a statement on January 7 reaffirming its support of the duty rule as published and urging Congress to reject new legislation that would change the rule to include all-cargo carriers.
A recently reposted YouTube video has provided a stark reminder to cockpit crews that airport rescue service response times are not consistent around the world. The 2007 video was shot at Okinawa in Japan during a fire that destroyed a China Airlines Boeing 737 as it sat at the gate. A ground worker can be seen approaching the inferno with a fire extinguisher before fire trucks arrived.
Imagine seeing this headline: “Major Airline Uses Student Pilots on Passenger Flights.” There would be universal outrage and condemnation if an airline tried to put students in the cockpit on passenger-carrying flights–even if “just” to handle the radios or practice touching some of the controls in cruise flight.
Virgin Group boss Richard Branson insists that Virgin Atlantic’s brand will remain intact well into the future following Delta Air Lines’ planned purchase of Singapore Airlines’ 49-percent stake in the UK carrier. “First of all, ignore the press speculation, the British Airways speculation,” said Branson via a video feed from his Caribbean retreat on Necker Island during last week’s announcement. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Arinc Direct has brought a range of its products to the MEBA show, underlining its position as a leading flight services solutions provider for business aviation. The company (here at Stand 387) is showcasing its Connect Communication System, a new development that provides three-in-one capability in a single portable device.
Boeing projects the world’s airlines should see reasonable liquidity and pricing for new-aircraft delivery financing next year as jet builders accelerate production to meet demand, the manufacturer announced in London on Tuesday while issuing its fifth annual finance market forecast.
Republic Airways’ efforts to “restructure” its Indianapolis-based Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary appear to have yielded their intended results. During a November 1 conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter earnings, Republic CEO Bryan Bedford reported that the regional airline holding company has found a way to mitigate future negative cash flows at Chautauqua by some $45 million over five years, largely by reaching new business agreements with several “key stakeholders ” and returning idled aircraft to revenue service.
At the NBAA Convention, Arinc Direct unveiled its new ADConnect app for Apple and Android devices, further demonstrating the flexibility and capability of modern smartphones. ADConnect allows passengers to use their smartphones instead of onboard handsets to make satcom calls, all without installing additional equipment. ADConnect costs $9.99 at the Apple App Store or Google Play (Android).
The association representing major U.S. airlines expects that carriers will scale back capacity early next year, aligning it more closely with passenger demand to offset record high jet fuel prices. Airlines for America (A4A) projects a 2.4-percent reduction in scheduled domestic flights, a 1.3-percent decrease in domestic seats and a 0.1-percent cut in domestic available seat miles (ASMs) in the new year. This year, domestic ASMs rose a modest 0.1 percent over last year’s total seat capacity.