The number of pilots hired from January through May by the six major fractional operators (559 pilots) is outpacing hiring by the major airlines (302) and regional jet operators (402), according to statistics compiled by AIR Inc. of Atlanta. Only hiring by national airlines (649) surpassed fractionals (total hired in all categories was 2,509). AIR also reported that 7,257 of 94,571 active airline pilots are on furlough in the U.S.
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Boeing will delay first flight of the 787, this time by as much as six more months, as it continues to grapple with slower-than-expected completion of work originally meant for suppliers, the company said today. It now expects to fly the first airplane some time during this year’s fourth quarter–at least 14 months later than originally planned.
In response to increasing demand for services from general and corporate aviation customers, Arinc Direct has expanded and relocated its Scottsdale, Ariz. aircraft service and maintenance operations.
The U.S. air transportation system lost one more source of “essential” service last month when Big Sky Airlines officially went out of business. Billings, Mont.-based Big Sky flew its last Beech 1900 service on March 8, leaving another seven communities isolated from the nation’s scheduled airline network.
Federal agents last month arrested six Venezuelan pilots and two ramp workers accused of using false immigration papers to obtain employment in the U.S. Two of the pilots, Pedro Agusti and Luis Garmendia, flew for American Airlines regional subsidiary American Eagle. Another pilot, Pedro Bottome, flew as a Citation X captain for Executive Jet Aviation.
After conducting an internal investigation, last month Southwest Airlines leaders switched from defending the airline’s maintenance practices to suspending three maintenance employees and grounding a significant number of airplanes to re-inspect them for possible cracks. The FAA issued a statement on March 6 proposing that Southwest Airlines pay a $10.2 million civil penalty for its error.
Flight services provider Arinc has added an automatic radiation calculating feature to its Arinc Direct flight solution package. Portfolio subscribers will be able to use the feature free of charge to track the potential radiation exposure of their flight crews.
The Air Transport Association (ATA) contends that the recently issued DOT Inspector General report on National Airspace System usage proves the airline trade group’s assertion that business jets aren’t paying their “fair share.” ATA said the report’s findings “confirm what airlines have long been saying: that business jets are being subsidized by airlines and their customers.
A new 11-year code-share contract between Air Wisconsin and United Airlines went into full effect last month, after a U.S. bankruptcy court approved the terms of an MOU giving the Appleton, Wis.-based regional airline the authority to fly up to 17 more fifty-seat Bombardier CRJs as United Express. The deal also allows Air Wisconsin to continue United Express operations with its 17 BAe 146s through 2005.
Wulfsberg Electronics, a division of Chelton Avionics, has introduced a line of small navcom radios and a mode-S transponder that will fit just about anywhere. The Chelton FliteLine radios in a dual navcom installation take about half the panel space of Bendix/King radios. This is made possible by using the FliteLine color radio management unit installed in the panel and keeping Bendix, AlliedSignal or Chelton Series III radio controllers.