Arinc (Booth No. 929) is preparing to launch its SkyLink in-flight broadband communications service on the North Atlantic flight tracks and has launched a slimmer antenna suitable for aircraft other than the Gulfstreams which have enjoyed exclusive access so far. First user will be a Falcon 2000 to be equipped by Waterford, Michigan-based Pentastar Aviation.
Open Travel Alliance
The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association is donating a bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor to American Airlines’ Kansas City Overhaul Base on May 24. The nonprofit association was created to promote aircraft maintenance professionals, who are called either aircraft maintenance technicians (AMT) or aircraft maintenance engineers (AME).
The Regional Airline Association opens the next chapter in its 32-year history this year as new association president Roger Cohen presides over his first RAA convention in Memphis. But in the five months since the group bid farewell to Debby McElroy, Cohen hasn’t enjoyed much time to acclimate to his new environs, having dived head-first into one of the most contentious debates over FAA funding the industry has ever had to face.
Club Airways, the Geneva-based members-only executive airline, has resumed operations under new ownership and management; it had filed for bankruptcy in late April. The company has resumed service with Citation IIs, Vs and Bravos between Geneva and Paris with three weekly flights, and plans to step up to two daily flights in late August. As in the past, Club Airways does not operate aircraft, but wet-leases them from the charter market.
Strong revenue growth has led Delta AirElite, the business aircraft charter division of Delta Air Lines, to introduce a revenue guarantee for aircraft owners who are accepted for enrollment in the company’s aircraft-management program. The company is offering new management clients flight hour guarantees ranging from 200 to 500 hours annually for select aircraft.
Pilots for the legacy carriers are still narrowly backing the FAA’s mandatory age 60 retirement rule for Part 121 airline pilots, but most pilots flying for the low-cost carriers advocate removing, or at least modifying, the rule.
Airline travelers on Delta, Northwest and other airlines operating under bankruptcy protection might face longer lines, delays and fuller and less frequent flights, but it’s “business as usual” at Delta’s business jet charter arm, Delta AirElite, according to a spokesman. “There will be no affect on our ability to serve our charter, membership or aircraft management customers,” he said.
Will passengers flying on business jets and airliners really ever be able to use their personal cellphones to make and receive calls in flight?
Dallas-based Business Jet Technologies is teaming with Shadin and AeroMech to develop an RVSM equipment package for Gulfstream IIs and IIIs. The package, said a spokesman, can be installed for about $175,000 at the company’s Tulsa, Okla. maintenance shop with approximate downtime of five to seven days. Gulfstream owners can purchase the kit, tentatively priced at $150,000, for installation locally.
Last month, Boeing-owned Alteon Training (formerly FlightSafety Boeing) announced the opening of its new $75 million training facility at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The six-acre center includes two full-motion, FAA level-D simulators for Boeing’s 717-200 and one for its 737-700/800–the latter compatible with the Boeing Business Jet.