There’s an important lesson to be learned from the FAA’s proposed $24.2 million civil penalty against American Airlines for improper maintenance procedures. When the FAA says “correct it,” it means immediately. The airline has been tagged for the largest civil penalty ever proposed by the FAA for failing to correctly follow a 2006 Airworthiness Directive involving the maintenance of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80s.
The U.S. Department of Justice has approved the merger of United and Continental Airlines, the carriers announced on Friday. UAL and CAL expect to close the transaction by October 1, assuming their respective stockholders vote to clear the deal next month.
In what might prove the biggest cross-border airline merger ever between two Latin American airlines, Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM plan to form the world’s 10th largest carrier (in terms of passenger numbers) under a non-binding memorandum of understanding signed August 13.
American Eagle’s first shipment of new airplanes in some five years began last month as the Dallas-based regional airline took delivery of two new CRJ700s from Bombardier. Scheduled to accept two airplanes each month for about the next year, Eagle as of last month already flew 25 of the Canadian jets, all of which offered a first-class section as of July 2.
Malaysia Airlines will equip its incoming fleet of Boeing 737s with the Thales TopFlight satellite communication system. The airline placed a firm order in 2008 for 35 Boeing 737-800s, with an option for an additional 20 in a deal worth $4.2 billion at list prices. Boeing is due to deliver the first of those airplanes in October.
American Eagle president and CEO Peter Bowler has given AMR notice of his retirement after a 26-year career with American Airlines and its regional subsidiary. AMR has asked former American Eagle chief Dan Garton to return to his old post to replace Bowler. AMR also reiterated that it might divest itself of its regional subsidiary. It first announced the possibility of a sale in 2007.
Air Ranking International, a Geneva-based consultancy firm, has just released its inaugural safety ranking of commercial airlines.
Houston-based ExpressJet has named Thomas Hanley its new president and CEO. Hanley has replaced interim president and CEO Patrick Kelly, who has returned to his position on ExpressJet’s board of directors on May 1 after filling a vacancy left by long-time CEO James Ream. Ream resigned last December to accept a position with Dallas-based American Airlines.
The FAA seems to have been extraordinarily busy of late finding incidents of non-compliance with regulations. The result is what seems to be a high number of civil penalties assessed against operators, from airlines to tiny flight schools, for infractions ranging from non-compliance with Airworthiness Directives to flying
American Eagle president and CEO Peter Bowler has given AMR notice of his retirement after a 26-year career with American Airlines and its regional subsidiary.