Bankrupt Mesaba Airlines has asked a bankruptcy court judge to void contracts with its three labor unions after employees refused to agree to a 19.4-percent cut in payroll costs. In response, the airline’s pilots, flight attendants and mechanics staged protests at Minneapolis-St.
The U.S. airline industry last month felt the opening tremors of what could become the biggest shakeup in the business since the introduction of the regional jet. On August 15, US Airways announced a plan to fly 50- to 69-seat RJs within its mainline system, using mainline flight crews as part of a far-reaching reorganization effort.
The U.S. Court of Appeals struck a blow to pilot groups across the country last month when it blocked a federal court’s ruling to force scheduled Part 121 carriers to comply with a new interpretation of the long-disputed pilot duty-time rule.
The first four years of the 2000s have been a trial for aviation. While the decade got off to a heady start in 2000 with the high times of the late-1990s boom still going strong, by the spring of 2001 the industry’s fortunes were taking a southerly course.
An AD should be issued requiring all operators of transport-category airplanes with certain pressure-vessel structural repairs to determine if they were done properly or whether there’s hidden damage that could lead to multiple-site fatigue cracking and possible structural failure, according to the NTSB.
Faced with widespread uncertainty about an industry threatened by growing regulatory burdens, the specter of increased security fees and scope-clause restrictions, the Regional Airline Association did its best to lend some perspective and a sense of harmony during its annual convention, held May 12 to 15 in Nashville, Tenn.
Memphis-based Northwest Airlines subsidiary Express Airlines I on May 8 officially changed its name to Pinnacle Airlines ahead of an initial public offering expected to raise $400 million.
The regional airlines became an economic safety net of sorts after September 11, when the majors quickly realized they could not survive flying large airplanes nearly empty. The options–cut flights and market presence entirely or replace mainline jets with smaller aircraft–presented airlines with a clear course of action. Code-sharing regional airliners quickly delivered cost-effective solutions.
By any measure of market share and financial performance, the convalescence of the U.S. regional airline industry looks nearly complete. Since last year’s RAA convention in Phoenix, the nation’s regionals have posted double-digit traffic gains while margins marched toward pre-9/11 levels and RJ fleets grabbed another 5 percent of the air transport network’s market share. Far from issuing a clean bill
At first it might seem like an odd couple: Don Burr, People Express founder and low-fare airline pioneer, and Bob Crandall, controversial megastar of American Airlines. Fierce competitors in the 1980s, the two men are now combining their talents and their money to develop a national on-demand, regional-based air-taxi network with hundreds of very light twinjets. Crandall is chairman of the new venture and Burr is CEO.