Bombardier Aerospace’s case for the C Series may just have grown sounder last month as Boeing announced it would pull the plug on the 110- to 115-seat 717, the proposed Canadian jet’s main competitor. Boeing plans to end production of the weak-selling 717 by the middle of next year, after the last of a backlog of 18 airplanes rolls off its Long Beach assembly line.
Pogo, a planned very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi operation launched in 2004 by former American Airlines chairman and CEO Robert Crandall, moved its schedule forward by one year and now expects to launch in June next year instead of in June 2009, likely using the Eclipse 500. A company official told AIN that Pogo has launched another funding search, this one to raise $35 million.
The aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) advising the FAA about whether airline pilots should be able to fly after reaching the agency’s mandatory retirement age of 60 issued what could only be called a split decision.
In what many observers predicted, the FAA/Industry Age 60 Aviation Rulemaking Committee was unable to reach consensus on whether to raise the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. Bloomberg News reported it obtained a copy of the report, which the FAA is studying but has not yet released.
Most airlines are investing in information technology to streamline their businesses as part of the relentless struggle for profitability. But a surprising number appear willing to ignore initiatives such as e-ticketing and self-service kiosks, and those that do risk being left behind.
The Chinese government has acknowledged that although China’s airlines have improved in airline management and operations, they still lag their major Asian competitors. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and its continuing march toward a market economy present significant challenges to its airline industry.
Wood Dale, Illinois-headquartered AAR is to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the landing gear of Boeing 767-300s operated by Shanghai Airlines and the Boeing 737-800s flown by China Airlines of Taiwan. The Shanghai Airlines work will be carried out at AAR’s Miami facility.
Rapid growth in the number of new aircraft being acquired by Chinese airlines, along with the announcement last August that United Airlines would send its Boeing 777s to Ameco Beijing for heavy maintenance over the next five years, suggests a busy future for the country’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry.
Hamilton Sundstrand (Hall 4 Stand F13) has inked a 10-year agreement with ATA Airlines to support its components fitted to the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737 and 757s. Under the deal, worth $14 million, the United Technologies group will provide inventory management and logistics, and repair services for line-replaceable units under its comprehensive accessory repair and exchange program.
Under the current ATC funding mechanism, business aviation “gets a free ride, or almost free ride,” according to American Airlines chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey. Speaking last week at an Executives’ Club of Chicago luncheon, Arpey said airlines “use two-thirds of the ATC system’s services but pay more than 90 percent of the cost.