For the first time in the 36-year history of the RAA a sitting DOT Secretary visited the association’s annual convention, as Ray LaHood made the trip to Nashville last month to deliver one of the most upbeat keynote addresses heard by delegates to the spring get-together in several years.
Air Canada launched the first direct competition against Bombardier Q400 operator Porter Airlines out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on May 1, when the flag carrier’s new regional subsidiary, Sky Regional Airlines, began service between the downtown Toronto airfield and Montreal. Flying under the new Air Canada Express brand, Sky Regional operates hourly Q400 service up to 15 times daily, between 7:30 a.m.
For the first time in the history of the Regional Airline Association (RAA), a sitting Department of Transportation Secretary attended the group’s annual convention this year.
The management and pilots of American Eagle are “aggressively” preparing for an eventual divestiture of the regional airline from AMR, Eagle’s Air Line Pilots Association master executive council vice chairman, Dave Ryter, told AIN in late March.
Ever the optimist, Roger Cohen stayed true to form as he talked about his most pressing concerns for the Regional Airline Association and its membership for the next year during a pre-convention interview with AIN. The RAA president seems always to see opportunity in the challenges confronting the association and its 30 member airlines, perhaps most notably in the evolving regulatory environment they face.
Regional carriers in Europe say that consultation and communication between the industry and regulators and lawmakers has improved, but they await better balance of consumer-rights legislation among all transport modes.
Western Australia’s Skywest Airlines last month signed a 10-year strategic alliance with Virgin Blue to fly as many as 18 new turboprops to several new destinations around Australia. The agreement will see Virgin Blue and Skywest establish a code-share relationship on a number of sectors of each other’s domestic networks and allows Virgin Blue and Skywest customers to earn and redeem reward points on each other’s networks.
The Air Line Pilots Association won the latest battle in the war on so-called regional airline outsourcing when an arbitrator derailed United Continental Holdings’ plans to place the CO code on 70-seat jet flights operated by United Express carriers from the Continental hub cities of Houston, Newark and Cleveland.
The October 1 merger of United and Continental Airlines has exhumed an old bone of contention between mainline pilots and their management that stands to profoundly affect regional airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association-represented brethren employed by them.
Not everyone agrees with the regional airlines’ assertion that they fly just as safely as their mainline counterparts. With this perception and several specific accidents in mind, the NTSB convened a symposium in late October to shed more light on airline code-sharing arrangements and their role in aviation safety.