The training requirements for a commercial pilot certificate in the U.S. don’t prepare aviators for the real world of airline operations, according to a report released in March by the GAO. Flight training also does not emphasize the skills required of young aviators hired by the regional airlines, often their first airline job.
While last year produced a “mixed bag” of modest growth that favored mainline airlines over regional carriers and international over domestic travel, the FAA predicts that airline passenger travel will nearly double over the next 20 years.
No one questions the need to maintain the best safety record in U.S. airline history. But the timing of the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaing (NPRM) to upgrade pilot qualifications couldn’t come at a worse time, especially for regional airlines already running a fine line between solvency and bankruptcy.
Canada’s Bombardier identified China Express Airlines as a customer for its CRJ900 regional jet last week during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Beijing for the Canada China Business Forum. The conditional order for six dual-class-configured CRJ900s plus options on another five, signed late last year, will give Bombardier its first sale of a new commercial airplane in China in “eight or nine years.”
A growing appetite among Indian carriers to serve regional routes makes the country a potentially big market for 250 regional jets with a capacity of up to 120 seats, according to Brazilian airframer Embraer. Twin-turboprop manufacturer ATR estimates in the next five years India will requirearound 100 aircraft,and 200 in the longer term.
AMR management has proposed loosening the scope clause language in its Allied Pilots Association (APA) contract as part of its plan to return to profitability following its eventual exit from bankruptcy.
Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) picketed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the days leading up to the Florida primary election on January 31.
It took quite a while, but the FAA finally did the right thing—to a point—when it announced that it would give passenger-carrying airlines two years to institute new flight/duty time rules.
Calgary, Canada-based low-fare airline WestJet yesterday confirmed that it considering the launch of a new short-haul, regional airline as early as next year, using a fleet of some 40 “smaller” turboprop aircraft.
St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines began flying as a US Airways Express partner on December 16, when it launched six daily flights from US Airways’ hub in Phoenix. The new three-year contact calls for SkyWest Airlines to operate some 49 flights to 19 destinations by the spring and includes an option for US Airways to switch equipment to CRJ700s.