Industry News


Industry News

Industry news is more important to career development and the job search than many aspiring career pilots realize. What new regulations that could affect your career lurk just over the horizon?

Which airline is thinking about buying another carrier? That could affect you directly if you work for the acquired carrier. Who is ordering new airplanes? If new aircraft are an addition to the carrier’s existing fleet, it will have to hire more pilots to fly them. How is the industry—and individual airlines—doing financially? While a company’s financial situation can change over time, you should know how an airline stands when you apply.

Boeing forecasts increased commercial pilot demand
Boeing released a new forecast July 20 showing continued strong demand for commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians as airlines add 38,000 airplanes to the global fleet over the next 20 years. Boeing’s 2015 Pilot and Technician Outlook projects that between 2015 and 2034, 558,000 new commercial airline pilots and 609,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians will be required worldwide. For 2015 it projects pilot demand increases of more than 4 percent compared to the 2014 outlook. The Asia Pacific region leads in pilot job growth, with 226,000 new pilots hired over the next 20 years. Europe and North America each will require 95,000 new pilots during the period, and the Middle East will require 60,000 pilots.

[POSTED JULY 28, 2015]

Southwest flight attendants reject tentative agreement
Southwest Airlines announced July 24 that its flight attendants have voted down a tentative agreement that would have ended two years of negotiations. Representatives for Transport Workers Union Local 556 said that 87 percent of those casting ballots rejected the contract proposal. Nearly 89 percent of eligible flight attendants voted. The contract would have run through May 2019 and contained fixed wage increases, cash bonuses, and quality of life improvements. The airline expects TWU leadership to evaluate the results before returning to direct bargaining.

[POSTED JULY 28, 2015]

FedEx books record Boeing 767 order
The largest single order for Boeing 767s in the 37 years since the model launched was placed July 21, when FedEx Express agreed to purchase 50 767-300F freighters valued at up to $10 billion based on list prices. FedEx also has options to purchase up to 50 more, AIN Online reported July 22. The carrier now has firm orders for 106 767s, which will be delivered from 2018 to 2023. In June FedEx announced plans to accelerate the retirement of seven MD-11s, three Airbus A300s, four A310-300s, and one MD-10. AIN noted that the new order guarantees a healthy 767 assembly line as Boeing prepares to produce the KC-46A, a 767-based aerial refueling tanker for the U.S. Air Force.

[POSTED JULY 28, 2015]

Pilots’ union sues Republic Airways
The union representing Republic Airways’ more than 2,200 pilots has filed a lawsuit against the company July 9 for unilaterally changing pilots’ working conditions regarding “open time” flying without first agreeing with the union about those changes. Members of Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Indiana, have been seeking a fair contract from the company since 2007, the union said. “The pilots are seeking a fair contract that spells out pay, benefits, and working conditions, so that the company can’t give something and take it back at their whim,” said Jim Clark, president of Local 357.

[POSTED JULY 14, 2015]

United flight attendants to picket over contract impasse
Members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) will conduct a systemwide Day of Action July 16 over contract negotiations for United Airlines flight attendants, the union said July 10. “It’s time United management complete the merger and return United to its premier status in the world. That starts with our contract,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson. Passengers and crew members alike are suffering from the incomplete merger, she said. United has failed to reach a unified labor contract with its 24,000 flight attendants despite a boast by United Chief Executive Jeff Smisek following the airline’s October 2010 merger with Continental that he would complete joint contracts with all workers by the end of 2011, according to the union.

[POSTED JULY 14, 2015]

American to add 8 routes in Mexico, Caribbean, Latin America
American Airlines said July 13 that it plans to add eight new routes to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America later this year. New flights will serve Mexico City International Airport; General Rafael Buelna International Airport in Mazatlan, Mexico; Curacao International Airport; Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Punta Cana International Airport; Gregorio Luperon International Airport in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. The flights will be operated using Airbus A319, Boeing 737-800, and Embraer E-175 aircraft.

[POSTED JULY 14, 2015]

Southwest reaches tentative agreement with flight attendants
Southwest Airlines announced July 2 that it has reached a tentative contract agreement with its flight attendants. While terms of the deal were not released, the airline said they include wage increases, bonus opportunities, and work-rule adjustments. “This tentative agreement not only provides additional money, it also supports Southwest’s low-cost structure and positions the company to be competitive in the years to come,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest executive vice president and COO. The flight attendants, represented by Transport Workers Union Local 556, will receive details of the agreement in the coming weeks, before a ratification vote. If approved, the new agreement will run through May 2019.

[POSTED JULY 7, 2015]

Horizon to begin new flights for Alaska
Alaska Airlines announced June 30 two new routes from Los Angeles, and one from Boise, Idaho. New daily roundtrip service between Los Angeles and Monterey, California; and Boise, Idaho, and Reno, Nevada begin Nov. 5. A seasonal flight between Los Angeles and Gunnison/Crested Butte, Colorado, will start Dec. 16. Alaska’s sister carrier Horizon Air will operate the new flights, using 76-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

[POSTED JULY 7, 2015]

Pilots say low pay driving pilot shortage
Low pay, combined with high college and flight-training debt—as well as poor quality of life—are discouraging people from seeking careers as airline pilots, several speakers said during a recent conference organized by the Air Line Pilots Association. The extent to which those factors contribute to a pilot shortage are in dispute, AIN Online reported June 25. The union said more than 700 of its members in North America are on furlough from their airlines, and contends there is a widespread pilot shortage that’s really a “pilot pay shortage” that keeps candidates from taking jobs at regional airlines. ALPA said the average starting pay for a regional airline first officer is $23,000 per year, while many candidates have spent $150,000 to $200,000 on a college degree and flight training. “We definitely are seeing a pilot shortage, if you define a pilot shortage as more and more challenges in terms of attracting and hiring talent into the profession,” said Alex Marren, chief operating officer of Atlanta-based ExpressJet Airlines, a SkyWest subsidiary.

[POSTED JUNE 30, 2015]

Flexjet takes delivery of first Gulfstream G450LXi
Flexjet LLC took delivery of its first Gulfstream G450LXiTM on June 23. It was the first of an order placed in October 2014 for up to 50 new Gulfstream business jets. The delivery marks Flexjet as the only fractional provider offering new Gulfstream business jets. In addition to the G450LXi, Flexjet is scheduled to take delivery of its first G650LXi early next year, and will be the North American launch customer for the 5,000-nm-range G500LXi announced last October.

[POSTED JUNE 30, 2015]

Delta expands transcontinental offerings
Delta Air Lines said June 29 that it will offer additional service on two busy U.S. routes. In November 2015, Delta will increase service between New York-JFK and Los Angeles International Airport from nine to 10 daily peak-day flights, four operated with Boeing 767 widebody aircraft, and six using Boeing 757s. Three of Delta’s eight daily flights between New York-JFK and San Francisco also will be transitioned to the larger Boeing 767 aircraft.

[POSTED JUNE 30, 2015]

Allegiant pilots’ union fights executive windfalls
A shareholder proposal sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that seeks to prevent payment of unearned windfall awards to Allegiant Travel Company executives in the event of a change of corporate control won majority support in a June 18 vote by public shareholders. The Teamsters represent Allegiant Air’s more than 500 pilots; the union also said it is a long-term Allegiant shareholder. The embattled low-cost carrier has been plagued by numerous delays and cancellations because of maintenance and operating difficulties, the union said. Steve Harfst, Allegiant chief operating officer, said the same day that the airline will continue to sub-service, or contract to other operators, flights it cannot cover with its own crews and aircraft through the summer. The union said Allegiant spent $25 million in sub-service flights during 2014.

[POSTED JUNE 23, 2015]

Southwest pilots seek tighter drone controls
Southwest Airline’s more than 8,000 pilots are concerned about drone operations near airports and expressed their support for the Drone Safety Act, introduced June 18 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). “Encounters involving recreational drones and commercial airliners are occurring with increased frequency,” said Paul Jackson, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association. “The introduction of Senator Feinstein’s bill comes on the heels of two recent incidents involving recreational drones invading the flight path of a Southwest aircraft on final approach—one in Dallas at 1,000 feet and the other at LAX at over 4,000 feet.” The union said it is clear that hobbyist drone operators are not complying with the FAA’s guidance on the safe operation of unmanned aerial systems, making the act necessary.

[POSTED JUNE 23, 2015]

New pilot agreement to give Delta E190s, more 737-900ERs
Delta Air Lines announced that it will acquire 20 Embraer E190 aircraft and 40 additional new Boeing 737-900ERs upon ratification of a tentative labor agreement covering Delta’s more than 12,000 pilots. The agreement was approved for membership ratification June 10 by the Delta Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association. It would increase pilot compensation, including base pay, and revises the airline’s profit-sharing formula beginning next year. It also provides Delta with additional fleet flexibility across its domestic system. Upon ratification, Delta will acquire 20 Boeing-held Embraer E190 aircraft previously operated by another carrier; they would enter mainline Delta service in the fourth quarter of 2016. The additional 737-900ERs boost Delta’s orders for the model to 140; they will replace other narrowbody aircraft scheduled for retirement through 2019.

[POSTED JUNE 16, 2015]

American, Qantas collaborate on new flights
American Airlines and Qantas Airways plan to significantly expand their joint business by adding new service between the United States and Australia, the airlines announced June 9. New routes between Los Angeles International Airport and Sydney will be operated by American, while Qantas will fly between San Francisco International Airport and Sydney. American’s nonstop flights would begin Dec. 17, 2015, using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The Qantas service will use a reconfigured Boeing 747-400.

[POSTED JUNE 16, 2015]

United adds more Embraer E175s to United Express fleet
United Airlines announced June 15 that it will add 10 Embraer E175 aircraft to the United Express fleet, adding that it expects United or one of the carriers operating as United Express to convert 18 more E175 aircraft to firm orders in the near future. United expects deliveries of the aircraft to begin next year and continue through the summer of 2017; the aircraft, which will replace older and less-efficient 50-seat regional jets, are in addition to the 125 E175s whose deliveries began in 2014.

[POSTED JUNE 16, 2015]

SkyWest upgrades regional jets flying for Alaska
SkyWest Airlines announced June 15 that it will purchase eight new, dual-class Embraer E175 jets to fly for Alaska Airlines. The new planes, to be delivered in 2016, will replace eight older regional jets SkyWest currently flies for the Seattle-based carrier. The announcement comes the same month SkyWest takes ownership of the first of seven E175s purchased last fall to be flown for Alaska under a capacity purchase agreement. SkyWest will begin flying the jets for Alaska on July 1 with the start of new service from Seattle to both Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, and between Portland, Oregon, and St. Louis. SkyWest expects to retire its fleet of regional jets currently flying for Alaska by fall of 2016.

[POSTED JUNE 16, 2015]

Frontier raising the bar for seats per jet
Frontier Airlines is ordering more jets from Airbus—and said it plans to put 230 seats in its new Airbus A321s, while new Airbus A320s will get 186 seats, Terry Maxon reported June 2 on the Dallas Morning News’ Airline Biz Blog. To put that in context, Maxton said, Spirit Airlines—considered the leader in the ultra-low-cost airline categories—has 178 seats on its A320s, and 218 on its A321s. “That would indicate that Frontier will put one more row than Spirit on the A320s and two more rows on the A321s,” he said.

[POSTED JUNE 9, 2015]

Republic pilots rally at shareholders meeting
Republic Airways pilots and their families rallied outside the airline’s annual shareholders meeting in Indianapolis June 9. The pilots, members of Teamsters Local 357, want Republic CEO Bryan Bedford to quickly reach a new contract that reflects changes in the airline industry since the last contract was signed in 2003. The pilots’ contract with Republic Airways Holdings, amendable since 2007, is affecting Republic’s ability to retain and hire pilots, the union said—leading to an increase in cancelled flights, resulting in lost wages for pilots and lost revenue for the company. The union said more than 1,600 Republic flights were cancelled in May and that Bedford has asked major airline partners to reduce their peak summer schedules because of staffing issues. Republic Airways Holdings—which operates regional flights for American, United, Delta, and US Airways under the Republic Airlines and Shuttle America brands—employs more than 2,200 pilots.

[POSTED JUNE 9, 2015]

...as United maintenance workers plan same tactic
Aviation maintenance technicians and related support personnel plan to rally outside United Airlines’ annual shareholders meeting in Chicago June 10, to show investors that more than 9,000 Teamsters are losing patience with the company. The union said it’s still trying to reach a fair collective bargaining agreement five years after the United-Continental merger was announced. The workers’ current contract became amendable in January 2013. The company appears willing to risk United’s turnaround by provoking a labor dispute with its largest maintenance workforce, the union said.

[POSTED JUNE 9, 2015]

Airbus could up A320 production to 60 per month
Airbus may increase the A320 family’s monthly production rate from 50 in the first quarter of 2017 to 60 or more by 2020, AIN Online reported May 28. “It is a question of when, not if,” Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier told AIN. Market demand will be a key criteria for the move, he said. Airbus currently builds 42 of the jets each month. The A320 series is comparable to Boeing’s 737, of which Boeing has said it will increase production to 52 aircraft per month in 2018.

[POSTED JUNE 2, 2015]

Unions ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Netjets management changes
The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots, the union that represents NetJets’ 2,700-plus pilots, is “cautiously optimistic” about recent leadership changes at the company. The departure of CEO Jordan Hansell was announced June 1 by NetJets Inc. Adam Johnson is returning to the company as chairman and CEO, and Bill Noe will return as president and chief operating officer. The pilots’ union has been engaged in contentious contract negotiations with the company. Teamsters Union Local 284—which represents NetJets flight attendants, mechanics, stock clerks, maintenance controllers, and flight dispatchers—said its members also have been in multiyear contract negotiations with management that became highly adversarial when NetJets demanded deep concessions, despite its profitability and market expansion.

[POSTED JUNE 2, 2015]

New Eastern Air Lines launching Cuba service
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. on May 22 agreed to support HavanaAir Charters, LLC’s charter operations to Cuba by operating twice-daily service to Havana, and weekly service to Camaguey and Santa Clara, using 145-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft. “Eastern was formerly the largest provider of air seats in the Cuba market, and with this agreement, Eastern will once again provide more seats to Cuba than any other U.S. carrier,” said Ed Wegel, Eastern president and CEO. He said Eastern and HavanaAir will launch service from other U.S. gateways within 60 days.

[POSTED MAY 26, 2015]

Delta adds Seattle flights
Delta Air Lines announced May 26 that it will add three daily flights from its hub at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Orlando and Pasco, Wash.; and one daily flight each to Boston; Victoria, British Columbia; and Bozeman, Mont. The flights will begin between Nov. 1 and April 4; flights to Boston will use Boeing 737-800 aircraft, Orlando will use 757-200s, and the other service—operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest—will use CRJ-700 jets.

[POSTED MAY 26, 2015]

Southwest announces two new Florida flights
Southwest Airlines on May 21 announced new nonstop service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Orlando, beginning Nov. 1; Orlando becomes the carrier’s third Florida destination from the airport. On the same day, Southwest will increase its number of daily flights between Austin, Texas, and Ft. Lauderdale to two.

[POSTED MAY 26, 2015]

Southwest pilots prep for possible strike
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, the union representing Southwest’s pilots, said May 12 that it is creating a strike preparedness committee that will work to prepare Southwest’s pilots—as well as the flying public—for the possibility of a strike if the parties cannot agree on new contract terms in the coming months. Since November, talks between the union and company have been mediated by the National Mediation Board. “While a strike is certainly not in either side’s best interest, the Railway Labor Act clearly defines the procedure for protracted negotiations—which can lead to a lock out by management or a suspension of service by our pilots,” said Capt. Paul Jackson, the union’s president.

[POSTED MAY 19, 2015]

Mitsubishi upbeat on U.S. regional jet market
Despite scope clauses in pilot contracts at major U.S. airlines, which limit regional partners from operating aircraft with more than 76 passenger seats and a maximum takeoff weight exceeding 86,000 pounds, Mitsubishi Aircraft’s vice president of sales and marketing sees North America as its “biggest and most important” market, AIN Online reported May 12. At the Regional Airline Association convention, Yugo Fukuhara said the company has orders for 170 airplanes from three U.S. airlines. He believes scope clauses will change to allow the use of Mitsubishi’s larger regional jet, the MRJ90, by such carriers as Skywest and Trans States Airlines.

[POSTED MAY 19, 2015]

New Eastern Air Lines gets FAA Part 121 approval
Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. said May 13 that its operating subsidiary, Eastern Air Lines, has received an air carrier operating certificate and Part 121 operations specifications from the FAA, authorizing passenger charters with large aircraft. “We are honored and humbled to have been selected to bring the Eastern Air Lines name and legacy back to the skies,” said Ed Wegel, Eastern’s founder and CEO. The carrier, which said it recently concluded deals for additional Boeing 737-800 aircraft, plans to announce its initial charter operations shortly.

[POSTED MAY 19, 2015]

Southwest adds new Costa Rican, U.S. flights
Southwest Airlines said May 14 that it plans to offer new international service between William P. Hobby Airport in Houston and eight cities by the end of 2014, including the carrier’s first flights to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica. In addition, beginning Nov. 1, 2015, Southwest will begin new nonstop service between Indianapolis and New York LaGuardia; Denver and Cleveland; and between Austin and both Seattle/Tacoma and Boston (Logan). Later in November, new service begins between Akron/Canton and Las Vegas, and between Orange County/Santa Ana, California, and both St. Louis and Kansas City.

[POSTED MAY 19, 2015]

Delta, Aeromexico seek increased cooperation
Grupo Aeromexico and Delta Air Lines said May 8 they have filed an application with the Mexican Comision Federal de Competencia Economica for a joint cooperation agreement on flights between the United States and Mexico. The airlines want to expand their network, enhancing routes and schedules, as well as increase joint sales and marketing initiatives. They said the application marks a significant step in the 20-year relationship between the two airlines. Delta and Aeromexico currently offer more than 4,000 weekly codeshare flights, including more than 80 daily transborder round-trips.

[POSTED MAY 12, 2015]

American launches new Dallas-Beijing service
American Airlines launched daily nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport May 7, marking the airline’s 11th route between the United States and Asia, and the only daily nonstop connecting DFW and Beijing. American’s service to Beijing is operating initially with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft; it will switch to the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner beginning June 2, marking American’s inaugural international flight for the new model.

[POSTED MAY 12, 2015]

Southwest, dispatchers extend contract through 2019
Southwest Airlines and Transport Workers Union Local 550, representing the carrier’s 250 flight dispatchers, announced May 5 that they have come to terms on a new four-year contract extension. The agreement amends the dispatchers’ current contract, providing adjusted wage-scale increases and continued opportunities for bonuses tied to individual and company performance. The tentative agreement comes on the heels of a deal with the airline’s customer service agents and customer representatives last December and only days after its flight simulator technicians ratified a new four-year contract.

[POSTED MAY 12, 2015]

Airline CEOs, pilots question foreign subsidies
CEOs Richard Anderson of Delta Air Lines, W. Douglas Parker of American Airlines Group, and Jeff Smisek of United Airlines, will speak jointly at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., May 15. They will argue that subsidies from the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to their domestic airlines are giving them an unfair advantage and threatening U.S. jobs, the National Press Club said. On April 30, Capt. Paul Jackson, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, released a statement applauding the bipartisan group of lawmakers urging the U.S. government to open consultations with those governments, which have been subsidizing their state-owned airlines, SWAPA said. The letter, signed by 262 lawmakers, cites concerns of U.S. job loss as a result of an unfair competition in the aviation market.

[POSTED MAY 5, 2015]

App issues delays some American flights
During a two-day period, American Airlines delayed “dozens” of flights because an app issue caused pilots’ flight-deck iPads to malfunction, AIN Online reported April 29. A temporary fix resolved the problem April 29, and a permanent solution will follow May 8 when app provider Jeppesen supplies new data. The problem was caused by a duplicate chart for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in American’s database, Jeppesen spokesman Mike Pound told AIN. American was one of the first U.S. airlines to adopt Apple iPads for use in the cockpit as electronic flight bags (EFBs).

[POSTED MAY 5, 2015]

American lands cargo honor
American Airlines was honored by industry publication Air Cargo News as the Cargo Airline of the Year for 2015 at a gala in London April 25. It marked the first time in the award’s 32-year history that it was won by an airline in the Americas. American also was named Best Cargo Airline of the Americas for the eighth consecutive year. The awards recognize carriers that provided an outstanding customer experience based on voting by more than 15,000 supply chain professionals.

[POSTED MAY 5, 2015]

NetJets says VP behind anti-union social media effort
In legal papers sent to the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), NetJets, Inc. said a vice president published vicious anti-union content on social media throughout a four-year period, the union representing NetJets’ 2,700-plus pilots said April 27. In December, NJASAP filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, accusing the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary of using social media to conduct a massive unlawful campaign to harass and intimidate pilots. “NetJets’s conduct, including CEO Jordan Hansell’s incredible claim that the vice president acted alone, breached the trust of the entire workforce, customers, and Warren Buffett—and jeopardizes the viability of NetJets,” NJASAP President Pedro Leroux said.

[POSTED APRIL 28, 2015]

Flexjet pilots’ suit claims union busting
Three pilots filed suit April 24 against airline Flexjet, LLC and OneSky, its Cleveland-based parent company, claiming they were illegally harassed and terminated for speaking out in favor of unionization and better working conditions. Flexjet employs more than 350 pilots, some of whom are seeking representation from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division, the union said. According to the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, senior managers told several pilots they were fired because they were “unhappy” and the carrier would not tolerate unhappy employees. Another pro-union pilot was terminated for insubordination because he refused to speak about union issues on the telephone with Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci. Ricci also demanded that the terminated pilots debate him about unions in a public forum without any union representatives present, the union said.

[POSTED APRIL 28, 2015]

United swaps 10 Dreamliner orders for Boeing 777-300ER
United Airlines announced that it will amend an airliner order with Boeing, changing an order for 10 787 Dreamliners for 10 larger 777-300ERs, Reuters reported April 23. Reuters characterized the change as a victory for Boeing, which has wanted to sell out remaining 777 production slots before it switches to the 777X. United also is preparing to lease 10 to 20 used narrow-body jets, which will help to facilitate the retirement of 130 50-seat aircraft—it operates more than 200 50-seaters—as part of its fleet reorganization. In addition, United plans to extend the life of its 21 Boeing 767-300ER jets, and transition some Boeing 757-200s from transatlantic to U.S. and Latin American routes.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2015]

Alaska announces new nonstop from Seattle hub
Alaska Airlines said April 28 that it’s growing its Seattle hub with nonstop service to Charleston, South Carolina; Nashville; and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. The new flights, which begin in fall 2015, will be operated with Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft. By the end of 2015, Alaska said, it will serve 83 destinations from Seattle with 290 peak daily flights.

[POSTED APRIL 28, 2015]

GoJet joins ATP tuition reimbursement program
GoJet Airlines is partnering with ATP Flight School to offer financial assistance to aspiring commercial aviators as part of ATP’s new Tuition Reimbursement Program. This program mitigates ATP loan repayment obligations, or rebates a portion of ATP tuition payments, for eligible ATP flight instructors who commit to flying for GoJet after earning the required 1,500 flight hours. In addition to ATP tuition reimbursement, GoJet says it offers an $8,000 signing bonus, referral and mentor bonuses, and a generous commuter policy. The airline operates 47 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft under contract as a United Express and Delta Connection carrier. Crew bases are in St. Louis, Denver, Raleigh-Durham, and Chicago.

[POSTED APRIL 21, 2015]

Southwest seeks Denver-Puerto Vallarta service
Southwest Airlines applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation April 14 to provide daily nonstop service between Denver International Airport and Lic. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Service will begin in November 2015, subject to governmental approvals. Southwest begins service to Puerto Vallarta, its fourth destination in Mexico, on June 7 with daily service from John Wayne Airport Orange County.

[POSTED APRIL 21, 2015]

American receives single operating certificate
American Airlines received a single operating certificate from the FAA on April 8 that encompasses American and US Airways, marking a major milestone in the continuing integration of the two airlines. This means most flight operations, maintenance, and dispatch procedures will be identical for all flights. The certificate follows more than 18 months of work to align the carriers’ operating policies and procedures. A team of more than 700 employees reviewed 465 manuals along with policies, procedures, and programs from both carriers, selecting best practices to implement for the merged airline.

[POSTED APRIL 14, 2015]

Effort to unionize Delta flight attendants questioned
The National Mediation Board on April 9 dismissed the International Association of Machinists application for an election among Delta Air Lines flight attendants, following the IAM’s notice of withdrawal. The NMB said that it “has reason to believe that some unknown person or persons knowingly submitted authorization cards with fraudulent signatures in a possible violation of federal law.” The board said it has referred the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice for further review. Unions seeking to represent airline employees are required to submit valid authorization cards to the NMB from at least 50 percent of all eligible voters in order for an election to be held. Under NMB rules, no union can apply to represent Delta flight attendants for one year.

[POSTED APRIL 14, 2015]

Allegiant pilots plan one-day strike
Pilots at Allegiant Air announced April 1 that they would not fly regularly scheduled routes on Thursday, April 2, from the airline’s major hubs across the country—including Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa, and Las Vegas. Their union, Teamsters Local 1224, said Allegiant refuses to reestablish a prior scheduling system and restore other basic benefits that have been illegally rolled back over a two-year period during which the company has posted record-level profits. In January, 98 percent of the company’s pilots voted to authorize a strike. The strike could ground more than 250 flights, impacting over 33,000 customers, the union said.

[POSTED APRIL 7, 2015]

No impact on deliveries, retirements from cheap oil
Patterns of airliner retirements are essentially unchanged since 2012 as airliner deliveries increase at a never-before-seen pace—possibly debunking theories that cheap jet fuel might cause air carriers to revisit fleet renewal and retirement plans, AIN Online reported March 30. ADS Group, based in the United Kingdom, reports a 10-percent increase in commercial aircraft deliveries year to date, compared to the same period last year—and a 20-percent increase when compared to January and February 2013. Another report indicates the average retirement age for airliners has stayed stable, at about 25 years. Avolon, which issued that report, forecasts that almost 40 percent of the 800 commercial jets currently in storage will return to service—although less than 25 percent of stored jets more than 15 years old will see further use.

[POSTED APRIL 7, 2015]

Regional flight attendants seek pay equal to mainline peers
Members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA—which represents flight attendants at nearly 20 airlines, including nine regional carriers—picketed at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport March 31, seeking fair and equitable pay for employees of regionals operating under the three major airline brands. “The airline industry is raking in billions, at the expense of workers on the front lines of regional airlines,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson. Although it’s the same brand and the same passengers, she said, pay for regional flight attendants is a fraction of that for mainline crews. The demonstration launches a campaign that seeks to bridge the pay gap between Delta, United, and American mainline and regional airline cabin crew.

[POSTED MARCH 31, 2015]

Airlines make Forbes 2015 list of best employers
Southwest Airlines ranked as the top airline employer, and one of the top 20 best employers overall, in Forbes’ inaugural list of America’s Best Employers for 2015, the airline announced March 31. Southwest landed in the top 20, coming in at number 18 out of 500 companies to make the list. Other airlines making the list were JetBlue, next in line at number 19; Alaska Air Group, 93; Delta Air Lines, 238; SkyWest, Inc., the holding company for SkyWest and ExpressJet airlines—and the only regional airline company included—426; and American Airlines Group, 496. The employers on the Forbes list were chosen based on an independent survey by Statista.com of 20,000 American employees working for large U.S. companies and institutions, and U.S. divisions of international firms. The full list is available online.

[POSTED MARCH 31, 2015]

Open Skies prompts unions to question Gulf carrier support
On March 26, presidents of four unions—the Association of Flight Attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Communications Workers of America, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters—sent a joint letter to the U.S. Travel Association’s board questioning its continued support for Gulf carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates, which the presidents said require their female employees to obtain permission before getting married or pregnant and ban lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from employment. The letter states that in recent weeks, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow has ardently defended those airlines despite evidence that they are receiving large government subsidies in violation of Open Skies agreements.

[POSTED MARCH 31, 2015]

Airline equities running strong
Although Delta Air Lines Inc. shares have lost 1.17 percent in the previous three months, share value has advanced 42.32 percent over the past year, Investor-Edge reported March 24. American Airlines Group Inc. shares, which gained 6.01 percent over the last month, surged 50.64 percent over the past year. United Continental Holdings Inc. share value advanced 8.21 percent in the last three months and 52.52 percent over the past year. While discount carrier Spirit Airlines Inc.’s stock advanced 29.95 in the past year, Virgin America Inc. shares have declined 10.70 percent in the last three months. Investor-Edge provides information on companies to its members.

[POSTED MARCH 24, 2015]

JetBlue, Southwest earn top customer ratings
JetBlue Airlines and Southwest Airlines deliver the best customer experience in the airline industry, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. JetBlue took the top spot with a rating of 75 percent, placing it 52nd overall out of 293 companies across 20 industries. Southwest Airlines came in second among airlines, with a rating of 72 percent, Temkin reported March 19. At the other end of the spectrum, Spirit Airlines—which debuted in the ratings this year—was the lowest-scoring company in the industry, with a rating of 47 percent. JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines improved the most between 2014 and 2015.

[POSTED MARCH 24, 2015]

Boeing’s S.C. plant delivers first 787-9, could face union vote
Boeing has delivered the first 787-9 Dreamliner assembled at its North Charleston, S.C., facility to United Airlines—which also is the 250th Dreamliner to be delivered, the company said March 17. The plant delivered its first 787-8 in 2012 and the airframe is United’s fourth 787-9, which follow 12 787-8s already in service. A day earlier, Boeing was notified that the International Association of Machinists union has petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a union election at the plant. IAM aggressively opposed the plant and fought to keep it from opening, said Beverly Wyse, Boeing South Carolina’s newly appointed vice president and general manager.

[POSTED MARCH 17, 2015]

United considers transatlantic 757 replacements
United Airlines is talking with Airbus and Boeing about possible replacements for its Boeing 757 narrowbody jets used in transatlantic service, AIN Online reported March 11. Ron Baur, United’s fleet vice president, said in a panel discussion at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Traders conference that Boeing’s eventual successor to the 757—production ended in 2004—could drive a decision. United’s 757s flying to Europe accrue fewer cycles and are aging well, so replacement is not urgent; the carrier is replacing 757s in domestic services with new Boeing 737s.

[POSTED MARCH 17, 2015]

Republic orders another 5 Embraer E175 jets
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. on March 11 ordered five new Embraer E175 jets valued at $222 million, based on Embraer’s list price. Delivery of the aircraft, configured with 76 seats in two classes, is expected in mid-2016. Republic—which operates the world’s largest fleet of Embraer E-Jets—ordered 47 E175s in January 2013, and 50 in September 2014. Following this new order, it holds 32 options for the E175s.

[POSTED MARCH 17, 2015]

Airlines, labor allege unfair Gulf competition
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines—along with the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters—on March 5 said they had documented $42 billion in government subsidies and unfair benefits provided to Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline in direct violation of U.S. Open Skies policy. At the same time, the airlines and labor organizations launched the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, a coalition seeking to restore a level playing field to international air travel. The partnership asked the Obama administration to address with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates the flow of subsidized capacity to the United States, and requesting a freeze on new passenger service during the consultations. Every international roundtrip flight foregone or lost by U.S. airlines due to unfair competition results in an average net loss of more than 800 U.S. jobs, the partnership said, adding that Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates plan to expand rapidly into the U.S. market.

[POSTED MARCH 10, 2015]

Embraer forecasts modest 2015 growth
Embraer ended 2014 with total deliveries of 92 commercial and 116 executive aircraft, it said March 4 with its release of fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014 results. For 2015, the company expects a modest increase in deliveries, forecasting deliveries of 95 to 100 jets in the commercial segment and 115 to 130 executive jets. Anticipated net revenue for 2015 of $6.1 billion to $6.6 billion compares to 2014 revenue of $6.29 billion. At the end of 2014, Embraer valued its order backlog at $20.9 billion, which represents a 15-percent increase from the $18.2 billion backlog reported at the end of 2013.

[POSTED MARCH 10, 2015]

Alaska adds Hawaii nonstop
Alaska Airlines increased service to the Hawaiian Islands on March 5, when it introduced nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona, Hawaii. Roundtrips operate between the cities on Mondays, Thursday, and Saturdays. Kona is the fourth Hawaiian island that Alaska serves from San Diego. At peak levels this summer, the airline will offer 27 flights a week between San Diego and Hawaii.

[POSTED MARCH 10, 2015]

…and seeks Orange County-Mexico flights
Alaska Airlines submitted applications March 10 to begin nonstop service from Orange County, California, to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The flights must be approved by the U.S. and Mexican governments. The year-round service would operate three times per week to Puerto Vallarta, and four times each week to Los Cabos, using next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft. Alaska began flying to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos more than 25 years ago.

[POSTED MARCH 10, 2015]

Honeywell forecasts steady global helicopter demand
In its 17th annual Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchasing Outlook released March 1, Honeywell Aerospace expects that 4,750 to 5,250 civilian-use helicopters will be delivered during the next five years. Overall, five-year demand for turbine-powered, civil helicopters remains steady versus the 2014 forecast, although the 34-percent share of demand from the United States and Canada reflects an 8-point increase attributed to stronger North American buying plans. Light single-engine helicopters continue to be the most popular class, with almost half the new purchase interest; intermediate and medium twin-engine helicopters earned about 31 percent. In North America, 27 percent of operators plan utilization increases and only 6 percent plan decreases.

[POSTED MARCH 3, 2015]

Bombardier CS300 makes first flight
Bombardier’s first CS300 airliner successfully completed its first flight Feb. 27, departing Montréal-Mirabel International Airport at 11 a.m. EST and returning at 3:58 p.m. The second model in the company’s CSeries line of technologically advanced single-aisle, mainline jets—designed for 100 to 149 seats—it reached 41,000 feet and 255 knots. Five CS100 aircraft have logged more than 1,000 flight test hours, and the company expects it to receive certification in the second half of this year, said Rob Dewar, vice president for the CSeries Program. “The CS300 airliner is expected to follow about six months later.”

[POSTED MARCH 3, 2015]

Southwest continues Love Field expansion
Southwest Airlines on Feb. 26 published schedules for 16 additional flights, including service to eight new nonstop cities, from Dallas Love Field. A previously announced long-term sublease of two gates from United Airlines made the flights possible. Beginning Aug. 9, 2015, Southwest will offer once-daily nonstops between Love Field and Boston; Charlotte; Detroit; Omaha, Nebraska; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; and Salt Lake City. Also on August 9, Southwest will add additional nonstops between Dallas and Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Houston; Little Rock, Arkansas; Chicago; and Seattle/Tacoma. Charleston, South Carolina, also will receive daily nonstop service.

[POSTED MARCH 3, 2015]

Flight attendants seek cleaner cabin air
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) says it’s pushing for improved air quality in aircraft cabins to protect both crew and passengers. “Most Americans go to work with the expectation of breathing clean air, but until we achieve better standards for cabin air quality, flight attendants don’t have this guarantee,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson, who will be in London in late February to steer an International Transport Workers’ Federation meeting on cabin air quality. The union wants the airline industry to stop using engine bleed air for cabin air supply, or use filters to stop circulating contaminated air. Current bleed air systems can introduce potentially toxic engine oil fumes into the cabin, the union said.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2015]

Virgin America to launch new Love Field flights
Virgin America will launch five new daily nonstops from Dallas Love Field to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on April 28. The airline has served Austin, Texas, since 2013, with nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport; it increased Austin-San Francisco service in 2014. That spring, the airline launched a campaign that garnered more than 27,000 signatures in support of the carrier’s desire to increase service at Love Field, where Southwest Airlines is the dominant carrier. Virgin America obtained two gates at the Dallas airport. With the new flights, the airline will offer 19 daily departures from Love Field.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2015]

Alaska orders 6 next-gen Boeing 737s
Alaska Airlines announced Feb. 18 that it would purchase six more Boeing 737-900 Extended Range aircraft, valued at $594 million based on current Boeing list prices. Alaska is replacing its remaining 737-400s with 737-900ERs, which carry 25 percent more passengers on the same amount of fuel. Boeing is expediting delivery of four of the new jets, increasing to 19 the number of aircraft the airline will receive next year, said Andrew Harrison, Alaska Airlines executive vice president and chief revenue officer. The remaining two will follow in 2017.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 24, 2015]

Delta employees earn $1 billion in profits
Delta Air Lines employees received profit sharing payments Feb. 13 as part of the company’s $1.1 billion total payout for 2014, the largest payment in the company’s history. Total individual payouts will equal more than 16 percent of employees’ eligible 2014 earnings, the company said. “It is essential for our employees to have an ownership stake in our business and share in the record-breaking achievements they helped create,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. The 2014 payout is a record for the airline industry, and among the highest for any U.S. corporation, the company said. This is the fifth consecutive year Delta rewarded employees with profit sharing.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2015]

Southwest adds more Love nonstops
Southwest Airlines on Feb. 12 announced new nonstop flights between Dallas Love Field and 10 other cities. Beginning April 8, the airline will launch new service between Dallas and Charleston, South Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Memphis; Milwaukee; Panama City Beach, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; San Jose, California; and Seattle. The Charleston service will operate on Saturdays only, and the Panama City Beach service will operate on a seasonal basis. Southwest also will increase the number of daily nonstops between Santa Ana/Orange County, California, and Love Field effective April 8. The flights were made possible by Southwest’s acquisition of rights to two additional Love Field gates.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2015]

American announces first 787 routes
American Airlines will begin domestic service with its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners between Dallas/Fort Worth International and Chicago O’Hare International airports beginning May 7, before launching internationally between Dallas and Beijing Capital International Airport on June 2. The new aircraft also will also operate between Dallas and Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires beginning June 4. American will deploy the 787 to additional markets in 2015 as it takes delivery of additional aircraft; it has ordered 42 and has rights to acquire 58 more.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 17, 2015]

PSA to add 24 CRJ900s
PSA Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, has been selected by American to operate 24 new Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. The announcement comes after American exercised 24 of its 40 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft options, acquired as part of its large regional jet order announced in December 2013. Deliveries of the 76-seat regional jets, to operate under the American Eagle brand, are scheduled from November 2015 to August 2016. Dayton, Ohio-based PSA’s 1,900 employees operate nearly 400 daily flights to more than 80 destinations. The airline’s flight crew bases are in Dayton; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 10, 2015]

…and GoJet gets 7 CRJ900s
GoJet Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, Inc., announced Feb. 10 that it will operate seven Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft under the Delta Connection regional service brand. Deliveries are set to begin in June 2015 and continue through October. The addition of these CRJ900 aircraft continues Delta Air Lines’ domestic fleet optimization plan, which is focused on reducing 50-seat regional jets while improving the overall customer experience. GoJet currently operates 47 CRJ700 aircraft, 22 of which are in service for Delta. It has been a Delta Connection carrier since 2011.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 10, 2015]

American pilots approve contract
The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing 15,000 pilots at American Airlines, announced Jan. 30 that its members approved a new five-year contract providing immediate pay raises of 23 percent and subsequent annual raises of three percent for the next five years. The agreement also places all of the airline’s pilots—from American and merger partner US Airways—under one contract. “Today’s results provide immediate and significant pay increases to our pilots, and represent another step forward in our integration,” said American Airlines President Scott Kirby. According to an APA tweet, the vote was 66 percent in favor and 34 percent opposed, with 94 percent of pilots voting, The Street reported. It said the pay raise—retroactive to Dec. 1—likely influenced the vote, even though a couple of contract clauses troubled many pilots.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 3, 2015]

Southwest to offer more Dallas destinations
Southwest Airlines announced Jan. 30 that it will add new destinations from Dallas’ Love Field, made possible by acquiring the rights to two additional gates. Beginning in April, Southwest will offer daily nonstop flights to nine new cities from Dallas—including Memphis, Milwaukee, and Seattle—and will increase the number of nonstops to destinations added after the October 2014 expiration of Wright Amendment restrictions on long-haul flying at Love Field.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 3, 2015]

Delta taps Boeing 717s for West Coast shuttle
Delta Air Lines said Feb. 2 that it will introduce Boeing 717 aircraft on eight of 15 daily flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco international airports in June, offering 40 percent more seats on its hourly nonstop Delta Shuttle. The mainline 717s seat 110 passengers; the remaining seven daily flights will continue to be operated by Delta Connection partner Compass Airlines using 76-seat Embraer E175 aircraft. Delta is expanding its 717 fleet, acquiring a number of former AirTran jets no longer needed by all-737 Southwest. Delta launched hourly nonstop shuttles between the cities in September 2013.

[POSTED FEBRUARY 3, 2015]

Cheap fuel boosts profits, airline stocks
Since September, jet fuel prices have dropped by about half, boosting profits for most airlines. Industry analysts expect this year’s profits at the four largest U.S. carriers to surpass their 2014 results. United and Southwest executives recently gave a favorable 2015 forecast combining the cheap fuel with stronger travel demand, according to an Associated Press article published on the travel information website Skift. United Continental Holdings Inc. has predicted first-quarter profits higher than what was expected by many analysts, while Southwest Airlines Co. expects to save $1.7 billion on its 2015 fuel bill; both companies said their fourth-quarter profit was lower than the prior year’s because of losses on fuel-price hedge contracts. American Airlines is the only major U.S. carrier that was not hedging fuel prices.

[POSTED JANUARY 27, 2015]

Alaska, Horizon employees get bonus payouts
Employees at Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air on Jan. 26 received annual bonuses of more than 9 percent of their annual salary—for most workers, more than five weeks’ pay. The bonus is in addition to the approximately $1,000 in 2014 monthly bonuses that most employees earned for achieving on-time and customer satisfaction goals. The combined monthly and annual bonuses total nearly $116 million, the highest in Alaska’s history, and are part of the company’s incentive-based pay program.

[POSTED JANUARY 27, 2015]

Compass sued over FMLA
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) sued Compass Airlines Jan. 22 to arbitrate two contractual grievances over the company’s alleged violations of flight attendants’ rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Compass, owned by Trans States Holding and operated as a Delta connection carrier, has refused for more than a year to schedule these grievances, the union said. AFA is asking the federal court to order Compass to honor its contract and to comply with its legal duty under the Railway Labor Act to arbitrate these grievances.

[POSTED JANUARY 27, 2015]

Allegiant pilots authorize strike
Pilots at Allegiant Air, represented by the Airline Professionals Association (APA) Teamsters Local 1224, on Jan. 16 voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against the carrier. The vote, in which 98 percent of voting pilots authorized the union to call a strike, does not mean that a strike is going to happen immediately. “It does, however, mean that the situation is fluid,” said APA Teamsters Local 1224 President Daniel Wells. “If Allegiant continues to stonewall in negotiations and continues to disregard the federal court’s injunction ordering it to restore the pilots’ work rules, then a pilot strike at Allegiant Air will be very realistic.” The union said it intends to seek assistance from the National Mediation Board under the Railway Labor Act’s dispute provisions. The pilots said they have been in negotiations with Allegiant for two years with little to no progress.

[POSTED JANUARY 20, 2015]

Airbus eyes consolidation, production changes
Airbus announced that it will limit 2015’s new product offerings to the just-launched long-range A321neo variant, suggesting a period of consolidation, AIN Online reported Jan. 13. The company said it delivered 629 airliners, beating its 2014 targets; A320 narrowbodies accounted for 490 of them. Orders for the A380 superjumbo reportedly have slowed. During Airbus’s annual press conference in Toulouse, company executives said other objectives include meeting delivery schedules and adjusting production rates. Fabrice Bregier, Airbus president and chief executive, would like to deliver “around 650” aircraft this year, AIN said.

[POSTED JANUARY 20, 2015]

Delta to launch daily service between Los Angeles and Shanghai
Delta Air Lines plans to begin daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International and Shanghai-Pudong Airport on July 9, 2015, pending U.S. Department of Transportation and foreign government approval, the airline announced Jan. 14. Delta said that the Los Angeles market makes up 25 percent of all U.S.-Asia demand. Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, seating 291, will be used on the route.

[POSTED JANUARY 20, 2015]

FAA issues SMS rule
The FAA has issued a final rule that requires most U.S. passenger and cargo airlines to implement a safety management system (SMS) by 2018, AIN Online reported Jan. 7. SMS is “an organization-wide approach to mitigating risk in airline operations” that proactively predicts accident causes through the analysis of data, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta explained at a press conference. More than nine out of 10 U.S. air carriers already share some data with the FAA or voluntarily participate in a SMS program, AIN reported. Carriers’ SMS plans must be submitted to the FAA by early September.

[POSTED JANUARY 13, 2015]

NetJets hiring new pilots while seeking wage, benefit concessions
An escalating labor dispute between NetJets, Inc., and its workforce entered a new phase Jan. 7 when the Columbus, Ohio-based fractional jet operator announced plans to hire new pilots while continuing to demand compensation and benefit cuts from current pilots and other unionized workers, said the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), the union representing NetJets’ more than 2,700 pilots. While union leaders are pleased that NetJets has returned furloughed pilots to work and will hire new pilots amid increased demand, they said the company continues to demand concessions at the bargaining table. “The touted growth and profitability have in no way tempered management claims that compensation and benefit cuts from pilots and other workers are necessary because its wealthy customers are demanding cheaper prices,” NJASAP President Pedro Leroux said. The pilots’ union and NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, have been negotiating a new labor contract for more than a year.

[POSTED JANUARY 13, 2015]

Delta makes deal with pilots to retain international flights
In a first-of-its-kind agreement in the aviation industry, Delta Air Lines Inc. has told its pilots that it will continue to operate its own international flights—and will not outsource service to its partner, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., Bloomberg Businessweek reported Dec. 31. Delta in 2013 purchased 49 percent of Virgin, based in England, raising concerns among Delta’s pilots that jobs could be lost if the airline shifted trans-Atlantic flying to Virgin. The move comes ahead of pilot contract discussions, which are scheduled to begin in April.

[POSTED JANUARY 6, 2015]

American pilots’ union accepts contract offer
After meeting for two days, the board of directors of the Allied Pilots Association—which represents about 15,000 pilots at American Airlines after the carrier merged with US Airways in December 2013—voted late Jan. 3 to accept the airline’s latest contract proposal, The Dallas Morning News reported. The agreement, which must be ratified by the union’s membership, will give pilots an immediate 23-percent pay increase, said American spokesman Casey Norton. The new joint collective bargaining agreement also places former American and US Airways pilots under the same contract.

[POSTED JANUARY 6, 2015]

American seeks LAX to Tokyo Haneda flights
American Airlines on Jan. 5 applied to the United States Department of Transportation for permission to operate daily nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND). Per the U.S.-Japan bilateral agreement, U.S. airlines may operate only a total of four daily round-trip flights at Haneda Airport, and American wants DOT to award it Delta Air Line’s existing route authority from Seattle. Delta Air Lines also serves Haneda from Los Angeles, Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu, and United Airlines from San Francisco. In December, the DOT instituted a carrier-selection proceeding to determine whether current service between Seattle and Haneda should be reallocated to another airline. American would use Boeing 777-200 aircraft on the route.

[POSTED JANUARY 6, 2015]

…while Hawaiian seeks Kona-Haneda service
On the same day as American, Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. requested DOT approval to begin daily nonstop service between Kona International Airport, on the island of Hawaii, and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. It made the request after Delta reduced the frequency of its Seattle-Haneda service from daily to seasonal. In its application, Hawaiian said that its existing Honolulu-Tokyo service has been “by far the most, if not only, successful route” of the four Haneda slot pairs granted to U.S. carriers in 2010, and that Kona continues to be a top destination for Japanese travelers. The airline would use Airbus A330-200 aircraft on the route.

[POSTED JANUARY 6, 2015]

First Chinese-built airliner gets Chinese type certificate
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China has obtained a type certificate for its ARJ21-700 regional jet following a development and certification effort of more than 12 years, AIN Online reported. The Civil Aviation Administration of China on Dec. 30 issued a type certificate for the twinjet, which is powered by GE CF34-10A engines and will be China’s first domestically produced airliner. The jet carries 90 passengers in economy configuration and is expected to enter service in the spring.

[POSTED JANUARY 6, 2015]


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