Some two months after first airing concerns over what it called insufficient training of flight attendants for cabin security searches, the Association of Flight Attendants last month intensified its crusade to sway public opinion against six regional airlines it accused of skirting new security mandates. The AFA named Air Wisconsin, PSA, Piedmont, Allegheny, Atlantic Southeast and Atlantic Coast Airlines as the primary culprits.
Aviation International News » April 2002
Malev Hungary Airlines last month placed a firm order for two 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets and options for another six. The Budapest-based flag carrier expects delivery of the airplanes in June and July, when it inaugurates its first Western-style feed services under a new regional subsidiary called Malev Express.
Lufthansa CityLine reached a tentative contract agreement with its 663 pilots in late February, narrowly averting a strike that threatened to derail the German company’s recovery from a pair of one-day strikes last May by Lufthansa mainline pilots. In mid-February CityLine pilots voted nearly unanimously in favor of a strike if the sides did not reach an agreement by the end of that month.
Milwaukee-based Midwest Express has informed Brazil’s Embraer that it wants to delay delivery of its Skyway subsidiary’s first ERJ-140 regional jets until January 2004, roughly a year later than originally planned. Midwest Express attributed its decision to the generally weak condition of the airline industry and its desire to concentrate on the introduction of new Boeing 717s into its mainline fleet.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has signed a memorandum of understanding to enter a new fleet management program with Pratt & Whitney Canada that would include the sale of “certain assets” related to its Desert Turbine Services unit and spare PT6 engines. The tentative six-year deal covers 58 Beech 1900Ds and 116 engines, valued at some $70 million.
Merger talks between Virgin Express and SN Brussels Airlines–the renamed regional successor of bankrupt Sabena Airlines–came to a crashing halt in late February when Virgin chairman Richard Branson and investors in the Belgian regional failed to agree on a price and the would-be company’s management structure.
Transport Canada last month notified the FAA of a potentially dangerous fuel system defect in Bombardier’s new CRJ700 regional jet, prompting the U.S. agency to issue an emergency AD for the model. According to Transport Canada, CRJ700s may experience uncommanded fuel transfer between the wing tanks and the center tank, creating a condition in which the center tank can overfill and leak.
The FAA has proposed levying a $1 million fine against American Eagle for failing to comply with the company’s oil-consumption monitoring program. The offenses involved nine Saab 340Bs, whose oil levels the airline failed to properly check daily between May 1 and Aug. 24, 1998. During that period, Eagle pilots aborted 11 takeoffs due to low engine oil pressure.
Scope-clause negotiations between US Airways and the Air Line Pilots Association reached an impasse just days after the beleaguered airline early last month recruited former Continental Express president David Siegel to replace Stephen Wolf as CEO. The talks broke down soon after the sides reported significant progress toward a settlement, the outcome of which could determine the airline’s direction for years to come.
After 10 years in development, Sino Swearingen is now building the first customer SJ30-2 business jet, S/N 005, at the company’s 87,500-sq-ft Martinsburg, W. Va. factory. The completed aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of next year, nine months after the Williams-powered jet is anticipated to receive its type certification.