The line has sharpened between airlines and labor groups over the FAA’s decision to exclude all-cargo operations from its new, stricter pilot flight duty rule, scheduled to take effect in January next year. Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization representing major U.S. airlines, issued a statement on January 7 reaffirming its support of the duty rule as published and urging Congress to reject new legislation that would change the rule to include all-cargo carriers.
Airlines for America
Despite the European Union’s decision to postpone enforcement of its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for international flights until next fall, President Obama signed a bipartisan measure on November 27 that orders the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U. S. aircraft operators from participating in the EU carbon tax plan.
“With final passage of this act, the President and Congress stand as one in declaring that the EU-ETS is an overreach, it’s wrong, and it won’t fly with operators based here in the U.S.,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
The number of airline crewmembers processed through the “Known Crewmember” (KCM) security screening program at U.S. airports doubled after it expanded to include flight attendants in October. Last summer, when only pilots could participate, the TSA screened 55,000 to 60,000 crewmembers at KCM checkpoints each week. Since flight attendants became eligible, the number jumped to 120,000 weekly, according to Douglas Hofsass, TSA assistant administrator in charge of “risk based” security initiatives.
President Obama closed the legislative loop on U.S. refusal to comply with the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) on Tuesday, when he signed S.1956, a bipartisan measure that orders the Secretary of Transportation to prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the carbon tax plan.
The association representing major U.S. airlines expects that carriers will scale back capacity early next year, aligning it more closely with passenger demand to offset record high jet fuel prices. Airlines for America (A4A) projects a 2.4-percent reduction in scheduled domestic flights, a 1.3-percent decrease in domestic seats and a 0.1-percent cut in domestic available seat miles (ASMs) in the new year. This year, domestic ASMs rose a modest 0.1 percent over last year’s total seat capacity.
Despite $1 billion in losses during the first half of this year stemming from fuel and other cost increases, major U.S. airlines have improved operational performance on several fronts, according to the trade group Airlines for America (A4A).