After failing to reach an agreement with striking engineers and pilots who have not been paid since March this year, India’s Kingfisher Airlines has effectively grounded itself until at least October 12 by locking out staff. Kingfisher’s management, led by owner Vijay Mallya, is trying to renegotiate some $2.49 billion in debt with creditors while it struggles with serious cash-flow problems, evidenced by $1.9 billion in losses for the first half of this year.
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American Eagle flight attendants voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement with the bankrupt airline last month. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) said the deal contains “substantial improvements” over management’s original bankruptcy term sheet as well as its so-called Last Best Final Offer. Eighty-seven percent of the AFA members who cast ballots voted in favor of the agreement.
Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air performed its last revenue flight on September 5. Flight 3923, a Bombardier Q400 operating as United Express, flew from Washington Dulles International Airport to Albany International, arriving at 8:11 a.m. local time.
Pinnacle entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 1 and on that same day announced its plan to “wind down” all its turboprop flying and close Colgan by November 30. United’s ability to reach a deal quickly with Republic Airways to fly the 28 Q400s leased by Colgan allowed Pinnacle to accelerate the closure process.
Officials in California have unanimously approved an environmental plan that could make March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, Calif., much more accommodating to private aircraft operators by 2014. The base, which features a 13,300-foot primary runway, has permitted private aircraft operations with prior approval only since 2008 and has a rudimentary trailer-based FBO to supply the few private aircraft arrivals with jet-A, the only fuel currently available.
Facing 100-percent hangar occupancy at Atlanta’s Cobb County Airport/McCollum Field, the Atlanta Executive Jet Center (AECJ) has completed its Corporate Row Hangar Project, a $7 million development. Occupying a six-acre plot leased by AECJ in 2010, it consists of 100,000 sq ft of corporate hangar space along with 240,000 sq ft of new ramp at the airport. The new complex is expected to generate $9 million a year for the local community.
Dialog over the propriety of competition from airport-sponsored FBOs ratcheted up when several members of Congress submitted a letter to acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta expressing their concern about the use of federal funding provided by the agency for airport development.
In the first nine months of this year, accidents involving both U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets increased from those recorded in the same period last year.
Jumpjet, a start-up “luxury travel club” launched on Tuesday, aims to provide per-seat private jet travel at first-class airline prices. Under its program, customers pay a fixed monthly fee over a 12-month period that allows them to book a seat on 10 round-trip flights per year, without any extra per-flight-hour charges, on third-party charter aircraft flown by Wyvern- or Argus-audited operators.
In a move to adopt Western standards to a greater extent, Russian Helicopters is introducing an “advanced after-sales service system” through subsidiary Helicopter Service. The new approach, which is built on “integrated logistic support,” uses new procedures to certify service centers.
Russian Helicopters pledges maintenance will be easier thanks to the widespread introduction of information technology. Parts will be available for order online and aircraft documentation will be available in electronic format.