Hungarian flag carrier Malev ceased all flying operations as of 6 a.m. Budapest time today, becoming the second carrier in a week to fall victim to European austerity measures. On January 27 Spanair stopped flying after a rescue deal with Qatar Airways collapsed. A year earlier the Catalonian government approved a €10.5 million loan to help sustain the cash-strapped airline, but those efforts proved futile.
Low-fare carrier Spirit Airlines continued its public criticism of new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) passenger-protection rules, drawing a rebuke from a U.S. senator. The airline also faced a new fine from the DOT over its handling of complaints lodged by passengers with disabilities.
In a February 1 letter to American Airlines employees, company chairman and CEO Thomas Horton identified $1.25 billion in annual employee-related cost reductions—estimated to involve between 12,000 and 14,000 job cuts—among a list of some $2 billion worth of annual cost-savings initiatives that include restructuring debt and leases, grounding of older airplanes and improving supplier contracts.
As the Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASD) enters its 10th year, two communities hope their share of $14.9 million in grants awarded in 2011 will help them land new flights.
SCASD came into being in April 2000 as part of the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) as a way to offer grants to help smaller communities improve air service.
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.
Lufthansa announced yesterday it will introduce its Lufthansa Private Jet service to the North American market on February 1 through an expanded relationship with fractional provider NetJets. The new service will build on the existing Lufthansa Private Jet service in Europe, which is done in conjunction with NetJets Europe.
In what stands as approximately the 40th airworthiness directive (AD) affecting the Airbus A380, the EASA mandated inspections and possibly repairs on the double-decker’s wing rib feet last Friday after operators found cracks on several aircraft. The AD applies to 20 of the 68 A380s in service.
The Cargo Airline Association (CAA), representing air cargo carriers in the U.S., has sided with the FAA in a lawsuit brought against the agency by UPS pilots over its flight crew member duty and rest rule, issued December 21.
Airline passenger, freight and traffic numbers softened toward the end of 2011, reflecting the ongoing weak global economy. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects the slow growth to continue this year.
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.