American Airlines’ decision last month to retire 74 more Fokker 100s and nine Boeing 767-300s will mean continued capacity stagnation at its wholly owned American Eagle subsidiary, as long as the Allied Pilots Association has its way.
American Eagle Airlines
As an ostentatious display of western military might, Farnborough 2002 was viewed as a high-profile terrorist target. Organizers were forced to impose a tight security cordon around the site and the event also featured much of the new-generation security technology that has come to the fore in the wake of September 11.
A union leader has accused American Eagle of declaring war on its pilots after the company announced it was transferring 14 regional jets to another airline.
American Airlines has entered negotiations to sell its Executive Airlines subsidiary to St. John’s, Antigua-based Dash 8 operator Caribbean Star. Executive Airlines, a division of American Eagle based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, became the subject of divestiture speculation when American failed to secure relief from a clause in its pilot contract that requires it to freeze its regional affiliates’ ASMs in the event of mainline furloughs.
The FAA has proposed fining American Eagle $363,000 for alleged violations of maintenance FARs. The agency claims the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline operated a Saab 340B with an inoperative windshield defogger. According to the FAA, the airplane’s maintenance log indicated a problem with the defogger, but mechanics on duty failed to inspect or repair the system.
AMR has begun planning the divestiture of its American Eagle regional subsidiary amid calls for asset sales by shareholders disenchanted with the company’s recent stock market performance. Although AMR doesn’t attribute the decision directly to pressure from investors, the November 28 announcement immediately preceded a 6.9-percent jump in share price.
An FAA advisory directive issued November 28 requires operators of 624 Embraer ERJ 135s and 145s to check for cracks in their forward fuselage right side skins and repair any damage discovered. The AD comes in reaction to findings during full-scale fatigue tests by Embraer of damage that could result in rapid cabin decompression. The FAA estimates each airplane will require 60 work hours at a cost of $6,010 each.
The North Carolina Department of Labor in late November cited American Eagle for what it classifies as serious safety violations related to the death of one of its fleet service clerks at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Lufuluabo Kalonji died July 31 from blunt-force trauma to the chest after he inadvertently placed the baggage truck he operated into reverse, backed into an Embraer regional jet and became pinned in the process.
Embraer ERJ 135LR, Newark, N.J., July 24, 2006–The NTSB determined that the captain of the American Eagle ERJ 135 failed to follow company procedures, which resulted in pushback with the parking brake set. An additional factor was the use of a larger tug than preferred for the regional jet. The airplane skidded about 14 inches.
A spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Labor said the agency would need until at least the middle of next month to finish its investigation into the July 31 death of an American Eagle fleet service clerk at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). The accident, which occurred on the RDU ramp between 8:30 and 9 p.m., involved a parked Embraer regional jet and a baggage tug driven by the deceased, 43-year-old Lufuluabo Kalonji.