Tim La Porte, owner of Iliamna Air Taxi Service in Iliamna, Alaska, has logged 10,000 hours at the controls of the PC-12, making him the highest-time pilot of the big turboprop single, according to Pilatus Business Aircraft. Iliamna provides charter and scheduled service in Alaska, and has been in operation since 1977. The family-owned business operates three PC-12s, one of which it has owned for the past 25 years.
Colombia’s Avianca Airlines and ATR have signed a 10-year maintenance contract covering the Medellin-based carrier’s new fleet of ATR 72-600s. Under the so-called Global Maintenance Agreement, ATR will provide repair and overhaul services for the fleet and completely manage line-replaceable units, the maintenance and availability of aircraft parts and components, the advanced exchange pool of services, and a parts inventory at its logistics center in Miami. In late 2012 Avianca signed a purchase agreement with ATR for a fleet of 15 ATR 72-600s, and took an option for 15 more.
More than 1,000 delegates attending the March 11 to 13 IATA World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles heard a downbeat assessment of prospects for air freight from FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith and IATA chief economist Brian Pearce, both of whom talked of long-term structural challenges.
Airport authorities in Birmingham, Ala., were in the process of reopening the airport’s longer Runway 24 on August 14, at the time a UPS Airbus A300 crashed while attempting to land on Runway 18. A FedEx jet, in fact, landed on Runway 24 just a few minutes after the UPS accident. The NTSB will hold a hearing on the accident February 20 in Washington.
Anchorage-based regional airline group Era Alaska officially renamed itself Ravn Alaska last month as part of a wider rebranding exercise accomplished over the past half-year. The three airlines that operate under the Era Alaska banner have also undergone a rebranding: ERA Aviation becomes Corvus Airlines, while Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service now fly under the name Ravn Connect.
Leipzig-based Volga-Dnepr Technics (VDT), the division responsible for Volga-Dnepr Group’s maintenance operations in Europe, has expanded its maintenance capability on Western-built aircraft. VDT’s EASA Part 145 certificate enables the MRO to extend A-check services on the Boeing 737-300/-400/-500, 747-8F and 747-400 (PW4000-powered). The company’s EASA Rating C14 has also been expanded to cover wheel and brake repair shop activities on a number of 747 variants.
“In 2014 we aim to reach…C-check capability on Western aircraft,” said VDT managing director Ildar Ilyasov.
Indonesia’s civil aviation authority plans to reduce the number of airlines operating in the country from 53 to 28 following the failure of most of its carriers to satisfy a minimum fleet-size requirement by January. The requirement calls for all airlines, including charter and cargo operators, to operate no fewer than 10 airplanes each, five of which they must own.
The ruling, introduced in 2009, originally called for implementation on Jan. 12, 2012. The government extended the deadline by another year when smaller carriers appealed for more time.
FedEx Express feeder carrier Empire Airlines expects to start flying passengers to Kauai and Lanai in Hawaii as a Hawaiian Airlines code-share partner by “mid-summer,” Empire CEO Tim Komberec told a gathering of reporters at last month’s RAA Convention in Montreal.
The imminent merger of the freight operations of TWO Aviation and Flex Aero will create the largest express freight carrier in Brazil, Two-Flex. The new operation expects to command 60 percent of the country’s air cargo market, with 18 aircraft and 11 bases throughout the country. Flex Aero’s operations are stronger in the north of Brazil, and TWO’s in the center and south. “Now, I can go from the north of Brazil to Porto Alegre in the far south. Before, I couldn’t offer that,” said Flex Aero president Rui Aquino.
Russian-owned outsize cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr has many years experience moving all types of helicopters around the planet, whether in support of contracts or on delivery flights for manufacturers. The company (Booth No. C702) was founded in 1990 and can transport anything from MD 500s up to Mil Mi-8s/17s and Sikorsky CH-53s or S-64s.
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