The FAA has been under intense pressure from the U.S. Congress of late, and some believe that the reaction to Congressional pressure to tighten up FAA oversight of the aviation industry is a direct cause of the thousands of airline groundings last month.
A group of former JetBlue executives has launched a new charter operation designed around the Phenom 100. The company, JetSuite, has placed an order for 100 aircraft–50 firm and 50 options–and plans to lease the aircraft to customers. First deliveries are expected next April. The company has also applied for a Part 135 certificate and plans to launch charter services from bases in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, pending final government approval.
A group of former JetBlue executives this week launched an operation designed around the Embraer Phenom 100. The company, JetSuite, placed a firm order for 50 of the very light jets with options for 50 more, and it plans to lease the aircraft to customers. First deliveries are expected in April next year.
New York City-based ShAirForce LLC continues to move forward with its plan to become the world’s first fractional operator to offer its clients premium-class-only aircraft with daily nonstop service between high-demand domestic and international city pairs. The company recently released its Web site address (www.ShAirForce.com) and toll-free number, (866) Go-ShAir.
Boeing will delay first flight of the 787, this time by as much as six more months, as it continues to grapple with slower-than-expected completion of work originally meant for suppliers, the company said today. It now expects to fly the first airplane some time during this year’s fourth quarter–at least 14 months later than originally planned.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has settled with Bombardier and Goodrich Aerospace the terms of a compensation agreement stemming from the airline’s grounding of its entire fleet of 27 Q400s last year. Although it would not disclose the precise conditions, SAS said the value of the compensation it will receive slightly exceeds 1 billion Swedish crowns ($163.5 million) in cash and credits for future firm and optional aircraft orders.
A firm order for three 100-seat Embraer E190s from Finnair capped a brisk run of sales activity in the second half of February for the Brazilian airframe builder. The deal raises to 23 the number of E-Jets ordered by the Finnish flag carrier, which took delivery of its seventh E190 last month. It also flies ten 72-seat Embraer E170s.
After conducting an internal investigation, last month Southwest Airlines leaders switched from defending the airline’s maintenance practices to suspending three maintenance employees and grounding a significant number of airplanes to re-inspect them for possible cracks. The FAA issued a statement on March 6 proposing that Southwest Airlines pay a $10.2 million civil penalty for its error.
David Neeleman’s new Brazilian airline venture appeared to have taken a giant leap toward fruition today, as Embraer announced that the JetBlue founder signed a contract to buy 36 of the 108- to 122-seat E195 jets and take options on another 20. The deal also secured purchase rights on another 20 airplanes, which, if exercised, would raise the total value of the orders to $3 billion.
The FAA today said it planned to levy a $10.2 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for operating 46 airplanes that hadn’t undergone mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking. Subsequently, the airline found that six of the 46 airplanes had developed fatigue cracks.