The pilots of Pinnacle Airlines ratified a bankruptcy restructuring contract on Tuesday, thereby avoiding what could have proved a messy court battle with management and potentially saving the Memphis-based regional from liquidation. Eight-five percent of the pilots who cast ballots voted in favor of the agreement.
The FAA is proposing a $275,000 civil penalty against Pinnacle Airlines of Memphis for allegedly operating a Bombardier CRJ900 on 11 flights without all required parts fitted. According to the FAA, Pinnacle mechanics failed to replace a part required in the approved aircraft maintenance manual when they replaced the aircraft’s right engine.
Pinnacle Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiaries have entered into a series of agreements that would provide a path forward for the company to emerge from bankruptcy under the ownership of Delta Air Lines or an affiliate, the company announced Thursday.
A new pilot contract ratified by the pilots of United Airlines on December 15 will open more opportunities for “large” regional airplane flying by United Express affiliates but likely result in another large-scale grounding of 50-seat regional jets. It also appears to signal a desire for United to add 90- to 120-seat narrowbodies in the category of the Embraer E190/195 and Bombardier CSeries CS100 some time after January 2016.
Bombardier Aerospace received a major boost for its sagging CRJ regional jet program on Thursday, when Delta Air Lines placed a firm order for 40 dual-class CRJ900s and reserved options on another 30.
Pinnacle Airlines has resumed talks with its employee groups over contract concessions, following a recalculation of the cost savings it says it needs to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to Pinnacle, it now needs to shed $76 million to return to viability due in large part to Delta Air Lines’ plans to shed more than 200 fifty-seat regional jets from the Delta Connection system. It originally asked for $43 million in concessions.
The FAA has proposed a $400,000 civil penalty against Atlantic Southeast Airlines–now operating as Expressjet–for operating a Bombardier regional jet in revenue flight without a properly completed maintenance release. The agency says the airline conducted 49 trips between July 7 and July 15 without an authorized signature on either the maintenance release or the aircraft’s discrepancy log. Atlantic Southeast has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s civil penalty letter to respond to the agency.
Cincinnati-based Comair will close its doors at the end September, and nearly 2,000 people will lose their jobs as a result. Granted, the reasons for the airline’s demise might not matter much to them, but perhaps an examination of the forces that led to Delta’s decision to shutter its subsidiary will prepare others for a similar fate.
Bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines suspended negotiations over pay concessions with its unions while it “reformulates” its business plan in an effort to issue a more competitive contract offer to mainline partner Delta Air Lines, according to a June 22 letter sent by CEO John Spanjers to all employees.
Made public in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the letter said that Delta told Pinnacle management that its competitors had submitted bids for Bombardier CRJ900 flying that undercut Pinnacle’s current rates by a “significant” margin.
The two pilots operating an Air India Airbus A330 between Delhi and Shanghai were grounded after an incident in which the aircraft encountered turbulence strong enough to damage the aircraft and injure some crew and passengers.
Despite reports from flight attendants of damage and injuries in the cabin, the two pilots did not divert the aircraft to a nearby airport, but continued on to the original destination.