The NTSB said today that a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200 overran the end of a runway in Traverse City, Mich., last year because the pilots elected to land in snow without performing the required landing-distance calculations.
Delta Air Lines has notified Pinnacle Airlines that it intends to dissolve their Delta Connection contract, effective July 31. Delta cited Memphis-based Pinnacle’s failure to meet contractually guaranteed on-time performance rates for its decision. A federal judge recently blocked Delta’s attempts to end its contract with Mesa Air Group’s Freedom Airlines subsidiary for the same stated reason.
Northwest Airlink subsidiary Express Airlines I will move to an all-regional-jet fleet and Minneapolis-based Mesaba Airlines will provide all Northwest Airlines’ Saab 340 service in Memphis, Tenn., under a new agreement that saw Mesaba reduce its service fees to Northwest by 10 percent during last year’s fourth quarter.
All four of Delta Air Lines’ regional affiliates benefited from the company’s continuing network realignment last month, as Delta concentrates ever more intently on “rationalizing” capacity and cutting costs with regional jets.
Bombardier won a long-anticipated and hard-fought operational lease deal from Northwest Airlines for 75 CRJ-440 regional jets, the newly designated 44-passenger version of the 50-seat CRJ-200. The airline has also taken options on an additional 175 CRJ-440s.
Airline executives whose predictions of regional divestitures raised eyebrows just two years ago watched their prophesies turn to hard reality in late February, as Northwest Airlines announced its intention to spin off its Memphis-based Express Airlines I subsidiary and Continental Airlines revisited its plans to divest itself from Continental Express.
Big Sky Airlines will operate as a subsidiary of Mesaba Holdings by year-end if the Billings, Mont.-based Fairchild Metro III operator meets “certain labor conditions” set by its would-be parent company from Minneapolis. The proposed merger would create a new division within Mesaba Holdings, flying under an operating certificate and labor contracts separate from Mesaba Aviation.
Largely obscured by the preoccupation with new security directives inspired by September 11, the debate over the FAA’s now binding interpretation of a long-standing pilot duty-time rule appears to have run its course. In fact, traffic declines have rendered the issue moot at major airlines, where pilot furloughs have left many longing for the days when duty times approached the 16-hr limit set by the FAA.
Northwest Airlines is considering exercising its right to terminate the Avro RJ85 agreement under which Mesaba leases and operates 36 of the four-engine jets, according to the Minneapolis-based regional airline. Under the terms of a 1996 regional jet services agreement between Northwest and Mesaba, Northwest can end the agreement by giving notice to Mesaba on or before October 28 this year.
The relationship between Pinnacle Airlines and its pilot group turned from frosty to malevolent last month as the Memphis-based regional filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). Pinnacle claims that bad-faith bargaining on the part of ALPA has unnecessarily stalled negotiations and resulted in the loss of 17 of its 50-seat jets and a chance to fly 76-seat jets for Northwest Airlines.