AIN senior editor Kirby Harrison spoke with Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham about the business aircraft market, as well as the company’s future plans for the Avanti II turboprop twin and the P1XX jet program.
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The October 1 merger of United and Continental Airlines has exhumed an old bone of contention between mainline pilots and their management that stands to profoundly affect regional airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association-represented brethren employed by them.
United Air Lines and Continental Airlines formally closed their so-called merger of equals today, as United Continental Holdings–the former UAL Corporation–announced that both now operate as wholly owned subsidiaries of the new entity. The common stock of United Continental Holdings began trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UAL.
Piaggio America has added three new locations–Crownair Aviation in San Diego and Carlsbad, Calif., and Constant Aviation in Birmingham, Ala.–to its list of North American authorized service centers to support the Avanti II twin turboprop. Crownair Aviation offers fuel, maintenance and avionics services at its Montgomery Airport facility in San Diego.
Veteran de Havilland Canada and Bombardier executive Tom Appleton takes over as president and CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Piaggio America as of September 1, replacing Steve Hanvey, who has chosen to pursue other career interests. Hanvey was the founding president and CEO of Piaggio America three years ago.
Continental Airlines last month said it would end all pilot furloughs this year to stem excessive pilot-training costs at its Continental Express subsidiary. A “flow-through” agreement negotiated in ConEx’s pilot contract in 1998 allows furloughed mainline pilots to bid for positions at the regional airline.
Avionics manufacturer Rockwell Collins announced that its Pro Line 21 Integrated Display System (IDS) has been certified for the Piaggio 180. According to the company, the Pro Line 21 IDS will provide the aircraft owners with larger, more informative LCD displays, featuring new content such as electronic charts and graphic weather maps from Rockwell Collins’ Integrated Flight Information System.
Forecast International, a provider of market intelligence, has been engaged by a “world-ranked aircraft manufacturer” to evaluate the market for a new business jet. In the online survey, an artist’s concept depicts a light/medium twinjet with a remarkable resemblance to the Avanti II turboprop twin from Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio.
Piaggio America recently moved its North American headquarters into the Jet Aviation facility overlooking the ramp at West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), Fla. According to Piaggio America president Tom Appleton, the company moved to PBI from its Greenville, S.C. facility in response to recent company growth. The move increased office-space capacity by more than 30 percent and also has made more hangar space available.
A “world-ranked aircraft manufacturer” has engaged Forecast International to evaluate the market for a new business jet. The market forecaster’s online survey shows an artist’s conception of a light-medium twinjet that resembles Piaggio’s Avanti twin turboprop, notably the windshield panels, vertical tail and pinched cone at the trailing edge of the fairing between the horizontal and vertical tail surfaces.