American Eagle’s pilots rejected a concessionary contract proposal from management by a wide margin in late March, thereby ending any chance at flying any of the Embraer E175s American Airlines has ordered. Management promised the pilots the right to fly 60 of the 76-seat jets in return for a pay cap on first officers of $38,000 a year after four years, cuts to per diems and higher health-care premiums.
Mesa Air Group closed its Hawaii-based go! operation on April 1 following some eight years of financial struggles. According to Mesa, the decision stemmed from a desire to concentrate its resources on its now growing mainland operations and minimize its exposure to “at risk” flying. Before the cessation of Hawaiian operations, capacity purchase code-share agreements accounted for 98 percent of the group’s business.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways announced first destinations and unveiled premium cabin configurations for its coming Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 widebodies on May 4. The Gulf carrier plans to start service of both aircraft types in December.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed amending requirements for underwater locating devices (ULDs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) to substantially extend their transmission and recording times. The agency cited the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as justifying the changes, which it proposed last December.
Mubadala Aerospace, an entity owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has taken full control of Italy’s Piaggio Aero, maker of the Avanti II turboprop. Mubadala has been a shareholder in Piaggio Aero since 2006.
U.S. airlines reported net profit of $12.7 billion in 2013, improving from $98 million the previous year, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported on May 5. This was the fourth consecutive year the industry reported net profits to the government.
It is over.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the FAA have signed a nine-year deal for the agency to provide ATC services at the EAA’s annual AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis. Under the agreement, the EAA will reimburse the FAA for all related expenses and overtime and drop its federal lawsuit challenging the FAA’s authority to impose those charges.
The CAE/AgustaWestland Rotorsim joint venture has received EASA and Italian ENAC approval for its CAE Series 3000 AW189 full-motion simulator to level-D qualifications. The new simulator will be based at AgustaWestland’s new simulation building at the A. Marchetti Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy.
Calgary, Canada-based Flyht Aerospace Solutions has developed the Dragon, a low-cost Iridium-based portable satcom system that draws on the company’s expertise in airborne telecom. Selling for less than $10,000, Dragon allows pilots and passengers to communicate using voice or data, without the need for an expensive certification and installation approval program.
Business aviation’s strong accident record is no reason for operators to rest on their laurels, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reminded attendees at the recent FSF business aviation safety summit (BASS). Sumwalt, former manager of aviation for Scana and a retired US Airways pilot, is a man obsessed with the pursuit of improving aviation safety. He reminded the audience that leadership is about influencing others. “Your job as leaders in business aviation is to make sure accidents don’t happen on your watch. You must also be constantly trying to improve. You need a leadership obsession.”