As professionals engaged in business aviation, each of us probably has questions about what lies ahead for our community. Will there be sufficient airspace and runway capacity to accommodate an increasing number of operations without a subsequent increase in delays? Will the ATC infrastructure be improved, and if so, whose voices will dominate the debate for designing a new system?
During a discussion with a friend recently he touched on a problem he and most others in his industry are having. It seems that the labor market has been getting tighter for certain kinds of employee. He was not talking about the MBA types or the attorneys as we seem to produce more than enough of them to satisfy demand.
Air Canada last month suggested the potential sale of Air Canada Jazz, just as executives prepared to meet with key unions to discuss cost cuts at its money-losing regional subsidiary. Air Canada seeks to trim a total of C$650 million ($425 million) in labor costs, an amount equal to roughly 23 percent of its annual payroll and related expenditures. Air Canada Jazz aims to shed C$90 million–the exact amount it lost last year.
Early next year the only non-living member of the former rock group The Beatles will have the airport in Liverpool, England, named after him. Next spring, coinciding with the opening of a new airline terminal, the airport will become Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The logo for the airport will include a Lennon self-portrait and the printed line “Above us only sky” from one of his most endearing and enduring hits, Imagine.
Component repair company Heico Corp. of Hollywood, Fla., will expand its services in the repair of avionics and other instruments as a result of purchasing Cleveland-based Inertial Airline Services (IAS) from fractional aircraft ownership operator Flight Options. Heico said it plans to keep IAS management intact and retain its location in Cleveland. Flight Options now operates 88 airplanes for more than 700 owners.
Delays of airline flights out of UK airports during the first quarter increased to their highest level in a decade. According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the number of scheduled services that were more than 15 min late increased to 29 percent of total departures. At London Luton Airport, delays in excess of 15 min were experienced by as many as 42 percent of departures.
If the DOT adopts “market-based” actions to relieve airport congestion and delays, which it is considering, landing fees could soar for corporate and commercial operators.
The U.S. airline industry last month felt the opening tremors of what could become the biggest shakeup in the business since the introduction of the regional jet. On August 15, US Airways announced a plan to fly 50- to 69-seat RJs within its mainline system, using mainline flight crews as part of a far-reaching reorganization effort.
Switzerland’s Crossair has frozen all hiring for an undetermined period, redoubled efforts to attract more business passengers, reduced frequencies on a number of marginal routes and moved smaller airplanes to others as the regional airline attempts to reverse one of the most difficult financial periods in its illustrious history.
Despite signs of revival last year, when traffic rose by 6- to 8 percent, the Russian regional air transport system remains in dire straits. Lack of appreciable demand in the market, aging fleets and the absence of reasonably priced capital in the country’s banking sector have conspired to frustrate recent efforts to move the industry out of its doldrums.