The proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways will no doubt undergo close scrutiny by antitrust regulators and face particularly vigorous opposition from consumer advocacy groups. Even supporters concede that the effort toward creating the largest airline in the world will face obstacles.
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Boeing 787 prototype ZA005 on Monday took to the air for the second time since the FAA cleared the company to fly the airplane on test missions over unpopulated areas.
Embraer’s waning E-Jet backlog received a welcome boost this week with a firm order for 47 seventy-six-seat E175s from Indianapolis-based Republic Airways. The deal, announced Thursday morning, includes options on another 47 of the airplanes, potentially raising its list-price value to $4 billion.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) for Chicago and its surrounding region has publicly charged United Airlines and American Airlines with running “sham” business operations conceived to circumvent city and RTA sales taxes. In a lawsuit filed against United last week, the RTA–a municipal corporation of government that oversees the Chicago area’s public transportation departments–claimed that the airline established shell offices in the town of Sycamore, Illinois, where it pays a total tax rate of 8 percent.
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.
In seeking to consummate its proposed strategic alliance with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways aims to head off the challenge posed by the formidable pairing of British Airways and American Airlines. So who did Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson recruit to succeed retiring CEO Steve Ridgway? Why, naturally, a senior American Airlines executive in the shape of senior vice president for customers Craig Kreeger, who assumes his new role from February 1.
The line has sharpened between airlines and labor groups over the FAA’s decision to exclude all-cargo operations from its new, stricter pilot flight duty rule, scheduled to take effect in January next year. Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization representing major U.S. airlines, issued a statement on January 7 reaffirming its support of the duty rule as published and urging Congress to reject new legislation that would change the rule to include all-cargo carriers.
A recently reposted YouTube video has provided a stark reminder to cockpit crews that airport rescue service response times are not consistent around the world. The 2007 video was shot at Okinawa in Japan during a fire that destroyed a China Airlines Boeing 737 as it sat at the gate. A ground worker can be seen approaching the inferno with a fire extinguisher before fire trucks arrived.
Imagine seeing this headline: “Major Airline Uses Student Pilots on Passenger Flights.” There would be universal outrage and condemnation if an airline tried to put students in the cockpit on passenger-carrying flights–even if “just” to handle the radios or practice touching some of the controls in cruise flight.
Virgin Group boss Richard Branson insists that Virgin Atlantic’s brand will remain intact well into the future following Delta Air Lines’ planned purchase of Singapore Airlines’ 49-percent stake in the UK carrier. “First of all, ignore the press speculation, the British Airways speculation,” said Branson via a video feed from his Caribbean retreat on Necker Island during last week’s announcement. “I’m not going anywhere.”