Concurrent with Women’s History month, Women in Aviation International, a non-profit member organization that promotes diversity and women’s integration into aviation and aerospace, held its largest conference ever at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
While the Regional Airline Association and regional airline management point to new rules governing flight time experience for first officers as the primary reason for a pilot shortage that has resulted in a loss of service to several U.S. communities, pilots contend the airlines have made their own mess by creating a business model predicated on breadline wages for cockpit crew. The Air Line Pilots Association, for one, argues that there’s no shortage of pilots, only a shortage of pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits.
Two flight attendants were injured on February 17 in separate onboard incidents. A Russian Ural Airlines attendant fell from an open cabin door during ground servicing in Dubai after a service vehicle struck the aircraft. Reports said the truck struck with enough force to move the aircraft 10 feet on the ground. In another incident, three United Airlines attendants were injured after their Boeing 737 encountered severe turbulence on approach to Billings, Mont. One attendant was critically injured, while the other two were treated and released from a local hospital.
For Brazil’s Embraer, a lot has changed in the 13 years since it first laid brick and mortar in Asia. The world’s major airframe makers now consider the Asia Pacific region the biggest market for airliners in the world, and Embraer’s establishment first of an office in Beijing and later a joint-venture to build ERJ 145 regional jets in Harbin has proved prescient.
Boeing delivered a bullish market forecast for airplane sales in the Asia-Pacific region on February 10, citing strong anticipated economic and passenger growth over the next 20 years. The manufacturer expects that the region’s gross domestic product will grow at 4.5 percent annually over the next two decades, fueling annual passenger traffic growth of 6.3 percent and cargo growth of 5.8 percent.
Southeast Asian carriers VietJetAir and Myanmar Airways maintained the region’s strong growth-curve yesterday, announcing new airliner deals worth almost $7.4 billion. At the Singapore Airshow, Vietnam’s VietJetAir gave Airbus a $6.4 billion contract covering firm orders for 42 A320neos, 14 A320ceos and seven A321ceos.
New relationships are changing the Asia Pacific’s airline landscape as it enters a new stage of maturity with once-fierce opponents forming partnerships for reciprocal gains. Overcapacity in fleet numbers has fueled competition and compelled budget carriers to look at cooperation initiatives despite the budget airline industry’s penchant to avoid complexity.
A video showing lightning striking a Copa Airlines jet parked at the gate clearly demonstrates why all aircraft fueling ceases when thunderstorms are near. Pay particular attention to the small manhole cover near the front of the aircraft that goes flying toward a ground tug shortly after the strike.
Wholly owned American Airlines regional subsidiary American Eagle Airlines will change its name to Envoy this spring, the company announced last month. It said the move stems from the need to eliminate confusion between the company’s current name and American Eagle, the regional flying brand under which all of American’s 10 regional affiliates will eventually operate.
Air Line Pilots Association union leaders and American Eagle management reached an agreement in principle last month that would guarantee the 60 Embraer E175s ordered by American Airlines go to the wholly owned regional carrier. In return, Eagle pilots would have to forego any pay raises until 2018 and accept increases to their contribution to their health insurance premiums starting next year.