The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects its new first officer qualification rule for commercial pilots that require, with certain exceptions, 1,500 hours of flight time and an air transport pilot certificate to appear in the government’s Federal Register on Monday.
The management of American Airlines merger partner US Airways has advised American Eagle pilot leaders that it will not place an order for 76-seat regional jets for Eagle or any other regional airline that hasn’t formulated a plan to “trend toward” the cost structure introduced at wholly owned Delta Air Lines subsidiary Pinnacle Airlines, the head of the American Eagle Air Line Pilots Association unit told membership
A pair of major new suppliers for Embraer’s next-generation E-Jets identified themselves last week in a sign that program advancement continues apace despite the airframer’s reservations about communicating any details about its plans for an industrial launch or even performance specifications.
Regional Airline Association chairman Dan Garton today expressed relief that a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Congress was able to reverse the furloughs of air traffic controllers triggered by federal budget cuts. But he complained that America’s regional carriers had faced a disproportionate burden from the effects of sequestration on the country’s air traffic management system.
Another sign of what Embraer CEO Frederico Curado has characterized as a resurgent regional jet market appeared last week, when United Airlines inked a firm order for 30 of the Brazilian manufacturer’s E175s. The deal, which includes options on another 40 of the 76-seat airplanes, marks the first move by United to exploit its newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network since its pilots agreed to relax the scope clause in their labor contract last December.
Despite the difficulty ATR has encountered in penetrating the U.S. turboprop market, company CEO Filippo Bagnato continues to express optimism that the Franco-Italian partnership will experience a resurgence in what perhaps represents its final frontier of a sort. Now controlling some 60 percent of the market for 50- to 90-seat airplanes based on unit sales backlogs, the last Western maker of 50-seat-category turboprops sees itself as a potential lifeline for small U.S. cities and communities that can no longer support the services of regional jets of any size.
Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines on Wednesday officially emerged from bankruptcy as a wholly owned regional subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.
Regional Airline Association president Roger Cohen knows better than to predict what direction the industry he has watched evolve over his seven-year tenure at the RAA might take next. So when asked to talk about further structural changes his group’s 30 or so airline members might see in the coming months and years, he offered a direct retort.
For reasons ranging from high fuel costs to regulatory complexity, European regional airlines still face “a very difficult time,” according to European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director general Simon McNamara. Meanwhile, persistently weak economic data continue to “depress people’s willingness to travel,” he said, leading to contraction of the European airline industry as a whole.
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) expressed alarm in late February over the potential for drastic cuts to regional airline service as a result of automatic spending cuts in the U.S. federal budget known as sequestration. The legislation, which took effect on March 1, calls for $600 million in cuts to the FAA budget through September, resulting in the elimination of midnight shifts at 30 secondary airports and the likely closure of 100 control towers at airports frequented by regional airlines.