Andrew Compart andrew_compart@aviationweek.com

Andrew Compart andrew_compart@aviationweek.com
Articles
Administration Halves Airport Grants Cut By Targeting Large Hubs 

The Obama administration’s fiscal 2014 budget plan halves its previously proposed cuts to federal grants for airport improvements by narrowing the reduction’s impact primarily to large hub airports. But the administration also wants to impose a new cost on airports, and it still is counting on an unlikely increase in the airport passenger facility charge (PFC) to help offset the reduction in grant money.

Virgin Atlantic 'Evaluating' SkyTeam Membership 
Virgin Atlantic is “evaluating the possibility of entering into the SkyTeam Alliance,” the U.K. carrier and Delta Air Lines say in their joint application to the U.S. Transportation Department for antitrust immunity. (Photo: Air Team Images)
A350 On Track For Mid-Year Flight, Airbus CEO Says 

The assembly of the Airbus A350 is largely complete with recent installation of the engines, and the manufacturer expects the first flight by mid-year, but not by the time of the Paris air show in mid-June, Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier says.

Delta And Virgin Seek Immunity To Coordinate Two Joint Ventures 
Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic filed their long-awaited application for antitrust immunity with the U.S. Transportation Department on April 8, simultaneously laying out the details of how they want to work with each other and coordinate with Delta’s other immunized joint venture with Air France, KLM and Alitalia. (Photo: Airteam Images)
Customs Coalition Complaint May Spark Battle Over Funding 

Airlines believe they are putting more money into Customs and Border Protection (CBP) than they are receiving in services because other transportation sectors are underpaying, setting the stage for a battle over CBP funding and allocation of services.

Allegiant Targets 757 Pneumatics Reliability
Allegiant Air, acknowledging reliability issues with several of its six Boeing 757-200 aircraft, says it has formulated a wide-ranging plan to correct them that includes overhauling and upgrading components in the pneumatic system of its 757 fleet
Allegiant Considers New Uses For 757 Aircraft 

Allegiant Air expects to increase Boeing 757 capacity at two airports serving destinations within the contiguous U.S. as a result of turning most of its Hawaii network, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas-based carrier tells Aviation Week.

Russian Bank Enters Aircraft Leasing Market With Boeing Order 

Sberbank of Russia entered the aircraft leasing business on April 4 by signing a deal for 12 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. It expects to place another order for 30-50 aircraft and foresees the near-term potential to lease more than 100 jets within the country.

Herman Gref, Sberbank’s chairman and CEO, says his estimate of the size of the market for the bank’s leasing arm is based on discussions in the past few weeks with the chairmen of Russian carriers, including Aeroflot. He also expects that most of the aircraft—perhaps 80%—will be 737s.

Delta Challenges Loan Guarantees For Five Carriers 

Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are asking a court to negate loan guarantees that the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has provided to five foreign airlines for the acquisition of Boeing widebody aircraft.

Turkish Eyes Widebody Leases To Counter OEM Delivery Pace 
Turkish Airlines is prepared to lease more widebody aircraft to maintain its ambitious growth plans if Airbus and Boeing cannot deliver the jets it ordered quickly enough, says Chairman Hamdi Topcu. (Photo: Turkish Airlines)
Airlines Seek DOT Approval As Step Toward Personalized Pricing 

Airlines worldwide are urging the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) to approve their agreement to work together on a new data transmission standard for fares, fees and product information, opening a new front in an ongoing battle with some global distribution systems and travel agencies over the best way to market and sell tickets.

Government Travel Cuts Lower Delta's Unit Revenue 

Sequester-driven federal budget cuts are having an impact on Delta Air Lines’ last-minute bookings by government travelers, the Atlanta-based carrier said as it reported a lower-than-anticipated gain in passenger unit revenue in March.

A few weeks ago, Delta forecast a 4.5-5.5% year-over-year increase in passenger unit revenue for the first quarter, after reporting gains of 5.5% for January and 5% for February. On April 2, however, it posted a 2% gain for March.

Supreme Court Ends Fare Advertising Rule Challenge 

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 1 effectively ended the challenge to the U.S. Transportation Department’s new fare advertising rules, declining the petition by Southwest Airlines, Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines for a hearing.

The court declined the petition without comment.

American's Legacy Systems Will Be Used In US Airways Merger Integration 
US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker says he will utilize American Airlines’ legacy systems when integrating the two airlines once they merge.
U.S. Airlines Urge DOT To Finalize Alitalia Sanctions 

Airlines for America, United Airlines and American Airlines are urging the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) to follow through on its threat to punish Alitalia unless Italian authorities change the differentiated fee structure at their country’s airports.

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