The FAA still cannot reliably determine how many flight standards safety inspectors it needs and where for commercial aviation oversight, which could be causing some staffing shortages, the Transportation Department’s inspector general’s office (DOT IG) says in a recent audit report. But the data for the FAA’s staffing model also remains so unreliable that no one can say for sure, the IG adds.
The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) fined Delta Air Lines $750,000 after concluding that, for the second time in four years, the carrier violated rules regarding passengers who are bumped from flights. But Delta can offset $425,000 of the fine by investing that money in portable tablets and other improvements to its denied boarding system.
The FAA still cannot reliably determine how many flight standards safety inspectors it needs and where for commercial aviation oversight, which could be causing some staffing shortages, the Transportation Department’s inspector general’s office (DOT IG) says in a new audit report. But the data for the FAA’s staffing model also remains so unreliable that no one can say for sure, the IG adds.
The U.S. Justice Department, currently analyzing the proposed American Airlines-US Airways merger for antitrust concerns, should be wary of relying on the market presence of Southwest Airlines to hold down post-merger fares, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) cautions.
The GAO’s warning relies on a study published in the May issue of the Transportation Research Board’s journal, and was delivered to Congress by the GAO in June 19 testimony to the Senate’s aviation subcommittee on how the merger might affect markets.
Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic say they expect to be able to begin coordinating their pricing and schedules on U.S.-U.K. routes under a transatlantic joint venture within the first three months of 2014, now that Delta closed on its 49% stake in Virgin. But the partnership also could provide some opportunities in the nearer term for vendors.
Mitsubishi Aircraft will use “paperwork changes” to overcome union contract restrictions that forbid most U.S. mainline carriers from outsourcing flying on aircraft that exceed a certified maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 86,000 lb.—a cutoff that Mitsubishi will not meet under current plans for its MRJ90 and MRJ70LR jets.
The tentative agreement that Alaska Airlines reached with its pilots union includes no aircraft size-related restrictions on outsourcing flights, but does add new job protections for the crew members if Alaska acquires or is acquired by another carrier.
SkyWest Inc. which placed a firm order for 100 Embraer E-175-E2 aircraft and options for 100 more, will not be able to operate them for most U.S. mainline carriers unless Embraer substantially reduces their certificated maximum takeoff weight or pilots’ unions agree to relax restrictions in their collective bargaining agreements.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that the Obama administration and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) contend could have a chilling effect on airlines’ reporting of suspicious activity that may threaten the safety of a flight.
SkyWest Inc.’s order for 100 next-generation Embraer 175-E2s, which comes on top of its May deal for 100 current-generation E-175s, does not impact the airline’s existing order for 100 Mitsubishi MRJ90s, finalized in December.
“We want to keep two manufacturers in the market,” says Chairman and CEO Jerry Atkins, speaking at the formal launch of the new E-Jet family at the Paris air show. “Competition helps keep prices down and gives our airline partners a choice.”
United Airlines plans to use at least some of its Boeing 787 aircraft as a low-season, long-haul market replacement for Boeing 777s, which in turn will be shifted to long-haul markets entering their peak season, President and CEO Jeff Smisek says.
United’s 787s, so far, have been used to launch new routes. But in a presentation last week at the Deutsche Bank Global Industrials and Basic Materials Conference,
Delta Air Lines decided to increase its MD-90 fleet from 16 aircraft to its current strength of 65 because it could acquire them at 20% of the cost of a new Boeing 737-800, with engines that are just as fuel-efficient, the airline’s president Ed Bastian says.
“It clearly was a no-brainer,” says Bastian, who defended the carrier’s reliance on used jets during a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Global Industrials and Basic Materials Conference.
The first phase of an airport capacity study for the major New York area airports could be completed by October, providing guidance on the potential addition or reconfiguration of runways, says Susan Baer, who is soon to retire from her position as aviation director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
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