ANDREW COMPART

ANDREW COMPART
Articles
FAA Still In Dark On Safety Inspector Needs, Report Finds 

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.

Scope Clauses May Affect Use Of New RJs
Mitsubishi and Embraer’s plans could violate U.S. airline contracts.
European Carriers More Interested In 100-Seat MRJ
European airlines want a 100-seat regional jet, says Mitsubishi
DOT Fine Prompts Delta To Improve Airline’s Denied Boarding Process 

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.

Report Says FAA Still In Dark On Safety Inspector Needs 

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.

GAO: Do Not Rely On Southwest To Restrain Post-Merger Fares 

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-Virgin Atlantic Deal Could Provide Vendor Opportunities 

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, Embraer Explain Plans For Overcoming New Jets’ Weight Issues 

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.

Alaska Pilot Deal Preserves Flight Outsourcing Freedom 

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.

U.S. Use Of MRJ90, E-175-E2 Contingent On Resolution Of Weight Issues 

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.

Case On Airline Immunity For Threat Reports To Go Before U.S. Supreme Court 

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.

U.S. Regional SkyWest Sees Sufficient Demand For Growing Order Book 

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 To Use 787s, 777s To Match Seasonal Demand On Some Routes 

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 Stands By Used Fleet Expansion; Eyes Double-Digit 2Q Operating Margin 

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.

New York Port Authority Seeks Airport Improvement Ideas 

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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