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Darren Shannon darren_shannon@aviationweek.com

Darren Shannon darren_shannon@aviationweek.com
New American Leadership Team To Be Announced Soon 

US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker within the next month expects to name the senior management team that will lead American Airlines once he becomes that airline’s top executive sometime in the third quarter.

In a joint letter to the staff of American and US Airways, AMR Corp.’s CEO Tom Horton and Parker said “29 integration planning teams and several cross-functional task forces” have been created to determine how the two companies will be combined if their merger plan is approved by regulators.

United Expects 787s To Resume U.S. Service May 20 

United Airlines plans a phased return of its Boeing 787s to revenue service starting May 20, as modifications on its six widebodies are completed.

The airline initially will place the first batch of aircraft into domestic service as additional capacity between Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and its hubs at Chicago O’Hare International, Denver International and Los Angeles International Airports before the widebody enters international service in June.

Industry Veteran To Lead Island Air 

Island Air’s new owner has named Paul Casey, a veteran of Hawaii’s travel industry, its new CEO.

Casey, who was Hawaiian Airlines’ top executive from 1997 to 2002, will assume the responsibilities currently held by Les Murashige. Murashige will remain at the airline as president.

Casey’s appointment is effective May 1.

“Having been part of Hawaii’s visitor and airline industries for the past three decades, joining Island Air at this time is an exciting opportunity,” Casey says.

Pinnacle To Emerge From Chapter 11 May 1 

U.S. regional Pinnacle Airlines is set to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 1 as a division of Delta Air Lines after its plan of reorganization was granted court approval.

Under the planned integration with Delta, Pinnacle will move its headquarters from Memphis to Minnesota by the end of May.

U.S., UAE Reach Accord On Abu Dhabi Preclearance Facility 

The U.S. is one step closer to establishing a preclearance customs facility at Abu Dhabi International.

Aviation Week has learned that the U.S. and UAE governments have established operational protocols, authorities and facility requirements for preclearance at the airport.

American Eagle's Fleet Costs Overhauled 
WASHINGTON - American Airlines’ newly filed plan of reorganization, which centers on its proposed merger with US Airways, provides details of a drastic overhaul of its regional operation’s cost structure through a combination of aircraft returns and reduced leasing payments. (photo: American Airlines)
Caribbean Airlines Seeking Code-Share With Air India 

Air India and Caribbean Airlines in the next two months could begin negotiations to establish an interline agreement.

The talks follow a visit to India by the Trinidad and Tobago-based airline’s Chairman Rabindra Moonan and CEO Robert Corbie. The two executives in a statement say Air India has agreed to start talks by mid-June to establish the interline accord with the intent to advance the relationship to a full code-share.

IAG One Step Closer To Owning Vueling 

International Airlines Group (IAG) is close to acquiring Barcelona-based Vueling Airlines after the low-cost carrier’s board of directors approved a new takeover bid.

The board’s approval recommended that shareholders accept IAG’s late March offer of €9.25 ($12.08) a share, which marked a 32% premium on the €7-per-share offer previously dismissed by the same board.

IAG’s revised offer also sought a smaller investment in Vueling than the initial bid, although IAG still wants a majority stake in the Spanish airline.

Porter Wants Major Overhaul Of Toronto City Airport Rules 

Porter Airlines is seeking a major change in regulations governing its base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Center Airport to accommodate an expansion into jet operations.

The airline, which today confirmed a purchase agreement with Bombardier for 12 CS100s, is seeking a change to a 1983 accord that limits jet operations at Billy Bishop to a small number of charter flights. Porter also is seeking regulatory approval to extend the island airport’s main runway by 168 meters at each end, which will require an extension into Lake Ontario.

UAE Ambassdor Says Abu Dhabi Deal On U.S. Preclearance Near 

The UAE’s Ambassador to the U.S. says the two countries are close to finalizing a deal to allow a U.S. customs facility to be based at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

According to Yousef Al Otaiba, he had hoped a deal could have been reached to coincide with the April 2 launch of Etihad Airways’ nonstop service between Abu Dhabi and Washington Dulles International Airport. But while that did not transpire, he says that an agreement is “very, very close” and that the opening of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility is then dependent only on equipage.

Air Berlin Changes 787 Order To Match Etihad's -9s 
WASHINGTON - Air Berlin is changing its Boeing 787 order to the -9 variant favored by its largest shareholder, Etihad Airways, says the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s chairman and CEO, James Hogan. (Photo: Air Berlin)
Brazil's Startups Continue To Gain Market Share 

Brazil’s traffic reports for the first two months of the year clearly illustrate that the country’s two largest operators have implemented dramatic capacity reduction plans, and that their competition continues to grow.

Both TAM Airlines and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes have reversed years of growth to counter shifting demands among domestic travelers, which increasingly are favoring low-cost, low-fare operators. TAM and GOL launched their strategies last year, but the momentum, particularly at TAM, is more evident this year.

IAG Revises Bid For Vueling 

International Airlines Group (IAG’s) has increased and revised its offer to purchase Barcelona-based Vueling Airlines.

The new bid increases IAG’s offer to €9.25 ($11.86) a share from €7 and revises the minimum purchase requirement from 90% of Vueling’s voting stock not currently owned by IAG’s Iberia operation to 4.16%.

If accepted by Vueling’s board of directors, this minimum requirement would give IAG a 50.01% stake in Vueling.

GOL Expects Profits From Capacity Cuts 

Brazilian operator GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes expects increased capacity cuts this year will reverse two years of growing losses.

Brussels Airlines CEO Talks About Growth Plan 
WASHINGTON - Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin expects the airline’s restructuring to produce margins of 5-8% by 2017. (Photo: Brussels Airlines)

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