Monthly Archives: December 2011

WestJet’s CEO Gregg Saretsky is considering smaller jets

WestJet Airlines’ (Calgary) Chief Executive Officer Gregg Saretsky believes it has already achieved its goals for sufficiently serving its medium size Boeing 737 markets in Canada. In order for the company to grow it needs to acquire smaller jets to serve smaller markets. The smaller aircraft will feed the main routes and eventually the airline will add long-range routes with larger aircraft according to this interview with Saretsky in the Globe and Mail.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

WestJet Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin.

Sunwing Airlines introduces a new logojet to promote Oasis Hotels and Resorts

Sunwing Airlines (Toronto) has introduced this new Boeing 737-800 to promote the Oasis Hotels and Resorts.

Copyright Photo: Gilbert Hechema. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Sunwing Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Iberia cancels 118 flights, pilots call for two more days of strikes to protest Iberia Express

Iberia’s (Madrid) pilots impacted the company yesterday with its second day of strikes this month. As a result 118 flights were cancelled, but all passengers eventually reached their destinations by rerouting or rescheduling.

Iberia Pilots, under the SEPLA union, have called for two more days of strikes next month, on January 9 and 11, demanding that the airline ceases its plans for creating a new “Low Salary, not Low Cost airline”, called Iberia Express.

Last week, Iberia advertised for A320 type rated pilots, ICAO Level 4 language proficiency and recent flight time, but no other requirements where specified. The company claims that it has received more than 1500 applications.

Two Vueling Airlines Airbus A320s have entered the Iberia hangars in order to be repainted onto the Iberia Express livery. Tthe company may start looking for Vueling pilots to fly the new IB Express routes.

British Airways pilots, represented by the BALPA union, visited Madrid on Wednesday to show their support to their IAG colleagues and to inform the striking IB pilots about the way BA pilots will help, as they see this IB Express company as a threat to their contracts, by outsourcing their European flights to this new company, or to newly-acquired BMI. Finally, reportedly the BA pilots told the IB pilots, that Willy Walsh had stated that he can resist all of the strikes by the IB pilots, thanks to the Spanish legislation, which mandates minimum services to be provided by the airlines.

According to the unions, BALPA will soon be joining SEPLA in its efforts against the outsourcing of the IAGs jobs and routes.

Copyright Photo: Ariel Shocron.

Iberia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Airlines’ mechanics ratify the new contract

United Airlines (Chicago), now the largest airline in the world, announced its mechanics, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) ratified a new labor agreement with the company.

The new agreement covers approximately 5,500 United mechanics. The company and the IBT will soon commence negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement for mechanics at both the United and Continental subsidiaries. Continental mechanics represented by the IBT ratified their collective bargaining agreement in November of 2010.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Piedmont Airlines to cut 299 positions at LaGuardia

Piedmont Airlines (2nd) (US Airways Express) (Salisbury) is playing to eliminate 299 positions at New York (LaGuardia) to the recently approved slot swap with Delta Air Lines. Delta is building up a new hub at LGA while US is downsizing at LGA and concentrating on Washington (Reagan National).

299 customer service agents and fleet service workers will lose their jobs in two stages: on March 25 and on July 11, 2012 according to this report by The Street.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional details.

US Airways-Piedmont Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Delta to end Washington Reagan National-Jackson, MS service

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is ending Washington (Reagan National)-Jackson, Mississippi service on March 2, 2012. The move is part of its swap deal with US Airways and DL is reducing its presence at DCA and building up at LGA. The route was operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (soon ExpressJet Airlines) as a Delta Connection flight.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Air China adjusts its Paris schedule

Air China (Beijing) on March 10, 2012 will resume nonstop Shanghai-Paris (CDG) service (flights CA 833/834). The existing Shanghai-Beijing-Paris (CDG) route will revert to just Beijing-Paris (CDG) nonstop service. Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft will now be used on both routes to replace the original Airbus A340-300s on the route.

Copyright Photo: Richard Vandervord.

US Airways’ pilots express concern following the publishing of FAA’s new rest rules

The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the pilots of US Airways, expresses concerns over the new FAA Flight and Duty Time rule addressing pilot crew rest. The new rule is the result of efforts to address pilot fatigue, brought to light primarily as a result of the fatal accident of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo, NY that occurred in May 2009.

USAPA welcomes the publication of the long overdue rest rule, and acknowledges that positive steps were taken to mitigate fatigue in Wednesday’s final ruling.

However, USAPA believes some areas of the rule are in conflict with the stated goal of the improving passenger safety.

In response to the release of the new rest rules, USAPA President Captain Mike Cleary stated, “The new rule demonstrates troubling inconsistencies in its application to cargo operations and, therefore, fails to meet the FAA’s stated goal of One Level of Safety. Congress directed the FAA to create new science-based flight and duty rules to appropriately establish one level of aviation safety to protect the public. Under intense pressure from the cargo industry lobby, the FAA has failed to carry out this basic congressional mandate. Pilots work in a complex environment where a poor decision due to fatigue of one flight crew can magnify and affect the lives of many. The final rule exempts cargo carriers from adhering to the flight and duty regulations, allowing them to opt out of the new rule.” President Cleary continued, “USAPA strongly supports One Level of Safety – what’s safe for one pilot is safe for all, and these new rules fail to incorporate that commitment.”

All pilots are subject to the same physiological needs regardless of the type of air carrier operations. The new rule fails to acknowledge that basic fact by exempting certain segments of air transport. Added Captain Cleary, “Fatigue is fatigue, regardless of whether you’re carrying passengers or cargo. USAPA believes that, in the largely adversarial work environment that many are faced with today, strict government regulation must be in place to protect against potential abuses. Faced with the many potential challenges in round-the-clock air transport operations, a pilot must have the protections of strong Flight and Duty Time regulations and be free to remove him or herself from a flight due to fatigue without fear of recrimination.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum.

Kyrgyzstan Tupolev T-134A-3 EX-020 crashes in Osh, 31 injured

Kyrgyzstan Air Company (formerly Altun Air) (Bishkek) Tupolev Tu-134A-3 EX-020 (msn 61042) crashed today in Osh, Kyrgystan. The airliner was operating flight QH 3 from Bishkek to Osh with 73 passengers and six crew on board. The airliner made a hard landing, broke its wing, overturned and caught fire in heavy fog. 31 people were injured. 17 were hospitalized.

According to this report by the AP, rescuers quickly extinguished the fire and evacuated 82 passengers and six crew members.

The airline was founded in April 2001 as Altyn Air and started operations in 2001. It was rebranded as Kyrgyzstan Air Company on July 28, 2006 after taking over national carrier Kyrgyzstan Airlines.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Air Vallee wet leases this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 from Medallion Air, will open two new routes from Parma

Air Vallee (Rimini) has wet leased this McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) registered as YR-HBE (msn 49396) from Medallion Air. Medallion Air formerly operated this airliner for Trawel Fly.

Pictured at Parma on December 26, the company has announced two new routes from Parma.

Air Vallee will operate daily service to Catania starting on January 14, 2012. Air Vallèe also announced Air its intention to launch a route from Parma to Bucharest starting on March 31, 2012.

Copyright Photo: Marco Finelli.