Wednesday June 20, 2018
 

Wilson wins full term as president of American Airlines pilot union

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APA President Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson, appointed last year as president of the Allied Pilots Association, won a full three-year term to head the pilot … [visit site to read more]

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American Airlines wins Los Angeles-Sao Paulo route

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American Airlines will be allowed to begin flights this fall between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil, under a tentative decision announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition, merger partner US Airways will be able to keep the Charlotte, N.C.-Sao Paulo route it began flying June 8. Delta would add a second flight between Atlanta and Sao Paulo, and be allowed to keep its daily flight from Detroit.

American currently flies to Sao Paulo from New York Kennedy (twice a day), Miami (four times a day) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (once a day). It had told the DOT it would begin the Los Angeles-Sao Paulo flight on Nov. 21.

“New air services to Brazil will provide important benefits for thousands of Americans and for tourists coming to the U.S.,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We look forward to additional opportunities for U.S.-Brazil air service when full Open Skies takes effect in two years.”

In its show-cause order, the department explained why it picked American’s application for Sao Paulo service out of Los Angeles:

“Los Angeles is the largest U.S.-Sao Paulo local O&D [origin and destination] arket that currently lacks U.S. carrier nonstop service. American has a strong presence at Los Angeles, where American and American Eagle together provide service to 43 cities. We tentatively find that American’s strength at Los Angeles, combined with its ability to provide convenient connections at Los Angeles, offer a firm basis to expect that it would provide meaningful public benefits in a major market currently devoid of U.S.-flag service.

“Furthermore, we tentatively find that by selecting American’s Los Angeles-Sao Paulo proposal, we can facilitate establishment of the only U.S. carrier nonstop service to Sao Paulo from a west coast location. Current U.S. carrier gateways to Sao Paulo are concentrated in the Eastern, Midwest, and Southern United States, with the only West Coast-Sao Paulo nonstop service provided by Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. (Korean) three times weekly from Los Angeles.. Opening a new U.S. carrier gateway at Los Angeles will partially offset the disparity of access to Sao Paulo from Western U.S. points, and we tentatively find that the traveling public originating in or transiting the West Coast will benefit from the addition of new daily U.S. carrier nonstop service to Sao Paulo from a major international gateway.”

The air services treaty between the United States and Brazil allows U.S. airlines to operate 14 more weekly frequencies – essentially two daily flights a day – between the two countries as of Oct. 1.

Another 14 become available Oct. 1, 2014. On Oct. 1, 2015, the treaty opens up the competition to unlimited frequencies between Brazil and the United States.

The DOT noted that American’s service from Los Angeles will make it the first U.S. carrier to fly from there to Sao Paulo.

The DOT asked U.S. airlines in February to speak up about what flights and routes they’d like to add on Oct. 1, 2013, and the ones they’d like to add on Oct. 1, 2014.

Here are the requests for the 14 weekly flights that can began as of Oct. 1, 2013:

■ American, start a daily flight between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo beginning Nov. 21, 2013 (granted)

■ Delta, add a second daily flight between Atlanta and Sao Paulo beginning Dec.15, 2013 (granted)

■ Delta, add a second daily flight between New York and Sao Paulo beginning Dec. 15, 2013 (not granted)

 Here are the requests for the service that can begin a year later, Oct. 1, 2014:

■ American, start a daily flight between Chicago and Sao Paulo (not granted)

■ Delta, keep its daily flight between Detroit and Sao Paulo after it transfers seven unrestricted U.S.-Brazil frequencies to US Airways in March 2015 (granted)

■ US Airways, keep its daily Charlotte-Sao Paulo flight that it operates with authority it is leasing from United Airlines and began flying on June 8, 2013 (granted)

■ US Airways, start a daily flight between Philadelphia and Sao Paulo (not granted)

American currently flies to Sao Paulo from New York Kennedy (twice a day), Miami (four times a day) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (once a day).

We’re awaiting whoopees from the three carriers.

Of course, the applications and replies of each airline usually include some trashtalking about the other carriers’ applications. In this case, the fight had Delta on one side and prospective merger partners American and US Airways on the other.

Keep reading for the back-and-forth summarized in the DOT order:

… [visit site to read more]

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GAO: The American Airlines-US Airways merger will reduce competition on more than nonstop routes

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Should we consider the issue of connecting flights when we consider whether a merger will damage competition in the airline industry?

Usually, airlines and regulators focus on nonstop flights, where the two merging airlines offer nonstop service between the same two cities. US Airways chairman and CEO Doug Parker and American Airlines officials have repeatedly pointed out that out of 900 routes flown by the two carriers, they only compete on 12 nonstop routes.

Even if you include other … [visit site to read more]

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Former American Airlines executive Roger Frizzell will head PR at Carnival

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Roger Frizzell (PHOTO: PG&E)

Roger Frizzell, a former vice president of corporate communications at American Airlines, has set sail for … [visit site to read more]

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American Airlines offers answers to customers’ questions in advance of US Airways merger

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As part of its regulatory filings in connection with the US Airways merger, American Airlines disclosed three sets of communications sent to American’s customer relations people to help them answer customers’ questions.

The basic points: Nothing changes immediately in your flight, your frequent-flier program or anything else. Later, things may change.

Filing One:

Thank you for your inquiry. This is a … [visit site to read more]

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Airbus A350 XWB takes its first flight

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Airbus’ newest jet type, the A350 XWB, took its first flight Friday as it departed Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in southern France, returning after just over four hours in the air.

The video above is an Airbus production that gives aviation fans their first look at the aircraft. (Spoiler alert: It looks like a flying airplane.)

The first A350 is supposed to enter commercial service in the second half of 2014 with Qatar Airways.

Below is another Airbus video from Friday’s event.

 

Keep reading for the Airbus press release that followed the first flight.

… [visit site to read more]

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American Airlines: We’re making progress in planning for international operations after our merger with US Airways

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American Airlines/AMR filed a document Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission that reprints a communication posted on the carrier’s internal website, JetNet.

International Integration Update

We are rapidly progressing with integration planning for international operations, working closely with our AA colleagues in Europe, as well as our counterparts at US Airways.

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The news for American Airlines retirees is that we continue to have no news

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I’ve received several emails just in the past week from American Airlines/AMR retirees asking me what I’ve heard on the battle over retiree health and life benefits.

The short answer is that we’re still where we were on Jan. 23, 2013, the date that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane conducted a hearing on American’s motion. There’s been no decision, and no further hearings are scheduled.

American had asked Lane to rule that the company wasn’t obligated to continue offering the … [visit site to read more]

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Flying the Sky Arrow 650

Sky_Arrow_650.jpgLast year a new member joined my flying club, Leading Edge Flying Club, and brought with him a 2004 Sky Arrow 650 TNS to expand our fleet. I was immediately intrigued by this aircraft the first time I saw it. It was unlike anything in our fleet or that I had seen as a rental at our airport. This tandem seat 98 horse power pusher aircraft looks like a light sport aircraft, but this particular model is not an LSA. Every member of the club that has flown this plane since it arrived has raved about the experience saying how much fun it is to fly.

I planned a dual purpose mission for my first experience in the Sky Arrow. When I used to be a Cessna driver one of my favorite things to do was to open the window and hang my camera out the window to shot some aerial photography. Lately, I have been logging most my time in a Piper Archer III and a Piper Dakota which give limited access to canopy-glare-free shooting. I learned that the Sky Arrow has rear windows that could be completely removed. So I asked an instructor to take me up and circle a few points of interest while I shot unobstructed from the back then we could land switch seats and work towards a check-out in the aircraft.

The minute we started taxing I realized I was in love with this aircraft. There was something fun and nostalgic about taxiing with the canopy open, wind blowing in our hair and the fresh smells of the airport wafting into the cockpit. On the takeoff roll as you are sitting so much lower to the ground you get a better sense of speed which is also thrilling. However, that is the last time in the flight you will have a sense of high speeds. The plane is perfect for low and slow flying which is ideal for photo adventures or city skyline tours.

Al showed off the aircraft performance circling over my target while I enjoyed leaning out the window taking photos. Then I flew him over The Ravinia Festival to check out the show from above. When we returned to Chicago Executive he suggested I make the landing. However, from the back seat you have no gauges and limited to no view of the gauges in the front. So I had to do the landing by feeling. What a refreshing feeling that was. I think I have grown to accustom to all the benefits of a glass cockpit that sometimes I don’t just fly the airplane enough.

When I moved to the front seat I fully realized that this is a perfect airplane to reconnect a pilot with their stick and rudder skills. There is no auto-pilot and if you don’t use your rudders the ride won’t be smooth or comfortable. Flying the Archer or Dakota it is easy to let some of your core skills diminish. The plane is fun too because it is utterly simple. Although, it has a glass panel there is not much to flying it and has the quickest pre-flight run-up of any aircraft I have flown.

I logged 1.6 hours in the Sky Arrow and need to go back out to do some of the basic maneuvers before I check out but look forward to taking advantage of this fun aircraft this summer. The video below is my first take-off from the front seat of the Sky Arrow near sunset.

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After months of talking, US Airways and American Airlines will clam up a bit about their merger

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US Airways Group was scheduled to make a presentation Thursday at a Deutsche Bank conference in Chicago on Thursday, but cancelled out.

The reason, according to a note on US Airways website: “Due to self-imposed quiet period, US Airways will not participate in the Deutsche Bank conference.”

As US Airways approaches its July 12 shareholders meeting to vote on a merger, US Airways and American Airlines have quit talking up the merger because they must.

Here’s an … [visit site to read more]

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