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Aviation Industry Updates: August 2, 2022

By August 2, 2022August 8th, 2022Industry News

JetBlue COO Is Confident In Spirit Deal | Despite Regulatory Hurdles

  • Although JetBlue’s offer has always been higher in terms of pure value and would be paid entirely in cash — compared to Frontier’s stock-plus-cash offer — it seemed like a long shot from the beginning. JetBlue plans to absorb Spirit into its own brand, effectively removing the biggest ULCC from the U.S. market and potentially raising the lowest fares in the markets that the yellow-hued airline serves.

  • Given that, some thought that made it seem tremendously unlikely to get approval from the antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice, known for opposition to any moves that would reduce competition.
  • Nevertheless, JetBlue executives insisted from the beginning that by combining, JetBlue and Spirit could better compete against the “Big Four” airlines — American, Delta, United and Southwest — that dominate roughly 80% of the U.S. air market, and said that they expected regulators to agree.
  • “We’re in the world where, if the DOJ looks at the landscape, they have to ask themselves, ‘How did we get into a position where four airlines dominate 80% of the domestic seats?’,” Geraghty told TPG during a remote interview Thursday afternoon.
  • “The fundamental issue here at the DOJ level is fairness,” she added. “We want to be able to compete on the same playing field that the DOJ created.”

The Points Guy

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American Says It Could Take 3 years To Get Back To Full Nationwide Capacity

KEY POINTS:

  • American Airlines said Thursday it could take up to three years to get back to full, nationwide capacity due to what it said was an ongoing pilot shortage.
  • CEO Robert Isom told investors that demand for air travel is at record levels, but that the airline’s travel schedule remains impacted by supply chain disruptions and staffing shortages that worsened during the pandemic.
  • As a result, Isom predicted that restoring flight capacity across its main routes will take about a year. “I think it’s dependent on the supply chains of aircraft manufacturers and ultimately, pilot supply to get all back in sync,” the CEO said.
  • On the other hand, American Airlines’ regional routes will be tougher to stabilize.
  • “From a regional perspective, it’s just going to take a little bit longer than that, maybe 2 or 3 years, to kind of get the supply chain for pilots back to where we need it to be,” Isom said.

NBC News

We Just Got A Pilot With A Gear Up Landing Hired At A Major

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ALPA Criticizes Republic & SkyWest Over Safety Concerns

KEY POINTS:

  • The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, today criticized both SkyWest Airlines and Republic Airways for their reckless attempts to avoid proven air safety regulations for pilot training and qualifications. SkyWest Airlines failed to address the significant safety concerns ALPA raised in a recent filing with the Department of Transportation (DOT) related to the company’s bid to reinvent its small-community operations as a charter service and avoid landmark first officer qualification (FOQ) requirements. The union also took strong exception to comments made by the CEO of Republic Airways, which is also petitioning the DOT for special treatment, suggesting that the safety standards set by the federal government under the FOQ framework are arbitrary and not based on science, even implying that there’s no difference between a pilot with 300 hours of flight experience and one with 1,500.
  • “SkyWest and Republic Airways are two peas in a pod—a very dangerous pod. They both seek to skirt critical safety rules—rules written in blood—in order to save a buck and shortchange their workers,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president. “SkyWest didn’t even pretend to address the very serious safety concerns we raised about their scheme, and Republic Airways should have its application denied simply based on the ignorance of the comments made by their CEO. Our entire aviation safety ecosystem is based on science, on facts—and the recognition that safety should always be put ahead of profit. The two companies’ petitions are based on bad faith and deceptive practices.”
  • SkyWest’s misguided attempt to shift flying from Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 121 to FAR 135 introduces unnecessary risk to passengers and the system and reflects a failure to learn the lessons of the “One Level of Safety” regulations. In 1995, after a series of airline accidents that killed dozens of individuals, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) changed the FARs to ensure scheduled passenger operations in airplanes with more than nine seats were conducted under Part 121. On-demand charters, however, can be operated with aircraft up to 30 seats under FAR Part 135.

ALPA

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Air Taxis Keep Crashing | Bursting Into Flames in Testing Phase

KEY POINTS:

  • One prototype air taxi suffered a software glitch, lost control and nosed into a field. Another’s computer erroneously thought it was on the ground, shutting off power in flight and plunging it onto the pavement. Batteries on two more burst into flames.
  • The race to develop a new family of flying machines to whisk people and cargo across traffic-choked cities has drawn billions of dollars of investment and vast promise. But some of the biggest names in aviation have had accidents during testing, according to a Bloomberg review of reports dating back to 2018. They include Boeing Co. and its subsidiary, Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., Textron Inc.’s Bell helicopter division, billionaire Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk Corp., Joby Aviation Inc. and German air-taxi pioneer Lilium NV.
  • No one has died or been injured, and advocates say accidents are a healthy sign that the industry is pushing the envelope. But the new electric-powered, vertical-takeoff vehicles, or eVTOLs, use innovative technologies that haven’t been tested in routine service, and some safety experts say this means the road to government approval and public acceptance won’t be easy.

Bloomberg

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We Just Got A Pilot With A Gear Up Landing Hired At A Major

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