Airline Finance News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Airline Finance News North America) Apr 15, 2012

Air Astana, Embraer Air Astana to phase out Fokker F50s. Air Astana (KC) has begun phasing out its Fokker F50 fleet. The first of six F50s was retired earlier this month, three more will be removed from service between June and August, and the last two aircraft will remain in service until spring 2013. The Embraer E-190 is gradually taking over the carrierOs domestic and international routes. KC operates a fleet of 25 aircraft, comprising two Boeing 767-300s, five 757-200s, 20 Airbus A321s/A320s/A319s, three Embraer E-190s and five F50s. KC serves 22 domestic and 27 international destinations. Apr 11, 2012

Air Canada Air Canada applies for slots at Reagan Washington National. U.S. airlines are objecting to Air Canada's application to begin service from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Washington. Air Canada has applied for slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, along with several U.S. carriers. Some U.S. rivals say Air Canada wants U.S. traffic so that it can boost its routes to Asia. Apr 11, 2012

Allegiant Air Allegiant Air Adds Flights to Florida, Launches Hawaii Service . Allegiant Air is adding services to Punta Gorda, Fla., from Fort Wayne, Ind.; Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Peoria, Ill.; and South Bend Ind. The new flights will begin in late June. The Fort Wayne and Peoria service starts June 28, the South Bend service starts June 27 and the Niagara Falls service starts June 29. Introductory one-way fares range from $74.99 to $94.99. The introduction of the new flights coincides with the opening of a new base of operation at Bunta Gorda Airport. Allegiant will operate one 150-seat, MD-80 series jet aircraft at the airport. This new base allows Allegiant to fly more passengers into southwest Florida. Fares will start at $174 one way. Flights will be from Fresno, Calif., starting June 30; and Las Vegas, starting June 29. Allegiant is also starting new, nonstop air service from the mainland to Honolulu. Apr 10, 2012

American Airlines American Airlines memo is mistaken about pilots, union says. The union representing American Airlines pilots disagreed with an executive memo that said pilots did not support a merger with US Airways. The union has been neutral on a possible merger. Apr 12, 2012

American Airlines American Airlines pilots are skeptical about a merger, exec says. John Hale, American Airlines pilots are skeptical about a merger, exec saysvice president of flight at American Airlines, said the carrier's pilots "have very serious concerns" about a possible merger with US Airways. "There's little indication from anyone I've spoken to that a takeover by US would produce greater opportunity for our pilots than American's business plan," wrote Hale in a memo to Tom Horton, chairman, president and CEO of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines. Apr 11, 2012

American Eagle United Express contracts with American Eagle for ground handling. American Eagle has signed an agreement with United Express to provide ground-handling services for nine airports. The contract for Eagle Ground Handling will cover airports in Texas and New York. Apr 13, 2012

AMR, Allied Pilots Association, West Holdings AMR Executive Says Pilots Doubt Idea of US Airways Merger. Pilots at AMR Corp.Os American Airlines (AAMRQ) are questioning the ability of potential suitor US Airways Group Inc. (AMR) to orchestrate a successful merger, a senior executive said. They Ohave very serious concernsO about the hostile bid they expect from US Airways, Vice President for Flight John Hale wrote in a memo yesterday to Chief Executive Officer Tom Horton and other leaders at the third-largest U.S. airline. OIOm confident pilots will continue to be very skeptical about US AirwaysO ability to integrate separate workforces or grow the combined company,O he wrote. OThe phrase Oall hat and no cattleO comes to mind. ThereOs little indication from anyone IOve spoken to that a takeover by US would produce greater opportunity for our pilots than AmericanOs business plan.O HaleOs comments are a departure for American, which has focused on its plan to exit bankruptcy as a stand-alone carrier and generally declined to discuss any interest from outside parties. Hale also carries the title of chief pilot, a management job at the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline. The Allied Pilots Association, which represents about 8,400 active American pilots, called the memo Oa bit of a publicity stunt.O OVery SolidO OUS Airways has run a very solid operation whose performance exceeds American AirlinesO no matter which metric you use -- on-time, customer complaints, canceled flights and lost bags,O Tom Hoban, a union spokesman, said today in an interview. OTheyOve been consistently profitable in the last few years.O Support among pilots for a takeover bid varies, largely because of concerns about how seniority would be affected when two pilot groups are mixed, Hoban said. Bruce Hicks, an American spokesman, declined to elaborate on the memo. While a US Airways spokesman, John McDonald, also declined to discuss the memo, the smaller airlineOs interest in American is an open secret. It has confirmed hiring attorneys and investment bankers to study a merger, and has held talks on a takeover plan with some American creditors and their advisers, people with knowledge of the matter said on March 22. US Airways may be handicapped in making or building support for a bid because pilot and flight attendant unions from its 2005 merger with America West Holdings Corp. (1407) continue working under separate contracts, said Aaron Gellman, professor of management and strategy at Northwestern UniversityOs Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois. OA lot of pilots at American would be somewhat less than enthusiastic about a US Airways takeover given their foibles with their own pilot unions,O he said in an interview today. Lessons Learned US Airways CEO Doug Parker said last month that he learned the value of courting stakeholders such as unions after his hostile bid for Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) collapsed in 2007 amid opposition from DeltaOs pilots, the airlineOs only major unionized work group. Hale said American should expect continued comments from pilots Osupportive of exploring a merger. There has been chatter among pilots that they will use US AirOs overtures in an attempt to exert bargaining leverageO during the legal process to reject union contracts. American has asked the bankruptcy court for permission to void the agreements in favor of terms that would cut labor spending by $1.25 billion a year. The APA has a seat on the nine-member unsecured creditors committee, as do the unions representing flight attendants, mechanics and baggage handlers. Exclusive Right The airline now has the exclusive right to propose a bankruptcy-reorganization plan. Potential suitors can hold discussions with members of the creditors panel, who have a voice in major decisions made while American is in Chapter 11. The current US Airways is the product of the 2005 merger of a predecessor company of the same name, which was then in bankruptcy, with America West Holdings. (AWA) Pilots at Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways have been embroiled in a legal battle over merging their seniority lists, while flight attendants last month rejected a proposed single contract. US Airways is the fifth-largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic. Horton said in a Feb. 3 interview that it was a OsubscaleO carrier and said American sees itself as a potential acquirer after leaving court protection. Apr 12, 2012

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