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Sat, Dec 31, 2011

ANN 2011 In Review: Commercial Airlines

New Airliners, Record Sales, Crew Rest Rules Are Among The Top Stories

Where other segments of the industry had their ups and downs, the news coming from commercial aviation was largely positive ... including the certification of Boeing's Dreamliner, the announcement of re-vamped A320 and B737 airliners, and record sales figures for both Boeing and Airbus.

But crew rest rules announced by the FAA were a bit of a counterpoint to the good news for the industry, in that they do not set the same standards for pilots of passenger and cargo flights. Here are the top stories from commercial aviation for 2011.


Capt. Lee Moak (pictured (below, right) took office on January 1 as the ninth president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA). He leads a team of national officers who are aggressively implementing the strategic and political priorities established by the Association’s Board of Directors. These elected pilot representatives, acting for 53,000 members at 38 airlines and supported by a highly experienced staff, will engage at all levels on every issue that influences the careers and lives of commercial airline pilots.

New leadership took charge at the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA). Veda Shook took office as AFA's International President on January 1, while Sara Nelson took over as International Vice President, and Kevin Creighan entered his second full term as International Secretary-Treasurer.

The number of people fatally injured in a Boeing 727 accident in northwestern Iran climbed to 77, according to officials there. Iran's official news agency IRNA reports that 36 men and 16 women lost their lives when the airliner went down.

The Boeing board of directors accepted the resignation of director William M. Daley. Daley submitted his request to resign January 7 following his appointment as U.S. President Barack Obama's chief of staff.

In late 2010, NASA awarded contracts to three teams — Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, The Boeing Company — to study advanced concept designs for aircraft that could take to the skies in the year 2025. At the time of the award, the team gave NASA a sneak peek of the particular design they plan to pursue.

The Dreamliner resumed flight test after an electrical panel on ZA002 caught fire in November. ZA004 took off from Yuma, AZ on a flight to show that the aircraft could safely jettison fuel, which would be required before an emergency landing.

The Chinese Government has given final approval to the purchase of 200 Boeing aircraft worth some $19 billion. China's approval of airline contracts covers aircraft to be delivered over a three-year period, 2011-2013. The approval helps Boeing maintain and expand its market share in the world's fastest growing commercial aircraft market. Comprised of 737s and 777s, the agreement positively impacts more than 100,000 jobs including those at Boeing and with its thousands of suppliers throughout the U.S.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved Mesa Air Group’s Plan of Reorganization, clearing the way for the airline’s emergence from Chapter 11. Following a 12-month restructuring, Mesa said it is set to emerge as a leading regional air carrier flying primarily larger 70- and 86-seat regional jet aircraft. Mesa’s creditors overwhelmingly supported the Plan of Reorganization, which also applies to the eleven wholly owned subsidiaries of Mesa that filed for Chapter 11 protection.


Just a month after saying it was "neutral" on the issue, TSA Administrator John Pistole said he will not expand a program which allows airports to hire private contractors for passenger screening. The head of the agency said Friday that the program would be shut off at the current 16 airports which currently have contract screeners.

There were a lot of proud smiles in Everett, WA, as the 1,000th B767 was unveiled to hundreds of current employees, joined by Boeing retirees who worked on the first 767, all of whom had gathered to celebrate the occasion.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 Type Certificate was presented by the Russian Certification Authority IAC AR. The Official Ceremony was held at the Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (IAC AR) Headquarters in Moscow in the presence of the Minister of Industry of Russia, Mr. Victor Khristenko.

Boeing unveiled its new 747-8 Intercontinental. Approximately 10,000 guests, including customers, Boeing employees, government officials, partners and suppliers, gathered in the factory in Everett, WA, to witness the premiere of the Intercontinental at an event themed "Incredible, Again."

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has announced a significant reorganization which will shift the focus of the organization to building advocacy and lobbying capabilities and ensuring thought leadership on legislative and policy matters.

The FAA informed Southwest Airlines that it has accepted the carrier's transition plan to combine the operations of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Orlando-based AirTran Airways, following the financial close of its transaction to acquire AirTran.

The Carolinas Aviation Museum acquired the “Miracle on the Hudson” Flight 1549 Airbus A-320 airframe from Chartis, a property-casualty and general insurance company, the organization announced Friday.


Mesa Air Group emerged from its reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Mesa and its related subsidiaries entered bankruptcy protection on January 5, 2010 and Mesa’s exit from bankruptcy protection in 13 months places it among the fastest reorganizations in aviation history. Mesa said it was well positioned to compete aggressively in the regional aviation industry, having shed inefficient aircraft, significant debt and extending its partnership with US Airways.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, executives from United Airlines and American Airlines and U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk announced a $1.17 billion agreement that will allow the O'Hare Modernization Program to move forward, add runway capacity, and prevent flight delays from growing to unacceptable levels.

Philip Trenary, President and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., decided to resign his position effective March 24 to pursue other interests outside the company. Pinnacle Board of Directors Chairman Donald J. Breeding assumed the role of Interim CEO until a permanent replacement was found.

Aaron Jason Cope, age 32, of Norfolk, VA, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Colorado on one count of operation of a common carrier under the influence of alcohol. According to the indictment, on December 8, 2009, Cope unlawfully operated and directed the operation of an commercial aircraft while under the influence of alcohol.

Boeing's maxed-out 747-8 Intercontinental successfully began its flight test program, taking off from Paine Field in Everett, WA, before several thousand employees, customers, suppliers and community leaders. The airplane landed four hours and 25 minutes later at Boeing Field in Seattle.

The first systems for Bombardier's CSeries airliner program were developed and tested at partners and vendors in Canada, the United States and Europe prior to delivery to Bombardier's Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA). The installation of the systems rigs at the CIASTA was reportedly progressing on schedule.

The government in Delhi, India is investigating as many as 4,500 people who may be flying without proper licenses, including as pilot-in-command for the airline IndiGo. Air travel has become increasingly popular, particularly among India's burgeoning middle class, and airlines have had difficulty hiring enough pilots to keep up with demand.

The NTSB opened an investigation into an air traffic control service interruption incident that occurred at Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia. On March 23, 2011, between approximately 12:04 am and 12:28 am EDT, an air traffic control service interruption occurred when two air carrier aircraft and controllers at the Federal Aviation Administration's Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) were unable to establish contact with the supervisory controller working alone in the DCA control tower. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt moved quickly to address the issue of overnight staffing at control towers.

Stockholders in AirTran Holdings voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines with and into AirTran. More than 98.6 percent of the votes cast and 77.5 percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the transaction.

The FAA investigated an incident that occurred on Sunday March 27, 2011 when an air traffic controller in the Central Florida Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) requested assistance from an airliner in checking on a Cirrus SR22 aircraft that had been out of radio contact for over one hour. The Cirrus was on course for Kissimmee, FL and maintaining altitude at 11,000 feet. Air traffic controllers at Jacksonville Center (ZJX) repeatedly tried to reach the aircraft without success.

The official release of the World Trade Organization ruling concerning alleged illegal subsidies to the world's two largest planemakers seems to have done little to clarify the situation, as both Boeing and Airbus claim the ruling supports their position.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) said it supported TSA's new program that will promote an alternate screening of crewmembers. The new program, sponsored by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Air Transport Association (ATA), began testing later in the year.


The National Mediation Board (NMB) granted the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA's (AFA) request to declare that the United/Continental merger has created a single transportation system for the purposes of Flight Attendant representation. Over 24,000 Flight Attendants were set to vote for Flight Attendant union representation at the combined airline.

Representatives from ALPA and ATA met with TSA Administrator John S. Pistole and received approval from TSA for testing of a new crewmember screening system. This enhanced identity and employment verification system for airline pilots will make airport checkpoint screening more efficient for all who depend on air transportation.

The FAA issued an emergency AD for three series of Boeing's workhorse 737 single aisle airliners. AD 2011-08-51 was been sent to owners and operators of The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The emergency AD was prompted by a report indicating that a Model 737-300 series airplane experienced a rapid decompression when the lap joint at stringer S-4L between body station (BS) 664 and BS 727 cracked and opened up.

FAA administrator Randy Babbitt told a U.S. Congressman that the agency had uncovered another incident of an of air traffic controller sleeping on the job. Representative Tom Latham (R-IA) asked Babbitt directly if there had been other examples of a controller sleeping on duty after an incident at Washington Reagan National Airport in which two airplanes landed without clearance from ATC. "Yes sir, we actually, I'm disappointed to say, in our investigation, we did find another incident," Babbitt responded. "And it was, unfortunately, willful."

While the day's news was soon spiraling all about an emergency landing executed by a stricken B737-300 that blew out a section of the fuselage and decompressed in very short order, necessitating an unplanned landing in Yuma, AZ, another Boeing 737 undertook an emergency landing with little fanfare or notice in New Orleans.

The Air France A380 (F-HPJD) taxiing for takeoff collided with a Comair Bombardier CRJ-700  (N641CA) taxiing to a gate at JFK International Airport  Monday night, causing the regional jet to spin violently about 90 degrees. The event was captured on video at the airport. Sources indicate no one on board either aircraft was injured.

Capt. Don Wykoff, former ALPA executive administrator, was elected the 17th president of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) at the Federation’s 66th annual conference, held this year in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wykoff, who has served as IFALPA’s deputy president since 2010, succeeds Capt. Carlos Limon of Mexicana Airlines.

NATCA president Paul Rinaldi praised the move made by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and DOT secretary Ray LaHood to increase staffing on overnight shifts at 27 airports around the country. The move came after the resignation of ATC Chief Hank Krakowski following a growing number of incidents in which controllers have been caught or admitted sleeping while on the job on overnight shifts in control towers.

The respective Unions representing Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Pilots, as well as both Companies signed a Four-Party Process Agreement that provides for the two pilot groups to begin their seniority integration discussions prior to legal closing of the AirTran acquisition.

Boeing and Aviation Industries Corporation of China (AVIC) celebrated the opening of a new factory  that doubles the footprint of their joint venture, Boeing Tianjin Composites Co., Ltd.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new airline passenger protections that will require airlines to reimburse passengers for bag fees if their bags are lost, provide consumers involuntarily bumped from flights with greater compensation, expand the current ban on lengthy tarmac delays, and disclose hidden fees.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against the Boeing Company, alleging that it violated federal labor law by deciding to transfer a second production line to a non-union facility in South Carolina for discriminatory reasons.

The NTSB has updated its investigation of the April 1, 2011 incident involving Southwest Airlines flight 812, which experienced a rupture in the fuselage while in flight. The Boeing 737-300 registration N632SW, experienced a rapid depressurization caused by a rupture in the fuselage.

The attorneys general of nine states have written a letter to the acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) calling on the board to drop its complaint against Boeing. The NLRB recently filed the complaint charging the planemaker was violating labor regulations by opening up a non-union assembly facility for the 787 Dreamliner in right-to-work South Carolina.


The French agency charged with investigating aviation accidents has recovered the Cockpit Voice Recorder from Air France Flight 447, which went down in the Atlantic Ocean on June 1 2009. The find follows the recovery of the data module for the Flight Data Recorder earlier. The data was determined to be readable after two years under water.

Southwest Airlines has closed on its purchase of all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc. the former parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran).

The FAA proposed a substantial and wide-ranging overhaul of air carrier crew training. The supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) addresses comments from the January 2009 proposal and provisions laid out in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.

Both Boeing and the European Commission released statements indicating that the ruling by an appellate body of the WTO vindicates their position on government subsidies to the planemakers.

The French accident investigating agency BEA released a document culled from the initial findings from the Air France Flight 447 accident which occurred nearly two year ago. The report indicates the Airbus entered a deep stall from which the cockpit crew was unable to recover.

As part of an ongoing effort to use technology to enhance flight safety, improve efficiency and protect the environment, Alaska Airlines issued iPads to its pilots. The 1 1/2-pound iPads replace up to 25 pounds of paper flight manuals that pilots are required to carry when they fly. The iPads were distributed to all Alaska Airlines pilots


The European Union got set to expand its cap-and-trade scheme for carbon reductions to airlines serving all EU airports next year, a move which has drawn protests from the Chinese government. But EU officials say that the non-European carriers could possibly win exemptions from the rules. It later defended its inclusion of non-European airlines in the emissions plan to require non-EU-flagged airlines to participate through the purchase of carbon credits, the plan was a topic of much discussion at the IATA general meeting in Singapore.

Elected officials and representatives from numerous community and business groups, suppliers and subcontractors joined more than 1,000 Boeing employees at its North Charleston, S.C., facility for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new 787 Dreamliner Final Assembly building.

Three Montana airports which applied to the TSA for permission to hire private screeners were denied earlier this year, and one airport director says TSOs showed up in uniform at his airport telling passengers they would be "less safe" if private companies were permitted to conduct security screening.

Boeing announced plans to increase the production rate for its Next-Generation 737 to 42 airplanes per month. Once implemented in the first half of 2014, the 737 program expects to build on average two 737s each workday and nearly 500 airplanes each year.

A RusAir Tu-134 airliner went down on approach to Petrozavodsk airport in northwest Russia near midnight local time Monday, fatally injuring 44 people on board. Eight people are said to have survived the accident, but were seriously injured.

TSA employees across the country elected the American Federation of Government Employees as their exclusive union representative with a 8903-8447 vote over the National Treasury Employees Union.

Rolls Royce and Qantas reached an out-of-court settlement in a case stemming from the uncontained catastrophic failure of an engine on a Qantas A380 last November. The airplane returned to Singapore and landed without further incident.


The recent surge in commercial jetliner orders, particularly for the Airbus A320neo at the Paris Air Show, may be just the tip of the iceberg as U.S. airlines reportedly are prepping major fleet upgrades. Fuel economy would appear to be at the root of the plans to transition out of older airplanes.

For the first time in Australia's history, the nation's regulators grounded an entire airline to look into serious questions about its safety culture. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) barred Tiger Airlines from operating domestic flights for a week, but has now determined it will need the rest of this month to complete its investigation into the safety issues, and the airline's response to its inquiries.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said it may have to subpoena documents it has requested from the NLRB relating to a complaint against Boeing. The committee has set July 26th as the deadline for the Labor Relations Board to produce the requested documents.

United Continental Holdings offered approximately 100 to 200 positions to pilots currently on furlough from its United subsidiary to fly aircraft for its Continental subsidiary. The positions will meet the needs currently anticipated for the combined company's operation in 2012.

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) called on lawmakers to drop proposals to increase aviation passenger taxes to address the national debt limit, saying that hiking aviation taxes would slow economic recovery, further burden customers and cost jobs.

As a result of a lawsuit brought by EPIC, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the TSA violated federal law when it installed body scanners in airports for primary screening across the country without first soliciting public comment.

Industry analysts says Boeing may be taking the success of its popular 737NG too much for granted, and that the recent surge in sales for the Airbus A320neo may force the US manufacturer to change its product development strategy.

American Airlines announced a massive fleet replacement plan that includes orders and options for as many as 300 Boeing 737's, and 260 Airbus A320 family aircraft. AA committed to order a variant of the 737 featuring new, more fuel-efficient engines, pending final airplane configuration and launch approval of the program by the Boeing board of directors.

Boeing's new Dreamliner landed at Wittman Regional Airport. The airplane, No. ZA001, made one photo pass over the runway before banking right and coming around on a short final.


The FBI said it may have what it describes as a "credible lead" in the nation's oldest hijacking case ... a mystery which has gone unsolved since 1971. It was in that year that a man calling himself "D.B. Cooper" hijacked an airplane demanding $200,000. He received the money, and parachuted out of the airliner as it flew over the Pacific northwest. It turned out not to be true. A necktie that was said to have belonged to the person calling himself D.B. Cooper has not produced definitive evidence that L.D. Cooper was the infamous hijacker.

The re-engined Boeing 737 promised as part of a massive order with American Airlines will not necessarily be built in Renton, WA, according to a statement by Boeing Chief Executive James McNerney last week. In fact, the executive said it might not even be built in the Puget Sound region.

The new Boeing 747-8 freighter successfully completed its certification flight test program, with two airplanes landing at Paine Field in Everett, WA. Flight test airplane RC522 completed testing of the flight management computer (FMC) and RC523 completed function & reliability (F&R) testing.

An industry group comprised of safety experts, airline industry officials, and labor representatives has recommended to the United States Congress that airline pilots be better trained in manual flying skills, as well as enhanced leadership skills, and be afforded better access to advanced simulators.

Boeing received FAA and EASA certification for the new 747-8 Freighter, passing two of the final landmarks on the airplane's journey to entry into service. The FAA granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate (ATC) and an Amended Production Certificate for the 747-8 Freighter, while the EASA also granted the company an ATC for the airplane.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced that the agency has approved production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. At an event at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Washington, Administrator Babbitt presented Boeing executives with two certificates for the design and production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with Rolls-Royce engines.

Boeing and Delta Air Lines announced an order for 100 Next-Generation 737-900ER (extended range) airplanes. The order, with a list-price value of more than $8.5 billion, is part of Delta's fleet renewal effort to replace its less efficient domestic airplanes.

The question as to whether Boeing will re-engine its workhorse 737 or design a completely new airplane was finally answered. The company's board of directors has approved the launch of the new engine variant of the market-leading 737, based on order commitments for 496 airplanes from five airlines and a strong business case.


Members of the Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv were among those fatally injured when the Yak-42 jet they were aboard went down near the city of Yaroslavl on the Volga River Wednesday. Two people reportedly survived the accident. As a result, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called for "radical changes" for Russia's civil aviation system.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure committee passed H.R. 2594, the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011. Committee leadership calls the bill a strong bipartisan response to EU plans to impose a costly fee on any civil aviation operators landing in or departing from EU airports.

Boeing called off the much-ballyhooed celebration for the delivery of their 1st B747-8... because the customer, Cargolux, was unhappy.

Boeing and ANA signed the formal documents completing the contractual delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner. The signing comes after a series of flights, inspections and the transfer of funds.

In the probable cause report released concerning the rapid decompression of an American Airlines B757 departing from Miami on October 26, 2010, the NTSB says 'incorrect manufacturing' was the source of an 18x7 inch hole which opened up in the upper fuselage of the airplane.


A federal judge denied a request by ALPA on behalf of United Airlines pilots to delay the finalization of the merger of United and Continental Airlines over an issue regarding the integration of pilot training procedures.

The FAA was set to propose that the minimum number of hours required to be an airline First officer be boosted to 700 hours, which is substantially higher than the 250 hours under current requirements but less than half the 1,500 hours proposed by Congress.

Qantas and Airbus finalized a contract for 110 A320 Family aircraft, to help with the airline’s fleet renewal and expansion plans in the coming years. The firm order for 78 A320neo and 32 A320s is the largest single order in Australian aviation history by aircraft units and follows a commitment signed in August.

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) issued a statement expressing "disappointment" in response to the preliminary opinion issued by the Advocate General in the European Court of Justice regarding the lawsuit challenging the unilateral application of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to international aviation.

Boeing and Cargolux Airlines resolved their differences and completed delivery of the first Boeing 747-8 Freighter. Following delivery at the Boeing Delivery Center at the company's Everett site, the airplane departed for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where the new freighter will receive its first cargo load, destined for Cargolux headquarters in Luxembourg.

The DOT gave final approval to a slot swap proposed by Delta and US Airways that will mean changes in the number of flights each airline offers at LaGuardia and Reagan National airports.

Final assembly of the first Dreamliner slated for delivery to a domestic airline was completed by Boeing, finishing the first major step in the aircraft's production. United Airlines will be the first North American carrier to take a 787 delivery.

Airbus completed installation of the first Rolls-Royce Trent XWB flight test engine on its A380 “flying-testbed” aircraft.

After its purchase by Pinnacle Airlines last year, regional carrier Mesaba Airlines announced that it will be permanently closing its headquarters in Eagan, MN south of St. Paul and moving to Memphis, TN. The move is expected to come right after Christmas, and cost 193 people their jobs. Just over 600 will remain employed by the airline in Minnesota.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation prohibiting the implementation of a new carbon-trading regime for aircraft flying from the U.S. to the European Union. The legislation, entitled "The European Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act of 2011" (H.R. 2594), was passed overwhelmingly.

Labor actions by three different unions were blamed for the fleetwide grounding of a major international airline. The management of Qantas announced that "as of 2000 AEDT on Monday 31 October 2011, it will lock out all employees who are covered by the industrial agreements currently being negotiated with the Australian Licensed Engineers Union (ALAEA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Australian and International Pilots Union (AIPA)." The airline was flying again by mid-afternoon on the 31st.


Some spectacular video made the rounds on the Internet of a LOT 767 making a gear-up landing in Warsaw, Poland. All 230 people on board the airliner were evacuated with no injuries. The pilot was being hailed as a hero in his country, and along the way burnishing the reputation of polish pilots which had suffered following a 2010 accident in Russia which fatally injured Poland's President.

After finally getting the first 747-8 freighter off to its new owners, Boeing wrapped up certification test flights for the passenger version of the stretched jumbo jet. The final function and reliability tests were completed by the crew on a flight from Barbados to Everett, WA.

The European Union said it would proceed with its plan to assess a carbon tax on airlines operating in European airspace beginning January 1st despite an ICAO white paper warning of a potential trade war over the payments. The ICAO document has the backing of the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia, according to the French news service AFP. It strongly recommends that the EU exempt non-European carriers from the rules scheduled to go into effect at the first of the year.

The new 737 family, designated 737 MAX, will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines with a 68-inch fan diameter. The optimized engine design will provide the lowest fuel burn and operating costs in the single-aisle market, the company says.

Airbus said that while pre-Final Assembly Line (FAL) activities for the A350 XWB composite airliner have started, production of the airplane will be delayed due to the late availability of some key composite and detailed parts. The start of the FAL is now scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. Entry into service is now rescheduled to first half of 2014.

Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines announced that they will jointly sue the EU over the tax. The move follows a joint action taken by the Air Transport Association of America, American Airlines and United/Continental to block ETS from taking effect, which was rebuffed in the High Court in London last year.

Embraer's president of Commercial Aviation Paulo Cesar Souza e Silva said that the company plans to re- engine its E-Series regional jetliners and will not enter into a direct competition with Boeing and Airbus for a share of the single-aisle narrowbody market. Silva's remarks came during a news conference at the Dubai Air Show.

Both Airbus and Boeing have released their market forecasts for the Middle East at the opening of the Dubai Air Show, and both companies see reasons for optimism about airline growth in the region.

U.S. House Congressional leaders released a report highlighting a decade of TSA mismanagement and failures. The report, entitled “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” calls for dramatic reform of the nation’s bloated transportation security agency.

Airbus says it won a total of 211 orders and commitments at the 12th Dubai Airshow worth $20.5 billion. The order intake includes 135 firm orders worth US$13.7 billion (130 A320neo and five A380s) and 76 memorandum of understanding (MoU) worth US$6.8 billion.

Boeing officials say the company enjoyed a highly successful Dubai Airshow, highlighted by strengthened alliances with partners in the Middle East, landmark commercial airplane orders, high-level customer engagement and an unprecedented display of technologically advanced aircraft.

Boeing basked in the glow of what it says was a history-making week that resulted in orders and commitments for 359 airplanes.

Boeing said it was reportedly seriously considering closing its modification center in Wichita, which got the attention of lawmakers and union leaders in the state.

AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc. ("American") and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation ("American Eagle"), filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization paperwork in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

United Continental Holdings received FAA approval for a single operating certificate, marking another significant milestone in the integration of United and Continental Airlines. The two carriers went through a rigorous 18-month process of aligning operating policies and procedures to obtain a single operating certificate from the FAA.


Boeing reached a tentative agreement with the IAM for a four-year contract extension that reflects a new era of working together between the company and its IAM-represented employees. The deal, which must be ratified by IAM members in Washington, Oregon and Kansas, provides significant economic gains for workers, demonstrates Boeing’s long-term commitment to airplane production in the Puget Sound region. It also announced the 737 MAX would be built in Renton.

A name change for an established trade association is a fairly rare occurrence, but in a move is says will better represent its overall mission, the Air Transport Association officially changed its name to Airlines for America.

Following a review with independent experts of what obligations resulted from the WTO’s ruling, Europe has adopted a course of action it says addresses all forms of adverse effects, all categories of subsidies and all models of Airbus aircraft covered by the WTO report. As a result, Europe says it has ensured full implementation of the WTO recommendations and rulings.

Airbus filed a lawsuit in Austin, TX, against Boeing partner Aviation Partners Inc., claiming its patent on winglets is invalid, and that the European planemaker should not have to pay royalties for the "sharklets" it plans to use on the A320neo aircraft.

A bill introduced in the United States Senate would prohibit U.S. aircraft operators from participating in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

The 787 Dreamliner established two world records with the 787 Dreamliner, setting new marks for both speed and distance for the airplane's weight class.

The NLRB has closed its case against Boeing filed by the Machinists union which was fighting the planemaker's plans to construct 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina, a right to work state.

Boeing received certification for the new 747-8 Intercontinental from the FAA. Certification clears the way for delivery of the new airplane early next year.

Boeing and Southwest Airlines announced a firm order for 150 of Boeing's re-engined 737 MAX airplanes. Southwest is the first customer to finalize an order for the 737 MAX and becomes the launch customer for the new-engine variant.

The final rule overhauling commercial passenger airline pilot scheduling was posted to the Federal Register. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta said the new rules in the 314-page document will ensure pilots have a longer opportunity for rest before they enter the cockpit.

A report issued by the office of the DOT Inspector General concludes that the FAA's oversight of air carrier training programs and pilot performance and proficiency programs " lacks the rigor needed to identify and track poor performing pilots and address potential program risks."




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