January 23 Airline News



U.S. offers open skies concessions to EU states [BR][BR]BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States has offered to make changes to its individual aviation trade pacts with 11 European Union countries to bring the accords into line with EU law and remove a major hurdle to cross-border mergers in the industry, it said on Thursday.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030123/airlines_eu_us_2.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030123/airlines_eu_us_2.html[/A][BR][BR]EU Skeptical About US Offer To Alter Airline Agreements[BR][BR]BRUSSELS (Dow Jones) - The European Union's head office Thursday reacted with skepticism to a U.S. proposal to modify trans-Atlantic air agreements with E.U. countries.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030123/1311000754_1.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030123/1311000754_1.html[/A][STRONG][BR][BR]Air France, Delta Aim to Add Northwest, Continental to SkyTeam [BR][/STRONG][BR]LONDON (Bloomberg) - Air France SA and Delta Air Lines Inc. aim to add Northwest Airlines Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc. to the SkyTeam alliance by year-end to expand their networks and attract more passengers. [BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APjAlBhW_QWlyIEZy]http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APjAlBhW_QWlyIEZy[/A][BR][BR]AMR, Southwest beat expectations[BR][BR]FORT WORTH (USA Today) - Stronger-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter helped both the parent of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines beat analysts' fourth-quarter expectations. But that's where the similarities, and the good news, stopped.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2003/2003-01-22-aa-earns.htm]http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2003/2003-01-22-aa-earns.htm[/A][BR][BR]American buys Boeing jets, but airline can't afford them [BR][BR]SEATTLE (Seattle Times) - American Airlines will take delivery of 11 Boeing jets this year that it doesn't need and can't afford, even as it searches for $4 billion of cost cuts to stave off bankruptcy. [BR][BR]In unusually frank terms, American Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said yesterday the airline had done all it could to persuade Boeing to allow it to put off taking the planes, without success. American lost $3.5 billion in 2002 and expects another torrent of red ink this year.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/134620274_boeing23.html]http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/134620274_boeing23.html[/A][BR][BR]US Airways' exit may be airport's doom [BR][BR]BOSTON (Boston Globe) - What do you do with a $16 million terminal when no one wants to fly from your airport? [BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/023/business/US_Airways_exit_may_be_airport_s_doom+.shtml]http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/023/business/US_Airways_exit_may_be_airport_s_doom+.shtml[/A][BR][BR]US Air Gets Court OK To Limit Ops At Florida Airport [BR][BR]WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The bankruptcy court handling US Airways Group Inc.'s Chapter 11 case has authorized the airline to take steps to reduce its operations and flight schedule at Orlando International Airport, according to a court order obtained Thursday.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030123/1135000651_2.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030123/1135000651_2.html[/A][BR][BR]Orlando Airport Update[BR][BR]ARLINGTON (theHub.com) - The bankruptcy court handling US Airways' Chapter 11 case has authorized the airline to reduce the number of gates and other space it leases at Orlando International Airport as part of its restructuring to reduce costs. Contrary to media reports, the action has no effect on the current flight schedule. This has to do with returning unused gates that have been empty for over a year. We are not further reducing operations, said Chris Chiames, senior vice president of corporate affairs. Judge Stephen S. Mitchell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria, Va., on Tuesday authorized the company to end its long-term leases at the airport and sign a new agreement for only the premises it will need, according to the order. The change will save an estimated $18 million over the remaining term of the leases. US Airways will have 21 daily mainline departures from Orlando in February and 24 departures in April.[BR][BR]Heat Is On as U.S. Air Mulls Pension Woe [BR][BR]NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate ruling late on Wednesday has US Airways yoked into a vise-tight timeline as it struggles to fix a $3.1 billion pension funding problem during the next week by either winning federal help or, more likely, by wiping out its pilots' current retirement benefits.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/030123/airlines_usairways_pension_2.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/030123/airlines_usairways_pension_2.html[/A][BR][BR]Senate Rejects Amendment[BR][BR]ARLINGTON (theHub.com) - The U.S. Senate yesterday rejected by a 64-31 vote an amendment by Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter that would have granted the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) the ability to authorize a restoration funding plan for the US Airways pension obligations. The amendment was offered to the fiscal year 2003 omnibus appropriations bill.[BR][BR]President and CEO Dave Siegel said: We are deeply disappointed by the outcome of this evening’s vote and the failure of the Senate to see the wisdom and public benefits of a restoration funding proposal to allow us to maintain our pension plans and meet our funding obligations, rather than turn the liability over to the federal government. All of us appreciate the tenacity of Senators Specter and Santorum in getting this measure to the Senate floor twice within the first three weeks of this new Congress – as well as the efforts of Senators Allen, Dole, Warner, Edwards, and Clinton as co-sponsors, and the 24 other senators who voted to support the amendment.[BR][BR]We continue to support and work for any solution that maintains pension benefits which our pilots have worked so hard to earn, especially given the sacrifices they have already made to help this company successfully restructure, Siegel said.[BR][BR]During the floor debate in the Senate, Specter made note of the strong lobbying effort on the part of US Airways and ALPA on behalf of the pension legislation. The leader of the pilots association, the national president, testified Tuesday in favor of the plan and in favor of this legislation. The president of the pilots association of US Airways in Pittsburgh testified in favor. The president of US Airways, David Siegel, told me again today that he was very appreciative of my pushing this matter, that it would be very helpful to US Airways, Specter said.[BR][BR]US Airways ALPA MEC CODE-A-PHONE UPDATE - January 23, 2003[BR][BR]This is Roy Freundlich with a US Airways MEC update for Thursday, January 23.[BR][BR]Last evening, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter introduced an amendment to the H. J. Res. 2, the FY 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which sought to clarify the PBGC’s authority to grant the restoration-funding plan for US Airways pension funding obligations. The amendment was defeated 64-31.[BR][BR]This restoration funding legislation is still active in the Senate Finance Committee for normal legislative processing. ALPA appreciates Senator Specter’s and other legislatures’ continued support and efforts.[BR][BR]After discussing yesterday’s senate action with ALPA’s Legislative Affairs representatives this morning, ALPA recognizes that a legislative solution remains an uphill battle in the short term, but remains a very practical solution over a longer term. Please continue to demonstrate support for a legislative solution to our current pension plan by contacting government representatives as outlined on the MEC website.[BR][BR]Expect further updates on this issue as more information becomes available.[BR][BR]Please remember we have 1,748 pilots on furlough, with 79 pilot furloughs scheduled for February 4.[BR][BR]Thank you for listening.[BR][BR]America West CEO says bankruptcy not imminent [BR][BR]CHICAGO (Reuters) - America West Holdings Corp. Chief Executive W. Douglas Parker said on Thursday that the Phoenix-based airline did not face an imminent threat of bankruptcy.[BR][BR]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030123/airlines_americawest_burnrate_1.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030123/airlines_americawest_burnrate_1.html[/A][BR][BR]Mesa Tentative Agreement[FONT size=2][BR][BR]ARLINGTON (theHub.com) - Mesa Air Group has reached a tentative contract agreement with its unit of the Air Line Pilots Association that includes Mesa's participation in the US Airways Jets for Jobs program. Mesa has agreed to fly up to 70 regional jets in the US Airways Express network based on the Jets for Jobs program, which would require that half the pilot positions on the RJs be offered to furloughed US Airways mainline pilots. Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein said the agreement allows us to move forward with our regional jet expansion. The agreement is subject to ratification by ALPA membership.[/FONT]