News in Brief

Business Buzz

¦ The International Air Transport Association has upgraded its forecast for the global airline industry this year — forecasting that it will earn $2.5 billion. The outlook released recently compared with a forecast made in March that airlines would lose a total $2.8 billion in 2010. However, IATA said Europe is a striking weak spot and it anticipates a $2.8 billion loss for airlines on the continent — worse than the $2.2 billion previously predicted.

¦ Affordable Fuel Injection Inc. announced the certification of the Ford 4.9L engine meeting stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exhaust emissions standards. After two-and-a-half years of research, development and extensive testing, the certified engine is now approved for use in
50 states.

¦ Air T Inc. announced consolidated net earnings of $3,757,000 ($1.54 per diluted share) for fiscal 2010, which ended March 31, 2010, compared to net earnings of $4,379,000 ($1.81 per diluted share) for fiscal 2009. Consolidated revenue for fiscal 2010 was $81,077,000 compared to $90,668,000 for fiscal 2009. This 11 percent decrease resulted from a $7,047,000 (18 percent) decrease in ground equipment sales revenue and a $4,016,000 (9 percent) decrease in air cargo revenue, partially offset by a $1,472,000 increase in ground support services revenue.

¦ Ship it AOG announced that it has added a new 7,000-sq. ft. warehouse adjacent to its existing facility in Addison, Texas, bringing the total warehouse space to 14,000 sq. ft.

¦ Total Airport Services announced that it held its grand re-opening ceremony at its new facility in Newark, New Jersey. The new facility will house TAS warehousing operations for Lufthansa, Air India, and LOT/Polish Airlines, and represents about 60 percent of the company’s existing business in Newark.

¦ The International Air Transport Association announced Automated Carrier Baggage Rules (ACBR), the latest project in IATA’s Simplifying the Business program. ACBR will provide a central database for interline baggage rules, enabling airlines, travel agents, and passengers to know what baggage rules will apply for any given itinerary. According to IATA, airlines will benefit from easier, faster and more accurate handling of baggage charges at check-in. It will reduce costly and time-consuming disputes between carriers over whose baggage allowances and charges apply for any given journey. IATA is partnering with the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), who will host the central database. IATA will populate the database by mobilizing airlines to submit their baggage rules to ATPCO by September 2010 for implementation in early 2011.

¦ WestJet reported first quarter 2010 net earnings of $13.8 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, which marks its 20th consecutive quarter of profitability. Excluding the impact of a one-time special item related to the departure of WestJet’s CEO in the first quarter of 2010, WestJet’s adjusted first quarter net earnings for 2010 were $17.5 million, or 12 cents per diluted share.

¦ JBT Corporation announced first quarter 2010 results for its JBT AeroTech business. Its first quarter revenue of $67.4 million declined 8 percent from the same period in 2009 due to lower backlog entering 2010. JBT AeroTech’s operating profit was $4.8 million, a 13 percent decline from the prior-year quarter due to lower revenue and competitive pricing pressure in airport services. The decline in profit was partially offset by cost savings from restructuring initiatives, improved margins for the gate equipment product line and the absence of restructuring charges. Operating margins were 7.1 percent, a decrease of 190 basis points from the prior-year quarter results excluding restructuring charges. Order activity has increased across most product lines, reflecting improving economic conditions in the airline and airfreight industries. Inbound orders totaled $114.7 million, up 30 percent from the prior-year quarter.

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