AB Industry News Oct12

Extended Briefs:

Airline Profit Outlook Recovering

The outlook for the airline industry is improving, with profits expected to reach $4.1 billion this year and $7.5 billion in 2013, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The industry group raised its forecast for 2012 from $3 billion, saying passenger numbers so far this year were robust. Europe's airlines are expected to record a loss of $1.2 billion this year due to the eurozone financial crisis and high taxation; IATA projects a $2.3 billion profit for companies in the Asia-Pacific region, despite a modest slowdown in the Chinese economy. The greatest improvement is seen for North American carriers, where IATA raised its profit forecast by $500 million to $1.9 billion, thanks to cost savings.

Senate Approves Bill Prohibiting EU-ETS Compliance 

The Senate approved the bill, S.1956, the "European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act," which directs the transportation secretary to prevent all U.S. aircraft operators from taking part in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). Similar legislation was passed by the U.S. House earlier this year, and the two bills must now be reconciled into a single measure for a final vote from both chambers. Airlines for America (A4A) commended the passage of the bill through the Senate while EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard welcomed the bill’s call for pursuance of a global deal but said the U.S. would need to change its approach.


AIR CANADA — unveils a fleet plan providing for international growth at both the mainline carrier and its new low-cost leisure airline to be launched in 2013. The carrier will add two new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to the mainline carrier's widebody fleet in order to pursue strategic growth opportunities for its international network.

AKRON-CANTON AIRPORT — marked its busiest August in history with passenger traffic surging 10 percent compared to August 2011. Passenger traffic was up on all airlines serving the airport.

AOPA — is expanding its membership by adding a new youth membership category targeting students aged 13 through 18. AOPA AV8RS was created as part of an ongoing effort by AOPA to help develop a new generation of pilots and members.

CARLYLE GROUP — announces it has agreed to acquire Landmark Aviation from GTCR and Platform Partners. Equity capital for the transaction will come from Carlyle Partners V, a $13.7 billion buyout fund. Landmark Aviation operates one of the largest FBO networks in the world, with 51 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and France, and also provides a range of aircraft maintenance, charter, and management services.

COLUMBUS REGIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY — will take over the aircraft service and maintenance operations at Rickenbacker Airport, generating some $300,000 a year. The operation was previously run by Lane Aviation, who says the lack of activity at Rickenbacker made it difficult to continue its operations at the airport.

FAA — launches the Metroplex initiative in Florida airspace to enhance approaches and descents in the region's airports through a satellite-based NextGen air traffic control (ATC) system.

FRONT RANGE AIRPORT — announces it will receive $200,000 in grant funding from FAA to conduct a feasibility study on locating a spaceport in Denver. The feasibility study is the first step in a process that could ultimately land a spaceport in Colorado and transform the state into a hub for commercial space flight.

GA AVGAS COALITION — applauds FAA's new fuels program which will evaluate the viability of candidate fuels and generate the data needed for fleet-wide aircraft certification and development of a commercial fuel specification.

GULFSTREAM — the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 business jet aircraft receives a type certificate from FAA. The company expects to deliver the first fully outfitted G650 business jets to customers before year-end; Gulfstream has received more than 200 orders for the aircraft.

JETBLUE AIRWAYS — breaks ground on the extension to John F. Kennedy's Terminal 5. Set to open in early 2015, the space includes six international arrivals gates and an International Arrivals Hall with full U.S. Custom and Federal Inspection Services (FIS).

JUMPJET — launches a membership-based service that affords flyers 'private jet travel for the price of first class'. The service will take flight on November 1, departing from 40 U.S. cities to more than 500 U.S. destinations.

PARADIES SHOPS — announces the addition of several planning and buying positions in its Atlanta Support Center to complement growth initiatives in the U.S. and Canada. Futurestep will lead the recruitment drive, identifying candidates that possess key attributes and exhibit styles that match the company's mission statement and core values.

PARAGON AVIATION GROUP — will launch Paragon Preferred, a new program that will allow flight departments to receive customized fuel pricing from each participating Paragon Network FBO location.

SPIRIT AIRLINES — will launch service between Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Spirit is also introducing daily nonstop service from Houston to Chicago O'Hare and Las Vegas.

TUCSON INT'L AIRPORT — will receive a $5.7 million federal grant that will help pay for a large solar project covering part of the parking area. The Tucson Airport Authority plans to eventually cover the entire parking area with solar panels that also will provide shade while producing energy to help power the airport.

UNITED AIRLINES — announces plans to launch daily nonstop service from its Cleveland hub at Hopkins Int'l Airport to Nashville and Oklahoma City. The United Express flights will be operated by ExpressJet using 50-seat regional jet aircraft.

UVAIR FBO NETWORK — adds two new member FBOs bringing the total number of FBOs in the network to 16. The new members are Jet Source in Carlsbad, CA, and Jet Center Los Angeles in Hawthorne, CA.

YEAGER AIRPORT — has completed the remodel of its general aviation terminal. The airport authority board approved the $700,000 project earlier this year with the goal of improving the first impression many travelers get when they visit the state.