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Airport Report Today, November 23, 2011

April 10, 2012
SkyWest Becomes US Airways Express Partner
US Airways announced the addition of SkyWest Airlines to its regional US Airways Express network.
 
Effective Dec. 16, SkyWest will begin operation of six daily Express flights from US Airways’ hub in Phoenix. By spring 2012, SkyWest will operate approximately 49 flights to 19 destinations for US Airways Express.
 
SkyWest will serve US Airways’ Phoenix-based Express operation with 14 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet aircraft, replacing the CRJ200 and Dash8 Express service currently operated by Mesa Airlines as US Airways Express.

 
Atlantic SE, ExpressJet Receive Operating Certificate
Skywest announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, and ExpressJet Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Southeast, have received FAA approval for a single operating certificate. This was the final regulatory step for the two merging airlines to operate as one.
 
Effective Dec. 31, the combined airline will operate solely as ExpressJet Airlines and will have more than 400 aircraft operating 2,350 flights daily.

 
DOT Fines Spirit Airlines For Violating Ad Rules
DOT has fined Spirit Airlines $50,000 for violating rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel. 
 
DOT rules require any advertising that includes a price for air transportation to state the full price to be paid by the consumer, including all carrier-imposed surcharges. The only exceptions allowed are government-imposed taxes and fees that are assessed on a per-passenger basis, such as PFCs, which may be stated separately from the advertised fare but must be clearly disclosed in the ad.
 
DOT said that Spirit in June used billboards and posters to advertise new service from Los Angeles that contained an asterisk next to the advertised fare. On the billboards, the asterisk led to small print that stated that additional taxes, fees and conditions would apply, but did not disclose the amount of those taxes and fees. The posters did not include any information about the taxes and fees or their amounts. 
 
In addition, Spirit sent Twitter feeds announcing $9 one-way fares. A consumer who clicked on the link that was provided was taken to a page on Spirit’s website where the carrier disclosed for the first time that these fares did not include all taxes and fees, and that they were subject to a roundtrip purchase requirement.  

 
FAA Proposes To Fine Evergreen Airlines
FAA has proposed fining Evergreen International Airlines $180,000 for allegedly operating aircraft on seven flights in 2009 when the pilots had not been trained in accordance with the airline’s approved training program.
 
The agency alleged Evergreen failed to conduct the appropriate required familiarization flights involving the use of the flight management system on the company’s Boeing 747s before assigning those individuals to revenue flights on those aircraft. The training program specifically calls for familiarization flights in Class I and Class II airspace. 
 
Class I airspace includes ground-based navigation aids; Class II is airspace without ground-based aids, such as over an ocean. Evergreen provided only the Class I familiarization flights.
 
The instruction and experience requirement is part of Evergreen’s FAA-approved training program. The flights in question operated from Aug. 23-Sept. 19, 2009.
 
Evergreen has 30 days to respond to the agency.

 
GAO Reviews TSA Information-Sharing Methods
Transportation stakeholders surveyed recently by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported satisfaction with the quality of TSA’s security information products, but recommended ways to improve the dissemination of threat information.
 
GAO said that it interviewed aviation, rail and highway stakeholders and concluded that TSA, among other actions, should (1) address stakeholder needs regarding the quality of analysis in and availability of its products, (2) increase awareness and functionality of its information-sharing mechanisms, and (3) define and document TSA’s information-sharing roles and responsibilities. DHS concurred with the recommendations, GAO said.
 
The full GAO report may be accessed at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-44

 
Hudson Group To Expand Retail At Las Vegas
A partnership team led by travel retailer Hudson Group has received approval from Las Vegas McCarran International and the Clark County Commission to develop space in the airport’s Concourse D rotunda into a specialty retail shopping mall. Six new retail stores will be built in the rotunda and will open within a year, according to Hudson Group.
 
The airport has extended Hudson’s lease by a decade, to 2030, in return for the commitment to spend $15.5 million on concessions throughout the airport, including the rotunda. The lease includes 22 newsstands and specialty retail shops, encompassing some 20,000 square feet of retail space.
 
Hudson began operations in the airport in 2003.

 
JetBlue To Increase Jamaica Service
JetBlue said it will launch twice daily nonstop flights between Kingston, Jamaica, and Fort Lauderdale, effective April 30, 2012. The carrier inaugurated a Kingston to New York Kennedy International route two years ago.

 
First-Quarter Outbound Travel Reaches 12.4 Million
The U.S. citizen outbound market totaled 12.4 million travelers for the first quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
 
U.S. travel to:
• Europe was 1.8 million visitors, with a 14 percent share;
• Asia was 947,000 travelers, with an 8 percent share;
• Caribbean was 1.5 million passengers, with a 12 percent share;
• South America was 394,000 visitors, with a 3 percent share;
• Central America was 535,000 travelers, with a 4 percent share;
• Middle East was 296,000 visitors, with a 2 percent share;
• Oceania was 136,000 travelers, with a 1 percent share; and
• Africa was 80,000 passengers, with a 1 percent share.
 
North American markets received 55 percent of all U.S. international outbound travel.

 
American Selects A319, A321 Aircraft
American has selected the A319 and A321 variants to be a part of its A320 family fleet order, which was announced in July. Delivery of the 130 new aircraft will begin in 2013.
 
“We are aggressively moving forward with our plans to have the youngest, most fuel-efficient fleet in the U.S. in the next five years,” said carrier President Tom Horton. “The A319 and A321 aircraft will strengthen our fleet, helping us dramatically improve our fuel and operating costs, while at the same time, offering our customers the chance to fly in aircraft that are designed to greatly enhance their travel experience.”
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