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United Airlines prepares Boeing 737 order | 3 unions ask AMR management to weigh merger now | Frontier to relocate Milwaukee crew base to Chicago
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May 4, 2012
Airlines for America SmartBrief
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Company Watch
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United Airlines prepares Boeing 737 order
United Airlines plans to order at least 100 Boeing 737 jets, sources say. The deal will focus on the Boeing 737 MAX, a fuel-efficient upgrade to the 737 that is scheduled to enter service in 2017. At list prices, the 737 MAX runs around $100 million per plane.
Reuters (5/3) 
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3 unions ask AMR management to weigh merger now
Three unions representing American Airlines employees took out an ad in the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The ad consisted of an open letter to management at AMR Corp., the parent company of American. "We truly believe that the merger plan put forth by US Airways represents a better path for our airline's future and respectfully request that you engage with US Airways management now," the ad said.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (5/3),  Reuters (5/3) 
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Frontier to relocate Milwaukee crew base to Chicago
Frontier Airlines plans to shutter its crew base in Milwaukee and relocate the base to Chicago. Around 140 crew, including captains, first officers and flight attendants, are based in Milwaukee. Frontier spokeswoman Lindsey Carpenter said the carrier plans to open the Chicago crew base in September.
The Denver Post (5/4) 
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Pilots protest lack of contract at United Continental
About 150 airline pilots picketed in front of United Continental Holdings headquarters in Chicago on Thursday. The pilots protested the lack of a labor contract after several years of negotiations. A United spokeswoman said the carrier is "committed to reaching agreements quickly, but those agreements must be fair to the company and fair to employees."
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/3) 
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Spirit AeroSystems reports $73.6M profit in first quarter
Spirit AeroSystems reported a profit of $73.6 million in the first quarter, more than double its profit of $34.6 million for the same quarter last year. Spirit is a supplier to Boeing and Airbus. During the second quarter, Spirit's headquarters in Wichita, Kan., suffered damage from a tornado.
CBS News/The Associated Press (5/3),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/3) 
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Analysis: Delta deal puts new focus on future of East Coast refineries
Analysts contemplate the future of East Coast refineries, following Delta's acquisition of a Trainer, Pa., plant. "By pulling it back from the brink, Delta, the first airline to purchase a refinery, has demonstrated that some of the other plants may yet be reprieved by the most unlikely of buyers -- a revival that some experts say could be premature and feed into another cycle of weak margins," said a Reuters analysis.
Reuters (5/3) 
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Study: New biofuels could supply 30% of world's transport fuels
Researchers have determined that biofuels from nonedible plants grown on idle lands could supply up to 30% of the world's transportation fuels and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a report in F1000 Biology Reports. "Many of the concerns about the use of food crops for biofuels do not apply to the use of the inedible parts of plants that are the focus of our review," said researcher Chris Somerville, professor of alternative energy at the University of California, Berkeley.
USA Today/Green House blog (5/3) 
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TSA screens 1 million travelers through Pre-Check
One million travelers have passed through the Transportation Security Administration's Pre-Check screening program, the TSA said. "The continued growth and passenger participation in the TSA Pre-Check initiative affirms our commitment to the evolution of our intelligence-driven, risk-based approach," TSA Administrator John Pistole said. "This initiative is a testament to the outstanding collaborative work between TSA, (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol), airports, airlines and the traveling public."
The Hill/Transportation blog (5/3) 
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A4A announces the 2012 NDT Forum
Nondestructive Testing (NDT) refers to methods for inspecting structures for microscopic flaws without causing damage. Each year, the A4A NDT Forum assembles leaders in the field to exchange information on new methods, new applications and experiences related to aircraft. Visit the events section on the A4A website for information on the Sept. 24 to 28, 2012, NDT Forum in Seattle.
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Industry Trends
Hobby Airport expansion would hurt Houston economy, United says
United Airlines published a study Thursday asserting that Southwest Airlines' planned expansion of Hobby Airport in Houston would cause the city to lose $295 million a year and 3,700 jobs. This move is the latest in an ongoing lobbying war between Southwest and United, which claims that the expansion would significantly divert traffic from Bush Intercontinental Airport, where United has its busiest hub.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (5/3) 
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South Florida is a hot spot for jobs in aviation
Several aviation businesses in South Florida are expanding and adding jobs. Embraer, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft are among the major aviation companies that have expanded in the region. The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is also expanding operations.
Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (tiered subscription model) (5/2) 
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Career Development
Md. bars employers from demanding social media passwords
Maryland employers will no longer be allowed to ask employees to provide their social media passwords under a law signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley. The law takes effect Oct. 1. Similar measures are being considered in California, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Capital Business Blog (5/3) 
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