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September 14, 2009News for the commercial aviation industry

  Company Watch 
  • American, Delta said to eye partnership with Asia's largest airline
    Both Delta Air Lines and American Airlines are seeking a trans-Pacific partnership with Japan Airlines, according to press reports. Delta appeared to make the first move, offering a cash infusion that would make it JAL's largest shareholder and strengthen its presence in Japan, where its Northwest Airlines unit already maintains a hub. But American Airlines quickly confirmed that it, too, was talking to senior executives at JAL regarding a joint venture that could require an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Reuters (9/14), Air Transport World (9/14), Forbes (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Delta notes some improvement in Q3 financials
    Delta Air Lines expects a slower decline in revenue per available seat mile for the third quarter, while its operating margin should hit 3% to 4% in September. Delta noted the improved projections in federal filings made Monday. Reuters (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Inside Aviation 
  • ATA sees fall capacity nearing 2001 levels
    The Air Transport Association says U.S. carriers will offer about 12.5 billion seat miles in the fall quarter, just above the low point of 12.1 billion notched immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Still, several analysts predict the latest round of capacity cuts will likely be the last. "The economy has bottomed and is beginning to turn around," says aviation consultant David Swierenga. "Carriers will sit tight and go with the (capacity) cuts they've already made." Chicago Tribune/The Associated Press (9/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Operating costs not simple calculus for airlines: Using numbers collected from DOT filings, the Airline Data Project at MIT has determined that pilot costs on a wide-body jet run $1,043 per hour, while maintenance costs add another $1,376 per hour. By comparison, a single-aisle aircraft with 150 or fewer seats costs only $1,372 per hour for both pilots and maintenance. But a spokesman for American Airlines says carriers must look at more than raw hourly costs when deciding whether aircraft are profitable. "It'll certainly cost far more raw dollars to fly that wide-body, but simply put, you are spreading those costs" over more passengers flying a longer distance, he says. USA TODAY/The Associated Press (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Energy Bulletin 
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  Featured Content 

  Regulatory Update 
  • FAA reauthorization could be stalled by tiff over repairs
    A long-term reauthorization bill for the FAA could be delayed by several unresolved issues, including a House provision that calls for U.S. inspections of European repair stations, according to sources on Capitol Hill. The House's $53.5 billion reauthorization bill requires twice-yearly inspections of overseas repair facilities, despite the Aviation Safety Agreement signed by the U.S. and EU last year. The Senate's two-year FAA bill does not require U.S. inspections in any country with a "bilateral aviation safety agreement in place," and a top GOP staffer warns that the House version could cause heavy job losses if European retaliation forces smaller U.S. repair stations to close. Air Transport World (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Interested in learning more about advertising in ATA SmartBrief? Contact Jim Eubanks at (202) 407-7822 or  

  Industry Trends 
  • Passengers love Wi-Fi, but not always enough to pay for it
    A new survey of 480 business travelers finds that 76% would choose an air carrier based on the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi service. In a majority of cases, travelers picked Internet service as more important than either meal service or even schedule in selecting a flight. Still, when it comes time to pay up, fliers are opting for Wi-Fi in much smaller percentages. Virgin America, the first airline with 100% Wi-Fi availability, says 10% to 15% of fliers choose to pay for the service, though that number can approach 25% on cross-country flights. Chicago Tribune (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Some passengers overstuff carry-ons to avoid fees
    Airlines that charge extra fees for checked luggage have spurred a new breed of travelers. Some passengers are attempting -- and often succeeding -- to avoid the fees by stuffing computer bags, backpacks, purses and traditional carry-ons well beyond the carrier's specified limits. Sometimes, the bags are allowed onboard, while other times the airlines will check the overstuffed bags at the gate, allowing the bags' owners to escape the extra charges. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Higher fares not a likely outcome of mergers
    Politico's Darren Lee collaborated with other researchers to examine how airline mergers may affect the customer experience and concludes they likely will not lead to higher fares on most routes. And in those cases where fares might rise, customers should get additional benefits -- such as more frequent flights. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (9/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Career Development 
Director of Engineering Standards and SupportAlaska AirlinesSeattle
Station ManagerReadyJet, Inc.Oakland, California (OAK)
Engineer II (Maintenance Programs)Alaska AirlinesSeattle, WA
Managing Director – People & Labor RelationsCompany ConfidentialSeattle, WA
SupervisorReadyJet, Inc.Orlando, FL
Maintenance Controller (2)Spirit AirlinesMiramar, FL
Staff Planner/Sr. Staff Planner- Routes/SchedulesUnited AirlinesElk Grove, Illinois
Director Network AnalysisHawaiian AirlinesHonolulu, HI
Accounting OpportunitiesHawaiian AirlinesHawaii
Manager - Aviation ResearchBoyd Group International, Inc.Evergreen, Colorado
Manager, Travel Services - AirPeople to People Ambassador ProgramsSpokane, WA
Investigator, Flight SafetyUS AirwaysPhoenix, AZ
Quality Assurance AuditorJetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
Manager, Media Campaign AnalysisUS AirwaysTempe, AZ
Executive AssistantUBM AviationDowners Grove, IL
Sr. Manager, Corporate Real EstateSpirit AirlinesMiramar, FL
Air Safety InvestigatorJetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
Analyst, Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA)JetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
IT Manager Portfolio - Airline OperationsJetBlue AirwaysOrlando, FL
Manager Revenue Management (Pricing)JetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
Analyst Revenue ManagementJetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
Director Crew RelationsJetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
Analyst, Configuration ControlJetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY
Senior Systems EngineerJetBlue AirwaysForest Hills, NY (FSC)
Project Engineer - Air Operationsfedex ExpressMEMPHIS, TN

The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion."
--G.K. Chesterton,
English writer

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Founded in 1936, the Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA) is the nation's oldest and largest airline trade association, representing the leading U.S. airlines. ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association's fundamental purpose is to foster a business and regulatory environment that ensures safe and secure air transportation and permits U.S. airlines to flourish, stimulating economic growth locally, nationally and internationally. For additional industry information, visit
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