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Dynamic International Airways Files Chapter 11 Petition

Aviation Tribune

High Point based air carrier, Dynamic International Airways has filed a voluntary Chapter 11 petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of North Carolina, Greensboro Division.

The airline’s decision to file follows upon litigation matters resulting from Hajj flights the airline operated in 2014 for Air India. It also follows the entry of a judgement in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina affirming an arbitration award against Dynamic Intl. issued by the Canadian Arbitration Association in April 2017, which determined that Dynamic intl. was in breach of contract by failing to pay commissions to BKP Enterprises in connection with the Hajj flights. While Debtor has filed a notice of appeal and intends to challenge the judgment and award, Dynamic Intl. has no immediate recourse to stay the judgment and has determined the commencement of the Chapter 11 case is necessary.

Dynamic Intl. provides charter and contract commercial passenger air travel services to the general public and is a licensed and certificated air carrier authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Dynamic Intl. fleet of aircraft includes six Boeing 767s which operate international flights between United States cities and territories and foreign countries.

During the Chapter 11 case, Dynamic Intl. intends to continue its normal operations and has arranged for a credit facility to facilitate both its operations while in Chapter 11 and also its ability to reorganize.

“Operating under the protection of the US Bankruptcy Court will enable us to continue to serve our customers, keep our team employed and work with our vendors while we navigate through the challenges presented. Once we have completed the reorganization process, we expect Dynamic Intl. to emerge as a stronger company with a sound financial structure that is appropriate not only for today’s level of business activity, but also for the future,” stated Paul Kraus, CEO.

While Dynamic Intl. experienced the expected growing pains of a new airline, it has focused on continuously improving and expanding its operations. This week Dynamic International Airways will begin carrying Chinese passengers from Nanchang, in China’s Jiangxi province to Ontario, California, USA; the first ever flights from China to land at Ontario International Airport since commercial service began there in 1949.

Leaders of American Airlines Pilots’ Union Blast CEO

US News

Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker’s US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world’s biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta.

U.S. Airways CEO Doug Parker responds to a reporters question during an interview at AMR headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker’s US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world’s biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta. Leaders of the pilots’ union say they have lost confidence in the ability of Parker and senior executives to lead the airline. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

By DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker’s US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world’s biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta.

Leaders of the pilots’ union say they have lost confidence in the ability of Parker and senior executives to lead the airline. Flight attendants picketed Tuesday at company headquarters and three big airports.

The unions are complaining about lower pay and profit sharing than counterparts at Delta Air Lines. Delta said it will pay about $1.1 billion to employees as their share of the company’s 2016 profit. American set aside $314 million.

American says it has increased wages and benefits by $3.5 billion since its 2013 merger with US Airways.

Airlines have become hugely profitable in recent years after a string of mergers. Parker has pledged that American will provide industry-leading pay when contracts come up for renegotiation, but that isn’t until 2020 for American’s pilots. They wanted upgrades after Delta and United pilots got raises last year.

The Allied Pilots Association board unanimously approved a resolution on Monday saying it had lost confidence in Parker. Union President Dan Carey said American has made questionable decisions that have kept the airline behind Delta in customer satisfaction, operations and revenue.

Company spokesman Matt Miller said American shares the union’s goal of making the airline a great place to work and is pleased with its progress, so “further public dialogue serves no purpose.”

Separately, American flight attendants were picketing Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and at airports in Los Angeles, Miami and Charlotte, North Carolina — all busy hubs for American flights.

 Union President Bob Ross said that despite record profits, American flight attendants are paid less than at other airlines and are unhappy about frequent computer meltdowns, bad schedules and new uniforms that some employees say cause allergic reactions.

Miller said flight attendants have received average pay increases of 27 percent since the merger. The company said in November that pilot pay had climbed an average of 53 percent in that time.

The vote by the pilots’ union board and the picketing by members of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants have no legal effect but symbolize worsening relations between the unions and senior management.

In 2013, Parker successfully courted the unions in his bid to force then-bankrupt American, which had a history of stormy relations with labor including strikes in the 1990s, to merge with his smaller airline. Parker’s team replaced the executives who were running American.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. fell 84 cents, or 1.8 percent, to close Tuesday at $46.57.

US Airway Final Flight

It’s Time To Say Farewell To US Airways. One Of The USA’s Most Storied Airline Brands Fades Away Friday Night With Flight 1939.

The overnight red-eye flight from San Francisco to Philadelphia marks the last ever departure under the US Airways name as the carrier’s merger with American nears completion. Shortly after the flight departs San Francisco at 9:55 p.m. PT, American will unify its own reservations systems for the flights of both airlines. There will be no more US Airways flights once the plane lands in Philadelphia, scheduled for 6:18 a.m. ET.

US Airways final flight also closes a major chapter on aviation history in Western North Carolina.

US Airways was the “end” product of multiple airline mergers over a number of decades, which included a merger with the airline most critical to the economy and growth of Western North Carolina in the last half in the 20th century—Piedmont Airlines.

Created in the 1930s by an enterprising Tom Davis, Piedmont Airlines later became the principle carrier for those flying in to and out of the Asheville-Hendersonville area.

After some three decades of successful growth, Piedmont Airlines upgraded its fleet in 1967. That ended the airline’s dependence on the DC-3’s, or ”Great Smokies Pacemakers” as they were known and promoted in the industry. In doing so, Piedmont added the new Boeing 737.

And on July 19, 1967, just four short months after putting the new Boeing jet into service, shortly after 12 noon and just after taking off from the Asheville Regional Airport, Piedmont Flight 22 collided in mid-air over Hendersonville with a small private Cessna aircraft. The passengers and crew of both planes, a total of 82 people, were killed.

As horrific as that tragedy was for Piedmont and for the region, Piedmont continued to serve the region until August 4, 1989—when it officially flew its last flight as “Piedmont Airlines” and became merged with an up and coming airline that was buying up regional carriers all over the country, known as US Airways.

GE Aviation Business Base Growing

By AviationPros

Production rates for jet engines and components from GE Aviation and its partner companies* continue at historically high rates, driving GE’s installed base of jet engines in revenue service to unprecedented levels.

The jet engine backlog for GE and its partner companies (mostly notably CFM International) exceeds 15,000 jet engines.  GE Aviation’s total industrial backlog now exceeds $135 billion for both equipment and long-term services contracts.  The value of the backlog has grown 25% in the past two years.

Annual jet engine deliveries (both commercial and military) for GE Aviation and its partner companies have grown from 3,000 in 2010 to about 3,700 in 2014.  In 2015, jet engine deliveries are expected again to reach the 3,700-engine range.

The most significant growth is in the commercial jet engine sector, where deliveries are growing from 2,600 units in 2013 to about 2,800 in 2015.  This includes more than 1,600 engines to be produced by CFM International.

GE Aviation and its partners are expected to reach 3,000 commercial engine deliveries by 2020. Between now and 2020, the number of commercial jet engines in operation from GE and its partners is expected to increase by about 10,000 engines.

Much of the engine backlog involves new engines under development.  For example, the LEAP engine, under development by CFM International for narrow-body aircraft, has a backlog of more than 8,500 engines.  The LEAP is expected to enter revenue service in 2016 on the Airbus A320neo.  The new GE9X, under development for the Boeing 777X, has a backlog of about 700 engines. It enters service at the end of the decade.

These large production increases contribute to the world’s largest installed base of commercial jet engines in service.  By the end of 2015, GE and its partner companies will have 36,000 commercial jet engines in service, growing to about 46,000 by 2020.

GE Aviation is preparing for high production volumes with a significant expansion of its supply chain through new facilities, upgrades of existing plants, new joint ventures, and acquisitions.  In the past eight years, GE has opened seven new U.S. facilities.  These plants are not only addressing higher production volumes, but are introducing several new advanced technologies.  The most recent investments include:

– Evendale, Ohio.  During 2014-2015, about $144 million is being invested to further upgrade GE Aviation’s world headquarters, including construction of a unique combustion test center and a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) laboratory.

– Asheville, North Carolina.  In late 2014, GE opened in Asheville the first factory in the world to mass produce CMC parts for commercial and military engines.

– Auburn, Alabama.  Later this year, GE’s new Auburn facility will begin mass producing the interiors of the LEAP engine’s fuel nozzle using the 3D additive manufacturing technology.

– Lafayette, Indiana.  Near Purdue University, GE is constructing a new 300,000 square foot LEAP engine assembly factory. It becomes fully operational next year.

GE Aviation is an operating unit of GE and a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us at www.geaviation.com

First NEO flight-test engines began last summer at GE’s site in Durham

Aviation Daily

Airbus has rolled out the first CFM Leap-1A powered A320neoat its Toulouse facility in France, and is expected to begin ground tests this week in advance of flight tests which are targeted to begin before the Paris Air Show in June 2015.

The aircraft is the third A320neo in the test fleet, and joins the first pair of test aircraft which are powered by the competing Pratt & Whitney PW1100Ggeared turbofan. In all, eight A320neo-family aircraft will be involved in the certification effort, which will include one additional Leap-1A-powered A320. The remainder will be made up of two A319neos and two A321neos, with one of each powered by the new engines.

The bulk of the flight-test program, estimated by Airbus to account for approximately 2,800 flight hr., will be flown by the four A320neos. The first PW1100G-powered aircraft, MSN6101, has been flying since September, and was joined by the second at the end of March. The Pratt-powered A320neo is expected to be certificated by the end of the year, with the Leap-powered variant following by mid-2016.

Airbus has been using the initial PW1100G-powered A320neo for high-altitude performance tests and operations in extreme conditions, and says the second aircraft is configured with a lighter flight-test instrumentation suite for noise, functionality, reliability testing and ETOPS approval.

CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and Snecma, began test runs of the first Leap-1A at GE’s Peebles, Ohio test facility on Sept. 4, 2013. Assembly of the first NEO flight-test engines began last summer at GE’s site in Durham, North Carolina, while flight tests of the initial Leap engine, the mechanically identical -1C variant, began in Victorville, California, on Oct. 6, 2014. The Leap-1 is exclusive to the Comac C919 andBoeing 737 MAX and competes with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G on the A320neo.

The overall Leap ground- and flight-test certification effort includes 28 ground and CFM flight-test engines, as well as 32 additional engines for flight-testing at Airbus, Boeing and Comac. The Leap-1A/-1C versions are scheduled for engine certification in 2015, with certification of the Leap-1B currently expected in early 2016.

Soros, India’s Chatterjee win dismissal of TradeWinds lawsuit

Billionaire investor George Soros and Indian entrepreneur Purnendu Chatterjee on Tuesday won the dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit in which cargo carrier TradeWinds Airlines Inc sought to have them pay a $54.9 million judgment it could not collect.

U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan said TradeWinds and its former parent Coreolis Holdings Inc did not show that Soros and Chatterjee were the “alter ego” of C-S Aviation Services Inc and should be personally liable for the judgment.

TradeWinds, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, had won the judgment against C-S Aviation in June 2008 from a North Carolina state court.

It claimed it should be able to “pierce the corporate veil” of C-S Aviation and collect from Soros and Chatterjee, because they had through their operation of that company left it undercapitalized, commingled its assets and siphoned its money.

But Keenan said the plaintiffs did not show, as required under Delaware law, that C-S Aviation, Soros or Chatterjee operated as a “single economic entity,” and that there was an “overall element of injustice or unfairness” present.

“Considering all the evidence presented by plaintiffs as to the ‘single economic entity’ prong of the veil-piercing analysis, the court concludes that a rational trier of fact could not return a verdict in plaintiffs’ favor because they have failed to show that Soros and Chatterjee personally dominated C-S Aviation,” Keenan wrote in a 32-page decision.

Lawyers for TradeWinds and Coreolis were not immediately available for comment.

Michael Vachon, a spokesman for George Soros and Soros Fund Management, declined to comment. A lawyer for Chatterjee declined to comment.

The cases are TradeWinds Airlines Inc v. Soros et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-05901; and Coreolis Holdings Inc et al v. Soros et al in the same court, No. 10-08175. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

Fuel Tax Breaks for Airlines in NC?

ELY PORTILLO of the Charlotte Observer

An American Airlines lobbyist told local business and government leaders Thursday that getting a sales tax exemption on jet fuel is the airline’s top legislative priority this year.

Speaking at the Global Vision Leaders breakfast near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Tracy Montross said American is pushing for the break so it can stay competitive. A law capping jet fuel taxes at $2.5 million a year is set to expire this year, and American could see its fuel bill rise by about $10 million in North Carolina next year without legislative action.

“This is the No. 1 public policy prioity for the airline this year,” said Montross, American’s local director of government affairs.

State lawmakers are weighing the proposal. Opponents of airline fuel tax breaks, led by the Unite Here union, say the move would amount to an unneccessary handout to a corporation that’s coming off a year of record profits. The price of jet fuel, like gasoline, has plummeted, amounting to a huge windfall for airlines.

Montross told the group of about 100 leaders that American’s Charlotte hub works because of the airport’s low costs. American operates about 650 daily flights from Charlotte — more than 90 percent of the city’s total — and Charlotte Douglas is the airline’s second-busiest hub behind Dallas/Fort Worth.

Right now, North Carolina refunds airlines for any fuel sales taxes they pay after the first $2.5 million. US Airways, which merged with American in 2013, was the sole recipient of the break last year, which legislative analysts say could cost the state $10 million this year. American and the other airlines are now pushing to exempt jet fuel entirely.

If the current sales tax cap expires and isn’t extended or replaced, Montross said the cost of buying jet fuel at Charlotte would rise to third among American’s hubs, behind Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare International airports.

“But they have the population to justify hubs in those states,” said Montross.

United says it has tentative deal to outsource airport jobs … including GSO & RDU

DALLAS — United Airlines said Friday that it has a tentative agreement with a union to outsource about 1,150 airport jobs while sparing another 800 positions.

The airline said that it plans to hire contractors to provide the work at 16 airports but will continue to use United employees for some or all of the work at 12 others. Last month, the airline said it was considering outsourcing up to 2,000 airport jobs, including baggage handlers and customer-service agents.

The agreement, which faces voting by union members at each airport, was reached after negotiations on wages at the local level with members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, United spokesman Luke Punzenberger said. He said the airline prefers to have its own employees do the work “where it makes financial sense,” but “we need to ensure our costs are competitive.”

James Carlson, a spokesman for the union, said most of the work is related to United Express flights that are operated by regional airlines under contract to United.

The regional airlines hire their own pilots, flight attendants and mechanics, and they operate smaller planes than those flown by United Airlines.

The agreement calls for United to offer positions to union members whose jobs are outsourced, but they could be required to move, Carlson said.

The airline, a unit of Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc., plans to outsource all airport jobs at these locations:

Anchorage, Alaska; Hartford, Connecticut; Nashville; Boise, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; Greensboro, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida; McAllen; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Nebraska; Ontario, California; Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia; and Providence, Rhode Island.

Under the agreements, all the airport jobs would remain in-house at these locations:

Billings, Montana; Indianapolis; Reno, Nevada; San Antonio; San Jose, California; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Some jobs would be outsourced at:

Atlanta; Fort Myers, Florida; Kansas City; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Sacramento, California; and St. Louis.