Main News September 14 2012


Latest Sky Club open for business

Delta Air Lines has opened a new Sky Club in Terminal C at New York’s LaGuardia airport: this takes the carrier’s total to 54 in its network.
The latest club is actually Delta’s third at LaGuardia. Around 7,600 square feet in size, it incorporates a wall of glazing which overlooks the runway. Amenities include a full service bar, providing complimentary beverages and snacks throughout the day, as well as Delta’s Luxury Bar program. The décor includes aerial landscapes of the region.
In addition to opening the new club in Terminal C, Delta is shortly due to enlarge and renovate LaGuardia’s Terminal D South Sky Club. This should be completed by next spring, and will comprise over 10,000 square feet of facilities in all.



Bad news at American Airlines

The latest cuts to affect the Chapter 11 protected airline concern some of its maintenance staff.American Airline executives have said that the company must lose 10,400 jobs as well as reduce its labor costs by US$1.06bn a year if it is to emerge from bankruptcy in good shape. Amongst other cost-saving measures, American’s latest proposals include the outsourcing of up to 35% of its aircraft maintenance function, which is currently executed in house. To that end, American has said that it will be closing its Dallas/Fort Worth maintenance base by the end of the year, which will entail laying off over 800 mechanics. It will subsequently consolidate its major aircraft maintenance operations in Tulsa and at Dallas/Fort Worth International. More than 1,700 mechanics and sundry other workers at American’s three aircraft overhaul bases will be laid off in December and February, officials have revealed. Additional reductions of mechanics and related positions at the Tulsa maintenance base have not been ruled out.



Jazz in tune with its staff

Jazz Aviation has announced that its flight dispatchers, who are represented by the Canadian Air Line Dispatchers Association, have ratified a tentative agreement which was reached on August 31, 2012. The agreement will be in place for a six year period. CALDA represents approximately 67 flight dispatchers employed at Jazz.

Jolene Mahody, Chief Operating Officer of Jazz, congratulated the staff on reaching this milestone and expressed the hope that this agreement would strengthen the company’s profile within the aviation marketplace.



Aviation employment figures remain firm

US scheduled passenger airlines employed 1.4% more workers in June 2012 than they did in June 2011, according to a recent study from the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This actually represents the nineteenth consecutive month that full-time equivalent employee (or FTE) levels for scheduled passenger carriers have been higher than the equivalent month of the previous year.

In June, an FTE total of 390,923 for scheduled passenger carriers equated to 5,540 more than the total for June 2011. This year-on-year growth rate, although down from the growth rates achieved during the last half of 2011, reveals that there has been a gradual increase in the sector’s employment in the wake of the declines that occurred back in mid-2008.

Interestingly, virtually all the low cost airline segment reported an increase in their FTEs. Frontier Airlines was the exception, reporting fewer FTEs. Southwest Airlines reported 46,128 FTEs in June 2012, in a joint report following its merger with AirTran Airways. The combined report was 1,729 more FTEs (or 3.9% more) than the 44,399 FTEs the two airlines reported separately in June 2011.

It was a case of mixed results amongst the regional carriers: out of the 15 regionals, six reported reduced employment levels, compared to 2011 figures.


Third lounge for Dallas airport

At Dallas/Fort Worth airport, the airport board’s concessions committee has approved a seven year lease with American Express to operate a VIP lounge. The decision has been met with disappointment by American Airlines, which runs the Admirals Club within the same terminal. In fact, there is also a third lounge available to travelers with time on their hands: this is called The Club, for which there is no membership requirement.

For American Express cardholders (and non-cardholders), access to the lounge is via a daily pass, which ranges in cost from US$40 to US$75.