COMMERCIAL AVIATION

United CEO: 100 Planes Are Parked Amid Regional Pilot Shortage

Simple Flying | December 16, 2021

Simple News
Major US airline executives faced questioning from the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Wednesday. One of the topics that came up were recent cuts to some regional routes, including some market exits. Several others offered their input. However, it was United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, who had the most to say. According to his testimony, nearly 100 regional aircraft are parked at United due to the ongoing pilot shortage.

United has regional jets parked over pilot shortage

“We have almost 100 airplanes effectively grounded right now – regional aircraft, because there’s not enough pilots to fly them, which means we just can’t, at the moment, fly to all the small communities that we would like to.”

- United’s CEO, Scott Kirby

United Airlines made headlines just a few months ago when it pulled service to a handful of destinations, mainly those receiving regional services, due to these pilot shortages. With so much appetite from large mainline carriers for pilots and continued growth in the low-cost sphere, there are not enough pilots to meet demand. In addition, training pilots is no easy task, and the cost to enter the industry has been highlighted as a barrier to training pilots.

United’s CEO emphasized the different ways United was looking at alleviating the problem. One of them is the United Aviate Academy, which only recently saw its first class of students start their education on the way to becoming a pilot. United has also made a considerable push at various levels to get people to become pilots, including sending a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to highlight the Aviate program and the various pathways for entering United as a pilot.

“Service to small communities is incredibly important to American Airlines. We serve some 230 cities in the United States. Obviously, a number of those are smaller communities…and we would like to serve more, frankly, over time.”

- CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker

American Airlines highlights that part of its sizable brand and presence is focused on connecting the small- and medium-sized cities to the rest of the world. American has traditionally used regional jets to expand its domestic network to new cities.

Regional pilots are a vital part of the industry
While flying a CRJ or an Embraer regional jet might not be the flashiest job in the aviation world, it is one of the most important for airlines. Regional jets are part of an extensive feed network that airlines build up as a method of supporting its hubs and moving vital cargo around the country and the world.

Moreover, regional pilots are a pipeline to mainline service. Outside of hiring from the military, private, or cargo world, US airlines often recruit from the regional carriers. However, the demand up from regionals to mainline carriers is outpacing the number of pilots that regional airlines are hiring. This is due to various issues, including a lack of more widespread funding to help send people to training.

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AVIATION TECHNOLOGY

Air Serbia to grow revenue opportunities with retailing solutions from Sabre

Air Serbia | December 21, 2021

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) announced that Air Serbia successfully implemented Sabre's Dynamic Availability software, which will help the airline to actively respond to evolving conditions with optimized pricing information. Leveraging shopping data as well as information on traveler behavior and other key factors from Sabre's marketplace and other sources, Dynamic Availability applies machine-learning models to generate recommendations that help drive incremental revenue opportunities. The tool allows airlines to optimize their offerings by quickly and precisely responding to changing dynamics with recommendations based on real-time marketplace data. "Pricing is one of the most complex issues in the aviation industry – even more so since the onset of the pandemic, Successful pricing is an important aspect of sophisticated retailing, and airlines like Air Serbia need the right information to help maximize revenue. Beyond unlocking incremental revenue potential, our Dynamic Availably solution reduces the time spent on manual calculations, increases analyst efficiency and allows our customers to focus on delivering a superior traveler experience." -Dino Gelmetti, Vice President EMEA, Sabre Travel Solutions. To further enhance its offering agility and precision, Air Serbia is actively collaborating with Sabre to advance airline revenue management through this period of recovery. As part of this discussion, the airline is exploring opportunities to partner with Sabre on its recently launched Sabre Price IQ product. Considering traveler segment and trip intent from the shopping request combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, Air Price IQ supports airlines in their efforts maximize revenue opportunities while providing a seamless experience to its travelers. "As we embark on a period of ambitious recovery and growth, building cutting-edge technology using real-time data, artificial intelligence and machine learning will be key to our success, We are excited to partner with Sabre on these intelligent software solutions that will redefine our fare pricing and passenger experience." -Jiri Marek, General Manager Commercial and Strategy at Air Serbia. Air Price IQ is part of Sabre's Retail Intelligence suite. Powered by Sabre Travel AI™ – an innovative capability that integrates Sabre technology with state-of-the-art AI technology and advanced machine-learning services – the new technology will allow airlines to dynamically provide offers to travelers based on preferences, marketplace insights and purchase probability, creating a more personalized and better traveler experience. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is the leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Sabre's software, data, mobile and distribution solutions are used by hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotel properties to manage critical operations, including passenger and guest reservations, revenue management, flight, network and crew management. Sabre also operates a leading global travel marketplace, which processes more than US$120 billion of global travel spend annually by connecting travel buyers and suppliers. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. About Air Serbia Air Serbia was launched under that name in October 2013 as the national airline of the Republic of Serbia. From three airports in Serbia (Belgrade, Niš, Kraljevo) it flies to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Africa, in passenger and cargo traffic. The airline also offers long-haul and international destinations in Asia, Australia, North America and Africa via its codeshare partners. Air Serbia's fleet includes one wide-body, 10 narrow-body and 5 turboprop aircraft. Find more information about the activities of the Serbian national airline at Air Serbia Media Centre.

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BUSINESS AVIATION

New duty-free retail outlet approved for Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) | January 14, 2022

The Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners approved a 10-year concession agreement for the operation of a new duty-free retail outlet at Ontario International Airport (ONT). The Board's action cleared the way for 3Sixty Duty Free and More Inc. (3Sixty), a leader in global travel retail operations headquartered in Miami, to open the new retail outlet in Terminal 2 in July 2022. 3Sixty operates duty free/duty paid retail outlets at major U.S. airports in Dallas-Fort Worth, Newark and Orlando, among others. It is the world's largest inflight duty-free concessionaire, having partnerships with flagship carriers such as Singapore Airlines, the No. 1 ranked international carrier in 2020, according to Travel + Leisure magazine, Virgin Atlantic and Air Canada. The company, established in 1987, conducts business on five continents through a worldwide network of packing and fulfilment stations and retail stores. "The Board of Commissioners is pleased to award this concession agreement to 3Sixty, with its extensive network of partners and diverse suppliers and the capabilities needed to provide the high-profile brands and customer experiences that Ontario travelers demand, This new concession agreement is further recognition of ONT's emergence as a global gateway, providing a world-class experience for our loyal customers." -Alan D. Wapner, President of the OIAA Board. In recent years, ONT has emerged as one of the industry's great success stories and has been ranked by Global Traveler as America's fastest-growing U.S. airport four years running. With its expanding lineup of flights and destinations and passenger volumes near pre-pandemic levels, Ontario has experienced one of the fastest COVID-19 recovery rates among airports across the U.S. Along with that, ONT has added several new concessions in the past 12 months, including Dunkin Donuts, Chick-Fil-A and Subway – the latter of which will open in 2022. The addition of a core duty free concession further enhances ONT's position as a major aviation gateway and is now only the second Southern California international airport that will operate a duty-free concession. "This is a major step forward in the expansion of our retail options at ONT, We are delighted to welcome 360 Duty Free to be part of the ONT family, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership as we continue to grow and develop our business and passenger numbers. As our international traffic and destinations continues to grow, the addition of a world-class duty-free outlet will enhance the width and breadth of our retail offerings and add significant value to our customer experience." -Atif Elkadi, OIAA Deputy Chief Executive Officer. The retail space located in Terminal 2 is 3Sixty's first airport retail operation on the U.S. West Coast. With a vast assortment of luxury brands, it will deliver a state-of-the-art duty-free experience to international passengers from Taipei, Central America, Mexico and beyond. Under terms of the concession agreement, 3Sixty is responsible for all capital investment needed to prepare its retail space and pay a concession fee to the OIAA. About Ontario International Airport Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which, before the coronavirus pandemic, offered nonstop commercial jet service to 26 major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President), Ontario City Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner). About 3Sixty Duty Free & More Founded by Chairman and CEO Bernard "Benny" Klepach in 1987, 3Sixty (previously the DFASS Group) has spent more than 31 years delivering on our global reputation as the world's largest in-flight Duty Free specialty retailer, and more recently one of the fastest growing airport Duty Free and specialty retailers. Today 3Sixty (previously the DFASS Group) employs over 600 full-time employees, operating on five continents through a worldwide network of 120 packing and fulfillment stations and retail stores. Services include on board duty free shopping, buy on board (BOB) services, on boarding pouring, airport duty free & specialty retailing and Shop on the GO online retailing.

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AEROSPACE

TransDigm Announces Acquisition of DART Aerospace

TransDigm Group | March 15, 2022

TransDigm Group Incorporated, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DART Aerospace ("DART" or "the Company"), a portfolio company of Greenbriar Equity Group, L.P. and First Aviation Services Inc., for approximately $360 million in cash. DART is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The Company is a leading provider of highly engineered, unique helicopter mission equipment solutions that predominantly service civilian aircraft. The Company is expected to generate approximately $100 million in pro forma revenues for the calendar year ending December 31, 2022. Approximately 95% of DART's revenues are derived from proprietary products and about 80% of DART's revenues comes from the aftermarket. The products have a strong presence across major commercial rotary-wing platforms as well as select applications for defense and safety services. The Company employs approximately 400 people and operates from four primary facilities in Hawkesbury, Ontario; Portland, Oregon; Fort Collins, Colorado and Chihuahua, Mexico. "We are excited about the acquisition of DART Aerospace. DART is an industry leader in helicopter mission equipment and its unique helicopter solutions fit well with our proprietary and aftermarket-focused value generation strategy. The Company has established positions on a diverse range of new and existing rotary-wing platforms, strong aftermarket content and an outstanding reputation with its customers. As with all TransDigm acquisitions, we expect the DART acquisition to create equity value in-line with our long-term private equity-like return objectives." Kevin Stein, TransDigm's President and Chief Executive Officer The acquisition, which is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2022, is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The acquisition will be financed through existing cash on hand. About TransDigm Group TransDigm Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components for use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. Major product offerings, substantially all of which are ultimately provided to end-users in the aerospace industry, include mechanical/electro-mechanical actuators and controls, ignition systems and engine technology, specialized pumps and valves, power conditioning devices, specialized AC/DC electric motors and generators, batteries and chargers, engineered latching and locking devices, engineered rods, engineered connectors and elastomer sealing solutions, databus and power controls, cockpit security components and systems, specialized and advanced cockpit displays, engineered audio, radio and antenna systems, specialized lavatory components, seat belts and safety restraints, engineered and customized interior surfaces and related components, advanced sensor products, switches and relay panels, thermal protection and insulation, lighting and control technology, parachutes, high performance hoists, winches and lifting devices, and cargo loading, handling and delivery systems.

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AEROSPACE

Aerkomm Enters into a Definitive Agreement with Sakai Display Products Corp. and PanelSemi Corp.

Aerkomm Inc. | January 20, 2022

Aerkomm Inc. ("Aerkomm" or "the Company") (Euronext Paris: AKOM;OTCQX: AKOM), a development stage service provider of In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity solutions for the airline industry using Ka-band technology, today announced that it entered into a joint venture (the "Joint Venture") agreement (the "Agreement") with Sakai Display Products Corporation ("SDPJ"), a company incorporated under the laws of Japan, and PanelSemi Corporation ("PanelSemi"), a company incorporated under the laws of Taiwan, on January 10, 2022. Through this Joint Venture, Aerkomm will develop and commercialize a tile antenna ("Tile Antenna"). The Joint Venture will be operated through a to-be-established California corporation ("Newco"), which will be owned initially 100% by SDPJ. Aerkomm will license to Newco its intellectual property, know-how and research and development results related to the Tile Antenna. SDPJ will provide Newco with working capital to develop the Tile Antenna proof of concept ("POC"). Upon approval of the POC, Aerkomm will contribute the intellectual property to Newco in exchange for 52% of the equity interest in Newco, and SDPJ and PanelSemi collectively will contribute $20 million in cash (less the contributions funded prior to the POC approval). SDPJ will hold 45% of Newco's equity interest and PanelSemi will hold the remaining 3%. Moreover, according to the Agreement, SDPJ will invest €7.5 million in Aerkomm via private placement upon approval of the POC. In the event that the POC is not achieved within 11 months following the signing of the Agreement, the Joint Venture will be terminated, at which time we will terminate the intellectual property license to Newco and Newco will remain 100% owned by SDPJ. "This agreement marks the first step in our partnership with SDPJ and PanelSemi. The joint venture will facilitate the development of a tile antenna to further our technological capabilities and better serve our customers. Looking ahead, we look forward to opportunities to expand our business and developing new industry-leading technology." -Mr. Louis Giordimaina, CEO of Aerkomm About Aerkomm Inc. Aerkomm Inc. (Euronext Paris: AKOM;OTCQX: AKOM), operating through its wholly owned subsidiary, Aircom Pacific, Inc., is a development stage service provider of in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions for the airline industry. The Company strives to become a leading provider of a wide range of in-flight broadband entertainment and connectivity services, including Wi-Fi connectivity, cellular networks, movies, gaming, live television, and music. Aerkomm aims to reshape the market for in-flight entertainment and connectivity services by offering on-board connectivity to its airline partners and passengers for free, generating revenue through advertising and on-board transactions.

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