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Monday, December 17, 2007

Quick Takes – Pinnacle, AE, XJT, Snecma RJ Engine, Embraer, ATR/Berjaya, Colgan/United, Horizon/Air France, Delta

PNCL, TWU Contract Ratified
Pinnacle Airlines Corp.'s wholly owned subsidiary, Pinnacle Airlines Inc., reached an initial contract with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) which represents the airline’s dispatchers group. Dispatchers ratified the agreement last week with 88 percent voting in favor of the contract.
"The agreement was reached because the TWU, our dispatchers and our airline worked together to complete a deal that supports the best interests of our people and our shareholders," said Philip H. Trenary, president and CEO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. "Our dispatchers are a key to maintaining our industry-leading performance during this time of rapid growth at Pinnacle Airlines Inc. We're grateful that they have worked with us to reach an agreement that supports continued success."

American and Eagle Launch 16 New Routes This Week
American Airlines and its regional partner, American Eagle, launched 16 new routes, both domestic and international. All are part of announced schedule changes that took effect December 13. Some of the new routes that operate less-than-daily frequencies will operate their first flights later this week. American Eagle also adds two daily nonstop roundtrips between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) beginning April 7, 2008.
"These new routes represent significant increases in the scope of our network," said Henry Joyner, American's Senior Vice President - Planning. "We're committed to providing our customers with important new choices, as well as operating routes that make the most sense for our airline."
The new Eagle routes include Miami to both Savannah and Sarasota; New York LaGuardia to Montreal, Memphis and Pittsburgh; Chicago-Gulfport, Miss.; San Juan, P.R. to Samana, Dominican Republic; and Milwaukee to Marquette. The flights will use ATR 72s, Embrear ERJ 135s, 140s and 145s.

ExpressJet Launches Quantum Control ERP Software
ExpressJet Services, LLC went live recently with Component Control’s Quantum Control enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to manage its composite, sheet metal, and thrust reverser maintenance and repair aircraft services
“We wanted to implement a comprehensive solution that could encompass our wide range of services.” said David Williams, director of operations for ExpressJet Services. “The solution had to be capable of quick implementation as well as provide scalability to support future growth. After an extensive evaluation, including speaking to other industry leaders, we knew Quantum Control was the best solution currently available to meet our requirements.”
Quantum Control aviation ERP software combines aircraft maintenance, shop floor control, inventory management, accounting, e-commerce, sales and invoicing. More than 750 customers in 48 countries currently use Quantum to manage their aviation operations.

Snecma Begins Silvercrest RJ engine
Snecma (SAFRAN Group) began the test campaign of the Silvercrest core engine demonstrator destined for 40- to 60-seat regional jets as well as super-midsize to large business jets, at its Villaroche test facility in France. The Silvercrest engine family, developing 9,500 to 12,000 lb thrust. The typical Silvercrest application will be a large cabin, long-range aircraft. The engine design integrates specific features that will also meet the needs of 40- to 60-seat regional jets whenever relevant market conditions allow carriers to replace their existing fleets. The core demonstrator is fully instrumented with temperature, pressure and vibration sensors. The extensive and comprehensive development and testing program will validate the full range of the core’s capability and performance.

Embraer in Stock Repurchase Program
Embraer’s board authorized the repurchase of stock in order to add value for its shareholders. It plans to by back up to an aggregate of 16,800,000 common shares, representing approximately 2.3 percent of outstanding capital, which totals 740,465,044 common shares outstanding. The company plans to complete the action within 120 days and the acquisition will be made on the Bolsa de Valores de São Paulo (Bovespa). The common shares bought back by Embraer will be kept in treasury form, and the treasury shares would not have any political or economic rights. It chose Finabank CCTVM Ltda to handle the transaction along with Indusval S.A. CTVTM.

ATR Completes Berjaya Order
Malaysian-based Berjaya Air, a subsidiary of Berjaya Land Berhad signed a $74 million contract for the purchase of four new ATR 72-500 aircraft. The contract was signed by Datuk Razman Md Hashim, chair of Berjaya Land and Christophe Potocki, president of ATR Eastern Support. While signed at the Lima Air Show, the order was placed at the Paris Airshow when a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was completed.
The new aircraft will be used to strengthen its position as a regional turboprop operator in the region, replacing the airlines fleet of 48-seat de Havilland Dash 7s. The order is expected to significantly reduce operating and maintenance costs for the airline as the airline expands its network. The new ATR 72-500s will be delivered in 2009 and 2010 in a 72-seat configuration and will be equipped with the new “Elegance Cabin” and with state-of-the-art technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools.
Berjaya Land Berhad is a company listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange, Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, with interests in property investment and development, vacation timeshare, hotels, resorts and recreation development and gaming.

Colgan, United Opens East Coast w New IAD Service
Through its code-sharing service with Colgan Airlines, United will serve nine new east coast cities from its hub at Washington-Dulles International Airport including Bradford, Pa.; Jamestown, N.Y.; and Parkersburg, W.Va. beginning January 7. The airline also adds service to Altoona, Pa.; Beckley, W.Va.; Clarksburg, W.Va.; Johnstown, Pa.; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Shenandoah Valley, Va. in early 2008. United Express will offer service through its regional partner Colgan Air with a 34-sear Saab SF-340. Clarksburg and Morgantown begin January 21, while Altoona and Johnstown launch on February 4, followed by Beckley and Shenandoah Valley on February 18.

Alaska, Horizon Code Share with Air France
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have entered into a new code-share agreement and an expanded frequent-flier partnership with Air France. Under the agreement, Air France will sell code-share tickets on Alaska- and Horizon-operated flights serving 18 cities in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The flights connect with Air France's nonstop Seattle-Paris flights.
Alaska and Horizon also recently expanded their frequent-flier partnership with the Air France/KLM Flying Blue program. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members can earn miles that count toward MVP and MVP Gold status qualification and redeem mileage credit on Air France and KLM flights worldwide. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air together serve 92 cities.
"The new codeshare agreement will significantly benefit customers traveling from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska to Europe and other international destinations, taking advantage of Air France's extensive network," said Don Garvett, Alaska Airlines' vice president of strategy and corporate development. "Customers will be able to purchase a single ticket, check bags only once and enjoy convenient connections to their final Air France destination."

Delta Introduces Airplane Etiquette Videos
At a time when other passengers make an already trying trip even more miserable, Delta has introduced etiquette lessons that even have Emily Post’s Great-Great-Granddaughter, Anna, approving. The lessons – Planeguage, pronounced Planguage – include seat hogs, loud or active children, middle-seat etiquette and “LavDance,” passengers that manage to bump into aisle passengers as they traverse the aisle. The 25 humorous videos being introduced this month have equally humorous titles such as "Shady Lady" for those prone to opening the shades in the middle of a movie and "Kidtastrophe,” which needs no explanation. Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton told the Associated Press, which reported on the campaign, the videos are meant to "help raise travelers' consciousness about what it means to be good travel companions.” We couldn’t find one on phone etiquette, however, but this, too, shall come. They are on the company’s blog site as well as, naturally, You Tube.
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