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Monday, June 9, 2008

Quick Takes -- Porter, Frontier, Project Phoenix, Embraer, Bombardier

Porter Unveils Frequent Flyer Program
Porter Airlines announced its frequent flyer program, VIPorter, as the latest benefit for its passengers. Starting June 9, all registered Porter customers will begin earning VIPorter Points each time they fly Porter. Points collected can be used to redeem complimentary travel on Porter Airlines after as few as five one-way flights. There are no blackout periods and seats are allocated for VIPorter redemption up to a total of 10 percent system capacity. Redeemed flights include complimentary seat selection and convenient change options.
"VIPorter broadens Porter's premium offering and provides travellers with realistic, attainable rewards," said Chair Don Carty. "Porter's approach to our frequent flyer program, much like our daily service offering, will be a breath of fresh air in an industry bogged down in overly complicated reward and redemption systems."
After earning 7500 VIPorter Points, passengers may redeem their points for a complimentary one-way flight anywhere Porter Airlines flies. Porter's three fare classes earn points at different levels.

Frontier, First Data Reach Agreement
Frontier Airlines
and First Data, which withheld receipts throwing Frontier into bankruptcy, announced an agreement with respect to the continued processing of Frontier's Visa and MasterCard charges without any interruption. Related Story The agreement provides First Data with appropriate protection for continuing its processing work for customer credit card purchases on a "business as usual" basis. Frontier is expected to file a motion with the Federal Bankruptcy Court in New York to approve the agreement shortly.
"Today's announcement is another important step as we navigate the Chapter 11 process," said Frontier President and CEO Sean Menke. "The terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable to both parties, and we appreciate First Data's ongoing cooperation."

Hawaiian Expanding Interisland Fleet
Hawaiian Airlines
is expanding its interisland fleet with the addition of four Boeing 717-200 aircraft “to better meet the needs of Hawaii's interisland travelers in the wake of the shutdown of Aloha Airlines on April 1.” Hawaiian currently operates a total of 150 interisland flights daily between the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii.
Two of the aircraft are expected to enter service in September, while the remaining two will join the fleet in November and December, respectively. The additions, all being acquired on long-term leases from Boeing Capital Corporation, will increase Hawaiian's interisland fleet of Boeing 717-200 aircraft to 15.
To meet immediate community needs in the wake of Aloha's collapse, Hawaiian expanded its interisland flight schedule by flying a long-haul Boeing 767-300 wide-body aircraft between Honolulu and Maui as well as by flying an additional 717 usually held in reserve as a 'spare' aircraft to cover scheduled flying in the event of a delay. Hawaiian will continue these operations until the additional 717 aircraft arrive to make sure that seats remain available for interisland travelers.
Hawaiian also began recruiting flight crews and additional ground staff to support its expanded interisland operations immediately after Aloha's closure. To date, Hawaiian has hired 230 additional employees, a majority of whom are former Aloha employees, and is seeking to fill an additional 160 positions, including pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians, contract service and line service positions.

Project Phoenix Names VP Commercial

Project Phoenix, the Dubai-based company which specializes in Bombardier CRJ-200 executive VIP conversions has appointed Andrew Johnston as vice president – commercial. Johnson will be responsible for all the commercial elements relating to the conversion of CRJ-200 regional jets to executive business aircraft. Reporting to President Mike Cappuccitti, he will work alongside Vice President - Sales, Nick Mossa, and the project management team led by Kevin Hoffman, owner of Montreal-based Aerospace Concepts. Johnston’s role will be to ensure that the conversion is legally compliant, it meets international standards and that contracts are water tight. He will also be focused on structuring the after sales support programs for the Phoenix CRJ.
Johnson joins the company from business consultancy Links Group Dubai, where he advised new businesses on the support and infrastructure needed to be successful. Project Phoenix was a client last year.
Project Phoenix announced the launch of the CRJ-Phoenix VIP conversion program at the Dubai Air Show in November to address rapidly escalating prices of business aircraft and increasingly long lead times. New customers are having to wait for up to five years for a delivery slot.

Air France & KLM Want New Single-Aisle Aircraft
Just as Embraer is selling the right-sizing advantages of its ERJs and Bombardier is considering the launch of a 110- to 149-seat aircraft, the Air France-KLM duo is urging Boeing and Airbus to accelerate plans for a single-aisle, more-fuel-efficient replacement aircraft, something Boeing tabled recently. Related Story The two airlines what a short- to medium-haul aircraft, according to Reuters.

EMB Places 190s with Gov’t
Embraer sold two ERJ 190 jets to the Brazilian government for transporting official personnel. The aircraft will be configured specifically for this purpose and will be operated by the Special Transportation Group (Grupo de Transporte Especial -- GTE) of the Brazilian Air Force (Forca Aerea Brasileira -- FAB), which serves the president, ministries, presidential departments, and officials from the legislative and judiciary branches.
"It will be an honor and a source of pride for all of Embraer's employees to see our ERJ 190 flying in the colors of the Federal Republic of Brazil," states Embraer's President and CEO, Frederico Fleury Curado. "We are certain that the attributes that have provided the underpinnings of the success of this aircraft model worldwide -- comfort, safety, performance, advanced technology, and economical operations -- will contribute to the excellence of the GTE's operations as it fulfills its mission within the scope of the Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian government."
The aircraft will be configured with special communications systems, providing maximum security levels, as well as a private area for the President, including space for meetings. It will also have capacity for carrying around 40 passengers with a range, from Brasilia, that covers all of South America, thus offering great operational flexibility for its designated missions.
The FAB already operates other transportation aircraft manufactured by Embraer, like the ERJ 145, Legacy 600, and EMB 120 Brasilia models. Besides these, other members of the military fleet projected and manufactured in Brazil are the AMX, Tucano, Super Tucano, and the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) airplanes operated by the Amazon Surveillance System (Sistema de Vigilancia da Amazonia -- SIVAM).
"Embraer is a worldwide benchmark for the aeronautical industry, and the purchase of these new aircraft is in harmony with the objectives of the nation's industrial development policies," said Aeronautics Commander General Juniti Saito.
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