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Monday, April 28, 2008

Quick Takes – go!, Do328 VIP, DL/US Helicopter, ERA/ACI

go! Pilots Fired

go! has fired the two pilots who overflew Hilo destination because they were asleep. Related Story The two may also face federal action as well from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Honolulu Advertiser quoted Paul Skellon, Mesa's vice president of corporate communications, who issued a statement. "After a thorough internal investigation into the incident on Feb. 13 in which go! Flight 1002 overflew the airport at Hilo, Mesa has terminated the employment of both pilots involved."
The newspaper said the results of FAA's investigation will be released in a few weeks. In addition,  it reported growing fatigue complaints from Mesa pilots, citing a WFFA-TV report that schedules at Mesa's operation "were so that many pilots were flying exhausted and some were forced to camp in their aircraft." It also cited last year's Air Line Pilots Association complaint about staffing shortages and low morale. Related Story

Do328 in VIP Conversion

As Midwest Airlines spins out the Dornier 328 jets from its Skyways Midwest Connect service, it may be interested in the fact that Cirrus Group has appointed 328 Support Services GmbH for luxury 12-seat VIP Dornier 328 Jet conversions. Cirrus is the parent company of Cirrus Airlines of Germany. 328 Support Services will convert a German, 32-passenger Dornier 328 beginning in May to a 12-seat VIP layout. The work is expected to be completed in August. This will take the number of Dornier 328 ‘VIP’ aircraft conversions carried out by 328 Support to seven, including the four delivered to Mikado Capital.
Midwest is grounding Skyways, transforming it into a ground services organization, in favor of contracting with SkyWest Airlines to provide feeder services to the low-cost airline. Related Story
“There is really nothing out in the marketplace that offers such a generous, wide cabin – comparable with the Challenger 604 – at attractive capital costs,” said Lutz Schindler, technical director aircraft asset management. “Depending on market acceptance, we are looking at one, maybe two more 328s to convert in this way, putting the first 12-seat aircraft into service in early September.”
The contract is worth several million Euros to 328 Support and all the work will be carried out at its Oberpfaffenhofen including the manufacture of the complete interior including the galley, all wardrobes and side ledges. The new interior will feature all new De Crane seats, a new large galley, individual TV monitors to all VIP seats, on board Sat-Phone, and a large toilet area with dressing room.
328 Support is also working on a 10-seat VIP conversion for an undisclosed new European customer, which has also specified the inclusion of long-range fuel tanks. With a 2,000 nm range, this will enable the aircraft to fly direct as far as Russia or into the Middle East from most European capitals.

Delta Includes Free Helicopter Service
After announcing a code share agreement last year with US Helicopter in New York, Delta expanded the program, offering free flights between Manhattan and its international flights at New York’s Kennedy Airport. The offering covers the eight-minute helicopter flights from both the Downtown Manhattan and 34th Street Atlantic Metroport and is a complimentary service with the purchase of international BusinessElite(R) tickets to and from Africa, Brazil, Europe, India, and Israel and is valid for travel through Dec. 31, 2008. Those without the applicable tickets can purchase a one-way ticket aboard US Helicopter for $159, plus applicable security fees.
The service includes TSA security clearance at the heliports, check-in to final destinations for both domestic and international travel as well as baggage check to final destination on Delta flights. Passengers disembark at JFK’s Gate 11 in Terminal 3.

ERA, ACI Partner on European Congestion
Bringing together two of Europe’s leading aviation associations, the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) will be working with the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe to address the issue of European airport congestion.
Meeting at the ERA Regional Airline Conference in Malta, ERA Director General Mike Ambrose and ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec agreed that cooperation is needed to lobby European regulators and European Union member states to take action against the airport congestion problem severely threatening the future of European aviation.
“Much attention has been focused on relieving and avoiding congestion in the skies, and rightly so, but we must not forget that without equivalent capacity on the ground, any progress we make in the air is severely compromised, if not wasted entirely,” said Ambrose.
Olivier Jankovec added: “The European Union can and must do much more to put the aviation industry in a condition to secure its license to grow. This necessarily involves a policy which reconciles aviation growth with ambitious environmental objectives.”
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