Category Archives: airlines

Report: China eases pilot license rules; may top U.S. demand for private planes

New rules that took effect on Sunday make it easier to earn a private pilot’s license in China, according to a report by the New York Times.

The move is likely to unleash pent-up demand for civil aviation in China.

The move comes as China plans to open more low-altitude airspace for commercial and private airplanes in coming years.

Most of China’s airspace is now reserved for military use. But China has a rapidly expanding demand for private jet travel.

“Given that the private aircraft market in the West is still rebounding from the financial crisis, some analysts say that China could overtake the United States as the largest market for private planes within the coming decade,” the New York Times report said.

 

Kansas Aviation Museum new exhibit tells story of early airlines in Wichita

The Kansas Aviation Museum is hosting an opening for a new mini-exhibit called The Story of Airlines at the Wichita Air Terminal.

The exhibit features the airlines — TWA, Braniff and Continental –  that resided at the historic Wichita terminal during its 20 years as a commercial hub.

The new display is an extension of a current exhibit showcasing the terminal’s construction and visitors.The terminal is now home to the museum.

Leona Harbstreet, who worked with Braniff during that time, will be on hand at the event.

The opening will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at the museum at 3350 S. George Washington Blvd. A brief dedication ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m.

The event is free to museum members The price of regular admission will be charged to nonmembers. Memberships are also available during the event for a $10 discount.

 

Southwest Airlines leader to speak at Wichita Aero Club Monday

For years, Ron Ricks worked closely with Herb Kelleher, the colorful co-founder and chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines.

Kelleher created a culture for a low-cost, no-frills airline known for putting fun in flying, such as flight attendants who sang in-flight announcements to the tune of popular songs.

“As a result, (Ricks) probably knows more about the airline than anyone besides Herb,” Dave Franson, president of the Wichita Aero Club, said in a statement.

Ricks, executive vice president and chief legal and regulatory officer at Southwest, is the keynote speaker at Monday’s Wichita Aero Club meeting. The meeting is the day after Southwest’s launch of service in Wichita.

Before joining the airline, Ricks was a partner in a San Antonio law firm founded by Kelleher.

The luncheon will be held 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton at Wichita Airport.

Reservations can be made by calling 641-5962 or through www.wichitaaeroclub.org.

 

Analyst: Boeing could launch 787-10X at Paris Air Show, but unlikely to kick off 777X there

Boeing says it hopes to launch the Boeing 777X, a revamped 777, this year.

Those kind of launches are typically announced at major air shows.

But it seems unlikely that Boeing will announce it at next month’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport, Cowen and Co. aerospace analyst Cai von Rumohr wrote in a report Tuesday.

Boeing is still working the details of the business case and prime launch customers are Arab carriers Emirates and Ethiad airlines, von Rumohr said.

That makes a launch more plausible during November’s Dubai Air Show, he said

It’s possible Boeing, however, may launch the 787-10X during the Paris Air Show.

That’s because Boeing has resolved the battery issues with the 787, which alleviates customer resistance, it’s improving 787 productivity and the 787 derivative will make a strong competitor to the Airbus A330-300, von Rumohr said.

The 787-10 will be more profitable than the Boeing 787-8 or the -9, he said.

 

 

 

Pilot turned author to hold book signing at Watermark Books on Saturday

Wichita native Philip Donlay learned to fly at Riverside airport and earned his private pilot’s license at 17.

He then flew charter flights for Yingling Aviation, freight for Great Western Airlines and corporate jets for a Fortune 500 company. He was based in Wichita.

After more than 30 years as a professional pilot, Donlay was diagnosed with a medical condition that forced him to give up flying.

So he turned to another passion, writing.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Donlay will hold a book signing at Watermark Books for his third novel, Zero Separation, an aviation thriller.

A fourth novel is scheduled for release next year.

Donlay now divides his time between Minneapolis and the San Juan Islands.

 

 

Allegiant to resume seasonal Wichita nonstop service to Los Angeles

In time to take the kids to meet Mickey this summer, Allegiant Air is resuming seasonal service from Wichita to Los Angeles.

Flights will operate two times a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays beginning June 5.

They will leave Wichita at 9:15 p.m. Flights will depart Los Angeles at 3:40 p.m. Pacific time.

The service ends August 14.

Allegiant also operates service from Wichita to Las Vegas.

 

Virgin America, JetBlue and AirTran best airline performers, new ranking shows

Virgin America was ranked the top performing airline for 2012, followed by JetBlue and AirTran Airways, according to the 23rd annual Airline Quality Rating of the nation’s 14 airlines.

Virgin America was new to this year’s rankings.

The three lowest-rating airlines for 2012 were SkWest, ExpressJet and United Airlines, which ranked last.

American Eagle Airlines improved the most, moving from 15th place in 2011 to 11th place in 2012.

The annual rankings are co-authored by Wichita State University associate professor of marketing Dean Headley and Purdue University professor Brent Bowen.

Airlines are rated on on-time performance, denied boardings, mishandled baggage and consumer complaints from data obtained from the Department of Transportation.

Performance by the airlines last year was the second highest in the 23 years of research compiled by Headley and Bowen.

“Passengers are experiencing better performance by the airlines, although it might cost more to fly,” the authors said in a statement.

Use of mobile boarding passes hit 3 million mark in March

A growing number of air travelers are using mobile boarding passes to check in for flights around the country.

NCR Corp. said that it delivered 3 million boarding passes to travelers during the month of March alone.

“In addition to making traveling easier — allowing passengers to check in on their own schedules, bypass check-in counter lines at the airport and go right to the security check-point — there’s definitely a ‘cool’ factor to using mobile boarding passes that’s exciting for travelers,” NCR travel vice president and general manager Tyler Craig said in a statement.

NCR’s mobile pass delivers a patented 2D bar code on a mobile device, which allows passengers to check in remotely and go directly to airport security check-points when they arrive at the airport.

The technology is offered by airlines around the world.

NCR is now launching NCR Dynamic Wallet, which provides boarding gate and flight departure times updated in real time.

It’s also launching NCR Ad Injection, which allows airlines to deliver messages to passengers via their electronic boarding passes.

 

United Express to begin nonstop service from Wichita to Los Angeles

United Express is beginning daily nonstop service between Wichita and Los Angeles International Airport beginning May 2, according to Wichita Mid-Continent Airport officials.

The airline will operate two daily departures and arrivals between the two cities. Los Angeles is Wichita’s fourth top passenger market.

The service will be operated by its regional partner, SkyWest Airlines, which will operate the flights using 66-seat Canadair CRJ-700 regional jets.

The flights are in addition to United’s daily service from Wichita to Chicago, Denver and Houston.

“We wish to thank United Airlines for recognizing the demand for service to the LAX market and bringing their valuable resources to Wichita,” said Valerie Wise, Wichita Airport Authority air service and business development manager, in a statement. “This will be a popular service for the business travelers in our region.”

United’s senior manager of market analysis Martin Kammerman said in a statement that the airline looks forward to serving the growing business market between Wichita and Southern California.

 

 

 

Spirit AeroSystems aftermarket business signs agreement with Ethiopian Airlines

Spirit AeroSystems has signed a multi-year supply agreement with Ethiopian Airlines for aftermarket customer support.

Spirit will provide thrust reverser, fuselage and wing component spare parts for the airline’s fleet of Boeing aircraft, which will give the airline “predictable and competitive pricing for all parts in the Spirit catalog while ensuring availability for key parts and components,” the company said.

Ethoipian Airlines is Spirit’s first contract customer in Africa.

“This is a significant milestone for our company as we continue to expand our global support footprint,” Mike Williams, vice president and general manager of Spirit Aftermarket customer support, said in a statement.