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United Flight Attendants Prepare for Strike December 31, 2004

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United’s flight attendants are threatening their management with strikes unless their contracts are renewed and salary remains unchanged. Eighty-eight percent of the United flight attendants voted to strike if their dispute is not settled midway through January of the new year. In addition, United pilots expressed their outrage at the elimination of their pensions. United management seeks to replace the companies pension plan with a much less costly 401k program. According to a United spokeswoman, “We remain committed to considering all workable options and alternatives that will still provide the long-lasting savings United needs to exit Chapter 11 successfully.” Although United’s future is not nearly as murky as Washington D.C based USAir’s, a major strike could cripple the struggling legacy carrier.

Source: Associated Press via Yahoo Finance

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Continental Becomes Boeing 7E7 US Launch Customer December 29, 2004

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Continental Airlines announced today that ir had signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase 10 7E7’s, as well as eight 757-300 and six 737-800 aircraft. The terms of the contract were finalized two days before 2005, on December 29. The order must still be finalized by Continental’s Board of Directors by Februry 28, 2005. In a letter circulated to its employees, Continental’s management explained that although they recently had requested $500 million in employee pay-cuts, these orders put them in a beneficial long-term position.

Source: Yahoo Biznews, Airliners.net

JAL Orders 30 7E7’s December 27, 2004

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Japan Airlines announced on December 23rd that they would purchase thirty Boeing 7E7’s, with options for twenty more. JAL ordered the short-range 7E7-300, in addition to the long-range 7E7-800. The Japanese airline has not decided which engine will power their new aircraft. Both variants of the 7E7 will replace JAL’s aging 767’s and A300’s. Future orders are expected from China Eastern and Etihad Airlines.

Southwest Wins Bidding War December 18, 2004

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Southwest Airlines purchased American Trans Air’s (ATA) assets at Midway Airport in Chicago for $117 million. Air Tran Airlines competed with Southwest Airlines during the bidding process. The deal includes six gates, a maintenance hangar, and a debt financing package. Southwest Airlines plans to expand their hub at Midway in the future.

Source: Airline Transport World

Rumor: Skywest Rushes Recently Purchased Aircraft Into Service December 17, 2004

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Skywest Airlines, a regional airline that operates United Express, Delta Express, and Continental Express flights, is rumored to have rushed the four new aircraft recently purchased from troubled Independence Air (formerly Atlantic Coast Airlines). Although neither airline has publicly commented, photographs of the partially repainted aircraft are circulating the internet.

Photograph courtesy of IJetMX of ACALounge

Airbus Launches A350 December 16, 2004

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Airbus has officially launched the A350 development program. The European consortium plans to offer the A350 as a competitor to Boeing’s twin-aisle, twin engine, 7E7. The aircraft will seat between 250-300 passengers and be able to fly over 7500 miles. The A350 is expected to enter the market a few years after Boeing introduces their latest commerical offering, the 7E7.

Independence Air Sells Aircraft December 13, 2004

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Although Independence Air has not yet commented, rumors are circulating that Flyi sold a number of its Canadair Regional Aircraft to stave off bankruptcy. The aircraft are reported to have been sold to Skywest Airlines, a regional airline based near Salt Lake City, Utah.
Source: ACALounge.com

Aeroposte…. Online December 2, 2004

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Stay tuned for future announcements