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Judge Give U.S Airways More Time March 31, 2005

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A bankruptcy judge today gave US Airways until May 31 to file a reorganization plan “without interference from its creditors.” The judge also approved the $125 million investment in US Air by Republic Airways, a regional airline that operates US Airways Express flights. Until this last minute injunction, the deadline was set for March 31. US Airways now says it can be out of bankruptcy by August of 2005. The latest infusion of cash adds to the previous $125 million pledged by Air Wisconsin, another regional airline. Chris Chiames, US Airways senior vice president of corporate affairs was quoted as saying that “We’re making good progress. Three months ago, people were ready to write our demise.” Bankruptcy court has put the airline’s demise, at least temporarily, on hold.

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Continental Airlines Pilots Ratify Pay Cuts March 30, 2005

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Continental Airline pilots ratified a new contract today, conceding $213 million in pay cuts. The step inches the airline toward its goal of achieving half a billion dollars in concessions. This deal was greatly influenced by Continental management’s recent threat that if they do not achieve the desired concessions, the airline will be forced to “pursue alternate survival strategies, including taking significant steps to reduce both our future financial commitments and current cash outflows. We would be forced to obtain annual pay and benefit reductions totaling $800m later in 2005.” The airline has threatened to cancel all pending aircraft orders, which it considers vital to its success, unless its employees continue to accept salary cuts. Even the purchase of the Boeing 787, currently in development, has been put in question. Nonetheless, these agreements are a positive step forward in the financial health of legacy airline Continental.

Rumor Confirmed: Air France Will Buy 777 Freighter March 29, 2005

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Chalk up another rumor that Aeroposte sniffed out before the media conglomerates caught on.

Independence Air To Fly to Charlotte with A319’s March 29, 2005

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With the recent announcement that Independence Air will begin flying to Charlotte, North Carolina, the low fare upstart is taking a page from Southwest Airline’s book. Independence Air has served the Charlotte area since October, however the airline will now serve Charlotte with 132 seat Airbus A319 aircraft. As of June 1, 2005, Independence Air will increase the total seats available at Charlotte by 46%. According to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kerry Skeen: “We are grateful for the overwhelming response we’ve received from our new customers in the Charlotte area and we’re very pleased to say that Charlotte has been one of our best markets. From the first day we began offering low-fare service back in October of last year, it’s been readily apparent that people are ready for a new alternative in air service. This expansion will make it even easier for our customers to take advantage of low-fare flights to the nation’s capital and all the cities we serve from our hub at Washington Dulles.” Analysts expect more Airbus A319 frequencies as Independence Air continues to receive new aircraft.

Northwest To Begin Service Between Minneapolis and Lexington March 28, 2005

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Northwest Airlines will begin flying from its hub in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Lexington, Kentucky as of June 9th. Initially, there will be only one daily flight between the two cities. Lexington already has daily flights from the other Northwest hubs, Detroit and Memphis. The once-daily flight will be operated by Northwest Airlink partner Pinnacle Airlines Corp. The outbound and return flights, will each take approximately 1 1/2 hours. Pinnacle Airlines plans to utilize the fifty seat Bombardier Canadair Regional 200 aircraft for this route. In response to the press release, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) said that “Today’s announcement of nonstop service to Minneapolis/St. Paul is an important benchmark in the continued growth and diversity of our economy.” According to Lexington Aiport Executive Director Michael Gobb, “over 300 Central Kentucky companies and individuals submitted letters of support to Northwest Airlines detailing the need for access to Minneapolis and beyond.”

S&P Downgrades Delta’s Credit Rating March 26, 2005

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The Standard & Poor Index lowered Delta’s credit quality to a developing rating on Friday. Previously, Delta Airlines held a positive stock rating, which “indicates that the airline’s debt ratings could be upgraded, while a ‘developing’ stance indicates greater uncertainty as to the future direction of the ratings.” Delta Airlines also has the lowest possible credit rating of a company not in bankruptcy, Double C. According to S & P analyst Philip Baggaley: “the CreditWatch revision to developing reflects renewed pressure on Delta’s liquidity from sharply higher fuel prices, which could add up to $1 billion in costs during 2005.” This news, coupled with a recent press release from Delta claiming that the company is unlikely to have a positive cash flow until 2007, is largely responsible for the declining fortune of the Atlanta based company. Although Delta had $1.8 billion in unrestricted cash as of December 2004, the company owes over $2 billion in capital expenditures and regional jet commitments to be paid by the end of 2005.

Rumor: Air France May Buy New 777 Freighter March 25, 2005

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As reported by La Tribune, a French financial daily, Air France plans to be the launch customer for the recently announced 777-200 F. The 777-200 will provide unprecedented range for a commercial aircraft and be able to transport slightly less cargo than the 747. Essentially, the 777-200 Freighter is the cousin of the 777-200 LR, which had its first flight less than a month ago. The 777 Freighter program is expected to supplement the lackluster sales of the 777-200 LR aircraft, which only has only been purchased by two airlines.

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Delta Plans Atlanta to Moscow Non-stop Route March 23, 2005

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Delta Airlines announced today that it will begin flying from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport beginning June 1st. Delta will utilize Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which carry 204 people, for this route. Jorge Fernandez of Delta said that “as Russia continues to become an important global destination, Delta’s new service will greatly benefit customers traveling between Russia and the U.S. Southeast as well as key business centers in the U.S. Southwest and leisure destinations in Florida.” Delta seeks to give Russians greater access to the United States via Delta’s largest hub, Atlanta. It remains the only US carrier to operate non-stop to Russia, with daily flights June through September and four times weekly service during the other months.

Aeroposte Exceeds 1000 Visitors March 17, 2005

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Well, Aeroposte finally moved beyond the one thousand visitor threshold. The editors would like to thank our small core of loyal readers who visit the site everyday. Our plan to make updates more frequent will be implemented towards the end of March. As always, we encourage our readers to make greater use of the comments section of our website. Ultimately, Aeroposte is more focused on creating a dynamic and lively community than surpassing visitor milestones. In conclusion, Aeroposte promises that it will continue to deliver the latest aviation news via the Aero-post-e.

Southwest Celebrates Twenty Years at Chicago-Midway Airport March 17, 2005

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Southwest Airlines held a twenty year anniversary celebration at Chicago Midway today, complete with extravagant festivities and free gifts. According to CEO Gary Keller: “‘Southwest made Chicago Midway a main focus for growth in 2004. This dramatic increase in flights shows our dedication to that growth, and our new gates will help accommodate our expanding schedule,’ said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chief executive officer. ‘The ability to add these 18 new flights over the next five months is a testament to our Employees’ hard work and our Customers’ loyalty and dedication to Southwest Airlines.'” Due to its deal with Air Trans Air, Southwest gained enough gates to greatly expand their Midway hub. To celebrate the new flights, Southwest plans to sell introductory fares at as low as $39 one-way. As of July 5, Southwest will operate 192 non-stop flights out of Chicago.