Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nothing Much Going On

That's why no posts recently.

22 Comments:

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well here is a question? Why is Rockford, IL always, or at least most of the time, mentioned when a new start up airline is proposed. Are they suckers for new airlines and provide money? or what?

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Tucano Bandeirante said...

What? We can't talk about the latest with Virgin America? Story below, from AvDaily. They've got planes sitting on the ground gathering dust, and word on the street is that they've been quietly laying people off.



Virgin America Forced To Raise Another $53 Million; Legal Bills Mounting
Aviation Daily
08/18/2006, page 02

Steven Lott

Virgin America yesterday revealed it was forced to sign a new funding deal for an additional $53 million in financing beyond the $177 million the carrier had a year ago, as the prolonged legal fight with network carriers is taking a significant toll on the budget.

"Delays and associated costs that have resulted from our opponents dilatory legal tactics have made it necessary," for Virgin America to obtain the additional, temporary financing. The carrier signed a promissory note on Aug. 9, according to the filing made with the U.S. Transportation Dept. The carrier did not reveal who provided the financing, which may prompt more questions from other airlines and the DOT.

Virgin America executives a year ago thought they would be close to launching operations by this point, which led to a revision in the startup budget. In addition to rising legal fees, the carrier's fleet is growing, but the planes aren't bringing in any revenue to help pay the bills. An airline spokesman confirmed that Virgin America has taken delivery of eight aircraft, including six Airbus A320s and two A319s. The planes are being retrofitted in the airline's configuration and will be used for training.

Because it will be months before the airline takes off, the carrier is looking at subleasing the aircraft in the short term. A spokesman would not say how many planes may be subleased to other airlines.

After digesting the answers filed in recent weeks by Continental, American, Delta, US Airways and the Air Line Pilots Association, Virgin America yesterday filed its reply with the DOT.

While the other airlines included "a myriad of baseless arguments, there were no questions from opponents about the airline's fitness to fly or serve the public." Instead, the opponents have created "conspiracy theories" about the airline's ownership structure, the airline said. -SL

 
At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take a stab at the Rockford question...

They are the MOST logical next up and coming airport in the U.S. IMO. Worcester, Youngstown, Stewart and a handful of others make the list, but Rockford offers Chicago, which noone else can (Except Gary, and that doesn't even justify a response!)

The infrastructure is there, the management is pushing it, they just have yet to attract the right client.

TMA, Hooters, USA300 all have made a go of it, but have yet to provide anything different than the next. I think if Festival can get the money together, they will offer what Rockford needs, and vice versa. Festival will give Rockford more than just RFD-CUN, but will give them a hometown airline that serves more than just your top three vacation spots (ala TWA in the latter years out of St. louie). I think they'll grow the airline into something bigger, as evidenced by their looking into Phoenix and Canada. It will take out of the box thinking to make a go of Rockford, but perhaps these are the guys for it. I looked at their website and noticed the management team they have assembled. It appears they've hit every base on this one, so it will most certainly be exciting to watch it grow....if it goes!

Time will tell I suppose!

 
At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure the business model for Festival is competive enough to startup in the aviation business these days....

Speaking of startups.....any word out of Skybus???

 
At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rockford blogger

I agree with the prior anonymous comment. Lots of risk, especially in this environment with a startup
but Festival can work well if they can get things going.

TransMeridian and Hooters did not fail because of Rockford. USA3000
has done a few charters but not aware of anything regularly scheduled.

Still no official word on Ryan International but signs point toward their HQ's in Rockford. Not sure about the level of flight activity.

At RFD's 60th aniversary event last week, Bob O Brien stated carefully that he hopes to have an announcement on additional air service in the next few weeks. Apparently the contracts are not signed yet. Could this be Festival ? Additional United Express or Allegiant service ?
JetBlue, AirTran or Southwest ready to add some flights ?
Stay tuned.

 
At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about Festval's financing. These guys have kept this very hush-hush, but I see they have some heavy hitters involved, so perhaps this could actually become viable.

Rockford is a great little airport/community, so hopefully this will be the first of many new entrants into the Rockford market.

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't consider an ex-computer guy w/ no aviation background to be a "heavy hitter"

 
At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He must have done something right to get to where he is!

Perhaps a snipet of the other non-experienced members will make you look at the line-up a bit closer. I thionk all we are missing is Crandal?!?

Carl T. George, CEO and board chairman: CEO of Capital Growth Partners, an investment firm; extensive experience in software technology, Internet businesses and management of change in businesses.

Thomas E. Glasgow, chief operating officer and president: CEO and president for both Automated Information Management and Integrated Trade Systems; former vice president of operations at FedEx.

James R. Weiland, executive vice president and chief of aircraft operations: Former executive vice president and chief operating officer for Spirit Airlines; former senior vice president technical operations of GE Capital Aviation Services.

Robert J. Kolbe, executive vice president of finance and administration: Formerly held financial positions with Ameritech and Bell System; served as chief financial officer of the Ameritech Foundation.


Mark S. O’Malley, senior vice president of marketing and sales: Founder of Niche Marketing; former CEO and co-founder of www.lastminutetravel.com, an online travel service.


Gus Chafoulias, director: Chairman of Chafoulias Companies, a developer of commercial properties; former member of several corporate boards, including US Bank and MedVision.


Ralph Atkin, director: Chief executive officer of Ghana International Airlines; founder of SkyWest Airlines and former CEO of EuroSky.


David E. Hinson, adviser: Former Federal Aviation Administration administrator; former senior vice president with McDonnell Douglas; former chairman of Midway Airlines.


Duane V. Edelman, adviser: Former pilot with North Central Airlines, Republic Airlines and Northwest Airlines.


Thomas J. Kiernan, adviser: Former senior vice president of American Airlines.

Source: Festival Airlines

 
At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the news is slow this might be an interesting topic to discuss.

Most of us know that the following airports are very underserved for passenger air service and have potential for much more:

* Worcester, MA
* Youngstown, OH
* Rockford, IL
* Stewart, NY

What are some other airports like this in your opinion ?

For starters, I will toss out

* Columbia, MO
* Stockton, CA
* New Haven CT

 
At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Emerging Airlines guys - have you considered starting a Yahoo! Group? It's obvious to me that many of us would like to have conversations outside of your blog, especially since you're not posting much. What do you think?

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TOL is way underserved...but when big bad DTW is to the north, can't get people away from their nonstops.

-Ryan

 
At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody hear about Allegiant dropping ORH ??

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets create this Yahoo Group indeed. Who will manage?

Good plan guys, And there is indeed lots of things going on.
Anyone read about Porter: http://www.wingsmagazine.com/nm/anmviewer.asp?a=332&z=77

 
At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Tucano Bandeirante said...

Since the blog belongs to the emerging airlines guys/gals, I say they administer it. Really, all they have to do is set it up and tell us all to become members. After that, it pretty much runs itself. If they don't want to to it, I'll take it on.

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allegiant Travel Co., which is planning to go public, disclosed Wednesday that its pilots have formed an in-house association and recently requested pay raises from the company.
The Las Vegas-based low-cost airline, in a document updating the risk factors for investing in the company, said "costs will be affected by the results of discussions with our pilot group and any other employee groups in the future."
In an amended registration for its initial public offering, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it intends to negotiate a mutually satisfactory arrangement with the pilots association.
In its original IPO registration in May, the company said that, unlike many airlines, it has a non-union work force. The company said that if its employees unionize, the move could result in demands that may increase the company's operating expenses and adversely affect profitability.
The company cited its highly productive work force as one of its competitive strengths and attributed its productivity in part to "fewer unproductive labor work rules."
Allegiant said it isn't aware of any campaigns among its employee work groups to establish union representation, but it said the employees could unionize at any time.
Each separate unionized work group would require a collective bargaining agreement, and work slowdowns and stoppages could result if favorable agreements aren't reached, the filing said.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow....Are you an insider?
What about their fleet plan? Pilots already going to Alteon????

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Emerging Airlines said...

I'd very like to start a bulletin board type of thing. Does anybody out ther have some technical expertise for it? We're pretty much behind the curve on this sort of thing. If so, email me.

 
At 9:45 PM, Anonymous YNG said...

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I can help you out with it.

 
At 10:38 PM, Anonymous sr said...

I've been silently following this blog for months, and I appreciate it's existance.There doesn't seem to be anything in the news, but I haven't been able to find any of Destination One's flights of late on flightaware.com. N651CT's (the only plane I've ever seen operated on this site for their flights) history stops after a flight from Hilton Head on August 19th. It would seem very odd for a E120 to operate without a IFR flight plan on a commercial flight. Am I missing something, or is the news?

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger jeff fonner said...

your not missing anything...they are all set to go but they dont have many passenger bookings so they have decided not to fly empty..they have a charter mentallity that wont work ...i dont look for it to last .....this is on good sources...

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Tucano Bandeirante said...

Nothing to talk about? How about this latest story in AvDaily about Virgin America, below? They have said dozens of times the only thing they get from Virgin is the brand name. So much for that cover story!

Virgin America Says New Money Is Only A Loan

Virgin America last week revealed that the additional $53 million in financing the carrier recently finalized is coming from the U.K.-based Virgin Group, but the carrier vows that the money is only a loan and does not represent a new equity investment.

The carrier earlier this month told the U.S. Transportation Dept. in a filing that it needed the new money to help pay its legal bills because the fight with network carriers is taking longer than expected (DAILY, Aug. 18).

After the
carrier complained that it had to raise the additional money, Continental and American raised even more questions and proposed that more time should be allowed for Virgin America to submit more information.

The Continental and American motions are "nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to repeat - now for the ninth time in its substantive pleadings --"requests for additional information," Virgin told DOT.

Virgin America wants DOT to quickly deny American's motion to dismiss or hold the proceeding in abeyance and deny Delta's separate request for an evidentiary hearing. Virgin America also wants DOT to "refuse to entertain any further replies" to Virgin America's supplementary filing that revealed the new funding.

Virgin America claims the $53 million is "temporary financing" that will be repaid. The money "injects no new equity, nor does it raise any new or significant board, officer or minority protection
issues, and, as such, no need exists for parties in this proceeding to provide additional comment at this stage."

The carrier added that "no basis exists to further delay the processing of Virgin America's application." -SL

 
At 12:55 PM, Anonymous YNG said...

Word is Allegiant will be announcing PIE This week....
http://airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/2956817

 

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