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Flight School trains diverse pilots for airlines in desperate need

In November 2006, a young and curious Kourtney Gillespie waited by her gate at Tampa International Airport. The 12-year-old was traveling with her cousin to see her brother play football at Ohio State University, and it was her first time flying. Her cousin had told her it was like “riding in a car,” but Gillespie quickly realized that wasn’t right. As the Southwest Airlines plane pulled up to the gate, she saw it was painted to look like SeaWorld’s Shamu the whale. “Get out of here,”….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 24th, 2022

Flight School trains diverse pilots for airlines in desperate need

In November 2006, a young and curious Kourtney Gillespie waited by her gate at Tampa International Airport. The 12-year-old was traveling with her cousin to see her brother play football at Ohio State University, and it was her first time flying. Her cousin had told her it was like “riding in a car,” but Gillespie quickly realized that wasn’t right. As the Southwest Airlines plane pulled up to the gate, she saw it was painted to look like SeaWorld’s Shamu the whale. “Get out of here,”….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 24th, 2022

FAA refuses to let regional airline hire co-pilots with less experience because it believes the plan poses a risk to safety

Republic Airways asked the FAA for permission to recruit co-pilots with a minimum of 750 hours of flying time. Republic Airways said that its plan could help tackle the pilot shortage.AP Photo/Jenny Kane The FAA blocked Republic Airways' request to cut the number of hours co-pilots need to fly for training. Republic Airways said the proposal would help address the pilot shortage, but the FAA disagreed. The FAA said in a denial exemption that Republic's request "would adversely affect safety." The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has refused to allow a US regional airline to employ co-pilots with less experience amid a shortage because it believes the move would impact safety.The Associated Press reported the news.Republic Airways, which operates on behalf of American, Delta, and United Airlines, asked the FAA in April for permission to recruit pilots out of its training academy program with a minimum of 750 hours of total flight time. Commercial co-pilots are required to fly for at least 1,500 hours before they can serve airlines. Military pilots can qualify with fewer flying hours, however. Republic said in the request that its pilot school would "exceed the safety standards" of military aviation training.According to a denial exemption released on Monday, the FAA disagreed."The FAA has determined that the relief requested is not in the public interest and would adversely affect safety," per the denial exemption. The FAA said Republic's pilot training cannot be compared with military training programs, per the denial exemption. The agency added the argument that Republic's request would address "a perceived pilot shortage" was "overly simplistic."Republic CEO Bryan Bedford said in a statement to AP that the airline's request would "enhance safety" because it would offer student pilots a "highly structured, mission-specific training approach." He added that the FAA's decision was disappointing but not surprising, per AP.The FAA told Insider in a statement: "The FAA denied a request by Republic Airways to allow the airline to reduce the number of hours needed to become a co-pilot. The agency determined that the airline's new training program does not provide an equivalent level of safety as the regulation requiring 1,500 hours of flight experience before a pilot may work for an airline."Republic didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of US operating hours.Carriers are struggling to fill their flight schedules because of a shortage of pilots. Insider's Taylor Rains previously reported that airlines are dropping some requirements and trying to cut training hours because they are so desperate to hire more pilots.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 20th, 2022

I"m a Frontier pilot who"s flown for 17 years. Getting paid to travel is amazing, but the commute and unruly passengers can be challenging.

Ron Fishman is a full-time pilot and father who says the commutes can be brutal, but the layovers in places like Turks and Caicos make it worthwhile. Ron Fishman.Courtesy of Ron Fishman Ron Fishman is a commercial pilot for Frontier Airlines with more than 17 years of experience. He gets tested regularly on flying and says getting to travel is the best part of the job. This is his story, as told to writer David Silverberg. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Ron Fishman, a 42-year-old commercial pilot from Toronto, Ontario, who's been flying for more than 17 years. The following has been edited for length and clarity.When I was growing up in Toronto, I didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. At one point, I decided I was done partying and wanted to get into the Canadian military, and I joined as a grunt, nothing fancy. I was an infantry soldier, but I realized it wasn't the life for me.When I was 26 and four years out of the military, a friend handed me a brochure for Durham Flight Centre in Ontario, and I enrolled right away. It just felt like the right thing to do.This one-year certificate gave me my private pilot license (PPL), commercial pilot license (CPL), instrument rating (IR), and other things like night ratingsA private pilot license allows you to fly for fun, meaning you aren't allowed to profit from piloting. A commercial license allows you to make money as a pilot, with limitations. For example, to fly for an airline, you need an airline-type pilot certificate, which has more requirements like 1,500 hours of flight time instead of the basic 250 for the commercial license.An instrument rating allows you to fly in poor weather conditions, like clouds. The flying is done with reference to the instruments inside the aircraft rather than with visual references outside. My night rating allows me to fly after sundown.After I earned my licenses, I headed to Las Vegas, where half of my family is from, and decided to enroll in the College of Southern Nevada, where I earned my associate degree in aviation.At the time, I was a high school dropout with just a GED. I wanted to prove to myself I could accomplish more. Also, some airlines require you to have experience, certificates (licenses), and a degree, so it made me more competitive.My first pilot job was at Elite Flight Training out of North Las Vegas AirportI was hired in 2008. It was for traffic watch, which meant I flew a reporter who would broadcast traffic status of the Las Vegas Valley. I was also teaching students to earn their own certificates and/or ratings.In 2017, I began flying for where I now work, Frontier Airlines, one of the greenest airlines in the US. Even though oil prices have increased so much in the past few weeks due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, it hasn't affected us as much as other airlines. We're very fuel-efficient, and we use less gallons per seat per mile compared to other airlines, so we can continue to keep costs lower.These past few years, I've seen a lot of unruly passengers cause trouble for our flight attendantsI'd say I've seen around a 50% increase in incidents, usually from passengers who refuse to wear their mask or get too drunk.I feel so bad for flight attendants who have to deal with these passengers because that's something I don't see first-hand, but I'll make a call or text our dispatch — an SOS of sorts — so they can help us determine the next steps. I have no problem grounding the flight and calling police to escort someone off my flight. I had to do it on a flight out of Cincinnati this year when I heard about two passengers beginning to fight over something related to the Super Bowl.Then there was COVID-19's effect on our flights. Attendants, copilots, the ground crew, and the handlers all got hit with COVID-19, and that meant so many delays. It's hard to foresee how long some delays might be, and it can be tough on both pilots and passengers. One time I was sitting for an hour on the tarmac in Vegas, and it reached 130 degrees outside as we were waiting for a gate to open.In regards to the recent lifting of the mask mandate, I trust in the professionals and each airline to do what's bestI'm not an expert on communicable diseases.We can go to stadiums with tens of thousands of people maskless, so I think a few hundred people on an airplane that's cycling fresh air throughout the cabin every two minutes with HEPA filters must be safer than that. I'm not anxious and I support United, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and each airline's decisions, regardless of their stance on masks.You always have to stay on your toes as a pilot Sure, you have a license to fly, but pilots get tested regularly to ensure they know every procedure. Every six months I go through a "check ride" in a simulation program that tests everything from emergency protocol to how I approach landing.There's a lot of pressure here because if you fail that test twice, you could be fired from your job and go back to the bottom of the ladder in a way. You'll be less likely to get hired again, even if you have 40 years of experience at a major airline. Thankfully, I've never failed a check ride.I study constantly, and about a month before my recurrent check ride, I dive in harder. I study all the memory items, bold items, panels, and hot topics. I review all my procedures and chair fly, which is kind of like a visualization of the check ride. The ride is basically the same, but they like to concentrate on different maneuvers or events. Last year we had to do high-altitude stalls, while this year I was doing more 5G interference.Some passengers may think pilots are actively flying the whole flight, but the flight is mostly on autopilotI fly up to 18,000 feet and then turn on autopilot to concentrate on other things, like ensuring I can make this the smoothest flight possible for passengers. I haven't had any issues with dangerous flying or major emergencies in my 17 years of being a pilot.The biggest thing I like to do to create a great experience for the passengers is to communicate. Often, we don't know any more information than they do. I won't know why we're delayed or what the timeline looks like. But as long as you communicate that we're aware and are trying to find out more details, passengers are mostly happy.When we have extended delays, I go on the PA and ask if anyone wants to come check out the flight deck. I'm available to answer their questions and concerns, and I also try to update them every 15 minutes.There's a lot to love about being a pilot, but I always cherish those layovers Anytime I can spend a few hours or a day at the beach, that's the best. My favorite layover was in Turks and Caicos, where I ran along some beautiful beaches and snorkeled in clear-blue waters.I've also been to 25 of the 32 MLB ballparks. And I really like laying over in Portland, Maine, where I take the ferry to the island for different music festivals.When I worked a bit as a private-jet pilot, I usually interacted with athletes who hired me to fly their planes, and I really love athletes like Miami Heat star Kyle Lowry, who regularly tipped me $100 when he was on the Toronto Raptors. He chatted with me as if I were a friend.Then there are other athletes, such as an Ottawa Senators player I won't name who ordered me to open his bottle of champagne like I was just there to serve him.The biggest downside of being a pilot is how often I'm away from my wife and 6-year-old daughter in Toronto It's tough to be a full-time pilot and father, so I really love the time I can get off, or when I'm on call but can still see my family.The commute to and from where I need to fly out of can be brutal, too. If I need to fly out of Tampa one day, I have to hop on a flight with any airline to get from wherever I am to Tampa. Sometimes it works out, but sometimes it doesn't if a flight doesn't have an extra seat for me. That means finding a roundabout way to get to Tampa, and that can get really frustrating if I'm desperate to get there by a certain time to make my own flight.I'm very appreciative for the ride, and I like to bring the flight attendants some kind of treat, like a box of chocolates or something fun. I don't have a need for control, so I'm just as happy letting someone else fly. I've never felt I could do a better job.In the end, though, it truly is an amazing profession. I get paid to travel the world, and I can't imagine doing anything else.Want to share what your job is like? Email Lauryn Haas at lhaas@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 20th, 2022

Is Following ESG Criteria Breaking The Law?

Is Following ESG Criteria Breaking The Law? Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), One problem for CEOs who direct their companies to follow the goals of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria is that in doing so, they may be breaking the law. According to legal experts, ESG initiatives can cause companies to break antitrust, civil rights, and Employee Retirement Income Security Agency (ERISA) laws. “The way ESG is being implemented is completely antidemocratic, which is to say that they are just flouting laws,” George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki told The Epoch Times. “They’re flouting democratically elected laws and bringing things about that are often illegal.” A judge's gavel. (Dreamstime/TNS) Violation of Antitrust Laws According to a report titled “Liability Risks for the ESG Agenda” (pdf), by Washington D.C. law firm Boyden Gray, companies that take part in coordinated actions against other companies or industries could be violating U.S. antitrust laws. The report states, “Federal law prohibits companies from colluding on group boycotts or conspiring to restrain trade, even to advance political or social goals.” It cites the Sherman Act of 1890, which prohibits “every contract, combination … or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce.” Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote on this subject, commenting that “antitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise. They are as important to the preservation of economic freedom and our free-enterprise system as the Bill of Rights is to the protection of our fundamental personal freedoms.” Hundreds of the world’s largest corporations have signed joint pledges through international clubs such as Climate Action 100+, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), the Net Zero Banking Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Managers Alliance, and others to reduce the use of fossil fuels. GFANZ, which includes 550 global corporations as members, states that “all members have independently committed to the goal of net zero by 2050, in addition to setting interim targets for 2030 or earlier and reporting transparently on progress along the way.” GFANZ banking members include Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. Climate Action 100+ includes 700 investment companies representing $68 trillion in assets; it also includes 166 companies with a combined market capitalization more than $10 trillion. Among the hundreds of members of Climate Action 100+ are some of the world’s largest and most powerful companies, including Boeing, BP, Caterpillar, Chevron, Dow, Exxon, Ford, Honda, Lockheed Martin, Mercedes, Nestle, Nissan, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble, Raytheon, Siemens, Coca Cola, Toyota, United Airlines, American Airlines, Walmart, BlackRock, State Street, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, PIMCO, and Allianz. It also includes America’s largest state pension funds, such as CalPERS, CalSTRS, New York City Pension Funds, and New York State Common Retirement Fund. The Boyden Gray report notes that the argument that ESG advocates make—that companies which follow ESG guidelines are better investments —“relies heavily on bandwagon effects.” In other words, if enough asset managers collaborate to shift their investments toward ESG-compliant companies, the shares of those companies become more valuable; and even more so if governments subsidize industries like wind and solar, while punishing fossil fuel companies. Violation of Civil Rights Laws Beyond antitrust, another area where ESG may run afoul of America’s laws is where the push for racial and gender equity violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. In step with ESG social justice goals, United Airlines announced in April 2021 that it would set racial and gender quotas when hiring pilots. The company stated that “our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50 percent of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color.” A number of recent court rulings have underscored the validity of U.S. laws regarding racial discrimination. In June 2021, a federal judge ruled that the Biden administration’s farming grants, which gave preference to racial minorities, were illegal. In a separate case, the courts ruled that COVID-relief grants by the Biden administration that excluded white restaurant owners were also illegal. But America’s civil rights laws go beyond government policy to include private industry as well, opening companies up to lawsuits from employees. In August, for example, American Express became the latest company to face an employee lawsuit for racial discrimination. Brian Netzel, a decade-long employee who was fired in 2020 on what he claims are racial grounds, stated in his class-action lawsuit that American Express “gave preferential treatment to individuals for being black and unambiguously signaled to white employees that their race was an impediment to getting ahead in the company.” In October 2021, a white male employee was awarded $10 million by a jury that agreed with his claim that he was fired as part of a race-based policy by his employer, Novant Health. After five years of positive work reviews, David Duvall was fired “without warning or cause as part of an intentional campaign to promote diversity in its management ranks; a campaign [Novant] has boasted about publicly,” his suit stated. “It’s been well known for decades that quotas are illegal,” Zywicki said. “But when you start looking at things like racial sensitivity training, they’re engaging pretty much in rampant stereotyping, negative stereotyping of certain groups, and they are engaging in rampant preferences for others. All of this runs pretty clearly up against existing civil rights laws.” Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs, a component of ESG, are coming under fire, both as mandatory employee training and as hiring criteria. It was reported on Nov. 2 that University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine “forces applicants, students, and professors to constantly prove their commitment to the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion as a prerequisite to advancement, rather than basing such decisions on merit alone.” This was based on a report by a nonprofit called Do No Harm, which charged that one of UNC’s main criteria for hiring and promotion of teachers was “a positive contribution to DEI efforts.” Stanley Goldfarb, the chairman of Do No Harm, stated in a letter to the school that “it is inappropriate to require that candidates for promotion and tenure demonstrate their commitment to a political ideology. Forcing candidates to declare their support for DEI when many undoubtedly oppose it would compel dishonesty.” This report comes amid a case before the U.S. Supreme Court wherein UNC was charged with having unconstitutional race-based admission standards. Violation of Fiduciary Laws A third area where ESG clashes with U.S. law regards the legal obligation of fund managers and corporate executives to act in good faith and in the best interests of investors and shareholders. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, passed in 1974 to address corruption and misuse of pension money, requires that private pension fund managers invest “solely in the interests of participants and beneficiaries.” It set what is called a “prudent expert” standard of care for fund managers and allows fund beneficiaries to sue managers for failing to uphold this standard. While ERISA applies to corporate pension funds, many U.S. states have applied similar language to public pension funds. Currently, 24 states forbid ideological investing for their public pension funds, including ESG. An August letter to BlackRock, signed by 19 state attorneys general, for example, charged that BlackRock had a “duty of loyalty” to state pensioners who invested in its funds and that “your actions around promoting net zero, the Paris Agreement, or taking action on climate change indicate rampant violations of this duty, otherwise known as acting with ‘mixed motives.’” In response, BlackRock wrote that “one of [its] most critical tasks as a fiduciary investor for our clients is to identify short- and long-term trends in the global economy that may affect our clients’ investments.” The letter states that “governments representing over 90 percent of global GDP have committed to move to net-zero in the coming decades. We believe investors and companies that take a forward-looking position with respect to climate risk … will generate better long-term financial outcomes.” State attorneys general disagreed, stating that despite climate-change rhetoric, “governments are not implementing policies to require net zero … In particular, the United States has not implemented net-zero mandates. Despite doing everything in his power at the beginning of his presidency to shut down fossil fuels, even President Biden is appearing to reverse course given the harm his inflationary policies have inflicted on the American people.” In October, Swiss bank UBS downgraded the shares of BlackRock, stating that “as [BlackRock’s] performance deteriorates and political risk from ESG has increased, we believe the potential for lost fund mandates and regulatory scrutiny has recently increased.” In addition to the risk that ESG asset managers violate their fiduciary duty to investors, there is also the risk that corporate managers violate their duty to act in the best interest of the shareholders of the company. Read more here... Tyler Durden Sat, 11/05/2022 - 14:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 5th, 2022

Aeroflot says it ordered more than 300 "fully Russified" airliners. Take a look at the Ikrut MC-21 jet the airline claims will be its new flagship.

Russia's MC-21, which is still in production, is getting a new homegrown engine to replace the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G that formally powered the jet. MC-21.Arnold O. A. Pinto/Shutterstock The Aeroflot Group has ordered 339 Russian jets, including the Tupelov Tu-214, the Sukhoi Superjet New, and the Irkut MC-21 from the Russian state-owned United Aircraft Company. The $16 billion worth of homegrown planes represents Russia's desire to end its dependency on Western-built aircraft, but doubts remain it is up the task. The MC-21 will be Aeroflot's new "flagship" jet. The company says it can seat up to 211 passengers and fly over 3,700 miles. Russia is desperate to end its reliance on Western-built technology.An Aeroflot Boeing 737.Vytautas Kielaitis/ShutterstockIn September, Aeroflot Group, which is the parent company of Russian national airline Aeroflot, announced it had signed an agreement to buy 339 Russian-built planes from state-owned United Aircraft Corporation.Aeroflot aircraft at JFK airport in New York City.Sorbia/ShutterstockSource: AeroflotThe $16 billion order includes 40 Tupolev Tu-214s...Tu-214 aircraft.aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesSource: Aeroflot, Aviacionline…89 Sukhoi Superjet New (SSJ-New)…Sukhoi Superjet New fuselage.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Aeroflot…and 210 Irkut MC-21s.MC-21.IrkutSource: AeroflotAccording to Aeroflot, the first two SSJ-New jets will be received in 2023, while the Tupolev Tu-214 and MC-21 will begin deliveries in 2024.MC-21.Niccolo Bertoldi/ShutterestockSource: Aeroflot"The signing of this agreement clearly demonstrates to the whole world that Russia remains a great aviation power with huge potential and rich experience in the field of aircraft manufacturing, capable of producing reliable and modern aircraft," Aeroflot CEO Sergey Aleksandrovsky claimed.SSJ-NEW fuselage.United Aircraft CorporationSource: AeroflotAll aircraft will be delivered with “Russian-made on-board systems and components,” according to Aleksandrovsky.MC-21 on the final assembly line.aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesSource: AeroflotWith the smallest number on order, the Tu-214 will be a “reliable support” aircraft, per Aeroflot. Meanwhile, the SSJ-New and the MC-21 comprise most of the order.Transaero Airlines Tu-214.Media_works/ShutterstockSource: AeroflotThe announcement comes as Aeroflot can no longer rely on the Airbus and Boeing planes that currently make up the vast majority of its fleet due to the invasion of Ukraine. So now the airline must make the move it has avoided making for years.Delta and Aeroflot.Angel DiBilio/ShutterstockRussian state-owned airline Aeroflot is stripping parts from working planes because of a spares shortage, report saysRussia is even struggling to get spare parts from the manufacturing giants and has resorted to "cannibalizing" grounded jets for supplies.An Aeroflot engine being checked by maintenance in Russia.Denis Kabelev/ShutterstockRussian airlines may soon resort to 'cannibalizing' planes and creating a 'Frankenstein fleet' to keep Western-built planes flyingCurrently, Aeroflot's fleet consists of 178 Boeing and Airbus jets and just four Sukhoi Superjet 100s (SSJ-100).Aeroflot Sukhoi 100s.Media_works/Shutterstock"Historical changes are coming to civil aviation," Sergey Chemezov, director general of Rostec State Corporation, said. "Boeing and Airbus aircraft, which are unlikely to ever be delivered to Russia again, will be replaced by Russian-made passenger aircraft."SSJ-100.Fasttailwind/ShutterstockSource: AeroflotThe biggest push for Russian planes is to re-engineer them with local parts, like the SSJ-100 being reimagined as the SSJ-New that state officials say will be equipped with a Russian engine instead of the Franco-Russian one on its predecessor.Sukhoi Superjet New.United Aviation CorporationThe MC-21, which hopes to compete with airliners like the 737 MAX and the A320neo, is also stripping its Western parts in favor of homegrown technology, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters in April.Boeing 737 MAX jets.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: Aviation International News, Delta just ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX 10 jets to upgrade its narrowbody fleet. Take a look inside one of the test planes.Borisov said the MC-21 is dropping the American-made Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine for the Russian-built Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine made by the state-owned United Engine Corporation (UEC).Aviadvigatel PD-14 engine.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Aviation International News"Earlier, the industry promised the aircraft with two engine options," Borisov said in April. "Now, we are launching the type into serial production with the PD-14 only."First MC-21 flight with Russian engine.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Aviation International NewsThe MC-21 will undergo new testing with the PD-14 engine for certification, which Rostec says is "proceeding according to plan."MC-21.IrkutSource: FlightGlobalAlso developed is a new carbon fiber wing, dubbed "black wing" because of the color. The MC-21 took its first flight with the new Russian-made wing in December 2021.MC-21's new "black wing."United Aircraft CorporationSource: Rostec State CorporationComposite materials on wings are uncommon on narrowbody jets, but Rostec claims the MC-21 is the "first domestic, as well as the first in the world in its class, aircraft with a composite wing."First flight with new wing.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Rostec State CorporationAvionics and other systems on the MC-21 will also be replaced with homegrown equipment to make it "fully Russified," Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov claimed at the Eastern Economic Forum in early September.MC-21.Alexander Utkin/RostecSource: AerotimeWhile Aeroflot and UAC hope for a 2024 delivery of the MC-21, which has been in production since 2006, the company had already pushed expected deliveries to 2025.Second MC-21 flight test.United Aviation CorporationSource: Rostec State Corporation, AviacionlineBut, that timeline could be pushed even further as the company revamps the plane, drops an engine source, and replaces Western components — no simple task.MC-21.Irkut"It needs to be reinvented and that's going to take a bunch of years," aviation analyst at AeroDynamic, Richard Aboulafia, told Fortune in March. "It'll go from an interesting plane to a completely hopeless one."Aviadvigatel PD-14.IrkutSource: FortuneHenry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider that "it's unlikely the standard will be as good as a Western-built aircraft, unfortunately."MS-21 at the compartment assembly station.Irkut"Russian and Soviet-built planes are rarely bought by Western airlines because they simply don't perform as well as their operating economics aren't as good," he explained.JetBlue is a major customer for Airbus.Business WireDespite the skepticism from some experts and nations, Harteveldt said if Russia sees the plane as essential for its airlines and aviation industry, as well as for gaining some prestige, then "they will take the steps necessary to ensure the MC-21 gets built."MC-21.IrkutThough, he said it is possible that the jet could be an exception "that changes the track record" of Russian-built planes.The fuselage panel of the MS-21 aircraft at the station of the new assembly line.IrkutMoreover, if Western nations can work out their political differences, then the MC-21 could use the Pratt & Whitney engine, and "its fortunes could improve, but it will be difficult."MS-21 landing at the airportIrkutWhen and if the MC-21 eventually enters service, Aeroflot said it would be the "flagship" of the company's fleet. Here's a closer look at the Russian-built jet.MC-21.RostecSource: AeroflotThe MC-21 is a medium-haul plane that first took flight in 2017 and is "focused on the most mass-market segment in passenger transportation."First MC-21 flight.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Irkut, AeroflotWith a wingspan of 118 feet, the plane has a range of 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles), which still lags behind the 737 MAX family and A320neo.A VivaAerobus Airbus A320neo.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesSource: IrkutThe jet is built to carry between 163 and 211 passengers.MC-21 cabin concept drawing.United Aviation CorporationA 163-passenger layout would allow for two classes, including 16 in business and 147 in economy…Business class loungers concept drawing.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Irkut…while the maximum capacity configuration would be all-economy offering 28-29 inches of pitch.Economy seats concept drawing.United Aircraft CorporationSource: IrkutAccording to Irkut, the plane has several advantages that make it favorable for legacy and low-cost airlines, like its 30% share of composite materials, which are exclusively Russian-built…Inside the cabin of MC-21.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Irkut…its wings and engines that purportedly improve performance and decrease CO2 and noise emissions…MC-21.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Irkut...large galley areas...Galley areas on MC-21.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Irkut...its advanced cockpit technologies...MC-21 cockpit.United Aircraft CorporationSource: Irkut…and its big cabin that Irkut claims to be the largest in its class, which boasts more passenger personal space and luggage storage, and huge windows.MC-21 overhead bin.United Aircraft CorporationSource: IrkutSo far, the plane is undergoing flight testing but had one incident in January 2021 when the jet slid off the runway when landing in snowy conditions.MC-21 (not the incident aircraft).United Aircraft CorporationSource: FlightGlobal, UACWith the ongoing delays in production and lack of history proving the plane is a reliable alternative to the best-selling Airbus and Boeing jets, Irkut may struggle to find interest in the MC-21.While still under production, the Boeing 737 MAX 10 has already garnered orders from airlines like Delta and Qatar.Taylor Rains/InsiderQatar just confirmed an order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX jets amid its dispute with Airbus over paint issuesSo far, only Russian carriers have ordered the plane, with Azerbaijan Airlines being the sole foreign customer.An Azerbaijan Airlines 787.Karolis Kavolelis/ShutterstockSource: FlightGlobalWith a total of 175 firm orders, the MC-21 is well behind the new Chinese-built narrowbody airline, the Cormac C919, which has amassed over 800 orders.Comac C919.Shi Yuge/VCG via Getty ImagesMeet the Comac C919, the first mainline airliner made by a Chinese company that could begin deliveries this yearDespite the challenges, Chemezov claims to be confident in the MC-21, saying, "it is the pride of our aircraft industry, it boasts innovative design solutions that, I am sure, will be appreciated by both pilots and passengers."MC-21.Arnold O. A. Pinto/ShutterstockSource: AeroflotRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 18th, 2022

I do customer service at Southwest. I just want to help, but sometimes people get so mad police have to step in.

"This past weekend alone felt like a lifetime of shifts," a 47-year-old customer-service representative who's been at Southwest since 2008 said. "All I want customers to remember is that we're not robots; we're regular people," a customer-service rep who's worked for Southwest since 2008 said.Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock A 47-year-old customer-service representative for Southwest Airlines says it's been a challenge. They've worked there since 2008 and the airline pays them $30 an hour. This is what it's been like with delays and cancellations, as told to writer Katherine Stinson. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with a 47-year-old customer-service representative who works at Southwest Airlines. They asked to speak on condition of anonymity for fear of professional repercussions, but Insider has verified their identity and employment with documentation. The following has been edited for length and clarity."American Idol" inspired me to apply for a customer-service-representative job at Southwest Airlines back in 2008. My friend always bragged — as mothers do — about her son being a contestant on the show. She became a frequent flyer to support her son and other children, who encouraged her to get a job of her own. So one day she told me: "If I'm going to work for a company, it's going to be Southwest."That was all the inspiration I needed at the time. The company initially hired me to work as a customer-service representative for one of Southwest's call centers. I gained experience fielding customer calls and concerns without ever seeing their faces. However, I found working at the airport truly fulfilling — the call center overwhelmed me after six years. I decided to apply at the San Antonio International Airport. I would lose the seniority I'd earned working at the San Antonio call center, but to me, it was the right choice. After going through another interview, the airport hired me in 2015. The thing about Southwest Airline employees, or at least the ones I work with, is their dedication. If you ever fly into the San Antonio International Airport, the employees you interact with have likely been there for years. The turnover rate is, typically, quite low. The company pays me $30 an hour, a benefit of my dedication to Southwest. It's been challenging for us seasoned employees lately It's a universal truth that nobody wants an airline to delay their flight, or heaven forbid, cancel it outright. I've dealt with my fair share of "Karens" and "Kens" who don't understand that we have to comply with FAA regulations for everyone's safety. Recently, a man and his family — the group looked to have around 13 people in total — arrived far too late to check in for their 8 a.m. flight. The man was not happy when we informed him that it was too late for us to check in his party; we have a policy to abide by. He got hysterical and angry. As a result, we had to bring over a police officer and their dog. It's almost like a scare tactic because we don't know what these people are going to do in these types of situations; it was frightening because he was slamming his hand on the table. We told him, "You need to calm down as soon as possible, sir." But I do want to help. I was working down in baggage claim — every shift we rotate to different stations at the airport — during the last-minute summer trips before people started coming back to school this past weekend. Because of the seemingly endless delays, we had to reroute scores of luggage. I'm not even sure if the elderly customer I helped whose luggage left without him got his belongings back. All of his valuables were in there, but he was one of around 30 people in line that day alone that were understandably upset about their lost luggage. We have to stick to the rules, even when it isn't convenient for anyone involvedFlyers really don't understand that the airlines can delay their flights, which means that they should think of backup options the day before. This past weekend alone felt like a lifetime of shifts. We had delays galore. One customer I interacted with missed their wedding rehearsal when their airline canceled the day's last flight to Las Vegas. I can't tell you how many customers didn't wait for us to accommodate them. They told us, often angrily, to cancel their flights so they could rebook with airlines that had options they needed at the moment. We do try to rebook customers to the next available flight when we're able to, but when it's the last Southwest flight of the night, all we can do is rebook them for a flight the next day. Another thing we can do for customers in the event of a mechanical-related delay or cancellation is give them a $200 voucher and book a hotel for them that night if they aren't from San Antonio. However, we can't do this if the issue is nonmechanical, like if there's an unexpected weather delay. My advice for anyone flying is to always have a backup plan to alleviate the stress of delayed or canceled flightsOf course, we'll always try to rebook you or get you on the next-best possible flight, but flyers never have a Plan B in case of emergency. My go-to suggestion for customers at the San Antonio Airport is to utilize the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It's only about an hour-and-15-minute drive from the San Antonio Airport.As stressful as angry flyers are, the one flyer who truly got to me was a lady who simply said, "I would hate to have your job." I didn't say anything; I just looked at her. She left me momentarily speechless. It's very difficult, especially at 4 in the morning, to wake up at 2 a.m. — I do typically prefer working earlier in the morning, and I'm grateful my job has different shift times for flexibility — and have somebody tell you something like that.It's like a stab in the back. Yes, I'm here to make money and everything, but we're truly here to make you happy, too. Ultimately, all I could say to her was, "Have a good day, ma'am." I just want flyers to remember we're human, tooIt's usually easier working at the check-in counter because you're only with customers for a few minutes before they head to security. Any issue from that point forward is something the customer-service representatives at the gates handle. When you work at the gates, you're the one stuck with the onslaught of angry customers if an airline delays or cancels a flight. We get assigned a different station every day so no employee is in a certain spot all the time. All I want customers to remember is that we're not robots; we're regular people. Even the pilots deal with knee problems after sitting in a confined space for hours on their flights. We see a lot of cancellations throughout the day. I'd say 50% of our customers are understanding, and 50% aren't. The 50% that are understanding totally agree with us regarding our lack of control over cancellations and delays, and actually feel sorry for us. The thing is, I don't want people to feel sorry for us, exactly. I just want them to understand. What if your daughter was in our shoes? Would you treat them that way? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't, but we're just human beings. I do find fulfilment helping those in need I'm not the best Spanish speaker, but I practice my Spanish every day. So it does make me happy when we're able to get foreign passengers to their destination. I make it a point to be extra nice to them because some people aren't, because of global politics. It reminds me that we're here for a purpose, and our purpose is to help. I get a lot of happiness from helping customers that have no idea what they're doing. I love it. I try to make the best of my day because I'm the one who provides health insurance for me and my husband, and I want to make sure we're taken care of because at any moment, we can get sick. That's the No. 1 reason why I go to work every day.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 16th, 2022

3 ways airlines screwed up and caused this summer"s travel chaos, lost luggage, and cancelled flights

It's a summer of travel chaos — flight delays and cancellations and lost luggage. Airlines did three things that got us into this mess. Travelers crowd Terminal 1 departures hall while queueing at check-in counters in Humberto Delgado International Airport on July 09, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images It's been the summer of travel chaos, as flights get delayed and cancelled while luggage vanishes. Many factors led to the current situation, including weather and the war in Ukraine. Airlines also let a lot of workers retire early, have a training backlog, and have burnt out flight attendants. If you've even thought about traveling this summer, you've probably heard at least one horror story.Bags are vanishing into the ether, or commanding their own flights altogether. Planes are getting rebooked to leave from different countries. In June alone, thousands of flights were getting cancelled and delayed.Some of that is due to things outside of any air carriers' control, like the weather and continued economic fallout from the war in Ukraine. But today's situation also stems from some pandemic-era measures — exacerbated by pre-pandemic trends.Airlines opted to let a whole lot of people retire early during the pandemicWhen the pandemic hit the airline industry, travel cratered. Airlines, like many sectors, got financial support to stay afloat, and keep workers paid. But with less customer interest in flying, airlines cut costs — and many offered workers the option to retire early, especially as funding lapsed between stimulus packages.At Delta, for instance, nearly 2,000 pilots signed on for early retirement. "It's easy to have a revisionist history and wonder whether we should have done that or not should have done that," Ed Bastian, Delta's CEO, said in the company's most recent earnings call. But, he said, there was "no knowledge" of when a vaccine would be found, and the "the world was going to start to reunite.""I don't look back with any regret at all about those decisions," Bastian said. But the pilots who left were at senior levels, he said, and that "causes churn at a much higher level."There's a training backlog, and training costs a lot of moneyTo be a pilot, you obviously need to be trained. And training takes a lot of time and a lot of money — something that's been an issue for years.According to NPR, training can set a prospective pilot back $80,000 to even over $100,000. One commercial pilot in New Jersey told Insider's Kim Dahlgren that their flight school cost around $80,000."There are not enough training institutions. Those that exist are oversubscribed," Faye Malarkey Black, the president of the Regional Airline Association (RAA), told NPR's Alejandra Marquez Janse. There's also not enough "financial support for individuals who want to become a pilot," Black told NPR.Some airlines are now stepping up to defray the costs. United, for instance, has opened its own flight school, with a special emphasis on making flight accessible to women and people of color. There were about 120 students enrolled at Aviate Academy in June.The program covers the cost of private pilot training for those without a license, according to United, and there are scholarships and loans available to offset the cost — which still comes in at $71,250.Flight attendants are dealing with abusive customers and hard conditionsThe Federal Aviation Administration said that, in 2021, airline crews dealt with 5,981 unruly passenger reports — a record high. As of July 12, crews have dealt with 1,634 unruly passenger reports this year.That persistence unruliness and aggression have led some flight attendants to feel burnt out, Insider's Allana Akhtar reported. Some said flight attendant mental health had been worsening, and wanted airlines to step in with mental health support — and guidance on keeping flight attendants safe.And, with heavy workloads and travel chaos, there's more airlines could be doing to help flight attendants, according to Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants.Nelson told Marketplace that airlines could add more workers to operational support, who are the people on the other end of the phone when airline crews call in."In some cases, crews are waiting online one, two, three, four hours to get in touch with someone," Nelson told Marketplace. "And for every one person that's added, you're gonna have an additional support to about 500 people who are out in the field trying to staff your flight."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJul 18th, 2022

Pete Buttigieg says airlines can"t "keep the Baby Boomer generation in the cockpit indefinitely" to prevent a pilot labor shortage

Pete Buttigieg says airlines need a 'new generation of qualified pilots' to counteract a possible labor shortage caused by Baby Boomers retiring. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg testifies at a Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies hearing on the 2023 budget for the Department of Transportation, in Washington DC, on April 28, 2022.Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images Secretary Buttigieg said he doesn't support raising the retirement age of US commercial pilots.  When asked about it on Fox News, Buttigieg said the nation needs a "new generation" of pilots. He said adding more "qualified" fliers will help combat shortages caused by Baby Boomers retiring. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday that US airlines will need a "new generation of qualified pilots" to fill a potential labor gap caused caused by Baby Boomers retiring from the profession. During an interview with "Fox News Sunday," host Mike Emanuel asked Buttigieg if he would support raising the retirement age of commercial pilots to 67, up from the current age of 65 set by a 2007 law passed by Congress.Emanuel cited a June report from NBC News detailing that by 2029, no one from the Baby Boomer generation — people born between 1946 and 1964 — will be able to legally fly a commercial aircraft, causing a possible labor shortage. "These retirement ages are there for a reason and the reason is safety," Buttigieg said. "I'm not going to be on board with anything that could compromise safety. Now, what's clearly the case is we need to cultivate, train, and support a new generation of qualified pilots."He continued: "The answer is not to keep the Baby Boomer generation in the cockpit indefinitely. The answer is to make sure that we have as many and as good pilots ready to take their place — to have a stronger pipeline."To do so, Buttigieg said his department is backing Federal Aviation Administration programs that support high school and university curriculum that helps students get into the aviation industry."Ultimately, it'll be for the airlines and those employers to hire and retain excellent talent," Buttigieg said, adding that it's "an issue we're seeing across the aviation sector — across the transportation sector at large — the importance of having competitive pay, great job quality, so we can bring in and keep the people that are going to be needed to power America's transportation sector." Buttigieg's remarks come as airports and airlines around the country — and the world — have managed a slew of flight cancellations and delays, as well as chaos at baggage claims and security checkpoints over the last few months.   Travel disruptions have been blamed, in part, on labor shortages and staffing issues at major airports and across various airlines. June was a particularly bad month for travel in the US, according to data from flight-tracker site FlightAware. In the days leading up to the Juneteenth holiday weekend, nearly a third of all scheduled flights within, into, or leaving the US experienced a delayed arrival. Since then, flight cancellations and delays have calmed slightly."We've seen some improvement over the course of this summer, but still not at an acceptable level in terms of performance, cancellation, and delays," Buttigieg said on Sunday.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home after his flight was canceled amid Fourth of July travel chaos impacting over 9,000 US flights

Over 9,000 US flights were canceled or delayed over Independence Day weekend, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport. Dan Ryder says he was not offered any help with accommodation or given any vouchers by American Airlines.Dan Ryder A passenger was stuck in New Orleans for two days after his return flight was canceled. Dan Ryder says the airline did not offer any help with accommodation or food vouchers. Another two passengers' Fourth of July plans were ruined by delays and cancellations. An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home on a trip that should only have taken a few hours after his flight was canceled.So far, 9,431 US flights have been canceled or delayed this Fourth of July weekend, according to FlightAware, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport and putting their holiday plans in disarray.On Saturday, 5,928 flights within, into, or out of the United States were delayed, while 656 were canceled. On July 3, a total of 2,570 flights were delayed and 277 canceled as of Sunday afternoon. Dan Ryder, a school teacher, was attending a conference in New Orleans with two colleagues who were due to fly home to Maine on Thursday. On Wednesday American Airlines told them their connecting flight from Washington DC to Maine had been canceled. After arriving at the airport to check in on Friday, only one of the trio's flights had been changed, leaving Ryder and one colleague scrambling to find new seats and somewhere to spend the night. "What's upsetting is that despite the series of bailouts the airline industry has received, it has not upped its game on pay, benefits and incentives to attract and retain staffing," Ryder said. American Airlines let them rebook their flight for free but made no offer to help with extending their Airbnb or offer any vouchers.The mishaps meant Ryder and one of his colleagues were stuck in New Orleans for two days and did not back to his home in Maine until Saturday.Meanwhile, Valerie Diamante and her husband were set to travel from Santa Ana, California to Geneva in Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The couple missed their connecting flight from Phoenix, Arizona to London after someone was discovered smoking on the plane. No flight was available until the following day but were then told that seats had not been reserved for them, forcing the couple to rebook a second time. "We lost two full days of our trip as well as any sort of Fourth of July celebration in either America or in Europe since we would be en-route during that time," Diamante said. American Airlines tried to get the couple to their destination by putting them through a Delta flight. However, their seats were not confirmed because American's codes were not acknowledged by Delta's systems. "We were told things were really busy with the season and all the airlines were bogged down with full flights and being stretched thin with short staff," Diamante said. American Airlines offered its pilots a pay rise of up to $64,000 this week to help bring an end to a shortage of pilots. American Airlines and Delta were contacted for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 3rd, 2022

An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home after his flight was canceled amid Fourth of July travel chaos impacting over 8,000 US flights

Over 8,000 US flights were canceled or delayed over Independence Day weekend, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport. Dan Ryder says he was not offered any help with accommodation or given any vouchers by American Airlines.Dan Ryder A passenger was stuck in New Orleans for two days after his return flight was canceled. Dan Ryder says the airline did not offer any help with accommodation or food vouchers. Another two passengers' Fourth of July plans were ruined by delays and cancellations. An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home on a trip that should only have taken a few hours after his flight was canceled.So far, 8,252 US flights have been canceled or delayed this Fourth of July weekend, according to FlightAware, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport and putting their holiday plans in disarray.On Saturday, 5,910 flights within, into, or out of the United States were delayed, while 655 were canceled. On July 3, a total of 1,452 flights were delayed and 235 canceled as of Sunday morning. Dan Ryder, a school teacher, was attending a conference in New Orleans with two colleagues who were due to fly home to Maine on Thursday. On Wednesday American Airlines told them their connecting flight from Washington DC to Maine had been canceled. After arriving at the airport to check in on Friday, only one of the trio's flights had been changed, leaving Ryder and one colleague scrambling to find new seats and somewhere to spend the night. "What's upsetting is that despite the series of bailouts the airline industry has received, it has not upped its game on pay, benefits and incentives to attract and retain staffing," Ryder said. American Airlines let them rebook their flight for free but made no offer to help with extending their Airbnb or offer any vouchers.The mishaps meant Ryder and one of his colleagues were stuck in New Orleans for two days and did not back to his home in Maine until Saturday.Meanwhile, Valerie Diamante and her husband were set to travel from Santa Ana, California to Geneva in Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The couple missed their connecting flight from Phoenix, Arizona to London after someone was discovered smoking on the plane. No flight was available until the following day but were then told that seats had not been reserved for them, forcing the couple to rebook a second time. "We lost two full days of our trip as well as any sort of Fourth of July celebration in either America or in Europe since we would be en-route during that time," Diamante said. American Airlines tried to get the couple to their destination by putting them through a Delta flight. However, their seats were not confirmed because American's codes were not acknowledged by Delta's systems. "We were told things were really busy with the season and all the airlines were bogged down with full flights and being stretched thin with short staff," Diamante said. American Airlines offered its pilots a pay rise of up to $64,000 this week to help bring an end to a shortage of pilots. American Airlines and Delta were contacted for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 3rd, 2022

An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home after his flight was canceled amid Fourth of July travel rush causing over 8,000 canceled and delayed flights

Over 8,000 US flights were canceled or delayed over Independence Day weekend, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport. Dan Ryder says he was not offered any help with accommodation or given any vouchers by American Airlines.Dan Ryder A passenger was stuck in New Orleans for two days after his return flight was canceled. Dan Ryder says the airline did not offer any help with accommodation or food vouchers. Another two passengers' Fourth of July plans were ruined by delays and cancellations. An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home on a trip that should only have taken a few hours after his flight was canceled. So far, 8,250 US flights have been canceled or delayed this Fourth of July weekend, according to FlightAware, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport and putting their holiday plans in disarray.On Saturday, 5,910 flights within, into, or out of the United States were delayed, while 655 were canceled. On July 3, 1,452 were delayed and 235 were canceled as of Sunday morning. Dan Ryder, a school teacher, was attending a conference in New Orleans with two colleagues who were due to fly home to Maine on Thursday. On Wednesday American Airlines told them their connecting flight from Washington DC to Maine had been canceled. After arriving at the airport to check in on Friday, only one of the trio's flights had been changed, leaving Ryder and one colleague scrambling to find new seats and somewhere to spend the night. "What's upsetting is that despite the series of bailouts the airline industry has received, it has not upped its game on pay, benefits and incentives to attract and retain staffing," Ryder said. American Airlines let them rebook their flight for free but made no offer to help with extending their Airbnb or offer any vouchers.The mishaps meant Ryder and one of his colleagues were stuck in New Orleans for two days and did not back to his home in Maine until Saturday.Meanwhile, Valerie Diamante and her husband were set to travel from Santa Ana, California to Geneva in Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The couple missed their connecting flight from Phoenix, Arizona to London after someone was discovered smoking on the plane. No flight was available until the following day but were then told that seats had not been reserved for them, forcing the couple to rebook a second time. "We lost two full days of our trip as well as any sort of Fourth of July celebration in either America or in Europe since we would be en-route during that time," Diamante said. American Airlines tried to get the couple to their destination by putting them through a Delta flight. However, their seats were not confirmed because American's codes were not acknowledged by Delta's systems. "We were told things were really busy with the season and all the airlines were bogged down with full flights and being stretched thin with short staff," Diamante said. American Airlines offered its pilots a pay rise of up to $64,000 this week to help bring an end to a shortage of pilots. American Airlines and Delta were contacted for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 3rd, 2022

An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home after his flight was canceled

Flight cancelations amid huge demand for air travel leading up to and across the Independence Day weekend has caused disruption for many passengers. Dan Ryder says he was not offered any help with accommodation or given any vouchers by American Airlines.Dan Ryder A passenger was stuck in New Orleans for two days after his return flight was canceled. Dan Ryder says the airline did not offer any help with accommodation or food vouchers. Another two passengers' Fourth of July plans were ruined by delays and cancellations. An American Airlines passenger spent three days trying to get home on a trip that should only have taken a few hours after his flight was canceled. Thousands of flights have been canceled over the Independence Day weekend, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative transport and putting their holiday plans in disarray. Dan Ryder, a school teacher, was attending a conference in New Orleans with two colleagues who were due to fly home to Maine on Thursday. On Wednesday American Airlines told them their connecting flight from Washington DC to Maine had been canceled. After arriving at the airport to check in on Friday, only one of the trio's flights had been changed, leaving Ryder and one colleague scrambling to find new seats and somewhere to spend the night. "What's upsetting is that despite the series of bailouts the airline industry has received, it has not upped its game on pay, benefits and incentives to attract and retain staffing," Ryder said. American Airlines let them rebook their flight for free but made no offer to help with extending their Airbnb or offer any vouchers.The mishaps meant Ryder and one of his colleagues were stuck in New Orleans for two days and did not back to his home in Maine until Saturday.Meanwhile, Valerie Diamante and her husband were set to travel from Santa Ana, California to Geneva in Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The couple missed their connecting flight from Phoenix, Arizona to London after someone was discovered smoking on the plane. No flight was available until the following day but were then told that seats had not been reserved for them, forcing the couple to rebook a second time. "We lost two full days of our trip as well as any sort of Fourth of July celebration in either America or in Europe since we would be en-route during that time," Diamante said. American Airlines tried to get the couple to their destination by putting them through a Delta flight. However, their seats were not confirmed because American's codes were not acknowledged by Delta's systems. "We were told things were really busy with the season and all the airlines were bogged down with full flights and being stretched thin with short staff," Diamante said. American Airlines offered its pilots a pay rise of up to $64,000 this week to help bring an end to a shortage of pilots. American Airlines and Delta were contacted for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 3rd, 2022

Stockman: The Spasmodic Chaos Of The Post-Lockdown US Economy

Stockman: The Spasmodic Chaos Of The Post-Lockdown US Economy Authored by David Stockman via The Brownstone Institute, The Biden Administration’s utterly ridiculous plan to enact a three-month holiday from the 18.4 cents per gallon Federal gas tax should be a wake-up call with respect to a far broader and more destructive threat. To wit, the US economy has lost its market-based bearings and is now behaving like a spasmodic heap of discord, dislocation and caprice owing to repeated batterings via out-of-this-world government regulatory, fiscal and tax interventions. In combination, the Green Energy attacks, the Virus Patrol’s lockdowns and scare-mongering, the Fed’s insane money-pumping and Washington’s unprecedented $6 trillion fiscal bacchanalia of the last two years have deeply impaired normal economic function. Accordingly, the business sector is flying blind: It can’t forecast what’s coming down the pike in the normal manner based on tried and true rules of cause and effect. In many cases, the normal market signals have gone kerflooey as exemplified by the recent big box retailers’ warnings that they are loaded with the wrong inventory and will be taking painful discounts to clear the decks. Yet it is no wonder that they stocked up on apparel and durables, among others, after a period in which the Virus Patrol shutdown the normal social congregation venues such as movies, restaurants, bars, gyms, air travel and the like. And than Washington added fuel to the fire by pilling on trillions of spending power derived from unemployment benefits that reached to a $55,000 annual rate in some cases and the repeated stimmie checks that for larger families added up to $10,000 to $20,000. Employed workers didn’t need the multiple $2,000 stimmie checks because in its (dubious) “wisdom” the Virus Patrol forced them to save on social congregation based spending. Likewise, temporarily laid-off workers didn’t need the $600 per week Federal UI topper. For the most part they had access to regular UI benefits, and also suffered forced “savings” via the shutdown of restaurants, bars, movies etc. Even the so-called “uncovered” employees not eligible for regular state benefits didn’t need $600 per week of UI bennies. The targeted temporary coverages could have paid 65% of their prior wage for well less than $300 per week on average. So what happened is that the double whammy of forced services savings and the massive flow of free stuff from Washington created a tsunami of demand that sucked the inventory system and supply chains dry. For instance, here is the Y/Y change in inflation-adjusted PCE for apparel and footwear. The steady-state condition of the US economy for that sector oscillated right near the flat-line during 2012-2019. Then the Washington policy hurricanes hit. During the original Q2 2020 lockdowns, real spending  for apparel and footwear plunged by -27.0%, as Dr. Fauci and the Scarf Lady sent half of the American public scurrying for the fetal position in their bedrooms and man-caves. But it didn’t take the American public long to get the joke. They soon re-cycled their restaurant spending etc. and topped it up with a tsunami of Washington’s free stuff during the 18 months ending in September 2021. That literally turned spending patterns upside down. That is to say, the Amazon delivery boxes were declared “safe” once the CDC figured out that the virus didn’t pass on surfaces—so the public went nuts ordering apparel and footwear. By Q2 2021, especially after Biden idiotic $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act in March 2021, the Y/Y change had violently reversed to +57.1%. That’s whip-saw with malice aforethought. Left to their own devices consumers would never yo-yo their budgets in this manner, meaning, in turn, that retail, wholesale and manufacturing suppliers had no possible way to rationally cope with the Washington-fueled supply-chain upheavals. As is also evident from the chart, the inflation-adjusted Y/Y change in May plunged nearly back to normal—just +3.4%. Yet it will take years for supply chains and inventory levels and mixes to recover from the economic chaos generated by Washington. Y/Y Inflation-Adjusted Change PCE for Apparel And Footwear, 2012-2022 The same story holds for durable goods—with the yo-yo amplitude even more extreme. As shown by the chart below, the trend level of growth in real PCE for durables was 3.3% per annum during the 14 year period between the pre-crisis peak in October 2007 and the pre-Covid top in February 2020.  Other than during the 2008-2009 recessionary contraction, the numbers followed a stable pattern that businesses could cope with. And then came the Washington ordered whipsaws. During April 2020 real PCE plunged by -17.5%from prior year, only to violently erupt by +70.5% Y/Y in April 2021. Those stimmies and forced “savings” again! But now that’s over and done. During May 2022 the Y/Y change was -9.1%. Again, it is no wonder that businesses have the wrong inventories and supply chains have been monkey-hammered from one end of the planet to the other. Y/Y Change In Real PCE Durables, 2007-2022 In fact, that points to another dimension of the bull-whip story. To wit, the one time conversion of manufacturing to the global supply chain had a hidden vulnerability—-ultra JIT (Just-In-Time). That is to say, when shipping distances for goods went from 800 miles within the US to 16,000 miles (from factories in Shanghai to terminals in Chicago (or 68 days at sea), a prudent system would have built-in large amounts of redundant inventory to safeguard against the the sweeping disruptions of the past two years. But the carry-cost of in-depth inventory redundancy would have been extremely costly. That’s owing to working capital costs and the risk of stockpiling the wrong-mix of goods. That is, potential inventory costs and merchandise discounts and write-off would have eaten heavily into the labor arbitrage. But fueled by the Fed easy money and idiotic 2.00% inflation target, supply chains became ever more extended, brittle and vulnerable. That fact is now indisputable. As it happened, however, the push to ultra-JIT supply chains caused a massive one-time deflation of durable goods costs. In fact, the nearly 40% contraction of the PCE deflator for durables between 1995, when the China export factories first cranked-up, and the pre-Covid level of early 2020 is one of the great aberrations of economic history. We seriously doubt that the black line below actually happened, save for the BLS endless fiddling with hedonics and other adjustments to the CPI. Yes, toys, for instance plunged by upwards of 60% during this 25-year period, but then again did they make a whopping big negative hedonics adjustment to accounts for the China junk toy standard? Still, the deflationary free ride is over. Already, the durables deflator is up nearly 13% from the pre-Covid low and there is far, far more ground to recoup as global supply chains rework the busted JIT models that evolved prior to 2020. PCE Deflator for Durable Goods, 1995-2022 When it comes to Washington-induced whipsaws, however, there are few sectors that have been as battered as the air travel system. During April 2020, for instance, passenger boardings were down a staggering 96% from the corresponding pre-pandemic month, as in dead and gone. Moreover, this deep reduction pattern prevailed well into the spring of 2021. The airline shutdowns were not necessitated by public health considerations: Frequent cabin air exchanges probably made them safer than most indoor environments. But between the misbegotten guidelines of the CDC and the scare-mongering of the Virus Patrol, even as late as January 2022 loadings were still down 34% from pre-pandemic levels. The industry’s infrastructure got clobbered by these kinds of operating levels. Baggage handlers, flight attendants, pilots and every function in-between suffered huge disruptions in incomes and livelihoods—-even after Washington’s generous subsidies to the airlines and their employees. And then, insult was added to injury when pilots and other employees were threatened with termination owing to unwillingness to take the jab. The result was an industry to turmoil and sometimes even ruin. Then the traffic came flooding back. From 70% of pre-pandemic levels in mid-winter 2021-2022, boardings have subsequently rebounded to 90% in recent months. Alas, the air travel system is severely disorganized with labor shortages of every kind imaginable, leading to schedule gaps and cancellations like rarely before. And now the whipsaw is in the inflationary direction as desperate passengers pay previously unheard of prices to get scarce seats during the summer travel months. As CBS News recently reported, Airlines cancelled nearly 1,200 U.S. flights on Sunday and Monday, leaving passengers stranded and luggage piled up at airports across the the country. Thousands more trips were scrapped across the globe as the summer travel season kicks off. Now for the bad news: Airline analysts say delays and cancellations are likely to persist, and could even get worse. “We may not have seen the worst of this,” Kit Darby, founder of Kit Darby Aviation Consulting, told CBS MoneyWatch. Right now, when you have normal things like airplane maintenance or weather, delays are much more severely felt. There are no reserved extra pilots, planes, flight attendants — and the chain is only good as the weakest link,” Darby said. Many of these problems stem from airlines slashing staff early on in the pandemic, when air travel plummeted. Demand has since roared back faster than airlines have been able to ramp up hiring. “The biggest issue is they don’t have the capacity. They have not been able to bring back full capacity in terms of pilots, TSA checkpoints, vendors at the airport, baggage handlers, ground staff or flight attendants,” New York Times travel editor Amy Virshup told CBS News.  Right. But what is way up now is ticket prices. After plunging by -28% in May 2020 under Fauci’s benighted orders, May prices soared by +38% on a year-over-year basis. Again, what we have is an economy careening lower and then higher owing to massive and unnecessary government interventions. And in the case of energy, the mayhem is even more severe. For want of doubt, however, here is the inflation-adjusted level of airline personal consumption expenditures in recent years. In 2020, the proverbial trap-door literally opened up under the industry. Real output fell by $62.3 billion or 52%, then rebounded by 63% the following year. Real PCE for Air Transportation, 2002-2021 That’s surely some kind of destructive economic yo-yo. And it was all fueled by the Washington politicians and apparatchiks who have no clue that America’s grand $24 trillion economy is not some kind of glorified game of bumper cars. *  *  * This article is reprinted from David Stockman’s ContraCorner, which offers such analysis daily to subscribers. Pound-for-pound, Stockman’s daily analysis is the most comprehensive, salient, insightful, and data-rich of anything available today. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 13:10.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 23rd, 2022

Qantas is asking office staff to work as baggage handlers as it struggles to cope with travel demand

Office staff for Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar were asked to help the airline meet peak July travel demand, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. Volunteers may be asked to assist passengers with lost baggage and ferry people through security.James D. Morgan / Contributor/ Getty Qantas has asked office staff to help it meet peak travel demand by working in Australian airports. They may help customers find lost bags and distribute water, per a memo seen by Bloomberg. The airline industry is facing a labor shortage globally amid soaring travel demand.  Airline executives are having to get creative to find solutions to an industry labor shortage. For Qantas, that means looking within, by asking office workers to fill in as baggage handlers and on security at airports. On Wednesday, Melbourne staff at Australia's biggest airline, as well as staff at its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar, were asked to help the airline meet peak July travel demand, according to Bloomberg, which cites an email sent by Jetstar's airport operations. According to the memo, which outlines the "Airports Peak Contingency Plans," staff may be asked to help find lost baggage, distribute water, and help speed travelers through security if they're running late, Bloomberg reported. Bloomberg initially reported that the memo was sent to Qantas and Jetstar staff. However, a representative for Qantas told Insider the memo was only sent to Jetstar employees. "Over Easter Qantas redeployed a number of managers to support airport and baggage operations, and will do so again across the Group in the July school holidays if required," the spokesperson said. A representative for Qantas told Bloomberg that 200 volunteers signed up at the time. The airline is also hiring people for "hundreds" of operational roles the spokesperson added.Airlines globally are struggling to find enough staff to meet soaring demand for travel. Workers have been slow to return after being laid off in their thousands when the COVID-19 pandemic grounded global travel. This left airlines short of pilots, flight attendants, and baggage handlers. Those problems, coupled with wider economic turbulence in the form of surging fuel costs and route disruptions related to the Ukraine war, have led to thousands of flight cancellations and long delays at airports.Air passenger numbers rose 76% in the year to March 2022, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association. Those numbers are only expected to increase as airlines enter summer and peak levels for international travel. Qantas laid off thousands of staff during the pandemicQantas, like most airlines around the world, laid off thousands of staff as a result of the pandemic. The "Flying Kangaroo" as it's sometimes called, resumed international flights following a strict COVID-19 lockdown, in November 2021. In May, a union representing Qantas pilots warned that the airline's post-COVID expansion plans could increase the pressure on pilots. The plans include the purchase of 40 A321XLR jets from Airbus, as well as operating what will be the world's longest non-stop passenger flight between Sydney and London, and flying non-stop to New York. "Your decision-making is slower, your reaction times are slower, you're more likely to get a poor landing," Tony Lucas, president of Qantas chapter, of the Australian & International Pilots Association, told Bloomberg in relation to proposals aimed at meeting surging demand for air travel. Are you an employee of Qantas or Jetstar? Contact this journalist in confidence via email, or message on Twitter at @spj1064Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 8th, 2022

With Summer Travel Heating Up, Airlines Brace For Turbulence

Thinking about flying this summer? You’re not alone—and you might face some delays. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening up, more Americans are expected to travel in the next six months than at any time since the start of the pandemic. An estimated 60% of the nation is planning to take a vacation over the summer, according… Thinking about flying this summer? You’re not alone—and you might face some delays. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening up, more Americans are expected to travel in the next six months than at any time since the start of the pandemic. An estimated 60% of the nation is planning to take a vacation over the summer, according to the U.S. Travel Association, and Google searches related to travel have skyrocketed, reaching levels higher than in 2019. All signs are pointing to a summer travel boom. But the surge in pent-up demand for flights will likely have consequences. Despite record-high ticket prices around the globe, airfare inventory is low across the entire industry. Many airlines are finding their flights fully booked weeks before takeoff, and with more than 3 million people in the U.S. expected to fly this Memorial Day weekend, tickets are running around $400 on average, up 28% from the same weekend in 2019. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Here are some of the factors that are colliding to make for a messy summer of air travel. Pilot and staff shortages “Pilot didn’t show up,” one person wrote to American Airlines on Twitter last week after their flight was canceled right before it was supposed to take off. “I had a flight canceled today because of a staffing shortage on the ramp at the destination airport,” another wrote. “That’s a first.” The U.S. is facing its worst pilot and staffing crisis in recent memory as some 400,000 airline workers were fired or furloughed in the last two years due to the pandemic. The void has left airlines scrambling to hire trained pilots and staff, and many have even been forced to cut flights just as passengers are ready to board. There hasn’t been a shortage of trained pilots like this since the end of World War II, according to the Air Line Pilots Association. It’s a shortfall that some airlines have tried to hide. “Airlines are starting to open up about not having enough pilots,” says Michael Taylor, J.D. Power’s travel intelligence lead. “But you can’t have a person who flew a 737 aircraft two years ago start flying tomorrow. They have to be recertified.” Consulting firm Oliver Wyman projects there will be a shortage of pilots that exceeds 12,000 by 2023 due to an aging pilot population and strong use of early retirements. Alaska Airlines has been hit particularly hard by the shortage, having canceled around 50 flights per day this month. “May will continue to be choppy,” CEO Ben Minicucci said in a video last week, where he announced the carrier would hire 150 new pilots and 1,100 flight attendants. The staffing issues are likely to continue as some pilots go on strike for better pay and labor protections. The crisis has led some airlines to reduce their schedules and come up with better incentives for pilots and flight attendants. Elijah Nouvelage—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesMembers of the Air Line Pilots Association picket outside the Delta Air Lines check-in lobby at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, on March 10, 2022. One regional airline, Republic Airways, proposed reducing the required hours of flight training from 1,500 to 750 before becoming a pilot. But most major airlines are reluctant to lower the barrier to entry for pilots, since it could affect aviation safety. Several airlines, including Delta, recently stopped requiring a four-year college degree for pilots, but no other major changes have been made. United Airlines told TIME that it plans to train as many as 5,000 pilots by 2030, launching its own flight school in December designed solely for applicants with little to no piloting experience. The full course takes about a year to complete. Still, experts say flight cancellations could continue well into the summer as airlines figure out their plan to hire more pilots and staff. Unpredictability of fuel prices Airlines are likely to jack up ticket prices again if jet fuel becomes more expensive in the coming months, which industry experts warn could happen as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on and embargoes on oil remain in place. Jet fuel currently costs around $7 per gallon on average, though the problem is particularly severe in the New England region and parts of the Northeast, where the cost of jet fuel is surging close to $9. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has said if today’s jet fuel prices hold it will cost the airline $10 billion more than it spent in 2019. “People are going to do what they want and pay for flights this summer,” Taylor says. “But they will complain about it a lot more because of the price hike.” According to a new J.D. Power study, which Taylor worked on, that’s exactly what’s happening. Overall passenger satisfaction has declined across the board in recent months, in large part because of the increased prices and crowds. More crowds Over the last seven days, around 15.5 million people have gone through TSA checkpoints, up from roughly 11.8 million during the same period last year—a 24% increase. The bump in travel means airports will be crowded again, with the potential for long lines and sold out flights. But those crowds could present an issue with COVID-19 cases once again rising across the country. Facial coverings are no longer required by U.S. airlines and transit systems, meaning travelers with compromised immune systems or children not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination may be at increased risk. Airports haven’t been this busy since the start of the pandemic two years ago, when airlines saw record-low passengers and deep financial losses, says Brett Snyder, author of the Cranky Flier airline industry site. That might be a good thing for the travel industry, but not as much for customers this summer. “Running an airline is like running a successful restaurant,” Taylor says. “Every night, every seat should be filled.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 27th, 2022

US airlines like Delta and United are so desperate for pilots they are dropping some requirements and considering cutting training hours to get more pilots flying sooner

Regional airline Republic Airways asked the FAA in April for permission to hire pilots from its training academy with 750 hours instead of 1,500. United Airlines pilots walk through Newark Liberty International AirportNiall Carson - PA Images/Getty Images US airlines are once again grappling with the pilot shortage as travel demand skyrockets. Regional carrier Republic Airways is considering reducing training requirements from 1,500 to 750 hours.  Senator Lindsay Graham may propose a bill that would increase the mandatory pilot retirement age from 65 to 67. As the pilot shortage continues to grapple the airline industry, carriers are struggling to fulfill their flight schedules, and some are even trying to reduce required training hours to get more pilots in the air.On May 13, Alaska Airlines CEO Ben Minicucci apologized in a YouTube video for continued flight cancellations that have been plaguing the carrier. Minicucci blamed the pilot shortage, saying "we had 63 fewer pilots than what we planned for when we built our scheduled," which caused a "ripple effect.""By the time we caught this error, April and May schedules were bid on by our pilots and flight attendants, making it impossible to sufficiently adjust schedules to avoid cancellations," he continued.The Seattle-based carrier is just one example of airlines struggling to find enough pilots to handle the busy post-pandemic travel surge. According to Bloomberg, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines have all cut regional flying in recent months due to the shortage, with United grounding 100 regional planes over the issue."The pilot shortage for the industry is real, and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren't enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years," United CEO Scott Kirby said in a quarterly earnings call in April, per CNBC.Because of the lack of pilots, carriers are considering changing long-standing requirements to get more pilots flying sooner, like nixing degree requirements, dropping the mandatory number of flight hours needed to be hired, and increasing the pilot retirement age.For example, in January, Delta announced it would end the requirement for pilots to have a four-year degree, saying there are qualified candidates "who have gained more than the equivalent of a college education through years of life and leadership experience."Meanwhile, regional carrier Republic Airways, which operates on behalf of Delta, American, and United, is trying to reduce its pilot training requirements. In April, the airline asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to hire pilots out of its training academy when they reach 750 flight hours instead of the 1,500 hours currently required for most pilots.There are already hour exemptions in place for trainees with two or four-year degrees that reduce the required hours to 1,250 and 1,000 hours, respectively, according to The Points Guy.Regional airlines are particularly impacted by the shortage as major airlines scoop up their pilots. Mesa Airlines CEO Jonathan Ornstein told CNBC it takes 120 days to replace a pilot who gave their two weeks' notice to work for a bigger airline, and that the carrier could "use about 200 pilots."In addition to reduced training and education requirements, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) may propose a bill that will increase the mandatory pilot retirement age from 65 to 67, reported Airline Weekly on Friday. The move would be an attempted fix to the shortage, allowing pilots to stay on with their company for longer.Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, explained to Insider that "optically, cutting the number of required flying hours may look like a riskier approach than allowing a healthy pilot to continue flying a few more years.""What's critical, though, is for the FAA to promptly sit down with the airline industry to discuss these," he continued. "The airline industry literally doesn't have time for the FAA to drag out these discussions. We have seen route networks and airline schedules cut due to the lack of pilots, inconveniencing passengers and communities, and contributing to higher airfares."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

Saturday links: having it all

On Saturdays we catch up with the non-finance related items that we didn’t get to earlier in the week. You can check... TransportThe Ford ($F) F-150 Lightning will tell us a lot about the future of EVs. (bloomberg.com)What to do if your car lease is coming to an end. (wsj.com)What it would take to turn gas stations into EV charging hubs. (vox.com)TransportAmazon ($AMZN) is struggling to get drone delivery right. (theverge.com)Why electric boats are a relatively easy transition for builders. (bloomberg.com)This Dutch shows e-bike riders to have a higher rate of injury. (theverge.com)Air travelAirline pilots are warning of the risk of fatigue. (businessinsider.com)Big airlines are increasing the number of bus-flight connections. (axios.com)Europe is building more trains to compete with short-haul flights. (nytimes.com)EnergyWhy isn't Germany doing more to keep its nuclear power plants open? (unchartedterritories.tomaspueyo.com)Drought is threatening hydropower production in the American West. (wired.com)Wind power is a lifeline for some Iowa farmers. (reasonstobecheerful.world)Solar power is outpacing new wind power which is a problem. (bloomberg.com)High energy prices aside, it's hard to make the case for ethanol. (wired.com)EnvironmentWhy Stripe's effort to remove carbon from the atmosphere is a big deal. (theatlantic.com)California is off to a dry start to the year. (axios.com)The EPA has cleared the release of 2.4 billion genetically-modified mosquitoes in California and Florida. (smithsonianmag.com)Climate change is ruining septic tank systems. (washingtonpost.com)BirdsWhy you are not hearing as many birds as in years past. (slate.com)Healthy grasslands and pastures have plenty of birds. (thecounter.org)TechnologyWhy rural hospitals are uniquely at-risk of ransomware attacks. (statnews.com)DuckDuckGo has launched a privacy-focused Mac browser. (arstechnica.com)The amount of data you put out into the world is stunning. (howardlindzon.com)BehaviorNick, "It takes an incredible amount of strength to get through a significant mental health episode." (ensofinance.blog)Four reasons why teenagers are now more likely to be depressed. (theatlantic.com)Five insights from John Howard's new book "Than Words: The Science of Deepening Love and Connection in Any Relationship." (nextbigideaclub.com)The rise in adolescent overdose rates is due in part to fentanyl. (statnews.com)HealthThe big vaccine makers are now targeting RSV. (wsj.com)Monitoring sewage is for more than just Covid. (vox.com)Should otherwise healthy people monitor their glucose levels? (slate.com)Good advice for a parent with a child in the NICU. (washingtonpost.com)WeedLegal cannabis sales are set to start in New Jersey. (news.yahoo.com)Why enacting the SAFE Banking Act would be a big deal. (mindsetvalue.substack.com)FoodThousands of fish-and-chip shops in the UK are at-risk of closing. (nytimes.com)Most aside ghost kitchens, virtual brands are now a thing on delivery apps. (ny.eater.com)Leftover crustacean shells have multiples uses. (modernfarmer.com)Hemp seeds are the hot new food ingredient. (axios.com)How kosher food certification went mainstream. (fooddive.com)DrinkIs booze the key to getting people back into the office? (wsj.com)Why quitting alcohol may be for you. (theprofile.substack.com)SportsHow heritable are various sports abilities? (marginalrevolution.com)A look behind the headline salary numbers for pro athletes. (brobible.com)Sports are great because they are ultimately meaningless. (theatlantic.com)Being a football fan requires moral flexibility. (nytimes.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsCoronavirus links: an unpredictable virus. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Friday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Podcast links: navigating low expected returns. (abnormalreturns.com)Before joining the Great Resignation read up on the grass-is-greener fallacy. (abnormalreturns.com)My Q&A with Nick Maggiulli about his newly published book "Just Keep Buying: Proven ways to save money and build your wealth." (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaMcKinsey & Co. was smack dab in the middle of the opioid crisis. (nytimes.com)The narrative about the 'America in decline' is misguided. (theweek.com)Why Wordle is unique: it was built for the web. (anildash.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsApr 16th, 2022

I regularly fly on tiny planes. Here"s why I find it more fun and thrilling than traveling on a commercial airliner.

When flying in a small plane with my pilot boyfriend or on a flightseeing tour over Alaska, I get to wear a headset and listen to air traffic control. Taylor Rains I frequently fly on small planes with my pilot boyfriend and I find it more fun than commercial airliners.  Flying on a small plane gives passengers the opportunity to see a flight from a different perspective. Small planes may seem scary, but the drive to the airport is riskier than the flight, according to analyst Saj Ahmed. A lot of people are afraid of flying, but even more so when they are forced onto a small turbo-prop plane. While some hate the idea, occasionally flying in tiny aircraft is the only way to get where you want to go, like around Alaska or on safaris.Sebastian Condrea/Getty ImagesFor a long time, I also had that fear because of the size of the plane and the perception it was unsafe. However, things changed after I started dating a pilot three years ago and the opportunity to fly became a regular part of my life.Flying with my pilot boyfriend.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile I was scared the first time I flew with him, my nerves quickly relaxed as he showed me that flying in a tiny plane can actually be a really fun and unique experience.Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.Taylor Rains/InsiderThere are several commercial, charter, and tour operators that fly smaller planes, like Cape Air ...Cape Air.Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock... Tradewind Aviation ...Tradewind Aviation Pilatus PC-12.Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock... and K2 Aviation in Alaska.K2 Aviation plane in Talkeetna, Alaska.melissamn/ShutterstockThe plane I've mostly flown on is a Piper Warrior, which has two seats in the front behind the controls and two passenger seats in the back.Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.Taylor Rains/InsiderAlthough, I've also ridden on De Havilland Otters and Piper Navajos.Flying on a small plane in Alaska.Taylor Rains/InsiderHaving flown on both large commercial jets and small turboprops, I have experienced the difference firsthand. Personally, I've come to enjoy tiny planes more than jets for a variety of reasons.Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.Taylor Rains/InsiderFirst and foremost, I love being immersed in the pilot side of the operation. When flying in the small Piper plane with my boyfriend or on a flightseeing tour over Alaska, I got to wear a headset and hear air traffic control (ATC).Flying with my pilot boyfriend.Taylor Rains/InsiderI was able to listen to the communication between my pilot and the controllers, as well as hear other pilots in the area. It gave me a real sense of everything that goes on during a flight, and I learned more about traffic patterns and airport movement than I ever would on a commercial airliner.Flying in a tiny airplane.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe open cockpit concept on many smaller planes not only gives passengers an opportunity to listen in on ATC, but it also allows them to see the inputs and actions of the pilots.Flying on a tiny plane.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile I've never actually wanted to be a pilot, I've always been fascinated with everything that goes into flying a plane. On the small aircraft I've flown on, I got to see the control panel at the front of the plane, like flight speed and altitude, as well as see how the crew changed the flap settings.Flying with my pilot boyfriend.Taylor Rains/InsiderAn open cockpit also sometimes provides a perfect view of the runway ahead, so passengers can see the takeoff and landing from a new perspective.Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.Taylor Rains/InsiderNot to mention, flying in a small aircraft typically means cruising at lower altitudes, so travelers get the opportunity to observe unique landscapes and scenery they may miss flying on a commercial jet. I've been lucky to fly over Denali National Park ...Flying over Denali National Park.Taylor Rains/Insider... along the New York City skyline ...Flying along the New York City skyline.Taylor Rains/Insider... and to view the New England fall foliage from the air.Flying with my pilot boyfriend.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile there are a lot of pros to flying on small planes, there are some downsides.Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.Taylor Rains/InsiderFor me, the biggest challenge is getting in and out of smaller aircraft. Unlike the full-size boarding doors on airliners, many tiny planes have narrow doors that require passengers to crouch to enter. However, once inside, the plane can feel just as roomy as an airline.Bridgeport Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe seats are typically padded and comfortable, and the small planes I've flown on offered plenty of legroom, though I am only 5'3" and rarely have issues fitting in any aircraft seat. So, it's possible some people could experience claustrophobia in the smaller cabin, and those over six feet tall may feel cramped.The backseat of a Piper Warrior plane.Taylor Rains/InsiderThough some people are concerned about the comfort level of a tiny plane, others are more concerned with safety.Pilots preflight their plane.Jozef_Culak/ShutterstockWhile it is true that the accident rate among small planes is higher than airlines, you are still more likely to be injured en route to the airport than traveling in a tiny aircraft, according to Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StretegivAero Research.Bush plane in Denali National Park shuttling tourists and workers.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource:Executive Flyers, The Telegraph"The size of the airplane is not in any way linked to safety," Ahmad told The Telegraph. "Rather it's all down to the regular maintenance regimes to ensure that airplanes comply with regulations to fly and operate safely."A Cape Air Cessna 402C in Boston next to a JetBlue airliner.Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock.comSource: The TelegraphHe continued: "Statistics can be skewered all too easily to suit a particular argument and I certainly do not ascribe risk with small airplanes. Lest we forget, pilot training schools almost all use single engine for training and that's where it all starts before progressing to bigger jets."Florida Tech flight school planes.Florida Institute of TechnologySource: The TelegraphFor those concerned about turbulence in a tiny plane, it is important to know that all aircraft, small or large, are engineered to withstand more turbulence than their normal operating capabilities.Flying in a tiny plane.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: High Sky Flying, FAAIt is true that small planes are more susceptible to "wake turbulence" from a bigger jet, which causes the aircraft to lose lift and altitude. However, pilots and air traffic controllers know the risk and take precautions to avoid an event from happening.Wing tip vortices are a primary contributor to take-off turbulence.aapsky/ShutterstockSource: High Sky Flying, FAAIn addition to wake turbulence, rough weather and winds can pose a bigger threat to smaller planes than large ones. Because of this, flying in a tiny aircraft is not as reliable as airliners that can more safely operate in severe weather conditions, like heavy rain, snow, and high winds.Wizz Air lands on a snowy runway in Ukraine.Zahnoi Alex/ShutterstockSource: High Sky FlyingSo, if you're flying somewhere and the only transport is by plane, then you are at the mercy of the weather and the likelihood for the flight to be canceled is much higher than if you could access the destination via commercial jet.A small plane at an airport in non-flying weather.kosmos111/ShutterstockSource: High Sky FlyingIf you're still worried about the safety of a small plane, Ahmad said customers should book with companies that specialize in specific activities, like tours or excursions, and check the operator's reviews and reputation.Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines tour operator.Grand Canyon Scenic AirlinesSource: The Telegraph"In all honesty, air travel is so safe, many of us don't give a second thought to hopping on any airplane," he said. “The biggest risk is getting to the airport."Bush plane in Denali National Park shuttling tourists and workers.Taylor Rains/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 23rd, 2022

An Alaska helicopter tour company says it"s seen a 250% surge in business compared to 2019 as an influx of tourists travel to the state

Alaska Helicopter Tours is no stranger to the labor shortage, and its biggest hurdle during the travel surge was hiring enough ground staff. Alaska Helicopter Tours glacier landing.Alaska Helicopter Tours Anchorage-based Alaska Helicopter Tours experienced a 250% boom in 2021 sales compared to 2019. Hiring enough ground staff was the company's biggest challenge during the surge in demand. The operator is expecting a strong 2022 season, with presales already doubling 2021. The pandemic wrecked the tourism industry in the northern-most US state of Alaska, but it's seeing a speedy recovery with one tourism company more than doubling its 2019 sales this year.Anchorage-based Alaska Helicopter Tours is a flightseeing company that flies adventurous customers across the beautiful state, offering aerial views of places like Denali National Park, as well as glacier hiking and dogsled tours. Like many other companies across the country, the operator was a victim of the coronavirus pandemic, having temporarily lost its allowance to serve tourists. However, it was fortunate to be able to operate as an essential service flying for the local electric company on behalf of its parent organization, Alpha Aviation.Following strict health and safety protocols as a utility service, Alaska Helicopter Tours was granted a waiver at the end of March 2020 by the state's Congress to offer flight tours to local Alaskans. According to the company's Director of Operations, Jennifer Hanks, who was born and raised in the state, the service helped keep the business going."We could offer something for locals to do to get out of their house," Hanks told Insider. "We were one of the first companies to be up and running and it was really nice to be able to open our doors to local Alaskans."While the company was able to continue business during the pandemic, which was a rarity for tourism operators, it did not expect a huge travel surge in 2021. But, by January, it was clear Alaska Helicopter Tours was in for a big year."We thought it was going to be pandemic style with not many employees and not many helicopters on the tourism side, but we ended up having the craziest, busiest year ever," Hanks told Insider. "2019 was our busiest season and we are already two and half times over that in sales for 2021. And, for 2022, our presales are already double what they were this year."Hanks explained that the surge comes from people desperate for a vacation and finally being able to travel again. She said a chunk of their guests were big families, and she believes that the airlines offering deals on flights helped people visit the state at a lower cost.With the spike in sales came challenges, including finding enough labor and resources to meet demand. Before the pandemic, the company operated a fleet of three helicopters, including two Robinson R44s and one A-Star Helicopter, but had to add one more of each to handle the surge. The company also plans to grow the fleet event more due to the booming 2022 presales.Alaska Helicopter Tours Robinson R44.Alaska Helicopter ToursThough the company's business is growing, Alaska Helicopter Tours is no stranger to the labor shortage. Hanks told Insider that the company's biggest hurdle during the surge was hiring ground staff."Just like everywhere in the US, we could not find people because the hiring pool was very small and a lot of people were on unemployment," she explained. "A lot of Alaska's employees are also J1 [international] students, but they couldn't enter the US, so we did a lot of local advertising and got set up on Indeed."According to Hanks, finding pilots was not an issue because having "Alaska time" for flight is a big benefit for their resumes.Going into 2022, Alaska Helicopter Tours is cautious about the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, but it still expects a strong season."Realistically, the 2022 sales will be about 30% above what we did this year," Hanks told Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 4th, 2021

I just became a pilot after spending $80,000 on flight school. Here"s what the intense training program was like.

"I don't regret it at all," a 32-year-old commercial pilot said. "I don't see myself being anything other than a pilot." "I don't see myself being anything other than a pilot," one 32-year-old commercial pilot said (not pictured). Shutterstock.com A 32-year-old commercial pilot (who asked to remain anonymous) shared what training was like. They went through instruction during the pandemic and recently were hired. They say demand is higher than ever for pilots but standards for training remain stringent. This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with a 32-year-old commercial pilot from Wayne, NJ, about training to be a pilot during the pandemic. They've asked to remain anonymous, but Insider has verified their identity and employment. The following has been edited for length and clarity.I'm a 32-year-old commercial pilot and recently landed a job as a first officer with a regional airline in the US. Despite the US pilot shortage, the airlines are not skimping when it comes to safety - and my time in training is a testament to that.I started my career in the Marines working with F-18's. That's what really lit the fuse for me. During that time I was not a pilot but helped support the F-18 squadron. Thanks to the Marines GI Bill and some financial aid from my parents, I was able to afford flight school.The first thing you do when determining whether to go to flight school is a discovery flightThey take you up in the plane and show you how it works and to see if you're comfortable in the air and on the controls. If you decide you want to move forward, you pay out of pocket - per flight, or for the whole program. You can go as often or as little as you want - one time a week, four times a week. It depends on how available you are and how quickly you want to graduate from the program.As an aspiring commercial pilot, you need to go through several steps before you're able to take to the skies professionallyYou start as a student pilot, then once you've flown for a minimum of 35 hours, you can take the test to receive your Private Pilot License (PPL). Once you get your Private Pilot License, you're able to fly small aircrafts that are less than 12,500 pounds, and it doesn't require any additional ratings. (Editor's note: 35 hours is the minimum if you go through an FAA Part 141 program, 40 if you go through a Part 61 program.)It's like when you get your driver's license - you can drive a small car, but you can't drive a semi-truck.After that, you need your Instrument Rating (IR), which means you can read the gauges in the plane and fly in the clouds. This rating teaches students how to fly the aircraft solely based off of instruments inside the aircraft while communicating with air-traffic control (ATC).Finally, after 250 hours you're eligible to receive your Commercial Pilot License (CPL). (Editor's note: This can be 190 hours if go through a Part 141 program.)You can get a CPL to fly single-engine or multi-engine planes for pay or hire, but you'll need a multi-engine rating to fly a jet aircraft at one of the major airlines.It took me about a year from the first time I flew to the time I became a flight instructor Working as a flight instructor is typically how most aspiring pilots get their required hours in once they earn their CPL. It took another two years before I had enough hours to be hired by an airline. (Editor's note: Major airlines won't hire pilots that don't have enough hours to qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATP), which can range from 750 to 1,500 hours.)I was in the middle of my flight instructor training when COVID-19 hit, which caused it to take longer than usual to finish my required flight hours. For me, flight school cost about $80,000It could be less or more depending on how fast you go through the program and the type of program you choose. I went to flight school full time and did not have a job during that time. For context, a pilot for a commercial airline might have a starting salary of around $40,000, but it could range to upwards of $200,000 by the time you retire. I currently work for one of the regional airlines in the US, which means we're contracted for certain routes on major partner airlines you've heard ofMy flight school, Paragon Flight Training, has relationships with the regional airlines. Before the pandemic, these airlines would recruit new graduates from the program. This was halted during COVID-19. Now, aspiring pilots from the flight school can find pilot jobs online and at airshows around the US.Once I completed my hours, I heard back from my current company within a month or two. Although receiving your hours and ratings are the bare minimum to be considered for a job at a commercial airline, when hiring they also look at moral character.They look for someone they can sit in a cockpit or flight deck with, someone they can fly withThey feel safe being with you and can hold a conversation with you. Some of the questions they ask are technical based questions related to aviation, such as flight rules, aeronautical charts, and flight scenarios. A technical question could be, "You are at 15,000 feet and need to be at 8,000 feet in 30 miles going 200 knots: When should you start descending?" Some are human resource questions, such as, "If you and your captain had a disagreement, how would you settle this disagreement?"They also look at your driving record. They want to make sure you aren't a reckless driver, that you don't have any DUI's. They do a background check, looking at previous employers and your credit. Everything is to make sure nothing is going to compromise a flight - that you'll never be unsafe about it.Once you've been hired, company training consists of three months of classes, five days a week I'm at the beginning, so right now it's mostly paperwork. After that it will be simulator training to make sure you know the aircraft properly - this is standard procedure for all airlines. Once in-class and simulator training is done, we'll take our Airline Transport Pilot Exam. This is required to transport passengers and the final step before we take to the skies. I won't get into an actual plane with passengers until JanuaryI'll be flying as a first officer, and my job is to assist the captain and make sure the aircraft flies safely. Once we do start flying, we have to come back once a year to make sure there are no new updates we need to know about - that we still know how to fly this type of plane correctly. You get retrained to make sure you're doing everything safely.Training is very specific - you have to go over each item, and you can't rush through. Pilots working on their licenses can be working on flight maneuvers, cross-country flight planning, learning how to read weather, and learning systems of an aircraft.During the pandemic, airlines temporarily stopped hiringNow they need pilots more than ever. Everyone wants to fly again, so they're looking for all the pilots they can get. But despite the shortage, they still have the same standards. You can't get around that. As a pilot instructor I taught students as young as 13, but my classmates ages range upwards of 50 And they aren't all flight instructors either - there are pilots from other airlines that accepted a new job, and new pilots who recently switched careers. Medical doctors, financial advisors - some people just don't want to work behind a desk. Another classmate worked for a major airline corporate side and wanted to make a change. They can't see themselves in a career like that for long. There's a wide range of people that get into this. As for me, as soon as I worked with the F-18's I knew this was what I wanted to do. I don't regret it at all. I don't see myself being anything other than a pilot. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 28th, 2021