United Airlines today announced a capacity purchase agreement for SkyWest Airlines, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., to operate 40 Embraer 175 aircraft under the United Express brand. SkyWest, Inc. will purchase the 40 76-seat aircraft with deliveries in 2014 and 2015. These aircraft are in addition to 30 Embraer 175 aircraft that United previously announced it will purchase and which will be operated by a United Express carrier, also scheduled for delivery between 2014 and 2015.
Virgin America CEO David Cush says the airline will start flying to Hawaii in 2015, once it takes delivery of more Airbus A320 aircraft.
Airline Reporter reports that Cush disclosed the plans in an interview discussing the A320 planes, which are equipped with fuel-saving wingtip devices called Sharklets.
Airline Reporter quotes Cush as saying San Francisco-based Virgin America, which recently took delivery of its first A320 with the fuel-saving wingtips, will take delivery of more of those A320s in 2015. The company will be using the “Sharklet-equipped airplanes” in 2015 when it starts flying to Hawaii.
Boeing Co. (BA) officials are preparing proposed fixes to ensure that the 787 Dreamliner’s battery won’t damage the plane or emit smoke as they work to end the jet’s grounding, people with knowledge of the talks said.
A Boeing team is scheduled to meet with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22, said the people, who weren’t authorized to discuss the session and asked not to be identified. The plan includes a harder battery case and a venting mechanism for fumes, one person said.
Any repairs would be subject to FAA approval, and the agency isn’t expected to act immediately without test results showing the fixes can ensure safety, the person said. Changes in the battery also would need the backing of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who has said the 787 won’t fly again until the U.S. is “1,000 percent sure” it’s safe.
Ending the grounding is pivotal for Boeing and the airlines that have taken delivery of the first 49 planes. Boeing wants to be able to resume shipments of new 787s, and restarting flights would let carriers end the aircraft shuffle used to replace their Dreamliners since they were ordered parked on Jan. 16.