FAA outage, Spirit pilot raises, Airbus top manufacturer
Federal Aviation Administration system outage halts flights nationwide
More than 4,000 fights in the US were delayed and over 600 canceled due to an FAA system outage Wednesday morning. The system outage led to a nationwide grounding of commercial flights between 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time until 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
The failure occurred with the system that disseminates notices to air missions, or NOTAMs, which are safety notices pilots must take into consideration when planning and executing flights. This information includes everything from escalated weather situations to locations of large masses of birds to runway closures and temporary air restrictions.
Although the system is back up and running, delays and cancellations of flights by carriers nationwide is likely to have ripple effects that impact flights throughout the day, as well as potentially the week.
Spirit Airlines collective bargaining pilot agreement approved
Pilots of American ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines ($SAVE) will receive pay raises following their ratification of a collective bargaining agreement with the airline on Tuesday. The two year agreement includes cumulative raises of 34%, including a 25% raise for captains and a 43% raise for first officers.
Nearly 70% of Spirit's pilots who voted voted in favor of the new agreement, negotiated between Spirit leadership and the ALPA. The deal also includes higher training pay and increased contributions by the airline to its pilots' 401(k) retirement plans.
Spirit Airlines is set to merge with JetBlue pending government approval, but talks regarding the new contract had already started by the time the merger was announced, and is in-line with other recent pay raises among major US airlines. Delta Air Lines ($DAL), for instance, also offered its pilots a 34% cumulative pay increase over three years in a new proposal last month.
Emirates chooses Inmarsat to provide WiFi on new Airbus A350s
Emirates announced it has selected Inmarsat, a satellite service provider, to enable high-speed internet services onboard its incoming fleet of 50 new Airbus A350s, set to enter service beginning in 2024. Inmarsat will provide the service with its Global Xpress (GX) satellite network.
Airbus retains title as world's largest planemaker in 2022
Although Airbus missed more ambitious production targets, the company's deliveries rose 8% in 2022, delivering a net total of 661 new jets last year and winning 1,078 new orders (820 after accounting for cancellations related to Russian sanctions). Primary competitor Boeing ($BA) delivered 480 aircraft and took orderrs for 935 (774 after Russian cancelations).
Russian airlines off to rough start in 2023
International sanctions imposed against Russian companies have hit the country's aerospace industry hard, making maintenance services and critical parts for foreign-built jets nearly inaccessible. The beginning of the new year has already seen an unusual number of diversions and cancellations due to maintenance problems, and this trend is expected to continue.