Malaysia Says Missing Plane Crashed In Indian Ocean

Malaysia Airlines airplanes at Kuala Lumpur In...

Malaysia Airlines airplanes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, in front a Boeing 777-200 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared over two weeks ago en route to Beijing, crashed thousands of miles away in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday, citing new satellite data.

All 239 people on board were presumed dead, airline officials said.

Analysis of satellite information from British company Inmarsat had shown that the Boeing 777′s last position was in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia, Najib said in a statement.

“This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” he said. “It is therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Malaysia_PM_tells_families_of_missing_jet_passengers_plane_is_lost.html#bvv0fUbgsMYoeFff.99

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Malaysian Airplane Investigators Look At Suicide As Possible Motive

Boeing 777-2H6/ER der Malaysia Airlines am Kua...

Boeing 777-2H6/ER der Malaysia Airlines am Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The co-pilot of a missing Malaysian jetliner spoke the last words heard from the cockpit, the airline’s chief executive said on Monday, as investigators consider suicide by the captain or first officer as one possible explanation for the disappearance.

No trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found since it vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard. Investigators are increasingly convinced it was diverted perhaps thousands of miles off course by someone with deep knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER and commercial navigation.

A search unprecedented in its scale is now under way for the plane, covering an area stretching from the shores of the Caspian Sea in the north to deep in the southern Indian Ocean.

Airline chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya also told a news conference that it was unclear exactly when one of the plane’s automatic tracking systems had been disabled, appearing to contradict the weekend comments of government ministers.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Malaysian_airplane_investigators_look_at_suicide_as_possible_motive.html#yFf2ptqAP5BZVoD6.99

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport Gets Funds To Aid In Attracting Carriers

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PITTSTON TWP. — For the second time in 11 years, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is the recipient of a federal grant to entice airlines to offer new destinations or to increase the number of flights to current destinations.

The $575,000 federal Small Community Air Service Development grant will be used to encourage airlines to add flights to business and leisure destinations that are among the most requested by passengers.

Airport Director Barry J. Centini said that on the leisure side, he will look to add Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as destinations. For business travelers, Pittsburgh and Washington are the targets.

Those destinations seem to be the ones many customers request or wind up taking connecting flights to get to when they embark from the local airport. He said the funds also could be used to entice airlines already operating out of Avoca to add additional flights to current destinations such as Atlanta.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1208151/Airport-gets-funds-to-aid-in-attracting-carriers

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Startup Airline Has Its Eye On Pittsburgh

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another startup airline trying to get off the ground has its sights set on Pittsburgh.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based City Link Air has talked to local officials about starting service from Pittsburgh International Airport, perhaps even seeing it as a potential focus city.

“They’re a startup looking for opportunities around the country. Like we talk to a lot of others, we talk to them,” said Bradley D. Penrod, president and chief strategy officer for the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which operates Pittsburgh International.

Mr. Penrod characterized the dealings with City Link as “an early discussion. They’ve approached us and they’ve given us a presentation,” he said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/11/12/Startup-airline-has-its-eye-on-Pittsburgh/stories/201311120077#ixzz2rzvFE9SE

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Done Deal: US Airways, American Complete Merger

An American Airlines Boeing 757-223 landing at...

An American Airlines Boeing 757-223 landing at Vancouver International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finally, it’s a done deal.

American Airlines AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Monday officially announced the completion of their merger to form American Airlines Group Inc., the world’s largest airline.

At 7:40 a.m., the secretary of state in Delaware, Jeffrey Bullock, filed a certificate of merger. The new company is incorporated in Delaware.

US Airways CEO Doug Parker, who will lead the new American, will ring the opening bell on the Nasdaq stock market at 9:30 a.m. eastern time, signifying the the opening of trading of the new American’s shares on Nasdaq. Ticker: AAL.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20131210_Done_deal__US_Airways__American_complete_merger.html#gH05iJPAtZ6qemow.99

More Choices Coming To Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Private charter flights from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport to at least one new destination appear likely to start by the end of the year with the airport’s expanding relationship with Aviation Technologies.

Michael Gallagher, chief financial officer of Aviation Technologies, identified Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Florida, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Bahamas as potential destinations of interest.

Gallagher hopes the company can “make an announcement” regarding some sort of expansion of service in the fall, with an eye toward the flights becoming available on Dec. 1.

Airport officials are negotiating a long-term contract with Aviation Technologies to take over many important functions at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, such as airplane maintenance and running the flight school.

Read more:  http://citizensvoice.com/news/more-choices-coming-to-avoca-airport-1.1527453

Delays Hit Major Airports As Control Tower Furloughs Kick In

Seal of the United States Federal Aviation Adm...

Seal of the United States Federal Aviation Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Travelers waited more than an hour for flights in New York and experienced delays at other U.S. airports on Sunday evening as furloughs of air traffic controllers began, reducing the ability of busy hubs to handle arrivals and departures, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The furloughs that started Sunday reduced staffing by 10 percent across the country.  Last week the FAA warned of delays up to 3-1/2 hours at some airports as the agency cuts spending to meet reductions required under federal budget cuts.

New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports reported delays of more than an hour, and Philadelphia international airport also reported delays due to furloughs, the FAA said.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/sns-rt-us-usa-faa-furloughsbre93l03e-20130421,0,5104783.story

FAA Warns Of 3.5 Hour Flight Delays This Summer

Seal of the United States Federal Aviation Adm...

Seal of the United States Federal Aviation Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Flight delays of up to 3-1/2 hours are expected to occur at some U.S. airports this summer because of furloughs of air-traffic controllers, the top U.S. aviation regulator said on Thursday.

The estimate from the Federal Aviation Administration puts in sharper focus the potential impact of the agency’s decision to furlough 10 percent of its staff starting Sunday as it struggles to meet budget cuts required under so-called sequestration.

The average delay would be much shorter than the 3-1/2 hours, FAA administrator Michael Huerta said in a briefing to reporters, without specifying a figure.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/sns-rt-us-faa-flightdelaysbre93h167-20130418,0,6239558.story

American, US Airways Announce $11 Billion Merger

London Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL), London Bor...

London Heathrow Airport (LHR/EGLL), London Borough of Hillingdon, London, United Kingdom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DALLAS — American Airlines and US Airways have agreed to merge in an $11 billion deal that would create the world’s biggest airline.

The combined carrier will be called American Airlines but run by US Airways CEO Doug Parker.

The boards of the two airlines unanimously approved the deal late Wednesday, and the companies announced the agreement early Thursday.

The merger would reduce the number of major U.S. airlines to four: the new American, United, Delta and Southwest.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/american-airlines-us-airways-to-merge-675368/#ixzz2KuSpPCrN

Lehigh Valley International Airport To Have International Flights

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Ai...

Aerial photo of Lehigh Valley International Airport (IATA: ABE, ICAO: KABE) in Hanover Township, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the first time, Lehigh Valley International Airport passengers could soon be taking direct flights to places like Mexico, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

The authority that runs the cash-strapped and passenger-starved airport Tuesday endorsed a $5 million plan to add a U.S. Customs station that would allow LVIA to have flights out of the country as early as 2014.

Embarking on a multimillion-dollar project will not be easy for the struggling airport.  But the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority supported a plan to accept a $1.5 million state grant and take out loans for $3.5 million to build an inspection station.

The board believes the station will keep thousands of fliers a year from using other airports to go to places like Cancun, San Juan and Montego Bay.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-allentown-abe-airport-international-20121218,0,4105822.story

Lancaster Airport Set To Begin Offering Flights To Dulles

Lancaster Airport soon will begin offering regularly scheduled flights to Dulles International Airport but not to Orlando, it was announced today.

Sun Air has won U.S. Department of Transportation approval to provide service to Dulles, supported by a federal Essential Air Service subsidy.

Sun Air aims to begin service here Oct. 15, succeeding Cape Air, which has provided daily flights to Baltimore-Washington International since 2009.

Cape Air announced earlier this year it would pull out of Lancaster as soon as a successor could be found.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/715300_Lancaster-Airport-set-to-begin-offering-flights-to-Dulles.html#ixzz23kG45p8d

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Airport Director Says He Isn’t Worried About Federal Cuts

One day after the president of the United States signed a bill regarding sequestration, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Director Barry Centini scoffed at the notion his airport would be one of the casualties of the potential across-the-board spending cuts.

On Wednesday, Barack Obama signed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which requires him to provide details within 30 days on how sequestration – severe budget cuts to most federal agencies – would be implemented if enacted on Jan. 2. The legislation also requires the directors of federal agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, to develop a plan and submit it to Congress, detailing how they would deal with such cuts.

According to Todd Hauptli, the senior executive vice president of the American Association of Airport Executives, the FAA is still developing a plan for how it would cope with the projected $1.35 billion, or nine percent, cut from its annual budget. However, a study done by the American Center for Progress – a liberal think-tank – suggests the administration likely would have to close more than 100 U.S. airports, including the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, to decrease its expenditures and meet the budget reduction.

Despite all of that, Mr. Centini says he isn’t concerned about the airport’s future.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-wilkes-barre-airport-director-says-he-isn-t-worried-about-federal-cuts-1.1356523

New Allegheny County Executive Lures Frontier Airlines Back To Pittsburgh International Airport

Editor’s note:  Mr. Fitzgerald replaces Don Onorato who unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Pennsylvania against Tom Corbett.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald

English: Frontier Airlines N929FR at FLL.

Image via Wikipedia

has spent the early days of his administration beating the bushes trying to bring more flights to Pittsburgh International Airport. On Friday, his hard work paid some early dividends.

Mr. Fitzgerald announced that Frontier Airlines will restart nonstop service to Milwaukee, with two flights a day beginning Thursday, May 17. Frontier will fly into its hub at Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport.

The decision comes less than two months after Frontier ended the flights, leaving Pittsburgh without nonstop service to the Wisconsin market. The new flights can be booked at www.frontierairlines.com.

Milwaukee was one of the cities Mr. Fitzgerald — and others in the region — targeted for nonstop service after he took office in January. He has vowed to work to bring more service to Pittsburgh International, which has lost hundreds of flights over the last decade as a result of US Airways cutbacks.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12056/1212520-28.stm#ixzz1nPvAwlHQ

Harrisburg International Airport To Begin Offering Nonstop Flights To Denver

English: Harrisburg International Airport Penn...

Image via Wikipedia

Harrisburg International Airport has used a new tool to arrange nonstop service to a new destination.

The airport will offer nonstop flights to Denver, Colo., starting May 22, it announced Thursday.

The service, provided by Frontier Airlines, will be offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays through Sept. 9 on a 138-seat Airbus 319 aircraft.

That’s the farthest west that nonstop service ever has been provided out of Harrisburg, airport spokesman Scott Miller said.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/584605_Harrisburg-International-Airport-to-offer-nonstop-flights-to-Denver.html#ixzz1m6DLq2GX

Harrisburg International Airport Poised To Escape Next Round Of Air Service Cuts

Harrisburg International Airport (HIA) is doing well and traffic is up. With the price of fuel, many airlines are looking at the cost-effectiveness of their 50 passenger regional jet fleets.  With todays fuel prices it has become more cost-effective to fly larger planes.  Fortunately, HIA is equipped to handle larger planes.

There are 1.8 million people within an hour of HIA which makes this a sizable market.  Because of this, many carriers flying into the HIA will simply start using larger planes. 

Delta has seen at 50 percent increase in traffic on their DFW to HIA route due to the Marcellus Shale gas industry.  Harrisburg is the hub of Pennsylvania’s state government and home to large companies like Hershey, which use air travel for business.

Airport officials are stating American Airlines bankruptcy filing will not impact travelers flying out of HIA.  What American Airlines decides to do with its regional airlines will determine what the future holds for HIA, not the bankruptcy filing.

Smaller market airport like State College and Venango Regional will most likely be under scrutiny by airlines as they decide whether flying from these locations remains cost-effective.  Can these smaller markets generate enough passengers to fill 70 – 100 seat planes?  Time will tell.

New Air Carrier May Resume Nonstop Service Between Pittsburgh And Harrisburg

This may be a sign that the economy is getting a little better?  Gulfstream International Airlines, a Florida based carrier is looking at restoring nonstop service between Harrisburg International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport starting the first quarter of 2010.  US Airways discontinued nonstop service between these two cities in September 2008.

Gulfstream is very anxious to restore service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and has been trying for months to make this happen.  Lower fuel costs and working with the airport on fee reductions is making this possible.

Gulfstream is also looking at providing service to DuBois, PA, Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN.