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  1. 07 MARCH, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHT DASHBOARD BY: EDWARD RUSSELL WASHINGTON DC United Airlines will unveil an updated livery that chief executive Oscar Munoz calls an "evolution" in the next few months. "It's an evolution not a revolution," he says on the sidelines of the US Chamber of Commerce aviation summit in Washington DC today. "I think it's pretty cool." The Chicago-based carrier will unveil the livery update in the "April-ish" timeframe, adds Munoz. United uses an adapted version of the former Continental Airlines "globe" logo and livery that was designed by Lippincott and unveiled in 1991. Continental and United merged in 2010. The current design features the "United" name in a blue sans-serif font on a largely white fuselage. A blue and gold globe adorns the tail. Munoz says the update will incorporate some of the colours United has recently added to its branding palette that, for example, include the purple used for its new premium economy product and a new shade of blue dubbed "Rhapsody Blue". One colour that is likely to feature less prominently is gold, which is currently used as a cheatline between the white upper fuselage and grey belly, and in the globe on the tail. The design guidelines for United's "Her Art Here" contest, where it invites female artists to submit designs for a Boeing 757, could include a clue to the evolved look. The "United" name is shown in a bold sans-serif font stretching from the top of the fuselage to below the window line, whereas currently it is limited to above the windows. United will introduce its new look "in the course of normal business" as it takes delivery of new aircraft, and brings existing ones in for modifications and maintenance, says Munoz. The airline operated 770 mainline aircraft and 559 regional aircraft at the end of 2018, its latest fleet plan shows. It is scheduled to take delivery of 40 mainline aircraft this year, including 20 Boeing 737 Max 9s and eight Boeing 787-10s. Southwest Airlines was the last major US carrier to unveil a new look, rolling out its current look in 2014. Prior to that, American Airlines debuted a major brand update in 2013. Updated with details of colours added to branding palette, and the design guidelines for the Her Art Here contest. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/united-plans-evolution-to-globe-livery-ceo-456444/
  2. United Airlines Holdings Inc. is nearing an order for its first long-range Airbus SE A321neo jets, people familiar with the matter said, dealing a new setback to rival Boeing Co. as the U.S. planemaker struggles through the grounding of its 737 Max. The Airbus sale is for 50 of the European company’s A321XLR jets, with deliveries to begin in 2024, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Valued at $7.1 billion before customary discounts, United’s order would expand the U.S. foothold of a single-aisle variant capable of handling North Atlantic routes. With the deal, expected to be announced as soon as Tuesday, Airbus lines up another major U.S. customer for a model intended to replace Boeing’s out-of-production 757. The Chicago-based manufacturer has postponed deciding whether to develop a new jet of comparable size while it attempts to end the grounding of its workhorse Max, which was banned from the skies in March after two deadly crashes. United’s Airbus deal is particularly noteworthy since the Chicago-based airline is one of the largest customers of Boeing’s 737 Max 10 planes, with 100 on order. While that Max variant is designed to haul a similar number of travelers to the A321, it will lack the range to tackle nine-hour flights like the XLR. American Airlines Group Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp. have already ordered the XLR. Airbus launched the model, its longest-range single-aisle aircraft, in June at the Paris Air Show, with first deliveries planned for 2023. The plane can fly as far as 4,700 nautical miles, or 15% more than the A321LR model. The XLR will replace some of United’s older 757-200 planes, said one of the people familiar with the talks. The airline operates 75 of Boeing’s 757 jets, including the larger 757-300 model, and United said in October that it was actively considering how to replace them. United’s board met Tuesday with an agenda that included consideration of the Airbus order. The airline has 180 of the smaller Airbus A319 and A320 models and has been scouring the used market for more A319s.
  3. The European Commission (EC) has given the US a stern warning not to take any action against Milan-based Air Italy that would prevent it flying to the US. ATW has obtained a copy of the letter, which was sent from EC Mobility and Transport director general Henrik Hololei to US State Department under secretary, economic growth, energy and environment Manisha Singh. In it, Hololei uses unusually direct language to make clear that the EC “will take all steps necessary to defend the rights of the European Union (EU), its Member States and its air carriers” under the EU-US Open Skies agreement, which permits EU country-based airlines like Air Italy to fly to any US destination and vice versa. The EC warning comes as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have joined forces in a campaign directed at challenging Air Italy’s flights to the US because Qatar Airways has a 49% stake in the Italian carrier. The three US majors have taken out full-page advertisements in US newspapers and lobbied Congress, claiming that Air Italy’s services are really Qatar Airways fifth freedom flights. While the US also has an Open Skies agreement with Qatar that permits fifth freedom flights, the two countries agreed to a voluntary side letter in January, 2018 in which Qatar said Qatar Airways had no plans to launch fifth freedom services to the US. EC rules permit the 49% stake that Qatar Airways has in Air Italy; Qatar Airway also has a 20% stake in International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways (BA), but the US airline campaign is not challenging BA’s right to serve the US or calling BA’s flights Qatar Airways fifth freedoms. BA is an American Airlines’ joint venture partner. Hololei, whose letter was cc’d to US Department of Transportation assistant secretary, aviation and international, Joel Szabat, tell Singh: “I have come to understand that, following persistent, but unfounded demands from certain parts of the US airline industry, the US administration is potentially considering taking measures against the services of Air Italy to the United States. In this context, I would like to bring to your attention our serious concerns. “Air Italy is an established EU carrier and its services to the US are covered by and fully consistent with the EU-US Air Transport Agreement (ATA) using 3rd and 4th freedom traffic rights between the EU and the US. Therefore, any measure to curtail or end the rights of Air Italy to serve the US would constitute a clear and serious violation of the ATA. “Such action would be unprecedented and would put into question the most fundamental principles under which our aviation relations have so successfully developed over more than 10 years. I am sure that you would agree with me that the ATA has served us all well and we are always ready to work together with you and your team on this, including on clarifying incorrect public allegations and representations made by certain market participants. “The European Commission will take all steps necessary to defend the rights of the EU, its Member States and its air carriers under the ATA.” A petition was circulated on Capitol Hill calling on the Trump administration to take action against Qatar Airways over Air Italy and US Representative Debbie Lesko (Democrat-Arizona) sent a letter to the heads of the State, Commerce and Transportation, saying that Qatar Airways’ financial support for Air Italy’s expansion into the US violated the US-Qatar Open Skies side letter. However, there has been a backlash against the US majors’ campaign, with other US airlines, airports and travel consumer organizations warning of “misleading and inaccurate” claims. “The [Lesko letter] is premised on misleading claims promoted by parties that stand to benefit financially and its fundamental basis is incompatible with the facts regarding Open Skies and contrary to the broader economic interests of the US aviation, manufacturing and tourism industries, and the millions of American customers we serve,” an aviation coalition wrote in early June. This week, a new US-United Arab Emirates (UAE) joint government statement was released in which the two countries said they “shared an ongoing commitment of the United States and the United Arab Emirates to fully maintain all aspects of their Open Skies relationship.” The significance of the statement lies in its confirmation that all rights of the original 2002 US-UAE Open Skies agreement are confirmed. American, Delta United Airlines and their affiliated labor groups had sought to freeze UAE fifth freedom rights in the agreement, which would have prevented Dubai-based Emirates from expanding its transatlantic flights. Emirates operates Dubai-Milan-New York and Dubai-Athens-New York flights. The other UAE major airline, Etihad Airways, does not operate any fifth freedoms, nor does Qatar Airways from Doha to the US, but the rights are open to all US, UAE and Qatar carriers and are a standard of Open Skies pacts. Karen Walker/ATW karen.walker@informa.com https://atwonline.com/open-skies/ec-transport-chief-warns-us-not-curtail-air-italy-flights
  4. United Airlines pilots say that since the Chicago-based carrier now controls the board of the Colombian airline Avianca, Avianca flying falls under the scope clause in their contract. The United chapter of the Air Line Pilots filed a grievance on June 6. In a report to members, Grievance Committee Chairman Joe Pedata wrote that under the scope clause, “Company flying must be performed by pilots on the United seniority list, and Avianca pilots are not on our list.” The scope clause in a pilot contract determine how much flying can be outsourced. United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said late Tuesday, “The grievance is without merit. “Avianca Holdings remains an independent company and will continue to run their own airline,” McCarthy said. In May, United Airlines launched a management overhaul at Avianca Holdings, removing top shareholder German Efromovich from controlling the cash-strapped airline, Reuters reported. The move followed a default by BRW, Efromovich’s holding company, on a $456 million loan from United. Efromovich had controlled 51.5% of Avianca. United foreclosed on BRW and ceded voting rights to Kingsland Holding, which had been the second largest Avianca shareholder. Pedata wrote, “The transaction was many months in the making as United attempted to devise a scheme to avoid the scope provisions” in the contract. “Our belief is that, at this point, the company is no longer a simple creditor to Avianca, but rather in control of the corporation through the voting rights of Avianca's stock, which are now voted by Kingsland Holdings, a party designated by United,” Pedata said. The pilot contract defines company flying as "without limitation, all commercial flight operations of any sort whatsoever, whether revenue, nonrevenue, scheduled or unscheduled, conducted...by an entity managed by or under the control of the company.” Scope protection is a key topic as United and its pilots negotiate a new contract. The contract covering United’s 12,500 pilots became amendable Jan. 31, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/2019/06/18/united-pilots-say-avianca-deal-violates-scope-clause-in-their-contract/#545f5d194f0b
  5. Muita gente nem sabe, mas as telas usadas no sistema de entretenimento de bordo de algumas aeronaves possuem webcams embutidas por padrão. No início de 2019, o assunto virou polêmica quando alguns passageiros começaram a notar a presença das câmeras e questionaram sua relação com a privacidade. Agora, a companhia aérea Unite Airlines disse que começou a cobrir fisicamente as webcams. “Assim como acontece com muitas outras companhias aéreas, alguns dos nossos assentos premium têm sistemas de entretenimento em voo que vêm com câmeras instaladas pelo fabricante. Todas as câmeras foram cobertas, nunca foram ativadas e nós não temos planos de usá-las no futuro”, disse um porta-voz da United ao BuzzFeed. Os assentos da empresa vêm com telas da Panasonic já embutidas no encosto do banco e, apesar de não fazer muito sentido a presença dos sensores nos aviões, David Bartlett, diretor de tecnologia da Panasonic, disse ao The New York Times que as câmeras poderiam um dia fornecer recursos de entretenimento aprimorados. Dentre os possíveis usos, o executivo destaca uma espécie de chamada de vídeo entre os assentos, jogos, e até mesmo uma iluminação inteligente que escurece quando o a câmera detecta que o passageiro está dormindo. De acordo com David, as companhias aéreas também poderiam criar quadros digitais para que os passageiros pudessem tirar selfies e compartilhar nas redes sociais. A polêmica começou envolvendo a Singapore Airlines, que possuía telas equipadas com webcam nas suas aeronaves e não informava os passageiros nem revelava se os equipamentos estavam ativas. Pouco depois, foi descoberto que a Panasonic também forneceu as telas para companhias aéreas dos Estados Unidos, como a American Airlines e a United, mesmo que elas aleguem não ter encomendado displays com webcams. A American disse que desativou as câmeras nos seus aviões e que não tem planos de usá-las. A Delta também se posicionou alegando que as câmeras não são funcionais e que a empresa não tem planos de instalar o software necessário para usá-las. FONTE: https://canaltech.com.br/seguranca/united-airlines-esta-cobrindo-as-cameras-das-telas-nos-assentos-dos-avioes-138039/
  6. https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2019/03/26/united-flight-attendants-are-selling-their-seniority-and-the-airline-wants-it-to-stop/ by Gary Leff on March 26, 2019 Unionized flight attendants — and flight attendants at airlines whose procedures mirror union work rules — get to work the most desirable trips based on seniority. Senior flight attendants at large international airlines can jet away to Sydney, to Buenos Aires, to Paris while more junior flight attendants overnight in Des Moines. Those longer trips aren’t just more exotic. They pay more (more hours) in a short amount of time, have longer layovers, and may entail staying at better hotels. Last year I wrote about the secondary market some American Airlines flight attendants created renting out their seniority. They sell prime trip assignments to junior flight attendants, reportedly on average for $200 per trip. Flight attendants who bid for a trip and are assigned that trip have a property right in the trip. But they’re not supposed to use their seniority to gain desirable trips and then sell those trips, they’re supposed to fly the trips themselves and trade only when scheduling presents a problem. In other words they only get a partial property right and there’s not supposed to be a secondary market. Reportedly something similar is going on at United Airlines and both the airline and union are trying to crack down on it. (HT: Brian Sumers) A letter from the flight attendants union to members begins, Over the past few months, we have been aware that many of you have voiced concerns about illicit trip brokering where certain individuals have been improperly “parking” and holding trips for their personal gain. We’ve heard your frustration and recognize how many of you have exercised restraint in reporting this egregious activity to management because we are unionists. United is threatening to discharge flight attendants to bid for trips that they sell or barter instead of working themselves. The airline says “this is about fairness.. no flight attendant should have an unfair advantqage..managing their schedule or accessing flying opportunities.” The airline is giving something of value based on seniority to one group of workers, that’s valued more by others. Naturally a secondary market develops, and both parties benefit from the exchange. Problems here stem from inefficiently allocating what employees want most based on seniority, and then cowing to the envy of less senior flight attendants. United and its union are fighting the symptom of a broken duty assignment system that gives trips to flight attendants who don’t want to work them simply because they’ve been at the airline longer, and assigns trips to flight attendants less well-suited to the customer service roles as well. From a customer service standpoint I prefer more junior – less jaundiced – crew working the ‘best’ flights and indeed working long haul business class. Assigning customer service duties to an airline’s most profitable customers based primarily on being around the longest makes little sense for a business. It was United, though, the pioneered turning over scheduling decisions to the union. Pat Patterson who was President of the airline from 1934 until 1966 believed that unions were closer to the workers than management and could better understand their needs.
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