American Airlines and US Airways Announce $11 Billion Merger

American Airlines and US Airways are reportedly engaging in negotiations on a possible merger. If successful, the merger will create the largest airline in the world, with a total equity value of $11 billion.

The new airline will use the American Airlines name, and it will exceed current leader United Continental Holdings Inc by 2% in terms of traffic. According to 2012 figures, its revenue will be approximately $39 million, which is $2 billion more than that of United Continental. The majority of the merged airline will be owned by creditors, employees of American Airlines’ parent company AMR Corp, and unions. AMR Corp filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

The merger, which has to be approved by the US Bankruptcy Court and regulators, can help the airline industry in the US recover faster. With the elimination of another competitor, airlines will have more freedom to increase fares. A number of major airline mergers had occurred since 2008, including the purchase of Northwest by Delta Air Lines, the United-Continental merger, and the purchase of AirTran Holdings by Southwest Airlines. These mergers have given the airline industry a more stable financial footing.

With the merger, American Airlines will once again be the leading airline in the US, a position that it lost in recent years due to high labor costs. On its own, it is presently the third largest airline in terms of traffic, trailing United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. The merger will also give passengers of American Airlines and US Airways access to more destinations.

Airlines, airplane operators, and airplane owners can make ground handling more efficient and cost-effective by using aircraft tugs to move their planes. Lindbergh’s high quality airplane tow tugs are specially designed to make the task of moving airplanes more effortless and safer, and they can also help reduce labor and fuel costs.

Which Airlines Have the Worst Safety Records?

Flying is actually one of the safest ways to travel. In 2012, airplane fatality rate dropped to its lowest point since 1945. However, deadly crashes can still happen, and they occur more frequently with certain airlines.

The Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center, or JACDEC, just released the new Airline Safety Ranking, an annual listing of the best and worst airlines in terms of safety record. The ratings were based on aviation accident statistics, such as the number of fatalities, hull losses, and serious accidents that occurred in the last 30 years in relation to the number of miles flown. Other factors that were taken into consideration included safety benchmarks set by the IOSA Audit, the USOAP country factor, and a time factor that gave more weight to accidents that occurred recently. However, JACDEC did not consider whether or not the airlines were at fault or what caused the hull losses when it was ranking the airlines.

Out of the 60 airlines that were analyzed, China Airlines was ranked the airline with the worst safety record. The company had eight hull losses in the past three decades, which resulted in 755 fatalities. TAM Airlines came in second with six hull losses and 336 deaths, followed by Air India with three hull loses and 329 deaths. Fourth place went to GOL Transportes Aereos, which had one hull loss and 154 fatalities.

Airlines and aircraft owners should look for ways to prevent accidents both in the air and on the ground. Moving airplanes with powered aircraft tugs is an effective way to minimize the risk of ground accidents. Lindbergh’s airplane tow tugs are highly flexible, and they are equipped with excellent braking systems to prevent collisions on the ground.

FAA Grounds 787 Dreamliners Due to Risk of Battery Fires

The Federal Aviation Administration has released an emergency order to ground Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners following reports of battery problems.

The grounding of Boeing’s most advanced jetliner only affects one American carrier. United Airlines is the only carrier in the United States that operates 787 Dreamliners, and it said that it will cooperate with the FAA and Boeing to perform safety checks on its six Dreamliners.

The FAA decision was made after Japan’s two largest carriers, which collectively operate nearly half of the 50 787 Dreamliners in the world, grounded the jetliners for safety reviews. Last month, two 787s operated by the two carriers experienced potentially dangerous battery problems. In the latest incident, pilots on an All Nippon Airways flight from Yamaguchi Ube airport to Tokyo smelled something burning and were warned that the airplane was having battery problems. They landed the airplane in Takamatsu airport and evacuated the passengers. On Jan. 7, a battery fire occurred on a Japan Airlines plane that was parked in the Logan Airport in Boston.

The 787 Dreamliner is the first airplane in which lithium-ion batteries are used extensively. The use of these batteries has raised concerns in the past because they are more likely to catch fire than other kinds of batteries. However, the FAA gave special permission for them to be used in the 787. The remedy for the battery problems can range from easy improvements to extensive modifications that can cause significant delays in deliveries.

Other than ensuring the safety of passengers, airlines, airports, fixed based operators, and aircraft owners should also take the necessary measures to prevent ground accidents. One way to do this is to use aircraft tugs to move airplanes while they are on the ground. Lindbergh’s airplane tow tugs are specially designed to reduce the risk of ground accidents, and they can also help lower labor and fuel costs.