Thursday, June 28, 2012

Port of Walla Walla to consider airline rent, fee reductions

WALLA WALLA -- Port of Walla Walla commissioners will consider reducing Alaska Airlines' rents and fees during a 2 p.m. Friday meeting at the port's office, 310 A St., in Walla Walla.

The port is trying to keep commercial air service at the Walla Walla Regional Airport, said Jim Kuntz, the port's executive director. Currently, Alaska Airlines provides two daily flights between Walla Walla and Seattle, and said it operates the market at a loss.

Reducing the rent is part of the port's solution to the Walla Walla market losing money, Kuntz said.

The port also may postpone negotiations with Northwest Grain Growers until after wheat harvest is complete.

Foreign pilots' body seeks Director General of Civil Aviation intervention to end IPG strike

Striking Air India pilots got backing from a global pilots' body which extended them support and sought intervention of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to end the deadlock that entered the 52nd day on Thursday. 

In a letter to DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan, International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Association (IFALPA) said, "It is our view that DGCA, as the responsible regulator, is in a unique position and can make a very positive contribution towards ending this dispute.

"We would ask you to use your good offices to bring both sides back to the negotiating table so that the differing views can be resolved," IFALPA President Capt Don Wykoff said in the letter. IFALPA claims to represent over 100,000 professional pilots in more than 90 countries worldwide.

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Boeing 737 chartered for one asylum seeker

An empty 737 plane chartered by the Federal Government was used to transfer a single asylum seeker from Christmas Island to Perth at the weekend. 

Fewer than five passengers are understood to have been on the aircraft - which usually seats 130 - including the injured asylum seeker and an accompanying Serco guard and immigration officer.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration confirmed the Saturday morning flight and said the decision was made to use the jet to move the man because it was already sitting on standby at Christmas Island's airport.

He said it was the "quickest and best" way to get him to Perth for treatment.

The plane left for the 3-hour journey just hours before the scheduled Virgin flight to Perth departed Christmas Island that evening.

The West Australian understands the man, who was on the asylum seeker boat that sank last week, was being treated for two severed fingers.

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