Friday, October 31, 2014

69 News gets up-close look at abandoned hangar where Frein was caught: Old airstrip at former resort


POCONO TWP., Pa. - On Friday, investigators returned to the airpark where Frein was caught Thursday night.

We're told the resort around it was known as a honeymoon spot until the late '90's.

Now it'll have a much different reputation, going forward.

Both entrances of Birchwood Road were closed for much of the day.

The only people going around the barricades, dozens of cars filled with state troopers have been going in and out of the search area.

State troopers passing through barricades and helicopters in the air were the only thing many behind the roadblock had seen.

The 48 day search for Eric Frein ended at this old resort property, known as the Birchwood Resort.

"It was a nice place," said a homeowner in the area, Moe Zamani.

"I was surprised they catch him over there."

The 290 acre property is currently for sale.

There are numerous buildings and an airport hangar.

Jack Muehlan flew passengers here in the 70's.

"It was an active airport," added Muehlan.

"I flew in and out, there were glider rides and everything else."

US marshals caught up with Eric Frein just outside of the airport hangar.

They gave commands and the alleged cop killer that was on the run for 48 days was captured.

This is a look at the inside of the hangar after police opened the road and left the search area.

Some living around the area say generally Birchwood Road is used to shave a few minutes off the commute, or they've seen people hiking at the old resort.

Now they want to hear more about the last moments of Frein's time on the run.

"I'm glad it's over it was just disrupting life in the Poconos." said Muehlan.

"I don't believe it," added Zamani.   "I was shocked when I heard they caught him over here."

Our partner station, WPVI, is reporting that the gun suspected of being used in the ambush last month.... was found inside the hangar.

WPVI also says a journal was found, but its contents have not been disclosed.

Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com



POCONO TOWNSHIP — The old Birchwood Resort where Frein was captured Thursday night is near Tannersville, and while there was an airport at that old resort, the arrest caused some confusion at a different airport near Mount Pocono in Monroe County. 

 There’s been so much buzz about that airport hangar right around where U.S. Marshals found Eric Frein, but the word airport caused some confusion. Instead of going to the old hangar at the Birchwood resort near Tannersville, some police officers rushed to the Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport near Mount Pocono.

Aerial video taken with the help of Hi Tech Helicopters shows the actual airport hangar near Tannersville where Frein actually was found. This hangar is located at the former Birchwood resort.

New images Friday morning show police activity as investigators continued to collect evidence to make sure they didn’t miss anything last night.

Because of the confusion over airports, a number of officers ended up at the Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport by accident Thursday night. One pilot we talked with said he was just finishing his workday when things got a little chaotic.

“No guns drawn thankfully. We were worried like maybe but we didn’t know what was going on. They wanted to get into hangars and stuff and we said there was nothing going on here,” said Brett Kita, pilot with Moyer Aviation at Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport.

Staff at the Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport say they were surprised when all the cops showed up because they were already law enforcement people there who have been using the airport’s facilities during the seven-week search.

The staff got a lot of calls from national media but as we reported, Frein was actually captured near the old airport hangar at the Birchwood resort about 10 miles away.

Frein was brought before a judge Friday morning to be formally charged with murder.


Story, comments and video:  http://wnep.com

Olympic National Forest taking more time with Navy electronic warfare training plan

The U.S. Forest Service announced Friday that is slowing down a Navy proposal to enhance jet training above the Olympic National Forest.

For the second time, the Forest Service is extending a public comment period on the Navy’s request to use forestland for electronic warfare training that would benefit a growing fleet of EA-18 Growler jets based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. 

The Navy wants to use up to 15 sites in the forest as temporary stations for three trucks equipped with electronic communications gear. The jets would be challenged to find electronic signals emitted by the trucks as practice for the surveillance and radar-busting assignments handed to Growler jets in war zones.

Hundreds of people have already commented on the proposal, with many expressing concerns about how the training would impact wildlife or the atmosphere of the forest. Opponents protested outside of the Forest Service headquarters in Olympia on Oct. 24.

“I’ve decided to extend the current public comment period to ensure the public has plenty of time to share their thoughts,” said Forest Service Pacific District Ranger Dean Millett in a news release. The new deadline is Nov. 28.

The Navy on Nov. 6 is scheduled to a hold a public meeting on the proposal in Port Angeles. It is to take place at 6 p.m. at the City Council chambers, 321 E. Fifth St.
 
Training could take place up to 260 days a year, but the Navy says the trucks would be rotated among the 15 locations.

The noise generated by the jets should not be noticeably different from the sounds of Navy training that already occurs above the Olympic National Forest, Navy officials told The News Tribune.

The Navy has said it will take steps to protect forest users, such as posting signs and shutting down training if people move into an exercise area.

The Navy has 84 Growler jets stationed on Whidbey Island. It wants to use the Olympic Peninsula for electronic warfare training area as an alternative to a location 400 nautical miles away in Idaho.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/10/31/3462620_forest-service-slows-down-navy.html?sp=/99/289/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

How to comment

The U.S. Forest Service is gathering public comments on a Navy plan to expand training for electronic warfare jets in the Olympic National Forest until Nov. 28.

To read about the project and to comment, go to: http://go.usa.gov/785z

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com

India’s aviation downgrade by US Federal Aviation Administration set to be revoked soon

In what could be seen as the first positive impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States on the Indian aviation sector, India’s embarrassing downgrade by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this year could be revoked, with the FAA team slated to carry out another inspection on December 8 this year.

This also comes in the backdrop of a three-member team visiting Brussels in the first week of November for a meeting with officials of the EU Air Safety Committee to discuss measures taken by the Indian aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), to improve its performance after the FAA downgrade.

Finding regulatory oversight to be inadequate, the FAA had downgraded India from Category 1 to Category 2 under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program on January 31 earlier this year. The move has barred Air India and Jet Airways — the only two Indian airlines that operate to the US — from expanding their operations in the US and impacted codeshare arrangements with their American counterparts.

The DGCA needed to recruit 20 officials – chief flight operations inspectors (CFOI) — to deal with the staff shortage pertaining to Air India and Jet Airways. To improve it’s overall safety record, however, it needed to recruit 75 CFOIs.

“We have already recruited 56 new inspectors, of which 39 have already joined work, and the rest will join by next week. Applications are under process for rest of the 16 positions; and all 75 positions would be filled by November 16,” a senior DGCA official told The Indian Express.

While operations by Indian air carriers to and from EU are closely monitored through their Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft program (SAFA), the FAA’s downgrade essentially meant that the DGCA was below par in meeting standards in technical expertise, trained manpower and maintenance records of air safety. It did not have skilled technical staff in the organization.

“The FAA downgrade has a cascading effect, and the EU had raised concerns over the downgrade and the measures taken by the DGCA to better its performance. A DGCA team headed by Joint Director General Lalit Gupta will visit Brussels in the first week of November for a meeting with officials of the EU Air Safety Committee to discuss the measures taken,” an official said.

A Category 2 rating by the FAA has made India one of the 16 countries out of a total of 88 that have been assessed under IASA; the 16 include Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, the Philippines and Nicaragua.

- Source: http://indianexpress.com

Lake County, city leaders mark Lost Nation Municipal Airport (KLNN) transfer

After an eight-year layover, Lake County and its’s economic development agency have ceremonially taken over the Lost Nation Airport in Willoughby.

Members of the Lake County Port and Economic Development Authority, Willoughby and Mentor city officials and Lake County leaders gathered for a ribbon cutting Oct. 31 to commemorate the transfer at the Classic Jet Center at the airport.

“I think this is an exciting day,” said Mark Rantala, executive director of the Lake County Port and Economic Development Authority. “We are going to try to operate it as an effective business attraction tool for Lake County and support the business of Lake County who surround the airport and benefit from air service at their front door.”

The transfer was official Oct. 8 and moved the ownership from the city of Willoughby to Lake County and the Lake County Port and Economic Development Authority, a transaction that took eight years and was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“The optimal course of action was for the authority to take over the airport from the city of Willoughby with the county as our cosponsor, and we would manage it as a self-supporting entity,” said Harry Allen, chairman of the Lake County Port and Economic Development Authority Board. “That is our goal and job at hand, and it is a big one but we are excited.”

The airport currently has 115 employees, and Allen said he hopes to add another 100 jobs in two years.

“I think that is a realistic goal,” he said. “At the same time, we have taken out all of the doubt for those people who are current lease holders, and there are many, who didn’t know what the future would be, so that solidifies their planning and enable them to consider new investment in their existing facilities and possibly new facilities.”

All three Lake County Commissioners were at the event to show support for the transfer.

“I’m a firm believer that government doesn’t create jobs, but I think government’s role is to make sure the proper infrastructure, property amenities and proper services are in place that will make business take off ... and I think that is what we have done here,” Commissioner Daniel Troy said at the event. “We didn’t really have any interest in getting into the airport business as a county, but there were a lot of people that felt this was a very important part of our economic infrastructure to maintain the presence of an airport in Lake County.”

He said the transfer will encourage investment in the property and the property surrounding the airport.

“I think by doing this today, we have made Lake County a little bit better,” Troy said. “This is a great day for Lake County because it will improve our economy and I think that is what we are all doing in partnership here.”

Willoughby Mayor David Anderson said at the event that it was a “surreal moment” for him.

“I don’t feel like I am withdrawing Willoughby from the airport,” he said. “We know Willoughby is going to be a big part of the future as is the city of Mentor, and we are going to be true partners here, Willoughby, Mentor and Lake County, in making this the very best airport it can be.”

- Source:  http://www.news-herald.com

Missing hunter found after helicopter search uses infrared imaging

PHELPS COUNTY, Mo. — A 54-year-old hunter who went missing on U.S. Forest land last week was found, injured, after a Missouri Highway Patrol helicopter used infrared imaging in a nighttime search.

According to the MSHP, on Friday, Oct. 24 at around 9:45 p.m., the patrol was requested by the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the search for the missing hunter.

A trooper called for an MSHP helicopter equipped with a Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) thermal imaging device. The aircraft arrived just after midnight, and the MSHP reported the FLIR unit and pilots found the man within 10 minutes by spotting his disposable lighter through the infrared imaging. Troopers manning the helicopter then guided searching officers to the hunter’s location, where they discovered he had injured his ankle. He was extracted and taken to treatment.

According to the MSHP website, the patrol's aircraft fleet currently consists of four helicopters, eight single-engine Cessna, and two Beechcraft King Air.


- Source:  http://lakeexpo.com

Why airport manager was fired: Coeur d'Alene (KCOE), Idaho

MIKE SATREN/Guest Opinion 

"Hell Bent For Election" describes many politicians as election day looms, but city planners could likewise be described as Hell Bent for Tax Revenues as they rush to approve growth projects and developers as Hell Bent for Profits as they push for zoning changes to build their developments as densely as allowed. That arm-in-arm relationship is considered a win-win for city planners and for developers in cahoots, but each with his own self-interest in mind.

What that means for many airports located close to municipalities is encroachment of construction too dense for safety, if city planners and developers get their way. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) convened a task force years ago armed with National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) data of airplane crashes in the vicinity of airports. Using density of crash data as a guide, six impact zones were identified, scaled to the type of airport, length of runway, etc., to protect pilots, passengers and those on the ground from undue harm should an aircraft have problems and need to land, now. A number of states have incorporated these zones into airport land-use planning handbooks.


Then Coeur d'Alene Airport Manager Greg Delavan called to inform me about a Kootenai Area Planning Reconciliation Workshop for Elected Officials at the Kroc Center (which was held on Sept. 3) regarding the CdA Airport Master Plan, which incorporates the above-described six impact zones and the City of Hayden's frustrated plans to expand. In attendance were City of Hayden Community and Economic Development Director Connie Krueger, the three Kootenai County commissioners, plus representatives from the cities of Hayden, Coeur d'Alene, Rathdrum, the Lakes Highway District, and in the audience, Delavan,  Airport Advisory Board Chair John Adams and KMPO Executive Director Glenn Miles. The forum was facilitated by an independent contractor, Marsha Bracke.

According to Krueger, who gave the main presentation, the City of Hayden's plans to expand are being hamstrung by the airport's plans for future expansion and by the six impact zones which were incorporated in the most recent iteration of the Airport Master Plan to safeguard specific approach segments of land for safety reasons. She particularly blamed the six impact zones for the bottleneck of development approvals that were frustrating her plans. She admitted getting emotional when she talked about the six impact zones.

KMPO's Miles then got up and gave a similar rant against those safety zones.

When I went to the bathroom during intermission, the talk was all about the evils of the six impact zones and the harm that was being done because of the holdup in plans caused by them.

By the time Delavan got up to field questions, the mood of the place was hostile, all feeling the pain of poor Hayden and its hurdles to growth.

Except for Delavan, Adams and myself, I knew of no other pilots in the room, yet all these non-pilots seemed to be similarly emotional about the restrictions to their beloved development. As the sole survivor of a fatal airplane accident, I get emotional about greedy city planners and developers who put pilots, passengers and others on the ground at needless risk.

Back in 2008, I was on the board of the Coeur d'Alene Airport Association when the board and I took it upon ourselves to participate in the hearings being held by the Kootenai County Planning and Zoning Commission, which was compiling information for its new Kootenai County Comprehensive Plan. Immediately I noticed that the Coeur d'Alene Airport was not even mentioned in the Transportation Section, which seemed to have been largely written by KMPO.

So, referencing Spokane County's Comprehensive Plan, I built an airport model for Kootenai County's Transportation Section appropriate for Kootenai County's lone airport and included the FAA's six impact zones, which I drew by hand and to scale on a map of Coeur d'Alene Airport.

After the Kootenai Comp Plan was finalized, Delavan, along with the Coeur d'Alene Airport Advisory Board, incorporated these six impact zones into the new Coeur d'Alene Airport Master Plan.

Many people do not know that some national developers (not necessarily those in Kootenai County) make it part of their business plan to buy cheap land around airports, lobby for city planners to change the zoning by promising tax revenues, build dense housing, sell it off quickly before the buyers realize they are under the approach or takeoff zones, then move on to greener pastures.

The airport, its users and the people of the region who realize benefits from the airport (without realizing it) take the hit when complaints from these new upset home owners start rolling in. Timid politicians then try to placate these homeowners by putting restrictions on the use of the airport, noise abatements, closing the airport to takeoffs and landings between certain hours, and restricting future growth of the airport that would benefit the community as a whole.

When the FAA congealed these six impact zones, it based its findings on statistical data populated with dots showing crash locations relative to each runway. In the interests of reality, rarely are crashes of aircraft truly represented by dots where the aircraft actually spins straight in; rather they are longish dashes representing an aircraft trying to bleed off speed and energy in a more horizontal direction. In these cases building density matters.

Greg Delavan was attempting to put in place a future for Coeur d'Alene Airport/Pappy Boyington Field in as safe a manner as possible and in my opinion, because it became an impediment to tax revenues and developer profits, he was fired.

Story and Comments:  http://www.cdapress.com

British Airways’ Parent Lifts Guidance: International Consolidated Airlines Group Boosted by Turnaround at Its Iberia Unit

The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall
Updated Oct. 31, 2014 6:00 a.m. ET


LONDON—British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA on Friday raised its full-year earnings guidance as a turnaround at Spanish unit Iberia spurred a 30% rise in third-quarter operating profit.

The company said it expects operating profit to rise by between €550 million ($878 million) and €600 million this year, having previously projected a €500 million rise from last year’s €770 million.

Operating profit in the third quarter was €900 million, up from €690 million a year earlier. Net profit rose 3.1% to €598 million on an 8.5% rise in sales to €5.87 billion.

Shares rose more than 3% in early London trading.

IAG’s results contrast with those of rivals Air France-KLM SA, Europe’s largest carrier by traffic, and Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Both warned of overcapacity this week, and Lufthansa on Thursday cut its profit forecast for next year.

“We are in a completely different position,” IAG Chief Executive Willie told reporters Friday. “We addressed challenges that they are facing up to much earlier than they did.”

Air France-KLM and Lufthansa both have faced labor unrest amid efforts to cut costs. IAG faced similar disruptions last year as it tried to stem losses at Spanish unit Iberia. The airline reached an agreement with labor groups for deep structural changes, including more than 3,000 job cuts.

Iberia’s operating profit more than doubled in the third quarter to €162 million, while British Airways delivered an operating profit of €607 million, 27% higher than last year’s level. Barcelona-based discount unit Vueling’s operating profit was little changed at €140 million.

IAG is benefiting from strong economic growth in the U.S.—crucial to its trans-Atlantic routes—and in the U.K. Mr. Walsh said that, following its cost cuts, the company is “growing into areas where others are retreating because they are unable to compete effectively.”

“We see these results as further evidence of IAG’s superior financial performance and earnings momentum compared with its network carrier peers,” Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo said.

Mr. Walsh said he was “confident” the company will meet its operating profit target of €1.8 billion next year. Analysts widely expect IAG to beat that figure amid lower fuel prices and cost cuts, and even lift the goal at a capital markets day next week. Mr. Walsh said the airline would also provide an update then on its dividend plans.

IAG is modernizing its fleet to replace gas-guzzling planes with more fuel-efficient ones. British Airways last year introduced Airbus Group NV A380 superjumbo and Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner long-range jets.

The company had held off on buying new planes for Iberia until restructuring measures were showing success. IAG last month ordered eight Airbus A330-200 long-range jets for Iberia for delivery from next year, alongside a deal for eight A350-900 jets to replace less efficient four-engine A340 planes.

“We continued to grow capacity efficiently and both our non-fuel and fuel unit cost performances were strong with the latter boosted by the introduction of new, more efficient aircraft into our flee,” Mr. Walsh said. Still, the carrier has trimmed its fourth-quarter growth plans to around 6% capacity growth from about 7.5%, he said.

 - Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Cyprus Airways locked in crucial Friday talks

Efforts to secure the future of struggling national air carrier Cyprus Airways (CA) got underway on Friday as talks begin with potential suitors amidst protests from airline employees.

On Friday morning, the CA technical committee – which is tasked with negotiating with potential investors the future of the ailing airline – met with officials of Ryanair who have reportedly expressed an interest in purchasing the CA name and emblem.

A similar meeting will take place later on Friday with officials of Aegean Airlines while representatives of the Greek airline also approached the Cyprus Civil Aviation Authority to request an air operator's certificate (AOC).

While talks were ongoing, union-backed employees of CA held a protest outside the KPMG offices in Nicosia – where the first meeting talk place with Ryanair – over what they feel is the government’s decision to turn their back on them.

CA unions were recently informed by Finance Minister Harris Georgiades that the state would not longer throw money at the airline but instead focus all its efforts on finding potential investors or buyers.

In statements at the Finance Ministry, Georgiades said the government has not initiated the company’s forced sale but was looking for investors.

A European Commission decision as regards an investigation into state aid expected in the next few months, will be decisive for the airline’s future, said the Minister.

“Even in the case of a negative outcome, the government’s priority is not to leave any of the employees without cover”.

Georgiades went on to say that the company has received €130 million from the state over the period 2007 to 2014. He added that company loans, guaranteed by the state, were worth €78m in 2007, while company assets sold from 2010 to 2014 were worth €111m.

The minister also hit out at opposition parties who have accused the government of forcing closure on the stuttering airline arguing that it was the previous administration that hid its head in the sand instead of dealing with the matter promptly.

- See more at: http://incyprus.philenews.com

Tampa International Airport (KTPA) hits record high revenue number

Historic load factors of almost 90 percent this summer combined with a massive increase in international travel helped propel Tampa International Airport to spikes in passenger numbers and revenues over last year.

In July and August, load factors were 87.9 percent and 86.2 percent respectively and were the highest in the airport's history for those months. International seat capacity grew 20 percent when Edelweiss Air added a second weekly service and Copa Airlines began service to Panama.

The airport handled about 600,000 international passengers in fiscal year 2014, up about 13.7 percent from last year.

"This unprecedented growth is a testament to what we can accomplish in the Tampa Bay market when we work together to make it happen," airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a prepared statement.

In other news from international carriers, Air Canada and WestJet both had big years in Tampa with 9.8 percent and 6 percent growth respectively.

The airport also cited added frequency by Delta Air Lines to Atlanta and Los Angeles as reasons for the numbers going up.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority had record revenue of $197.2 million in FY 2014, about $13 million more than last year. Airport officials point to increases across revenue generators like parking and ground transportation, food and beverage, and car rental.

The authority will add about $8.1 million to the cash reserves for future capital projects or to pay down debt, according to a statement.

The airport is expected to pass the $200 million in revenue next fiscal year.

- Source:  http://www.bizjournals.com

Aviation chief: Chicago O'Hare International (KORD) noise problems won't go away

Aldermen pressing for a firm commitment from the city to reduce noise from jets at O'Hare International Airport were told Friday by the outgoing aviation commissioner that "airplanes do create noise."

Regarding the record number of O'Hare noise complaints received from Chicago and suburban residents over the past year, Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino said: "I can't say that information (on noise complaints) is going to change the result of anything. I can't say to you that we are going to stop flying."

During hearing on the Department of Aviation's 2015 budget, Andolino, who is set to leave her post soon, offered no promises of noise abatement. Instead she stressed the economic importance to the region of the almost $10 billion O'Hare expansion project, and she pointed out that airplane noise is a national issue.

Flight patterns at O'Hare shifted to mostly easterly and westerly flows in October 2013 when a second new runway opened. The change redirected jet noise, hitting communities east and west of the airport with more noise while generally reducing the impact north and south of the airfield.

Andolino rejected a proposal from Ald. Margaret Laurino, 39th, that the city keep O'Hare's four diagonal runways open to help spread out the noise from takeoffs and landings.

"The process doesn't allow for that," Andolino said, referring to a state law that limits O'Hare to eight total runways.

Under the O'Hare Modernization Program, two diagonals will remain and they will be used sparingly, primarily when strong crosswinds make the planned six east-west runways unusable, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Andolino said the city has asked the FAA to expedite a national review of a rule that determines homeowners' eligibility for government-funded residential soundproofing based on 24-hour jet noise averages.

The FAA study, which could lead to a lower noise threshold being established, is expected to take several more years.

The FAA's NextGen air-traffic modernization program is aimed primarily at improving safety and increasing capacity for more flights, Andolino said, but NextGen will also help reduce noise.

"Technology is our friend," she told aldermen.

Amid the noise-related questions, the overall tone of the hearing was mostly a love fest praising Andolino, who has been aviation commissioner since 2009 and was director of O'Hare expansion starting in 2003.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said earlier that Andolino would step down in October, but she has remained on the job and hasn't indicated when her last day would be.

Emanuel asked former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to lead a nationwide search for Andolino's replacement.

At Friday's hearing, Ald. Mary O'Connor, 41st, renewed her call for City Council hearings on the noise impact of O'Hare's expansion. O'Connor and Laurino first requested the hearings almost a year ago.

"The parallel runways have greatly diminished the quality of life on the Far Northwest Side," O'Connor said. "This is the new reality."

Andolino told aldermen that "unfortunately, we don't always have the answers that some community groups would like to see."

- Source:  http://www.chicagotribune.com

Airlines try to boost fares

October has been the busiest month this year for attempted airfare hikes among major airlines, despite Ebola fears and low jet fuel prices.

The latest attempt, by American Airlines-US Airways, was relatively small — up to $4 per round trip — but it covered the bulk of American's route system, according to Rick Seaney of FareCompare.com.

Within days, the fare hike had failed when too few of its competitors followed and the newly merged airline rolled back its prices, Seaney reported.

In the hypercompetitive airline business, fares typically increase when one carrier raises prices and others follow. If competitors don't follow, the initiator usually drops back its fares.

The attempt was the 21st this year and the fourth in October alone. Five have succeeded this year.

Seaney noted that fare-hike attempts suggest that Ebola fears are not hurting demand for flights, and airline executives last week said as much during their quarterly earnings conference calls.

It also means savings from lower jet fuel prices, which boosted airline profits, are not being passed along to consumers, he said.

Other fare-hike attempts included a $10 increase per round trip on Oct. 9 initiated by JetBlue Airways. It was matched by other major airlines but then rolled back, with only JetBlue sticking with the increase. After another attempt Oct. 14 by United Airlines and Air Canada ended in failure, a Delta Air Lines hike of $4 on Oct. 16 succeeded, according to FareCompare.

The average domestic airfare is $396, up 2.5 percent after inflation compared with last year, according to second-quarter data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Since 1995, inflation-adjusted fares declined 14.7 percent compared with a 56.3 percent increase in overall consumer prices, the Transportation Department said.


- Source:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com