Northwest to sell nine A319s
Northwest Airlines unveiled plans in July to sell nine of its 65 Airbus A319s. Its Air Line Pilots Association chapter protested the plan, which shifts mainline flying that its members had performed to lower-paid pilots belonging to other union chapters. Northwest claims it had decided to sell the A319s before it trimmed schedules in response to a recent pilot shortage. The airline plans to increase its regional jet flying by 17% this year and has ordered 72 new 76-seat regional jets.

Virgin America's green light
Virgin America Airlines plans to launch flights in early August between its San Francisco hub and both Los Angeles and New York JFK. The start-up began selling tickets in mid-July, with one-way cross-country economy seats starting at $139 and first-class seats starting at $389 each way. The carrier has already launched a loyalty plan, called eleVAte, and plans to start later in the third-quarter service to Las Vegas and Washington Dulles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Lynx selects initial routes
Lynx Aviation, the new turboprop unit of Frontier Airlines, has unveiled its first routes as it prepares to launch services from Denver in early October. Its newly delivered 74-seat Bombardier Q400s will initially serve Wichita, Kansas Rapid City, South Dakota and Sioux City, Iowa. By December it will serve a total of nine low-density, high-yield routes within 250 miles of Denver, from which mainline Frontier services offer connections to 60 larger North American destinations. Some 60 cities have asked for Lynx service.

Skybus goes international
New low-fares carrier Skybus plans to fly to Cancun in Mexico and Nassau in the Bahamas from October. Columbus, Ohio-based Skybus is also adding three new domestic destinations in July, including San Diego and smaller general aviation airports near Jacksonville in Florida and Hartford in Connecticut.

Carriers gain on ARINC sale
Major US carriers sold their stakes in ARINC to private equity firm Carlyle Group, with American Airlines gaining some $140 million from the sale and United netting about $40 million.

Source: Airline Business