CATHAY, VIRGIN IN PRICE-FIXING PROBE
Cathay Pacific Airways and Virgin Atlantic are being scrutinised over possible price fixing on the London-Hong Kong route by the UK Office of Fair Trading. Cathay brought the matter to the OFT's attention and so will be immune from any subsequent penalty. Virgin Atlantic had previously acted as a similar "whistleblower" in a cartel case involving British Airways.
SENATE WANTS $1BN FOR NASA HEAVY LIFT ROCKET
The US Senate has taken aim at President Obama's pared-down space exploration plans by adding $726 million to his NASA budget request to fast-track a new heavylift rocket. Florida's Bill Nelson says: "If we're going to Mars, as the president has said, then let's get going."
AMERICAN POSTS FIRST QUARTER LOSS
AMR, parent of American Airlines, reported a net loss of $505 million for the first quarter despite 4.7% revenue growth to $5.1 billion: "We were simply unable to overcome the challenges of the global economic environment [and] escalating fuel prices."
CV-22 CRASH BLAMED ON BROWN-OUT
A fatal accident involving a US Air Force Bell Boeing CV-22 in Afghanistan was not caused by mechanical failure, according to a source familiar with the preliminary findings of a US military investigation. The tiltrotor's pilot - who died in the 8 April mishap along with three other personnel - apparently lost situational awareness while landing in a wadi at night under brown-out conditions.
AVIANCA-TACA EYES NEW REGIONAL AIRCRAFT
Avianca-TACA plans to select at least two new regional aircraft types this year to replace its Fokker 50s, 100s and ATR 42s. Chief executive Fabio Villegas says the group has launched a request for proposals covering jets and turboprops with capacities of up to 100 seats.
CRASH PROBE TO CLEAN 'NOISY' VOICE RECORDING
Investigators analysing the communications from the crew of the crashed Polish state Tupolev Tu-154 are trying to clean intrusive noise on recordings of the accident. The aircraft struck trees on approach to Smolensk, in dense fog, on 10 April.
CESSNA DELIVERS FIRST CJ4 BUSINESS JET
Cessna has delivered the first Citation CJ4 to an unnamed customer, one month after the light business jet received US certification. Cessna has chalked up more than 150 orders for the $9 million CJ4 and plans to deliver around 15 aircraft this year.
GAS DEAL MAY PUT ANTONOV IN RUSSIAN HANDS
Russia's United Aircraft may get control of Ukrainian airframer Antonov as part of a deal being negotiated by the two governments over the price of gas supplies, according to Russian media.
SOUTHWEST INSPECTS TUGS FOR SWITCH FAULT
Southwest Airlines is performing a fleet-wide check of its baggage tugs after a runaway vehicle damaged the engines and fuselage of a Boeing 737-300 (N624SW) leaving the gate at Los Angeles International airport on 9 April. Investigators found a faulty safety switch on the errant tug and others at the US hub.
Source: Flight International