TownePlace Suites by Marriott completes renovations at ABQ

The 107-suite TownePlace Suites at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) in Albuquerque, New Mexcio has completed renovation of its suites and fitness center, as well as introduced a new breakfast room, the company said.

TownePlace Suites Albuquerque Airport offers spacious studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with separate living/working and sleeping areas. The suites feature fully equipped kitchens, as well as new bedding and a large flat screen television. Guests will also find upgraded lighting throughout, including in the trademarked Home Office Suite, designed to provide guests with plenty of storage and flexible space.

The new breakfast room is designed with varied seating options throughout, and offers expanded breakfast food offerings. Breakfast is complimentary every day of the week. the breakfast room is open all day, allowing guests to utilize the space beyond the morning hours.

Renovations included updates to the hotel´s 24-hour fitness center, including new equipment complete with individual LCD televisions. The hotel continues to offer laundry facilities, 24-hour coffee service, and 24-hour market, where guests can pick up select food and beverage items. The TownePlace Suites Albuquerque Airport is pet-friendly (fees may apply).

TownePlace Suites by Marriott is an all-suite, extended-stay hotel brand in the moderate price range. Launched in 1997, the brand currently has more than 200 locations in the United States and Canada. TownePlace Suites participates in the award-winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay.

DFW selects Archer Western to build USD 28.5m rail station

Archer Western has been selected by the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to build a new USD 28.5m TEX Rail station adjacent to Terminal B at DFW, the company said.

The Terminal B station will serve as the terminating stop in TEX Rail´s planned 27-mile commuter rail project, currently under construction by the Archer Western Herzog Joint Venture that will connect downtown Fort Worth and DFW Airport.

The new line is expected to serve 8,000 daily riders, and will improve commuting times to and from Fort Worth, and will feature a walkway connecting to the existing Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) station next to Terminal A.

Archer Western has completed more than 55-miles of passenger rail in the Dallas Fort Worth area over the last 17 years and is currently delivering new automated people mover systems at Orlando and Tampa international airports.

Archer Western is part of The Walsh Group, a 119-year-old family-owned company providing design, build, finance, operation and activation services. The Walsh Group operates as Archer Western, Walsh Construction, and Walsh Canada across 19 regional offices.

Allegiant passenger traffic increases in January 2017

Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) has reported increases in preliminary passenger traffic results for January 2017, the airline said.

Passengers, revenue passenger miles, and available seat miles for scheduled service increased 16.8%, 12.5%, and 15.85, respectively, for January 2017 compared to January 2016.

For the total system, which includes scheduled service and fixed fee contracts, passengers, revenue passenger miles, and available seat miles increased 17.0%, 12.5%, and 16.9%, respectively, for January 2017 compared to January 2016.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant offers industry-low fares on an all-jet fleet while also offering other travel-related products such as hotel rooms, rental cars, and attraction tickets. Beginning with one aircraft and one route in 1999, the company has grown to over 80 aircraft and more than 300 routes across the country with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket.

Bombardier Global aircraft achieve 2,500 Aspen airport takeoffs, landings

Since 2000, Bombardier Global aircraft have surpassed 2,500 takeoffs and landings at Aspen´s challenging Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, the company said.

Delivering a steep approach capability, Bombardier´s Global aircraft are ideally suited to operate in and out of the rugged terrain surrounding Aspen/Snowmass. Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is nestled among Rocky Mountain peaks at approximately 7,820 feet (2,384 m) above sea level.

Global business jets demonstrate their agility and deft landing capabilities at the challenging airfield. With impressive range, speed and reliability that blend perfectly to offer outstanding field performance, the Global 5000 business jet can effortlessly access some of the world´s most challenging airports, including Aspen and London City. The Global 6000 aircraft is the largest purpose-built business jet capable of mastering the high altitude Aspen airfield.

Montréal, Canada-based Bombardier manufactures both planes and trains. Shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and the company is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indices. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, BBD posted revenues of USD 18.2 billion.

Mesa Airlines flight attendants to vote on strike

Mesa Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), are readying for a possible strike at the carrier after mediated negotiations recently stalled, the AFA said.

Strike vote ballots will be sent to the over 700 FLIGHT ATTENDANTS on February 28, 2017, with a vote count scheduled for March 29, 2017. Mesa Airlines operates flights for American Airlines as American Eagle, and United Airlines as United Express.

Mesa flight attendants have engaged in years of stalled contract negotiations and are underpaid compared to other flight attendants flying for United and American airlines. With negotiations recently stalled out over economic issues, Mesa flight attendant leaders are seeking membership approval to pressure Mesa Airlines management to agree to a fair contract.

This lack of progress could lead to the National Mediation Board (NMB) declaring that negotiations are deadlocked and releasing both parties into a 30-day “cooling off” period leading to a strike deadline. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS or Create Havoc Around Our System. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system or a single flight; the union decides when, where, and how to strike without notice to management or passengers.

Phoenix, Arizona-based Mesa Airlines provides 600 daily departures to 117 cities, 39 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico.

The Association of Flight Attendants is focused 100% on flight attendant issues. Serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media, and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the flight attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 flight attendants form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO.

Volaris makes Mexican stock exchange's sustainability composite index for 2nd consecutive year

Controladora Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V. (Volaris) (NYSE: VLRS and BMV: VOLAR) has been included for a second consecutive year in the Mexican Stock Exchange´s (BMV) Sustainability Composite Index (IPC Sustentable), the company said.

The BMV´s Sustainability Composite Index is comprised of 30 companies committed to social responsibility and sustainability practices, based on the highest standards for ethics and corporate governance. These companies are selected based on three criteria: 1) sustainability grade 2) marketability of the stock and 3) stock rotation ratio in the BMV.

In 2016, Volaris received the ESR award for Social Corporate Responsibility for the seventh year in a row by the Mexican Philanthropy Center (CEMEFI) and the Social Corporate Responsibility Alliance (AliaRSE).

Likewise, Volaris has multiple programs that support and promote social responsibility, among which the company´s #CielitoLimpio campaign stands out, having gathered over MXN USD 600,000 to compensate for over 9,000 tons of greenhouse effect gases; a joint effort of Volaris and its customers to take care of the environment and generate a positive change in the community. Volaris also launched VFundación, a membership designed to support the air travel of NGOs in Mexico, in order to strengthen their social projects. This initiative is accompanied by a donation of over 500,000 tickets in 2016 for other social responsibility projects.

Volaris is an ultra-low-cost carrier, with point-to-point operations, serving Mexico, the United States, and Central America. Since beginning operations in March 2006, Volaris has increased its routes from five to more than 161 and its fleet from four to 69 aircraft. The airline offers more than 332 daily flight segments on routes that connect 40 cities in Mexico and 75 cities in the United States and Central America.

Spirit pilots call for industry-standard pay, retirement, profit-sharing

Pilots of Spirit Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) have responded to initial analyst reports that project Spirit (NASDAQ:SAVE) will announce 2016 earnings of approximately USD 450 million, the ALPA siad.

The company´s economic success has not been shared with its pilots or other employee groups by providing any type of profit-sharing plan, unlike every other major US airline. Four major US airlines, Delta, Southwest, United, and JetBlue, signed new agreements with their pilots in 2016 that greatly enhanced take home pay and retirement benefits.

Despite industry-leading profit margins, Spirit pilots´ total compensation lags far behind their peers at comparable airlines, and that gap continues to grow as other pilot groups reach new agreements.

Meanwhile, contract negotiations at Spirit have now crossed the two-year mark. The past six months of negotiations have been with the assistance of the federal government´s National Mediation Board.

Capt. Stuart Morrison, chairman of Spirit pilots´ unit of ALPA, feels that it is time for the company to share its financial success with its pilots, and to provide industry-standard pay rates, an industry-standard retirement plan, and a share of the profits.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world´s largest pilot union, representing more than 55,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada.

Turkish Airlines debuts new commercial starring actor Morgan Freeman

Turkish Airlines debuted its new commercial starring Oscar winner Morgan Freeman during the Super Bowl, the final game of the National Football League (NFL) on February 5th, the airline said.

The commercial is directed by Matthias Zentner, who has also directed commercials for many global brands. Shot in Los Angeles in a period of 10 hours with a crew of 101 people, the commercial will be meeting the audience on 16 TV channels, and media outlets around four continents.

The airline debuted an ad campaign “Batman v Superman” at last year´s Super Bowl game, which had an estimated audience of over 800 million people worldwide. Another commercial, “Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout”, with Lionel Messi and Kobe Bryant was selected the best commercial of the last decade by YouTube.

The ad campaign with Morgan Freeman will be broadcast in every destination Turkish Airlines flies worldwide.

Turkish Airlines has won the “Best Airline in Europe” award for the last six years from Skytrax, a global airline passenger survey organization.

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Southwest Airlines flight attendants seeks changes to union board

More than half of the approximately 14,000 Southwest Airlines flight attendants represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556 have signed a petition demanding the recall of 12 of 17 TWU Local 556 Executive Board members and a subsequent vote to replace those recalled, according to Verde Law Firm.

The recall petition alleges violations of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Transport Workers Union of America.

The union has so far refused to verify the recall petition. In order to protect the rights of those members signing the petition, a lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-339).

The recall petition is not an action against Southwest Airlines, rather, it is a governance option authorized by the by-laws of the union. The lawsuit is also not against Southwest Airlines, but instead seeks class action status against the union on behalf of the thousands of members who signed the recall petition.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by attorney Joshua A. Verde of The Verde Law Firm, PLLC in Houston, Texas.

US airlines' push to block competition will result in higher prices for consumers

CEOs from the major US Airlines meeting with President Trump on February 8, 2017 will likely discuss air traffic control privatization and further limitations on foreign air competition, according to Flyers Rights.org.

The airlines seek to block foreign competition from airlines such as Norwegian Air, WOW Airlines, and Emirates. However, blocking foreign competition will result in higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. As profits soar to record levels, passengers face a reduction in flights, shrinking seats, and less reliable air travel especially from small and medium size cities, noted FlyersRights.org.

Additionally, the airlines are pushing for privatization of the Air Traffic Control system. The plan for privatization leaves little room for government oversight over an inherently governmental function, would transfer all government air traffic control to an entity controlled by the airlines, and would grant a long list of demands sought by air controller union including the right to strike. Such legislation was passed by the House in the last Congress but not acted on by the Senate.

FlyersRights.org is a US airline passenger advocacy group. The organization is most famous for spearheading the Passenger Bill of Rights and the rule against tarmac confinements. Among the many services it provides for airline passengers, it operates a toll-free hotline and publishes a weekly newsletter. FlyersRights.org is currently appealing the FAA´s refusal to enact a rulemaking to address the problems of shrinking seat sizes to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.