Big changes underfoot in South Florida aviation
First... Rumors running rampant at Gulfstream.....
It is believed that Gulfstream Airlines (CO Codeshare) has volantarily given back 6 aircraft (B1900D). It is not known if true or not. What is true is this.
Gulfstream (code 3M) has recently cut service to many Bahamian islands including the destinations TCB (Treasure Cay) and MHH (Marsh Harbour) which it was flying with CO as Continental Connection. From FLL/MIA they went from 4-8 flights daily to 6 a week!
Yet Gulfstream is now flying some former Mesa routes as US Airways partner. That has many believing that the repossesion was tied to a lover's quarrel with CO who underwrote the note on some of the financing.
We have seem some 3M metal flying to MHH from PBI under US code.
Speaking of MHH!!! Whoa the FAA did a surprise inspection today while the Bahamian transport minister was speaking reassuring Abaconians of the stability of the air market and not to panic with the recent reductions and pull outs of service by Air Sunshine, Bahamasair, Continental (Gulfstream), US Airways (Mesa) and American (American Eagle/Executive). when the FAA checked and found the sole fire engine was not operational and filled with empty vodka bottles. Apparently that triggered a much bigger inspection and the airport was found "deficent". Expect a slap to Cat II or worse status. Possibly all US 121 Sched service may be banned.. Pretty politically stunning for the Bahamaian transport minister to be there during the fun and games.
Additionally, Word is Cape Air (9K) will begin bringing ATR-42s to Florida and in addition to EYW as a main destination the Bahamian Islands are next. Hello Cape Air now expanding in FLL in a big way.. Expect an announcement within 2-3 weeks.
Island Express evicted Florida Coastal Airlines from their joint operation in FLL. I would bet FCA has something to say to Island Express whom leases an aircraft from Florida Coastal Airlines about that! Kinda reminds me of the song, "Breaking up is hard to do"
Continental whom apparently is unhappy with 3M (Gulfstream) may be looking to bring it's new love (Skywest) to the prom. Not hard to figure why CO would change partners when the operations are compared. The big question if this happens (before Oct 15) then who will compete. Skywest operates one of the best regionals in the world and makes a deadly duo with CO
Delta partners Chatauqua and Comair may expand flying out of Florida soon to capitalize on the upcoming winter season. But, So is Republic rumored to! My how complicated.
And finally, UA whom is a 3M, OO (Skywest) and Mesa partner is rumored to be looking for a new partner whom they will announce routes with within 3 weeks. (Skywest again??? or more Gulfstream ????)
The legions of 402 operators in Florida are in upheaval. Air Sunshine is apparently having a slew of federal types examining its operations following the crash last July of a flight to TCB that resulted in the death of a family member of a prominent Bahamian minister. That resulted in the Bahamians cancelling the operational authority of Air Sunshine to the Bahamas. (At the time they were one of the largest) Apparently that got the FAAs attention and many "irregularities" were found. Now the word is many of the 402 operators are about to be slammed hard by both the FAA and DOT.
And to think they were worried about the wing spar mods that will end up grounding half the 402 C operators out there!
It seems many like Air Sunshine, Air Florida and others are representing themselves as scheduled service when in fact they only hold 135 Air Taxi certificates. They use creative terms like shared charter and such but basically sell by the seat without scheduled service authorities. Well the clock is ticking and at least 5 carriers may be shut down before the end of the month.
Finally, For humor... The commuter air terminal in FLL is being redone. Imagine this.... 17 people working for 4 hours to install scales... How many scales installed... Yes that is right 3 of 8. I should add that the scales were physically already in place.. This is humor and government at work... 5 electricians from BCAD, 4 gentleman from the Dept of Consumer Affairs and Agriculture, 1 representative of the scale certification company, 3 carpenters from BCAD, and 2 handy people from BCAD and 2 supervisors all working full time at disrupting airline operations in the peak of the day... BTW that does not include the at least 5 other management/supervisor types from BCAD that made extended appearances...
It is a wonder that anything gets done with government at work.... Should have seen it the day before when they started installing counters and the blue prints had the wrong measurements, the airlines had the wrong plans, the schedule was backwards, the counters neither matched the count of total counters nor the measurements... Etc...
From sunny Florida this is a news update...