Jerome Greer Chandler

Greer Chandler

Jerome Greer Chandler, writes regularly for ATW on a wide variety of subjects. He is a two-time winner of the Best Maintenance Feature competition at the Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards. His book on the windshear-related crash of Delta Air Lines Flight 191 was a best-seller, and the subsequent television film--Fire & Rain--premiered on the USA Network. Chandler has appeared on NPR, PBS's Nova series, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, and the National Geographic Channel.

Time Out at AirTran 

IT'S BEEN A REMARKABLE RIDE AT AIRTRAN Airways this first decade of the new millennium. While the network carriers downsized and reorganized following 9/11, the Orlando-based LCC made money and won over fliers, in the process racking up impressive increases in capacity. Consider the 2005-07 period: Available seat-miles rose 28.3% in 2005, 23.7% in 2006 and 19.4% in 2007. This kind of growth begets inherent economies as fixed costs are spread over an ever-widening base.

Beyond Price

While today's ever-shifting procurement skyscape is certainly all about cost, it's not necessarily predicated on price. That's the strong consensus of several respected procurement professionals. "Supply chain management has evolved. In the past, it's been more transactional based and reactive," says Jim Renaud, a Certified Purchasing Manager.

En Route Traffic Optimization could cut fuel use 6% in US 

The Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction, a group led by MIT and funded by US FAA, NASA, DOD, DOT and Transport Canada, says it has developed a new procedure that could save 1 billion gal. of aviation fuel a year, a 6% reduction based on estimated 2009 fuel use. Through En Route Traffic Optimization, the theory is that air traffic controllers armed with new algorithms can route aircraft at the most efficient flight levels and via the most direct paths.

Continental follows with algae 

Continental Airlines followed Air New Zealand's historic trip into the record books a week later by making the first flight on Jan. 7 of a commercial transport partially powered by a fuel derived from algae. The 80-min. test regimen that Richard Jankowski and Joe O'Neil put their 737-800 through went "perfectly," said Jankowski. If parity with Jet A was the goal, the mission may have been a shade better than perfect. He said both fuel consumption and exhaust gas temperatures "were slightly lower" for the No.

Eye of the Storm 

When Hurricane Ike roared ashore in Houston last fall, protecting their people became the first priority for Continental and Southwest Airlines.

WestJet's Big Picture

ONE WAY TO PROCURE PRODUCTS and services is to focus on the destination of nickels and dimes and let the dollars take care of themselves. Then there's this one: Build strong strategic partnerships and everything else tends to fall into place.

The Great Gate Chase 

IT'S 10:45 ON A SUNLIT SATURDAY morning. The passengers onboard an ExpressJet (Delta Connection) ERJ-145 from Vancouver can actually see the Los Angeles Basin. Beautiful day. Beautiful flight, made more so by the fact that the pilot just chirped over the cabin PA that it will be 50 min. early. A happier cabin of campers would be hard to concoct.

Calling all Macaws

IT'S EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHY procurement at one of Latin America's premier carriers is so dispersed. Grupo TACA is an airborne amalgam of six airlines: Guatemala's Aviateca, Costa Rica's Lacsa, Nicaragua's NICA, El Salvador's TACA International, Honduras's TACA de Honduras and newcomer TACA Peru.

Waiting Game 

THE GREAT ANTI-MANPADS DEBATE is in abeyance just now. Perhaps it is the US's success in helping destroy some 26,000 of the shoulder-fired devices since 2003. Maybe it is the US State Dept.'s efforts to keep those that remain out of the hands of bad guys. Then, just maybe, there's pure, undiluted luck. In any event, no passengers on a regularly scheduled flight have died from a Man-Portable Air Defense System attack since Oct. 10, 1998, when Tutsi rebels downed a Lignes Aerinnes Congolaises 727-100, killing 41. Since the mid-1970s, State Dept.

Metrics Mandate

DEAN DUVALL IS A NUMBERS GUY who wants to keep open multiple lines of communication. He likes to come to the negotiating table and say, "Here's what we see happening in the marketplace." The managing director of Supply Chain Management for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air is a true believer in informed perspective, outlook predicated on fine-grain documentation. If knowledge is indeed power, then the two-dozen souls who work in the Alaska/Horizon procurement shop are armed to the teeth.

Lufthansa Style

JOACHIM BUSE BELIEVES good procurement is a consummate balancing act--trying to drive the lowest possible cost without letting that cost cripple contenders. "It's our job to reduce costs and be aggressive pricewise," says Lufthansa Passenger Airline's corporate procurement VP. But in the end analysis suppliers have got to make a decent living.

Flying Down to Mexico 

BARACK OBAMA AND HILLARY Clinton may be debating the merits of NAFTA, the continually controversial North American Free Trade Agreement, but such is not the case at Continental Airlines and American Airlines.

Wal-Mart's Airport 

PEERING DOWN FROM AIR FORCE One, the 42nd US President beckoned the leaders of his Secret Service detail. "I want you guys to look out the window," said Bill Clinton. "This is where I started my political career. I've been on every one of these roads."

Thrust Alignment

PAUL ALEXANDER'S PERSPECTIVE on procurement is a bit broader than others. "What [it] can sort of do is align the organization and pull together a much broader understanding of success," says British Airways' head of procurement.

Purchaser's Forum

LIFE IS RIFE WITH EXAMPLES OF short-term projects turning into long-term templates, initiatives that started out tackling a specific issue and wound up governing the way things would work in general. Southwest Airlines Purchasing VP Ray Sears has seen it happen.

The carrier set out not long ago to cut the cost of servicing aircraft at its airport locations. It was spending in the neighborhood of $50 million a year to do things like clean airplanes, verify tickets, provide wheelchair services and employ skycaps.

Blogs & Commentary
Jan 12, 2018

All that glitters…

European airlines are turning in some glittering passenger growth stories, fuelling the misconception that aviation is a gold mine, when in reality each passenger is flying for less....More
Jan 2, 2018

Media reaction to ‘safest year’ for airlines is telling

Two reports issued at the start of the year hail good news for the air traveling public: 2017 was the safest year in history with no fatalities occurring on large commercial jets....More
Dec 29, 2017

To the PSA pilot who made my Christmas Eve

It can often be the little things that make for great customer service, especially when things go wrong. Here’s a true Christmas Eve story of a PSA Airlines pilot who made a difference....More
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