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Archives: Nov. 2008

Nov.
25th

Truckers feeling the recession as shipping tonnage slips – again

Cargobusinessnews.com is out today with some unencouraging numbers from the American Trucking Association – whose seasonally adjusted "For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index" dropped 3 percent in October. That’s the fourth consecutive monthly drop, according to a Monday news release.


The index fell 0.8 percent in September and 1.9 in August, the site said in its daily newsletter.


Trucking association Chief Economist Bob Costello said that truck tonnage is down a total of 6.3 percent in the last four months, year-over-year.


"October should be the busiest month of the year, but instead this October was a fizzle," he said.

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Nov.
25th

Another day, another delay in the aircraft business

The frequently-delayed new European military transport aircraft, the Airbus A400M, is facing yet another delivery postponment.


An Airbus executive today said the first plane won’t be delivered until the second half of 2009.


Tom Williams, head of aircraft programs for Airbus, said engine problems are holding up testing and certification of the aircraft, Bloomberg News reports.


European governments have ordered 192 of the airlifters for military operations. The turboprop plane is larger than Lockheed’s C-130 Hercules but smaller than Boeing’s C-17 four-engine jet transport.


The aircraft has already been delayed four times since its construction began.


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Nov.
25th

Bellevue’s Primus acquires Bothell aerospace firm

Primus International Inc. of Bellevue announced today it acquired Accra Manufacturing Inc. of Bothell on Nov. 14.


Accra, founded in 1978, produces a range of components and assemblies for aircraft. The company employs about 150 people.


“Accra is a significant direct and indirect supplier to Boeing and has significant content on three of the four best-selling commercial aircraft in the world,” said Pete George, Primus’ chief operating officer.


“We all believe Accra is well-positioned to grow organically as demonstrated by its recent contract wins to supply the Boeing 787 with components and assemblies,” he said.


Primus

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Nov.
25th

Boeing parts problem spreads to other planes

Nutplates, small metal parts that hold two aircraft parts together, are causing more trouble at Boeing.


The company previously had revealed that thousands of nutplates untreated with a corrision-resistant finish had been mistakenly installed in more than 300 737 aircraft.


Now the company acknowledges some of those parts may have been installed in its 777s, 747s and 767s.


While those parts don’t pose an immediate safety hazard in the relatively new aircraft, they must be replaced during the planes’ maintenance overhauls.


Substandard nutplates installed on aircraft still on the assembly line are being taken

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Nov.
25th

Will Airbus cut production?

Airbus’ chief executive Thomas Enders raised the possibility of production cuts at a Monday aviation evening dinner in Paris, the European press reports.


Enders said that Airbus “Can’t rule out anything out at the moment,” when questioned about a slowdown in production.


Airbus has already canceled plans to raise production of its A320 single aisle jet to 40 planes a month from the present 36 because of order cancellations.


Airbus has seen 119 aircraft orders cancelled this year including 71 in October. Boeing reports only six cancelled airliner orders this year, four 737s, one 747 and one

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Nov.
25th

Zagat survey names Continental best large domestic airline

Continental, JetBlue, Virgin America and Midwest airlines have won top honors in a new Zagat survey of frequent travelers.


That survey of 10,000 fliers named Continental the best domestic airline for its premium cabin. JetBlue won the top honors among large airlines for its economy seating.


Virgin America, the San Francisco-based upstart carrier, won the top award for its premium cabin among mid-sized airlines. Midwest took the top spot for its economy cabin.


SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines won third place in the premium seating category and fourth among the airlines in the economy category.


Singapore Airlines

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Nov.
25th

Amtrak adding Cascade corridor trains for the holidays

This Thanksgiving holiday may see airline traffic dropping for the first time in decades, but train travel is up.


So far up that Amtrak has added an additional train each way between Seattle and Portland during the holidays.


That makes a total of six daily trains each way between the Northwest cities and other cities such as Tacoma on the route between.


Looking at Amtrak’s reservations, it appears that two of the six trains are already sold out Wednesday for the southbound trip.


All six trains still had space available for a Sunday return

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Nov.
24th

Tacoma telemarketer shutting down

CDG Management, one of the largest telemarketing firms in the country, will close its Tacoma call center on December 21, affecting 34 workers, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department.


The company, based in Edison, New Jersey, is best known for fundraising campaigns on behalf of police, fire and veterans’ associations and has frequently been criticized for keeping an unusually high percentage of the funds it raises.


The Tacoma call center raised money for the Washington State Patrol Trooper Association, according to a WARN (worker adjustment and retraining notice) filed with Employment Security.


CDG representatives could

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