The Biz Buzz

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Archives: Feb. 2012

Feb.
29th

A multiplex theater for Tacoma at Point Ruston

Plans for a $150 million mixed-use retail and office complex on the Commencement Bay waterfront took more specific shape today as a Texas-based cinema company announced plans for a nine-screen multiplex at the center of the development.

The new cinema will be the first new theater complex built in Tacoma in more than two decades. Meanwhile, the city has had several existing theaters close. One, the Lincoln Plaza, was converted with a fitness center. Another, the Tacoma Mall Twin, was demolished and replaced by a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. A third, the Central, was converted into a church.

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Feb.
29th

It’s bonus day for Alaska Air Group workers

Leap day is reason for celebration this year for Alaska Air Group’s 12,800 employees. Today is the day the airline is paying out bonuses totaling $53.8 million.

For the average employee that means a bonus of about 6.7 percent of their annual pay, about three weeks’ pay for most workers. The bonus payments are tied to the company’s meeting its operational and financial goals.

That one-time bonus is in addition to the more than $1,000 in periodic bonuses each employee earned in the last year when the company exceeded its goals for customer satisfaction and on-time performance.

Combined with

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Feb.
29th

Airbus’ rival for Boeing Dreamliner hitting more delays

Delays seem to be the keyword these days in the airliner business.

Not only did Boeing and Airbus see big delays delivering that last two new airplanes, the 787 Dreamliner and the A380, but now it looks like there may be another postponement.

Irish airline Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller this week told Aviation Week he expects to see further delays in the first deliveries of Airbus’ new A350 beyond the six months Airbus has already announced.

Aer Lingus has nine Airbus A350-900s on order with the first due to be delivered in 2015. The A350-900 is a rival

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Feb.
29th

Hainan Airlines may trade 787 orders for 747s

China’s Hainan Airlines may swap its orders for Boeing 787 Dreamliners for Boeing’s new 747-8 Intercontinentals.

Bloomberg News reported today that a Chinese official said the airline is studying whether to trade up for the larger plane because of growing traffic.

Hainan has 10 orders on Boeing’s books for Dreamliners, a plane that carries about 250 passengers. The 747-8I carries about 465 passengers in a normal configuration.

The Chinese airline might be able to get 747s before 787s. Boeing is running more than three years behind in filling orders for the twin-engine composite-bodied jet. The company has orders for more

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Feb.
29th

First VIP 747-8 headed to Qatar

Boeing is careful to guard the identities of those customers rich enough to buy a 747 for personal transport. That’s why there was no mention Tuesday of who bought the first passenger version of the new 747-8 when it took off on its delivery flight from Paine Field.

The plane was painted white, and its electronic flight path was blocked on popular Internet flight tracking sites.

But the plane’s registration number gave a clue to its eventual destination. The plane is registered in Qatar, that small but wealthy Middle Eastern country.

Aviation insiders said the plane first flew to

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Feb.
29th

United relents on high-priced pet transport for military families

Faced with a backlash from angry military families, United Airlines has relented on its policy requiring military families to transport their pets as cargo, not as checked baggage when going to or returning from overseas posts.

United recently changed its pets transport policy to match that of its merger partner, Continental Airlines. That policy requires pets too large to be transported in the cabin to be handled as cargo through a third-party vendor.

Military families had complained that the third-party vendors were adding hundreds of dollars in handling fees to the bill for transporting their pets. That meant that

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Feb.
28th

South Sound gas price average still three cents below $4

Gas prices inched upward Tuesday in the South Sound, but remained below the $4-a-gallon level.

Average prices reported on The News Tribune’s gas price tracker were $3.97 a gallon for unleaded regular. That’s 1.5 cents per gallon more than Monday.

That price is nearly 25 cents more than a week ago and nearly 45 cents more than a month ago. A year ago, prices were 47.3 cents lower.

The area’s lowest prices, $3.71 a gallon, were at an Arco station at Gravelly Lake Drive and Pacific Highway SW.

The BP refinery in Ferndale, which usually provides about 20 percent

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Feb.
28th

Shipyard offering new apprentice positions for tribal members, vets

Tacoma’s last remaining major shipyard, J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Co., today announced a new apprenticeship program designed to create a new generation of skilled shipbuilders while providing jobs for Native Americans and military veterans.

The jobs program, sponsored jointly by the Puyallup Tribe, the Tulalip Tribe, the Tribal Employment Rights Office of the Pacific Northwest Regional Tribes and the Helmets to Hardhats program, will train apprentices in skilled trades while the shipyard builds its first fishing boat in two decades.

That boat, the 184-foot Northern Leader, is a long-line fishing vessel the shipyard is constructing for Alaskan Leader Fisheries.

The shipyard

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