LARA editor Glenn Sands provides a summary of the latest happenings across the low-fare airline and regional aviation industry.

Backstop – it’s a phrase that all of us have become overfamiliar with in the UK over the past year, as we move painfully towards Brexit. But, the practice of preparing for the future is also a process that several regional and LCCs around the globe are now putting into place. Top of their requirements is recruiting and holding on to their pilots by using innovative new practices and procedures currently being introduced by airlines in Asia and the Pacific. These will allow even the most junior crew members the ability to put their views directly to the chief executives of the airline via emerging tech. Pilot rotas and schedules will also be examined with the promise of keeping that ‘work-life balance’ and, hopefully, retaining these new captains within the LCC and regional market. For an in-depth look at how these new methods will work we have an interesting article in the April/May issue of LARA.

But, it’s not all good news as Southwest Airlines, tired of its ongoing battle with the AMFA, took its case to the federal court, accusing mechanics of intentionally obstructing the airline’s operations. The outcome may well send a significant shiver through the regional airline operators and demonstrate an often-forgotten key point. No matter how significant your latest order for aircraft is, it’s the people that keep an operator in business and no more so is this the case than within the competitive LCC and regional market. By working together good things happen. It’s a point clearly demonstrated by airlines in the Far East, as they continue to develop and protect their employees, something perhaps airlines in the West have yet to realise.

And, another reminder of LARA’s 35th anniversary this year and the event will be marked with a commemorative April/May issue and the launch of our first ever LARA Global event in May. The two-day conference will bring together leaders from airlines, industry, suppliers, airports, airframe and engine manufacturers to discuss the challenges facing the industry, and what changes may need to be implemented in the future to remain viable to an ever-more-demanding market.

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the LARA e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

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