Transportation Report

GM CEO touts 'meaningful progress' in changing company culture

General Motors CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday that the company was more focused on safety than it has been in recent years, despite intense criticism of its handling of widespread recalls in recent months. 

GM has come under fire for allegedly purposely delaying recalling 1.6 million cars that had a dangerous ignition switch flaw because it did not want to pay for repairs. 

Barra said in a speech at the at the New York International Auto Show on Tuesday that the company is “more focused on quality and doing what is right for the customer than at any time in my 33 years with the company,” despite the recall criticism. 


Missing plane search enters ‘yet another phase’

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has entered “yet another phase” as officials search the deep waters of the southern Indian Ocean for the jetliner that vanished over a month, officials said Tuesday.

Malaysia’s Acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein said in a news conference that officials were continuing to look for remnants of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, despite the fact that it has been almost five weeks since the jet was last seen by air traffic controllers.

“It has been 39 days since MH370 went missing,” Hishammuddin said. “We have now entered a new phase for the search operations expanding into deep ocean search with deployment of the Bluefin - 21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AVU). As stated by the Joint Agency Coordinating Center in Perth earlier today, there are 9 military aircraft, 2 civil aircrafts and 11 ships which haven assigned to search for MH370.”


Man attempts to open plane door mid-flight

A passenger on a California-bound Southwest Airlines flight has been arrested for attempting to open a Boeing 737 door during the middle of a flight, the Christian Science-Monitor reports.

The airplane was diverted to Omaha, Nebraska and the passenger was arrested on charges of interfering with a flight crew. The passenger who was taken into custody was 23-year-old Sacramento, Calif. resident Joshua Carl Suggs, according to the report.

The plane then continued onto its intended destination, which was Sacramento.


Second airport approved for Sydney, Australia

Australian officials have approved construction of a second airport in its capital city, Sydney, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The airport is intended to alleviate traffic at Sydney’s existing Kingsford-Smith Airport and boost the city’s economy by creating jobs, according to the report.

Kingsford-Smith Airport is currently the 31st busiest airport in the world, according to Airports Council International (ACI).


Airline tweets pornographic image

US Airways is apologizing for tweeting a sexually graphic image in response to a complaint from a passenger on Monday.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, depicted a naked woman using a model airplane as a sex toy.


GM shuffles leadership team after recall crisis

General Motors announced a series of leadership changes on Monday after weathering bad publicity for widespread auto recalls that have been issued this year.

GM said Monday that its senior vice presidents of Global Human Resources and Global Communications and Public Policy, Melissa Howell and Selim Bingol, respectively, were departing the company immediately.

Howell is being replaced by John Quattrone, who had been GM's executive director of Human Resources for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain organizations, according to the company.


Teen arrested for tweeting airline threat

A Dutch teenager has been arrested for tweeting a terrorist threat to American Airlines, according to multiple reports.
The teenager, a 14-year-old girl, tweeted Sunday "Hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.”

American Airlines responded to the tweet by saying it was contacting law enforcement officials.