TRANSPORT BRIEFS

TRANSPORT BRIEFS

LA AIRPORT TO EASE

LANDING FEE DEADLINE

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles International Airport has given 76 airlines an unspecified amount of time to pay higher landing fees, averting a potential Thanksgiving travel disruption.

Airport Commission President Ted Stein said the grace period to pay or lose landing rights will be "a matter of weeks, not months."

Earlier this week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor denied an emergency request by 40 airlines and the Air Transport Association, an industry group, to freeze the fees. An ATA lawsuit challenging the hike will be heard in federal court Dec. 6.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

ORDERS 63 BOEING 737S

RENTON, Wash. - Southwest Airlines will order 63 more Boeing jetliners, allowing the aerospace manufacturer to launch a new version of its best- selling 737 jet.

At a cost of $36 million to $40 million a plane, the order would be worth $2.27 billion to $2.52 billion. It still has to be formalized in a signed agreement.

The order, announced Wednesday, will help Boeing avoid additional future layoffs, but won't prompt any new hiring and won't immediately change current layoff forecasts, said Gordon Bethune, a vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group.

TRUCK INSURANCE NOTICES

TO BE REDUCED TO ONE

WASHINGTON - The Interstate Commerce Commission agreed this week to stop sending truckers more than one letter warning them when their insurance companies were canceling their coverage.

Agency officials recommended eliminating duplicate notifications on Dec. 20 in a move to cut costs because the information already is provided to the truckers in an initial letter of cancellation that the agency sends two weeks beforehand.

Truckers losing their insurance are mailed an initial letter from the ICC giving them 30 days' advance notice that their operating authority will be revoked without obtaining new insurance.

The ICC will continue sending two subsequent letters in 60-day intervals following the initial notice of insurance cancellation before revoking a motor carriers operating authority.

KLM OFFERS CHARTERS

BETWEEN INDIA, CHICAGO

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is offering four cargo charter flights between India and Chicago this month to accommodate a surge in demand for cargo space from the subcontinent.

The flights, which transit Dubai and Amsterdam, are operated by Atlas Air under a wet-lease arrangement whereby Atlas provides the crew as well as the aircraft.

The charters are operating under a trial basis but may be extended if demand warrants, a spokeswoman said.

RIGHT-O-WAY TAPS

SWISS FREIGHT FORWARDER

SAN FRANCISCO - Right-O-Way Transportation has signed an exclusive agreement with a Swiss air freight forwarder for representation in Zurich and Geneva.

As a result, Nova Traffic will handle all of Right-O-Way's inbound and outbound cargo from the two commercial centers that generate the majority of international air traffic into Switzerland.

In a written statement, Right-O-Way executives said Nova Traffic offers customers a full range of air freight services including breakbulk, on-line customs clearance, export consolidations and charter work where acceptable.

The company's arrangement with Muller-Gysin Co. for air freight to and

from Basel will continue, as will an exclusive deal for sea freight shipments to Switzerland, handled by Eurocontinental, a Right-O-Way maritime subsidiary.

PORTUGUESE AIRLINE

BREAKS SKEIN OF LOSSES

LISBON, Portugal - TAP Air Portugal turned a slight profit in August and September, which breaks a yearlong run of losses for the beleaguered national airline.

TAP, whose reported 1992 loss topped $158 million, recuperated slightly during August and September's busy tourist season, said Isabel Palma, a spokeswoman.

TAP predicts a smaller 1993 loss than previously expected. The airline had estimated a 1993 loss of $215 million, but now forecasts year-end figures closer to 1992's loss.

The carrier has been embroiled recently in bitter negotiations with labor unions over a proposed jobs-reduction scheme and other cost-cutting measures.

TAP is to be privatized, but no schedule has been announced.