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Old 03-17-2021, 01:57 PM   #1  
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Default Air Carrier vs. Airline

These two terms seem to be used interchangeably, but is there actually any distinction in the regs?

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Old 03-17-2021, 03:55 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by joepilot View Post
These two terms seem to be used interchangeably, but is there actually any distinction in the regs?

Joe
I don’t believe the Federal Aviation Regulations ever refer to “airline”.
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:25 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by Peabody17 View Post
I don’t believe the Federal Aviation Regulations ever refer to “airline”.
14 CFR 61.51 Subpart G: Airline Transport Pilot

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id....61.g&rgn=div6

14 CFR 1.1 (definitions) lists air carrier, but not airline:

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id....1_11&rgn=div8

Part 119 covers certification for air carriers or commercial operators, or both. It does not cover "airlines," because airlines hold an air carrier certificate.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:16 PM   #4  
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A direct air carrier must obtain an air carrier certificate. Any entity operating as other than a direct air carrier must obtain an operating certificate.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...se14.3.119_139

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...3.110&rgn=div5

"Airline" doesn't really have a meaning in the regulations/FAA. The certificate holder is either an operator or an air carrier.
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Old 03-24-2021, 03:01 PM   #5  
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From the labor standpoint there is a huge difference. The Railway Labor Act of 1926 opens with definitions. A Carrier is a party to a labor agreement, an airline may or may not be. Labor, agreements are between parties. Parties are employee certified representatives and Carriers.



All of the provisions of subchapter I of this chapter except section 153 of this title are extended to and shall cover every common carrier by air engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, and every carrier by air transporting mail for or under contract with the United States Government, and every air pilot or other person who performs any work as an employee or subordinate official of such carrier or carriers, subject to its or their continuing authority to supervise and direct the manner of rendition of his service.
(May 20, 1926, ch. 347, § 201, as added Apr. 10, 1936, ch. 166, 49 Stat. 1189.)




Part 151: First. Duty of carriers and employees to settle disputes

It shall be the duty of all carriers, their officers, agents, and employees to exert every reasonable effort to make and maintain agreements concerning rates of pay, rules, and working conditions, and to settle all disputes, whether arising out of the application of such agreements or otherwise, in order to avoid any interruption to commerce or to the operation of any carrier growing out of any dispute between the carrier and the employees thereof.

Second. Consideration of disputes by representatives

All disputes between a carrier or carriers and its or their employees shall be considered, and, if possible, decided, with all expedition, in conference between representatives designated and authorized so to confer, respectively, by the carrier or carriers and by the employees thereof interested in the dispute.


Airline does not appear in the Railway Labor Act. The FAA grants certificates to an Air Carrier, not to an airline. An airline is a commercial business with marketing and all the other accoutrements of a commercial business. An Air Carrier is a thing defined by law, under certain regulations, FAR's etc, and constrained by those regulations.


This may seem like a trifling difference but the RLA is now 95 years old many different business models have been tried. The law only cares about Carriers. Operational authority is granted to Carriers and employee's have agreements with Carriers. In an extreme situation, the Administrator can remove or suspend the certificate of a Carrier.

Carriers have defined areas of operational control which has proven to be a problem for some types of joint ownership arrangements. Joint use agreements, Part 135, Part 91 subpart K, and other agreements have been used and the FAA is always concerned with "who has control", or "who is the certificate holder."
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Old 03-25-2021, 09:09 AM   #6  
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So the legal entities which operate aircraft and are party to labor contracts are carriers.

An airline might be an umbrella company that subcontracts aircraft operations out to carriers. I don't think we've seen a pure subcontract airline in the us (yet). At least not for pax... Amazon.

"Airline" is also obviously a colloquial term for carrier in common usage, since most people in and out of the industry refer to carriers as airlines except maybe regulatory staff.
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:33 AM   #7  
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As a follow up to Rickair7777, I think all his statements are correct. The example "Prime Air" is what the public see's as an airline. My understanding is that "Prime Air" is a corporate name and marketing tool. There is no Air Carrier, (yet), called Pirme Air. There is Atlas, and Southern Airways and other carrier's who are certificate holders and do business with Amazon, and operate as "Prime Air." I don't know if this is viewed by the FAA as a "code share." I think "code share" only applies to an air carrier who holds themselves out to the public for air transportation.

You cannot ship via "Prime Air" unless you have purchased something via Amazon. (At least I don't think you can.) Prime Air operators have a private agreement with Amazon to carry Amazon freight but Amazon does not have an operating certificate.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:22 AM   #8  
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The question of the thread invokes regulation. What people perceive is irrelevant. It's a regulatory issue.

The statement was made that "airline" is not found in the regulation. This is incorrect, as previously shown.

The term "airline," as found in the regulation, pertains to a type of pilot certificate, which is not relegated strictly to use with air carriers.

The railway labor act is entirely irrelevant.
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