Air Force: Not enough tankers available for war

The Air Force has too few aerial refueling tankers to support a war.

Air Force officials testified at hearings in Congress on Wednesday, saying their tanker forces could not sustain two out of three scenarios of major conflict. One of the major reasons for the scarcity of tankers: aging tankers, like the KC-135, need constant maintenance. One in five KC-135 tankers is in a maintenance depot at any given time, the Air Force said.

The Air Force is trying to replace its fleet of KC-135s. Both the Boeing Co. and EADS plan to bid for a contract worth at least $35 billion. EADS announced last week that it would bid, even after its major partner, Northrop Grumman, withdrew from the contest.

Bids are due in July.

— Michelle Dunlop. Read Michelle’s aerospace blog at

Job fair for high school students set for May 10

It’s that time of year, the time when young voices start appearing on the phone asking about employment opportunities this summer.

Will you be hiring?

Snohomish County job-source agencies are trying to give teens a leg-up on a tough job market by hosting SummerPalooza, a job fair for high-school students on May 10.

Employers and community organizations will be on site offering summer employment, internships and volunteer opportunities.

Does your company want to participate? Register online at

— Amy Rolph. Read Amy’s small-business blog at

Airline cancels Boeing 777 order

El Al Israel Airlines said Thursday that it’s canceling an order for four Boeing Co. 777 airplanes due to the downturn in air traffic.

The carrier booked the order for four Boeing 777-200 aircraft in 2008. But that was before the global recession, the airline’s chief executive told Reuters.

El Al also said that the advance payment it made to Boeing for the 777s would be credited toward a future purchase.

Also Thursday, LAN Airlines said it won’t buy four 767s to use as it waits for deliveries of the delayed 787 Dreamliner, reports Aviation Week. LAN is scheduled to receive two 787s in 2011; three in 2012; five in 2013.

— Michelle Dunlop