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Lufthansa wants to help, not take over, Air Berlin

Lufthansa sees no limit to the number of planes and crews it could lease from Air Berlin, its CE told Bild am Sonntag, amid criticism that support for its ailing rival is a stealth takeover attempt. "We already support Air Berlin, in that we have leased 38 planes and set them on our routes. I can imagine, however, that we would expand this cooperation and lease further Air Berlin planes and crew," Carsten Spohr said. "For me, there is no upper limit to this. On the other hand, I do not currently envisage a takeover of the company." Spohr has previously expressed interest in loss-making Air Berlin on condition its debt pile and costs could be reduced. Travel agencies, the German monopoly regulator and rival carrier Ryanair have raised competition concerns over any possible takeover of Air Berlin by Lufthansa.
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Delta plans to expand reach in Asia with Korean Air partnership

Delta Air Lines said it will create a trans-Pacific joint venture with Korean Air Lines, as the US carrier rapidly builds out its international route network. The two airlines already code-share on some routes. Both are founding members of SkyTeam and received US DoT antitrust authority to more closely cooperate in 2002. They didn't act on that regulatory green light until now. In anticipation of the expanded partnership, Delta recently launched nonstop service to Seoul from its Atlanta hub, complementing Korean Air's existing flight. "Now is the right time for this JV," said Korean Air chairman Y.H. Cho. Delta and Korean said the enhanced agreement would expand code-sharing, more closely link frequent-flier awards and bring the carriers' gates closer together at key airports.
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British Airways promises all passengers will get to their destination during July strikes as it plans to borrow Qatar Airways' planes

British Airways has made an effort to beat turbulence from the 16-day strike action by cabin crew which is due to kick off July 1, with plans to draft in 9 jets from Qatar Airways to cover the walkout period. The carrier said all passengers will get to their destination, despite the action. British Airways said it is looking at "a range of options" and speaking with a number of airlines, with finalised contingency plans to be published soon for those passengers affected. Wet leasing from Qatar Airways will also involve crew being brought in with the planes. To use jets from outside of Europe, BA has sought approval for the operation from the CAA. But union Unite has called for BA's plans to borrow Qatar planes during the strike to be turned down by the CAA.
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Pilot urges prayers as 'technical issue' forces turnaround

An AirAsia X flight to Malaysia from Perth, Australia, was forced to turn back Sunday after the twin-aisle Airbus A330-300 aircraft began shaking due to what the airline called a "technical issue." A spokesman for the Perth Airport said, "The pilot identified a technical issue with the engine. The plane turned around and safely landed back at Perth Airport." While it's not yet clear what caused the issue with the jet's Rolls-Royce engines, any imbalance inside a rapidly-spinning jet engine can cause violent vibrations that are felt throughout the aircraft. Twin-engine aircraft like the A330 are designed to fly and land safely with only 1 engine operating. The pilot asked passengers to pray twice. And passengers were told to hold "the brace position" for about 2 minutes during the landing.
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Are you being served? Planemakers alter sales pitch to boost profit

Airbus and Boeing left the Paris Airshow with plans for ambitious growth in aviation services, as flattening demand for new jets and pressure to raise profit margins encourages planemakers to deepen their exposure to airline operations. The two largest planemakers set out their stalls at the air show in a series of announcements that could set them in competition with some of their suppliers and even some of the airlines that have ordered jets in recent years. The overlap reflects the complexity of the aviation market as it matures, leaving a large fleet of aircraft to service or upgrade and tens of thousands of people to train - all services that could in turn become tools to help sell even more jets.
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Sale of debt-laden Air India set for final approval

Narendra Modi is just days away from giving the final go-ahead for the govt to sell off Air India, according to officials in Delhi. People involved in the talks have said that cabinet ministers will meet to discuss the plans and give their final approval possibly as early as this week. It will signal the beginning of the end of nearly 70 years of public ownership of the airline, which led Asia into the age of the jet engine but is now loss making and highly indebted. Jayant Sinha, the aviation minister, said: “Air India has been and should be a great global airline…The transformation process that we have under way for Air India includes governance, operating performance fleet acquisition and ownership changes. We believe these will position Air India and the Indian aviation industry well for the future.”
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Qatar Airways’ courtship of American is one for the long haul

Doug Parker may have been left puzzled, concerned and “not happy” after Qatar Airways revealed its plan to buy up to a 10% stake in American Airlines last week. But the US carrier’s CE should have also added flattered to his list of emotions. Qatar Airways CE Akbar Al Baker has repeatedly stressed that his strategy is to invest in profitable airlines — “goldsmiths”, as he calls them, rather than “scrap dealers”. The dig at Etihad Airways is clear. The Abu Dhabi carrier’s strategy of taking minority stakes in troubled airlines to drive growth has come at a cost. Alitalia, the Italian carrier, is in administration. Air Berlin is on life support. Etihad is in the midst of reassessing its strategy. In comparison, Qatar Airways has focused its attention on what it deems “successful” carriers to expand its global reach.
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Norwegian to launch London-Buenos Aires route

Norwegian will launch 4X-weekly London Gatwick-Buenos Aires Ezeiza services from Feb 14, marking the airline’s first-ever South American route. Buenos Aires will become Norwegian’s 11th long-haul route from Gatwick as part of its continued expansion from the UK into a range of new global markets. The LCC currently offers long-haul flights from Gatwick to 9 US cities and Singapore. Norwegian CE Bjorn Kjos said, “From Europe, the US, Asia and now South America, our long-haul network is going global and the UK will continue to be at the heart of our ambitious plans for expansion. We also see huge potential in the Argentinian market so this is not only a major milestone as our first South American route, but also a first step toward ambitious plans for international and domestic growth in Argentina.”
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Embraer forecasts 6,400 new 70- to 130-seat jets globally by 2036

Embraer predicts 6,400 new 70- to 130-seat commercial jets will be delivered worldwide by 2036, valued at US$300b according to the manufacturer’s new 2017 Market Outlook report. The overall number of projected deliveries shows a moderate uptick of 50 to-be-delivered jets from last year’s 20-year market forecast. The company said 63% of the new deliveries will support market growth while the remaining 37% will replace aging aircraft that will be retiring by 2036. By seating segments, Embraer predicts the 90 to 130+ seat segment will see the largest growth over the next 20 years, growing by 4,120 jets. Embraer foresees the 70 to 90-seat segment will grow by 2,280 jets by 2036. By region, Embraer projects North America will take the largest share (32%) of the 70-130+ seat jet aircraft market, with 2,020 deliveries by 2036.
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THAI plans to buy almost 30 planes to replace older jets

THAI plans to modernise its fleet by replacing almost 30 older aircraft over the next 5 years, adding to the climbing demand for planes in Asia. The airline is seeking new generation aircraft offering greater comfort and fuel efficiency, and is talking with both Airbus and Boeing, chairman Areepong Bhoocha-Oom said. "The portfolio of our airline will have new aircraft almost 100%," Areepong said. It’s the right step for THAI partly because fuel costs could be volatile in future even though they are low currently, he said. THAI is trying to turn around performance after posting losses in 3 of the past 4 years. The company’s shares have suffered a long-term decline, sliding about 70% from a high in 1999. THAI presently has a 100-strong fleet and will seek Cabinet approval for the plane replacement plan by the end of July.
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