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United Airlines extends 737 Max cancellations through Labor Day

United Airlines has extended flight cancellations related to the global grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets by another month. The airline had already pulled flights on the 737 Max from its schedule through early Aug 3 but pushed that date back to Sept 3. That will mean cancelling roughly 1,900 flights in August, United said Wednesday. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have also pulled flights on the 737 Max from their schedules through early September. The longer the 737 Max has remained out of service, the more flights United has had to cancel: about 60 a day in August, up from 40 to 45 in July and 35 to 40 in June. United operated about 50 flights a day on the aircraft before regulators halted flights, but expected that to grow to 110 flights a day by the end of the year as Boeing delivered new 737 Max aircraft.
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Romania’s Tarom to update regional ATRs with newer models

Tarom, will replace its regional fleet of ATRs with updated variants of the aircraft, the airline said Wednesday. The carrier will acquire 9 ATR 72-600s from lessor Nordic Aviation Capital, with deliveries running from Oct 2019 into 2020. Tarom said it had been successful in its domestic operations by using ATRs to compete with LCCs. Introducing the latest versions would continue to provide it with that edge, the airline said, with fuel burn and CO2 emissions both 40% lower than regional jets. The carrier added that it would be trading in its existing models—7 ATR 42-500s and 2 ATR 72-500s—against the new examples. The increase in capacity by consolidating on the larger ATR 72 would give it an additional 330,000 seats a year at the same operating cost as the existing number of seats.
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Australian MH17 families settle class action against Malaysia Airlines

Five Australian families who had relatives on downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have settled a class action court case with the airline for a confidential figure. The families had 7 relatives on the flight which was shot down over Ukraine by a Russian missile July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board. Wednesday, the court approved a settlement between the parties – who had previously participated in two mediations – shortly before the case was due to proceed to a hearing. The court was told the amount of money was "fair". Barrister John Rowe, who appeared for the families in court, said the money will be distributed "in the very near future". A spokesperson for the post accident office at Malaysian Airline System Berhad said the company was pleased settlement had been achieved with the families involved.
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Ryanair seeks to limit UK share holding with buyback amendment

Ryanair amended the terms of a E700m share buyback Wednesday to allow block repurchases it said could limit the holdings of British shareholders and ensure it remains majority EU-owned after Brexit. Ryanair triggered contingency plans in March to restrict the voting rights of British shareholders if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on future relations or quits both the EU customs union and single market in a "hard" Brexit scenario. The restrictions are aimed at ensuring the carrier remains majority EU-owned to comply with its licensing and flight rights. Ryanair CFO Neil Sorohan said in February that while the airline was 55% EU-owned, Britain-based shareholders controlled 20% of its stock. He said he expected half of those to redomicile to the EU in a no-deal or "hard" Brexit.
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Boeing’s 737 Max suffers setback in flight simulator test

The FAA said Wednesday that it had recently discovered a new problem with the 737 Max jet that Boeing must correct before the plane is returned to service. In a flight simulator last week, FAA pilots tested erroneous activations of anti-stall software that pushes down the nose of the Max, people with knowledge of the matter said. The software, known as MCAS, was involved in 2 crashes. In at least one instance, an FAA pilot was unable to quickly and easily follow Boeing’s emergency procedures to regain control of the plane. The pilot rated that failure as catastrophic, meaning it could lead to the loss of an aircraft mid-flight, the people said. The situation that was tested is highly unlikely to occur during a typical passenger flight, but the regulator is still requiring Boeing to make a fix, one of the people said.
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EVA Air losses reach US$26m as cabin crew strike continues

EVA Air’s cabin crew strike has entered its seventh day, becoming the longest strike in Taiwan’s aviation history. The airline said losses have reached US$26m and it is expected to lose up to $34.3m in the coming days. The airline has stopped taking reservations until June 29. Cancellations have reached into the first week of July with around 390 more flights canceled, reaching 1,016 in total. In all, about 210,000 passengers are affected as the carrier scrambles to reassign affected customers to other airlines. While both the airline and the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU) are at an impasse over the resolution of the crew’s demands, EVA Air has accused the TFAU for withholding the identity passes and documents of about 100 cabin crew who wish to return to their posts.
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Delta, JetBlue offering waivers for Dominican Republic flights after spate of US deaths

Delta and JetBlue are offering waivers for tickets to the Dominican Republic following the deaths of several US tourists in the Caribbean country. Delta is offering options for Dominican-bound travellers "due to recent events," airline officials said Wednesday. JetBlue is also offering similar options. Delta travellers ticketed to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic may cancel their flights altogether and get a credit to apply toward future travel, or they can change their flight and the usual fee will be waived, airline officials announced. Delta did not specify what the 'recent events' are, but the waiver announcement follows a series of tourists deaths in the Dominican Republic that have attracted a flurry of media attention.
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Aer Lingus and Ryanair seek would-be pilots for training programmes

Ryanair has announced a new partnership with British company VA Airline Training to train pilots. Would-be pilots undertaking the VA programme are trained using Ryanair procedures with an expected 300 individuals expected to be assessed and trained over the next 3 years. “This new Ryanair-VA Airline Training programme will provide a steady pipeline of talented and professional pilots,” said the airline’s head of crew training captain, Senan O’Shea. “Ryanair will hire up to 1,000 pilots per annum over the course of the next 5 years,” he added. Aer Lingus is also seeking new pilots to train and says it is particularly focused on female candidates.
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Airlines and regulators meet to discuss Boeing 737 Max un-grounding efforts

Airlines and regulators are gathering at a closed-door summit in Montreal Wednesday to exchange views on steps needed for a safe and coordinated return of Boeing's grounded 737 MAX jets to the skies following 2 deadly crashes. The meeting, organised by IATA comes as airlines grapple with the financial impact of a global grounding of nearly 400 737 MAX jets that has lasted 3 months. IATA DG Alexandre de Juniac has said "shoring up trust among regulators and improving coordination" within an industry that grounded the MAX planes on different dates in March would be priorities at Wednesday's summit. Regulators including Transport Canada, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the FAA will join airlines at the meeting. It is the second such meeting organised by IATA.
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TAP Portugal eyes A321XLR as it launches 3 US routes in 3 weeks

TAP Air Portugal, which is on an expansion drive, will eventually become a customer of the newly launched Airbus A321XLR, co-owner David Neeleman says. The extra-long range version of the Airbus family of narrowbodies was launched at the Paris Air Show June 17 and by the end of the week had accumulated 260 orders, commitments and order conversions. TAP has two A321LRs with 12 more ordered and Neeleman said some might be converted to the XLR. He said the XLR would be a good aircraft for routes such as Lisbon-Chicago and could reach as far as Sao Paulo, but the earliest it would be available is 2023. TAP has launched 3 US nonstop city destinations from Lisbon this summer, with the 5X-weekly Washington service as well as 5X-weekly services to San Francisco International and to Chicago O’Hare.
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