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Lufthansa CEO expects to benefit from Airbus, Bombardier deal

Lufthansa will benefit from future cooperation between airplane makers Airbus and Bombardier as it is a major customer of both companies, the airline’s CE Carsten Spohr said. Airbus has agreed to buy a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries jetliner program, giving a powerful boost to the Canadian plane and train maker in its costly trade dispute with Boeing. “The cooperation of strong partners and the joint development of technology are of enormous importance in the aircraft sector,” Spohr said. “As a major customer of Airbus and launch customer and operator of the Bombardier CSeries, Lufthansa will benefit from the future cooperation of two companies that are bundling their innovation and competence,” he said. Lufthansa unit Swiss was the launch operator of the CSeries and has 30 of the planes on order, including 20 of the larger variant, the CS300.
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Delta ends 747 era with rise of new Airbus

Delta will officially retire its jumbo Boeing 747 fleet in December. Later that same month, the airline will pass the baton to a smaller, twin-aisle Airbus A350 XWB. Delta is the first US airline to bring the new Airbus jet into operation. And with arrival of the A350, Delta is overhauling its long-haul business class, introducing premium economy and new economy class seats.
In fact, the airplane was built around the seat. Delta picked the design for 'Delta One' even before it had purchased the A350 when it was still deciding if it wanted Boeing or Airbus jets for its flights to Asia. The business class seat features a first for a US airline - a fully closing door. The goal is more privacy for travellers and increasing the distance between Delta and its U. rivals, while taking on Middle Eastern and Asian carriers who have long had a better reputation for passenger-pleasing seats that eclipsed spartan US cabins.
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Oneworld: Airberlin will leave alliance Oct. 28

Oneworld has confirmed that airberlin will no longer be part of the alliance from Oct. 28, when the bankrupt German carrier ceases operations. According to oneworld, airberlin affiliate NIKI—which joined oneworld alongside airberlin in March 2012—will no longer fly as part of oneworld at the same time. “Oneworld will continue to serve more than 1,000 airports in almost 160 countries worldwide,” the alliance said. “The withdrawal of airberlin and NIKI from the alliance will mean a dozen destinations—half of them regional cities in Austria and Germany and the rest southern European holiday spots—are leaving the alliance’s global network.”
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Ryanair lures back flight operations head to help prevent repeat of pilot debacle

Ryanair has lured its former flight operations director Peter Bellew back to the fold from Malaysia Airlines. Bellew worked for Ryanair between 2006 and 2014 and was latterly responsible for building a new team and developing the processes to operate the carrier’s expanded fleet on the back of a bumper plane order. His experience could be key for the Irish airline, which has endured a torrid couple of months after cancelling 2,100 flights in September and October - up to 50 a day - due to an error over pilot holiday rosters. It delivered a further blow this month when it said an extra 18,000 flights for the winter season were cancelled - a move that will hit 400,000 bookings. Bellew, who now runs Malaysia Airlines, will take on responsibility for all of Ryanair's flight operations, ground operations and engineering. But, the company added, he would have a “specific responsibility” for pilot production, training and career development with a “mission to ensure that the pilot rostering failure which Ryanair suffered in early September will never be repeated”. Ryanair CE Michael O’Leary said Mr Bellew had “unrivalled knowledge” of its business model and growth plan. Bellew will arrive on December 1. He took on one of the toughest jobs in aviation in April 2016, becoming the CE of Malaysia Airlines, the carrier which was struck with the double tragedies of flights MH370 and MH17.
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US: Airline delays and cancellations rise due to hurricane

Partly because of Hurricane Harvey, which shut down both major Houston airports for several days, cancelled flights surged and delays increased on US airlines in August. The airlines, however, seem to be losing track of fewer bags, and consumer complaints are down from a year ago. The DoT said Tuesday that the dozen airlines covered in its monthly air travel consumer report canceled 2.2% of their flights, up from 1.4% in August of last year. The department said that 77.1% of domestic flights arrived on time, down from 77.6% in August 2016. The government counts a flight on time if it arrives within 14 minutes of schedule. Hawaiian Airlines had the best rating among the 12 largest US airlines, with 93% of its flights on time. The airline benefits from often-favorable weather and many short flights among the islands in its home state. Virgin America had the worst rate, followed closely by JetBlue Airways. Both carriers were late more than 30% of the time. Nine domestic flights and two international flights were stuck on the ground so long that the airlines involved could be fined. The department said it was investigating all 11 incidents.
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Security officers fired for United dragging episode

Two airport security officers in Chicago have been fired for their roles in an episode in which a screaming passenger was violently dragged from a United flight in April. Chicago’s inspector general, Joseph Ferguson, announced in a quarterly report released Tuesday that, after an investigation, two of the four Chicago Department of Aviation employees involved in the matter had been discharged. The other two employees remain suspended. The investigation found that three aviation security officers and one aviation security sergeant “mishandled a nonthreatening situation that resulted in a physically violent and forceful removal of a passenger,” Dr. David Dao, on United Flight 3411 on April 9. “The investigation also uncovered that the employees made misleading statements and deliberately removed material facts from their reports,” the report stated. As a result, the department terminated the security officer “who improperly escalated the incident” and the sergeant for deliberately removing facts from an employee report. The aviation department did not release the names of the employees. The people who were fired are appealing their discharges, a spokeswoman for the inspector general said on Tuesday.
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Malaysia Airlines says announcement of CEO move to Ryanair 'unexpected'

Ryanair's announcement Tuesday that it had hired Malaysia Airline CE Peter Bellew was "unexpected" the Asian carrier said, adding that its board would meet to discuss the move. Ryanair said that Bellew would take over as its COO on Dec. 1. "At a press conference with Malaysian and international media on 27 September 2017, Bellew had expressed his commitment to Malaysia Airlines," the Malaysia Airlines statement said. "The turnaround of Malaysia Airlines remains on track and on schedule," it added.
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Eurowings sees $1b-plus revenue boost from Air Berlin deal

Eurowings should get a revenue boost of more than E1b a year from parent Lufthansa’s deal to buy part of Air Berlin, Eurowings CE Thorsten Dirks said Tuesday. Lufthansa signed a E210m deal last week to take over 81 of Air Berlin’s roughly 130 planes to cement its position in Germany and expand budget brand Eurowings. With the deal, Eurowings’ fleet will grow to 210 aircraft from 160, and its workforce will increase to about 10,000 people from 7,000, Lufthansa has said. Dirks said the deal should lift Eurowings’ annual revenues to more than E5b. But it still needs regulatory approval and the CEO said he expected the EC to demand measures to address competition concerns on some routes. Dirks said Eurowings could also absorb Alitalia’s short-haul business if Lufthansa struck a deal to buy parts of the ailing Italian flag carrier.
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Bombardier gives up jetliner ambitions for luxury planes, trains

By relinquishing control of its C Series jets to longtime rival Airbus, Bombardier is scaling back its ambitions to build jetliners for the world’s airlines. The deal marks a step away from what had been touted as the crown jewel of Canada’s biggest aerospace company before it was tarnished by cost-overruns and trade disputes. With the future of the C Series now up to Airbus, the Montreal-based manufacturer is likely to sharpen its focus on private jets and trains -– two businesses with higher margins. “This is Bombardier opening the door to the transition away from commercial aviation,’’ said Karl Moore, a professor of management strategy at Montreal’s McGill University. “I’m not sure they had much of a choice. Surely they will have interesting opportunities in executive jets and trains, and they can reinvest in those.’’ Private business jets have been Bombardier’s most profitable division, while commercial aircraft –- weighed down by losses tied to the development of the C Series -– ranked among the company’s worst-performing. Bombardier’s commercial unit includes older products such as the CRJ regional jet and the Q400 turboprop. The C Series is Bombardier’s biggest and most expensive commercial jet program, often billed by the company as a “game-changing’’ aircraft with superior economics and fuel efficiency. The deal with Airbus gives the European planemaker majority control with a 50.01% stake. Bombardier will retain about 31%, and the Quebec government will hold 19%.
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Man sues United, claims fellow passenger urinated on him

A New Jersey man is suing United, claiming a drunken fellow passenger urinated on him as their cross-country flight was taking off. Daniel Card is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit, which accuses the airline of assault, negligence, breach of contract and emotional distress. The Pequannock man says the airline shouldn't have allowed the visibly drunken man to board the June 12 flight from Los Angeles to Newark. Card claims the cabin crew initially refused his request to move from the urine-soaked seat and he had to endure the remainder of the flight in urine-soaked clothes. United said Tuesday it had not been served with the lawsuit.
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