11 JULY 2016

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Comac ARJ21 takes off

China's first locally-built regional jet, the 90-seat ARJ21 Xiangfeng manufactured by Chinese aerospace company Comac, has made its maiden commercial flight, carrying 70 passengers from Chengdu to Shanghai.

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Finnair sets wi-fi date

Long-haul wi-fi is on the way for all Finnair’s fleet of A330s following a successful introduction at the end of last year on the A350XWB, for which the airline was the lead European customer.

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ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIAL: Sir Nigel Rudd, businessman and now the former chairman of Heathrow Plc

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COMMENT: Darren Caplan, chief executive, Airport Operators Association

Don’t let Brexit delay UK aviation growth

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A4E attacks ATC strikes

Andrew Sharp reports from Brussels.

More strikes by air traffic controllers in France and Italy disrupted flights in Europe again last week, a few days after the A4E (Airlines for Europe) group convened a conference in Brussels to address the situation.

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AA Premium Economy debut

An additional level of service will be offered to American Airlines passengers when the carrier's inaugural service with Premium Economy seating takes off on its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

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Air Canada signs for CS300

A firm purchase agreement for 45 Bombardier CS300 aircraft and options for 30 more has been announced by Air Canada. It follows a letter of intent signed in February.

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ANA Dreamliner on video

A video showing All Nippon Airways' B787-9 Dreamliner in action in a flight demonstration was released by Boeing and the airline last week as a prelude to the aircraft performing at Farnborough.

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Dublin €2m check-in upgrade

Check-in for passengers of four of the airlines using Dublin Airport has been upgraded in a €2m programme with 62 new self-service kiosks (SSKs) between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

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First wide-body for Tibet Air

Lhasa-based Tibet Airlines has received its first wide-body aircraft, an A330-200 with increased 242-tonne maximum take-off-weight (MTOW), following a handover in Toulouse.

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Flybe calls for APD cut

UK domestic airline Flybe has appealed to the government for a 50% cut in air passenger duty at regional airports.

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HS2 in the spotlight

The future of the HS2 project will be under discussion at a special Transport Times conference on 12 October with Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin and Simon Kirby, chief executive of High Speed Two, as keynote speakers.

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LH returns to Tehran route

Non-stop operations between Munich and Tehran have been relaunched by Lufthansa after being suspended in summer 2006.

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TAP boosts US services

A new daily service between Lisbon and New York JFK was launched this month by TAP Portugal just three weeks after the airline opened service to Boston. The new flights join TAP US services to Newark and Miami.

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ON TOUR: Lyon Airport

Lyon Saint-Exupéry in France has been showing off its plans for the future as it moves towards becoming the country’s second-largest airport. BTN’s Richard Cawthorne joined the latest show-round of the new facilities.

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AND FINALLY: Flying high

Jamaica is thinking of installing kiosks in its airports to sell marijuana – ganja in local parlance – to visitors as soon as they step off their aircraft.

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70-year innings for FAA

Members past and present of the Foreign Airlines Association gathered at Lord’s Cricket Ground last week to celebrate the group’s 70th anniversary.

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AC Hotels expansion

Marriott's lifestyle brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, has outlined plans for 30 new hotels in the next three years with a focus on the US, Caribbean and Latin America.

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Avalon airshow gears up

Business travel and future airport development are expected to be the hot topics at the 2017 Australian International Airshow in February.

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Eva goes to 10-across

Taiwan’s Eva Air is joining carriers widening the distinction between cabins with improvements to its Royal Laurel Business Class service while announcing plans for a 10-across Economy Class configuration on its new B777-300ER.

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Manchester wins US airport

The US arm of the company that operates Manchester Airport has won a contract to create a new Escape Lounge at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.

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Surf Air is coming to Europe

Venture capital-backed Surf Air Europe will start connecting Luton to Geneva, Zurich and Cannes from October, operating a subscription-model where customers pay a £2,500 monthly fee for unlimited travel.

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US – Havana hopefuls named

Eight airlines including United, Delta, American and Southwest have been put forward by the US government to start nonstop flights from US to Havana, administration officials said. Alaska Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, and Spirit Airlines are also included on the list.

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Xi’an debut for Garden Inn

Making its debut in Xi’an, Hilton Worldwide’s upmarket hotel brand Hilton Garden Inn has opened a 276-room property in the city’s Hi-Tech Zone. It is the parent group’s second base there, after Hilton Xi’an.

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