Airline News - Europe.

 
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New York, Geneva (AirGuide - Airline News Europe) Oct 23, 2011

Russian authorities to increase airlines' fleet-size minimums. Russian authorities are planning to amend federal aviation regulations to increase the required minimum number of aircraft operated by an airline. Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin announced during a meeting with airline CEOs that, beginning in 2012, carriers operating scheduled flights with aircraft of more than 55 seats must have at least 10 aircraft of the same size to obtain an air operatorOs certificate; this could eventually increase to 20. Airlines operating aircraft of 55 seats or fewer must have at least three aircraft of the same size. Charter airlines will be required to have at least five aircraft. Russian regulations currently require any airline to operate at least three aircraft of the same size. Russian transport authorities said the new measures will help to improve flight safety. There have been four aviation accidents in Russia in 2011 in which one or more passengers have died (excluding accidents with helicopters). On Jan. 1 in Surgut, Western Siberia, three people died when a fire started on a Tu-154B on the taxiway. On June 21, 44 passengers and crew members died when a Tu-134 crashed during landing at Petrozavodsk, North-West of Russia. On Aug. 3, 12 people died when an An-24 crashed during landing near Igarka, Eastern Siberia. On Sept. 7, a Yak-42D broke up during takeoff at Yaroslavl, killing 45 passengers and crew. Airline market experts say that the Transport Ministry initiative is aimed at reducing the number carriers and to make it almost impossible to start a new airline. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development said the Transport Ministry had not proved that fleet numbers are related to airline safety. It said the number of Russian carriers operating commercial flights since 2000 has decreased from 296 to 146, but the total number of accidents has been steadily increasing. There were 24 crashes in 2010Nhigher than the 21.2 per-year average over the previous 10 years. Oct 21, 2011

Aer Lingus Aer Lingus has announced that it is to run extra flights to and from Dublin to London Gatwick airport. These extra flights now mean that Aer Lingus has more frequency for this particular route than any other airline, after increasing its capacity for passengers on this service by 56%. As part of its new winter schedule, Aer Lingus will now provide 6 flights per day between Dublin and London Gatwick, an increase from the 4 flights per day that had been offered last winter. Oct 21, 2011

Air France Transcripts reveal Air France crew knew plane would crash. Pilots aboard Air France flight 447 in 2009 knew they were about to crash as they worked frantically to save the plane. Transcripts published in a new book revealed one of the co-pilots saying, "We're going to crash." The plane's stall warning went off 75 times before the plane plunged into the Atlantic on its Rio de Janeiro-to-Paris flight, killing all 228 people aboard. Oct 17, 2011

American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia Real Customer Benefits Delivered as Joint Business Reaches Its First Anniversary. The transatlantic joint business between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia continues to strengthen its position as it reaches its first anniversary. The joint business allows the three airlines to cooperate commercially on flights between the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico and the European Union, Switzerland and Norway. More than 12 million people have traveled on the joint business in the last year to 40 gateway cities in North America and Europe. New routes, aligning of schedules, combining services and a greater number of fares are all customer benefits that have come to life in the past year. Customer benefits introduced in the last year have included: [yen]Better departure and arrival times between top UK-U.S. cities as American and BA's schedules were aligned. For example, flights to New York from London Heathrow now depart every hour, on the hour between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. [yen]The six oneworld[umlaut] Global Support Centers, which help customers transferring through the airlines' networks, have assisted more than 250,000 customers, resulting in significant...

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