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New York, Geneva (AirGuide - Airline News Europe) Sep 29, 2013

Air France More arrests in connection with the Air France cocaine smuggling case. Venezuela has arrested five more National Guard soldiers, including a lieutenant colonel, in connection with the smuggling of 1.3 tonnes of cocaine on board an Air France flight from Venezuela. The drugs were found packed inside 30 suitcases on September 11. Eight National Guard troops have now been arrested following the September 20 drug haul that was valued at EURU200 million (USD$270 million), prosecutors in Caracas said on Tuesday Sept. 24. In addition to the lieutenant colonel, two lieutenants and five sergeants are in custody. The Venezuelan attorney general's office said a security guard and baggage handler at Simon Bolivar airport also were arrested. The statement from prosecutors did not say what charges the suspects face. Three Italians and three Britons were arrested in Paris after France's biggest cocaine seizure. Police there said the drugs were in suitcases registered under false names on the flight to Charles de Gaulle airport. Drug enforcement experts say Venezuela's location on South America's Caribbean and Atlantic seaboards makes it a preferred route for planes and ships carrying Colombian cocaine to the United States and Europe via Central America and Africa. Sep 25, 2013

British Airways The British Airways A380 will fly its maiden long-haul flight from London Heathrow to LAX. The British Airways A380-800 will leave London Heathrow on its maiden long-haul flight to Los Angeles on Sept. 24, and is the first and currently only A380 aircraft to operate the route. Flight BA269 is scheduled to take-off from London Heathrow at 1615 and arrive at LAX at 1924 local time. The airline will initially operate as a five-weekly service, but will increase to double-daily flights from April 10 next year. The airline took delivery of its first A380 last July, twelve A380s will join the British Airways fleet over the next four years as part of the airlineOs [pounds sterling]5 billion investment in products and services for customers. The aircraft are due to fly to Hong Kong from October 22 and Johannesburg from February next year. British Airways has configured its A380s to accommodate 469 customers across four cabins, 14 First, 97 Club World (business class), 55 World Traveler Plus (premium economy) and 303 World Traveler (economy). Customers in First will be seated at the front of the main deck in First 'suites' with 30 percent more space, turndown service, a la carte dining and champagne supper. Club World customers can choose from 44 seats on the main deck, or 53 seats on the upper deck in full-flat beds. These upper deck seats will feature a new 2-3-2 configuration across the cabin. The 55 World Traveller Plus seats will be located on the upper deck while World Traveller customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck. State-of-the-art in-flight entertainment with 1,600 hours of programming, including more than 130 of the latest Hollywood blockbusters and classic movies and 650 TV shows from around the world Complimentary bar, three course meals, amenity kits and blankets for all customers Cleaner air, as a result of advanced filters and a system that allows 15 different temperature control zones with cabin air refreshed every three minutes. The British Airways A380 also features a new menu designed by The Langham, London, for customers travelling in First and Club World. This includes an elegant five-course tasting menu and afternoon tea, inspired by the range of indulgent treats offered at The Langham, London [ETH] famed as the birthplace of Afternoon Tea over 140 years ago. The airline is also taking delivery of 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners over the same period, three of which are now with the British Airways fleet and already operating to Toronto. Sep 24, 2013

British Airways British Airways will start flying to Chengdu from London Heathrow. British Airways will start a new route to Chengdu in Western China from London's Heathrow airport and provide 777-200ER service thrice-weekly flight from September 2013. The airline said it plans to switch from Boeing 777 service to the 787-8 Dreamliner during the summer of 2014, and increase weekly flight from three to five. Chengdu, the prosperous capital of Sichuan province, is one of China's largest cities. British Airways already flies to Beijing and Shanghai, also began services to South Korean capital Seoul earlier in December. Chengdu is the fourth Chinese city to allow visa-free entry for foreign travellers, following Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. The...

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