Airline News - North America.

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New York (AirGuide - Airline News North America) Sep 11, 2011

Strategic Airlines rebranded as 'Air Australia'. Brisbane-based Strategic Airlines announced Friday it will be renamed Air Australia later this year. The carrier said last month it would launch flights from Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu Dec. 14 after receiving approval from US Dept. of Transportation. Those flights will be operated by Airbus A330s with 30 business-class seats and 244 in economy. Launched in 1991 as an aircraft broker, the airline obtained its own AOC in 2009 as a charter operator. It now operates scheduled passenger service on routes including MEL-Phuket, Brisbane-HKT, BNE-Bali, BNE-Port Hedland and Perth-Derby. Domestic MEL-BNE flights will commence from December. The new image and livery was designed by CumminsRoss in Australia. According to executive director Sean Cummins, the task was as much about design as it was about communication. In addition to rights to fly to the US, Strategic has also gained approval to operate services between Australia and China. Sep 5, 2011

Air Canada to add transborder baggage fees. Saying it is remaining "consistent with the baggage polices of other major carriers," Air Canada said Friday it will start charging C$25/$25 for a first checked bag on all Canada-US transborder flights. Previously economy passengers were allowed to check one bag for free on AC transborder flights. The new fee will apply for all tickets purchased on or after Sept. 7 for travel on or after Oct. 11. A second checked bag on transborder flights will cost C$35/$35. Sep 5, 2011

Air Canada to add transborder baggage fees. Air Canada also bumped up its second checked bag fee on international flights to Africa, the Middle East, Russia, Asia, Australia and South America to C$70/$70 from C$50/$50. A first checked bag on those flights will remain free. Domestically, AC allows one bag free but charges C$20 for a second checked bag. Sep 5, 2011

Air Charter International Transports De-mining Machine to Afghanistan. Once again, Air Charter International has shown its capabilities of dealing with difficult air charter missions. The summer of 2011 ended well for the Air Charter International team as they successfully completed the shipment of an outsized de-mining machine from Europe to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. For several years now, efforts have been put into place to make Afghanistan a mine free country by 2013. As such several de-mining companies have already been contracted to assist with the process and help the Afghani nationals claim back their land and ensure it is free of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO's). Air Charter International successfully assisted in the delivery of a specialized de-mining machine and its spare parts to Bagram Airbase. The machine was split up into three pieces and accompanied by a 20 ft container containing tools, spare parts, oil and lubricants. The total weight of the cargo was approx 40 tons heavy and was transported in a Russian Ilyushin 76 ramp loader to Afghanistan. Each year since the de-mining action has started in Afghanistan, over 80,000 anti-personnel mines, 100 anti-tank mines and 2.5 million explosive remnants are being destroyed. As a result mine related casualties have significantly dropped. The de-mining machine was transported to Bagram for a commercial leader in the environmental remediation of landmine, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) pollution, clearing battlefields and the management of conventional weapons worldwide. Notes to Editor: Air Charter International (ACI) a leading aircraft charter and leasing company based in Dubai, UAE, has been in operation since 1994 and covers 4-A region, namely: Arabia, Africa, Asia and Asia Pacific and services long and short term aircraft requirements. ACI has also made a strategic move into Aircraft Management through its 100% owned subsidiary: Jet Ops which operates and manages three Cessna 208A Amphibian seaplanes for a commercial tourism operation named Seawings. Seawings provides seaplane operations within the United Arab Emirates and is the only seaplane sightseeing service in the region, considered a must-do for visitors to Dubai. The resource pool of ACI includes professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds & nationalities with a strong focus on aviation related industry and experience. Sep 8, 2011

A Warm Welcome and a Spectacular Celebration in Los Angeles for the Inaugural Flight of CA 987. A Water Cannon Salute welcomed Air China's inaugural second daily nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Beijing on Sept. 1. Scores of news reporters and local government officials, together with Air China executives from Beijing and the Los Angeles regional headquarters, watched from the tarmac as CA 987 was bathed in a rainbow of water from two Los Angeles Fire Department trucks parked several feet off the side of each wing of the 747 combi. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa joined the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Yesui Zhang; the Hon. Shaofang Qiu, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles; Ms. Yinxiang Wang, Air China's Vice Chairman; and Michael A. Lawson, president of the Board of Airport Commissioners in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the start of Air China's new flight. The new flight's LAX arrival at 11 AM (CA 987) and its departure for Beijing at 1:20 PM (CA 988) significantly reduce the ground time at the Beijing Capital International Airport for passengers who are transiting to other cities in China and to other destinations in Asia such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, India, etc. Next year, the Boeing 777-300ER will be in operation in all U.S. routes. It will feature luxury first class suites, flat beds in business class and a monitor-equipped individual entertainment in the economy cabin. Sep 8, 2011

American Airlines Partners with Choir Academy of Harlem. American Airlines, which has served the New York market for more than 80 years, has formed a partnership with the Choir Academy of Harlem through the PENCIL program. PENCIL builds and supports customized relationships between business leaders and principals to inspire innovation and transform public schools. Choir Academy, located in New York City, serves students in grades six through 12 with programs in three music majors [ETH] choral music, instrumental and dance. To kick off the school year, American donated 36 recycled and refurbished computers, along with printers, monitors, mouses, and cables, to the faculty and students of Choir Academy. The computers will allow the teachers to implement digital music technology programs, and access to the Internet will allow students to research colleges and prepare for standardized tests. Through the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, American recently awarded Harlem Week Scholarships to two New York City high school seniors pursuing higher education. American also provides sponsorships and in-kind support to many organizations serving the Greater New York community, including Citymeals-on-Wheels, Roundabout Theatre Company (American Airlines Theatre), The New York Pops, Lincoln Center Theater, American Ballet Theater, New York City Opera and Harlem Stage. In addition, American supports New York City's Ladders for Leaders, which exposes students to different careers and colleges...

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