Third A380 performs first flight

Airbus’ third A380, MSN 2, performed its first flight on 3rd November. The flight lasted three hours and took the aircraft over Southern France. During the flight, all systems were checked out and the whole flight envelope was cleared. The tests performed were similar to those of a serial production plane. The aircraft joins the first two A380s which, together, have already performed some 440 test flight hours in over 120 flights. These three development aircraft are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.

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Ryanair Dublin pilots each receive EUR50,000 share option windfall

Ryanair confirmed that many of its Dublin pilots will exercise share options which at the current share price have a profit of approx. EUR50,000 each. These share options (which formed part of the 5 year pay, benefit and share option scheme collectively negotiated directly between the Dublin pilots and the airline in November 2000) fall due to be exercised at the end of November. The total value of the shares held by each qualifying pilot under the scheme are presently valued at over EUR175,000.

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Russia's Volga-Dnepr Group orders two Boeing 747-400ER freighters

AirBridge Cargo Airline of Russia has ordered two 747-400ER freighters from Boeing. The aircrafts, with a list price value of $450 million, are scheduled for delivery in October 2007 and February 2008 and will be powered by General Electric CF6-80C2B5F engines. AirBridge Cargo currently operates two Boeing 747-200F and one Boeing 747-300. The company is considering different aircraft types to support the strategic development of its route network. AirBridge Cargo plans to operate a mixed fleet of Boeing 747 freighters on trunk routes and Russian-built Ilyushin-76, AN-12 or Tupolev 204 freighters on regional feeder flights. Looking forward AirBridge Cargo will Read more

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U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new foreign ownership rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new rules to help US airlines to raise foreign money. U.S. airlines would have more opportunities to obtain financing from investors under a new rule announced today by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. The proposed rule would allow international investors more say in some aspects of airline operations, but retain current domestic ownership and labor protections in U.S. airlines, Mineta said. The notice of proposed rulemaking would allow global investors more input in marketing, routing and fleet structures. However, the proposal would ensure current protections guaranteeing that U.S. citizens own at least Read more

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WestJet's third quarter earnings increase 43%

WestJet, Canada announced its 2005 third quarter results with net earnings up 43.6% to CDN$30.3 million compared to CDN$21.1 million achieved during the same period last year. In the first nine months of 2005, the airline achieved net earnings of CDN$23.0 million compared to CDN$29.1 million during the first nine months of 2004. Operating revenue increased 30.9% this quarter to CDN$406.1 million from CDN$310.3 million attained in the third quarter last year. Year to date, operating revenue grew to CDN$1.0 billion, an increase from CDN$784.3 million during the same period in 2004.

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