ATWOnline Staff

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BA to establish biofuel plant for fuel needs 

British Airways in partnership with Washington-based Solena Group said it plans to establish "Europe's first sustainable jet-fuel plant" and will use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet from 2014. The fuel will be derived from waste biomass.

Eco-Aviation Conference takes shape 
Third Annual Eco-Aviation Conference will take place June 22-24 in Washington at the Marriott Metro Center. Organized by ATW, this year's conference will include sessions on developments in alternative fuels/biofuels, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, proposed environmental regulations in the US and their potential impact on airlines, green technology and industry self-help measures and other sessions devoted to this important subject.
Historic snowfall brings Northeast US to standstill 

The second major snowstorm to hit the US Mid-Atlantic region in five days closed airports up and down the East Coast yesterday, forcing cancellation of thousands of flights and resulting in delays across the nation's air transport system.

Boeing completes initial flight test milestone on 787 

Boeing on Friday said it had completed "initial airworthiness testing" on the 787, "a milestone [that] will enable more crew members to take part in flights" and allow more Dreamliners to join the flight test program.

Since the first 787 flight on Dec. 15, 15 flights have occurred, accumulating nearly 60 hr. in the air (ATWOnline, Dec. 23, 2009). The aircraft has been flown to an altitude of 30,000 ft. (9,144 m.) and a speed of Mach 0.65. Initial stall tests and other dynamic maneuvers have been run.

BA strike ballot issue goes before judge as talks recommence 

A UK High Court judge is scheduled to rule today on British Airways' claim that the strike ballot conducted by Unite flight attendants was flawed, a procedure that may constitute the desperate airline's only chance to avoid the 12-day strike called for Dec. 22 if emergency talks convened yesterday fail to produce an agreement.

Air India's full-year loss doubles 

Air India lost INR55.48 billion ($1.19 billion) in the fiscal year ended March 31, more than double the INR22.26 billion deficit suffered in the prior year, the carrier announced yesterday.

Oneworld trio reportedly must cede slots to win EC approval 

The European Commission will require oneworld partners British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia to surrender slots in order to gain clearance for their transatlantic alliance, the Financial Times reported, citing documents saying the joint venture is "likely to result in appreciable competitive harm" on seven Europe-US routes.

JAL job cuts may rise to 13,000 under new restructuring plan 

The Japanese government and Japan Airlines reportedly will unveil a new turnaround plan for the troubled carrier later this week that will include slashing 13,000 jobs and giving a new government-backed agency control over JAL's restructuring process.

FAA reportedly investigating AA MD-80s; issues new parts standards 

US FAA is investigating American Airlines' maintenance of MD-80s, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing preliminary agency findings that "have identified as many as 16 [AA MD-80s] that were operated for months despite allegedly substandard bulkhead repairs."

Air Niugini orders two Q400NGs 

Air Niugini, the Papua New Guinea flag carrier, placed a firm order for two Q400 NextGen turboprops valued at $92 million plus one option.

"The Q400 NextGen aircraft follows in the footsteps of a long line of robust and reliable de Havilland and Bombardier turboprops that have served our airline very well over the years," CEO Wasantha Kumarasiri said.

Bombardier now has taken firm orders for 363 Q400s with 257 delivered as of July 31.

JAL reportedly discussing partnership with Delta, American 

Anxious for a financial boost in the wake of a ¥99 billion ($1.08 billion) loss in its fiscal first quarter ended June 30 and an increasing debt burden, Japan Airlines launched negotiations with oneworld partner American Airlines and SkyTeam rival Delta Air Lines concerning a potentially significant investment, according to multiple sources.

BEA 'can't explain' AF accident, needs millions for long-term search 

French BEA Director Paul-Louis Arslanian said investigators have not determined the cause of the May 31 Air France A330-200 crash in the Atlantic Ocean and reiterated that there still is no evidence that speed sensors caused the accident.

"At the moment, we can't explain the accident," Arslanian told journalists yesterday in Paris. "We are making progress and will make progress and I'm optimistic, but this will take time. It takes a year-and-a-half, being responsible and reasonable, in order to make progress and ensure that we've run through all of the questions."

ATA: US passenger revenue down 21% in July 

The US Air Transport Assn. said yesterday that US airlines' July passenger revenue fell 21% compared to the prior-year month, marking the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year decline.

ATA said passengers carried dipped 4% while the average price to fly one mile dropped 18%. "Revenue declines extended beyond the mainland United States to the transatlantic, transpacific and Latin markets," the organization said.

787 supplier Senior adds to first-flight pessimism 

A Boeing supplier has warned that the 787 may not fly for another six months.

Mark Rollins, CEO of Senior, a multinational component manufacturer based in the UK that is furnishing air ducts and other parts for the Dreamliner, told Bloomberg News this week that "we estimate another six-month delay" to first flight and that Boeing's "credibility is somewhat in question."

Air India considering 777 cancellations 

Air India is discussing the cancellation of six 777 orders with Boeing, the airline confirmed to several news organizations.

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