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  • Airbus bags deal with Philippine budget carrier Cebu Air as sales flounder at Paris Air Show

    Tue, 2019-06-18 09:39

    LE BOURGET: Airbus struck a $6 billion plane deal with Philippines budget airline Cebu Air on Tuesday, extending its lead on orders at a subdued Paris Airshow as rival Boeing struggles following the grounding of its top-selling jet.
    Cebu’s order included 10 of Airbus’s new long-range A321XLR passenger aircraft, which was launched at the show on Monday, as well as 16 wide-body A330neos and five single-aisle A320neos.
    Reuters reported on Monday that Cebu was poised to buy more than two dozen Airbus planes.
    Sources familiar with the matter say American Airlines and leasing giant GECAS are also in talks to buy the A321XLR, which aims to carve out new routes for airlines with smaller planes and steal a march on Boeing’s plans for a potential all-new mid-market jet, the NMA.
    Despite the flurry of activity around the A321XLR, however, dealmaking at the aerospace industry’s biggest annual event has been quieter than normal, fueling speculation that a decade-long boom in orders might be coming to an end.
    With airlines struggling with over-capacity, slowing economies and geopolitical tensions, some analysts warn Airbus and Boeing could face a growing number of cancellations from their bulging order books.
    Boeing in particular is suffering after the grounding of its MAX 737 aircraft in March following two deadly crashes.
    However, the planemakers are confident of continued strong demand for more fuel-efficient planes as emissions regulations tighten and as air travel continues to rise, driven by Asia’s growing middle classes. Boeing on Monday increased its 20-year industry demand forecast.
    “Although investors have started to ask questions about the state of the upcycle, the aerospace industry remains very confident in the current state of the market,” analysts at Vertical Research Partners said in a note.
    Cebu Air Chief Financial Officer Andrew Huang told a news conference the 16 A330neo jets it was buying would have up to 460 seats, allowing the airline to add new international routes.
    Cebu, which operates the Cebu Pacific brand, had a 51 percent share of the Philippine domestic market in 2018, according to company data. In the international market, its 19 percent share was second only to full-service rival Philippine Airlines with 28 percent.
    After announcing no major aircraft orders on Monday, Boeing could unveil some on Tuesday, including a potential deal with Air Lease Corp. whose founder Steven Udvar-Hazy told reporters on Monday he would be “at Boeing tomorrow.”

    Main category: 

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    Posted: by Arab News

  • Heathrow publishes ‘masterplan’ for controversial third runway

    Tue, 2019-06-18 09:36

    LONDON: London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, on Tuesday issued plans for its controversial third runway, including the rerouting of rivers and roads, as it sought also to allay environmental concerns.
    Britain’s government last year finally approved the third runway after decades of acrimonious debate.
    “Heathrow today unveils its preferred masterplan for expansion,” said a statement from the airport, which is owned by a consortium led by Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial.
    The detailed plan includes “tough new measures” to reduce emissions, limit noise and curb night-time flights.
    The M25 motorway that rings London will be rerouted under the new runway, while river corridors will also be diverted.
    “We’re working with those impacted residents, communities and local authorities to identify appropriate mitigation measures,” the plan said.
    “New river corridors will be created to channel the existing rivers and wildlife away from construction sites and the new runway.”
    Construction is expected to start in 2022, with the runway built by approximately 2026. New terminals will not be ready until around 2050.
    The expansion is expected to cost about £30 billion ($38 billion, €34 billion), according to the BBC, including £14 billion on the first phase.
    The hub, west of London, aims to increase its total capacity to 130 million passengers per day, compared with the current level of about 78 million.
    “Expansion must not come at any cost,” said Emma Gilthorpe, Heathrow’s executive director for expansion, presenting a new public consultation that will run until September.
    “That is why we have been working with partners at the airport, in local communities and in government to ensure our plans show how we can grow sustainably and responsibly — with environmental considerations at the heart of expansion.
    “This consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on our preferred masterplan,” she added.
    Heathrow will also issue compensation for affected homeowners, and establish a noise insulation policy and a community fund.
    The third runway has faced stiff opposition for many years from campaigners who cited the negative impacts on noise and air pollution, habitat destruction, transport congestion, and climate change.
    Last month, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, along with environmental charities and local councils, lost a court battle to prevent the Heathrow expansion.
    Britain’s Conservative government argues that the project will provide a major boost to Britain’s post-Brexit economy and could create up to 114,000 local jobs by 2030.
    Heathrow is owned by an investment consortium comprising also sovereign wealth funds from nations including China, Singapore and Qatar.

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    Posted: by Arab News

  • Ireland to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030

    Tue, 2019-06-18 11:01

    LONDON: Ireland has announced it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 as part of its new climate change plan.
    The government hopes to have 950,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads by then, supported by a network of charging stations.
    The measure is one of 180 proposals covering business, construction, transport, agriculture and waste management intended to put Ireland on a path to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
    “Our approach will be to nudge people and businesses to change behavior and adapt new technologies through incentives, disincentives, regulations and information,” said Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
    “Our objective… is to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. Our call to action in the fight to save our planet,” he added.
    Dublin hopes to increase its level of electricity generated from renewable energy from 30 percent of the total mix to 70 percent by 2030.
    The “Climate Action Plan” also includes the elimination of non-recyclable plastic and higher fees on the production of materials that are difficult to recycle.
    Friends of the Earth Director Oisin Coghlan called the plan “the biggest innovation in Irish climate policy in 20 years.”
    But Greenpeace criticized the government for not committing to the 2050 target, only making it a goal.

    Main category: 

    Polls open in Ireland for Brexit-dominated voteIreland declares climate emergency

    Posted: by Arab News

  • Lebanon’s Hariri calls for cabinet solidarity in budget debate

    Tue, 2019-06-18 10:37

    BEIRUT, June 18 : Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri on Tuesday called for parliament to quickly approve the country’s 2019 budget and urged his coalition government to avoid internal disputes.
    The cabinet this month agreed a budget plan that shrinks the projected fiscal deficit by 4 percentage points from last year to 7.6% by cutting spending and raising taxes and other fees.
    “What I want during the debate is for us to be responsible and united, and not contradictory,” Hariri said in a statement, addressing cabinet ministers as to their comportment during the parliament debate.
    Parliament’s finance committee is debating the draft budget and has suggested amendments, local newspapers reported. It will then put the budget to the full assembly to ratify it.
    Parliament is mostly composed of parties that are also present in the coalition government and which supported the budget there.
    Since the budget was agreed there have been fierce arguments between parties in the coalition over several subjects, though these have not targeted the budget.
    Lebanon has one of the world’s heaviest debt burdens, equivalent to about 150% of GDP, and the International Monetary Fund has urged it to cut spending.
    “We have held 19 cabinet meetings to agree on this draft budget and these sessions were not for fun, but for deep, detailed debate over every clause and every idea,” Hariri said.
    “For this reason, I consider it the responsibility of each of us in government to have ministerial solidarity…to defend in parliament the decision that we have taken together,” he added.
    After the 2019 budget is agreed, the cabinet must quickly start working on the 2020 budget and on approving the first phase of a program of investments toward which foreign donors have offered $11 billion in project financing. (Reporting by Angus McDowall, editing by Ed Osmond)

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    Posted: by Arab News

  • Saudia to boost its Airbus A320neo fleet

    Tue, 2019-06-18 10:16

    PARIS: Saudi Arabian Airlines has decided to expand its order of the existing Airbus A320neo family of planes from 35 to as many as 100, including 35 options, the companies said.
    The additional firm order takes the airline’s order from the A320neo family of aircraft to 65, of which 15 are the new Airbus A321XLR planes, the companies said on Tuesday.

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    Saudia Cargo transports 175 tons of WWE equipmentSaudia Cargo participates in Air Cargo Europe 2019

    Posted: by Arab News

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