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Airbus opens new technology hub to accelerate assembly of next-gen wings 

Airbus opens new technology hub to accelerate assembly of next-gen wings 

The launch of a new Wing Technology Development Centre (WTDC) at its Filton plant today represents a significant investment by Airbus in its UK innovation capabilities. Nusrat Ghani, UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, officially opened the facility, which will be used to develop and test demonstrators for a number of programmes and research projects.

In order to further enhance the performance of its wings, Airbus will use the newest technology and world-class demonstrators at the new facility to speed up the design, construction, and testing of its wings for next-generation aircraft.

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One of the major potential to increase fuel efficiency, lower CO2 emissions, and ultimately move towards the aviation industry’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is to make wings longer, thinner, and lighter, along with engine optimization.

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With the help of the WoT initiative, Airbus is able to investigate cutting-edge assembly and manufacturing techniques for the benefit of coming generations.

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The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at Broughton, the ZEROe Development Centre, and the Aerospace Integrated Research & Test Centre (AIRTeC) at its Filton facility are just a few of the UK-based research and technology facilities that Airbus already has a presence in. The WTDC is another addition to this network.

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Airlines

Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas has broadened its codeshare partnership with IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline, enhancing travel options between Australia and India. This expansion allows customers to seamlessly connect from Qantas flights in Singapore to IndiGo’s services to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Previously, the codeshare arrangement enabled passengers on Qantas flights arriving in Bengaluru and Delhi to connect onto IndiGo domestic services to 21 destinations across India. Now, travelers can enjoy a more streamlined journey by transferring through Singapore.

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Additionally, the new arrangement allows customers to incorporate overnight stopovers in Singapore into their travel plans before continuing to Delhi or Mumbai. This provides greater flexibility and convenience for those wishing to explore the city or rest before their onward journey.

Qantas passengers traveling on IndiGo flights benefit from the same checked baggage allowance as their flight from Australia and receive complimentary food and beverages. Furthermore, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn and redeem points on connecting IndiGo flights (with a QF code) between Singapore and India.

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This partnership expansion comes alongside Qantas’s recent announcement of increased flights to both India and Singapore. Specifically, flights between Sydney and Bengaluru will become daily during the peak holiday season, complemented by additional flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Singapore.

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Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic Sued Over Alleged Age Discrimination: Cabin Crew Seek Justice

Virgin Atlantic finds itself embroiled in legal proceedings as over 200 former cabin crew members launch a lawsuit against the airline, alleging discriminatory practices during the period of the pandemic.

The dispute centers on accusations that the company unfairly targeted older employees for dismissal while retaining newer, less costly hires.

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The pandemic’s onset in March 2020 triggered a cascade of challenges for the aviation industry, leading Virgin Atlantic to ground a significant portion of its fleet. In response, the airline swiftly implemented cost-cutting measures, including the reduction of its workforce by over 40%, amounting to the loss of 3,000 jobs.

Additionally, it established a “holding pool” for potentially rehiring redundant staff once normal operations resumed. However, the crux of the legal battle lies in the claim that Virgin Atlantic retained approximately 350 new cabin crew members, some with minimal training periods as short as a week.

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While simultaneously letting go of experienced onboard managers, many of whom boasted an average age of 45 years and two decades of service. This perceived discrepancy forms the backbone of the lawsuit, with former employees contending that age became a determining factor in the airline’s decision-making process.

In response, a Virgin Atlantic representative stated: “Virgin Atlantic had to make very difficult decisions following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.” Regretfully, this meant a 45% reduction in the total number of employees within the company.

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End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

End of an Era: Qantas Retires Final Boeing 767 Freighter

Qantas has officially bid farewell to its last Boeing 767 aircraft, marking the end of an era that began nearly four decades ago.

The final 767, a dedicated freighter variant registered as VH-EFR, operated its last flight on May 17, 2024. This concluding journey took it from Hong Kong (HKG) to Sydney (SYD) under the flight number QF7526, closing the chapter on Qantas’s use of the 767 after 39 years.

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The Australian airline commemorated the occasion with an Instagram post on Friday, announcing the retirement of VH-EFR, their last remaining 767. According to Cirium Ascend Fleet Analyzer data, this aircraft is a little over 18 years old. It joined the Qantas fleet in 2011, having previously served Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) as a cargo plane.

Despite being owned by Qantas, the aircraft was operated by Express Freighters Australia under the Qantas Freight brand.

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The Boeing 767 has had a versatile history with Qantas. Initially, the aircraft was used on international routes, flying to destinations in New Zealand, Asia, and North America. Following the 1992 merger with Australian Airlines, the 767s were increasingly deployed for domestic services as well.

Although Qantas is retiring this specific freighter, the Boeing 767-300 freighter model remains active globally. Records indicate that 280 of these aircraft are still operational, serving 14 airlines around the world.

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