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Lufthansa’s Airbus A350 becomes a climate research aircraft

Lufthansa's Airbus A350 becomes a climate research aircraft

The Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 “Erfurt” (registration D-AIXJ) is now being transformed into a flying research laboratory as part of a worldwide unique cooperation between the Lufthansa Group and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

An important project milestone could now be reached. For the first time, experts from the Lufthansa Group have attached the measuring probe system developed especially for the project to the lower fuselage of the A350 and successfully tested it in flight.

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In the airspace over southern Germany, Lufthansa pilots finished a flight programme planned with the certification authorities. The measuring system now being tested on the airplane is the most intricate of its kind and includes sensors for high-frequency and precise measurements of temperature and pressure in addition to the air inlet function. In order to provide the European research infrastructure IAGOS-CARIBIC with full climate data, the Airbus will start collecting it during routine passenger flights in 2024.

Next year, this high-tech laboratory will take off for the first time and collect climate data on selected flights in Lufthansa’s worldwide scheduled operations. The laboratory continuously records more than 100 different trace gases, aerosol, and cloud parameters from the ground to the tropopause region at an altitude of nine to thirteen kilometers.

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 In addition to the Lufthansa Group and KIT, six other companies (Lufthansa Technik, Airbus, Safran, enviscope, Dynatec, and ACC COLUMBIA Jet Service) are involved in the IAGOS-CARIBIC project. IAGOS stands for “In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System” and CARIBIC for “Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container”.

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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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