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United Becomes First U.S. Airline to Invest in Biofuel Refinery

United Airlines Ventures (UAV) has revealed a strategic investment in NEXT Renewable Fuels (NEXT)

United Airlines CEO Apologizes for Taking Private Jet During Flight Disruptions

United Airlines Ventures (UAV) has revealed a strategic investment in NEXT Renewable Fuels (NEXT), which has received approval for the construction of its flagship biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon, with production set to start in 2026. The biorefinery being built by NEXT, a Houston-based business, has the potential to produce up to 50,000 barrels per day of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, and other renewable fuels once it is fully operational. If NEXT achieves specific milestone objectives, UAV may invest up to $37.5 million in the business.

American Airlines Makes Equity Investment in Universal Hydrogen(Opens in a new browser tab)

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A deep-water port, an existing industrial-grade dock, and multi-modal transportation options are just a few of the special advantages that NEXT’s biorefinery offers. These advantages make it easier to reach feedstock alternatives and rapidly expanding SAF offtake markets on the west coast.

By securing a deal with BP to source all of its feedstock, NEXT has further reduced the danger of the supply problems that smaller facilities have previously faced. A critical air permit for NEXT has also been granted by the State of Oregon. The biorefinery may be utilised as a platform to scale SAF and implement additional future technologies after all required clearances and permits have been received and it is operating.

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Qantas and Airbus Partnership for the biofuel industry.(Opens in a new browser tab)

United has been an industry leader in advocating for alternative jet fuel for years – including investing in more SAF production than any other airline in the world and flying the world’s first passenger flight using 100% SAF in one engine. United also launched the Eco-Skies Alliance program, which among its 30 corporate participants, has collectively purchased more than 7 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel.

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With no reliance on conventional carbon offsets like voluntary offsets or tree planting, UAV is a pioneering sustainability-focused ventures fund that targets startups, emerging technologies, and ideas that will support United’s aim of net zero emissions by 2050. SAF manufacturers and other businesses that are developing technologies like carbon utilization, hydrogen-electric engines, electric regional aircraft, and air taxis are currently included in UAV’s portfolio.

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United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

United Flight Diverts to Shannon, After Stuck Laptop in Business Class Seat

A United Airlines flight from Zurich to Chicago O’Hare was forced to make an emergency diversion to Shannon, Ireland.

On Saturday afternoon after a passenger got their laptop wedged in a Business Class seat aboard the Boeing 767-300. Operating as United Flight 12, the aircraft departed from Flughafen Zürich at 9:46 a.m. local time and took off at 10:08 a.m.

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The captain decided to divert the flight not because the passenger couldn’t access their laptop, but because any device powered by lithium-ion batteries that becomes inaccessible could pose a significant safety risk.

Such devices, if damaged or overheated, could lead to a thermal runaway event, potentially causing a fire on board. The Boeing 767-300, featuring United’s relatively new Polaris business-class cabin, landed safely at Shannon Airport in County Clare at 1:43 p.m. IST (Irish Summer Time) and reached the gate at 1:51 p.m.

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In a statement, United Airlines acknowledged the diversion: “United flight 12 scheduled from Zurich to Chicago landed safely in Shannon to address a potential safety risk caused by a laptop being stuck in an inaccessible location.” This situation led to the cancellation of the flight, and the airline is working to reroute the 157 passengers who found themselves unexpectedly in Ireland.

Frequent flyers are often reminded in airline safety videos not to move their seats if they lose mobile phones or other gadgets powered by lithium-ion batteries within the seats. Attempting to retrieve such items by moving the seat can damage the battery and potentially cause a dangerous situation.

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Air India Flight Collides with Tug Tractor, at Pune Airport

Air India Flight Collides with Tug Tractor, at Pune Airport

An Air India flight bound for Delhi faced an unexpected hurdle during its taxi towards the runway at Pune Airport on Thursday, May 16th.

The aircraft, carrying 180 passengers, encountered a collision with a tug tractor, though fortunately, no injuries were reported among the passengers or crew. The incident, while causing significant damage to the aircraft, triggered swift emergency protocols, ensuring the safety of all individuals involved.

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Upon the mishap, passengers were promptly disembarked from the plane, and alternative arrangements were made for their accommodation as they found themselves stranded at the airport. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated an inquiry to ascertain the cause of the collision, according to ANI reports.

Preliminary findings suggest that the tug truck, utilized for maneuvering the aircraft on the ground, inadvertently struck the plane during the taxiing process. Despite the incident, airport operations continued with minimal disruption. However, the affected aircraft was temporarily withdrawn from service for comprehensive inspection and necessary repairs.

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Air India, in response to the situation, assured passengers of full refunds and complimentary rescheduling. The airline’s statement conveyed, “There was an incident related to one of our aircraft, which was to operate Pune to Delhi, at the time of its pushback. The aircraft was held back for checks, all passengers were offloaded safely, and the flight was cancelled.”

Passengers affected by the cancellation were provided with refunds and the option for rescheduling their travel plans without additional charges. The damage to the aircraft, primarily located near the belly where the pushback tug made contact, underscores the need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision.

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After Flight Cancellation, Virgin Atlantic Passengers Told to Arrange Own Hotels

After Flight Cancellation, Virgin Atlantic Passengers Told to Arrange Own Hotels

Ian Field and his partner Jane, both residents of the London area, faced an unexpected and costly ordeal while on a trip to St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

The couple, who had flown out from Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic flight VS221 on May 5, discovered upon arrival that their May 15 return flight was canceled for “operational reasons.” Despite Virgin Atlantic’s explanation, Field suspected the cancellation was due to a lack of passengers, as the airline is set to cease the route after May 19.

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Stranded on the island, Field and Jane were left to fend for themselves for two additional nights. Both Virgin Atlantic and their travel agency, Blue Bay Travel, failed to provide assistance or accommodation, forcing the couple to pay over £400 out of pocket for their hotel stay.

Virgin Atlantic advised those without sufficient funds to seek financial help from family members, which added to the couple’s frustration. “We feel completely abandoned and let down terribly,” Field expressed to The Independent.

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The lack of response from Virgin Atlantic and the unhelpful attitude of the travel agent exacerbated their distress. Although Field and his partner could afford the unexpected expense, he expressed concern for those who might not be in a similar financial position.

In response, a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson stated that all affected customers were rebooked on alternative flights and could amend their bookings through the airline’s “rebook me” function if needed. The spokesperson apologized for the delay and inconvenience, assuring that customers would receive EC261 compensation of £520 per person and be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred.

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