Friday, 10 February 2017

Bombardier CSeries: The comfort of strangers

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One statistic that never fails to amaze Gulliver is the oft-cited claim by Boeing that one of its 737s lands or takes off somewhere in the world every two seconds. Airbus, the American planemaker’s bitter European rival, makes the same claim for its A320-family model (perhaps surprisingly, given that fewer have been built). So ubiquitous are these mid-sized, short-haul aircraft that you are all but guaranteed to be on one of them when boarding a modern plane with 120-200 seats. That duopoly is nice for Boeing and Airbus, which have collectively delivered 16,800 of the two models. But, in Europe at least, passengers are getting a taste of what else might be...

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Afriqiyah's flight to safety

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When Afriqiyah Airways Flight 209 touched down at Malta International Airport on 23 December 2016, its arrival was anything but the illustrious new beginning management had envisioned at the gateway. For more than a year, the state-owned Libyan airline has been laying the foundations for a new subsidiary, PanAfriqiyah, on the Mediterranean island – one that can bypass the lawlessness of its home nation and restore the company’s battered fortunes. Instead, Flight 209 was a product of that very lawlessness, targeted by hijackers with fake weapons and a promise to kill all aboard if the domestic Libyan flight was not diverted to Malta...