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Southwest Airlines commemorated 30 years of operation on 16 January and took delivery of two Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft featuring new livery. The aircraft also feature a new interior scheme, including leather seating, brushed aluminium surfaces, deep blue carpet and newly-designed windscreens.

Pilots with Sun Country Airlines, a US carrier, will conduct informational picketing on 17 January in Milwaukee. The picketing follows the pilots' frustration with ongoing labour contract negotiations with the airline, which began in May 2000. The pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, filed for federal mediation on 20 November.

A meeting between the Canadian foreign minister and the Brazilian acting foreign minister on 16 January failed to produce any resolutions in the ongoing aircraft subsidy trade dispute between the two countries. The two ministers talked for about an hour, according to Reuters, but no indication of progress on the issue was made. The Brazilian president did state however that the proper forum for discussing the dispute was the World Trade Organisation.

Airbus Industrie, the European aircraft manufacturer, has received a firm order for ten A380 superjumbo jet aircraft from FedEx Express, a unit of the US company FedEx Corp. The order, which is valued at about USD2.3bn based on list prices, is for the A380-800F freighter configuration of the A380, which FedEx Express hope will be delivered from 2008. The company also holds options for an undisclosed number of the aircraft.

Sabena, a Belgian carrier, cancelled a flight to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 16 January because of a curfew imposed on the city. A spokesperson for the airline said that the situation for flights scheduled for 19, 20, 21 and 22 January would be assessed, Reuters reported. The United Nations confirmed that the DRC's airport was closed due to a suspected coup attempt.

Effective 18 January Air Canada has expanded its code-share agreement with Lufthansa German Airlines, a Star Alliance partner, to include flights to and from Russia. The Canadian carrier will code-share on Lufthansa's flights from Frankfurt and Moscow and between Frankfurt and St Petersburg.

About 11 people died on 16 January after separatist militants attacked Srinagar airport in Indian Kashmir. The gun battle killed six guerrillas dressed as police officers, a teenage girl and three airport security staff according to Reuters. The attack lasted two and a half hours and some 12 people were wounded. Flights were not affected.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has indicated that Beijing Capital International Airport and Tianjin Binhai International Airport are to be combined in order to improve aviation in the region by optimising the use of resources and increasing competitiveness, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Air traffic controllers at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport in Italy staged a strike on 16 January. The action forced the cancellation of over 90 flights over the strike's four-hour duration. Airlines were able to warn passengers about the action on 15 January according to The Associated Press.

China Southern Airlines and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, a Sky Pearl Club FFP partner, have launched a new series of promotions for Winter 2001. The promotions are effective 28 February and will allow Sky Pearl Club members who stay at a Shangri-La or Traders Hotel on a non-discount rate to receive quadruple mileage plus additional benefits, such as complimentary breakfast, free laundry, local phone calls, IDD calls and faxes, as well as a late checkout. Conditions may apply. Shangri-La and Traders hotels are also offering special discount packages for SkyPearl Club members.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Jan 17, 2001
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