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Jul 30, 2015

Philae lander shows there’s more to comets than soft dust

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The comet lander Philae may be uncommunicative at the moment, but the pictures and measurements it took after it touched down on a comet in November have shown scientists that the comet is covered with coarse material, rather than dust, and is harder than expected.

European scientists celebrated an historic first when Philae landed on a comet called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November after a 10-year journey through space aboard the Rosetta spacecraft.

Jul 30, 2015

Lufthansa sees challenging second half, fares still under pressure

BERLIN (Reuters) – German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday it saw no let-up in the pressure on fares due to competition from low-cost rivals and it would be more challenging to improve earnings in the second half of the year than the first, when lower fuel costs boosted profits.

Europe’s largest aviation group by revenue is in the midst of a restructuring as it tries to remain competitive against fast-growing budget rivals in Europe as well as carriers such as Emirates [EMIRA.UL] and Turkish (THYAO.IS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on long-haul routes.

Jul 29, 2015

Lufthansa’s risky bet with booking fees: will it pay off?

BERLIN, July 29 (Reuters) – Lufthansa is about to
take a bold step to boost profits by charging a fee for tickets
booked through third parties, hoping new technology and greater
price transparency will allow it to retain customers where
others have failed.

The 16 euro surcharge from Sept. 1, is risky, given that the
German airline sells around 70 percent of its tickets via third
party channels using global distribution systems (GDS) from
providers such as Amadeus, Travelport and
Sabre.

Jul 17, 2015

EU panel urges pilot screening after Germanwings crash

LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) – In the wake of the Germanwings disaster, all airline pilots should undergo psychological screening and allow details of medical visits to be shared in a proposed European database, according to new recommendations delivered to EU officials.

A task force of experts led by Europe’s aviation safety regulator also called for the introduction of random drugs and alcohol testing of pilots and better oversight of the doctors responsible for their regular medical checks.

Jul 14, 2015

Iran deal could unleash big pent-up commercial aircraft demand

NEW YORK/BERLIN (Reuters) – Airplane sales to Iran were cleared for take off after Tehran signed a nuclear agreement with six major powers on Tuesday, opening a potentially significant opportunity for Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Airbus Group (AIR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) after decades of isolation.

The agreement would lift all economic commercial sanctions including those relating to commercial aviation.

Jul 8, 2015

Greece crisis hits last-minute holiday bookings

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s debt crisis has hit tourism, with last-minute bookings falling sharply, although the impact on the industry may be limited because the flare-up has come late in the season when most summer holidays are already booked.

The Greek Tourism Confederation said it has seen a 30 percent drop in last-minute bookings, which typically account for one-fifth of bookings to the country.

Jul 3, 2015

After Tunisia attack, sun-seekers switch to Spain, Bulgaria and Greece

BERLIN, July 3 (Reuters) – Fearing for their safety in
Tunisia after a gunman killed dozens of tourists, sun-seeking
Europeans are switching to destinations such as Spain, Bulgaria
or even Greece for holidays this year.

Tunisia’s tourism industry had been recovering after the
Arab Spring unrest, and had become a popular lower-cost beach
holiday spot for Europeans. Last year, 2.8 million travelled
there, rebounding back towards 3.8 million level seen in 2010
before the uprising, according to official statistics.

Jun 30, 2015

Germanwings offers emotional damage payments to crash victims’ families

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germanwings is offering 25,000 euros ($27,958) compensation payments to close relatives of those killed in the March 24 plane crash for their pain and suffering, it said on Tuesday.

Evidence shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit of Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf and deliberately steered the plane into a remote mountainside, killing all 150 onboard.

Jun 19, 2015

Supply chain wary as Airbus and Boeing push output envelope

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) – A rare note of dissent permeated
the Paris Airshow this week as suppliers worried they might lose
out if they invest to meet higher commercial jet production
targets that ultimately prove unsustainable.

Airbus and Boeing plan to raise production rates of
best-selling single-aisle planes by 25 percent to 50-52 a month
in 2017-18 and executives at the Paris Airshow discussed the
possibility of ramping up output towards 60, or even above.

Jun 19, 2015

Helicopter makers upbeat on market despite oil-led slump

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) – Top U.S. and European helicopter
executives said this week that the oil price-led commercial
helicopter market slump would be temporary and that they will
keep investing in new technologies given the sector’s positive
long-term outlook.

The downturn will likely last 18 to 24 months, Sikorsky
Aircraft’s new president, Robert Leduc, said at Paris Airshow,
adding that he fully expected demand to rebound at some point.

    • About Victoria

      "Based in Frankfurt, covering German companies in the retail, travel and leisure sectors. In my previous Reuters incarnation in London, I focused on green tech firms, utilities and an array of smallcaps that came my way on the Breaking News team. I started my career as a translator with the Financial Times in London before switching into journalism."
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