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Italian Prime Minister meets Etihad CEO to discuss Alitalia: source

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met Etihad Airways Chief Executive James Hogan on Thursday to discuss a potential investment in national carrier Alitalia <CAITLA.UL>, a source in the premier's office said. The source said a development could emerge in the coming hours or days. Gulf carrier Etihad is considering an investment in the troubled Alitalia as it seeks to expands its global reach and compete with regional rivals.

Winter storms foul airlines' on-time performance, but no tarmac delays over 3 hours

DALLAS - The bad news for travellers is that U.S. airlines posted terrible on-time numbers and record cancellations in February, as winter storms fouled operations at several large airports. The good news is that no U.S. flights were stuck on airport tarmacs for more than the three hours, the limit set by federal rules. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported Thursday that only 70.7 per cent of domestic flights arrived within 14 minutes of schedule — that's the leeway allowed while still being counted as on-time.

Hawaiian Airlines leads, regional carriers come in last at flights arriving on time

Here are the federal government's rankings of how often airline flights arrived within 14 minutes of schedule in February: 1. Hawaiian Airlines, 90.1 per cent 2. Alaska Airlines, 85.7 per cent 3. Delta Air Lines, 77.5 per cent 4. AirTran Airways, 75.0 per cent 5. American Airlines, 74.0 per cent 6. US Airways, 73.8 per cent 7. Virgin America, 73.2 per cent 8. SkyWest, 71.1 per cent 9. Southwest Airlines, 70.4 per cent 10. United Airlines, 70.0 per cent 11. American Eagle, 66.5 per cent

French industrialist Dassault charged with vote buying

French billionaire industrialist and senator Serge Dassault has been charged with vote buying in his former fiefdom east of Paris, a judicial source told AFP on Thursday. Dassault, 89, was questioned for two days in February in connection with allegations that he operated an extensive system of vote buying that influenced the outcome of elections in Corbeil-Essonnes, where he was mayor from 1995 to 2009. The source said Dassault had been charged with vote buying, complicity in illegal election campaign financing and exceeding campaign spending limits.

French industrialist Dassault charged with vote buying: judicial source

French billionaire industrialist and senator Serge Dassault has been charged with vote buying in his former fiefdom east of Paris, a judicial source told AFP on Thursday. Dassault, 89, was in February questioned for two days in connection with allegations that he operated an extensive system of vote buying that influenced the outcome of elections in Corbeil-Essonnes, where he was formerly mayor. The source said Dassault had been charged with vote buying, complicity in illegal election campaign financing and exceeding campaign spending limits.

US removes Philippines from air safety blacklist

The US Federal Aviation Administration has removed the Philippines from its air safety blacklist, Manila said Thursday, opening the door for its airlines to expand services to the United States. The FAA decision comes after the European Union in July 2013 lifted its own ban on flag carrier Philippine Airlines after it upgraded safety standards.

Myanmar Airways to launch regular Osaka-Yangon flights in fall

Myanmar Airways International said Thursday it will launch regular flights between Kansai International Airport in Osaka and Yangon in the fall. The new route is expected to capture potential demand in western Japan amid a growing number of Japanese companies opening businesses in the Southeast Asian country. The airline said the new flight services will mark the second regular flight linking Japan and Myanmar following one launched by All Nippon Airways Co. between Narita International Airport near Tokyo and Yangon.

Safety assessment clears Philippine airlines to increase number of flights to United States

MANILA, Philippines - American aviation authorities cleared Philippine airlines to increase flights to the United States after safety standards improved and the European Union opened its skies to the Southeast Asian country's main budget carrier. The U.S. embassy in Manila said Thursday that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's assessment earlier this year found the Philippines now meets international safety standards.

United States upgrades Philippine civil aviation rating

MANILA (Reuters) - The U.S. aviation regulator has upgraded the civil aviation status of the Philippines to let its airlines operate new direct flights to the United States, Manila's transport minister said on Thursday. The upgrade to category 1 status by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) follows a downgrade to category 2 in 2008 because the Philippines lacked oversight laws for air carriers and fell short of international safety standards.

US removes Philippines from air safety blacklist

The US Federal Aviation Administration has removed the Philippines from its air safety blacklist, Manila said Thursday, opening the door for its airlines to expand services to the United States. The FAA decision comes after the European Union in July 2013 lifted its own ban on Philippine carriers after they upgraded their aviation safety standards.
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