Colombia-based Synergy Aerospace, whose parent Synergy Group is the majority owner of AviancaTaca and Tampa Cargo and owns several other airlines, has signed a firm order for six Airbus A330-200 passenger jets and three A330-200 Freighter aircraft.

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The July 11 deal includes a previously undisclosed order for five A330s and a new agreement for five additional A330s, representing the first commitment for the newly launched, longer-range A330 which Airbus announced on July 9 at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012.

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Airbus has decided to offer further-enhanced versions of its A330 widebody family by increasing the family’s maximum take-off weight capability to 240 metric tonnes. This capability will be first applied to the larger Airbus A330-300 and subsequently to the A330-200 and A330-200F.

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This summer US Airways is offering daily, seasonal service to Barcelona, Athens, Glasgow, Venice and Lisbon from its hub at Philadelphia. The carrier will also add daily, seasonal service from US Airways’ hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Dublin, Madrid and Rome.

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For the project, ST Aerospace will lead A330P2F engineering development, working with Airbus and EADS EFW. EADS EFW will subsequently be responsible as program lead during the industrial phase, and will undertake most of the conversions at its facilities in Dresden in Germany.

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Air China is launching four-times-weekly, non-stop service between Beijing and Copenhagen on June 2, 2012, using Airbus A330-200s.

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Hawaiian Airlines began operating Airbus aircraft in 2010 and now has agreed commitments for 22 A330-200s, including four which the airline is leasing from aircraft lessors. Hawaiian currently operates five A330-200s.

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To promote its new service, Hawaiian Airlines is offering introductory fares of $212 each way in Economy Class and $808 each way in First Class – 212 and 808 being the original area codes of Manhattan and Honolulu, respectively.

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Strategic Airlines, which began services in 2009, will retire its red, white and blue brand, former name and full-service business model from November 15 to relaunch as a wholly Australian-owned, low-cost carrier. Most of Air Australia’s services in the future will be long-haul.

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Airbus says that Air Pacific ordered the three A330-200s both to renew and to grow its long-haul fleet. However, Air Pacific already operates three long-haul aircraft, so it appears possible the Fiji carrier could add to its Airbus widebody order over time.

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Strategic Airlines has unveiled its new ‘Air Australia’ livery, to be introduced later this year as the carrier re-brands itself.

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Strategic Airlines confirms it will launch non-stop services from Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu on December 14 and 15, 2011, respectively.

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The new service, scheduled to begin on March 1 2012, will make Shanghai Etihad Airways’ 70th global destination.

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Etihad Airways plans to launch services to Chengdu in southwest China from December 15, subject to government approval. The airline will connect Chengdu to its hub and home base in Abu Dhabi with four non-stop round-trips each week.

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The airline has chosen the latest 235-tonne maximum take-off weight variant of the Airbus A330-300. Garuda Indonesia has also converted a previous order for three A330-200s into A330-300s.

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Air China’s A330-200 Business Class cabin revamp includes upgrading each seat to a 180-degree, fully lie-flat bed and improving the in-flight entertainment system at each seat.

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The latest purchase agreement increases the total number of A330s ordered by Korean Air to 30 aircraft, of which 23 – 16 A330-300s and seven A330-200s – have already been delivered.

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Scheduled for delivery from 2014, the aircraft are the first A330-200s that AirAsia X has ordered. The carrier will operate them to destinations in Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

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Subject to approval from the Japanese government, Hawaiian Airlines’ inaugural flight from Honolulu International Airport to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport is scheduled for July 12, with the inaugural return flight from Osaka to Honolulu on July 13.

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