Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary confirmed the carrier has held talks with Russian and Chinese aircraft manufacturers about supplying the carrier with new aircraft (The Telegraph/AFP, 08-Mar-2011). "We have just started talks with the Russian and the Chinese. There is nothing to update on that at the moment," Mr O'Leary stated. Ryanair operates a B737-only fleet at present, but broke off negotiations with Boeing on a large new order in late 2009 as the two parties were unable to agree on terms and conditions. United Aircraft is developing the MS-21, a medium-range aircraft that can seat 150-212 passengers, while COMAC is developing the single-aisle C919 aircraft. Both are expected to be introduced after 2014.
Ryanair in talks with United Aircraft and COMAC for new aircraft
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While it was acknowledged that progress on major deals was not going to happen overnight, the hope was that as layers of sanctions came down, Iran would be embraced by the rest of the world. In return, Iran was expected to open itself up progressively to foreign trade and investment, and to travel.
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Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines have an extensive codeshare agreement and are partners in the Star Alliance. Their existing relationship is such that Brussels Airlines already feels like a member of the Lufthansa Group. The main draw for Lufthansa has always been its Belgian partner's extensive African network (it is the number two airline on Western Europe-Central/Western Africa).
However, it now seems that Lufthansa will, at least partly, integrate Brussels Airlines into its Eurowings low cost brand. Lufthansa is keen to accelerate Eurowings' expansion through partners (and is also to wet-lease up to 35 aircraft from airberlin). Brussels Airlines' fleet and single-class configuration on short/medium haul should fit with Eurowings, but its unit cost and network airline business model are not characteristic of an LCC.