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Airbus to boost A220 jet’s range, newest operator says

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Airbus will go ahead with plans to increase the range of its smallest jet, the A220, its newest operator said, allowing airlines to open more niche routes internationally.

Airline entrepreneur David Neeleman said last month he was discussing adding extra endurance to the jetliner with Airbus, which took over the Canadian-designed programme in 2018.

Speaking to Reuters on Friday as he launched his latest venture, U.S. startup Breeze Airways, Neeleman said a decision to offer the longer-range jet was now a given.

“It is under way, so we are … kind of arguing about when. But it is not a matter of ‘if,’ it is just a matter of ‘when’,” Neeleman said.

Airbus declined to comment.

“We are always working with our customers and listening to their fleet needs, and we don’t comment on the status of our confidential discussions,” an Airbus spokeswoman said.

The upgrade would require an extra fuel tank, which means Airbus would also have to increase the plane’s maximum take-off weight in order to preserve and then improve performance. Airbus has already announced some increases in that metric.

“We need to get up to 4,000 (nautical) miles,” Neeleman said. The A220-300 currently flies about 3,400 nm (6,300 km).

Breeze has ordered 60 of the 130-seat jets, sitting between smaller Embraer regional jets and the larger Boeing 737 MAX 7.

Neeleman declined to comment on a recent Reuters report that Breeze had already expanded this order by another 20 jets.

Airbus reported the order without disclosing the name of the buyer, but industry sources have linked it to Breeze, making it potentially the second-biggest A220 customer.

Breeze, which aims to link underserved U.S. cities, will take delivery of A220s from October and use them on routes of two hours or more, including eventually international markets.

For shorter trips it will use older Embraer 190/195 aircraft inherited from Neeleman-founded Brazilian carrier Azul.

Neeleman said Breeze would take more Embraer 195s from Azul, allowing the Brazilian carrier to speed up deliveries of Embraer’s latest E2 model.

Breeze’s mixed fleet differs from the strategy of most budget carriers, which use one type to reduce expenses.

Neeleman denied this would put Breeze at a disadvantage and said any “small” cost increase would be offset by the ability to open dozens more routes.

 

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, David Shepardson; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Teamsters votes to fund and support Amazon workers

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The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union in the United States and Canada, said on Thursday it has voted to formalize a resolution to support and fund employees of Amazon.com Inc in their unionization efforts.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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Citigroup names new sales head for Treasury and Trade Solutions unit

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Citigroup Inc has named Steve Elms as the new sales head for the bank’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) unit effective immediately, according to an internal memo shared by a company spokesperson.

Elms, who will oversee the management of the global sales teams, has been involved with the bank’s TTS division for over 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

TTS is a division of the bank’s Institutional Clients group. The segment offers cash management and trade services and finance to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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Indigenous group finds 751 unmarked graves at former residential school in Saskatchewan

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An indigenous group in Canada’s Saskatchewan province on Thursday said it had found the unmarked graves of 751 people at a now-defunct Catholic residential school, just weeks after a similar discovery rocked the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “terribly saddened” by the new discovery at Marieval Indian Residential School about 87 miles (140 km) from the provincial capital Regina.

He told indigenous people that “the hurt and the trauma that you feel is Canada’s responsibility to bear.”

It is not clear how many of the remains detected belong to children, Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme told reporters.

He said the church that ran the school removed the headstones.

“We didn’t remove the headstones. Removing headstones is a crime in this country. We are treating this like a crime scene,” he said.

The residential school system, which operated between 1831 and 1996, removed about 150,000 indigenous children from their families and brought them to Christian residential schools run on behalf of the federal government.

“Canada will be known as a nation who tried to exterminate the First Nations. Now we have evidence,” said Bobby Cameron, Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

“This is just the beginning.”

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which published a report that found the country’s residential school system amounted to cultural genocide, has said a cemetery was left on the Marieval site after the school building was demolished.

Cowessess First Nation has been in touch with the local Catholic archdiocese and Delorme said he is optimistic they will provide records allowing them to identify the remains.

“We have full faith that the Roman Catholic Church will release our records. They haven’t told us ‘No.’ We just don’t have them yet.”

The Cowessess First Nation began a ground-penetrating radar search on June 2, after the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia outraged the country.

The Kamloops discovery reopened old wounds in Canada about the lack of information and accountability around the residential school system, which forcibly separated indigenous children from their families and subjected them to malnutrition and physical and sexual abuse.

Pope Francis said in early June that he was pained by the Kamloops revelation and called for respect for the rights and cultures of native peoples. But he stopped short of the direct apology some Canadians had demanded.

(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Moira Warburton in VancouverEditing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell)

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