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News : Accenture sells Navitaire to Amadeus for $830m

Accenture sells Navitaire to Amadeus for $830m


Amadeus has agreed to acquire Navitaire, which provides booking systems for a large number of low-fare airlines, from Accenture for $830 million.

Amadeus describes Navitaire, which has a global customer base of more than 50 operators, as providing “revenue-generation and cost-streamlining solutions in the areas of reservations, ancillary sales, loyalty, revenue management, revenue accounting and business intelligence”.

The addition of Navitaire’s portfolio of products and solutions for airlines with low-cost business models will complement Amadeus’s Altéa suite of offerings for its largely full-service carrier customer base, giving Amadeus the ability to serve a wider group of airlines. Amadeus says it intends to market and sell the two product portfolios separately and will continue to invest in both platforms, enhancing the services and functionality availability to all types of carriers. Amadeus believes that the acquisition will enable it to improve the connectivity between different carriers in the same airline groups or alliances and that the functionality from each platform will enhance the other.

“Bringing Navitaire’s experience, industry know-how, client base and strong product portfolio is a significant step for Amadeus in the low-cost and hybrid-carrier segments,” remarked Luis Maroto, president and CEO of Amadeus. “Airlines of all shapes and sizes face an increasingly competitive market for an increasingly demanding traveller, and this transaction will give us the ability to serve all airlines with technology that can enable them to drive new revenues and contain their costs.”

As part of the acquisition, approximately 550 Navitaire employees, including the company’s senior management team, are expected to transfer to Amadeus.

Amadeus and Accenture expect to close the deal in the fourth quarter of this calendar year, following regulatory approvals. Amadeus says it expects the acquisition to have minimal impact on its financial performance in 2015.

In a separate agreement, Accenture and Amadeus have agreed to form an alliance to help lead airlines through the digital transformation taking place in the industry and drive efficiency in the global operations of airlines’ businesses. The alliance combines the partners’solutions and experience with Accenture’s aviation expertise and global capabilities in technology, analytics, cloud, mobility and operations.
 
Under the alliance agreement, Accenture will be designated as an Amadeus “Strategic Partner” for its airline IT business for management consulting, technology consulting, systems integration, business process outsourcing and digital services, complementing Amadeus’s existing in-house consulting and digital services.
 
Accenture and Amadeus have also agreed to enter into a third agreement under which Accenture will provide Amadeus with infrastructure outsourcing, application and research and development services. Accenture will continue to provide hosting services for current Navitaire clients as well as Amadeus’s future clients that purchase the Navitaire solution.

David Evans, Navitaire CEO, commented, “Today’s announcement marks a new chapter for Navitaire that will enable us to accelerate and deepen our industry offerings. Our customers will benefit from greater access to Amadeus’s industry solutions to help support their growth and link with traditional industry partners. At the same time, they will continue to benefit from Accenture’s expertise and capabilities as a result of the Accenture–Amadeus alliance.”
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News : More BA CityFlyer flights as British Airways expands London City services

More BA CityFlyer flights as British Airways expands London City services


British Airways has begun two new routes – operated by BA CityFlyer – to Mykonos and Santorini and increased frequency to popular leisure destinations from London City Airport, with 131,000 more seats available this summer.

The new four-times-a-week flights to Mykonos and twice weekly service to Santorini will operate during the peak summer season until 6 September. Increased frequency on flights to Malaga, Florence and Ibiza will continue until October.

The new routes mean that British Airways will fly to a record 29 destinations across the UK, Europe and USA from London City Airport.

“This week sees the start of our busiest time of year with more customers than ever taking advantage of the convenience of travelling through London City Airport,” remarked Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial, London City. “With new routes and extra frequencies British Airways will be offering an additional 465 flights from the Docklands this summer, an increase of five per cent on last year.”
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News : June and 1H15 traffic figures reported by Horizon Air

June and 1H15 traffic figures reported by Horizon Air


Horizon Air has announced its rounded traffic figures for June 2015 and for the first half of the calendar year (1H15).

In June, revenue passenger miles (RPMs) rose to 206 million from 193 million, an increase of 6.7%. Available seat miles (ASMs) increased by 5.5% to 251 million from 238 million. These figures caused a marginal load factor increase of 0.9 percentage points, taking June 2015’s figure to 82.0% from 81.1% last June. The number of revenue passengers carried went up by 7.6% to 698,000 from 649,000.

For 1H15, RPMs totalled 1,130 million, up 6.5% from the 1,061 million in 1H14. ASMs were increased by 5.6% to 1,420 million from 1,345 million for the respective periods. The 1H15 load factor of 79.6% was slightly higher – up 0.8 pp – over 1H14’s 78.8%. Revenue passengers carried in 1H15 numbered 3,848,000, compared with 3,570,000 in 1H14, an increase of 7.8%.
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News : GOL reports punctuality stats for first half of 2015

GOL reports punctuality stats for first half of 2015


GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes has reported that it led the sector punctuality rankings in June with a rating of 96.01%, according to domestic market figures from Infraero, Brazil’s airport operator.

GOL claims the position of most punctual airline in both the second quarter (2Q15) and first half of 2015 (1H15), with ratings of 96.53% and 95.32%, respectively.

The company emphasised that the numbers underline its commitment to punctuality and client satisfaction. To maintain its leadership for the fifth consecutive month, with a year-to-date rating 0.7 percentage points above the industry average, GOL says it has been investing in technologies and services to facilitate and ensure fast customer service and comfort.

GOL informs its passengers of its punctuality via voice message within the aircraft and offering other services via mobile phone, such as flight status consultations, ticket purchases, check-in, seat selection, flight anticipation and cancellations.
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News : SkyWest-operated E-Jets begin three routes for Alaska Airlines

SkyWest-operated E-Jets begin three routes for Alaska Airlines


Alaska Airlines has inaugurated service between Seattle and Milwaukee, WI; Seattle and Oklahoma City, OK; and between Portland, OR and St Louis, MO, with flights being operated by SkyWest Airlines using Embraer 175s – the first time the type has been operated in Alaska’s livery.

"We're excited to provide increased service breadth for our Northwest customers to the great cities of Milwaukee, Oklahoma City and St Louis," remarked John Kirby, Alaska's vice-president of capacity planning. "The E175 is new for the Alaska brand, and enables our entry into smaller, long-range markets. This regional aircraft will provide greater access to our Northwest hubs, while giving customers a superior experience on these longer flights."

All three services are have daily flights, with the Seattle–Milwaukee flight departing at 09:25 and landing at 15:25. The return leaves Milwaukee at 16:05 and arrives in Seattle at 18:25.

Flights from Seattle to Oklahoma City push back at 10:30 with touchdown at 16:23. Takeoff from Oklahoma City for the return is at 17:05 with the flight landing back at Seattle at 19:14.

Finally, from Portland the departure time is set for 10:10 with arrival in St Louis at 16:15. The return leaves St Louis at 16:45 and gets back to Portland at 19:07.

All times on the above services are based on local time zones.

The SkyWest E175s are configured with 76-seats with 12 in first class and 64 in coach. Onboard amenities include Alaska Beyond Delicious, featuring food and beverages sourced with items from iconic Pacific Northwest brands, and inflight internet access. By mid-July, the aircraft will also be equipped with Alaska Beyond Entertainment, which offers free and premium entertainment direct to customer devices. First class customers will also enjoy power outlets at each seat.
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News : Low-fare airlines respond to UK Airports Commission report

Low-fare airlines respond to UK Airports Commission report


Following the UK Airports Commission’s rerecommendation that a third runway should be built at London Heathrow Airport, low-fare carriers easyJet, Ryanair and Flybe have all reacted to the Commission’s report.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of easyJet, remarked, “easyJet supports the Airports Commission’s clear and unanimous recommendation and agrees that expansion at Heathrow will provide the greatest passenger and economic benefits – including lower fares – by opening up the airport to increased competition. Expansion at Heathrow will bring significant benefits to all parts of the UK and is in the best interests of all passengers – both business and leisure, long- and short-haul.

“Expansion at Heathrow must be delivered sustainably. Local noise and environmental impacts need to be addressed and easyJet supports the Commission’s recommendations on these issues,” McCall added. “We now urge the Government to quickly proceed with the Commission’s recommendation and start the work to increase the aviation capacity for the UK.”

McCall went on to explain easyJet’s plans at an expanded Heathrow. “easyJet would open a base at Heathrow (in addition to our other existing London bases – Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend) enabling easyJet to provide new routes and increase competition on dozens more UK and European routes,” she declared. “This would include new services to Inverness, Isle of Man and Jersey and increased services and more competition for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast as well as new and increased services for many other key cities including Amsterdam, Geneva and Zurich.

"easyJet's costs are significantly lower than legacy airlines, so even allowing for an increase in charges at an expanded Heathrow, easyJet's fares on these services would be lower than those paid by passengers today,” McCall emphasised.

Ryanair has vastly different ideas about capacity in the southeast of the UK as chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs explained. “Ryanair believes that the proposed Heathrow runway – which won’t be delivered for 10 or 15 years – won’t solve the runway capacity crisis in the southeast. Ryanair strongly advocates taking politicians out of runway decision making and allowing each of the three London airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, to build three competing runways which will solve the capacity crisis in the South East for the next 100 years, while at the same time allowing competition between the airports to deliver this capacity efficiently.

“It remains a fact that additional runways in Stansted and Gatwick can and will be delivered much earlier than any Heathrow third runway,” Jacobs stressed.

Flybe welcomed the Airports Commission’s report but highlighted the need for the UK regions to remain connected to the capital.

“Flybe supports the need for additional runway capacity and, as the UK’s largest regional airline, we support the choice of Heathrow by the Airports Commission,” said Flybe CEO, Saad Hammad. “As part of its expansion plans, Heathrow has articulated a clear vision to enhance regional connectivity and it is crucial that this is delivered. The new runway capacity must be made financially accessible to the whole of the country, with guaranteed slots at reduced rates to regional operators to make this an asset for the whole of the UK, not just the southeast.
 
“Flybe therefore welcomes the Commission’s recommendation that the Government should alter its guidance to assess Public Service Obligation routes on an airport-to-airport basis, and should use them to support a widespread network of domestic routes into Heathrow. Similarly, we endorse the Commission’s view that the Heathrow owners should offer reduced charges and start-up funding for regional services,” added Hammad. “The economic case for Heathrow is clear, but safeguards are needed to protect the interests of regional customers. It is now over to the politicians and we look forward to the Government’s response.”
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News : Mesa receives first of seven CRJ900s for American Eagle ops

Mesa receives first of seven CRJ900s for American Eagle ops


Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has delivered the first of seven CRJ900 aircraft to Mesa Airlines, which the carrier will operate for American Airlines under the American Eagle brand.

The aircraft delivered is one of a firm order for seven announced on 12 March 2015.

"As the launch customer of the CRJ900 and a Bombardier customer for more than 25 years, we are thrilled to add the newest CRJ900 aircraft to our fleet. Bombardier and the CRJ Series aircraft continue to play a significant role in Mesa's continuing growth strategy," remarked Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Mesa. "The CRJ900 aircraft with its advanced technology and enhanced fuel efficiencies remains a reliable and cost-effective regional jet solution for our growing fleet. We would like to thank our longtime friends at Bombardier for their continued collaboration."

The new aircraft increases Mesa's fleet of CRJ900s to 58, reconfirming the airline's standing as one of the largest operators of this aircraft model. Mesa's new CRJ900s from this order are configured with 76 seats in a dual-class interior.
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News : Southwest adds more to early 2016 schedules

Southwest adds more to early 2016 schedules


Southwest Airlines has announced services on a series of routes, adding to its early 2016 flight schedule by extending it from 6 January until 8 March 2016.

Beginning 6 January, Southwest Airlines will fly nonstop thee times daily between Burbank and San Francisco, once daily between Sacramento and Boise, twice daily between Indianapolis and Chicago Midway and also twice daily between Little Rock and St Louis.

The schedule extension also brings new seasonal nonstop service, including once-daily flights connecting Phoenix with Fort Lauderdale, and Grand Rapids with Tampa Bay.

For the first time, the carrier will offer new daily seasonal service between Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers and Nashville, as well as a new Saturday-only seasonal service between RSW and four cities – Buffalo, Dallas Love Field, Providence and Washington Reagan National. Daily seasonal nonstop service between Grand Rapids and Fort Myers also returns.

Southwest is offering seasonal Saturday-only nonstop service connecting Orlando with Omaha, Detroit and Orlando, as well as linking Fort Lauderdale with Minneapolis/St Paul.
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News : Cathay Pacific selects Cedar to refresh on-board magazines

Cathay Pacific selects Cedar to refresh on-board magazines


Cathay Pacific Airways (Cathay Pacific), including wholly owned subsidiary Dragonair, has appointed Cedar to publish the airlines’ in-flight publications, such as Discovery and Discover the Shop in-flight sales magazine.

The contract also includes producing Discovery as a digital version; Cargo Clan, a quarterly publication promoting Cathay Pacific’s freight operation and Dragonair’s monthly in-flight magazine, Silkroad, together with the carrier’s quarterly in-flight sales magazine, Emporium. Both airlines plan a complete overhaul of their magazines and wider content proposition in partnership with Cedar.

“Discovery has been synonymous with the Cathay Pacific brand ever since it launched in 1970,” said Toby Smith, General Manager, Product at Cathay Pacific Airways. “So it’s only fitting that as the brand evolves, Discovery continues to evolve.

“It’s the first major refresh for several years. Cedar showed us a vision for truly curated content across all platforms along with a fresh image and visual identity for Discovery, Silkroad and the other titles.”

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to deliver an upgraded content experience more in line with the unrivalled customer service experience passengers enjoy when flying with Cathay Pacific and Dragonair,” commented Hannah Saunders, Managing Partner, Cedar Hong Kong. “This has been one of the most rigorous and demanding processes we have ever been through as an agency. The work produced by the Cedar, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair teams is radical, beautiful and very much rooted in a contemporary Asia aesthetic.”

The appointment sees Cedar set up an office in Hong Kong with a team of 30 staff to add to its global presence in London, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
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News : AJW Aviation support for Pegasus Airlines’ growing A320 fleet

AJW Aviation support for Pegasus Airlines’ growing A320 fleet


Pegasus Airlines has selected AJW Aviation to provide full power-by-the-hour-type (PBH) services for its current fleet of Airbus A320s.

The multi-year contract has the option to expand with the fleet over the next decade – the airlines has 58 A320neos and 17 A321neos on order with options for a further 25 aircraft from the family. AJW will also locate extensive main base kit at the Pegasus facility in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

Tahsin Istanbullu, director, CAMO – Part M for Pegasus Airlines, commented, “Pegasus’s low-cost model leads the way in Turkey. We operate an affordable and flexible pricing policy that considers quality and customer satisfaction. We are continually developing to meet passenger expectations and priorities, and to do this we must innovate and align our cost base.

“Serving a global customer base of more than 1,000 airlines in 42 different countries, AJW Aviation has the experience in PBH that will bring immediate benefits and operational efficiencies that will help us find new ways to improve our service,” Istanbullu added.

“An important factor for Pegasus is AJW’s commitment to placing rotable inventory in Istanbul,” noted Colin Craig, commercial director, AJW Aviation. “They will have their own exclusive stock of A320 spares ensuring premium service and minimising AOGs. We are also providing complementary pool inventory for Pegasus and this will offer accessibility to our other customers in the region. A spares hub in Istanbul, on the Europe/Asia crossroads, is a sound logistical move for AJW and will help sustain our global reputation for 24/7/365 AOG service.”
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News : iHeartRadio and Virgin America partner to offer new IFE music service

iHeartRadio and Virgin America partner to offer new IFE music service


iHeartRadio and Virgin America are working together to bring a new music selection to the airline’s inflight audio offering which will be curated by iHeartRadio and Virgin Produced (Virgin Group’s entertainment arm).

The partnership will integrate iHeartRadio-branded music stations into Virgin America’s Red inflight entertainment (IFE) system at every seatback and will also be available through iHeartRadio, allowing passengers to continue listening – even after landing – via their own computer, tablet or mobile devices.

“We’re excited to partner with one of the most innovative and popular airlines to bring quality music and entertainment to consumers – even at 35,000 feet,” remarked Michele Laven, president of business development and partnerships at iHeartMedia. “This is the first step in a robust partnership between Virgin and iHeartMedia and it paves the way for more exciting integrations in the near future.”

Beginning immediately, iHeartRadio will bring six curated and branded stations to the Red IFE system entitled: Atmospheres; Dub & Dubber; Dyna-Mic Flows; Pop, Skip & A Jump; Lat-Indie; and Soul-igarchy.

“As the music fan’s airline of choice, we’re thrilled to partner with iHeartRadio to offer more variety to our flyers with these curated music stations,” comented Alfy Veretto, inflight entertainment manager at Virgin America. “And as we begin to roll out the next iteration of our inflight entertainment system, Red, our guests can expect an even more immersive experience on board with new features like faster, higher resolution capacitive touchscreens and even more entertainment content at their seatback.”

“Music and entertainment have always been an integral part of the DNA of our brand,” said Jason Felts, co-founder and chief executive officer at Virgin Produced. “In addition to developing and producing our own content, we work closely with like-minded partners such as iHeartRadio to produce fresh entertainment offerings.”

Virgin America and iHeartRadio will roll out several promotions during 2015 to introduce the iHeartRadio branded stations to passengers, including videos on Red and more.
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News : easyJet launches new iPhone app

easyJet launches new iPhone app


easyJet has launched a new iPhone app that has been designed to incorporate feedback from App Store reviews, emails received and forums with frequent flyers and thus deliver a more personalised experience for each customer.

One example of the increased functionality is that on the day of travel, relevant flight information will appear seamlessly on the homepage with destination imagery shown for searched and booked flights.

Since the launch of easyJet’s first iPhone app in 2011 the app has evolved from easy booking and check-in functionality to include popular features like passport scanning, live flight tracking, mobile boarding passes and Touch ID. It is also now complimented by the easyJet Apple Watch app.

More recently the ‘easyJet mobile host’ – available for London Gatwick Airport – guides passengers, step by step, on their day of travel with airport directions, queue times, walk times and other flight reminders and updates.

The new app also includes a countdown to travel and passenger details such as payment details and passport information can be easily retrieved. Bags, sports equipment, seats, hotels & car hire can also be quickly added to an existing booking as well as a range of helpful push notifications relevant to travel.

The app is available for download now from the App Store, with an Android version planned for later this year.
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News : Boeing, Embraer join forces for ecoDemonstrator tests

Boeing, Embraer join forces for ecoDemonstrator tests


Boeing and Embraer are to collaborate to test environment-focused technologies through the ecoDemonstrator Program in a joint effort to improve aviation's environmental performance, thus expanding the co-operation between the two.

Boeing launched its ecoDemonstrator Program in 2011 to accelerate testing and use of new technologies designed to reduce fuel use, carbon emissions and noise. The company has tested more than 50 technologies using a 737-800, 787 and, currently, a 757. As part of this collaboration, the companies are planning to conduct ecoDemonstrator tests using an Embraer aircraft in 2016.

The ecoDemonstrator co-operation between Boeing and Embraer began in 2012 (Embraer's Frederico Curado and Boeing's Jim Albaugh are pictured after signing the original deal). Since then, the manufacturers have worked together to improve runway safety and support Embraer's KC-390 mililtary aircraft programme.

In addition, in 2015, Boeing and Embraer opened a joint biofuel research center in São José dos Campos, Brazil, to perform biofuel research and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions.
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News : Virgin America partners with iHeartRadio on new IFE audio offering

Virgin America partners with iHeartRadio on new IFE audio offering


Virgin America is collaborating with digital radio and music streaming specialist, iHeartRadio, to provide a new music selection to the airline’s in-flight audio service which will be curated by iHeartRadio and Virgin Produced (Virgin Group’s entertainment arm).

The partnership will integrate iHeartRadio-branded music stations into Virgin America’s Red in-flight entertainment (IFE) system at every seatback and will also be available through iHeartRadio, allowing passengers to continue listening – even after landing – via their personal electronic devices.

“We’re excited to partner with one of the most innovative and popular airlines to bring quality music and entertainment to consumers – even at 35,000 feet,” said Michele Laven, president of business development and partnerships at iHeartMedia. “This is the first step in a robust partnership between Virgin and iHeartMedia and it paves the way for more exciting integrations in the near future.”

Beginning immediately, iHeartRadio will bring six curated and branded stations to the Red IFE system entitled: Atmospheres; Dub & Dubber; Dyna-Mic Flows; Pop, Skip & A Jump; Lat-Indie; and Soul-igarchy.

“As the music fan’s airline of choice, we’re thrilled to partner with iHeartRadio to offer more variety to our flyers with these curated music stations,” commented Alfy Veretto, in-flight entertainment manager at Virgin America. “And as we begin to roll out the next iteration of our in-flight entertainment system, Red, our guests can expect an even more immersive experience on-board with new features like faster, higher resolution capacitive touchscreens and even more entertainment content at their seatback.”

“In addition to developing and producing our own content, we work closely with like-minded partners such as iHeartRadio to produce fresh entertainment offerings,” remarked Jason Felts, co-founder and chief executive officer at Virgin Produced.

Virgin America and iHeartRadio will roll out several promotions during 2015 to introduce the iHeartRadio branded stations to passengers, including videos on Red and more.
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News : Horizon Q400s to operate new Alaska Airlines flights from Los Angeles and Boise

Horizon Q400s to operate new Alaska Airlines flights from Los Angeles and Boise


Alaska Airlines has announced two new routes from Los Angeles, and one new route from Boise, Idaho, all of which will be operated by Alaska’s sister carrier Horizon Air, using 76-seat Bombardier Q400s.

New daily roundtrip service between Los Angeles and Monterey, California; and Boise, Idaho and Reno, Nevada will begin on 5 November. A new seasonal flight between Los Angeles and Gunnison/Crested Butte will shuttle skiers and snowboarders from California to Colorado starting in December.

“We continue to invest in our Los Angeles focus city and in expanding our regional route network,” said John Kirby, Alaska’s vice-president of capacity planning. “These new flights will connect key cities in California, Idaho and Nevada, not to mention offer a thrilling new ski destination for our customers in Southern California.”

Alaska has also announced that it will upgauge its flights from Los Angeles to Loreto, Mexico, from 1 November. The flights are currently operated daily using Q400s but they will be operated from Thursday to Sunday with Boeing 737s, adding about 70 additional seats each week.

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April 14, 2015
VT Miltope is presented with the Inflight award for Innovation in Commercial Airline Cabins at this year's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg
April 8, 2015
Inflight is pleased to announce that newly appointed editor, Piers Townley, will be attending this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg
February 2, 2015
Inflight Awards 2015: UAE airlines make clean sweep at the prestigious IFEC awards for the Middle East
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