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Editor’s comment: Flypasts, fun and the familiar

Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.


England is in the grip of waistcoat hysteria as the perennial underachievers that is the men’s England football team defy expectations with their progress in the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against Croatia in Moscow, hundreds of fans booked last minute flights from Heathrow Airport, prompting British Airways to put on the larger Boeing 777 aircraft instead of its normal aircraft.

According to the airline, searches for flights to Russia went up by 2,000% after England beat Sweden in the quarter-finals.

Football is certainly coming home, but just where that home is won’t be known until Sunday evening.

With the Jules Rimet still gleaming, it’s Farnborough which takes centre stage next week as the international airshow returns.

Highlights include Airbus who will showcase two A220-300s (a test aircraft and an airBaltic aircraft), which, along with the smaller A220-100, represent the newest members of the Airbus single-aisle family following the recent agreement to take a majority stake in the 100-150-seat aircraft programme.

An A321neo will also be on display on the Wednesday of the show week. Airbus’s latest wide-body models, the A330-900neo and A350-1000, will each participate in the Farnborough flying display for the first time. An A330-900neo of launch customer TAP Air Portugal and an A350-1000 of launch operator Qatar Airways will also be on the static display. At the larger end of the Airbus portfolio, a Hi Fly A380 will be on static display during the latter part of the week showing the flexibility of the double-decker aircraft.

Its rival Boeing is allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a large 360-degree theatre and get on board its next-generation aircraft through virtual and mixed reality devices. The interactive exhibit showcases Boeing’s latest family of aircraft and services, and gives visitors a first look at what the company is developing in its second century of aerospace innovation.

On the airfield, the 737 MAX 7, which is scheduled to enter service in 2019, will make its airshow debut with flying displays from July 16–19. Boeing’s flying display will also include a Biman Bangladesh 787-8, while static displays include an Air Italy 737 MAX 8 and a Qatar Airways 777-300ER.

No doubt there will also be great interest in the recent conformation of the MoU signed with Embraer, which sees Boeing take a massive 80% stake in the joint venture.

And finally, just a quick note to wish good luck to all those nominated in this year’s Aerospace Media Awards, which takes place on Sunday night at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.


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