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Airplanes Can’t Outfly Their Carbon Emissions

There is no easy way out of “flight shame.”

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s warnings against air travel seem to be having an effect, particularly in Europe. In a recent survey by Swiss bank UBS, 21% of respondents in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and France said they had cut back on flying this year. Perhaps more importantly, lawmakers are listening: Starting next year, France will impose a tax on outbound flight tickets.

Airlines are looking for ways to clean themselves up. Last week, U.K. budget carrier EasyJet said it would become the first major airline to operate with net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by buying carbon offsets. British Airways -owner IAG recently said it was on its own path toward carbon neutrality in 2050.

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United Airlines to Buy 50 Jets From Airbus

United Airlines Holdings Inc. struck a deal to buy 50 long-range Airbus SE EADSY 0.01% jets to replace its aging fleet of Boeing Co. BA -0.97% 757s, which are due to be retired in the coming years.

The airline will use the single-aisle A321XLR jets beginning in 2024 to fly from its hubs near New York and Washington, D.C., to European destinations, United Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella said Tuesday. He said the aircraft will likely open up new routes with its longer flying capability.

Mr. Nocella said United hasn’t ruled out buying Boeing’s proposed midsize aircraft, known as the NMA. Boeing has yet to decide whether to build the jet as it focuses on returning the 737 MAX to service after two recent fatal crashes. It had hoped to have the new midsize plane in service by around 2025.

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Delayed MAX Prompts Ryanair to Cut Jobs, Close Bases

LONDON— Ryanair Holdings RYAAY -0.37% PLC said it would cut jobs and close two bases as it warned traffic growth would slow next year because of new delays in deliveries of its first Boeing Co. BA -0.97% 737 MAX aircraft.

The European budget carrier is one of Boeing’s biggest customers for the embattled jet and had expected to receive its first MAX planes this spring. However, the plane has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes and it still isn’t clear when it will resume flying.

Citing that uncertainty, Ryanair said Wednesday it had again revised its summer schedule for next year based on receiving just 10 MAX aircraft in time for the busy travel season, rather than the 20 it previously planned.

As a result, the company now expects to carry 156 million passengers in the year ending March 31, 2021, compared with the latest revised guidance for 157 million.

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FAA Proposes $3.9 Million Penalty Against Boeing for Using Defective Plane Parts

Agency contends plane maker knowingly certified some 130 Boeing 737 jets despite installing suspect parts.  

The proposed penalty doesn’t apply to any 737 MAX models, the latest version of Boeing’s best-selling workhorse jets that has been grounded for months. PHOTO: GARY HE/REUTERS

Boeing Co. was hit with a proposed $3.9 million penalty by U.S. air-safety officials who said the company installed defective parts inside the wings of around 130 737 NG aircraft and then knowingly vouched they met all federal safety requirements.

As part of Friday’s action by the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency indicated that the parts—designed to guide movable panels called slats on the front of wings—were used despite being identified as potentially substandard by a Boeing subcontractor in the fall of 2018. Over the next eight months, according to the FAA, the Chicago plane maker certified the affected jets as meeting all airworthiness requirements.

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