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United Airlines Holdings Inc. is close to a deal to order dozens of Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners, people familiar with the matter said. An agreement between the Chicago-based carrier and Boeing could be completed as soon as this month, some of these people said.
Ukraine War Spurs Arms Makers to Boost Production
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( Benjamin Katz | Doug Cameron | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Rheinmetall, one of Europe’s biggest weapons and munitions makers, displayed its wares at an exhibition in Paris earlier this year. The world’s biggest arms makers are scaling up production of rocket launchers, tanks and ammunition as the industry shifts to meet what executives expect to be sustained demand triggered by the war in Ukraine. The ramp-up is playing out in large measure in Europe, where a handful of long-established arms makers have grown accustomed to more modest, peacetime demand for their wares and are now trying to increase capacity to meet an expected crush of orders. Shares of many of these lesser-known international arms players, including Germany’s Rheinmetall AG and Sweden’s Saab AB, have soared on hopes of big orders.
One of Europe’s biggest arms makers said it would buy a Spanish competitor in a bid to quickly expand production of artillery and mortar ammunition to meet what it said was “massive demand” amid the war in Ukraine. Germany’s Rheinmetall AG said Monday it agreed to buy Spain’s Expal Systems SA for 1.2 billion euros, equivalent to about $1.24 billion. The company is aiming to close the deal by next summer, pending competition and regulatory approval. Madrid-based Expal is the defense unit of MaxamCorp Holding SL, which traces its origins back to dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel. It has operations across Spain and in Texarkana, Texas.
LONDON–Qatar Airways Ltd. has accused Airbus SE of being too close to its safety regulator in a multibillion-dollar legal dispute over paint chipping on the body and wings of one of its flagship aircraft. The airline made the accusation Friday in a statement to a London court as part of a case in which it claims that surface-paint issues on its fleet of A350s present a safety risk. Qatar Airways has grounded 29 aircraft over the issue, reducing its capacity as it prepares for a surge in travel to Doha for soccer’s 2022 FIFA World Cup, which starts this month.
Airfares are sky high, and airline executives expect them to stay that way. Airlines are battling surging costs for fuel and labor. Meanwhile, worker shortages and delayed plane deliveries are preventing them from adding more flights when more people want to fly.
Airbus SE plans to ramp up production over the course of next year, despite persistent supply-chain disruption, as the European plane maker extends its lead over rival Boeing Co. in the crucial market for smaller jets. The Toulouse, France-based company on Friday confirmed plans to lift production of its A320 aircraft to 65 a month by early 2024 from about 50 a month at the end of this year, one of the fastest increases in the company’s history. The move comes as demand for Airbus’s family of A320 narrow-body aircraft outstrips that for Boeing’s rival 737 MAX but also as both plane makers grapple with continuing supply-chain issues.
LONDON—Heathrow Airport said businesses operating at the international hub need to train and recruit about 12,500 additional staff to meet demand during peak-travel periods and to avoid the travel chaos seen in recent months. The airport, Europe’s biggest before the Covid-19 pandemic, said it is establishing a recruitment task force to fill the vacancies and avoid the delays and long lines that disrupted passengers during the summer. One of the biggest challenges in that recruitment drive, it said: New hires need to undergo time-consuming background checks to gain access to part of the airport normally restricted to staff and passengers.
LONDON—Heathrow Airport said businesses operating at the international hub need to train and recruit about 12,500 additional staff to meet demand during peak-travel periods and to avoid the travel chaos seen in recent months. The airport, Europe’s biggest before the Covid-19 pandemic, said it is establishing a recruitment task force to fill the vacancies and avoid the delays and long lines that disrupted passengers during the summer. One of the biggest challenges in that recruitment drive, it said: New hires need to undergo time-consuming background checks to gain access to part of the airport normally restricted to staff and passengers.
For the giants of ocean trade, big ships aren’t enough anymore; they need planes, too. The pandemic, which accelerated the shift toward online shopping, followed by post-lockdown demand and now the war in Ukraine, scrambled the intricate ballet that shipping companies rely on both at sea and in port to deliver goods on time. Port congestion has forced ships to wait at anchor for weeks. A lack of workers to load and unload ships has further slowed deliveries. Empty containers have piled up in places with nothing to put in them; exporters elsewhere, eager to move their goods, can’t find enough of them.
Auto and Transportation Industry News
  + stars: | 2022-09-19 | by ( Mike Colias | Benjamin Katz | Nora Eckert | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
BusinessThe obstacle course around space launches, staff shortages and severe weather jams up airspace over some of the most popular vacation spots in the U.S.—and cascades problems across the rest of the country. “It’s been a cluster and a half.”
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