Straight & Level 4 February

100,000 flights for Trislander
Not many airliners notch up 100,000 flights, but G-RLON, a Britten-Norman Trislander built in 1975 and flown by Channel Islands airline Aurigny, reached the landmark on 29 January, with a charter flight between Alderney and Guernsey.
Aurigny has operated G-RLON, which previously saw service in Gibraltar, Fiji and the Cayman Islands, since 1991, but the three-engined type has been in service with the carrier since 1971. Sadly, although ideal for the short hops Aurigny specialises in, their days with the airline are coming to a close due to rising operating costs.
Aurigny director of flight operations Capt David Rice says the Trislander has been a “wonderful servant” to the Channel Island community.
“Aurigny was the first airline to operate Trislanders back in 1971 and they are still in service 43 years later. They are unique in aviation as they are ideal for high frequency/short sector flying. I have flown them for 25 years so will miss them greatly.”

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Making waves
Marwan Lahoud, Airbus Group’s strategy supremo, reassured guests at the firm’s new year party in London that he had simply come to help launch the former EADS’s new brand. It was one of his first trips to the UK since the ill-fated 2012 merger talks with BAE Systems, which he had headed. For a while after that, he said, “every time I crossed the Channel, people started sweating”.

Affairs of state
Once they had run the gauntlet of the rabble of arms trade protestors shouting “murderer”, the great and good of the UK’s aerospace and defence industry attending last week’s ADS bunfight were cheered up by broadcaster Andrew Neil.
He recalled French President Francois Hollande’s recent press conference from the Elysee Palace which, said Neil, began something like this (slightly censored for print):
“Monsieur President, is zere truth in reports that you are having an affair with an actress?”
“I will not discuss my personal life with ze media.”
“Very well, Monsieur President, can you tell us what you are going to do about ze dire state of ze French economy?”
“Can we talk about ze actress?”

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RIP Gil Speed
We are sad to report the death of Gilbert Speed, founder of our rival news service SpeedNews, at the age of 81. For someone who conceived a rapid information delivery service, he could not have been born with a better name.

All downhill
We wonder if the career of the person responsible for this piece of Turkish Airlines marketing has since taken a similar downward trajectory? Thanks to the wonderful @youhadonejob feed on Twitter.

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