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AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • APRIL-MAY 2015 • Page 27 VA ‘foam salute’ flight cancelled A VIRGIN Atlantic flight had to be cancelled after a ‘water cannon sa- lute’ by airport firefighters went awry. The Airbus A330-300 had landed in Manchester, UK after an inaugural flight from Atlanta, USA. It was preparing to leave when the traditional ‘salute’ took place - a tra- ditional way to ‘send the plane on its way’ - but instead of water, the hoses blew foam, clogging jet engines and turbine blades. The 252 passengers were treated to an overnight hotel stay. Blistering Barnacles: Tintin moves into cargo TINTIN aficionados – the generations who loved the original graphic storybooks rather than those introduced to the iconic character via the more recent movie – will know that the ageless boy reporter was quite keen on flying. One of the last of the last of the Herge tales even took the name of a fictitious Qan- tas Boeing 707 service from London to Sydney – Flight 714 – and opens with several panels depicting the now-veteran aircraft. In recent times, analysts have enjoyed themselves speculating on Tintin’s asexual nature, his early racism (put that down to the prevailing Belgian attitudes of the time) and his rather odd choice Tintin aircraft, Brussels Airlines of friends and companions. Frequent companion Captain Haddock would probably respond to such nit-picking with a blast of ‘Blistering Barnacles!’ and fair enough: Tintin has given enjoy- ment to countless millions, his adventures translated into many languages. So Belgian flag-carrier Brussels Airlines is on a winner with its A320 OO-SNB theme livery – on the external hull and in the cabin - featuring Tintin and the shark-sub- marine from Red Rackham’s Treas- ure, along with Captain Haddock and, of course, Snowy. Copies of the book are available on board in several languages. Brussels Airlines, a significant belly-hold freight carrier regionally and long-haul, is using the aircraft in a passenger marketing cam- paign banner ‘We fly you to the home of Tintin’. Renamed ‘Rackham’ the A320 will retain its livery until 2019. Cheers as China wine sales recover AUSTRALIAN wine exports to China have almost recovered to levels recorded before Beijing’s austerity measures severely dented volumes. Data released by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) indicates that total Australian wine ex- ports in 2014 increased by eight per cent to 40 million litres, with bottled exports almost recovering to levels recorded before the full effects of the austerity measures took hold in 2012. The booming trade is expected to grow even faster this year following November’s bilateral trade agree- ment between Australia and China. Once fully implemented, the agree- ment will remove China import tariffs on a range of Australian agricultural products, including wine. For Hong Kong — which scrapped all duties on wine imports several years ago — Australian exports by value in the ultra-premium segment grew 127 percent to AUD42 million. The AGWA reported that the AUD2 to AUD4 segment was the key driver of the turnaround, increasing by 15 percent to 20 million litres. The U-Freight Group (UFL) wel- comed news of the recovery and be- lieves it will be a major boost for the company’s specialist wine logistics services in the country.