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Skypicker: a visual way to find low cost flights

Skypicker: a visual way to find low cost flights | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
I guess most of you are users of flight search engines...my personal experience, though, is that, when it comes to providing low cost fares, the results are far from optimal as coverage of the low cost airline sector is patchy, at best, so I end up...
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First (and last?) flight on a MD-11

First (and last?) flight on a MD-11 | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
A few weeks ago I had the chance to fly for the very first time an iconic
aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 on the San Francisco-Amsterdam Schiphol
route.

First, and, very likely last time for me, as well, because there are just
four of them operating commercially and the only airline that operates
them, the Dutch flag carrier KLM, plans to withdraw them by the end of
2014.

The MD-11, a more modern derivative of the DC-10 (that has also recently
withdrawn from commercial service by the last airline operating it, Biman
of Bangladesh) his easily recognizable because of its 3-engine
configuration, that gave it a very characteristic shape.

A closer view of the KLM MD-11 that flew us from San Francisco, here at
Amsterdam Schiphol airport shortly after landing

Although it might not be as efficient or lack the amenities of more modern
wide-body aircraft, I am sure, the three-engined airliner is going to be
missed by the aviation enthusiast community!
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Russian new low cost carrier Dobrolet presents its first aircraft

Russian new low cost carrier Dobrolet presents its first aircraft | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Dobrolet, the new Russian low cost carrier, that is expected to take soon
to the skies, has unveiled its first aircraft: a Boeing 737-800NG just out
of the paint-shop.

Still early to go into much detail but here are a few facts about Dobrolet:
it is Aeroflot's bet on the growth of development of the low cost airline
industry in Russia, it will operate a fleet of Boeing 737-800NG aircraft,
flying out of Moscow and covering a network of cities in the European part
of Russia.

The novelty, and what makes this airline launch particularly interesting,
is that Dobrolet is that for the time being going to be the only carrier in
the Russian market operating under a pure low cost model.

And that's all for now, but you can rest assured this is a topic I will
revisit really soon!

Note: I work for Dobrolet
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Denim Air paints aircraft for Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren

Denim Air paints aircraft for Dutch DJ Armin Van Buuren | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Music is a global industry and artists need, obviously, someone to carry
them around.

Some like to pilot their own aircraft, like Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson,
that likes to take command of an specially decorated Astraeus Boeing 757,
or you can always call Denim Air, the Dutch airline contractor, or ACMI in
industry-jargon, that we had the chance to present in this blog last
summer.

This is the case of Dutch DJ and music producer Armin van Buuren, as Denim
Air is providing a dedicated Fokker F50 aircraft with a special livery for
its latest World tour. Planespotters be alert!

Armin van Buuren World Tour F50 aircraft. Picture: Denim Air

The interior has also got the Armin van Buuren World Tour touch, Picture:
Denim Air
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Qatar Airways unveils FC Barcelona livery

Qatar Airways unveils FC Barcelona livery | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Picture: Qatar Airways

In case you didn't know, in addition of being an aviation enthusiast, the
editor of this blog is a fervent Football Club Barcelona supporter, so you
can imagine how I feel when seeing Qatar Airways' FC Barcelona livery on
one of my favourite airliners, the Boeing 777.

And, from what we heard, it might not be the only FC Barcelona aircraft on
Qatar Airways' fleet for too long!

Qatar Airways FC Barcelona poster in London, with Lionel Messi at the
forefront

It is interesting, though, that while FC Barcelona teams up with Qatar
Airways, its main star, Lionel Messi, is featuring prominently on Turkish
Airlines' (a former FC Barcelona sponsor) marketing campaigns!

Lionel Messi on a Turkish Airlines poster in Barcelona, he not only flies
Qatar Airways apparently....
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Qatar Airways unveils FC Barcelona livery

Qatar Airways unveils FC Barcelona livery | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Picture: Qatar Airways

In case you didn't know, in addition of being an aviation enthusiast, the
editor of this blog is a fervent Football Club Barcelona supporter, so you
can imagine how I feel when seeing Qatar Airways' FC Barcelona livery on
one of my favourite airliners, the Boeing 777.

And, from what we heard, it might not be the only FC Barcelona aircraft on
Qatar Airways' fleet for too long!

Qatar Airways FC Barcelona poster in London, with Lionel Messi at the
forefront

It is interesting, though, that while FC Barcelona teams up with Qatar
Airways, its main star, Lionel Messi, is featuring prominently on Turkish
Airlines' (a former FC Barcelona sponsor) marketing campaigns!

Lionel Messi on a Turkish Airlines poster in Barcelona, he not only flies
Qatar Airways apparently....
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Russian airlines: the year 2013 in retrospect

Russian airlines: the year 2013 in retrospect | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Wondering how the Russian airline industry has been doing lately?

According to data made public by Russian portal aex.ru, quoting information
from the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (that, however, as I write
this post, is still showing data up to last November only), Russian
airlines carried a total of 84,564,353 passengers last year, a healthy
14,2% increase over the previous year!

And who is in the roll of honour of airlines?

In case you were wondering, here is the top 5 of the Russian airline
industry:

1) AEROFLOT

Pole position goes to flag carrier Aeroflot, of course, with 20,902,447
passengers (+18.4% up). Picture: Aeroflot

2) TRANSAERO

Transaero was second with 12,499,985 passengers, an increase of 21%

3) UTAIR

UTair, an airline that has been busy expanding and renovating its fleet was
third with 8,182,074 passengers (+5.3%). Picture: UTair

4) SIBIR ("S7")

Sibir, also known as S7, and member of the Oneworld Alliance was Russia's
fourth in the ranking of Russian airlines by number of passengers with
7,084,599 (+11.6%)

5) ROSSIYA

Rossiya (an Aeroflot subsidiary) was 5th, the St.Petersburg-based airline
carried 4,590,146 passengers, up 9.1% over the previous year. Picture:
Wikipedia

What's in store for 2014?

It remains to be seen whether the Russian airline industry can continue to
sustain this double-digit rate of growth in view of the current perceived
stagnation of the domestic economy. 

Another factor to take into account is the launch of low cost airlines in
the Russian market, if all goes according to plan Aeroflot's low cost
airline, Dobrolet, should be getting in the top five in due time, but most
likely not this year as it still has to start operations.

In any case, even if Ryanair, Easyjet and, maybe, Wizzair, are starting
operations in Russia, these are likely to be at a small scale in the short
to medium term, so it is unlikely it will affect traffic figures for the
incumbent airlines.

At the other end of the country, the merger of Aeroflot's Far Eastern
subsidiaries to form Aurora Airlines is also unlikely to affect this
ranking as their goal of carrying 2.4M annual passengers would placee them
well below Rossiya in volume of passengers.

 
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Delta Airlines: back to the 80s with its retro safety video

Delta Airlines: back to the 80s with its retro safety video | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Delta Airlines wants to prove the World that not only Air New Zealand can
make hilarious in-flight safety videos...

As someone who grew up in the 80s some of the scenes in Delta's retro
safety video feel, actually, quite familiar!
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Visualizing Aeroflot's new Aurora subsidiary

Visualizing Aeroflot's new Aurora subsidiary | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Although not the first time we talk about Aurora Airlines, in this blog, we
had not yet published any picture of its brand-new livery.
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Airbus unveils first passenger-ready A350 XWB plane

Airbus unveils first passenger-ready A350 XWB plane | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it

The highly anticipated arrival of the Airbus A350 XWB took a small step closer.

The European aircraft manufacturer unveiled the latest in its test fleet of the new jet, the MSN2, painted in a new "carbon" livery and the first to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.

Test flights of the aircraft began before the Paris Airshow last May. In the coming weeks Airbus will send the MSN2 into the skies on a series of Early Long Flights (ELF) with passengers onboard.


Via Pol Bacquet
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Airbus' Beluga: Inside the world's strangest-looking airplane

Airbus' Beluga: Inside the world's strangest-looking airplane | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
As Airbus eyes a replacement for its aging cargo workhorse, we look back at this plane spotter's delight.
Allplane 's insight:

The Beluga is a unique aircraft that fullfils an essential role for the European airline industry

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The Best Flight Attendant Uniforms In American History

The Best Flight Attendant Uniforms In American History | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it

Image via PaperMag.com. There was once a time when American flight attendants had uniforms designed by Pierre Balmain, Halston and Emilio Pucci, as well as other notable names. In the past, the stewardess was a model of sorts—each woman had to measure a certain height and weight proportion (a 5'4" woman couldn't weigh more than 125 pounds in order to apply for a stewardess position with American Airlines), and was required to be single and reasonably attractive, as determined by each airline.


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Ramenskoye set to become Moscow's fourth airport

Ramenskoye set to become Moscow's fourth airport | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Finally some things are starting to move in relation to Moscow's so much
talked-about airport expansion.
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A reaction to the low cost threat? Transaero introduces discount class

A reaction to the low cost threat? Transaero introduces discount class | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Transaero has ruled out, for now, or at least this is what I was told last
time I visited, launching its own low cost carrier.
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LOT is looking for amateur film-makers

LOT is looking for amateur film-makers | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Video is an amazing online marketing tool (just ask Air New Zealand!). This
is particularly true of content that is inspirational (and aspirational)
the sort of content that, for decades airlines have been using to sell
tickets. And, although, professional video still plays (and will continue
to do so) an important role in marketing campaigns, the increasing number
of people that have crossed the increasingly blurry line between consumers
and producers of content multiplies the pool of talent airlines can tap
when they wish to sell dreams.

It is in this context that Polish flag carrier, LOT, has just launched "
Travel Inspirations" a contest for amateur film-makers that wish to share
the graces of one of LOT's destinations by submitting a 45 second video
depicting it from a specific inspirational angle (food, shopping,
opportunities to practice outdoor sports).

The prize? You guess it...free tickets on LOT.

This initiative reminds me of Vueling's Instagram contest, where people
were asked to share their best shots of Vueling's destinations. In that
case, the 200 best pictures ended up decorating an Airbus A320 aircraft. I
could not find information about what use is LOT going to give to these
films, but I guess, besides the buzz it might generate, it is a nice (and
low cost) way to outsource the production of videos to be used in later
promotional campaigns.
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Are seaplanes ready for a European comeback? Croatia's European Coastal Airlines thinks so

Are seaplanes ready for a European comeback? Croatia's European Coastal Airlines thinks so | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
There was a time, before the start of the jet era, when seaplanes were
quite ubiquitous, of course that was a time when most aircraft had short
range, airport infrastructure was precarious, if existent at all, and
commercial traffic extremely thin...Pan Am operated the famous Clippers
and even...surprise, surprise!...Ryanair operated seaplanes as late as the
1980s, well before becoming the low cost giant we know today!

While there are parts of the World where seaplanes are still in use, like
the vast spaces of Canada and the Pacific Northwest or in the Maldives,
there is hardly any seaplane commercial operation in Europe, which keeps me
wondering why...

I am not an expert on seaplanes, but I am wondering whether it is because
the economics aren't just there, or is it the regulatory framework that
discourages this modality of transport...after all, wouldn't seaplanes make
for an efficient way to reach small communities and islands? I am thinking
about those remote outspots where it makes little sense to build an
maintain an airport while being, at the same time, the sort of isolated
destinations many affluent-but-short-of-time travelers would be willing to
get to for a nice holiday.

While I keep looking for an answer to these questions, the seaplane might
actually be poised to experience a European revival...

It is precisely in two of the countries that best combine the key elements
for seaplane success: a challenging geography with plenty of small islands
and strong tourist appeal.

Whereas Greece is currently reviewing a law that will facilitate the set up
of seaplane operations, next door in Croatia's Adriatic coast, interesting
projects are taking shape.

The Adriseaplanes initiative, supported by the European Union and the
Adriatic Cross-border Cooperation Programme (IPA), aims to links all of the
inhabited Croatian islands withing themselves and with the Croatian and
Italian mainlands through the use of seaplanes.

It is within this framework that Zagreb-based European Coastal Airlines
(ECA) is starting scheduled operations this coming May. The company plans
to invest €40M and create 400 jobs through the development of an Adriatic
regular network, using DeHavilland Twin Otter 300-6 and Grumman Goose
seaplanes.

I got in touch with ECA's management team to learn more details about this
very original project. What follows are the replies of ECA's CEO Klaus
Dieter Martin to my interview:

Q: ECA is launching this coming May. Is it going to be a seasonal service
only or year-round?

A: We will be flying all year around to most of our destinations, as we are
seeing our service not only as a touristic bonus, but as an infrastructure
project, which shall create sustainable jobs on the islands and enrich the
life of the poeple of the islands, as well as their possibilities to reach
the mainland fast, reliable and environmentally friendly.

Q: Is it going to operate regular scheduled services or on demand, or a mix
of both?

A: We will be the first scheduled seaplane operator in Europe, flying to
our destinations daily at least twice. We are ready to increasy rotations
to frequented islands according to demand and additionally we are getting
already requests for charter operations and will fly for sure as well upon
special demand, es we can reach places in the adriatic no other airline can
service.

Q: What range of prices can be expected?

A: Prices will be affordable for Croatian citizens and tourists alike. You
need to know here that it is our utmost goal to keep the rates of our
tickets as affordable as possible. Croatian Buying power is - compared to
european average - considerably lower which makes this task even harder. We
will support our ticket prices with additional revenues we will be
generating, such as Food & Drinks Sales at our destinations. Rates will
start as little as 99 HRK (13EUR) and depend on the flight and the booking
situation.

Q: Any plans to expand the service to other locations?

A: Our plans are to start operating in 2014 in Croatia and even connect
Italy with Zadar already. We started communications in Ancona in order to
realise this amazing connection already in 2014. In 2015 we will look into
connecting the northern adriatic and new locations in the South. A 2nd
phase of our project includes the european expansion to other destinations
in the Mediterranean.

Q: There are few seaplane operations in Europe...Why seaplanes are not more
commonly used in Europe to serve small islands and remote coastal
locations?

A: Very well observed, indeed there is a high potential in Europe to
operate seaplanes for locations which are remote. The European Union
expresses its interest in developing seaplane operations in Europe as they
do see the potential of this efficient connectivity here, too.

We are pioneering in this field and are paving the way for others to come.
And this is basically the reason, too. What we want to create is as special
as complex - we want to fly with seaplane to harbours in the adriatic.
Luckely the Croatian laws are regulating seaplane operations, nevertheless
there is a lot to do before you can start flying.

Have a look how the Maldives developed since the seaplane operation started
- from reaching only Male in a simple way and than take water taxis for
hours you are now reaching islands which only developed because of seaplane
operations.

Now imagine this in Europe, the Med etc. The potential is tremendous.

Q: Are your seaports located inside ports? do you own and operate all of
them?

A: Our locations are always inside ports - where the passenger
transportation is happening. This is related to various facts, two of them
are that

1) We need sheltered positions for our seaplane operations and the ports
are regularly best sheltered and

2) we would like to decrease traffic and not increase because we are
located in places where people have a hard time to go to make use of our
services.

The seaports you see on our website are the orginal project plans, due to a
lack of time we will start with a reduced form, such as a jetty and
passenger facilities on land.

Q: Any estimated figures about this upcoming seaplane operation that you
could share with our readers?

A: The key figures of our project: We want to invest in excess of 40
Million Euros in the first two years and create more than 400 jobs.
Research made in these fields come to the conclusion that 3rd parties will
create another min. of 800 jobs on top related to our services. In a
country like Croatia with a youth unemployment of almost 50% and a general
unemployment rate of more than 20% we believe this is a great
infrastructure project - not only for us, but for the Republic of Croatia.
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Virgin Atlantic joins the safety video craze

Virgin Atlantic joins the safety video craze | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
In-flight safety video production has become a real creativity contest
...and this time is not Air New Zealand!...Virgin Atlantic is upping the
game with its latest in-flight safety video, a 5min-long animated movie
that recalls a range of scenes from the World of cinema...and features one
of its soon-to-join-the-fleet Boeing 787 Dreamliners!

As always in these cases, the only thing left to us is to post the video
and say: Enjoy!
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China Southern's colourful Dreamliner

China Southern's colourful Dreamliner | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
From time to time I like to share images of nice our colourful liveries I
have come across...here is one of the latest: a China Southern Boeing 787
Dreamliner with a fresh-looking pale blue livery that contrast nicely with
the strong red of China Southern's logo...the snowy peaks of British
Columbia add to the scene too!

China Southern Dreamliner in Vancouver
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Snowbird: the new design-centric airline from the North

Snowbird: the new design-centric airline from the North | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
It is nice to see charter airlines making a real effort to roll out a cool
nicely-designed branding strategy, we saw it last summer when we covered
Small Planet Airlines and here is another great example: out of Finland
comes Snowbird Airlines.

The aim of this fresh project, a charter airline, is not only to carry
holidaymakers to and from Finland, but also to act as a sort of public
display for Finnish products (food, handicrafts, design). Snowbird is
actually inviting those small businesses, food producers and designers that
wish to be featured on-board to submit their proposals.

This is one of the aspects of this project that I found most interesting: 
the Snowbird Airlines brand, whose logo was designed by Sami Wirkkala, has
been developed from the very beginning with the idea that it might also be
used "on the ground", as a sort of "lifestyle brand", for example by
opening brick-and-mortar stores where it would be possible to find the
unique Nordic products that will be promoted on board. Certainly not the
first airline to leverage the aspirational strength of a brand strongly
linked to travel and enjoyment, but remarkable that in this case, this
aspect of business takes such the stage in such an obvious way.

Snowbird Airlines has even developed a "sister brand", called Lumilintu
(which means "Snowbird" in Finnish) that,  sporting the same logo as the
airline, is going to undertake all these related marketing activities.

This focus on design reminds me a little bit of Nippon Nordic Air, the
imaginary "ideal airline" dreamed up by Monocle magazine back in 2010. We
are not quite there yet, but it, certainly, feels quite natural to see
Nordic airlines at the forefront when it comes to taking a design-centric
approach to new airline development.
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The best 8 Russian aviation blogs

The best 8 Russian aviation blogs | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
If you are reading this blog it is likely that you are interested in
aviation and airlines and follow several other blogs about this topic too.
This is why I thought it could be of interest to put together a short list
of some of my favourite blogs covering the aviation industry in quite a
large, yet unrreported (at least in the Anglo- blogosphere) part of the
World: Russia.

Most of them are written in Russian, but the highly visual nature of
Livejournal, Russia's favourite blogging platform, and the excellent
pictures you can find on most of these blogs, makes them worth checking,
even if you do not understand a single word. 

No need to say, Google Translate is getting better and better every day, so
even this should not be an obstacle to enjoy some of these great blogs!  

You will see some of them are not exclusively about aviation, as the
authors sometimes add other topics such as travel or personal posts, but
all of them are full of amazing aviation and aircraft pictures from
different parts of Russia and the former Soviet Union.

If you know of other blogs of note that could be included in the next
update of this list, please do not hesitate to drop me a line!

Here is my selection of Russian aviation blogs:

Fotografersha

Aviator.ru

Litvinov-pilot 

D-Voronin

Alexander Mishin

D-Dorset 

Russian Aviation Photography

Tankasan
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The aircraft of the future: biomimicry and Airbus' vision

The aircraft of the future: biomimicry and Airbus' vision | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
One aspect of my latest visit to Airbus' headquarters in Toulouse that I
had not yet found the time to write about is the vision the European
aircraft manufacturer has of the future of aviation.
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Iberia's retro Airbus

Iberia's retro Airbus | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
Spanish flag carrier Iberia has just gone through a major rebranding, that
has seen its traditional livery and logo dropped and the adoption of an
entirely new corporate identity.
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Changeyourflight diversifies, leverages its technology to optimize airline
revenue

Changeyourflight diversifies, leverages its technology to optimize airline <br/>revenue | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
I have been catching up with the founders of Changeyourflight, the
Barcelona-based startup that aims to help both airlines and passengers
solve the problem of last minute flight plan changes and cancellations.
Allplane 's insight:

The idea is that everyone can benefit from last minute flight changes if the right incentives are provided

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Can you run faster than an Airbus A380?

Can you run faster than an Airbus A380? | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
South African rugby player Bryan Habana tried it last year...and won!

Now it's your turn!

At least, if you wish to get some of the glory and, of course, free tickets
on any of BA's A380 routes.
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Europe Airpost, Aéropostale's heir goes Transatlantic

Europe Airpost, Aéropostale's heir goes Transatlantic | Allplane: Airlines Strategy & Marketing | Scoop.it
One of the (real) legendary airlines from the early times of aviation was
the French Aéropostale, that even had among its pilots Antoine de
Saint-Éxupery, of "Little Prince" fame.
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United Jet Mainliner Flight 803 (1959) - YouTube

Courtesy: Prelinger Archives N8004U Ship 2304 DC-8-11 delivered 5/29/59 disposed 1/4/78. Later conversions to DC-8-12, DC-8-21. Sold to Boeing in 1978 and wi...

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