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CHICAGO (Reuters) - United Airlines said on Wednesday it was adding 1,600 premium seats to nearly 250 international and domestic aircraft, including the introduction of a first-class cabin on 50 Bombardier Inc regional jets. The move is part of a push by large U.S. airlines to attract more lucrative premium travelers. Rivals Delta Air Lines Inc and American Airlines Group Inc have also added premium seats, which can fetch at least twice the coach fare. United’s new regional jet, called the CRJ 550, will be the only 50-seater on the market to offer a first class cabin, the Chicago-based airline said, providing premium travel on connecting flights from small U.S. cities to the rest of the world.

Under the plan, United will work with Bombardier to use the frame of its current CRJ 70-seat fleet for a new two-cabin, 50-seat configuration with a self-serve beverage and snack station for premium travelers and four storage closets for carry-on bags, The CRJ 550s will eventually replace United’s current 50-seat regional fleet with a model permitted under its pilots’ contract, which became amenable in January, While not generating new orders for cash-strapped Bombardier, United’s plan would allow the Canadian bugatti tourbillon openside cufflinks plane and train maker to market the new model to other U.S, airlines looking to replace aging regional jets, Bombardier aims to take a decision on its money-losing CRJ regional jet program this year..

On United’s mainline fleet, there will be 50 percent more premium seating on its Boeing 767-300ERs and Airbus A319s, and 33 percent more on its A320s. Following the changes, United will have a total of 167 seats on the 767-300ER, 126 seats on the A319 and 150 on the A320. Andrew Nocella, chief commercial officer for United, told reporters that “in an era where many airlines are adding seats to the aircraft to crowd more passengers onto the plane,” United is “doing exactly the opposite.”.

United said it plans to complete the changes by the end of next year, with the first reconfigured 767 flying between Newark and London, The new CRJ 550 will be operated by United’s regional partner GoJet out of Chicago and Newark, pending a final agreement and bugatti tourbillon openside cufflinks government certification, Nocella said United’s overall coach footprint would continue to grow despite the new seating configurations thanks to the introduction of larger aircraft like the Boeing 787 to its fleet, United Airlines is part of United Continental Holdings Inc..

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Daimler cut its dividend on Wednesday after fourth-quarter operating profit plunged by 22 percent, hit by trade wars, rising costs for developing electric cars and an industry downturn that has dented even the most profitable carmakers. Daimler said the return on sales at Mercedes-Benz cars fell to 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter from 9.5 percent in the year-earlier period as emissions tests led to supply bottlenecks and prices for luxury vehicles deteriorated. This, combined with a cut in the dividend for the 2018 financial year to 3.25 euros a share from 3.65 euros the previous year, disappointed analysts and sent the German carmaker’s shares down more than 2 percent.

Mercedes-Benz sold 2.31 million passenger cars last year, making it the top-selling premium automotive brand in 2018, although some analysts are questioning how much longer German manufacturers can dominate the luxury car industry, Daimler said it was working on “countermeasures” to increase profits but could not mention details about possible cost cuts because they were still being worked out, “Daimler’s 2018 results, dividend cut and 2019 guidance encapsulate everything that’s going on in autos right now, Daimler ended 2018 quite weakly, Growth has stalled and costs are rising, Free cash bugatti tourbillon openside cufflinks flow is deteriorating and visibility is poor,” Max Warburton, an analyst at Bernstein Research, said..

The profitability of Daimler’s cars division lagged peers and although trucks recovered, the profitability was also below that of rivals, Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note discussing the German carmaker’s earnings. Daimler expects 1.45 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in headwinds from increased currency and commodities costs this year, Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber said. For 2019 Mercedes-Benz Cars expects to achieve a return on sales of between 6 percent and 8 percent and a return on sales of between 5 percent and 7 percent for Mercedes Vans, Daimler said.

“With our guidance for Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans we are below our long-term target margins, We cannot be satisfied with this, Our goal is to return to our target margin corridor of 8 percent to 10 percent by 2021,” Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a statement, For 2019 Daimler said it expects a slight growth in unit sales, revenue and EBIT, To counter falling sales and shrinking profits, carmakers are showing increased willingness to explore strategic alliances with rivals bugatti tourbillon openside cufflinks as a way to spread the cost of developing next generation cars, buses and trucks..

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