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Carry On: Changi gets faster, jetlag secret revealed, A380 to Gatwick and more

Even speedier at Singapore’s Changi
Already one of the world’s most efficient airports, Singapore’s Changi Airport now says passengers will soon be able to board their flights faster. New self-boarding gates have been tested by Lufthansa at a common gatehold room in Terminal 2 since May.

They allow passengers to scan their boarding passes using barcode readers before they proceed to board their flights. However, ground staff will still be available to provide assistance to those who may need it.

Airport officials say the time taken for passengers to board their planes can be reduced by up to half. For example, boarding for a fully-loaded A380 aircraft with a passenger load of 500 can be completed in 15 minutes, from about 30 minutes previously. The faster boarding time has also reduced gatehold room operations from 80 minutes to about 70 minutes.

Researchers unlock jetlag cure
Researchers in North America say removing a key protein that regulates the “circadian clock” could help treat a range of sleep disorders, including jetlag.

The “circadian clock” in the brain drives daily rhythms in sleep and wakefulness, feeding and metabolism, and many other essential processes. But the inner workings of this brain clock are complex, and the molecular processes behind it have eluded scientists.

A new research project involving mice has identified how a fundamental biological process called protein synthesis is controlled within the body’s circadian clock – the internal mechanism that controls one’s daily rhythms.
The findings – published in the peer-reviewed journal Neuron – may help shed light on future treatments for disorders such as jet lag, shift work disorders and chronic conditions like depression and Parkinson’s disease.
Shimon Amir, professor in Concordia University’s department of psychology, and Nahum Sonenberg, a professor in the department of biochemistry at McGill University, say: “We identified a repressor protein in the clock and found that by removing this protein, the brain clock function was surprisingly improved.”

Emirates puts A380 on to Gatwick link
Emirates is boosting capacity on the Dubai-London Gatwick route – its first to the UK – by more than a third from next year by replacing the Boeing 777-300ER with an Airbus A380. Starting on March 30, 2014, EK flight 09/10 will be operated by the 489-seat superjumbo, a first for Gatwick, the airline stated. The three-class flight offers 399 economy seats, 76 in business and 14 in first class. Southbound, the A380 service will connect with all of Emirates’ four daily services from Dubai to New Zealand. All the airline’s five services a day to London Heathrow are operated by A380 and provide direct connections northbound from New Zealand.

Malaysia switches Dubai airports
From May 1-July 20, Malaysia Airlines will move its Kuala Lumpur-Dubai operation to Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC), a new airport some 50km from Dubai city centre. The Oneworld member will operate an Airbus A330-300 on the route.

Dreamliner flies to Mozambique
Qatar Airways’ thrice-weekly service from Doha to Johannesburg and Maputo in Mozambique will switch to Boeing 787-8 aircraft from May 2, 2014. This will coincide with increasing the Johannesburg operation from seven to 10 weekly.

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