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Steven Luo

Steven Luo is the Political Director for the California Beat. He covers state and local politics and public policy.

He can be reached at sluo@californiabeat.org.

Travel Beat »

[By Steven Luo | 17 Jun 2015 | No Comments]
The airline hired architect and designer Ray Chen to help create the cabin's look, which draws from traditional Taiwanese design and modern elements.

PARIS — China Airlines is offering visitors to the 2015 Paris Airshow a glimpse inside its newest Boeing 777-300ER, a three-class configured aircraft that the Taiwanese carrier is debuting at the biannual event.

The entirely redesigned cabin features a 40-seat business class cabin, a 62-seat premium economy cabin, and 256-seats in regular economy. Thirty seats, or 10 sets of three-seats, feature the airline’s “Family Couch” feature, which allows passengers to transform regular economy seats into a bed with the extension of leg rests.

Travel Beat »

[By Steven Luo | 17 Jun 2015 | No Comments]
Entering a code from the in-flight entertainment system into an app on your tablet or smartphone allows you to change the playlist, bring up a map, or call a flight attendant from your device without interrupting your viewing on the entertainment system. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

PARIS — Panasonic has been in the business of building seat-back entertainment systems for a while, with airlines such as Virgin America and United using its systems in their planes.

Now the company wants to expand its in-flight experience to your tablet or smartphone.

Travel Beat »

[By Tim Jue and Steven Luo | 16 Jun 2015 | No Comments]
A Sukhoi Superjet 100 bound for Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet at the Paris Air Show. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

PARIS — While talk swirls of new regional jet designs from other Western manufacturers, the Russian-Italian joint venture behind the newest regional jet in service has an actual product to show at the Paris Air Show.

The Superjet 100, which seats up to 108 passengers in an all-economy configuration and can fly up to 2,470 nautical miles, is 10% more efficient than other aircraft in its class available today, according to Superjet International — the joint venture formed between Russia’s Sukhoi and Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi to market the Russian-built jet in Western markets.

Travel Beat »

[By Steven Luo | 16 Jun 2015 | No Comments]

PARIS — Everywhere you go at this year’s Paris Air Show, one topic is on everyone’s minds: is there demand for a “middle-of-the-market” airplane — larger than the workhorse 150-seat A320s and 737-800s, smaller than international long-haul aircraft such as the 787 and A330 that seat 250 or more?

Travel Beat »

[By Tim Jue and Steven Luo | 15 Jun 2015 | No Comments]
A Boeing 787-9 bound for Vietnam Airlines taxies to the runway before performing a flight display during the 2015 Paris Air Show. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

PARIS — Monday’s flight display at the 2015 Paris Air Show featured several airplanes making debut appearances.

Travel Beat »

[By Steven Luo | 15 Jun 2015 | No Comments]
John Leahy, chief operating officer -- customers for European manufacturer Airbus, at the 2015 Paris Air Show. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

Air travel is expected to double over the next 15 years as the emerging middle class of the developing world takes to the skies.  But the large airports generating most of the demand are already congested, and with pressure to combat global warming growing, calls for limits on aviation emissions will only increase.

The solution?  Bigger planes, according to Airbus sales chief John Leahy.

Travel Beat »

[By Steven Luo and Tim Jue | 14 Jun 2015 | No Comments]
Economy class passengers on the CSeries will enjoy 18.5-19 inch wide seats and a 20" wide aisle.  (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

PARIS — As Canadian airplane manufacturer Bombardier debuts its new mainline narrowbody airliner — the type of plane that’s the workhorse of global airline fleets — one question looms over the program: who is going to buy the plane?

Bombardier is leaning on a combination of passenger comforts and fuel savings to sell its CSeries — a family of airliners that can fly 100 to 150 passengers more than 3,000 nautical miles — to airlines. But its slow sales — just 243 firm orders, as compared to thousands for the somewhat larger planes offered by Boeing and Airbus in this market segment — could threaten the future of the entire company.

Cops & Courts, Political Beat, San Francisco »

[By Steven Luo | 26 Mar 2014 | No Comments]

FBI agents arrested 20 people Wednesday — including state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and notorious gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow — as part of a sweeping organized crime probe including allegations of arms trafficking, bribery, drug dealing, receiving stolen goods and money laundering.

Yee — charged with arms dealing and six counts of wire fraud in connection with soliciting campaign donations in exchange for political and official favors — could face decades in federal prison if convicted.

San Francisco »

[By Steven Luo | 11 Jul 2013 | No Comments]
A light aircraft passes over the fuselage of a wrecked Asiana Airlines 777 on landing at SFO Tuesday. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

The pilots of Asiana Airlines flight 214, which crashed at SFO Saturday morning, initially told cabin crew not to evacuate after the Boeing 777 slid to a stop, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman told reporters Wednesday.

It was not until flight attendants farther back on the plane informed the flight crew of a fire outside the aircraft that the order to evacuate was given, resulting in a delay of 90 seconds between the plane stopping and the doors of the plane opening, Hersman said.

Bay Area Snapshots, Oakland, San Francisco, Traffic & Transit »

[By Steven Luo | 3 Jul 2013 | No Comments]
Passengers wait for an AC Transit Transbay bus in Oakland during Tuesday afternoon's BART-strike-hit commute. (Steven Luo / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

Bay Area commuters faced crowded buses, ferries and freeways on the second day of the on-going work stoppage by the two unions representing BART’s train operators, station agents and mechanics.

Here’s our collection of photos of what Tuesday’s commute looked like, and what future commutes will probably resemble, until the transit district reaches a contract agreement with its unions.