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Showing posts from August, 2010

Air France May Renew Paris to Libya Flights

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Air France may resume flights between Paris and the Libyan capital Tripoli after more than two decades. Flights between the two capitals were stopped following the 1989 crash of UTA Flight 772 in the Sahara Desert. Crash investigators found traces of explosives on the wreckage, and French officials blamed Libya's intelligence service for ordering the bombing of the aircraft.
Source: Planet Data
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Passenger Plane Crashes in China with 96 Aboard

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A passenger plane carrying 96 people crashed in the northeastern Chinese city of Yichun, Heilongjiang Province on Tuesday night. China's Xinhua news agency reports the aircraft belongs to Henan Airlines.
Source: Planet Data
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14 Dead in Nepal Plane Crash

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Three crewmembers and eleven tourists died Tuesday when their small plane crashed in Nepal. The aircraft had been flying to Lukla, the main airport for Mount Everest base camp, when it was forced to turn around due to bad weather. It crashed while trying to return to the capital Kathmandu.
Source: Planet Data
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Malware-Infected Computer May Have Played Role in Spanair Crash

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Several anonymous readers have pointed us to the news that Spanish authorities are investigating whether malware may have played a role in the crash of Spanair Flight JK 5002 in 2008 that killed 154 of its 172 passengers and crew. It seems that a computer system residing in Spanair's HQ that records aircraft faults was infected with multiple Trojans.
Source: Planet Data
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Hoax Threat Grounds American Airlines Flight in San Francisco

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Someone made a hoax hijacking threat against an American Airlines flight leaving San Francisco on Thursday morning. The plane was getting ready to takeoff for New York when the TSA ordered it to a remote part of the runway so that law enforcement could sweep the plane and interview all the passengers. While authorities have deemed the threat "non-credible" an investigation is underway to find the person responsible for the hoax.
Source: Planet Data
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Business traveller return boosts InterContinental

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* Says recovery gathering pace as room rates rise * TUI Travel warns on profits as holidaymakers cut back * Hit by volcanic ash and UK budget, shares down 9.1 pct * InterCon shares down 4.8 pct, house broker cautious (Adds InterContinental CEO comments, Lufthansa, shares) ByDavid JonesandMatthew Scuffham LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Business travellers flocked back to boost profit at upmarket InterContinental Hotels (IHG.L) while Europe's top holiday firm TUI Travel (TT.L) said profit will be hit as Britons cut back vacation spending. The world's biggest hotelier said trading strengthened through the first half, driven by Asia and especially China, as its guests took more of its 650,000-plus rooms and started to pay higher rates in July in signs of a growing recovery. But package holiday group TUI Travel was hit first by a volcanic ash cloud closing airspace and then June's emergency British budget which heralded public spending and job cuts, forcing many into rethinking their summe…

Ryanair about to make Cyprus landing

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AFTER MORE than three years of on-off discussions, and several weeks of hard negotiating, low-cost airline Ryanair is finally set to start operating routes out of Cyprus from November, using the island as part of its strategy to offer flights to Israel and the Middle East.
The official announcement will be made today, following the clinching of the deal on Monday evening.
Both Hermes Airports and Dublin-based Ryanair remained tight-lipped yesterday on details but a well-placed source in the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the decision was based on three main factors.
Firstly, Ryanair managed to reach an agreement with Hermes Airports on an acceptable level of landing charges, in combination with the government’s continuing emergency subsidy of all airlines to the tune of 25 per cent of landing charges plus an additional payment of €4 per traveller.
High landing charges at the new Larnaca and Paphos airports – passed on to travellers in the form of “ai…

Philippine Airlines Flight Attendants Threaten Strike

The union representing Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight crews said on Tuesday that it plans to file the appropriate paperwork with the government so that its members can go on strike in the next two weeks.
Source: Planet Data
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Union Calls Off Strike at Six UK Airports

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Unite, the union representing aviation workers at six BAA-operated airports in the UK, called off its threatened strike after the two groups reached a new wage agreement Monday. Unite describes the BAA offer as "the standard for pay deals in the industry."
Source: Planet Data
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Colombia Passenger Plane Crash, 1 Dead

An Aires airline Boeing 737-700 broke up into at least two pieces upon landing Monday morning on the Colombian island of San Andres. At least one person is dead and dozens of others are injured. Reports say the plane was hit by lightening as it landed.
Source: Planet Data
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Martha's Vineyard Flight Restrictions For Obama Visit

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The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday (8/11), issued a Flight Advisory notification about the VIP Temporary Flight Restriction over Martha's Vineyard for August 19-29, 2010. The TFR was issued because President Obama and the first family are scheduled to be vacationing there. The FAA says, "The times for this TFR have not yet been determined. Check published NOTAM for latest information."
Source: Planet Data
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Suspect in 3-State Stabbing Spree Arrested at Atlanta Airport

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Authorities at Atlanta's Hartsfield - Jackson International Airport arrested a male suspect wanted in nearly 2 dozen stabbings in three states as he attempted to board a flight out of the country Wednesday night. Since mid-May of this year, 20 people in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia have been stabbed. Five of the Michigan attacks were fatal.
Source: Planet Data
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The Chinese warm to Cruising

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NOT long ago, most Chinese wouldn’t consider a holiday cruise, calling it expensive, boring and pointless. Today well-off families are coming aboard and getting into life on the sea. 
Michelle Zhang reports. Luna Xu is planning a summer vacation to Japan and South Korea with her boyfriend. The 26-year-old public relations manager at a French company travels extensively and has been to both countries. But this time, she’s going to try something new - and different - a six-day cruise. “I so much look forward to it,” she says, with excitement. “I’d like to watch the sunset with my boyfriend on the deck - just like the scenes from the film ‘Titanic.’ It would be so romantic, I can’t wait.” The trip costs around 6,000 yuan (US$882) per person. Xu’s boyfriend, Jimmy Jin, hopes to meet new friends. “I’d love to meet more friends who share the same taste and interest with us, and try the various fun activities available on the ship.” Nowadays, more and more singles, families, couples, honeymoo…

Avis launches iPhone app

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Car hire customers can now book rentals directly from their iPhone using the new Avis app, with the added benefit of using GPS to locate the nearest Avis location. The new app enables iPhone users to search for vehicles, obtain quotes, book rentals, store user preferences, and locate nearest Avis locations. Other rental companies to have released iPhone apps in the last few months include Europcar, Budget, Sixt and Hertz. For more information visit avis.co.uk/iphone_help, and for a list of car hire companies offering iPhone apps, visit the iTunes store. Source: http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/avis-launches-iphone-app PT Comment:

House Committee Votes to End Cuba Travel Ban

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Travel to Cuba, restricted for decades, may be getting a boost in the near future. The House Agriculture Committee voted on Wednesday to reverse a ban on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba and to ease trade restrictions with the country. The bill was approved 25 to 20 with solid support from Democrats, but only four Republicans supporting the bill. The vote is the first step in the long journey toward Congressional approval, but supporters are optimistic that it will lead to an end of the decades-long ban on travel between the two countries. The bill, called the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, would also allow American goods to be sold directly to Cuba, which would be a boon to American businesses and farming groups. Unsurprisingly, the bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Farmers Union. Though proponents of the bill are touting the positive economic effects of eased trade restriction, opponents are critical of the bill’s provisions that op…

Avis launches iPhone app

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Car hire customers can now book rentals directly from their iPhone using the new Avis app, with the added benefit of using GPS to locate the nearest Avis location. The new app enables iPhone users to search for vehicles, obtain quotes, book rentals, store user preferences, and locate nearest Avis locations. Other rental companies to have released iPhone apps in the last few months include Europcar, Budget, Sixt and Hertz. For more information visit avis.co.uk/iphone_help, and for a list of car hire companies offering iPhone apps, visit the iTunes store.
Source:businesstraveller.com
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Alaska Plane Crash

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The small private plane that crashed near Dillingham, Alaska last night (8/9) was carrying 9 people, not 8 as a previously mentioned. Defense contractor EADS has confirmed that former NASA Administrator and EADS North America CEO Sean O'Keefe was on board when the plane went down. It is also still believed that former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was aboard. But it is not clear if they are among the five reported fatalities.
Source: Planet Data
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Flight Attendant Has Meltdown Escapes Plane on Emergency Slide

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After a JetBlue flight landed at JFK International Airport on Monday a male flight attendant, identified as Steven Slater, told a passenger trying to get to his overhead luggage to sit down until the plane stopped. The passenger refused and allegedly struck Slater with a bag. Slater then supposedly had a meltdown and cursed at passengers over the plane's address system. And then once the plane stopped Slater opened the plane's rear door, deployed the emergency slide, grabbed some beer, slide down the slide and ran across the tarmac. Slater was then able to make his way to his car and drive home to Queens where NY/NJ Port Authority Police arrested him later in the day.
Source: Planet Data
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TSA and U.S. Marshals Clarify Body Scanner Information

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Last week the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) obtained documents that shows that body-scanning technology deployed at some federal courthouses can store and record the images of those scanned with the devices, and how EPIC's release of this information is tied to another lawsuit aimed at getting DHS to suspend the deployment of body scanners at U.S. airports. While it did not mention either the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) or the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), both agencies have posted information on their websites (USMS,TSA) clarifying details the media seems to have misconstrued, including the fact USMS and TSA are separate agencies under different administrations. USMS falls under the Department of Justice, and TSA falls under the Department of Homeland Security.
Source: Planet Data
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Alaska Airlines Jet Aborts Takeoff After Hitting Eagle

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A Seattle-bound Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400 had to abort takeoff at Sitka on Sunday after one of the jet's engines sucked in an eagle. The pilot was able to return the aircraft safely to the terminal and no one onboard was injured.
Source: Planet Data
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Bomb Explodes at Philippines Airport, Two Dead

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An explosion, believed caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the Philippines' Zamboanga City International Airport on Thursday evening. At least 2 people are dead, including the suspected bomber, and 22 more were wounded, including the governor of Sulu province.
Source: Planet Data
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Killer smog blankets Moscow

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Moscow health authorities announced Monday that the number of deaths per day in the Russian capital had nearly doubled to 700 as the city and most of central Russia entered the seventh week of a heat wave.

Young American tourists brave Moscow's smog during a visit to Red Square. In the distance, St. Basil's Cathedral was barely visible.

Moscow health authorities announced Monday that the number of deaths per day in the Russian capital had nearly doubled to 700 as the city and most of central Russia entered the seventh week of a heat wave. High temperatures, hovering around 100 degrees on some days, have destroyed 30 percent of the nation's grain crops and triggered massive fires in forests and peat bogs that alone have killed more than 50 people and devastated dozens of villages.

Andrei Seltsovsky, chief of the Moscow health department, told a news conference that morgues were filled almost to capacity, with 1,300 of 1,500 slots occupied. He suggested that residents devia…

BlackBerry services will be suspended in October in the UAE

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We bring concerning news for travellers that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has officially stated that BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry E-mail and BlackBerry Web-browsing services in the UAE will be suspended as from October 11, 2010.

The TSA claim that the suspension is a result of the failure of ongoing attempts, (which pre-date 2007), to bring BlackBerry services in the UAE in line with UAE telecommunications regulations.

Clearly this suspension is set to have a significant impact on residents and visitors alike, as there are an estimated 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE (mostly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Technically speaking the rationale behind the suspension is that the TRA believes certain BlackBerry services enable users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE. In essence BlackBerry data is immediately exported off-shore, where it is managed by a foreign, commercial organization. TRA also c…

Sizzling Summer Events Worldwide in August

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Greetings from a 40 degrees plus Cyprus, where many Islanders feel we may actually break the a temperature record this year. The highest temperature ever recorded in Cyrpus is 45.6 °C (114.08 °F). The record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe goes to the city of Athens at 48.0 °C (118.4 °F). If you think this is hot, the highest temperature ever recorded o planet earth (since records began) occurred at Al 'Aziziyah (Close to Tripoli) in Libya at a staggering 57.8 °C (136 °F). 

Whatever the case we are all going to Burn Baby Burn this August across the Northern Hemisphere. For our Russian friends reading this article congratulations of enduring the passing of an all-time record high temperature in Moscow last Thursday when the mercury hit 38.3 C (101 F) in what has been a grueling and persistent heat wave for the city. Incidentally the previous record high of 37.8 C was tied twice in the previous week. 

Well, here we are in mid-summer and August is a truly hot month …