KATHMANDU, 2 May 2013: A new account of a brawl on Mount Everest which emerged Wednesday said one of the foreign climbers involved had sworn at a group of Nepalese guides and challenged them to a fight.
Famed climbers Ueli Steck of Switzerland and Simone Moro of Italy, accompanied by British alpine photographer Jonathan Griffith, were involved Saturday in a bust-up with Sherpas which has since shocked the mountaineering community.
The events have overshadowed the climbing season in a year when Nepal is preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of the world’s highest peak.
PARIS, 30 April 2013: Airbus said Monday it had signed an agreement with Nepal Airlines for the sale of two short- to medium-range A320 planes in a deal worth US$183 million (140 million euros) at catalogue prices.
The planes will come with so-called “sharklets”; fin-like devices fixed at the end of wings to reduce fuel burn, and can also be fitted with a navigation technique called RNP that allows an aircraft to fly precisely along a specific path.
Airbus said in the statement that RNP would be “particularly useful for operations at high altitude airports which are constrained by mountains such as (the capital) Kathmandu.”
COLOMBO, 29 April 2013: Sri Lanka is set to re-fleet its loss-making national carrier with 10 new Airbus aircraft in a deal that could be worth over US$2.5 billion, a government official and a media report said on Sunday.
SriLankan Airlines will also secure an aircraft maintenance facility at the country’s newest international airport in the south of the country as part of the deal with Airbus, the official said, asking not to be named
“There would be a financing package that will go along with this re-fleeting,” said the official. “The aircraft would be acquired over the next seven years.”
MUMBAI, 25 April 2013: India’s Jet Airways said Wednesday it had agreed to sell a minority stake in the carrier to Etihad in a US$380-million deal giving the Abu-Dhabi-based airline access to the vast Indian market.
The agreement would be the first overseas investment in an existing Indian carrier since the government eased restrictions to allow foreign airlines to buy up to 49% of Indian carriers last September.
Debt-laden Jet said in a statement the company would sell 27 million shares to Etihad, at 754.74 rupees (US$13.7) per share — representing a 32% premium to the airline’s last traded share price.
THIMPHU, 23 April 22, 2013: The tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan begins electing a new parliament on Tuesday for only the second time in its history, five years after the Buddhist monarchy gave up its absolute power.
Voters will first choose members of the upper house National Council on Tuesday, a non-party body, then in the following weeks will decide which of five parties will form the next government in the National Assembly.
Since the beginning of April, the 67 candidates for the 20 elected National Council seats — five more members will be appointed by King Jigme Khesar Wanchuk — have been holding debates and public meetings in their respective districts after a local selection process.
MUMBAI, 18 April 2013: India’s most elaborate theme park opens this week with special-effect Hindu gods and Bollywood-themed rides, aiming to tap a thirst for family entertainment among the country’s rising middle-class.
Adlabs Imagica, which cost about US$294 million to create, opens its doors to the public, Thursday, at a site between the western cities of Mumbai and Pune, with capacity for 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a day.
In the style of a Disney or Universal Studios park, the new tourist site hopes to fill a gap in the Indian leisure market and comes with twists to appeal to the domestic audience.
COLOMBO, 18 April 2013: Sri Lanka’s police will track foreign tourists to “ensure their own safety”, officials announced on Monday.
Hotels and guest houses have been told to submit weekly reports of their foreign guests as part of a new security plan for tourists, police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said.
Similar rules apply in Thailand where hotel and even guest house owners are expected to forward to local police a daily register of foreigners staying at their properties.
KATHMANDU, 4 April 2013: The grandson of a pilot who flew the first flight over the world’s highest mountain, Nepal’s Mount Everest, retraced the route Wednesday to mark the 80th anniversary of the feat.
In 1933 Scottish pilot and army colonel, Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, along with two colleagues flew two biplanes from the northern Indian state of Bihar to help mountaineers gain knowledge about the 8,848-metre (29,029 foot) peak.
“It was very majestic, it was spectacular. I am glad that I was able to retrace the historic flight by my grandfather,” Charles Douglas-Hamilton, 33, said after returning from a morning flight to Everest on Wednesday.
NEW DELHI, 1 April 2013: India’s current account deficit hit a record 6.7% of GDP in the last quarter, official data showed on last Thursday, underscoring the nation’s weak finances.
The worse-than-expected deficit for the three months to December stemmed mainly from large oil and gold imports and weaker exports amid the global economic downturn.
The figures were more bad news for the Congress-led government which is struggling to stimulate India’s economy, whose growth for the financial year to 31 March 2013 is expected to be 5% — the weakest pace in a decade.
NEW DELHI, 27 March 2013: India’s highly competitive aviation sector still has to overcome “huge” obstacles to get onto a sound financial footing, the industry’s global chief said on Tuesday.
India’s combined passenger numbers shrank by 2.1% last year compared with global growth of 4%, according to industry figures.
The country of 1.2 billion people, most of whom still travel using the vast rail network, “is a great potential market”, said International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief Tony Tyler.