Qatar buys American Airlines shares

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Middle east, News

NEW YORK, 23 June 2017: Qatar Airways, its Middle Eastern business pressured by a diplomatic row with neighbours, is seeking as much as a 10% stake in American Airlines, the US carrier said Thursday.

Qatar Airways’ surprise investment push was disclosed by American Airlines in a securities filing, Thursday, saying the Qatari company planned to buy at least USD808 million in American shares.

In addition, Qatar Airways’ chief executive told his counterpart at American that the carrier sought a stake of about 10%. Read more

WTTC takes a swipe at Cuba ban

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

LONDON, 23 June 2017: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expressed disappointment at President Trump’s plan to reverse key elements of the trading relationship between the US and Cuba, which was originally outlined by President Obama in 2014 and by his visit last year.

“The Cuban people are directly benefiting from increased business and leisure travel to Havana. Travel brings income to the people who work in our industry. President Trump’s statements indicate that the Cuban people, rather than the government will be hit by this policy change,” said WTTC president & CEO, David Scowsill.

“Airlines, cruise lines and hotel groups have all made significant investments and plans to create jobs and to grow the industry in Cuba, based on clear direction from the previous administration. Our sector needs consistency from governments and stability of policy. This is a clear and unwelcome reversal.” Read more

International Yoga Day

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEW YORK, 22 June 2017: Thousands of yoga aficionados celebrated the summer solstice amid the neon lights and cacophony of Times Square, Wednesday, searching for inner peace in the heart of New York on International Yoga Day.

“I have always wanted to come to yoga in Times Square. This year I retired so now I can,” said 62-year-old former school principal Kathy Gaffney, who took the ferry bright and early from Staten Island to get a good place in line.

Around 12,000 people were expected to take part in six one-hour yoga classes beginning at 0730 (1130 GMT) to celebrate the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. The event is now in its 15th year. Read more

Publisher challenges UNWTO election

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

BANGKOK, 22 June 2017: Self-proclaimed UNWTO Wire publisher, Juergen Steinmetz, is at the forefront of a campaign that alleges the recent UNWTO secretary general election was flawed.

Stienmertz issues a statement released by PRNewswire, this week, that applauds Zimbabwe Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi, for raising the allegations in an open letter last May.

Steinmetz followed through issuing his own post asking: “Is the UNWTO Secretary General election for sale?” Read more

Disruption downs Uber chief

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 22 June 2017: Travis Kalanick was the driving force behind Uber, taking a spur-of-moment idea and turning it into the world’s most valuable venture-funded tech startup.

But Kalanick’s brash personality and freewheeling management style made him a liability as well as an asset to the global ridesharing giant, and on Wednesday he stepped down as chief executive.

Kalanick, 40, frequently recounts how the idea behind Uber was born, when he and a colleague were attending a technology conference in Paris in 2008 and failed to find a taxi on a cold night. Read more

Airports ban claim ads

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

MONTREAL, 21 June 2017: Canada’s two largest airports in Montreal and Toronto have banned ads from a company that helps passengers bumped from overbooked flights to get compensation from airlines, the company’s president said Tuesday.

Flight Claim posted billboards inside the Montreal terminal promising up to CND1,800 for bumped passengers, as well as for cancelled or delayed flights.

But company president Jacob Charbonneau said the Montreal airport pulled the ads after only five days, while the Toronto airport outright refused to run the promotion. Read more

Bid to topple giants

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

PARIS, 21 June 2017: China’s C919 and Russia’s MC-21 may be absent from the tarmac at the Paris Air Show, but their makers don’t hide their ambition to nose into the biggest part of the civil aviation market — single-aisle medium-haul aircraft — which is dominated by Airbus and Boeing.

“For decades there were just two families of competing aircraft in the single-aisle segment, the A320 and the 737” built by Airbus and Boeing, said Stephane Albernhe, managing partner at Archery Consulting.

Both firms have been announcing business worth tens of billions of dollars for their mid-range bestsellers at the Paris Air Show, but they’re unlikely to keep the market for themselves for long. Read more

UNWTO takes a swipe at Trump

June 20, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

MADRID, 20 June 2017: The World Tourism Organisation expresses its “firm resentment” over the recently-announced decision by the United States Administration to restore travel restrictions with Cuba.

“This represents a step backwards and a strong attack on the freedom of travel,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“This decision will have limited impact on Cuba’s tourism development, yet it will substantially impact on the US economy and American jobs. Many US companies have started to invest in and do business with Cuba in view of the immense potential of Cuban tourism, which other countries will surely continue to benefit from,” he added. Read more

Boeing unveils latest 737

June 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LE BOURGET, FRANCE, 20 June 2017: Boeing announced Monday what it claims will be the most efficient jet yet to enter the highly competitive civil aviation market, as it tries to claw back market share from rival Airbus.

“Today, it is our pleasure to officially announce the newest member of our 737 family, the 737 MAX 10,” Kevin McAllister, head of the company’s commercial aviation division, told journalists as the Paris Air Show got under way.

It quickly announced more than 100 orders worth some USD13.5 billion (12.1 billion euros), although some were customers changing their selection of models from previous orders. Read more

Paris Air Show opens

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

PARIS, 19 June 2017: The aircraft industry descends on Paris, Monday, for the world’s biggest airshow, a prime battleground for bitter rivals Boeing and Airbus, but also a chance for new kids on the block to snap at the heels of the two giants.

Single-aisle planes for short and medium distances are the hottest ticket in the world’s civil aviation industry, with airline demand for models in the Airbus A320 family giving the European company an edge, for now, over its American opponent which is racing to return in force to the mid-range segment.

But the duopoly is not without challengers: Competition is looming, notably from Russia and China who have each been test-flying their own mid-range models. Read more

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