New Zealand: No longer 100% pure

March 24, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

CHRISTCHURCH, 24 March 2017: New Zealand’s strong economic growth is placing strains on the environment that threaten to undermine its “clean, green” reputation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned Tuesday.

The South Pacific nation has long marketed itself internationally as “100% pure” and is undergoing a tourism boom as visitors flock to see the spectacular scenery featured in films such as “The Hobbit” trilogy.

But an OECD report said the environment was paying the price for growth in the farm-reliant economy, which is currently among the strongest in the developed world at more than 3%. Read more

Turkey fumes over laptop ban

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

ANKARA, 23 March 2017: Turkey Wednesday stepped up its objections to US restrictions on large electronic devices on flights from some airports in the country and other regional hubs, saying it punished travellers instead of tackling the problem.

“It would be better to take measures together against those who are a threat instead of punishing normal passengers,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a visit to Washington.

“If there are concerns over security, our departments should come together and take the necessary measures. This work cannot be done with bans,” Cavusoglu added, quoted by state-run news agency Anadolu. Read more

World leaders condemn UK attack

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

PARIS, 23 March 2017: World leaders on Wednesday unanimously condemned the attack in the heart of London by a man who was shot dead by armed police, with many saying they “stand” with Britain.

Four people were killed and 40 injured in the attack outside parliament when a man mowed down pedestrians with a car then leapt out and stabbed a police officer.

In an address outside her Downing Street office, Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as “sick and depraved” saying the assailant chose the site as an assault on Britain’s democratic values. Read more

10% of all jobs linked to tourism

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LONDON, 22 March 2017: Travel and tourism generated 1 in 10 of the world’s jobs in 2016 as the sector grew by 3.3%, outpacing the global economy for the sixth year in a row, reads a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

WTTC’s Economic Impact Report 2017, which is conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics, researches the economic impact of travel and tourism impact on global level, for 25 regions, and 185 countries.

According to the research, travel and tourism grew by 3.3% in 2016, generating USD7.6 trillion worldwide, which is 10.2% of global GDP when the direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector supported a total of 292 million jobs in 2016, which is 1 in 10 of all jobs in the world. Read more

Routes Asia 2018 heads for Brisbane

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Events, News, PACIFIC

OKINAWA, 22 March 2017: Routes Asia announced at the close of its Okinawa event Monday that Brisbane, Australia, would host  the 2018  Routes Asia conference.

The event brings together airlines, airports and stakeholders to discuss air service to, from and within Asia-Pacific.

A consortium comprising of Brisbane Airport Corporation, Brisbane Marketing, Tourism Australia, Tourism Events Queensland and Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will underwrite the 2018 event. Read more

Laptops banned on US-bound flights

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 22 March 2017: The United States and Britain on Tuesday banned larger electronic devices from the passenger cabin on flights from some airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

American officials warned that extremists are seeking “innovative” ways to attack airliners with smaller explosive devices hidden in consumer electronics bigger than smartphones.

The US has given nine airlines from eight countries until the weekend to tell travellers to America to pack laptops, tablets and portable game consoles in their hold luggage. Read more

Plane loses propeller

March 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 21 March 2017: A regional Australian airline on Monday grounded six planes from its fleet after a propeller fell off one of them as it approached Sydney airport.

The near-disaster happened on Friday, with the crew shutting down the right-hand engine on the Saab 340 plane after “abnormal indications” before the propeller sheared off.

Despite the scare the twin-propeller Regional Express (Rex) plane carrying 16 passengers and three crew landed safely. Read more

Airport attacker on drugs

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

PARIS, 21 March 2017: The man shot dead at Paris’s Orly airport after attacking a soldier was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, a judicial source said Sunday.

Investigators are still trying to understand what motivated Saturday’s assault by 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, which led to a major security scare and the temporary closure of the capital’s second-busiest airport.

“Toxicology tests carried out on Sunday showed an alcohol level of 0.93 grams per litre in his blood, and the presence of cannabis and cocaine,” the source said. Read more

Happy Norway tops UN list

March 21, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

NEW YORK, 21 March 2017: A bit of cold isn’t keeping Norway from basking in the warmth of being the world’s happiest country, a UN report out Monday found.

And Norway surged from 4th place in last year’s assessment all the way to the top spot, even though oil prices are down, the World Happiness Report 2017 said.

The top four also included Nordic neighbours Denmark and Iceland as well as Switzerland. Read more

Canada restricts drones

March 20, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

OTTAWA, 20 March 2017: Canada late last week announced limits on the use of drones for recreation following a surge in the number of incidents due to their rapid rise in popularity.

Drone operators will be prohibited from flying them above an altitude of 90 metres (295 feet) or within 75 metres of buildings, vehicles or people.

They will also be barred from using them at night, or within 9 km (six miles) of an airport, heliport or other aerodrome. Read more

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