First flight to St Helena

October 16, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

JAMESTOWN, UK, 16 October 2017: The first scheduled commercial flight landed at St. Helena Saturday, opening the small British island in the South Atlantic to the world after centuries of isolation.

Around 100 islanders came out to the airport to watch the historic landing of the Embraer 190 jet, which came from Johannesburg.

On the tarmac, some 60 incoming passengers were welcomed by the island’s smiling governor, Lisa Phillips. Read more

Bumper Summer for Helsinki events

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

HELSINKI, 12 October 2017: Helsinki enjoyed another busy summer hosting congresses with delegate attendance reaching 38,000 between May and September.

The events generated around EUR 50 million in tourism income for Finland’s capital city.

According to the Union of International Associations (UIA) in its June report, Helsinki became the most popular city for international association meetings in the Nordic region last year and the 15th most popular congress city in the world. Read more

NGOs slam biofuels for airlines

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BERLIN, 12 October Nearly 100 environmental and poverty fighting groups jointly released a letter Tuesday slamming a UN proposal that backs large-scale use of biofuels in commercial planes.

Extensive burning of biofuels would vastly expand the production of palm oil, which critics say drives deforestation, higher CO2 emissions and conflicts with indigenous peoples displaced from their land.

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) “vision” plan calls for 128 million tons of biofuels to be used in jet engines annually by 2040, going up to 285 million tons — half of all aviation fuel — by 2050. Read more

Air Berlin flying era ends October

October 11, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 11 October 2017: Bankrupt German airline Air Berlin must ground all flights by the end of October, the firm said Monday, as talks continue with prospective buyers Lufthansa and Easyjet.

Flights “will as far as we know no longer be possible after 28 October at the latest” because of insolvency rules, chief executive Thomas Winkelmann wrote in a letter to employees.

Air Berlin triggered bankruptcy proceedings in August after losing a cash lifeline from its biggest shareholder Etihad Airways. Read more

ASIA DMC joins WTM panel

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

HANOI, 10 October 2017:– ASIA DMC’s group managing director, Linh Le, joins an expert panel discussion at WTM London 2017 to debate the critical issues of sustainable tourism.

Taking place on the first day of the international travel trade show at ExCeL London, the session will see a panel of experts examine “The Major Environmental Challenges: Carbon & Water”.

This platform will allow Linh to share his experience in the sustainable tourism sector and how tour operators are facing up to its environmental responsibilities. Read more

Accor bids for Mantra

October 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Hospitality, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 10 October 2017: France’s AccorHotels has made a AUD1.17 billion (USD910 million) bid for one of Australia’s biggest hotel operators, the Mantra Group, the local company said Monday in a move that sent its share price soaring.

Mantra, which operates more than 20,000 rooms in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, said it had received an offer of AUD3.96 cash per share, valuing the firm at Aus$1.17 billion.

“Mantra has granted Accor access to due diligence to determine if a transaction can be agreed and recommended unanimously by the Mantra board,” the Australian-listed company said in a statement. Read more

Air Berlin: Big jobs losses

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

FRANKFURT, 9 October 2017: About 1,400 Air Berlin workers may soon be out of a job, some as early as the end of this month, according to a union paper obtained by AFP on Saturday.

Many of the cuts would hit the bankrupt airline’s ground personnel and administration staff, whose contracts could end by the end of the month or in February 2018.

According to the document, Air Berlin could also soon stop operating, with only its subsidiary Niki continuing to fly. Read more

US and Turkey visa row

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

ISTANBUL, 9 October 2017: The United States and Turkey on Sunday scaled back visa issuing services in each other’s countries in a deepening diplomatic row sparked by the arrest of a Turkish staffer at the American mission in Istanbul.

The American embassy in Ankara said that “recent events” forced the US government to reassess Turkey’s “commitment” to the security of US mission services and personnel in the country.

In order to minimise the number of visitors while the assessment is carried out, “effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all US diplomatic facilities in Turkey,” it said. Read more

Tuesday strike will reduce flights

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

PARIS, 9 October 2017: The French civil aviation authority (DGAC) has recommended that airlines reduce their flights by 30% on Tuesday due to a strike call by civil service unions, the transport ministry said Friday.

The airports affected are likely to include Paris’ two main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, as well as  Beauvais, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes.

“Disruptions are expected throughout the country” Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement. Read more

London crash no link to terrorism

October 9, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LONDON, 9 October 2017: A man arrested after his car ploughed into pedestrians in London’s museum district, injuring 11 people and sparking fears of a terror attack, was released from custody Sunday, police said.

The 47-year-old was held at the scene of Saturday’s crash on suspicion of dangerous driving, and questioned overnight over what police said was a traffic incident with no link to terrorism.

“This morning, he was released under investigation while enquiries continue,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. Read more

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