Media names Etihad as plot target

August 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 2 August 2017: Etihad Airways said, Tuesday, it was helping Australian police with their investigation into an alleged plot to bring down a plane, as authorities sifted through evidence from counter-terrorism raids.

Four men were arrested in Sydney on Saturday evening, with security tightened across all major Australian domestic and international airports as investigators search several homes across the city.

Local media on Monday reported that the men, who have not yet been charged, planned to use poisonous gas, or a crude bomb disguised as a meat mincer, although details of the alleged plot have not been confirmed by police. Read more

Weak pounds pulls travellers

July 31, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LONDON, 31 July 2017: The weak pound is doing wonders for international air travel to London, according to the latest Forward Keys assessment.

Tourists are arriving in greater numbers and the relative strength of their currency, making the city on average 9% better value, the report says.

Also travellers are apparently overcoming any concerns about recent terror attacks. Read more

Good vintage air show

June 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

LE BOUGET, FRANCE, 27 June 2017: This year’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget has proved a “good vintage” with orders up 13% though fewer visitors showed up, organisers said as the event wound down Sunday.

Tight security owing to an ongoing state of emergency in the wake of several terror attacks in France in the past 18 months saw the number of visitors slide compared with the last edition two years ago — the event alternates with Farnborough in England.

But orders rose to USD150 billion (134 billion euros) compared with the USD130 billion the industry put in its order books two years ago, with giants Boeing and Airbus between them taking the lion’s share with USD114 billion — USD74.8 billion and USD39.7 billion respectively. Read more

Tourists skip London attractions

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LONDON, 14 June 2017: Terror attacks in Britain have lowered visitor numbers at London attractions and theme parks run by Merlin Entertainments, the company said on Tuesday.

Merlin, which runs the London Eye and Madame Tussauds and a string of theme parks, said the Westminster attack 22 March in which five people were killed initially led to “a softer domestic, day-trip market”.

Two subsequent attacks in Manchester and London, which killed 30 people and injured dozens more “resulted in a further deterioration in domestic demand,” the company said in a stock market trading update. Read more

Philippines battles terror

May 29, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Philippines

MANILA, 29 May 2017: Two thousand fearful civilians were trapped on Sunday inside a southern Philippine city where troops are battling Islamist militants, authorities said, as the death toll from almost a week of fighting neared 100.

The military intensified a bombing campaign on parts of Marawi on Mindanao island, one of the biggest Muslim cities in the mainly Catholic nation, as it accused the gunmen of atrocities including murdering women and a child.

The initial fighting prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law last Tuesday across the southern third of the Philippines to quell what he said was a fast-growing threat from terrorists linked to the Islamic State (IS) group. Read more

Terror slows Paris tourism

February 22, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

PARIS, 23 February 2017: Paris saw a drop of 1.5 million tourists in 2016 as fears linked to terror attacks scared off visitors, especially from China and Japan, figures showed Tuesday.

However, tourist numbers picked up towards the end of the year, suggesting the slump could be easing, regional tourism authority CRT said.

The number of international visitors to the French capital fell almost 9% in 2016, with numbers from Japan plummeting more than 40% and Chinese visitors down by more than 20%. Read more

Jakarta suspects IS link

January 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Indonesia, News

JAKARTA, 15 January 2016: A “Paris-style” suicide strike on the Indonesian capital, Thursday, confirmed Southeast Asian governments’ worst fears — that citizens returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State group in the Middle East could launch attacks at home.

Regional nations have been warning for months of the possibility of attack, mirroring concerns expressed by European authorities fearful of the intentions of people returning home from conflict.

The blasts and gunfire that rocked Jakarta came after six years of relative calm, following a government crackdown that weakened the country’s most dangerous home-grown Islamic networks. Read more