Venezuela prohibits sales of guns ammunition

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Critics noted that only a small percentage of guns have recently been sold legally to permit holders and said most gun sales have long been illegal and unregulated.Luis Izquiel, a lawyer who heads a security committee for Venezuela’s opposition coalition, said that while there are about 25,000 gun permits legally registered with the authorities, there are many more weapons on the streets. In 2010, Amnesty International estimated there were a total of 10 million firearms in the country.“Here criminals don’t use legal firearms,” Izquiel said.Polls have repeatedly said that Venezuelans view violent crime as the country’s top problem.President Hugo Chavez’s government has announced several new anti-crime measures ahead of the country’s October presidential election.Last week, the government imposed another measure prohibiting people from possessing guns in public places such as city squares, parks and restaurants.In February, the government announced temporary measures outlawing gun possession in public areas as well as halting gun sales. The latest measures have made those changes permanent.“Now no one is going to be able to get new guns or have new permits,” El Aissami said Friday, according to the state-run Venezuelan News Agency. He said his ministry will have authority over the supply of weapons to police forces.Venezuela has in recent years had one of the highest homicide rates in Latin America. El Aissami has said that in 2010 the country had 48 murders per 100,000 people.The Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a watchdog group which tracks crime, says that the murder rate has continued to rise and that last year there were more than 19,000 homicides, a record for the country.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Quick workouts for men Associated PressCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s government banned sales of guns and ammunition Friday with a measure that officials said is aimed at fighting rampant violent crime.Private gun shops are now prohibited from selling guns under the measure, which had been announced previously.Only the police and the military will be exempt from the ban on gun sales, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said.last_img read more

Nigeria summons US official over tweets on pardon

first_imgLAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – Nigeria’s foreign ministry has summoned a top U.S. diplomat to explain why its embassy posted critical comments on Twitter over a presidential pardon given to a former governor convicted on corruption charges.A statement issued Friday night said Nigerian officials filed an urgent request to speak to the U.S. deputy chief of mission over what it described as “meddlesomeness.” Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 ways to recognize low testosterone In messages Friday on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said it was “deeply disappointed” over the pardon issued this week to former Bayelsa state Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was impeached and later convicted in Nigeria. Investigators said he likely stole millions of dollars while in office.Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan once served as Alamieyeseigha’s deputy and pardoned him. His impeachment marked the start of Jonathan’s rise in Nigerian politics.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Sponsored Stories last_img read more

British bankers Hong Kong murder case gets closer to trial

first_img Comments   Share   HONG KONG (AP) — The case of a British banker accused of the grisly murders of two Indonesian women has moved closer to trial in Hong Kong after it was sent to the High Court on Friday.Rurik Jutting did not enter a plea and declined a preliminary inquiry in a pre-trial hearing Friday before a lower court magistrate.Jutting was charged after police found the bodies of the two women, both in their 20s, in his apartment near the heart of Hong Kong’s Wan Chai red-light district last year. One of bodies was stuffed in a suitcase left on the balcony. When asked if he wanted to indicate how he would plead, Jutting said, “No plea at this time.”In response, the magistrate said, “I take it as not guilty.”Jutting, who wore the same black “New York” T-shirt he has worn in previous court appearances, faces life in prison if convicted. The case’s next hearing would likely be in four to six weeks in the High Court, his lawyer said.The case shocked the former British colony, which has a reputation for being safe, and highlighted the expatriate community’s extremes of inequality.Jutting, a Cambridge graduate, had worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. One of the dead women, Sumarti Ningsih, had come been working as a maid but stayed on in Hong Kong after her visa lapsed. The other victim, Seneng Mujiasih, was on a tourist visa.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories Sponsored Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairylast_img read more

Paris celebrates WWII resistance heroes in Pantheon ceremony

first_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies PARIS (AP) — Paris authorities are escorting coffins representing four World War II resistance figures through the French capital toward the Pantheon, the resting place of French heroes.The event Tuesday is part of two days of national ceremonies honoring the two women and two men, meant to symbolize French efforts against extremist violence in the past and today, four months after terrorist attacks left 20 dead in Paris. Comments   Share   Hearses bearing the coffins of Genevieve de Gaulle-Anthonioz, Germaine Tillion, Pierre Brossolette and Jean Zay are weaving through the Left Bank, escorted by guards on horses. French President Hollande will induct them formally into the Pantheon on Wednesday.The coffins of the two women do not contain their remains but soil from their gravesites, because their families didn’t want the bodies themselves moved.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

Welfare tourism in focus ahead of Denmark election

first_img Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Election billboards across Copenhagen warn immigrants against thinking they can exploit Danish welfare benefits. “If you come to Denmark, you have to work,” the posters say.The message is not intended for immigrants, but for Danes who are concerned about foreigners abusing their welfare system. And the messenger is not some far-right politician; it’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of the Social Democratic Party. While the overrepresentation of immigrants isn’t huge, many Danes worry that the country’s generous welfare benefits have become a magnet for people living in less wealthy countries in and outside the European Union.“We want an EU where people can go wherever workers are needed, but we don’t want an EU where people go wherever the social benefits are good,” opposition leader Lars Loekke Rasmussen said last week.That discussion has suited the Danish People’s Party, one of the trailblazers in a Europe-wide surge of populist parties that are opposed to immigration and skeptical of the EU.It lost its influence when Thorning-Schmidt took power in 2011, but is hoping for a comeback as a sidekick of Loekke Rasmussen’s center-right bloc.The party has ratcheted down on anti-Islam outbursts, but is calling for a return of the border controls that it pressed the previous government to introduce, angering other EU countries who saw it as an attack on the idea of a borderless Europe. Thorning-Schmidt’s government scrapped them as soon as it took office.Peter Skaarup, a senior member of the Danish People’s Party, told The Associated Press the border checks are needed to make sure criminals don’t slip into Denmark. He compared it to checking people’s tickets as they enter a movie theater “and not afterward in the dark.” Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona The Social Democrats, headed by Prime Minieter Helle Thorning-Schmidt, center, Minister of Finance Bjarke Corydon, left, and Minister of Justice Mette Frederiksen, held it’s closing press conference of their election campaign in the Danish Parliament Christiansborg Castle, Wednesday June 17. 2015, in Copenhagen. Denmark will hold a mandatory general election Thursday June 18 after almost four years of coalition Government between the Social Democrats and the Social-Liberal Party. (Jens Dresling/Polfoto via AP) DENMARK OUT Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your lifecenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Loekke Rasmussen, who was in power until 2011, has suffered from reports that he used government and party funds for personal expenses, such as upgrading his wardrobe.Both Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats and Loekke Rasmussen’s Liberals depend on other parties to build a majority. A new party, the environmentalist Alternative party, has entered the mix this year, and is expected to support the government bloc.___Associated Press video journalist David Keyton contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Before Denmark’s parliamentary election Thursday, both Thorning-Schmidt’s left-leaning alliance and the center-right opposition have promised to further tighten Denmark’s controls on immigration.Both sides want to crack down on “welfare tourism,” refuse permanent residence permits to unemployed immigrants and make it harder for the families of refugees to join them in this Nordic nation of 5.6 million.The nationalist Danish People’s Party wants to go even further and reinstate border controls toward neighboring Germany and Sweden — the countries that accept the highest number of refugees in Europe.“Through generations we have built up this welfare society and now you have outsiders who exploit it. It’s not fair,” said Lasse P. Bang, a 47-year-old janitor. He said he was on paid sick leave after breaking his ankle at work.Denmark sharply restricted its immigration policies in 2002 but the issue continues to resonate among many voters. With polls showing the government bloc and the center-right opposition neck-and-neck, their campaigns have increasingly focused on the impact of immigration on the welfare system.Official statistics show first- and second-generation immigrants represent 12 percent of the population and 16 percent of the 1 million people receiving some kind of government benefits, including student grants and parental leave. Many immigrants find the discussion tiresome.“It sort of irritates me that we again have to talk about immigration,” said Imran Feduz, a Palestinian immigrant working in a newspaper shop. “I know some immigrants who live off social welfare, but Danes do the same.”Like many other European countries, Denmark has seen an increase in asylum-seekers in recent years, especially from Syria. Last year, 15,000 people sought shelter in Denmark, twice as many as the previous year. Meanwhile, Sweden received more than 80,000 asylum-seekers.Thorning-Schmidt — who garnered international headlines in 2013 for taking a selfie with President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron at a Nelson Mandela memorial — called the election last month as the end of her four-year term was nearing. Her polling numbers have been poor since she took office, but the opposition’s lead has dwindled in recent weeks.Thorning-Schmidt has pledged to raise welfare spending by 39 billion kroner ($5.7 billion), while the opposition says that improvements can be achieved without expanding the public sector.Personally, polls show Thorning-Schmidt is more popular than her main rival, particularly after her firm response to the February shooting attacks against a free-speech seminar and a synagogue in Copenhagen. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Centerlast_img read more

Thai military court to release 14 students ahead of trial

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology They face charges of sedition and violating the junta’s ban on political gatherings of more than five people, which carry penalties of up to seven and a half years in prison. No date has been set for their trial.Since overthrowing an elected government in May 2014, the nation’s military rulers have jailed opponents who dared to speak out against them. They have censored the media, forbidden open political debate and ordered that security-related offenses be handled by military courts.Commenting on the court’s decision, a government spokesman warned the students to behave.“Even though they will be released, it doesn’t mean the case is concluded,” said deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd. He urged the students not to “create chaos in society” or to “hold activities like in the past.”The military has spoken of holding national elections but has not said exactly when they could take place, and its latest constitutional draft would curb the powers of elected political leaders.Human Rights Watch said in a statement that the students’ arrests “demonstrate the military junta’s unwillingness to ease its oppressive rule.” Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BANGKOK (AP) — A military court in Thailand said Tuesday it will release 14 student activists from detention but they will still face sedition charges — and the prospect of years in prison — for defying the junta’s ban on political gatherings.The university students, 13 men and one woman, have been detained since their arrest on June 26 in Bangkok after leading a series of peaceful anti-coup rallies in the capital and elsewhere. Comments   Share   center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The U.N. human rights office has called for the students’ release and urged the government to review its use of laws that limit freedom of expression and assembly.The European Union has called the arrests “a disturbing development” and said civilians should not be tried in military courts.The students’ case is the latest dilemma for the government, which has come under fire for the country’s long-ignored human trafficking violations and illegal activity in the lucrative fishing industry that could lead to an EU ban on imports from Thailand.___Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories The case sparked international calls for their release and criticism of the military junta’s use of military courts to try civilians and its strict controls on freedom of speech and assembly. University professors and students joined dozens of protesters to show support for the students outside the court, across from the Grand Palace in Bangkok’s historic quarter.Amid mounting pressure, the court denied a request from police to extend the students’ pre-trial detention for 12 more days, said defense lawyer Krisadang Nutcharut. They were expected to be released Wednesday morning.Under Thai law, people can be held a maximum of 48 days without formal charges.“The court agreed with our request to release them on grounds that they have no intention to run away,” Kritsadang told reporters outside the courthouse. Journalists were not allowed to attend the hearing. “They can now go back to their studies.”In a June 25 rally, the students wrapped Bangkok’s Democracy Monument in black cloth and called for the junta to “get out.” In May, they conducted peaceful rallies in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen to mark the coup’s first anniversary. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img read more

ACCC says airport service quality is becoming concerning

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> In its annual Airport Monitoring Report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has cautioned the nation’s airports saying that they have to beware dropping quality standards.Reporting on the 12 months in the financial year of 2008 and 2009, the ACCC says that one of the key concerns is skyrocketing prices for parking at the capital city airports around the country.“This year’s report has found the performance of Sydney Airport to be of greatest concern. The indications are that Sydney Airport has increased profits by permitting service quality to fall below that which the airlines reasonably expect,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel, said.“While airlines lowered their airfares to attract business in the current global economic slowdown, the airports appear to have enjoyed the security of guaranteed prices as well as benefiting from the airlines’ efforts to encourage travel.”But the Sydney Airport has hit back, saying the ACCC’s report is “outdated” and that since the period on report the site had undergone some $500 million in upgrades.“Extensive construction works were underway throughout the period covered by the report and may have, understandably, impacted on the customer experience,” said the airport in a statement.However, the Sydney Airport statement did not address the watchdog’s concerns surrounding parking costs.“The indications are that car parking prices likely reflect an element of monopoly rent. At least some car parking charges increased at all of the monitored airports during the 2008–09 financial year, or since then,” said the ACCC on parking costs. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more

Jetstar teams up with Air Canada

first_imgJetstar and Air Canada will now offer joint fares to Canada following the signing of an interline agreement, the budget carrier announced today.The agreement will allow travellers to connect their Jetstar domestic or international service with travel to or from destinations such as Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec City via Honolulu, Hawaii. Jetstar Executive Manager Commercial David Koczkar said the ability for customers to book the fares as a single booking would be financially beneficial to Jetstar and would provide new access opportunities for inbound visitation to Australia, New Zealand and beyond from Canada.Air Canada is now offering a special fare of $2,410 including taxes and charges for travel between Vancouver and Sydney with a stop-over in Honolulu on at least one-way.The fares are only available through travel agents and are on sale until 30 April for travel until 31 December 2010 and must include one stop in either direction.  <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

Industry discusses options postquakes

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Tourism leaders gathered in Wellington yesterday to talk tourism after recent natural disasters shook up the industry. The one-off national industry forum attracted up to 70 operators looking to discuss effects of tourism post-Christchurch and Japan as well as how tourism is shaping up for the next season, NZ Herald reported.”[We’re] having to get a grip on the situation and what we’re confronted with,” Tourism Industry Association chief executive Tim Cossar said.”There’s no question that Christchurch was on a lot of itineraries for Japanese, you can’t say it’s not going to have an impact in the marketplace.” According to the source Japan is New Zealand’s fifth biggest market by capacity but fourth largest in terms of spending. Following the Christchurch quake and additionally with the Japan earthquake and tsunami, tourism in NZ is facing uncertainty Mr Cossar said and expects challenges particularly from Japan for the rest of the year.”It’s going to be incredibly difficult to get any growth out of that market given the situation there.” Earlier this month Tourism New Zealand announced that it is preparing to launch a marketing campaign, built to promote South Island tourism.  The ad will be targeted at Australia and will highlight destinations including Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, and Mackenzie County. last_img read more

Qantas takes off with new fares

first_imgThe new domestic fares and frequent flyer enhancements announced by Qantas last month were launched yesterday, with the carrier promising customers ‘greater simplicity and flexibility’ when travelling with the airline.As reported by e-Travel Blackboard a fortnight ago, the new fare structure has done away with the airline’s ‘Super Saver’ option, with the carrier’s four economy fares replaced by a three tier structure. Applicable across the flying kangaroo’s domestic mainline and regional networks, the new fares comprise the Red eDeal, Flexi Saver and Fully Flexible options. “Regardless of which fare type you book for Qantas domestic travel we offer a meal or refreshment, inflight entertainment (except on QantasLink services) and a checked baggage allowance of one piece of luggage up to 23 kilograms,” Qantas commercial group executive Rob Gurney said.As part of the domestic fare restructure, the Qantas Frequent Flyer program has also been enhanced, with all new fares eligible for Domestic Flight Upgrade Awards to Business (when using points) and improved Status credit points earn and upgrade rates for members on more fares. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Qantas launched its new domestic fares this weeklast_img read more

ATEC takes tourism future back to basics

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) unveiled a new three year strategic Roadmap to the Future which will assist members by taking goals “back to basics”.Speaking at the ATEC’s 2011 Meeting Plan Conference in Sydney yesterday, the Group’s managing director Felicia Mariani explained the 2012-2015 initiative encompassed five key initiatives to; increase member satisfaction, build industry capability, enhance recognition for members and ATEC, achieve membership growth as well as sustain the organisation through strategic relationships.Ushered in by economic uncertainty and challenges of the future, Ms Mariani explained ATEC set out a “mission” to assist, support and enhance its members’ businesses through targeted advocacy, partnerships, services and initiatives.The three year plan “reflects our commitment to get back to basics and to more fully reflect our responsibility to our members”, the company’s head said.Developing the plan through research gathered from ATEC members, Ms Mariani highlighted that among the key concerns in the industry include a shortage of skilled employees as well as lacking products that cater to travellers seeking “real” experiences.She noted that the Group would look at creating an easier process for accommodation builders and tour operators to access “sensitive” parts of Australia that meet the travel desires of the ‘new traveller’“We set out to define the key challenges that are affecting the growth of our industry and with consultation we defined those very broadly as being creating and delivering quality tours and experiences that match the changing customer demand for customised and authentic experiences,” she noted.“And it is difficult to build accommodation and experiences in what people call sensitive parts of the country but that’s exactly the type of experiences people want to come and find we need to find a way to make that easier.”The new plan will also see the Group focus on ensuring Australian tour operators and equipped and implement new and traditional technology to engage customers as well as redefine its relationship with partners through delivering customised services that still match their base core programs. “We want to ensure ATEC is at the forefront of all of the debates on issues that are affecting the growth of our industry and in order to do that we also want to enhance the recognition of ATEC and our members on a national level,” she added. “And of course we want to grow our membership but we want to do that in a way that is sustainable and in a way that allows us to continue to service the needs of our members.”Ms Mariani also told attendees at the conference yesterday that the Group had teamed up with Qantas to undertake new research to explore various options of enhancement to the Aussie product.last_img read more

Agents here to stay Sabre

first_imgAlthough more travel companies are moving their business and bookings online, Sabre Pacific chief executive Gai Tyrell says agents are not going anywhere.Speaking last night at the TIME Graduation Ms Tyrell told guests that despite chatter, numbers confirm that agent figures are not reducing, with travellers unlikely to trust online sites when booking trips that cost thousands. “They’re such an important place for the agent and they’re not going anywhere,” the company’s head said.“People need you to take care of their terms and conditions.”Having worked in Qantas sales for the first 13 years of her career in the industry and eventually working her way through FCm Travel, the Jetstet Travelworld Group and finally to her top spot at Sabre Pacific, Ms Tyrell also told graduates last night that getting ahead requires patience and effort.“If you want to get somewhere, you have to put in the time and the effort,” she stressed.“Don’t get distracted by the dumb stuff just focus on the wisdom.”Last night five or six graduates walked the red carpet to receive their graduation papers after six months of teaming up with industry experts to gain first hand knowledge.TIME representatives also told attendees that the TICA/TIME scholarship entries close on 1 May this year and the mentor organization has now launched its first Facebook page. Angelya, Dubai Tourism with Gai, Sabre Pacific Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Etihad Aviation Group announces President and CEO transition process

first_imgEtihad Aviation Group announces President and CEO transition processThe Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors today announced that James Hogan will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in the second half of 2017.  The Board and Mr. Hogan first initiated the transition process last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel organisation.Commenting on Mr. Hogan’s time at Etihad, H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group said: “We are very grateful to James.  In just ten years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships which together serve more than 120 million guests every year.  It is a business which has set new benchmarks for service and innovation.  Under his leadership, the company has provided new opportunities for thousands of Emiratis and has been a critical element in the remarkable progress of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.  We look forward to James’ continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.”James Hogan commented: “Along with the Board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi.  The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”Commenting on current priorities for the business, H.E. Mazrouei said: “To position the company for continued success in a challenging market, the Board and management team will continue an ongoing, company-wide strategic review.   We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape.  We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue.  We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy.”Last month, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG. A new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an aircraft leasing agreement between airberlin and Lufthansa were also announced.  As a minority shareholder, Etihad is actively participating in the next phase of Alitalia’s restructuring plan.H.E. Mazrouei added: “Etihad is a great business with strong fundamentals and a deeply experienced aviation and airline management team.  These assets, along with a realigned organisation, provide more agility and added focus as Etihad enters the next phase of its development.”Mr. Hogan will join an investment company along with Etihad Aviation Group CFO James Rigney, who will also leave the company later this year.  A global search for a new Group CEO and a new Group CFO is already underway.The Group has developed a senior management structure with strength in depth, led by a highly-regarded senior team.  This team includes Peter Baumgartner, CEO, and Richard Hill, COO, of Etihad Airways; Bruno Matheu as CEO of Airline Equity Partners; and Jeff Wilkinson as CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering.  Darren Peisley is Acting Managing Director of Hala, the company’s destination marketing and global loyalty unit. A further strengthening of the Group structure was announced earlier this month with the creation of Etihad Airport Services led by Managing Director Chris Youlten.In addition, the Group Chiefs leading the core corporate functions include Kevin Knight, Strategy and Planning; Ray Gammell, People and Performance; Rob Webb, Technology and Innovation; and Harsh Mohan, Executive Affairs.Notable Highlights: 2006–2016Mr. Hogan took the helm at Etihad Airways in 2006, with a mandate to develop a safe, best-in-class airline, operating on a sustainable commercial basis and contributing to the future economic success of Abu Dhabi.The Group operates on a core commitment to safety.  The airline has had a 100 per cent safety record under Mr Hogan and was recognised in January 2017 as one of the ten safest airlines in the world.Its core airline operation today serves 18.5 million guests, reaching 112 destinations with a fleet of 120 aircraft, with another 178 on order.  It has been named WTA’s World’s Leading Airline for each of the last eight years and was recently recognised by Skytrax as one of just nine five-star airlines in the world.  It won the prestigious Air Transport World Airline of the Year award in 2016.Its strategy of minority equity investments in key strategic partners – Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, airberlin, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia – has created the world’s seventh largest airline grouping, serving more than 120 million passengers a year, with a fleet of more than 700 aircraft reaching almost 350 unique destinations.The airline’s codeshare and equity partnerships are a core element of its growth, delivering 5.5 million passengers onto Etihad Airways’ flights in 2016.Etihad Aviation Group’s diversified operations now cover a range of businesses, each of which is significant in its own right.  They include Etihad Cargo, Etihad Engineering, Hala Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airport Services, Etihad Flight College and the Global Loyalty Company, which is bringing together a range of frequent flyer programmes, in addition to the core Etihad Airways operation.The Group now has more than 26,000 employees.  Its award-winning Emiratisation programmes, for roles including Cadet Pilots, Technical Engineers and Graduate Managers, have helped increase the number of Emirati employees from less than 100 when Mr Hogan joined to more than 3,000 today.It is estimated that during 2016, the Group delivered a core economic contribution of more than $9.6 billion to Abu Dhabi; this is expected to grow to $18.2 billion by 2024.  It works closely with the Tourism & Culture Authority, as well as other key stakeholders, in developing Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a world class destination for business and leisure travellers.About Etihad Aviation GroupEtihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising five business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of over 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit: etihad.comSource = Etihad Aviation Grouplast_img read more

Air Canada unveils new livery inspired by Canada

first_imgAir Canada unveils new livery inspired by CanadaAt three events held simultaneously across Canada in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Air Canada today unveiled for its customers and employees a bold new livery inspired by Canada for its entire fleet, elegant new uniforms for its employees, and a taste of some of the new onboard menu offerings that its customers can look forward to. A descriptive guide with illustrations is available here.“Air Canada’s new livery signals a pivotal inflection point in our 80-year history,” said Benjamin Smith,” President, Passenger Airlines at the event in Toronto, where the airline’s largest hub is located. “On the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary year, with our new livery, new uniforms for our employees, the award-winning international cabin standard introduced with the launch of our Boeing 787 aircraft, and enhanced onboard offerings, the future Air Canada represents the strength of our nation and the future-looking spirit of our airline.  On behalf of our 30,000 employees world-wide, it is a privilege to fly Canada’s flag, and we are proud to showcase some of the best of this nation’s talent as we continue to expand Air Canada’s horizons to fly to more than 200 destinations on six continents.”Air Canada’s fleet of 300 mainline and regional aircraft are being repainted in a bold black and white design that highlights its iconic red maple leaf encircled ensign, or “rondelle,” that returns to the tail of the flag carrier’s fleet after an absence of 24 years. Reflecting Canada’s vastness and contrasting seasons, with references to its wildlife and First Nations heritage, the new fleet livery was designed by international design firm Winkreative, headed by Canadian entrepreneur Tyler Brûlé. Following today’s events, the first three aircraft sporting this new livery will enter service immediately.With the new livery providing a sleek, contemporary backdrop, Air Canada premiered elegant charcoal grey and black employee uniforms with red accents and accessories by Canadian designer Christopher Bates. The stylish uniforms combining urban chic and international flair complement the charcoal greys, natural tones and red accents featured in the new interior cabin design of Air Canada’s international fleet. The airline’s pilots, flight attendants, airport customer service agents and other uniformed personnel comprising approximately two-thirds of its 30,000 global workforce will start wearing their new uniforms later this year.On hand at the event at Air Canada’s main hub in Toronto were Tyler Brûlé and Christopher Bates to celebrate with customers and employees, together with the airline’s award-winning culinary partner, British Columbia-based chef David Hawksworth, and world renowned Quebec-based sommelier, Véronique Rivest, both actively involved in developing Air Canada’s premium menu choices. Air Canada’s selection of Signature dishes, created by Chef Hawksworth, showcases the finest Canadian ingredients from across the country available since it was launched in October 2015 for Air Canada’s International Business Class customers. Air Canada’s new sommelier, Véronique Rivest, will expertly pair the dishes and develop Air Canada’s wine program with a selection of Canadian, old and new world wine that are changed seasonally to highlight the best wines to be enjoyed at 30,000 feet.In addition, guests were treated to a sampling of some of the new onboard menu choices that will be available for Air Canada customers starting this April, including Lavazza premium Italian coffee that becomes the airline’s new coffee offering among its complimentary beverage selections for all customers, and Toronto-based Dufflet Pastries’ pumpkin spice loaf which will be featured on flights to Europe in Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins. Guests also sampled a selection of Quebec fine cheeses including Oka, camembert and cheddar, alongside freshly baked bread from Quebec artisanal bakery Première Moisson, paired with a Vineland Estates Winery white wine from Ontario’s Niagara region and Les Athlètes du Vin, a French Pinot Noir, both selected by sommelier Véronique Rivest, which will debut for Air Canada’s International Business Class customers in April.In 2016, Air Canada significantly increased its global footprint with the launch of 28 new routes including 15 new international and 12 U.S. trans-border routes. With new service to Morocco, the airline joined the elite club of global carriers serving all six continents. In 2016, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge started new services between Toronto-Seoul, Toronto-London Gatwick, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Glasgow, Montreal-Casablanca, Montreal-Lyon, Vancouver-Delhi, Vancouver-Brisbane and Vancouver-Dublin.In 2017, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge will continue its global strategic expansion and will launch new international services between Toronto-Mumbai, Toronto-Berlin, Toronto- Reykjavik, Montreal-Shanghai, Montreal-Algiers, Montreal-Marseille, Montreal- Reykjavik, Vancouver-Taipei, Vancouver-Nagoya, Vancouver-Frankfurt, and Vancouver-London Gatwick. Air Canada will also receive its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at the end of 2017, marking the start of its narrowbody fleet renewal program, to be followed in 2019 with the delivery of its first Bombardier C Series aircraft.To date, Air Canada has taken delivery of 23 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners with 14 more planned by 2019 – all offering the new international cabin standard. In addition, the airline completed the reconfiguration of its entire Boeing 777 fleet of 25 aircraft with the state-of-the-art Dreamliner cabin configuration and inflight entertainment systems.Air Canada continues to receive top honours, including being named the fastest growing brand among Canada’s largest companies and being recognized by Skytrax as the only Four Star international network carrier in North America. Air Canada, was also named in 2016 among Canada’s Top 100 Employers for a fourth year in a row.Source = Air Canadalast_img read more

New CanBorder eDECLARATION app saves time for travellers to Canada

first_imgNew CanBorder eDECLARATION app saves time for travellers to CanadaAustralian travellers to Canada now save time when they arrive at Vancouver airport using the new eDeclaration (Beta) mobile app, created by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in conjunction with on-screen Primary Inspection Kiosks.The app allows you to create a declaration for up to five travellers with the same place of residence and reduces processing time by up to 50 per cent upon arrival.After creating your traveller profiles on the app, simply select ‘My Declaration’ and answer the questions to create your Quick Response (QR) code. Scan your QR code and travel document at a Primary Inspection Kiosk, take your photo and confirm your declaration on-screen.From there, travellers take the kiosk receipt to a border services officer.The eDeclaration app operates entirely in airplane mode and can be used safely during flights. Designed with privacy and security in mind, the app limits data collection and identifies users only through a nickname. Upon arrival, your declaration is reconciled with your legal name at a Primary Inspection Kiosk.Most travellers, including returning residents and foreign nationals, can use the eDeclaration app. Unaccompanied minors and travellers with a non-machine-readable travel document will be directed to a border service officer for processing.The Primary Inspection Kiosks are available at Vancouver International Airport and Ottawa International Airport, with Toronto International Airport to follow suit shortly.Australian and New Zealand travellers passport holders flying or transiting through a Canadian airport must apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before flying to Canada, with the easy online application process costing just $7 Canadian.The eTA is electronically linked to the traveller’s passport and is valid for five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.Dual Canadian citizens cannot apply for an eTA and will need a valid Canadian passport to board their flight. Even if the Australian government needs them to enter and exit Australia using their Australian passport, they will still need a valid Canadian passport to board a flight to Canada.This means that people with dual Australian/Canadian citizenship must ensure they carry both passports when they travel.Entry requirements for other methods of travel, such as land and sea, have not changed. Travellers are urged to use the official website to register for an eTA. There have been reports of ‘scam’ websites charging up to $122 for the application. Destination CanadaLearn more hereSource = Destination Canadalast_img read more

THAI serves OTOP Pan Thong Peanuts on Board

first_imgTHAI serves OTOP Pan Thong Peanuts on BoardTHAI serves OTOP Pan Thong Peanuts on BoardPrime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (fourth from left) delivered 112,000 packs of Pan Thong peanuts to Mr. Chalermpon Kaewchinporn (fifth from left), Vice President, Inflight Services, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), which will be served to Economy Class passengers on roundtrip flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Krbai, Phuket, and Samui throughout December 2017. The Pan Thong peanut is a One Tambon One Product (OTOP) product developed by Farm Women Group in Roi Et province. Mr. Wanchai Kongkasem (third from left), Governor of Roi Et, also attend the hand-over ceremony at the Government House.THAI has a longstanding policy to promote OTOP products, whereby selected OTOP items are sold on board and are publicized in various channels such as on THAI’s inflight entertainment system, and orders OTOP food products and other items to provide inflight and ground passenger services. THAI also participates in OTOP product exhibitions, whereby any OTOP product that is selected will be available for sale on board THAI flights free of charge.Source = Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI)last_img read more

The 47th Skal Asia Area Congress opens with a bang in Macau

first_imgThe 47th Skal Asia Area Congress opens with a bang in MacauThe 47th Skal Asia Area Congress opens with a bang in MacauOpening the Congress Skal Asia President Robert Sohn took the opportunity to acknowledge the presence of Mr Alexis Tam, Secretary of Tourism, SASC; Dr Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of MGTO; and Mr Perry Yuen, President of the Macau Culinary Association.He went on to say, “It is a great pleasure to welcome you all, on behalf of the Skal Intl Asian Area. From Skal Intl, World President Susanna Saari and CEO Daniela Otero, also two SI past Presidents, Uzi Yalon and Richard Hawkins, SI Director, Peter Morrison, two SI past Directors Jason Samuel & Andrew Wood and SI past Asia President Gerry Perez.“On behalf of the Asian Area Committee, I thank all delegates who have taken their time to be at this Congress. I especially thank Mr Antunes, President of Skal International Macau and his team who have worked very hard to make this Congress the most successful and memorable one, in view of its quality program and the number of participants. As far as I know, this Macau Congress has recorded the highest number of international delegates in recent years. This is the result of the hard work put in by President Antunes and his team.“We are eagerly looking forward to hearing the speeches to be made by renowned keynote speakers and industry professionals like Dr Mario Hardy, PATA CEO; Dra. Maria Helana de Senna Fernandes, Director of MGTO, Khun Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Deputy Governor of TAT, Mr Grant Bowie, CEO and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings, and our very own Young Skal Members and Director Dushy Jayaweera. Their valuable words will go a long way in making this 47th Asian Congress all the more enriching.Skal Asia President Mr Robert Sohn“Among the regional areas of Skal International, the Skal Asian Area commands the largest area, stretching for more than 10,000 km from Guam in the Pacific region to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.“Asia is the only area in the world where Skal Intl is experiencing strong growth. In the Asian region, we achieved an increase of 14.7% in the number of members, compared to one year ago and currently there are about 2,400 members in 41 Clubs in Asia. This should be noted, since especially the number of members worldwide has decreased. The newest Club No 726, Trivandrum from India is also a part of the Asian Area.”He went on to add, “If you look at the Skal statistics one year ago and today and compare the progress of Skal International and Skal Asia, you will find that in the World, the number of countries that have a Skal Club decreased by one, from 84 to 83 while there was no change to the 19 countries in Asia that has Skal clubs.“Club wise Skal International lost four clubs going down from 359 to 355 clubs while Skal Asia increased its number of clubs from 40 to 41 and in terms of membership Skal Asia increased its numbers by 311 going up from 2,114 to 2,425.“We are also proud to mention that Skal International Delhi took over the mantle of the largest Skal Club in the world. Skal Asia has the potential to grow even further. There are initiatives taking place to open Skal clubs in other countries as well. Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam are some of the countries that are interested to join Skal Asia. Also, with the help of President Antunes and the Macau team, I hope that opening of many clubs in China will be a reality soon.“Skal Intl Macau has already organised the Skal Asia Congress on three previous occasions, initially in 1981 which was co-hosted by Skal Intl Hong Kong, then in 1996 and in 2007. With this Congress, Macao will become one of the five cities which has held that Skal Asia Congress 4 times or more, the others being Manila, Singapore, Bahrain and Colombo.“All delegates attending this Congress are encouraged to explore the wonderful attractions of Macao, enjoy the diversity of its culture and heritage, experience the hospitality of its people and, above all, indulge into its cuisine in the 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy,” he concluded.During the opening ceremony there took place the historic signing of an MOU between PATA and SKAL INTERNATIONAL pledging increased co-operation between both associations.SKÅL ASIA: With over 2,425 members in 41 Clubs, 26 grouped in five national committees and 15 affiliated, the Skål Asian Area is the most diverse Area in the world of Skål, reaching from Guam in the Pacific Ocean more than 10,000 km to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with clubs in 19 fascinating countries in between.Source = Andrew J WOODlast_img read more

Jamaica expects boost in cruise tourism

first_imgAccording to the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Dr Wykeham McNeill, 2014 was Jamaica’s best year ever for cruise shipping as the island welcomed 1.4 million cruise ship visitors, a 12.5% increase over 2013.“Already this year we are up 8.5% and again we have had increases in all three ports,” said Minister McNeill. “This year for the first time we have a record breaking three cruise ships home porting in Montego Bay – the Louis Cristal, Thomson Dream and AIDA Bella – with all the concomitant goods and services required to tender these vessels,” the Tourism Minister added. Next year Jamaica will welcome a fourth cruise ship to its shores for home porting.“In Ocho Rios, we have completed phases one and two of the JD400 million resort upgrading project. This year we will commence phases three and four of the project, which will see the total reconstruction of the promenade as well as work on the Ocho Rios Main Street, including areas that are to be pedestrianised,” said Minister McNeill.In addition to upgrades to the Elegant Corridor, Minister McNeill also announced a new transformational project to put the ‘hip’ back in the second city’s Hip Strip. Over the last few months, the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment has held a series of consultations with stakeholders and community leaders from the public and private sectors.last_img read more

Tourism Ministry sanctions Rs 20 crore for development in Varanasi

first_imgThe Tourism Ministry has cleared projects worth Rs 20 crore for Varanasi. These include sound and light show, a Buddha theme park in Sarnath and conservation of two temples — Gurudham and Markandey Mahadev temple. The ministry’s Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC), headed by Vinod Zutshi, Secretary-Tourism, Government of India, met recently to approve the infrastructure projects.Varanasi is one of the cities that comes under the Tourism Ministry’s PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive) scheme.Zutshi said, “The project has been sanctioned seven crore rupees and will be executed in the next 12-18 months. The show will trace the history of Sarnath with the stupa as the backdrop.”Plans are also afoot to develop the Sarangnath pond at Sarnath. Sarnath is a place of high tourist interest in light of its significant place in Lord Buddha’s life. The tourism ministry has been working towards promoting Buddhist tourism and this has been a special focus for Prime Minister Modi on his visits to China and Japan in the last few months.last_img read more

Spain expects 9 rise in tourists

first_imgAccording to Álvaro Nadal, Minister for Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda, Spain, in terms of its tourism sector is predicted to witness a prosperous summer season with a rise of about 8.9% in the number of overseas tourists between the period of May and August.This implies that as much as 38 million tourists would be visiting Spain over the next four-month period out of which 21.5 million would be doing so in July and August.Nadal said that Spain had closed the initial five months 2017 with a figure close to about 28 million inbound tourists as per the Frontur – Inbound Tourism Survey that was conducted by the Spanish National Statistics Institute. The figure marks a rise of 11.6% on the same period of 2016.Out of the main target markets, the United Kingdom remains prominent with the arrival of more than 6.4 million tourists that represents an increase of 10.9%.This is followed by Germany with over four million tourists (up 7.6%) and France with nearly 3.9 million tourists. Catalonia had occupied a leading place in terms of inbound visitors with over 6.6 million tourist arrivals in these five months representing a rise of 10.5% followed by the Canary Islands with more than 5.9 million inbound tourists (up 9.6%) and Andalusia with more than four million tourists marking a rise of 9.6%.As of May 2017, Spain had welcomed 7.9 million inbound tourists representing a rise of 11.7% on the same month of 2016.last_img read more