Delta, Aeromexico strengthen ties as Delta seeks to boost ownership stake to 49% Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Share ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico have taken their partnership to new heights, with a move towards creating the largest transborder alliance between Mexico and the U.S.Delta and Aeromexico, both SkyTeam alliance carriers, have been partners for 22 years. New conditional antitrust immunity granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation represents the next step in the process, announced last year, to launch a cash tender offer for Delta’s acquisition for up to 49% of Grupo Aeromexico S.A.B. de C.V., capital stock, further strengthening the partnership between the two airlines.“Together, Delta and Aeromexico are stronger in the U.S.-Mexico market than either airline can be on its own,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “The partnership will make it possible for us to offer customers more flights to more destinations, with more choices every time someone travels across the border. We will offer industry-leading reliability, great service and an unmatched array of options.”More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterAeromexico CEO Andrés Conesa said the agreement “will mark the beginning of a new era in the aviation of North America … It is the next step in our relationship, and our networks will provide more benefits to our customers while increasing the options for connectivity, products and services.”Once conditions requested by DOT and the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission have been fulfilled, the agreement will allow Aeromexico and Delta to coordinate efforts to enhance the travel experience with expanded destinations and frequencies, improved connecting schedules and seamless operations.The agreement will also improve the experience on the ground, allowing the airlines to co-locate and invest in airport facilities by improving gates and lounges. The airlines also will increase joint sales and marketing initiatives. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Aeromexico, Delta Travelweek Group Posted by
National parks open up to tourism operators
<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2883b/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> New South Wales’ national parks are set to welcome more tourists following the passing of a law aimed at pushing nature tourism.The National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Visitors and Tourists) Bill 2010, passed last Wednesday, legalises private operators access to national parks and prohibits major developments.It will clarify the type of visitor facilities and activities allowed in national parks and foster visitors understanding of conservation values, according to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Frank Sartor. Constraints on the size of new accommodation in parks and bans on large-scale first time developments such as resorts, rifle ranges and large sporting complexes will also protect the parks, he said.“This legislation requires that any leasing and licensing proposals in national parks must be consistent with the natural and cultural values of the land.”Minister for Tourism, Jodi McKay expressed similar sentiments. “This legislation will allow us to promote our iconic national parks with low-key, sustainable activities and attractions, while protecting them for generations to come.” “Nature tourism is a key driver of economic activity and employment, particularly in regional areas.National parks and reserve in NSW cover more than 8.4 percent of the state and attract more than 38 million domestic visits a year.The NSW government aims to increase visitation to NSW parks by 20 percent by 2016. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L
Qantas A380 abandons takeoff in London
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T A Qantas A380 aircraft carrying almost 400 passengers was forced to return to its loading bay twice, due to steering issues. Flight QF10, bound for Singapore, was scheduled to depart London Heathrow at 9:30pm yesterday but did not take-off until 2am. Pilots deemed the aircraft unsafe to fly after noticing a steering problem while moving slowly along the tarmac. The plane returned for maintenance and a steering issue was identified. As a precautionary measure, the second attempt at take-off was also abandoned and the plane reviewed for further maintenance.”Following multiple checks by engineers the aircraft departed safely and without incident” said a spokesperson for Qantas.Qantas have also denied passenger accounts posted on Twitter claiming the aircraft ran off the tarmac and onto the grass. This past Friday a Qantas pilot carrying 100 passengers on a Boeing 717 flight to Kalgoorlie entered an incorrect weight during a data check, placing the aircraft twice in danger of an aerodynamic stall.Last week Qantas grounded one of its A380 aircraft after discovering 36 hairline cracks on the wings. Image source: Qantas
September 15, 1997Heat Tunnel crew prepares for another day.
Rep Cole announces March coffee hours
Tags: #SB Categories: News 25Feb Rep. Cole announces March coffee hours State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona will hold office hours on March 9 in Charlevoix County.“I want to get to know all the constituents in my area so that they know I am invested in the 105th district and I am adequately representing their needs and interests in Lansing,” Rep Cole said.On Tuesday, March 9, Rep. Cole will be at the Front Porch Café, 9235 Main St. in Ellsworth, from noon to 1 p.m.Coffee with Cole hours provide residents of Antrim, Charlevoix, Otsego, Montmorency and Oscoda counties opportunities to share ideas, concerns and issues regarding Michigan’s state agencies or legislation with Rep. Cole in person.Those unable to attend a Coffee with Cole office hours meeting can contact the representative by email at TristonCole@house.mi.gov or by calling 1-(855)-DIST-105.###
16Mar Rep. Tedder votes to expand state government transparency State Rep. Jim Tedder today voted to extend transparency laws to include the legislative and executive branches of Michigan’s government.Tedder, of Clarkston, said the 11-bill legislative package makes the governor and lieutenant governor subject to the Freedom of Information Act and creates a similar disclosure requirement for state representatives and senators called the Legislative Open Records Act.“The public has the right to know how its state government works, and as public servants we must ensure that people have that access to this information,” Tedder said. “As a vocal advocate for government transparency, I am proud to vote in favor of this bipartisan legislation that gives residents of our community more of a voice in government.”The legislation is similar to a package of bills introduced last session and passed overwhelmingly by the House. The bills did not make it to the governor for signature.Michigan is one of just a few states that do not subject their legislative and executive branches to open records acts. The House recently put a salary database of all House employees on its website to provide more accountability to taxpayers.“The government is under an obligation to serve the taxpayers,” Tedder said. “This legislation works to fulfill that obligation by ensuring accountability and transparency from our elected officials.”##### Categories: News,Tedder News
Rep Griffin hosts district office hours
State Rep. Beth Griffin today announced plans to meet with residents of Southwest Michigan during regularly scheduled local office hours this August.“Engaging with residents in a casual setting is a great way to foster dialog and share ideas,” Griffin said. “I look forward to having discussions with people in the community and sharing with them the ways I have worked to make our state government more efficient, effective, and accountable.”Office hours will take place at the following times and locations:Thursday, Aug. 23Lawton Village Hall at 125 S. Main St. in Lawton from 9 to 10 a.m.;Railroad Cafe at 555 Railroad St. in Bangor from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.;Lawrence Village Hall at 157 N. Paw Paw St. in Lawrence from noon to 1 p.m.; andParchment City Hall at 650 S. Riverview Drive in Parchment from 2 to 3 p.m.No appointments are necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Griffin by calling 517-373-0839 or by email at BethGriffin@house.mi.gov.#### 20Aug Rep. Griffin hosts district office hours Categories: Griffin News
20Jun Rep. Kahle, Michigan House approve plan to help Lenawee County farmers devastated by record rain Categories: Kahle News The Michigan House and Rep. Kahle today approved a plan to help farmers whose crops have been delayed or damaged by this spring’s record-setting rain.The plan would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“If we don’t take action, Michigan’s record rainfall will devastate profits for struggling farmers and agribusinesses this year,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “With hundreds of thousands of Michigan families depending on a successful farming season to make a living, we must provide the necessary support to allow them to make it through this unusual season.”Because Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012.Kahle also joined a coalition of 63 lawmakers urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase flexibility under the Federal Crop Insurance rules. Increased flexibility would allow farmers to plant on land normally prohibited by federal crop insurance rules, allowing for more crops to get to market and be raised for feed for a farmer’s livestock. Full text of the letter and its signatories can be found here.#####
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares July 8, 2014; PoliticoA little more than a year ago, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook established FWD.us, a political group with a focus on immigration reform and a pronounced bipartisan stance. At the time, Nonprofit Quarterly wondered whether the new organization was a sign of conservative leanings on the part of Zuckerberg. We also took note of the way it backed both sides of the aisle in New Jersey, hosting campaign fundraisers for Governor Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.Now, in 2014, it appears that the efforts of FWD.us to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans on the matter of immigration reform—in particular, the use of visas to attract the sort of highly skilled workers the tech industry needs—have caused the political group to stall out. Politico observes that the kind of disruptive efforts that are frightfully effective in the high-tech field don’t work in something as traditional as politics.“Tech leaders poured millions into FWD.us, an immigration advocacy group that has dominated ad buys, launched elaborate hackathons and coddled conservatives in an effort to revamp the country’s immigration system. It galloped into the debate with the tech industry’s classic certainty but wound up facing the same obstacles that have halted reform for decades.”FWD.us had no few advantages. It surpassed Zuckerberg’s $50M fundraising goal (and reportedly still has half of that in reserve) and drew on contributors like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Its political bona fides didn’t slouch, either; “FWD.us Executive Director Todd Schulte served as former chief of staff at Priorities USA, a super PAC that supported President Barack Obama. Its campaign manager, Rob Jesmer, worked as the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Consultants worked for numerous presidents and both sides of the aisle.” FWD.us spent about $5M on radio and television ads and had registered lobbying efforts in the amount of $780,000. So why didn’t all this money and star power translate into results?It turns out that all their efforts at “dual partisanship” had the effect of alienating their allies and mollifying candidates that wouldn’t be backing their agenda for political reasons.The group nettled many of its own members with TV ads that emphasized the conservative credentials of some immigration reform advocates. One ad for South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham — an instrumental figure in the Senate bill’s passage — touted his support for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and opposition to Obamacare. Yet another praised Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, a reform supporter, for backing oil drilling in the Arctic.Liberal groups pulled ads from Facebook, while Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk and David Sacks, chief executive of social networking company Yammer, cut ties.FWD.us stood by its strategy, but the ads haunted the fledgling organization, which hoped to strike a bipartisan tone but wound up losing some liberal backers. Future ads heaped praise on Republicans for passing House immigration principles and then pressured them when the window for action narrowed.[…]It was a fight no reform group had the ability to win. House Republicans refused to take up the Senate’s bill and failed to act on their own. The government shutdown and war in Syria last fall slowed momentum. The final kick came with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s defeat and the crisis along the Mexican border. The issue had become toxic for Republicans.Though they’ve garnered some praise for their nontraditional approach and show no signs of giving up, FWD.us will likely have to take a new tack if it wants to leave the becalmed waters it finds itself in. As its president, Joe Green, notes, “In Silicon Valley, if you don’t like the taxi industry, you start Uber, you go around it. With politics you have to work through it, and doing that can be very challenging.”—Jason SchneidermanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Russia’s leading DTH operator Tricolor was present in 9.5 million households at the end of 2011.The operator added 2.1 million subscribers during the course of the year, up 31% on the previous year. It has announced ambitious plans to increase its subscriber base by 30% and its revenues by 15% this year.
Cumulative global pay TV revenues will increase from US$147.5 billion (€111.2 billion) at end-2011 to US176.8 billion by 2016, according to new forecasts.Research from Informa Telecoms & Media shows that the western European pay TV revenue total will increase from US$28.4 billion to US$30.7 billion across the same period. Eastern European revenues, meanwhile, will increase from US$5.2 billion to US$6.8 billion. By region, North America will remain the largest revenue generator through to 2016, ahead of Asia Pacific, western Europe and Latin America.
Revenues generated by IPTV services will rise sharply over the next five years, according to new research from Informa Telecoms & Media.In Western Europe, the total will increase from US$2.1 billion last year to US$3.4 billion (€2.6 billion) at end-2016. France and Germany will continue to be the leaders in terms of revenues generated, accounting for US$787 million and US$653 of the 2016 total respectively. The UK will be the third largest revenue generator, bringing in a cumulative US$306 million at that point.In Eastern Europe the cumulative total will increase from US$309 million last year to US$861 million by end-2016. By territory, Russia will generate the most revenues, accounting for US$351 million of the 2016 total. The Czech Republic will be the next biggest earner, bringing in US$77 million.
Portugal Telecom ended March with 1.111 million pay TV customers following its strongest quarter for over two years.The telco attracted 69,000 new Meo pay TV subs in the first quarter, and a total of 235,000 in the 12-month period.PT also saw strong growth in its broadband business, with numbers up 12% year-on-year to 1.141 million. Its triple-play customer base was up 32% to 728,000.
Estonia-based transmission services provider Levira has named Plamen Yankov as sales executive for central and eastern Europe.Yankov, who will be based in Sofia, Bulgaria and will report to Indrek Lepp, director of the division of media services at Levira, was previously sales manager at Playbox Technology.“We are very pleased to have Plamen joining our sales team and we expect him to develop a solid customer base in CEE for Levira,” said Lepp. “Levira’s Play-out Center has grown significantly over the last years and we are very well established in the Nordic – the Scandinavian and Baltic – regions. Now we aim to achieve the same in CEE and to support this expansion, we are establishing a dedicated sales team for CEE,” he added.
Vivendi has been hit by a delay in its sale of video games subsidiary Activision Blizzard by a US legal challenge.The delay results from a successful legal action brought by a shareholder in the games company against Activision Blizzard, Vivendi and the investment consortium led by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick and co-founder Brian Kelly claiming that the sale should be put to a vote of the shareholders’ meeting.A Delaware court has blocked the completion of the sale deal unless it is approved by the company’s shareholders.Vivendi is attempting to sell of a number of assets including Activision Blizzard and Maroc Telecom.
BBC Three show Snog Marry Avoid UK public broadc
BBC Three show, Snog Marry Avoid?UK public broadcaster the BBC has confirmed that it is putting plans in motion to close youth-skewing digital channel BBC Three in autumn 2015.BBC management has notified the BBC Trust, the body that governs the pubcaster, of the proposed change. The Trust would need to approve the scrapping of BBC Three, which has been mooted as a cost-saving plan ahead of having its charter renewed in 2017.The BBC is expected to outline plans to move some content from BBC Three to its catch-up and streaming service iPlayer next week. It remains unclear whether the ‘BBC Three’ brand will remain.The BBC 6 Music radio channel was saved from being axed in 2010 after a groundswell of support and vocal campaign from listeners, and numerous interested parties, including talent and producers, have begun a similar campaign for BBC Three. The Trust said that it will assess public opinion about the proposed channel closure ahead of making a decision.A statement issued this morning read: “Any major changes to existing BBC services require approval from the Trust. In this case, we expect to conduct a public value test, including a public consultation, so licence fee payers will have the opportunity to have their say in the process.”A Public Value Test involves assessments by The Trust and media regulator Ofcom. The Trust then reaches provisional conclusions and consults interested parties before reaching a final, binding conclusion.
BT is to aggressively target the UK hospitality market by making its three premium sports channels available from £77 (€96) a month to commercial premises, with two months available free of charge for those who sign up before November 24.According to BT, its offer will mean that a 65 bed hotel will be able to save 83% per annum when compared to rival offering Sky Sport.For hotels wishing to add the BT Sport service to their room, the three channels can be added for an incremental £3 per room per month.The 65-room hotel cited by BT would be charged £134 a month for a bar-only subscription, compared with £803 for a matching Sky subscription, according to BT.Hotels with fewer than 10 rooms would be charged £77 a month for a bar-only subscription.
Investment group Cinven has confirmed that it has placed a binding offer to acquire the Slovenian government’s stake in local telco Telekom Slovenije.Cinven said its intentions for Telekom Slovenije are to invest significantly to upgrade the network, to stop the Company’s revenue decline, stabilise and then grow revenues sustainably for the long term.The company said it would invest in the operator’s fibre networks to deliver high-speed internet across its footprint and would increase its 4G coverage, with a target to cover 90% of the Slovenian population.“We believe that Telekom Slovenije represents an attractive, although challenging, investment opportunity, which fits well with Cinven’s experience in the telecoms sector,” said Cinven.Cinven did not reveal any information about the value of Telekom Slovenije implied by its offer, in line with the rules of the country’s privatisation process.It said it was engaged with the government body responsible for the state’s stake in the operator and looked forward to concluding a deal on mutually agreeable terms.“Telekom Slovenije is a company that Cinven can help prosper and make more competitive in the future. We intend to restore Telekom Slovenije’s position in the market through significant investment. We intend to invest in the development of the Company’s telecommunications infrastructure and network to deliver the highest quality broadband fixed and mobile networks for Slovenian citizens and businesses,” said Nicolas Paulmier ,partner at Cinven.“In this way, we believe we can support Slovenia’s competitiveness in the region and in Europe, and we can make a long-term success story out of Telekom Slovenije that will showcase the attractiveness of Slovenia to global investors.”
BT Group attracted the highest volume of pay TV-related complaints to media and telecoms regulator Ofcom in the third quarter of this year, with the number of complaints rising from 11 per 100,000 customers in Q2 to 25 per 100,000 customers.Complaints about BT’s service were related primarily to fault, service and provision issues, accounting for 31% of all complaints, followed by complaints handling, accounting for 25%, and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges, accounting for 22%.Complaints about TalkTalk’s TV service were in line with the previous quarter, at 14 per 100,000, as were complaints about Virgin Media TV, which were in line with the industry average at five per 100,000.Top performing Sky was the only pay TV provider to generate fewer complaints than in the second quarter, with two complaints per 100,000 customers.EE generated the highest volume of complaints about broadband, with 45 complaints per 100,000 customers, followed by Plusnet and BT, which saw the volume of complaints rise significantly. Complaints about TalkTalk’s broadband service also increased. Sky and Virgin Media’s broadband services generated a much smaller number of complaints.EE and Plusnet were the most complained-about fixed phone providers, while Vodafone was the most complained-about mobile pay monthly phone provider.
The BBC should be independent of government interference and the royal charter scrapped, according to Conservative peers Lord Fowler and Lord Inglewood.In an open letter, published by the Guardian, the two former chairmen of the House of Lords select committee on communications said that while a royal charter “sounds very grand”, the idea that it guarantees independence is “utterly mistaken”.“The government in power at the time of a charter review can do very much what it likes, secure in the knowledge that there is no bill that it has to get through parliament,” said the Lords.“A prime example of this process was the creation of the BBC Trust, which was opposed by the House of Lords communications committee at the time and many other bodies on the grounds that it led to a fatal division at the top of the BBC.”Fowler and Inglewood said they believe the BBC Trust to be failure that should now be abolished, but said that the point that is “too often missed” is that ministers working under the royal charter were able to act without any parliamentary check to create the Trust in the first place.“The BBC should be set up (like Channel 4) as a statutory corporation by act of parliament and with a commitment to its independence. This would mean that any substantial change, like the creation of a BBC Trust, would have to be scrutinised and approved by parliament,” said the Lords.“There should be one chairman and one board of directors at the top of the BBC… Changing the BBC in this way does not in any way exclude periodic external reviews of the corporation. The licence fee payer does, after all, finance the corporation. But full scale reviews should take place every 10 or 11 years.”