Archive for March, 2012

Get a sneeky peek at a pre-released vesion of  the new look Google Maps, it’s a blast.

The MUST SEE aspect is the Street View option, just drill down into your chosen location as usual…..

New Google Maps

New Google Maps

To go to the New Release version, go to this link

See also this YouTube video from Google explaining the development of this new version…….

Published by Google Inc, Google Maps new release v.0104/2012
Released by The Airport Informer

Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Policy Gerd Leers launched a trial scheme (27-03-2012) for an automated border control system at Schiphol airport. Using electronic gates equipped with facial recognition, passengers’ identity is compared with the digital photographs in their passports. The system can also identify forged passports and wanted persons.

Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers launchsd trial automated border control sscheme at Schiphol

Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers launches trial automated border control scheme at Schiphol

The electronic border-crossing gates are intended to make passport controls faster and easier, while safeguarding security. The number of passengers passing through Schiphol is set to rise in the coming years, but there is a limit to the number of passport control desks or border police officers the airport can accommodate. The automated system will therefore take over some of the routine work of the Royal Military and Border Police, giving them more time to observe passengers. Officers will monitor the gates from a distance and can always decide to carry out further checks on a passenger, if necessary.

The electronic gates are intended for passengers with biometric passports issued in EU member states or in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

The system developed by VisionBox in collaboration with Accenture

The system developed by VisionBox in collaboration with Accenture

In the next few months, passengers will be invited to use the electronic gates. The aim is for the system to be fully operational next year. A total of 36 gates will be installed (in departure hall 2, arrivals hall 3 and the Schengen/non-Schengen border crossing area). Passengers will still have the option of using the passport control desks.

The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Royal Military and Border Police and the Schiphol Group are responsible for this project. The system was developed by VisionBox, and will be produced in collaboration with Accenture.

Original story at…..

Government of the Netherlands News item
Date: 27-03-2012

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said he has been approached by companies interested in buying the State’s 25% share in Aer Lingus.

He said he believes Ryanair might end up purchasing the State’s holding.

The low-cost airline has a 29.8% stake in the national airline but was refused permission to take it over in 2007 because it would have given it a near monopoly on flights out of the country.

Ryanair might end up purchasing the State’s Aer Lingus holding

Ryanair might end up purchasing the State’s Aer Lingus holding

At least two airlines are known to be interested in buying into Aer Lingus — Ethiad from the Middle East and JetBlue from the US. The State hopes to net  around €118m from the sale which is part of an agreement with the troika on €3bn  worth of state assets.

Mr O’Leary said Ryanair is happy to work with  whoever buys the State’s share or they could talk to them about selling their  stake. “We have ruled out that we will not sell our stake with the Irish  Government’s, so whoever buys the stake will either have to work with us or buy  our stake if they want to get control of it.”
He said Ryanair had  been approached by about three different airlines and consortia interesting in  buying the Government’s stake…..

Read the full story from The Irish Examiner…..

By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent
Friday, March 30, 2012

29-Mar-2012 Airbus forecasts that Chilean Airlines will need 164 new passenger aircraft above 100 seats over the next 20 years to meet the demand of a growing air traffic market. The new 108 single-aisle, 53 twin-aisle and three very large aircraft, such as the A380, will represent a market value of US$19.8 billion.

Chilean carriers will need 164 100-seat plus aircraft over the next 20 years

Chilean carriers will need 164 100-seat plus aircraft over the next 20 years

According to the latest Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF), the number of Chile’s passenger aircraft is expected to more than double over the next 20 years thanks in part to the country’s domestic traffic growing by 83 percent.

International traffic to and from Chile increased nearly 80 percent in the last decade giving Chilean carriers the opportunity to acquire more than 50 percent of the market.

“Of the 15 largest countries in Latin America, Chile currently has largest GDP per capita, making it possible for their travel economy to grow at an impressive rate” said Rafael Alonso, Executive Vice President of Airbus for Latin America and Caribbean. “In fact, by 2030, Santiago is expected to become one of the top hundred largest long-haul gateways with more than 10,000 daily passengers.”

In Latin America, where air traffic has nearly doubled in the last decade, Airbus foresees a 20-year demand for more than 2,000 new passenger aircraft, including 1,653 single-aisle, 334 twin-aisle and 41 very large aircraft, estimated at approximately $200 billion. Globally, by 2030 some 27,900 new aircraft valued at $3.5 trillion will be required to satisfy future robust market demand.

With more than 700 aircraft sold in Latin America and a record backlog of more than 350, over 400 Airbus aircraft are in operation throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In the last 10 years, Airbus has tripled its in-service fleet, while delivering more than 60 percent of all aircraft operating in the region.

Original story here at CAPA centre for aviation……..

CAPA centre for aviation
30th March, 2012

International Airlines Group (IAG), is considering buying a stake in Japan   Airlines (JAL) amid expectations the Asian carrier will re-list on the Tokyo   stock exchange later this year.

International Airlines Group (IAG), is considering buying a stake in Japan Airlines (JAL)

Japan Airlines underwent a major re-structuring after receiving a state bail-out in early 2010 Photo: AFP

It is believed JAL, which de-listed in 2010 after it was forced to file for   bankruptcy protection, will seek to raise at least ¥500bn (£3.8bn), but   potentially as much as ¥1 trillion, through an initial public offering.

Willie Walsh, chief of executive of IAG, has long had his eye on JAL, a fellow   member of the Oneworld alliance, and last month announced a joint venture   between the two carriers on routes between Europe and Japan. IAG, which was born of the merger between British Airways and Iberia, said in   a statement: “JAL has done a great job in restructuring its business.   IAG would look closely at investing in JAL and wouldn’t rule it out at this   stage.”

The Japanese airline underwent a major re-structuring after receiving a state   bail-out in early 2010, which saw it cut routes and axe about a third of its   workforce.

It is believed other members of the Oneworld alliance group of carriers may   also seek to take a stake in JAL….

Full story from The Daily Telegraph here…..

By Nathalie Thomas
29 Mar 2012

International Airlines Group plans to use some of the 42 extra Heathrow slots gained from its takeover of bmi to increase British Airways’ exposure to Asia, after the deal was approved by the European Commission.

AIG plans to increase British Airways' exposure to Asia

IAG agreed to give up 14 pairs of take-off and landing slots after buying bmi Photo: Alamy

The EC gave IAG, which owns BA and Iberia, the green light on Friday after the   aviation giant agreed to give up four more pairs of take-off and landing   slots than the 10 originally put on the negotiating table.

Among the 14 pairs of slots relinquished are seven that have to be used to   operate routes between Heathrow and Scotland.

The extra slots will be passed to a trustee appointed by the EC before being   auctioned off to rival carriers.

Virgin Atlantic, which challenged the £172.5m takeover, is expected to compete   for the Heathrow slots when they are eventually put on the market. Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, said talks will now commence with unions   over job losses at bmi, which currently has a workforce of 2,600

He said the deal would secure “the maximum number of jobs possible in the   company” but he warned: “I make no secret of the fact that there   will inevitably be some redundancies”.

Lufthansa had signalled it would shut loss-making bmi had the acquisition not   received EC approval.

IAG will operate bmi’s summer schedule but Mr Walsh said he then intends to   use the slots to expand BA’s long-haul network, including flights to parts   of Asia where the flagship carrier does not currently serve.

Friday night’s decision from the EC avoided the possibility of a lengthy “phase   two” investigation, although the takeover could still be delayed if Sir   Richard Branson’s Virgin decides to pursue an appeal. A spokesman for Virgin said: “We are very concerned that a deal of such   significance has been waved through with very little regard for the flying   public.

“The last-minute remedies offered this week by British Airways were not   shared with the industry and they have not been subject to a detailed assessment…..

Full story from The Telegraph here….

By Nathalie Thomas
8:34PM BST 30 Mar 2012


The owner of British Airways, IAG, has received approval for the takeover of BMI from current owners Lufthansa. European authorities (EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESS RELEASE HERE) cleared the deal after IAG agreed to give up landing slots at Heathrow airport.

Together IAG, which also owns Iberia, and BMI would have controlled 53% of landing slots at Britain’s biggest airport.

Virgin Atlantic had fought BMI's takeover by IAG, the owner of British Airways

Virgin Atlantic had fought BMI's takeover by IAG, the owner of British Airways

Virgin urged regulators to block the deal saying that it distorts competition in the aviation market.  IAG reached a deal worth £172.5m ($273m) to buy BMI late last year.

The European Commission said its decision was conditional on the release of 14 slots at London’s Heathrow airport in order to allow other airlines greater access. It was also dependent on IAG committing to carry connecting passengers to feed the long-haul flights of competing airlines out of London Heathrow.

EU’s Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement: “The commitments package includes an appropriate number of very sought-after slots at London Heathrow as well as far-reaching feeder arrangements as regards connecting passengers.

IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh said: “This is great news for Britain. Over time we will launch new long-haul routes to key trading nations that are currently not served from Heathrow, while supporting our short-haul network.

“This is good for UK business and UK consumers. We have already announced that British Airways will re-start flights from Belfast to Heathrow, maintaining important economic links”…..

Full story from the BBC here…..

BBC News
30 March 2012

AER LINGUS chief executive Christoph Mueller has given his clearest signal yet that the airline would be interested in purchasing Heathrow slots that might shake out from the proposed takeover of Lufthansa-owned British Midland International (BMI) by Willie Walsh-led International Airline Group (IAG).

Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller give clearest signal yet he is interested in aquiring Bmi Heathrow slots

Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller give clearest signal yet he is interested in aquiring Bmi Heathrow slots

“We are after slots in the wake of the proposed acquisition of BMI by IAG or BMI going into receivership,” Mueller told trade publication Air Transport World this week.

“London Heathrow has a huge catchment area and we want to pull more transfer traffic to our long haul [flights]. We have limited growth opportunities in Ireland but we can compensate the weakness of the Irish market by increasing our transfer [traffic]. Our transfer traffic is growing and long haul is doing very well,” he said.

The IAG-BMI deal is currently under review by the European Commission. IAG recently offered to increase the number of slot pairs that it would surrender as part of the deal to 14 from 10 previously in an effort to avoid a lengthy Phase II investigation.

Aer Lingus currently operates 24 daily take-off and landing slots at Heathrow, of which it owns 23.

Mueller also struck a positive note on 2012 profitability with…….

Read the rest of the story at The Irish Times here……


The Irish Times
Friday, March 30, 2012

The new $1.4 billion international terminal at the world’s busiest airport will be a sleek launching pad for millions of passengers that’s designed to help Atlanta grab a growing share of the lucrative market for global travelers.

Image of new airport terminal building

Image of new airport terminal building

Its wavy lines, expansive windows and eye-catching artwork offer a stark contrast to the boxy design of the rest of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Airport managers are already expecting an increase in international travelers over the next decade, and they hope the terminal set to open May 16 will convince airlines to route even more of their overseas flights through the city.

“This is America’s new global gateway. It gives international passengers their own facility and it creates a new front door for the airport,” said Al Snedeker, the airport’s spokesman. “And it eases the load on the rest of the facility.”

It was first proposed in 2000 to accommodate the expected surge of international travelers. The airport handled almost 10 million international passengers last year, and the Federal Aviation Administration predicts that number will grow to more than 13 million international passengers by 2015.

The project is the biggest expansion at the airport in more than 15 years. It’s taken four years to build and is so vast workers built a new entrance on a busy interstate highway.

It’s coming to fruition at a time when Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, the airport’s biggest user, is cutting back slightly on international flights amid rising fuel prices. But neither airport officials nor airline executives expect it to have more than a short-term effect.

Full story here…..

Bloomberg Businessweek / Associated Press

A Dallas, Pa., man was arrested after airport screeners found him trying to take powerful fireworks onto a cross-country flight on Thursday morning, the authorities said. The man, Joseph Picklo, 29, had “commercial grade M-80s” in a backpack when passing through security at Philadelphia International Airport around 5:30 a.m. to board a flight to San Francisco, Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan said.

A Dallas, PA man was stopped trying to take fireworks onto an internal flight on Thursday morning

A Dallas, PA man was stopped trying to take fireworks onto an internal flight on Thursday morning

The bag also contained a water bottle filled with flash powder, the Transportation Security Administration said.

“He says that he has an interest in these items professionally,” Mr. Sullivan said. Mr. Picklo is being charged with possession of a destructive device, and additional counts are likely, Mr. Sullivan said….

Full story here; New York Times

Published: March 29, 2012

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