Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category


[The Telegraph] A Syrian refugee has been stuck in a Turkish airport for a year, forced to live in the “Problematic Passengers Room” and constantly facing the threat of being deported to Syria, according to Amnesty.

1 year is enough says Fadi Mansour

1 year is enough says Fadi Mansour

Fadi Mansour has been arbitrarily detained in inhumane conditions at Istanbul Ataturk Airport since March 15, 2015, Amnesty International claimed as it urged Ankara to release him.

Mr Mansour apparently told relatives he is considering asking to be return to Syria because “at least there I die once and it’s over, instead of dying more and more each day I spend in here”.

His lawyer has urged the courts to release him from detention, where Amnesty says he has no natural light and artificial lighting is constantly on.

During his year in the airport, he was attacked by another detainee and asked to return to Lebanon. After arriving there, the Lebanese authorities denied him entry and he came back to Turkey where authorities re-detained him, Amnesty said.

Turkish Airlines aircrafts taxi at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where a Syrian refugee has been stuck for a year Photo: REUTERS

Turkish Airlines aircraft taxi at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where a Syrian refugee has been stuck for a year Photo: REUTERS

But after being kidnapped and held for ransom by a gang, he left for Turkey in 2014.

A month later, he left for Malaysia which would not allow admission because of the alleged use of false identity papers, Amnesty said.

In what appears to be Mr Mansour’s Twitter account, he has urged the authorities to let him leave, in one picture he wrote: “One year is enough.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph…..

 


By Raziye Akkoc
8:01PM 15 March, 2016


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[NBCCHICARGO.COM] A cyber security expert tells NBC5 Investigates he has found a way to hack into the satellite communications systems used in multiple industries.

“These devices are wide open right now,” said Ruben Santamarta, a security consultant based in Madrid, Spain with IOActive.

"For the aerospace sector we can disrupt satellite communications, [and] potentially modify the data that goes through those channels," said Santamarta

“For the aerospace sector we can disrupt satellite communications, [and] potentially modify the data that goes through those channels,” said Santamarta. Image: nbcchicargo.com

Pilots, ship captains and military personnel rely on satellite networks to communicate when there are no phone lines or wireless networks available.

“If someone can see the password or that user name it’s over,” he added. “Those vulnerabilities can be exploited to remotely compromise those devices.

Santamarta said he used something called reverse engineering — or decoding — to hack satellite communications equipment used in aerospace, maritime and military industries.

“In the military sector they use satellite terminals for combat units,” said Santamarta. “They normally encrypt the radio [transmissions] they send. But we can disrupt the satellite communications channel so we can prevent combat units [from asking] for help if they are being attacked.”

And in the maritime sector, satellite communications are used to send and receive vital information that affects the safety of the crew.

“If they are being attacked by terrorists, or they are suffering fire, they can send a distress call,” he said. “But we found we can modify the firmware in some of those terminals, so we can prevent a crew from sending a distress call.”

Santamarta recently published a 25-page report and went public with his findings at Defcon 22 – the largest hacking conference in the world – held earlier this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“For the aerospace sector we can disrupt satellite communications, [and] potentially modify the data that goes through those channels,” said Santamarta. “In some cases you need physical access to compromise the devices we analyzed, but in other cases you can use Wi-Fi or the entertainment network to access that device.”

His research took place in a lab setting and has not been tested on an actual commercial plane. But his findings have raised concerns in the aviation industry.

Read the full story at NBCCHICARGO.OM here….

 


NBCCHICARGO.COM
21st August, 2014


 

 

 


[BBC News] A man has been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat after military jets were called to escort a passenger plane to Manchester Airport.

Officers boarded the plane and arrested a passenger. Photo: Reuters / Andrew Yates

The Qatar Airways plane was escorted in to land by the Royal Air Force (RAF) following information received by the pilot.

Greater Manchester Police said it was treating it as a “full emergency”.

Armed police boarded the Doha to Manchester plane and arrested a passenger on board. All flights in and out of the airport were suspended for about 25 minutes.

The plane involved was an Airbus A330-30, which had 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board. It was escorted by Typhoons from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Operations at the airport resumed at about 14:00 BST after the plane landed at a terminal. Passengers have been disembarking from the plane “as normal”, an airport spokesman said.

Josh Hartley, who boarded the plane at Doha in Qatar, said: “Well when the escort came it was very scary – I’m pretty shook up now.”

BBC News – Photo: Reuters

 

Read the full story here at BBC News…..

plane

Photo courtesy Josh Hartley / BBC News

Full BBC News updates here…..

 


BBC News
5th Aug, 2014



[Economic Times] MUMBAI: In what is seen as a step towards closing its proposed investment plans in Jet Airways, Etihad Airways on Wednesday said it has paid $70 million to buy three slots of the Naresh Goyal-promoted airline at Heathrow airport in London.

Etihad, which is in talks with Jet on possibly taking a stake in the firm, said discussions about further investment were continuing.

Etihad, which is in talks with Jet on possibly taking a stake in the firm, said discussions about further investment were continuing. Picture: Wikipedia

“Etihad Airways can confirm that it has concluded a transaction with Jet to purchase Jet’s three pairs of Heathrow slots for $70 million. The purchase is part of a sale and lease back agreement signed yesterday,” Etihad said in a statement.

The statement further said Jet will continue to operate flights to London utilising these slots.

The deal further strengthens the existing commercial relationship between the two airlines, which came into effect in July 2008, making provision for code-sharing, Etihad said.

On the ongoing stake sale talks between the two, Etihad said they continue to progress with discussions about further investment in Jet.

However, on the 24 per cent proposed stake sale toEtihad, Jet sources said, Jet has reportedly agreed to cede more management control, including more board positions to Etihad. However, this could not be officially verified with either Jet or Etihad officials.

This is to enable sealing the deal that has of late hit some air pockets with the UAE-based airline saying that it wanted to re-look at its investment plan in Jet……

Read the full story at The Economic Times of India…..


Economic Times
27th Feb, 2013



[Times of India] ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways, the fast-growing carrier of Abu Dhabi, posted a 200 percent rise in net profit in 2012 and a 17 percent increase in revenues, the airlines said in a statement Monday.

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million last year compared to $14 million in 2011

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million last year compared to $14 million in 2011. Photo: Wikipedia

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million last year compared to $14 million in 2011 when it made its first ever profit, said the statement which attributed the rise to strong improvements in revenues, passengers and cost control.

The flag carrier of the Emirates capital Abu Dhabi said revenues increased 17 percent to $4.8 billion in 2012 compared to $4.1 billion the previous year.

The number of passengers grew a healthy 23 percent to 10.3 million compared to 8.4 million in 2011, significantly boosted by Etihad’s partnerships which delivered more than $600 million in total revenue.

“This has been a game-changing year for Etihad Airways,” James Hogan, the airline’s president and chief executive officer said.

“We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment,” he said in the statement.

Etihad said it succeeded in building the first “equity alliance” with investments of 40 percent in Air Seychelles, 29.2 percent in airberlin, 9.0 percent in Virgin Australia and about 3.0 percent inAer Lingus.

“We have taken great strides in building the industry’s first equity alliance … which (is) contributing significant value to our business,” Hogan said.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 24 percent to $170 million, while EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) rose to $753 million, up 16 percent, Etihad said.

Hogan said more than 50 institutions have provided around $6.8 billion in cumulative fundingfor the airline’s ongoing expansion.

Planned fleet upgrades for 2013 include 14 aircraft, with 11 passenger aircraft deliveries and three freighter deliveries, Etihad said.

The orders are for nine wide-bodied Boeing and Airbus aircraft and five narrow-body Airbus aircraft. These will meet Etihad Airways’ immediate growth requirements.

At the end of 2012, the company had 10,656 employees, 18 percent up on 2011 with more than 125 nationalities represented.

Read the original story at The Times of India…..

 


Times of India
Feb 4, 2013



[Zawya.com]  The Dubai government will initiate a new system in cooperation with airlines by the end of next year to stop blacklisted persons at their boarding points before they travel to Dubai.

Prospective travellers prohibited from entering the country.... will not be allowed to get on board the plane.  Photo: Wikipedia

Prospective travellers prohibited from entering the country…….will not be allowed to get on board the plane. Photo: Wikipedia

A database system will be in place, which will store information related to inbound travellers, and the authorities will give permission to the right persons before they board a plane to Dubai at their home port.

Colonel Khaled Naser Al Razouqi, Assistant Director-General of the e-Services Sector at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai, said that the system will help reject entry to people who had previously committed a violation in the country or those who do not obtain an entry visa. The system will not allow a person to embark a Dubai-bound plane if he or she has already been blacklisted.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Al Razouqi said that the system will let officers of the directorate to know the names and details of travellers who plan to head for Dubai by air, thanks to a link with airline companies and travel operators who will send data about their passengers to the directorate.

The directorate will consequently verify the names and contact the airlines or travel operators to provide them with the names of prospective travellers prohibited from entering the country. Such persons will not be allowed to get on board the plane.

Smart e-gates

Al Razouqi stated that Terminal 3 of the Dubai International Airport has now installed smart e-gates. All other currently operating e-gates will be replaced with the smart ones over the coming year, taking the number of the new e-gates to 100.

“The new electronic gate is characterised with so many security features. Most importantly, it automatically scans a traveller’s passport quicker. It does not require the traveller to preregister with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs as in the Emirates e-gate cards,” said Al Razouqi.

The smart e-gates consist of some developed technical devices which can read a traveller’s passport automatically, and can scan the face and eye over a high-definition camera and instantly compare the scan result with the passport. The new system can store the whole information of its users and could verify names of blacklisted travellers or those being wanted by the authorities. The entire operation takes just 12 seconds, he said.

Read more of this story at Zawya.com…..

 


Zawya.com
2nd Sept, 2012



[Guardian] Qatar‘s sovereign wealth fund is buying 20% of Heathrow owner BAA in a move that adds the airport operator to a portfolio of British interests including Harrods and stakes in Barclays and J Sainsbury.

Qatar Holdings says it looks forward to working with partners to enhance the industry leadership of BAA. Photo: Wikipedia

Qatar Holdings says it looks forward to working with partners to enhance the industry leadership of BAA. Photo: Wikipedia

Ferrovial, the Spanish conglomerate and the largest shareholder, is to sell a 10.6% stake in BAA’s parent company to Qatar Holding. At the same time two more shareholders have sold shares representing 9.4% of the business to the fund, leaving it with a 20% investment in the owner of the Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports. The total value of the transaction is £900m.

Qatar Holding, funded by proceeds from the world’s third largest gas reserves, said the UK was an “attractive investment destination” and that it saw “long-term fundamental strength in the British economy”. It added: “Qatar Holding looks forward to working together with our fellow shareholders and the management team of BAA to enhance the company’s industry leadership and create sustainable value.”

The transaction represents further retrenchment by Ferrovial from one of the UK’s most bruising foreign takeovers, although the Spanish group denied that it is seeking a full exit. With the ink barely dry on the €16bn takeover of BAA by a Ferrovial-led consortium in 2006, Heathrow buckled under a new security regime following the interruption of a plot to bomb airliners with liquid explosives.

Ferrovial’s reputation took years to recover and in 2010 it announced plans to sell off a chunk of its 55% shareholding, which will stand at less than 40% once the Qatar deal is completed.

At the time Ferrovial, frustrated by a perceived undervaluation of BAA in its share price, said it was selling a stake to get a market value for the asset. However, analysts said it would…….

Read the full story at The Guardian……

 


Dan Milmo – Guardian.co.uk
Friday 17 August, 2012



[AOL] An EL AL Israel Airlines plane that took off from London for Tel Aviv Thursday night had to return to Heathrow airport after an engine failed.

A  "bang" was heard on the right wing and the number four engine began to fail.

A “bang” was heard on the right wing and the number four engine began to fail. Photo: Wikipedia

The Boeing 747 was carrying 411 passengers and crew at the time of the incident, and the plane had reached 26,000 feet when a “bang” was heard on the right wing and the number four engine began to fail.

The smell of burning wafted into the cabin, according to reports.

Captain Ilan Margalit, 58, told the Globes newspaper that a flight attendant informed him flames were seen in the engine.

He said: “We immediately took fire suppressing measures in the engine, something we’ve been trained an uncountable number of times in the simulator. We did it from memory, without the need to consult the manual.

“These actions included shutting down the engine, closing the engine’s fuel line, and pulling the fire suppressing handle, which arms the fire suppressant bottles.

“Since there was no indication of fire in the engine, the bottles were not used.”

Margalit, who has been working for El Al for 17 years, called the control tower at Heathrow and declared an emergency.

He told the Globe: “I called Mayday, Mayday, Mayday to the London control tower and immediately turned around to land at Heathrow. We were back on the ground within 15 minutes.

“Although this happens to a pilot once in a lifetime, the plane was not in danger. I could have continued to fly to Tel Aviv on three engines, but we’re educated at El Al not to take any risk.
Safety is paramount. I declared an emergency, not because the plane was in danger, but because to get the full attention of the Heathrow control tower and all the quiet to fly without disturbances.”

Mr Margalit added that he kept the passengers and crew calm with constant explanations of what was happening, adding that out of the 411 passengers and crew, there was only one panicked traveller.

He said that a plane may be in danger when it loses both engines on the same side, but added: “We’re trained for that too.”

Read the original story at AOL Travel…..


AOL Travel
Jul 6, 2012



(easyJet Press Release) easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, has today announced that  it will be the official carrier of the Jordanian Olympic and Paralympic teams at this summer’s Games in London.

easyJet will be the official carrier of the Jordanian Olympic and Paralympic teams at this summer's Games in London.  Photo: Wikipedia

easyJet will be the official carrier of the Jordanian Olympic and Paralympic teams at this summer’s Games in London. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline has committed to flying the entire Jordanian Olympic and Paralympic team along with key support team members to and from the Games this summer. The UK event is extra special for the Jordanians, who have nine athletes representing the Middle East country this year – the largest Jordanian delegation to feature in the history of the Games.

Under the Presidency of HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, who is also an IOC member, Jordan has made huge strides in sport with the National Olympic Committee’s vision for it to play a greater role in the lives of all Jordanians. The Kingdom has just secured a ninth member of its delegation, with the qualification of Heavyweight boxer Ihab Darweesh , meaning that this year the largest number qualified of sportsmen and women will represent the Middle East country in the history of the games.

The Jordanian team still have an opportunity for two more wrestlers to qualify along with the basketball team but already this landmark highlights the progress being made in Jordanian sport.

This summer, three taekwondo fighters, one equestrian, and two each for swimming and athletics will join boxer Darweesh in the delegation as Jordan searches for its first ever Olympic medal.

Of the nine, four of the delegation is female with taekwondo star Nadine Dwani and horse jumper Ibrahim Bisharat taking part in their third Olympics.

Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s Commercial Manager, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be able to play our part in helping this dedicated team of athletes move closer to achieving their dreams and representing their country at the summer Games.

“I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of everyone at easyJet, to wish them every success this summer.”

Lana Al Jaghbeer, Jordan Olympic Committee Secretary General, added: “We are delighted that easyJet has stepped forward to offer our athletes travel to and from the Games. In today’s financial climate sponsorship is crucial for our athletes and this contribution is very much appreciated by all.”

easyJet launched its London Gatwick route to the Jordanian capital of Amman in March 2011 and to date the airline has flown more than 55,000 passengers to and from the city of Amman.

Read the original easyJet press release here….


easyJet
11th June, 2012



[Gulf Daily News] DUBAI: Abu Dhabi‘s rapidly-growing Etihad Airways has bought a four per cent stake in Virgin Australia, its fourth overseas deal since December as the airline tries to compete with Gulf rivals.

Etihad said it had acquired the 3.96pc Virgin Australia stake for $35.6 million via market purchases over the past few weeks. Photo: Wikipedia

Etihad said it had acquired the 3.96pc Virgin Australia stake for $35.6 million via market purchases over the past few weeks. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline, founded eight-years ago, has already bought stakes in three other carriers in a push to chase the big Gulf state-backed airlines like Dubai’s Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad said it had acquired the 3.96pc Virgin Australia stake for $35.6 million via market purchases over the past few weeks.

“At a point in time, we would like to take it (stake) to a minimum of 10pc, if we get the necessary approvals,” Etihad chief executive James Hogan.

“This is a long game. There’s no race here. We have a 10-year commercial relationship with Virgin Australia. This is just step by step building.”

The Virgin stake shows Etihad’s willingness to make acquisitions to compete with its larger Gulf rivals, which are increasingly challenging European, Asian and Australian carriers on long-haul routes.

Hogan said that the growth strategy is designed to make it the Gulf’s top carrier. He said the airline would take delivery of 100 aircraft over the next eight years but still would not be the biggest airline in the Gulf.

“We believe that by investing and partnering it enables us to extend our network,” he said.

In December, the unlisted airline raised a stake in Air Berlin to nearly 30pc from just under 3pc, for about 73m euros. Last month, it bought a 3pc stake in Irish airline Aer Lingus as a precursor to a commercial tie-up that could…….

Read the rest of this story at Gulf Daily News…..


Gulf Daily News
Wednesday, June 06, 2012