Δευτέρα, 31 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Η χρονιά που φεύγει με τη φωτογραφική μηχανή του Reuters


0A2. Υποστηρικτές της Χρυσής Αυγής έξω από το αρχηγείο του κόμματος μέσα σε «βροχή» από ψηφοδέλτια την 17η Ιουνίου του 2012. Μία από τις φωτογραφίες που χαρακτηρίζουν το 2012 στην Ελλάδα από το φακό του Γιώργου Καραχάλη για το πρακτορείο Reuters.


E3C. Μια γυναίκα βαδίζει δίπλα σε καμμένα καταστήματα έπειτα από τη νύχτα βίας που ακολούθησε την έγκριση των μέτρων λιτότητας, στις 13 Φεβρουαρίου του 2012. Με το φακό του Γιάννη Κολεσίδη, άλλη μία από τις φωτογραφίες του έτους του πρακτορείου Reuters.


DBE. Το γύρο του κόσμου έκανε η φωτογραφία του άνδρα που τρέχει γυμνός μπροστά από την πλατεία Συντάγματος σε διαδήλωση ενάντια στην επίσκεψη της Γερμανίδας καγκελαρίου Άνγκελα Μέρκελ στις 9 Οκτωβρίου του 2012. Η φωτογραφία με το φακό του Γιάννη Κολεσίδη εντάσσεται στις καλύτερες λήψεις του Reuters για τη χρονιά που φεύγει.


D92. Η αγωνία στο «κόκκινο» στο άκουσμα των exit poll της αναμέτρησης της 17ης Ιουνίου 2012 στο κεντρικό προεκλογικό περίπτερο της Νέας Δημοκρατίας στο Σύνταγμα. Από τις καλύτερες φωτογραφίες του Reuters για το έτος 2012 με την «υπογραφή» του Pascal Rossignol.

D17. Ο 30χρονος μάγειρας Μανώλης στην ταβέρνα Μαύρος Γάτος του Ψυρρή στις 23 Μαΐου του 2012. Η φωτογραφία του Γιάννη Μπεχράκη συνοδεύει το θέμα της ανεργίας στην Ελλάδα και της αδυναμίας εύρεσης εργασίας για νέους με ανώτατες σπουδές.



C56. Εργαζόμενοι της Βουλής αντικαθιστούν μία σκισμένη ελληνική σημαία στην οροφή του Κοινοβουλίου, στις 18 Απριλίου του 2012. Η φωτογραφία, με το φακό του Γιάννη Μπεχράκη, εντάσσεται στις καλύτερες φωτογραφίες του πρακτορείου Reuters για το έτος που φεύγει, και την εποχή της δημοσίευσής της είχε συνδυαστεί με τις επικείμενες εκλογές της 6ης Μαΐου.

9FD. Ένας άνδρας πίνει σκυμμένος καφέ φορώντας την κουκούλα του, ενώ πίσω του «ακούγεται» το ουρλιαχτό του άνδρα του εντυπωσιακού γκραφίτι που βρίσκεται κοντά στην Καλαμάτα. Η φωτογραφία, με το φακό του Cathal McNaughton, εντάσσεται στις καλύτερες του πρακτορείου Reuters για το 2012.


90B. Μια ηλικιωμένη γυναίκα περπατά με δυσκολία ενόσω πίσω της γίνονται συναλλαγές σε μηχάνημα αυτόματης ανάληψης της Εθνικής Τράπεζας στο κέντρο της Αθήνας, στις 29 Μαΐου του 2012. Το Reuters «συνοδεύει» τη φωτογραφία του Γιάννη Κολεσίδη με τα 18 δισ. ευρώ που διατέθηκαν στις τέσσερις μεγαλύτερες τράπεζες της χώρας.

722. Ειδικές δυνάμεις περικυκλωμένες από φλόγες στα επεισόδια της πλατείας Συντάγματος στη διάρκεια της 24ωρης απεργίας της 26ης Σεπτεμβρίου. Μία φωτογραφία με το φακό του Γιάννη Μπεχράκη που συγκαταλέγεται στις καλύτερες του 2012 από το πρακτορείο Reuters.


63F. Ο φακός του Thomas Peter αποτυπώνει την θαυμάστρια της Εθνικής σε μπαρ του Βερολίνου ενόσω παρακολουθεί με αγωνία τον αγώνα Ελλάδα-Γερμανία για τα προημιτελικά του Euro 2012. Μία από τις καλύτερες φωτογραφικές στιγμές του 2012 για το πρακτορείο Reuters.



OE4. Πολίτες πασχίζουν να πάρουν λαχανικά που διατίθενται από αγρότες στην πλατεία Συντάγματος στις 15 Ιανουαρίου του 2012. Αγρότες από τη Θήβα και τη Βοιωτία διένειμαν τόνους προϊόντων διαμαρτυρόμενοι για δημοσιεύματα που έκαναν λόγο για μόλυνση των καλλιεργειών τους από βιομηχανικά απόβλητα με χρώμιο. Με τον φακό του Γιάννη Μπεχράκη.


B26. Ένας Γερμανός τουρίστας απολαμβάνει το μαγικό τοπίο στη θάλασσα της Κυλλήνης, 31 Μαΐου 2012. Ο Γιάννης Μπεχράκης «υπογράφει» άλλη μία από τις καλύτερες φωτογραφίες του έτους για το πρακτορείο Reuters.


















Κυριακή, 30 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Year-to-date Traffic at QAIA Surpasses 5.8 Million Passengers


Airport International Group (AIG), the Jordanian consortium responsible for the rehabilitation, expansion and operation of the Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA), recently announced its November traffic results, exceeding records in year-to-date passenger volume (PAX) and aircraft movement (ACM).
Passenger traffic at QAIA during the month of November reached 454,984 PAX, witnessing a 3.5 percent drop compared to November 2011. Despite the lowered monthly passenger numbers, the latest figures pushed the year-to-date passenger numbers to 5,808,760 PAX from January to the end of November. This figure compares to 5,036,776 PAX for the same period in 2011, representing a noteworthy 15.3 percent increase. Meanwhile, aircraft movements during the month of November also witnessed a drop of 0.2 percent compared to the same month last year, registering 5,242 ACMs, taking the total year-to-date figures to 62,025 ACMs, up 6.3 percent over the same period last year.
AIG CEO Kjeld Binger commented on the release of the latest statistics: “We at AIG are thrilled to be rapidly approaching the launch of the new terminal, and with the latest traffic results, QAIA looks poised to surpass the milestone of six million annual passengers. The opening of the new terminal will allow the airport to service a greater number of passengers and flights, and thus this upcoming launch signifies an important step toward the transformation of QAIA into a regional niche hub.” 
AIG is investing an estimated US $750 million in the construction of a landmark new terminal — now almost  92% complete— which will serve as a source of pride and prosperity for all Jordanians. This new terminal will significantly increase the airport capacity to 9 million passengers annually, nearly three times the current airport capacity of 3.5 million passengers annually. Future expansions will further increase the airport capacity to 12 million passengers a year. AIG has also spent US $100 million on rehabilitating and improving the existing terminals to enable the airport to handle the continuous growth in passenger traffic.     

American Airlines Expands Its Longstanding Partnership With LATAM Airlines Group By Embarking On Codeshare Agreements With TAM And LAN Colombia


American Airlines, which offers more flights to more destinations in Latin America than any other U.S. airline, has signed agreements to codeshare with both Sao Paulo-based TAM Airlines and Bogota-based LAN Colombia, representing a solid stepping stone in building a stronger bilateral relationship between American and LATAM Airlines Group. Once approved, these new codeshare relationships will provide expanded opportunities for American to serve new markets in Brazil and Colombia and for TAM Airlines and LAN Colombia in the United States. 
In addition, American plans to operate a new Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) - Bogota (BOG) route beginning in late 2013. American will also add service to Curitiba (CWB) and Porto Alegre (POA), Brazil from Miami beginning in late 2013, demonstrating its mission to provide customers with expanded options through a growing network footprint in Latin America. With the addition of Curitiba and Porto Alegre, American will serve nine destinations in Brazil.
"American's new partnerships with TAM and LAN Colombia further strengthen our longstanding relationship with LATAM Airlines Group, Latin America's largest and most premier airline group," said Virasb Vahidi, American's Chief Commercial Officer. "As we continue to expand our presence in Latin America, the new routes to Brazil and Colombia are a direct response to the increasing customer demand for travel between the U.S. and Latin America."
New Codeshare Opportunities
Once the codeshare agreements are approved, these new relationships will provide American's customers seamless connecting service within Colombia and Brazil.  At the same time, this partnership will allow TAM and LAN Colombia's customers access to new destinations in the U.S. such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas and Seattle.
TAM operates nearly 5,600 weekly flights to 42 destinations throughout Brazil as well as 18 international destinations in the United States, Latin America and Europe. LAN Colombia operates more than 930 weekly flights to cities throughout Colombia as well as destinations in Brazil and the United States. From its Bogota hub, LAN Colombia offers 134 daily flights, including service to 20 Colombian cities.
American offers codeshare service, with fellow oneworld® alliance member LAN Airlines, to cities throughout South America from LAN's hubs in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru.
Expanding American's Presence in Latin America
The new route between DFW and Bogota complements American's existing service to Colombia through Miami (MIA), where it offers up to 35 nonstop flights per week to Bogota, Cali and Medellin. American's MIA and DFW hubs allow it to serve 90 percent of U.S. - Latin America traffic more efficiently than any other airline's combination of hubs. American offers more service to South America than any other U.S. airline.
American also offers the most service between North America and Brazil, American currently serves Brazil from Miami to Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo; from New York JFK to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo; and from Dallas/Fort Worth to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. In addition, early next year the Dallas/Fort Worth - Sao Paulo flight will be the first to feature the newest addition to American's fleet, the Boeing 777-300ER.

US Airways Expands Customer Access To Central And South America With Avianca Codeshare Agreement


US Airways (NYSE: LCC) and Avianca today announced a new bilateral codeshare agreement after receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The airline also announced an expansion of its codeshare with TACA. US Airways customers will enjoy new access to destinations throughout Colombia with Avianca and expanded access in Central and South America with TACA, along with the convenience of a single-ticket purchase for a seamless travel experience and the ability to redeem status Dividend Miles for travel. Customers traveling on Avianca and TACA will also receive expanded access to the United States. Both Avianca and TACA are subsidiaries of AviancaTaca Holdings.

"US Airways' new codeshare agreement with Avianca and expansion with TACA will provide our customers with expanded travel options and additional ways to earn and redeem status Dividend Miles," said Andrew Nocella, US Airways' senior vice president, Marketing and Planning. "With a long-standing relationship with Taca as a Star Alliance and codeshare partner, we look forward to enhancing this relationship with Avianca."

"Through the expansion of this agreement we can deliver more travel options for our passengers, as well as better serve US Airways customers flying on our route network," said Alex Benitez, AviancaTaca's vice president, Planning, Network and Alliances. "We are driven by a strong focus on our clients' needs and look to take actions that improve client satisfaction."

US Airways customers will be able to connect to the Colombian cities of Bogota, Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin on Avianca. Conversely, Avianca customers in these cities will have access to US Airways' hub cities of Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix and the airline's focus city at Washington's Reagan National Airport. All fights are available for sale starting Dec. 21 on www.usairways.com for travel beginning Jan. 7, 2013. Specific connection information is as follows:

New Connections for US Airways Customers on Avianca
New Connections for Avianca Customers on US Airways
To Bogota, Colombia (BOG) from:
To Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National (DCA) from:
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (FLL)
New York's JFK International Airport (JFK)
Orlando, Fla. (MCO)
FLL
MCO
To Medellin, Colombia (MDE) from:
To Philadelphia (PHL) from:
JFK
Miami (MIA)
FLL
MIA
To Barranquilla, Colombia (BAQ) from:
To Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) from:
MIA
FLL
JFK
MIA
MCO
To Cali, Colombia (CLO) from:
To Phoenix (PHX) from:
MIA
FLL
JFK
To Cartagena, Colombia (CTG) from:

MIA

US Airways will also be expanding its codeshare with TACA. With the expansion US Airways customers will now able to reach San Salvador, El Salvador and Guatemala City, Guatemala. TACA customers will have access to the US Airways' hub cities. Specific codeshare information is as follows:

New Connections for US Airways Customers on TACA
New Connections for TACA Customers on US Airways
To Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) and San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL) from:
To Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix from:
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
ORD 

Ryanair Announces New Chania (Greece) Base (No 55)


Ryanair today (19 Dec) announced it would open its 1st Greek base (55th base in total) at Chania in April 2013 with one based aircraft and unveiled 10 new routes (26 in total), to/from Billund, Bremen, Bristol, Eindhoven, Katowice, Memmingen, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vilnius and Warsaw, as Ryanair invests over $70m at Chania Airport.

Ryanair will grow at Chania as follows:

  • 1 based aircraft
  • 10 new routes (25 in total):
  • Billund, Bremen, Bristol, Eindhoven, Katowice, Memmingen, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vilnius & Warsaw
  • 106 weekly flights (up 89%)
  • 500,000 pax p.a (up 100%)
  • 500* “on site” jobs

Ryanair celebrated its new Chania base by launching a 100,000 seat sale with fares starting from £8 for travel across its European network in January which are available for booking until midnight (24:00hrs) Thur (20 Dec). Ryanair’s 10 new Chania routes will begin in April and will go on sale on www.ryanair.comtomorrow.

 In Chania today, Ryanair’s Kate Sherry said:

Ryanair is delighted to announce Chania as our 55th base (and our first in Greece) and to unveil 10 new routes (25 in total) to/ Billund, Bremen, Bristol, Eindhoven, Katowice, Memmingen, Thessaloniki, Venice, Vilnius and Warsaw beginning in April, as part of our summer 2013 schedule, which go on sale onwww.ryanair.com tomorrow.  

Visitors to Greece can now beat the recession and escape high fares and fuel surcharging by switching to Ryanair’s lowest fares and our no fuel surcharge guarantee between Chania and 25 European destinations, including Edinburgh, London and Milan, amongst others. Ryanair’s 500,000 passengers p.a. will sustain up to 500 “on site” jobs in Chania, in a welcome boost to the Cretian economy, as we grow our passenger traffic by 100% at Chania.

To celebrate our new Chania base, we are launching a 100,000 seat sale with fares starting from £8 for travel across Europe in January, which are available for booking until midnight Thursday (20 Dec). Since seats at these crazy low prices will be snapped up quickly, we urge passengers to book them immediately onwww.ryanair.com.”

* ACI confirms up to 1,000 ‘on-site’ jobs per 1m passengers



easyJet: UK travel trends for 2013 revealed


easyJet has today revealed the nation’s travel trends for 2013 following a poll with easyJet travellers across the UK.
Key findings from the survey:
  • Despite the recession 86% of Britons plan to take two or more overseas breaks in 2013 – up 6% year on year – with 25% actually planning four or more
  • Beach breaks are still the nation’s favourite with 53% of people planning a sun holiday next year
  • A quarter of us will use our main holiday to spend time with friends and family, while one in ten prefer to holiday alone
  • When asked which new destination they’d like to explore - 35% said the Greek Islands
Beach holidays are still the nation’s favourite according to an easyJet poll of 660 travellers from England, Scotland and Wales. Over half of us would like a break in the sun in 2013, with 35% planning a city break as a secondary trip.
Closer to home the Olympic effect is still prominent, with 49% of travellers picking London as their preferred option for a ‘staycation’.
Paul Simmons, UK Director for easyJet, said: “The UK’s appetite for overseas travel remains resilient to the recession – with a remarkable 86% of travellers planning two or more overseas breaks in 2013. Beach holidays are still a firm favourite, with the Greek Islands revealed as a top destination for 2013 alongside the ever popular Alicante, Faro and Malaga.
The introduction of low fares to Moscow, Venice and Reykjavík will open up the range of short trips available, which is great news for the 35% of people who said they were already planning a city break to complement their sun holiday.”
To help passengers explore more destinations in 2013 for less, easyJet has introduced an innovative ‘inspire me’ tool on their website – which uses travellers’ holiday dates, preferred airport and budget to generate a perfectly matched list of destinations.
Paul added: “The ‘Inspire Me’ tool takes the stress out of holiday planning as it generates a list of exciting destinations that perfectly match your travel criteria. It opens up a whole host of places you might not have considered at the touch of a button.”
easyJet is adding a number of new routes to its’ network in 2013 including:
  • Moscow from London Gatwick and Manchester
  • Greek city of Kalamata from London Gatwick
  • Newquay from London Southend and Liverpool
  • Reykjavík from Edinburgh and Manchester



ECA: New EU Occurrence Reporting Regulation


European pilots welcome the new Occurrence Reporting Regulation, presented today by the European Commission, as an important step towards better, pro-active prevention of air accidents. The new regulation creates a comprehensive framework for improving the quality and completeness of occurrence data and for timely identification of safety hazards. It also provides for confidentiality of certain information, which will encourage safety professionals, including pilots, to report incidents and thereby ‘feed’ a forward-looking accident prevention system across Europe. 

This regulation was an absolute necessity for a more efficient European reporting system. It will shift the focus from a primarily ‘reactive’ system, where we tried to learn from accidents, to a pro-active risk- and evidence-based system”, said Nico Voorbach, ECA President. “This is excellent news, and Europe’s pilots will be keen to contribute to making this new system a success.”

We used to learn many of our Safety lessons through investigating accidents. Since they are thankfully decreasing, we have to learn more from the smaller incidents. We encourage our pilots and all other aviation professionals to voluntarily report and share their mishaps, so we all can learn. This important regulation will create a stronger ‘Just Culture’ environment, in which safety incidents can be reported without fear of personal repercussions, even if it is seen as whistleblowing,” added Burkhart Kaumanns, ECA Board Director for Technical Affairs. “The Commission has it right: for aviation safety, the facts, the ‘what’ and ‘why’, are infinitely much more important than the ‘who’.

The main objective of this new piece of legislation is to ensure that all occurrences which endanger or could endanger aviation safety are reported, properly collected and effectively analysed to provide a complete and clear picture of aviation safety risks in the EU and its Member States. It also aims at ensuring that all safety information, stored in the European Common Repository, is accessed adequately by appropriate authorities and used strictly for safety enhancement purposes.


Aviation: Commission proposes new rules to prevent aircraft accidents


The European Commission proposed today new rules for the better protection of air passengers, aiming to achieve a decreased number of aircraft accidents and fatalities through better use of data on occurrences. An occurrence is any type of event significant in the context of aviation safety which might or might not have resulted in an actual accident but which merits being collected and analysed. In addition, the new rules would promote more efficient exchange of information between Member States. This legislative proposal is the core element of the future European aviation safety system which aims to shift Europe towards a proactive and evidence-based safety system, i.e. a system that attempts to foresee and prevent accidents based on the collection and analysis of data, rather than simply reacting after accidents.
European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: "With more than 800 million passengers flying in Europe every year and with traffic expected to almost double in the next two decades, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to prevent accidents, with the terrible pain and suffering that results from them. These new rules will contribute to achieving this goal. The European Union is and must remain a leading region for aviation safety in the world".
Achieving the goal of preventing aircraft accidents in a proactive and risk-based safety system requires some knowhow and the means to use it. Firstly, it means getting a complete picture of the risks involved and a good understanding of the threats to aviation safety. Secondly, it means establishing mechanisms to correct deficiencies and address potential dangers. However, currently these two elements are not sufficiently tackled by the EU Member States. In addition, access to information is limited as the data collected is not sufficiently shared among the Member States.
To make up for the shortcomings of the current system, the Commission proposes in the new regulation to:
  • Ensure full awareness of actual and potential risks in aviation safety by improving the collection of safety occurrences. The new rules aim to establish a system where people feel confident in reporting information;
  • Ensure that the information collected is analysed and that actions necessary for maintaining or enhancing the level of aviation safety are taken and their effectiveness monitored;
  • Ensure that the information collected is appropriately shared among Member States and that it is used only for the purpose of improving safety.
What happens next?
The proposal will be discussed and amended by the European Parliament and the Council (Member States). Once they agree on a text, it will become European legislation and be directly applicable in all Member States as national law.
For more information:MEMO/12/1008
For more information on aviation safety: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/index_en.htm
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52011DC0670:EN:NOT



European Commission: Occurrence reporting in civil aviation


Occurrence reporting in civil aviation
  1. Above 820 million passengers were carried by air in 2011 in the European Union1.
  2. Air transport is one of the safest forms of travel. However, while the accident rate has remained more or less stable since 2004, the traffic is expected to almost double by 20302. This could involve an increased number of accidents and related fatalities
  3. The EU is therefore faced with a significant challenge if it wants to continue protect its citizens and to be the world leader in aviation safety as expressed in the Transport White Paper3.
1. The current aviation safety system
The current aviation safety system is primarily a reactive system relying on technological progress, the adoption of legislation overseen by effective regulatory authorities, and detailed accident investigations leading to recommendations for safety improvements. However, whilst the ability to learn lessons from an accident is crucial, systems which are essentially reactive are showing their limits in being able to drive further improvements in the accident rate.
In the Communication on "Setting up a Safety Management System for Europe"4 the Commission underlined the necessity to move from the mainly reactive current system towards a more proactive system that attempts to foresee and prevent accidents based primarily on the collection and analysis of data. The proposed Regulation on occurrence reporting in civil aviation is the core element of such a transition as the effectiveness of a proactive system greatly depends on the ability to systematically analyse all available safety information, including information on civil aviation "occurrences". An occurrence is any type of event significant in the context of aviation safety such as, for example, a near collision between two aircrafts.
2. What is the problem?
The European Union and its Member States are not currently set up to use the widest possible range of data to prevent accidents and to address the risks to aviation safety in a systematic manner. This is caused by a number of elements.
  1. Firstly, whilst data is vital to identify safety hazards, there is not sufficient awareness of all safety occurrences. This situation is partly due to the fact that individuals are sometimes afraid to report mistakes they may have made or contributed to (the "Just Culture" issue). The insufficient clarity in occurrence reporting obligations and in the flow of information also contributes to the insufficient collection of occurrences.
  2. Secondly, occurrence data integration is not harmonised among Member States and it is relatively unstructured, causing sometimes poor quality of information and incomplete data. This situation affects the consistency and the usefulness of information and limits its use for safety purposes.
  3. Thirdly, the current EU legislation does not indicate how Member States should use the occurrences collected for contributing to the improvement of safety.
In addition, the exchange of information between the Member States is limited and important pieces of information are not accessible. This may in some cases mean that Member States are not able to exercise a full effective oversight of their airspace. This situation is notably due to the fact that Member States' access to the European Central Repository (ECR), which contains all occurrences collected in the European Member States, is limited. In addition, the safeguards are insufficient regarding the use of the information collected.
3. The Commission's proposal
In order to better protect European citizens, the Commission is proposing an ambitious and comprehensive set of rules to move from a principally reactive towards a more proactive and evidence based aviation safety system.
To meet this challenge, the Commission proposes in particular the following elements:
  1. Establishing the appropriate environment to ensure that all occurrences which endanger or could endanger aviation safety are reported and collected.
In order to achieve a better reporting of occurrences, the Commission proposal includes provisions ensuring the setting up of an appropriate environment to encourage aviation professionals to report safety related information by protecting them from punishment except in cases of gross negligence. It also ensures that the scope of mandatory reporting covers major potential risks and that the appropriate means to capture any safety threat are established with the establishment of voluntary reporting schemes.
  1. Clarifying the flow of information
The proposal takes into account the development of safety management processes within the industry and details the flow of information from the individual to the European Central Repository.
  1. Improving the quality and completeness of data
The proposal includes a number of provisions aiming at improving the quality and the completeness of occurrence reports and therefore enabling a better identification of key risk areas and of the need for action to be identified.
  1. Better exchange of information
The Commission proposal addresses the need for better exchange of information between Member States by granting Member States access to safety data about occurrences which took place in their airspace but were reported and assessed by another Member State Authority.
  1. Better protection against inappropriate use of safety information
The proposal ensures that the information collected is not just guaranteed to be held confidential, but also can only be made available and used for the purpose of maintaining or improving aviation safety. The proposal also attempts to diminish the negative effect that the use of such data by judicial authorities may have on aviation safety by the obligation to adopt provisions which aim at finding the right balance between the two public interests at stake: justice and aviation safety.
  1. Better protection of reporter to ensure the continued availability of information
The proposal strengthens the rules related to the protection of the "occurrence reporter" to ensure that people are confident in using the system and that appropriate safety information is reported. In that perspective, the text reaffirms the obligation to disidentify occurrence reports and limits the access to fully identified data only to certain persons. The rule establishes that employees shall not be subject to prejudice from their employer on the basis of the information reported, except in cases of gross negligence. Organisations are also asked to adopt a policy describing how the employees' protection is guaranteed. Finally, national bodies are established allowing employees to report infringements to the rules which guarantee their protection, and penalties should be adopted where appropriate.
  1. Introduce requirements on information analysis and adoption of follow up actions at national level
The proposal imposes new requirements which transpose the rules related to the analysis and follow up of occurrences collected as agreed in the context of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, into EU law. Organisations and Member States are required to analyse the information collected through occurrence reporting systems in order to identify safety risks and to take actions in order to remedy any safety deficiency identified. The effectiveness of these actions in terms of safety improvement shall be monitored and additional actions taken if necessary.
  1. Stronger analysis at EU level
Analysis at EU level will complement what is done at national level, notably by the identification of possible safety problems and key risk areas. The common EU risk classification scheme will support this task by classifying all occurrences collected by Member States in a harmonised manner. The European Aviation Safety Programme and the European Aviation Safety Plan will both benefit from the analysis and activities performed by the Network of Aviation Safety Analysts.
  1. Improved transparency towards the general public
The proposal, while respecting the necessary confidentiality of certain information, brings more transparency to aviation safety for the general public by the publication of annual safety reviews containing information about actions taken in application of this regulation, trends and aggregated data.
4. What are the benefits expected by this proposal?
The Commission expects that this proposal will contribute to avoid aircraft accidents to occur and therefore better protect air passengers in the European Union and beyond.
In addition, the Commission expects this proposal to bring economic benefits to the whole aviation community. Indeed aircraft accidents are very costly at many different levels and the Commission believes that the investment in safety management systems to prevent accidents will be offset by the reduced cost flowing from fewer accidents.
5. What are the next steps?
The proposal must be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council (Member States) before becoming European legislation. Once approved, the Regulation will become directly applicable in all Member States as national law.
More information: IP/12/1406
http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/index_en.htm
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52011DC0670:EN:NOT
1 :
Source: Eurostat
2 :
EUROCONTROL CND/STATFOR Doc 415 of 17 December 2010 - Long-Term Forecast - Flight Movements 2010 - 2030
3 :
White Paper 2011 "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system", COM/2011/0144 final.
4 :
COM/2011/0670 final.

See St. Petersburg with St. Petersburg City Card


St. Petersburg City Card is a tourist smart card which gives an opportunity to save up to 40% on visiting museumsand excursions as well as to pay for the public transport and get special offers in the city cafes, restaurants, hotels and shops.
st-pete-cardThe Card includes a great variety of sights and provides splendid ideas for those visiting St Petersburg.
St. Petersburg City Card provides free entry to more than 40 museumsand more than 20 sightseeing tours. Sightseeing ideas, tips for traveling and other useful information can be found in a guidebook and a city mapwhich are included in the package.
There are Cards for 2, 3 and 5 days for the convenience of travellers. Spend a day or two visiting the museums and enjoying the tours of the city center. Then explore the beautiful parks and majestic palaces of the imperial residences in the suburbs of the city, all easily accessible with a City Card.
During your stay in St. Petersburg you can tour the city in a variety of ways including bus tourswalking tours, bike tours and boat tours. These tours are available with your City Card during the day and even at night-time.
The transport elements and special offers are valid even after the card expires. Keep the card as a souvenir when leaving the city and use it again if you happen to come back to one of the most beautiful cities of Russia - St.Petersburg.
The St. Petersburg City Card can be bought on-line as well as in many hotels, museums and post offices of the city. Additional information is available at www.petersburgcard.com and Saint-Petersburg Tourist Information Centres.

Africa Travel Association’s 38th World Congress Date Announced


The Africa Travel Association (ATA) announced that dates have been set for the 38th Annual ATA World Congress in Cameroon, a country of more than 20 million people located in West Central Africa.
The event will be held from May 29 to June 2 under the auspices of Honorable Minister Bello Bouba Maigari of the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure.
The 2013 event will take place in the English-speaking Southwest part of the country with a focus on Buea, the capital of the Southwest region, and Limbe, a seaside city on the southern slopes of Mount Cameroon, one of Africa’s highest peaks and largest volcanoes. Known for its rich and fertile soil, the Southwest is home to a range of plantations, including tea, palm oil, rubber and bananas.
The region is also home to the Limbe Wildlife Center. A former zoo, today it’s a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation project with critically endangered wildlife species including gorillas, chimpanzees, and several species of monkeys, among some reptiles and birds. The Botanical Gardens next to the center offers tourists an overview of Cameroon’s flora and fauna. Another top tourism site includes the historic eighteenth century slave trade port at Bimbia, which once was one of the busiest slave-ship departure points on Africa’s Atlantic Coast to plantations in North and South America and across the Sahara.
Delegates should plan to fly into Douala International Airport. Further congress details will be posted athttp://africatravelassociation.org/events/ac.html.

Tourism Australia unveils new logo


Tourism Australia has  confirmed that it is evolving its current logo, "to stay relevant and to reflect the organisation’s changing culture and identity."
The new logo will still feature the iconic kangaroo but with a more modern design and vibrant colourful palette reflecting the rich and varied landscape of Australia.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said it was the right time to update the eight year old logo and doing so would complement the recent update to the national tourism organisation's global campaign.
"Tourism brands the world over, from Australia to Argentina, are continually updating their visual identity. Even New York’s iconic ‘I [heart] NY’ logo was revamped for the city’s recent summer tourism campaign," Mr McEvoy said.
He said the new logo was more modern, sophisticated and better aligned with the contemporary and 'best of Australia'positioning being communicated by Tourism Australia's recently updated campaign creative.
"While it has powerful visual elements that are still relevant, the current logo itself is beginning to look out-of-step with the next phase of our There’s nothing like Australia campaign," Mr McEvoy said.
"The strong use of blues, greens and yellows, and a significantly more contemporary positioning, is in keeping with Tourism Australia's positioning of a modern and confident Australia open to the world," he said.
The current logo was designed in 2004 at the time of the ‘Different Light’ campaign.
The new logo will be progressively rolled out, starting in Australia and across the Tourism Australia network of 12 international offices from December 17. The timing aligns with Tourism Australia moving into new corporate headquarters at 420 George Street in the Sydney CBD.
Campaign artwork with the new logo will start to be used rolled from 1 January 2013' with the aim of having the new logo included in all campaign material globally by the end of April 2013.
The creative work has been carried out Interbrand, part of Tourism Australia's current global creative agency, DDB.

Second annual UNWTO forum to focus on aviation and tourism


For the second year running, Arabian Travel Market 2013 will host a special UNWTO forum, with this year’s session taking place on Tuesday 7th May 2013, under the theme ‘Aviation and Tourism Policies: Balancing the Benefits’.
Following on from a highly successful and dynamic discussion at this year’s World Travel Market UNWTO forum, which focused on the topics of visa facilitation and air transport policies as key drivers for tourism co-operation and sector growth, the second annual UNWTO gathering at Arabian Travel Market 2013 will bring regional airlines, tourism leaders and the UNWTO together to discuss the role of the industry in driving Middle East tourism growth and the regional influence on its tourism strategies and policy.
The theme for this year’s forum is particularly relevant, and timely, as IATA reports indicate that the Middle East will handle 400 million air travellers by 2020 as a number of new state-of-the-art airports come on line, major carriers expand their route networks, and aircraft orders from the Gulf region add new capacity,” remarked Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, organiser of Arabian Travel Market.
Route network expansion for the Middle East’s major carriers is driving domestic and international tourism demand. Regional aviation sector growth forecasts remain positive through to 2020, buoyed by up to US$90 billion worth ofinvestment into infrastructure expansion in key gateway destinations,” he added.
A full schedule of events and networking sessions will mark the 20th anniversary of the Arabian Travel Market exhibition with air travel one of the eight major vertical sectors during the weeklong event, alongside budget travel, careers, health and wellbeing, luxury, shopping, sports, and cruise and water-based travel.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the 2012 edition of the Middle East’s leading travel exhibition showcased 2,436 exhibitors covering over 20,000 square metres and attracted more than 23,000 attendees.
Arabian Travel Market 2013 will be held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 6-9 May 2013.

airberlin strengthens capitol city hub


At its Berlin hub, airberlin is continuing the expansion of its Eastern European range and is adding flights to Bucharest and Sofia to the flight schedule from 28th January 2013.
Once a day airberlin starts to the Romanian and Bulgarian capital.
One of our stated goals for 2013 is to further strengthen airberlin as a network carrier. Adaptation of our network strategy is an important part of this. With the new flights from Berlin to Bucharest and Sofia, we are offering our flight guests from Berlin a total of nine destinations in Central and Eastern Europe. Travellers from Bucharest and Sofia have access to our international route network via Berlin,” said Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Strategy and Network Planning Officer airberlin.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, board spokesman for Berlin Brandenburg Airport GmbH, added: "The new flights to Sofia and Bucharest are an important addition to the Eastern European offering, especially for business travellers. Travellers from Bulgaria and Romania can transfer in Berlin and continue on airberlin flights all over the world.”
In addition to Bucharest and Sofia, airberlin’s non-stop destinations from Berlin to Central and Eastern Europe include the cities of Gdansk, Krakow, Kaliningrad, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Budapest. Warsaw will also be included from 23rd March. Feeder flights are available from many cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as from European and worldwide destinations in the airberlin route network.
airberlin is one of Europe’s leading airlines and flies to 170 destinations in 40 countries. As the second largest airline in Germany, the company has a workforce of 9,300 employees. The airline with the award-winning service carried more than 35 million passengers in 2011. airberlin offers a global route network through its strategic partnership with Etihad Airways and membership in the oneworld® airline alliance. airberlin operates codeshare flights worldwide with 14 airlines. The fleet of 158 aircraft has an average age of five years and is among the most modern and eco-efficient in Europe.

Aloft Hotels Debuts in Tampa


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® and Liberty Group announced that Starwood’s fast-growing Aloft® brand will soon debut in Tampa, Florida.
Opening in early 2014 along the Tampa Riverwalk, Aloft Tampa Downtown will occupy the former Mercantile Bankoffice building as part of an adaptive re-use project developed, owned and managed by the Liberty Group in a joint-venture partnership with Convergent Capital Partners, which acquired the vacant office building earlier this year. Orlando-based Baker Barrios Architects has been selected as the lead architect and interior designer for the project.
Aloft Tampa Downtown will deliver style-at-a-steal with 130 spacious, loft-like rooms, forward-thinking technology and a vibrant, social atmosphere in an ideal location along the Tampa Riverwalk, the landmark gateway to downtown. It will be the fifth Aloft in Florida, following the opening of Aloft Miami-Brickwell in 2013.
We are thrilled to add Tampa to the Aloft brand’s rapidly growing list of destinations in Florida and look forward to working with Liberty Group on this exciting adaptive re-use project ,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Speciality Select Brands for Starwood. “The go-to brand for savvy travelers, Aloft delivers high design, accessible technology and a social atmosphere.”
With its urban design aesthetic and appeal to savvy travelers, Aloft is particularly well-suited to adaptive re-use projects like Aloft Tampa,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Aloft has a fiercely loyal following and has proven to be a hit within the development community. Conversions represent a promising growth channel for the brand, helping us bring the brand to new markets more quickly to meet growing demand.”
The project is a vision of joint-venture partners Punit Shah of Liberty Group and Santosh Govindaraju of ConvergentCapital Partners. Collectively, the companies have invested over $550,000,000 in performing / sub-performing commercial mortgages and real estate including hotels, golf courses, multifamily, and office in just the past four years.
For Liberty Group, Aloft Tampa Downtown represents yet another opportunity to adapt and reposition anotherdistressed property in a prime location, having acquired more than 20 hotels throughout the United States since 2010.
While we already own several premier hotels in the Tampa Bay area, my family has specifically been focused on developing a hotel in downtown Tampa for years, and this project presents the perfect opportunity to own the hippest hotel in the most dynamic location in Tampa Bay,” says Punit Shah, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Liberty Group. “Tampa continues to establish itself as a world-class city, and our urban core offers diverse demand generators that create the ideal location for our Aloft hotel. It’s a wonderful accomplishment for Tampa to have an Aloft Hotel that is in the same conversation as cities like London, New York, Beijing, and Abu Dhabi.”
Located along the Hillsborough River and the new Tampa Riverwalk, Aloft Tampa Downtown will be within walking distance of the University of Tampa, Tampa Convention Center, University of South Florida’s new CAMLS facility, Tampa Times Forum, Tampa Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa History Museum, Curtis Hixon Park, Florida Aquarium, and the Port of Tampa. Hotel amenities will include the Aloft brand’s signature w xyz sm bar located adjacent to the waterfront pool and a 24-hour fitness center. Aloft Tampa Downtown will also feature a 4,000 square foot rooftop flexible meeting and outdoor terrace area in the heart of Tampa’s bustling financial district.
This project will energize a very important gateway into our downtown and add more activity to our Riverwalk,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “It’s great to see another building in our downtown re-purposed with such a well-respected Development Team and Brand associated with the development.”
Pioneering initiatives in music, design, and technology have positioned Aloft as a must-have living-social brand for the next generation of travelers. Aloft has reported consistently high guest satisfaction scores since its launch, reflecting the success of its modern and vibrant design at an affordable price point. Aloft's social guest experience, with the buzzing re:mix lounge and w xyz bar, have also earned select hotels within the portfolio designations in TripAdvisor's 2012 "Top 10 Trendiest Hotels in the US" rankings.

Carnival Corporation Donates $2 Million to Hurricane Sandy Victims


To aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy, Carnival Corporation & plc announced today that they are donating $2-million in relief funds. The funds are earmarked to go to four different organizations providing relief, rebuilding and support to the families and areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy in October.
The Robin Hood Relief Fund will receive $1-million, Habitat for Humanity will receive $500,00, Save the Children and Mayors Fund to Advance New York City will both receive $250,000.
Super Storm Sandy was one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history and on behalf of the 90,000 global employees of Carnival Corporation & plc we are pleased to provide this financial support to those who were affected by the storm,” said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. “We also have a special relationship with the region, with several ships either homeported or visiting the area as a port of call, as well as  hundreds of thousands of  residents who sail on the fleets of our various cruise brands.”

According to Bloomberg, damage to the Northeast from Hurricane Sandy could reach $2.5-billion.



Global Cruise Industry Announces Support of Paris MOU’s Focus on Passenger Ship Safety


On behalf of the global cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced its support of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control’s (MOU) Harmonised Verification Programme (HAVEP), through which its 27 member States will provide focused attention on passenger ship safety throughout the 2013calendar year.
During the HAVEP, Port State Control Officers will inspect passenger ships and witness a number of emergency drills and scenarios on operational controls that govern the safe operation of passenger vessels.  The Paris MOU is a system of harmonized inspection procedures implemented by 27 participating maritime Administrations and covers inspection activities in the waters of the European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe.
The global cruise industry welcomes the Paris MOU’s focus on passenger ship safety in 2013 through HAVEP, as the safety of passengers and crewmembers is the cruise industry’s number one priority,” said Bud Darr, vice president, technical and regulatory affairs, CLIA.  “Through HAVEP, crewmembers will have additional opportunities to showcase their preparation for emergency situations in addition to demonstrating the extensive knowledge and training through the conduct of comprehensive drills which are already required by both international and national laws and industry procedures and policies.”
The global cruise industry is committed to continually reviewing operational safety protocols and procedures to further improve safety, as evidenced by the ongoing Global Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factors and operational aspects of maritime safety.   Every aspect of the cruise experience is heavily regulated and monitored under both U.S. and international maritime law.  Due to the industry’s commitment to safety, backed up by strict regulations, vigorous enforcement mechanisms and initiatives such as HAVEP, cruising is the safest form of leisure transportation.
Source: CLIA