Australasian airlines form new industry lobby group

first_imgJetstar and Virgin are allowing Bali passengers to book to alternative destinations. Photo: Steve Creedy AIRLINES in Australia and New Zealand are following the lead of their counterparts in the US and Europe to form a new trans-Tasman industry lobby group.Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) will be chaired by former Australian Competition and  Consumer Commission boss Graeme Samuel and will be governed by a board made up of representatives from member airlines.It will pursue reform on public policy issues that affect aviation and the economy such as airports, taxation and fees as well as access to efficient infrastructure and broader regulatory reform.The new group will be funded by Australasia’s four biggest airline groups and members are Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jetstar, Regional Express, Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia.The move follows the success of similar groups such as Airlines for America (A4A) and will give the industry a voice in politically sensitive areas in which individual airlines are sometimes reluctant to speak.It will also give the airlines a lobby group equivalent to other travel-related industries such as tourism and airports.And its seems airports will be high on the new group’s agenda, with Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon, Qantas boss Alan Joyce, Virgin chief John Borghetti and Rex executive chairman Lim Kim Hai all singling out the facilities in provided comments. “Australia and New Zealand must compete for visitors on the world stage against many other attractive destinations,’’ Luxon said.“To be competitive we must continue to improve cost and quality in all parts of the travel experience but we are constrained by a legacy of under-investment and over recovery at key airports. A4ANZ will add its voice to that ambition”.Joyce noted that airport fees and charges continue to increase while airlines were offering fares at levels significantly cheaper than they were over a decade ago. “A4ANZ’s goal is to achieve regulatory reform that will promote a competitive and sustainable airline industry in the interests of Australian and New Zealand travellers,” he said.Virgin’s John Borghetti said: “Aviation is one of the greatest enablers of tourism, trade and economic growth in our region, so it’s absolutely critical that airports operate efficiently and that investment in infrastructure benefits travellers.”Rex executive chairman Lim Kim Hai said A4ANZ was critical for regional communities as major airports were “all too ready to sacrifice critical regional interests”. “Rex looks forward to working with Professor Samuel and the Board to ensure the sustainability of all stakeholders big or small in the aviation industry,” he said.Australia’s competition watchdog said earlier this week that the nation’s four biggest airports had increased the amount they charge airlines to handle passengers by a collective $A1.57 billion over the past decade.An annual report by the Australian Competition and  Consumer Commission found that profit margins ranged from 46.7 per cent at Sydney Airport to 33.5 per cent in Perth. Brisbane came in at 44.9 percent and Melbourne at 38.2 per cent.The report found airports were recovering substantially more aeronautical revenue per passenger than a decade ago as they moved to offset increased costs per passenger and grow profit margins. “The ACCC estimates that over the past decade, these airports have collected $A1.57 billion more in revenue from airlines than they would otherwise have collected if average prices were held constant in real terms,”  ACCC chairman Rod Sims said. “Despite these much higher revenues per passenger, ratings of service quality are not materially different from those seen a decade ago.”last_img read more

USDA to reopen FSA offices while shutdown continues

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that all Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices nationwide will soon reopen to provide additional administrative services to farmers and ranchers during the lapse in federal funding.  Certain FSA offices have been providing limited services for existing loans and tax documents since January 17, and will continue to do so through January 23.  Beginning January 24, however, all FSA offices will open and offer a longer list of transactions they will accommodate.Additionally, Secretary Perdue announced that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program, which aids farmers harmed by unjustified retaliatory tariffs, has been extended to February 14.  The original deadline had been January 15.  Other program deadlines may be modified and will be announced as they are addressed.“At President Trump’s direction, we have been working to alleviate the effects of the lapse in federal funding as best we can, and we are happy to announce the reopening of FSA offices for certain services,” Perdue said.  “The FSA provides vital support for farmers and ranchers and they count on those services being available.  We want to offer as much assistance as possible until the partial government shutdown is resolved.”The U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to keep offices open from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays beginning January 24.  President Trump has already signed legislation that guarantees employees will receive all backpay missed during the lapse in funding.For the first two full weeks under this operating plan (January 28 through February 1 and February 4 through February 8), FSA offices will be open Mondays through Fridays.  In subsequent weeks, offices will be open three days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, if needed to provide the additional administrative services.Agricultural producers who have business with the agency can contact their FSA service center to make an appointment.FSA can provide these administrative services, which are critical for farmers and ranchers, because failure to perform these services would harm funded programs.  FSA staff will work on the following transactions:Market Facilitation Program.Marketing Assistance Loans.Release of collateral warehouse receipts.Direct and Guaranteed Farm Operating Loans, and Emergency Loans.Service existing Conservation Reserve Program contracts.Sugar Price Support Loans.Dairy Margin Protection Program.Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage.Livestock Forage Disaster.Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program.Livestock Indemnity Program.Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.Tree Assistance Program.Remaining Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed.Transactions that will not be available include, but are not limited to:New Conservation Reserve Program contracts.New Direct and Guaranteed Farm Ownership Loans.Farm Storage Facility Loan Program.New or in-process Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program applications.Emergency Conservation Program.Emergency Forest Rehabilitation Program.Biomass Crop Assistance Program.Grassroots Source Water Protection Program.With the Office of Management and Budget, USDA reviewed all of its funding accounts that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriation. We further refined this list to include programs where the suspension of the activity associated with these accounts would significantly damage or prevent the execution of the terms of the underling statutory provision. As a result of this review, USDA was able to except more employees. Those accounts that are not impacted by the lapse in appropriation include mandatory, multiyear and no year discretionary funding including FY 2018 Farm Bill activities.Updates to available services and offices will be made during the lapse in federal funding on the FSA shutdown webpage (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/help/shutdowninfo).  Programs managed by FSA that were re-authorized by the 2018 farm bill will be available at a later date yet to be determined.last_img read more

RBI recruits for 53 vacant posts 2014

first_imgReserve Bank of India (RBI) has invited applications for recruitment to the post of Assistant/Office Attendant. Interested and eligible candidates are required to apply before July 21, 2014.Vacancy details:Name of the Post: Assistant/Office Attendant (Sports persons)Total no. of Posts: 53 PostsPay scale:Assistant: Rs 22,732 per monthOffice Attendant: Rs 15,631 per monthEligibility criteria:Assistant: The candidate should hold a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a university within the recruitment zone. The age of the candidate should be between 18 to 26 years as on July 1, 2014. Office Attendant: The candidate should have passed their class 10th examination from a school within the recruitment zone. The age of the candidate should be between 18 to 26 years as on July 1, 2014.Note: Age relaxation is applicable as per rules.Application fee:The candidates have to pay an application fee of Rs 100 in the form of Account Payee Demand Draft (DD) drawn in favour of ‘Reserve Bank of India’ and payable at respective centre where the application is submitted.Candidates belonging to the SC/ ST category are exempted from payment of fee.Selection process:Candidates will be selected for the advertised posts on the basis of their performance in the trials and interviews.How to apply:Interested and eligible candidates have to send their duly filled application forms along with required documents and DD to: the Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, Recruitment Section, at respective centre.They can also deposit the application forms in a special box kept at the Bank’s Building from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays except on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.advertisementThe candidates have to superscribe the envelope containing the application as follows: For recruitment of SportspersonsImportant date:Last date of receipt of application forms: July 21, 2014last_img read more

IAAF allows 21 more Russians to compete as neutrals

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief MOST READ LATEST STORIES Ferrari shows good pace, reliability in 1st week of F1 tests However, with just eight days before the European indoors start in Glasgow, Russia says they won’t have time to get British visas.“They’re all obviously happy to get neutral status and the theoretical chance to compete at the European championships, but for objective reasons our athletes have to turn it down,” head coach Yuri Borzakovsky said in a statement. “They just physically can’t manage to sort out all the organizational issues in such a short time.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe federation said this affects six athletes including Sokolova and decathlete Artyom Makarenko who meet the qualifying standards. Another 11 Russians who already had approval will compete led by two-time world high jump champion Maria Lasitskene.The IAAF said it had not been told of any visa issues before deciding the athletes’ cases and that Russian officials told its staff they wanted to send Makarenko to the championships as recently as Tuesday. FILE – In this file photo dated Thursday, June 6, 2013, Russia’s Yelena Sokolova competes in the women’s long jump event at the Golden Gala IAAF athletic meeting, in Rome’s Olympic stadium. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, FILE)MOSCOW, Russia—Russia’s officially neutral track and field team swelled in size as the IAAF approved 21 more athletes on Thursday to compete internationally — but Russia says it’s too late for next week’s European indoor championships.The IAAF ruled Yelena Sokolova, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in long jump, can return to international competition for the first time since Russia’s team was banned in 2015 over widespread doping. Triple jumper Irina Gumenyuk has her approval extended from last season.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusationscenter_img SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte To get neutral status, Russian athletes have had to show they’re clean by providing information about their drug-testing history to an IAAF panel.The approvals are the first granted since the World Anti-Doping Agency started analyzing data from the Moscow laboratory last month. The IAAF said it has yet to receive any of the data.A total of 64 Russians have neutral status for 2019, of which 45 had the same status last year. A large number of cases have yet to be heard ahead of the world championships in Doha, which runs from Sept. 28 through Oct. 6.Seventy-three Russians had the status at some stage last season, according to Russian officials, who said they sent 192 applications for this season.Even with the neutral-status system in place, there have still been doping-related embarrassments for the IAAF and Russia. Of the six Russians who won world championship medals as neutrals in 2017, two have since been stripped of that status.ADVERTISEMENT They are race walk silver medalist Sergei Shirobokov, who traveled to a remote part of Kyrgyzstan to work with a banned coach, and the high jumper Daniil Lysenko, who is charged with failing to make himself available for three drug tests.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View commentslast_img read more