Friday, December 31, 2010

Beijing shows public transport gusto with new subways

Costing almost 61 billion yuan ($9.2 billion), the newly constructed lines most connecting the distant and dusty suburbs to the city center bring Beijing's subway network to 336 km (209 miles).

That distance is just a fraction of what the city government has planned, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said reporters at the unveiling of the city's No. 15 line.

Beijing aims to have a 561-km-long subway network by 2015, and is planning for between 700 and 1,000 km by 2020, Li Xiaosong, the deputy director of the commission said Reuters.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Russia PM Putin scolds transport officials amid freeze

Mr Putin castigated government officials at a televised meeting, pointing to transport chaos and power cuts triggered by icy weather conditions.

More than 8,000 people got stuck at Moscow's Domodedovo airport because they had not been warned, he said.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports.

"There will be no holidays until a particular order is given. Everyone must be at work," he told cabinet ministers and regional governors.

"The situation is hard, but thankfully not catastrophic, and our task is to make sure it does not escalate to catastrophic levels," he said.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An-22 military transport aircraft crashes in central Russia

The Russian Antonov military transport aircraft crashed overnight on Tuesday in the Tula region south of Moscow, killing 11 people on board, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Itar-Tass cited a source from the Russian Defense Ministry's information division as saying the An-22 aircraft had been flying from Voronezh to Tver when it disappeared from radar screens around 9:30 pm Moscow time (1830 GMT) on Tuesday.

The news group quoted a Russian law enforcement official as confirming all 11 crew members were dead.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Transport Workers In Bolivia Strike Due To Rise In Fuel Prices

Bus drivers and other transport employees in Bolivia began an indefinite strike Monday in protest against an increase of more than 70 percent in the price of fuel.

The drivers are striking due to a 73 percent raise in gasoline prices and an 83 percent increase in the cost of diesel fuel. The Bolivian government said it raised prices to encourage more fuel production in Bolivia and to cutdown on the smuggling of cheap, subsidized fuel across Bolivian borders to other countries.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Allegiant flight attendants vote for union representation

Flight attendants at Allegiant Airlines voted in favor of representation by the Transport employees Union, the union told Wednesday.

The vote with 62% in favor of representation - marks the first time flight attendants have voted in favor of a union under the fresh federal rules that call for a simple majority decision in airline and railroad union representation elections.

It's also the first employee group of the airline, a subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co., to seek union representation, notes the Las Vegas Sun.

"Allegiant is a fine place to work, and now it's going to get better," said Kristi Cohen, an Allegiant flight attendant, in a statement. "Now we've got a voice on the work. Once we can negotiate about our schedules, work rules, and other issues, we'll be full partners in growing the business."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fresh snowfall disrupts rail and air transport across Europe Read more: Fresh snowfall disrupts rail and air transport across Europe

Thousands of air travelers remained stranded and train services were severely disrupted as fresh snowfall and sub-zero temperatures worsened Europe's Christmas travel chaos.

For the fifth consecutive night, several hundred stranded passengers slept on camping beds at Germany's biggest airport in Frankfurt as the authorities struggled to cope with the tension building up among those still unable to catch a flight.

The airport operator Fraport has been trying to improve the services for stranded passengers and offered them free drinks and snacks after a brawl at Lufthansa's check-in counter previous Saturday.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Air New Zealand, Virgin Blue Get Alliance Approval

New Zealand Transport Minister Steven Joyce gave the deal a green light, a week past Australia's competition regulator approved the alliance.

"More sustainable competition, cost savings and the commitment both airlines have made to maintain trans-Tasman traveler numbers will be major benefits of the alliance," Joyce said in a statement.

Joyce's approval applies for three years, the same time period agreed to by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The carriers will be allowed to coordinate costs, scheduling, capacity and routes for flights between Australia and New Zealand.

High-speed rail route to avoid sensitive spots

The planned route of a fresh high-speed rail line has been altered to deal with serious concerns about its impact of local communities and countryside, the Transport Secretary said today.

Philip Hammond will unveil the preferred path for the expensive and controversial HS2 line from London to Birmingham on Monday and is hoping to calm opposition to it among several Conservative MPs.

Residents' groups and home councils are also vehemently against the line which will pass through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other Tory heartlands.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow and ice cause chaos as Christmas rush hit by transport delays

The return of arctic situation was disrupting the Christmas getaway today as motorists were warned that almost no area of Britain would escape the potentially lethal driving conditions while No 10 was forced to deny there was a heating oil crisis.

Flights and trains were cancelled as the UK's transport network once more threatened to buckle as a result of snow and ice.

Aberdeen, Norwich and Belfast airports have all suspended flights and Gatwick is in discussion with airlines including easy Jet, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic amid worries that snow will close the runway for at least part of tomorrow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fresh Transport Strike Hits Greece

Employees at Greek public-transport companies walked off the job Thursday in a 24-hour strike that has led to early-morning traffic chaos on the streets of Athens.

During the morning rush hour, television images showed traffic jams stretching for kilometers on different main arteries of the city as Athenians resorted to private transport to get to work.

The strike, which has affected bus, trolley, tram and subway services, is the second all-day strike by public-transport employees this week and comes after a nationwide common strike Wednesday that paralyzed the country and led to violent protests in Athens. Rail workers at the national railroad company, OSE, are also striking Thursday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

China drives growth in int'l air transport

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva said on Dec. 14 that the focus of international air transport industry is moving east, and China has become the key driver for development in the industry.

Giovanni Bisignani, Director General of the International Air Transport Association said that the profit forecast of the international air transport industry in 2010 is 1.5 billion U.S. dollars with a net profit margin of 2.7 percent.

"More than half of the expected profit is from the Asia-Pacific region, which totaled 7.7 billion U.S. dollars, and China has made great contributions by continuing to increase earnings expectations this year," said Bisignani

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Greek Public Transport Workers Hold Second Strike Amid Wage Cuts

Public transport in Athens and train services across Greece shut down for a second 24-hour strike in less than a week as the government prepare to push through wage cuts to meet pledges in a 110 billion-euro ($147 billion) bailout package.

The metro in the Greek capital, used by 620,000 people every day, along with buses, trolleys and trams, won’t run at all today. Intercity trains are also canceled. The strike will be repeated on Dec. 16 and follows a series of walkouts since Dec. 8. ADEDY, the largest public-sector union, and General Confederation of Labor, or GSEE, Greece’s biggest private- industry union, will hold a three-hour walkout today, before a planned common strike tomorrow.

Public transport employees wages will be trimmed at least 10 percent under a bill to be voted on in parliament later today as Prime Minister George Papandreou deepens cuts to meet targets under the European Union-led rescue package.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Qantas repairs drip shields after mid-air failure

An aeroplane carrying more than 350 people made an emergency landing at Bangkok airport.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released its last report today and found the aircraft lost electrical power because drip shields failed to stop overflowing water entering electrical equipment.

The water affected cabin lighting and the aeroplane's communication navigation, including autopilot.

Qantas was also advised to develop its maintenance process which failed to pick up on the equipment deteriorating.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

SpaceX Reaches First Milestone for Commercial Space Transport

A privately constructed spacecraft has successfully lauched into orbit around world and returned after several hours.

Space exploration company SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft propelled from Florida's Cape Canaveral in the United States on Wednesday morning.

NASA's official website reported the launch and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk as saying: "There's so much that can go wrong and it all went correct ... I'm sort of in semi-shock."

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Greek Public Transport Workers Go on Strike Against Salary Cuts

Public transport in Athens and train services across Greece are shut down today as state workers protest against salary cuts in wages and bonuses and the reorganization of state-controlled companies.

The metro, used by 620,000 Athenians every day, along with buses, trolleys and trams, will not work all day according to a spokesman at the Athens Urban Transport Organization, who declined to be named. Intercity trains were also canceled, according to an e-mailed statement from Hellenic Railways.

The metro system usually operates from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and is the main link between the city center and Athens International Airport. The strike will not affect operations at the airport or ferry services at the port of Piraeus.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Delta Air Lines CEO to Chair Air Transport Association Board

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade association representing the leading U.S. airlines, announced today that Delta Air Lines CEO Richard H. Anderson has been elected chairman of the ATA Board of Directors. Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Gary C. Kelly was named vice chairman.

"Richard Anderson is a best leader and a proven chief executive, with the necessary credentials to further propel the mission of ATA as it faces the challenges and priorities in this next Congress," said ATA President and CEO James C. May. "Richard Anderson, Gary Kelly and incoming ATA President and CEO Nick Calio will complement each other as the association's board representatives with the administration and the latest Congress."

"I look forward to working cooperatively with the administration, Congress and regulatory agencies to advance initiatives that support continued improvements in the financial health of the U.S. aviation industry and maintain our focus on safety," said Anderson. "Airlines are a vital industry in the U.S. and give 11 million jobs annually. Our association's focus is to move tax and regulatory oversight in a direction that fosters growth and makes us an even stronger economic engine for America."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Nissan’s Two-Seat Electric Car

Nissan Motor Co. released pictures today of an electric concept car called the New Mobility Concept. The tall, two-seat car that resembles a Smart Fortwo, is part of a broad transportation program the car maker is studying, which includes car-sharing and raised mobility for older drivers.

Nissan, which is about to start selling its Leaf electric sedan later this month, says it is looking closely at the possibilities presented by electric vehicles. The car maker says one proposal under development involves sustainable, efficient and convenient transport tailored for elderly and single households.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

No end in sight to Cape Town train strike

Train users in the Western Cape might have to make alternative travel arrangements as strike by Metrorail employees in the province looks set to continue, union Utatu said on Wednesday.

United Transport and Allied Union general secretary Chris de Vos also warned that it could spread to other provinces if workers’ grievances are not sorted out. He could not say when the strike would stop.

About 600 000 passenger journeys are made on Metrorail trains each day, company spokesperson Riana Scott said.

Commuters only found out about the cancelled trains on Wednesday morning as Metrorail was “unable to inform them before”, Scott told News24.