Archive for 2010

Air Traffic Controllers in Spain Threaten to Strike

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There is an air of foreboding for travelers going in and out of Spain later in the month because air traffic controllers have threatened an unannounced strike. This is because the Spanish government has lowered their salaries from £290,000 annually to £167,000 annually. This is in lieu of the government’s call for austerity, pretty much demanding the same sacrifice from professionals all over the country.

Spain has been suffering from major budget deficits recently. While the slash in the air controllers’ salaries is a hefty 40%, which will definitely affect their lifestyles, the government insists that salary cuts are being applied to almost all professionals. Air controllers’ salaries should have been overlooked has it not been for Jose Blanco, the minister for development, who pointed out that some civil servants are earning as much as £800,000 a year.

Turkish Airlines Jumps into the Bandwagon of Premium Economy Seats

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Airlines all over the world are trying out a new marketing scheme for their cabin classes. This lets them adjust to the demands of passengers today who seem to want something more than just business or economy. The gray area here is a higher priced seat compared to that of  the economy class, but a comfort level that’s also a notch above it.

However, it shouldn’t be as expensive as the business class seats, and would probably offer less perks as well. The first airlines who have applied the “premium economy” cabins are British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. British Airways calls their “premium economy” class equivalent the “world traveler plus”. Now, another airline adds to the list.

Turkish airlines add their gray-area cabin and name it “Comfort class”. The Comfort Class cabin, however, is limited to a specific airplane model, the 777. Other airplane models won’t have this option. The 777s currently fly to Shanghai, Beijing, Narita, Toronto, Bangkok, and Sau Paulo. Among the stop-overs which are sometimes included in these routes are Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York.

Saudi Arabia to Follow Blackberry Ban after UAE

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Saudi Arabia told telecoms companies that they will be banning the messenger functions of Blackberry smart phones last Friday, July 30, 2010. This was right after the United Arab Emirates reported security concerns which could compromise the nation’s security.

It is no secret that internet access in these areas is very stringent. Recently, the UAE government expressed concern that it was unable to monitor online communications between the devices within UAE and Saudi Arabia, and those outside it. The government out security requirements to telecoms firms, but they refused to detail these requirements to the press.

According to the government, any further details may compromise sensitive information, so they’re keeping their lips sealed. For now, both countries are banning internet browsing, messenger functions and email access from the smartphone devices. The ban will last until the firms agree to their security conditions.

Word from Blackberry

Westin Ends its Summer by Opening Two Hotels

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The only things better than new hotels are new hotels in prime summer locations. Days are always bright and peachy in Westin Hotels, and now they’re opening two new branches. There is the Westin Resort Costa Navarino which is in Greece, and the Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa situated in Phuket, Thailand.

The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa brings signature Westin accommodations to Thailand including ultra-comfortable beds, airy rooms, green practices, and pleasant, clean fragrances in the rooms. The hotel has three pools, six lounges and restaurants, the signature Westin Heavenly Spa, and a myriad of water and beach activities for its guests.

Greece’s Westin Resort Costa Navarino, on the other hand, which already launched last July, tags itself a quiet and peaceful sanctuary. It is located near Pylos. However, despite the promise of serenity, there are actually quite a number of activities you can do here. Those who think that “peaceful” is another word for boring are wrong.

Airships to Get a Second Chance

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Reaching Bedford, once you get to the Cardington Airfield, you’ll see two massive hangars made from corrugated steel. The structures tower over an otherwise low-lying terrain. They’re over 190 feet high and 800 feet long. With that area, you can easily play three games of football simultaneously without interception. These steel structures housed what used to be the symbols of British airship industry’s former success.

The R101 and R100 were stored here some 80 years ago. They were monstrously big and were built with superlight metal so they can glide like cruise ships in the sky. The airships had their own smoking rooms, cabins with portholes, customized crockery and silver, and were practically five-star hotels defying permanence and gravity.

With sleeker aircrafts being built day-by-day, though, having a big balloon-like airship cruising the sky isn’t an idea that’s easy to sell. Despite history of the aircraft’s less-than-graceful receptions, there is a group of engineers in that same airfield who think that the airship idea can actually float—or fly.

Top 5 things to do in Istanbul


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when planning Turkey holidays, because there are so many educational, historic, and fun things to do on your vacation. Here is a list to get you started.

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the most revered masterpieces in the Islamic world. It is commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque, owing to its blue ceramic tiled roofline, complete with six minarets. A tour of this mosque is a serene respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets of Istanbul, and provides countless photo opportunities with its beautiful architecture.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum (Arkeoloji Muzesi)

The Istanbul Archaeology Museum was the first Turkish museum, opening to the public in 1891. To this day, it remains one of the largest museums in the world, with over one million artefacts, including Greek, Byzantine and Roman antiquities. Located between Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park, you will find it’s among the best value compared to other tourist attractions in Istanbul.

The best places to lace up for an international marathon

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Running is a form of exercise that offers a lot of benefits. First off, it’s cheap. Running doesn’t require a lot of big, expensive equipment for you to be able to work out. Second, it’s easy to learn. Unlike other exercises with very precise moves, running is fairly easy to learn whether you’re a 10 year old or well over your sixties. Third, you can do it anywhere. If you travel a lot but hate to miss out on your work out, you needn’t worry about a thing because in any city, whether you’re at the beach or near the mountains, you can almost always find a place to run, even for a short while.

Boris Johnson pushes for bicycle for hire scheme in London

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Naming it as the new trend for the bikes in the city of London, Mayor Boris Johnson launched the new cycle hire scheme.

Located at the Thames River’s south bank with 400 docking stations, Johnson was present at one of them to check about 6,000 cycles for hire to be stored.

Targeting to come up to 40,000 or more bicycle trips everyday in London’s central part, more than 12,000 people signed up for the Barclays Cycle Hire Project.

Today, around 5,000 bikes are rented and brought back in 315 of the 400 docking stations. Mayor Johnson said:” the scheme brought the Londoners a new trend for using the bike in London.” Also, he said that the area have been occupied by thousands of bicycles gleaming to the sight that will eventually transform the ambiance and look of the streets of London and soon would become a commonplace on the roads the same as the red buses and also dark cabs.

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