– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
BRUSSELS: Mohamed Abrini, wanted over November’s Islamic State attacks in Paris, has been arrested in Brussels, Belgian public broadcaster VRT said on Friday, adding that he was probably involved in last month’s Brussels bombings.
Public prosecutors confirmed in a brief statement only that police had made several arrests related to the Brussels attacks.
Abrini, a 31-year-old Belgian, was “more than likely” the “man in the hat” seen on security camera footage at Brussels airport on March 22 with two suicide bombers, VRT said, citing unidentified sources. A second suspect, believed to have been seen with a third suicide bomber on the metro, was also held.
VRT named the second man as Osama Krayem. It gave no other detail and officials could not be reached for immediate comment.
Abrini has been on Europe’s most wanted list since being identified on CCTV video in a car with Salah Abdeslam, the recently arrested prime surviving Paris suspect, two days before the Nov. 13 attacks in the French capital.
The “man in the hat” left the airport shortly after the twin suicide bombing and was tracked on CCTV for several miles into the city centre. On Thursday, investigators released new video footage of him and urged people to look for his discarded coat.
Wearing glasses and a hat, he had been very difficult to identify from the footage showing him pushing a laden luggage trolley alongside the two men who would blow themselves up with similar explosive bags. A third bomb was later found abandoned at the airport.
Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels two weeks ago, four days before Islamic State suicide bombers struck in the city.
— Phuket Gazette EditorsKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
More than four million guests stayed in an Airbnb on August 10, 2019
“Airbnb has created an opportunity to meet people from all around the world.” – Pim, an Airbnb Host in Thailand
Exactly 11 years since Airbnb was founded, the home-sharing hospitality company and ‘accommodation disrupters’ celebrated its biggest night ever, with more than 4 million people spending the night in an Airbnb listing on August 10, 2019.
To date, there has been more than half a billion guest arrivals at unique homes and properties all over the world since the company was founded in August 2008.
To work towards bringing the world closer, Airbnb has created the Airbnb Connection Index, which reflects the pairings of countries and regions between hosts and guests. For example, when a guest from Thailand becomes the first to stay with a host in Iceland, a new connection is made. In return, when an Icelandic guest becomes the first to stay with a host in Thailand, another new connection is made.
In 2010, the Airbnb platform had facilitated more than 1,300 connections. By 2015, that number had increased to more than 16,500.
Today, approximately 26,000 connections have been made via the Airbnb platform, and by the end of 2019 more than 30,013 connections are expected to be made as the platform grows even further.
With the current presence of the Airbnb platform in 245 countries and regions, it is mathematically possible for there to be 60,025 place-to-place connections. By the year 2027, Airbnb predicts that there will be in excess of 50,000 connections.
As outlined in a recent report, much of Airbnb’s fastest growth is occurring in emerging destinations, propelled by a rising demand for travel to places across Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America.
Pim, an Airbnb Host in Thailand, shared, “Airbnb has created an opportunity to meet people from all around the world. It makes me understand that different cultures can live together. We can be happy, we can share, we can have good memories together no matter where you come from.”Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Bangkok to Hong Kong the world’s second most popular flight, what’s the most popular?
The world’s top five flying routes are all in the Asia Pacific region, according to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) report. Aviation writers say the growth can be attributed to the addition of flights operated by low-cost carriers in the region.
Passenger traffic between Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) and Hong Kong airport is Number Two on the list of the airports with the world’s busiest air traffic. The trip between Hong Kong and Taipei Taoyuan, Taiwan, is the most popular route in the world carrying 5.4 million passengers per year.
Passenger traffic between Suvarnabhumi and Hong Kong reached 3.4 million in 2018, up 9% from 2017.
The report of IATA world airline traffic for 2018 also shows that airlines in the Asia Pacific carried the largest number of passengers in the world.
Global passenger traffic results for 2018 showed that demand rose by a healthy 6.5% compared to full-year 2017. Although this represented a slowdown compared to the 2017 annual growth of 8.0%, it was another year of above-trend growth. Full year 2018 capacity climbed 6.1%, and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage point to a record 81.9%, exceeding the previous high set in 2017.
“Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director-general and CEO.
In terms of pure numbers of flights for 2018, here are the results. Eight out of ten of the routes are all in the Asia-Pacific.
- Kuala Lumpur – Singapore: 30,187 flights
- Hong Kong – Taipei: 28,447 flights
- Jakarta – Singapore: 27,046 flights
- Hong Kong – Shanghai: 20,678 flights
- Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur: 19,741 flights
- Seoul Incheon – Osaka: 19,711 flights
- New York LaGuardia – Toronto: 17,038 flights
- Hong Kong – Seoul Incheon: 15,770 flights
- Bangkok – Singapore: 14,698 flights
- Dubai – Kuwait: 14,581 flights
- Bangkok – Hong Kong: 14,556 flights
- Hong Kong – Beijing: 14,537 flights
- New York JFK – London Heathrow: 14,195 flights
- Tokyo Narita – Taipei: 13,902 flights
- Dublin – London Heathrow: 13,855 flights
- Osaka – Shanghai: 13,708 flights
- Hong Kong – Singapore: 13,654 flights
- Chicago O’Hare – Toronto: 13,503 flights
- Seoul Incheon – Tokyo Narita: 13,517 flights
- Osaka – Taipei: 13,325 flights
Which flight route makes the most money in the world?
The world of aviation now has its first billion dollar route. That’s a flight route that makes more money for an airline than any other. And for the first time that route has breached the one billion dollar ceiling – British Airways’ service between London Heathrow and New York’s JFK.
OAG has come up with a list of the routes and airlines that generate the highest revenue around the world.
The Heathrow to JFK route pockets British Airways more than $1.15 billion in the 12 months up to April 2019. With 600+ flights per month, that equates to an hourly revenue of $27,159, a 10% increase on last year’s revenue. British Airways operates the venerable Boeing 747 and Boeing 777-200s on its Heathrow to JFK services.
So where is the second most profitable flight route in the world? QANTAS Airways’ domestic service between the southern cities of Melbourne and Sydney generates more than $861 million a year for Australia’s national airline.
Number 3 and 4 were also flights out of London’s Heathrow – Emirates’ service to Dubai and Singapore Airlines’ route to Singapore Changi. The Heathrow flights to Doha with Qatar Airways was number 7 and Cathay Pacific’s flights to Hong Kong were Number 8.
North American domestic routes also figured in the top 10. United Airlines’ San Francisco to Newark route delivered annual revenue of $689 million dollars and Air Canada’s Vancouver to Toronto route was Number 9 with annual revenue of $541 million dollars.
Highest-revenue flight routes: April 2018 – March 2019
1. British Airways: New York JFK – London Heathrow
(Total revenue: $1,159,126,794 / revenue per hour: $27,159)
2. Qantas Airways: Melbourne – Sydney
(Total revenue: $861,260,322 / revenue per hour: $23,773)
3. Emirates: London Heathrow – Dubai International
(Total revenue: $796,201,645 / revenue per hour: $24,926)
4. Singapore Airlines: London Heathrow – Singapore Changi
(Total revenue: $735,597,614 / revenue per hour: $18,771)
5. United Airlines: San Francisco International – Newark
(Total revenue: $689,371,368 / revenue per hour: $12,882)
6. American Airlines: Los Angeles LAX – New York JFK
(Total revenue: $661,739,788 / Revenue per hour: $13,099)
7. Qatar Airways: London Heathrow – Hamad International
(Total revenue: $639,122,609 / revenue per hour: $20,415)
8. Cathay Pacific Airways: Hong Kong International – London Heathrow
(Total revenue: $604,595,063 / revenue per hour: $13,887)
9. Singapore Airlines: Sydney – Singapore Changi
(Total revenue: $549,711,946 / revenue per hour: $20,821)
10. Air Canada: Vancouver YVR – Toronto Pearson International
(Total revenue: $541,122,509 / revenue per hour: $11,936)
SOURCE: CNN Travel
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