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Phuket Media Watch: Russian round-up

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Media Watch: Russian round-up | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Russia’s first hybrid vehicle to go on sale next year
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

Russian automobile manufacturer Yo-Auto on Tuesday announced that it will be offering the country’s first hybrid vehicle late next year.

The company’s billionaire co-owner Mikhail Prokhorov spoke on national television on Tuesday to confirm that the first Yo-hybrid is scheduled to come out on sale in December 2012. Prokhorov had said in previous announcements that the goal is to manufacture and offer an eco-friendly vehicle for under $10,000 (approximately 310,000 Thai Baht).

The first Yo-mobile manufacturing plant, which is located near the Russian city of St. Petersburg, is estimated to have an annual production capacity of around 45,000 vehicles. However, the capacity is expected to double after the second stage of the plant’s construction is completed.

The high-profile billionaire, 46, announced earlier this month that he will take part in next year’s presidential election and challenge Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Prokhorov is considered to be Russia’s third richest billionaire with a net worth of approximately $18 billion.

Despite his political aspirations, Prokhorov aims to carry out his business projects as planned. “I have a very strong team and highly-skilled and professional staff,” Prokhorov said, as quoted by RIA Novosti. “All the projects I announced in business will be implemented in full.”

Prokhorov made his fortune in metals and banking, but he is also well known as the owner of the New Jersey Nets, which he bought in 2009.

Turkey, Russia reach agreement on South Stream pipeline
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

Turkey has approved the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline which is intended to carry Russian natural gas under the Black Sea to Europe, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced.

The South Stream pipeline is expected to transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas to central and southern Europe. Commercial gas deliveries are excepted to start at the end of 2015, according to Alexei Miller, the head of the Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom.

“I am pleased to note that our energy talks, which have been fairly strained and difficult, have yielded positive results,” Putin said during a meeting with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz. “I would especially like to thank the Turkish government for its decision to give its final authorization to Gazprom to build the South Stream gas pipeline system on the Black Sea bed in Turkey’s exclusive economic zone.”

Putin said the accord will contribute to stable energy supplies to the European market. “This truly is a pan-European project,” he noted. The prime minister added that Russia also agreed on long-term contracts for the delivery of gas to Turkey until 2021 and 2025, with a boost in gas supplies to Turkey by eight percent or 2 billion cubic meters in 2012.

The South Stream pipeline is an attempt to diversify Russian gas routes away from transit countries such as Ukraine. The neighboring ex-Soviet republic accounts for 80 percent of Russian gas transit to European Union nations but frequent rows with Moscow over gas prices have sometimes ended with Kiev switching the gas tap off in wintertime.

Miller said the construction of the South Stream pipeline will not affect the gas price formula for Ukraine or other countries.

Passenger plane crashes in Kyrgyzstan, injuring 12 people
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

Twelve people were injured on early yesterday afternoon when a passenger plane crashed while landing at an airport in Kyrgyzstan, government officials said. There were no fatalities.

The accident happened at around 1:48 p.m. Phuket time, when Kyrgyzstan Airlines Flight 3 was attempting to land during bad weather at an airport in Osh, the second largest city in the Central Asian country. The plane, a Tupolev Tu-134, was en-route from the capital of Bishkek.

A spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry said the aircraft, which was carrying 73 passengers and 6 crew members, skidded off the runway and overturned before coming to a stop. The aircraft sustained heavy damage and both the right wing and the landing gear were broken off, according to officials.

The Kyrgyz Health Ministry confirmed twelve people were injured, including nine people who were treated at the scene by ambulances. A 7-month-old girl and a 19-year-old man were among those hospitalized, both suffering from a concussion and other injuries.

It was not immediately known what caused the accident, but officials said heavy fog and possible icing are being investigated as possible causes. The aircraft was manufactured in 1979 and its airworthiness certificate was to expire on January 19.

In August 2008, Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 crashed after taking off from Manas International Airport in Bishkek, killing 68 people and injuring 18 others. It remains the deadliest aviation accident in the country’s history.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Travel

Thai Airways sneaks into Top Ten. Skytrax World’s Best Airlines Awards 2019.

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Thai Airways sneaks into Top Ten. Skytrax World’s Best Airlines Awards 2019. | The Thaiger

PHOTO: A Thai Airways Airbus A380

Qatar Airways is the world’s best airline in the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Last year’s winner Singapore Airlines, has been relegated to second place. Asian airlines have taken six of the top ten spots with Thai Airways, despite their local woes, just sneaking into the Top Ten.

The Skytrax awards are the most prestigious in the business, voted for by travellers.

Qatar Airways has also won the Skytrax top award in 2017, 2015, 2012 and 2011. Qatar Airways also won World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Seat and Best Airline in the Middle East. Qantas Airways nabbed number 8 on the list, after failing to make the top 10 in 2019.

Singapore Airlines also won key awards including World’s Best Cabin Crew, World’s Best First Class, Best Airline in Asia and World’s Best First Class Seat. AirAsia won World’s Best Low-Cost Airline topping off a stellar win for Asian airlines this year. Lufthansa was the only European airline able to break the top 10. US airlines were conspicuously absent in the listings but United Airlines did World’s Best Business Class Lounge.

British Airways, which failed to attract any awards in 2018, won Best Airline Staff in the UK and Most Improved Airline in Europe (that will make a wonderful headline in the British tabloids today).

Thai Airways sneaks into Top Ten. Skytrax World's Best Airlines Awards 2019. | News by The Thaiger

World’s Best Airlines for 2019

1. Qatar Airways

2. Singapore Airlines

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

4. Cathay Pacific

5. Emirates

6. EVA Air

7. Hainan Airlines

8. Qantas Airways

9. Lufthansa

10. Thai Airways

Best Airlines by Global Region

Northern Europe – Finnair

Western Europe – Lufthansa

Eastern Europe – Aeroflot Russian Airlines

Africa – Ethiopian Airlines

Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airlines

Central Asia / India – Air Astana

China – Hainan Airlines

Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines

South America – LATAM

North America – Air Canada

Asia – Singapore Airlines

Middle East – Qatar Airways

Europe – Lufthansa

Best Low-Cost Airlines

Africa – Fastjet

Australia & Pacific – Jetstar Airways

Asia – AirAsia

Central Asia / India – IndiGo

China – West Air

South America – Sky Airline

Southwest Airlines – WestJet

Middle East – Flynas

Europe – EasyJet

Best Airline Catering

Economy – EVA Air

Premium Economy – Austrian Airlines

Business – ANA All Nippon Airways

First Class – Air France

Thai Airways sneaks into Top Ten. Skytrax World's Best Airlines Awards 2019. | News by The Thaiger

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World

Earthquake rattles northwest Japan, triggers small tsunami

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Earthquake rattles northwest Japan, triggers small tsunami | The Thaiger

An earthquake has struck Japan’s northwest coast triggering a small tsunami, shaking buildings and cutting power to around 9,000 buildings in the area. The quake struck at 10.22pm. local time at a depth of 12 kilometres.

The magnitude 6.4 quake lasted for around 20 seconds. Damage included a landslide that struck a road, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Authorities lifted a tsunami warning for the region after waves several centimetres high were detected along the Niigata coast.

Tokyo Electric Power Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant was not affected by the quake, which hit 85 kilometres northeast of the site. According to Japan’s national broadcaster, all of its seven reactors were already shut down. The quake also temporarily halted express bullet train services in the region, with some roads also closed.

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Technology

Paris Airshow overshadowed by Boeing’s woes

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Paris Airshow overshadowed by Boeing’s woes | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The new, single-aisle Airbus A321NeoXLR, extra-long-range version

Boeing suffered more setbacks whilst Airbus launched an update to their single-aisle line up. Day one at the Paris Airshow.

Boeing’s latest creation the 777X will have to wait for General Electric’s specially-constructed new jets to arrive following another delay in testing.

The long delay is a blow to Boeing, already struggling to cope with the crisis in its single-aisle 737 MAX jet program. It will likely postpone the new 777’s entry into service, planned for the middle of next year, and will hit both Boeing’s airline customers and the downstream supply chain.

GE Aviation say they’ve found unexpected wear in a component for the new GE9X engine it is making for Boeing’s latest version of the 777, the world’s largest twin-engined jet, forcing a delay of several months while it redesigns and tests the part.

Boeing commercial airplanes boss Kevin McAllister told Reuters it was premature to predict any delays to the 777X program. The planemaker says they’re still targeting a maiden flight this year and entry into service the next.

This year’s Paris Airshow, usually a slug-fest between the US and European plane manufacturers, is being over-shadowed this year by the problems the US Seattle-based company is facing, on many fronts.

Meanwhile, Airbus has used the show to launch a long-range version of its A321neo jet, which will allow airlines to carve out new routes with smaller planes.

The Airbus chief salesman Christian Scherer says the new single-aisle A321 variant will be able to economically fly “from north-eastern Asia into south Asia, from the Middle East to Bali or from Japan deep into Australia, and so on”.

The new A321 variant is a direct competitor to the troubled Boeing 737 make-over, the MAX 8 & 9 series, which has become embroiled in controversy since the crash of two of the new planes, in October last year and March this year. The model remains grounded around the world as airlines moot cancellations of orders and court cases are being mounted by families of the dead passengers from the two disasters.

Sources at the Paris Airshow says Airbus was trying to assemble close to 200 orders or conversions to the new A321 model as it chases deals with carriers including American Airlines, JetBlue, Cebu Air and Frontier Airlines owner Indigo Partners.

Paris Airshow overshadowed by Boeing's woes | News by The Thaiger

The new Boeing 777X model is facing further delays with an announcement that GE have to do further testing of the jet’s new engines.

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