English Premier League Standings

first_imgEnglish Premier League StandingsStandingsPOS LP CLUB P W D L GF GA GD PTS1 (1) Leicester City 26 15 8 3 48 29 19 532 (2) Tottenham Hotspur 26 14 9 3 47 20 27 513 (3) Arsenal 26 15 6 5 41 23 18 514 (4) Manchester City 26 14 5 7 48 28 20 475 (5) Manchester United 26 11 8 7 33 24 9 416 (6) Southampton 26 11 7 8 34 24 10 407 (7) West Ham United 26 10 10 6 40 31 9 408 (11) Liverpool 26 10 8 8 38 36 2 389 (8) Watford 26 10 6 10 29 28 1 3610 (9) Stoke City 26 10 6 10 27 32 -5 3611 (10) Everton 26 8 11 7 46 35 11 3512 (12) Chelsea 26 8 9 9 38 36 2 3313 (13) Crystal Palace 26 9 5 12 27 32 -5 3214 (14) West Bromwich Albion 26 8 8 10 24 32 -8 3215 (15) Bournemouth 26 7 7 12 30 44 -14 2816 (16) Swansea City 26 6 9 11 24 34 -10 2717 (17) Norwich City 26 6 6 14 30 50 -20 2418 (18) Newcastle United 26 6 6 14 27 49 -22 2419 (19) Sunderland 26 6 5 15 32 50 -18 2320 (20) Aston Villa 26 3 7 16 20 46 -26 16last_img read more

Airbus A380 cabin package adds 80 seats.

first_imgEuropean plane-maker Airbus is giving airlines the option to cram 80 more seats into its passenger-friendly A380 superjumbo with a new package of “cabin enablers’’ that includes its derided 11-abreast seating.Some of the changes provide more room for the seats by modifying the cabin layout while others squeeze more people into each row.The average seat count on an A380 in operation today is 497 — below the suggested count of 550 — and the extra space has made it a popular choice with passengers.But the pressures that have delivered passengers low fares also mean carriers are seeking new ways to generate revenue and this includes boosting the seat count on aircraft.With sales of the A380 stalled and the rise of a new generation of fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft, Airbus is looking at ways of making the giant plane more attractive.The new package, released at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg,  would allow airlines to carry 575 passengers in a four-class configuration.It includes new forward stairs that would provide for 20 more passengers in business, premium economy and economy class.The stairs would be relocated from door one to door two and the entrance to the staircase would be combined with that of the lower-deck crew rest.A combined crew rest compartment would provide space for three more premium economy passengers by moving the existing pilot crew rest, located behind the cockpit in the mezzanine area of door one, with the facility on the lower deck.An aft galley stair module which would see the current spiral stairs changed to a square design provides space for 14 more passengers plus two additional food trolleys.An option to remove sidewall stowage would increase the wall-to-wall cabin width at foot-rest height and make space for 10 more business class seats in a herringbone layout.More contentious options include nine-abreast premium economy on the main deck, allowing for 11 more passengers, and the previous released 11-abreast economy layout on the main deck, which adds 23 seats.Premium economy varies between airlines. Qantas, for example,  currently offers a comfortable upper-deck seven-abreast layout on a two-three-two basis while Lufthansa offers eight abreast on the same deck in a two-four-two configuration.A nine-abreast configuration would presumably see a three-three-three layout, eliminating the popular double seats.Airbus said the main deck cross-section was allowing seat manufacturers to optimise their premium economy offerings to create “the industry’s most efficient and comfortable PE layout possible’’.More problematic is Airbus’ “innovative” 11-across concept involving a 3-5-3 configuration. Notwithstanding issues identified with the seats next to the cabin wall, this would put one passenger in the horror predicament of being in a middle seat with two people on either side.The A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, has already rejected the concept, which has the potential to do to the A380’s reputation what 10-abreast seating has done to Boeing’s 777.Airbus Commercial Aircraft executive vice president strategy and marketing Kiran Rao said the new package for A380 customers was a smart way to meet airlines needs “while improving the A380 economics with additional revenues and innovating in passenger comfort”.“Only the A380 has the economies of scale and development potential to efficiently solve the problem of increasing congestion at large airports while providing the best comfort for passengers,’’ he said. “The aircraft can also serve fast-growing markets and airlines regional airports, so we are adapting the aircraft to meet evolving market needs.”last_img read more

Independent Power Producers chosen

first_img“The success of renewable energy hinges on the financial sector,” she said, adding that bidders that were having trouble before the financial close to speak up. “I would want to appeal to those bidders that are already experiencing challenges to come to the fore. It is an appeal for the benefit of the number of jobs that will not be realised if there’s no financial support,” said Peters. In December, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) announced that it will finance 12 of the 28 preferred bidders to contribute to the country’s energy mix. The financing will be to the tune of R5.2-billion. Meanwhile, Peters said the department has started talking to financial institutions. “Job creation per province, we’ve seen a small reduction from bid window 1 but the bidders have indicated that on the total 7 059 jobs created in the construction period and 328 jobs created in the operation of the life of the plant,” said Magubane. “In this window, the department received 79 bids of which 51 met the qualification criteria as per the Request for Proposals. Given the megawatts limitation and competition, only 19 bidders were selected as preferred bidders for Window 2,” Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said in Pretoria on Monday. Growing the economy In the first window some of the challenges faced by bidders were that they had trouble reaching the financial close, of which June is the financial close for window1 project proposals. The minister said there had been informal conversation regarding companies experiencing financial strain. “With them not coming to the fore this would mean that we’re not going to deliver on the megawatts that we want,” she said. According to the IRP2010 – which is a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand – about 42% of electricity generated in South Africa is required to come from renewable resources. The department has set aside 100MW of the 3 725MW for smaller projects of less than 5MW. Of the selected bidders, nine were selected for the solar photovoltaic technology, seven for wind, two for small hydro and one for concentrated solar thermal (CSP). 23 May 2012 Additionally there have been significant increases in the local content from 28.5% in window 1 to 47.5% in bid window 2 in solar photovoltaic technology. The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2010) places specific emphasis on broadening electricity supply technologies to include gas, imports, nuclear, biomass, renewables (wind, solar and hydro), in response to both the country’s future electricity needs as well as reduce its CO2 emissions. For small hydro 13.3MW has been taken up from a maximum allocated for round 2 at 75MW while for CSP the allocated maximum 50MW has been taken up. In the 2nd window a total 1 043.9MW has been taken up by bidders. Ompie Aphane, Deputy Director General for Electricity, Nuclear and Clean Energy at the department said the department was not sure of the amount of projects that were in financial strain. Last year, the Department of Energy announced 28 preferred bidders, out of a total of 53 applications for the IPP bid process in the first window. Japser Power Company, Solar Capital De Aar 3 and Sishen Solar Facility were among the bidders selected for solar photovoltaic technology; while West Coast 1 and Grassridge form part of the 7 selected for wind and Stortemelk Hydro (Pty) Ltd and Neusberg Hydro Electric Project A were selected for small hydro. For CSP Bokpoort CSP project was selected. The department has noted that under window 2, the level of commitment to economic development has improved compared to window 1. “More communities will benefit through employment or as shareholding in these projects,” said the minister, adding that most bidders in window 2 will establish community trusts aimed at developing surrounding communities.center_img What the department had noted, said Director General Nelisiwe Magubane, was that there were “significant” changes in several areas like pricing whereby in solar photovoltaic in window 1 on average was at about 2.75 per kWh. “We’ve seen a significant reduction in price of about R1.65 per kWh for window 2,” she said. Projects allocated The department has yet to decide on when bidding will commence for projects to take part in window 3. A full list of bidders is available on the Independent Power Producers programme website. Peters said government saw the programme as an opportunity to grow the economy given the numbers of unemployed people while the procurement of alternative energy is also aimed at alleviating energy constraints. Appeal to financial sector Integrated Resource Plan For Solar photovoltaic 417MW have been taken up by bidders with the maximum MW allocated for round 2 at 450; for wind 562.5MW has been taken up with the maximum allocation at 650MW. The names of 19 bidders – who have been selected as the preferred bidders for Window 2 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (IPP) programme that will contribute to South Africa’s energy mix – were announced on Monday. The bidding for window 2 closed on 5 March with the total 79 bids received. These bids amount to 3 255MW while the cap was at 1 275MW. Source: BuaNews Peters appealed to the country’s financial sector to provide financing to bidders. South Africa wants to procure 3 725MW of renewable energy through this process. The programme also seeks to make provision for local content in the provision of alternative energy sources while the bids were evaluated by technical, financial, legal and international reviewers. The minister called on prospective bidders for the remaining three windows that they need not necessary own the land on which projects will operate on. Bidders could co-exist. “We don’t want to lose arable land,” said Peters adding that bidders could share the same piece of land with farmers.last_img read more

In rebellion mode Bhupinder Hooda says hes CM candidate with or without

first_imgRohtak: After four decades of association with the Congress, Haryana’s two-time chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday announced rebellion from the stage of his “Parivartan rally” in Rohtak while declaring himself as the chief ministerial candidate, with or without his party.Unlike the Congress, which prepares an election manifesto with the help of a committee comprising senior leadership before releasing it, Hooda appeared on the stage pre-planned and announced his own manifesto, declaring various sops, including 75 per cent reservation in jobs for the people of Haryana. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Vidhan Sabha polls are due in October this year. In Rohtak, Hooda today began his address by saying, “Aaj main apni saari paabandiyon se mukt ho kar yahan aaya hoon (I have freed myself from all restrictions to come here today)”. The former chief minister went onto lash out at his own party on the revocation of Article 370, saying, “Sarkaar jo theek kaam karti hai, chaahe kendra ki ho ya pradesh ki, main theek ko theek kehta hoon. 370 hatai – meri party bhi kuch bhatak gayi, voh pehle vaali Congress nahi rahi. Lekin, jahan tak sawaal hai deshbhakti ka aur swabhiman ka, main kisi se samjhauta nahi karunga. Isi ke vaaste maine 370 ka samarthan kiya (When the government does something right, I support them. Many of my colleagues had opposed the decision to abrogate Article 370. My party has lost its way, it’s not the same Congress it used to be. When it comes to patriotism and self-respect, I will not compromise with anyone).” Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayEarlier this month, Hooda had said in the Assembly it was good that the BJP had fulfilled one of the promises it made in the poll manifesto. Hooda’s recent assertion comes amid speculation of parting ways with the Congress and joining hands with another national party or floating a new political outfit. The Congress leader, however, also sought an account of achievements in the past five years from the Manohar Lal Khattar government. Coincidentally, Khattar also kicked off a 2,100-km road journey (rath yatra) covering the length and breadth of Haryana on Sunday. “I support the decision to abrogate Article 370 but I want to tell the Haryana government that you will have to give an account of what you did in five years, don’t hide behind this decision,” ANI quoted the former chief minister as saying. “Our brothers from Haryana are deployed as soldiers in Kashmir, that is why I support it (Article 370),” Hooda said.The Congress leader’s other aides Palwal MLA Karan Dalal, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee’s former president Phool Chand Mullana, Vidhan Sabha’s former speaker Raghubir Singh Kadian and Jhajjar MLA Geeta Bhukkal also openly challenged the party high command from the stage to either declare Hooda as party president in Haryana or face consequences. Hooda enjoys the support of 12 out of 15 Congress MLAs in Haryana. More than 60 former MPs and MLAs of Congress party shared the stage with Hooda in Rohtak today. For the last three years, the Hooda camp has been pressurising the party high command to replace Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar with Bhupinder Hooda as party president. Continuing his address to the crowd, Hooda declared that he shall constitute a 25-member committee, comprising 12 MLAs and 13 others, to decide the “future course of action”. He announced that within one week, he shall announce the committee’s decision in Chandigarh. Referring to a law in Andhra Pradesh that makes it mandatory for the government to employ three out of four employees from within the state, Hood said a similar legislation would be brought in Haryana. “If we form the government, we will bring a law like Andhra Pradesh, so that 75% of jobs go to the people of Haryana,” he said.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

‘Aunty Deva,’ bringer of aloha spirit to Vancouver, dies at 62

first_imgDeva Yamashiro, the Hawaiian native who embodied aloha spirit in her adopted home of Vancouver via dedicated cultural education and joyous celebration, died Monday after a long battle with cancer. She was 62. “We’ve all been blessed and impacted by this larger than life person,” Yamashiro’s son, Kaloku Holt, posted on Facebook. “We ask that you remember all the great times … and make her proud by carrying on and staying strong. We will continue to be inspired by her.” Yamashiro’s family and fans were thrilled to swarm Vancouver City Hall during a council meeting last month in order to accept the honor of having her birthday, Sept. 15, declared Deva Leinani Aiko Yamashiro Day in Vancouver. But “Aunty Deva,” as everyone loved to call her, could not attend because of her declining health.That same week she also learned that she’d won a 2017 Governor’s Heritage Award from Gov. Jay Inslee for her contributions to culture as a “master traditional artist” and a recognized “tradition bearer,” according to the nomination criteria. Her family had hoped to see her attend the Nov. 14 award ceremony and dinner at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.Still, “It’s a blessing that she was able to see for herself” that she’d won these honors, said longtime friend Rhona Sen Hoss. Sen Hoss, who said Yamashiro was her childhood neighbor and elementary school classmate, was astounded to run into her one day, about 25 years ago, at a riverside concert in Vancouver.last_img read more

Kovac disappointed with teams inability to close out games

first_imgBayern Munich manager Nico Kovac has revealed his disappointment at his side’s inability to close out games after they conceded a late equalizer to Freiburg on Saturday.The German champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Freiburg in their Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena after Lucas Holer scored a leveller for the visitors in the 89th minute after Serge Gnabry had given the champions the lead nine minutes earlier.Kovac insists it was unacceptable for the Bavarians to give up a lead so late as they failed to win for the fourth time in 10 league games this season.“In the second half, we mostly played near the goal of Freiburg. We had to pay attention because they had two strikers in front who could hold the ball up, so the others can follow [on the counter-attack],” he said, according to FourFourTwo.rb leipzig, bayern munichReport: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“Gunter was very active on the wings. We got in the lead and as Bayern Munich, we mustn’t give that away.“We have to clear the balls earlier then and not try to play the ball around in the defence. We put Joshua Kimmich in danger.”Before a trip to the Signal Iduna Park to face league leaders, Dortmund on November 10, Bayern host AEK Athens in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.last_img read more

Dems Rising Star Talks Race Political Power in US

first_imgBy Renee Foose, Special to the AFRO Anyone watching President Trump’s State of the Union address who didn’t know of Stacey Abrams does now.  Abrams delivered the Democratic rebuttal to the president’s speech. The Democrats’ selection of Abrams is an indication that the party believes she will continue to be a trailblazer and will seek a prominent role in national politics in 2020.  She is the first African American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.Abrams ran unsuccessfully for governor against Republican Brian Kemp in Georgia in 2018.  Immediately following her narrow loss, by less than 1.4 percent of the vote, she called into question the wide-spread practice of voter suppression and ballot tampering in Georgia and nationwide. On February 15, the AFRO was invited to hear Abrams speak on the issue of voter suppression, race and political power in the United States at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.Stacy Abrams will continue to be a trailblazer and will seek a prominent role in national politics in 2020. (Copurtesy Photo)Abrams was joined by moderator Jelani Cobb, professor of journalism at Columbia University and staff writer for the New Yorker who asked Abrams to talk about her November 2018 gubernatorial loss.  Abrams said the election loss was “deeply personal, entirely legal but wholly wrong, like being in a boxing match and your opponent is both the referee and the score keeper.”  The loss prompted her to start an advocacy group, Fair Fight Action, to expand voting rights and address acts of suppression which she said is the “greatest threat against our democracy.”Abrams said the “architecture of voter suppression has a long history in America” and takes on forms such as “exact-match” where state issued identifications have to match exactly on voter registration rolls.  This becomes an issue when given names have hyphens and spaces but government issued identifications do not recognize spaces and hyphens.  “Laws like this scare people out of voting, specifically minorities and working-class people” Abrams said.Other common practices include closing polling stations to inconvenience voters, and not counting absentee ballots cast.  Her advocacy group is organizing to change these laws nationally in advance of the 2020 elections.“In 2016, Democrats didn’t lose, we just failed to show up.  Too many people did not hear themselves in the narrative or they were not directly encouraged to turn out to vote and we lost by 70 thousand votes through an artificial system called the electoral college.  To win in 2020, we need to run smart campaigns that value every camp, that value every voter, and treat all voters with respect, and have authentic candidates who tell the truth” Abrams told the AFRO.Elsie Scott, interim president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation said she found Abrams “refreshing, she is speaking to Black women, and we have a big role in the next election cycle, voter suppression is real, and it needs to be addressed.”Stacey Abrams is not the only trailblazer to watch in the next election cycle.   Andrew Gillum, like Abrams lost his Florida gubernatorial bid by a very narrow margin and Mike Epsy, Mississippi Senate candidate, are progressive African Americans seeking political seats in the deep-south.  All three candidates have campaigned on equality and creating laws and policies that benefit working class Americans.The conversation with Stacey Abrams was part of the Brookings Institution’s celebration of Black History Month.last_img read more

Dont stereotype us Women sex workers urge Indian showbiz

first_img“I am a woman first and then a sex worker,” Kiran Ramchandra Deshmukh, 40, says with pride, in the hope that the world treats women like her with equality, dignity and respect. Kiran, a sex worker for over 20 years in Maharashtra, notes how the world of showbiz has portrayed sex workers over the years and isn’t impressed by the stereotyping. She takes offence at the dialogue ‘Aurat maa hoti hai, bahen hoti hai, patni hoti hai, dost hoti hai… aur jab woh kuch nahi hoti, toh tawaif hoti hai (woman is a mother, a sister, a wife, a friend. When she is nothing, she is a prostitute) from the 2002 film Devdas. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”According to the dialogue, we don’t even deserve to be called women? That’s not fair. I can proudly say that I am a woman,” said Kiran. Renuka, another sex worker, has urged filmmakers not to show them as “use and throw” objects – as it happened in Salman Khan’s movie Chori Chori Chupke Chupke on surrogacy. Indian filmmakers have time and again delved into the life of women sex workers. Mughal-e-Azam, Mausam, Mandi, Devdas, Chandni Bar, and Begum Jaan are movies that have delved into their world, but sex workers and activists say these films do not reflect the real world. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSocial activist and lawyer Aarthi Pai says mainstream cinema has done a lot of damage to “the identity of sex workers”. “There has been some niche cinema which has attempted to show sex workers in a much more positive light, but most of the movies have shown them in dangerous type of stereotyping. Dangerous because it has harmed sex workers over the years. “This stereotype of sex workers hanging out in verandahs and showing their breasts, chewing betel is one which dominates public imagination. Sex workers are of different types and they have different realities. Unfortunately, great injustice is done to them through the movies.” Kiran said it is a reality that not everyone is forced into sex work. “Many women like me are willingly doing it to earn our livelihood. Even we have the right to say ‘No’.” Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, whose deft handling of a story of a bar dancer won a National Award, says people shouldn’t forget sex workers are humans too. “They are also humans. They are being discriminated in our society. People are not willing to give them a house… They are a part of our society and we should accept them with open arms.” Most recently, Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia took a deep dive into the world of human trafficking. Actress Richa Chadha, who played a brothel owner in the film, said in an interview: “Bollywood is as responsible as society is, in stereotyping sex workers… Very few films have depicted the truth about this bleak world.” Love Sonia protagonist Mrunal Thakur calls for films which create a powerful impact on society and make people more educated and aware. “What we see in the films is just a fraction of what these girls go through in life.”last_img read more

8 Steps to Setting Up Ad Conversion Tracking the Right Way

first_img 5 min read The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd’s book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBoundDo you run a lead-generation site where a visitor can fill in a form and get a free brochure? We’ll walk you through how to set up your Google account to track it.1. Create a new conversion and name it.First, tell Google what kind of conversion you want tracked. Click the three dots at the very top of your AdWords page and select “Conversions.” On the resulting page, click the big blue “+ Conversion” button.Next, click the “Website” option since you’re tracking something that happens on your site.Google will ask you to name your conversion. Choose a name that tells you what the conversion is (e.g., “Opt in for brochure”) and select “Webpage.”Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing2. Set your conversion category.You’ll be asked to choose one of the following categories for your conversion type:Purchase saleSign upLeadView of a key pageOtherIn this example, “Sign up” and “Lead” are probably both applicable, but “Lead” is a little more relevant.3. Set a conversion value.If you’re not running an e-commerce site, you may be tempted to skip this one, but please don’t. Setting a conversion value right from the beginning is going to make your data far more valuable in the long run.Think of the conversion value as a point system that rates the relative value of the different types of conversions that exist within your business. For example, you can assign 50 points to a conversion that involves a visitor completing your quiz but 100 points if they complete a “please call me” lead-capture form. If your site is very basic and only offers one conversion action, then you can simply set the conversion value as 1.4. Set a conversion count.There are two options: You can choose “every” or “one.””Every” measures every single sale or lead. If you were to pick “one,” then if visitors did the same thing multiple times, it would only be counted as just one conversion per visitor even if they “convert” multiple times.E-commerce site owners will want to keep track of every specific product purchased and would select “All Conversions — Every.” On the other hand, information marketers who provide PDFs for download may be more interested in simply knowing the total number of individuals who download one or more items. They would choose “Unique Conversions — One.” If you’re not sure, go with “All Conversions — Every.” You still get data for both types.Related: 5 Social Media Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know5. Set your conversion window.This indicates how many days or weeks you want Google to keep tracking the user after they click the first time. The default is 30 days, which is more than adequate for this exercise. If a person clicked on your ad but didn’t opt in for your brochure in 30 days’ time, they’re probably not worth following. Unless you have a very good reason for needing a different conversion window, leave this on the default setting.6. Decide what to include in conversions.You now get to choose whether a particular conversion type you’re setting up should be included in the total conversions count. For example, if yours is an e-commerce store, you might want to have two conversion actions. One would be every time somebody adds a product to their shopping cart and another one would be for when they buy. When in doubt, stick with the default setting (which is Yes to include).7. Choose your attribution type.A visitor may have clicked through to your site multiple times and from multiple places. This setting is where you tell Google which one of those clicks gets credit for the sale. Google defaults to the setting called “last click attribution.” We recommend you stick with it. There are special cases where the other options are useful, but there’s no reason to change to any of them unless you really want to.Related: 12 Social Media Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make8. Install code.You’re ready to ensure that your site ends up with the necessary code to allow Google to track your conversions. You’ve got two options: Install it manually, in which case Google will give you a snippet of code to place on your key pagesEnter the email address of your web developer and Google will send the code there along with instructions. If you’re not comfortable handling this part of the process and you don’t have a web developer, find a freelancer to handle this for you.Important: The most reliable way to keep conversion tracking running smoothly is to ensure that your conversion action always results in your visitor being directed to a separate page that has a unique, static web address. In our current example, once your visitor completes the lead-capture form, you want them to be redirected to a unique thank-you page that has an ordinary static URL. If you create multiple landing pages, each with a lead-capture form, you can have one thank-you page for all of them, or you can have a different thank-you page to go with each one.Either way, simpler is better. This is the only way to ensure that your conversion tracking doesn’t break further down the line and that you don’t end up making decisions based on bad data. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 11, 2017 Register Now »last_img read more

Squabbling over bill of rights Were not here to pick on the

first_img OTTAWA — Transport Minister Marc Garneau is pushing back against suggestions the Liberals’ proposed air passenger bill of rights is too heavy-handed with airlines, saying the government’s intent is not to pick on air carriers.Garneau told a Commons committee studying the proposal that the government’s goal is to create regulations that are fair to airlines and passengers to ensure everyone knows their rights and responsibilities.The regulations would impose what Garneau described as hefty fines on airlines in situations where a passenger has been bumped from an overbooked flight, had luggage lost or damaged, or was stuck on a tarmac for far too long – but only if these were within the carrier’s control.If it is something beyond the control of the airline – bad weather, air traffic control issues, or a security threat at an airport, for instance – then the carrier wouldn’t be held liable.“It is an objective of this to come up with something that clearly addresses passenger rights, but that is also fair to the airlines,” Garneau said. “We’re not here to pick on the airlines. We’re here to make sure that passenger rights are respected.“If it was a decision that was within the control of the airline that prevented you from taking that flight, there needs to be compensation.’’The ensuing hours of hearings on the legislation, known as Bill C-49, saw warnings from the airline industry that legislating compensation beyond the cost of a ticket and the cost to the passenger’s time would increase prices.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthBad publicity through social media is incentive enough for airlines to better their customer service, said IATA’s Douglas Lavin.Instead, Lavin and others suggested the government require airlines to be clear with passengers about fare agreements and let the consumer decide what level of service they are willing to pay for.The line between what is and isn’t in the airline’s control is at the centre of a hearing before the Canadian Transportation Agency in which Air Transat says it shouldn’t be liable for a much-publicized incident where two of its planes faced tarmac delays of more than five hours earlier this summer where passengers not allowed to disembark.One of the two flights ran out of fuel during the delay and lost power, shutting down the air conditioning.The ensuing heat led to mounting tensions, a child throwing up on board and, ultimately, a 911 call from a passenger on the Brussels flight.The transportation agency will release its decision later this fall.Air Transat executives told the committee that C-49 wouldn’t have made a difference in the situation.“Putting out an obligation or a penalty or a fine and saying, ‘if you don’t disembark your passengers after certain hours you’re going to pay this amount of money,’ that would not have helped those passengers that evening, I can assure you that, because we don’t need a financial incentive or threat to do what we’re doing,’’ said George Petsikas, Air Transat’s senior director of government and industry affairs.More news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochure“Our crews want to get those people where they’re going as quickly and as safely as possible.”Once passed, the bill would require the transportation agency to draft the regulations and submit them to the government for approval.Garneau said that the rules would be changed as needed “under compelling situations” if there are situations that aren’t addressed, or provisions that are found to be “inadequate in any way.”Garneau urged the committee to quickly pass the legislation to have the new passenger rights in place some time next year.Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt told Garneau she wanted to ensure the bill is indeed as fair as the government claims, given it also proposes changes to rail transport and foreign ownership rules for Canadian airlines.“Any time you move off of status quo, which C-49 does do, you’re going to have people who are winners and people who are losers and our attempt here is to try and figure out the best balance is,” said Raitt, a former transport minister. << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Friday, September 15, 2017 The Canadian Press center_img Tags: Canada Share Squabbling over bill of rights: “We’re not here to pick on the airlines”last_img read more