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PM orders navy to halt Rohingya “surge,” and consult with UNHCR. Pongsapat asked about “radio theft in US.” Carabao riot videos online. Seven men to contest for Bangkok governor. Mobile phone minutes “last forever.”
Pakistan court orders arrest of “corrupt” PM. France steps up Mali intervention attacks and airstrikes. Sudan rebels kidnap Chinese railroad workers.
-DREAMLINER GROUNDED: All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, the world’s largest users of Boeing 787 jets, grounded their entire fleet of Dreamliners today in the biggest blow yet to the troubled passenger jet’s image.
An All Nippon 787 made an emergency landing in Japan today because of smoke coming from the aircraft, prompting the decision to ground its entire fleet for the first time, said Ryosei Nomura, a spokesman for Tokyo-based All Nippon. Japan Air will also idle its fleet today. The carriers didn’t say for how long the planes will be grounded.
The emergency landing, which the carrier said it will probe, comes a week after the lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 caught fire on January 7 in Boston. That incident prompted a review by US regulators of the design and manufacturing of the Dreamliner, Boeing’s most technologically-advanced jet, and the first to use lithium-ion batteries and to have a composite-plastic body.
“This is not good,” said Andrew Orchard, a Hong Kong-based analyst at CIMB Securities HK Ltd.
A strange odor was detected on the cockpit, forcing the pilot to evacuate the passengers through a chute after the emergency landing, All Nippon Vice President Osamu Shinobe said at a press conference in Tokyo. One passenger was taken to a hospital because of wrist pain.
The Japanese transport ministry said the pilots and air-traffic controllers saw smoke.
All Nippon was the first customer for the plane, which entered service in late 2011. The 787 has been plagued by incidents since then, including fuel leaks and faulty parts, most of which have been typical for a new model’s first year or two and none of which have caused injuries.
Last week’s fire in Boston was the most serious of the incidents. It was followed by a couple of fuel leaks, a software problem with the electric brakes – new to the Dreamliner – and a cracked windshield, all reported by the two Japanese carriers last week.
Boeing last week stood by its new plane, testifying to its safety and that the issues are introductory pains that will be overcome. The 787’s entry into service hasn’t been any worse than that of the 777, one of Boeing’s most popular models.
The planemaker has delivered about 50 (out of orders for 800 worldwide) of the $207 million jets to eight customers: All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Air India, Ethiopian Airlines, Chile’s LAN Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, United Continental Holdings Inc., and Qatar Airways.
-ATF 2013: The Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Host Committee of the 32nd ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), will extend a warm welcome next week to all ASEAN and Dialogue Partners, Tourism Ministers, Heads of NTOs, Travel Association Delegates, buyers, sellers, and the international media.
ATF will be held in Vientiane, the capital of Lao PDR, from January 17 to 24. Situated on the Mekong River, Vientiane is the economic centre of Laos. It is celebrated for its ecotourism, Buddhist culture, and food.
The accompanying ATF TRAVEX show will take place from January 22 to 24 at the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao ITECC). ATF TRAVEX 2013, the 3-day travel trade mart component of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, is a showcase for the largest contingent of ASEAN destination products and services. TRAVEX has recorded strong interest and is now sold out.
The ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) – the educational component of ATF – will feature sessions by industry veterans, which will engage the audience through presentations and panel discussions on the major trends, and issues affecting ASEAN tourism today.
Laos is proud to host ATF in Vientiane for the second time.
-SKAL WORLD CONGRESS 2013: New York City’s official marketing, tourism, and partnership organization, is pleased to announce that Skal International, the world’s largest professional association of senior travel and tourism executives, will bring its 74th World Congress to New York City this fall. The prestigious gathering will begin on September 27, 2013, before embarking from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on a first-ever meeting at sea aboard the Carnival Cruise ship Glory. The group consisting of 1,200 travel industry delegates – who hail from all around the globe – will conclude their annual event back in New York City on October 5, offering attendees an opportunity for post-Congress meetings with NYC-based travel partners as well as tours of the destination.