A display of religious bigotry

first_imgWe boast that Guyana is a ‘multi-religious’ country. But how effective are our policies to deal with the reality of intolerance that led to a very popular tele-pastor blaming Hindus and their religious practices for causing the horrendous accident at Mahaicony that led to the death of five and serious injury to four others?The pastor was summoned by the ERC after his comments went viral and elicited widespread reactions – both in support and condemnation of his stance. The pastor apologised after his interaction with the ERC but I believe that he was merely stating the position of the majority of evangelical Christians in the country. It is one of the subjects that demand a national conversation since it is nothing less than a form of epistemic violence inflicted on Hindus— who form 28% of the country’s population. It can lead, as it has been in the past, to the infliction of physical violence.Hindus have been in Guyana for 181 years and they know what it means to be merely ‘tolerated’. ‘Toleration’, first and foremost, implies a hierarchical power relationship involving superiors and inferiors – and it is the superiors that exhort their members to ‘tolerate’ the other. In Guyana, after official persecution and conversion, some Christian churches, at best, taught its followers to ‘tolerate’ Hindus. But they are still driven to convert the Hindus, who they assert, are engaged in ‘sin’. Interfaith dialogues that are based on tolerance are therefore disingenuous at best because the Christian leaders taking part believe in the superiority of their faiths. The more they emphasise ‘tolerance’, the more they are emphasising their ‘superiority’.What has been proposed instead by Hindus is “mutual respect”. If you respect me and my right to practice whatever religion I want, you are doing more than just tolerating me under sufferance. You are no longer wishing for the day when ignorant fools like the ‘other’ represented by me would correct their mistakes and follow the “righteous” path (which just happens to be your path). It is no longer ‘My way or the highway’. Instead, you would have shifted your thoughts. You may not agree with me on every matter but you are glad that I am here. You are celebrating our differences as well as our similarities. The ‘other’ is no longer a threatening force but a friend whom you respect.But since this implies acceptance of some sort of equality among the religions, those that preach they are the ‘only path’ or ‘one right way’ would most likely baulk. They would certainly not want to be ‘contaminated’ with Hindu activities. The persons who had planted Jhandis in their yard at Mahaicony were not invading the space or persons of others, as for instance, occurred seven years ago when someone defending some children who had thrown water on an individual at Phagwah was stabbed to death. The defender was a Muslim man, Nassair Ghani, which demonstrated that all is not lost in Guyana.Reacting to religious bigotry, the UN declared the first week of February, “World Interfaith Harmony Week”. The resolution, which Guyana co-sponsored, ‘Encourages all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship during that week, based on love of God and love of one’s neighbour or on love of the good and love of one’s neighbour, each according to their own religious traditions or convictions’.If we can’t go as far as ‘love’ for our neighbours, what about ‘mutual respect’? Can’t we agree to disagree on some ideas but have mutual respect on common criteria of, let’s say virtuous actions? Surely there are ‘good’ persons in every religion?I would like to suggest that our country should adopt the principle of ‘mutual respect’ as our strategy for dealing with religious diversity. This inevitably flows if we see each as ends and not means. But we will have to abandon the dogmatic view that we are always indubitably right and the ‘other’ wrong and, at best, we must ‘tolerate’ them. This, we know, can so easily slide into hatred, bigotry and murder.last_img read more

The battle against cancer

first_imgAccording to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid cancer are the most common among women.The WHO has pointed out that the cancer burden continues to grow globally, exerting tremendous physical, emotional and financial strain on individuals, families, communities and health systems.Many health systems in low and middle-income countries are the least prepared to manage this burden, and large numbers of cancer patients globally do not have access to timely, quality diagnosis and treatment. However, according to WHO, in countries where health systems are strong, survival rates of many types of cancers are improving thanks to accessible early detection, quality treatment and survivorship care.What is very worrying is the fact that the number of cancer deaths could increase by over 50 per cent by 2030 if immediate global action is not taken, especially in the low and middle-income countries where most of the deaths are likely to occur. The statistics regarding cancer and its impact on individuals and society tell a sad tale. However, it should motivate us to work harder for better results.It should be noted that between 30 to 40 per cent of cancer cases could be prevented and one-third of cancer cases could be cured through early diagnoses and treatment. The sad thing, however, is that the medicines, technologies and services are not widely available in low and middle-income countries and this results in the majority of premature cancer deaths each year.In Guyana, cancer is one of the leading causes of death and we, as guardians of our own destiny, should continue to make arduous efforts in our campaign to reduce the number of persons dying from the disease. For example, individuals could assist in the prevention of cancer by doing simple things such as making sure they eat a healthy diet, engage in regular adequate physical activity and the overall maintenance of good health.Research has shown that physical inactivity is linked to breast and colon cancers. WHO’s Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health detail how different amounts and intensities of physical activity for all age groups can help reduce non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including some cancers. It is also worthy to note that the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research has advised that cancer could be prevented if persons could be as lean as possible without becoming underweight; be physically active for at least thirty minutes each day, and avoid sugary drinks among other things.The three main cancers in Guyana are breast cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer. While cervical cancer is a slow-growing cancer that is easily prevented through regular screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions, far too many women ignore the pre-testing option and seek medical advice and treatment only when they begin to develop signs of illness. In many cases, indications of physical illness or signs of discomfort often suggest that the cancer is at an advanced stage. Persons should, therefore, be encouraged to have regular tests done since pre-symptoms are not that visible.The Public Health Ministry, along with NGOs such as the Cancer Society and leading private sector bodies such as GTT must be commended for the work they are doing in spreading awareness and encouraging persons to get screening etc. These efforts must be stepped up with the involvement and funding from more stakeholders so that the impact could be more far-reaching.We can never overstate the importance of having more public awareness and education campaigns about the disease with the aim of changing lifestyles and getting persons to do regular testing so that treatment could be administered before the disease becomes life-threatening.last_img read more

GRA head warns staff against bribery, corruption

first_imgEmployees of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday received a stern warning from Commissioner General Godfrey Statia on bribery and other corrupt practices.GRA Commissioner General Godfrey StatiaThe admonishment came after two of the entity’s staffers were late last week arrested for duty-free fraud.The GRA Commissioner General was said to have “summoned a general meeting with staff” at the entity’s Camp Street headquarters where he noted that a no-nonsense approach to bribery and other forms of corruption would be taken.According to a release issued by the tax authority, Statia made it clear that in addition to honesty and integrity, “professionalism must be paramount” and he reminded his staff that they took an oath of confidentiality as outlined in the Income Tax Act, Chapter 81:01, Section 4 (1) that “all officers are sworn to same upon acceptance of employment with the Authority”.Commissioner General Statia also stated his intention to “rid the GRA of the wrongdoings that have tarnished its reputation in the past”. The tax collection authority also stated that members of the public should avoid any form of collusion with staff, such as payment of monies for services offered by the GRA.“Members of the public are just as guilty should they aid and albeit the commission of an offence by willingly participating in any clandestine act and may also be subject to prosecution,” the statement added.On October 20, reports surfaced that the two employees had reportedly forged documents that purported to show that two All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) were subject to duty-free concessions. Reports had indicated that the two staffers benefited from the alleged fraud.It was only in June that the tax body had undergone significant staffing changes, according to Chairman of the governing board, Rawle Lucas, as the organisation sought to realise its objective of improving its relationship with Guyanese taxpayers, and to increase the collection of revenues. At that point, several staff members were let go from the tax authority.last_img read more

Muskrat Falls budget increased by $1 billion

first_imgMarshall and Premier Dwight Ball have said they’ll look at ways to lower those rates to ease average monthly bills that could otherwise go up more than $150 per month. ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The price tag of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador has been increased by another $1 billion.Nalcor Energy CEO Stan Marshall says the new price tag for the dam on the Churchill River is now $12.7 billion with financing. That’s up from the estimate last year of $11.7 billion and is about $5 billion higher than when the project was sanctioned five years ago.The project has been frequently compared to the Site C project in B.C., as both dams are planned to be roughly the same size. After a number of cost over-runs, many critics have pointed out that the same issues could arise in the construction of Site C.- Advertisement -However, last June Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett said that Site C differs from Muskrat Falls in that the planning and budgeting for the dam was subject to a rigorous seven-year process. Bennett said that in addition to planning that included an independent panel of experienced contractors, and having the project’s budget audited by KPMG twice, that BC Hydro has built a strong inflation budget into the project.Marshall took over as head of Nalcor last year and agreed its Muskrat Falls megaproject was a “boondoggle” he would try to fix. He blames the increases on contractor disputes, higher operating costs, a leaky cofferdam, and delays including a worksite occupation last fall by demonstrators concerned about methylmercury.Marshall says 75 per cent of construction is now done, up from 48 per cent last May. First power from the dam is expected in 2019 at an estimated cost of 23.3 cents per kilowatt hour before tax. That’s up 8.2 cents from when Muskrat Falls was approved and is more than double recent rates paid by consumers.Advertisementlast_img read more

I don’t want to remember! Angel Di Maria on ‘sad’ Manchester United experiences

first_img Angel di Maria in action for Paris Saint-Germain 1 Angel Di Maria does not want to be reminded of his “sad experience” at Manchester United as he looks to drive Paris St Germain on to domestic and European success.The 27-year-old arrived at Old Trafford in a much-heralded £59.7m switch from Real Madrid in August 2014, but left for France last summer after 32 appearances in his one season.And Di Maria has no regrets about his £44m switch to join Laurent Blanc’s squad, who are the runaway leaders of Ligue 1 and face Chelsea for a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.“Manchester United was a sad experience. Things didn’t go as I had hoped. I was disappointed and it didn’t help me to rise to the surface,” Di Maria told L’Equipe.“Honestly, I don’t even remember any more what happened and I don’t want to remember. I am happy to be here and that’s the most important thing.”Di Maria is confident he can continue to impress for PSG, having scored eight goals in Ligue 1 and created many more alongside Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and fellow South Amercians Lucas Moura and Edinson Cavani.“Every day here I feel better and better integrated into the team, the club and the city and that’s reflected in my performances,” he said.“I know that the two matches to come against Chelsea will determine a lot of things. Everyone sees us as the favourites. We don’t see it that way. It is Chelsea – they have a quality squad and players that every club in Europe would want to have.”last_img read more

Donegal companies Q-ing up for national awards!

first_imgThe National Q Mark Awards 2018 nominations have been announced and Donegal has an exceptionally high number of Nominations this year.The nominations mean that these businesses are in the top 6.75% of all audits completed by the EIQA on the island of Ireland.This is a special year for the Q Mark Awards as the EIQA celebrate 50 years. Representing Donegal this year are:EUROSPAR Kee – LagheyApleona at Abbott DiabeticsCanny & Doherty’s Centra, Moville McCosker’s Centra BallyshannonTobin’s SPAR Express LetterkennyRooney’s SuperValu KillybegsWhoriskey’s Eurospar RameltonThe coveted Q Mark is awarded only to companies who achieve the highest standards of quality and excellence. The Q Mark awards celebrate the success of businesses over a range of sectors that review 100% of their processes and procedures 100% of the time so that they continually operate best practice standards.The National Q Mark Awards, sponsored by eTravel and Virgin Atlantic, will take place on Friday the 28th of September at The Clayton Hotel in Dublin 4. The impressive black-tie ceremony will be hosted by inimitable broadcaster Jonathan Healy.With more than 450 people and 135 companies battling it out for the 27 prestigious Q Mark Awards, it is no surprise that The National Q Mark Awards continue to be known as ‘The Oscars of Business Excellence’ A National Q Mark Award is the highest accolade an Irish business can achieve, given both the intense competition and the exacting standards required.Speaking at the announcement Irene Collins, Managing Director of EIQA said “Q Mark certification empowers companies to reach far beyond regulatory requirements. It measures customer satisfaction, leadership, growth, it recognises effective and efficient use of resources and has continuous improvement at the heart of every programme. “With our origins stretching back 50 years, our expert auditors and assessors are dedicated to helping our customers make their products and services even better for their customers. Reaching the finals is great recognition for the teams behind every company that has been nominated – it’s about inspiring Excellence and Celebrating Success!”EIQA (Excellence Ireland Quality Association) has been the Irish National Quality Association since 1968. They currently audit the standards of thousands of organisations and businesses both in Ireland and Internationally. EIQA is known as the ‘Guardian’ of The Q Mark which identifies its various certifications, namely: The Q Mark for Hygiene & Food Safety, The Q Mark for Quality Management Systems, The Q Mark for Nursing Homes, The Q Mark for Leisure Centres, The Q Mark for Accessibility (ABLE)Only businesses that achieve the highest scores at audit are shortlisted in their relevant category. Once shortlisted, all companies must complete a very detailed submission document. This submission document is then presented to an expert panel of independent judges from the areas of Food Safety, Employment Law, Academia, Business & Quality to name but a few. See www.eiqa.ie for detailsDonegal companies Q-ing up for national awards! was last modified: September 17th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalNOMINATIONSQ Awardslast_img read more

Revealed! Top 20 nationalities who have kept the most clean sheets in the PL

first_img 20 20 16. Northern Ireland – 86 clean sheets made by five goalkeepers – Pictured: Roy Carroll 20 20. Bosnia and Herzegovina: 50 clean sheets made by one goalkeeper – Click the arrow above, right, to see which nationalities have kept the most clean sheets in Premier League history – Pictured: Asmir Begovic In football, it is often the goalscorers who get the praise while goalkeepers get a raw deal, like Loris Karius is experiencing at Liverpool.Earlier in the week, we revealed the nationalities to have scored the most goals in the Premier League, which you can see here.And now, to even things up, talkSPORT has found out the nationalities who have kept the most clean sheets, after spotting a tweet from Bill Reno.Click the arrow above, right, to see which nationalities have kept the most clean sheets in Premier League history…*All information correct on 16, December, 2016. 20 19. Trinidad and Tobago – 64 clean sheets made by two goalkeepers – Pictured: Shaka Hislop 18. Norway – 65 clean sheets made by four goalkeepers – Pictured: Espen Baardsen 13. France – 103 clean sheets made by six goalkeepers – Pictured: Hugo Lloris 20 14. Italy – 99 clean sheets made by four goalkeepers – Pictured: Carlo Cudicini 15. Belgium – 96 clean sheets made by three goalkeepers – Pictured: Thibaut Courtois 20 4. Czech Republic – 299 clean sheets made by five goalkeepers – Pictured: Petr Cech 20 17. Germany – 72 clean sheets made by six goalkeepers – Pictured: Jens Lehmann 20 12. Scotland – 137 clean sheets made by nine goalkeepers – Pictured: David Marshall 20 11. Finland – 158 clean sheets made by three goalkeepers – Pictured: Jussi Jaaskelainen 8. Wales – 248 clean sheets made by 11 goalkeepers – Pictured: Wayne Hennessey 20 20 9. Republic of Ireland – 226 cleans sheets made by eight goalkeepers – Pictured: Shay Given 20 20 7. Australia – 278 clean sheets made by seven goalkeepers – Pictured: Mark Schwarzer 5. Spain – 282 clean sheets made by seven goalkeepers – Pictured: David De Gea 20 20 6. Denmark – 281 clean sheets made by eight goalkeepers – Pictured: Peter Schmeichel 20 1. England – 1818 clean sheets made by 91 goalkeepers – Pictured: Joe Hart 20 20 10. Poland – 191 clean sheets made by five goalkeepers – Pictured: Lukasz Fabianski 20 3. Netherlands – 352 clean sheets made by 13 goalkeepers – Pictured: Edwin van der Sar 2. United States – 381 clean sheets made by seven goalkeepers – Pictured: Tim Howard 20last_img read more

‘Fornals looks mustard’ – West Ham fans rave about £24m man’s obscene assist

first_img SKY SPORTS STAR QUALITY 3 West Ham new boy Pablo Fornals has shone at the Under-21 European Championship for Spain.His performances were encapsulated on Thursday night for Spain’s Under-21 side with an outside of the boot, curling assist that sent Hammers fans into a frenzy on Twitter. Many fans have been quick to see the resemblance between him and a true football legend, the 23-year old has been tipped to fill the shoes of the great Andres Iniesta, whose retirement left Spain with a lack of creativity in the centre of the pitch.The playmaker, who moved to West Ham from Villarreal for around £24 million. is known for his incisive passing, dribbling, technical ability and his tendency to score wonder goals, such as his ‘Rabona’ goal against Huesca earlier this year.Who could forget his thunderbolt against Belgium earlier in the tournament? The decisive goal in a 2-1 win left many West Ham fans dreaming of the glorious days to come, watching their new magician at the London Stadium.The Spaniard was drawn to the east London club due to his previous connections with their director of football, Mario Husillos. The pair worked together at Malaga, but the attacking midfielder is particularly excited by the prospect of working under Manuel Pellegrini.PROFILE ON £24MILLION WEST HAM SIGNING PABLO FORNALS FROM VILLARREAL ✅ 100% take-ons completed✅ 90% pass accuracy✅ 1 assistNot a bad night’s work for @pablofornals 😏 pic.twitter.com/gWx97dI2Ju— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) June 28, 2019 Fornals one of the players of the tournament. His assist tonight was world class. £24m fee that West Ham had to pay – has looked like he’s worth double that. A steal. #EUROU21 https://t.co/N1hL723G6q— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) June 27, 2019 The best player from every country:Fornals🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 McFornalsVan FornalsFornãoFornaliniForninovicFornalićLe FornFornalssonFornugluFornovskiFornalinho Jr O’Fornal— alfonzo (@AlfieCOYI) June 23, 2019 Pablo Fornals’ game by numbers vs. France U21s… @WestHamUtd on Twitter 3 Fornals already looks a bargain at £24m and he hasn’t even kicked a ball for West Ham yet. Can’t wait to see him link up with Anderson, Lanzini, Yarmolenko. They will bring the best out of him and compliment his style of play as theirs is very similar. Classy player.— Josh Verrills (@WestHamJoshV) June 27, 2019 See below for a selection of the best Tweets reacting to Pablo Fornals’ incredible assist in the Under-21 European Championship. Oh my days, Pablo Fornals with a sublime assist, stunning!— Hammers Chat (@hammers_chat) June 27, 2019center_img 100% take-ons completed100% shot accuracy90% pass accuracy4 chances created2 aerial duels won2 interceptions2 fouls won2 take-ons2 shots1 assist Fornals told the club’s official website he felt the Hammers boss is ‘one of the best coaches in the world’. He described the Chilean as a ‘big influence’ in his decision and went onto rave about the ‘loyal fans’ and ‘beautiful stadium’.The Premier League newcomer appears to be saying all the right things as the Hammers fans have fallen in love with the player who is yet to make an appearance wearing the notorious claret and blue.The young star’s mesmerising assist during Spain’s 4-1 victory against France did little to dispel the idea that Fornals is the signing of the summer, and he could prove to be a crucial player if the Irons are to break into Europe next season. I have just come to the realisation that we are going to get Europe and Pablo Fornals is going to have a better season then Payet did in 2015/16— Jacob Green (@Jacobhgreen55) June 25, 2019 New boy Pablo Fornals has starred for Spain in Italy The midfielder put it onto a plate for Borja Mayoral Fornals curled the ball with the outside of his boot to the back stick Fornals looks mustard COYI ⚒ outside of the boot assist for Spain top drawer 😉— The Dagenham Carper✝️❌♋️⚒👍🏻 (@dagenhamcarper) June 27, 2019 3 That outside of the boot assist from Pablo Fornals! Get excited, West Ham fans. He looks like a bargain at £25m 😍 pic.twitter.com/vmUbDDcaU3— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) June 28, 2019 West Ham really found a gem in Fornals. The battle for 7th is gonna be an absolute spectacle this szn.— Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (@Chidozie_Chad) June 28, 2019 Sky Sports I cannot wait to watch Felipe Anderson and Pablo Fornals play together— 🐐 (@Fluuked) June 27, 2019last_img read more

Zaha’s brother makes Palace plea as Arsenal table £40m bid

first_img Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer LATEST 1 Wilfried Zaha is currently on international duty for Ivory Coast LIVING THE DREAM Wilfried Zaha always wanted to join Arsenal and has supported the club from a young age The Eagles are reluctant to lose another academy product after selling Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50m.It is understood they have to give the United 25 per cent of any transfer fee they receive for Zaha, as per the terms from his move back to south London.Zaha joined Manchester United in 2013 but played just four times, also spending a spell on loan at Cardiff, before returning to the Eagles less than two years later.Arsenal reportedly have just £45m to spend on players this summer so may offer players in part-exchange to try and tempt Palace into a deal.Ray Parlour told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast he would sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to fund a move for Zaha.Asked by Laura Woods which player he would rather have at Arsenal, fan favourite Parlour said on Monday’s Sports Breakfast: “If you look at their ages, you’ve got to say Zaha, haven’t you? “Potentially he’s got many more years left in him.” getty The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star targets Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ REVEALED center_img Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January targets LATEST TRANSFER NEWS Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:12Loaded: 98.22%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:12 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti moving on Palace will flatly reject the offer, with the club feeling Zaha is worth more than DOUBLE that amount.But Arsenal do not have a huge transfer kitty following their failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League and are unlikely to raise their opening offer much higher.That means the saga could get messy, with Zaha determined to join the club he supported as a child this summer.Zaha’s brother, Judicael, pleaded with Palace on Monday to allow the 26-year-old to go.He told Sky Sports News: “Wilfried will always hold Crystal Palace and their fans in the highest regard and all the support they’ve given means the world to him.“It’s my brother’s dream though to play for Arsenal.“Given all Wilfried has given to Palace to help them remain a Premier League club, I hope Palace will be able to see their way to agreeing a deal with Arsenal that allows Wilfried to realise his dream of playing European football for the club he’s supported since childhood.” Wilfried Zaha is set to be at the centre of one of the biggest summer transfer sagas as his brother pleaded with Crystal Palace to sanction a move to Arsenal.The Gunners tabled a £40million bid for the winger on Monday, which is way below Palace’s valuation of their prized asset. Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father last_img read more

Air New Zealand adds Seoul, defers aircraft deliveries

first_imgAir New Zealand will defer aircraft deliveries worth $NZ750 million and introduce further cost-cutting initiatives as it adjusts to a lower growth environment in the immediate future.But passengers will see a new service to Seoul later this year, and frequencies to Taipei and Chicago boosted to up to five a week.There will also progressive introduction of an enhanced Business Premier product on long-haul routes later in 2019 and a more spacious long-haul economy offering from mid-2020.And the airline will offer free wi-fi on all capable international aircraft immediately“I want to be clear that although there will be changes to our business, Air New Zealand has always and will always keep the customer at the core of everything we do,’’ chief executive Christopher Luxon said.“ As such we have some exciting developments in the customer space to announce in the coming weeks and months, and we remain unequivocally committed to creating an exceptional travel experience that is the envy of airlines around the world.”The changes were announced as part of a business review announced when the Kiwi carrier revised its profit guidance for fiscal 2019 and designed to boost earnings despite lower growth prospects.READ: Fuel costs see Air New Zealand profit fall 34 percent.The airline is still planning network growth but says it will now average 3 to 5 percent over the next three years instead of the 5 to 7 percent it originally expected.Key foci will be ensuring aircraft are directed on profitable routes and ensuring growth stimulates tourism to, from and within New Zealand by tapping into new markets and increasing frequencies on others.This includes the launch of new direct service from Auckland to Seoul from November 2019, the increased frequency on Auckland-Taipei from the same month and on Auckland-Chicago services from December.The airline will fly three times a week to Seoul’s Incheon airport from November 23 andf up to five times a week during the peak December to mid-February peak holiday period.The new service will be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with a flight time of around 12 hours northbound and just over 11 hours southbound.Services to Taipei will increase from three a week to up to to five during the Northern Winter flying season from December while Chicago wil move to up to five services a week over the New Zealand summer peak.Air New Zealand will also change the timing of Auckland-Hong Kong to free up an aircraft from late October.Luxon said the airline was putting extra effort into lifting the performance on routes not meeting their potential while directing assets to those performing ahead of expectations.“Our number one priority is optimizing our network mix to maximize profitable growth,’’ he said.“Therefore, it is terrific to be able to announce today that we will be increasing frequency into Taipei and Chicago.“I’m also excited to announce that we will start flying from Auckland to Seoul up to five days a week from late November 2019.”The airline will also continue to invest in product, starting with an enhanced version of its existing Business Premier seat towards the end of calendar 2019 with the rollout due to be complete by December 2020.“We have undertaken considerable customer research and testing over the past 12 months to come up with enhancements to the existing award-winning seat as well as a new food, beverage and service offering that reflects the essence of who we are as a nation,’’ Luxon said.“We are confident our Business Premier customers will love their Air New Zealand experience more than ever.”Ongoing is an $NZ50m upgrade of nine lounges across the next two years as part of a previously disclosed program.The aircraft deferrals will see the deliveries of three A321neo aircraft destined for the airline’s domestic network set back by a year and an A320neo earmarked for trans -Tasman services delayed by two years.Capital expenditure in the 2020-2023 financial years will be decreased by deferring by at least four years the delivery of two long-haul aircraft as part of a fleet replacement program to replace the airline’s B777-200 fleet.However, the airline plans no change for the delivery date of its 14th Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which will be leased from October 2019.A two-year cost reduction program designed to deliver more than $NZ60 million annually will benefit from the end of disruptions due to Rolls-Royce engine problems as well as reduction of about 5 percent in overheads.This will be in addition to an annual cost saving of $NZ50m a year that has enabled Air New Zealand to largely offset inflation over the past three years.“Our confidence in Air New Zealand’s long-term strategy, customer proposition and financial performance remains strong,’’ Luxon said.“The steps we are taking today will provide a strong foundation for future earnings growth.”last_img read more