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Maersk defends sending ships to Indian shipyards

Copenhagen (Reuters) – Shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Monday it was striving to improve workers' rights at shipbreaking yards it uses in India after criticisms of hazardous conditions. The Danish company also expressed regret that a ship it sold this year, the "North Sea Producer," had then been taken to a shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh, after Danish media last week showed workers using precarious rope ladders to climb the hull. Most shipping companies send old ships to shipbreaking yards in India, Bangladesh or Pakistan because they will dismantle container ships almost as long as three soccer pitches at relatively cheap prices. Maersk Line, the world's biggest container shipper, sent two of its vessels for decommissioning this summer to the Shree Ram yard in Alang on India's west coast. "We have established a cooperation …

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After stock rally, United Airlines needs to deliver

United Continental Holdings, Inc., longtime laggard of US airlines, is up 41 percent since late June as investors buy into the troubled carrier’s promise of an imminent turnaround. The next five weeks may tell if that faith is well-placed. United’s new president, Scott Kirby, an airline industry star – plucked soon after he parted ways with American Airlines Group, Inc. in late August – will be on a conference call Tuesday, after the carrier reports earnings late Monday. It will be the first time he’s spoken publicly since joining the company, during which time United shares have risen 13 percent. Now the question everyone wants answered is whether Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz and Kirby, who has a proven knack for turning around airlines, can help revive United and start filling its …

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Hyundai Merchant Marine may bid for Hanjin’s Asia-US route assets

Seoul – South Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd. said on Tuesday it may submit a preliminary bid for Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd. assets used in Asia-to-US routes - a sale seen as key to Hanjin's prospects for paying off creditors. Hanjin, the first major shipping line to be dragged down by global industry overcapacity and low freight rates, put up manpower and logistics systems, five container ships and 10 overseas businesses, for sale last week. Shipping sources in South Korea have said that potential interest in the assets is unclear, particularly for the manpower and logistics systems that established shippers already have. But they added that the networks and systems could be valuable to a newcomer looking to enter the shipping industry. Likely valuations for the assets were not immediately known. A bid …

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Self-driving will be the best thing to happen to motorcycles

Self-driving technology promises to pretty much transform the auto industry as we know it. It may also change the business of selling motorcycles — but in a very different way. It all comes down to safety, according to Karl Viktor Schaller, head of development at BMW Motorrad. When robots are at the wheel, far fewer bikers will die on the road, which won’t be lost on all those people who pine for a motorcycle but have always been too scared to buy one. “It would mean a dramatic enhancement in safety for the motorbike,” Schaller said. “And it would guarantee a wider user group.” The math is as straightforward as it is compelling. Consider a left turn on an American road: A vehicle turning across a lane of opposing traffic has little to …

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Boeing names new sales chief

Boeing Co. announced the new sales chief for its commercial airplanes division on Friday as the US planemaker and Europe's Airbus battle over dwindling jet orders. The Chicago-based company named Ihssane Mounir as vice president of sales and marketing, succeeding company veteran John Wojick who turned 60 this year and who plans to retire after overseeing record-quick sales of around 5,000 airplanes. The changeover will take effect early in 2017, Boeing said, confirming a decision first reported by Bloomberg News. Mounir, 44, currently spearheads sales in North Asia including China, which has become a key battleground against Europe's Airbus and is on course to overtake the United States as the world's largest aviation market in coming years. The Moroccan-born engineer, who emigrated to the United States as a teenager and trained as an aerodynamicist, …

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Safety awareness drive for ferry passengers launched

In partnership with Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), the Women in Maritime Philippines (WIMAPHIL) has firmed up its campaign to promote passenger safety in domestic ferries across the country. WIMAPHIL president Merle Jimenez-San Pedro said the information dissemination drive with the “Wow Ang Byahe” posters was launched by the three parties highlighting the recent 2016 National Maritime Week (NMW) celebration. Poster-installations and displays were simultaneously conducted nationwide through the efforts and cooperation of MARINA and PPA regional offices and manpower. The safety posters  will also be placed  in conspicuous  areas of other major ports in regions outside Metro Manila. These include Batangas, Legazpi, Matnog, Iloilo, Cebu, Dipolog and Zamboanga. Likewise, the posters willalso be displayed aboard alldomestic passenger ships under the direction of MARINA. The WOW ang Biyahe poster was designed …

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Economic slowdown to hit ports the hardest – S & P

Seaport operations in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to suffer the strongest impact from the headwind of slowing economies in the region, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) said in its latest report. In the report “Asia-Pacific Sector Outlook 4Q 2016: Net Negative Outlook Bias Rises to 13 percent from 11 percent,” S&P said across the region the ports sector is facing the strongest headwind with softening gross domestic product (GDP) growth. In the short term, the report added, ports are expecting potential impact from the recent bankruptcy filing of South Korean cargo liner Hanjin Shipping. S&P said shipping ports are faring the worst because of weak volume growth. “Ports dedicated to commodity trades could benefit from the recent rebound of coal prices although this would reduce the downside risk rather than providing true …

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China airlines allowed to set own domestic fares

Beijing  – China will give some airlines greater independence to set domestic fares, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on Friday, as Beijing moves to boost airfare pricing reforms amid a broader easing of controls over aviation. Local airlines will be allowed to decide ticket prices on routes that are less than 800 kilometers (497 miles), as well as on longer routes which compete directly with high-speed rail or train lines, the CAAC said in a document on its website on Friday. Prices are currently mostly set by the regulator. The government has pledged to deepen its reform of the world's fastest growing civil aviation industry and allow market forces to play a more decisive role in order to improve service quality and efficiency. It relaxed airfare restrictions for the first …

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Airbus positioned for world’s most modern aircraft family

Airbus celebrated the delivery of its 10,000th aircraft – an A350-900 for Singapore Airlines, according to a company statement. The aircraft delivered Friday was the sixth A350-900 for Singapore Airlines, out of a total order for 67. Featuring a special “10,000th Airbus” logo, the aircraft will be used to launch the airline’s new non-stop services between Singapore and San Francisco later this month. The milestone event was marked by a special ceremony in Toulouse hosted by Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders and attended by Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines. The 10,000th Airbus delivery comes as the manufacturer achieves its highest level of production ever and is on track to deliver at least 650 aircraft this year from its extensive product line. These range from 100 to over 600 seats and efficiently …

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Lufthansa Group opens new service in PH

Lufthansa Group further strengthens its footprint in the Philippines with the official opening of its new service center in the Alabang District. Called the Lufthansa Services Philippines (LSP), the new center will employ 440 highly qualified consultants in a modern working environment. Kay Kratky, CEO of Austrian Airlines, Process Domain Owner Flight Operations LHG & Lufthansa Patron for Southeast Asia, led the center’s official opening of Lufthansa Services Philippines with 50 guests in attendance. LSP is the result of a joint partnership between two business units of Lufthansa Group – Lufthansa Global Business Services (LGBS) and Lufthansa InTouch (LH InTouch) – providing services in the areas of financial and revenue accounting, human resources and procurement, and customer service for Lufthansa Group passengers. “Lufthansa Group is strengthening its footprint in Southeast Asia and particularly in …

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