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VLCC rates to hold steady

Singapore – Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which rose to multi-month highs this week, are likely to hold firm as owners tread water before the release of further Middle East and West Africa cargoes, ship brokers said on Friday. "The market is taking a bit of a breather. The market is waiting for Saudi Arabian cargoes," said Captain Ashok Sharma, managing director of broking house BRS Baxi Far East in Singapore. These are expected to be released early next week, followed by cargoes from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Iraq started to release Basra cargoes on Monday although the volume of November export cargoes is likely to be slightly lower at 3.24 million barrels per day (bpd), compared with 3.28 million bpd planned for October, brokers and trade sources …

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Cathay Pacific shares fall to 7-year low

Cathay Pacific shares fall to 7-year lowCathay Pacific Airways Ltd. shares tumbled in Hong Kong to the lowest level in more than seven years after Asia’s biggest international carrier scrapped its profit outlook and said it is conducting a "critical review” of its business. The shares plunged 5.4 percent to HK$10.18 as of 11:45 a.m., headed for the lowest level since June, 2009, making Cathay Pacific the worst performer on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index Thursday. The company, which reported an 82 percent slump in net income in the first six months of the year, said in a stock exchange filing Wednesday that the second half “is no longer expected” to be better. At least two brokerages cut their ratings on the stock after the outlook warning. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer …

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PAL to acquire up to 12 Bombardier Q400 Aircraft

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft yesterday announced that Philippine Airlines, Inc., flag carrier of the Philippines, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to acquire up to 12 Q400 aircraft, an 86-seat aircraft featuring 10 premium service seats. In a statement posted on its website, the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer quoted Jaime J Bautista, PAL President and Chief Operating Officer, as saying, “For close to a decade, the Bombardier Q Series family of aircraft has been instrumental in evolving our domestic network operations.” “We are proud that our continued fleet growth now makes us the first airline to launch service with the two-class, 86-seat Q400 aircraft. As we strive to become a 5-star-rated airline, the Q400 aircraft, featuring a modern and innovative configuration, will be instrumental in providing our travellers with a world-class, in-flight passenger …

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UPS expands service in PH

UPS is expanding its services to more than 1,600 postal codes across seven major areas in the Philippines–Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela (CAMANAVA), Angeles, Cavite, North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – through a collaboration with local express, freight and cargo forwarding company Airfreight 2100, Inc. (AIR21).This collaboration combines the strengths of UPS’s international reach with AIR21’s domestic network, to provide quality service that supports local business growth needs. “Supporting homegrown businesses is our top priority. Our service enhancements means more customers can turn to logistics into a competitive advantage for their cross-border businesses,” said Tim Gohoc, Managing Director of UPS Philippines. “For local businesses with global growth ambitions, we understand it can be challenging so we strive to make trade simpler by expanding access to UPS’s technology-powered portfolio of transportation, …

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BMW’s smart new motorcycle concept needs no helmet

On Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, BMW Group debuted a motorcycle concept so artificially intelligent that it eliminates the need for the rider to wear protective gear, including a helmet. The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 motorcycle is the latest incarnation of BMW’s Vision Next series, which celebrates 100 years of the German brand with forward-looking concept vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Mini, and BMW. The group has been hosting events around the world this year to debut each new concept in a different city. California’s event, held in an old airplane hangar, displayed the motorcycle along each of the group's other previously shown concepts. This is the fourth and final of its concepts to be shown. So what does the future of motorcycles hold? At least according to BMW, it's a bike that has self-balancing …

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Etihad, TUI in talks on aviation tie-up

Etihad Aviation Group and TUI AG today confirmed they are in discussions to create a strong European leisure airline group, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets. It is proposed to contribute the touristic operations of the airberlin group and the German TUIfly company, including the aircraft currently operated by TUIfly for airberlin under a wet-lease agreement, into a new airline group established by TUI AG and Etihad Aviation Group. This new airline group would serve a broad network of destinations from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The leisure airline group will be supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, the fastest-growing aviation group in the world, and utilise TUI’s state-of-the-art distribution capacity. TUI AG, Etihad Aviation Group and Air Berlin PLC intend to finalize an in-principle agreement in due course. Any …

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Malaysia’s mail operator taps Alibaba for growth

Malaysia’s biggest postal company is seeking a more direct role in providing logistics services to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., tapping a boom in online retailing. Pos Malaysia Bhd. plans talks with Alibaba this month on bypassing the middlemen when shipping goods sold on its platforms, Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, its chief executive officer, said. Surging parcel deliveries for online shopping drove a 40 percent jump in profit in the fiscal first quarter and full-year earnings will be higher than a year earlier, he said. “My focus is still e-commerce, and it is driving the logistics business. When e-commerce is booming, somebody needs to deliver these items,” Mohd Shukrie, 42, said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 27. “Marketplace owners wants to deal with …

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China to open world’s largest airport by 2019

Beijing – China will complete the first phase of an expansive new airport in Beijing, which could eventually be the world's largest, by 2019, officials with the project told reporters. Representatives of the Beijing New Airport project showed off the sprawling construction site on Monday, saying the city's second major airport could serve 45 million passengers a year with four runways on first opening, while two later phases would push the capacity to 100 million passengers annually. That would put the airport, to be the world's largest in surface area, roughly in line with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest by annual passengers. "Our worry isn't whether or not we'll have this many passengers but whether we'll be able to satisfy demand," said Jia Zhiguo, an assistant general manager on the construction …

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Uncharted waters: Mega-cruise ships sail the Arctic

Svalbard, Norway– A surge in Arctic tourism is bringing ever bigger cruise ships to the formerly isolated, ice-bound region, prompting calls for a clamp-down to prevent Titanic-style accidents and the pollution of fragile eco-systems. Arctic nations should consider limiting the size of vessels and ban the use of heavy fuel oil in the region, industry players said, after a first luxury cruise ship sailed safely through Canada’s Northwest Passage this summer. The route, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Arctic, was once clogged with icebergs but is now ice-free in summer due to global warming. With a minimum ticket price of $19,755, the 1,700 passengers and crew on board the Crystal Serenity followed – in reverse – the route first navigated more than a century ago by Norwegian explorer Roald …

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MRT3 nearing maximum capacity

The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) system is now nearing its maximum capacity of 20 trains simultaneously running after its maintenance provider restored 20 cars in the last nine months. In a statement, maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail, Inc. said the restoration of these cars added to the number of operating cars that allowed the MRT system to run as many as 18 trains on peak hours, close to the system’s maximum capacity of 20 trains. Additional trains are also in reserve. Each train consists of three cars. “Based on our latest projection, we intend to put into maximum operations within the month, 65 to 66 cars or 22 trains which could assure 20 operational trains on peak hours,” according to Charles Perfecto Mercado, spokesman and legal counsel of the maintenance provider. Busan …

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