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FAA registers 181,000 US drones in its database

Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)said  that 181,000 drones have been registered in the database it launched just over two weeks ago in response to a surge of rogue drone flights near airports and crowded public venues. The total is a fraction of the 700,000 drones that officials have said they expected to be sold during the recently ended Christmas season. FAA said it is working with the private sector on ways to streamline registration including new smart phone apps that could allow a manufacturer or retailer to register a drone automatically by scanning an identification code on the aircraft. "As of today, about 181,000 aircraft have been registered," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. "But this is just the beginning. Now that we have set up the registration …

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LTFRB extends permit to Premium P2P Bus Service

Due to the popularity of the  Premium Point-to-Point (P2P) Bus Service, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has extended its special permit till the end of this month. The Premium P2P bus service is a new public utility vehicle (PUV) sub-category created by the DOTC that offers commuters another safe and reliable mode of transportation. It allows shorter travel time, as buses depart on a fixed schedule and travel directly from the terminal to the drop-off point. The Non-Stop Bus Service currently plies three routes: SM North EDSA  Glorietta 5, Trinoma  Glorietta 5, and SM Megamall to Glorietta 5. Originally until January 6, the bus service is currently operated by Fröhlich Tours, a tourist transport operator, under a special permit issued by the LTFRB. "The service offers the riding public access to …

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China flies 2 commercial jets to man-made island in South China Sea

Beijing (AP) – A pair of Chinese civilian jet airliners landed at a newly created island in a disputed section of the South China Sea in a test to see whether its airstrip was up to standard, state media reported Thursday. The China Daily newspaper said the two planes on Wednesday made the two-hour flight to Fiery Cross Reef from Haikou on the southern island province of Hainan. It said the test flights proved the runway's ability to safely handle large civilian aircraft. Photos showed one of the planes to be a China Southern Airlines Airbus A319-115. The flights followed an earlier test flight on Saturday that drew an angry protest from rival claimants Vietnam and the Philippines. China's creation of seven new islands by piling sand on reefs and atolls has been condemned …

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Container ships prepare to steam into Iran

Some of the world's largest container shipping lines are planning to stop in Iran for the first time in years after the lifting of sanctions, marking a key step in the country's return to international markets. Last Thursday, Mediterranean Shipping Co. SA, the second-largest shipping line by volume, discharged 300 containers filled with food and agricultural commodities at the port in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas. It was the first time one of the Swiss company's vessels had called at an Iranian port since 2012, according to an MSC spokeswoman. CMA CGM SA, the third-largest line, has also begun service to Iran, a spokesman said. MSC's stop, on a round-trip between China and the Middle East, was an early indication of how July's nuclear deal is giving Iran's economy a …

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Spirit Airlines appoints new CEO

Spirit Airlines, Inc. on Tuesday named board member Robert Fornaro as chief executive officer (CEO) in a move analysts say may nudge it towards a merger with Frontier Airlines and improve its results after a year of unit revenue decline. Fornaro headed AirTran Holdings, Inc. for nearly four years until Southwest Airlines Co. bought it in 2011. Analysts say his record of deal-making may in the long run seal a merger of Spirit and Frontier, which have a common low-cost model and plane types. Shares of Spirit were up nearly 6 percent at the close of trading. The US carrier has grown rapidly in the past five years by marketing, ultra-low fares with heavy restrictions. Recent moves by larger Delta Air Lines, Inc. and American Airlines Group, Inc. to match those prices …

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Deliberate acts cause more airline deaths than crashes – Flightglobal

Washington – There were more airline deaths worldwide due to deliberate acts in 2015 than to accidental air crashes for the second year in a row, according to an industry tally. There were only eight accidental airline crashes last year accounting for 161 passenger and crew deaths – the fewest crashes and deaths since at least 1946. The tally by Flightglobal, an aviation news and industry data company, excludes a German airliner that was deliberately flown into a mountainside in the French Alps last March, and a Russian airliner packed with tourist that exploded over Egypt in October. The toll for those two incidents was 374 killed. In 2014, the toll from a Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared and another that was shot down over Ukraine in 2014 was 537 deaths compared …

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US airlines raise fares $3 in first sector-wide increase since June

NEW YORK5 – The top US airlines said  that they have raised fares in the first industry-wide hike since June, moves that may offset increasing labor costs but draw the ire of customers. Fares increased $3 one-way for US domestic flights on American Airlines Group, Inc., United Continental Holdings, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Southwest Airlines Co. and JetBlue Airways Corp., each company told Reuters. The price hike comes at a precarious time for the industry, which is under investigation by the US Justice Department for potentially conspiring to limit flights and keep fares high. The airlines have denied collusion. The federal agency declined to comment on the fare rise. Airlines have long monitored each others' prices and quickly responded to changes, much like gas station owners watch the signs of their competitors. Carriers file …

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Global logistics index shows confidence at lowest in nearly 4 years

Copenhagen – A global index measuring the confidence of logistics companies fell in December to its lowest level since March 2012, hit by lower margins for European freight forwarders such as Denmark's DSV because of overcapacity in shipping. Consulting group Transport Intelligence's (Ti) Stifel Logistic Confidence Index showed particularly low confidence in the transport business along the Asia-Europe routes where spot freight rates were barely profitable for shipping companies for much of last year. However, future expectations were slightly improved, with companies expecting overcapacity to lessen, Ti said. Freight forwarders use companies such as Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping company, to transport goods on the behalf of clients. Like the shipping companies themselves, freight forwarders have had their margins squeezed by low freight rates. Ti noted Maersk Line's commitment to lay-up an 18,000 …

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Emirates Airlines resumes Clark flights starting March 30

Emirates Airlines resumes its daily Dubai-Cebu-Clark (DXB-CEB-CRK-DXB) flights by end of March, 2016 to strengthen international connectivity between the country’s fastest-growing international hubs and service over 900,000 Filipinos living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the carrier announced yesterday. The airline first serviced the Clark International Airport (CRK) in 2013. Its return will connect travelers in both Cebu and Clark with the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas via Dubai. “Travelers in the Philippines will be able to connect to 39 cities in Europe, 16 in the Middle East as well as a number of destinations across our extensive network in Africa and the Americas, including Panama from February 1,” announced Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates. Emirates currently flies two daily flights to Manila. The carrier used …

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150 flights between Saudi and Iran halted

Dubai – Around 150 direct flights between Iran and Saudi Arabia carrying thousands of pilgrims every month have been halted as diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed, aviation sources said on Tuesday. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters in an interview on Monday that it had halted trade and flights with Iran as part of a diplomatic response to Iranian protesters storming the kingdom's embassy in Tehran after the execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric. Trade between Saudi Arabia and Iran is small compared to the size of their economies, but tens of thousands of Iranians travel to the kingdom every year to complete the haj and umrah pilgrimages – essential tenets of Islam. While Jubeir said these pilgrimages would not be impacted by the severing of ties, separate sources …

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