Tag Archives: news

Portuguese now more Brazilian and less… Portuguese

Portugal’s parliament last week approved a measure to standardise the Portugese language, standarising the Brazilian spelling of numerous words. The benefits? Apparently, making the language Portuguese Flagmore uniform globally, internet searches and legal documents easier to understand and removing silent consonants in order for words to be spelt more phonetically. Oh, and ‘Portuguese officials hope the measure would advance an old ambition of getting Portuguese adopted as an official language at the UN’.

All sounds peachy, but Portuguese nationalists are furious at the prospect of this slight to national pride, with The Independent quoting distinguished poet Vasco Graça Moura as saying “There is no need for us to take a back seat to Brazil.”

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[Image by psychiccrow]

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You may have missed… (14th of April)

Pacific Airlines, Vietnam’s second-largest carrier will be renamed Jetstar Pacific as part of a joint venture with the QANTAS subsidiary that will also lead to a fleet of 30 leased Airbus A320 aircraft being based in the country by 2014.

A woman has died in Brisbane this morning after falling from a stationary plane at Brisbane International Airport.Fresco

‘It feels as if someone has taken a huge sack of invaluable works of art and dumped them into the building, letting them fall as they may’. Can anybody match the Italians for their cheerful indifference to gorgeous ancient works of art? If in Rome check out ‘a treasure trove of breathtaking paintings, frescos, mosaics and sculptures from the heyday of Roman Empire — most borrowed from museums in Naples and Pompeii” currently being exhibited within spitting distance of Termini.

Jet Airways has delayed the planned launch of a Bombay – Shanghai – San Francisco service until June ‘to finalize the regulatory process’. Meanwhile AirAsia XXX is wearing a look of studied indifference to the collapse of Oasis – declaring it remains confident it will start flights to London – just not this year.

Cone of SilenceThe chatter leaking out from under the Australian Government’s cone of silence insist that the “security incident” which delayed a plane in Melbourne for half an hour on Saturday night was a ‘misunderstanding‘ which is NOT bureaucrat speak for ‘stuff up’. But we’ve already said too much.

Does anything say ‘peaceful’, ‘tranquil’ and no longer the source of extreme tension between two quarrelling nuclear armed nations like golf courses? Kashmir can’t think of anything so it’s going with parks for ‘flog and chase’.

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You may have missed… (12th of April)

Baggage handlers claim QANTAS’ 32kg baggage limit is breaking their backs and that the maximum limit should be 16-20kgs. QANTAS, for its part, feels the baggage handlers are breaking its balls.

‘Since privatisation, Australian airports have increased operational revenue by 42 per cent while reducing operating costs, and made capital investments amounting to $2.3 billion’. Sydney Airport in particular is doing quite nicely off budget travellers, thank you very much.

The Federal Government has launched a review about, well, everything, to do with aviation in Australia.

Oasis Airlines, the ambitious long-haul budget carrier connecting Hong Kong with London and Vancouver, suddenly ceased operations this week when its owners decided that losing $128,000 USD per flight had lost its allure. The immediate liquidation left many passengers stranded and, because the airline was not an IATA member, it could effectively tell passengers to find their own way home.

Indonesia has withdrawn flight permits for grounded budget airline Adam Air, but the airline may re-apply for the routes at the end of the three-month ban imposed in March if it was found to have improved safety standards.

The Age has a rather optimistic article claiming that VAustralia entering the trans-Pacific market will lead to a ‘shake-up’ of fares on routes to LAX which reads not-at-all like a Virgin press release.

Frontier Airlines in the US has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The International Herald Tribune surveys the industries woes in the U.S.. One reaction from airlines – off-shore maintenance.

The perfect time for the lazy traveller to see Machu Picchu – the four day Inca Trail is trek booked out until the end of August.

Australian regional Mac Airlines has been purchased and the new owner plans to rebadge the airline ‘Ansett’, presumably having discounted PanAm, TWA and Compass.

The EU, in what is obviously some sort of mistake, has done something that may benefit consumers – oredering that passengers should actually be able to find out which items are prohibited in carry-on luggage.

Boeing’s Dreamliner will remain just that for the foreseeable future. The gnashing of teeth has begun and the lawyers are circling.

NYT examines inflation in South East Asia.

6 people were injured when currency exchange workers were robbed of $1m at gunpoint at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Virgin Blue signed an interline agreement with Vietnam Airlines.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad expects to establish its third route to Australia within two years.

Laos highway number 3 will be paved, a move which could when completed ‘cut driving time between northern Thailand and southern China to less than a day’.

Wired asks if planes of the future will fly on pond scum.

The Age examines the dramatically shrinking numbers of European flag carriers flying to Australia in the last few years.

UPDATE

A rail connection to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport will reportedly be operational from December.

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Tiger alleges it has suffered from anti-competitive behaviour. Ahh well, at least the airline plans on adding capacity to two of its most popular routes, Singapore-Perth and Singapore-Ho Chi Minh City.

Australia is to seek an open skies agreement with the EU ‘Peter Harbison, executive chairman of the Centre for Asia Pacific, believes an EU-Australian open skies could be a boon for Qantas’ Jetstar in opening up new low-fare routes‘ (Via Serious Sam).

A day after the Premier labled Perth aiport an ‘embarrassment’ Westralia Airports Corporation announced a $500m upgrade. The good people of Launceston will have to make-do with $20m.

Strong winds delayed flights out of Sydney.

Australia will ratify the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (the Montreal Convention 1999).

The excellent EuroCheapo accomodation site has branched out into European airfares with Cheaposearch Flights.

The Independent has an excellent article about what actually happens to baggage after check-in and some hints about what to do if your luggage is lost. Even if you can’t be there to experience the thrills and spills of lost luggage now you can play the game! (Via TravelWeekly). A guide to Airport Transfers at Heathrow Airport may just be timely.

Speaking of luggage Gatwick has ‘finally overturned the one carry-on bag rule‘.

Financial Times has an interesting article on Jetstar in Japan and ‘ the difficulty of applying the no-frills model in Japan, a country in which fuller-than-full service is the norm’.

Beggars are to banned from Florence – if they do not remain standing.

Lonely Planet has released a new series of national park guides.

Visiting Stonehenge may soon become a good deal cheaper and well… more plastic… for Australians.

Youtoob footage of one of the world’s most dangerous airports.

You can never read too many packing tips, particularly if they happen to be good.

“We have saved Luang Prabang’s buildings, but we have lost its soul.” CNN on the effect of mass tourism in Laos.

New tourism rules at the Vatican Museums.

Independent Traveller surveys the best and worst toilets – the best I’ve experienced were at Raffles in Singapore – the Singapore Sling STILL wasn’t worth it – and suggests Budget Alternatives to Classic Destinations.

Bali is surely ripe for re-discovery by Australian travellers.

Finally, Frommers have released updates to their guidebooks for