wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘carrier’

N.Korea warns of more strikes, blames US as carrier heads in

In Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 at 5:20 am

SEOUL, Nov 25, 2010 (AFP) – North Korea on Thursday blamed the South and the US for provoking its artillery bombardment and warned it was ready to strike again, as a US carrier headed in for war games off the tense peninsula.


World powers agonised over how to deal with the volatile and nuclear-armed communist regime over its attack on a Yellow Sea island, in what one veteran North Korea watcher labelled a diplomatic “problem from hell”.


Isolated North Korea charged in a statement that “the US can never evade responsibility for the recent exchange of fire”, which saw four people killed when Pyongyang’s forces shelled the island in disputed waters on Tuesday.

An armed North Korean soldier (L) and civilian talk on the banks of of the North Korean border town of Siniuju across the Yalu River from Dandong in northeast China’s Liaoning province on November 25, 2010. AFP

“If the warmongering South Korean puppets fail to return to their senses and commit another reckless military provocation, our army will carry out second and third rounds of powerful physical retaliatory strikes without hesitation.”


The warning came as the US and South Korean navies plan to hold a four-day naval exercise in the Yellow Sea from Sunday that will involve a strike group headed by aircraft carrier the USS George Washington.


Although the show of allied maritime firepower had been scheduled well before this week’s attacks, the US military said, it would also demonstrate the US “commitment to regional stability through deterrence”.


South Korea also said Thursday it would “sharply increase military forces, including ground troops, on the five islands in the Yellow Sea and allocate more of its budget toward dealing with North Korea’s asymmetrical threats”.


Enraged by the first shelling of its civilians since the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korea was still counting the cost of the attack on Yeonpyeong island, which lies near the tense post-war sea demarcation line.


The explosions that shattered the calm of the remote islet killed two marines and two civilians, wounded 18 others, left 22 buildings in charred ruins and sent hundreds of terrified residents fleeing to the mainland.


US President Barack Obama has pledged to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with ally South Korea, where 28,500 American troops are stationed, facing off across a Cold War era frontier.


The world has often been baffled by the regime ruling impoverished North Korea, which has staged two nuclear tests, fired missiles over Japan and this month showed off to a US academic a modern new nuclear facility.


Many observers believe Tuesday’s attack was meant to highlight the military credentials of the leader-in-waiting — Kim Jong-il’s little-known 27-year-old son Kim Jong-Un, who two months ago took a key military post.


North Korea has also rejected a proposal by the US-led United Nations Command, which supervises the armistice, to hold military talks on the attack, Yonhap news agency reported citing a South Korean defence official.


While the US, European powers, South Korea and Japan have long pushed hard to sanction the regime, China and Russia have favoured a softer line with Pyongyang, a Cold War era ally and neighbour to both.


When an intergovernmental expert panel found that a North Korean submarine in March torpedoed and sank a South Korean corvette the Cheonan, killing all 46 sailor aboard, China refused to blame the Pyongyang regime.


Premier Wen Jiabao said in Moscow that “China is firmly committed to maintaining the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and opposes any provocative military acts”.


It was not clear whether Wen was referring to the North Korean shelling or to the planned US-South Korean military exercises. Beijing has bitterly opposed similar war games there in the past.


North Korea expert Peter Beck, with the US think tank the Council on Foreign Relations, said: “In the wake of the Cheonan sinking, Beijing showed us that they are more than willing to put up with Pyongyang’s worst behaviour.”


“Given that this incident brings us closer to the brink of war than the Cheonan, Beijing might conclude that enough is enough and quietly put their foot down, but I am not holding my breath.”

d
Source: SGGP

U.S. aircraft carrier heads for Korean waters

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

A U.S. aircraft carrier headed toward the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, a day after North Korea launched dozens of artillery shells on a South Korean island.


The nuclear-powered USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, left a naval base south of Tokyo on Wednesday morning and would join exercises with South Korea from Sunday to the following Wednesday, U.S. officials in Seoul said.


“This exercise is defensive in nature,” U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement. “While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK (South Korea)-U.S. alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.”


China came under heavy pressure to rein in North Korea after its reclusive ally fired dozens of artillery shells at the South Korean island, killing two South Korean soldiers and setting houses ablaze in the heaviest attack on its neighbor since the Korean War ended in 1953.


President Barack Obama, woken up in the early hours to be told of the artillery strike, said he was outraged but declined to speculate on possible U.S. military action.


However, in a telephone call with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Obama pressed the North to stop its provocative actions.


The U.S.-led U.N. Command said it had asked North Korea for talks to try to reduce tension on the divided peninsula.


“We’re in a semi state of war,” South Korean coastguard Kim Dong-jin told Reuters in the port city of Incheon where many residents of Yeonpyeong island fled in panic as the bombardment triggered a fire storm.


The bombardment nagged at global markets, already unsettled by worries over Ireland’s debt problem and looking to invest in less risky markets.


But South Korea’s markets, after sharp falls, later started to rebound.


“If you look back at the last five years when we’ve had scares, they were all seen as buying opportunities. The rule among hedge funds and long-only funds is that you let the market sell off and watch for your entry point to get involved,” Todd Martin, Asia equity strategist with Society Generale in Hong Kong, said.


Despite the rhetoric, regional powers made clear they were looking for a diplomatic way to calm things down.


South Korea, its armed forces technically superior though about half the size of the North’s one-million-plus army, warned of “massive retaliation” if its neighbor attacked again.


But it was careful to avoid any immediate threat of retaliation which might spark an escalation of fighting across the Cold War’s last frontier.


“My house was burned to the ground,” said Cho Soon-ae, 47, who was among 170 or so evacuated from the island of Yeonpyeong on Thursday.


“We’ve lost everything. I don’t even have extra underwear,” she said weeping, holding on to her sixth-grade daughter, as she landed at the port of Incheon.


South Korea was conducting military drills in the area at the time but said it had not been firing at the North. It later said it would resume those drills once the situation stabilized.


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called on China, the impoverished North’s only powerful ally, to help rein in the hermit state.

China has long propped up the Pyongyang leadership, worried that a collapse of the North could bring instability to its own borders and also wary of a unified Korea that would be dominated by the United States, the key ally of the South.

In a clear prod to Beijing during a visit to the Chinese capital, U.S. North Korea envoy Stephen Bosworth said: “We call on all members of the international community to condemn the DPRK’s (North Korea’s) acts and to make clear that they expect the DPRK to cease all provocations and implement its denuclearization commitments.”

On Tuesday, Obama said he would urge China to tell Pyongyang “there are a set of international rules they must abide by.”

Beijing said it had agreed with the United States to try to restart talks among regional powers over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

A number of analysts suspect that Tuesday’s attack may have been an attempt by North Korean leader Kim jong-il to raise his bargaining position ahead of disarmament talks which he has used in the past to win concessions and aid from the outside world, in particular the United States.

“It’s Mr Kim’s old game to get some attention and some economic goodies,” said Lin Chong-pin, strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taipei.

Several analysts believe the attacks may also have been driven by domestic politics, with the ailing Kim desperate to give a lift to his youngest son, named as heir apparent to the family dynasty in September but who has little clear support in the military.

Source: SGGP

Third private carrier flies Vietnam’s skies

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 3:59 am




Third private carrier flies Vietnam’s skies


QĐND – Monday, October 11, 2010, 21:42 (GMT+7)


Vietnam’s third private airline, Air Mekong, received its Air Operator’s Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) in Kien Giang province in the south on October 8.

The carrier also launched its first two routes, Hanoi – Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc on the same day. 


“The CAAV certificate will open a new page for our development”, said Air Mekong chairman Doan Quoc Viet. 


He said Air Mekong started commercial operations on October 9 with eight flights from Ha Noi and HCM City to Phu Quoc, Con Dao, Buon Me Thuot and Pleiku, adding that Air Mekong will expand operations in November, including flights to Da Lat in the Central Highlands and Da Nang city. 


The airline has launched a promotional offer with 1,000 tickets on sale until November 9 at prices from VND400,000 to VND1.2 million on all its domestic routes. Tickets are on sale at travel agents as well as Air Mekong’s website and customer care centres. 


Air Mekong was established in 2009 by the Ha Long Investment and Development Company based at Phu Quoc Airport. The other two private carriers already operating in Vietnam are Indochina Airlines and VietJet AirAsia. 


The CAAV said there are also a number of other organisations and individuals planning to launch airlines. To qualify, private operators must have a charter capital of at least VND500 billion to fly internationally and VND200 billion to launch domestic flights. They must also meet strict aviation and security standards.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

VN’s third private air carrier set for take-off

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm




VN’s third private air carrier set for take-off


QĐND – Tuesday, August 17, 2010, 22:4 (GMT+7)

Air Mekong, Vietnam’s third private air carrier, is scheduled to launch its first flights on October 10.


“The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) will finish its checks and appraisal to enable Air Mekong’s operation next month,” the company stated in a press release.


“Air Mekong is scheduled to begin selling tickets from mid-September and to launch its first flights on October 10 of this year,” the company said.


The airline is scheduled to fly from Hanoi and HCMCity to Da Nang , Nha Trang, Da Lat and Phu Quoc. In addition, it has also asked permission to fly from HCM City to Con Dao, Buon Me Thuot, Hai Phong and Vinh.


On August 15, the airline received delivery of four made-in-Canada Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft owned by Skywest Leasing Inc of the US. Each aircraft has 95 business and economy-class seats.


Air Mekong was established in 2009 by Ha Long Investment and Development Company. It will be headquartered at PhuQuocAirport. The other two private carriers in Vietnam are Indochina Airlines and VietJet AirAsia.


The CAAV said there were a number of organisations and individuals planning to launch airlines. To qualify, private operators must have a charter capital of at least 500 billion VND (26.3 million USD) to fly internationally and 200 billion VND (10.5 million USD) to launch domestic flights. Airlines must also meet strict aviation and security standards.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

US aircraft carrier leads drills with South Korea

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

A nuclear-powered U.S. supercarrier led an armada of warships in exercises off the Korean peninsula on Sunday that North Korea has vowed to physically block and says could escalate into nuclear war.


U.S. military officials said the maneuvers, conducted with South Korean ships and Japanese observers, were intended to send a strong signal to the North that aggression in the region will not be tolerated.


Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been particularly high since the sinking in March of a South Korean naval vessel. Forty-six Korean sailors were killed in the sinking, which Seoul has called Pyongyang’s worst military attack on it since the 1950-53 Korean War.


The military drills, code-named “Invincible Spirit,” are to run through Wednesday with about 8,000 U.S. and South Korean troops, 20 ships and submarines and 200 aircraft. The Nimitz-class USS George Washington was deployed from Japan.


“We are showing our resolve,” said Capt. David Lausman, the carrier’s commanding officer.

U.S. helicopter hovers above the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington leaving for joint military exercises from Busan port in Busan, south of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, July 25, 2010

North Korea has protested the drills, threatening to retaliate with “nuclear deterrence” and “sacred war.”


The North routinely threatens attacks whenever South Korea and the U.S. hold joint military drills, which Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal for an invasion. The U.S. keeps 28,500 troops in South Korea and another 50,000 in Japan, but says it has no intention of invading the North.


Still, the North’s latest rhetoric carries extra weight following the sinking of the Cheonan.


Capt. Ross Myers, the commander of the carrier’s air wing, said the exercises were not intended to raise tensions, but acknowledged they are meant to get North Korea’s attention.


The George Washington, one of the biggest ships in the U.S. Navy, is a potent symbol of American military power, with about 5,000 sailors and aviators and the capacity to carry up to 70 planes.


“North Korea may contend that it is a provocation, but I would say the opposite,” he said. “It is a provocation to those who don’t want peace and stability. North Korea doesn’t want this. They know that one of South Korea’s strengths is its alliance with the United States.”


He said that North Korea’s threats to retaliate were being taken seriously.


“There is a lot they can do,” he said. “They have ships, they have subs, they have airplanes. They are a credible threat.”


The exercises are the first in a series of U.S.-South Korean maneuvers to be conducted in the East Sea off South Korea’s east coast and in the Yellow Sea closer to China’s shores in international waters. The exercises also are the first to employ the F-22 stealth fighter — which can evade North Korean air defenses — in South Korea.


South Korea was closely monitoring North Korea’s military but spotted no unusual activity Sunday, the Defense Ministry said.


North Korea, which denies any involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan, warned the United States against holding the drills.


“Our military and people will squarely respond to the nuclear war preparation by the American imperialists and the South Korean puppet regime with our powerful nuclear deterrent,” the North’s government-run Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Sunday headlined, “We also have nuclear weapons.”


The commentary was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The North’s powerful National Defense Commission issued a similar threat Saturday, saying the country “will start a retaliatory sacred war … based on nuclear deterrent any time necessary in order to counter the U.S.”

The country’s Foreign Ministry separately said Saturday that Pyongyang is considering “powerful physical measures” in response to the U.S. military drills and sanctions.

Though the impoverished North has a large conventional military and the capability to build nuclear weapons, it is not believed to have the technology needed to use nuclear devices as warheads.

North Korea has been in increasingly difficult diplomatic straits since the Cheonan incident.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Wednesday, after visiting the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, that the U.S. would slap new sanctions on the North to stifle its nuclear ambitions and punish it for the Cheonan sinking.

On Friday, the European Union said it, too, would consider new sanctions on North Korea.

The George Washington had been expected to join in exercises off Korea sooner, but the Navy delayed those plans as the United Nations Security Council met to deliberate what action it should take over the Cheonan sinking.

The council eventually condemned the incident, but stopped short of naming North Korea as the perpetrator.

Source: SGGP

US carrier to visit S.Korea ahead of joint exercise

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:27 am

SEOUL, July 19, 2010 (AFP) – A US aircraft carrier and three destroyers will visit South Korea this week ahead of a naval exercise to deter North Korea following the sinking of one of Seoul’s warships, officials said Monday.


The 97,000-ton USS George Washington, based in Yokosuka, Japan, will arrive Wednesday at the southern port city of Busan for a five-day port call, the US military said in a statement.


Three destroyers from the US carrier’s strike group, including the USS McCampbell, will also visit South Korean ports on the same day, it said.


“Our presence here is a testament to the strength of our alliance and our constant readiness to defend (South Korea),” the US carrier’s commanding officer, Captain David Lausman, said in the statement.


Seoul and Washington are going ahead with war games this month to deter Pyongyang.


Details of planned bilateral exercises will be announced this week when US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visit Seoul.


They will hold talks with their counterparts Wednesday in a show of solidarity amid tensions with North Korea over the sinking of South Korea’s Cheonan warship in March.


The South and its US ally, citing findings of a multinational investigation, accuse the North of torpedoing the warship and killing 46 sailors.


The North angrily denies involvement and says a UN Security Council statement on July 9 — which condemned the attack without specifying the culprit — proves its point.

d
Source: SGGP

US airlines sign deal to form world’s biggest carrier

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm

CHICAGO (AFP) – United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced on Monday they have agreed to merge, creating the world’s biggest carrier in an all-stock transaction approved by the boards of both companies.

A United Airlines plane takes off from Los Angeles International Airport in June 2008. (AFP file)

The transaction, which has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, still needs to be approved by the shareholders.


But the companies said they expected to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The new merged giant, which will keep the United name and maintain its headquarters in Chicago, will account for seven percent of global airline capacity, ahead of US rival Delta, which currently leads with six percent, US media reported.


It will also have a 21 percent share of the huge US air market.


Under the agreement, Continental shareholders will receive 1.05 shares of United common stock for each Continental common share they own.


United shareholders would own approximately 55 percent of the equity of the combined company and Continental shareholders would own approximately 45 percent, including convertible securities.


The combined company would have annual revenues of approximately 29 billion dollars and an unrestricted cash balance of approximately 7.4 billion as of the end of first quarter 2010, officials said.


The merger is expected to deliver between one billion and 1.2 billion dollars in net annual gains by 2013, including between 800 million and 900 million dollars of incremental annual revenues, the companies projected.


Glenn Tilton, president and chief executive officer of UAL Corp., will serve as non-executive chairman of the combined company’s board of directors while Jeff Smisek, Continental’s CEO, will be chief executive officer.


“This combination will provide a strong platform for sustainable, long-term value for shareholders, opportunities for employees, and more and better scheduled service and destinations for customers,” Tilton said in a statement.


Smisek pointed out that the merger would create “a world-class airline with tremendous and enduring strengths.


“Together, we will have the financial strength necessary to make critical investments to continue to improve our products and services and to achieve and sustain profitability,” Smisek argued.


In their combined effort, Continental and United will serve more than 144 million passengers per year as they fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries, the joint announcement said.


The combined company promised to offer enhanced service to Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East from 10 well-placed hubs on the East Coast, West Coast, and Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States.


The merger is seen as part of an industry-wide move by airlines to survive in the crisis-stricken industry. British Airways is going through a tie-up with Spanish carrier Iberia to avoid being sidelined by European rivals Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.


US Airways broke off merger talks with United last month, but said it expected consolidation of the fragmented airline sector in the near future.


“It remains our belief that consolidation makes sense in an industry as fragmented as ours,” said US Airways chairman Doug Parker.


Parker stressed that consolidation would lead “to a more efficient industry, better able to withstand economic volatility, global competition and the cyclical nature of our industry.”


The economic crisis has driven airline alliances and steep cost cutting, as the sector has buckled under the global economic downturn, which has slashed demand for air travel and persuaded many cash-strapped travellers to fly with cheaper low-cost carriers.


Shares of both airlines are expected to climb in Monday trading.

d
Source: SGGP

Stranded coal carrier threatens Great Barrier Reef

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 9:32 am

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian authorities were Monday battling to prevent a badly damaged Chinese coal carrier stranded on the Great Barrier Reef from spilling tonnes of oil into pristine waters teeming with marine life.


The Shen Neng 1 ran aground on Saturday when it hit a shoal off the eastern state of Queensland at full speed, apparently breaching a fuel tank and causing a three-kilometre (two-mile) slick in the scenic tourist spot.

Oil leaks from the Chinese coal carrier the Shen Neng 1 after the vessel ran aground on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the state of Queensland late on April 3. (AFP/Queensland Government photo)

Authorities remain concerned that the ship, which is being hit by a two to three-metre swell and grinding against the reef, may break up but professional salvage experts on board believe that risk has diminished.


“The ship is stuck on a shoal and wave action is meaning that it’s moving,” Marine Safety Queensland (MSQ) spokesman Mark Strong told AFP.


“Every time that happens you increase the risk of damage to the structure.


“The assessment as of now from the salvors is that the ship is reasonably stable.”


The Chinese-registered carrier, which is loaded with 65,000 tonnes of coal and about 975 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, is stranded 70 kilometres east of the resort destination Great Keppel Island.


One tug boat was already at the scene trying to stabilise the vessel and another will arrive early Tuesday, while aircraft were being used to monitor the spill in waters that are home to hundreds of species of coral and fish.


“In the current conditions we are reasonably assured, as far as we can be, that there will be no catastrophic break-up of the ship, but if the weather turned bad it will be another problem,” MSQ general Patrick Quirk said.


The vessel hit Douglas Shoal at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, 15 nautical miles outside the nearest shipping channel, at full speed.


Authorities said the damage was serious, confirming that the rudder was seriously damaged, the ship’s double bottom tanks which provide buoyancy had been breached and one of the fuel tanks had also likely been breached.


So far, however, the oil spill has been limited to about three or four tonnes. After dispersant was used on the slick on Sunday, workers will now place a boom around the oil to prevent it from spreading further.


Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said salvage teams were assessing how they might be able to refloat the China-bound carrier, including removing all the oil from the ship first.


“This is going to be a very specialist and delicate operation,” she told the Nine Network.


“If this ship was to break further apart, if there was another very significant oil spill, then we would not only see tonnes of oil into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park but modelling shows it is likely to come up onto the beaches of Shoalwater Bay, which is a national park area.”


Bligh said the vessel was in a restricted zone of the Great Barrier Reef which was “totally off limits” to shipping and the government would investigate why the ship was so far off course.


The carrier’s Chinese owners, a subsidiary of Cosco Group, could be fined up to one million dollars (920,000 US) and the captain handed a 250,000 dollar penalty over the incident, she said.


The accident, which follows a large oil spill from the container carrier Pacific Adventurer in March 2009 which polluted Queensland beaches, has prompted warnings from conservationists about the impact on the reef as shipping increases.


The number of seaborne exports of coal and natural gas is set to surge in the coming decade as Queensland opens new resource developments to supply Asia’s growing energy needs.


The Great Barrier Reef, which covers 345,000 square kilometres (133,000 square miles) along Australia’s northeast coast, is a major tourist attraction and home to hundreds of species including dugongs, dolphins and sea turtles.

d
Source: SGGP

Taiwan carrier resumes flights to Danang

In Vietnam Travel on December 7, 2009 at 3:53 am








Danang International Airport.

Taiwanese airlines TransAsia has said it would resume direct flights to Da Nang on December 26, four years after they were withdrawn.


It would operate Airbus 321-132 aircraft between Da Nang and Taipei every Wednesday and Saturday.


Far Eastern Air Transport Corp. began direct flights from Kaohsiung to Da Nang four years ago but soon called it off due to low demand.


But now the number of Taiwanese investors and tourists to central provinces is rising as is demand to travel to Taiwan in that region.


There will also be direct flights from Osaka and Hong Kong to Da Nang City this month.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Low-cost carrier AirAsia – top brand from emerging markets

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The low-cost carrier AirAsia has been recognised as the leading brand to watch in the UK Trade and Investment’s New World Brands annual report.

The Malaysian News Agency (Bernama) cited the report as saying that AirAsia is the only Southeast Asian company to make the list of top-ten brands from emerging markets across Brazil, Russia, India and China.

“It is a great achievement for AirAsia to be recognised as a top new world brand. It reflects our hard work and pioneering attitude towards making air travel an affordable reality for everyone across Asia,” the airline was quoted as saying in a statement.-