Regional News - Asia / Pacific.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Regional News Asia / Pacific) Jan 1, 2012

China announces 5-year space-exploration plan China on Thursday unveiled a five-year space-exploration plan that further challenges America's space program. "This approach offers lessons for other advanced space powers, including the U.S., which needs to make sure it sustains its high-level investment in various aspects of space development across the board," said Andrew S. Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College. Dec 30, 2011

Hot springs provide relaxation, charming views inside Tokyo Tourists don't need to go far to fulfill a wish to soak in one of Japan's many relaxing onsen, or hot springs. Tokyo offers a wide variety of popular resorts and local baths for hot-springs lovers -- with some outdoor spots offering scenic views to further relax the senses. Dec 30, 2011

India embraces solar energy Solar power is being adopted in India at a rate that surprises many skeptics. The country is considered by many analysts to be on track for its 2020 goal of using 20,000 megawatts annually even though it is only at 140 megawatts today. Government incentives and lower equipment costs could accelerate India's progress. Dec 29, 2011

LCD TV prices are falling, as are profits for retailers, TV makers The industry oversupply of LCD panels for television sets is a boon for consumers, who are enjoying rapidly falling prices for LCD TVs. The situation is less enjoyable for retailers and TV manufacturers, as they are seeing lower profits or even losses. Dec 28, 2011

Three ideas that are improving urban living standards With the population of developing-world urban areas on the rise, creating and maintaining "livable cities" means overcoming economic, environmental and social challenges. Yemen, Uganda and Argentina are this year's beneficiaries of initiatives from winners of the Philips Livable Cities Award. The winning projects address local issues with shade stands, water collection and pedestrian-focused streets. Dec 28, 2011

Water crisis affects 39% of world's businesses. At least 39% of the world's businesses are negatively affected by disruptions in water distribution, according to a Carbon Disclosure Project report. Flooding, droughts and rising prices are the biggest concerns, with two-thirds of the most water-intensive companies polled saying they have executive- or committee-level personnel responsible for handling water-related problems. Dec 27, 2011

EU emissions-trading scheme could increase fares to Europe. The European Union's emissions-trading scheme, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, could raise airfares to Europe. Airlines for America said U.S. airline carriers plan to "comply under protest" while the organization reviews legal options. A4A estimates the scheme could cost U.S. airlines USD3.1 billion from 2012 through 2020, and the costs could be passed onto passengers. Dec 22, 2011

EU airline carbon move could spark trade war: China. Beijing criticized a decision by Europe's highest court to allow airlines to be charged for carbon emissions on flights to and from the European Union, with state media warning on Thursday it could spark a trade spat and the foreign ministry urging talks. "This is a trade barrier in the name of environmental protection and will strike a wide blow to passenger benefits and the international airline industry," the state-run Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary. "It will be difficult to avoid a trade war focused on an aviation 'carbon tax'," said Xinhua, whose editorials generally reflect the official government position. China's Foreign Ministry stated its opposition less stridently, and urged the European Union to talk with other governments about what happens next. "China has already expressed its position to the EU side many times -- that we oppose the European side unilaterally imposing" the airline emissions charge, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a daily briefing. "In fact, many countries have voiced their opposition to the EU scheme, and we hope the European side will act prudently and take a active and practical attitude in appropriately consulting about it with all sides, including China, to deal with the issue." The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday against a group of U.S. airlines that challenged a European law requiring a carbon cap on all airlines flying to and from European Union airports. Earlier this month, the China Air Transport Association (CATA) urged China's airlines to refuse to take part in the emissions scheme. CATA says the scheme will cost Chinese airlines 800 million yuan (USD123 million) in the first year and more than triple that by 2020. Dec 22, 2011

Sustainable seafood can feed the planet, says restaurateur There's more than enough fish to feed everyone on the planet, says sushi baron Kristofor Lofgren. The catch is that seafood suppliers will have to radically change their fishing and distribution methods to build a more sustainable business model. "Why, as an industry, should we always be behind the eight ball?" Lofgren asks. "Why should we always be behind the curve? Why shouldn't we be setting it?" Dec 20, 2011

Air China Air China Readjusts its Paris Schedule to Shore up its International Presence. Air China will resume Shanghai - Paris rotations CA833/4 and change the Shanghai - Beijing - Paris service CA933/4 to Beijing - Paris direct service. 777-300ER widebodies will be used on these routes to replace the original A340. Dec 22, 2011

Air China Air China to Open Kathmandu-Chengdu Rotations on January 5. Air China's southwest offshoot will open rotations from Chengdu to Kathmandu , the capital of Nepal , also known as the "City of Temples", giving culture enthusiasts an additional travel option starting January 5. The introduction of the new services will bring the number of foreign destinations served by Air China's flights to and from Chengdu up to six and further cement the city's position as a regional hub of the carrier. The two weekly flights, CA437 / 8, will be operated with A319 aircraft. The new services will spare the passengers the trouble of having to transfer in Lhasa, thusly cutting the travel time of one journey from 4 hours to 2 hours. Meanwhile, the new services will also optimize Air China's Chengdu -based international route network. Kathmandu has always been a draw for both domestic and international tourists. With Chengdu 's unique position in the travel market of southwest China , it is expected that leisure travelers will be the bulk of the passenger traffic on the route. Dec 19, 2011

Air India, Jet, Kingfisher India tells country's airlines not to submit data for ETS. The Indian government has instructed the country's airlines to avoid submitting carbon emissions data to the European Union. Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines are among Indian carriers that fly to Europe. India has joined several other countries in protesting inclusion in the EU's emissions trading scheme. Dec 19, 2011

Air Mauritius, Wirecard AG Air Mauritius Chooses Wirecard for its e-Commerce Secure Payment Platform. Air Mauritius has recently deployed the Wirecard payment platform for processing all its online payment transactions. The Wirecard product enhances security of transactions with its comprehensive risk management solutions which are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). The new payment gateway brings added benefits for customers to transact on the Air Mauritius website. In addition to Mastercard and Visa credit cards which were already accepted, online settlement with AMEX, Discover JCB, Diners, Maestro, VISA Electron and Carte Bleue as well as further debit cards are now supported. The new system also allows quotations for airline tickets (and other services) and payments to be effected in multiple currencies hence offering more flexibility to our customers. The integration of the Fraud Prevention Suite, customized to suit the airline sector, ensures security of all payment processes in the long term. This provides the airline with optimum fraud detection, at the same time minimizing the risks of rejecting genuine transactions. Integration of all payment information from all distribution channels into the Fraud Prevention Suite guarantees a 360-degree view of all transactions, and hence ensuring ultimate security across all the direct sales points in the company. Andr Viljoen, Acting CEO of Air Mauritius stated, "Ecommerce is high on our agenda as we continue to offer more flexibility and more choice to our customers. We are witnessing a growing number of visits on our website and online purchases are also on the rise. We have taken a series of measures to improve our e-commerce capabilities. The Wirecard payment gateway allows our customers to transact online in a totally secure environment while enhancing our service offering with new payment channels." Jrg Mller, Executive VP Travel & Transportation for Wirecard AG: "This venture once again demonstrates the efficiency and flexibility of our payment and fraud management platform." Dec 19, 2011

Air New Zealand Air New Zealand Spreads Holiday Cheer with Random Acts of Traveling Kindness. This holiday season, Air New Zealand will offer travelers a surprising respite from holiday stress through ORandom Acts of Traveling Kindness.O From Dec. 20 [ETH] 23rd, Air New Zealand will offer holiday cheer, including giveaways for airfare and holiday travel essentials, to current and future travelers alike. The airline will provide acts of kindness at Los Angeles International Airport, as well as through Twitter and Facebook. On Wednesday, Dec. 21st, Air New Zealand travelers at Los Angeles International Airport will enjoy the following perks: [yen]By tweeting with a special hashtag or checking in on Facebook, Air New Zealand travelers at LAX can enter to win giveaways at the gate prior to takeoff. [yen]To melt away the stress of the...

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