QUEBEC – The Quebec Liberal party candidate for a Quebec City byelection on Oct. 2 has pulled out of the race amid claims that he psychologically harassed employees of a company where he previously worked.Eric Tetrault took his name off the ballot in the Louis-Hebert riding on Wednesday night after spending the day defending himself against the allegations.The Quebec Liberal party — which had rallied behind its candidate — confirmed on Twitter that Tetrault had pulled out, adding it would make no further comment at this time.Montreal La Presse had reported Wednesday that Tetrault was the subject of a psychological harassment complaint while serving as director of public affairs for ArcelorMittal, a steel and mining company.Tetrault acknowledged the contents of the report but told some Quebec City media no formal complaint was filed following the probe.La Presse said the report commissioned by ArcelorMittal’s top brass concluded Tetrault’s behaviour toward women was uncalled for and that he would comment on their physical appearance.It also said he intimidated other employees and was the reason three people took sick leave.Tetrault apologized Wednesday, saying his behaviour was “improper” and admitting to being “abrasive” and a bit “forthright” with members of his team.He said ArcelorMittal executives were under pressure at the time and that he had made the “common mistake” of transferring that pressure to employees.Several Liberal cabinet ministers came to Tetrault’s defence Wednesday and he said he hopes to remain the party’s candidate.Tetrault earlier said he had the support of Premier Philippe Couillard and had discussed the matter with him on Tuesday night.Tetrault is the second candidate to withdraw from the race in Louis-Hebert.Normand Sauvageau, who was running for the Coalition for Quebec’s Future, said Wednesday that he was dropping out after receiving a call from a reporter earlier in the day regarding his early retirement in 2016.“I realized at that point just how essential it is for a candidate in an election to be open,” he said in a statement.“More than a year ago, after a 39-year career, I retired in difficult circumstances in terms of labour relations. When I filed my candidacy, I did not tell the Coalition about important facts surrounding my departure.”
Priscilla Presley has put her support behind federal legislation to protect horses from lives of constant pain.Priscilla Presley Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Protect Tennessee Walking HorsesCredit/Copyright: Humane SocietyShe joins The Humane Society of the United States in urging Congress to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act of 2013, H.R. 1518/S. 1406. The bill is critical to ending the cruel practice of “soring” – the deliberate infliction of pain to gaited horses in order to produce an unnatural high-stepping gait for competitions.Presley said: “Over the years, Elvis and I owned several Tennessee walking horses, and I know them to be gentle, graceful creatures. Today, 43 years after the passage of the federal Horse Protection Act that was intended to end the terrible practice of ‘soring,’ these horses continue to suffer at the hands of abusive trainers. I’m calling on Congress to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act to finally end this torture.”Keith Dane, vice president of equine protection for The HSUS, said: “The horse-loving public is fed up with the ‘Big Lick’ subculture of cruelty and deception, and the PAST Act holds the key to bring that abuse to an end. We welcome Ms. Presley’s voice to the chorus of support for the bill, and we urge Congress to act promptly to pass it.”The PAST Act – introduced by Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., in the House and Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Mark Warner, D-Va. in the Senate – would amend the Horse Protection Act, which Congress enacted in 1970 to stop soring. The PAST Act will end the failed system of industry self-policing, ban the use of certain devices associated with soring, strengthen penalties, and hold accountable all those involved in this cruel practice.Presley adds her voice to a cast of noted horse-loving celebrities and horse industry professionals who previously expressed their support of the bill. Celebrities who have endorsed the PAST Act include: fitness expert Jillian Michaels; pop singer Ke$ha; singer-songwriters Emmylou Harris, Lynn Anderson and Mary Ann Kennedy; actors Wendie Malick, Viggo Mortensen, Kelly Carlson, Loretta Swit, Alexandra Paul, and Dawn Olivieri; television personality Jenna Morasca; and director/author Joe Camp.Horse industry professionals who have endorsed the PAST Act include: top riders Georgina Bloomberg and Karl Mikolka; Olympic equestrians Steffen Peters and Jan Ebeling; natural horsemanship expert and clinician Pat Parelli, horse trainer and author Monty Roberts; trainer, clinician and author Leslie Desmond; host of “Unbridled,” Susan Kayne; and host of “Best of America by Horseback,” Tom Seay.The bipartisan legislation been cosponsored by 244 Representatives and 28 Senators and has the support of a diverse coalition of horse industry, veterinary, and animal protection organizations, including the American Horse Council, American Saddlebred Horse Association, United Professional Horsemen’s Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.
Posted by EDMONTON — American Airlines has brought back its winter service between Edmonton International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, with an extended season running until May 3 and increasing to two daily flights between Dec. 16 and March 3.Flights are operated on Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft with nine Business Class seats and 67 Main Cabin seats, 34 of which are ‘Main Cabin Extra’ seats with an extra three inches of pitch. WiFi is available for every passenger.“We are delighted to be returning to Edmonton once more and offer more connectivity to and from Alberta,” said Rolando Guerra, American’s General Manager of YEG. “Phoenix is a large and well placed hub and offers Canadian travellers great onward connections throughout the U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica.”From PHX American operates over 260 daily flights to nearly 90 destinations. Popular connections from PHX include Aspen (ASE), Austin (AUS), Cancun (CUN), Mazatlán (MZT), Mexico City (MEX), Orlando (MCO), Palm Springs (PSP), Puerto Vallarta (PVR), and San Jose Del Cabo (SJD). American Airlines has three Admirals Club lounges located at PHX.More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerAmerican also offers year-round service from Calgary International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.American is in the midst of a US$3 billion reno, with new investments including fully lie-flat seats, international WiFi, more in-flight entertainment options and power outlets and a new, modern design for lounges worldwide including in PHX. << Previous PostNext Post >> AA adds more YEG-PHX flights with longer season, double daily service Travelweek Group
Airline results strong despite rising costs, says IATA Tags: IATA, Statistics Monday, June 4, 2018 Latin America7.4%6.5%5.5%6.0%81.8%82.2% Demand Capacity Pax Load Factors Posted by Share SYDNEY – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced its expectation for airlines to achieve a collective net profit of $33.8 billion USD in 2018, which implies a net margin of 4.1%. This is a solid performance despite rising costs, primarily fuel and labor, but also the upturn in the interest rate cycle. These rising costs are the main driver behind the downward revision from the previous forecast of $38.4 billion in December 2017.In 2017 airlines earned a record $38.0 billion (revised from the previously estimate of $34.5 billion). Comparisons to this, however, are severely distorted by special accounting items such as one-off tax credits which boosted 2017 profits.Profits at the operating level, though still high by past standards, have been trending slowly downwards since early 2016, as a result of accelerating costs.“Solid profitability is holding up in 2018, despite rising costs. The industry’s financial foundations are strong with a nine-year run in the black that began in 2010. And the return on invested capital will exceed the cost of capital for a fourth consecutive year. At long last, normal profits are becoming normal for airlines. This enables airlines to fund growth, expand employment, strengthen balance sheets and reward our investors,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.For more information, please see detailed analysis below.Outlook DriversCosts:Inflation pressures are starting to emerge at this late stage of the economic cycle and airlines are facing significant pressures from rising fuel and labor costs in particular.We expect the full-year average cost of Brent Crude to be $70/barrel. This is up from $54.9/barrel in 2017 (+27.5%) and our previous 2018 expectation of $60/barrel. Jet fuel prices are expected to rise to $84/barrel (+25.9%). Fuel costs will account for 24.2% of total operating costs (up from a revised 21.4% in 2017).Overall unit costs are forecast to rise 5.2% this year, after a 1.2% increase in 2017; a significant acceleration.Revenues:Providing some offset to accelerating costs is a strong revenue environment, as demand from passengers and shippers continues to expand well above trend, and pricing has turned positive.Overall revenues are expected to rise to $834 billion (up 10.7% from $754 billion in 2017).Unit revenues are expected to rise by 4.2% in 2018, lagging the 5.2% rise in unit costs. This will squeeze profit margins.Demand:Passenger air travel is forecast to expand by 7.0% in 2018. This is slower than the 8.1% growth recorded for 2017 but still faster than the 20-year average (of 5.5%) for the sixth consecutive year. Demand is getting a boost from stronger economic growth and the stimulus from new city-pair direct services. Capacity is expected to grow by 6.7% (the same pace as in 2017).The passenger load factor is expected to be 81.7%, up a little on 2017 (81.5%). Total passenger numbers are expected to rise to 4.36 billion (up 6.5% from 4.1 billion in 2017). Passenger yields are expected to grow by 3.2% in 2018 after a 0.8% decline in 2017. This will be the first year for strengthening yields since 2011, driven upwards by the 5.2% rise in unit costs.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongRisk factors:Growing uncertainty in the direction by which global affairs will evolve could present risks to the industry’s outlook. These include the advancement of political forces pushing a protectionist agenda, uncertainty following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, lack of clarity on the impact of Brexit, numerous ongoing trade discussions and continuing geopolitical conflicts.Regional RoundupNorth American airlines are expected to post a net profit of $15.0 billion (down from $18.4 billion in 2017) accounting for 44% of global profits (down from a peak share of 60% in 2015). Average profit per passenger is expected to be $15.67. The region continues to generate the highest margins, returns on capital and US dollar amounts of profit. However, margins are being gradually reduced by rising costs from peak levels in 2015.European airlines are slowly moving towards North American performance (some individual airlines already match). The region’s airlines are forecast to generate the second highest net post-tax profits of $8.6 billion in 2018 (up from $8.1 billion in 2017) and a per passenger profit of $7.58 ($7.53 in 2017). Extensive hedging by European carriers is helping to improve performance by delaying the impact of higher fuel prices (while North American airlines with lower hedging positions are more immediately exposed). The gap in profitability with North American carriers is largely driven by breakeven load factors which are higher than in North America due to industry fragmentation and higher regulatory costs in Europe.Asia-Pacific airlines benefitted from the strong growth in cargo revenues last year, since the region is the manufacturing center of the world. In 2017 the region generated the second largest profit at $10.1 billion. This year the region slips just behind Europe with net post-tax profits of $8.2 billion, as the end of the business inventory restocking cycle slows cargo, particularly relative to travel. On a per passenger basis, airlines generated a profit of $5.10 ($6.82 in 2017). The region is now the largest in both cargo and passenger markets, with 37% and 33% shares of these global markets.Latin American airlines have achieved a strong recovery in financial performance to achieve a net profit of $0.9 billion (up from $0.5 billion in 2017). On a per passenger basis, airlines earned $2.95 ($1.57 in 2017). This is a healthy turnaround from the 2015 loss of $1.6 billion when the region’s economies suffered from the fall in commodity prices. Restructuring, stronger commodity prices and the economic recovery in Brazil all helped to improve the situation. There are still problems with some of the region’s economies and airlines continue to struggle with inadequate infrastructure, onerous regulation and high costs in some countries.Middle East airlines are generating a recovery, though more muted than in Latin America. The rise of oil prices is helping revenues and the oil-based economies in the region, aero-political relations with the US have improved, while the Gulf airlines have substantially curbed growth. Net profits are forecast to rise to $1.3 billion in 2018 (up from $1.0 billion in 2017) or $5.89 per passenger ($4.81 in 2017).African airlines continue their very slow emergence from the 2014 low point ($900 million loss) of financial performance, with losses continuing at the $100 million level. This is unchanged from 2017 when losses were cut as traffic, particularly cargo to Asia, grew in excess of capacity raising load factors from previously low levels. Net loss per passenger improved to $1.55 ($1.66 in 2017).More news: Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthPassenger Demand by Region Some key indicators of the strength of global connectivity include: The 2018 average return airfare (before surcharges and tax) is expected to be $380 (2018 dollars), which is 59% below 1998 levels after adjusting for inflationAverage air freight rates in 2018 are expected to be $1.80/kg (2018 dollars) which is a 63% fall on 1998 levelsThe number of routes served by aviation is forecast to grow to over 58,000 in 2018, up from 52,000 in 2014.The global spend on tourism enabled by air transport is expected to grow by 10.4% in 2018 to $794 billionAirlines are expected to take delivery of more than 1,900 new aircraft in 2018, many of which will replace older and less fuel-efficient aircraft. This will expand the global commercial fleet by 4.2% to 29,600 aircraft. Travelweek Group Europe9.1%7.0%6.7%7.3%83.9%83.7% Asia Pacific10.9%9.5%9.1%8.8%81.0%81.5% 20172018 2017201820172018 North America3.9%4.0%3.8%4.4%83.6%83.2% Middle East6.8%5.9%6.7%4.0%75.1%76.5% Africa7.0%4.5%3.5%4.3%83.6%83.2% << Previous PostNext Post >>