first_imgOne day after self-confessed drug lord Barry Dataram and his reputed wife Anjanie Boodnarine were arrested in Suriname, they were on Saturday morning handed over to Guyana’s premiere drug enforcement unit, the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and members of the Guyana Police Force.Head of CANU, James Singh and ranks of the SWAT team travelled to Moleson Creek, Berbice, where the duo was handed over by Surinamese officials. Upon his arrival in Georgetown, Dataram was immediately thrown into the Camp Street penitentiary while his reputed wife remains in Police custody.It was believed that the couple entered Suriname with false travel documents. The documents, however, seemed authentic since they were reportedly issued by the Chief Immigration Office in Georgetown.The passport used by Barry DataramDataram used a passport with the name “David Persaud”. The passport was issued on April 15, 2013 and bears the number R0376916. Dates also suggested that the passport will expire in 2018.On the other hand, Boodnarine entered Suriname under the name “Christine Persaud”. Information on the passport stated that it was issued in January 2016 while Boodnarine was on trial for the possession of narcotics. Dataram and Boodnarine had absconded one day before a court ruling on a drug possession charge.However, in light of the recent revelation of the fake passports, Citizenship Minister Winston Felix in a release stated that a full investigation has been launched to determine the circumstances under which the convicted drug lord and his reputed wife were issued with passports in another name and that those culpable will face the harshest possible action.Meanwhile, following the arrest of the duo and his handing over to local authorities, acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine acknowledged the excellent collaboration between local law enforcement units and their counterparts in Suriname.He added that the collaboration representsThe passport used by Anjanie Boodnarinethe best efforts and sends a clear message that with the use of Science and technology in law enforcement and personnel who are consummate professionals, the public interest is well served.“On the law enforcement front, we wish to sincerely thank our colleagues in Suriname,” the acting Commissioner added. Dataram was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment and fined $164 million in absentia after he was found guilty of being in possession of 129.230 kilograms of cocaine on April 16, 2015 at his Lot 661 Silver Dam, Fourth Avenue, Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD) home.Along with his reputed wife, Kevin Charran and Trevor Gouveia were all freed on the drug charge. The duo was initially arrested after CANU ranks swooped down on his EBD home. During the search, the ranks unearthed the cocaine.It was reported that some of the cocaine was stuffed in frozen seafood, while the remainder was found to be bricks of raw cocaine. CANU ranks also seized an undisclosed sum of money.In March, Dataram during a television interview admitted his involvement in the drug trade but added that he had never been convicted for a criminal charge.He was arrested several times but has escaped the clutches of United States law enforcement after an extradition attempt failed.Dataram also accused a high ranking CANU official of being involved in the drug trade and added that the rank would take as much as $10 million to allow cocaine to leave the country.Following the revelation, head of the drug enforcement unit, James Singh had denied the allegation made against his staff while noting that CANU welcomes further public confessions of criminal elements. – swooped off to Camp Street Prisonlast_img read more

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first_img0Shares0000LONDON, January 9- Manchester United defender Chris Smalling apologised on Thursday after a picture emerged of him wearing a suicide bomber costume at a fancy dress party.The front page of Thursday’s edition of British tabloid The Sun showed the 24-year-old England international clad in Arab dress, including a head scarf, and with a circuit board and wires strapped to his body. Smalling claimed that the outfit was an “attempted comedy play” on a drink known as a ‘Jagerbomb’, which is a mix of the liqueur Jagermeister and the energy drink Red Bull.In a statement, Smalling’s management company the Wasserman Media Group said: “Chris and his girlfriend hosted a fancy dress party to celebrate Christmas and their belated birthdays with close friends in the assumed privacy of his own home.“He dressed in a costume consisting of empty bottles of Jagermeister and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest in an attempted comedy play on the popular ‘Jager bomb drink’.“Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologises for any offence caused.”Smalling, who can play at centre-back and right-back, joined United from Fulham in January 2010 and is expected to be a member of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup in Brazil later this year.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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first_imgBrendan Rodgers’ Liverpool turn their attentions back to their quest of challenging for the Champions League places when they entertain West Ham at Anfield on Saturday.His charges will have to put Tuesday night’s League Cup disappointment behind them quickly and the Hammers will provide stern opposition with the Londoners one point and one place above the Reds in the Premier League table.The Anfield faithful will be buoyed by the news star striker Daniel Sturridge is back in contention after almost five months out with a thigh injury.Mamadou Sakho is a doubt with a back problem sustained in the Chelsea defeat, and more changes could be enforced after a physically draining 120 minutes at Stamford Bridge.Possible Liverpool line-up against West Ham:GoalkeeperSimon Mignolet played his best game for the Reds against Chelsea on Tuesday and that should fill the Belgian with confidence following recent criticism.DefenceSakho’s expected absence opens the door for either Glen Johnson or Dejan Lovren to come into the side.The Croatian has struggled to find the form which convinced Liverpool to part with £20m for his services and that could see Johnson given the nod against his former club.MidfieldLiverpool have looked fluid in their new 3-4-3 system, and that will see Alberto Moreno and Lazar Markovic operating on the flanks once again.Steven Gerrard played the full 120 minutes at Chelsea and Adam Lallana should enter the side for obvious reasons. Lucas and captain-in-waiting, Jordan Henderson, should continue in the middle.AttackRodgers has yet to confirm whether Sturridge will start but, given the England international’s injury woes this season, the Northern Irishman will likely opt for caution and put the striker on the bench.That will see Raheem Sterling continue to lead the attack where the 20-year-old has impressed in recent weeks.Liverpool fans, how do you think you’ll line-up against West Ham? Comment below… 1 Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool turn their attentions back to their quest of challenging for the Champions League places, when they entertain West Ham at Anfield on Saturday. last_img read more

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first_imgAfter the probes passed Saturn, NASA extended their missions. Voyager 2 continued on to become the only spacecraft to see Uranus up close and the first to observe geysers erupting from the polar caps of Neptune’s frigid moon Titan. Since then, scientists have been using the crafts to study the sun’s winds and magnetic field, where some of the mission’s biggest surprises were yet to come. In December 2004, the younger but faster Voyager 1 probe passed through a boundary known as the termination shock. In doing so, it entered the outermost layer of the solar system, a region called the heliosheath, where the sun’s solar winds mingle with winds from interstellar space. “They’re getting a lot of surprises from in the heliosheath from Voyager 1,” Massey said. “Things are not what they were expected to be.” One of the things astronomers have not been able to explain is what is causing cosmic rays to speed up, he said. They have also found unexpected variations in the magnetic field – “holes” where the intensity is weakened and “speedbumps” where it is heightened, said NASA astrophysicist Leonard Burlaga. In about 10 years, astronomers expect both craft to sail past the influence of the solar winds entirely, passing beyond the bubble that defines our solar system. Barring an unforeseen failure, astronomers should be able to see when that happens. “Power is going to be the limitation, but we have enough to go at least until 2020,” Massey said. elise.kleeman@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! This week, Voyager 2 marked its 30th year in space. Voyager 1 will turn 30 on Sept. 5. Together, the two craft have visited four planets and 48 moons, and are now the most distant man-made objects in the universe. Astronomers expect them to breach the edge of the solar system within the next decade. “The fact that we’re in a region that nobody’s ever been and we see something new every day means that the use for this project goes on and on,” Massey said. Originally, Voyager 1 and 2 were only supposed to visit Jupiter and Saturn. There, they discovered Jupiter’s moon Io had 100 times more volcanism than Earth and its moon Europa had a thick crust of ice. On Saturn’s moon Titan, they found an Earth-like atmosphere lacking in oxygen but with rainstorms of liquid nitrogen. LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – When Ed Massey became JPL’s project manager for the Voyager spacecraft, he didn’t expect to hold the post for long. At that time, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 – which were only planned to last five years – were almost about to turn 20. “When we reached the 25th anniversary, I was amazed that the spacecraft had been flying that long and nothing had caused a detrimental failure,” Massey said. That was five years ago. last_img read more

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first_img Central midfield: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal) – Another star of the show as Arsene Wenger’s side shone at the Emirates. He laid on a pinpoint pass for one of Ozil’s goals and the Spanish midfielder, 31, showed his importance to the north Londoners, dictating much of the play alongside Francis Coquelin. 11 11 Central midfield: Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain) – The Frenchman put in a superb performance in the centre of the park, pulling the strings while breaking up play well. He was the link in turning PSG’s moves from defence to attack with incisive passes during the 3-0 Group A win over Basel. 11 11 11 Central midfield: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – The 21-year-old continued his superb goalscoring form for club and country, taking his tally to eight goals in his last 11 appearances. Not only did he get on the score sheet, he hardly put a foot wrong, covering every blade of grass along the way in an accomplished midfield performance against PSV. 11 11 11 Centre-back: David Alaba (Bayern Munich) – The Austrian is arguably one of the world’s best full-backs at the moment. He caused PSV trouble with his lung-busting runs forward – assisting Kimmich – while performing his defensive duties well. He deserves his place in this team, albeit in a slightly more defensive position. Right midfield: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) – The German playmaker hit his first career hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets. Some Gooners labelled it his ‘best performance’ in an Arsenal shirt, with the 28-year-old also notching an assist at the Emirates. Centre-back: Luisao (Benfica) – The Brazilian defender, 35, was a rock at the back as his side were winners on the road at Dynamo Kiev. He was solid and deserved the clean sheet in the 2-0 victory, to go with their first Group B win. 11 Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) – Juventus shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon can think himself unfortunate to miss out, but his French counterpart was key in securing Spurs a point in Leverkusen. The 29-year-old’s highlight of the match included an outstanding goal-line save to deny Javier Hernandez on 48 minutes. Goal-fests, red cards, questionable decisions – Champions League matchday three had it all.Leicester City continued their winning start by beating Copenhagen at the King Power, while Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal made a statement by thrashing Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets 6-0 at the Emirates.It was not so easy for Tottenham and Manchester City, however.Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs will be pleased to take a point at Bayer Leverkusen, after enduring a difficult second half at the BayArena – LIVE on talkSPORT.Meanwhile Pep Guardiola did not have the best of returns to former club Barcelona, who thumped City 4-0 at Camp Nou, with Claudio Bravo receiving a red card against his old team.Elsewhere, there were also wins for Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and much, much more. But who stood out the most?talkSPORT has put together a team of the week, in a 3-4-3 formation. Click the right arrow, above, to see how it lines up and comment below with your thoughts… Left midfield: Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) – The ex-Chelsea winger came up against another former club and he caused them all sorts of problems in the 4-1 win over PSV at the Allianz Arena. He set up Robert Lewandowski, adding a well-deserved header in the closing stages of the Group D clash. Centre-back: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) – The Frenchman looks extremely solid at the heart of the Gunners defence playing alongside summer recruit Shkodran Mustafi. He gained a clean sheet in the 6-0 rout over Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets and he played a part in one of Mesut Ozil’s goals, winning the ball back with a brilliant challenge. Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – After a poor first half by the Argentinian’s standards, he soon made it a miserable return to Catalonia for Pep Guardiola by netting his 37th career hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Manchester City. He earned the penalty which Neymar had saved by Willy Caballero before assisting the Brazilian a minute from time. 11 11 Forward: Vincent Aboubakar (Besiktas) – The Cameroonian striker – on loan from Porto – opened his account for the season with a fine double in Besiktas’ brilliant 3-2 win at Napoli. The 24-year-old put his side ahead before the break before a header sealed the victory four minutes from time.last_img read more

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first_img1 Liverpool are plotting a move for French teen sensation Mohamed Bahlouli, according to reports.The young central midfielder has been earning rave reviews for his performances in France’s youth leagues and his name is being closely discussed by scouts across Europe.His exploits with the Lyon academy teams have not gone unnoticed and there are suggestions that a number of top clubs are eyeing a move for Bahlouli.And, according to France Football, Liverpool are understood to be one of those keeping close tabs on the 18-year-old’s development. In fact, a summer move to Anfield is reportedly a real possibility.The Ligue 1 giants are aware of Liverpool’s intentions and are desperately trying to convince the youngster to remain at the club.However, the lure of a move to the Reds could prove too much of a temptation for Bahlouli, with his long-term future set to be resolved within the coming months. Bahlouli, 18, has caught the eye playing for Lyon’s youth teams last_img read more

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first_imgAs a #FemaleLeader in a meeting, lead with value-add point first, continue with further discussion. #GrandCircus— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) April 19, 2016 Three Detroit female leaders, a roomful of business, technology, and education professionals with great questions, and an expert moderator guiding the conversation resulted in an engaging discussion about women and leadership at last night’s quarterly women’s event in downtown Detroit.Hosted by Google and Grand Circus, the panel discussion featured: Stephanie Jones, attorney at General MotorsMelissa Grusche, account executive at Google Christianne Sims, program manager at Build InstituteThe panel was moderated by Tara Reed, CEO of Kollecto and Google CODE2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Grand Circus, who I heard speak at last year’s TEDxDetroit 2015 event. Kicking off Google Female Leaders in Detroit panel discussion (at @GrandCircusCo) https://t.co/lyc0GINu4d pic.twitter.com/mp0On9gkTU— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) April 19, 2016Panelists answered questions, offered tips, and shared their personal stories about leadership and what women face in the workplace. The panel discussion was well-received, with several attendees asking questions during the Q & A section at the end of the event. There were long lines to chat with panelists after the discussion ended. My TakeawaysI was excited to attend my first quarterly women’s event at Grand Circus. It was great to see a diverse crowd of women (and several men!) in the audience, of all ages. Attendees included a range of business and technology folks, including students taking classes at Grand Circus. Before the discussion, I spent time chatting with Rose, a recent college graduate, who attended along with three of her fellow JavaScript classmates. While the panelists represented three different areas, business, technology, and non-profit, their stories and examples complimented each other. They weren’t speakers I had met before, so I was very interested in hearing about their work and background. When I spoke with Melissa afterwords, it seemed we knew each other from someplace in the past, but we couldn’t name it.Tara Reed kept the panelists and audience engaged with her insightful questions.Four key points from the panel discussion stood out for me:As a female leader, you often need more tact than a male leaderDocument your accomplishments, and share them with your manager often, showing how you saved money, streamlined process, etc.Know what you want at your job, and be willing to ask for itIf you’re not able to get what you ask for, negotiate. Everything is negotiable, whether it’s salary, title, job responsibilities, benefits, resources.After the discussion ended, I spoke with Stephanie Jones to learn more about her involvement with speech recognition in her work at General Motors. I left the panel discussion inspired and motivated! Thanks to Google and Grand Circus for hosting these quarterly events. Social ChatterCheck out some of the social conversation from the panel discussion:The wine is on ice! It’s almost time for our panel on Women Leaders in Detroit. Can’t wait to see everyone tonight. pic.twitter.com/autSDudtjm— Grand Circus (@GrandCircusCo) April 19, 2016 “Diverse work groups tend to have more successful outcomes. It’s important to consider everyone’s perspective.” pic.twitter.com/oReaCi9bRR— Grand Circus (@GrandCircusCo) April 19, 2016 Document your accomplishments each month. Schedule 30 minutes on your calendar, write them down! #GrandCircus #FemaleLeaders— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) April 19, 2016 Ask for feedback on what you can do better, and what you’ve done well from your manager. #GrandCircus #FemaleLeaders— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) April 19, 2016center_img When others believe in you, it’s important to believe in yourself. #GrandCircus #WomenInTech pic.twitter.com/DlcF9h6P97— Grand Circus (@GrandCircusCo) April 19, 2016 Sometimes, the best way to be a leader is to listen more and talk less, says our Female Leaders in Detroit panel. pic.twitter.com/KvR1x2KdVv— Grand Circus (@GrandCircusCo) April 19, 2016 Tip to your 20-year-old self: Don’t let perfection get in your way, says Melissa Grusche of @Google. #GrandCircus #FemaleLeaders— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) April 19, 2016Did you attend the panel discussion? Any thoughts you’d like to share in the comments?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedApril 2016 User Experience and Web Professional EventsWhat user experience (UX) and web professional events are happening this month in southeast Michigan? If you work on the web, you know it’s a challenge to keep your skills up-to-date, learn about new methods, and network with fellow web workers. And it takes time to find interesting local events.…In “Calendar”March 2017 User Experience and Web Professional EventsWhether you’re a user experience or web professional, you know it can be a challenge to keep your skills up-to-date, learn about new methods, and network with fellow web workers. And it takes time to find interesting local events. That’s why I publish a monthly calendar of user experience and…In “Calendar”May 2017 User Experience and Web Professional EventsWhether you’re a user experience or web professional, you know it can be a challenge to keep your skills up-to-date, learn about new methods, and network with fellow web workers. And it takes time to find interesting local events. That’s why I publish a monthly calendar of user experience and…In “Calendar”last_img read more

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first_img6 December 2002A private company is planning to open a trade centre in Johannesburg’s inner city for local exporters to exhibit products and services to foreign trade missions and visitors.The International Trade Bureau (ITB) says the exorbitant costs of finding new markets hamper many companies’ ambitions to become successful exporters and that a local trade centre could ovecome this problem.The ITB says that each year South Africa hosts foreign visitors from 59 European countries, 57 countries in Africa; 30 Asian countries; 25 Pacific Rim countries; 16 countries in the Middle East; 3 Indian Ocean Islands and 39 countries in North, Central & South America.The original plan was to house the centre at the bottom of Rissik Street, across the road from the SA Revenue Service building, but the company is also looking at a number of alternative buildings in the inner city.Mile Stojacovic, ITB managing director, said: “The total investment will be an estimated R25 million.’ He said that the venture has the support of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) and the Johannesburg Development Agency. “The project has also attracted the interest of Trade & Investment South Africa, who have been approached to assist in promoting the centre internationally through their consulates and embassies,’ Stojacovic said.Anton Pispeki, ITB marketing manager, said that they have received many requests from foreign embassies and consulates to open trade offices in the city centre. He said they were currently negotiating with a number of landlords for a bigger building but still expected to open for business in March next year.At the official launch in September, Graeme Reid, CEO of the Johannesburg Development Agency said: “The International Trade Bureau is one of the many exciting developments and initiatives aimed at regenerating the Johannesburg city centre.”In addition to the provision of a comprehensive range of trade facilitation services, the international trade centre will offer 15 000m² of permanent exhibition space for 1 310 South African and foreign companies.It says a plan for the centre, depending on the number of floors, will include a ground floor and lobby dedicated to the South African mining, industrial and capital equipment sector. The first 10 floors will be dedicated to South African products by industry sector.These industry sectors have been segmented to include mining and industrial; transport equipment; chemical and allied industries; hardware and building materials; defence and telecommunications; electrical and security; textile and tourism; medical and pharmaceutical; and food and beverage.The remaining floors will be dedicated to exhibiting foreign products organised according to the region from which they originate.Permanent exhibition space will range in size from 6 – 12m², and exhibition contract terms will be for either 6, 12 or 18 months. The rotation of permanent exhibitors will ensure that as many companies as possible get the benefit of access to foreign markets.A total of 85 consultants will be employed, which will give the trade centre a ratio of 1 consultant per 15 exhibitors.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

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first_img31 July 2008Woolworths saw the introduction of reusable bags in 2004 as an opportunity to not only preserve the environment, but also to support new enterprise development, with their fabric bags being made for them by local factories – one of which started for the specific purpose of making Woolworths bags.It forms part of the company’s strategy to source products locally, where quality, quantity and consistency meet the expectations of their customers – while also enabling the company to support and encourage local business and entrepreneurship – which it has also identified as a key priority.“In line with our Good Business journey, Woolworths is committed to identifying opportunities for suppliers to grow with the business,” Woolworths general merchandise director Craig Ludwig said in a statement this week.“In addition to giving suppliers access to the marketplace, Woolworths also supports emerging suppliers with training that covers best practice in technical and business management skills, organisational development and financing where possible.”Woolworths Good business journey is a comprehensive five-year plan announced in 2007 to help people and planet by incorporating a series of challenging targets and commitments centred on four key priorities, including accelerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing Woolworths environmental focus and addressing climate change.IsikhwamaCurrently, Woolworths’ main supplier of reusable bags is Isikhwama, which was established in Maitland, Cape Town to produce bags for Woolworths and employ semi-skilled and unskilled people who were previously out of work.Isikhwama owner Trevor Pothercy said that while starting any new business was a challenge, their close partnership with Woolworths had helped his company to grow from strength to strength, and that it now produced over a million reusable fabric bags for Woolworths each year – providing employment for 70 people.“The success of the project has exceeded our most optimistic projections,” Pothercy said. “We have been able to train unskilled workers through this project – arguably the most vulnerable members of the labour sector.”Greater Uitenhage Sewing CooperativeThe second supplier, the Greater Uitenhage Sewing Cooperative (Gusco), is an amalgamation of three informal community sewing groups, formed as a result of the Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative.The company, based in Uitenhage in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, has been producing and supplying reusable fabric bags for Woolworths since September 2005.Woolworths was Gusco’s first big retail client and continues to be the anchor client, buying about 260 000 reusable bags from the company each year – and enabling the cooperative to employ 27 full-time machinists and a number of seasonal employees.Strong partnerships needed for growthNafeesa Dinie, head of the Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative’s small, medium and micro enterprises unit, said they hoped to grow Gusco’s business by attracting and securing additional contracts, as well as to diversify the production line.The initiative has also held initial discussions with Woolworths regarding future potential growth opportunities.She said that through forging strong partnerships and implementing a structured best practice business development model, a solid business foundation has been established, resulting in a successfully and commercially viable cooperative contributing to the local economy and job creation.“The ladies of Gusco have come a long way from being unemployed, to being business owners and this has been achieved in a relatively short period with the support of all stakeholders,” Dinie said. “Woolworths was key to this success, and this clearly signals Woolworths’ commitment to support and contribute to sustainable community enterprise development in our country.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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first_imgPhoto: Steve Creedy Qantas has started the 2020 financial year with a record first-quarter revenue but continues to see weak domestic demand and faces some international headwinds.The airline said in a trading update that total group revenue rose 1.8 percent to a record $A4.56 billion while unit revenue was up 2.1 percent compared to the same quarter in 2018..But group domestic unit revenue fell by 0.9 percent due to “mixed market conditions” and Jetstar’s unit revenue was down 2.6 percent because of weakening demand in the price-sensitive leisure market.Strengthening resources industry traffic helped offset weaker demand in other corporate sectors such as financial services and telecommunications but overall corporate travel demand was flat, the update said.Small business demand also slowed, although Qantas said its share of both business markets increased, and premium leisure demand remained steady.READ: VIRGIN poised to start japan services after draft Tokyo decision.Jetstar’s 2.6 percent fall in unit revenue accounted for most of the group’s domestic decline and was offset by higher load factors that supported growth in ancillary revenues.Driving the increase in group unit revenue was a 4.4 percent increase for the group’s international operations led by reduced capacity from competitors as well as network and fleet changes in Qantas International.Qantas International reduced its own capacity by 2.5 percent and saw unit revenue rise by more than 6 percent.Jetstar International’s revenue and capacity also grew in the quarter with a strong demand on leisure routes to Asia offsetting weakness in markets impacted by the strong US dollar.A bright spot for the group remained Qantas Loyalty which “continued to see strong revenue growth in line with expectations” and expects to announce new growth opportunities shortly.“The Group continues to perform well, with strength in key parts of our portfolio helping to offset softness in other areas,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.“Qantas International has seen significant upside from competitor capacity contracting more than anticipated, which is expected to continue for at least the remainder of the first half.”Joyce said the slower revenue environment would mean a strong focus on cost reduction “to make sure we keep delivering on our transformation targets.””Part of this is about taking opportunities to reduce complexity and constantly improving how efficiently we manage our business,” he added.Among the headwinds facing the group are the protests in Hong Kong, which will wipe $A25m off the first-half profit and prompting capacity adjustments.Other problems include the impact of the US-China trade war on freight, expected to cut full-year profit by $A25-30m, and foreign exchange expenses expected to increase non-fuel costs by $A25m in the first half.The group has fully hedged its fuel for the 2020 financial year, including the ability to benefit from significant price falls, and expects its first-half fuel bill to increase $A29m to $A3.98 billion. A worst-case scenario would see fuel costs rise to $A4.05 billionQantas will continue to keep a tight rein on capacity with group increases expected to be between 0.5 and 1 percent in the first half.“Domestically, published competitor capacity is set to increase despite the weakness in the market,’’ Joyce said.“The Qantas Group will maintain its strategic position in all parts of the market and therefore our total domestic capacity is expected to grow by up to 1 percent in the second half.”last_img read more

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