Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Biden Goes On International Trip, Raising Eyebrows

January 7, 2009

Joe Biden has always had a flair for doing things differently – but his upcoming trip to South Asia may set a new standard.

The vice president-elect will be traveling to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But he won’t really be traveling as the vice president-elect – he’ll be traveling as the chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Only he’ll be resigning from the Senate in a few weeks. Even though he was sworn in Tuesday for his seventh term.

Got that?

By Carol E. Lee, Politico

Many foreign policy observers don’t, raising the concern that officials in the countries on Biden’s itinerary may hold to the quaint notion that the vice president-elect is the vice president-elect and that Biden will be sending not-very-subtle signals about U.S. policy in the Obama administration – even though George W. Bush is still in office.

Biden first ran the South Asia trip idea by Bush administration officials several weeks ago, said Bush spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

“We discussed the trip and reviewed it in advance with them,” Johndroe said. “We are facilitating the trip administratively where necessary.”

But that didn’t stop some serious eye-rolling by others on the Bush team. “It’s certainly unique,” quipped a senior Bush administration official. “And I’ll just leave it at that.”

Biden described the nature of his trip to reporters Tuesday after his swearing-in ceremony. “I’m going to come back and report where I think things stand in each of those countries now,” he said.

Read the rest:


Indians Warned To Stay Clear of Pakistan; PM Meets Military Chiefs

December 26, 2008

India has advised its citizens against travelling to Pakistan as tension continues in the wake of last month’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.

India’s foreign ministry said travel was “unsafe” after reports Indians had been detained following recent bomb attacks in Pakistani cities.

Pakistani officials say the tension has meant scaling down military operations against militants and redeploying east.

The attacks on several targets in Mumbai left more than 170 people dead.


India blames militant groups based in Pakistan for the attacks. They and Pakistan’s government deny any involvement.


The Indian foreign ministry statement follows recent bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

One woman was killed and four people injured on Wednesday in Lahore.

Read the rest:


From Reuters

India warned its citizens on Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan after the prime minister met military chiefs, and Pakistan canceled army leave and moved some troops from its western border.

The warning marked a dramatic rise in tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors after last month’s attack on Mumbai, in which 179 people were killed and which India has blamed on Islamist militants based in Pakistan.


It followed media reports in Pakistan and India that “several” Indian nationals had been arrested in the last two days after bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.


“Indian citizens are therefore advised that it would be unsafe for them to travel (to) or be in Pakistan,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.


Another Foreign Ministry official contacted by Reuters said the warning referred to all travel to Pakistan.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office earlier said Singh had discussed tension with Pakistan during a scheduled meeting about military pay with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.


“The prime minister met the tri-services chiefs to discuss the pay commission issues but obviously the situation in the region was also discussed,” said an official from Singh’s office, who asked not to be identified. There were no other details.

Read the rest:

Airlines set to lose $5 billion in 2008

December 9, 2008

Global airlines look set to return total losses of $5.0 billion in 2008 and are heading for $2.5 billion of losses in 2009, industry body IATA said on Tuesday.

The 2008 figure was slightly less than the deficit of $5.2 billion which IATA — the International Air Transport Association — predicted in September, due mainly to the rapid decline in fuel prices, and is lower than the 2009 figure of $4.1 billion it had forecast previously.

“The outlook is bleak. The chronic industry crisis will continue into 2009 with $2.5 billion in losses. We face the worst revenue environment in 50 years,” said IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani.


A Qantas aircraft (left) is parked near British Airways jets ... 
A Qantas aircraft (left) is parked near British Airways jets at Heathrow airport. Qantas on Monday said that a proposed merger with British Airways was not guaranteed and could stumble over the European carrier’s merger talks with a Spanish airline and its pension fund liabilities.(AFP/File/Chris Ratcliffe)

Air cargo traffic, which makes up 35 percent of goods traded internationally, is continuing its decline, he said.

The 7.9 percent decline in air cargo in October, the fifth consecutive month of increasingly severe drops, was a clear indication that “the worst is yet to come” for airlines and the slowing global economy, according to the Geneva-based body.

North American airlines are expected to be the only region making a profit in 2009, but only of some $300 million, less than 1 percent of revenue, it said.

IATA’s forecasts for 2009 were all based on an average price of $60 a barrel for oil.

Read the rest:;_ylt=ArSlX