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Continental Airlines
16 ноября, 01:20

Boeing Shutters Two Plants After United Continental Delays $5BN Worth Of 737 Orders

Earlier this morning, Boeing's shares dropped after United Continental Airlines said it would delay orders for 61 Boeing 737 jetliners, worth roughly $5 billion, and instead order the newer 737 MAX models for delivery in later years.  Boeing, of course, downplayed the impact of the decision saying it would not affect its plan to increase production rates of 737s, and stressed that it continues to have orders for more 737s than it can produce. Given that, it does seem to be curious timing that Boeing has just announced an operational restructuring that will result two site closures in El Paso, Texas and Newington, Virginia.  While we're sure there are "efficiency gains" to be generated from the consolidation of sites, cutting 4.5 million square feet of facility space in just 4 years seems like there may be a bit more behind the cuts.  “In order to push ourselves farther and win more business, we need to make the most of our resources and talent,” said Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Defense, Space & Security. “These steps will help us be a stronger partner for our customers worldwide.”   By the end of 2020 Boeing will reduce facilities space by approximately 4.5 million square feet. Along with that, many positions in Huntington Beach will move to El Segundo, Long Beach, and Seal Beach in Southern California, with others moving to St. Louis and Huntsville, Ala.   Similarly, many positions in Kent, Wash., will move to nearby Tukwila. Boeing also will close its El Paso, Texas, and Newington, Va., sites.   With the moves, Los Angeles County gains about 1,600 positions, with St. Louis gaining 500 and Huntsville about 400.   “Making better use of our facilities will enhance efficiency and promote greater collaboration,” Caret said. “This will help drive our global growth in Boeing’s second century.”   To bolster that effort, Boeing Defence Australia, Boeing Defense Saudi Arabia, and Boeing Defence United Kingdom will be aligned and managed in a new global operations group led by David Pitchforth. He will also continue as managing director of Boeing Defence UK. While Pitchforth will report directly to Caret, those three organizations will continue operating independently.   While Boeing attempted to downplay the financial impact of the delayed United Continental order, analysts are somewhat more skeptical of it's impact on free cash flow generation over the coming years. But some worried that canceling 61 current-generation planes and ordering MAXs for an uncertain date could delay Boeing's planned production increases and its cash generation.   "737 output is their only realistic way to increase cash flow," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at the Teal Group in Virginia. Boeing is already cutting production of the 777, its other cash cow, and 787 output is due to remain steady.   "Now it looks like 737 output will not grow as planned," he said. Meanwhile, shareholders were somewhat disappointed as well: Though we're sure it's nothing.

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10 октября, 15:34

What Is United Continental's New Fleet Plan?

United Continental Airlines, along with all other airlines, has benefited hugely from the low oil prices. Consequently, the low cost environment has enabled the carrier to refurbish, upgauge, and add more capacity to its fleet. While refurbishing helps the company provide its clients with a more convenient and comfortable flying [...]

14 августа, 19:31

What To Do During The Next Airline Computer Meltdown

Catastrophic computer outages that paralyze an entire airline are few and far between. Except this summer. Last month, Southwest Airlines canceled 2,300 flights after a router in one of its data centers failed, delaying hundreds of thousands of passengers. And last week, Delta Air Lines suffered a massive computer outage, which triggered the cancellation of 451 flights in a single morning. A rare look behind the curtain at Southwest’s meltdown offers several important customer-service lessons for passengers who experience similar delays in the future. And in an industry that depends on finicky information systems, these incidents are bound to repeat themselves. They’ve left customers wondering how to avoid getting stuck in another IT collapse, and what, if anything, an airline can do to make up for such an event. Related: Frequently asked questions about air travel. Jack Russell, who was scheduled to fly from St. Louis to Las Vegas last month, had a front-row seat for Southwest’s IT issues, which an employee euphemistically blamed on a “software problem.” The airline’s proposed fix: Fly him to Vegas four days later. As the executive vice president of a software company in St. Louis, Russell knows a thing or two about computers that go on the blink. But he’s less understanding about Southwest’s IT implosion, which he says left him with little choice but to pay an extra $1,800 to reach his destination. “I spent twice as much money as I thought I would to get to Las Vegas,” Russell says. “If my customers had an outage created by my company and I said, ‘Sorry, it was a freak occurrence,’ they would be waiting at my doorstep with their lawyer.” The Southwest systems problem suggests how fragile even the best-run airlines can be. It started in the early afternoon of July 20, when one of its small Cisco routers, out of about 2,000 such pieces of hardware that direct the airline’s network traffic, failed. This router broke in an unusual way. Instead of registering the error, which would have allowed network administrators in Southwest’s Dallas data center to take it offline immediately and replace it with a working router, it behaved as if it was still operating normally. Only, it wasn’t directing any traffic. Although network administrators spotted the error within half an hour, enough traffic had backed up that critical systems needed to be rebooted — a process that took a full 12 hours and affected critical functions, including the airline’s website, its smartphone app and several internal systems used by Southwest employees to handle reservations. It was as if someone had turned off the lights for half a day. When the systems flickered back to life, the problems continued. The airline still didn’t have enough information to restart all flights. Because its systems had been down for so long, it couldn’t be sure whether some of its crews had taken enough rest, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration. That forced Southwest to cancel more flights on July 21 and 22. Brandwatch, a social-tracking service, charted a corresponding tsunami of anger on Southwest’s social media channels. The airline drew 36,905 mentions in a single day on July 21, an almost 20-fold increase from normal levels. “The spike in incoming volume that this received was incredible,” says Joshua March, the chief executive of Conversocial, which offers customer-service software to travel companies. “But the really significant piece in this instance was the inability to effectively scale the response.” Southwest had no script for handling an event of this magnitude. “It was really rough,” says Robert Jordan, the airline’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, who describes the IT catastrophe as a “thousand-year flood.” The airline sent 50-percent-off vouchers to passengers affected by the outage, and in some cases paid for them to fly to their destinations on other airlines. All told, he says Southwest spent “tens of millions of dollars” trying to make amends. “We know we messed up,” he adds. “We know we have to work really hard to regain our passengers’ trust.” Southwest is still cleaning up. Russell’s delayed flight to Las Vegas is among the thousands of cases still being processed. Under most circumstances, a full refund for a replacement flight would be a tall order, but these are not normal circumstances. IT disasters of this scale are unusual. Back in 2012, United Airlines experienced several days of delayed flights and sluggish customer service as it struggled to integrate the IT systems of United and Continental Airlines. Last July, United also suffered an outage that made it cancel hundreds of flights after a network router stopped working. Asked if passengers could have done anything to get to their destinations faster during such a systems collapse, Jordan paused. So many things went wrong during the event that the normal tricks didn’t work. You couldn’t fall back on calling the airline because even the call-center employees didn’t have access to their IT systems. “There just isn’t a good answer,” he says. That’s the consensus of the customer service experts, too. Elaine Allison, a former flight attendant and on-board service manager who now offers training courses in customer service, says passengers are powerless to negotiate their way around a total systems failure. She happened to be in Las Vegas during the week of Southwest’s outage, but was lucky enough to be flying on another airline. “Pack at least one day of clothing and small amenities, plus all medications, in a carry-on, in the event luggage is checked and immediately not retrievable,” she says. Russell handled the situation correctly by re-booking his flight on another airline, she says. Southwest must refund a ticket when it cancels a flight. The trick, says customer service expert Teri Yanovitch, is to look forward and not back. Southwest needs to figure out how to say it’s sorry without losing its shirt, and customers need a game plan should they get caught in a future systems failure. “Southwest needs to explain the situation and how Southwest will prevent it from happening again,” she says. “As a customer, the best you can do when all critical IT systems are down is to keep calm, don’t take it out on the employee — it is not their fault — and consider your options for alternate transportation based on the situation.” Research suggests that Southwest can make a full recovery, Yanovitch says. When a recovery is handled correctly, 96 percent of the customers will return. And when it’s not? In 2012, when United Airlines suffered its first meltdown, it was the world’s largest airline. Today, it’s No. 3. After you’ve left a comment here, let’s continue the discussion on my consumer advocacy site or on Twitter, Facebook and Google. I also have a newsletter and you’ll definitely want to order my new, amazingly helpful and subversive book called How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 мая, 04:30

Pierre Salinger: JFK, Bio, Gary Powers, Cigars, Oral History, Interview, Quotes (1995)

Pierre Emil George Salinger (June 14, 1925 – October 16, 2004) was a White House Press Secretary to U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Salinger served as a United States Senator in 1964 and was campaign manager for the Robert F. Kennedy presidential campaign. He later became known for his work as an ABC News correspondent, and in particular for his coverage of the American hostage crisis in Iran, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland, and his claims as to the cause of the explosion of TWA flight 800. Salinger was born in San Francisco, California. His father, Herbert Salinger, was a New York City-born mining engineer, and his mother, Jehanne (née Biétry), was a French-born journalist.[2][3][4] His maternal grandfather, Pierre Biétry, was a member of the French National Assembly and devised Yellow socialism.[2] Salinger was raised in his mother's Catholic religion (his father was Jewish).[5] Salinger attended public magnet Lowell High School.[1] He attended San Francisco State University (then College) from 1941 to 1943 where he was managing editor and columnist for the student newspaper, the Golden Gater. He left SF State and entered the United States Navy in July 1943. Salinger was commanding officer of SC 1368 in the Pacific. He distinguished himself during Typhoon "Louise" in Okinawa by making a daring rescue of some men stranded on a reef. For this act he received the Navy and Marine Corps medal.[4] After serving with the United States Navy to Lieutenant, junior grade during World War II, Salinger finished his studies at the University of San Francisco, earning a BS in 1947.[6] Salinger then began his journalism career as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and as a contributing Editor to Collier's in the 1940s and 1950s. Salinger was one of the leading figures in Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign, at times described as being part of Kennedy's Kitchen Cabinet.[7] In 1961, when John F. Kennedy became President of the United States, he hired Salinger as his press secretary. When JFK was assassinated, Salinger was on a plane flying to Tokyo with six Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk.[8] Salinger's visit was to have been for an economic conference, and to start working on a visit JFK was going to take in February 1964 as the first American president to visit Japan since World War II. Salinger was retained by President Lyndon Johnson as Press Secretary after JFK's death. As Kennedy's White House Press Secretary, Salinger was accused of "news management."[9] Following his service in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Salinger returned to California and ran for the Senate. He defeated then California State Controller Alan Cranston in a contentious Democratic Primary. Governor of California Pat Brown, who had supported Cranston in the Primary, appointed Salinger a Democratic United States Senator to fill the vacancy resulting from the July 30, 1964 death of retiring Senator Clair Engle; he took office on August 4, 1964. In his bid for a full six-year term in the 1964 election, he was defeated by former actor (and vaudeville song and dance man) George Murphy following a campaign in which Salinger's only recent return to his native state became an issue, his legal residency even being challenged in court. Salinger was also hurt at the polls by his adamant support (despite advice from his political managers) of legislation banning racial housing discrimination.[10] Salinger's loss made California the sole Democrat-held seat to go Republican in what was otherwise a Democratic landslide. Salinger resigned from the Senate on December 31, 1964, only three days before his term was to expire. Senator-elect Murphy, who was to take office on January 3, 1965, was appointed to fill the remaining two days of Salinger's term, giving Murphy a slight advantage in seniority in the Senate over other members of the "class of 1964" at a time when seniority was even more vital in Senate affairs than now. Salinger appeared in a third season episode 111 of Batman, "The Joke's on Catwoman," broadcast on ABC on January 4, 1968. In the episode, Salinger portrays "Lucky Pierre," an unscrupulous lawyer who defends Catwoman and The Joker in a trial. In Salinger's first scene, he is sitting at his desk with a photo of a young Richard Nixon prominently displayed, and in an amusing epilogue, Batman (Adam West) laments Lucky Pierre's fate by saying, "If he hadn't gone so wrong, he might have had a fine career in politics, won a gubernatorial race, and the White House even."[11] He wrote a book, With Kennedy and became vice-president of Continental Airlines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Salinger

19 мая, 09:52

Иски по делу 9/11: миллионы, миллиарды, триллионы

18 мая американский сенат принял законопроект, который позволяет пострадавшим от терактов 11 сентября 2001 года подавать иски к правительству Саудовской Аравии в связи с его возможной причастностью к организации этих преступлений. Теперь документ поступит на рассмотрение в палату представителей конгресса. Правда, администрация Барака Обамы заявила, что президент не собирается подписывать законопроект, так как его утверждение чревато аналогичными исками из-за рубежа к властям США.

27 апреля, 16:53

The Sleep Mistake Flight Attendants Make When It Comes To Jet Lag

Find yourself draggy for a week after a redeye? Just think of the flight attendants and pilots who do it all the time. Former Continental Airlines flight attendant Abbie Unger told The Huffington Post that for her, the most grueling part of working transcontinental flights was the varied schedule. Unger, who is also a HuffPost blogger, was an on-call flight attendant and did not have a set number of flights she worked per month. “I never worked a day that was nine to five, so I was constantly trying to regulate my body clock as I juggled early morning check-ins followed by late night check-ins,” she said. To help her fall asleep when her clock was messed up, Unger would carry the sleep aid melatonin. She wasn't alone: New data from a recent survey of flight attendants working for the Irish airline Aer Lingus revealed that as many as a third of the crew reported using some type of sleep medications at least once a week. “This is a concerning statistic, but not surprising,” Dr. Neil Kline, a sleep physician and director of the American Sleep Association, told The Huffington Post.  “Humans are creatures of habit when it comes to time. Our internal timer is set to an (almost) 24-hour clock,” said Kline, who was not involved in the Aer Lingus survey. However, he explained, being exposed to bright light or trying to sleep at different times than we're used to disrupts our internal clocks, which is what leads us to feel jet lagged. And sleep medications, like over-the-counter melatonin supplements, are meant to reset the body’s internal body clock. There’s not really enough research to say how often is too often to take sleep medications, Kline said. But, he added, it is important to recognize that any sleep medication, whether prescription or over the counter, is going to come with its own side effects. “Many of the medications and OTC products used for insomnia and jet lag can cause daytime sleepiness and lead to impaired daytime performance,” he said. 90 percent of flight attendants reported having trouble sleeping A total of 470 Aer Lingus flight attendants were surveyed for this research, which was commissioned by IMPACT, the trade union that represents the airline. In addition to the finding that 33.8 percent of the flight attendants reported taking sleep medication once a week or more, nearly 90 percent reported having trouble sleeping at least once a week or more. And the flight attendants reported sleeping 6.72 hours per night on average, shy of the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation of seven to nine hours per night for adults between 25 and 64 years old. The data from the survey will be sent to the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland and the Irish Aviation Authority, both of which have a role in aircraft safety, IMPACT communications officer Niall Shanahan told HuffPost.  The trouble with sleep meds An important caveat is that the survey did not delineate prescription sleep aids from non-prescription sleep aids -- though research shows there are concerns associated with both. Melatonin is a natural hormone we produce that signals to our bodies it is time to sleep. It's also available in a synthetic form intended to help people counter the effects of jet lag or an unusual sleep schedule. Despite being marketed as a natural sleep aid, experts have warned that many melatonin products on the market, which are not regulated by the FDA, are much stronger than the dose most sleep doctors recommend, which in turn can make you groggy the day after using them. And some research suggests that when the brain’s melatonin receptors are exposed to too much of the hormone, they may stop responding to it -- meaning the supplements become ineffective. When it comes to prescription sleep aids, several studies have shown that use of hypnotics -- including Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), Intermezzo (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), Silenor (doxepin hydrochloride), and Sonata (zaleplon), among others -- was associated with increased incidence of cancer and higher rates of death from any cause. This was true even for individuals who took fewer than 18 pills per year.  Practicing good sleep hygiene is key In addition to carrying melatonin, Unger would also try to take shorter naps on her layover so she would be rested and prepared to work if she couldn’t sleep through the night. Other things that helped as she traveled across multiple time zones were making sure she slept in a dark room and got sunlight once she was awake (and wanted to be awake), eating well and eating enough, and exercising. “I can’t tell you how many times I woke up in the middle of the night starving because I didn’t eat enough in the evening because I had felt more tired than hungry,” she said. “And exercise can do wonders.” "The best treatment for preventing jet lag is avoid the time zone change," Kline said. But for flight attendants, other flight crew members and shift workers who cannot avoid having to shift their sleep, he suggests light therapy, which involves avoiding bright light in the evening and getting sunlight (or using a light box) when they do wake up. Practicing good sleep hygiene is essential, he added. This includes never watching TV in bed, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, exercising regularly, and planning a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, like taking a warm bath or shower or mediating. But is there enough time for healthy slumber habits? In addition to dealing with crossing time zones and her varied schedule, there was the problem of just not having enough time in between flights to rest, Unger said. “An eight- or nine-hour overnight [flight] only leaves you with about five and a half to six hours inside your hotel room. No matter how many time zones you have flown through or not flown through, six hours is not enough time to rest,” she said. Unger is far from alone in experiencing sleeping woes. One study that compared self-reported health information for flight attendants for two U.S. airlines with that of the general U.S. population found male flight attendants were diagnosed with sleep disorders at a rate nearly four times the general population and female flight attendants were diagnosed at a rate that was nearly six times the general population.  Statistics like those are part of what inspired the Aer Lingus union to conduct its survey on the health and wellbeing of its flight attendants, Shanahan said. The union will use the data to help address concerns from airline crew members about the effects of working conditions on their health, as well as help ensure the airline is complying with health and safety aviation laws, Shanahan said.  The U.S. Senate recently passed an amended Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that, in addition to a number of other provisions, would increase the required rest time for flight attendants to at least nine hours after working an 11-hour shift and 10 hours for flight attendants working 11- to 14-hour shifts. The bill still requires House approval, as well as the President's, before it becomes law. Sarah DiGiulio is The Huffington Post’s sleep reporter. You can contact her at [email protected] -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

08 марта, 18:27

Questions About Growth and Profit Margins Dent Sentiment

Questions About Growth and Profit Margins Dent Sentiment

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10 февраля, 15:28

Pilot Training Reform: Singling Out Regional Industry Never Works

In this 2009, file photo, Continental Airlines Flight 3407 burns after it crashed into a house near Buffalo. Monday was the seventh anniversary of the tragedy that prompted new regulations that failed to address all the problems associated with the crash. Now indicators are increasing that, if not heeded, will [...]

24 января, 16:56

How United Airlines is Making a Customer Service Comeback

Like a 747 loaded to capacity, United Airlines is rising — slowly, steadily and improbably. “I thought I was imagining it,” says Anne Klein, who works for a marketing agency in Durango, Colo. “But United is listening. It’s trying to improve.” Klein had two recent customer service experiences that gave her hope. The first, a handwritten thank-you card for her business, slipped to her by a flight attendant. And the second, a response to her request for a $68 refund after one of her flights had been canceled for mechanical reasons. Instead, United sent her more than she asked for: a $100 gift certificate. Many passengers had all but given up on the airline after a painful merger with Continental Airlines in 2010. United had managed to alienate customers ranging from frequent fliers like Klein to ordinary vacationers, thanks to significant cuts in its loyalty program and new policies that seemingly demanded fees for everything. Not surprisingly, its customer service scores were among the lowest in the industry. A new hope But, in September, United’s new chief executive, Oscar Munoz, said enough was enough. “Let’s be honest,” he declared in a videotaped message to customers. “The implementation of the United and Continental merger has been rocky for customers and employees. While it’s been improving recently, we still haven’t lived up to our promise or our potential.” The changes have been small, but they’ve added up. In November, the airline eliminated an unpopular $50 processing fee for tickets refunded to passengers after unplanned events such as jury duty, illness or death. In December, it announced that, starting this month, it would serve a choice of snacks to economy class passengers at no additional charge. It also plans to eliminate another charge this month: a $25 fee for ticket receipts. All the while, United’s management has been asking its customer-facing employees to redouble their efforts to win back customers. And it’s focusing on its core performance, specifically its flight-completion numbers, or the number of scheduled flights actually flown. “Our customers want reliability from us,” says Sandra Pineau-Boddison, United’s vice president for customers. “It’s on-time performance. It’s a high completion factor.” United rising? During the busy Thanksgiving holiday week, United delivered an on-time performance in the 70th percentile, its highest level in three years, and a 100 percent completion rate. It was no fluke. United’s internal customer service numbers have been climbing steadily since Munoz made his promise: In November, it beat its 30.6-point customer satisfaction goal by two points; in October, it scored a 30.8, exceeding its goal by 1.3 points; and for September, it exceeded its 27.4-point goal by 4.3 points. United stresses that this is just the first stage of rehabilitating its image, a process that became more challenging after Munoz suffered a heart attack in the fall and temporarily stepped aside as chief executive. But it hopes it’s on the right track. “Oscar has given us a renewed focus,” says Pineau-Boddison. "Amazing" customer service So how is United’s initiative going over with its customers? Elizabeth Helsley, a frequent international traveler who works as a business consultant in San Diego, was stunned after one of her bags went missing on a recent flight from Paris to San Francisco by way of Newark. She wasn’t stunned because her bag had gone missing, but by what happened next. “After I arrived, I received a text message alert that one of my two bags did not make it and would be delivered to my address within 24 hours,” she says. “I also received an email where I could track my bag, see who was delivering it and at what time. At no time did I have to wait in line or on hold for them to rectify their mistake. They simply took care of it and kept me informed every step of the way. To me, that was amazing customer service.” The technology used to track and deliver those bags, part of United’s effort to upgrade its internal systems, is a key part of the airline’s new customer initiative. Last year, the airline introduced a service that allows customers to follow their luggage on the United smartphone app. “Before we had this, only our airport employees could see the luggage in the system,” says Pineau-Boddison. More improvements are planned. In early 2016, United expects to fine-tune its system to allow people with delayed luggage to specify their delivery preferences. To be sure, United still has a long odyssey ahead. It scored 60 out of a possible 100 points on last year’s authoritative American Customer Satisfaction Index, the lowest of any legacy airline and just a few points above discount carriers such as Frontier and Spirit. And it still has plenty of critics, including some of its own employees, who remain quietly skeptical. And the airline has a long way to go before some air travelers will come back. They’re passengers like Lex Page, an attorney from Portland, Ore., who endured years of United’s indifferent attitude and mediocre service before he finally gave up on the airline. “Let’s just say that if United Airlines were to give me a free first-class ticket to anywhere they flew, I wouldn’t take it,” he says. After you've left a comment here, let's continue the discussion on my consumer advocacy site or on Twitter, Facebook and Google. I also have a newsletter and you'll definitely want to order my new, amazingly helpful and subversive book called How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle). Photo: Shutterstock. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 декабря 2015, 00:42

The Water Came All At Once

" The Water Came All At Once " Rev. Peter E. Bauer I have been watching with concern the reports of the flooding that has beset the Pacific Northwest this week. I saw pictures of flooded streets in Portland, Or : Southwest 10th and Hoyt, Northwest 21st and Lovejoy, even worse flooding for Southeast Portland, Johnson Creek, Oak Grove and huge problems down on the Oregon Coast. Towns like Tillamook, Wheeler, Clatskanie hit hard, receiving a lot of road damage. A 60- year old Portland woman died when a fir tree uprooted by the water smashed into her home. It's an unnerving feeling when you see pictures of US 30 and I-5, roads which you have driven, be forced to close due to landslides. I know that turbulent weather is not just limited to the Pacific Northwest. We certainly get our fair share of abrupt weather changes here in Texas. But it is one thing to receive 14.54 inches of rain in South Texas, it's quite another challenge to receive the same amount of rain at Bonneville Dam. Yes, the additional water amount will certainly help generate a lot more hydroelectric power, but there is concern what the additional water level will do to the Columbia River gorge, let alone to the salmon run. I have seen the fall out of water coming all at once in other places like Biloxi and Gulfport, MS in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I used to teach graduate school for the University of Southern Mississippi. The building where my classes met was an old hospital that was damaged by the hurricane which was refitted to provide classrooms. Only a few blocks away was the Gulfport bay where several buildings, including an entire church were swept off their foundation, in the storm. Growing up in Portland, I always liked the rain. It felt soothing and calm. The rain always pretty much fell gradually. I always carried my umbrella. Somewhere along the line the weather patterns changed and now the Northwest experiences a lot more severe storms than it used to when I was a kid. I'm praying for a solid agreement to be reached at the Climate Conference that is currently meeting in Paris. Majuro is a large coral atoll of 64 islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is the legislative district for the Marshall Islands, an area known for World War II wrecks and extraordinary deep sea diving. Majuro Tourism: Best of Majuro, Marshall Islands - TripAdvisorwww.tripadvisor.com › South Pacific › Marshall Islands. I had the experience of an unexpected landing on Majuro several years ago. The Continental Airlines 707 flight that I was on from Honolulu, Hi to Agana Guam had to make an abrupt stop at this atoll in order to refuel. What an unnerving experience! The plane descended into what I thought would be the water of the ocean. Suddenly I saw this little strip of land with a one runway and then noticing that the ocean water was literally lapping up against the tarmac. This occurred almost twenty years ago. There is now concern that residents of the Marshall Islands will have to eventually move due to rising sea levels. For the citizens, this is a major trauma because their land is considered to be sacred. The head of the Marshall Islands delegation to the Climate Conference in Paris stated that he uses Skype to communicate with his friends in the Marshall Islands to inform them "we don't have to move yet. " We need to remind ourselves that everything we do has an impact on our planet. The air quality has changed, the temperatures are getting hotter, the water levels are rising. What will develop in the future ? Will there be sustainability for all of us here on earth ? My prayer is that we can get smart about all of this and figure out a way that we can save this earth home we have for ourselves and for the future generations. With hope, may this be realized. May it be so. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

14 ноября 2015, 06:34

CONCORDE-2 рывок к гиперзвуку. "Конкорд" возвращается?

В июле 2015 года компания Airbus запатентовала дизайн самолета «CONCORDE-2», который, судя по проекту, должен летать со скоростью 3,435 миль в час (около 5500 км/ч).

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23 октября 2015, 21:35

United has tentative deal for United, Continental mechanics

United Airlines said Friday that it has a tentative deal to combine more than 8,600 maintenance workers from United and the former Continental Airlines under one contract, a step toward improving the carrier's ...

20 октября 2015, 22:36

Hart Is 'Acting CEO' At United Largely Because He Was Not Part Of The Continental Management Cabal

Those beeping sounds you hear from Chicago are coming from the moving vans backing up outside the homes of those senior United Continental Holdings executives who had strong ties to Jeff Smisek. Smisek, ousted as United’s CEO six weeks ago, engineered the merger of United and Continental airlines five years ago. [...]

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19 октября 2015, 16:58

United taps acting chief after CEO's heart attack

Read full story for latest details.

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16 октября 2015, 21:51

United chief suffers heart attack

Oscar Munoz, chief executive of United Continental Airlines, suffered a heart attack on Thursday.

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16 октября 2015, 21:51

United chief suffers heart attack

Oscar Munoz, chief executive of United Continental Airlines, suffered a heart attack on Thursday.

14 сентября 2015, 14:31

Disgraced United CEO Jeff Smisek Is the Reason for Income Inequality

Jeff Smisek, the guy forced by scandal to resign last week as CEO of the world’s fourth-largest airline, is a major reason American workers can’t get a raise. Smisek and his overpaid boardroom buddies nationwide have swindled American workers and American communities in a scam to amass wealth for themselves and well-heeled stockholders. They’ve extracted value from corporations and put it in their pockets and shareholders’ purses almost to the complete exclusion of investing in their corporations to create new wealth and prosperity. CEOs like Smisek began sucking the financial lifeblood out of corporations in the 1970s. That’s when corporations stopped raising worker wages in tandem with rises in productivity and curbed research and development. Instead, corporations spent increasing portions of profit on dividends and stock buybacks. This goosed CEO compensation while squashing worker pay. Over four decades, it has degraded corporations and produced the worst income inequality since the Great Depression.  Smisek’s failed leadership at United Airlines illustrates exactly how this CEO self-dealing scheme works to the advantage of wealthy executives and shareholders while damaging workers, communities, customers and corporations. Under Smisek, passengers, workers and taxpayers found the skies decidedly unfriendly. Ever since United and Continental Airlines merged, at Smisek’s urging, the corporation’s computer system has failed repeatedly, inconveniencing United customers.  Months of computer glitches ensued immediately after United combined systems with Continental in 2012, and since then problems plagued fliers six times, including one in July that temporarily grounded the United fleet globally, and one last week that delayed 4,900 flights for as long as 90 minutes. This may help explain why United ranked dead last among major domestic carriers in this year’s J.D. Power airline satisfaction survey, which measures performance in seven areas including costs, fees, in-flight service and reservations. Customers have complained bitterly about United’s ill-treatment of fliers. And it gets low scores for arriving on time. In June, its performance was by far the worst among the largest domestic carriers. It improved slightly in July, so it was tied for last. In addition, in five years, Smisek failed to complete combined labor agreements with two major unions, the Association of Flight Attendants representing 21,000, and the Teamsters representing 9,000 mechanics. Smisek made sure he had a personal contract with United guaranteeing him a golden parachute worth millions no matter how badly he performed. But he didn’t do anything for the workers who make sure planes and passengers are safe. Just two months before scandal would force Smisek to resign, he announced United would buy back $3 billion in stock. Smisek took the windfall United got over the past year from dramatically lower fuel prices and used it to gin up the airline’s stock price. It rose 2 percent immediately after the buyback announcement. That was great for Smisek because the majority of his compensation was based on stock value. It wasn’t so great for United. Or its workers. Or communities that support the airports from which United flies. Smisek wouldn’t use a penny of that $3 billion to solve United’s problems with computers, on-time arrival, customer satisfaction or labor relations. He let those problems mount, weakening United as a corporation. He took out of the corporation billions that could have been used to fix them. United workers denounced the move. Capt. Jay Heppner, chairman of the leadership council of the Air Line Pilots Association branch at United and a member of the United board of directors, wrote his fellow 12,500 pilots about Smisek’s lack of vision: “buying back shares of a company's stock signals to investors that executive management cannot think of anything better to do with its excess cash.” A truckload of United cash – $8.4 million now, and as much as $13.2 million more later – will leave the corporation with Smisek, despite his failures to resolve the airline’s problems and the fact that he remains the subject of a federal corruption investigation. A huge chunk of those payments depends on stock price – which, of course, Smisek manipulated with his $3 billion buyback. Research by University of Massachusetts Economics Professor William Lazonick has established the relationship between worker wage stagnation since the 1970s and increased corporate expenditures on stock buybacks and dividends. Lazonick wrote about it in a paper titled “Profits Without Prosperity”: “As a result, the very people we rely on to make investments in the productive capabilities that will increase our shared prosperity are instead devoting most of their companies’ profits to uses that will increase their own prosperity—with unsurprising results.” Lazonick found that from 2003 to 2012, the 449 companies in the S&P index used 54 percent of their earnings to buy back their own stock and 37 percent for dividends. That left only 9 percent for investment in research, development and worker pay. This reversed historical trends. After World War II, until the late 1970s, Lazonick’s research found, companies retained earnings and reinvested them to build corporate capabilities and worth, including decent pay raises for workers whose labor made the firms competitive. Lazonick calls this value creation. At that time, the share of U.S. income taken by the top 0.1 percent of households stood at the lowest point in the past century. In the 1970s, corporations began allocating increasing portions of profits for stock buybacks and dividends. Lazonick calls this value extraction. CEOs withdraw value, serve themselves and leave corporate shells. To support value extraction, many corporations also suck communities dry, demanding tax breaks, free installation of infrastructure like roads and rail spurs and tax-supported worker training. They threaten communities that don’t comply. United made such demands of the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York. At a September, 2011, dinner in Manhattan, Smisek told the then-chairman of the Port Authority, David Samson, that United wanted help paying for a new maintenance hangar, expanded transit service from Lower Manhattan to the Newark, N.J., airport and other goodies. Samson told Smisek that he wanted United to reinstate money-losing direct flights from Newark to Columbia, S.C., where Samson had a vacation home. Three months after Smisek and Samson dined, the Port Authority agreed to give United $10 million for the hangar.  Soon afterward, United began arranging the flight to Columbia that Samson wanted, dubbed the “chairman’s flight.”  Just weeks after those flights began, the Port Authority approved the expanded transit service to Newark that United wanted. This all came to light after Samson resigned last year at the height of the Bridgegate scandal. That involved aides to Gov. Chris Christie closing Fort Lee, N.J., lanes to the Port Authority’s George Washington Bridge in 2013 in retaliation for the town’s Democratic mayor refusing to endorse Christie, a Republican. United cancelled the “chairman’s flights” almost immediately after Samson quit as authority chairman. By then, though, Smisek’s corporation had already gotten most of what it wanted out of the government agency that is supposed to serve the public. The Port Authority paid for what Smisek wanted – although United clearly has plenty of dough to cover its own costs – at least $3 billion anyway. The Smisek-Samson dealings are the subject of a federal corruption investigation. But what’s more corrosive to workers, communities and corporations is CEOs spending more and more on stock buybacks and dividends and investing less and less in research, development and workers. Lazonick, director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness, says it best:  “If the United States is to achieve growth that distributes income equitably and provides stable employment, government and business leaders must take steps to bring both stock buybacks and executive pay under control. The nation’s economic health depends on it.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

14 сентября 2015, 14:31

Disgraced United CEO Jeff Smisek Is the Reason for Income Inequality

Jeff Smisek, the guy forced by scandal to resign last week as CEO of the world’s fourth-largest airline, is a major reason American workers can’t get a raise. Smisek and his overpaid boardroom buddies nationwide have swindled American workers and American communities in a scam to amass wealth for themselves and well-heeled stockholders. They’ve extracted value from corporations and put it in their pockets and shareholders’ purses almost to the complete exclusion of investing in their corporations to create new wealth and prosperity. CEOs like Smisek began sucking the financial lifeblood out of corporations in the 1970s. That’s when corporations stopped raising worker wages in tandem with rises in productivity and curbed research and development. Instead, corporations spent increasing portions of profit on dividends and stock buybacks. This goosed CEO compensation while squashing worker pay. Over four decades, it has degraded corporations and produced the worst income inequality since the Great Depression.  Smisek’s failed leadership at United Airlines illustrates exactly how this CEO self-dealing scheme works to the advantage of wealthy executives and shareholders while damaging workers, communities, customers and corporations. Under Smisek, passengers, workers and taxpayers found the skies decidedly unfriendly. Ever since United and Continental Airlines merged, at Smisek’s urging, the corporation’s computer system has failed repeatedly, inconveniencing United customers.  Months of computer glitches ensued immediately after United combined systems with Continental in 2012, and since then problems plagued fliers six times, including one in July that temporarily grounded the United fleet globally, and one last week that delayed 4,900 flights for as long as 90 minutes. This may help explain why United ranked dead last among major domestic carriers in this year’s J.D. Power airline satisfaction survey, which measures performance in seven areas including costs, fees, in-flight service and reservations. Customers have complained bitterly about United’s ill-treatment of fliers. And it gets low scores for arriving on time. In June, its performance was by far the worst among the largest domestic carriers. It improved slightly in July, so it was tied for last. In addition, in five years, Smisek failed to complete combined labor agreements with two major unions, the Association of Flight Attendants representing 21,000, and the Teamsters representing 9,000 mechanics. Smisek made sure he had a personal contract with United guaranteeing him a golden parachute worth millions no matter how badly he performed. But he didn’t do anything for the workers who make sure planes and passengers are safe. Just two months before scandal would force Smisek to resign, he announced United would buy back $3 billion in stock. Smisek took the windfall United got over the past year from dramatically lower fuel prices and used it to gin up the airline’s stock price. It rose 2 percent immediately after the buyback announcement. That was great for Smisek because the majority of his compensation was based on stock value. It wasn’t so great for United. Or its workers. Or communities that support the airports from which United flies. Smisek wouldn’t use a penny of that $3 billion to solve United’s problems with computers, on-time arrival, customer satisfaction or labor relations. He let those problems mount, weakening United as a corporation. He took out of the corporation billions that could have been used to fix them. United workers denounced the move. Capt. Jay Heppner, chairman of the leadership council of the Air Line Pilots Association branch at United and a member of the United board of directors, wrote his fellow 12,500 pilots about Smisek’s lack of vision: “buying back shares of a company's stock signals to investors that executive management cannot think of anything better to do with its excess cash.” A truckload of United cash – $8.4 million now, and as much as $13.2 million more later – will leave the corporation with Smisek, despite his failures to resolve the airline’s problems and the fact that he remains the subject of a federal corruption investigation. A huge chunk of those payments depends on stock price – which, of course, Smisek manipulated with his $3 billion buyback. Research by University of Massachusetts Economics Professor William Lazonick has established the relationship between worker wage stagnation since the 1970s and increased corporate expenditures on stock buybacks and dividends. Lazonick wrote about it in a paper titled “Profits Without Prosperity”: “As a result, the very people we rely on to make investments in the productive capabilities that will increase our shared prosperity are instead devoting most of their companies’ profits to uses that will increase their own prosperity—with unsurprising results.” Lazonick found that from 2003 to 2012, the 449 companies in the S&P index used 54 percent of their earnings to buy back their own stock and 37 percent for dividends. That left only 9 percent for investment in research, development and worker pay. This reversed historical trends. After World War II, until the late 1970s, Lazonick’s research found, companies retained earnings and reinvested them to build corporate capabilities and worth, including decent pay raises for workers whose labor made the firms competitive. Lazonick calls this value creation. At that time, the share of U.S. income taken by the top 0.1 percent of households stood at the lowest point in the past century. In the 1970s, corporations began allocating increasing portions of profits for stock buybacks and dividends. Lazonick calls this value extraction. CEOs withdraw value, serve themselves and leave corporate shells. To support value extraction, many corporations also suck communities dry, demanding tax breaks, free installation of infrastructure like roads and rail spurs and tax-supported worker training. They threaten communities that don’t comply. United made such demands of the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York. At a September, 2011, dinner in Manhattan, Smisek told the then-chairman of the Port Authority, David Samson, that United wanted help paying for a new maintenance hangar, expanded transit service from Lower Manhattan to the Newark, N.J., airport and other goodies. Samson told Smisek that he wanted United to reinstate money-losing direct flights from Newark to Columbia, S.C., where Samson had a vacation home. Three months after Smisek and Samson dined, the Port Authority agreed to give United $10 million for the hangar.  Soon afterward, United began arranging the flight to Columbia that Samson wanted, dubbed the “chairman’s flight.”  Just weeks after those flights began, the Port Authority approved the expanded transit service to Newark that United wanted. This all came to light after Samson resigned last year at the height of the Bridgegate scandal. That involved aides to Gov. Chris Christie closing Fort Lee, N.J., lanes to the Port Authority’s George Washington Bridge in 2013 in retaliation for the town’s Democratic mayor refusing to endorse Christie, a Republican. United cancelled the “chairman’s flights” almost immediately after Samson quit as authority chairman. By then, though, Smisek’s corporation had already gotten most of what it wanted out of the government agency that is supposed to serve the public. The Port Authority paid for what Smisek wanted – although United clearly has plenty of dough to cover its own costs – at least $3 billion anyway. The Smisek-Samson dealings are the subject of a federal corruption investigation. But what’s more corrosive to workers, communities and corporations is CEOs spending more and more on stock buybacks and dividends and investing less and less in research, development and workers. Lazonick, director of the Center for Industrial Competitiveness, says it best:  “If the United States is to achieve growth that distributes income equitably and provides stable employment, government and business leaders must take steps to bring both stock buybacks and executive pay under control. The nation’s economic health depends on it.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.