Fresh bid to end ‘unfair’ airport fees

first_imgBut transport officials have avoided any mathematical formula for assessing ‘reasonable’ dues in a bid to make their framework as flexible as possible.Airports in the EU still often offer their national carrierscut-price charges which go well beyond the normal rebates for their best customers. Zaventem airport in Brussels has already faced action by the Commission’s Directorate-General for competition (DGIV) for favouring Sabena with heavy discounts, and other airports are also being scrutinised for possible competition abuses.The Commission’s charging framework would permit higher fees for peak-time use of airports, a normal practice in the industry. But it is not clear to what extent the measure would prevent airports from using their charges to discriminate in favour of aircraft types or start-up services.Fees are normally related to the aircraft’s weight and the number of passengers carried.However, some managements – especially those at Europe’s most congested airports – have floated the idea of imposing significantly heavier fees on smaller regional aircraft in order to price them out of the market and make space for larger, more lucrative, aircraft.This has prompted warnings from the European Regional Airlines Association that its members’ key services linking outlying cities to major centres could be threatened. The new directive is designed to help put an end to a series of discriminatory pricing practices which have continued despite the imminent arrival of full EU airline liberalisation.Airlines are often charged cheaper take-off and landing fees for national flights than for European services, even though the same type of aircraft is being used and there is very little difference in the administrative costs involved for the airport.The three-pronged measure to be proposed by Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock – calling for non-discrimination, transparency in pricing and a “reasonable relationship between charges and costs” – should also help airlines fight favoured treatment for national flag-carriers. Others have questioned what the consequences would be for subsidised charges at airports which sometimes benefit regional flights.Europe’s airport lobby said the Commission was pushing at an open door with its demands. A spokesman for the Airports Council International said more transparency in pricing would act in airports’ favour by showing that many charges were currently cross-subsidised by other operations, such as duty-free sales. He added that liberalisation of the aviation sector militated against discriminatory pricing and in favour of airports offering all newcomers the best possible deal.The proposals are due to be discussed by the full Commission on 2 April.Meanwhile, the head of German airline Lufthansa AG this week predicted a major fare war, similar to that seen in the United States in the 1980s, after Europe’s skies are fully liberalised on 1 April.Lufthansa management board chairman Jürgen Weber predicted that a new wave of upstart airlines would take on existing carriers, just as some 150 new airlines emerged in the US after deregulation.But he warned that, in the end, consumers might be hurtby the deregulation move since many companies would not survive the fight. This could lead to a small group of major airlines controlling routes and demanding higher fares than before.center_img Dawn of open skies p27last_img read more

How Aladdin Star Michael James Scott Keeps It Light and Positive These Days

first_img from $57.50 Scott appearedon #LiveAtFive from his home in California, where he lives with his husband, filmmaker Jeremy Merrifield. During this down time, they’ve been watching a lot of TV shows, such as Succession, PEN15 and catching up on RuPaul’s Drag Race. And Scott has been using the HouseParty app to stay in touch with his friends. “You can have up to eight or 10 people,” he explained. “You all can kiki in a room together. You can play games.” For Scott, it’s been helpful for him to not talk about the news with his friends. “The first week, everyone was like, ‘What is happening?’ And there’s your feeds, the TV—everyone is consumed by the pandemic that is going on. And now I’m like, how are we moving past that? Still getting our news, being informed, all those things, but what else can we talk about?”Scott, whose other Broadway credits includes Something Rotten! and The Book of Mormon, is also keeping busy. On March 27 at 4:30PM ET, he’ll be interviewing Frozen’s leading lady Ciara Renée on the Disney on Broadway Instagram channel. “It’s basically Disney on Broadway stars kiki-ing live,” he said. Scott added that he’s staying positive by practicing mindfulness. “I have off days and low times and all those things,” he admitted. “[What] resonates with me [is] to just keep a light within my soul. And that really helps me. I also depend on other people for that. I wanna laugh, so I go and look at fun videos and talk to people who also have that light. It’s always been something from my soul, what has been kind of food for my soul, is to think about positivity and light.”Watch the rest of Scott’s #LiveAtFive: Home Edition interview here.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 32:37Loaded: 0.00%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -32:37 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedEnglishAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Michael James Scott in “Aladdin” (Photo: Deen Van Meer) Michael James Scott Related Shows View Commentscenter_img Aladdin Just because Michael James Scott is stuck inside does not mean he doesn’t dress up for virtual company. For his #LiveAtFive: Home Edition interview, the actor and former vlogger, who plays Genie in Aladdin on Broadway, put on a polka-dotted shirt and a bright blue blazer. “We all need to put on a blazer or a sequined jacket or boa or something and keep it up,” he told’s Paul Wontorek. “I was like, ‘I need to put on something! I can’t just wear a T-shirt.’” Michael James Scott (Photo by Emilio Madrid for; Graphics by Ryan Casey for Star Fileslast_img read more

Heideveld housing upset

first_img Heideveld residents protest outside a house they claim is being illegally occupied. 1 of 2 The community also complained of shoddy workmanship at the housing project. This baths concrete, which is meant to secure it, collapsed. A group of Heideveld residents have accused the housing project under way in the area, of being riddled with corruption, alleging that the community liaison officer (CLO), Ivan Wrenn, took a R20 000 bribe in order to secure a house for someone.Mr Wrenn, however, has denied the allegations, and was scheduled to attend a disciplinary hearing convened by the contractor, by whom he is employed, yesterday Tuesday May 2.Residents have demanded an investigation after a woman, who is apparently from Strand, moved into a house which they claim belongs to another beneficiary and, on Tuesday April 25, the residents protested outside the house in question – 67 Helderberg Close.The group also allege that people as young as 22 years of age, were allocated houses, when others who had been on the City’s housing waiting list for many years, had still not been accommodated.They’ve also expressed their unhappiness over the shoddy workmanship of the construction teams.Pastor Matthew Booysen, who was part of the project steering committee of this housing development, said problems arose when they started questioning things.“As far as we understand, 85 percent of these houses had to go to Heideveld residents. “Then we were told only 75 percent of the locals will get houses here,” Mr Booysen said. “We know of 11 members of one family, who used to live in a nearby informal settlement, who were all given houses. Another thing they failed to implement, is that five percent of the houses had to go to pensioners who are currently living in an upstairs flat, and whose health is not that good any longer. There are people who already own property, that also moved in. There are illegal occupants here. We are tired of corruption. The City of Cape Town must evict all illegal occupants as soon as possible, or the community will evict them,” Mr Booysen said.Soraya Peters said she had to “fight” in order to be allocated a house in this project.“I have been on the housing waiting list for 31 years, but some people who applied in 2002 were allocated houses here. I had to fight my way for my right for a house. I continuously went to the local housing office to make my case heard,” Ms Peters said.Zelda Demas, also a former project steering committee member, said when rumours made the rounds that an illegal had occupant moved in, she approached the woman.“She initially told me that it was a cancellation house. That the original owner no longer wanted it. “After some prodding, we have her on video and audio, admitting that she paid Mr Wrenn an amount ofR20 000 for the house. “The people working high up in the housing directorate know nothing about what is happening on the ground, and we want them to come out here and investigate these matters,” said Ms Demas.The group claim the “original owner” had all his signed-up paperwork in order, with the property’s erf number, and all other details.They claim the paperwork shown to them by the current occupant, is completely different to what they and the other man, who claims ownership of the house, have.Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for area north, said there was no way that two people could lay claim to the same house.Ms Little explained: “It is important to understand the system of allocation correctly. With housing projects in general, beneficiaries are initially given a temporary allocation against an erf number until the construction programme becomes clear. “Once the programme is known, the project team will know which blocks (and therefore erf numbers) will be constructed first. Only then can the final allocation be done since a fair methodology needs to be followed. “Those earliest on the database, the aged, and special needs cases are usually housed first and therefore allocations must change to enable this.“No house can be allocated to two people at once. “At the start of a project, provincial government authorities allocate numbers to erven prior to erven receiving their registered numbers. “Once the erven is registered with the surveyor-general, the erf numbers may change, but even so the same number cannot be allocated to more than one beneficiary.”She confirmed that 85 percent of the houses are earmarked for people from the area.When asked about the allegation of corruption, Ms Little added: “The City will investigate all the allegations and do a survey to confirm whether the allegations have merit.”The woman who moved into the house refused to comment, saying she would wait until after Mr Wrenn’s “hearing”, which was scheduled to take place yesterday (Tuesday May 2). Mr Wrenn told Athlone News he had felt sorry for the woman, who told him she and her children had had no place to stay, but denied that he took any money from her.“The house is a cancellation house. This lady asked me for temporary accommodation. I felt sorry for her because she told me she and her children have nowhere else to go. I told her she can stay in the house just for one month. “I thought that the month might give her a chance to find alternative accommodation, because she told me they have nowhere to go. “I want to clear my name, I never took any money from her. It was a mistake to allow her to move into the house. “At the time, I didn’t think it would be a problem, now my sympathy towards her, got me into trouble,” Mr Wrenn said.center_img The community also complained of shoddy workmanship at the housing project. This baths concrete, which is meant to secure it, collapsed.last_img read more