The 10 best airports in Asia….Singapore’s Changi Airport is again Number One !!!

 

Leading consumer aviation website Skytrax has published its latest annual World Airport Awards, and for the third consecutive year, Singapore’s Changi International Airport took the crown as the world’s best airport. However, Changi isn’t the only world class facility of its kind in Asia — which is why Skytrax has released its list of the 10 best airports in Asia.

The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of over 13 million flyers from 106 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.

10. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)

Yearly passengers: 47.5 million

Previous rank:10

Why it’s awesome: Kuala Lumpur International is one of southeast Asia’s busiest airports and serves as home base to both AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.

The airport is located just 35 miles south of the Malaysian capital and is easily accessible by road and rail. KL International is home to one of the most unique features in all of aviation, an in-airport jungle, complete with waterfall. Called the KLIA Jungle Boardwalk, the nature area is located in the airport’s Satellite Terminal.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2013, provided by Airports Council International.

9. Taiwan Taoyuan international Airport (TPE)

Yearly passengers: 34 million

Previous rank: 9

Why it’s awesome: Located just outside of the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, Taoyuan International is the largest airport in Taiwan. The airport is the home base for both China Airlines and EVA Air.

Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for its polite service, clean environment, and speedy immigration lines. Taoyuan was also once home to Taiwan’s aviation museum, but the museum was shut down earlier this year to make way for further airport expansion.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided byTaoyuan International Airport.

8. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)

Yearly passengers: 83.7 million

Previous rank: 6

Why it’s awesome: As the second-busiest airport in the world, Beijing’s Capital Airport has played a major role in the Chinese capital’s explosive growth.

With this growth, the airport has built new facilities and upgraded its infrastructure. Capital’s Terminal 3 was rated as the 10th-best terminal in the world.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2013, provided by Airports Council International.

7. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

Yearly passengers: 35.6 million

Previous rank: 8

Why it’s awesome: Narita is the first of the two Tokyo airports to appear on the list. Located 35 miles outside of Japanese capital, Narita handles the majority of the international traffic going in and out of the city. The airport serves as a major hub for ANA, Japan Airlines, Delta, and United.

Skytrax reviewers lauded the airport for its efficient and friendly staff, clean facilities, and abundant dining options.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided byNarita International Airport.

6. Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Yearly passengers: 20 million

Previous rank: 7

Why it’s awesome: Located on an artificial island in the Osaka Bay, Kansai International is a major hub for ANA and Japan Airlines.

Reviewers on Skytrax praised Kansai for its modern architecture, spotless facilities, and helpful staff. The airport also boasts a Sky View observation deck that affords passengers spectacular views of incoming and outgoing flights.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided byNew Kansai International Airport.

5. Central Japan International Airport (NGO

Yearly passengers: 9.8 million

Previous rank: 5

Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island in the middle of Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya, Central Japan International — also known as Centrair — serves as a hub for Japan Airlines and ANA.

Centrair holds the distinction as the best regional airport in the world.

It has a 1,000-foot-long sky deck where passengers can watch ships sail into Nagoya Port. There’s also a traditional Japanese bathhouse where you can have a relaxing soak while watching the sunset over the bay.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided by Skytrax.

4. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Yearly passengers: 63.1 million

Previous rank: 3

Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island off the coast of Hong Kong, HKG has become one of the most popular facilities in the world since it opened in 1998.

One of the busiest airports in Asia, Hong Kong International serves as the home to Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, and Dragonair.

Be sure to play a round at the SkyCity Nine Eagles golf course near Terminal 2.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided by Airports Council International.

3. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)

Yearly passengers: 72.8 million

Previous rank: 4

Why it’s awesome: Haneda is one of two major international airports that serve the Tokyo area. Located a few miles away from the heart of the Japanese capital, Haneda has proved to be a popular port of entry for business travelers and tourists.

The world’s fourth-busiest airport, Haneda is know for its service efficiency, cleanliness, and shopping.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided by Airports Council International.

2. Incheon International Airport (ICN)

Yearly passengers: 41.7 million

Previous rank: 2

Why it’s awesome: Once again, Incheon is the world’s second best airport. Located on an island just outside of the South Korean capital, Incheon is home base to Korean Air and is the 24th-busiest airport in the world. It opened in 2001.

Incheon’s highly regarded facilities feature an array of shopping and dining options, in addition to a bevy of cultural performances. The airport even has a Korean culture museum.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2013, provided by Airports Council International

1. Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)

Photo courtesy of Singapore Changi Airport

Yearly passengers: 54 million

Previous rank: 1

Why it’s awesome: For the fourth year in a row, Changi takes the crown as the world’s best airport. Changi serves as home to Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and Tigerair and is the 16th busiest airport in the world.

The Singaporean airport has received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and broad offering of dining and shopping options.

Flyers passing through are treated to movie theaters, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2014, provided by Airports Council International.

Source….www.businessinsider.com

natarjan

This is how much time it should take to escape a crashed airliner….

 

A Emirates Boeing 777-300 crashed landed and burst into flames at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday.

Fortunately, the airline has confirmed that all 300 passengers and crew on board the flight made it to safety before the aircraft became engulfed in flames.

Which leads us to the question, how long does it take to evacuate a crashed airliner?

Believe it or not, federal regulations dictate that all modern airliners capable of carrying more than 44 passengers must be able to be fully evacuated in less than 90 seconds.

In addition, in order to be certified to fly, new airliners or even new derivatives of existing airliners must pass an evacuation test. The tests involve simulated emergency situations in which all passengers and crew must exit the aircraft in pitch-black darkness using only half of the available emergency escapes.

In 2006, the Airbus A380 superjumbo managed to pass the test by evacuating 853 passengers, 18 crew, and two pilots in just 78 seconds, Flight Global reported.  The Boeing 777-200 passed the evacuation test in 1994 in 84 seconds, Quartz reported. The aircraft involved in the Emirates crash is an elongated 777-300. According to the AP, the aircraft was not subject to its own evacuation test. Instead, it was certified by extrapolating the test results of the 777-200 with the addition of two emergency exits.

These tests are generally conducted using the aircraft type’s maximum passenger capacity which means that aircraft in service are equipped with far fewer seats. For instance, the A380 was evacuation tested with 853 passengers. In operation these days, most of the superjumbos fly with around 500 seats.

However, it should also be noted that these test are also conducted in a laboratory conditions that are calm and organised. The hectic nature of an actual emergency evacuation may slow down the time it takes to empty an aircraft.

As a result, experts recommend that passengers select seats within three rows of an emergency exit. In addition, passengers should be aware of the location of the nearest emergency exit at all times.

Here’s a video of the Airbus A380 evacuation test:

Source….www.businessinsider.com.au

Natarajan

Worlds Safest Airlines …Top 20….” Qantas is in Top of the list for the 3rd Year ” …

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Nervous flyer?  Just want to know you’re traveling with a reliable airline? Find out who are the world’s safest airlines.

AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating website, which was launched in June 2013, has announced its top twenty safest airlines and top ten safest low cost airlines for 2016 from the 407 it monitors.

Top of the list for the third year is Australia’s Qantas, which has a fatality free record in the jet era – an extraordinary record. Making up the remainder of the top twenty in alphabetical order are: Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airline System, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia.

AirlineRatings.com’s rating system takes into account a range of factors related to audits from aviation’s governing bodies and lead associations as well as government audits and the airline’s fatality record. AirlineRating.com’s editorial team, one of the world’s most awarded and experienced, also examined each airline’s operational history, incident records and operational excellence to arrive at its top twenty safest airlines.

The AirlineRatings.com top twenty have always been at the forefront of safety innovation and launching of new aircraft and these airlines have become a byword for excellence. Responding to public interest, the AirlineRatings.com editors also identified their top ten safest low cost airlines.

They are in alphabetical order: Aer Lingus, Flybe, HK Express, Jetblue, Jetstar AustraliaThomas Cook, TUI Fly, Virgin AmericaVolaris and Westjet.

Unlike a number of low cost carriers, these airlines have all passed the stringent International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and have excellent safety records.
Of the 407 airlines surveyed, 148 have the top seven-star safety ranking but almost 50 have just three stars or less. There are 10 airlines with only one star and these airlines are from Indonesia, Nepal and Surinam.

In selecting Qantas as the world’s safest airline AirlineRatings.com editors noted that over its 95-year history the world’s oldest continuously operating airline has amassed an extraordinary record of firsts in operations and safety and is now accepted as the industry’s most experienced carrier.

The Australian airline has been a leader in: the development of the Future Air Navigation System; the Flight Data Recorder to monitor plane and later crew performance; automatic landings using Global Navigation Satellite System as well as precision approaches around mountains in cloud using RNP. Qantas was the lead airline with real time monitoring of its engines across its fleet using satellite communications, which has enabled the airline to detect problems before they become a major safety issue.

Last year was a disturbing year for airline safety with some tragic and bizarre accidents such as the high profile GermanWings and Metrojet disasters. However according to Aviation-Safety.net data, the 16 accidents in 2015 with 560 fatalities were below the 10-year average of 31 accidents and 714 fatalities. Last year was also a significant improvement over 2014 when there were 21 fatal accidents with 986 fatalities.

Balancing these numbers the world’s airlines carried a record 3.6 billion passengers on 34 million flights in 2015.

Flashback 50 years and there were a staggering 87 crashes killing 1,597 when airlines carried only 141 million passengers – 5 per cent of today’s number.

– See more at: http://www.airlineratings.com/news/630/who-are-the-worlds-safest-airlines-for-2016#sthash.d2MKORhu.dpuf

Source….www.airlineratings.com

Natarajan

Cabin Pressure and Oxygen Supply Aboard Commercial Aircraft….

How Cabin Pressure and Oxygen Supplies are Maintained Aboard Commercial Aircraft

Because the economics of having large oxygen tanks aboard airliners simply doesn’t work out (not to mention that the air quality inside the plane would rapidly become unpleasant if fresh air wasn’t constantly supplied, regardless of the oxygen levels), commercial airplanes have a very clever system installed to solve the problem of ultra-low pressure atmosphere at cruising altitudes.

In most modern airliners (the Boeing 787 Dreamliner not withstanding), outside air is “bled off” from the compressor stage of the turbine engines and eventually piped into the passenger areas. However, a bit of processing is needed first as the compressed air is extremely hot (on the order of nearly 400 degrees Fahrenheit

or 200 degrees Celsius) at this stage. Thus, before it enters the passenger compartment, it is first allowed to expand and is run through a heat exchanger and air cycle system to cool it off sufficiently. This system also can work as a heater, with some of the hot air mixed in with the cooled air to regulate cabin temperature.

1280px-Turbofan_operation.svgOnce cooled and filtered, the pressurized air, which now has sufficient oxygen density to keep people happily conscious, is piped into the cabin area, usually at levels around 12 psi (about equivalent to atmospheric pressure at 7,000 feet).  Why 12 psi instead of something like sea-level pressures of about 14.7 psi? 12 psi is sufficient for the majority of passengers while simultaneously reducing the structural strain on the aircraft itself over something like sea level atmospheric pressures.

As for the air already in the cabin, this is vented out through an outflow valve (or multiple valves in larger aircraft), usually located near the rear of the plane. (FunNote: Before smoking was banned on commercial aircraft, the area around this outflow valve was generally stained dark brown from tobacco smoke.)

This outflow valve opens and closes automatically to maintain a steady pressure inside the cabin, while the entire system is ensuring that fresh air is continually being piped into and eventually blown out of the aircraft. In fact, while many complain of airplanes seeming “stuffy,” this system ensures that all the air in the aircraft is being completely replaced on average every 2-3 minutes. Yes, that means that your car, house or office is likely significantly more “stuffy” than a commercial airplane flying at 35,000 feet.

(Note: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner handles cabin pressurization a little differently, using a modernized version of the old, somewhat inefficient, electric compressor system seen on many older aircraft.)

Unfortunately, sometimes planes lose cabin pressure. Whatever the cause, the loss of pressure (usually set at atmospheric pressures past 14,000 ft) will result in oxygen masks deploying. From here, useful consciousness may only last as little as 5-15 seconds, depending on remaining cabin pressure, which is why it’s critical to immediately put your mask on, rather than helping someone else first. You can help them much better when you’re not unconscious or dead.

So how do these airline oxygen masks actually work? It turns out, the economics of having a centralized oxygen tank to provide even emergency oxygen for passengers likewise simply doesn’t add up. Similarly, having tiny individual pressurized oxygen tanks also isn’t feasible. In fact, these masks aren’t hooked up to any tank or air line at all. So how are you able to breathe oxygen through them?
Science.

While designs can vary slightly, in general, when you pull on the device to place it over your face, the tug on the mask’s lanyard releases a spring-loaded mechanism that sets off a small explosive charge. (Yep.) The resulting spark triggers a mixture of lead styphnate and tetracene to generate heat, which will eventually cause a chemical reaction that produces oxygen for your mask. (This is why they tell you to tug on the mask to get the oxygen flowing- you’ve got to set off the explosive charge to get the whole thing going.)

That’s right. What you breathe through the mask didn’t begin as pure oxygen. Rather, the plane is equipped with numerous small chemical oxygen generators (also known as “oxygen candles,” about the size of a small package of tennis balls) which contain a mixture of mostly sodium chlorate (NaClO3), less than 5% barium peroxide (BaO2) and less than 1% potassium perchlorate (KClO4). When these chemicals are heated by the lead styphnate and tetracene, each undergoes a reaction that ultimately results in a fair bit of filtered, life sustaining oxygen running through the tube to you.
Of course, you might also smell a faint burning odor, but this is nothing to be alarmed about; it just assures you that the system is working. In fact, if the plane is actually on fire, the masks usually won’t deploy, so as not to make the fire worse with the extra oxygen.

This brings us to the question of why the plastic bag on the breathing apparatus won’t necessarily inflate as you’re using the device. More than just cosmetic, the bags serve as something of a reservoir for oxygen. If you aren’t taking a breath at all (and have a good seal with the mask tight against your face) the bag keeps the precious, continuously flowing oxygen from escaping into the thin air around you, enabling more of the collected oxygen to be taken in when you do take a breath.  When this is happening, or you are breathing out with the valves on the mask releasing much of the used air, the bag may begin to inflate as oxygen collects. When you breathe in, it will deflate.

So why won’t it always inflate at least a little to show its working? To begin with, you may not have a great seal with the mask on your face, particularly if you have facial hair.  This will allow any produced oxygen (and air you exhale) to more readily escape. (As long as the mask is reasonably secure on your face,

this should still provide you with sufficient oxygen to get by on as long as the plane isn’t flying above 40,000 feet and the pilot does his or her job and gets the plane down below 10,000 feet as rapidly as safely possible.)

Even if you have a good seal, however, the rate at which the oxygen is generated is often not enough to fully inflate the masks’ bag before you take deep, potentially panicky breaths, deflating it. This is simply because the oxygen generation isn’t on-demand (for the passengers anyway), but simply a continuous-flow production of oxygen.

Despite the potentially slow production, the chemical oxygen generators do provide oxygen at a sufficient rate to sustain passengers, generally designed such that peak oxygen production occurs right away (when the plane may be at very high altitude) with the oxygen production rates tailing off over the course of approximately 12-20 minutes before the system burns itself out.

This should be long enough for the pilots to get the plane low enough so that the air pressure is high enough for (relatively) normal atmospheric breathing. And if you’ve ever been lucky enough to be in this sort of situation, you know that those pilots can get the plane from altitudes like 35,000+ feet to safer atmospheric levels alarmingly quickly in an emergency; while it may not be literally true, it at least can seem like roller coasters have nothing on them, which is a good thing in this case.

Source….www.today i foundout.com

natarajan

 

Top 10 Airports in the World ….Singapore Changi International Airport takes the Crown for the 4th Year in row…

1. Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)Yearly passengers: 54 million

Previous rank: 1

Why it’s awesome: For the fourth year in a row, Changi takes the crown as the world’s best airport. Changi serves as home to Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and Tigerair and is the 16th busiest airport in the world.

The Singaporean airport has received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and broad offering of dining and shopping options.

Flyers passing through are treated to movie theaters, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.

2.. Incheon International Airport (ICN)

Yearly passengers: 41.7 million

Previous rank: 2

Why it’s awesome: Once again, Incheon is the world’s second best airport. Located on an island just outside of the South Korean capital, Incheon is home base to Korean Air and is the 24th-busiest airport in the world. It opened in 2001.

Incheon’s highly regarded facilities feature an array of shopping and dining options, in addition to a bevy of cultural performances. The airport even has a Korean culture museum.

3. Munich Airport (MUC)

Yearly passengers: 38.7 million

Previous rank: 3

Why it’s awesome: Located northeast of downtown Munich, MUC is one of the busiest airports in Europe and the second-busiest in Germany, after Frankfurt.

Munich serves as a major hub for Air Berlin, Lufthansa, and Condor and it features airy glass-heavy architecture. A nearby visitors park features minigolf and a display of historic aircraft.

4. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)

Yearly passengers: 72.8 million

Previous rank: 5

Why it’s awesome: Haneda is one of two major international airports that serve the Tokyo area. Located a few miles away from the heart of the Japanese capital, Haneda has proved to be a popular port of entry for business travelers and tourists.

The world’s fourth-busiest airport, Haneda is know for its service efficiency, cleanliness, and shopping.

5. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

Yearly passengers: 63.1 million

Previous rank: 4

Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island off the coast of Hong Kong, HKG has become one of the most popular facilities in the world since it opened in 1998.

One of the busiest airports in Asia, Hong Kong International serves as the home to Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, and Dragonair.

Be sure to play a round at the SkyCity Nine Eagles golf course near Terminal 2.

6. Central Japan International Airport (NGO)

Yearly passengers: 9.8 million

Previous rank: 7

Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island in the middle of Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya, Central Japan International — also known as Centrair — serves as a focus city for Japan Airlines and ANA.

Centrair holds the distinction as the best regional airport in the world.

It has a 1,000-foot-long sky deck where passengers can watch ships sail into Nagoya Port. There’s also a traditional Japanese bathhouse where you can have a relaxing soak while watching the sunset over the bay.

7. Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Yearly passengers: 25.5 million

Previous rank: 6

Why it’s awesome: Just eight miles from the heart of Zurich, the airport serves as the home for Swiss International Air Lines and as a hub linking Switzerland’s largest city with the rest of the country.

For passengers with an extended layover, Zurich Airport offers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.

8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Yearly passengers: 73.4 million

Previous rank: 8

Why it’s awesome: Heathrow is the world’s third-busiest airport and the largest of the five primary airports serving London.

Heathrow is in the midst of a major renovation with the addition of a brand new Terminal 2 building. It’s eight-year-old Terminal 5 building was named the best airport terminal in the world by Skytrax.

Heathrow serves as the main hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

9. Kansai International Airport (KIX)

Yearly passengers: 20 million

Previous rank: 12

Why it’s awesome: Located on an artificial island in the Osaka Bay, Kansai International is a major hub for ANA and Japan Airlines.

Reviewers on Skytrax praised Kansai for its modern architecture, spotless facilities, and helpful staff. The airport also boasts a Sky View observation deck that affords passengers spectacular views of incoming and outgoing flights.

10. Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH)

Yearly passengers: 30 million

Previous rank: 22

Why it’s awesome: Hamad International opened for business in 2014 and is now home to Qatar Airways.

The airport and its two terminals sit on 5,400 acres of land and cost $16 billion to construct. Skytrax describes the facility as the “the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world, as well as being the most luxurious.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards

http://www.worldairportawards.com

Natarajan

 

 

 

Butcher’s Broom: Can Fruits Grow on Leaves…….?

Butcher’s Broom, or Ruscus aculeatus, is a low-growing perennial shrub with tough, erect, stems and very rigid leaves that terminate in a sharp spine. From the center of the leaves grow small greenish-white flowers that blossom in early spring and develop into red berries in autumn. The tiny red berries are attached directly to the leaves by a short stem, making it a very strange looking plant.

The Butcher’s broom, however, is not breaking any rules of the plant kingdom, because what appears to be leaves are actually modified stems called cladodes, that have been flattened to not only look like leaves but serve their function as well.

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Photo credit: Gil Costa/Flickr

 

Butcher’s broom is widely distributed, from Iran to the Mediterranean and the southern United States. They have been used for more than 2,000 years as laxative and diuretic and to treat various ailments such as hemorrhoids, varicose veins, itching, and swelling. The young shoots of the plant are also eaten like those of asparagus. The stiff twigs were once bundled together and used by butchers to keep their cutting boards clean, from which came its common English name: butcher’s broom. It is also known by others names such as “Knee Holly”, because of its knee height, “Jew’s Myrtle”, for its use during the Feast of Tabernacles, “Sweet Broom” and “Pettigree”, although its meaning is not clear.

Extracts of butcher’s broom have been used throughout the ages, but the medicinal use of this plant did not become common until the last century. Investigation in the 1950s indicated that butcher’s broom could induce constriction of veins, because of which it is still widely used for treating certain circulatory diseases. It also contains an alkaloid which inhibits the passing of sodium ions across the cell membrane and thus is an effective anti-arrhythmic substance.

Butcher’s broom is also widely planted in gardens and its berries used as decorations.

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Photo credit: www.herbco.com

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Photo credit: stories.rbge.org.uk

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Photo credit: herbier.sesa-aude.fr

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Photo credit: Franz Xaver/Wikimedia

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Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert/Flickr

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Photo credit: Katya/Flickr

Sources: Drugs.com / Botanical.com / Plant World Seeds via mantisshrimp.wordpress.com

Source….www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajan

How to see a solar eclipse at 35,000 ft in the air?…. Here’s the answer!

It’s very rare that a company fulfill its customer’s wish. And that too at about 35,000 feet in the air.

But Alaska Airlines has done that by changing its flight path on Tuesday, so that passengers could enjoy the view of solar eclipse.

IMAGE: Treat your eyes with this breathtaking view. Solar eclipse from Alaska Airlines flight. Photograph: Alaska Airlines/Twitter 

The airliner made this plan a year ago when one of the passengers, Joseph Rao, who is the associate astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, informed it that Alaska Airlines flight 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu would intersect the eclipse’s path.

But there was a catch. The flight’s scheduled departure time was 25 minutes too early to see the eclipse.

After several deliberations the airline decided to adjust the timing to give passengers a chance to witness the grand spectacle.

HERE (external link) is the full video.

IMAGE: Solar eclipse from Alaska Airlines flight. Photograph: Alaska Airlines/Twitter

Source…..www.rediff.com

Natarajan

Qatar Airways to snatch Emirates title of world’s longest commercial flight…!!!

Emirates cannot hold claim to the world’s longest route – a service from their hub in Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand – for much longer. Fellow Gulf carrier, Qatar Airways have announced their service from Doha to Auckland to begin in December.

Qatar Airways to steal Emirates title of world’s longest commercial flight

The world’s longest commercial flight, Emirates’ non-stop service from Dubai to Auckland, may have only begun on 1 March, but it will not be the world’s longest by the end of the year. Qatar Airways has announced their first route to New Zealand, serving Doha to Auckland, to begin service on 3 December.

Qatar will use the Boeing 777 aircraft to serve the route, which was announced by His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker on the opening day of the world’s largest international travel fair, ITB Berlin. In January, Mr. Al Baker had announced the carrier was looking closely at introducing a non-stop service to Auckland as part of extension plans at Bahrain International Airshow.

The service will cover a distance of 14,539 kilometres which will beat out Emirates’ route to Auckland by 339 km. The flight time is believed to be around 18 hours 34 minutes, whereas from Dubai the flight time averages at 17 hours 15 minutes. Emirates was due to add a non-stop service between Dubai and Panama City in February, which was postponed until 31 March 2016. This service would have been the world’s longest in terms of flight time – around 17 hours 35 minutes – but shorter by distance. The route now will not launch until late 2016 or 2017.

The Gulf carrier had intended on launching the Doha-Auckland direct service in June, but held off until the end of the year. His Excellency, Mr. Al Baker said: “We are not going to chicken out, we will definitely fly to Auckland but as a respect to Emirates as they have already launched a direct flight we will wait until the end of the year before we will operate.”

These new services highlight the growing demand of Auckland Airport, and Auckland as a destination. For January 2016, when the airport celebrated 50 years since their official opening, 893,314 international passengers were welcomed. This is the highest number of international passengers ever for a single month, with 43,000 more passengers than December 2015, the previous month with the highest number of international passengers. Compared to January 2015, numbers increased by 9.3 percent.

Auckland Airport were the overall winners of the Routes Asia edition of the Routes 2016 Marketing Awards, which was announced at the event in Manila, Philippines. It is the first time the airport has received the highly regarded accolade, who was also named the winner of the 4-20 million passengers category. The respected panel of judges who chose Auckland Airport was made up of senior members of the airline network planning community.

As overall winners, Auckland Airport are automatically shortlisted for their category at World Routes Awards in Chengdu, China on September 26, 2016.

After receiving the award, Peppy Adi-Purnomo, South East Asia and India Development Manager, Auckland Airport said: “All the work we do is about ‘win win’ and developing a scenario that the business case to airlines work to deliver sustainable air services. We are not interested about short-term success but always look at the long-term and developing a relationship that is right for the airline and also for us at the airport.”

Source….Laura Hamill
Content Executive, Routesonline in www. routesonline.com

Natarajan

” I Survived the Pan Am Hijack During Which Neerja Bhanot Lost Her Life…”

Musician Nayan Pancholi recounts how he lost his eye but survived the Pan Am flight hijack in 1986.

It was September 5, 1986. Our tickets got confirmed at the last moment on Pan-Am Flight-73, which was headed from Mumbai to New York, via Karachi and Frankfurt. We were a group of singers and music composers from Ahmedabad, who were going to perform in different cities of USA. At that time, I was just 21 years old. Our flight took off from Mumbai and landed in Karachi around 4.30 a.m. There were some passengers who got off at Karachi. Cleaners entered the aircraft and were just about the leave. This is when four armed men in airport security clothes entered the aircraft from the business class side. We were seated in economy class at the rear of the plane.

Suddenly, there were screams and three or four shots were fired in the air. One terrorist had a machine gun in his hand, another had grenades and a belt full of bullets, while the other two had many guns and grenades with them.

Everyone was told to have their hands locked above their heads. I just can’t forget that sight. Two terrorists were standing in the front and the other two were standing near the rear. In no time, Neerja Bhanot, the senior flight purser, informed the captain and the other crew members in the cockpit to flee the aircraft.

The captain, the co-pilot, and the cockpit crew had left the aircraft. Except Neerja, all other flight attendants were tied up with ropes. The terrorists used Neerja to communicate with the airline.

There were more than 350 passengers in the plane. To scare us, they even killed a person named Rakesh Kumar and threw him out of the plane.

Then, they started collecting our passports. Somehow, Neerja hid some passports of American citizens under the seats. They kept on shouting and screaming at us in Arabic and continued firing shots in the air. After some time, in the afternoon, they offered us sandwiches. But who on earth can eat food in such a difficult situation?

In the evening, they allowed everyone to go to the toilet, one after the other, by crawling on the floor with our hands locked over our heads.

I still remember, exactly after 17 hours of them hijacking the flight, the fuel ran out. Due to this, the generator of the plane went off, leading to darkness. After the lights went off, the terrorists panicked and started firing aggressively at us. They also started throwing grenades.

I saw many people die in front of my eyes.

Nayan Pancholi was just 21 years old, when the Pan Am flight was hijacked in Karachi.

Nayan Pancholi was just 21 years old when the Pan Am flight was hijacked in Karachi.

My own group director and another girl from the group were shot dead.

I was seated near the emergency exit. I tried to open the emergency exit door, but couldn’t do it. After giving it a second try, it opened, but at the same time a grenade hit me in the left eye. And in a moment, I was down on the ground.

After that, I was taken to the terminal by the army and was later shifted to the hospital. I was given treatment at a hospital in Karachi. After 48 hours, the Indian Airlines flight took all the Indians back home. I was then taken to Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. But, my eye couldn’t be treated there. So, I was taken to Chicago in the US for treatment, but the doctors there too couldn’t save my left eye.

This incident has had a deep impact on me. It was a very bad day for humanity. That day, nobody saw religion, caste, or creed in each other. That day we saw each other as humans and wanted to help and save each other. It’s as simple as that in end.

This article has been shared via Humans of Amdavad.

About the author: Nayan Pancholi is a singer and composer based in Ahmedabad. He is one of the survivors of the Pan Am plane hijack in 1986.
Source…..www.the betterindia.com
Natarajan

This Indian granny who left thousands teary-eyed…

Uma Tembulkar

Image copyrightAnushree Fadnavis/Indus Images
Uma Tembulkar began performing in ad films at the age of 70

In the youthful world of Indian advertising, Uma Tembulkar, 78, is an unlikely celebrity model.

Ms Tembulkar is the lead in the advertisement, British Airways: Fuelled by Love, that has gone viral on YouTube and has Twitter tearing up over her.

The six-minute film, uploaded a week ago on YouTube, has had more than one million visitors and made Ms Tembulkar a welcoming face that’s beaming from a billboard at the Mumbai airport.

“Ms Tembulkar brings on a heavy dose of emotion to the ad; meaningful not melodramatic,” says advertising expert Vidhya Sankarnarayan.

“It resonates with Indians like the granny who feels dislocated on flights and connects at a human level,” she says.

An emotional flight

Ms Tembulkar said the British Airways ad was easy to enact because it had “two strangers who show kindness and compassion to each other, breaking cultural and generational barriers”.

A look at the ad would explain why she’s spot on.

The film shows a septuagenarian returning home from visiting her son in London.

She struggles while fastening the seat belt and bending over her arthritic knees to pull on her socks. A young stewardess, Helena Flynn, on her maiden flight to India, comes to her help.

The lady wells up, missing her son. The stewardess comforts her and is invited home by the elder woman.

A visit to the south Indian home is full of effusive Indian hospitality, good food and a slice of culture and a high dose of warmth.

Uma Tembulkar in advert

Uma Tembulkar in advert

Uma Tembulkar and husband

Image copyrightAnushree Fadnavis/Indus Images….Uma Tembulkar lives with husband Mahesh Tembulkar in Mumbai

Image copyrightAnushree Fadnavis/Indus Images
Image captionUma Tembulkar lives with husband Mahesh Tembulkar in Mumbai

“I wanted the ad to debunk the stereotype of the uptight British person and rude Indian traveller and Ms Tembulkar touched the right chords,” says director Neeraj Ghaywan, feted recently at the Cannes film festival.

This was the indie filmmaker’s first venture into ad filmmaking and he found Ms Tembulkar “just the perfect face of dignity and affection”.

And the social media response has been effusive praise for the ad.

Today, Ms Tembulkar gets grabbed for selfies on her morning market run to buy vegetables and milk.

Global granny

“It was an honour to act in the British Airways ad and I thoroughly enjoyed travelling to London,” she says.

Ms Tembulkar has been married for 60 years and led life as a homemaker with an enduring passion in Indian classical music that helped her “overcome fear of performing before an audience or the camera”.

She now watches over a brood of grandchildren, who are students in Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, travelling frequently to holiday with her scattered family across the globe. “My passport is the fattest,” she chuckles with quiet pride.

“My life as a model began at 70,” she speaks carefully in English, though she is also fluent in her native tongue Marathi, and Hindi, Bengali and a smattering of Gujarati too.

The actress in her was discovered by young friends at a family gathering and in the last eight years, she has acted in more than 60 advertisements for products as varied as insurance companies, furniture, cooking oils, biscuits and more.

“Look at her: she’s the quintessential Indian granny and her predicament while travelling alone is real. That has made the ad work,” says Mr Ghaywan.

He praises her as a “super granny” who travels alone frequently to visit her children and grandchildren, and understands the “emotional palette with her restrained, yet powerful performance”.

Uma Tembulkar

Image copyrightAnushree Fadnavis/Indus ….Ms Tembulkar is the archetypical Indian granny who lives in a busy suburb in Mumbai

Ageism

Experts say ageism has never been a problem in India and has always helped in selling products.

“Like the grandpas from India and Pakistan for the Google ad, age never goes out of style in Indian advertisements,” says Ms Sankarnarayan.

Unlike an earlier generation, the granny in the British Airways ad travels business class in comfort, though not schooled in global travel; she represents the old setting off alone to connect with scattered families across the world and makes a human connection that makes the ad tick.

Many say the ad helps to debunk the stereotype of the rude Indian in-flight traveller.

“Ms Tembulkar does a fantastic job of giving the contemporary Indian traveller a face,” explains Ms Sankarnarayan.

Given the soaring success of the advertisement, the sky is the limit for this granny.

Source……..

Sudha G Tilak is a Delhi-based independent journalist

Natarajan