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SIA to restart flights to New York amid ‘early signs of optimism’ in air travel recovery

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Tuesday (Oct 20) it will resume its flights to New York ..

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SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Tuesday (Oct 20) it will resume its flights to New York amid "early signs of optimism" of a recovery in air travel.

The nonstop thrice-weekly flights between Changi Airport and New York's John F Kennedy (JFK) airport will start on Nov 9, the airline said in a news release.

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“Operating to JFK International Airport would allow Singapore Airlines to better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic on its services to New York in the current operating climate,” SIA said.

The flights will also cater to the growing number of transfer passengers who can now transit via Changi Airport, it added.

READ: SIA Group passenger carriage down 98.1% in September amid ‘soft’ demand for air travel

SIA said it anticipates significant cargo demand from a range of industries based in the New York metro area, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology firms.

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"The new service will provide the only non-stop air cargo link from the US Northeast to Singapore, which serves as a regional distribution hub for many major US-based companies," it said.

SIA currently operates nonstop services to Los Angeles. The airline said it will continue to review its operations to the United States, and "assess the growing demand for air travel amid the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic", before deciding to reinstate services to other points in the US.

The Big Read: Floored by COVID-19, can SIA soar again? Fate of Singapore’s aviation hub rests on it

"EARLY SIGNS OF OPTIMISM"

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The Singapore-New York flights are an important step in rebuilding SIA's global network, said Mr Lee Lik Hsin, the airline's executive vice-president for commercial.

“Nonstop ultra-long services are the bedrock of our services to the key US market. We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return,” he said.

There were also some “early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel”, Mr Lee said. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of air travel remains unchanged and has a direct impact on economic growth and job creation, he added.

“That gives us confidence about the medium to long-term prospects for the industry."

Commentary: We must save Singapore Airlines from this existential crisis

The flight from Singapore to New York, operated under SQ24, will take 18 hours and five minutesRead More – Source

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Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh receive Covid-19 vaccine

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Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Saturday.

The inoculations were administered by a household doctor at Windsor Castle, a royal source said.
To prevent inaccuracies and further speculation, Her Majesty, who 94, decided that she would let it be known that she has had the vaccination, the source added. Her husband is 99 years old.
The couple’s son, Prince Charles, tested positive for coronavirus and went into isolation in March. The 72-year-old later said he was lucky to only experience mild symptoms, adding he’d “got away with it quite lightly.”
Meanwhile, their grandson Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, also tested positive for coronavirus earlier this year, UK media reported, though exactly when he contracted the virus is unclear.
The UK has recorded more than 3 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 80,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University on Saturday.
The UK reported 1,325 coronavirus-related fatalities on Friday — its highest ever daily increase in deaths.
Health officials face a deadly start to 2021 as a new coronavirus variant, first detected in the UK, sweeps the nation.
In the capital, London’s mayor declared a “major incident” on Friday, warning that hospitals in the city were close to being overrun.
“The situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement.
“The number of cases in London has increased rapidly with more than a third more patients being treated in our hospitals now compared to the peak of the pandemic last April.
“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point,” Khan added. “If we do not take immediate action now, our [National Health Service] could be overwhelmed and more people will die.”

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Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger

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Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.

The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.

“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”

It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.

Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.

The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.

Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.

On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.

Read from source: https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/03/dozens-killed-in-suspected-jihadist-attack-in-niger

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Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections

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People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.

The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.

He’s focussing on security and education.

Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.

“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.

Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.

Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.

Read from source: https://www.euronews.com/2020/12/27/niger-votes-in-presidential-and-legislative-elections

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