Europe

(CNN) — Debuting its first flights in January 2020, Taiwanese start-up STARLUX Airlines could be the first new player in 30 years to upend the island's duopoly aviation market.

And even before the carrier, dubbed Taiwan's first luxury boutique airline, set its first aircraft into the air, it's been creating a stir.

Eleven minutes after opening ticket sales online on December 16, the Taipei-based carrier sold out all seats on its first three flights — Taipei-Macau, Taipei-Penang and Taipei-Danang.

But both aviation watchers and the general public are abuzz for another reason: A succession drama involving STARLUX founder Chang Kuo-wei that's so juicy he's being referred to as the aviation industry's "Prince Hamlet" by local media.

Chang Kuo-wei founded STARLUX Airlines after being ousted from his family business, EVA Airways.

courtesy Starlux Airlines

This Shakepearean tale took root in 2016, when Chang Yung-fa, founder of Taiwan's Evergreen Group and airline EVA Airways, passed away at the age of 88, sparking a battle over who would take over one of the island's biggest family-run conglomerates.

Chang, 49, who had been the chairman of EVA since 2013, revealed that his late father had named him the successor of parent company Evergreen in his will.

A well-loved figure in the aviation industry, known for his outspokenness and expertise, the son had experience working for EVA Airways as both an aircraft technician and a pilot.

Europe

The tombstones were tipped over and broken up in the Jewish cemetery in Namestovo, near the Polish border, the leader of Slovakia's Jewish community said.Non-Jewish locals had been taking care of the cemetery for decades, since the local Jewish community was murdered in World War II, Richard Duda said in a statement."The tombstones remained untouched for many decades and survived the Second World War, which took away those whose descendants would be caring for the graves of their loved ones today," Duda said."The locals realized that relatives could no longer take care of the graves because they flew up the chimney," he said, in a reference to the ovens where Jews were burned in the Holocaust. "The Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia asks all decent citizens of Slovakia not to remain silent," he said.Karol Kurtilík, who heads the civic association Pamätaj (Remember), said he hoped the monuments would be restored quickly and that a new security system would be installed at the cemetery. "So that this never happens again," he added in a post on the cemetery's Facebook page. Swastikas sprayed on more than 100 graves in Jewish cemetery in FrancePamätaj has been taking care of the cemetery for years, and Kurtilík said the unknown vandals had destroyed a near decadelong restoration work of the association. "Such [a] terrible act of vandalism is something that hasn't happen even during Second World War," he added.The World Jewish Congress lamented the attack, which was discovered on Monday, pointing out it was a relatively rare event in the country."The Jews of Slovakia have in recent years been fortunately spared of overtly aggressive expressions of anti-Semitism, but it has become sadly clear that in the climate of xenophobia and hatred spiraling across Europe, every minority commRead More – Source

Europe

(CNN) — Ah, holiday travel. Between huge crowds and weather delays, flying during this time of year is hectic. Now close your eyes and imagine the entire scenario with one additional annoyance: Loud talkers yammering into their cell phones at 35,000 feet.Don't worry — this potentially ear-splitting scenario isn't a reality yet. At least not in the United States. But it could be soon. Some even say it's just a year or two away.

The technology to support midair cell phone calls exists right now.

Just about every plane that offers WiFi has the bandwidth to support voice over the internet, and several international airlines allow voice calls on certain routes already. Still, at least on domestic US flights, voice calls are forbidden for four distinct reasons: flight attendants, public perception, concerns about safety and US law.

Airline officials won't even consider in-flight cell-phone calls until or unless they feel there is overwhelming demand from customers to provide the service, according to Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry analysis firm in San Francisco. Even then, airlines still may not cave in.

"No matter how you look at it, allowing cell phone calls on planes is controversial," he says. "These are precisely the kinds of issues airlines tend to avoid addressing unless they must."

Keeping cabins calm

Flight attendants already mediate many passenger disputes.

Shutterstock

Without question, flight attendants are the biggest barrier to allowing voice calls in the air.

Pretty much across the board, people who work in airplane cabins say the idea of allowing passengers unfettered in-flight phone use would lead to chaos, conflict and downright craziness in flight. As such, they oppose phone use vociferously.

Europe

(CNN) — Debuting its first flights in January 2020, Taiwanese start-up STARLUX Airlines could be the first new player in 30 years to upend the island's duopoly aviation market.

And even before the carrier, dubbed Taiwan's first luxury boutique airline, set its first aircraft into the air, it's been creating a stir.

Eleven minutes after opening ticket sales online on December 16, the Taipei-based carrier sold out all seats on its first three flights — Taipei-Macau, Taipei-Penang and Taipei-Danang.

But both aviation watchers and the general public are abuzz for another reason: A succession drama involving STARLUX founder Chang Kuo-wei that's so juicy he's being referred to as the aviation industry's "Prince Hamlet" by local media.

Chang Kuo-wei founded STARLUX Airlines after being ousted from his family business, EVA Airways.

courtesy Starlux Airlines

This Shakepearean tale took root in 2016, when Chang Yung-fa, founder of Taiwan's Evergreen Group and airline EVA Airways, passed away at the age of 88, sparking a battle over who would take over one of the island's biggest family-run conglomerates.

Chang, 49, who had been the chairman of EVA since 2013, revealed that his late father had named him the successor of parent company Evergreen in his will.

A well-loved figure in the aviation industry, known for his outspokenness and expertise, the son had experience working for EVA Airways as both an aircraft technician and a pilot.

Europe

The tombstones were tipped over and broken up in the Jewish cemetery in Namestovo, near the Polish border, the leader of Slovakia's Jewish community said.Non-Jewish locals had been taking care of the cemetery for decades, since the local Jewish community was murdered in World War II, Richard Duda said in a statement."The tombstones remained untouched for many decades and survived the Second World War, which took away those whose descendants would be caring for the graves of their loved ones today," Duda said."The locals realized that relatives could no longer take care of the graves because they flew up the chimney," he said, in a reference to the ovens where Jews were burned in the Holocaust. "The Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia asks all decent citizens of Slovakia not to remain silent," he said.Karol Kurtilík, who heads the civic association Pamätaj (Remember), said he hoped the monuments would be restored quickly and that a new security system would be installed at the cemetery. "So that this never happens again," he added in a post on the cemetery's Facebook page. Swastikas sprayed on more than 100 graves in Jewish cemetery in FrancePamätaj has been taking care of the cemetery for years, and Kurtilík said the unknown vandals had destroyed a near decadelong restoration work of the association. "Such [a] terrible act of vandalism is something that hasn't happen even during Second World War," he added.The World Jewish Congress lamented the attack, which was discovered on Monday, pointing out it was a relatively rare event in the country."The Jews of Slovakia have in recent years been fortunately spared of overtly aggressive expressions of anti-Semitism, but it has become sadly clear that in the climate of xenophobia and hatred spiraling across Europe, every minority commRead More – Source

Europe

(CNN) — Ah, holiday travel. Between huge crowds and weather delays, flying during this time of year is hectic. Now close your eyes and imagine the entire scenario with one additional annoyance: Loud talkers yammering into their cell phones at 35,000 feet.Don't worry — this potentially ear-splitting scenario isn't a reality yet. At least not in the United States. But it could be soon. Some even say it's just a year or two away.

The technology to support midair cell phone calls exists right now.

Just about every plane that offers WiFi has the bandwidth to support voice over the internet, and several international airlines allow voice calls on certain routes already. Still, at least on domestic US flights, voice calls are forbidden for four distinct reasons: flight attendants, public perception, concerns about safety and US law.

Airline officials won't even consider in-flight cell-phone calls until or unless they feel there is overwhelming demand from customers to provide the service, according to Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry analysis firm in San Francisco. Even then, airlines still may not cave in.

"No matter how you look at it, allowing cell phone calls on planes is controversial," he says. "These are precisely the kinds of issues airlines tend to avoid addressing unless they must."

Keeping cabins calm

Flight attendants already mediate many passenger disputes.

Shutterstock

Without question, flight attendants are the biggest barrier to allowing voice calls in the air.

Pretty much across the board, people who work in airplane cabins say the idea of allowing passengers unfettered in-flight phone use would lead to chaos, conflict and downright craziness in flight. As such, they oppose phone use vociferously.

Europe

(CNN) — It's been a two-horse race this year to be named the world's most powerful passport, with both top contenders in Asia.

Now, as we enter the final quarter of 2019, Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world's most travel-friendly passports.

That's the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords.

Singapore and Japan's passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.

South Korea rubs shoulders with Finland and Germany in second place, with citizens of all three countries able to access 188 jurisdictions around the world without a prior visa.

Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan's formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.

The European countries of Denmark, Italy and Luxembourg hold third place in the index, with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 187 countries, while France, Spain and Sweden are in the fourth slot, with a score of 186.

Five years ago, the United States and the UK topped the rankings in 2014 — but both countries have now slipped down to sixth place, the lowest position either has held since 2010.

While the Brexit process has yet to directly impact on the UK's ranking, the Henley Passport Index press release observed in July, "with its exit from the EU now imminent, and coupled with ongoing confusion about the terms of its departure, the UK's once-strong position looks increasingly uncertain."

The United Arab Emirates continues its ascent up the rankings, up five places to rank 15th.

Europe

(CNN) — It's been a two-horse race this year to be named the world's most powerful passport, with both top contenders in Asia.

Now, as we enter the final quarter of 2019, Japan and Singapore have held onto their position as the world's most travel-friendly passports.

That's the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country's travel document affords.

Singapore and Japan's passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.

South Korea rubs shoulders with Finland and Germany in second place, with citizens of all three countries able to access 188 jurisdictions around the world without a prior visa.

Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan's formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.

The European countries of Denmark, Italy and Luxembourg hold third place in the index, with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 187 countries, while France, Spain and Sweden are in the fourth slot, with a score of 186.

Five years ago, the United States and the UK topped the rankings in 2014 — but both countries have now slipped down to sixth place, the lowest position either has held since 2010.

While the Brexit process has yet to directly impact on the UK's ranking, the Henley Passport Index press release observed in July, "with its exit from the EU now imminent, and coupled with ongoing confusion about the terms of its departure, the UK's once-strong position looks increasingly uncertain."

The United Arab Emirates continues its ascent up the rankings, up five places to rank 15th.

Europe

(CNN) — When we hear that an industry is celebrating its 100th anniversary, images of the industrial revolution might spring to mind, with its coal-powered steam machines, railways and chimneys.

But this will soon apply to a sector generally associated with cutting-edge technology and the modern world.

October 2019 marked the 100-year anniversary of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands granting the "royal" title to a small, pioneering airline that was due to be founded.

The Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, more commonly known by its initials KLM, grew to become one of the largest airlines in Europe, as well as one of the most iconic brands in the aviation industry.

A crown features prominently in its livery, but perhaps the crown this airline carries with the most pride is that of being the oldest airline in the world today.

Surprisingly for an industry known for its volatility and financial instability, quite a few airlines from those heroic early years of aviation are still surviving in their original form.

Here are 10 of the oldest airlines in the world still in operation.

1. KLM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines turned 100 years old in October 2019. CNN Business Traveller celebrates with a visit to KLM's archives

Year of foundation: 1919

First flight: May 1920

Europe

(CNN) — When we hear that an industry is celebrating its 100th anniversary, images of the industrial revolution might spring to mind, with its coal-powered steam machines, railways and chimneys.

But this will soon apply to a sector generally associated with cutting-edge technology and the modern world.

October 2019 marked the 100-year anniversary of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands granting the "royal" title to a small, pioneering airline that was due to be founded.

The Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, more commonly known by its initials KLM, grew to become one of the largest airlines in Europe, as well as one of the most iconic brands in the aviation industry.

A crown features prominently in its livery, but perhaps the crown this airline carries with the most pride is that of being the oldest airline in the world today.

Surprisingly for an industry known for its volatility and financial instability, quite a few airlines from those heroic early years of aviation are still surviving in their original form.

Here are 10 of the oldest airlines in the world still in operation.

1. KLM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines turned 100 years old in October 2019. CNN Business Traveller celebrates with a visit to KLM's archives

Year of foundation: 1919

First flight: May 1920