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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo, British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in premier edition of PRWeek Black Book.
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Thursday, 10 February 2011
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Saturday, 5 February 2011
The Government of Dubai has appointed a PR Consultancy in the UK to" promote the emirate as a tourist destination", all fine and dandy and no doubt Tui and Thomas Cook are rubbing their hands with glee thinking of all the new business being created, but is this the same emirate on the verge of bankruptcy and rescheduling debts? More correctly the debt mountain is called Dubai World. A huge port operator, likely to be hit by the trouble in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt possibly Morocco. Let alone Somalia but let us not go there!
If the Suez canal closes, the tumble weed could soon be blowing through many of its ports. Dubai already had to be bailed out by a neighbour and they are not yet out of the woods so to speak. The trouble is that if you book one of these long-haul seemingly dream locations, as many UK families with Egyptian holidays coming up in the next few weeks have done, they'll find that unless the politicans place a blanket ban on UK citizens travelling to a riot hit, war torn destination, little in the way of a holiday refund is forthcoming. Thomas Cook say they review matters weekly, but if the Coalition Government does not stop us travelling, expect to only get back 10 percent of what you paid several months ago.
To be fair it is not only Thomas Cook and Tui but just about every major package holiday company. Expect several of them to go under this year (so always pay the invoice or part of it - at least £100- using your Visa Credit Card - gettng a refund back from the credit card co. is much easier using the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act, than going the ABTA ATOL route!) and many of the Hotel groups servicing the UK and European influx to not exactly put out the welcome mat, but more to bite your arm off. These resorts are hurting, debts are mounting and as Egyptian politicians have been suggesting that outside western influence is behind the unrest, then safety becomes a factor to be considered even in resorts once considered safe.
Governments seek to protect trade and property, life is always a relatively cheap commodity. Not my words but a well honed economic theory. Just think on that next time you book or consider a holiday which starts and ends in the UK. All of a sudden a cruise does seem to be not only inexpensive but far less hassle. I'm off on one mid-February, on a huge almost new ship, its priced in US dollars and in the USA they've yet to hear of Value Added Tax, well for on-board purchases anyway.
I'll even take a few suits and get the on board laundry to do the dry cleaning. Less than 25% of the UK High Street price. Then the money, I'll save on not paying the 25% per head aviation fuel surcharge and a couple of weeks central heating fuel saving is certainly not to be sneezed at, no mega supermarket shop either... So this is what David Cameron means by the Big Society. Dine at the Captains Table even ? No perhaps that is going too far. Why on earth would I possibly want to eat with the staff?
Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.
Friday, 4 February 2011
The Abrams features a well- armed, heavily armored and highly mobile offensive armored ground warfare. Other features include the use of powerful gas turbine engine, a sophisticated composite armor and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety.
The Abrams was designed by Chrysler Defense.
During World War II, an average of 17 rounds took a Sherman Tank to destroy an enemy tank 700 meters way.
Further upgrades include depleted uranium armor for all variants.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and for Bosnia, some M1A1s were modified with armor upgrades.
There are over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 tanks produced at $2,350,000- $4,300,000 per unit depending on the variant.
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
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