Nineteen people have been killed in a passenger jet crash near Kathmandu airport.

Nineteen people have been killed in a passenger jet crash near Kathmandu airport.

Troops attend to the gutted aircraft.
Troops roll over the remains of the plane                                                       Courtesy: Reuters

A Sita Air Dornier aircrft carrying 16 passengers and three crew crashed minutes after takeoff around 6.30am (1045 AEST) on Friday, police spokesman Binod Singh told AFP.

The officer said the aircraft was bound for Lukla, a small town in northeastern Nepal which serves as the gateway to Everest. Later reports suggest the accident was the result of a birdstrike shortly after takoff.

"All 19 passengers on the Sita Air plane have died. The accident site is less than one kilometre from the airport," he said.  The pilots seem to have tried to land it safely on the banks of the river but unfortunately the plane caught fire."

Troops were racing to the crash site to bring the blaze under control, said Nepalese army spokesman Ramindra Chhetri. The nationality of the passengers was not immediately clear.

AP are reporting thirteen people on board were foreigners, while three passengers and the three crew members were from Nepal, Katmandu airport chief Narayan Bastakoti..

Reuters are reporting: The plane was heading east towards Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest and a popular destination for trekkers.  Witnesses said it burst into flames and came down in a field, reports said.

A spokeswoman for the FCO said:   "We understand that British nationals may be involved, and we are urgently seeking to confirm what has happened. Our embassy in Kathmandu is talking to the airline and local authorities to find out whether Britons were involved."

The latest fatal crash in Nepal - the sixth in less than two years - could potentially lead to new scrutiny of the country's numerous small airlines, which provide vital links to remote
parts of the country.

Aircraft and pilots often have to contend with bad weather and difficult landing strips in the Himalayan nation.
The weather on Friday was reportedly clear.

Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK

BAE Systems throws in the towel? EADS NV to gain 60% share

One off. But will it fly ?   

Julian Bray comments: The state of things to come, with the UK defence budget shot to ribbons and the financial future of defence companies under the fiscal spotlight, notwithstanding kickbacks and bungs previously widely exposed, it's no wonder that our once proud British Aerospace, now BAE Systems should throw in the towel, and submit to a 40/60 takeover by foreign owned EADS. The managements will spin otherwise and point to a dual listing arrangement, but at the end of the day EADS NV will enjoy some 60 % of the cake.

The development is however riddled and seen by some as a ready made conduit for a raft of future cultural and fit problems, and the political implications have clearly yet to be ironed out. But in the current climate, politicans clearly have much less of a say and reduced practical influence.  The companies claim whole projects will be security isolated and properly ring fenced.

Parts of the business hived off behind 'chinese walls' to suit customer preferences, but as the world grows smaller, it is possible that future enemies may be dealing at any one time, with the new firm but behind diffferent closed doors. Frightening. They will deny it of course, but money talks, and the two managements clearly don't have a crystal ball, however if the deal is backed with political guarantees, who can resist?  The City already like the idea with share prices climbing as the news filters through.

One of the outcomes will of course be less in the way of competition, so as new world and market forces apply, our own government could in future be paying more for less.... One defence analyst points out that under the Obama administration, the use of drones and pilotless fighter aircraft feature high on the USAF shopping list. Under the present BAE and EADS set ups, we are lagging well behind and have some catching up to do. The new arrangement will give a rapid kick start to this whole new approach to remote pilotless  aerial warfare.  

The managements will need be aware that any change in the political make up of the UK Government and defence policy will also have a bearing on future contracts. We could see the situation where the Government of the day will also have negotiate with say France, Germany, Spain, and even the USA to regain any control and ire-kindle at least some influence relating to its own defence industry.

In response to share movements prior to the formal announcement, the following statement was released:


Further to the recent movement in BAE Systems' share price, BAE Systems plc (BAE Systems) and EADS N.V. (EADS) confirm that they are in discussions regarding a possible combination of their businesses. This potential combination would be implemented through the creation of a dual listed company structure, under which both companies would operate as one group by means of equalisation and other agreements but would be separately listed on their existing exchanges.

The discussions between the parties envisage that BAE Systems shareholders would own 40% and EADS shareholders 60% respectively of the enlarged group. It is contemplated that there would be a unified board and management structure with identical boards and executive committees at each of BAE Systems and EADS.

BAE Systems and EADS have a long history of collaboration and are currently partners in a number of important projects, including the Eurofighter and MBDA joint ventures. The potential combination would create a world class international aerospace, defence and security group with substantial centres of manufacturing and technology excellence in France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the USA.

BAE Systems and EADS operate highly secure and sensitive defence businesses in the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, amongst other countries. Discussions have therefore been initiated with a range of governments about the implications of the potential transaction. Under the transaction structure being discussed between the parties, BAE Systems and EADS envisage that certain of their defence activities would be ringfenced with governance arrangements appropriate to their strategic and national security importance, particularly in the USA, given the importance of that market to the enlarged group. In addition, subject to receiving appropriate shareholder approvals, the parties envisage issuing special shares in BAE Systems and EADS to each of the French, German and UK governments to replace the existing UK government share in BAE Systems and the stakeholder concert party arrangements in EADS.

BAE Systems and EADS believe that the potential combination of their two businesses offers the prospect of significant benefits for customers and shareholders of both companies. These benefits include cost savings, such as from procurement and sourcing efficiencies available to the enlarged group, and substantial new business opportunities.

BAE Systems and EADS have historically had different dividend policies with BAE Systems paying a higher proportion of its earnings in dividends.  To better align the parties' payout ratios, should the transaction proceed, it has been agreed that EADS would pay £200m to its shareholders prior to completion.  BAE Systems and EADS's normal dividend payments in respect of 2012 would be unaffected.  In respect of 2013, assuming that the combined earnings are broadly in line with current expectations, it is envisaged that the combined group would declare dividends such that BAE Systems shareholders would receive an equivalent amount to that declared in respect of 2012.  This would represent a material increase for EADS shareholders by comparison with current market expectations.  The dividend policy for 2014 and beyond would be a matter for the board of the combined group, which is expected to balance the importance of dividends to shareholders with the combined group's future earnings potential, investment requirements and continuing need for a strong balance sheet.

Any agreement on the terms of a potential combination will require approval by the boards of EADS and BAE Systems. Prior to any such agreement, EADS will inform the relevant bodies representing the interests of its employees in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. If, after completion of the processes described above, EADS and BAE Systems reach definitive agreement on the terms of any combination, completion would be subject to, amongst other things, a number of governmental and regulatory approvals, the approval of ordinary shareholders of both BAE Systems and EADS and certain conditions that are customary for a transaction governed by the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the Code). There can be no certainty that the discussions will ultimately lead to a transaction.

In accordance with Rule 2.4(c) of the Code, both parties or EADS are/is now required, by no later than 5:00 p.m. London time on 10 October 2012, to either announce a transaction in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that they or EADS no longer intend to pursue a transaction, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. The deadline can be extended with the consent of the Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

BAE Systems confirms its intention to request an extension to the deadline from the Panel if it and EADS are still in discussions at that time.

Although no revision is expected, for the purposes of 2.5 (a) of the Code, EADS reserves the right to amend or adjust the terms of the possible transaction i) in the event of the announcement of a competing transaction or of a possible competing transaction involving BAE Systems or ii) with the recommendation of the board of BAE Systems.

Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK

Govt. to install DOR on West Coast Rail....

West Coast rail franchise to be nationalised?
Sun, Sep 09 12:49 PM BST
LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is preparing to nationalise Virgin Trains' West Coast railway train operating franchise following its attempts to delay the handover of the network to rival operator First Group which won the franchise renewal bid, the Sunday Times newspaper said.

Virgin's campaign for a judicial review of the government's decision to award the franchise to First Group has delayed the signing of the contract and could put back indefinitely the handover, which is due to take place on December 9.

Ministers are now preparing to transfer the service to state-owned Directly Operated Railways, the paper said, quoting the Department for Transport as saying it was "looking at our responsibilities under section 30 of the Railways Act and it is only prudent to increase our focus on contingency planning".

The Department for Transport declined to comment further.

Virgin Trains, a joint venture of entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group and trains and buses operator Stagecoach, could not be reached for comment.

Julian Bray writes: Considering the dire state of the nation, flatlining as its known, and the prospect of a TUC encouraged national strike in November, what a brilliant outcome for Richard Branson and Virgin Trains! When Mr Branson first asked for suggestions, I helpfully wrote, and suggested that rather than deliver the enhanced passenger loadings his company has worked so hard to achieve, on a plate as it were,  directly to First Group, he might like to consider blanking out the Virgin logo on the high speed tilting trains, and immediately run the West Coast Railway strictly to contract. No enhancements no marketing deals or discounts.

This would have the effect of quickly running down passenger numbers, and making a nonsense of the First Group bid which is based on high passenger uptake, and a balloon payment after a few years trading or the option to hand the contract back without making the payment, as happened on the East Coast - the service being 'nationalised' with Directly Operated Railways (DOR) manning the rolling stock as no one wants it... .

The Government by effectively nationalising the West Coast Route, whilst the legal challenge is on, has effectivly played into Virgins hands. It'll be a year or so before First actually get hold of the trainset by which time Canny Branson will have his short haul Virgin Atlantic air service fully running by then between Manchester and London up and at maximum payload stuffed full of BBC Salford staff, talent and z listers  possibly undercutting anything that First could offer on the rattlers. First will then simply withdraw leaving the government with two major railways to run.

WacoJaco  locks up Twitter...

Meanwhile Stewart Jackson MP,  who  allegedly made a mess of the East Coast negotiations but made such a splash with his MP's expenses from public funds, to generate steam all year round from the surface of a huge private heated outdoor swimming pool at his Peterborough mansion, the pool nickenamed "Lido Prive" (local residents tried to gain access and were rebuffed by the former Lloyds High Street Bank Manager and back bench jockey MP for part of Peterborough)  has taken to twatting on Twitter but hides behind a locked twitter account, so no one can read or respond to a series of daft tweets he's had time to compose now that his 'fagging ' job has been taken away by Cammy, and younger fresh faced talent substituted (see Guido Fawkes on  Waco Jacko will not be amused to hear that ultra hard liner Lisa Forbes is now formally selected, and in the Labour starting blocks to run against him in the next parliamentary election for his now not so safe Peterborough seat...

Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK

Table Topper MP

Turning the tables: Nadine Dorries strikes a pose on the House of Commons terrace

They are having an auction of surplus items at the House of Commons, before it closes for five years to be refurbished, a few lots left over, this one was called in so they say. Label reads "Nadine Dorris MP. Not wanted on Voyage Signed Louise M."


Fwd: Update to EU exit information – commercial pilots

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