New Zealand News
Tour operators in New Zealand are ready to welcome tourists as the country has witnessed decline in coronavirus cases and the NZ government could soon announce alert Level 2. Queenstown tour operators are eagerly waiting for tourists and they are ready to follow stricter guidelines to ensure better safety of tourists and staff members. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently announced that domestic travel will be allowed soon across New Zealand.
Air New Zealand has also announced its operational schedule once alert level 2 gets a go ahead from the government. The tourist operators will focus on local tourists as the permission for tourists outside New Zealand might come later. And, it is yet to be seen how many tourists will actually plan a vacation considering the risk of COVID-19 and higher prices of air tickets. Many tourism industry veterans feel that for 2020, the revenue would mainly come from local tourists all over the world.
Aviation industry is facing a major trouble in near future as the number of international tourists could dwindle even when the restrictions have been lifted. Many airlines have reduced their fleet and are planning to cut staff in order to deal with the economic crisis.
The annual Queenstown Winter Festival has been cancelled because of Covid-19. Local tour operators are considering other events to attract tourists. For Queenstown, local tourists have accounted for 30 percent of the business in the recent years. In 2020, we could see local tourists accounting for majority of business across New Zealand.Business: Travel SectorGeneral: TNMFeaturedRegion: OtagoQueenstown
Air New Zealand will start flights to majority of domestic airports when New Zealand announces alert level 2 regarding coronavirus pandemic. During the initial period, Air NZ will operate only 20 percent of its capacity on domestic routes.
Due to social distancing norms, Air NZ will be booking less number of passengers on its flights and this will increase the fares on the routes. The airline informed about the cities it will connect during the initial phase of resuming of services. These cities include Queenstown, Invercargill, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Blenheim, Rotorua, Gisborne, Palmerston Norh, Whangārei and Kerikeri.
Talking about Air NZ plans, CEO Greg Foran said, “We've been keen to start domestic air services as soon as practicably possible to support New Zealand's economic recovery and connect family, friends and businesses. But the ramp up to higher frequencies will be a slow journey and even when we come out of alert level 1, all of our domestic destinations will see fewer flights and reduced frequencies.”
Air NZ will cut 300 jobs for pilots due to COVID-19 pandemic. Remaining 900 pilots will face 30 percent cut in their salary.
As per the official flying schedule, Air New Zealand will have flights to the following destinations.
Auckland to/from: Christchurch, Gisborne, Kerikeri, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei and Queenstown.
Christchurch to/from: Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Palmerston North, Wellington and Queenstown.
Wellington to/from: Blenheim, Gisborne, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Tauranga.
SkyCity Entertainment Group has informed that the New Zealand government has declared COVID-19 a force majeure event and there will be changes in the proposed plan for one of the largest development projects in New Zealand. SkyCity had earlier indicated that the project for New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) would not move as per the earlier schedule due to lockdown announced to control COVID-19 spread.
The New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) had been delayed last year after fire in the complex. The force majeure clause allows certain terms of an otherwise legally binding agreement to be ignored because of unavoidable circumstances.
New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) complex will be hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting next year. Once the situation returns to normal, SkyCity could allocated more resources for the project but it is still not clear if the project would be ready in time for the event.
SkyCity and construction company Fletcher Building has not commented if the project would be ready.Business: Real EstateGeneral: TNMFeaturedRegion: AucklandCompanies: SkyCity EntertainmentFletcher Building
With the successful testing of SpaceX’s Raptor rocket engine, the vision of Elon Musk of 1,000 passenger ships ferrying en masse to the Red Planet within the upcoming 100 years will come to completion.
On Tuesday, SpaceX founder Musk sketched his ideas and plans of establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars, packed with iron foundries and in fact pizzerias. He wished to make humans a multi-planetary species, and as per him such a thing is possible with the colonization of Mars.
Musk said, “I think Earth will be a good place for a long time, but the probable lifespan of human civilization will be much greater if we're a multi-planetary species”.
The owner of electric car maker Tesla Motors, Musk got a very warm reception at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. Many in the crowd were avid space buffs.
Presently, the focus of SpaceX is on satellite deliveries and space station cargo runs for the US space agency NASA and an upcoming crew capsule for the astronauts in the US. Though, its Falcon rocket has become grounded for the second time in 365 days due to devastating accidents.
While addressing the public, Musk dint talk about the September 1 launch pad explosion that led to the destruction of a Falcon rocket and its satellite.
Rather, he mentioned that SpaceX has already started work on the Mars Colonial fleet with the recent test firing of a powerful latest rocket engine dubbed Raptor. The system eventually may ferry people to Jupiter’s moons and beyond.
As per Musk, who founded the aerospace company in 2002, it would be a ‘super-exciting’ adventure to the Red Planet but also risky, at least for the initial some trips. The aim of Musk is to slash the expense so that anybody could afford to go, with a ticket costing less than a house on our planet.Business: Technology SectorGeneral: TNMFeaturedPeople: Elon MuskCompanies: SpaceX
The National Snow and Ice Data Center has announced that Arctic sea ice witnessed its second-lowest level this month since the time satellite observations have started. The center said that the area, which used to be covered by at least 15% of the sea surface with ice, has reduced to the year’s low point of 4.14 million square kilometers on Saturday.
For 2007, minimum extent was 4.15 million square kilometers. NSIDC Director Mark Serreze said that the result is considered to be a statistical tie. Serreze said that it is considered to be a big ice loss as Arctic weather conditions were cloudy and cool in the summer.
These weather conditions favor ice preservation and not what actually happened. Serreze was of the view that the result indicates of an important shift. If ice loss is taking place at a big level late in the melt season then it favors the idea that warmed-up ocean is an important factor in deciding the fate sea ice.
This year’s melt has taken place at a rapid pace. The researchers said that this year’s minimum was almost same as that was in 2007, but weather conditions made the significant difference. If the 2007 weather conditions would have repeated then melt would have been bigger this time.
As per the researchers, freeze-up has just started and it goes from mid-September to around mid-March. This time, melt season started out with the lowest winter maximum ever measured since satellite records started in 1979.
“The warmed Arctic atmosphere and ocean suppress winter sea ice growth, leading to an enhanced vulnerability of sea ice to melt in the following season”, affirmed Zhang.General: ScienceEnvironmentTNMFeaturedRegion: Arctic
Google will unveil its new satellite-based surveillance system that aims to change current situation on illegal fishing. Global Fishing Watch has been designed to keep a constant check to look out for those indulging in this trade.
The system has been made in partnership with Oceana, a marine-advocacy group, and West Virginia-based nonprofit SkyTruth. It would be a completely free platform that would prove useful for governments, journalists and citizens to keep a tab on around 35,000 commercial fishing vessels.
Illegal and unreported fishing, which is a big business across the globe, has proved to be quite difficult to be controlled. One of the main reasons behind the same is it needs constant check on traitor fishermen. But Google’s new system is aimed to change this situation.
Jacqueline Savitz, Vice president for US oceans at Oceana, was of the view that the system is going to provide them a lot of vital information on fishing. In fact, it would change the thinking with regard to how commercial fishing is being viewed.
The system works on the basis of a technology that uses public broadcast data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS). This system uses satellite and land-based receivers to keep a track of the movements of the ships.
But it shall be noted that not all fishing vessels display their location and in fact, vessels even switch off their trackers. As per Savitz, government would be able to use the data to monitor and implement strategies based on it in their waters.
For the past two years, Global Fishing Watch has been under development. Main aim of the new technology is to lessen overfishing in the oceans and to lessen illegal fishing.General: EnvironmentTNMFeaturedRegion: United StatesCompanies: Google
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