Embarrassing news is coming from India’s most beautiful city, Chandigarh (a modern city of India designed by french architect Le Corbusier in mid 50s) where Six unidentified youths allegedly gangraped a 20-year-old German girl after kidnapping her from outside Taj Hotel in the heart of the city on the World Tourism Day on Saturday night. Just few days back city has acquired it’s own Tourist Police.
The girl was picked up from the parking site of the hotel Taj by around six youths and gangraped by taking her to different places, the girl alleged in her complaint to the Chandigarh Police.
The victim alleged she, along with her another German girlfriend, came to the city on September 23 in connection with the marriage of the friend with a city-based boy.
She told the police that on Saturday night she along with her friend and her husband went to hotel Taj for having coffee at hotel’s 24 hour Coffee Shop. As smoking is banned in all the hotels and restaurants in city so she stepped out in hotel’s parking lot for a smoke about 2:00 am. Aleast six youths waiting in a Scorpio jeep pulled her inside the vehicle and raped her at different places in the city, the girl alleged.
Meanwhile, the vehicle registration number given by the alleged victim to the police turned out to be that of an Auto Rickshaw (cheap public transport vehicle with three tires), police said.
According to the local police, the girl was being medically examined at a hospital. However the medical report which came out during the filing of this report ruled out rape but confirmed the charges of attempt to outrage her modesty.
A team of doctors at the Government Multi-specialty Hospital at Sector 16 has reported bruises and human bite marks on German girl’s body but found no evidence of her being sexually assaulted, according to official sources. Meanwhile, the German embassy has got in touch with the Chandigarh police to find out the details of the case and status of the investigations.
The shocking incident has become a major embarrassment for the Chandigarh administration considering it happened hours after the authorities celebrated the World Tourism Day with much fan fare and launched the tourism police to make the city safe for foreign tourists.
Leaders of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents some 19,000 workers including American Airlines flight attendants, asked American Airline’s management this week to consider adding filters to its in-flight Wi-Fi access to prevent passengers from viewing porn and other inappropriate Web sites while in-flight.
A union representative was quoted by Bloomberg News that attendants and passengers have raised “a lot of complaints” over the issue.
American Airlines is one of several airlines testing in-flight Internet access as a way to lure more passengers. AA has been offering the service on a limited basis since August 20th on some flights between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and between New York and Miami. The cost of the service on cross-country flights is $12.95, and it’s $9.95 on the New York to Miami route.
The current program is in a 3- to 6-month trial period, and the airline plans to review usage and feedback on the service at the end of that period.
The controversy has stirred up an ongoing debate about whether Internet access in public places should be restricted. Earlier this year, the Denver International Airport took a lot flack for blocking access on its free Wi-Fi network to Web sites that officials deemed offensive.
The argument was made by Denver airport officials that users must abide by their rules because they are providing the service for free. But that case is harder to make for in-flight passengers, who are paying for Internet access.
Given that passengers usually sit literally elbow to elbow, it’s often hard not to at least glance at the laptop screen of the person sitting next to you. Most of the complaint are coming from flight attendants who thinks that risk of coming under some sort of sexual assault on them rises when passenger is engaged in such kind of exercise. But airlines have not banned people from reading pornographic magazines or watching their own DVDs on flights. And it’s just as easy for someone to view a DVD of an adult video on a laptop or flip through Hustler as it is to surf porn Web sites.
The truth is that it hasn’t been a major problem on flights thus far. In fact, American Airline’s spokesman Tim Smith told Bloomberg News that the “vast majority” of customers already use good judgment in what’s appropriate to look at while flying versus what’s not.
And he added, “Customers viewing inappropriate material on board a flight is not a new scenario for our crews, who have always managed this issue with great success.”
It seems that outcome of American School of Aviation affairs has encouraged the authorities at The North American Institute of Aviation flight school in Conway to close down its doors indefinitely Friday, giving notice to staff in their pay checks that their services would no longer be needed. I would rather look at it as a first aviation school who took the initiative of following the footsteps of Prince & Reny very boldly. Result is same like ASA, students and staff is clueless and school authorities is playing hide & Seek with Journalists and students.
Many stranded students have already enrolled into automotive schools all over country. As aviation school all over the country are finding it hard to continue their business, demand for automotive schools is growing by the day as automotive industry is unfazed by the global slowdown.
“This layoff will result in the cessation of most training and flight activities conducted by the Institute. It will not result in the closure of North American Institute of Aviation, Conway/Horry County Airport, or the delivery of fuel and maintenance services to aircraft based at Conway/Horry County Airport or to transient aircraft,” wrote president of the school, Benjamin Creel, in a release.
Creel and the school’s director of operations, Dan Flaherty, did not return phone calls for comment Monday.
Students at the school, many of whom are from foreign countries and living in the United States on student visas, were told Friday that the school would be ceasing its operations. Both foreign and domestic students were left wondering Monday if and when they would get their remaining tuition and expense money returned or it will be the same story like American School of Aviation of whose students are still fighting it out there.
Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said the school’s lease at the county airport was not scheduled to run out until May 2009. The county is in the process of rebidding the lease on the airport property, which includes most of the hangar space, as well as the take off ramp. She said NAIA is eligible to rebid the lease.
Students sensed that there was something wrong when they were given credit cards to fuel the planes at other locations than the on-campus airport depot.
“Not too long ago they gave each of us a credit card to fill up the planes on fuel,” one of the student said. “Those cards filled up quickly and a few days before Friday, the school told us they were basically out of fuel.”
Instructors told foreign students that the school is trying to work out visa agreements to allow them to transfer to the Pelican Flight Training Center in Florida.
The American students are not part of that agreement.
Students were told they had 30 days to vacate the apartments on Airport Road in Conway, which are not owned by the school but are paid for through a contract between the realty company and the school on a monthly basis.
A search of Bankruptcy Court Records filed in the past six months showed that neither Creel nor NAIA had filed for bankruptcy. Creel also owns Creel Oil Co. and a distributor for Shell Oil.
Calls to the college and to staff to ask about whether student money would be refunded were not returned Monday.
Horry County police stationed two officers at the school through the weekend, in case of unrest from students.
North American Institute of Aviation first came into the news in year 2002 when one of their dropouts Kerim Sadok Chatty, a Tunisian was arrested with a gun in his carry-on luggage at the small Swedish airport of Vasteras near Stockholm on August 28, 2002 as he tried to board a Ryan Air flight to London’s Stansted Airport. He had flunked out of NAIA in 1996. Chatty was later released after spending a one month in total isolation for lack of evidence.
THE travel industry was plunged into more chaos yesterday with the collapse of another tour company and the future of a major airline plunged into doubt. The Civil Aviation Authority revealed that Turkey specialist K&S Travel – which also operates as Travel Turkey – had ceased trading, stranding about 150 customers in Bodrum. They will be repatriated by the CAA because the north London tour firm was covered by the ATOL protection scheme.
In Rome the Italian government was last night in crisis talks trying to find a way to save flagship airline Alitalia.
There are fears it will have to ground flights today because of a lack of fuel.
Meanwhile, the £20million operation to bring home nearly 100,000 victims of Friday’s collapse of XL Leisure Group continued. At airports around the world, the CAA managed to organise 94 flights which will bring back 22,090 of the stranded tourists.It plans to bring home the rest of those booked through XL travel companies – who had ATOL cover – over the next fortnight as their holidays come to an end.
But about 10,000 tourists who booked direct with grounded XL Airways will have to pay the CAA hundreds of pounds for their flights home because they are not covered by ATOL. Worst effected areas are Greek Islands which are very famous amongst Britons as tourist destination.
Large number of British Tourists are reported to be stranded in Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Kos, Kefalonia, Rhodes.
Another 200,000 XL customers have lost holidays already booked, with about 20,000 of them having no cover.
The travel industry and airlines were also accused of profiteering from XL’s demise by cashing in on tourists trying to save holidays booked in advance.
One XL Airways customer, who asked not to be named, said she had tried to find flights to Holidays to Kefalonia where she still has a hotel reservation – and within an hour air fares had doubled. Her dream Holidays to Greece became nightmare since than as everything went out of budget by latest developments.
The latest quote from another operator would see them forking out an extra £1,800 on top of the £3,413 already paid.
But Gavin Leach, 31, and his fiancee Shian Llwyarch, 29, who feared their £70,000 wedding at Disney World, Florida, was ruined by the XL collapse, were celebrating yesterday after salvaging their trip. Thomas Cook offered to honour the bookings. XL announced on Friday it had called in administrators, blaming high fuel prices and a worsening economy for its demise.
But accountancy firm KPMG claimed it had been blocked from investigating alleged misrepresentations by “certain directors” that could have led to “material errors” in company reports.
British Airways boss Willie Walsh has predicted another 30 airlines will go under in the next four months. And yesterday analyst Douglas McNeill, of merchant bank Blue Oar Securities, said the aviation industry was contracting at the same rate as after the 9/11 terror attacks.
He added: “Sadly there are likely to be more insolvencies plus a decade’s worth of mergers in the next 12 months.”
The collapse of XL Leisure Group, Britain’s third-biggest holiday company, has hit more than 300,000 customers
On Thursday night XL Airways flight JN1121 pushed back from the terminal at Sanford International, the Orlando airport that is the gateway to Florida for thousands of British holidaymakers every year.
For the 266 passengers on board it was the end of all inclusive holidays– two weeks spent basking on the beach or squealing with delight on the rides at Disneyland.
A massive airlift was under way to bring some of the 85,000 tourists who were caught out by the shut-down of Britain’s third largest tour operator. Those who opted for Tour Operators like Directline Holidays were feeling safe as their cheap holidays as promised to them were cheap indeed as ever. Many holidaymakers came to know about the truth behind true discount holidays.
This morning, passengers flew into Gatwick Airport on a specially-chartered Monarch Airlines flight from Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, and spoke of their joy at getting home. Alison Hill, 37, said she was left in tears as she worried she would not be able to find a flight back to the UK.
Ms Hill, from Redditch, Worcestershire, who spent 10 days in the resort with her two-year-old son, Samuel, said she found out that XL had gone into administration as she lay in bed in her hotel room watching the news.
She said: “No one actually told me, I had to find it out for myself. I spent the whole day in tears in reception with a very unhappy two-year-old, wondering if I was ever going to get home. A woman staying in the same hotel as me went to the airport and she found out from Thomson about this flight.
“We were meant to leave at 11pm last night and ended up getting this flight at 3.30am this morning, so you could say we were one of the lucky ones. There was another flight that was meant to go to Luton yesterday afternoon before ours, and they are still there.”
Ms Hill, a lawyer, added: “We had a fantastic holiday but the last day was ruined, which left a bitter taste in the mouth. It was all the worse as it was just the two of us, I thought I was going to be stranded in a foreign country with a two-year-old.”
Friends Kirsty Grant and Kelly Thompson, who were also on the Monarch flight, said they spent the last day of their holiday in a “mad panic.” Ms Grant, 20, said: “My mum sent me a text yesterday morning telling me I might have trouble getting home. We immediately went to find our rep but she couldn’t tell us anything; no one could tell us anything.
“We were all in a mad panic, as none of us had enough money to pay for extra accommodation if we had to stay longer. We went to the airport last night and waited there and then we were told about this flight.”
The women, both nursery nurses from Chessington, Surrey, said they were relieved to be home as they believed there were many other XL passengers still left in Sharm El Sheikh. Ms Thompson, 25, added: “It’s horrible thinking you’re stranded in a foreign country.”
The airlift operation is being supervised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) but involves help from dozens of airlines and travel companies. XL Leisure Group went into administration in the early hours of Friday morning with debts of £143 million.
The CCA chartered seven flights from foreign destinations including Orlando, Florida; Dalaman, Turkey; and Malaga, Parma and Alicante, Spain. Other passengers travelled home on scheduled flights.
The collapse of XL has left tens of thousands of people stranded throughout Europe, the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. A further 200,000 planned holidays have been wrecked and 1,700 staff have lost their jobs.
There are growing fears the high price of fuel and the credit crunch will force dozens of other travel firms into liquidation. Some operators say the economic outlook is even worse than the aftermath of 9/11 in 2001.
Of the 85,000 stranded tourists, some 75,000 are protected by the industry’s Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (Atol) agreement and will be airlifted home free of charge.
However, another 10,000 will have to make their own arrangements – and at their own cost – because they are not covered under the rules of the agreement.
An Atol spokesman said many passengers were expected to be returning to the UK, both on specially chartered flights and on already scheduled flights that have spare seats on board.
British holidaymaker David Halligan landed at Manchester Airport this morning having spent £880 on new flights after he and his family were stranded in Florida. The 50-year-old engineer from Bradford spent £2,000 on a two-week XL villa holiday in the “sunshine state” for his family of four.
Mr Halligan found out about the firm’s collapse from friends in the UK. “We were rung early morning by friends saying XL had gone under so we proceeded to get ourselves sorted out. We got on the internet. We were lucky to be in a villa with internet access.”
He said he used contacts and took advantage of a friend’s frequent flyer status to get cheaper-than-normal Virgin flights.
Their XL flight was from Orlando Sanford International Airport but they had to travel 34 miles to Orlando International Airport to pick up their Virgin Atlantic flight.
Virgin Atlantic has said XL passengers who find themselves stuck at airports in Florida and the Caribbean will be offered special one-way fares to fly home until the end of September.
Peter Long, the chief executive of Thomson and First Choice owner TUI Travel, said the two firms would also joining the effort to help stranded passengers.
Phil Wyatt, chief executive of XL Leisure Group, described arranging flights to accommodate those affected as “the most challenging airlift that anyone has undertaken”.
In an emotional statement, Mr Wyatt said he was “devastated” at the company’s collapse and apologised to his customers and employees.
Speaking at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick Airport, XL’s chief executive said: “Ultimately I blame myself, I’m the CEO, I take legal responsibility for it.”
But he added that the withdrawal of support from lenders had left them with no option than to call in administrators.
Mr Wyatt said: “We have made every effort to refinance the principal debt of the group but, despite significant interest, the group was unsuccessful.
More recently, record oil prices and a worsening economic environment has meant our economic requirements have increased and our efforts have been overwhelmed.”
He expressed his “gratitude” to XL’s 1,700 staff, who will now face an uncertain future.
The collapse of XL Leisure Group prompted a prediction by Willie Walsh, British Airways chief executive, that another 30 airlines would go out of business within the next four months.
Administrators now have an uphill battle to save the profitable part of the firm. Stuart Mackellar, a partner at Kroll appointed as joint administrator, said: “We are not thinking about liquidation at the moment. We are thinking about a rescue plan for the survival of parts of the business.”
XL’s administrators said most people who booked holidays with the troubled tour operator should be eligible for a refund.
Those who paid by credit card or used a tour operator affiliated to the Atol scheme should get their money back.