Staff and paramedics at Wales Air Ambulance in Swansea are getting ready to compete in a charity trek across the Brecon Beacons in June.
The annual WAAT4 Challenge, organised by staff at Dyfed Powys Police, is a 40k and 30k team navigation challenge centred around the iconic Pen y Fan mountain.
In its fifth year, the event has raised over £100,000 for charity, including vital funds for Wales Air Ambulance.
The charity has entered two of its own teams into the challenge, which will be going head-to-head as Staff vs. Paramedics.
Five members of staff from charity headquarters, the Waabarians, will be sizing up against the fitness levels and determination of Swansea-based paramedic team, Helimed57 who competed last year.
Teams can run or walk the marathon-length expedition across the national park. The 40k record is a staggering 3 hours 45 minutes.
Event founder Gary Philpott, a training officer for Dyfed Powys Police, said it’s a tough but rewarding challenge.
“We set up WAAT4 with a dual purpose: we want to enable people to work as a team under pressure in an arduous environment, as well as raise money for some very worthwhile charities,” he said.
“Each team needs at least four members – good map reading skills, camaraderie and waterproof clothing is a must!”
Waabarians team leader Emma John said: “This is our first year competing so the paramedics have a slight advantage, but I’m confident we can catch them up.
“We’ve been training in our lunch breaks and head to Pen y Fan on weekends. We’re all really excited to be taking part.”
To sponsor the Wales Air Ambulance, visit justgiving.com/Waabarians.
Flybe Group plc announces that Anita Lovell, a non-executive director, has stepped down from the Board with immediate effect. Mrs Lovell was appointed in July 2010 and her term of office was due to expire in July 2013. This is line with the Delivery and Future Direction plans, announced on 23rd January this year, which included a commitment to a reduction in the size of Flybe’s Group Board.
Jim French CBE, Flybe’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented:
“I’d like to place on record my thanks to Anita both for her important contribution to the Board since 2010, and during many years before that time through her connection with Rosedale Aviation Holdings Limited. All of us at Flybe wish Anita well for the future.”
Sourced by aviator.aero
Two remain seriously ill in hospital after the incident
FAMILY and friends of a dad who died in a light aircraft crash which left his son seriously injured have paid tribute to a ‘devoted father’.
Iain Nuttall, of Blackburn, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at Caernarfon Airport, shortly before 11.30am on Sunday.
The 37-year-old had been on his way with his father John Nuttall and his only child, Daniel, five, for Sunday lunch in North Wales.
Iain’s father John had been flying the four-seater Piper Cherokee which took off from Fly Blackpool at Blackpool Airport earlier in the day.
The 61-year-old ‘regular flyer’, of Dean Road, Haslingden remained in a critical condition yesterday in a specialist unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.
He was expected to undergo surgery for serious multiple lower leg injuries.
His grandson Daniel, said to have serious head and abdominal injuries, is also expected to undergo surgery.
The Nuttall family, including Iain’s wife Michelle, were at their bedsides.
Former Rossendale councillor Peter Nuttall, of Haslingden, is Iain’s uncle and the brother of John Nuttall.
Yesterday, he said the family were struggling to come to terms with the accident.
He said: “My brother is going to have to have an operation and we think little Daniel is going to be okay.
“All we know about what happened is that the plane crashed on landing. We hope to know more in the next few days.”
Neighbours in the Shadsworth area of Blackburn expressed their ‘shock’ and ‘devastation’ at Iain’s death and described him as a ‘nice person’.
Lee Cych, whose son is Daniel’s best friend, said: “It is absolutely heartbreaking news. Iain was such a good lad.
“He had just passed his truck driving test and was really happy with his new job.
“Before that he had worked at Oswaldtwistle Mills as a security guard.
“We have spoken to the family and they said Daniel is going to need surgery. It’s just so sad.”
Iain had been working as a truck driver for Accolade Logistics in Clayton-le-Moors since January.
His boss, managing director Gary Bowker, said: “Everyone here is absolutely devastated. He was such a nice person. He was hard-working and conscientious. We are all in shock.
“Our thoughts are now with his family at this very sad time.”
A keen motorcyclist who loved adventure sports, Iain was said to have served in the forces and was a regular at the TT Races in the Isle of Man.
His friends at Oswaldtwistle Mills described the devoted father as ‘the practical joker’ who was always playing tricks on his colleagues.
According to witnesses, the aircraft may have clipped trees as it came to land at one of the airport’s two runways.
The plane was said to have landed on grass and was then flipped onto its roof on impact.
The incident was referred to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). The RAF took the wreckage to Farnborough for further tests yesterday.
A post mortem examination is expected to be carried out tomorrow.
Sourced by Daily Post
The company identified £390m of savings, forecast a return to profitability for the full year and most importantly laid out a robust solution to its debt mountain.
So chief executive clearly Harriet Green has quickly got to grips with the financial issues and has laid the foundation for a healthier future.
However, there are still a large number of fundamental issues that need addressing if Thomas Cook is really going to be able to take on its larger rival Tui Travel head to head.
To understand these issues, its probalby worth reviewing the consolidation that created these two travel giants.
Thomas Cook’s tour operation was originally formed by the amalgamation of Sunworld, Flying Colours and Inspiration in the late 1990’s.
Sunworld and Flying Colours were relatively new start ups, which were acquired and merged together over a six month period and immediately added to by the acquisition of Inspirations/Caledonian Airways.
You can imagine the pain of trying to put all three together in a very short period of time.
Further growth by acquisition occurred seven years later with the purchase of the highly distressed MyTravel Group of companies, which was rapidly relocated to Peterborough, with a 95% redundancy level.
To complete the melting pot, 400 Co-op shops where acquired just before Thomas Cook started to implode.
Thomas Cook’s tour operating, retail and airline infrastructures have all been created by acquisition and offer relatively weak foundations, compared to its main rival’s Tui.
Most commentators viewed the merger of the strongest brand in terms of quality – Thomson – with the industry’s best management team lead by Peter Long at First Choice, as the dream ticket.
First Choice started the process of creating differentiated hotel product with the launch of First Choice Holiday Villages and Sensatori Hotels over 10 years ago.
They planned and ordered the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, that are only now coming into service with Tui, eight year ago.
These decisions were key in creating the differentiated product that is proving so profitable for Tui and driving their current strong financial performance.
Harriet Green has not yet put a foot wrong; however, she does not have a “magic wand” that can short-cut ten years of planning and financing required in order to create large volumes of differentiated product.
I must admit to concerns about the process of driving overhead savings by abandoning the old brand silo structure and moving to centralised buying, commercial and finance functions.
This is likely to rip the heart out of most of Thomas Cook’s secondary brands like Airtours, Hotels4U and Club 18-30.
Although this may be a sacrifice which has to be made, there are numerous examples in travel where two plus two can quickly amount to only two – lose the brand and lose the volume/profit.
So although I understand the logic of what Thomas Cook is tying to do and cannot fail to be impressed by the share price rise, I think I will continue to invest my money in Tui.
For me it’s still a gamble that the “re-iced” Thomas Cook cake will not start crumbling in the next few years as it has to cover the hard yards required to take it back to substantial profits.
The above article was reproduced with permission from Steve Endacott’s personal blog.
Sourced from Travel News
Thomson and First Choice are pleased to announce additional flights to Tenerife and Alicante from Cardiff Airport for winter 2013. The added services which start in November 2013 from Cardiff Airport’s largest flight provider also allow for greater flexibility in holiday durations.
The additional flights equate to an increase of 17% on operations in winter 2012.
The move to add additional capacity from Cardiff is part of the UK’s largest tour operator’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport and stay at the best hotels in some of the most exciting destinations. These include the 5T+ Sensatori Tenerife, which gives customers a luxury holiday experience, featuring world class spas, 260m swimming pool and gourmet dining as well as the First Choice Holiday Village Tenerife which delivers everything a family could want in one place – great entertainment, food, kids clubs and lots of activities to keep the whole family occupied.
Not only will customers flying from Cardiff be able to travel to far flung destinations, but they will also have the opportunity to choose varying durations of 10 and 11 nights – not just the standard seven and 14 night stays.
Thomson and First Choice will also be the only carrier flying customers to Antalya, Bodrum, Corfu, Kefalonia, Faro, Gran Canaria and Sharm El Sheikh from Cardiff.
Paul Cooper, Airport Negotiations Manager for Thomson and First Choice, said:
“Adding these new durations and additional flights from Cardiff Airport demonstrates our commitment to the airport and our Welsh customer base. Following the success of similar routes across a number of regional airports, we know that the demand is there.
“Expanding access to our portfolio of destinations and hotels is a key part of our overall strategy and we hope that this move will enhance the holiday experience for our customers.”
Jon Horne, Chief Executive for Cardiff Airport added:
“We are delighted that Thomson and First Choice have chosen to expand their programme at Cardiff Airport and commit to serving routes which we know are hugely popular with Welsh holiday makers.
“This announcement is the next step in increasing capacity and the choice of flights available from Cardiff and we will continue working to convince airlines of the great opportunities that exist in serving Wales.”
By Hywel Trewyn
Planes could fly in, rather than travel by road before being dismantled
Planes as big as Boeing 747s will be flown into a Snowdonia airfield for dismantling rather than be transported by road, the owners have said.
Last night one of Llanbedr Airfield Estate’s owners David Young reiterated they’ll be flown in after Network Rail voiced objections to the plans.
Proposals for the airfield near Harlech, Gwynedd were given the green light by Snowdonia National Park (SNPA) planners last August.
Mr Young was speaking after Network Rail called for clarification as to how the aircraft will get to the site.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We have voiced objections because we are concerned about the possibility of long, heavy and slow-moving vehicles using the nearby Talwrn Bach level crossing to gain access to the airfield.
“It is classed as a high risk crossing and we don’t wish to see this risk increased.”
In a letter to SNPA, Network Rail suggested the owners enter into talks with Network Rail “to mitigate the risk of using the level crossing”.
Last August SNPA unanimously backed plans for the airfield, creating 60 jobs. Llanbedr Airfield Estates (LAE) want to dismantle aircraft incapable of being returned to active use.
The plans will go before the committee again on Wednesday (May 22) after more information was submitted to comply with planning conditions.
The application is recommended for approval by head of development, control and compliance, Aled Lloyd, despite conceding that access to the airfield and large camping site known as Shell Island nearby was along a relatively narrow road.
Mr Young said: “The aircraft will fly in, of course they will. The only issue will be with the aircraft we’ve dismantled on the site, the parts will go out by road. I can’t see it as an issue.”
Mr Young added there wouldn’t be any more traffic on the road than there was previously from the former airfield.
The plans have the support of local people, councils and politicians. Opposition has come from conservationists at the Snowdonia Society who said the plans were inappropriate for the site.
One resident asked for conditions to be imposed to reduce visual impact, noise nuisance and fumes.
As well as dismantling aircraft, LAE intend to carry out research and development for the testing, evaluation and development of unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft system.
One of the conditions stipulates no more than 20 aircraft shall be parked or stored outside the hangars at any one time
Sourced by Daily Post