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APRIL Travel Protection Offers Economical Insurance Solution for Frequent Business Travelers

APRIL Travel Protectionis keeping up with business travelers' ever-evolving needs by offering budget-friendly policies with premiums starting at $193 per year for an unlimited number of trips. APRIL's Universal and Elite Annual Multi-Trip Travel Insurance policies give businesses the peace-of-mind that their travel plans are protected in the event of an emergency or change in schedule.

APRIL's annual multi-trip policies, especially the Universal Annual Multi-Trip plan, are ideal for those who travel three or more times per year, never for more than 90 consecutive days and are more concerned with an economical policy than higher coverage limits. The Universal Annual Multi-Trip policy starts at $193 per year and offers travelers with the following benefits:

  • Trip Interruption of up to $5,000 for situations such as sickness, injury or death, weather and natural disasters, terrorism or strikes, military or jury duty, bankruptcy or mechanical issues with the travel supplier, stolen passports or visas and other similar situations
  • Emergency Medical Expenses of up to $50,000
  • Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation Coverage up to $100,000
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage up to $1,000
  • Trip Delay (six hours or longer) Coverage of $100 per day (up to $750 maximum)
  • Baggage Delay (12 hours or longer) Coverage of $100 per day (up to $300 maximum)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage up to $25,000

APRIL also offers an Elite Annual Multi-Trip Policy, with premiums starting at $370 annually, which expands upon the above mentioned benefits and also offers Family Plan Pricing, meaning that only one parent needs to purchase a policy and all children will be covered at no extra expense. Upgrades to both plans are available at an additional fee.

"Business travelers tend to assess their insurance needs based on the likelihood of anticipated issues," said Jason Schreier, CEO of APRIL-USA. "The fallacy in this method is that interruptions, illnesses, and other issues can be most detrimental when they arise unexpectedly. This is where travel protection is imperative," Schreier continued.

"There is a gap in the typical U.S. health insurance policy which leaves Americans traveling abroad at risk for higher deductibles, or in many cases completely unprotected should a health-related emergency arise," Schreier added. "Americans, as a standard, insure themselves for 365 days per year for all other lines of insurance. Frequent travelers would be prudent to maintain that coverage year round," noted Schreier.

"APRIL's annual multi-trip policies are the most economical method for business travelers to cover themselves in the event of an unexpected emergency or change in plans," Schreier added.

The innovative travel insurance company offers its signature Stress Less Benefits with every policy sold, providing instant adjudication which pays to resolve clients' problems in real-time for most covered benefits while the vacationer or businessperson is still traveling. Issues covered under APRIL's Stress Less Benefits include: severe weather and natural disasters, injury, sickness, death, job loss or relocations, supplier default, terrorism, military duty, strikes and more.

Travelers also have the option of expanding upon APRIL's annual policies with a Trip Cancellation Plan which covers cancellations based on weather or natural disasters, an uncertain employment situation, health related issues, terrorism and other situations. A separate Cancel for Any Reason upgrade can also be purchased for those who are traveling with someone as part of a new relationship, may have an unexpected work conflict, have a relative expecting a newborn baby, or just want the peace of mind to be able to change their plans without losing their travel investment.

APRIL's pro-active approach to support keeps up with business travelers' ever-evolving needs with a multi-lingual team and 24/7 toll-free access from most destinations, as well as convenient support channels including Skype, texting, email and live chat. APRIL is the first company to pioneer these forward-thinking support mechanisms since the launch of its U.S. division in April 2013.

With the goal of Changing the Image of Insurance, APRIL has become a market leader in travel protection in Europe and Latin America with a presence in over 40 countries and more than two million policyholders worldwide. APRIL strives to provide simple agreements and services that are easily understood by customers. While most U.S. travelers purchase insurance policies they hope they will never need, APRIL creates a nurturing relationship with every client and educates policy holders on the full scope of support and services available to them.

For more information, contact APRIL Travel Protection at 855-277-4587, emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.AprilTravelProtection.com.

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iJET Expands Global Presence, Opens Singapore Subsidiary

iJET International, Inc., the leading provider of integrated risk management solutions for multinational organizations, continues to expand its global footprint by establishing a Singapore subsidiary, iJET Intelligent Risk Systems Singapore PTE.LTD.

Mobile App Video from iJET International on Vimeo.

Singapore was selected because it will reinforce iJET’s 24x7 global coverage and because of the increased demand for iJET’s risk management services and patented risk technology solutions in the APAC region. iJET’s mission is to protect its clients’ people, facilities, supply chain and information, enabling them to continue business without disruptions and operate with confidence.

“The decision to open our Singapore location was critical to supporting our growing global network of information analysts, support operations, sales and channel partnerships,” said iJET International, Inc. CEO, Bruce McIndoe. “Our presence in Singapore directly serves our mission to ensure our clients can operate globally with confidence.”

iJET’s 24x7 Global Integrated Operations Center (GIOC) integrates the Singapore location with the Washington, D.C., and London centers and leverages analysts from all locations. The new Singapore location is part of iJET’s strategic global expansion and which includes plans to hire for global operations, global intelligence, client services and business development.

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Manulife's New Brand Campaign Presents The Life Of Hong Kong People In The Year 2040

Manulife Hong Kong has launched a new wave of its multi-media, consumer-oriented Retirement Solutions brand campaign, illustrating the daunting realisation of the impact of time and inflation on the lives of Hongkongers and reminding them of the importance of early retirement planning. The new campaign gives Hongkongers a sense of how retired life could look in the year 2040. It is an extension of the company’s “Retirement Solutions” campaign launched in 2013, which highlights the cost associated with retirement and the need to plan earlier for a worry-free life after work.

Isabella Lau, Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Manulife Hong Kong, said, “This new wave of campaign speaks directly to individual consumers, giving them a rare glimpse into what life in the future might have in store for them. The campaign brings to the front that Manulife is the pre-eminent retirement expert and we are well positioned to help customers build, protect and enjoy their wealth.”

The campaign includes TVC, online videos, digital advertising and online social-media, print advertising and out-of-home (OOH) displays – to trigger conversation among the general public on the importance of retirement planning. DDB Group Hong Kong is the creative agency behind the campaign.

Two 30-second TVCs use a timeline notion to illustrate how escalating grocery costs and hospital waiting times will affect retirement. An immersive journey allows consumers to experience the tough cost of future living and understand that Manulife’s suite of retirement solutions can help Hongkongers plan for the future and maintain their current standard of living. A huge outdoor advertising showcase will take over Causeway Bay and Hong Kong MTR stations, while print advertising mirrors the TVCs. The campaign also features three online videos showing different news flashes and TV commercials from the year 2040.

In one video, efforts to cut hospital waiting times see the launch of innovative new four-level hospital bunk beds; while in another, soaring real estate prices create demand for new starter homes built for retirees that only have room to sleep and eat standing up.

The third video presents a future where overseas travel has become prohibitively expensive. With holidays a thing of the past, travel agencies deliver new ”Dream Holiday” simulated vacation experiences. Other 2040 news flashes and useful information on retirement planning will also run on the campaign’s interactive website, RetireSimple.hk, to help visitors understand the costs of the future that impact their own lives. They can pick ten essential retirement items and discover how much they will cost over 25 years in retirement. Visitors can also delve into infographics and expert advice, as well as a host of helpful articles on disparate retirement-related issues, under the site’s “Talking Retirement” section.

Adrian Li, Business Director at DDB Group Hong Kong said, “Our strategic insight for the campaign is that Hongkongers often overlook the impact of time and inflation on their retirement plan. We hope to take people on a realization journey and show how Manulife can help Hongkongers achieve their retirement life expectation.”

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IATA Releases 2014 Safety Performance: Fewest Jet Hull Losses But Rise In Total Fatalities

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released 2014 commercial aviation safety performance. The 2014 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.23, which was the lowest rate in history and the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights. This was an improvement over 2013 when the global hull loss rate stood at 0.41 (an average of one accident every 2.4 million flights) and also an improvement over the five-year rate (2009-2013) of 0.58 hull loss accidents per million flights jet. There were 12 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types in 2014 with 641 fatalities, compared with an average of 19 fatal accidents and 517 fatalities per year in the five-year period (2009-2013). The 2014 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.12 (one accident for every 8.3 million flights), which outperformed the global average by 48% and which showed significant improvement over the five-year rate of 0.33.

“Any accident is one too many and safety is always aviation’s top priority. While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

MH 370 and MH 17

The year 2014 will be remembered for two extraordinary and tragic events—MH 370 and MH 17. Although the reasons for the disappearance and loss of MH 370 are unknown, it is classified as a fatal accident—one of 12 in 2014. The aviation industry has welcomed the proposal by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to move towards the adoption of a performance-based standard for global tracking of commercial aircraft, supported by multi-national operational assessments to evaluate impact and guide implementation. The destruction of MH 17 by anti-aircraft weaponry, however, is not included as an accident under globally-recognized accident classification criteria. The four aircraft involved in the events of 9.11 were treated in the same way.

“The shooting down of MH 17 took with it 298 lives in an act of aggression that is by any measure unacceptable. Governments and industry have come together to find ways to reduce the risk of over-flying conflict zones. This includes better sharing of critical information about security risks to civil aviation. And we are calling on governments to find an international mechanism to regulate the design, manufacture and deployment of weapons with anti-aircraft capabilities,” said Tyler. “To the flying public an air tragedy is an air tragedy, regardless of how it is classified. In 2014 we saw a reduction in the number of fatal accidents—and that would be true even if we were to include MH 17 in the total. The greatest tribute that we can pay to those who lost their lives in aviation-related tragedies is to continue our dedication to make flying ever safer. And that is exactly what we are doing,” said Tyler.

2014 Safety by the numbers:

  • More than 3.3 billion people flew safely on 38.0 million flights (30.6 million by jet, 7.4 million by turboprop) 
  • 73 accidents (all aircraft types), down from 81 in 2013 and the five-year average of 86 per year 
  • 12 fatal accidents (all aircraft types) versus 16 in 2013 and the five-year average of 19
  • 16% of all accidents were fatal, below the five-year average of 22%
  • 7 hull loss accidents involving jets compared to 12 in 2013 and the five-year average of 16 
  • Three fatal hull loss accidents involving jets, down from six in 2013, and the five-year average of eight
  • 17 hull loss accidents involving turboprops of which nine were fatal
  • 641 fatalities compared to 210 fatalities in 2013 and the five-year average of 517

Jet hull loss rates by region of operator

  • All regions but one showed improvement in 2014 when compared to 2013. The exception is Europe which maintained the rate of 0.15 jet hull losses per 1 million sectors. 
  • All regions saw their safety performance improve in 2014 compared to the respective five-year rate 2009-2013 as follows: 
    • Africa (from 6.83 to 0.00)  ;
    • Asia-Pacific (from 0.63 to 0.44); 
    • CIS (from 2.74 to 0.83); 
    • Europe (from 0.24 to 0.15); 
    • Latin America and the Caribbean (from 0.87 to 0.41); 
    • Middle East-North Africa (1.82 to 0.63); 
    • North America (from 0.20 to 0.11) 
    • North Asia (from 0.06 to 0.00).
  • CIS had the worst performance (0.83) among regions, but it showed strong improvement over three consecutive years: 6.34 (2011), 1.91 (2012), 1.79 (2013).

Turboprop hull loss rates by region of operator 

  • The world turboprop hull loss rate improved to 2.30 hull losses per million flights in 2014 compared to 2.78 in the five years 2009-2013. 
  • The following regions saw their turboprop safety performance improve in 2014 when compared to the respective five-year rate: Asia-Pacific (from 2.16 to 0.00); CIS (from 12.12 to 11.95); Europe (from 1.46 to 0.71); Latin America and the Caribbean (from 4.53 to 1.21); Middle East-North Africa (from 7.91 to 7.17).
  • Africa had the worst performance (14.13 hull losses per million flights) in 2014 for turboprop hull losses, which exceeded the region’s five-year rate of 9.62. There are relatively few turboprop operations in North Asia so the single turboprop hull loss experienced in the region in 2014 caused the turboprop hull loss rate to rise to 11.28 compared to the five-year rate of. 2.41. North America also saw a deterioration in 2014 compared to the preceding five years (1.19 vs. 1.02).

IOSA

Airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Registry experienced three jet hull loss accidents and one turboprop hull loss accident. The total accident rate (all aircraft types) for IOSA-registered carriers was more than three times better than the rate for non-IOSA carriers (1.09 vs. 3.32). As of 4 March 2015, 396 airlines are on the IOSA registry. For IATA’s 251 airlines, IOSA certification is a requirement for membership in the Association. That some 145 non-member airlines are also on the registry is evidence that IOSA is the global benchmark for airline operational safety management.

“The overall performance of IOSA airlines shows that the audits are among the factors having a positive impact on safety. Beginning this year, we have upgraded to Enhanced IOSA, which incorporates systems to monitor compliance across the two-year audit cycle. This is moving IOSA from a once-every-two-year snapshot to a continuous management process,” said Tyler.

ISSA

There are operators that are not eligible for an IOSA either because they operate aircraft below 5,700 kg (12,566 lbs) maximum take-off weight, or because their business model does not allow conformity with other IOSA requirements. To address this segment of the industry, IATA has developed the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA). ISSA is not linked to IATA membership. Operators with aircraft above 5,700 kg MTOW will be eligible for one initial ISSA, after which the operator will be required to pursue an initial IOSA registration to stay on an IATA Audit registry.

“There is a clear need to ensure that operators of all types of equipment have robust safety infrastructure in place, which is validated by an operational safety audit. The ISSA will enable the industry to address the need for a global operational safety standard for operators that are not eligible for IOSA and I am confident that the ISSA standard will deliver a positive safety benefit in the same manner as has IOSA,” said Tyler.

Safety Improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan airlines had zero jet hull loss accidents in 2014. “Safety continues to be a challenge for Africa. The fact that the region experienced no jet hull loss accidents last year is real progress, in line with the objectives of the Abuja Declaration. However, the poor performance on turboprops demonstrates that significant challenges remain. Governments in the region need to accelerate implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS), according to the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). As of the end of 2014, only 14 African states had achieved 60% implementation of the SARPS. Making IOSA a part of the certification process certainly will help,” said Tyler. The 27 Sub-Saharan airlines on the IOSA registry are performing more than 10 times better than non-IOSA operators in terms of all accidents (1.95 per million flights versus 19.62).

Safety in the CIS

CIS airlines on the IOSA registry experienced zero accidents in 2014 for a second consecutive year. For all airlines in the CIS, the jet hull loss rate in 2014 of 0.83 was a significant improvement over the five-year rate (2.74). However, this was well below world levels. “We are seeing steady improvement in the CIS but there still is work to be done, in alignment with IATA’s global Six Point Safety Strategy,” said Tyler.

Increased Focus on Turboprop Operations

The accident rate for operators of turboprop aircraft on the IOSA Registry was 0.47 hull losses per million flights or less than 1 hull loss accident for every 2 million flights. However, the overall rate was significantly higher (2.30 per million flights). IATA and other stakeholders are addressing this shortfall through increased focus on improved safety awareness, systems, training, and airport infrastructure serving this type of operation. Additionally, statistics show that operators in all sectors continue to deliver better safety performance when the operator’s operational infrastructure, including that of its safety management capabilities, is robust. Operational standards such as IOSA, which require this robust infrastructure are a key to safer operations.

Using Data Analysis to Drive Improvements

Historically, aviation safety has improved through a well-established process of accident investigations that identify the probable causes and recommend mitigation measures. However, as aviation becomes ever safer, there are so few accidents that they cannot yield the trend data that is vital to a systemic risk-based approach to improving safety. Future safety gains will come increasingly from analyzing data from the more than 38 million flights that operate safely every year, rather than just the handful of flights where something goes wrong.

To support this requirement, IATA has created the Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) program as a comprehensive safety data warehouse. GADM includes analysis reports covering accidents, incidents, ground damage, maintenance and audits, plus data from nearly 2 million flights and over 1 million air safety reports. More than 470 organizations, including more than 90% of IATA member airlines, are participating in at least one GADM database.

“The GADM program will enhance aviation’s ability to identify areas of concern before they rise to the level of potential threats. Stakeholders are committed to advancing safety through a data-driven approach supported by cooperation and reliance on global standards and best practices,” said Tyler.

Six-Point Safety Strategy

IATA’s Six Point Safety Strategy is a comprehensive data-driven approach to identify organizational, operational and emerging safety issues:

  • Reducing operational risk 
  • Enhancing quality and compliance through audit programs
  • Advocating for improved aviation infrastructure such as implementation of performance-based navigation approaches
  • Supporting consistent implementation of Safety Management Systems 
  • Supporting effective recruitment and training to enhance quality and compliance through programs such as the IATA Quality and Training Initiative and ICAO’s Multi-crew Pilot License
  • Identifying and addressing emerging safety issues, such as lithium batteries

“The history of aviation is the story of continuous safety improvements. We must never lose sight of the need to maintain that dedication as we drive the accident rate lower using the data-driven approach that guides our Six Point Safety Strategy,” said Tyler.

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Angel MedFlight's Innovative Approach to Employee Training

As an innovative industry leader, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance implements a world-class training and development program to ensure every employee is equipped with the necessary tools to excel in his or her job function.

This requires remaining on the cutting edge of technology and education in two ever-evolving industries: aviation and healthcare.

Matt Greenwell, RN, CFRN, NREMT-P, FP-C, Angel MedFlight's Director of Clinical Operations teaches a Flight Physiology training course. He explains how pressure and altitude affect patients and the medical flight crew alike. Everything is measured in pressure and how it affects people differently; a patient is going to react differently at sea level than at 40,000 feet. "It's very important that the patient's history and condition is taken into consideration when the flight coordinators plan the flight," said Greenwell, adding, "Altitude and air density, cabin pressure and the condition of the patient all play a role in coordinating a flight and determining the correct altitude and cabin pressure."

Angel MedFlight's training curriculum is comprised of specialized instruction from each department including aviation, aviation maintenance, safety, operations, flight coordination, medical, quality management, legal, claims, human resources, IT and business development.

Employees are trained to understand the role of each job function and how they integrate; streamlining the overall communication process.

Employee training is an ongoing process; with continuing education requirements. An important part of Angel MedFlight's training program is a course designed for Flight Coordinators. It is imperative for Flight Coordinators to know how flights operate, the medical and technical aspects involved to accurately determine each patient's medical needs.

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US Department Of Labor's OSHA Cites Werner Construction After Worker Fatally Struck By Front-End Loader

Werner Construction Inc. has been cited for three safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a maintenance worker was fatally injured after being struck by a front-end loader.

The worker became pinned between the loader and a semitrailer. The 35-year-old full-time employee died of his injuries on Sept. 14, 2013.

"Struck-by hazards continue to be one of the leading causes of injury to workers. OSHA has investigated 37 cases in the past six years in which a worker was fatally injured from a struck-by vehicle incident in the Kansas City Region alone," said Marcia P. Drumm, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Kansas City. "Employers must train their workers to identify the potential for such hazards and take necessary precautions to prevent them."

Werner Construction was issued two serious citations involving operating the front end loader which had not received required servicing of safety features and failing to have someone adequately trained to administer first aid when medical treatment was not near the workplace. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The other-than-serious citation involved failing to conduct a workplace hazard assessment for personal protective equipment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA has proposed fines of $14,000.

In addition, OSHA has issued Werner Construction a hazard-alert letter because workers were exposed to being crushed when working around the front end loader which was being used to hold heavy materials in place. This letter is used to alert employers of potential hazard exposure and provide recommendations to protect the workers. Hastings, Neb.-based Werner Construction Inc. was last investigated by OSHA in 2009 after a worker was fatally injured while operating a paving machine.

In the past five years, 15 percent of all workplace fatalities investigated by the Kansas City Regional OSHA Office have involved struck-by vehicle accidents in the workplace.

Struck-by injuries and fatalities are caused by conventional traffic/passenger vehicles, forklifts and other moving, powered industrial equipment, such as cranes and yard trucks. Because of this, OSHA is continuing its regional outreach initiative in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska to educate workers and their employers about preventing such accidents.

Causes of struck-by accidents typically involve reverse vehicle movement into a pedestrian outside the driver's field of vision, or vehicles falling off ramps, inclines or unstable ground. 

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Passenger Demand Makes A Strong Start In 2014

Global passenger traffic results for January show a strong increase in demand. Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.0% compared to January 2013, an improvement over the December 2013 growth of 6.8% and the full year 2013 growth of 5.2%.

January capacity increased 6.7%, pushing load factor up 0.9 percentage points to 78.1%.

“2014 is off to a strong start, with travel demand accelerating over the healthy results achieved in 2013, in line with stronger growth in advanced economies and emerging market regions,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

January international passenger demand was up 7.8% compared to the year-ago period with airlines in all regions recording growth and the strongest gains in the Middle East. Capacity rose 6.8% and load factor climbed 0.7 percentage points to 78.3%.

Asia-Pacific carriers’ traffic rose 8.0% compared to the year-ago period; however, this result is partly distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year in January, a month earlier than in 2013. Comparisons with December traffic suggest a continuation of the slower growth seen toward the end of 2013, likely in line with signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy. Capacity climbed 7.5% year-over-year and load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 78.2%.

European carriers saw demand climb 6.4% in January versus January 2013. Modest economic improvements in the Eurozone since Q2 and rising consumer and business confidence have been providing a stronger demand base for international air travel. Additionally, the services sector has been signaling expansion and Eurozone job losses have stabilized. Capacity rose 5.9% and load factor climbed 0.4 percentage points to 77.2%.

North American airlines experienced a 3.5% rise in traffic compared to January a year ago, in line with recent performance. Rising consumer spending and employment growth are expected to support continued demand growth in the coming months. Capacity rose 2.5% pushing load factor up 0.8 percentage points to 80.4%, third highest among regions.

Middle East carriers’ demand soared 18.1% in January, far and away the strongest growth for any region. Capacity climbed 15.0% versus the same month in 2013 and load factor climbed 2.2 percentage points to 81.1%, also the highest for any region. The Middle East carriers are benefitting from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel, supported by the performance of internationally trading industries and key economies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 4.4% in January compared to January 2013. This was well below the 8.1% increase achieved for full year 2013. Despite the deceleration, the outlook for continued demand growth remains broadly positive, with continued robust performance of economies such as Colombia, Peru and Chile, and the upcoming demand to be generated by the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Capacity rose 2.0% and load factor jumped 1.8 percentage points to 80.8%.

African airlines’ traffic climbed 2.7% compared to January 2013, the slowest rate of growth for any region, while capacity rose 4.0%, resulting in a 0.9 percentage point drop in load factor to 68.9%, the lowest load factor for any region. Results could partly reflect adverse developments in some parts of the continent, including the slowdown of the South African economy as well as some moderation in trade volumes.

Domestic travel demand rose 8.2% in January compared to a year-ago, with several markets reporting double-digit growth. Total domestic capacity was up 6.5%, and load factor rose 1.2 percentage points to 77.7%.

Domestic traffic expanded at double-digit rates compared to the previous January in China, Japan and Russia.

Two stories to highlight for the month are China and Brazil:

China’s domestic demand soared 20.1%, compared to the year-ago period, easily the highest for any market. The timing of the Lunar New Year positively impacted the strong growth, but comparisons to December traffic results confirm solid expansion (1.8%), indicating continued strength in domestic demand. Domestic capacity climbed 16.9% compared to the year-ago period with the result that load factor jumped 2.1 percentage points to 79.4%.

Brazil’s airlines posted the highest load factors—81.5%. Domestic demand grew by 7.9% in January compared to the year-ago period, considerably above the 5.3% expansion in capacity. It should be noted that the pace of growth in January showed the greatest increase of any domestic market over full-year 2013 growth (which stood at just 0.8%). Brazil’s economy is in a delicate situation but is expected to receive a boost from the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which will rely heavily on air transport both for inbound visitors and to connect the far-flung match venues. 

“The second century of commercial aviation has begun on a positive note, with air traffic demand rising in line with generally positive economic indicators. While this is in line with an improved overall outlook for 2014, aviation remains highly vulnerable to external shocks. Rising geopolitical tensions around the world have the potential to cast shadows on this optimistic outlook,” Tyler said.

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Mercer Launches Mercer Belong® Global Mobility

Combining the strength of its communication expertise with its leadership position in global mobility, Mercer has announced Mercer Belong® Global Mobility (BGM) – a new solution that fosters better connections between the business, global mobility talent managers and expatriate assignees.

It is the latest enhancement to the firm’s Talent Impact™ Technology Solutions Portfolio. Designed around Mercer’s innovative Belong® web portal framework, which streamlines the delivery of human resources content in a user-friendly way, BGM’s easy-to-use application delivers the benefits of working abroad to prospective assignees; helps employees prepare for their upcoming assignments; and strengthens ties with current expatriates throughout their assignments. Through an interactive user-interface, BGM redefines customer experience via guides, quick links, social media, forms and third party resources. This access to self-service applications allows HR and line managers to stay connected with assignees and to better understand their critical role in the global mobility lifecycle.

“We are very excited to introduce a unique, all-encompassing, online resource for the mobility marketplace,” said Antonio Poglianich, Partner and Global Sales Leader for Mercer’s Communication practice. “BGM is designed to strip away the mystery behind what a global assignment involves both from the perspective of the employee going on an assignment to those supporting that individual. BGM also flexes to fit any organisation’s needs.”

Added Ed Hannibal, Partner and Global Consulting Leader for Mercer’s Mobility practice, “Considering the investment that so many organisations have made in their expatriate programs, BGM fosters a way for key stakeholders – expatriates, managers and mobility specialists – to strengthen their business connection. With fewer resources managing expatriate programmes, BGM provides employers an effective way to engage assignees 24/7 through an easy-to-navigate website, full of valuable information.”

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Thailand Travel Warning Advice News: 20th January 2014 Use Of Firearms In Political Demonstrations

Political demonstrations continue in and around Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand. Some of these have been violent, including the use of firearms, and there have been casualties.

The situation is unpredictable and further protests are expected. An escalation in protest action in central Bangkok since 13 January is causing significant disruption to roads in affected areas, with knock-on effects across the city. The main protest sites are at the major intersections of Sala Daeng, Asoke, Ratchaprasong, Pathumwan, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao and at the government complex at Chaeng Watthana. Some protest sites are located close to shopping malls. You should take extra care and avoid all protests, political gatherings and demonstrations.

If you’re travelling to the airport, allow extra time to take account of possible transport delays, and consider using the airport rail link. Monitor local news and social media for developments.

The Thai authorities have set up a Tourist’s Friend Centre to provide information for tourists. Offices are located at the Sport Authority of Thailand in the Bangkapi district of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports, four BTS Skytrain stations (Siam, Phya Thai, Ekkamai and Wong Wian Yai) and Hua Lampong MRT station. You can also contact the Tourist’s Friend Centre by telephone on +66 (0)2 314 1212 (in English – 24 hours).

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Thailand.

Over 800,000 British nationals visit Thailand every year.

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Tanzania Travel Warning News Advice: Sunday 5 January 2014, 6 Dead In Ferry Incident

In the last few years there have been 2 major ferry disasters in which hundreds of people have died.

In July 2012 a ferry travelling from Dar es Salaam to Stone Town in Zanzibar capsized. In September 2011, a ferry travelling between Pemba and Unguja (Zanzibar) sank.

On 5 January 2014, a number of passengers were blown overboard in bad weather on a ferry travelling from Pemba to Unguja (Zanzibar). This resulted in 6 deaths.

Only use reputable ferry companies. If you believe a ferry to be overloaded or unseaworthy don’t get on. Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures on board and make a note of where the life jackets and emergency exits are located. You should also beware of aggressive ticket touts at Tanzanian ports.

Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and has occurred as far as 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia. Shipping which has not complied with industry best practice on self-defence measures, including on routing, is most at risk. There have been a number of piracy attacks in the waters immediately off Tanzania. Pirates are increasingly attacking smaller vessels, including tourist and fishing vessels, and coming closer to shore.

Sailing vessels are particularly vulnerable to attack due to their low speed and low freeboard. The capacity of the Tanzanian Navy to respond to pirate attacks is very limited. If you are intending to sail through high risk areas, consider alternatives like transporting the vessel by yacht carrier.

Around 75,000 British nationals visit Tanzania every year. Most visits are trouble-free. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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Travel Insurance Industry Analysis News Press Releases Company Announcements

Read all the latest travel insurance industry news stories, press releases, views and analysis with the iPMI Magazine travel insurance news section. Find great value travel insurers for people with pre-existing medical conditions, travellers over 65 and those visiting dangerous remote hazardous locations offshore. Comprehensive and dynamic international travel insurance plans and solutions are of critical importance for individuals, groups and families travelling, working or living abroad answering key questions like Will your travel insurance cover you if an airline goes out of business? Should I buy travel insurance for European weekend breaks? iPMI Magazine looks at Discount Excludes Optional Extras. Medical Expenses Covered. Learn about a range of travel insurance options from single trips to annual cover. Insurance coverage: Medical Emergencies, Stolen Documents, Cruise Cover, Golf Cover, Gadget Add-On, Cancelled Flights, Lost Luggage, Missed Flight, Personal Accident, Lost Documents, Stolen Cash. Types: Annual, Multi-Trip, Single Trip plus much more. Subscribe to the iPMI Magazine travel insurance news letter, delivered via email free of charge, most days. Click here to subscribe now to travel insurance news and press releases.