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first_img CALGARY — WestJet says it has made significant schedule changes as it redeploys aircraft to draw in more of the lucrative corporate travel market. The carrier has also eliminated domestic change and cancel fees for any travel booked in its Flex fare bundle.“Maintaining our position as Canada’s value leader is important to us and we continue to hone our fare bundles to provide our guests with increased value,” said Debbie Keller, WestJet’s Vice-President, Revenue Management, Pricing and Group Business.She added that “eliminating change and cancel fees domestically in our Flex bundle will especially benefit business travellers and their frequently changing schedules.”WestJet’s new deployment this winter means the carrier will have more daily flights than any other airline from Vancouver-Calgary and Calgary-Toronto, with 15 and 10 daily departures respectively.WestJet will have 186 connecting flight options from Calgary, 63 from Vancouver and 172 from Toronto. “Make no mistake, WestJet is targeting the business traveller, eager to prove we have the schedules and flexibility which will meet their needs,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTAlong with no change fees for domestic bookings, guests travelling on a Flex fare get benefits like first checked bag free and complimentary advance seat selection for regular seats, Znotins added.WestJet schedule information is available at westjet.com/winterschedule. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Friday, August 4, 2017 Posted bycenter_img Make no mistake, WestJet is targeting the business traveller: new skeds Tags: Business Travel, Trend Watch, WestJet Travelweek Group last_img read more

19 08 19

first_img Tuesday, April 10, 2018 Share Tags: Go Ahead Tours TORONTO — Increased interest in history tours has prompted EF Go Ahead Tours to develop a curated portfolio of trips centered around remembering Canadian history.The company has partnered with organizations including Canada’s History Magazine and the Juno Beach Centre “to deliver a specialized calibre from a Canadian perspective and add a new level of expertise,” says Johan Astrom, Vice President, Canada, EF Go Ahead Tours.Last year Canadians commemorated the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This year they will remember the centenary of the First World War, and in 2019, Canadians will commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.Astrom says agents interested in learning more about EF Go Ahead Tours’ portfolio of history tours, or working with clients interested in learning more about Canada’s role in the World Wars or have a family connection, are encouraged to contact EF Go Ahead Tours for more information.“Our team of tour consultants are here to answer any questions you might have, or speak to the tour experience as a whole,” he says.In 2017 EF Go Ahead Tours took travellers on a Vimy Ridge Centennial Tour. “The response to that tour, and the emotional connection that so many of our travellers experienced while standing among nearly 25,000 fellow Canadians memorializing the battle, really reinforced our ambitions to develop a more extensive portfolio of tours that celebrates Canada’s role in some of the events that helped shape history,” said Astrom.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksThe company’s portfolio of upcoming tours includes:Canada’s Great War Album – On this exclusive tour, 35 travellers will be immersed in the narrative of this historic region by travelling on this specially curated tour, created in partnership with Canada’s History Magazine. Participants will journey alongside Mark Reid, Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s History and author of ‘Canada’s Great War Album’, as they make their way from the Vimy region to the Normandy Coast.Departure: Aug. 24, 2018Length: 10 days (12 with extension)D-Day 75th Anniversary: London, Normandy & Amsterdam – Along the coast of Normandy and through the streets of London and Amsterdam, the influence of WWII can still be felt. Visit memorials, trenches, and museums and learn about the important role Canadian forces played in the outcome of D-Day.Departures: June 2, 2019 and Nov. 6, 2019Length: 12 days (15 with extension)Canadian WWII History: The Italian Campaign – This trip focuses on the role of Canadian forces during the Italian Campaign. Make your way through the small towns and waterfront cities of Monte Cassino, Ortona, and Rimini to see the backdrop for some of the most important events of WWII. Experience deep history and endless beauty on this tour through Italy.Departures: May 29, 2019 and Nov. 7, 2019Length: 12 days (14 with extension)Canadian World War History: Vimy to Juno Beach – Set out from Amsterdam to cross the former battlefields of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, where soldiers gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars. Visit historic sites and memorials in Lille, Ypres, and along the coast of Normandy before the journey ends in Paris.Departures: May 11, 2018; Sept. 21, 2018; Oct. 12, 2018; May 10, 2019 and Sept. 20, 2019Length: 10 days (12 with extension)More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?Agents can call 1-800-719-9805 or visit goaheadtours.ca. Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> EF Go Ahead Tours offers history tours with Canadian expertiselast_img read more

19 08 19

first_img MCLEAN, VA — Hilton has signed on to develop an upscale, all-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton brand in Aruba in 2021.The new-build 330-suite oceanfront Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort marks Hilton’s second hotel on the island and reinforces the company’s continued expansion plans in the Caribbean.“The signing of Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort underscores Hilton’s commitment to expanding its portfolio across the Caribbean,” said Juan Corvinos, VP, development, Caribbean and Latin America, Hilton.“We are focused on continued growth in the region and bringing our industry leading brands to top destinations like Aruba. The new Embassy Suites by Hilton resort across Eagle Beach will be a wonderful complement to our existing Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino on Palm Beach, further extending our hospitality to a new area of the island.”Located on J.E. Irausquin Boulevard across from the white sands of Eagle Beach and less than 10 km from the airport, hotel guests will get unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea and proximity to the area’s main attractions, dining and entertainment.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalThe new-build eight-storey 330-suite resort in Aruba will feature Embassy Suites by Hilton’s signature spacious suites equipped with a separate living area, private bedroom and wet bar fitted with a microwave, mini-fridge and coffee maker.The resort will provide 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a more than 3,000 square foot spa, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and casino. There will also be a three-meal signature restaurant, bar and grab-and-go dining option.Hilton currently has a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels and resorts in 25 countries across the Caribbean and Latin America.The company says it is actively pursuing additional growth opportunities and currently has a development pipeline of more than 80 hotels throughout the region. Hilton announces plans for Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel in Aruba Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Tags: Aruba, Embassy Suites, Openings & Renovations Sharecenter_img Travelweek Group Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgNo related posts. Results of the “Continuous Employment Survey” released Wednesday by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) indicates that the unemployment rate for the first quarter of 2012 was 10.4 percent, a higher figure than the 9.8 percent reported the same period last year.Maria Elena González, manager of INEC, said the drop is due to the economic recovery of mid-2011, which prompted more people to seek work. This increases the rate of unemployment.In early 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.8 percent. It rose to 10.9 percent in the second and third quarter, then dropped to 10.4 percent in the fourth quarter, remaining the same in the first quarter of this year.INEC experts say that the Costa Rican industry sector can be considered stable, but the construction sector has shown a dramatic increase from the early fall of 2011.The “Continuous Employment Survey” provides new statistical research on job market development, and is published four times a year. The investigation involves visiting 9,024 homes per quarter, and each home data remains in the sample for four quarters. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgThe American Colony Committee’s 53rd Independence Day Celebration is back in business. The massive 4th of July picnic will again feature delicious food, patriotic music, and an explosion of red, white and blue patriotism.Those Americans with a soft spot for the motherland will make their way to the Cervecería Costa Rica at 9 a.m. on July 4 for children’s games and live music, along with an abundance of beer, soft drinks, hot dogs and sweet treats. The festivities conclude at 1 p.m. No related posts. This year’s event will feature U.S. singer/songwriter Mary McBride, who will perform with her band as part of a worldwide cultural tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department.At 11 a.m., flag-raising ceremony will commence with the participation of the American Embassy in Costa Rica and the U.S. Marines. The symphonic band of the University of Costa Rica will perform the national anthems of both the United States and Costa Rica.The 53rd annual Independence Day Celebration is organized by the American Colony Committee for United States citizens and their immediate family. Citizens are also encouraged to bring one Tico friend.The picnic will be held on July 4, 2013, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission is $10 (or ¢5,000). Cervecería Costa Rica is located off the General Cañas highway, near Juan Santamaría Airport, Alajuela. Free parking is available nearby and a free shuttle service is provided from the parking area to the picnic grounds. Those getting dropped off can enter the main entrance of the Cervecería. A map to the parking lot is available on the website. For more information visit http://americancolonycr.org/parking/ or call 2288-4864. Facebook Comments –Official invitation–Parking lot map 4th of July Picnic last_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgOfficers from the Drug Control Police (PCD) on Saturday night discovered a shipment of 100 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a container that arrived at the Caribbean port of Moín from Colombia.The drugs were contained in 100 packages and concealed inside secret compartments of the container’s walls.A report from the Public Security Ministry said the container arrived in Costa Rica empty on a cargo ship. Finding it suspicious, PCD officers conducted a full search on Saturday.The confiscated cargo was transported by air to the capital by officers of the Public Security Ministry.On June 28, the Costa Rican Coast Guard and police units also seized nearly 500 kilos of cocaine hidden in another container, along with guns and ammunition. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img

19 08 19

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. President Barack Obama will vow in a national address Wednesday night to target the Islamic State with air strikes “wherever they exist” in a sign he plans to attack the jihadists inside Syria for the first time.According to excerpts of his speech released by the White House, Obama will also pledge to lead a broad coalition to fight IS and work with “partner forces” on the ground in Syria and Iraq.But he insisted that U.S. combat troops will not be sent to fight on foreign soil as part of the operation.The prime-time speech will mark a major U.S. escalation, despite Obama having devoted much of his presidency to pulling the U.S. out of wars in the Middle East and avoiding new foreign entanglements.“This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground,” Obama says in the excerpts.“Tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”The president will style the new U.S. operation as an extension of long-running counter-terrorism strategies in Yemen and Somalia, where air power and occasional special forces missions have targeted Islamic radical groups.He also made a clear distinction between the huge land wars launched by his predecessor George W. Bush, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, 13 years ago on Thursday.“I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil,” he says.Earlier, Obama spoke to Saudi King Abdullah, underlining Riyadh’s crucial role in an anti-IS front, and reached out to lawmakers to seek Congressional support for his plans.France offered Obama a well-timed boost, saying it was prepared to join an already launched U.S. air campaign against IS targets in Iraq if necessary.In Iraq, meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry promised that the country’s armed forces, some of which fled when IS marched into western Sunni districts, would be “reconstituted and trained and worked on.”Boost for Syrian rebels Obama and Abdullah “agreed on the need for increased training and equipping of the moderate Syrian opposition,” the White House said in a statement.“Both leaders agreed that a stronger Syrian opposition is essential to confronting extremists like ISIL as well as the Assad regime, which has lost all legitimacy.”The call represented a potentially significant development in the crisis, as Obama for months opposed sending lethal weapons into the Syrian civil war, citing the difficulty of identifying true moderates and fearing they could end up in the hands of extremists.In a related development, Obama also freed up $25 million to equip Iraqi government and Kurdish troops to fight IS.Though Obama has told U.S. voters he will not send ground troops back into combat, he has not ruled out sending U.S. trainers to help prepare Iraqi forces — stood up at the cost of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars after the 2003 U.S. invasion.Kerry praised the new Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, which Washington says has the potential to offer the “inclusive” rule across sectarian divides that the former administration of Nuri al-Maliki failed to provide.But the sectarian stew facing Abadi was underlined when bombs killed 19 people in Baghdad during Kerry’s visit.The Pentagon said the US military had now conducted 154 strikes against IS in Iraq, and destroyed 212 targets, including armed vehicles and weapons systems.Poignant  The plan Obama will lay out on Wednesday will be open-ended and the campaign could outlast his presidency, which ends in January 2017.“I think the American people need to expect that this is something that will require a sustained commitment,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.The address will come at a poignant time — on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, when Islamic radicalism on a mass scale scorched the U.S. homeland for the first time.Obama, who has seen his personal approval ratings and public confidence in his foreign policy tumble, may seek to exploit a seam of increasingly hawkish public opinion on Syria.A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll suggests the US public was increasingly hawkish about IS, with two-thirds of those asked saying they backed military operations against the group.The White House insists that IS, despite having beheaded two U.S. journalists, does not yet pose an imminent threat to the U.S. homeland.But officials worry the group could eventually send some of its legions of foreign fighters, armed with Western passports, to stage attacks in America.Obama previewed his speech in a meeting with top congressional leaders on Tuesday, and then Wednesday huddled with defense and intelligence chiefs in the White House Situation Room.Officials said he believes he has sufficient authority to carry out his new strategy without asking Congress for a new war authorization.But he wants lawmakers to vote on $500 million in funding for Syrian rebels — which he first requested in June — before they leave town soon ahead of November’s mid-term elections.Republicans have used Obama’s public deliberation over what to do about IS to drive a narrative that the president is weak and disengaged.“Our president must understand we are at war and that we must do what it takes, for as long as it takes, to win,” hawkish former vice president Dick Cheney said Wednesday. Facebook Comments Related posts:Obama: Expand effort against Islamic State US expands airstrikes into Syria to hit Islamic State Obama cannot keep ignoring Bashar Assad in Syria Islamic State terrorists talked of entering U.S. through Mexicolast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgRelated posts:‘The Beast’: Costa Rica’s new crime-fighting machine Is ‘El Chapo’ in Costa Rica? Probably not, but he wouldn’t be the first kingpin to flee here Cúcuta: Colombia’s city of contraband and a broken Bolivarian dream Defendants captured aboard supposed drug vessel accuse U.S. authorities of torture Panama and Costa Rica, the only two countries on the Central American isthmus with no army, are strengthening security cooperation in the face of drug trafficking and other global threats.The 330-kilometer border shared by Panama and Costa Rica is an area that’s highly vulnerable to organized crime, including drug and weapons trafficking, as well as smuggling. Both countries rely on their police forces for national security. Lax security measures along the border also allow criminals in one country to easily cross the border in an attempt to avoid arrest.Panamanian and Costa Rican authorities met on Feb. 11 and 12 in the western Panamanian city of Bocas del Toro and agreed to step up coordination and create a joint task force “for more efficient crime fighting,” according to Panama’s Security Minister Rodolfo Aguilera. Aguilera presided over the talks with his recently-appointed Costa Rican counterpart, Gustavo Mata.Aguilera also said the two countries agreed to training, joint border surveillance and to exchange information and security technology.In an interview with The Tico Times, Mata said the countries also discussed creating a joint task force made up of police officers from both sides of the border.The talks were attended by Rosso Serrano, who headed the Colombian National Police from 1994 to 2000. Serrano is credited with having masterminded the dismantling of the Cali and Medellín drug cartels.Honduran Security Minister Julián Pacheco, who was sworn in this month by President Juan Orlando Hernández, also attended the meeting as an observer.A meeting to discuss cooperation among Costa Rican, Panamanian and Honduran police forces is being scheduled for later this year, Costa Rican authorities said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgRelated posts:In heroin fight, White House tries to break down walls between public health, police US drug czar approaches challenge from a different angle: as a recovering alcoholic White people are more likely to deal drugs in the US, but black people are more likely to get arrested for it Fabio Lobo: Honduras’ drug trafficking presidential son? “I grew up in the hood in Miami in a poor neighborhood. I came from a community in which drug use was prevalent. I kept a gun in my car. I engaged in petty crime. I used and sold drugs. But I stand before you today also — emphasis on also — a professor at Columbia University who studies drug addiction.”That’s how Carl Hart, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology and psychiatry, opened a recent TED talk he gave about his research into addiction. After his difficult youth, Hart said he toed the drug war line for a number of years: “I fully believed that the crime and poverty in my community was a direct result of crack cocaine.” He bought into the notion, pushed by policymakers in the 1980s and 1990s, that you could get hooked on crack and other drugs after just one hit.But his research has disabused him of these notions. He recruited cocaine and meth users into his lab, and over a period of several days offered them some options: they could either receive hits of their drug of choice, or they could take payments of five dollars instead. Crucially, the payments offered were less than the value of the drugs they could consume.Contrary to the notion of the craven drug fiend who will do literally anything for one more hit, Hart found that half of cocaine and meth users opted for the money over the drugs. And when he increased the payments to 20 dollars, closer to 80 percent of meth users chose the money. The lesson? “Attractive alternatives dramatically decrease drug use,” he said in his talk.This speaks to another point Hart made, which is worth quoting at length:80 to 90 percent of people who use illegal drugs are not addicts. They don’t have a drug problem. Most are responsible members of our society. They are employed. They pay their taxes. They take care of their families. And in some cases they even become president of the United States.He’s right, of course. Among people who have ever used marijuana, only 9 percent become addicted. That rate is 11 percent for cocaine and 17 percent for stimulants like meth. Even the vast majority of people who use heroin — 77 percent of them — never get addicted to the drug.When it comes to his own kids, Hart, who is black, is less worried about drugs and more worried about the people who enforce drug laws. He says the effects of drugs at the individual-level are predictable and easy to understand: you smoke some weed, you will experience X effects after Y amount of time. But interactions with the police are a different story. “I don’t know how to keep my children safe with the police because, particularly when it comes to black folks, interactions with police are not predictable,” he said in a recent Q&A hosted by Ebony magazine.Hart says that many recent high-profile police killings have occurred under the aegis of the war on drugs. “In all of these cases, authorities suspected that the deceased individual was either intoxicated from or selling an illicit substance,” Hart writes. Overinflated claims about the dangers of drug use have “created an environment where unjustified police killings are more likely to occur,” he says. They’ve also created a world where DEA agents can interrogate public transportation passengers and take all their money when they don’t like their answers. Or where IRS agents can empty your bank account because they don’t like how you deposited your money there.But black families and communities typically bear the brunt of these harsh measures. Hart offers a troubling statistic in his talk: 1 in 3 black men can expect to do some jail time over the course of their lives. This reality has hit him right at home: “I’m a father of three black sons,” he said. “One has spent time in jail for drug laws.”© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

19 08 19

first_imgRelated posts:National Oil Refinery presents proposal to lower fuel prices This year’s first price increase at the pump could start next month Gasoline prices may drop again in October Motorists get cheaper fuel prices starting this week The Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE) delivered motorists good news as its most recent projections say fuel prices next year will remain similar to those registered this month.RECOPE’s director of economic and financial studies, Luis Solera, on Monday said that projected behavior of international oil prices as well as stability in the dollar exchange rate here would favor stable prices throughout the year, despite seasonal variations recorded every year.Solera joined executive president Sara Salazar and development manager Leonel Altamirano during the delivery of RECOPE’s annual report, in which they said prices of gasoline and diesel in 2015 were the lowest in the past five years in Costa Rica.A liter of “Plus” gasoline reached its highest price of ₡642 ($1.19) in August and its lowest of ₡503 ($0.93) in February. Currently the per-liter price is ₡536 ($0.99).The current per-liter price of diesel, ₡449 ($0.93), is the lowest of the year, while ₡522 ($0.97) in January was the highest.Solera said officials believe price stability could extend through 2018 as international forecasts point toward a similar stable scenario for at least two more years.RECOPE’s analysis concluded that actions from major oil exporters to maintain their market share “caused a surplus in oil production whose most noticeable result was a 25 percent decrease in oil prices from those registered in 2014.”The agency noted that its projection is supported by data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration stating that the surplus likely will favor prices to remain low through all of 2016.More vehiclesRECOPE officials also reported increased consumption of gasoline and diesel by 6 percent over 2014. Motorists this year consumed 17.1 million barrels of gasoline, up from 16 million in 2014.However, the agency concluded the spike was not caused by increased consumption but an increase in the number of vehicles circulating in the country.Refinery experts also said low oil prices on international markets saved motorists some cash.Stable prices in Plus gasoline this year helped vehicle owners spend on average ₡380,000 ($705) less than they did in 2014. Users of Super gasoline saved ₡301,000 ($558), and diesel consumers saved ₡348,000 ($646), according to the report.The agency also said that fuel sales for thermal generation of electricity decreased this year by 94 percent, mostly due to rainfall levels registered since mid-2014 that favored clean energy generation through September of this year. Facebook Commentslast_img read more