Qatar Airways Is Voted The World’s Best Airline 2019

PHOTO: SKYTRAX


Airline leaders and top airline management from across the globe today attended the 2019 World Airline Awards held at Paris Air Show to receive their accolades voted for by customers. 

Qatar Airways scooped the top award being named the World’s Best Airline, together with awards for the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best Business Class Seat and the Best Airline in the Middle East. 

Singapore Airlines won a top accolade as the World’s Best Cabin Crew, and was also honoured with awards for the World’s Best First Class, the Best Airline in Asia and the World’s Best First Class Seat.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are thrilled to be globally recognised by our customers by winning these four prestigious awards. 

Becoming the first airline to be named as ‘Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time is a landmark achievement and, combined with three other major Skytrax awards, it is testament to the tireless efforts of the entire Qatar Airways team. 

It is a proud moment for the airline as our constant innovation and service standards set the benchmark in our industry.”

Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said: “To be named as the World’s Best Airline is a great recognition of Qatar Airways high standards, and recognises the hard work and dedication from every member of staff to satisfy customers. 

To achieve this accolade for a fifth time is a remarkable achievement, and we congratulate them for this unique success. 

All of today’s award winning airlines are voted for by customers, and the focus of our annual survey is for travellers to make their own, personal choices as to which airlines they consider to be best. 

We operate the survey and awards in a 100% independent and impartial format according to the commitment we gave back in 1999, and whilst every winner may not be the favourite of everyone, those that disagree should understand that these are the Passenger’s Choice Awards.”

The World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2019

Qatar Airways
Singapore Airlines
ANA All Nippon Airways
Cathay Pacific
Emirates
EVA Air
Hainan Airlines
Qantas Airways
Lufthansa
Thai Airways

PHOTO: SKYTRAX


World’s Best Cabin Staff 2019

Singapore Airlines
Garuda Indonesia
ANA All Nippon Airways
Thai Airways
EVA Air
Cathay Pacific
Hainan Airlines
Japan Airlines
Qatar Airways
China Airlines

World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines 2019

AirAsia
easyJet
Norwegian
Southwest Airlines
AirAsiaX
Jetstar Airways
WestJet
Indigo
Ryanair
Eurowings

The World’s Cleanest Airlines

EVA Air
Japan Airlines
ANA All Nippon Airways
Singapore Airlines
Asiana Airlines
Hainan Airlines/
Swiss Int’l Air Lines
Cathay Pacific
Qatar Airways
Lufthansa

SOURCES: SKYTRAX


Libra: Facebook Launches Cryptocurrency In Bid To Shake Up Global Finance

PHOTO: LIBRA/ FACEBOOK


Facebook says Libra is a “global currency and financial infrastructure”. In other words, it is a digital asset built by Facebook and powered by a new Facebook-created version of blockchain, the encrypted technology used by bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Why is it called Libra?

The name Libra comes from the basic Roman measurement of weight. The abbreviation lb for pound is derived from Libra, and the £ symbol originally comes from an ornate L in Libra.

Why is Facebook launching a cryptocurrency, and are they allowed?

Facebook claims it wants to reach the 1.7 billion people around the world who do not have access to a bank account.

The company is likely to run into regulatory hurdles and antitrust concerns, especially at a time when many regulators want to break up Facebook, but no specific legislation has been put forth ahead of the launch. Amidst rumours of Facebook’s new financial expansion, members of the US Senate wrote to CEO Mark Zuckerberg in May asking for clarification on privacy concerns.

Who is in charge of Libra?

The currency will be serviced by a collective of companies called the “Libra Association”. It functions as what is known as a “stablecoin”, pegged to existing assets like the dollar or euro, in the aim of making it less subject to the volatility that many cryptocurrencies experience.

The Libra Association is described by Facebook as an independent, not-for-profit organisation based in Switzerland. It serves two main functions: to validate transactions on the Libra blockchain and to manage the reserve Libra is tied to and allocate funds to social causes.

Within the Libra Association will be a governing body called the Libra Association Council, comprised of a representative of each member of the association, which will vote on policy and operating decisions.

Facebook claims that although it created the Libra Association and the Libra Blockchain, once the currency is launched in 2020 the company will withdraw from a leadership role and all members of the association will have equal votes in governance of Libra.

The companies who contributed a minimum of $10m(£8m) to be listed as founding members of the Libra Association include tech companies such as PayPal, Ebay, Spotify, Uber and Lyft, as well as financial and venture capital firms such as Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, Visa and Mastercard.

How can I use it?

When the cryptocurrency launches, users can download Calibra, a digital wallet, that will allow them to send it to anyone with a smartphone. It will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp, and as a standalone app.

It is not clear which countries the coin will launch in first, though Facebook said “almost anybody” in the world with a smartphone will be able to download the app.

What can you buy with it?

Facebook will launch Calibra, the Libra digital wallet, to allow users to send money to and from each other.

Apart from transactions on the app itself, Facebook wants to facilitate the use of Libra at various vendors for day-to-day transactions.

Ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft are early investors in the project, suggesting that perhaps users will be able to pay for services on the apps using Libra, though neither company responded to a request for comment.

Is this safe?

There are a number of privacy concerns regarding a financial app run by Facebook. The company said it will implement technologies to prevent money laundering and fraud.

“We will be using all the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use, and we’ll have automated systems that will proactively monitor activity to protect and prevent fraudulent behaviour,” Facebook said.

It also claims it will have “live support” to help users who lose access to accounts and, if a user loses money through fraud, Facebook has offered refunds.

Facebook’s Libra Blockchain will be built on open source code that allows the developer and research community to monitor it for design and security flaws, and the company will implement a “bug bounty” program to incentivise security experts to point out vulnerabilities in the platform.

How will this make Facebook money?

Libra will be sustained through a small charge per transaction on the blockchain, Facebook said. Many of these charges will be transferred to vendors who can then absorb the costs themselves or relay them to users.

Is Facebook going to sell my crypto data to ad companies?
Facebook claims it will keep financial data from transactions on Libra separate from user ad profiles. The blockchain is “pseudonymous”, the company said and, like many crypto networks, will allow users to hold one or more addresses not linked to their real-life identities.

“Calibra customers’ account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on the Facebook, Inc family of products,” the company said.

Sources The Guardian

AirAsia Syarikat Penerbangan Tambang Rendah Terbaik Dunia 2019

Foto : AIR ASIA


PARIS: AirAsia memenangi Syarikat Penerbangan Tambang Rendah Terbaik Dunia bagi 11 tahun berturut-turut di Anugerah Syarikat Penerbangan Dunia Skytrax 2019.

Selain itu ia juga dipilih sebagai Syarikat Penerbangan Tambang Rendah Terbaik Asia dan Kabin Premium Syarikat Penerbangan Tambang Rendah Terbaik Dunia bagi tempat duduk Premium Flatbed, yang terdapat dalam pesawat jarak jauh AirAsia X.

Pengerusi Eksekutif AirAsia Group Bhd, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, berkata anugerah berkenaan adalah satu penghormatan atas komitmen AirAsia menawarkan perjalanan mampu milik dan perkhidmatan mengutamakan pelanggan untuk diiktiraf Skytrax bagi 11 tahun berturut-turut.

“Hakikatnya anugerah ini adalah berdasarkan maklum balas langsung dan ia adalah pengiktirafan yang menggembirakan untuk seluruh warga AirAsia yang telah banyak berusaha dan memberikan komitmen kepada kecemerlangan perkhidmatan untuk pelanggan kami,” katanya dalam kenyataan di sini, Selasa.

Kenyataan itu diedarkan semasa majlis anugerah itu yang berlangsung di Pameran Udara Paris Antarabangsa kali ke-53 di Le Bourget di sini.

Skytrax turut menamakan Qatar Airways sebagai Syarikat Penerbangan Terbaik Tahun Ini.

Sementara itu, Pengerusi AirAsia X, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, berkata anugerah terbabit membuktikan tempoh sembilan tahun menjadi yang terbaik di dunia dalam kategori berkenaan dan ia didedikasikan kepada seluruh warga AirAsia yang berpegang teguh kepada budaya, misi dan visi korporat syarikat.

“Kami sekali lagi diiktiraf atas perkhidmatan menyediakan Kabin Premium Syarikat Tambang Rendah Terbaik Dunia dalam penerbangan jarak jauh kami.

“Tahun ini, kami akan pergi lebih jauh dengan menawarkan keselesaan dalam penerbangan yang terbaik menerusi pesawat Airbus A330neo baharu, pesawat yang akan mengubah pengalaman perjalanan jarak jauh.

“Digabungkan dengan perkhidmatan dalam penerbangan yang cukup terkemuka sebagai syarikat penerbangan tambang rendah jarak jauh, AirAsia X akan terus berusaha menawarkan perkhidmatan yang berbaloi kepada pelanggan ke 30 destinasi di 10 pasaran di seluruh rangkaian jarak jauh AirAsia Group,” katanya dalam kenyataan yang sama.

Anugerah Syarikat Penerbangan Dunia Skytrax, diperkenalkan pada 1999 dan bersifat bebas serta tidak berpihak, merupakan penanda aras kecemerlangan global bagi syarikat penerbangan.

Ia juga terkenal sebagai anugerah ‘Oscars’ bagi industri penerbangan.

Keputusan bagi anugerah tahun ini ditentukan melalui kaji selidik ke atas 21.65 juta pelanggan dengan 100 kewarganeraan yang menilai lebih 300 syarikat penerbangan mulai Ogos 2018 sehingga Mei 2019.

Setakat ini, AirAsia mengendalikan rangkaian lebih 140 destinasi dari 25 hab di 22 pasaran.

Bagi meraikan kemenangan ini, AirAsia akan melanjutkan jualan besar-besaran AirAsia sehingga 23 Jun, 2019 dengan tambang bermula serendah RM12 untuk penerbangan dari Kuala Lumpur ke pelbagai destinasi domestik dan daripada RM89 bagi penerbangan antarabangsa, tertakluk kepada terma dan syarat. 

SUMBER: BERNAMA

TERKINI

Thai Palace Publishes Consort Pictures, Website Crashes

Photo: BANGKOK POST BANGKOK — Thailand's palace website crashed on Monday (Aug 27) after it released unprecedented pictures of th...