Transat making progress on reducing losses gears up for busy winter season

first_img Travelweek Group MONTREAL — Transat AT Inc. says it has made progress on reducing its losses despite difficult market conditions that include higher fuel prices and currency fluctuations.The Montreal-based travel company says its net loss attributable to shareholders was $8.4 million, or 23 cents per share, in the second quarter of its fiscal year.This is a vast improvement from a year earlier, when Transat had a net loss of nearly $25 million, or 68 cents per share.Revenue was down marginally at $884.3 million, compared with $888.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.The promising news comes on the heels of Transat’s winter program launch, which the company is calling its most comprehensive offer of South destinations, all-inclusive packages, all-in-one cruise packages and European holidays.This winter, Air Transat offers direct flights to 36 South destinations from 22 Canadian cities, including two new destinations – Tampa and San Juan from both Montreal and Toronto. In total, Air Transat will offer a total of 145 routes, nine of which are new, such as Santo Domingo from Montreal, and Punta Cana from Ottawa and Kelowna. Moreover, more flights have been added to some of the most popular South destinations from major Canadian cities, including: Punta Cana, Managua, Roatan and Liberia from Toronto; Liberia and San Salvador from Montreal; and Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun from Vancouver.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsTransat’s cruise packages continue to win over clients, with inclusions like roundtrip flights with Air Transat and transfers. Clients can add a hotel stay to their adventure at sea, move up their departure date up to 14 days before their cruise, or postpone their return to Canada up to 14 days after their journey at sea, at no extra cost.Europe this winter is extra appealing with packages that include flights, hotels at reduced rates and featuring a kitchenette or offering a number of free meals, transfers between the airport and hotel, and more. Clients can customize their trips by combining flights, accommodations, rental cars and à la carte visits.Direct flights to Lisbon and Porto, Portugal are available year round from Toronto. Transat also offers direct flights between Montreal and Malaga, Spain from January to November, plus one direct flight a week between Toronto and Faro, Portugal from January to April. There are also two direct flights a week between Montreal and Malaga from January to November.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThese four routes are available to clients from Montreal and Toronto, thanks to connecting flights between the two cities. Transat also flies to other cities in Europe year round, namely Paris, London, Glasgow and Manchester.Canadians who book their fall or winter Sun vacations by June 30 will benefit from a number of perks, including: a reduced deposit of only $100; Transat’s Price Drop Guarantee for all-inclusive packages; the option to change their travel dates up to three hours before departure; an upgrade to Option Plus for Luxury and Distinction Collection packages; and a $50 future travel voucher. << Previous PostNext Post >> With file from The Canadian Press Thursday, June 8, 2017 Share Transat making “progress” on reducing losses, gears up for busy winter season Tags: Air Transat, New Routes, Profit Report, Transat Posted bylast_img read more

More Canadians travelling to the US and overseas StatsCan

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: USA Travelweek Group More Canadians travelling to the U.S., and overseas: StatsCancenter_img Monday, November 27, 2017 Posted by OTTAWA — The number of Canadians travelling to the U.S. is up – and not coincidentally, so is the Canadian dollar. According to the latest figures from StatsCan, more than 3.6 million Canadian residents travelled to the U.S. in September, up from both the previous month (+1.9%), and September 2016 (+2.6%). This occurred as the Canadian dollar peaked at US$0.82, its highest level in two years.In September some 739,000 Canadians made overnight trips by plane to the U.S., up 11.1% compared with the same month last year and a record for the month of September.The highest year-over-year increases were in Ontario (+14.4%) and Quebec (+16.8%). After taking into account seasonal variation, overnight plane trips were also up 3.3% from August, including a 3.5% increase from Ontario and a 5.1% gain from Quebec.Car travel by Canadians to the U.S. increased as well, rising 1.4% from last month and 0.3% higher compared with September 2016. The number of overnight car trips to the U.S. declined 1.4% from last September, while same-day car trips increased 1.1%.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionMeanwhile the number of Canadians travelling overseas continues to climb. More than 1.1 million Canadian residents returned from overseas countries in September, the highest figure on record for the month. It was also a 1.9% increase from August, and 7.4% more than in September 2016.The number of Canadians returning from overseas countries in the month of September has increased every year since the 1990s.last_img read more

Royal Princess Grand Princess to offer Mexico sailings in 201920

first_imgRoyal Princess, Grand Princess to offer Mexico sailings in 2019/20 SANTA CLARITA — Princess Cruises’ 2019-2020 lineup will include the introduction of one of the company’s newest ships to Mexico, Royal Princess, for its first full season based in L.A.Royal Princess will offer 27 total departures including seven-day Mexico itineraries, plus passengers get more time in port with an overnight in Cabo San Lucas on every five-day Cabo San Lucas Getaway sailing.As the only cruise line to sail year-round out of San Francisco, Princess also offers Grand Princess roundtrip 10-day Mexico itineraries in 2019. Star Princess will make her return to the west coast in 2019 as well, featuring 10-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez with roundtrip departures out of Los Angeles with an overnight in Cabo San Lucas.“Sailing the waters of Mexico honours the heritage of Princess cruising, with our first voyage in 1965 to the Mexican Riviera,” says Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz. “Now we provide guests more opportunities to experience the best of the region through culinary partnerships and immersive shore excursions, all while enjoying longer stays in port.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe cruise line’s enhanced shore excursion offerings along the west coast take passengers off the beaten path, on culinary adventures featuring the local flavours of the region. Culinary shore excursions are available in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, June 1, 2018 Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: Mexico, Princess Cruises Sharelast_img read more

What do you think of the new name for Virgin Voyages first

first_img Travelweek Group What do you think of the new name for Virgin Voyages’ first ship? Tags: Preview, Scarlet Lady, Virgin Group, Virgin Voyages Posted by GENOA — Virgin Voyages has announced the name of its first ship and just like the cruise line itself, it’s definitely different.“The Scarlet Lady. There … we said it. The mermaid’s out of the bag! Scarlet is the embodiment of everything this ship represents. As our figurehead, she takes on a role historically dedicated to goddesses, important women in society, and even mermaid figures,” says the company. Set to launch in 2020, the adults-only Scarlet Lady is currently under construction at Fincantieri shipyard. The steel-cutting for the line’s as-yet-unnamed second ship, due for delivery in 2021, will take place soon.Render of the VIP DeckThe cruise line says the fleet’s branding dovetails with the company’s efforts to encourage front-facing female leaders with its Virgin Voyages Scarlet Squad Program. “From engineers to builders, marine tech to crew captains and technical positions, this program is meant to help female leaders break through the glass ocean if you will; it’s meant to create more leadership positions for women on the operations side of the sea travel industry. The multi-pronged approach, supported by skill development, recruitment and mentoring, is something we find incredibly important in areas traditionally lacking female leadership, like marine technical and hotel management.”Render of the elevated Mexican RestaurantVirgin Voyages adds: “All in all, ship is really coming together, quite literally, and more beautifully than we even expected. We can’t wait to see her in final form, but we know that no matter where we go, onboard or on land, our travel is graced by Scarlet’s presence in all of her glorious spontaneity. It’s an aura that permeates everything.”Onboard amenities in keeping with the line’s ‘Vitamin Sea’ ethos include:  The Redemption Spa, the satellite mani-pedi spa, the Stubble & Groom barber shop and Dry Dock blow out barRender of The DockActive spaces designed for workouts, recoveries and socializing, from the B-Complex, complete with The Burn, Build, Balance and Bike rooms, to The Beast apparatus for a complete sweat. There’s also a Well-Being Pool adjacent to the Gym & Tonic Bar for socializingThe Athletic Club, with a history rooted in athletic social clubs of the past, incorporates an active Training Camp room and boxing classes as well as a full basketball court and a cold-pressed juice barRender of The Athletic ClubA catamaran net for passengers who want to “sit back and watch it all happen from the comforts of the largest daybed at sea”. All of this is situated under a Virgin red sky track called The RunwayThe Crow’s Nest provides a yoga, meditation and stretch-based space on the upper level deck << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, July 20, 2018 last_img read more

US announces decision to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 9s

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Travelweek Group WASHINGTON — The U.S. has issued an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft “effective immediately,” in the wake of the crash of an Ethiopian Airliner that killed 157 people.Many nations had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until President Trump’s announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn’t have any data to show the jets are unsafe. Trump cited “new information” that had come to light in the ongoing investigation into incident. He did not elaborate.“All of those planes are grounded, effective immediately,” Trump said during a scheduled briefing on border security.Trump said any airplane currently in the air will go to its destination and then be grounded. He added all airlines and affected pilots had been notified.Trump said the safety of the American people is of “paramount concern,” and added that the FAA would soon put out a statement on the action.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsTrump said the decision to ground the aircraft “didn’t have to be made, but we thought it was the right decision.”The president insisted that the announcement was co-ordinated with aviation officials in Canada, U.S. carriers and aircraft manufacturer Boeing.“Boeing is an incredible company,” Trump said. “They are working very, very hard right now and hopefully they’ll quickly come up with an answer.”The U.S. had been the only country with any substantial number of 737 Max 8s still allowing the planes to fly. According to reports, American Airlines has 24 Boeing 737 Max 8s in its fleet. Southwest has 34. United has 14 Boeing 737 Max 9s.This morning Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that Canada would ground the 737 Max 8s, and ban the aircraft from Canadian airspace. The decision, an about-face from the past couple of days, was based on what Garneau said was new data showing “that threshold has been crossed” with potential similarities between the ET302 crash and the Lion Air crash five months ago.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North America“Yes there will be some disruption. It’s unfortunate but we must put safety at the top of the agenda,” said Garneau. “The airlines have been very understanding. For the moment, caution has to dominate.”Sunwing announced last night that it was temporarily suspending operations of its four 737 Max 8s.Air Canada and WestJet are complying with the order and grounding their 737 Max 8 aircraft as well.Air Canada’s cancellation and rebooking policies are in place with full fee waiver for affected customers. Air Canada has 24 of the aircraft.WestJet is also taking the necessary steps to safely remove all Boeing Max aircraft currently in service. WestJet, which has 13 of the 737 Max 8s, is also waiving its change fees.With files from The Associated Press Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Posted by U.S. announces decision to ground Boeing 737 Max 8, 9slast_img read more

Three killed in US shopping mall shooting near Baltimore

first_imgAnother mass shooting has taken place in the the United States. This time in Columbia, Md., at a shopping mall just outside of Baltimore. Policeconfirmed that at least three people have been killed, and believe the gunman is one of the dead. Facebook Comments Related posts:New York arrests 70 for child porn 2 dead, 3 critical in US school shooting Investigators piece together motive in mass Oregon shooting UPDATE: At least 14 dead in shooting at California disabled centerlast_img

Five months on survivors of deadly catamaran accident still waiting for answers

first_imgRelated posts:US Coast Guard to assist in investigation of deadly catamaran accident Investigation finds ‘no negligence’ in deadly Costa Rica catamaran accident  US tourist rescued at sea in southern Pacific Fishermen, locals are the ‘real heroes’ in Costa Rica catamaran accident, says survivor Nearly five months after the catamaran Pura Vida Princesscapsized off Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast with more than 100 people on board, the investigation into the accident that killed three foreign tourists remains ongoing. Survivors have been waiting for the National Insurance Institute (INS) to process their claims, and a recent attempt to inspect the wreckage of the day cruiser came up short.The Pura Vida Princess, owned by Global Crust Firm S.A., left Herradura Bay on Jan. 8 on its way across the Gulf of Nicoya for a day trip to Tortuga Island. Reports said that the sea was calm when the vessel set sail, but within 30 minutes the catamaran found itself in rough seas with waves as high as 2 meters and winds up to 45 knots, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in San José.Before the ship’s captain could return to port, the catamaran started taking on water. The ship tipped on its starboard side and capsized, killing three passengers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.Todd Olson, 51, of Shawnee, Kansas, was on board with his wife, Connie, and their two children, Carley and Derec, when the catamaran went down.“I must admit feeling frustrated and angry watching from a distance what appears to be a half-assed effort to investigate the accident,” Olson told The Tico Times in an email.Olson sustained a shoulder injury when the ship capsized, an accident that changed his life, he said. He went back to work after he returned to the United States but the physical demands of his job as an animal and pest control specialist became too much after his injury. After 16 years in the profession, Olson left his career behind. In April, Olson underwent surgery for a torn labrum and rotater cuff, and a ruptured bicep tendon.He has been able to find work since but he had to take a pay cut that has significantly affected his family’s finances, he said. Olson estimated his family’s losses from the accident at $15,000. The family submitted their insurance claim to INS but has yet to hear anything.Susan Shonk, another survivor who previously spoke with The Tico Times about her ordeal during and after the Pura Vida Princess sank, said in an email that she, too, is still waiting for word from INS on her family’s claims. Shonk added that she had been interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, in the U.S.A statement from the INS Operations Department to The Tico Times said that details about the status of the Pura Vida Princess insurance claims are confidential. The agency did not comment further.The U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB were in Costa Rica from April 12 to April 22 to assist Costa Rican authorities with the investigation.A U.S. Coast Guard dive team traveled to Costa Rica to find the site of the shipwreck. After searching an area over 2 square miles of the suspected site, divers and an unmanned submersible were unable to get a visual of the catamaran, according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in San José and comments from Costa Rican Coast Guard Director Martin Arias to the daily La Nación. The U.S. Coast Guard team did identify an object on the sea floor with a sonar signal that matched the characteristics of the catamaran.The U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB, at the request of the Costa Rican government, have also been working with local authorities to review safety and regulatory protocols.A spokeswoman for Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), Xinia Zamora, told The Tico Times that the OIJ would not comment on the ongoing investigation or what the next steps would be after divers were unable to reach the shipwreck. The Prosecutor’s Office also did not comment on the investigation, saying they are waiting for a final report from the OIJ.Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Tatiana Vargas previously told this newspaper that no charges would be filed until the OIJ report was complete.A final report on the cause of the capsizing is expected sometime this fall. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

In New Hampshire Clinton pledges to stand up to the gun lobby

first_imgRelated posts:Oregon school shooting: ‘He just tried to do the right thing,’ one victim’s family says Gunman at Oregon college appeared armed for an extended siege In compelling speech, President Obama announces executive actions on gun safety US President Obama weeps as he pleads for ‘urgency’ of gun control MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – Insisting that “our country is better than this,” an emotional Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the U.S. must get serious about gun control and be willing to take on the entrenched politics surrounding guns.“This epidemic of gun violence knows no boundaries, knows no limits of any kind,” Clinton said.Her voice broke as she introduced the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, three years ago.Both spoke at Manchester Community College, where Clinton drew a link to the Oregon community college where a lone gunman killed nine people in a classroom last week.When such tragedies occur, “people are quick to say that they offer their thoughts and prayers,” Clinton said. “That’s not enough. How many people have to die before we actually act? Before we come together as a nation?”She drew loud applause from the audience in New Hampshire, a rural state with strong hunting traditions and a mixed outlook on gun control, when she called on hunters to boycott the National Rifle Association and instead join “a different organization” that would support what she calls common-sense safety measures.By highlighting her gun control plans here, Clinton is making plain that she sees the issue as timely and broadly politically palatable for Democrats and independent voters.Clinton is promising tighter controls on sales of firearms at gun shows if she is elected, and pledging to go around Congress if necessary. She released a plan Monday to take executive action to crack down on high-volume gun sellers at gun shows, where rules differ from brick and mortar stores. If elected, Clinton says she would require that anyone attempting to sell a significant number of guns be deemed “in the business” of selling firearms. That would narrow but not close what is frequently called the “gun show loophole.”Her campaign said that designation would ensure that high-volume gun sellers are covered by the same rules that apply to guns stores, including requiring background checks on gun sales. Some 40 percent of guns are now sold via shows or online, Clinton said.Clinton challenged Republicans to confront what she called “the extremism that has taken over this debate.”“A majority of Americans support universal background checks. In fact, a majority of gun owners support universal background checks,” Clinton said.Pointing to former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s controversial “stuff happens” remark following the Oregon shootings, Clinton said “that’s an admission of defeat and surrender.”“It’s time for us to say, ‘wait a minute. We’re better than this. Our country is better than this.’” “I am UCC.” Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFPClinton has been more forceful and passionate about gun control than almost any other issue during this campaign, telling audiences that she is fed up with the intransigent politics of the issue and blaming Republicans for inaction in the face of repeated mass shootings.The remarks echoed Clinton’s impassioned discussion of gun issues before a Florida audience following last week’s shooting, when she accused Republicans of putting “the NRA ahead of American families.”“What is wrong with us that we can’t stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers,” Clinton had said Friday, one day after the campus killings. “This is not just tragic. We don’t just need to pray for people, we need to act. We need to build a movement.”Clinton called for new legislation to ban convicted domestic abusers for buying guns, and said she would repeal a 2005 law banning victims of firearm violence from suing gun manufacturers and dealers. Clinton voted against the law as a senator from New York. It was signed by then-president George W. Bush.The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence cheered Clinton’s proposals, calling it a “watershed moment” for a leading presidential candidate to make a significant push for new gun restrictions.“Nobody has come out, until today, to so clearly make this issue a cornerstone of a major candidate’s platform in decades,” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said in a conference call with reporters Monday.Clinton’s campaign said she would accomplish these changes by pushing for new legislation and possibly issuing executive orders. She also said she would press Congress to repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” a bill passed in 2005 that shields gun manufacturers from lawsuits brought by victims of shootings and their families. (As a senator, Clinton voted against that bill.)“This is the type of bold leadership that we’ve been missing in Washington,” Gross said. “I certainly hope politicians in both political parties are paying attention and will come forward with proposals of their own to help keep all of us safe by stopping gun violence.”In New Hampshire Monday morning, Clinton also sharply denounced congressional Republicans who she accused of exploiting the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, though she stopped just short of calling for the House committee investigating the assault to be disbanded.“Look at the situation they chose to exploit, to go after me for political reasons: the death of four Americans in Benghazi. I knew the ambassador. I identified him. I asked him to go there. I asked the president to nominate him,” Clinton said during a town hall event in New Hampshire hosted by NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning. “This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans. I would have never done that.”Clinton said Monday that the committee’s work is “not appropriate … from obviously their own admission.” She said that if she were president, “and there were Republicans or Democrats who were thinking about [launching a politically-influenced investigation], I would have done everything to shut it down.”But she added that she intends to move forward with her scheduled testimony before the committee later this month, “if they’re going to have it still running.”The Democratic hopeful also fielded several questions about her primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who recent polls show has surged ahead of her in New Hampshire. She said that while he is beating her in the Granite State, polls show “me winning in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and nationally.”“As you point out, I’ve got work to do in New Hampshire. I’m very excited to be leading everywhere else,” Clinton said, laughing. “And I’m going to keep working hard everywhere else. But I always thought this would be a great contest.”She added later: “Bernie’s a neighbor here. He represents Vermont.”Clinton’s critics have repeatedly knocked the former secretary of state on her retail campaign talents, saying that her public persona does not energize voters. Clinton downplayed any problem she might have connecting with voters, admitting — as she has done in the past — that she’s not always the most magnetic candidate in the field.“You know, I’ll admit, I’m a more reserved person than maybe some people in politics are. But as you can see from the skit, I also like to have a good time,” Clinton said, referring to an appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. “So we’ll mix it up a little bit in the campaign.”Washington Post staff writers Mark Berman and DelReal contributed to this story from Washington.© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Lurgan students showcase crosscommunity project at worlds largest Geographic Information Systems conference

first_imgEsri Ireland, the market leader in geographic information services, today announces that three schools from Lurgan, Co. Armagh, presented a cross-community project to 19,000 attendees as part of the opening session to Esri’s International User Conference in San Diego. The pupils became the first students from outside of the USA to present on the main stage in the conference’s 39-year history.Students from Lurgan College, St. Ronan’s College and Lurgan Junior High School, showcased their Shared Education Project, which brought together Catholic and Protestant students to map and analyse sectarian divisions in Lurgan, while working together to bring about positive change in their communities.Held in the San Diego Convention Centre, the week-long event is the world’s largest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) conference. It gathers users, experts, scientists, educators and decision makers from every discipline – including commercial businesses, governments and non-profits – from 128 countries, interested in how GIS can transform their work, organisations, communities and countries.The Lurgan Shared Education Project was chosen ahead of thousands of other school projects from around the world for its demonstration of how digital mapping technology can be used to promote peace. In addition to the main stage presentation, the performance was livestreamed to thousands of  geography enthusiasts across the globe.Three students, three teachers and a member of the PSNI travelled to San Diego to present alongside world-renowned speakers, such as Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson – who discussed the importance of biodiversity conservation – and Jack Dangermond, president and founder of Esri.Alistair Hamill, head of geography, Lurgan College, said: “It is an incredible honour to have been chosen by Esri to travel to the US and present in front of such an engaged and global audience. The students are an inspiration and this has been a life-changing experience for them. As well as presenting at this prestigious event, through the project they have increased their understanding of their town and each other – forming lifelong bonds with new friends. They have also shown the power of collaboration and demonstrated the possibility of a more peaceful and inclusive future.”Lurgan is a very spatially divided town – residential areas tend to be segregated and public spaces are often underused, especially at night. Students from the three schools came together and visited locations across both sides of the community in Lurgan, recording their perception of safety within that space using Esri’s mobile apps. With the aid of their teachers and Esri Ireland’s ArcGIS for Schools team, students then used Esri’s ArcGIS online mapping platform to analyse the data.The survey showed that sectarian divides still exist in the town, highlighting locations that certain students rarely or never visit and others which they feel uncomfortable and unsafe in. The students then discussed the reasons behind the findings as well as ideas to reduce divisions in Lurgan. These insights were shared with the PSNI, the local council and the community relations council.Joanne McLaughlin, ArcGIS for Schools business sponsor, Esri Ireland, explained: “This cross-community initiative gave students a platform to put forward suggestions to make Lurgan a more inclusive place. It has made a real difference in Lurgan with stakeholder groups in the community acting on findings from the survey. Esri Ireland recently made our digital mapping software freely available to every school on the island of Ireland and it is fantastic to see such an impactful use of GIS. This is a shining example of how technology can enable young people to become powerful agents for positive social change in their community.”Commenting on the Lurgan presentation, Jack Dangermond, founder and president, Esri, said: “It is truly inspiring to see these young people collaborate using GIS to tackle deeply rooted issues in their community. They are the next generation of decision makers, and they show us new ways of thinking about old problems by demonstrating the capability of technology, geography, and innovation to solve future challenges.”last_img read more

Tech companies collaborate to create new Tech North West cluster

first_imgTwelve tech companies from the North West of Ireland have come together to form an innovative tech cluster to drive collaboration in the sector, which is exploding in the region.Tech North West will bring tech companies, start-ups, innovators and educators together with a collective goal to stimulate the tech sector across Sligo, Leitrim and surrounding counties.The cluster will be working closely with: IT Sligo; Mayo, Sligo Leitrim ETB; Sligo Local Enterprise Office and the IDA.The North West is becoming a hub for tech jobs with a recent string of positive job announcements. More than 1,300 tech jobs have been announced for Sligo and Leitrim over the last 12 months.The 12 companies already involved in the cluster together employ just over 400 people in the North West region and it is hoped that others will join once the cluster has been launched.The current members range from multinationals such as Overstock and LiveTiles to large indigenous companies like SL Controls and Cora Systems as well as local start-ups such as Frankli and 6 Degrees.On Friday, the group is launching its website www.technorthwest.ieas well as a video and a social media marketing campaign – called #ChooseMore — to highlight the region’s growing reputation as an emerging centre of cutting-edge tech.It will also focus on attracting tech talent to build their tech careers in a region which offers an enviable work-life balance, shorter commutes as well as lower rents and living costs.Tech North West Chairman is David Kenny, Site Lead Ireland at multinational Overstock, which is growing its staff at its base in Sligo. He said:“Tech North West is driven by a spirit of collaboration across the tech ecosystem in Sligo, Leitrim and surrounding areas. Our vision for the future is to work together to attract talent, new businesses and inspire the next generation of techies. We also want to show people living in Dublin, London and elsewhere that you can have a healthy tech career with progression and continuous learning opportunities while having a great work-life balance.”Keith Moran is Founder and Managing Director of SL Controls, which has offices around the country and the US but is headquartered in Sligo. Keith, who is also a member of Tech North West, said:“It is such an exciting time to be a tech company based in the North West as there is such a buzz and energy around the place, with a real sense of collaboration between the companies operating in the space. But it is even more exciting for people who want to work in tech, with an abundance of vacancies coming on stream for software developers, coders, analytics experts and digital architects. They can now have the option of high-level positions while living in a place that values community and a great work-life balance.”Elaine Murphy, General Manager for LiveTiles in EMEA, is based in Sligo and is a member of Tech North West. She says:“Not so long ago, the idea of leaving the traditional hubs for a life in the North West region would mean sacrificing your career – that’s no longer the case. The region has been experiencing a string of high-end job announcements in recent years from large tech companies, creating roles across a range of areas including back-end and front-end development, IoT, Data, Cybersecurity, AI and augmented reality.”John Nugent. IDA Ireland’s Regional Business Development Manager for the North West welcomed the initiative. He said:“We very much welcome the creation of Tech North West as it supports us in our work in attracting investment to the North West. It is great to see technology companies in the region working together, influencing education and training provision and attracting talent. We are all working for a common cause. Demonstrating the breadth and scope of collaboration that exists here among tech companies is of enormous benefit to prospective investors. It shows how vibrant and effective the ecosystem is here and how open and welcoming the region is for this type of investment.”The full list of companies involved in setting up the Tech North West cluster is SL Controls, Cora Systems, LiveTiles, Overstock, Frankli, 6 Degrees, Compupac I.T, Clanwillian Health, Anuview, Trojan I.T, Jalmia Solutions and Evolutio Care Innovations See notes below for details on each company.All of the companies are based in the North West of Ireland and are growing staff and developing cutting edge technologies that are being used on a global scale.last_img read more

Church enriches patients lives

first_imgWord of Faith Ministries, together with Ithemba Nothando, Hope & Love Foundation, spent an eventful Sunday afternoon handing out yoghurt and chips at Ladysmith Provincial Hospital and Môrester Children’s Home.The friendly members of the church and foundation touched many hearts with their kind gesture, and certainly put smiles on the children’s faces.The dynamic team also spent time playing with the children and getting to know them better.A huge thanks to all sponsors and volunteers for their support and for making the afternoon special for many. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

Update Man shot dead near Roosboom

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The man who was shot dead on Thursday evening near Roosboom has not yet been formally identified by police. The vehicle he was travelling in, a red Toyota Corolla, was shot at by the occupants of a passing vehicle while travelling on the R103. Numerous shots were fired and rifle shells were found at the scene.There were 4 occupants in the Corolla at the time of the shooting and 1 died at the scene.The other 3 occupants were injured in the shooting.Police say the motive has not been established as yet, and Ladysmith detectives are investigating a case of murder and attempted murder.last_img read more

Mozambique Spitting Cobra found in Lobelia Street

first_imgA highly dangerous Mozambique Spitting Cobra has been caught at a house in Lobelia Street.The snake was 1.2 metres in length.Snake removal expert Fanie Cilliers was called out to the scene, and managed to successfully remove and relocate the reptile.Fanie wore a mask to protect his eyes from the venom, as a Mozambique Spitting Cobra is known to aim for the eyes.No injuries were sustained to either the snake or the people on the property.This is the 5th Cobra that Fanie has caught in the area during the course of the week. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

No water at Ezakheni church

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Father St John’s Church in Ezakheni E-Section has been plagued with problems regarding its water supply and also the rebuilding of the church itself.Church leaders Mr GS Hlongwane and Mrs Mvelase are now asking when their problems will come to an end.Women are often seen carrying buckets full of water on their heads from a tap outside the church premises, which is about 400 metres away. Men in the area are also seen pushing wheelbarrows full of water.There is no tap on the church premises, with about 30 people living in buildings around the church. Most of them are sickly. All of these people seek healing in the church, which is evidently well-known for healing people using holy water. The sickly, of course, cannot fetch their own water and rely on others for help. This means that about five people collect water for about 30 others, placing a burden on those kind enough to help.Another problem that faces the church is that people use the toilets, but don’t have any water to wash their hands.A councillor from the area was contacted in November last year and asked if there was a plan to bring water to the church premises. The feedback received was that this would be done the following week, but to date the situation has remained unchanged.Church leaders say the premises is occupied legally and that there was water before they were cut off by the municipality because they wanted to build a proper church structure. To date, a proper church has not been built.A letter dated August 18, 2011, was received by the church from the municipality, stating that the church leaders must demolish mud structures because the municipality had obtained funding to build a proper church structure, together with 12 other houses, including a mission house. The church complied with the municipality’s letter and demolished the houses so that construction could commence. However, to date, no construction has started.The church leaders say they have made enquiries with the municipality, but nobody can provide them with answers.The church members are now asking a lot of questions, such as: Why did the municipality ask the church leaders to demolish the structures they were living in peacefully? Also, why has the municipality not delivered on its promise when the church has complied with their instructions?last_img read more