China economy rebounds in 2017 with 6.9% growth

The performance was a welcome uptick for the world’s second largest economy, which registered 6.7 percent growth in 2016, the slowest for more than a quarter of a century. (AFP)
Updated 18 January 2018
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China economy rebounds in 2017 with 6.9% growth

BEIJING: China’s economy grew a forecast-beating 6.9 percent in 2017, picking up steam for the first time since 2010, official data showed Thursday.
Analysts surveyed by AFP had predicted 6.8 percent growth, which was better than the government target of around 6.5 percent.
The performance was a welcome uptick for the world’s second largest economy, which registered 6.7 percent growth in 2016, the slowest for more than a quarter of a century.
The reading comes as China kicks its war on pollution into full gear, halving industrial production for some steel smelters and mills this winter.
The national statistics bureau said the economy expanded 6.8 percent in the final three months of the year, matching its third quarter growth but slightly down from the 6.9 percent in each of the previous two quarters.


Flight rights group takes Ryanair to court over strike compensation

Updated 15 August 2018
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Flight rights group takes Ryanair to court over strike compensation

  • Ryanair had to cancel around 1 in 6 flights last week due to a walk-out by pilots in five European countries
  • The disruption affected 55,000 travelers

BERLIN: German passenger rights company Flightright is taking Ryanair to court over whether it should pay financial compensation to passengers affected by strikes at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier.
Ryanair had to cancel around 1 in 6 flights on Friday due to a walk-out by pilots in five European countries, disrupting an estimated 55,000 travelers.
The worst affected country was Germany, where 250 flights affected around 42,000 passengers.
EU rules state that passengers can claim monetary compensation of up to €400 for flights within the region for canceled or delayed flights, unless the reason is extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather.
Strikes have generally fallen under extraordinary circumstances although a ruling by the European Court of Justice in April said that a wildcat strike by staff at German airline TUIfly following a restructuring could not be classed as extraordinary circumstances. Flightright said it believes Ryanair is therefore obliged to pay monetary compensation to customers and so has filed a complaint with a court in Frankfurt in a bid to clarify the rules around strikes.
A spokeswoman for the court said she was aware of the Flightright statement, but that she had not yet seen the complaint.
Ryanair said it fully complies with the European legislation on the matter, known as EU261.
“Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control. If this was within our control, there would be no cancelations,” a spokesman said.
Passenger rights groups such as Flightright help passengers to claim compensation from airlines under EU261 rules but in exchange for a share of the compensation received.
Many European airlines, including Ryanair, therefore urge passengers to file claims with them directly instead.