Istanbul airport gains transit passenger share from Gulf

Flight bookings for passengers changing planes in Istanbul in the first quarter of 2018 are currently up 21 percent compared with the same time last year. (Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Istanbul airport gains transit passenger share from Gulf

BERLIN: Major airports in the Gulf are losing out to Istanbul on lucrative transfer traffic this year as Turkey recovers from security worries, according to data from travel data analysis company Forward Keys.
Turkey is enjoying a recovery in tourism demand, with tour operator Thomas Cook on Thursday calling it the standout destination for this summer.
“In addition to the success of various routes, Istanbul’s growth has been helped by a reduction in terrorist incidents in Turkey,” Forward Keys CEO Olivier Jager said.
Flight bookings for passengers changing planes in Istanbul in the first quarter of 2018 are currently up 21 percent compared with the same time last year, Forward Keys said.
Transfer bookings for Dubai are down 0.5 percent, while for Abu Dhabi they are 14 percent lower. Doha, which has been hit by an embargo from four other Arab nations, managed to keep transfer traffic flat, according to Forward Keys, which analyzes more than 17 million flight booking transactions a day.
Passengers in transit can bring extra revenue for airports because they often spend their time shopping or eating.


Philippines set to import 1.2 million tons of rice as caps removed

Updated 4 min 53 sec ago
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Philippines set to import 1.2 million tons of rice as caps removed

  • President Rodrigo Duterte in October ordered the ‘unimpeded’ importation of rice after the country’s inflation shot u
  • Lawmakers have approved the bill removing the import cap on rice imports and replacing it with tariffs

MANILA: Rice traders in the Philippines are set to import about 1.2 million tons of the staple food, a state grains agency spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday, as the Southeast Asian country lifts a two-decade-old cap on purchases.
Bigger rice purchases by the Philippines, already one of the world’s top importers and consumers of the grain, could underpin export prices in Vietnam and Thailand, traditionally its key suppliers.
Prices in Vietnam fell last week ahead of the country’s largest harvest this month, while the Thai market is likely to see additional supply toward the end of January from the seasonal harvest.
President Rodrigo Duterte in October ordered the “unimpeded” importation of rice after the country’s inflation shot up to 6.7 percent in September and October, the highest in nearly a decade, partly due to food prices.
The National Food Authority (NFA) has approved initial applications from 180 rice traders for permits to import a total of 1.186 million tons of either 5-percent or 25-percent broken white, the NFA spokeswoman said.
“We have not set any deadline for accepting applications to import rice. There’s no more limit,” she said.
Importers are allowed to bring in rice from any country, but grains from Southeast Asian suppliers will be charged a tariff of 35 percent while those from elsewhere will face a 50-percent charge.
Lawmakers have approved the bill removing the import cap on rice imports and replacing it with tariffs. Duterte will “most likely” sign it into law “soon,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday.
Philippine inflation eased in November and December, and the rice tariffication law could help curb it this year by as much as 0.7 percentage point, the central bank has said. Rice is the biggest food item in the country’s consumer price index.