Some Boeing 737 MAX planes temporarily grounded after ‘potential’ issue

In this file photo taken on Sept. 30, 2020, a Boeing 737 MAX airliner lands during an evaluation flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. (AFP / Jason Redmond)
In this file photo taken on Sept. 30, 2020, a Boeing 737 MAX airliner lands during an evaluation flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. (AFP / Jason Redmond)
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Updated 10 April 2021

Some Boeing 737 MAX planes temporarily grounded after ‘potential’ issue

Some Boeing 737 MAX planes temporarily grounded after ‘potential’ issue
  • Boeing managed to get the 737 MAX back in the skies late last year after it was grounded for 20 months following two fatal crashes

NEW YORK: US aircraft manufacturer Boeing said on Friday it had recommended that 16 airlines flying its 737 MAX planes address a “potential electrical issue” in a new setback for the top-selling model.
Major carriers began temporarily removing some of their MAX planes from service after the aerospace giant flagged the electrical issue — which is not a concern for all of the aircraft.
The potential problem requires “verification that a sufficient ground path exists for a component of the electrical power system,” Boeing said.
Electrical systems must be grounded to avoid overloads that can cause serious failures.
Boeing shares fell Friday, although the likely impact of this latest issue appeared limited.
A note from the investment website Briefing.com said it was encouraging that a major Boeing customer, Southwest Airlines, expects only a minimal disruption.
“However, the news is another blow for customers’ and investors confidence in the company,” Briefing said.
Boeing managed to get the 737 MAX back in the skies late last year after it was grounded for 20 months following two fatal crashes, and recently announced an order for 100 of the aircraft as the airline sector begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The manufacturer discovered the latest issue on a plane in production “during normal build activity,” a Boeing spokeswoman said.
It is “premature” to discuss the time needed to address the issue, and “could take a matter of hours or a few days” before planes are returned to service,” she said.Boeing did not say which airlines were concerned, nor did it specify the number of aircraft involved.
The company notified the US Federal Aviation Administration of the issue on Thursday night, an FAA spokesperson said.
“The FAA is in contact with the airlines and the manufacturer and will ensure the issue is addressed,” the agency said. “Passengers should contact their airlines about specific flight cancelations or delays.”
Southwest Airlines, which announced a large order of new MAX planes last month, said it removed from service a “subset” of its MAX fleet.
“While Southwest has not experienced any known operational challenges related to the issue, 30 of the airline’s 58 737 MAX 8 aircraft are affected by the notification,” the carrier said. “Southwest anticipates minimal disruption to our operation.”
United Airlines, which also has ordered additional MAX planes since the jet was approved by regulators to resume service, said it is “voluntarily and temporarily removing 16” of its MAX planes from its schedule.
“We have been in touch with the FAA and Boeing and will continue to work closely with them to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service,” United said. “We are working to swap out aircraft to minimize the impact to our customers.”
American Airlines said it removed 17 aircraft “to complete necessary inspections and make any changes recommended or required by Boeing or the Federal Aviation Administration,” a spokeswoman said.
All three US carriers still have MAX planes in their fleet not affected by the issue.The 737 MAX has been a huge hit with airlines, and was Boeing’s best-selling aircraft until it was grounded in March 2019 following the second of two crashes that together claimed 346 lives.
And after the Covid-19 crisis hammered the air transport sector, airlines canceled hundreds of orders.
Investigators said a main cause of both crashes was a faulty flight handling system known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS.
Boeing continues to face litigation from families of victims who died in crashes on Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights.
The FAA in mid-November cleared the MAX to return to service following upgrades to the plane and pilot training protocols. Other national regulators have followed suit since then.
Recent MAX orders by Southwest, Ryanair and others have underscored the appeal of the single-aisle MAX in the nascent airline industry recovery following the pandemic travel shutdown.
Aviation experts expect demand for domestic and short-flight service to recover before international flying.
Shares of Boeing fell 1.0 percent to $252.36.`


OPEC+ has a role in containing inflation, says Saudi oil minister

OPEC+ has a role in containing inflation, says Saudi oil minister
Updated 9 min 38 sec ago

OPEC+ has a role in containing inflation, says Saudi oil minister

OPEC+ has a role in containing inflation, says Saudi oil minister
  • The minister also warned that the increase in oil prices was not clear and could be due to “real supply and demand” or due to “expectations and trajectories that are excessively optimistic”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman said the OPEC+ alliance will play a role in “taming and containing” inflationary pressures, just hours after Brent crude surged back above $75 a barrel, Bloomberg reported.
“We also have a role in taming and containing inflation, by making sure that this market doesn’t get out of hand,” he said Wednesday at a conference organized by Bank of America Corp., according to a recording of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg News.
The minister also warned that the increase in oil prices was not clear and could be due to “real supply and demand” or due to “expectations and trajectories that are excessively optimistic,” he said.
He said the group should remain cautious because the oil market wasn’t out of the “doldrums” created by the coronavirus pandemic. He also warned traders against conflating caution with inaction, Bloomberg said.
“We have to be cautious. But caution doesn’t mean we don’t have to do something,” he told the conference. “It means we have to ensure that we don’t make


Bitcoin Fund breaks new ground in Middle East with debut on Nasdaq Dubai

Bitcoin Fund breaks new ground in Middle East with debut on Nasdaq Dubai
Updated 21 min 50 sec ago

Bitcoin Fund breaks new ground in Middle East with debut on Nasdaq Dubai

Bitcoin Fund breaks new ground in Middle East with debut on Nasdaq Dubai
  • The fund has roughly $1.5 billion in assets under management and plans to double that next year

DUBAI: The Bitcoin Fund debuted on the Nasdaq Dubai on Wednesday, becoming the Middle East’s first listed cryptocurrency fund.
The fund, which was listed by Canadian digital asset management firm 3iQ on the Toronto Stock Exchange last year, has roughly $1.5 billion in assets under management and plans to double that next year.
“With the listing of the Bitcoin Fund, it’s going to give people access in the region to this fund on the Dubai exchange in the hours that the Dubai exchange trades at,” Frederick Pye, the chief executive officer of 3iQ, told Reuters.
“If the volumes are significant, we’ll be looking to raise capital to increase the size of the Bitcoin Fund here in Dubai and we will continue to issue shares based on the demand that comes from the region,” Pye said in an interview.
The listing will help satisfy demand for investment diversification in the region, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) needs, such as for pension funds and family offices, Pye said.
Dalma Capital, a Dubai-based alternative investment firm, was lead arranger for the Nasdaq Dubai listing. Corporate finance adviser 01 Capital and investment firm Razlin Capital, both based in London, advised on the listing and Pinsent Masons was legal counsel for the listing process.
“Today’s secondary listing of existing units from Canada was met with very strong demand, which has validated the need for an additional offering to satisfy the demand from regional investors,” said Zachary Cefaratti, CEO of Dalma Capital, declining to say when that could be.
Pye acknowledged that China’s recent crackdown on mining cryptocurrencies has hit digital currency prices, but he said the timing of that move would help those who bought into the Dubai listing.
“We’re very excited because when we hit an all-time high, our investors and our clients and our friends will have doubled their money,” Pye added.


Backing grows for new IMF COVID and climate fund

Backing grows for new IMF COVID and climate fund
Updated 30 min 6 sec ago

Backing grows for new IMF COVID and climate fund

Backing grows for new IMF COVID and climate fund
  • The COVID crisis is expected to leave 47 of the 82 vulnerable countries with gross debt already above levels deemed sustainable.

PARIS: Plans for a new IMF “Resilience and Sustainability” fund that would expand its support to dozens more vulnerable countries gained key international backing on Thursday ahead of crucial meetings.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva this month proposed the new trust to allow rich countries to channel some of their new IMF reserves to poor and middle-income counterparts ravaged by COVID or climate change.
“This is something we certainly support” said Lars Jensen, a senior economist on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the author of a new report on how the IMF’s new funding should be directed.
The UNDP estimates the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which is also expected to play a key role in a voluntary redistribution of new ‘Special Drawing Rights’ (SDRs) money, is only open to 55 of the world’s 82 most debt-vulnerable developing economies.
The Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations alone will receive $283 billion of the overall $650 billion SDR allocation. All “high-income” countries will get $438 billion, whereas 75 of the poorest countries will get $62 billion among them.
The COVID crisis is expected to leave 47 of the 82 vulnerable countries with gross debt already above levels deemed sustainable.
Additionally, nine of the 10 most climate-change vulnerable countries are also highly debt-vulnerable developing economies.
“As a possible development objective of an SDR channelling to vulnerable countries, it would be natural to target climate due to its global implications,” Jensen said, adding that the fund could even bulked up by leveraging it in borrowing markets.
G7 leaders have already signaled their backing to redistribute $100 billion of the new SDR money. Georgieva has said that China has expressed interest in participating and that she expected other major emerging economies to do the same.
The IMF’s executive board will meet on Friday on the next steps and finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies will discuss the SDR reallocation issue when they meet in Venice in July.
Scott Morris of the Center for Global Development said funding for the proposed new IMF trust was already earmarked in the US Treasury’s recent budget request to Congress, underscoring Washington’s support.
The US Treasury is working closely with the IMF to explore options and design mechanisms for channelling SDRs to vulnerable countries, one US Treasury official told Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“The IMF’s proposed Resilience and Sustainability Trust is one of the options under discussion,” the official said, without elaborating on other options.
Jensen said he hoped the new fund would also give debt-strained countries who have so far resisted restructuring their debt for fear of losing access to borrowing markets, a safety net to take that step.


Arab share of India’s oil imports hits 25-month low

Arab share of India’s oil imports hits 25-month low
Updated 55 min 46 sec ago

Arab share of India’s oil imports hits 25-month low

Arab share of India’s oil imports hits 25-month low
  • To replace Middle Eastern oil, refiners hiked imports from Latin America, the United States and the Mediterranean

NEW DELHI: The share of Middle Eastern crude in India’s oil imports fell to a 25-month low in May, tanker data provided by trade sources showed, as refiners tapped alternatives in response to the government’s call to diversify supplies.
India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, in March directed refiners to diversify crude sources after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, led by top exporter Saudi Arabia, ignored New Delhi’s call to ease supply curbs.
Asia’s third-largest economy imported about 4.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in May, just below the previous month but about 31.5 percent higher than a year earlier, the data showed.
The Middle East’s share dropped to 52.7 percent, the lowest since April 2019 and down from 67.9 percent in April, the data showed.
Imports from Saudi Arabia, India’s second-largest supplier after Iraq, slipped by about a quarter from a year earlier, while supplies from the United Arab Emirates, which dropped to No. 7 position from No. 3 in April, fell by 39 percent, the data showed.
This comes after Indian state refiners nominated to lift less oil from Saudi Arabia in May.
Lower purchases of oil from the Middle East dragged OPEC’s share of Indian oil imports to a record low.
To replace Middle Eastern oil, refiners hiked imports from Latin America, the United States and the Mediterranean.
Indian refiners bought higher volumes of gasoline-rich US oil in March, expecting a recovery in local gasoline demand to continue in the months ahead, said Ehsan Ul-Haq, lead analyst for Oil Research and Forecasts at Refinitiv.
Strong demand for light crude saw Nigeria improving its ranking by two notches to become the No. 3 supplier to India in May.
Private Indian refiners Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy, however, boosted purchases of Canadian heavy oil to a record 244,000 bpd, equivalent to about 6 percent of India’s overall imports.
“Indians bought Kazakhstan’s CPC blend and Canadian oil due to attractive discounts in comparison to dated Brent and WTI, respectively,” Ul-Haq said.
Tanker arrival data showed higher imports in contrast to preliminary government data, as cyclones along India’s coast line last month delayed discharge of cargoes.


Dubai jet ski tour named world’s top activity by Tripadvisor

Dubai jet ski tour named world’s top activity by Tripadvisor
Updated 24 June 2021

Dubai jet ski tour named world’s top activity by Tripadvisor

Dubai jet ski tour named world’s top activity by Tripadvisor

DUBAI: A jet ski tour of Dubai has emerged as the world’s top tourism experience according to Tripadvisor.
The company announced its annual list of Travelers’ Choice “Best of the Best Things To Do Awards,” which is based on data from January to April this year.
The jet ski tour which gives travelers panoramic views of Dubai’s iconic buildings and beaches beat competition from a long list of rival activities from around the globe, from white water rafting in New Zealand to paragliding in Turkey.
Tripadvisor noted this year’s list was largely dominated by outdoor and water-based activities, as travelers became more excited about going outside after months of lockdown.
The UAE has been investing heavily in activity-based tourism with Dubai seeing greater competition from other emirates including Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah which recently revealed 20 new outdoor attractions.