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IATA: Deep Vein Thrombosis and Air Travel

IATA Director General, Pierre J Jeanniot, stated in letters to the Vice President of the European Commissioner and Commissioner for Transport, Mme Loyola de Palacio and US Secretary of Transport, Mr Norman Mineta, "At the present time, there is no conclusive medical evidence supporting the alleged connection of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with long distance travel. Nonetheless, a number of further studies are underway and IATA Members are very much aware of the need to minimise any potential risks". IATA is organising a worldwide conference on cabin health in Geneva 17-18 May 2001.

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Mir Hotel

Walt Anderson, the US venture capitalist and backer of the Mir Space Station has suggested that the Mir Station could be converted into a tourist attraction. He estimates that the first holiday would cost $40m but thereafter the price would fall to "a more reasonable $20-$25m". Sales of such holidays in the EU would of course be subject to the Package Travel Directive!

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Legal Action raised in Egypt Air Flight 990 Case

A legal action has been raised by relatives of a Syrian passenger killed as a result of the Egypt Air Flight 990 crash. The action has been raised in New York. The Syrian victim was working as a chef in New Jersey. The action is based on a claim for $50m wrongful death compensation alleging that Egypt Air were in breach of their responsibility to provide the hoghest level of safety to passengers. The action also accuses Boeing of negligence in design, repair and maintenance of the plane.

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Egypt Air Flight 990

The search for the voice cockpit recorder continues. The plane crashed into the Atlantic soon after taking off from JFK Airport in New York on October 31. All 217 passengers and crew were killed. The US National Transportation Safety Board has made a preliminary report on the flight data recorder. the plane had been cruising normally at 9900 metres (33000 feet) when the autopilot disconnected. Although the plane had previously had a fault with the thrust reverser device, there was no evidence that this device had deployed accidentally.

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Aircraft Noise and the Council of the EU

Europe's proposal to ban planes fitted with 'hush kits' from flying in the EU after April 2002 has been postponed until the end of April in order to allow negotiation between the Commission and the US, after the US threatened to ban Concorde in retaliation.

(Originally posted by Jason Campbell)

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Charter Flights

President Clinton announced new measures to increase contact between ordinary US citizens and Cubans. These do not amount to the lifting of the general embargo against the Cuban Government but inter alia permits more charter flights between the two countries. These flights are intended to provide for visits by athletics, social, religious and other groups and are not intended for tourists. The 37 year US ban on tourism continues.

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Scotland/Libya/USA - Lockerbie

Jim Swire, a spokesman for the relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing has stated that he believes Libya has legitimate concerns about the proposals for a trial of the two Libyan suspects under Scots Law in the Netherlands. Libya has asked for guarantees that the two men will not be extradited to the UK or USA. The UK and USA governments have stated that their proposals are not up for negotiation. Mr Swire's daughter, Flora, was killed in the bombing. (2/10/98) UK Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, stated that, if convicted the two Libyan suspects would be sent to prison in Scotland.